Kind West Coast Tour Starts June 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Located on opposite coasts, both Boston’s Kind and Los Angeles’ Salem’s Bend made their full-length debuts late in 2015. Salem’s Bend‘s was a self-release that led to their being picked up by Ripple Music, while Kind‘s Rocket Science (review here) was put out on CD by the same label with vinyl that followed this Spring. Next week, Kind will head out West to join their labelmates for a run of shows supporting their respective outings, which is no minor feat in Kind‘s case considering the band shares its members with ElderWhite Dynamite (also on Ripple, with a new EP out), Rozamov and the plethora of guitarist Darryl Shepard‘s bands. There are more all the time. Dude is the Mayor of Boston’s Rock Underground.

The info for the tour is below. Grayskull Booking put the shows together and they’ve got a goodly portion of the West Coast covered, as you can see:

kind west coast tour

KIND announce West Coast dates with Salem’s Bend

Boston riff dealers KIND and Los Angeles rock merchants Salem’s Bend, both on Ripple Music, are hitting the road together for a weeklong tour of the west coast, starting in Seattle on June 9 and working their way down to San Diego on June 15.

KIND, featuring members of Elder, Roadsaw, The Scimitar and Rozamov, is touring in support of their debut full length “Rocket Science”, which has been garnering critical praise far and wide for its combination of doom, psychedelic and straight-up heavy rock. Salem’s Bend has a cassette out on Burt Records but they have since been picked up by Ripple Music, who will be releasing the tape on vinyl and compact disc in the coming months.

Expect lots of high volume riffing and memorable songs from these two bands as they travel down the west coast delivering the goods. Tour booking was handled by Grayskull Booking out of Boston.

Dates are as follows:
June 7 – tba, Turlock, CA (Salem’s Bend only)
June 9 – The Funhouse, Seattle, WA
June 10 – High Water Mark, Portland, OR
June 12 – The Golden Bull, Oakland, CA
June 13 – Doll Hut, Anaheim, CA
June 14 – Complex, Los Angeles/Glendale, CA
June 15 – Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA

https://www.facebook.com/KINDtheband/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/rocket-science
https://www.facebook.com/salemsbend
https://salemsbend.bandcamp.com/releases
www.ripple-music.com

Kind, “Rabbit Astronaut”

Salem’s Bend, “Balshazzar” official video

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Hey Zeus Premiere New Single “Caveman”

Posted in audiObelisk on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

hey zeus

Boston heavy rockers Hey Zeus will reportedly feature the track “Caveman” on an upcoming Underdogma Records split seven-incher with The Humanoids sometime this summer. The four-piece of vocalist Bice Nathan, guitarist Pete Knipfing (ex-Lamont), bassist Ken Cmar (head of Wonderdrug Records) and drummer Todd Bowman (ex-Lamont) have trickled out digital singles over the last couple years, as well as a split 7″ with fellow Beantowners White Dynomite (review here), and it would seem the intent is to keep momentum going and build up a catalog of material en route to the eventual debut album. No word on the timing for that, but that’s he impression I get, anyway.

Their style is rife with the straightforward, classic delivery and harder edge that has been brought to fruition in Boston acts like Roadsaw and Cortez, but a quick listen hey zeus saves artto “Caveman” — and “Caveman” is a quick listen — and it’s readily apparent they have their own personality as well, defined through a blend of swaggering rhythms, party-ready vibe and an underlying punkishness in Nathan‘s vocals during its verses. The hook is essential and delivered with purpose, and though “Caveman” is done in under four minutes, it’s the kind of soon you loop back to the start and give another runthrough to better digest, only to find the chorus ringing in your head later, along with subtle flourishes like the layering in Knipfing‘s short solo or the double-kick and cowbell that Bowman works into the second half.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I last caught them live, but their vibe at the time was much the same — ready to knock back a few beers and raise some hell but with more than chops enough underlying to give their delivery some force. They have a couple shows booked for this summer, presumably the single will show up at some point during the warm months as well, and more to come in terms of singles and a video to follow, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, you can find the stream of “Caveman” below.

Please enjoy:

Hey Zeus live:
07.15 Hey Zeus w/ Black Helicopter & Wolfsmyth @ Obrien’s, Allston
07.22 Hey Zeus w/ Scissorfight, Murcielago and The Road Trash Band @ Higher Ground, Burlington, VT

Hey Zeus on Thee Facebooks

Hey Zeus on Bandcamp

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Gozu, Revival: Acts of Vitality

Posted in Reviews on May 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

gozu revival

In some ways, Gozu‘s Revival is defined by its barnburners. There are a few of them, and the impression they create across the Boston four-piece’s third album — first for Ripple Music — is one of a more intense approach overall than was showed either on 2013’s The Fury of a Patient Man (review here) or 2010’s Locust Season (review here). Those records, both released by Small Stone, had their driving moments, but to listen to “Nature Boy,” “Oldie” or the penultimate “DD McCall” from Revival is to realize how much harder Gozu are pushing themselves across the album as a whole.

