The Mad Doctors Tour Starts Tonight; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the mad doctors

You know, I was going to start out this post by wondering if Brooklyn trio The Mad Doctors knew that there was already a sequel to the 1992 movie Sister Act. It also starred Whoopi Goldberg, came out in ’93, and it was called Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. But you know what? I bet The Mad Doctors already knew that shit. And if you think about it, doesn’t that just kind of make the joke funnier? So the title of their new single, “Sister Act II: Electric Boogaloo (What if Idris Elba was the Next James Bond),” isn’t only a goof reference on the first Sister Act, it’s even more tongue-in-cheek because it’s a fake sequel to that movie when there’s already a real one. Plus, that whole thing with Idris Elba in the parenthesis. I believe the answer is, “white people on the internet got really pissed off about something that doesn’t matter in the slightest,” which, you know, is kind of the answer to any such “what if” scenario.

Because white people love bitching about shit that doesn’t matter. Like the deficit.

Other point: the title of the new The Mad Doctors single is clever as hell and the band are headed out on a Northeastern run as of this very evening to support it. I doubt they’ll be explaining the joke to everyone as they go, like, “It’s funny because there’s already a movie,” but you know, it’s still pretty funny. And the song’s streaming at the bottom of this post and a name-your-price download, so even better.

Details

the mad doctors tour

The Mad Doctors – Sneakin Out The Web Tour

Northeast coffee fiends, booze hounds (and pitbulls), party rock boys, and folks of all things n stuff – after PIZZAFEST V we’re hitting the road for a week and spending some good quality time with our pals Fire Heads from Wisconsin!! It’s gunna be fuzzy! Check us out in the following places:

M 5/28 – Saratoga NY – Desperate Annie’s
Tu 5/29 – Portland ME – Matthew’s Pub*
W 5/30 – Salem MA – Koto*
Th 5/31 – Pawtucket RI – News Cafe*
F 6/1 – Stamford CT – Riot at Amadeus*
Sa 6/2 – Rutherford, NJ – The Jungeon
* = Fire Heads (WI)

Tour poster by Erick Freuhling (of Fire Heads)

The Mad Doctors are:
Seth Applebaum – Gtr/vox
Joshua Park – Bass
Greg Hanson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/events/2021766151389187/
http://facebook.com/themaddoctors
https://themaddoctors.bandcamp.com/
http://kingpizzarecords.storenvy.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kingpizzarecs/

The Mad Doctors, “Sister Act II: Electric Boogaloo (What if Idris Elba was the Next James Bond)”

Tags: , , , ,

End of Hope Release First Demo; Live Debut this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

end of hope

It’s a demo, so that’s what they called it. The recorded-in-Gowanus debut two-songer from Brooklyn four-piece End of Hope, titled, yes, Demo, runs a little over five minutes long and is comprised of two tracks that look to bridge the gap between the tones of Northeastern heavy with the push and attitude of classic New York hardcore. What ties the two sounds together, largely, is a sense of aggression, and both “Guilt Trip” and “Last Night” have that work for them to be sure, as vocalist Davey Gunner shouts over Ken Wohlrob‘s riffing. The second track is shorter, faster and meaner than the first, so it could well be that the band ultimately plays to both styles as they move toward making their first long-player this Fall.

The underlying point, of course, is I’m curious to find out, which means that Demo has done its job thoroughly. You can hear it streaming at the bottom of this post. The band make their live debut in Brooklyn tomorrow. Here’s info:

end of hope demo

End of Hope — featuring members of Kraut, St. Bastard, Reign of Zaius, and Eternal Black — release their first demo and announce a debut show on May 4th, 2018

End of Hope — a new band comprised of members from several well-known New York City acts including Kraut, St. Bastard, Reign of Zaius, and Eternal Black — have released their first demo via their Bandcamp page (endofhope.bandcamp.com). The demo can be streamed or downloaded for free. They will be playing their debut show at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn on Friday, May 4th, 2018.

