Nick Oliveri to Release Solo Debut Leave Me Alone

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though he’s had EPs and shorter releases out under his own name and built a catalog as principle songwriter in Mondo Generator, bassist/vocalist Nick Oliveri will issue Leave Me Alone as his debut solo full-length, in September through Schnitzel RecordsOliveri, who’s spent the better part of 2014 working with Bl’ast, also put in appearances with The Dwarves and John Garcia‘s solo outing, in addition to his own acoustic shows — a solo appearance at the UK’s Download Festival stands out — and sitting in with his former band, Queens of the Stone Age, for one of the stops on their tour.

How Leave Me Alone might be distinct from Mondo Generator in vibe or approach remains to be heard, but Oliveri‘s lined up a selection of killer guitarists — including Kyuss Lives! bandmate Bruno Fevery – to contribute, and he produced the album himself at Thunder Underground, which has more or less become the home of CA desert recording, so it seems like it’s going to be worth finding out.

From the PR wire:

Just heard Bl'ast canceled their tour.

Nick Oliveri (ex Kyuss, QOTSA) releasing hard n heavy solo debut

Many artists struggle to establish their musical identity; Nick Oliveri has forged his through a long career of hard work and full command over his craft and his music. His new album, LEAVE ME ALONE, is a powerfully captivating proof of his multi-talented personality. The new album is being released on Schnitzel Records worldwide in late September 2014.

Recorded at Thunder Underground Studios in Palm Springs, CA. Oliveri plays all the instruments on this recording, including drums, guitar, bass and vocals. It features guitar solos from some special guests though, namely Phil Campbell from MOTORHEAD, Dean Ween (a.k.a. Mickey Moist) from WEEN and MOISTBOYZ, Stephen Haas from MOISTBOYZ, Mike Pygmie from MONDO GENERATOR, Marc Diamond from THE DWARVES and Bruno Fevery from KYUSS LIVES! and VISTA CHINO. There’s also a guest vocal by Blag Dahlia from THE DWARVES.

Produced by Oliveri himself, recorded by Harper Hug and Trevor Whatever, and mixed by Mathias Schneeberger the album will be released on Schnitzel Records this September.

Schnitzel Records is home to Ween, Alain Johannes, Dean Fertita (Hello=Fire), Moistboyz and The Moons.

Oliveri will spend most of 2014 on the road. Playing both acoustic and with his new band, UNCONTROLLABLE. Nick will also be headlining the Acoustic Stage at this year’s Download Festival.

https://www.schnitzel.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/schnitzelrecords
https://twitter.com/SchnitzelUK
http://instagram.com/schnitzel_records

Nick Oliveri, Live at the Black Heart, London, 2014

Tags: , , , ,

Sleep Post New Single “The Clarity”

Posted in audiObelisk on July 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

God yes.

Thank you, gods of riff.

It’s the first new Sleep track since Dopesmoker, and the first song Sleep have produced with the lineup of founding vocalist/bassist Al Cisneros (Om), founding guitarist Matt Pike (High on Fire) and drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis), who came aboard a few years back in place of Chris Hakius. Those who’ll take it on — which should be everybody above the age of seven or under it — will find Sleep‘s classic and pioneering Sabbath worship intact over the course of the song’s meandering, near-10-minute crawl, starting out with a compressed nod of the central riff as though a machine was lurching to life. Cisneros brings his Om-style cleaner vocals to the proceedings, rather than the rougher shouts one might find on 1993′s classic Sleep’s Holy Mountain. Important to remember that was 22 years ago now.

Of course, Sleep have been playing live shows for half a decade on and off, and those have featured material either put together or resurrected from the days following Dopesmoker, but “The Clarity” is the first studio output they’ve had since the reunion began. Any new Sleep at all is obviously one of the year’s biggest advents, regardless of the song itself, but the gargantuan roll that unfolds throughout “The Clarity” and the way the song wanders and jams out to its sudden stop after its weedian verses bodes very, very well for the long-awaited and rumored and speculated-upon full-length that still may or may not be in the works. Hopefully it is. It’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of a new Sleep album listening to “The Clarity,” since the dynamic at the heart of the band is clearly alive and well. And stoned. Dig the subtle “War Pigs” nod before Pike‘s solo in the midsection. Fucking hell these guys kill.

New Sleep. What more do you need out of a Friday afternoon?

Sleep‘s “The Clarity” will be available as a free download starting Monday via the Adult Swim Singles Series. For now this’ll do.

Dig it:

Sleep, “The Clarity”

Adult Swim Singles Series

Sleep’s website

Tags: , , , , ,

Slow Motion Rider to Release Self-Titled LP Sept. 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I just wanna testify...

Los Angeles heavy psych rockers Slow Motion Rider put the digital edition of their self-titled debut out in May, and The Committee to Keep Music Evil will issue the physical version of the album this September. The record was produced by Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and the release will make the three-piece labelmates with the likes of FederaleThe Asteroid 4 and Spindrift. Accordingly, the collection spaces out its vinyl-able 42 minutes with trippy effects and a shoegazing drawl that sounds desert-baked. I dig it. You might also dig it. Which is why I’m posting about it. Right on.

