Six Organs of Admittance to Release Burning the Threshold Feb. 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

six-organs-of-admittance-photo-by-elisa-ambrogio

This is the time of year that kind of has me randomly scouring social media accounts and websites of artists I dig looking for signs of impending new music. It just so happens that I hit up the Six Organs of Admittance page last week and found an update from Ben Chasny saying he’d finished work on a new record, so yeah, Six Organs was already included in my notes for the inevitable Most Anticipated of 2017 list, but it’s cool to get a name for the impending — Burning the Threshold — as well as a confirmed Feb. 24 release date through Drag City and, best of all, new audio in the form of the seven-minute “Taken by Ascent,” into which I’d encourage you to dig below. Seriously. Hit that up.

Chasny has spent the last year-plus with Six Organs of Admittance pursuing the elusive limits of his own Hexadic songwriting system, as first explored on 2015’s Hexadic (review here) and then subsequently on the complementary Hexadic II, but Burning the Threshold seems to be a return to a more grounded approach. You’ll note the acoustic foundation of “Taken by Ascent,” but that’s hardly the limit of the arrangement, which winds up working in keys, acoustic strum and leads, drums, bass, and so on, for a full-band feel that maintains the serenity of its opening even as it continues to expand into psychedelic see-you-later-ism.

Really, you should hit that up.

Art, info, tour dates and whatnot from the PR wire:

six-organs-of-admittance-burning-the-threshold

Six Organs Of Admittance announces new LP Burning The Threshold for Drag City; record release show in London

Six Organs of Admittance’s recent output has been a fascinating exercise in relinquished control, as Ben Chasny spread the word of his Hexadic system of musical composition by creating two albums according to its principles. Now, for the first time since 2012’s Ascent, Chasny is restoring his authorship of Six Organs of Admittance, and Drag City will be releasing the brand new full length record Burning The Threshold on February 24th – and to mark the occasion, there will be a special show at London’s St Pancras Old Church on 22nd of February.

As ever, a head full of ideas were driving Chasny to think and speak music as a spirituality superimposed onto a reality, with the ghosts of both whispering at each other. In the end, what sits in our listening ears is the sound of communion. Nobody plays acoustic music quite like Six Organs of Admittance, and Burning the Threshold brings a wealth of his established lightness into one of his sweetest musical meditations yet.

Ben is in a particularly expansive mood this time around, singing and playing with all the thoughts affixed to a quiver of potent melodies launching forth and arcing out through dimensions, seeking infinite space. This space radiates out from the album’s first single, “Taken By Ascent”, a seven minute plus burner that engulfs the surrounding realm with empathetic waves. Featuring resounding vocals by Hayley Fohr, polished drumming provided by Chris Corsano and flourishing keys by Cooper Crain; “Taken By Ascent” fervidly pushes Six Organs of Admittance into new and thrilling territory.

With this new music, Ben Chasny has created a potent tonic for our times. Looking at the world through clear eyes beneath a knitted brow, but with a laugh rising up from its heart, Burning the Threshold brings us a powerful draught of essence.

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE – RECORD RELEASE SHOW
Thursday February 22nd at St. Pancras Old Church in London

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE – US TOUR
02/03/17 – Vancouver, BC at The Cobalt
03/03/17 – Seattle, WA at Fremont Abbey Arts Center
04/03/17 – Portland, OR at Bunk Bar
06/03/17 – San Francisco, CA at The Chapel
07/03/17 – Los Angeles, CA at Bootleg Bar
08/03/17 – San Diego, CA at Soda Bar
23-26/03/17 – Knoxville, TN Big Ears Festival – TBD date
28/03/17 – Atlanta, GA at The Earl
29/03/17 – Asheville, NC at Mothlight
30/03/17 – Raleigh, NC at Kings
31/03/17 – Washington, DC at DC9
01/04/17 – Brooklyn, NY at Union Pool
02/04/17 – Boston, MA at Great Scott
03/04/17 – Portland, ME at Space Gallery
05/04/17 – Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda’s
06/04/17 – Pittsburgh, PA at Club Cafe
07/04/17 – Cleveland, OH at Beachland Tavern
08/04/17 – Detroit, MI at Third Man Records
09/04/17 – Chicago, IL at Empty Bottle
10/04/17 – Minneapolis, MN at 7th St. Entry
12/04/17 – Milwaukee, WI at Collectivo Coffee
14/04/17 – St. Louis, MO at Duck Room at Blueberry Hill
15/04/17 – Louisville, KY at Zanzabar

http://www.sixorgans.com/
https://twitter.com/6organs
http://www.dragcity.com/

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Dealer to Release Billionaire Boys Club Feb. 17; New Song Streaming

