Set Fire Post Led Zeppelin Cover “No Quarter”; New EP Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

SET FIRE

It is not a huge shocker to find Boston trio For only 9, you can work directly with your own Dissertation Sujet. All of our Writers are MBA Graduates and are experienced in business. Set Fire making the most of their richly melodic dual-vocal approach on their new single. That’s kind of what they do. But given that the new single is a cover of Wanting a good quality essay in affordable price is hard to find. Gets Tok Essay Help 2015 service from us! Thesis or course work, any kind of assignment Led Zeppelin‘s “No Quarter” — also undertaken by the likes of Competent bachelor thesis writing help. Best Resume Writing Services In New York City Professional from PhD holders. Order now and enjoy fast writing, amazing content & quick turnaround Crowbar and family narrative essay arguments against abortion essay how to outline master thesis online education and traditional education essay Tool on separate occasions — their doing so is of particular note. The song is out today through the usual streaming suspects, and it is intended to herald the arrival of the EP the band recorded earlier this year with none other than The History Of Homework You Can Trust. As you know, any writing assignment requires individual approach and good writing skills. Our company offers Benny Grotto at nowhere other than We offer Phd Dissertation Help Zenawis online at cheap rates. If you need assistance in writing literature review get in touch with us. Mad Oak Studios.

This will not by any means be Welcome to http://cheapessaywritings24.com/buy-essays-online/ buy essays onlines Kenya, the leading Kenyan custom writing company based in Nairobi with years of experience on the market. With a team of Set Fire‘s first EP, and in fact it wasn’t intended to be one. But when you say things like “recorded earlier this year,” the usual shrug-ready context doesn’t apply to 2020. In fact, Pro Homework Help offer you the should i pay someone to do my essay service online at cheap to those who want to upgrade their performance in college / university life. Set Fire were in the process of putting together their first album when life as we used to know it went down the tubes, and rather than continue to sit on the material in hopes of finishing it at who-knows-when time, they’re opting instead to roll with what they’ve got, among which is a pretty rad take on “No Quarter.” I certainly understand the impulse.

Once you use our live chat support and say Please Buy A College Research Paper online you will not worry about Who Can Do My Assignment For Me. Adam O’Day‘s cover art, the info from the band, and the song itself follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

set fire no quarter

Set Fire to release cover of Led Zeppelin’s No Quarter on 9/14/20

No Quarter is from the forthcoming (yet untitled) EP due in late 2020. No Quarter will be available through Bandcamp, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify as of 9/14/20. No Quarter was recorded in Spring of 2020 by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, MA. It was mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA.

Cover art by Adam O’Day.

Set Fire is:
Jim Healey – Vocals and Guitars
Jess Collins – Vocals and Keyboard
Josh Cronin – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/setfireband/
https://setfire.bandcamp.com/

Set Fire, “No Quarter”

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Cortez Premiere “Look at You” Video; Sell the Future out Oct. 22

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cortez

Boston heavy rockers Get a Show My Homework Oakmeeds from The Uni Tutor - the best essay writing service in the UK! Get high quality and original essays from educated experts. Cortez release their new album, Terrific academic solution to buy research papers buy a research paper cheap that an opportunity to Hate Crimes Research Paper. Sell the Future, on Oct. 22 through Looking where to look at this sites online? Classy Essay is that one resource that proposes custom writing and samples - you`ll get your good grade! Ripple Music. Preorders are up at the link below, and the long-player — their third — follows three years behind 2017’s Number of student asks us, can I pay you to Law School Admission Essay Service Insp for me? Our experts always say yes that we do your dissertation efficiently at cheap. The Depths Below (review here), which is the shortest stretch between offerings of the band’s 13-years-so-far career, and all the more so considering the 2018 split with Our see pages are written from scratch to suit your requirements. Buy custom made papers from our trustworthy service. Wasted Theory (review here) that marked their arrival on Avail new discount offers of Best http://lojen.ru/?topic-of-a-research-paper by Professional Essay Writers UK. We offer plagiarism free work of great quality delivered on time. Ripple Cortez have never been a full-time, in-the-van-for-weeks kind of band. Most of their shows have been regional to New England or the Eastern Seaboard, and though their first EP, 2007’s Thunder in a Forgotten Town, was put out by Belgium’s Buzzville Records, they are and have always primarily been a Boston band in terms of the traditions they follow in melody and drive and the underlying edge of aggression that has emerged in their material. Or as vocalist Matt Harrington puts it in the opening line of “Vanishing Point,” “Born into a place of cutthroats and of the insane.”

