Friday Full-Length: Ché, Sounds of Liberation

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ché, Sounds of Liberation (2000)

By 2000, Brant Bjork was half-a-decade out of Kyuss. In 1997, he’d released his first album as the drummer for Fu Manchu, The Action is Go (he’d also produced their 1994 debut, No One Rides for Free), and in 1999, he released his own solo debut in the form of the landmark Jalamanta, bringing his funked-out, soulful desert rock songwriting front and center with laid back tones and nodding cool that dripped from the platter front to back. When Ché issued 2000’s Sounds of Liberation, Bjork was still with Fu Manchu — his final album with them would be California Crossing in 2001 — and it’s clear part of the drive was to be a bandleader in his own right. Having drummed in Kyuss and Fu Manchu and performed everything on his solo record, Ché was an outfit that could get out on stage and perform in a traditional band sense, and that seemed to be the idea behind it.

che sounds of liberationBringing together Bjork in guitar and vocals, a post-Queens of the Stone Age (also ex-Kyuss) Alfredo Hernandez on drums and Unida‘s Dave Dinsmore on bass, Ché was an exciting if short-lived prospect. Man’s Ruin, which also put out Jalamanta the year before, issued Sounds of Liberation, and even 15 years later it sounds like an album with considerable promise. In light of what Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band — which also includes Dinsmore — were able to accomplish with 2014’s Black Power Flower (review here), Sounds of Liberation seems like a precursor to a similar kind of expression, Bjork‘s songwriting, tone and voice very much at the fore, but well complemented in a fashion that, at least going by the sound of it, seemed sustainable and tour-ready. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but with tracks like the jamming “Pray for Rock” and ultra-swinging “Blue Demon,” Sounds of Liberation stands the test of time. It didn’t prove to be the kind of rock and roll freedom Bjork was looking for, and the album has become kind of a footnote in the history of desert rock, but there’s nothing about the results that didn’t work.

Sounds of Liberation was reissued in 2008 by Bjork‘s Low Desert Punk Recordings and there are still copies around for those who’d find them. Hope you enjoy.

Still in Jersey. Going to Brooklyn in a little bit to see Conan, then up to Connecticut immediately thereafter. Plan is to drive back to Massachusetts during the day tomorrow, then up to New Hampshire to see Gozu. Reviews of both of those and the new The Machine album at some point next week, but I start work on Tuesday, so I honestly can’t say when or what that’s going to look like.

I’m a little nervous to start work again, but I think it will be good. I’ll have my own office and a little space to figure things out, so that’s good, and you know I’m going to do as much Obelisk stuff as I’m able all the while, whatever it costs me in mental stability or hours of sleep. If I could make a living doing this site, I would. Nobody’s cut me that check yet, so off to work I go. I’m happy to have a job.

Monday is Memorial Day, and I might review the Conan show, but there probably won’t be much more going on than that — four bands on the bill, so I’m sure that will be plenty — and Tuesday, since it’s my first day at the new office, I’ll have a podcast up and maybe a news story or something but that’s probably it. I said the same thing last week, but I ask you to please bear with me while I get settled. It might take a little time.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. If you’re in the States, enjoy the extra day off. Be safe and thanks for reading. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

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Fatso Jetson & Farflung, Split: Sand and Space

