Unearthly Trance Reunite and Announce Live Shows; Writing New Material

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been a minute since Unearthly Trance had anything going, but since the three members of the band have been working in Serpentine Path, I guess a reunion as Unearthly Trance never seemed out of the question. Well, it’s happened. After issuing what was called “their final release” in the form of the 2CD compilation Ouroboros last December on Throne Records, the three-piece has come back together and are at worm on new material for a sixth full-length and have announced three live dates in Brooklyn and out on Long Island that seem like a solid start — they’re certainly keeping good company — for a group getting back together in this incarnation.

Just off the PR wire:

unearthly trance (Photo by Will Dahl)

UNEARTHLY TRANCE: Band Announces Reformation; Live Performances

Like a phoenix undead, Brooklyn based black/doom/sludge trio Unearthly Trance has returned! After putting the band on ice in 2012, Darren Verni, Ryan Lipynsky and Jay Newman have decided to resurrect and start playing together once again. The band is already currently writing new music for what will be their sixth full-length album and fourth for Relapse Records.

2015 has shown sparks of life already for the band with the 2xCD release of Ouroboros; a compilation of hard to find songs, vinyl only releases and a few unreleased gems from years past. This collection was released on Throne Records and is available at this location.

In the past Unearthly Trance has shared the stage with the heaviest bands on the planet including The Melvins, Sleep, Electric Wizard, High On Fire, Autopsy and Morbid Angel to name a few. Now Unearthly Trance have announced their first performances in over three years with a few NYC area shows booked in May and July with support from Samothrace, Primitive Man and Churchburn. A series of Northeast dates are also in the works for August as well as a soon to be announced Fest in California this November. A complete listing of confirmed dates is available below.

Although Unearthly Trance became inactive in 2012, the three members were still active and releasing monolithic death/doom records under the banner of Serpentine Path which includes Tim Bagshaw (Ramesses, Electric Wizard) and Stephen Flam (Winter). Serpentine Path will be performing at this year’s Maryland Death Fest 2015 in Baltimore on May 23rd. Lipynsky and Newman also have a new project called Humanless and Lipynsky also keeps busy with Black Metal band The Howling WInd and newer band Force & Fire. Newman has also appeared on the debut recording from Kaiju Daisenso and Verni also pounds the drums for The Sheltering Sky.

Stay tuned for more news on Unearthly Trance including a new merch store (http://unearthlytrance.merchdirect.com/) and a new blog for future info http://unearthly-trance.blogspot.com/

Unearthly Trance Tour Dates:

May 24th 2015 @ Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY W/ Samothrace, Trenchgrinder and Beefrot
July 17th 2015 @ The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY W/ Churchburn and Belus
July 21st 2015 @ Sinclairs -Babylon, NY W/ Primitive Man, Opium Lord, Mother Brain, Afterbirth + more

https://unearthlytrance1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/UnearthlyTrance
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

Unearthly Trance, V (2010)

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Kings Destroy, Kings Destroy: Songs of the City (Plus Track Premiere!)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kings destroy kings destroy

[PLEASE: Press play above to hear the premiere of “Mythomania” from Kings Destroy’s self-titled, due out May 5 on War Crime Recordings. Thanks to the band and label and Earsplit PR for allowing me to host the song with this review.]