The band consists of Davey Gunner of New York Hardcore legends Kraut and Bowhead on vocals, Dave Richman of the one-man sludge-and-doom project St. Bastard on drums, Davis Schlachter of Brooklyn’s ape-rock purveyors Reign of Zaius on bass, and Ken Wohlrob of Brooklyn doom heavyweights Eternal Black on guitar.

According to vocalist Davey Gunner, End of Hope is “A collaboration of four musicians with many years of experience in the New York City music scene, with marinating musical tastes that produced quick, hard, and heavy results.”

The demo consists of two new songs, “Guilt Trip” and “Last Night.” They were recorded by the band at their rehearsal space in Gowanus with Davis Schlachter handling all production duties. Both combine the band’s approach of melding Motörhead with Black Flag, punk and speed rock played at maximum volume with anthemic choruses. In addition, they already have enough songs written for a full album which they will record in the Fall of 2018.

End of Hope’s debut show will be at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn on Friday, May 4th. Joining them on the bill will be Elefant Killer, Eyes of The Living, and Banth. The show will start at 8 P.M.

End of Hope Demo track listing:
1. Guilt Trip
2. Last Night

End of Hope is:
Davey Gunner: Vocals
Dave Richman: Drums
Davis Schlachter: Bass
Ken Wohlrob: Guitars

https://endofhope.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/endofhopenyc/
https://www.instagram.com/endofhopenyc/
https://twitter.com/endofhopenyc
https://soundcloud.com/endofhope

End of Hope, Demo (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Rattlesnake Premiere New Single “Dirt in My Eyes”

Posted in audiObelisk on March 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In a collaboration between In for the Kill Records and H42 Records, newcomer New Yorker classic-style Southern rockers Rattlesnake will issue their debut seven-inch in May. The two-tracker boasts brand new material from the four-piece-maybe-turned-trio which features the likes of Adam Kriney of The Golden Grass and La Otracina on drums/vocals, J.P. Gilbert of JP and the Gilberts on guitar/vocals as well as bassist Don Berger, and comes in three different vinyl incarnations, all of course subject to limited pressings. Because that’s how it goes. If you don’t get it, it’s gone.

rattlesnake posterRattlesnake made a not-at-all-quiet entry last year, playing their first show in May and offering the three-song cassette demo, Outlaw Boogie (review here), that served as one of 2017’s best short releases. Its aesthetic seemed locked in, its presentation was professional, and the songwriting was ace in its structure and execution. “Dirt in My Eyes,” the premiere of which you can listen to via the YouTube player below, is no different but takes a step forward in its melodic reach and its meld of boogie and harder-edged impulses. It shares a brightness of perspective with The Golden Grass, but has an edge of its own in its harmonies and uptempo pulse. And yes, if you’re wondering, it’s maddeningly catchy.

In my experience, Kriney isn’t someone who embarks on a new project lightly. It could well be that Rattlesnake was started on a whim after a night of boozing among friends, but I doubt it. The Golden Grass had a plan, a timeline, goals, and given how much effort Rattlesnake puts into “Dirt in My Eyes,” I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they do as well. Fair enough as far as I’m concerned. All that means is we’re likely to hear from them again soon, which I think as you dig into the interplay of bass and airy guitar in the second half of the track before the final “woo!” is delivered, you’ll agree isn’t a negative in the slightest.

You can read more about the three versions of Dirt in My Eyes / Picture Perfect and head to the preorders via the PR wire info below — the test pressing is signed and limited to 20, if that piques your interest– and of course get a preview of “Dirt in My Eyes” via the player immediately following.

Please enjoy:

Rattlesnake, “Dirt in My Eyes” official premiere

Rattlesnake “Dirt In My Eyes”
A-side of the Rattlesnake “Dirt In My Eyes”/”Picture Perfect” 7″ issued on H42 Records/In For The Kill Records May 2018.