Posted in Reviews on May 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

fatso jetson farflung split

The two probably have more in common existentially than sonically. Both Fatso Jetson and Farflung trace their roots back to California in the early ’90s, Farflung having gotten together in ’92 and Fatso Jetson in ’94, and both have endured over the two-plus decades since while remaining consistently underrated at home and abroad. Both are a good distance away from their last full-length — Fatso Jetson‘s Archaic Volumes (review here) dropped in 2010, Farflung‘s A Wound in Eternity in 2008, and both have done more of their recent work as splits, Farflung with Black Rainbows on Heavy Psych Sounds and with White Hills on Cobraside in 2012, and Fatso Jetson with Yawning Man in 2013 and with Herba Mate (review here) last year. And while recent years have seen Fatso Jetson‘s street cred greatly expanded as a new generation has come up to appreciate their contributions to desert rock and Farflung‘s spacey designs have also caught on more in Europe, it’s still safe to say both are underappreciated by the general listening consciousness. Whether or not Heavy Psych Sounds had that in mind in pairing them up for their new split LP, which boasts two new tracks from each band, I wouldn’t know, but it ties the release together in a way that still allows for the two to have distinct sonic personalities that show through in the material, Fatso Jetson‘s sound having pushed to the roots of desert rock in punk and warm-toned groove and Farflung pushing cosmic Hawkwindy jamming and effects-laden exploration.

Again, there’s more drawing them together in terms of their situation than aesthetic, but listening to the songs back to back, as on a CD or digital version, their split isn’t especially choppy in moving from one to the next. Part of that owes to the open-ended weirdness that has emerged in Fatso Jetson‘s sound, a well-established penchant for quirk playing out now with the inclusion of guitarist Dino Von Lalli, son of founding guitarist/vocalist Mario Lalli and nephew to bassist Larry Lalli. Driven as ever by the sharp drumming of Tony Tornay (who also played on Brant Bjork‘s last record) and quick-turning fuzz riffing, “Taking off Her Head” nonetheless has a punkish undercurrent particularly in comparison to the jammier vibes that pervaded the Herba Mate split. This isn’t necessarily unexpected — one knows better than to expect the same approach from Fatso Jetson twice in a row — but there’s still room in the song’s seven minutes for fleshing out, as they do in a bridge and softer-delivered ending section, the rhythmic shove remaining intact all the while. “Flesh Trap Blues” has more swing and swagger, but keeps a bizarro thread going with the effected opening lyrics, “Yes I need it/You don’t want it/I can’t have it/I can’t even try,” running backward and forward at the same time before the instrumental buildup begins. In its groove and shake, “Flesh Trap Blues” plays to the band’s strengths, but tonally and structurally it fits with “Taking off Her Head” as well; it just happens to be that Fatso Jetson at this point can pull off whatever shifts they want and make it work. Call it an earned luxury 20 years on from the release of their first album, Stinky Little Gods.

fatso-jetson farflung

If you’re wondering, Farflung‘s debut LP, 25,000 Feet per Second, also came out in 1995, but they’re not yet 30 seconds into the 12:53 “Jettisoned in the Rushes… Phase One” before the mood has undergone a significant shift, gong wash, tense guitar and synth marking the beginning of an expansive instrumental surge, vague whispers pervading in an anything-goes progression, elements arriving unannounced, staying for a while and then splitting again, synth, Mellotron, various guitar swirls and so on showing up over a drum beat mostly straightforward but subtly changing tempo from one movement to the next. But for the overarching fluidity, one might be tempted to call it collage, pieced together, but given Farflung‘s history, I’ve no trouble believing they could make “Jettisoned in the Rushes… Phase One” happen at will. The closer “Igneous Spire” — still longer than either of Fatso Jetson‘s tracks but seeming short after its predecessor at 7:55 — has classic Hawkwind-style thrust and more straightforward verses. It wouldn’t be right to call it grounded, because it’s space rock, but it’s less experimental despite the swirl, the various turns of echo and the moment in the second half of the song where the whole thing seems to break through some cosmic barrier and arrive at an open, empty space populated by tom hits, residual synth and sparse guitar, residing there for a minute or so before picking back up for the final surge, which is given added drama by string sounds and a combined forward motion, all parties setting the same course and bringing “Igneous Spire” to a satisfying if sudden end while avoiding smashing into any asteroids along the way.

At a vinyl-ready 34 minutes, the Fatso Jetson and Farflung split is a relatively quick listen, but it travels a significant distance in that time between one act and the next. It doesn’t quite solve the issue of both groups being due for full-length releases, but it’s an engaging front-to-back pulse and offers something different in each piece from each band, so for the already-converted, there’s nothing to complain about in taking it on. It might not be the most obvious pairing on the surface, but it makes an appropriately peculiar kind of sense by the time it’s over.