There is no band currently active I feel as close to as Kings Destroy, and if you’ve read this site at any point over the last five years, you’ve probably in some measure seen that relationship develop. Their first 7″, Old Yeller/Medusa (review here) introduced them in 2010 as a group of NYHC veterans — guitarists Carl Porcaro and Chris Skowronski of Killing Time, vocalist Steve Murphy of Uppercut, while drummer Rob Sefcik was in both Electric Frankenstein and Begotten — exploring heavy stoner doom riffing in a definitively East Coast style, an undercurrent of aggression never far off even at that formative stage. The subsequent debut LP, And the Rest Will Surely Perish, was released through this site’s in-house label, The Maple Forum (original announcement here), and that album further demonstrated the band’s doomly refinement in cuts like “The Mountie” and “Old Yeller,” which still feature in live sets on the regular. It was a record I was proud to be associated with in the small way I was, and one to which I continue to have significant sentimental attachment, even if everything the band has done since has blown it out of the water. Their second full-length, 2013’s A Time of Hunting (not reviewed, but discussed here), was released on War Crime Recordings and brought changes in the songwriting process with the departure of bassist Ed Bocchino and arrival of Aaron Bumpus, and the result was a genre-defying work that retained the heaviness of the debut, but set a context for itself that was neither doom nor not-doom, a strange and effective atmosphere pervading especially the reaches of side B (a vinyl is due any day now on Hydro-Phonic) songs like “A Time of Hunting” and closer “Turul.” Even the relatively straightforward “Casse-Tete” and “The Toe” had an off-kilter aspect to them, a weirdness to their attack that became, at least for me, the defining characteristic of the album.

I’ve seen Kings Destroy over 30 times in the last few years — that’s a literal figure, not an exaggeration — toured with them twice last year and would again in a minute, conditions permitting. I consider them friends, so when I say that their self-titled third album is their best work to-date, you can take it either one of two ways: Either I’m partial because of my relationship with the band, or I’m the guy who’d know better than just about anyone else, save perhaps the band members themselves and producer Sanford Parker, who’s worked with them on all three of their records (Mike Moebius of Moonlight Mile as well). Comprised of seven tracks totaling a vinyl-minded 34 minutes and topped off with Josh Graham artwork that captures the city-minded grit at the heart of its construction, Kings Destroy‘s Kings Destroy strips down the anti-genre turns of A Time of Hunting to something rawer, truer to their live presentation, and ultimately bolder in its style. When they want to, they write a fierce hook — “Mr. O,” opener “Smokey Robinson,” “Embers” — and when they want to, they delve as deep into oppressive atmospherics as they’ve yet gone — closer “Time for War.” Three albums in, their songwriting is diverse in pace and intent, but equally assured throughout, and their sound has found a place that’s unconcerned with genre even to the point of not working against it. “Mr. O,” an immediate highlight following the Beavis and Butt-Head-worthy chug of “Smokey Robinson,” is an unabashed stoner rock song and a paean to Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson, called “Mr. October,” that’s laid out honestly enough to not care who it might alienate or how. It finds companionship in the album’s second half with the relatively upbeat “Green Diamonds,” but is nonetheless a beast unto itself within the Kings Destroy catalog. They may never do anything else like it, but even if not, it’s ground they’ve covered and covered well, with all the frenetic movement and blistering solo work one could ask. The subsequent “W2″ thuds harder — Sefcik sets the rolling groove that the guitars and bass seem to be riding — and is slower, but solidifies the concrete-and-pavement vibe of Kings Destroy‘s urban portrayal, the album depicting a city, New York, that’s both dangerous and alluring, dirty and gone, worthy of scorn and nostalgia. It’s not outlet shopping and bike lanes. It’s smoggy air and the fear of being stabbed.

kings destroy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This atmosphere — a classic image of New York toughness — is maintained without, for the most part, playing into to the band’s hardcore past (also present; Killing Time plays sporadic shows). A confrontational sensibility emerged on A Time for Hunting, which not only was weird as hell but punching you in the face with that weirdness, and there’s some of that on Kings Destroy as well on “Smokey Robinson” or “Time for War,” with its gang vocals and slow, seething crawl, but the album isn’t limited to one angle or direction of approach. Enter “Mythomania,” the centerpiece of the tracklist. With a creeping guitar intro, subdued, open verses and hair-raising chorus payoffs leading to an apex that provides one of Kings Destroy‘s most satisfying emotional resolutions, marked out by Murphy‘s best performance here — his voice and the listener’s back seem to break at the same time at the very end of the song — and leading the way into “Embers,” which is the longest cut at 6:25 and furthers the grandiose feel with an even catchier roll. The ability to shift into and out of these modes so smoothly is one of the clearest instances of growth since their start, and ultimately it’s the balance of patience with an underlying intensity in “Mythomania” and “Embers” that makes them such landmarks for the band. When “Green Diamonds” hits, it’s something of a return to earth, a shorter, quicker pulse placed to set the stage for “Time for War,” though its value is more than positional. An atmospheric shift, it’s also the most straightforward verse/chorus hook on Kings Destroy, emphasizing the album’s little need for frills when a concise, efficient method will do, which it does. How then to explain “Time for War?” A new expression of the experimental bent that last time led to “Turul,” maybe? A nod to the increasingly blurred line between hardcore and doom? Maybe this is a cop-out, but I think it’s just another song Kings Destroy wanted to write. Its build, slow, understated, but still mean, ready to boil over, is perhaps the most “New York” of the bunch, Murphy growling over an abrasive drone and a churning riff before the gang vocals kick in. It’s both the most atmospheric and the most crushing piece on the album, and its duality suits it well.