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

In what’s no doubt a grueling chronicle of the Bay Area’s culture clash between the creative class and the tech sector, Oakland heavy noise rockers Dealer make their debut in Feb. 2017 with Billionaire Boys Club. The trio have a somewhat tumultuous background for a band putting out their first record, with changes in the construction of the lineup, a cessation of activity and whatnot along their way to entering the studio this past summer with Brainoil‘s Greg Wilkinson behind the board, but as they introduce the album with the track “A.M. Gold,” streaming below, they’d seem to have effectively channeled that instability into sonic propulsion. I’d expect the outing to follow to be pretty brash based on what I’m hearing here, and that’s cool by me. California needs harsh heavy punk to keep it honest.

To the PR wire:

dealer-billionaire-boys-club

Oakland trio DEALER to release debut album Billionaire Boys Club in February | Stream and share new song ‘AM Gold’

Billionaire Boys Club will be released worldwide on Wicked World Records on 17th February 2017

The exact moment of Dealer’s formation is almost impossible to pin down. Lost in a fug of thick smoke, alcohol and noise; somewhere and someplace out of time and mind.

Tentatively starting out life as Sexless – featuring founding member Kevin Klausen on guitar/vocals and fellow Los Angelean Samantha Mancino on drums – the duo would make a habit of throwing open jam sessions to anyone in earshot. Years prior and by his own admission, Klausen had lost heart after numerous false starts attempting to form his own band and gave up on making music to assume the mantle of tour manager for close friends, The Shrine. Helping the band across Europe and struck by their professionalism, after years on the road he returned in the Spring of 2013 with a handful of songs and a newfound focus.

“After seeing all these straight ahead rock and roll bands everywhere we went, I was really eager to start my own project but wanted to do something totally different,” explains Klausen. “We started out as this grungy weirdo dissonant punk band. In the early days we treated it more like a sort of art statement rather than a categorical band, it was really abstract and fun but in a way very naive.”

Relocating to Oakland, Sexless performed their first few shows with whatever bassist they could land until the night they met Aaron Cundy of local outfit Easy Living. Followed soon after by the conscription of John Zamora on drums after the departure of Mancino they soon hit upon the sound they were seeking. Sorely shredding their way through discordant moments of pre-punk history – often in a crazed reverie of hard rock solos and cocksure hellfire – they stalked the grooves of Black Flag’s Slip It In and the riffs of Voivod’s Killing Technology. All the while, sporting the sharpest Canadian tuxedos they could find.

When Zamora eventually chose to leave the band in May 2015, Klausen and Cundy sought total reformation. Drafting in new drummer Darien McKinney for shows with the likes of The Shrine, Ho99o9, Lecherous Gaze and Joy, they performed their final gig as Sexless on 4th June 2016 before entering Earhammer Studios to record their debut album with producer Greg Wilkinson (Iron Lung, Graves at Sea, Lecherous Gaze) just two days later. A proposed, “cocktail of heavy metal, punk, grunge and rock and roll,” the trio emerged with Billionaire Boys Club in hand as Dealer; the Leather-Era…

Released on LP, CD, digital and cassette Billionaire Boys Club is released worldwide on Wicked World Records on 17th February 2017.

Dealer:
Kevin Klausen – Guitar/Vocals
Aaron Cundy – Bass
Darien McKinney – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/dealerrips/
http://dealeroakland.bandcamp.com/
http://dealerrips.tumblr.com/
http://wickedworld.storenvy.com/

Dealer, “A.M. Gold”

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Nick Oliveri to Release N.O. Hits at All Compilation Jan. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ain’t no question Nick Oliveri‘s gotten around over the years. While he’ll always be known as the low end slinger from the early days of Kyuss and the glory days of Queens of the Stone Age, between the various incarnations of his own Mondo Generator band, Dwarves and other acts — Bloodclot, in which he features alongside Cro MagsJohn Joseph, have been announced for a March 2017 debut, so his contributions are ongoing — Oliveri has amassed a catalog that’s wide-ranging in style, geography and intensity. Yet somehow, no matter where he goes or what he’s doing, from Death Acoustic to Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable to sitting in with Winnebago Deal, his mark is unmistakable.

