The Clamps Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Blend, Shake, Swallow Due Jan. 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Even as the label’s reach continues to grow, Heavy Psych Sounds keeps one foot firmly planted in its native Italian underground. In Jan. 2017, it will release the second full-length from Bergamo speed-rocking three-piece The Clamps, who, formerly aligned with countryman imprint Go Down Records, issued their debut, Deadly Kick for a Fat Fucker, in 2013. The new album is titled Blend, Shake, Swallow, presumably in reference to the band’s preferred method of consuming protein powders — I don’t know that, but it’s the world I want to live in — and though no audio has surfaced from it yet, you can find the artwork around if you’re not up to your quota yet today on cartoon tits. They’re never hard to find.

Announcement of the signing follows, including a teaser of tour dates to come. Dig it:

the-clamps-heavy-psych-sounds

The Clamps – Blend, Shake, Swallow (Heavy Psych Sounds)

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is stoked to announce a new band signing: THE CLAMPS

The Clamps band was born Bergamo in 2012, when Ben, former guitar and vocal of the Winter of Souls, and Bely, former bass and vocal of the Jolly Power, began jamming together to make some rock’n’roll. They soon got the right groove and the heavy dirty sound they had in mind; the only thing missing was a drummer to beat hard and rough on the drums. Few weeks later, Marcy, former drummer of the Hypnotic Hysteria, joined the band. The line-up was done, essential and powerful. Fat guitars, distortions, screams, hard beats on the drums: tons of ideas came out, and riffs soon turned into songs.

The Clamps were ready to share the stage with bands such as Hookers, El Camaro, The Sewergrooves, Valient Thorr, Los Fuocos, Gonzales, Nashville pussy, Wild eyes, and more, and in summer 2013 entered the studio to record their first album DEADLY KICK FOR A FAT FUCKER, twelve tracks of a vicious fat sound squeezing stoner, speedrock, punk and rock’n’roll. The future is still to be written. Stay tuned and rock on!

The second album BLEND, SHAKE, SWALLOW is out in January 2017 for HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS.

The Clamps will hit the road soon to promote the new album ..stay tuned!

https://www.facebook.com/THE-CLAMPS-327718207267670/
http://www.theclamps.net/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

The Clamps, “Let’s Go to Destroy”

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Humulus Announce New LP Reverently Heading into Nowhere Due in 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Italian heavy rockers Humulus will release their second long-player, Reverently Heading into Nowhere, next year. It’ll be out on Oak Island Records, the emergent Bilocation Records offshoot also responsible for recent offerings from NightstalkerSwan Valley Heights and Spaceslug. No date determined as yet, but if you told me it was Spring 2017, I’d believe it. Following up last year’s Electric Walrus EP (review here), the band spent this past Halloween weekend holed up in IndieBox Music Hall in their native Brescia to put the album to tape, even bringing in Monkey3 guitarist Boris for a guest spot, so while there’s probably still work to be done mixing or mastering, it seems like the basic tracks are finished, which, you know, is an important step.

The band sent the following background and comment along the PR wire:

humulus

Humulus is a Psych-Stoner power trio from Brescia/Bergamo (Italy), formed in 2009. Their first self titled album is released by Go Down Records in December 2012. The ten tracks of this first work fully reflect the stoner attitude of the band and their aggressive sound that is best expressed during their live shows.

In 2014 another great project, made of love and passion, sees the light: beer! Humulus produce their eponymous black stoner IPA, brewed in collaboration with ELAV Independent Brewery. In 2015, after a change in the line-up, Humulus are ready to write new songs. A 3 songs EP called “Electric Walrus EP” sees the light in October 2015. The new Ep shows the new attitude of the band: more psychedelic and more dynamic than before. The EP release is immediately followed by a series of new live shows, including the gig at the Keep It Low Festival in Munich, that confirm the tightness and power of the renewed line-up. 2016 is full of live gigs, and new songs are written and played on big and small stages.