But Kings Destroy‘s Kings Destroy doesn’t end in the chaos one might expect, and “Time for War” doesn’t build to a driving climax. It has a payoff, to be sure, but ultimately, it passes quietly into a softer drum progression and quiet guitars and bass, that drone still there to lead the way out after Sefcik‘s final crash. All the more fitting that the band should cap the record by skirting the anticipated move, since that’s been their specialty all along, from their let’s-riff-and-see-what-happens beginnings through this self-titled’s assured sense of sonic personality and well-honed, individualized take. It’s true that I’m a fan of the band, and I’m more than willing to acknowledge that I’m in no way impartial as regards their work, but the fact of the matter is I’ve been listening to this record for the better part of a year in one form or another, if not over a year, and it’s quite simply the best thing they’ve done up to now. The songs are memorable and well defined, but feed into an overarching flow that’s executed confidently now matter how far out it goes, and the translation of what Kings Destroy do live is an accomplishment unto itself. Call me biased. I’ll take a lesson from the album and not give a fuck. Recommended.

Kings Destroy on Thee Facebooks

Kings Destroy on Twitter

War Crime Recordings

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GIVEAWAY: Win Borracho & Eggnogg Split 7″ Vinyl from Palaver Records!

Posted in Features on March 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

borracho eggnogg vinyl

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Easily one of the best short releases I’ve heard so far this year, I’m stoked to be able to giveaway TWO copies of the brand new Sludgy Erna Bastard split 7″ by Borracho and Eggnogg. The vinyl was released on March 19 by Palaver Records, and to win a copy all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Make sure your email address is in the form provided so if your name is drawn, I actually have a way to contact you. Would be helpful. Winners will be drawn and notified on (or around) Monday, March 30.

Sludgy Erna Bastard (review here) brings new material from both outfits, Washington D.C. trio Borracho‘s “King’s Disease” offering a taste of what the follow-up to 2013’s Oculus might hold and their progression as a riff-riding three-piece after a likewise encouraging split last year with Boston’s Cortez, while Eggnogg provide a reminder of their elephantine stomp and gleefully weirdo vibe with “Slugworth,” their first new studio track since 2012’s Louis EP and released ahead of the coming full-length, You’re all Invited.

I feel like past the words “free vinyl,” this one doesn’t really need me to sell it, but both cuts are quality work on the part of the bands, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the giveaway. Vinyl is limited to 300 copies with art from Eggnogg‘s Justin M. Karol, and if you need a refresher of the badassery on hand, here’s the full stream of both tracks:

Once again, how to enter:

Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form provided. Please note: I neither have the interest nor the capacity to save or sell any personal information given to me. You will not be added to any email lists as a result of entering. It’s really just free vinyl.

Good luck to all who enter and thanks to Palaver Records for the giveaway! Please check them out and the bands as well.