The production of Dean Baltulonis at The Wild Arctic and Benny Grotto at Mad Oak brings that out even in a swinging track like “Big Casino” or the soul-fueled “By Mennen.” It’s not necessarily about tonal thickness — that’s not what they’re going for — so much as what kind of impact each instrument can have. Add to this the fact that for the first time on record, Gozu have a cohesive lineup in guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, guitarist Doug Sherman, bassist Joe Grotto (brother to the aforementioned Benny) and drummer Mike Hubbard, and it becomes less of a wonder that these eight songs/41 minutes are the strongest the band has yet presented in their tenure. As Gozu enter relative maturity as a group — three LPs deep — they show clear growth in performance, craft and chemistry, while keeping many of elements of the prior work intact that helped push them to the fore of their home region’s crowded heavy rock sphere. To rephrase: They kick ass early and often.

I’ll note at this point that I’m hardly an impartial observer, having been a fan since Locust Season and grown to think of them as friends, but feel no compunction in offering critique, whether it’s of Gaffney‘s vocals dominating the mix in the crashing apex of “By Mennen” (as opposed to the end of it, where the vocals stand alone and would inherently dominate the mix, being the only thing in it), or of the continued use of gag/reference song titles. “Lorenzo Llamas” is clever, but hardly does justice to the spaciousness of the side A closer itself or the manner in which it complements and sets up “Tin Chicken” as the album’s finale. In any case, if you want to take my continued respect for Gozu‘s work with a grain of salt, feel free, but Revival also stands legitimately on its own as their finest hour to date. Whether it’s the blistering, immediate zero-to-100 that “Nature Boy” brings to lead off or the sleeker groove of “Bubble Time” that follows, there isn’t a level on which Gozu aren’t moving beyond what they’ve done before.

CAMBRIDGE, MA - Photo shoot with Gozu, at The Sinclair. Sunday, January 12, 2014.

Grotto, who played on part of The Fury of a Patient Man, and Hubbard, formerly of Warhorse, make for a rhythm section formidable enough to stand up to the melodies and layering in Gaffney‘s vocals and the crunch in his and Sherman‘s guitars alike, and though the attack here is more pointed than it has been in the past, that suits Gozu remarkably well as they lend each song a personality of its own while uniting the work as a whole through hooks, harmonies and a sense of abandon like that shown in the layered soloing that pushes “Bubble Time” over the top at the end. That song and “Nature Boy” before it build momentum into the more shuffling “Big Casino,” which rides a hypnotic chugging riff — something of a miniaturization of “The Ceaseless Thunder of Surf” from the last outing — in its middle and after one more chorus trips out a bit with far-back falsetto from Gaffney and consistent punctuation from Hubbard as it fades into the crashes that begin “Lorenzo Llamas,” which builds across its seven-minute span with semi-psychedelic patience as a vocal highlight, subtly insistent riff and fluid groove add to the otherworldly feel the ending of “Big Casino” put forth. Through soloing from Sherman, interplay of the two guitars, and more forceful delivery from Gaffney, “Lorenzo Llamas” gives a fitting cap to Revival‘s first half and sets up the continued expansion of reach that follows in the second.

That expansion comes in hand with a feeling that each of side B’s tracks is in conversation with a counterpart on side A, reversing the first three songs and aligning for the longer fourth so that “Oldie” opens with a chug and hook that could be playing off the sway of “Big Casino,” “By Mennen” answers the soul of “Bubble Time” with swaggering, heavy funk — the early bassline is a highlight — and “DD McCall” follows up on the all-out thrash style with which “Nature Boy” lead off, leaving “Tin Chicken” to build on what “Lorenzo Llamas” accomplished. One doubts that kind of symmetry was something that came to mind for Gozu as they were writing — it’s not like they’re making a concept record — but it does give Revival‘s presentation another level of cohesiveness, and whether it’s the fading-out guitar harmonies of “Oldie” or Gaffney pushing his voice to its limits in that standalone part at the end of “By Mennen,” Gozu manage to add to what they did earlier without sonic redundancy.