The new LP “Reverently Heading Into Nowhere”, more psychedelic AND heavier than ever, will be out next Spring, to mark Humulus’ debut with the German label Oak Island Records.

“So… the new record is recorded at Indiebox Music Hall in Brescia,” says Massimiliano Boventi, “and all the tracks are passed into an analog tape before been mixed and mastered. These new six tracks are the spontaneous sequel of the sound of our last EP (went out last year). Humulus sound becomes more and more a mix between psychedelic dispositions and heavier doom stuffs.”

Andrea Van Cleef: guitar, voice
Giorgio Bonacorsi: bass
Massimiliano Boventi: drums

https://www.facebook.com/humulusband/
https://humulus.bandcamp.com/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng

Humulus, Electric Walrus EP (2015)

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Humulus Stream Electric Walrus EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on October 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

humulus

This coming weekend, Italian three-piece Humulus will perform as part of the Keep it Low festival in Munich, sharing a stage with Fever DogFatso Jetson and Belzebong, among others. To coincide, the Bergamo trio have a new EP called Electric Walrus that’s available as of today that marks their first release since their 2012 self-titled debut came out on Go Down Records, and their first outing with guitarist/vocalist Andrea Van Cleef in the band alongside bassist Giorgio Bonacorsi and drummer Massimiliano Boventi. That’s a big change in itself, but the change in the band’s dynamic goes even further, the three-track/22-minute outing positioning Humulus in more of a heavy psychedelic/desert rocking vein than did the beery sludge riffs of the debut, and listening to “Red Star, Winter Orbit,” the opener and longest cut at 12:00 (immediate points), it’s hard not to come away with a sense of just how much the scope has expanded.

Clearly intended in its structure toward a vinyl release, Electric Walrus pairs “Red Star, Winter Orbit” with what would be a side B comprised of “Maud and the Black Moon” and “Glider,” both of which check in at just under five minutes. Each represents something of a turn in vibe within the sort of stylistic umbrella overhead of heavy fuzz, desert atmosphere and psychedelic flourish. The first track, for example, is completely instrumental. It unfolds along a natural-but-plotted course in the vein of Causa Sui or Samsara Blues Experiment, and impresses not only with its runtime, but in the fact that Humulus keep it together for the duration and move so smoothly between peaks and valleys, humulus electric walrusmoving late into a section held together by the bassline and featuring big-sky-at-night guitar echo that, even after 12 minutes of the track as a whole, seems to end too soon. There’s a turn almost right away as “Maud and the Black Moon” starts, since the tones change and the song sounds more like Mark Lanegan fronting spacier Fatso Jetson, the vocals of Van Cleef impressing with a reverby presence that sits well over a post-grunge progression that departs its march at the midsection but picks up again to finish with a decent bit of rhythmic momentum.

And while the soft guitar opening of “Glider” is enough on first listen to make one think that maybe the increase in activity was a fluke and Humulus are going to close out the EP with another excursion into Colour Haze-y instrumental exploration — not that there’s anything wrong with that, because there isn’t — about 30 seconds in, they kick into a Truckfighters-style fuzz-rocker, and Van Cleef‘s voice seems no less suited to that than he was to the slower “Maud and the Black Moon.” “Glider” proves to be the most memorable hook of Electric Walrus — the appeal of which extends well beyond its frickin’ awesome title — but the crux of the short release is more about how much ground Humulus cover in the included three songs and how fluid they seem to be shifting between one style or another, trading off ambience for rhythmic drive and emerging from the other side a cohesive-sounding whole.

It’s an impressive feat, particularly for a group with a new frontman making essentially a second debut, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the tracks for streaming in time with the EP’s release and their appearance at Keep it Low. Please find Humulus‘ Electric Walrus on the player below, and enjoy:

Humulus are a heavy-stoner power trio from Brescia/Bergamo (Italy), formed in 2009. Their first self titled album is released by Go Down Records in december 2012. The ten tracks of this first work fully reflect the stoner attitude of the band and their aggressive sound that is best expressed during their live shows. 2013 and 2014 are truly years full of pivotal shows for Humulus career; the band shared the stage with bands like Corrosion Of Conformity, Karma To Burn, Naam and Truckfighters, and they participated also in festivals like Home Festival and Maximum Festival.