The PR wire sends its regards, as well as audio:

Whatever makes my baby feel good.

The Committee To Keep Music Evil would like to announce the release of the debut album by Slow Motion Rider

Produced by Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre

digital release/ May 1st 2014 -hard copies / September 1st 2014

Slow Motion Rider can take you places. This heavy psych trio has created a strong identity of powerful musicianship, taking it back to its roots and giving it all they can. Hailing from the LA circuit with renown for groovy carefree parties and a strong sense of community, their live shows are raw and full of energy. Having a number of influences in their DNA you will think of Spacemen 3 and the pure blood of The Doors and Hendrix.

Talented with their ability to get into a groove and even riff without over indulgence these songs will have you hooked and truly take you back to the times when rock and roll was straightforward and honest. With a release amongst the stellar lineup of The Committee To Keep Music Evil that includes The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dead Meadow, and more, they are already poised to move up in the community and bring a new consciousness to it all at once. From a trek through the California desert all the way to the deep reaches of our universe, these vibes are transcendent.

With performances at Austin Psych Fest 2014, other regional tours are scheduled for fall 2014. Slow Motion Rider has already been getting some airplay in the US as well as Europe which includes European syndicated Volks Radio Show. It drew the attention of Joe Foster “Slaughterhouse Joe”, co-founder of Creation Records and producer of countless bands including The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, who has recently signed on to work on their European presence and production of their second album. This album is scheduled for worldwide distribution by September 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slow-Motion-Rider/113494355371841
slowmotionrider.net
http://ctkme.com

Slow Motion Rider, Slow Motion Rider (2014)

Tags: , , , , ,

Old Man Wizard West Coast Tour Begins Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Select a player.

Call them the highwaymen. Inventive, progressive Southern California trio Old Man Wizard have announced a two-week West Coast run in support of their impressive late-2013 debut LP, Unfavorable (review here). The tour will begin next Friday in San Diego and wrap in Los Angeles — the band makes its home in both cities — on Aug. 2, with not a day off in between.

It’s an ambitious course for the three-piece to set as their first tour, but I’m sure they’ll come out of it with a few new friends made along the way and probably a good sleeping-on-the-floor kind of story to tell.

From their newsletter, which you can sign up for here:

Are ya smokin' yet?

Good day. If you’re new to this, welcome to the Tower of Stone. Our tower now stands high enough to oversee the western United States, which we will promptly visit to regale with our tales of heroes, travellers, and fools. If you live in or near any of the cities listed above, we hope to see you in the flesh, and we hope you bring your comrades to share the experience with.

Today I am writing for one purpose and one purpose alone: To tell you how important it is that we bring people to these shows. There is no such thing as an independent band that tours or sells records. We are dependent on you: Our friends and fans. Without you we would be an independent idea, hungry for people to share itself with. Let us burn with life and be content.

Old Man Wizard’s Summer Tour Dates:
7/18/2014 – San Diego, CA – Tower Bar
7/19/2014 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
7/20/2014 – Tempe, AZ – Rogue Bar
7/21/2014 – Anaheim, CA – Doll Hut
7/22/2014 – Oakland, CA – Eli’s
7/23/2014 – San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern
7/24/2014 – Eugene, OR – Tiny Tavern
7/25/2014 – Portland, OR – East End
7/26/2014 – Tacoma, WA – TBA
7/27/2014 – Seattle, WA – Highline
7/30/2014 – Boise, ID – The Bouquet
7/31/2014 – Salt Lake City, UT – Shred Shed
8/01/2014 – Las Vegas, NV – The Divebar
8/02/2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Loaded

https://www.facebook.com/events/701012619936904/
http://oldmanwizard.com/
https://twitter.com/OldManWizard
http://oldmanwizard.tumblr.com/

Old Man Wizard, Unfavorable (2013)

Tags: , , ,

John Garcia, John Garcia: The Time was Right

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Still not sure why the ram, but okay.

Over the last two-plus decades, John Garcia‘s voice has set the standard for the sound of the California desert. His work in genre-progenitors Kyuss speaks for itself — loudly, and with much fuzz — and subsequent outfits UnidaSlo BurnHermano and more guest appearances than one can count have kept his presence steady in the international underground he played an essential role in forging, and his first solo outing, John Garcia, arrives via Napalm Records following a run with the semi-Kyuss reunion outfit Vista Chino, which ultimately brought together Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork with guitarist Bruno Fevery and Corrosion of Conformity bassist Mike Dean to tour the world in support of their 2013 outing, Peace (review here), after a couple years prior on the road as Kyuss Lives!, that project born out of Garcia‘s own Garcia Plays Kyuss, which launched at the 2010 Roadburn festival. In some ways, the album John Garcia is an extension of Vista Chino, particularly in terms of Garcia‘s performance and in terms of the production. An 11-track/45-minute full-length, material was culled from years of Garcia‘s own tapes, freshly arranged by the singer with some input by Hermano guitarist Dave Angstrom, and brought to bear by producer Harper Hug at Thunder Underground, the same studio where Peace was recorded. However, since some of the source material for these songs is older, and because there are a variety of players appearing throughout, from The DoorsRobbie Krieger on acoustic-led closer “Her Bullets Energy” to Danko JonesAngstrom himself, Nick Oliveri and The Dwarves‘ Mark Diamond and Tom Brayton, there’s also no shortage of diversity in the sound.