Palaver Records

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

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Blackout, Blackout: Cavetone

Posted in Reviews on March 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

blackout blackout

Blackout‘s self-titled full-length debut is going to get its point across, even if it has to roll right over you to do it. About 18 months after releasing their debut EP, We are Here (review here), the Brooklynite trio enter RidingEasy Records‘ worldwide search for the biggest riffs with their first LP, a seven-song monolith of thickened tones, blown-out vocals and molasses-churning groove with enough lumber in it to replenish your favorite rainforest. Perhaps its most distinguishing feature is its unrepentant primitive stylization. That is, Blackout are not interested in carving their own niche so much as caveman-clubbing the impulse to do in the first place. Blackout‘s 38 minutes offer little deviation from the central theme of play-loud-play-large, and guitarist/vocalist Christian Gordy, bassist Justin Sherrell and drummer Taryn Waldman seem to delight in such a weighted presentation of a classic punker ethic, keeping simple what, when done so well, requires no complication in the first place. Like We are Here before it, Blackout carves neatly into two sides — all song titles single words — and was clearly intended to convey a vinyl listening experience, but the album goes a step further in affirming that what seemed formative on We are Here is, in fact, the basis for Blackout‘s aesthetic. They weren’t just screwing around, and they weren’t about to go off and sacrifice the heaviness working so much in their favor in the name of progression. One can hear growth on Blackout‘s self-titled from the prior EP, but it’s more about how assured the three-piece sounds in what they’re doing than about an uptick in stylistic range.

This is fortunate. While one may have expected that Blackout‘s stomping MelvinsSleep and (inevitably) Sabbath idolatry would’ve led them to more intricate explorations, the album’s better off for not. A solid minute of feedback buildup introduces opener “Lost,” which delivers its chorus late but makes for a resonant, rumbling launch nonetheless, the first of four on side A and followed by the eponymous “Blackout.” Subtle layers of guitar in the beginning give way to a raucous, shouted hook before a stop sets up a chugging, thudding build that returns to full heft just before the three-minute mark but keeps a slower tempo until about the last 20 seconds, at which point it returns to the hook to finish out. In many ways — tonally, ethically, and for the most part structurally — the course of Blackout‘s Blackout is set. Closing duo “Tannered” and “Human” on side B are longer and push into jammier roll, but as a sample of what the album has to offer, the first two tracks serve well, the underlying sense of chaos in the opener standing in as a preview of the noise wash that also closes. Third cut “Nightmare” picks up with Sherrell‘s bass and Waldman‘s drums before the guitar joins in, but Gordy isn’t far off, and the slowdown and echoing drawl of the vocals feel both in character for the band and a nod to the tempo shifts that make their material fresh and exciting despite its familiar elemental makeup. “Nightmare” has a touch more atmosphere to it than “Blackout,” which is the shortest cut on Blackout at four minutes, and the end-section freak-jam is a highlight of side A, which caps with the marching “Sprites.”

blackout

Side B picks up with “Cross,” which seems to herald business as usual, right down to the wailing over the slowdown in its midsection, but proves immersive nonetheless as its pushes toward a false ending and beyond with commanding, hypnotic repetition that seems to be interrupted by a final verse before a big rock finish that sounds drunker than it probably is ends the song. The primary impression of Blackout‘s second half, however, is in “Tannered” and “Human.” Like the song “Blackout,” “Tannered” appeared last year on Blackout‘s live-recorded Converse EP (review here) along with a cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” that, if the self-titled’s album art is a reference to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks‘ 1973 Buckingham Nicks debut, at least means it wouldn’t be the first Fleetwood Mac association. Here though, “Tannered” is more assured and volatile. Vocals are layered in shouts and screams, but too deep in the mix to be abrasive, and by the time Blackout get there, pretty much anything goes. Vocals come forward late and the song ends cold, leading to the seven-minute “Human,” which is the longest of the record and follows a linear course pushing to the apex of its final movement with plenty of room for a squibbled solo in the meantime. There aren’t too many surprises on Blackout, and it’s not like GordySherrell and Waldman are hiding anything up their collective sleeve, but what makes the album work is precisely that. It’s a raw, honest and unremittingly heavy full-length debut makes zero effort to pretend to be anything it isn’t, and ultimately, it would seem unfair to ask anything more of it that what’s delivered. Fuck it, riff out.