In 2014 another great love of the band sees the light: beer! Humulus produced for 2014 their eponymous black stoner IPA, brewed in collaboration with ELAV Indipendent Brewery. Humulus sound is just like that: a combination of fat and fuzzy guitars, heavy riffs…and a lot of beer!

In 2015, after a change of formation, Humulus recorded their new EP called Electric Walrus EP.

Humulus on Thee Facebooks

Humulus on Bandcamp

Keep it Low on Thee Facebooks

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Humulus Premiere Video for “The Liar Priest”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

humulus

Following a recent shift that brought aboard Andrea Van Cleef to handle guitar and vocals, Bergamo-based trio Humulus will this weekend issue their first release with the new lineup: A beer. A new collaboration with Birrificio Indipendente Elav arrives with a release party this weekend, and the three-piece also present their new video for the track “The Liar Priest” by Snakehill Productions to coincide.

The cut comes off Humulus‘ 2012 self-titled debut LP, which was released by Go Down Records, so it’s a bit of the old and new from the band, who are set to begin the process of songwriting for what will no doubt be a substantially different sophomore outing. In the meantime, “The Liar Priest” makes a stand in bruiser aggression residing on the border between heavy rock and sludge, thick riffery and gruff shouts abounding amid a catchy chorus and steady groove.

For the video, they — of course — perform at a brewery. Presumably, it’s Elav, and along with the trio kicking out “The Liar Priest,” we also get to see some beer being made which, again, of course, they sample at the end. Hardly the first to dig into a beverage after a hard day’s work, but they seem to be having a good time all the same. If you’re wondering, there will be fish sandwiches at the beer release party on Saturday. As if it would be a party otherwise.

I’m happy today to host the premiere of Snakehill‘s video for “The Liar Priest,” which is followed by some more background on Humulus for those who’d like to be filled in. Please imbibe responsibly:

Humulus, “The Liar Priest” official video

Humulus are a heavy-stoner power trio from Bergamo (Italy), formed in 2009. “The Liar Priest” is taken from the 2012 debut album “Humulus”.

Andrea Van Cleef (guitar-voice) Giorgio (bass) Massimiliano (drums)

Humulus are a heavy-stoner power trio from Brescia/Bergamo (Italy), formed in 2009. Their first self titled album is released by Go Down Records in december 2012. The ten tracks of this first work fully reflect the stoner attitude of the band and their aggressive sound that is best expressed during their live shows. 2013 and 2014 are truly years full of pivotal shows for Humulus career; the band shared the stage with bands like Corrosion Of Conformity, Karma To Burn, Naam and Truckfighters, and they participated also in festivals like Home Festival and Maximum Festival.

In 2014 another great love of the band sees the light: beer! Humulus produced for 2014 their eponymous black stoner IPA, brewed in collaboration with ELAV Indipendent Brewery. Humulus sound is just like that: a combination of fat and fuzzy guitars, heavy riffs…and a lot of beer!

In 2015, after a change of formation, Humulus are ready to write new songs for their second album that probably will see the light at the beginning of 2016

Beer release party event page

Humulus on Thee Facebooks

Humulus on Bandcamp

Snakehill Productions on YouTube

Go Down Records

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Reviewsplosion II: The Return of 10 Records in One Post

Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

I am constantly working at a deficit. Financially, yes, because like many of my countrymen I’m am tens of thousands of dollars in debt — but also in terms of reviews. I’malwaysbehind on reviews. Hell, it was into July of this year before I finally put the kybosh on writing up anything from 2011, and I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t put my foot down on it, I’d still have year-old albums going up or older. My to-do list grows like a witchcult.