This is true in the heads-down thrust of “DD McCall” as well as the immediate contrast that “Tin Chicken” brings with its quiet, fluid guitars, subdued drums and soft vocals. The closer pushes through a louder part and quiets again momentarily before launching into the atmospheric payoff that “Lorenzo Llamas” teased, still heavy but swirling as well before cutting back to fade out after a few quiet lines bringing it back to the intro; the song seems to kind of wander off, but it works with the trance-inducing effects display preceding. And as it goes back to its start in a different way, “Tin Chicken” also summarizes some of what works best about Revival, which is the sense of how purposefully built the album is. While the performances are crisp, the natural chemistry Gozu have harnessed onstage remains intact, and the intensity with which they bring it to bear feels like something the band has been waiting for the opportunity to do. They make the most of that opportunity, and what results is some of the best American heavy rock you’re likely to hear in 2016 in composition and execution.

Gozu, “Nature Boy” official video

Gozu on Thee Facebooks

Gozu on Bandcamp

Ripple Music

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

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Worshipper Sign to Tee Pee Records; Shadow Hymns Due in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Congratulations to Boston heavy rockers Worshipper on signing to Tee Pee Records for the release of their debut album, Shadow Hymns, this August. The hard-driving four-piece have impressed over the course of two 2015 singles — Place Beyond the Light (discussed here) and the preceding Black Corridor (review here) — as well as in a live setting so much that they’ve already picked up a Boston Music Award and, more recently, won the Rock and Roll Rumble competition of local acts. Boston loves its own, to be sure, but even so, that’s a considerable response for a band who hasn’t yet put a record out.

I asked guitarist/vocalist John Brookhouse to comment on the signing and he had this to say:

“Holy shit! I listen to my copy of the first Graveyard record constantly and to flip it over and see ‘Tee Pee’ on the back, the label that is putting out OUR first record, blows my mind. We’re all really proud of how it came out, sonically and visually. Bob did an amazing job with the artwork, so we’re excited for people to see it in person as well as to hear it.”

Worshipper release Shadow Hymns on Tee Pee Records on Aug. 28. The PR wire makes it official:

worshipper

WORSHIPPER Sign With Tee Pee Records

Award-Winning Massachusetts Metal Band To Unleash Full-length Debut, ‘Shadow Hymns’, this Summer

Boston-based metal band WORSHIPPER has signed to NYC’s Tee Pee Records, the independent record label known for releasing landmark albums from acts such as High on Fire, Graveyard, Earthless and Sleep. With a sound described as “darkly epic”, WORSHIPPER has earned consistent accolades since its formation, being named the “Metal Artist of the Year” at the 2015 Boston Music Awards and, most recently, being chosen over 23 other participating bands as champions of the 2016 “Rock and Roll Rumble”, a competition hailed as “The World Series of Boston Rock” that has taken place annually since 1979.

WORSHIPPER will release its full-length debut, Shadow Hymns, on August 28. The record was recorded at Q Division, Mad Oak, and Converse Rubber Tracks Studios with producers Benny Grotto (Aerosmith, Orange Goblin) and David Minehan (The Replacements) and showcases WORSHIPPER’s melodically thunderous sound. Through its unique mix of contemporary and classic influences, WORSHIPPER prove that the horn-throwing soul of melodic heavy music’s past still burns brightly.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be welcomed to the Tee Pee family,” comments guitarist Alejandro Necochea. “We think it’s a perfect fit and we are immensely proud to have our music released by the same label that put out some of our favorite records of the past couple decades.”

In addition to Necochea, WORSHIPPER features John Brookhouse (vocals / guitar), Dave Jarvis (drums) and Bob Maloney (vocals, bass).

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

Worshipper, Place Beyond the Light / Step Behind (2015)

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Moon Tooth and Rozamov Announce Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

In a little less than a month, Long Island prog-metallers Moon Tooth head out on tour to support their latest album, Chromaparagon, which was released in February. They’ll be doing essentially a month-long swing down and back up the Eastern Seaboard, playing New England with Warm at the end of May, pushing into the South early in June, and then cutting back north, meeting up with Boston trio Rozamov to continue into Upstate New York and into Canada for shows in Montreal and Toronto before rounding out June 20 in Burlington, Vermont.

All put together, it’s a not inconsiderable run, and hardly Moon Tooth‘s first, the band over the last several years having basically forced their way into East Coast the progressive consciousness through hard work and volume. As noted below, this is the first time both of these acts will hit Canada, and Rozamov do so ahead of the release of their much anticipated debut album, due out later this year. They’ll apparently be playing new material at these shows.