Some of his many guest appearances will be the focus for the forthcoming N.O. Hits at All Vol. 1 — get it? initials? — which will feature Death Acoustic covers as well as cuts from other bands on which Oliveri has sat in. Bound to be kind of all over the place, right? Well, I think that’s pretty much the whole idea. It’s out Jan. 27 via Heavy Psych Sounds.

Oliveri offers comment via the PR wire below:

nick-oliveri-no-hits-at-all

NICK OLIVERI to release first volume of his “N.O. Hits At All” compilations through Heavy Psych Sounds this January!

Desert punk icon NICK OLIVERI just announced the release of a serie of compilations entitled “N.O. Hits At All”, to be issued next year on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

The man comments on this new work: “This record is the Volume One of a series of compilations in which I recorded the vocals. Bands that I like and bands that like my singing voice enough to have asked me to “guest vocal” on a song for their records. Some of these have been released and some have not until now. I have sang and/or recorded bass on 50+ releases of bands I love and had the great honor to work with – Dwarves, Mondo Generator, Svetlanas, Q.O.T.S.A, Kyuss, Bl’Ast, Bloodclot, Masters Of Reality, Vista Chino, Mark Lenagan Band, Turbonegro, Death Acoustic, The Uncontrollable, to name a few. The good folks at Heavy Psych Sounds Records are releasing a series called “N.O. Hits At All”. Now for the first time, all these songs and bands I’ve recorded with over the past 25 years are together and available to you to trip out on. So get your head right, put this record on and play it loud!”

“N.O. Hits At All Vol.1” will be issued on January 27th, 2017 on LTD transparent red vinyl, black vinyl and CD, all through Heavy Psych Sounds.

NICK OLIVERI “N.O. Hits At All Vol.1”
Out January 27th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Pre-orders available from December 16th here

TRACKLISTING:
SIDE A
1. Komatsu “Lockdown”
2. Death Acoustic “Anything and Everything”
3. Winnebago Deal “Revenge”

SIDE B
1. Svetlanas “Speedfreak”
2. Death Acoustic “Time To Think / Surf & Destroy”
3. Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs “Eccentric Man”

https://twitter.com/NICKOLIVERI
https://www.facebook.com/rexeverything666
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Nick Oliveri, “Time to Think / Surf & Destroy” live

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Salem’s Bend and The Rare Breed on Tour this Week

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

Los Angeles heavy rockers Salem’s Bend and The Rare Breed both have new albums out. In the case of the former, their 2015 self-titled debut has been newly reissued this fall via Ripple Music, while for The Rare Breed, it’s their own debut, Looking for Today, which came out in September to wide acclaim. The shows they’ll partner up for this week have been dubbed the Ripple Road Fest, which is an interesting prospect in itself. This time it’s just five gigs, but one could easily imagine a “Ripple Road Fest” turning into a thing. Maybe annual?

After all, why not? Not like the label doesn’t have enough bands across various strata at this point. I kind of like the idea of them heading out under a single banner. Makes sense from both a branding and a rock and roll standpoint, and as we all know, those are the two things that make the world go ’round.

Courtesy of the PR wire:

salems-bend-the-rare-breed-tour-poster-700

Salem’s Bend and The Rare Breed – Ripple Road Fest Dec ’16

Salem’s Bend and The Rare Breed, two LA-based heavy rock trios, are hitting the road for a quick RIPPLE ROAD FEST California tour to kick off the holiday season! Salem’s Bend just released their album with label Ripple Music in October and The Rare Breed will be signing their debut album with them as well for a release in early 2017.

Starting out in the sleepy central valley town of Turlock on Nov 30th at the Grizzly Rock, then hitting Oakland Dec 1st at The Golden Bull, Pacifica on Dec 2nd at Winter’s Tavern, then back down to SoCal for a local LA show at Lexington Bar on Dec 3rd, and finish out in Costa Mesa on Dec 4th at Tiki Bar.