Fatso Jetson & Farflung, Split (2015)

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Wino Wednesday: Bedemon, “Time Bomb” at Psycho California 2015

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

As for how Scott “Wino” Weinrich came to front Bedemon at the Psycho California fest this past weekend, that — as one might expect coming from the doom outfit who are rightly considered legends despite never having played live before — is something of a long story. Bedemon‘s collection of rare tracks and demos, Child of Darkness, was reissued earlier this year by Relapse, and I guess that’s as good a place as any to start while the band fills in on the rest:

BEDEMON has never performed a single show, ever, with any line-up. When discussion of possibly appearing at Psycho California first came up in November, we were honored. As the months have passed though, determining who would be in the band has proven to be a real challenge on many levels for many reasons. Ultimately, due to prior commitments, neither long-time member bassist Mike Matthews nor current BEDEMON vocalist Craig Junghandel will be able to participate at the Psycho California show. There was some talk about possibly having PENTAGRAM vocalist Bobby Liebling do the set, having appeared on the 70s songs contained on their Child of Darkness: From the Original Master Tapes release which has just been reissued by Relapse Records in both CD and vinyl form, but in the end it was felt that his focus needed to be on PENTAGRAM, who are also appearing at Psycho California and additionally are currently finishing up a new studio album for release later this year.

Yet despite these seemingly insurmountable setbacks, you can’t kill BEDEMON that easily and doomed you will be, Psycho California, as Greg Mayne of PENTAGRAM’s classic 70s line-up will be appearing on bass. Mayne also has BEDEMON ties himself, as he was in the line-up that recorded the 1986 BEDEMON sessions after Mike had moved to Washington state. This will be the first time Mayne and O’Keefe have appeared on stage together in nearly 40 years.

And speaking of Geof O’Keefe, better-known as the drummer for the 70s PENTAGRAM who recorded the original studio versions of “Forever My Queen,” “Be Forewarned,” “Last Days Here” and others, at this show he’ll be playing guitar.

“People not familiar with the early beginning of PENTAGRAM might not realize that when Bobby and I put the band together back in the fall of 1971,” says O’Keefe, “I was originally the guitarist for the first two versions of the band. I’ve actually been playing guitar longer than drums. Not only is this the first time I’ll be playing guitar live on stage but it’s the first time I’ve stepped on a stage in 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited and appreciative to be part of this special and historic experience!”

So with Junghandel and Liebling not singing, who will be handling the BEDEMON vocals? Stepping in on this very special occasion is a rather unique guest and another DC legend in his own right: Scott “Wino” Weinrich! (SAINT VITUS, SPIRIT CARAVAN, THE OBSESSED, PLACE OF SKULLS, SHRINEBUILDER, THE HIDDEN HAND as well as having released a number of great solo projects).

Says O’Keefe of these developments: “While I am really disappointed neither Mike and Craig can perform at this particular show due to prior career commitments, this is an amazing line-up for a very special show. I’m excited to have my old buddy Greg Mayne on board. I haven’t seen him in nearly thirty years and haven’t played with him in forty. And Wino is a DC legend and international star in his own right and it’s an honor to have him guesting on vocals.”

So what becomes of it? Probably nothing. I don’t think we’re going to see Wino fronting a reactivated incarnation of Bedemon anytime soon. One never knows, but Bedemon released their proper debut full-length, Symphony of Shadows (track stream here), in 2012 and seem to be content to do their own thing, and with the Spirit Caravan reunion ongoing and the new Wino & Conny Ochs just out, it seems more likely that if Geof O’Keefe (interview here) was itching to keep the band moving forward, he’d find a situation a little less complex to enter into with a frontman. Though Wino-fronted Bedemon would be pretty badass.