Blackout, Blackout (2015)

Blackout on Thee Facebooks

Blackout on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records

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Godmaker, Mountain God and Kosmodemonic Announce April Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next month, Brooklyn doom-sludgers GodmakerMountain God and Kosmodemonic will head out on a four-date long-weekender throughout the Northeast. Of course they’ll play Brooklyn, but also Salem, Mass., Philly, PA, and New Paltz, NY, on the run put on by Some Pig Presents. For both Godmaker and Mountain God, it will be their first out-of-town shows since their latest releases came out, Godmaker having issued a self-titled (review here) on Aqualamb and Mountain God having recently overseen the release of their single-song EP, Forest of the Lost (review/stream here). Owing more in style to black metal than the other two, Kosmodemonic released their Chapel Perilous EP on tape last year.

The PR wire has it like this:

godmaker-mountain-god-kosmodemonic-tour-poster

Some Pig Presents: GODMAKER / MOUNTAIN GOD / KOSMODEMONIC Spring 2015 Tour

Local purveyors of doom/psych/sludge metal Godmaker, Mountain God, and Kosmodemonic will be joining forces and taking to the proverbial band van for a 4-date regional run this coming April. Having carved out a strong presence in the Brooklyn heavy scene, all three groups now prepare to destroy on a regional scale, with a string of appearances throughout the Northeast and the support of prominent heavy acts along the way.

Despite having only formed in 2013, Godmaker has already come to be regarded as a musical force that is impossible to ignore, not only in Brooklyn but throughout the metal community at large. They’ve shared the stage with prominent doom and sludge bands including Weedeater, Floor, and Black Cobra, and their self-titled debut, released in November 2014 by Aqualamb records, was received with rave reviews.

With a more atmospheric, but no less confrontational, take on doom metal, Mountain God adds depth and complexity to pure volume through the use of layered textures and labyrinthine songcraft. The result is dense and compelling pieces of music, both in the form of delicately crafted studio work, and a truly cathartic live show. Spring 2015 finds them hot on the heels of their latest release, the 19-minute opus Forest of the Lost. Rounding out the core lineup is Brooklyn-based blackened doom metal specialists Kosmodemonic, whose 2014 debut EP Chapel Perilous reveals an enormous amount of potential from a band fixated on pummeling listeners to the point of hypnosis.

Collectively, these three bands represent a new wave of Brooklyn doom. While rooted in the traditions of pounding brutality and mountainous volume, each brings a refreshing sense of innovation, and a distinctive voice to the world of underground metal. The time has come for this wave to spread beyond Brooklyn, for the new doom to be unleashed…

Dates:

Thursday, April 9 at Don Pedro (Brooklyn, NY) with special guests Maggot Brain and Sun Voyager
Friday, April 10 at Koto (Salem, MA) with special guests Conclave and Eerie
Saturday, April 11 at Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA) with special guests TBA
Sunday, April 12 at Snug Harbor (New Paltz, NY) with special guests Harrower

https://www.facebook.com/events/773672286057402/
https://www.facebook.com/godmakerbk
https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
https://www.facebook.com/kosmodemonic

Godmaker, Godmaker (2014)

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Kings Destroy Self-Titled CD/LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kings destroy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

When Kings Destroy issued A Time of Hunting in 2013, I more recommended the album than reviewed it, which felt fair. I was haunted by that record’s genre transgressions and felt compelled to say something, but didn’t want to even attempt to feign objectivity in a review. Their new one, which is self-titled and out in May on War Crime Recordings, will be reviewed. Not that I’m any more distant from this batch of songs than that one — having accompanied the five-piece on tour twice last year, I feel pretty close, actually — just that with a record between this and their 2010 debut, And the Rest Will Surely Perish, which came out on this site’s once-upon-a-time in-house label, The Maple Forum, maybe I’m a little more comfortable dropping the pretense. Or maybe I just wanna talk about how “Smokey Robinson” kicks ass. Whatever. Either way.