5 shows, 5 days, it’ll be a fast gut-punch of hard rock to your eager ears! Innumerable great local bands will be joining them at each stop so it’s really going to be a must-see. Getting a bit cold for you with winter creeping up? Come out to a show and The Bend and The Breed will MELT YOUR FACE!

Salem’s Bend & The Rare Breed: Ripple Road Fest CA Tour:
11.30 Turlock Grizzly Rock
12.01 Oakland The Golden Bull
12.02 SF/Pacifica Winters Tavern
12.03 L.A. Lexington Bar
12.04 Costa Mesa Tiki Bar

https://www.facebook.com/pg/salemsbend/events/
https://www.facebook.com/salemsbend/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/salems-bend
https://www.facebook.com/RareBreeding/
https://rarebreed666.bandcamp.com/album/looking-for-today

Salem’s Bend, Salem’s Bend (2016)

The Rare Breed, Looking for Today (2016)

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The Freeks to Tour Europe in Feb./March; New Album out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Los Angeles five-piece heavy rock punkstompers The Freeks released their third album, Shattered (review here), less than a week ago, and yet here they are wasting no time announcing their intention to support the offering by teaming up with the booking wing of their label, Italy’s Heavy Psych Sounds, in order to tour Europe from the end of February through much of March. Though the actual routing, i.e. cities and venues, has yet to be revealed, the poster gives the span from Feb. 28 through March 20, and the label has said that they’ll hit Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria on their way. If other recent goings are anything to judge by, I’d expect multiple dates throughout Germany and Italy as well. Maybe even France.

They’ll be joined by Dutch riffers Komatsu, who released their new album, Recipe for Murder One, in Sept. on Argonauta Records.

More to come once the actual dates and such show up, but the poster’s cool until then and if you haven’t checked out Shattered yet, the full stream is below:

the-freeks-komatsu-tour

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is incredibly happy to announce the European tour of ***The Freeks***

The US riffers will be supported for the entire tour by another great band Komatsu from the Netherlands.

DATES: 28.02.2017 to 20.03.2017

Californian Fuzzsters THE FREEKS are just out with their new record “SHATTERED” out on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

Tour will touch countries as Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria. Dates will be announced soon!! Stay tuned!

Prepare for an unprecedented earthquake, world! Los Angeles explosive rock’n’rollers THE FREEKS released their new album “Shattered” November 11th on Heavy Psych Sounds.

With an inextinguishable fire, Californian five-piece THE FREEKS brilliantly fuses high-octane rock’n’roll, the raw energy of punk rock and hints of psychedelic bizarrerie. Just as if The Stooges had met Hawkwind. With former members of Fu Manchu and Nebula in its ranks, the band is anything but a newbie in the US rock scene. After two albums (“The Freeks” in 2008 and the widely acclaimed “Full On” in 2013), THE FREEKS are back with a blazing new effort released on Heavy Psych Sounds on November 11.

THE FREEKS ARE
Ruben Romano – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Jonathan Hall – Guitar & Vocals
Tom Davies – Bass & Vocals
Esteban Chavez – Synths, organs, electric pianos
Bob Lee – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/TheFreeks/
https://twitter.com/The_Freeks
http://www.thefreeks.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS044

The Freeks, Shattered (2016)

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The Watchers Post “Sabbath Highway” Video; EP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-watchers

When The Watchers announced earlier this year they had signed to Ripple Music, they did so with the release of a new video, so it’s only fitting their debut EP should arrive accompanied by one as well. “Sabbath Highway” is the opener and title-cut of the Bay Area heavy rockers’ five-tracker, and its meld of oldschool metal and West Coast-style stoner hooks could hardly make for a better introduction to the band’s straightforward and classic modus. Little need for frills when you can come up with a title like “Sabbath Highway.” Who the hell doesn’t want to drive down that? Hell, I wouldn’t even set my GPS. Just go ahead and get lost. Doesn’t matter. Take the Sabbath Highway to the 101. Good to go.

Sabbath Highway came out via Ripple on Nov. 4. On Halloween, it was announced here that The Watchers would take part in Maryland Doom Fest 2017 alongside The SkullBangBorracho and a ton of others, very vew of whom will travel as far to get to Frederick. I think Beastmaker might be the only competition in that regard, but again, it all depends which highway you take. The Watchers have made public their inention to tour around that appearance, which seems reasonable given the distance. Will keep you posted when I hear more or when/if I see dates announced before next June, when MDDF17 is set to take place.