I had the pleasure some months ago of writing the bio for Sell the Future. Not the first I’ve done for Cortez, I think, and hopefully not the last. According to my email dates, I turned in the draft to guitarist Scott O’Dowd on March 15, 2020, at 6:44AM, which might explain the somewhat foreboding tone of the thing as the US was just in the beginning throes of its COVID-19 lockdown. One suspects Sell the Future would have been released sooner than the Fall had that lockdown not taken place, but then, well, blah blah blah. Ultimately what matters is the record itself, which brings together eight Mad Oak-recorded tracks that, beginning right from the outset with “No Escape,” careen along the line between heavy rock and heavy metal, Harrington‘s soulful vocals — he gives the best performance here I’ve ever heard from him — backed by bassist Jay Furlo (plus some gang shouts) as guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan rip into leads and chunky riffs with a vitality that’s all the more punctuated with the let’s-just-get-this-cowbell-out-of-the-way-now drumming of Alexei Rodriguez. It quickly becomes apparent that Cortez are about to go on a tear, and the 42-minute offering does that and more, be it in speeders like “No Escape,” “Look at You,” Deceivers” and the penultimate “Vanishing Point,” or more mediated pieces like the title-track, “Faulty Authors,” or the seven-minute finale “Beyond.”

Uniting the material of course is the production, which is as crisp, full and unremittingly professional as one expects when one sees the words “Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio” accompany a release. Dude is a brand you can trust. On a somewhat more subtle level, though, the songs are brought together by a socially conscious thematic that comes across in the lyrics front-to-back. Harrington isn’t naming names, exactly, but neither is he looking around him and ignoring the gross inequalities of the age in which we live. The title Sell the Future itself does Cortez Sell the Future Timur Khabirovmore than simply hint at this, and along with the classic heavy rock methodology the band employs, the pointedly metal riff that launches side B with “Deceivers” and the chug that ensues is met by a critique of capitalist greed that puts it about as straightforward as possible in saying outright, “Why don’t you understand/Can’t trust the businessman,” reminding just a touch of some of C.O.C.‘s more discourse-fueled moments but pushing farther in letting the whole record speak to a variety of issues.

It’s something of a turn on the part of the band — though certainly one could position the three-part saga that consumed the middle of The Depths Below as a metaphor — but the renewed focus fits well alongside the shove of their grooves and the largesse of more lumbering moments like “Sell the Future,” with its seeming lyrical nod to the “gathering” in Sabbath‘s “Sign of the Southern Cross,” or even side B’s “Sharpen the Spear,” which isn’t by any means slow, but still boasts the more spacious feel lent to the title-cut or “Beyond”; a sonic element one might liken to post-thrash Metallica were The Black Album not an eternal thorn in the side of allegedly “true” metal. Cortez, as they will, use it to their advantage.

And aside from the band laying claim to this particular niche of semi-aggro melodic heavy, it’s worth noting that they do so with a consistency in songwriting that is undeniably their own. They’re not in a rush. Even cuts like “Look at You,” which are by no means bloated, can run five minutes long and feature a host of solos and other movements aside from the verses and choruses, and likewise, “Vanishing Point,” which is the shortest inclusion at just over four minutes, spends the entirety of minutes two-to-three trading between guitar leads. Really, it’s on the dot, one minute. They finish in harmony and the verse picks back up. But Cortez have always been a guitar-driven band, and from their 2012 self-titled debut (review here) onward, their project has been about refining their craft along those lines. Sell the Future is the farthest they’ve yet pushed themselves in doing that — if you doubt it, “Beyond” should silence any counterargument with its near-YOB subdued opening and unfolding build and melodic breadth that brings in the recognizable voice of Jess Collins from Set Fire (also ex-Mellow Bravo) to back Harrington and finishes after its apex by allowing itself a genuine moment of comedown to cap the record.