So look out for that in the weeks to come if you’re so inclined, and check out the album announcement below, complete with blurbs from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt and Pentagram‘s Bobby Liebling, as well as preorder links, courtesy of the PR wire:

kings destroy kings destroy

KINGS DESTROY: Brooklyn Stoner Rock/Doom Unit To Release New Full-Length Via War Crime Recordings; Preorders Available

Brooklyn stoner rock/doom unit KINGS DESTROY will unleash a brand new studio offering on May 5th. The self-titled monster and follow-up to last year’s critically-lauded A Time Of Hunting full-length was produced and mixed by Sanford Parker (Twilight, Voivod, Eyehategod, Yob etc.) at Studio G in Brooklyn, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) at The Boiler Room in Chicago and delivers seven, lead-footed doom rock hymns.

With their third album in four years, KINGS DESTROY leave their hardcore-born stamp on noise rock and doom. After sharing stages with Pentagram, Winter, Saint Vitus, Church of Misery, Yob, Pallbearer, Vista Chino, Orange Goblin, Trouble, Acid King, Corrosion Of Conformity and so many others, the five-piece stand tall with their defining statement. Championed Yob guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, “It’s a great album. Heavy, yes. Doom? Yes, with a dose of the best of the ’90s. I’m a fan of the ’90s,” he further elaborates, “so that is meant as a compliment. But what is best about KINGS DESTROY is that they write good songs. Helmet meets early Queens Of The Stone Age meets Kyuss/Unida, roughly. [Steve] Murphy’s vocals are strong and really steps up what is already killer. Great production, tones, performances.” Adds Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, “KINGS DESTROY is some heavy shit. I can feel the emotion. I can tell Murphy has got some serious pain; he’s singing from his balls.”

Kings Destroy Track Listing:
1. Smokey Robinson
2. Mr. O
3. W2
4. Mythomania
5. Embers
6. Green Diamonds
7. Time for War

KINGS DESTROY is the name of an infamous graffiti gang from the Bronx circa late ’70s/early ’80s. The band members met in this vicinity and were heavily involved in the New York Hardcore scene of the late ’80s that merged hardcore music, metal, graffiti and hip hop. The band unites musicians from many of the genres’ most prolific bands. Hailing from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, KINGS DESTROY features guitarists Carl Porcaro and Chris Skowronski from legendary, 100K album selling Killing Time, vocalist Steve Murphy from Uppercut, drummer Rob Sefcik formerly of The Begotten, Uppercut, Fur and Electric Frankenstein and bassist Aaron Bumpus.

Kings Destroy will be released on LP, CD and digitally on May 5th, 2015 via War Crime Recordings. CD preorders are currently available HERE. For vinyl preorders go HERE.

http://www.facebook.com/KingsDestroy
http://www.kingsdestroy.com
http://www.facebook.com/WarCrimeRecordings

Kings Destroy, “Smokey Robinson” Live at the Met, Pawtucket, RI

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On Wax: Sweet Times Vol. 2 Four-Way Split

Posted in On Wax on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sweet-times-vol-2-front-vinyl-glasses

If nothing else, the second installment in Who Can You Trust? RecordsSweet Times 7″ series is an efficient use of space. Perhaps even more than its predecessor, which also included four bands, it squeezes seemingly disparate takes on heavy rock onto two sides of what might come across as a sampler for busy heads on the go were it not for the fact that you need a turntable to listen to it. Still, an impressive feat, and all the more when one considers the ground it covers, from the sweet ’70s melodies of Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass to Italian psych-garage rockers Sultan Bathery on side A, and from the sweet classic punk of New York’s Metalleg to the doom-tease-into-Motörhead-jolt of Gorilla. All told, it’s done in under 10 minutes, depending on how fast you flip the platter, and gives a brief glance at some of what each band has to offer. sweet-times-vol-2-front-coverPlus, it comes with 3-D glasses! Because the future!

Yes, the artwork of the 7″, which is pressed in an edition of 500 copies (black vinyl) and comes in thick card stock, is colored so that the included class-style blue and red 3-D glasses make it pop out. Likely you don’t need me to tell you that’s awesome — all the more so because it actually includes the glasses — but even more of a draw are the four songs themselves. The Golden Grass lead off with “All You Have Grown” (premiered here), which at just over three minutes is actually the longest inclusion here. The trio don’t need anymore time than that to establish a resonant, bright melody and a hook, and while the track seems to end cold in comparison to some of what appeared on their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), one can hardly fault them, particularly in context of sharing the side with Sultan Bathery, whose handclap-inclusive “15 Minutes” is a fuzz-drenched rhythmic joy of primal proto-heavy. No time for frills, but a buzzsaw solo carries to side A’s sudden finish with just a second of tape hiss left over for good measure.