That’s the impression the video below of “Time Bomb” gives, anyhow. Filmed at Psycho California in front of what’s clearly a packed house, Bedemon‘s first show ever featured this track off Child of Darkness and it looks to have been every bit the landmark occasion one might expect.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Bedemon, “Time Bomb” Live at Psycho California, May 15, 2015

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Goatsnake, Black Age Blues: Crossing the River

Posted in Reviews on May 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

goatsnake black age blues

The prospect of a new Goatsnake full-length has loomed large over heavy rock since the widely-influential four-piece got back together half a decade ago for their first reunion show at Roadburn 2010. Their two albums, 1999’s Goatsnake I and 2000’s Flower of Disease have cast a wide shadow over the riffery that emerged in their wake, the soulful vocals of Pete Stahl (earthlings?) a blueprint that few since have been able to follow and the contributions of guitarist Greg Anderson in the years that followed widely varied through his output with SunnO))) and at the helm of Southern Lord Recordings, which has helped shape underground tastes for well over the last decade. Fifteen years after the release of their last album, 11 since the Trampled Under Hoof EP surfaced, Stahl, Anderson, drummer Greg Rogers (The Obsessed) and newcomer bassist Scott Renner (Sourvein) return with Black Age Blues, on Southern Lord, and the impression they seem to be trying to give is they’re picking up right where they left off. In fact, they do. Opener “Another River to Cross” begins with the ending of Flower of Disease closer “The River” fading in as an intro before a bluesy acoustic guitar line introduces the nodding central figure that, when Stahl and backing vocalists Dem Preacher’s DaughtersWendy Moten, Gale Mayes and Andrea Merrit — hit into the chorus with gospel fervor, will serve as one of the album’s defining and course-setting moments. In four words? Heavy, blues, soul, riffs. Rogers and Renner provide the heavy, Anderson has the riffs, Stahl is the soul and the entire rolling nine-track/47-minute span is blue as blue gets. It seems like an easy enough formula to work with, but if that’s the case then why the hell have Goatsnake endured for 15 years without a record while so many others have come and gone?

No question Black Age Blues became one of 2015’s most anticipated releases immediately upon its announcement. Hell, even before then. And sure enough, it carries its “event” spirit into the material itself, moving from “Another River to Cross” into a one-two punch of the ultra-catchy “Elevated Man,” as clarion a hook as one could ask, though the harmonica sounds somewhat shoehorned in where a guitar solo might otherwise be, and the so-stuck-in-your-head-it’s-almost-obnoxious “Coffee and Whiskey,” the latter preceded by a recorded goof-around with Stahl singing the chorus, reminiscent of any number of studio-captured off-the-cuff moments that wound up on blues records. It’s a righteous, stunning opening salvo, and while Anderson‘s tone is invariably cleaner than it was a decade and a half ago, the method and the heft are retained via the Nick Raskulinecz production (yes, he also produced Flower of Disease, for those who’d note the continuity), and there’s still plenty of weight being thrown around behind Stahl, who’s forward in the mix at first on “Another River to Cross” but seems to step back over the next couple tracks before the title cut offers a shift away from the sub-five-minute straightforward rollers and into a classic upbeat stoner shuffle that moves in its second half to bigger riffing via a well-timed slowdown that deconstructs as the foursome shove it toward its 6:19 finish. Obviously it’s meant to be broken into halves for vinyl sides, but if one takes Black Age Blues in thirds — three sets of three tracks — it provides a fascinating sprawl as well, between its hook-laden opening trio, the middle third which branches out and the final third to tie it all together. “House of the Moon,” which follows “Black Age Blues,” is the centerpiece of the tracklist and also toys some with back and forth pacing swaps, but also brings back Dem Preacher’s Daughters for a welcome return and rightly brings them forward alongside Stahl, who makes his way to the final chorus with the lines, “We will shine on/Third time’s a charm.” And so it might just be. The revival atmosphere as the backing vocals refrain “shine on” is as pervasive on “House of the Moon” as it is anywhere on the album, but Goatsnake haven’t hit their apex yet, and it’s not where one would think.