For those who dig the heavy strut of Classic Southern Rock, when it dipped it’s country shufflin’ toes into the sweet honey of Progressive Rock & early-Heavy Metal, well you’re gonna find a real treat in this debut 7” from RATTLESNAKE. A rock-solid display, both earnest & creative, overflowing with killer vocal harmonies, powerful guitar solos, tough riffs, devastating bass runs, & tasty drum fills (featuring Adam Kriney of THE GOLDEN GRASS on vocals/drums, JP GILBERT of J.A.C.K. on vocals/guitar & Don Berger on bass/vocals).

*Available in black or yellow or green vinyl. Black vinyl comes in the brown sleeve. Yellow & Green vinyl comes in the green sleeve. Please specify vinyl colour choice in the comments section on the order form!

*Also available in a limited edition of 20 test pressings, with special signed and numbered “skull” sleeves!

*Comes with digital download card.

North American Preorder available via: http://www.goo.gl/GdCuoC

Rest of the World Preorder available via: http://www.h42records.8merch.com/services/store

Rattlesnake on Thee Facebooks

Rattlesnake on Bandcamp

H42 Records website

H42 Records on Thee Facebooks

In for the Kill Records on Thee Faceboks

In for the Kill Records webstore

Tags: , , , , , ,

Eternal Black Release Bleed the Days on Limited Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

eternal black (photo by Harry Booth)

It was a doomer’s delight last year when New York trio Eternal Black made their debut with Bleed the Days (review here). The band immediately brought their own stamp to what we think of as the genre’s traditions, and though you’d listen to it for sure and recognize its East Coast origins, there was something about it a little darker, a little more aggressive than a lot of the fare that comes out of Maryland. No escaping the intensity of the band’s NYC home-base, I guess.

Dudes have taken it upon themselves to put the album out on deluxe, gorgeous-looking limited vinyl — a no-compromises 2LP with a silkscreened side D that would seem to be little more than a gift for those who knew enough to pick up what they were putting down with the record. If you didn’t hear it last year, you’re by no means too late. Stream the full thing on the player below and bask in the dirge rhythms, weighted tones and general downer-metallurgy of the whole experience. You might just decide to pick up a record after doing so.

Yup, that’s me, spending your money.

Dig it:

eternal black bleed the days lp

ETERNAL BLACK’S ‘BLEED THE DAYS’ IS NOW AVAILABLE IN TWO LIMITED EDITION COLOR VARIANTS RELEASED VIA OBSIDIAN SKY RECORDS.

Eternal Black have announced their debut full-length ‘Bleed The Days’ is now available on vinyl pressing through the band’s own Obsidian Sky Records. The Brooklyn, NY doom metal trio battered the heavy music world in a bleak sea of crushing waves with their August 2017 album. Originally released on digital, CD and cassette, ‘Bleed The Days’ is now available in two limited-edition vinyl variants, with a ‘Die Hard’ colored vinyl bundle option and ‘Standard’ edition.

In August 2017, Brooklyn-based doom metal band ETERNAL BLACK unleashed their debut full-length album, ‘Bleed the Days’, on CD, Cassette (sold out), and Digital formats via their own Obsidian Sky Records label. Today the trio formally announce the February 4th release of ‘Bleed the Days’ available in two limited edition vinyl presses.

‘Bleed the Days’ is the band’s third release, following their 2015 self-titled EP, as well as a live recording from 2017, ‘Live at WFMU’.

According to the band, “Sonically, we were aiming for somewhere between Black Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ and The Obsessed’s ‘Lunar Womb’. We wanted the album to be an obvious step forward in the progression of our sound; darker and heavier than anything you’ve heard from us before, with the grit of old school Doom.”

– ‘Die Hard’ Edition – Limited to 120 copies. Double vinyl set, clear with black smoke vinyl. Side D is a silk-screened razor blade graphic. Includes a custom silk-screened graphic/lyric insert and patch.
– ‘Standard’ Edition – Limited to 115 copies. Double vinyl set, black vinyl. Side D is a silk-screened razor blade graphic.

