Psychlona to Release Mojo Rising on Ripple Music & Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

psychlona

Cooperation! Spanning continents! Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music align to stand behind Mojo Rising, the debut album from Bradford, UK, four-piece Psychlona, and they leave little question as to why. The album — nine songs/50 minutes running from “Stone” to “Beakfoot” with a riffy, desert-stretched-out but still weighted course worthy of the band’s moniker — hits with a bit of Clutchy blues in “Big River” and a whole lot of early Fu Manchu-style roll in “Juju,” but it’s ultimately the psychedelic thread that ties it all together, whether it’s the brash pub-style riffage of “Down in the Valley” or jam-into-shove-into-jam-into-slowdown groove in “Burning Cave,” a spacious lead guitar tone that conjures impossible reaches no matter how much crunch seems to be surrounding. And make no mistake, here’s plenty of crunch to go around.

The album seems to have been taken down from Bandcamp, which will happen with this kind of thing when a previously-issued record gets picked up, but if you’ve got Spotify you can stream it for the time being at the bottom of this post. Otherwise, the release date for the well-supported offering is Nov. 30, so you can mark your calendars, make your preorders or whatever it is you need to do. Plenty of time.

Copious kebab-centered info follows here, courtesy as ever of the PR wire:

PSYCHLONA SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS AND RIPPLE MUSIC FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘MOJO RISING’ IN NOVEMBER 2018.

Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music have teamed up for a joint release of City of Bradford, UK stoner rockers Psychlona’s heavy grooving debut album ‘Mojo Rising’. The four brads or ‘dirty desert rock kebab eating mofos’, as they prefer to introduce themselves, impressed both labels on an immense level when their debut album hit the online web-spheres back in the spring of 2018. A hard-hitting, heavy-driving, fuzz-drenched foundation forms the basis on which flares and outbursts of guitar-swirls spirals to another dimension in time and space.

Mojo Rising is the premiere sonic excursion to a heady generation looking for a new mode of transportation to mindful salvation (oh, ok back it up). You got the point made here. So, if spacy, psyched out stoner rock is the thing that float your boat, look no further as Psychlona got you plenty covered. Mojo Rising ought to hit an audible solar plexus on any fan of Spaceslug, Kyuss, Dozer, Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet.

Psychlona is a fairly new band, but already stands out as a strong, unified entity with many years under the belt. However it was in summer 2015 when Phil (guitar/vocals) walked into a scruffy bar to watch an equally scruffy band knock out a few scruffy tunes. Scanning the immediate vicinity to see who else was out tonight, a shabby drunken figure barely able to stand but fully able to hold his beer glass leered out of the dark shadows. Enter Dave (guitars). Dave and Phil had shared various stages on the same bill over the preceding few years as members of The Drastics and Threshold Shift. It was the obvious thing to do – form a new band. The fact they were both guitarists and didn’t have a bass player or drummer around wasn’t a problem. Both were aware of a local four stringer called Martyn who had played previously in other bands with Phil. Rehearsals began soon with no agenda but more importantly no drummer. Various percussionists came and went. After some time passed finally a solid contendor (Scott) to the drum stool entered. Initial sessions went well but the guys knew they needed to ask Scott a very important question – how do you like your kebabs? With extra chilis was the response from the bearded one. A match made in heaven then and he joined the family. Rehearsals, gigs, more rehearsals, new material brings us to the present day – the impending release of Mojo Rising on both CD, digital and vinyl.

Despite the band’s young age, Psychlona has already played with and shared stage with 1968, Barbarian Hermit, Loomer, Morass of Molasses as well as their good mates Ironrat and Lizard Tongue. The band also organise and promote their own festival twice a year (Idlefest), which is growing bigger each time. On the signing with Danish based label Cursed Tongue Records and US-label Ripple Music, Psychlona comments: “We’re proud to be joining the Ripple and Cursed Tongue families. Two of the most proactive labels with a genuine passion for the bands and music both from within their own rosters but also from the whole scene in general with genuine love and support going out to everyone involved. They’ve also tolerated our shit jokes and English sense of humour so far… time will tell… second album guys?”