Till then, enjoy a trip down the “Sabbath Highway” below:

The Watchers, “Sabbath Highway” official video

Gathering together an impressive cast of seasoned players with vocalist Tim Narducci and bassist Cornbread (SpiralArms, White Witch Canyon), Orchid drummer Carter Kennedy and guitarist Jeremy Von Eppic (Black Gates, The Venting Machine) The Watchers is an out-and-out super group of musicians’ musicians and a fitting addition to Ripple Music’s ever growing roster.

After peddling some killer and powerful riffs earlier in year on their Evel Knievel-inspired video for ‘Today’, the band returns with the title track from Sabbath Highway.

The Watchers:
Tim Narducci – Vocals
Jeremy Von Eppic – Guitars
Cornbread – Bass
Carter Kennedy – Drums

The Watchers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

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Of the Horizon Self-Titled LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

of-the-horizon

Half a decade in the making, the self-titled debut from Joshua Tree’s Of the Horizon will see release through Kozmik Artifactz on Nov. 18. The band has a decent portion of the material streaming now, though whether those are the final versions or if something’s changed in the last five years is anyone’s guess, but either way, their blend of heavy desert psych and crunching, Sleep-style riffing on “3 Feet,” which you can hear below, should give you some general idea what they’re getting up to. Or what they got up to circa 2011, anyhow. I suppose they could pretty much be doing anything at this point, including not being a band since last I heard, bassist Kayt Vigil was in Italy and playing in Sonic Wolves.

So yeah, maybe not too sure on the status of Of the Horizon, but at least the record is coming out. If you’re the gotta-preorder-it type, Kozmik Artifactz has it up for sale now, and they posted the following announcement with the Kyle Stratton cover art:

of-the-horizon-self-titled

Of The Horizon – s/t full length now on pre-sale!

More than 4 years after the final recording of Los Angeles/Joshua Tree, CA’s …Of The Horizon, the long awaited self-titled full length album is on the way – on wax!

The three piece brings the listener crushing low end, heavily fuzzed out guitar, precise and intense drumming and melodically droning vocals. The album transports you straight into the soul-warming freeness of the California high desert while taking you on a sonic journey through the soundscape of open valleys and high mountains – complete with fuzzed-out grooves, massive and sonorous riffs finely detailed with swells of volume and feeling …and all with a trance-inducing psychedelic edge!

Recorded in November of 2011 in Joshua Tree, CA by Tony Mason. Cover art by Caveman Kyle Stratton of the amazing band, Atala. Mixed and Mastered by Brian Zee and drummer Shig and later on by Lorenzo Stecconi (Ufomammut’s “sound lord”).

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high performance 180g vinyl by PALLAS in Germany
– 100x orange black marbled (Exclusive mailorder edition, handnumbered)
– 200x black
– matt laquered 300gsm gatefold Cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
A1. 3 Feet
A2. Caravan
A3. Unknown
B1. Gladhander
B2. Hall of the Drunken King

Of the Horizon is:
Mike Hanne – Guitars/Vocals
Shig – Drums/Cymbals/Gong
Kayt Vigil – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
www.kozmik-artifacts.com/artist/ofthehorizon/
https://soundcloud.com/ofthehorizon
https://www.facebook.com/Of-The-Horizon-119745221373471/

Of the Horizon, “3 Feet”

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The Freeks, Shattered: Pieces Put Together (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-freeks-shattered

[Click play above to stream The Freeks’ Shattered in its entirety. Album is out Friday, Nov. 11 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

The Freeks‘ third album, Shattered, reads like a blueprint for how to blend punker and psychedelic impulses. Or at least how to revel in the competition between them. Also the Los Angeles five-piece’s debut on Heavy Psych Sounds, it expands on the ideas of 2013’s Full On (review here) as well as the runtime — going from 34 then to 48 minutes here — and leans on the fantastic and classy key work of Esteban Chavez to carry a vintage vibe into songs like the ultra-Stoogesian “Where Did You Go,” the band trying to find that moment when heavy rock got just dirty enough to be called punk for the first time while still keeping a modern production.