Word came down the PR wire:

moon tooth rozamov poster

Long Island progressive sludge rock weirdos Moon Tooth and Boston atmospheric sludge mongers Rozamov have announced a string of dates together this June. This will be both bands’ first excursion north of the border, hitting both Montreal and Toronto on this run. Moon Tooth are supporting their self released debut LP “Chromaparagon” which has reached numbers 85 and 120 on the Hard Rock and Best New Artist charts respectively.

Rozamov recently wrapped up the recording for their own first full length, and will be airing songs from the album on this run. Last year saw Rozamov release “Ghost Divine” on a split with Deathkings via Midnite Collective.

June 16th – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor
June 17th – Rochester, NY @ Monty’s Krown
June 18th – Montreal, CAN @ Crobar
June 19th – Toronto, CAN @ Smiling Buddha
June 20th – Burlington, VT @ Nectar’s

https://www.facebook.com/Rozamov/
https://www.facebook.com/moontoothband/

Moon Tooth, Chromaparagon (2016)

Rozamov, “Ghost Divine” from split with Deathkings (2015)

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Roadburn 2016 Trip Pt. 1: Hover

Posted in Features on April 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

theee airporte

04.12.16 — 6:35PM Eastern — Boston Logan Intl. — At the gate

The flight before my flight, or maybe the flight before the flight before my flight — one does like to get to the airport early — seems to be running late, so the place is packed. A constant murmur bleeding through the quiet moments of the Spotlights album, which, despite that, is pretty good. Whenever my time comes, I’ll board the plane and fly redeye-style to Reykavik, which may be the coolest thing I ever get to say in my life: “Yeah, it was a redeye to Reykjavik.” No big deal. I do it all the time.

Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. This doesn’t happen all the time. This happens once a year. After connecting in Reykjavik, I head on to Amsterdam and then — maybe a car, maybe a train?; not sure yet — to Tilburg for what will be my eighth attendance the Roadburn Festival, third as editor of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine. I am no longer able to convey how special this time of year is for me, nor can I accurately describe the clawing I’ve done through the last several weeks to get to this point. Last year, I walked onto the loading dock behind the 013 venue, where Roadburn is held or at very least based, and said out loud it was good to be home. That space has been redone in the interim — so have I, to an extent — but I know once I get there and figure out where the stages are it will be the same feeling.

An ultimate escape from real life, and right now particularly, one sorely needed. Having gone back to work full-time has drained me past a comfortable point of the parts of me that I consider myself, and as I’ve been squirming in my seat for I don’t even know how long, this is precisely the kind of okay-go-play I need to make me feel alive again, like I’m something more than a commuter with short hair or the office weirdo who always takes his shoes off at his desk. I need to not be that, I think probably even more than I realize I need it.

If you’ve read this site’s Roadburn coverage in previous years, then you know how it goes. Each night, after the day’s events are over, I will update with a wrap up of that day. It’s not quite live-blogging, which would be me tweeting that Neurosis are awesome while Neurosis are playing and offers in my view precious little substance (though I will probably post some stuff on Instagram as well), but I hope to capture a fraction of the vibrant, creative mania that drives this event and, in my view and my experience, makes it different from everything else out there and, yes, special as fuck.

Let’s say each day’s review will be up before the next day starts, at the latest. But unless a piano falls on my head, that means late-night posts all the way.

Hours to go before I leave, and from what I hear I have a middle seat on the flight — of the exit row, but still — so I don’t expect too many favors from the universe on this one, but at the end of this slog is Roadburn, and if Roadburn is anything at all, it’s worth getting to. This is the start of my calendar, a retreat for mind and what in my pitiful case passes for a spirit, and I can’t wait to be surrounded by the music, the people and to be in the place itself. There isn’t a doubt in my mind it will be incredible. Not one.

Thanks in advance for reading if you do and for being a part of this.

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Kind Sign with Total Volume Agency; Touring Europe this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kind‘s 2015 debut album, Rocket Science (review here), is available now on vinyl through Ripple Music. The band have done some sporadic live shows over the months since the CD dropped last December, as members continue their work on other bands and tours — drummer Matt Couto out with Elder again, bassist Tom Corino wrapping up the awaited debut from Rozamov, vocalist Craig Riggs (also Roadsaw and White Dynomite) touring on drums with Sasquatch, guitarist Darryl Shepard busy being the mayor of Boston heavy rock — but it seems their intention is to head to Europe in October and do a round of shows to support the record. They’ve just signed a deal with Total Volume Agency, in good company with the likes of Valley of the SunGeezerTuberBlaak HeatNaxatras and Funeral Horse, which will no doubt help them in that cause.