That being the case, John Garcia ran a pretty hefty risk in the making of coming across disjointed, but the consistency in the production and of course the focus element of Garcia‘s voice tie tracks together neatly, the album opening with its biggest chorus in “My Mind,” a track that immediately casts the wide-open spaces in which the rest of the songs will take place. Those familiar with his work will hear shades of various Garcia-fronted bands throughout the album, from the Slo Burn-style rush of later cut “Saddleback” to the Vista Chino-esque bounce of “Rolling Stoned,” a cover of Canadian trio Black Mastiff which undercuts some of its laid-back vibe with the opening lyrical threat, “If you leave me, I will kill you.” Nonetheless, “Rolling Stoned” follows “My Mind” as part of a strong opening salvo that continues through “Flower” and “The Blvd” and “5,000 Miles” to proffer memorable hooks, compressed but warm tones and an engaging presence from Garcia, who departs from the post-lawsuit bitterness that comprised much of the thematic of the Vista Chino offering to tell more of a story, as on “The Blvd” or the following “5,000 Miles,” which resounds as a classic coming-home song set to a particularly effective riff, somewhat more open than the first four cuts, but still largely consistent in pace and quality. Truth be told, though the mood changes somewhat along the way, there really isn’t a point where John Garcia falls into clunker-ism. And neither should there be. This project was years in the making and even more years in the discussing, and with Garcia‘s experience in the studio and on stage, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that if something wasn’t working toward the benefit of the album, it would be discarded. Over repeat listens, John Garcia begins to give that impression — not of being a confessional, exactly, in the way that some “solo albums” are, but of being carefully constructed selections chosen to represent this singer and his songwriting process.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, Vista Point

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Yawning Man, Vista Point (2007)

I’m not one for mindless patriotism. I have reasons I’m glad I was born an American and reasons I’m not. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge today is July 4, the day my country celebrates Independence Day. It’s a day off work for the three or four of us left who still have jobs. As that’s not me, it seemed the least I could do to spend the afternoon typing. Not that I’d know what else to do with my time anyway. It’s raining here as an alleged hurricane makes its way somewhere along the Eastern Seaboard, so the traditional barbecue is out, and if I’m wasting electricity by running the air conditioning for the better part of the afternoon, well, that feels pretty American.

Still, I wanted to find something that represents something I can be proud for my country having produced, and Yawning Man came to mind pretty quickly. Their only real competition was Funkadelic, and I did the self-titled last year, so Vista Point it is. Classic desert rock sound, made in America. It’s everywhere now, of course, but when Yawning Man started in the ’80s, with Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, Larry Lalli and Alfredo Hernandez, that wasn’t the case, and their surf-rock-without-the-water would become the foundation for an international movement the influence of which is still only expanding. Released in 2007, Vista Point – which it bothers me more than a little that I don’t own on CD — culled together Yawning Man‘s two official studio outings up to that point, 2005′s Rock Formations long-player and the Pot Head EP (have those), into one hour-plus of reverbed trippery, the dynamic between ArceMario Lalli (Larry had long since left, though he remains in Fatso Jetson to this day with Mario) and Hernandez dripping across every dreamy movement in the songs. In true desert rock fashion, Yawning Man were about two decades late in getting recognized for the influence they had and the excellence they proffered — as much as they have to this point, anyhow — but they continue to bring something distinct to what they do that no one else has been able to capture. Oh yeah, and Kyuss covered them one time.

Enjoy Vista Point, in the spirit of the holiday and with the hopes of Yawning Man‘s next record turning up sooner rather than later.

Well, thus ends the first of my four weeks without The Patient Mrs. while she’s in Greece. It went pretty quickly, to be honest. After the move last weekend, there was a ton of cleaning to do at the new condo — home ownership! mortgage debt! the American dream! — and lots to unpack, scrub down, set up, etc., and that consumed a large portion of my week, the first couple days in an A/C-less swelter and the last couple in relaxed comfort. We’ve spoken just about every day, including today, but I’ve nonetheless developed five rules for myself to live by while she’s not around. Even wrote them on the markerboard:

Reasonable.

If you can’t read my handwriting, which isn’t great, they are as follows:

1. No more than one (1) full day can be spent in bed, and not in the first ten (10) days.

2. No Anathema or Alice in ChainsSap.

3. Eat a vegetable at least four days a week. Potatoes don’t count.

4. No more than one full day can be spent in the house. Opening the door for the dog is not “going out.”

5. No “Ain’t No Sunshine” either.

I’m happy to say I’ve lived up to each of these at least so far — though I saw a link to Alternative 4 on Thee Facebooks last night and had to stop myself. We’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring. It’s pretty funny to be reminded every now and then of my own complete lack of independence, though. Hilarious to be so utterly inept at what to most people are daily tasks and to go entire days (though not two in a row!) where most of my conversation happens between myself and the dog. Indeed. Quite a week it’s been. Did I mention I’ve started watching Star Trek again from the beginning of the series?