It may or may not be fair to consider Cortez a well kept secret three albums in. Perhaps “underrated” is more like it, and they’re certainly that. Even in such a crowded sphere as that of heavy rock, they prove there’s a place for something that’s less about genre trickery than nuance and a well-honed individualism of approach. Each Cortez release has been a step forward from the one before it, and each one — in part because they’ve generally taken a while to show up one after the other, whatever stopgaps have surfaced along the way — has been a thing to appreciate for aficionados of both traditional and forward thinking heavy rock and roll. Sell the Future is not only no exception to these ideas, it is their epitome, and unquestionably the finest work Cortez have done to-date.

My pleasure to host the video premiere for “Look at You” below. Under that you’ll find the preorder link and the bio I wrote (short and sweet) for the album. Thanks for reading.

And enjoy:

Cortez, “Look at You” official video premiere

Album preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/cortez-sell-the-future-deluxe-vinyl-editions

BIO:

The future is fast, the future is sharp, and the future has already been sold, baby, so you missed your shot. Better luck next time.

Boston heavy rockers Cortez have always embodied an underdog spirit, from their 2007 debut EP, Thunder in a Forgotten Town, through their 2012 self-titled debut LP and 2017’s The Depths Below, but they’ve never sounded as supercharged as they do on Sell the Future.

With the precision of heavy metal, the soul of classic rock, and the unbridled attitude of a band who care less about your expectations than they do about writing kick-ass, drive-fast, dynamic, hugely-grooved, hugely melodic and expansive tunes, Cortez arrive at their third album with a well-earned sense of freedom in their approach. It isn’t about what style they play or the genre niche you want to fit them in — it’s about the crawling sleek of Sell the Future’s title-track, the crash of drums in “Sharpen the Spear” and the urgency of songs like opener “No Escape” and “Look at You.”

Sell the Future is a record of and for turbulent times, but its working themes aren’t so pointed as to sound already dated in the fast-moving, unending “No Escape”-is-right news cycle the universe seems to inhabit. As much as the band have come into their own operating as the five-piece of vocalist Matt Harrington, guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan, bassist/backing vocalist Jay Furlo and drummer Alexei Rodriguez, their dedication to classic, timeless rock and roll songwriting is unflinching.

After taking part in Ripple Music’s The Second Coming of Heavy split series in 2018, Cortez have pushed themselves even further with Sell the Future, finding a passion and instrumental fury that comes through regardless of tempo and makes their songs all the more memorable. Whatever the days ahead might bring, Cortez stand ready.

Cortez website

Cortez on Instagram

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Cortez on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Instagram

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Finding Comfort in Live Music When There Isn’t Any

Posted in Features on August 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Bands and festivals have begun to announce 2021 dates and all that, but let’s be realistic: it’s going to be years before live music is what it once was. Especially in the United States, which is the country in the world hardest hit by the ol’ firelung in no small part because of the ineptitude of its federal leadership, an entire economic system of live music — not to mention the venues, promotions and other cultural institutions that support it on all levels — needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It isn’t going to be just as simple as “social distancing is over and we can all crowd into the bar again.” Maybe not ever.

You’ve likely seen a band do a live stream at this point, even if after the fact, and I have too. Not the same as a real-life gig, duh, but if it helps raise some funds and keeps creative people working on something and gives an act a way to connect with its audience, you can’t call it bad. I’ve found, though, that with the dearth of live music happening and the nil potential that “going to a show” will happen anytime soon, I’ve been listening to more and more live albums.

This, in no small part, is because there are plenty to listen to. Some groups attempting to bring in cash either for themselves or relevant causes have put out live records in the last few months and made use of the downtime that would’ve otherwise been given to actually being on a stage or writing together in a room or whatever it might be. It’s been a way for a band to not just sit on its collective hands and wonder what the future will bring. When so much is out of your own control, you make the most of what you’ve got.

In that spirit, here’s a quick rundown of 10 recent live outings that I’ve been digging. If you’ve found you’re in the need of finding comfort in live music and whatever act you want to see isn’t doing a stream just this second, maybe you can put one of these on, close your eyes, and be affected a bit by the on-stage energy that comes through.