Regardless what the future holds the here and now is glowing hot. Psychlona came from space to grace our earthly souls and make our mojo rise. It’s soon time to groove along to one of this year’s best desert stoner rock albums. Get psyched!

Mojo Rising will be out on CD and digital via Ripple Music and vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records in November.

CTR-014 Psychlona – ‘Mojo Rising’, vinyl official release date: November 30th, 2018

Psychlona is:
Phil Hey – Guitar & Vocals
Dave Wainfor – Guitar
Martyn Birchall – Bass
Scott Frankling – Drums

All tracks written and performed by Psychlona
Engineered and mixed by Dave Wainfor
Mastered by James Grover
Artwork by Kyrre Bjurling
Inner photo by Jez Sheard
Layout & Design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

Side A
1. Stone
2. Ride
3. Down In The Valley
4. Big River

Side B
5. Your God
6. Juju
7. Black Dog
8. Beakfoot

psychlona.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/Psychlona/
http://instagram.com/psychlona
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Quarterly Review: Gruntruck, The Dead Ends, Albatross Overdrive, High Priestess, Monolith Cult, Kayleth & Favequaid, Black Wail, Psychic Lemon, Ixion, Rattlesnake

Posted in Reviews on January 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

Day Three of the Quarterly Review! I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling great. Plowing through, hearing a ton of good stuff. The week is rolling and though it’s most definitely caused me to be a neglectful husband and father for the last 72 hours (so far!), at very least the music is killer. That’s something, right? I didn’t really have a theme in picking today’s batch, but there are some commonalities between some of the inclusions all the same. See if you can find them, like one of those old puzzles in a Highlights magazine in your orthodontist’s wood-paneled office. Ready? Okay, let’s go.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Gruntruck, Gruntruck

gruntruck-gruntruck

Held back due to legal issues with their original label, Roadrunner, the self-titled third album from Seattle groove-grungers Gruntruck hits like an open time-capsule nearly two decades after the fact of its recording: a little dusty but full of vitality and potential for what could’ve been. With a tad more crunch than the likes of Soundgarden and a crunch less TAD than TAD, Gruntruck found a middle-space between the melodies of their age and scene and heavier impulses, and if songs like “Trip,” the post-Nirvana “Build a Hole,” and the later “Spy” sound dated, well, they should. They are dated. It’s an album that was recorded over 20 years ago. That does nothing to take away from the quality of the songwriting, however, as closer “Flang” shows by demonstrating how thin the line between grunge and heavy rock has always been in the first place, let alone how fluidly Gruntruck were able to cross from one side to the other.

Gruntruck on Thee Facebooks

Found Recordings website

 

The Dead Ends, Deeper the Dark the Brighter We Shine

the-dead-ends-deeper-the-dark-the-brighter-we-shine

This warm and psychedelically charmed debut from Kavala, Greece’s The Dead Ends works quickly to deliver its cumbersome title-line in opener “Memory Ship (Sails at Dawn)” amid a build of organ-laced Doors-style drama, but the overarching spirit of the Sound Effect Records release is nonetheless patient and fluid. The keyboard work of vocalist Giorgos Sechlidis proves to be a major standout factor on the playful “Narri-E Narri-O” as rhythms and melodic elements out of Greek folk rear their head, and as guitarist Serios Savvaidis and drummer Dimitris Apostolidis provide vocal support throughout, the nine tracks of Deeper the Dark, the Brighter We Shine envelop with a depth that corresponds to their outward reach, still based around pop structures practically and conceptually, but feeling open and resolved to remain that way all the same. The jangly “Peter 2:18” closes out by building into a melodic wash, as if to underscore the potential within this exciting outfit’s budding stylistic nuance.