I feel like my hand is barely off the turntable arm before Metalleg‘s “Chained” is over. At just 74 seconds, it’s a warm-toned Ramones-style chorus the three-piece — who no doubt by now are tired of being compared to the Ramones — have crafted, and they quickly showcase a grasp for the affinity early punk showed for pop before pop-punk became a commercial force. The tone is warm and sweet-times-vol-2-side-bnatural, raw but not necessarily aggressive, which is all the better for Gorilla, who finish out Sweet Times Vol. 2 with “Three Squealer” by tossing off a measure of a riff spawned from the same muck that birthed “Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes” before they gleefully pull the rug from under it and, after a couple stick-clicks, hit into the aforementioned Motörhead-style rush. Given where they’re coming from, one would expect little wasted space in “Three Squealer” and Gorilla comply ably, ending the release with one last hook and genre crossover that, somehow, fits just as well as the donations from The Golden GrassSultan Bathery, and Metalleg.

Maybe part of what makes it work is that it’s done so soon, but I’m not inclined to argue either way. Who Can You Trust? Records has already issued a follow-up to Sweet Times Vol. 2 that includes Death AlleyWild HoneyPastor and Sonic Love Affair, so they’re keeping true to the form here in working at a speedy pace. It certainly serves the bands well, so I see no reason why it shouldn’t do the same for the label.

VA, Sweet Times Vol. 2 (2014)

The Golden Grass on Thee Facebooks

Sultan Bathery on The Facebooks

Metalleg on Thee Facebooks

Gorilla on Thee Facebooks

Who Can You Trust? Records’ BigCartel store

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

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Borracho and Eggnogg Announce Sludgy Erna Bastard Split; Both Tracks Streaming

Posted in audiObelisk on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

borracho

eggnogg

Today — pretty much right now, if you want to be technical about it — Palaver Records has launched preorders for the first in a series of split 7″s it’s calling Sludgy Erna Bastard. Say the title out loud and with just the right accent and it becomes a play on “sludgier than a bastard,” which is a standard that the first installment, featuring Washington D.C. heavy rockers Borracho and Brooklyn’s own Eggnogg, easily lives up to across its relatively brief span. Both bands contribute one song, topped off with cover art by Eggnogg guitarist Justin M. Karol, and between the two of them it’s more or less 11 minutes of choice, thick-cut riffing and heavy, rolled-out grooves, Borracho‘s “King’s Disease” finding that trio pushing further its modus of hooks and badass swing, while Eggnogg‘s “Slugworth” unleashes an elephantine stomp that’s bound to turn some heads their way.

borracho king's diseaseWhat the two bands have in common is that they’re both in the process of settling into their current configuration. For BorrachoSludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1 is another step forward from last year’s split with Boston’s Cortez (review here) and their second full-length, 2013’s Oculus (review here), and as one can hear on the track, guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano sound not only cohesive but dynamic, the chemistry between the three of them having been honed across a bevvy of short tours, around the Eastern Seaboard, in Europe last year (including a stop at Desertfest), and most recently for three shows in California last month. As their reach has expanded — they’ll also have a split out on Ripple in April/May with Volume IV — their riffy style has solidified, and after starting as a four-piece on their first album, 2011’s grower Splitting Sky (review here), they’ve progressed into one of the finest three-pieces East Coast heavy rock has to offer. “King’s Disease” has a touch of Southern-styled raucousness to it, but is right in line with the kind of roll that Borracho does best.