“Bleed The Days” Track List:
A1. The Lost, The Forgotten, and The Undying
A2. Snake Oil and Coffin Nails
B1. Sea of Graves
B2. Into Nothing
B3. Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun
C1. Bleed The Days
C2. All Gods Fall
D side is a silk-screened graphic

https://eternalblack.bandcamp.com/merch
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07476RQL8/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bleed-the-days/1263331681
https://open.spotify.com/album/4AgiDSE4pDn4nSc9CsqxZG

Eternal Black, Bleed the Days (2017)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: The Golden Grass, Absolutely

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the golden grass absolutely

[Click play above to stream ‘The Spell’ from The Golden Grass’ new LP Absolutely. Album is out April 6 via Listenable Records with preorders here and The Golden Grass are on tour in Europe with Heat this May. Click here to pop out the tour poster.]

The very first lyrics one hears on the opening track of The Golden Grass‘ third long-player, Absolutely, arrive in the line, ‘I want a piece of the action.’ In no small way, that’s been the story of the Brooklynite trio all along. The boogie-minded trio made their self-titled debut (review here) in 2014 through Svart, and followed that up by signing to Listenable Records for the 2016 release of Coming Back Again (review here), a more spacious and progressive offering that nonetheless held onto the maddening catchiness of its predecessor. With Absolutely, they do likewise, and rein in some of the more complex impulses of the second album in favor of good-time heavy rock more akin to the debut.

Like everything the band has done since their outset, that can only be the result of a conscious decision — nothing in this group, whether it’s the vocal harmonies between drummer Adam Kriney and guitarist Michael Rafalowich on “Catch Your Eye,” the opener alluded to above, or the persistent shuffle in the penultimate “Out on the Road,” on which KrineyRafalowich and bassist/backing vocalist Frank Caira put themselves in direct conversation with “Wheels” from the debut in several interesting and telling ways. As they tell tales of the road, to think of a line like “Rock and roll was just out of season” working its way into “Out on the Road” could easily be taken as an assessment of their touring experience over the last several years, at least in the US. At the same time, “Out on the Road,” which is the longest track on the 39-minute Absolutely at 8:58, operates more efficiently than did “Wheels,” or, say, “See it Through” from Coming Back Again, the perspective of which also seems to be a factor here.

Could it be that a cynical or more jaded perspective is taking hold in the band after two records that, by all accounts, probably didn’t get the attention they deserved for their stylistic cohesion, nuance of sound, and quality of performance and craft? It wouldn’t be unreasonable if that were the case, but I’m not sure it is, because while The Golden Grass may have their frustrations as they approach the end of a resoundingly productive first half-decade together — three records, numerous tours at home and abroad, picked up by quality labels pretty much from the beginning — they’ve also never seemed to put more into their songwriting or arrangements. Cuts like “Show Your Hand” and “Runaway” deftly balance accessibility and subtlety in their execution.

the golden grass

The hooks are forward as ever, but there’s more complexity to the interplay of the trio singing together that would seem to be a lesson learned from Coming Back Again and repurposed into more straightforward songwriting — not that there isn’t still room for some psychedelic flourish from Rafalowich‘s guitar in “Runaway” or the brief “Never You Mind,” just that it comes in conjunction with the ultra-boogie of side B’s “The Spell” and harder-edged closer “Begging the Question,” which brings Iron Butterfly-via-Hendrix-style late ’60s fuzz to bear amid a longer instrumental stretch of dug-in turns and more highlight lead work from Rafalowich, who shines throughout Absolutely in a way he hasn’t yet done in The Golden Grass‘ material. The same could be said of his vocals as well in standing up to Kriney‘s still-the-lead-singer positioning, and more than ever, it’s the dynamic between these two that lets The Golden Grass be who they are throughout this mature and deceptively forward, hook-laden and gorgeously executed third outing.