Next week, the Conan interview goes up. This will happen come hell or high water. It’s been a while at this point since we spoke (it was the week of Hellfest), so yeah, it’s time. Also reviews of Wasted Theory and John Garcia‘s solo record.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend, and I hope it already began and involves friends and good food and all that wonderful stuff. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , ,

Radio Moscow’s Magical Dirt Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Since I’ve spent the last two months-plus with these songs stuck in my head, it seems only fair to mark the release date of Radio Moscow‘s new album, Magical Dirt (review here), on Alive Naturalsound. The band just wrapped one European tour and are shortly to announce another, and with Magical Dirt, they’ve given themselves a worthy cause to support, tracks pushing their furthest yet into psychedelic blues topped off by the stellar-as-ever guitar work of frontman Parker Griggs, who’s joined by the dizzying rhythm section of bassist Anthony Meier and drummer Paul Marrone.

Getting to see these dudes seven nights in a row earlier this year was a treat. Here’s what they had to say about the end of their European run and some words from the label on the album:

RADIO MOSCOW ‘Magical Dirt’ out today on Vinyl, CD & DIGITAL

Our month long European tour has come to an end. We had an amazing time playing in the countries we visited and meeting a lot of new friends along the way. Stay tuned for another short European tour announcement which is taking place in the end of July. By the way our album comes out today officially! Cheers!

Says Alive Naturalsound:

Trends come and go, but the idea of a bunch of guys getting together in a garage and playing the kind of music that makes the neighbors call the cops — that’s forever. And it’s that idea that’s crystallized in the form of Radio Moscow. The power trio led by the Stratocaster genius Parker Griggs have found THE formula : powerful, crunching Sabbathstyle chords and fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian and plants its flag firmly in the territory where psychedelic rock and cranked-up blues meet. Parker’s demo caught the ear of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced the 2007 self-titled debut. With « Brain Cycles », their second album Radio Moscow proves that they’re not a cheap time machine but a direct descendant from the golden age of Rock’n’Roll. In 2011, Griggs continued his psychedelic trip with « The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz ». Now in 2014 the band has released the 4th studio album “Magical Dirt” with high goals of sending you on another trip into heavy psychedelic headphone heaven.

https://www.facebook.com/radiomoscowband
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com/artist/radio-moscow/

Radio Moscow, “Death of a Queen”

Tags: , , , , ,

Moab Release Scion A/V Presents Billow as Free Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

To the best of my knowledge, Moab‘s sophomore outing, Billow, marks the first time that Scion A/V has sponsored a full-length album. They’ve done plenty of singles and shorter releases — EPs and splits, etc. — over the last couple years, and of course tours and the Scion Rock Fest, which Moab also played this year, but I’m pretty sure Billow is the first long-player to bear their logo. The album has been made available as of today as a free download.

It’s a ripper, with the melodic and pummeling “I Concede,” the Dozer-style airiness in “Burn Maria” and oddball progressive build of closer “The Softest Bait.” As with their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo, the L.A.-based three-piece self-recorded, with guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis (interview here) — who also helmed the new Fu Manchu; the two bands also formerly partnered on a Scion-sponsored split single — handling the production, and the sound is accordingly huge, a natural feel no less maintained in wide-open drums and spacious guitars anchored by dense low end.

The link to get your download comes courtesy of the PR wire:

MOAB’S SOPHOMORE ALBUM, SCION AV PRESENTS BILLOW, AVAILABLE TODAY FOR FREE DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD

Scion Audio Visual are pleased to offer a free download of Moab’s sophomore release, Scion AV Presents Billow, via the label’s Soundcloud page (https://soundcloud.com/scionav/sets/moab-billow-scion-av).

Scion AV Presents Billow track listing
1. Said It Would
2. I Concede
3. Whittled Away
4. No Soul
5. Burn Maria
6. Nothing Escapes
7. Made To Wait
8. Under All
9. The Softest Bait

Moab recently played Scion Audio Visual’s Rock Fest. In an interview with the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Giacumakis discussed the band’s relationship with Scion AV: “I think they’re ultra important to metal in this community. Scion is keeping the faith for sure by promoting these bands that mainstream media won’t pay attention to.”

https://soundcloud.com/scionav/sets/moab-billow-scion-av
https://www.facebook.com/moabband
http://scionav.com

Moab, Scion A/V Presents Billow (2014)

Tags: , , , , , ,

On Wax: Planes of Satori, Son of a Gun b/w Dichotomies 7″

Posted in On Wax on June 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was a surprise to learn that the Son of a Gun b/w Dichotomies 7″ is the debut release from Oakland-based Planes of Satori, since they come across with such a firm grip on a sound that could easily break apart in what would apparently be less capable hands. The two songs included on the black, 500-pressed Who Can You Trust? Records platter, “Son of a Gun” and “Dichotomies,” each work quickly to establish a dynamic rhythm as a foundation for psychedelic guitar work and airy, echoing vocals. The moods and general level of insistence vary between them — “Son of a Gun” pushes so hard one is almost inclined to push back — but both the A and B side carry across inventive, intricate rhythms well beyond space rock’s ordinary “we’ll keep playing the riff while the guitar takes a four-minute solo” fare. Nothing against that as there are plenty of bands for whom it works well, but with Planes of Satori, bassist Justin Pinkerton (also of Golden Void) and drummer Chris Labreche stand out just as much as the wah guitar of Raze Regal or the far-off vocals of Alejandro Magaña.