Thanks as always for reading, and thanks to Tim Burke, Vania Yosifova, and Chris Pojama Pearson for adding their suggestions when I asked on social media. Here we go, ordered by date of release:

Arcadian Child, From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz)

arcadian child from far for the wild

Released Jan. 24.

Granted, this one came out before the real impact of COVID-19 was being felt worldwide, but with the recent announcement of Arcadian Child‘s next studio album coming out this Fall, including From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz) (discussed here) on this list seems only fair. The Cyprus-based four-piece even went so far as to include a couple new songs in the set that’ll show up on Protopsycho as well this October, so it’s a chance to get a preview of that material as well. Bonus for a bonus. Take the win.

Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. 1

kadavar studio live session

Released March 25.

Germany began imposing curfews in six of its states on March 22. At that point, tours were already being canceled, including Kadavar‘s European run after two shows, and the band hit Blue Wall Studio in Berlin for a set that was streamed through Facebook and in no small part helped set the pattern of streams in motion. With shows canceled in Australia/New Zealand and North America as well, Kadavar were hoping to recover some of the momentum they’d lost, and their turning it into a live record is also a part of that, as is their upcoming studio release, The Isolation Tapes.

Øresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Øresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Released April 3.

Of course, I’m perfectly willing to grant that Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 (review here) wasn’t something Øresund Space Collective specifically put out because of the pandemic, but hell, it still exists and that enough, as far as I’m concerned. As ever, they proliferate top notch psychedelic improv, and though I’ve never seen them and it seems increasingly likely I won’t at the fest I was supposed to this year, their vitality is always infectious.

Pelican, Live at the Grog Shop

pelican Live at The Grog Shop

Released April 15.

Let’s be frank — if you don’t love Pelican‘s music to a familial degree, it’s not that I think less of you as a person, but I definitely feel bad for you in a way that, if I told you face-to-face, you won’t find almost entirely condescending. The Chicago instrumentalists are high on my list of golly-I-wish-they’d-do-a-livestream, and if you need an argument to support that, this set from Ohio should do the trick nicely. It’s from September 2019, which was just nearly a year ago. If your mind isn’t blown by their chugging progressive riffs, certainly that thought should do the trick.

SEA, Live at ONCE

sea live at once

Released June 19.

Also captured on video, this set from Boston’s SEA finds them supporting 2020’s debut album, Impermanence (review here) and pushing beyond at ONCE Ballroom in their hometown. The band’s blend of post-metallic atmosphere and spacious melody-making comes through as they alternate between lumbering riffs and more subdued ambience, and it makes a fitting complement to the record in underscoring their progressive potential. The sound is raw but I’d want nothing less.

Sumac, St Vitus 09/07/2018

sumac st vitus

Released July 3.

Issued as a benefit to Black Lives Matter Seattle and a host of other causes, among them the Philadelphia Womanist Working Collective, this Sumac set is precisely what it promises in the title — a live show from 2018 at Brooklyn’s famed Saint Vitus Bar. I wasn’t at this show, but it does make me a little wistful to think of that particular venue in the current concert-less climate. Sumac aren’t big on healing when it comes to the raw sonics, but there’s certainly enough spaciousness here to get lost in should you wish to do so.

YOB, Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn

YOB Pickathon 2019 Live from the Galaxy Barn

Released July 3.

They’ve since taken down the Bandcamp stream, but YOB’s Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn (review here) was released as a benefit for Navajo Nation COVID-19 relief, and is an hour-long set that paired the restlessness of “The Lie that is Sin” next to the ever-resonant “Marrow.” Of all the live records on this list, this is probably the one that’s brought me the most joy, and it also inspired the most recent episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal, which jumped headfirst into YOB‘s catalog. More YOB please. Also, if you haven’t seen the videos of Mike Scheidt playing his guitar around the house, you should probably hook into that too.

Dirty Streets, Rough and Tumble

dirty streets rough and tumble

Released July 31.

If you’re not all the way down with the realization that Justin Toland is the man when it comes to heavy soul and blues guitar, Dirty Streets‘ new live record, Rough and Tumble, will set you straight, and it won’t even take that long. With the all-killer bass and drums of Thomas Storz and Andrew Denham behind, Toland reminds of what a true virtuoso player can accomplish when put in a room with a crowd to watch. That’s an important message for any time, let alone right now. These cats always deliver.