And if The Golden Grass “want a piece of the action” — which I’ll grant they’re talking about in something of a different context in “Catch Your Eye,” but I still think applies to their situation overall; they started out as a band with an idea of who they were looking to match themselves with as broad an audience as possible — one could only say it would be a piece well earned. Their sound, which has always been so much their down despite basking in a swath of classic influences as it continues to do, has never sounded so developed or quite so engaging as it does here as “Never You Mind,” “Runaway” and the trippier “Walk Along” draw listeners deeper and deeper into the meat of the album, headed to the apex in “Out on the Road”‘s plotted but still jammy-sounding take, sounding no less like it was written for the stage than “The Spell” before it or “Show Your Hand” earlier in the tracklisting. Having long since mastered their aesthetic, The Golden Grass have yet to stop developing it, and that’s emblematic of the underlying force of will that drives them overall. Make no mistake, they still sound positive. The melodies are still sweet. The songs are still unbridled, unashamed fun and the vibe remains as upbeat and welcoming as one could possibly ask.

Three albums deep into their tenure, it’s strange to think of The Golden Grass as underrated, or as a cult band despite the absolute lack of sinister edge to what they do, but somehow both terms apply. Nonetheless, what was true about them four years ago remains true on Absolutely, and that’s that their good-times spirit is delivered with genuine and engaging energy and that it puts them in a category of their own in heavy rock, and remains a very-much-needed breath of fresh air in a heavy rock scene so often geared toward pessimism. Underrated or not, The Golden Grass remain a singular good time and sound more content than ever to let the rest of the world do what it is while they throw a party to which anyone and everyone who can get down — even for just a little while — is invited. That means you. They don’t want your blood. They just want you do dance. For those who take on the dare to let loose and meet The Golden Grass on their own level, Absolutely should be no less revered than anything they’ve done to-date. If anything, more so.

The Golden Grass on Thee Facebooks

The Golden Grass on Bandcamp

The Golden Grass on Twitter

Listenable Records on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Twitter

Listenable Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: River Cult, Halcyon Daze

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

river cult halcyon daze

[Click play above to stream the title-track of River Cult’s Halcyon Daze. The album is out Feb. 9 with a release show March 15 via Blackseed Records and Nasoni Records.]

Getting and having one’s house inorder are two very different things, but River Cult seem to manage both on their Blackseed Records and Nasoni Records debut album, Halcyon Daze. The five-track long-player, on which not one song is under seven minutes long, follow a promising 2016 demo that was among the year’s best short releases, and takes a tack of exploring a variety of different styles and moods, all of them heay in one way or another and drawn together by an overarching sense of tonal heft that permeates whether it’s the tense build-up-leading-to-rolling-fuzz-wall of centerpiece “Seething” or the dreamy, drifting end of 11-minute second cut and highlight “The Sophist” just prior.

Either way, River Cult — the Brooklyn-based trio of Sean Forlenza, Anthony Mendolia, and Tav Palumbo — sound like they’ve definitely been to school when it comes to their influences, and whether it’s the Acrimony-style grit, roll, drift and nod of “The Sophist” or the West Coast boogie into spacious slowdown in opener “Likelihood of Confusion,” which only minutes prior to hitting the cosmos proffered softshoe-worthy wah swirl and swing and the first of the album’s many jammed-out-feeling leads. At various points throughout they ask aesthetic questions about what might’ve happened if Thrasher magazine had taken over the world circa 1997 and, particularly on the title-track, what might’ve happened had Chris Hakius taken on a role drumming for Acid King. These issues, along with shades of Dead Meadow-style shoegazing on closer “Point of Failure,” are met with workaday lyrics and a loose-swinging vibe that, at less than a moment’s notice, is prone to kick into explorations of full-on Man’s Ruin-style fuzz overdrive.

The key word there might be “explorations,” and that’s because although Halcyon Daze sets itself purposefully to the work of proffering earthy tonality and a classic stoner fuckall in its looseness of structure and willingness to depart from verses and choruses into more open jamming, River Cult by no means sound set in their ways, and the 41-minute album carries the spirit of a band in the process of discovering who they are together as players and where they want to go in terms of their sound. Having first gotten together in 2015, it’s not entirely surprising they’d be at this stage on their first full-length, and it’s much to their credit that they capture the moment with the obvious commitment to sonic organics they show here.