Pinkerton, who also recorded and mixed (the former with Christopher Sprague), has an obvious understanding of rhythm as the heart of the band, and that works immediately to “Son of a Gun”‘s advantage, the drums setting up a shuffle somewhere between Afrobeat and jammed-out tom meandering, hitting right in with Regal‘s guitar, which shortly opens up to give Magaña room for the verse. The tom hits and cymbal wash are constant, and the bass keeps up, while the guitar holds chords beneath and flourishes with winding lead lines and a high-end pinch. While it starts off with an already pretty wide soundscape, there’s an uptick in vibrancy in the second half of the track as well that’s only furthered by Regal‘s solo near the end, so a build exists too, and it’s not like the song is just three-plus minutes of a drum-fill/guitar-lead freakout, though I’ve no doubt that if it was, Planes of Satori would likely pull it off.

The flip side, “Dichotomies,” begins with a simpler bass and drum line that feels slower but might just be less active and once more finds Pinkerton and Labreche soon joined by Regal and Magaña. Neither track sticks around longer than it needs to in order to make its point, warm bass tones and guitar effects distinguishing the B from the A on the release, kinetic momentum still in effect despite the pullback. Magaña‘s vocals fit easily over the airier “Dichotomies,” and Regal‘s guitar handles the task of marching the song out with a psychedelic lead progression that the rest of the band seems glad to follow. Again, especially for a debut release, Son of a Gun b/w Dichotomies stands out for how much Planes of Satori seem to want to and to be able to do with their sound, but I’d be less shocked if their next release didn’t expand on what these two tracks present either. A band this given to movement in their material rarely has interest in any kind of standing still.

Planes of Satori, Son of a Gun b/w Dichotomies (2014)

Planes of Satori on Thee Facebooks

Son of a Gun b/w Dichotomies on Bandcamp

Who Can You Trust? Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Blue Cheer, OutsideInside

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Blue Cheer, OutsideInside (1968)

What a glorious image it is to think of Blue Cheer taking the stage at some outdoor Summer of Love festival and knocking all the hippies on their ass. Of course, their 1967 debut, Vincebus Eruptum, enjoys permanent essential status as well, but the 1968 follow-up, OutsideInside, is more cohesive, and you can just hear that by the time the San Francisco three-piece got around to making it, they knew they were heavy. Put OutsideInside up against anything else 1968 had to offer and there’s very little, Hendrix included, that it doesn’t blow out of the water with its raw impact, channel-spanning solos, and the nascent groove that decades later became emblematic of what we now call stoner rock. If you haven’t heard it before and you doubt what I’m saying, listen twice before you tell me I’m full of shit.

Side B brings covers of The Rolling Stones and Albert King, both subjected to the weight and fuzz that Blue Cheer — the original lineup of bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Paul Whaley intact for the last time — brought to bear all across the album, and though the whole thing is done in little over half an hour, its impact continues to resonate today in heavy rock and metal of various stripes. More than its influence, however, the movement the trio manages to enact while still keeping a feel emblematic of the psychedelic era, which then was really just beginning to take hold, makes it necessary listening. The trio pull off rhythmic shifts that would blind lesser bands even today and do it all sounding so zoned out thatPeterson’s vocals hardly register as words on “Feathers from Your Tree.” It’s a landmark record, but it also rules.

There were rumors kicking around at some point last year or two years ago of a trio of former Blue Cheer members getting together to play under the moniker, but I’ve yet to see anything materialize, and without Peterson — who passed away in 2009 — there’s no way it could be the same. I was fortunate enough to see Blue Cheer a couple times around the release of their final album, 2007′s What Doesn’t Kill You, which included a redux of “Just a Little Bit” from OutsideInside, and they were still loud as hell, dug deep into heavy blues rock, Peterson playing through two 8×10 cabinets stacked sideways on top of each other. It was glorious, and while I knew what I was getting to some degree when I showed up, I was still knocked on my ass much the same way I expect the flower children were. Some power stands, undulled by time.

Crazy week. Madness. Had company here Sunday night into Monday, Wednesday night into yesterday, went to that Deville show last night, plus The Patient Mrs. and I are trying to buy a condo a couple towns over that’ll hopefully save us some money on our month-t0-month — what with being a single-income household for the time being — and as we’re in that you’re-just-basically-waiting-for-something-to-make-this-fall-apart stretch of time before closing, it’s been a bit frazzling. Oh yeah, I also did three interviews this week, with Peder Bergstand from Lowrider, Jon Davis from Conan, and this morning with Mike Dean from C.O.C., so yes, a little wild.

I’d like to get that Lowrider piece up next week. Peder had some cool stuff to say on making the video for Bob Balch of Fu Manchu‘s side-project, Sun and Sail Club, as well as getting Lowrider going again and their plans for putting together a new album. There’s a lot to go through to get a Q&A out of it, but I’m going to work hard to try to make that happen before next Friday. Also look for a review of the new Wo Fat record and a round of radio adds to make up for those I didn’t get the chance to do over the last couple days, and, in case I don’t already wind up with too much on my plate, a new podcast at some point. Too much good music floating around not to put one together sooner than later.