It’s not something to complain about and I’m not complaining. I’m stoked people give enough of a shit to send their CDs in to be reviewed — especially those who actually send CDs — and it’s for that reason that I do this second reviewsplosion (first one here).

Yeah, as ever, I’m behind on reviews, but I’m also working on being more concise — I swear I am; check out the At a Glance reviews if you don’t believe me — and one of the things I liked so much about the last reviewsplosion was it forced me to get to the fucking point. As direct a line as possible to a review. Boiling the idea down to its essential core.

With that in mind, here’s my attempt to both balance my review budget and be as clear as humanly possible. Hope you dig:

 

Altar of Oblivion, Grand Gesture of Defiance

The subject of some spirited debate on the forum, the second record from Danish five-piece Altar of Oblivion revels in traditional doom methods. There’s an air of pomp in some of the songs — “Graveyard of Broken Dreams” lays it on a little thick — but by and large, Grand Gesture of Defiance (Shadow Kingdom) is a more than solid showing of genre. Classic underground metal flourishes abound, and while it’s not a record to change your life, at six tracks/34 minutes, neither does it hang around long enough to be overly repetitive. You could do way worse. Altar of Oblivion on Thee Facebooks.

 

Blooming Látigo, Esfínteres y Faquires

Primarily? Weird. The Spanish outfiit Blooming Látigo make their debut on Féretro Records (CD) and Trips und Träume (LP) with the all-the-fuck-over-the-place Esfínteres y Faquires, alternately grinding out post-hardcore and reciting Birthday Party-style poetry. They reach pretty hard to get to “experimental,” maybe harder than they need to, but the on-a-dime stops and high-pitched screams on tracks like “Onania” and “Prisciliano” are well beyond fascinating, and the blown-out ending of “La Destrucción del Aura” is fittingly apocalyptic. Who gave the art-school kids tube amps? Blooming Látigo on Bandcamp.

 

El-Thule, Zenit

Five years since their second offering, Green Magic, left such a strong impression, Italian stoner rock trio El-Thule return with Zenit (Go Down Records), which makes up for lost time with 50 minutes of heavy riffs, fuzzy desert grooves and sharp, progressive rhythms. The band — El Comandante (bass), Mr. Action (guitar/vocals) and Gweedo Weedo (drums/vocals) — may have taken their time in getting it together, but there’s little about Zenit that lags, be it the faster, thrashier “Nemesis” or thicker, Torche-esque melodic push of the highlight “Quaoar.” It’s raw, production-wise, but I hope it’s not another half-decade before El-Thule follow it up. El-Thule on Thee Facebooks.

 

Botanist, III: Doom in Bloom

It’s a nature-worshiping post-black metal exploration of what the History Channel has given the catchy title “life after people.” If you’ve ever wondered what blastbeats might sound like on a dulcimer, Botanist‘s third album, III: Doom in Bloom has the answers you seek, caking its purported hatred of human kind in such creative instrumentation and lyrics reverent of the natural world rather than explicitly misanthropic. The CD (on Total Rust) comes packaged with a second disc called Allies, featuring the likes of Lotus Thief and Matrushka and giving the whole release a manifesto-type feel, which suits it well. Vehemently creative, it inadvertently taps into some of the best aspects of our species. Botanist’s website.

 

GravelRoad, Psychedelta

Say what you will about whiteboys and the blues, the bass tone that starts “Nobody Get Me Down” is unfuckwithable. And Seattle trio GravelRoad come by it pretty honestly, having served for years as the backing back for bluesman T-Model Ford. The album Psychedelta (on Knick Knack Records) jams out on its start-stop fuzz in a way that reminds not so much of Clutch but of the soul and funk records that inspired Clutch in the first place, and though it never gets quite as frenetic in its energy as Radio Moscow, there’s some of that same vibe persisting through “Keep on Movin'” or their Junior Kimbrough cover “Leave Her Alone.” Throaty vocals sound like a put-on, but if they can nail down that balance, GravelRoad‘s psychedelic blues has some real potential in its open spaces. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks.