To wit, after unfurling a groove of such deeply-weighted fuzz, the title-track moves easily into a soundscape of vast, drifting post-rock guitar drones that work on a long fade into the garage-via-Stooges riff that starts closer “Point of Failure.” That they’d cover such a swath of ground on their first long-player is impressive enough, but to do so with the kind of fluidity they bring out of the patient opening minutes of “Seething,” for example, or the confidence on display as “Likelihood of Confusion” begins its pivot almost exactly at its midpoint before, at 4:30, crashing through the door of its next sonic dimension. They’re an East Coast band, to be sure, and “The Sophist,” “Halcyon Daze” and the crunchier, grunge-minded sections of “Point of Failure” show that edge, but there’s little here one might consider confrontational, and rather, River Cult invite their listeners along with them on their journey of discovery as they feel their way ahead into what one hopes is the just the beginning stages of a longer-term sonic development.

river cult

And to its credit and to the band’s credit, where that development might ultimately bring River Cult feels like a secondary consideration in comparison to the groove here, which at points recalls earliest Fu Manchu and other such before-stoner-rock-had-a-name rawness. Taking advantage of the room in each track to flesh out their parts and ride the riffs to hypnotic and repetitive effect, as on the title-track’s outward trajectory or what seems to be a switch from otherworldliness to personal criticism on “The Sophist,” the first chorus of which brings the standout lines, “Sophistry/Yeah, you talk too much.” This perspective, somewhat disaffected but not necessarily raging, is writ large throughout Halcyon Daze, and it helps River Cult find their balance between more weighted, riffier fare and more atmospheric psychedelia.

It’s also worth noting that, while I have little doubt that Halcyon Daze was put together with a vinyl release in mind — “Likelihood of Confusion” and “The Sophist” on one side, “Seething,” “Halcyon Daze” and “Point of Failure” on the other — the album works perhaps even better in linear form, taken as one whole work unfolding in different stages in ups and downs of energy, pace, volume and emotion, weaving its way into and out of jams whole always keeping its ultimate trajectory forward, as shown when the feedback and noise wash of “Seething” gives way into “Halcyon Daze” or the effects loops of “Likelihood of Confusion” seem to dive into the airy tones that spread themselves over the initial going in “The Sophist.”

The bottom line is there’s a lot happening on Halcyon Daze when it’s taken front-to-back — which is how it feels like it was meant to be taken — and while one might imagine or expect River Cult to continue solidifying their approach in style and structure, what they’ve crafted in the meantime stands among the most promising Brooklynite heavy psychedelic debuts since Naam‘s Kingdom EP and should be commended for its level of craft, naturalism of execution, and unbridled flow. It’s a good one to get lost in, so go ahead and get lost in it.

River Cult on Thee Facebooks

River Cult on Instagram

River Cult on Twitter

River Cult on Bandcamp

Blackseed Records website

Blackseed Records on Thee Facebooks

Blackseed Records on Bandcamp

Nasoni Records on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Six Dumb Questions with Somnuri

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on January 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

somnuri

You really wanna know what took me so long to come around to Somnuri‘s Somnuri (review here)? Why I wasn’t immediately on the Brooklyn trio’s Magnetic Eye self-titled debut the way I should’ve been? Is the suspense killing you?

Probably not, but the truth is I knew that when it came to Somnuri, a three-piece featuring guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell (Blackout, ex-Bezoar, etc.), bassist Drew Mack (ex-Hull) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo (Family), there was just about no way I wasn’t going to dig the album. Then it was just going to be one more CD that I really wanted that I couldn’t really afford to shell out for, and that would only lead to frustration and ultimately I didn’t immediately give the digital promo the time of day it very much deserved because, well, it was going to kick ass. And you know what? It did.