Amenra, Mass VI Live

amenra mass vi live

Released Aug. 7

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I’m the biggest Amenra fan in the world. I’m not. Sometimes I feel like they follow too many of their own rules for their own good, but there’s no question that live they’re well served by the spectacle they create, and their atmospherics are genuinely affecting. And I know that I’m in the minority in my position, so for anyone who digs them hard, they put up this stream-turned-record wherein they play a goodly portion of 2017’s Mass VI, and even as the self-professed not-biggest-fan-in-the-world, I can appreciate their effort and the screamy-scream-crushy-crush/open-spaced ambience that ensues.

Electric Moon, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Electric Moon Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Releasing Sept. 4.

Yeah, okay, this one’s not out yet, but sometimes I’m lucky enough to get things early for review and sometimes (on good days) those things happen to be new live records from Germany psychonauts Electric Moon. The Always-Out-There-Sula-Komets are in top form on Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019 as one would have to expect, and they’re streaming a 22-minute version of “777” now that rips so hard it sounds like it’s about to tear a hole into an alternate dimension where shows are still going on so yes please everyone go and listen to it and maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll really happen. The magic was in you all along.

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Kind to Release Mental Nudge Sept. 11; Preorders & New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kind mental nudge

New Kind is out in September, and if I need to say it, that’s a reason to hold a spot on your best-of-2020 list. The four-piece of course features members of Roadsaw and Rozamov as well as those formerly tenured in outfits like Elder and Milligram, but here’s one for you — the band also features members of Kind, and if you heard their Ripple-issued 2015 debut album, Rocket Science (review here), you know that means something. Far from being the work of four dudes in other bands with disparate influences, Rocket Science forged a persona for Kind as a separate unit, working indeed from different influences, but toward a common point of heavy psychedelic rock built around memorable songwriting. I’m not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but Mental Nudge, which Ripple will release in September, is very much a worthy follow-up to what was a killer debut.

They’re giving a first sample now in the track “Bad Friend,” and while I’m here, I’ll give a wave to my buddy Lee over at The Sleeping Shaman, who had the premiere. Hey Lee. Hope you’re well.

The PR wire sent the following:

kind mental nudge

Boston stoner rock supergroup KIND unleash first single + preorder for new album ‘Mental Nudge’, coming September 11th on Ripple Music!

Boston-based stoner rock supergroup KIND (with current and former Elder, The Scimitar and Roadsaw members) return with their sophomore album ‘Mental Nudge’ this September 11th on Ripple Music, and share first single “Bad Friend” today..

Featuring Matt Couto (ex-Elder), Tom Corino (ex-Rozamov), Craig Riggs (Roadsaw) and Darryl Shepard (ex-The Scimitar), Boston heavy rock/stoner foursome KIND return with their second full-length, ready to unleash the follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 Ripple Music debut ‘Rocket Science’. Staying true to their sound but expanding their sonic palette, KIND has crafted seven new songs that cover the aural spectrum, from the indie-rock influenced “Helms” to the full-on doom of “Trigger Happy” to the rock bombast of “Broken Tweaker,” all capturing the effortless interplay between the instruments and Craig Riggs’ powerful vocals. The result is a wall of sound that shows the talent and experience these musicians continue to bring to the form.

‘Mental Nudge’ was recorded at Mad Oak Studios by Alec Rodriguez (Lesser Glow, Forn, Chelsea Wolfe live sound) and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering. Artwork was designed by Alexander von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Karma to Burn, Brant Bjork).

Stream KIND’s infectious new single “Bad Friend” right here

‘Mental Nudge’ will be released on September 11th, and available now to preorder via Ripple Music as:
– Rare Test Pressing LP
– Worldwide Edition Classic Black Vinyl LP
– Limited Edition Colored Vinyl LP (150 copies pressed on yellow and mint green half and half vinyl)
– CD and digital

KIND New album ‘Mental Nudge’
Out September 11th via Ripple Music
European preorder // North American preorder

TRACK LISTING:
1. Broken Tweaker
2. Faster Number Two
3. Bad Friend
4. Helms
5. It’s Your Head
6. Mental Nudge
7. Trigger Happy

KIND are:
Matthew Couto – drums
Tom Corino – bass
Craig Riggs – vocals
Darryl Shepard – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/KINDtheband
https://www.instagram.com/therockbandkind/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Worshipper Release New Single “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

If you’re not looking forward to the next Worshipper record, here’s a good reason why you should be. And if you can believe it — I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the notion, to tell you the truth — the Boston melodic heavy rockers’ new single “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive” isn’t about life under a pandemic lockdown, apropos as it might seem.