While Borracho went from four to three, Eggnogg have gone from three to four in the last couple years. Bassist Corey Dozier joined in 2013 as Bill O’Sullivan (also vocals) moved from bass to guitar alongside Karol, and drummer Jason Prushko (also of math-rockers Mean Little Blanket and numerous other projects) came aboard in 2012, following the recording of Eggnogg‘s most recent studio outing, the Louis EP (review here) — though they also had a compilation of material, Apocrypha, out in 2013. As the first recorded track with both Prushko and Dozier eggnogg slugworthinvolved, “Slugworth” bodes remarkably well for what might come when Eggnogg get down to releasing their awaited next full-length, You’re all Invited, as their nod has never sounded more righteous. “Slugworth” starts out all quiet an unassuming, but once the full tonal thickness kicks in, it’s an enviable push of low end, Prushko‘s kick drum the hard foot landing each crater-making marker of time. Palaver says Eggnogg‘s You’re all Invited is due to release later this year. Listening to “Slugworth,” I hope even more that turns out to be the case.

Sludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1: Borracho & Eggnogg is out March 19 and can be ordered now from Borracho‘s Bandcamp and Eggnogg‘s Bandcamp. Please enjoy the premiere of “King’s Disease” and “Slugworth” below, followed by the official announcement from Palaver:

Palaver Records announce split 7” featuring Borracho & Eggnogg

Palaver Records announce the release of a new split 7” single featuring Washington, DC riff monopolizers Borracho and Brooklyn, New York-based genre-bending heavy rockers Eggnogg, to be released on March 19. The record will feature a brand new Borracho original “King’s Disease” and new Eggnogg tripper “Slugworth.” The limited edition of 300 copies will be available on black vinyl, with original artwork by Eggnogg’s own Justin Karol. Both tracks can now be streamed at TheObelisk.net, and preorders are available from Palaver Records.

The record is the first in Palaver Records’ new “Sludgy Erna Bastard” series, that aims to pair up and highlight some of the best heavy underground acts today. Palaver Records representative Gary Branigan said “We’ve been working with Eggnogg for 4-5 years now and really want to embrace this scene. We’ve never seen such a responsive audience. Sludgy Erna Bastard will cater to fans of heavy rock (desert, stoner, doom, sludge, psychedelic), specifically those that love vinyl. The name Sludgy Erna Bastard is a play on words from an American phrase. This is the first of many Sludgy Erna Bastard releases. All of which will feature two bands with artwork by Justin Karol from Eggnogg.”

Sludgy Erna Bastard will be Eggnogg’s first release since 2013’s Eggnogg Apocrypha. After a break in studio recording following the departure of drummer Ryan Quinn, Eggnogg is proud to present the “Slugworth” single, a fascinating excerpt from their forthcoming LP You’re All Invited. Featuring the drumming of Jason Prushko, who joined Eggnogg’s ranks in the summer of 2012, “Slugworth” marks a new height of creative achievement for the band. “Slugworth” is an indication of things to come from a newly resurrected Eggnogg—one which promises to be “sludgier than a bastard.” Eggnogg’s part in the split single Sludgy Erna Bastard will pave the way for their full-length You’re All Invited, which will be released in 2015.

This release is Borracho’s second split 7” in the past year, following 2014’s split with Cortez. In that time the band has taken their live show to Europe and back, and will be kicking off a schedule of winter and spring dates in the eastern US starting tomorrow. The dates include some familiar stops, and team the band up with some powerhouses and rising stars of the US stoner/doom scene. Their March 20 hometown show at The Pinch in Washington DC will serve as the official 7” release show, and will also feature Columbus OH fuzz-freaks Lo-Pan and Detroit’s Against the Grain. Expect more news and new music from Borracho very soon.

Borracho Eastern US dates
February 19 – Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge w/ Carousel, Joy & Caustic Casanova
March 20 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Lo-Pan & Against the Grain
March 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Doctor Smoke, Wasted Theory & Heavy Temple
March 27 – York, PA @ The Depot w/ Doctor Smoke & Wasted Theory
March 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery w/ Elder, Fortress & The Convocation
April 25 – Stroudsburgh, PA @ The Livingroom
June 7 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Mos Generator, Wounded Giant & Wasted Theory

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Borracho on Bandcamp

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Bandcamp

Palaver Records’ store

Palaver Records

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