Total Volume announced the partnership thusly:

kind (Photo by Nicole Tammaro)

Total Volume – First addition to our roster this year : KIND!

Formed in 2013 by Matt Couto (Elder), Darryl Shepard (Black Pyramid, The Scimitar) and Tom Corino (ROZAMOV) – after the trio spent time jamming together in-between day-to-day commitments – the doom supergroup KIND quickly cemented their formation with the addition of Roadsaw vocalist Craig Riggs.

Out of the mind-bending riffs and extended jam sessions, whole songs began to take shape through winter rehearsals down in Couto’s freezing cold basement in 2014, where the newly formed quartet began laying down ideas for their soon to be released debut, Rocket Science, which officially landed this December on Ripple Music.

Shows were soon booked to share the tunes with the curious. Further riffs materialized, new songs banged into shape, and yet more shows confirmed, so keen were the band to test their mettle and mixture of heavy metal, psych, Krautrock and straight-up classic rock and roll.

With four songs recorded at Mad Oak Studios serving as the band’s demo in the spring of 2015, KIND entered New Alliance Studios with engineer Alec Rodriguez to record their first full-length, Rocket Science, which received an official release this past December on the California-based label Ripple Music.

https://www.facebook.com/KINDtheband/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
http://www.totalvolumeagency.com/kind.html

Kind, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Dec. 2015

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Hepatagua Announce East Coast Tour; Premiere New Track “Ganesha”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

hepatagua

If you want to give people a taste of what you’re going for with your debut EP, a 10-minute track will probably get the job done. Thus Boston-based duo Hepatagua unveil the sprawling “Ganesha,” the closing cut from their upcoming Worms release, which is out this Friday and which they’ll carry with them on their upcoming East Coast tour, all serving as a precursor to their first full-length, The Lost Art of Dropping Dead, due out later this year. Got all that? It’s a lot, I know.

The take-away is that Hepatagua, the two-piece of guitarist/vocalist Aaron Gray and drummer Nate Linehan, are getting ready to unveil their first offering, Worms, by taking it down and back up the Eastern Seaboard for shows in Philly, Brooklyn, Connecticut, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Alabama, etc. A release tour is a pretty bold move for a band like Hepatagua, but a listen to the EP finds their sound working likewise, either reveling in noisy aggro crush, as on its title-track, melding post-metallic progressive churn and soaring melodies on “No Rights” or moving from the initially frantic opening stretch of “Ganesha” to the patient, semi-psychedelic wandering that follows and rounds out with Gray‘s guitar offering full-on hypnotic drone at the finish.

You can hear “Ganesha” via the player below, following the tour info and some more background on Worms and the impending The Lost Art of Dropping Dead.

It all goes like this:

hepatagua worms

Hepatagua announces East Coast Spring 2016 Tour in support of their upcoming EP titled “Worms”

Boston sludge/doom/dark rock duo, Hepatagua are about to hit the road for their first East Coast tour. They’ll kick things off with an EP release (a selection of the upcoming LP) show at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, MA on Friday April 8th, 2016 and then head out down to AL and back to support the EP. Also joining them will be local sludge titans, Phantom Glue, hardcore/metal/thrashers Jack Burton vs David Lo Pan (also their LAST SHOW), and sludge/doom heartthrobs, Upheaval.

Hepatagua East Coast TOUR DATES
4/8/16 O’Brien’s Pub – Allston, MA
4/9/16 33 Golden St – New London, CT
4/10/16 Lucky 13 Saloon – Brooklyn, NY
4/12/16 The Radio Room – Greenville, SC
4/13/16 The Ordnance – Birmingham, AL
4/14/16 Union EAV – Atlanta, GA
4/15/16 The Odditorium, Asheville, NC
4/16/16 Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD
4/17/16 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA

Hepatagua was once described as a two headed giant fighting another giant with the limbs of a third giant. It came to life in 2013, when BFF’s Nate Linehan (of AxCx/Fistula fame) and Aaron Gray (owner of Grayskull Booking) came to realize that they loved The Melvins, Nirvana, High on Fire, Failure, and formed a two piece dedicated to the riff and the exploration of playing whatever genre they feel like as long as it’s heavy as fvck. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Weedeater, King Parrot, Jucifer, Lo-Pan, and more and their debut EP, Worms, is just a taste of their upcoming LP titled “The Lost Art of Dropping Dead.”

www.facebook.com/hepatagua
www.hepatagua.bandcamp.com
twitter : @hepatagua

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