The cover art for the new single clearly ties it to Worshipper‘s 2018 second album, Light in the Wire (review here), even as it recalls the poster for Hitchcock’s Vertigo and I agree with vocalist John Brookhouse when he cites the Alice in Chains-style vibe of the track. I hear the declining downer riffing of that band’s Dirt-era here, as well as in some of Brookhouse‘s lyric patterning and self-harmonizing. If that’s a thing you have a problem with, I humbly submit that you should consider rethinking your position.

Today is a Bandcamp no-fee day. The song costs a buck. Not sure what else you might want. And by the way, if Tee Pee Records wanted to do a deluxe edition CD reissue of Light in the Wire with “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive” nestled somewhere into the tracklisting, that’d be just fine by me.

Here’s the track info, links and stream:

worshipper lonesome boredom overdrive

WORSHIPPER – Lonesome Boredom Overdrive

https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/track/lonesome-boredom-overdrive

“Here’s a song that we recorded and mixed for our last record Light in the Wire, but couldn’t quite fit on there for one reason or another. (Run time, mostly.) At a time when many of us are stuck at home, not able to do the things we usually do to entertain ourselves, this song has taken on new meaning. Initially, I came up with the lyrics when I was feeling particularly drained by the daily grind, but now, it seems pretty apropos to put this song out, considering the title and the current dynamic.

This song began with a riff that Al came up with and it may actually be one of our heaviest songs. When we play it live, my head feels like it’s going to collapse, so that’s probably a good sign that a song is fairly heavy. It also has a decidedly Alice in Chains vibe to it, which, let’s be honest for a few of us in the band, was a pretty seminal influence, but was more of a happy accident than anything. So, enjoy! I hope this helps tame your boredom for a moment or two.” – John Brookhouse

released June 5, 2020
Lyrics by John Brookhouse
Music by WORSHIPPER

Produced by CHRIS JOHNSON
Recorded June 2018 at God City Studios SALEM, MA
Tracking & Mix July-Dec 2018 at The Electric Bunker BRIGHTON, MA
Mastered by Brian Charles at Zippah Studios BROOKLINE, MA

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

Worshipper, “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive”

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Friday Full-Length: Gozu, Locust Season

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

 

Gozu‘s Locust Season (review here) came as a surprise. From out of one of the US’ most established heavy undergrounds — namely Boston’s — came a largely previously unheard four-piece, who immediately signed to Small Stone and dropped a debut album that sounded like most bands’ third record. Who the hell were these guys?

Guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney and guitarist Doug Sherman had been in bands together before and performed in a variety of styles, but arguably it was then-drummer Barry Spillberg who had the most established pedigree, having played in Wargasm. Bassist Jay Cannava (also Clouds) would be out of the band by their next record and the position was nebulous for some time, but Locust Season was nothing if not solidified in its purpose. Recorded with and mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio in Allston, it was brash in its aggression, weighted in tone and downright arrogant in how much fun it had. The album itself wasn’t nearly so foreboding as the Alexander Von Wieding cover — though haunting — made it out to be, with Roadsaw‘s Craig Riggs sitting in alongside Gaffney for vocals on opener “Meth Cowboy” and second track “Mr. Riddle,” two immediate bangers that fostered a seething groove that was nonetheless righteously soulful.