All that in mind, I’ll take my leave for the remainder of the evening ahead of waking up tomorrow morning and driving two hours into Connecticut (then back!) for family whathaveyou. I wish you a great and safe weekend and hope you’ll take the time to check out the forum and radio stream, as both kick ass mightily.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , ,

Acid King to Release New Album Feb. 2015 on Svart Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

As much as I’ve enjoyed thinking of San Francisco’s Acid King as the prodigal forerunners of Small Stone Records since the 2005 release of their last album, III, biding their time and waiting to make their return, the news that they’ve signed to Svart to release their next outing I enjoy all the more because it affirms that the thing is actually coming out. After a decade. I mean, there are overdue albums and then there’s a new Acid King, which is like what the legend of the One Ring might’ve been if it was produced by Billy Anderson.

Acid King are currently on tour in Europe alongside Pet the Preacher. Dates and album preliminaries follow, freshly hoisted from the PR wire.

Go Giants:

ACID KING signs with SVART for first new album in 10 years, embarks on Euro tour

Today, SVART RECORDS is happy to announce that we have signed a contract with San Francisco’s ACID KING and will be handling their forthcoming new album worldwide. The new album, which is the legendary stoner rock band’s first in 10 years, was recorded at Sharkbite Studios by Billy Anderson with Toshi Kasai and mixed by Billy Anderson. Featuring cover art by esteemed tattoo artist Tim Lehi, the nine-track album will be available on CD, gatefold double-LP, and digital formats in February 2015. Title and tracklisting to be announced shortly.

ACID KING spent a few successful weeks in Europe in 2012, playing a few shows with Saint Vitus and performing at such festivals as Muskelrock and Roadburn. This week, the band will escape the studio, having completed work on the new album, and will embark on a two-week Euro tour. Starting in Milan and traveling through western Europe and the UK, the tour climaxes with a show at the Hellfest Festival in France. Confirmed dates/venues are as follows:

June 10 – Milano, Italy @ Lo If Club
June 11 – Lausanne, Switzerland @ Lausanne
June 12 – Wiesbaden, Germany @ Schlachthof
June 13 – Brussels, Belgium @ Magasin 4 w/ Spirit Caravan
June 14 – Paris, France @ Glazart w/ Spirit Caravan
June 15 – Leeds, UK @ Brundell Social Club
June 16 – Edinburgh, UK @ Bannermans
June 17 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
June 18 – London, UK @ Underworld
June 19 – Barcelona, Spain @ Sala Be Good
June 21 – Clisson, France @ Hellfest

www.acidking.com
www.facebook.com/acidkingSF
http://www.svartrecords.com/

Acid King, III (2005)

Tags: , , ,

Bog Oak Join Svart Records Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

West Coast blackened sludge metallers Bog Oak have inked a deal to release their debut 10″ and subsequent LP on Svart Records. The four-piece will have the EP out this fall and an album in winter if all goes to plan. The cold season seems appropriate for their frosty, cultish sludge, vocalist Julie Seymour switching on the demo track “A Shepard’s Teeth for a Winter’s Coat” between throaty black metal screaming and more groove-riding clean singing. That cut, which you can hear and download below, winds up catchier than you might think at first, and if the undulating central riff gets stuck in your head as you make your way through, at least know that you’re not the first.

More to come on Bog Oak I’m sure, but for your preliminaries, the PR wire:

BOG OAK sign with SVART RECORDS, prepare label debut

SVART RECORDS announces the signing of California’s BOG OAK. The band’s debut SVART release will be a limited 10″/mini-CD in the autumn, with a full-length album later in the winter of 2015.

BOG OAK formed in October 2013 around the core of Phillip Gallagher and Matthew Woods Wilhoit, who both lived in the Sacramento area. They met when Gallagher answered an ad placed by Wilhoit looking for someone to jam with. The pair bonded over their mutual love of heavy metal, tube amplifiers, and occult philosophy, writing the songs “A Shepard’s Teeth for a Winter’s Coat” and “Dragger” during their first jam session with Gallagher on drums and Wilhoit on guitar.

After recording these songs at Earth Tone Studios in Rocklin, California, with session bassist Robert Lander, the pair decided to shop their demo around and place an ad for a vocalist. Julie Seymour responded, and got the job after one audition: Gallagher and Wilhoit were impressed with her ability to switch back and forth between black metal screams and ethereal clean singing.

After a few rehearsals, Gallagher, Wilhoit, and Seymour entered Earth Tone Studios to add vocals to the first two songs and record two new songs, “Behold, The Valley Of Slaughter” and “Experiments In Extinction” with Gallagher and Wilhoit sharing bass duties. To achieve a fuller live sound and to expand the harmonic possibility within BOG OAK, Gallagher switched from drums to baritone guitar after recruiting drummer and longtime friend Steven Campbell. Wilhoit recruited longtime friend DBC to act as bassist for live performances.