The Dead Ends on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

 

Albatross Overdrive, Keep it Running

albatross-overdrive-keep-it-running

Issued in 2016, Albatross Overdrive’s second full-length pulls together a sans-pretense 31 minutes of barroom-style heavy rock born of the California desert but not necessarily indebted solely to its aesthetic so much as to boozy swing and chug and meaner, engine-revving impulses. “Fire Dancer” and “Higher” make impressions early with catchy choruses and hard-delivered riffs, a touch of metal to the latter particularly, and the later “Preaching Love Not War” boasts a highlight performance from bassist Mark Abshire, formerly of Fu Manchu, while gritty vocalist Art Campos leads the five-piece – completed by guitarists Andrew Luddy and Derek Phillips and drummer Rodney Peralta – through the grunge-chug of “Earth Mother,” recalling Alice in Chains’ “Again” in its cadence momentarily, though ultimately driven along its own course, headed into closer “Neva,” which finishes the album in top form just as it might cap a raucous live set on any given and much-improved Friday evening.

Albatross Overdrive on Thee Facebooks

Albatross Overdrive website

 

High Priestess, Demo

high-priestess-demo

Los Angeles trio High Priestess were recently snagged by Ripple Music for the release of their impending debut album this year, and on the strength of this five-track demo, one could hardly argue. Tonally rich, perfectly paced in its rollout, melodically centered and meditative with surprising flashes of metallic noise, cuts like 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Firefly” offer psychedelic immersion and a sense of worldmaking rare in a band’s first long-player, let alone their initial demo. Weighted low end gives Demo an earthy sensibility, and there’s definitely a desert-style aspect to “Take the Blame” and “Mother Forgive Me,” but the intertwining vocal melodies of guitarist/organist Katie Gilchrest and bassist Mariana Fiel atop Megan Mullins’ drums provide a spaciousness well across the line of transcendent into ethereal psychedelia. Likewise, after the salvo of “Firefly” and its nine-minute companion “Despise,” the peaceful, organ-laced closer “Earth Dive” draws emphasis on sonic diversity with its patient build and underlying command. Especially as demos go, High Priestess’ is dangerously coherent.

High Priestess on Thee Facebooks

High Priestess on Instagram

 

Monolith Cult, Gospel of Despair

monolith-cult-gospel-of-despair

From the first listen onward, the hardest thing about putting on Monolith Cult’s second full-length, Gospel of Despair, is actually letting the seven tracks play without constantly interrupting them by saying “hell yes.” Whether it’s the hook of opener “Disconnection Syndrome,” the subsequent plod of the title-track that follows, the massive slowdown that hits about a minute into “Sympathy for the Living” as it moves into its chorus, or the Candlemassian finale chug and stomp of “Death Means Nothing,” the Bradford, UK, five-piece’s follow-up to their 2013 debut, Run from the Light (review here), dwells in similar terrain between righteous classic metal and doom as Cruz del Sur denizens Argus, and the band are likewise firm in their purposes and assured in their delivery. “King of all that’s Lost” feels exceptionally weighted in its impact, but set next to the faster motion in the first half of the penultimate “Complicit in Your Abuse,” it feeds into an overarching flow and sense of leather-on-fistpump-or-headbang-take-your-pick-ready audience response. Hell yes? Oh, hell yes.

Monolith Cult on Thee Facebooks

Transcending Records

 

Kayleth & Favequaid, The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Six

kayleth-favequaid-second-coming-of-heavy-chapter-six

In bringing together Verona’s Kayleth and Palermo’s Favequaid, The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Six works more on a direct theme than some of the other installments in the impressive and impactful series from Ripple Music. But if there’s a particularly nation’s scene worth highlighting in the heavy rock underground, the emergent riffy movement in Italy makes a riotous case for itself as Favequaid bull-in-a-china-shop their way through the nine-minute “Hypochondria” on side B or Kayleth unfold the highlight nod and melody of “The Survivor” earlier, hitting a mark of spatial weight that’s as much about its crash as reach. Starting with the atmospheric pulse of “Desert Caravan” and following up “The Survivor” with the melodic push of “Magnetar,” Kayleth come across as the more progressive of the two outfits, but with the brash finale of “First” rounding out, Favequaid help put emphasis on the underrated diversity within Italian heavy rock on the whole, and maybe that was the idea in the first place.