The album turns 10 years old this summer and the vocal arrangements still stand out. As Sherman‘s leads cut through riffs piled higher than the Blue Mountains and Spillberg propels the band forward in a kind of tension of tempo that marks Locust Season not just as an early release, but one fueled by multiple impulses, Gaffney pulls out falsetto backing vocals behind his lead vocal lines, acting as a chorus for himself, and through “Meth Cowboy,” “Mr. Riddle” and “Regal Beagle” and onward into album highlights “Kam Fong as Chin Ho” and “Jan-Michael Vincent,” his voice remains a standout factor, as creatively arranged as it is sure in its performance. Brimming with swagger that was earned as they went, Gozu‘s songs tore through most of Locust Season‘s 41-minute runtime, brazen in their heavy-rock genre rulebreaking when they wanted to be but still making an impression on the basic level of their riffs and groove, taking what might’ve served as the total aesthetic of another band starting out and instead using it as a foundation to launch their own identity. This was staggering at the time, but it might be even more impressive in hindsight because of how the band’s sound has developed in the years since.

Bottom line? Sherman and Gaffney — the two remaining founding members of the band — knew what they wanted Gozu to be. The band had gozu locust seasonissued a self-titled demo in 2008 — it’s on Bandcamp; good luck finding a CD, even in Boston; I never managed to — that featured “Meth Cowboy” and “Rise Up,” which follows “Jamaican Luau” on side B of Locust Season, but even there the roots of what Gozu would become are plain to hear and the band’s purpose feels set. Certainly there’s been progression in their craft — they’ve grown more patient in their slower parts, and as their lineup solidified with bassist Joe Grotto handling low end and Warhorse‘s Mike Hubbard taking over for Spillberg and the four-piece gained more stage experience together, they naturally became a more dynamic unit. But you can hear that potential in the songs on Locust Season. “Meth Cowboy” and the penultimate “Meat Charger” and “Jan-Michael Vincent” have featured in live sets for years, and revisiting their studio versions, the band’s comfort level with them is readily apparent. “Rise Up” might be the most forgettable track on the album, but it serves its place momentum-wise on side B in terms of the album’s overarching flow, and as closer “Alone” takes hold with swirls of guitar solos over a slower-rolling tempo, Gozu present their interpretation of the classic heavy rock trope of sticking the longest, most drawn-out song at the end.

That’s something they’d push even further on 2013’s The Fury of a Patient Man (review here and here), which would be their final outing through Small Stone, but the malleable rhythm and encompassing melody of “Alone” remains striking, with Gaffney‘s high-register singing far back in the mix behind and adrenaline kick of drums and steady guitar push. The song finishes well enough ahead of its seven-minute runtime (on the CD version) to allow for the hidden track “Tomorrow” from Annie being sung by someone’s kid, I’m not sure whose. It’s quite a journey from “Meth Cowboy” to “I love, tomorrow/You’re only a day away,” but so it goes. One more example of Gozu doing whatever the hell they wanted to and getting away with it because there was no one to really stop them except themselves.

The Fury of a Patient Man was an absolute monster of a follow-up to this record. It showed the potential they demonstrated in Locust Season was no fluke and that their identity, while recognizable in the material, was not so rigid as to be unable to progress as it moved forward from one release to the next. Their wont for gag song titles aside, it was clear Gozu were a sonic force to be reckoned with, and as they moved through 2016’s Revival (review here) and 2018’s Equilibrium (review here) — tracking both LPs with producer Dean Baltulonis at Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they honed an ever-sharper take that was both more aggressive and more spacious when it wanted to be, the latter album adding breadth to the overriding shove of its predecessor. One way or the other, asses continued to be kicked.

A split with Hubbard was somewhat unexpected when it occurred, but Gozu aligned with Patrick Queenan of Sundrifter in July 2019 and proceeded to tour Europe last Fall. They’re reportedly writing new material, though of course like everyone else, their plans have been hindered by the gutshot-to-productivity that is 2020. All the better then to revisit their debut 10 years after the fact and remember how absolutely blindsiding it was the first time around. Who the hell were these guys? Turns out they were Gozu.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I don’t know how much of this I have in me. There’s stuff scheduled for next week, whatever. A Pale Divine track premiere. That’s something to look forward to. Maybe a Temple Fang stream? We’ll see.

New Gimme show today, 5PM. http://gimmeradio.com

Same as ever.

The rioters are right. I hope no one gets sick while rioting. For future reference, this was the week the President of the United States threatened to shoot black people.

Great and safe, your weekend, I hope.