Conceptually, BOG OAK embrace all things occult, pulling inspiration from a wide range of esoteric ideas like those of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Aleister Crowley, and Laveyan Satanism, to the ideas of more extremist occult groups like the O9A and the Temple Of Black Light, into the more mystical concepts of Pythagoras, the metaphysics of Mulla Sadra, Suhrawardi’s philosophy of illumination, and the alchemy of Al-Ghazali.

www.facebook.com/pages/Bog-Oak/384359481667899
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.youtube.com/svartrecords
www.twitter.com/svartrecords

Bog Oak, “A Shepard’s Teeth for a Winter’s Coat”

Tags: , , , ,

Duuude, Tapes! The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, Through the Dark Matter

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on June 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Some combinations in life, you just can’t go wrong. Ed Mundell and a wah pedal, for example. This proved to be the case last year when Mundell‘s jammy trio with bassist Collyn McCoy (Trash Titan) and Rick Ferrante (Sasquatch), the cumbersomely-named The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, made their self-titled debut (review here), as it proved to be the case so many times over the guitarist’s years holding down leads in Monster Magnet and The Atomic Bitchwax. Well, further affirmation is welcome by me, and Mundell, McCoy and Ferrante seem only too pleased to provide it on the new tape EP, Through the Dark Matter.

A front-and-back j-card with blacklight-sensitive art from Brad Moore meant to invoke Miles Davis is included with the bright-orange cassette, which is pressed through Orbit Unlimited Records in a numbered (the numbers are also blacklight sensitive) edition of 200 copies. CDs were made available for the power trio’s recent European tour alongside Sasquatch, but 500 of those were made, so the tapes are somewhat harder to come by. Understandably, since the recording job by Snail‘s Matt Lynch at Mysterious Mammal Studios does so well in capturing the live dynamic between The UEMG‘s members, whether it’s Ferrante and McCoy stomping out on side 2′s “Day of the Comet” or Mundell setting an initial mood with minimal effects ambience on the introductory “Small Magellanic Cloud.”

Like the self-titled, Through the Dark Matter is clearly instrumental in its focus, but The UEMG do introduce some vocals for the first time to their studio work, McCoy stepping in for a suitably bluesy delivery on the Willie Dixon cover “Spoonful,” which is the centerpiece of the CD/digital version but closes side 1 of the tape following the intro and the jammed-out title-track. The effect its placement has is to ground the tape somewhat — these cats can jam, and when they do, they go pretty far out — a hook and start-stop funk-wah lead line reminding me no less of Clutch now than when I first streamed “Spoonful” and “Through the Dark Matter” here in April, and the relatively straightforward, traditional structure sits well between “Through the Dark Matter”‘s cosmic pulsations, the bass-heavy push of “Day of the Comet” and the space-jazz blissout of “Large Magellanic Cloud,” which closes out side 2, guitars, bass and drums all seeming to intertwine even as they stretch out in their own directions.

While it’s a relatively short 26 minutes — you wouldn’t call Through the Dark Matter a full-length, though it flows well — The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic‘s EP is all the more worth digging into for how natural it sounds coming from the band. Lynch is an experienced engineer and gets a clear, professional sound here that plays well with the Rhodes McCoy adds or the layers in Mundell‘s guitar, but the overall vibe is that The UEMG could more or less show up somewhere, plug in and make this happen. Maybe that’s a testament to the experience of the players involved or the several years they’ve already been jamming together, but whatever it is, a short release that plays out with such substance is an accomplishment that makes Through the Dark Matter a worthy follow-up to the debut. Wherever their voyage next takes them, I doubt it’s going to be much of a challenge to follow.

The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, Through the Dark Matter EP (2014)

The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic on Thee Facebooks

The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Queens of the Stone Age, Queens of the Stone Age

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Queens of the Stone Age, Queens of the Stone Age (1998/2011)

I try not to write about Queens of the Stone Age too often. They’re kind of a given. But every now and then I break out their 1998 self-titled debut, and sometimes there’s just nothing else that will do. As we head into a summery-feeling weekend after a long, chaotic, but still really good week, it’s one of those moments when this record fits perfectly and it feels like as long as I keep it on the sun will stay up.

Now 16 years old and every bit the snotnosed punk, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Queens of the Stone Age was Josh Homme‘s first real outing as a frontman. Yeah, they had done the split with his former band, the desert rock pioneers Kyuss, and the Gamma Ray recordings, but it was these songs that really first shone the light on his vocals — and in hindsight how much he was really feeling his way through becoming a singer — and the approach and style of lyric-writing that would become a staple over the course of QOTSA‘s albums, influencing more bands worldwide than anyone could reasonably be asked to count and bridging the generally mile-wide gap between underground and commercial viability. To listen to “Mexicola” or “You Would Know” or “Avon” now, it’s nowhere near as elaborate as the band’s sound would become — Homme is the sole remaining founder, he sang and played bass and guitar on the self-titled while Alfredo Hernandez (also Kyuss, Yawning Man) drummed — but the songwriting is still waiting for something to stand up to it more than a decade and a half later.

There are those who are Kyuss loyalists, and with the back and forth legal action and animosity between ex-member camps, get caught up in some argument of who’s right and who’s wrong and whatever. I’m not into picking one or the other and to choose sides and only listen to Queens of the Stone Age or Kyuss or Vista Chino or Brant Bjork or John Garcia seems to me a silly way of denying yourself good music on either end. The self-titled Queens of the Stone Age is a record that I’ve listened to and loved for years. To me, that seems more important than whatever litigation may or may not be undertaken.