This drive has been there since their 2008 self-titled debut, but finds its deepest manifestation yet on Shattered, and while one doubts the title is a reference the group’s penchant for jumping styles, there are songs that present a solid break from one genre to the next, perhaps best exemplified in the turn from the speedy rawness of “Uncle Jack’s Truck” (“Uncle Jack” also made an appearance on the self-titled) to the more sprawling, jammy, lysergic “Sylvia” at what one assumes is the end of side A. Granted, some of these moves come across pretty clearly telegraphed — particularly when one can look at the comparative track lengths — but The Freeks are an experienced band and know how to set up a flow so that “Strange Mind” can make one recall that vocalist/guitarist Ruben Romano‘s pedigree goes back to Nebula‘s days as a Fu Manchu offshoot.

Bassist/vocalist Tom Davies also did time in the much-missed heavy psych rockers, and together with him, guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Hall (Backbiter), Chavez on synth, organ and electric piano, and drummer Bob Lee, who makes his debut here in place of Hari HassinRomano leads the fervent charge that The Freeks ignite early with feedback and piano intensity on opener “Tiny Pieces.” The hook in that track revolves around the line, “No one’s gonna take me alive,” and that proves telling as regards the attitude of Shattered, which like its predecessor reminds at its meanest moments, as with the late-arriving and particularly blown-out “Ivana,” of Mondo Generator, but three records deep, The Freeks are less willing to be defined by their influences than by their songwriting.

the-freeks

They have more than enough stylistic command to establish fluidity to carry them through the swinging “Where Did You Go” and into the emergent swirl of “Strange Mind” — the first of Shattered‘s several really psychedelic tracks, joined later by “Sylvia” and much of side B, and maybe still the catchiest, though I’m partial to the gone-and-not-coming-back, dream-state sensibility of closer “Blow Time Away” — and while there are times listening to the effects churn later in “Sylvia” or “Strange Mind” or “Fast Forward” or indeed “Blow Time Away” when one has to step back and wonder how it is The Freeks can resist the impulse to just make a record of half-hour-long jams, since they so clearly could and probably put out three full-lengths a year of space rock mastery, the fact that they don’t makes them a more powerful group in terms of craft and gives their sound a dimension that even deep-field mixing can’t necessarily convey.

Though it certainly doesn’t hurt. Pulling out of the atmosphere of earlier cuts like the post-grunge strum of “I’m a Mess” and the fittingly motor-ready thrust of “Uncle Jack’s Truck,” the consciously-titled “There’s No Turning back Now” is only 1:48, but it serves as a trippy synth/effects introduction to Shattered‘s second half from which “La Tumba” directly feeds and expands, more patient in pace and rolling out to engaging heavy psych liquefaction. It’s not that structure disappears entirely, but the stylistic lean definitely changes its direction, and an experimental edge even works its way into the hard cosmic surf of “The Space Bar,” broadening The Freeks‘ established reach leading into the fade-in of “Fast Forward”‘s languid grandeur. Once again, there’s an underlying hook — “Just keep moving forward” feels a long way removed from “No one’s gonna take me alive,” even if the root message is similar — but it comes paired with Shattered‘s most hypnotic groove, and the pairing of guitar solo and organ at the end make it a high point of the album as a whole.

Naturally, the smash-into-ground of “Ivana” follows. I said the band telegraphed some of their moves, and they do, but it still works in terms of the aforementioned revelry, and as stark as “Fast Forward” into “Ivana” is, “Ivana” into the penultimate “Blue Shoes” — more of a middle-ground strut-rocker complementing “Where Did You Go” earlier — sets up the shift back into the ethereal for “Blow Time Away” to close out, and those final three songs summarize well the scope presented across the entire span, essentially a condensed version of what brings Shattered so smoothly together. “Blow Time Away” ends cold, with just a quick shot of feedback mirroring “Tiny Pieces,” and The Freeks make their way out of their sprawling-but-still-driven third offering with a resounding lack of pretense intact despite having married styles rarely bridged. There’s no doubt they benefit from the past experience of their component members, but as The Freeks hit maturity on their own as a band, their personality has only become more multi-faceted.

The Freeks on Thee Facebooks

The Freeks on Twitter

The Freeks website

The Freeks at Heavy Psych Sounds

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