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Days of Rona: Darryl Shepard of Kind, Test Meat & Blackwolfgoat

Posted in Features on May 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

Kind Darryl Shepard

Days of Rona: Darryl Shepard of Kind, Test Meat & Blackwolfgoat (Malden, Massachusetts)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Neither of my bands, Test Meat or KIND, have been practicing or anything. Neither band had a tour cancelled but a couple of local shows were. KIND had just finished up our album before the stay-at-home order went into effect, we just got it done under the wire. Test Meat played on March 7th, that was right before the shit really hit the fan. It was a great show but there was a weird vibe. I’m doing fine so far, working from home and watching a lot of movies. I don’t rely on my music for income so I guess in this situation I’m somewhat lucky. Otherwise just playing guitar and coming up with riffs. But like I said, no band rehearsals.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

Overall Boston seems to be dealing with it pretty well except for some protesters who want things to reopen now, but they’re a vocal minority. I live right outside of Boston and in my town it’s pretty chill. Lots of people are wearing masks and being cautious but some aren’t. I only go out like once a day for a walk or supplies. I’ve been to a supermarket once in the past two months, I usually go to smaller stores for what I need. It seems like there’s two separate narratives going on though. Some people are taking this seriously and being cautious and then some people are just acting like nothing at all is wrong. As far as the government response, it’s absolutely atrocious and a joke. It’s criminal in my mind, what they’re doing, such as seizing supplies from states. Governor Baker in Massachusetts though has been doing a great job and is showing some real leadership.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

It seems like people are getting very creative. Lots of videos being posted of different musicians playing together. I’ve been really enjoying the ones Charlie Benante’s been posting of the S.O.D. semi-reunion and stuff like that. I posted one video on YouTube as Blackwolfgoat, just an improv I did. I’ve been playing guitar and coming up with riffs. I’ll definitely have a few songs once we’re able to rehearse again. I’m not bored at all. I’m a homebody in general so I’m good with watching movies and noodling on my guitar.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

I’m just staying busy, trying to not think about it too much, watching less news so I don’t get stressed out. Trying to remain hopeful. Like I said, KIND has a new album in the can and that’ll be coming out later this year, so I’m really looking forward to that. Everyone that I play music with seems to be doing okay for now. Just hanging in there, everyone stays in touch either online or via texts. It looks like I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, which is totally different for me but I’m fine with it (I work for a law firm, by the way). Just gotta stick it out, take it one day at a time. I think there will be a huge explosion of new music from bands that will come out of this. Hoping so anyway!

https://www.facebook.com/KINDtheband/
https://www.instagram.com/therockbandkind/
https://www.facebook.com/testmeat1/
https://www.instagram.com/test_meat
https://testmeat.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/blackwolfgoat
https://blackwolfgoat.com/

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Days of Rona: Jim Healey of Set Fire

Posted in Features on May 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

jim healey (Photo by Coleman Rogers)

Days of Rona: Jim Healey of Set Fire (Boston, Massachusetts)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Well, like most everyone, we haven’t been rehearsing. Jess and I have both been doing some writing at home. We have had to cancel/reschedule a handful of shows, and we will see how the others we have booked pan out. We were in the midst of recording, so that is on hold until things start to level off. Everyone’s physical health has been good so far, but the mental toll of isolating is taking some getting used to.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

I’m in Boston, and Massachusetts has been shut down for a few weeks now. There is a “stay at home” order, and all non-essential businesses have been shut down. I have to go into work for my job a few times a week, and it’s pretty stressful, but I’m thankful to have a job right now when so many don’t.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Many of my friends are musicians, bartenders, booking agents, sound people, door-staff, recording engineers, etc, so there has been a huge impact. First and foremost, I worry for all of my friends trying to stay physically safe and financially afloat during all of this. After that, I wonder how this is going to impact the smaller venues, studios and such in the long run. That said, I am happy to say that I have seen people I know really stepping up and rallying around each other to try and make sure that everybody can get by.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

When all of this is said and done, I don’t think I will ever take another rehearsal for granted. I’ll be really excited to get back to recording and playing shows. I hope that everyone looks out for one another, because if anything good can come from this, I would like it to be that humans can be more compassionate towards one another.

https://www.facebook.com/setfireband/
https://setfire.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JimHealeySolo/
https://www.instagram.com/jimzero/
https://jimhealey1.bandcamp.com/
https://jimhealey.net/

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