 

The Linus Pauling Quartet, Bag of Hammers

Texas toast. The Linus Pauling Quartet offer crisp sunbursts of psychedelic heavy rock, and after nearly 20 years and eight full-lengths, that shouldn’t exactly be as much of a surprise as it is. Nonetheless, Bag of Hammers (Homeskool Records) proffers a 41-minute collection of heady ’90s-loving-the-’70s tones while venturing into classic space rock on “Victory Gin” and ballsy riffing on “Saving Throw.” Being my first experience with the band, the album is a refreshing listen and unpretentious to its very core. Eight-minute culminating jam “Stonebringer” is as engaging a display of American stoner rock as I’ve heard this year, and I have to wonder why it took eight records before I finally heard this five-man quartet? Hits like its title. LP4’s website.

 

Odyssey, Abysmal Despair


It’s the damnedest thing, but listening to Abysmal Despair, the Transubstans Records debut from Swedish prog sludge/noise rockers Odyssey, I can’t help but think of Long Island’s own John Wilkes Booth. It’s the vocals, and I know that’s a really specific association most people aren’t going to have, but I do, and I can’t quite get past it. The album is varied, progressive, and working in a variety of modern underground heavy contexts nowhere near as foreboding as the album’s title might imply, like Truckfighters meets Entombed, but I just keep hearing JWB‘sKerry Merkle through his megaphone. Note: that’s not a bad thing, just oddly indicative of the greater sphere of worldwide sonic coincidence in which we all exist. If anything, that just makes me like Abysmal Despair more. Odyssey on Soundcloud.

 

Palkoski, 2012 Demo

Conceptual Virginian free-formers Palkoski released the three-track/67-minute 2012 demo earlier this year through Heavy Hound. Most of it sounds improvised, but for verses here and there that emerge from the various stretches, and the band’s alternately grinding and sparse soundscapery results in an unsettling mash of psychotic extremity. It is, at times, painful to listen, but like some lost tribal recording, it’s also utterly free. Limited to 100 CDs with a second track called “The Shittiest  EP Ever” and a third that’s a sampling of Palkoski‘s ultra-abrasive noise experimentation live, this one is easily not for the faint of heart. Still, there’s something alluring in the challenge it poses. Palkoski at Heavy Hound.

 

Radar Men from the Moon, Echo Forever

Following their charming 2011 EP, Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones, the Eindhoven instrumental trio Radar Men from the Moon (On the Radar’ed here) return on the relative quick with a 51-minute full-length, Echo Forever. More progressive in its jams, the album’s psychedelic sprawl shows the band developing — I hesitate to compare them to 35007 just because they happen to be Dutch, but the running bassline that underscores “Atomic Mother” is a tempter — but there’s still an immediacy behind their changes that keeps them from really belonging to the laid-back sphere of European jam-minded heavy psychedelia. They’re getting warmer though, stylistically and tonally, and I like that. Interesting to hear a song like “Heading for the Void” and think Sungrazer might be burgeoning as an influence. Cool jams for the converted. Radar Men from the Moon on Bandcamp.

 

Sound of Ground, Sky Colored Green

There are elements of of Yawning Man, or Unida or other acts in the Californian desert milieu, but basically, Moscow’s Sound of Ground sound like Kyuss. They know it. Their R.A.I.G. debut full-length, Sky Colored Green, makes no attempt to hide it, whether it’s the “Green Machine” riffing of “Lips of the Ocean” or the speedier Slo-Burnery of “El Caco,” though the metallic screaming on “R.H.S.” is a dead giveaway for the band’s youth, coming off more like early Down than anything Josh Homme ever plugged in to play. While not necessarily original, the trio are firm in their convictions, and Sound of Ground tear through these 11 tracks with engaging abandon. The Russian scene continues to intrigue. Sound of Ground on Thee Facebooks.

Thanks for reading.

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