Kayleth on Thee Facebooks

Favequaid on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Wail, Chromium Homes

black-wail-chromium-homes

Though it gradually comes to life around an intro of Hendrixian noodling at the start of “They,” its opener and longest track (immediate points), the third EP from New Jersey’s Black Wail, Chromium Homes, isn’t through that same song before a decidedly Dio-esque “lookout!” is tossed into the pot. Abrasive, sludgy screaming follows. So yeah, it gets weird pretty quick, but that turns out to be the fun of the 27-minute six-tracker, since it just as easily digs back into languid wah-led groove or lets its keyboards flesh out classic heavy rocking melodies. “Thee Ghost” chugs metallic before stepping back to a harmonized a capella midsection and swinging to its finish, and the title-track basks in heavy blues rock like nothing ever happened – the perfect setup for the nastier “The Dead Man’s Hand,” and weirdo bounce-into-punk-thrust of “Radioactive Mutation” that follow. And because why the hell not: a closing doomed-out cover of “Norwegian Wood.” Somehow that was the only thing missing. Black Wail are getting strange and daring you to do the same. If you think you’re up for it, maybe you are.

Black Wail on Bandcamp

Rhyme and Reason Records

 

Psychic Lemon, Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay

Psychic-Lemon-Frequency-Rhythm-Distortion-Delay

Prepare for spacedelic immersion. Somewhere there’s a countdown happening and waiting on the other end of it is Psychic Lemon’s sophomore LP, Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, the title of which reads like the recipe from which its five tracks have been constructed. The 41-minute sprawler from the London-based trio sets itself to the task of atmospheric breakout with 8:31 opener “Exit to the Death Lane,” and while it’s hard not to be drawn immediately to a track called “International Fuzz Star” – let alone one that’s almost 10 minutes long – one skips the cosmic-grunge shuffle of “Hey Droog!” and the sped-up Sonic Youthism of centerpiece “You’re No Good” at one’s own peril. They tease tension in the kick drum but ultimately end up soothing in meandering closer “Satori Disko,” but the progressive threat has been laid all the same, and it says something about their accomplishment overall that even in the final moments of Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, one can’t be certain where Psychic Lemon might be headed next.

Psychic Lemon on Thee Facebooks

Tonzonen Records webstore

 

Ixion, Return

ixion return

Brittany, France-based Ixion is a project spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist/growler/recording engineer/cover artist Julien Prat, and Return (on Finisterian Dead End) is the band’s third full-length. With clean vocals contributed by Yannick Dilly (who also mixed), it captures a contemplative and majestic balance of hope and sorrow, woeful in its extremity but bright-toned in its sprawling lead guitar figures in pieces like “Into Her Light” and the later “Stranger.” This meld fascinates throughout the nine-song/47-minute run, but it’s the poise of execution of all these ideas that make cuts like “Back Home” and the electronics-infused “Contact” stand out and recall some of the best moments of mid-period Katatonia, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Out of the Dark” onward, Return makes plain its self-awareness and resilience in capturing its formidable stylistic intention in the reality of the recording. It is a true work of beauty-in-darkness and affecting in both its scope and raw emotionalism.