Hope you enjoy. Note: This is the 2011 reissue version, so you get “The Bronze,” “These aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For” and “Spiders and Vinegaroons” in addition to the original tracklist.

I had that record on last night on the tail end of the ride back to Massachusetts from New Jersey. If you noticed a general lack of posts this week as compared to “normal,” it’s because The Patient Mrs. and I were back and forth a lot, seeing family and friends and trying to get in as much quality time as possible. Also my car broke down and that added some measure of complication. Whatever. Point is it all worked out and I’m pretty sure that had I not been singing along to “If Only” last night at the time, I’d have driven right into the median on I-93.

Before I put the laptop down and go to the grocery store to pick up dinner makings, I want to extend one more tremendous thank you to Diane Farris of Jersey City’s legendary WFMU for having me on her show yesterday afternoon. It was such an unbelievable pleasure to be there and to pick tracks and get to talk about music and this site on the air. If you didn’t hear it, the full playlist, comment board and audio archive is available here: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/55937

Diane’s Kamikaze Fun Machine is on every Thursday from 12PM-3PM, and she does her Peer Pressure guest segments from 1PM on. Obviously I recommend listening.

Thanks as well to everyone who checked that out yesterday and left a comment to say hi or ask a question. It felt extra awesome to know people I knew were taking part in the show and hopefully enjoying doing so. Made me miss doing radio, which is something I haven’t really felt since I graduated college a decade ago.

Next week, reviews of Godflesh and the new split between Naam and Black Rainbows and White Hills and The Flying Eyes, as well as Deville‘s stop in Worcester and maybe a C.O.C. interview if it comes together in time. I’ve got some emailing to do to put that together, but I’m working on it.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , , ,

Radio Moscow, Magical Dirt: Burning Fast

Posted in Reviews on May 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Since the release of their self-titled debut in 2007, Radio Moscow have specialized in tight-knit heavy psychedelic blues rock, topped off with the barnburner fretwork of guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs. In drummer Paul Marrone (also Astra and Psicomagia) and bassist Anthony Meier (also Sacri Monti), Griggs has a rhythm section not only able to stand up to his own playing, but to meet it head on, and their fifth album for Alive Records, Magical Dirt, is all the stronger for it. Radio Moscow‘s last proper studio outing was 2011′s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, and it’s always tricky to figure which of the instruments Griggs is handling himself on a given release — he seemed to play everything on 2012′s previously-lost-tracks LP 3 &3 Quarters, originally recorded in 2003 — but the dynamic that Radio Moscow brings to their stage performance is present throughout Magical Dirt‘s 10 tracks and 42 minutes, and they not only live up to the form and intent of their past work in capturing a rush of heavy ’70s swagger and swing, but they push deeper into the command of the elements at work in their sound. Take the second-to-last track, “Before it Burns.” Right around two minutes in, the song shifts gears almost immediately from winding riffs and fleet shuffle into an airy psych jam that stands out maybe most of all for how much on an initial listen you might not even notice it until you’re already halfway through. The reason that’s the case is because Radio Moscow are completely in control of the material by that point in the album, and able to take and put the listener precisely where they want them to be. Eastern scales and percussion that come seemingly out of nowhere would be out of place on so many other records, but on Magical Dirt, pretty much whatever Radio Moscow decide to fit, they fit.

Chiefly, what they fit into these songs is a whole lot of volatility. At any moment, songs like opener “So Alone,” or “These Days,” “Got the Time” or “Rancho Tehama Airport” sound like they could completely come apart, like when you shake the bolts loose on a piece of machinery and the whole thing collapses into a pile of parts, but even at their fastest, Radio Moscow retain control, and while the whole of Magical Dirt retains an organic, live-feeling production, it’s also got clarity enough to showcase just how precise the band is in pulling it all off. Hooks are in steady supply, whether it’s the chorus of the mostly acoustic “Sweet L’il Thing” or the maddeningly catchy instrumental bounce of “Death of a Queen,” which ends playfully following channel-panning leads from Griggs without letting go of the reins. That’s to say nothing of the songwriting at play in side B’s “Gypsy Fast Woman,” which boasts a funkier groove and more blazing solos on top of subtle bass fills and enviable snare work en route to one of Magical Dirt‘s most infectious refrains. “Bridges” is the longest cut at 5:19 and starts the album’s second half with a pullback on tempo compared to the rush of “These Days” before it — a winding section of guitar, bass and drums also seems to recall “Death of a Queen” — but the wealth of wah provides continuity between sides A and B of Magical Dirt and by the time “Bridges” breaks to an acoustic-led blues jam topped with an electric lead in its own second half, you’re either on board for the ride or you’re not going to be. Fortunately, the earlier one-two blues of “So Alone” and boogie in “Rancho Tehama Airport,” which was also released as a pre-album single, also give a clear indication of some of Radio Moscow‘s lysergic tendencies, and by then, the flow is well established. They continue into the layered groove of “Gypsy Fast Woman” without so much as a hiccup for the sidestep in approach.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,