Released in Sept. 2017, Somnuri‘s Somnuri builds outward atmospherically from the traditions of intensity that permeate New York’s particular brand of noise rock. One can hear shades of modern progressive metal noodling in Sherrell‘s guitar — I don’t know this for a fact, but he strikes as the kind of guy who can pick up just about any instrument in front of him and wail on it — and the accompanying turns in Mack‘s bass and SanGiacomo‘s drumming. The proceedings are furious and contemplative in kind, a thoughtful onslaught that runs about 40 minutes and yeah, makes me want to pick up the CD as soon as possible.

Because, by the way, I still buy CDs. Maybe you’ve got room for all your vinyl in that mansion of yours, but I’m working with what I’ve got here.

Somnuri, who could’ve easily blown my ass off and been like, “yeah buddy, you’re way late on our record and you suck therefore bite it,” were kind enough to tackle the following short interview to give some background on how the songs and the album came together, and where they might be headed from here.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

somnuri somnuri

Six Dumb Questions with Somnuri

Tell me about Somnuri getting together. How did the band form and how did the sound start to take shape? Was there a concept behind the sound before you got started?

Phil SanGiacomo: We all knew each other from playing in local bands and it was probably bound to happen. Justin had a longtime project he wanted to bring to life and asked me to try some drum grooves over his ideas. We’re both natural drummers that play guitar, so the dynamic was great. I was really into the rawness and rhythmic intensity of the riffs and tried to emulate them as best I could on drums. Drew came in to play second guitar but I think we all quickly realized that the low end was priority. Being an adaptive and versatile player, Drew filled this role perfectly and added more texture. We all agreed that we liked the rigidness of the power trio and we were on our way. We’ve never really discussed any defining concepts, but those things do develop naturally over time. Nothing is off the table with Somnuri and in many ways, the sound has shaped itself.

What was the songwriting process like for the self-titled? How long did it take for the album to come together and how much did everyone contribute to the tracks?

Justin Sherrell: I had been writing riffs knowing that they wouldn’t necessarily fit with bands I was in at the time and kind of putting them in the vault. At some point, the vault started to get to full, so when Drew and Phil came in the mix there was maybe three or four pretty complete tunes with skeletons of a few more. It was a little difficult at first, being able to take criticism on things that I never intended for anybody to hear. It didn’t take long to settle into our perspective roles and really push and pull each other to get new, fresh takes on ideas that were kind of just sitting around. All in all, it took about two years to write and record this album. At the end of recording, we ended up with more material than could fit on a record, which we plan on using for a split or an EP. Or fuck it, maybe just give it away.

How was your time in the studio with Jeff Berner? He did the guitars and drums, but who did the bass and vocals? How long were you in the studio altogether and what was the vibe like as the album started to take shape?

Drew Mack: Recording in Studio G with Jeff Berner was like meeting some lost lover in a newly built version of your favorite bar. We all immediately became good pals and Jeff really didn’t seem to mind how much nerding out we did over all of Studio G‘s extensive gear selection. We were however on somewhat of a time crunch/budget so the idea was to mainly just get drums in an awesome room and do most of everything else in our practice space. As it turned out, not only did we settle into the process so easily and quickly, we also have a complete beast of a drummer who does everything in one take with no clicks, no flubs, no prisoners. So we just kept moving right along and decided to track some of the guitars there as well! I think we basically had a total of three whole days in Studio G and then moved on to our practice space where we could spend as much time as we wanted capturing more guitar, bass, and all the vocal layers. Having Phil mix the record gave us a lot of freedom to experiment and get the right takes. Most importantly, we feel we captured our sound well.

Talk about the cover art. The piece by Miriam Corothers is striking and gives the album a very progressive look. Where did it come from and how was it chosen to represent the record? What is the significance of its use to the band?