Ixion on Thee Facebooks

Finisterian Dead End website

 

Rattlesnake, Outlaw Boogie

rattlesnake outlaw boogie

It’s just three songs, but Rattlesnake’s debut demo, Outlaw Boogie (also discussed here), was enough of an aesthetic mission statement all the same to wind up on my list of 2017’s best short releases, and with the swing and swagger provided by drummer/vocalist Adam Kriney of The Golden Grass, the classic-style riffing of guitarists Blake Charlton (Ramming Speed) and JP Gilbert (also vocals) and the wah bass Don Berger brings to “The Reason Why,” well, the reason why is frickin’ obvious. The New York-based newcomers capture a bright ‘70s vibe not dissimilar from The Golden Grass’ self-titled debut, but less serene and more urgent, more charged in its purposes on the whole, and dudelier in that okay-now-it’s-time-to-grow-a-mustache kind of way. Unsurprisingly, Outlaw Boogie is almost maddeningly catchy and cohesive and clear in its direction and intent, and the band seem to arrive in their conceptual foundation ready to move forward onto the next stage of their development. The only reason I call the three-tracker a demo at all and not an EP is because the band does. Otherwise there’s very little about it that doesn’t already denote it as a professional-grade work.

Rattlesnake on Thee Facebooks

In for the Kill Records webstore

 

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Lazarus Blackstar and Black Shape of Nexus Stream Split LP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on December 2nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Generally, a split release is a good way for one act to build a bridge to another. When bands team up, it’s not just about putting their own material out there, but also about joining forces with a community and saying, “This represents us too.” One imagines that if there was anything drawing British sludge riffers Lazarus Blackstar and German post-metallurgists Black Shape of Nexus together, it wasn’t so much the desire to build a bridge as the shared affinity for laying waste to infrastructure in general. This coming February, they’ll issue two sides of sonic oblivion via Alerta Antifascista Records that highlights both the commonalities and the differences between the two acts.

In the case of Lazarus Blackstar, their two extended inclusions — “Command and Control” and “Whispering through Broken Teeth” — continue the pummeling course that was found on their 2012 third full-length, Hymns for the Cursed. The British outfit will mark a decade under their moniker in 2014 (they started out earlier as Khang), and the 10 years of experience bleed into both these tracks in thick tones, deviations into deathly gurgles, and the glee with which the five-piece seem to jump to either side of an extreme sensibility. Concocting a massive lurch in “Command and Control,” they move a bit faster initially in “Whispering through Broken Teeth,” but though they slow down later, the even bigger shift is in the inclusion of Mellotron sounds in the song’s second half along with cleaner, chanting vocals.

The 11-minute “Honor Found in Delay” from Black Shape of Nexus has the distinction of being not only a ridiculously clever reference — you’ll recall the name of the last Neurosis record — but also the longest song present, and the atmosphere and effects live up to both the name and the allusion. There’s a linear build throughout and a near-constant feeling of propulsion that emerges, reminding some of Souls at Zero‘s unmitigated intensity, while “Always and Only” a more straightforward root in its undulating noise rock groove, like the creeping moments in latter-day Unsane, and builds to a suitably bombastic, feedback-drenched conclusion, throaty screams seeming to be swallowed by the distorted morass from which they emerged as a rising swirl and concluding sample from 1984 takes hold.

As a conclusion, that one at least fits with the band and label’s stated anti-fascist stance — “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever” — and given the melee of noise preceding, it’s an image that works on multiple levels. It might take a few listens for the full brunt of the Lazarus Blackstar and Black Shape of Nexus tracks to sink in, but considering the split doesn’t come out for another two months, there’s plenty of time. Check out all four songs on the player below, and please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Lazarus Blackstar and Black Shape of Nexus‘ split is set for release Feb. 13, 2014, on Alerta Antifascista Records in an initial pressing of 500 (100 grey, 100 white, 300 black) 180g vinyl with heavy stock cover and obi strip. Info and updates at the links.

Lazarus Blackstar on Thee Facebooks

Black Shape of Nexus on Thee Facebooks

Alerta Antifascista Records

Alerta Antifascista Records on Bandcamp

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