PS: We loved Miriam’s enthusiasm about the music and ultimately trusted her vision, which was a sort of collage of different shapes, each containing juxtaposed elements of nature. The result was a dreamscape like image. I think it’s a great visual representation of how fluid our sound can be, but still bold and unforgiving.

You guys cast a pretty broad sound throughout these tracks. Can you give me any idea where Somnuri might head from here in terms of sonic direction? Is there anything in particular you want to try next time around coming off of this record?

DM: I personally find it extremely exciting to cast a large sonic shadow over all the silly, albeit usefully coined genres in heavy music today. I think all three of us listen to an extensive range of music styles and personally, I find it more difficult in these sonically saturated times to remain excited throughout an entire album. My only hope in moving forward is that we continue to explore ways to stay excited and proud of the music we create, and, for me, that usually means we have to try to remain DIFFERENT.

Any plans or closing words you want to mention?

JS: Our plans at this point are to keep writing new tunes and keep it fresh! We‘re gonna start hitting the road more and playing out of NYC. Right now, starting with East Coast runs and then putting together some more extensive tours. We’re excited to meet new bands and potential fans alike.

Somnuri, Somnuri (2017)

Somnuri on Thee Facebooks

Somnuri on Bandcamp

Magnetic Eye Records on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

The Golden Grass Announce April 6 Release for New LP Absolutely

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

THE GOLDEN GRASS

It stands to reason there would be a new record from The Golden Grass this year, but that doesn’t make the confirmation of its coming any less welcome. Given the righteous title Absolutely the third long-player and second for Listenable Records from the good-time-harmonious Brooklynite trio will comprise eight tracks and see release April 6. The central question involved is whether the new offering will continue down the progressive path that their 2016 sophomore outing, Coming Back Again (review here), or readjust the focus back toward the classic-feeling hooks that permeated The Golden Grass‘ 2014 Svart Records self-titled debut (review here). Nothing this band does is by mistake, so wherever they end up, you can get it’s entirely right where they want to be sound-wise. I look forward to finding out just where that is.

Info from the PR wire. Be friends with it:

the golden grass absolutely

THE GOLDEN GRASS: Psychedelic Retro Rock Power Trio To Release Absolutely Full-Length Via Listenable Records This Spring

Brooklyn, New York’s THE GOLDEN GRASS is free-wheelin’, good-time rock ‘n’ roll band manifesting a soulful mix of heavy-country-funk-boogie and progressive-psychedelic-freakbeat. The group effortlessly draws their influence from a time when rock ruled the world as if they truly are from that “Golden” era. But their gift to us is in The Now, and it is an epic, soulful, and hard-hitting maelstrom of anthemic and tough-swinging aural delights.

THE GOLDEN GRASS will release their third full-length, titled Absolutely, this Spring via Listenable Records. An eight-track sonic adventure steeped in psychedelic flavored blues riffs, the mind-warping fantasy of early progressive/jazz rock, a pulsating British freakbeat/mod sound, heavy doses of proto-metal power, funk, sou, and a southern rock edge, Absolutely is undoubtedly the band’s strongest, most accomplished offering to date.

Absolutely will see North American release on April 6th via Listenable Records with teaser tracks, preorders, and further info to be announced in the coming weeks.

Absolutely Track Listing:
1. Catch Your Eye
2. Show Your Hand
3. Never You Mind
4. Runaway
5. Walk Along
6. The Spell
7. Out On The Road
8. Begging The Question

THE GOLDEN GRASS Discography:
456thDiv. – Cassette EP
One More Time / Tornado 7″ EP
A Curious Case / The Pilgrim 7″ EP
Realisations 11″ EP
The Golden Grass (Svart Records)
Coming Back Again (Listenable Records)
Absolutely (Listenable Records)

http://www.facebook.com/thegoldengrass
http://www.twitter.com/TheeGoldenGrass
http://www.thegoldengrass.bandcamp.com
http://www.listenable.net
http://www.facebook.com/listenablerecs
http://www.twitter.com/Listenable

The Golden Grass, Coming Back Again (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,