goatsnake (Photo by Chris Lundry)

Hard to imagine “Jimi’s Gone” being about anyone other than Hendrix, with the opening lyric “Guitar-slinging gypsy,” and so on, but it’s the boogie front and center and thick, so they’re not falling into the trap of aping an artist’s sound while paying them tribute, though Stahl does layer in a bit of call and response with some Hendrixian “hey man” and “yeah man” before Dem Preacher’s Daughters announce the move into the song’s midsection with choral whoa-ing, leading to a torn out guitar solo and eventually back to the verse and chorus, some more harmonica tossed in — a bit more naturally this time — for good measure as the track rounds out leading to the tense thudding that starts the doomly “Graves,” which lurches like the best of classic The Obsessed but is overshadowed immediately by “Grandpa Jones,” the high point of the album, bringing together the infectiousness of the opening trio, the roll of the title-track and the church-hat testimony of “House of the Moon” — essentially pulling together all the righteous elements spread throughout into one huge four-and-a-half-minute stretch — Stahl and Dem Preacher’s Daughters hitting their best meld over Rogers and Renner‘s finest swing and Anderson‘s riff at the core of the whole thing. It is fucking beautiful, and with all due respect to “Slippin’ the Stealth,” “IV,” “Easy Greasy” and other high points from their first two records, it might be the best song they’ve ever written. The chorus of “You can’t decide what to do with your life/Grandpa Jones/Break it down” is perfectly arranged, the effect is heavy bliss, and it’s on “Grandpa Jones” that the listener really gets the sense of the blues record that Goatsnake have made here and how rather than trying to recapture their sound as it was, they’ve let it become this new and exciting beast while still retaining its most pivotal vibe. A call and response after the second chorus meets with complementary slams from Rogers and they finish with a turn into a particularly Sabbathian finish that’s as much about the fun they’re having as the heft they’re conjuring while doing so. That leaves “A Killing Blues” to close out, the momentum carrying from the end of “Grandpa Jones” to the beginning of the 7:35 finale, also the longest inclusion here. An open, nodding groove pervades the early going, but “A Killing Blues” is more about the jam that takes hold just past the three-minute mark, which starts with a quiet boogie as the foundation for the last build, falsetto repetitions of the title line ringing out over plotted, siren-style guitar lead and cymbal crash, a final rumble holding sway for a time until the rains start in and lead the album out.

In a way, the cover tells the whole story: Clouds of doom hang heavy over an old church in a sparse landscape and the air itself seems to be tinted blue, maybe with twilight or maybe just the darkness of the storm coming. One can’t help but wonder if that church might also be used as a schoolhouse, since that’s basically where Goatsnake are taking the entire genre of heavy rock and roll with their return full-length. Again, on paper the patterns are simple, but what the band does with them is nothing short of breathtaking, even aside from the simple appeal the album carries with it for fans through the simple fact of its existence. Sounds like hyperbole, but the blessings Black Age Blues bestows are not to be undervalued either for their heaviness or the individual presence at work behind them, and five years after their first reunion set, 15 years after their last album, Goatsnake may be the most vital they’ve ever been. Recommended.

Goatsnake, Black Age Blues album teaser

Goatsnake at Southern Lord Recordings

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Hot Lunch Post “Slappy Sunday” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

hot lunch

If I told you the new Hot Lunch video for “Slappy Sunday” featured grainy-ish footage of dudes skateboarding, would you be surprised? Probably not if you’ve ever heard the band, since grainy-ish footage of dudes skateboarding is kind of their whole aesthetic. Make it catchy as hell and you’re ready to roll down some sprawling West Coast sidewalk, kickflipping all the way. There is a plot to the new clip, though, and it involves a dude dressed as a giant taco.

Basically what you’ve got is the band and a couple other skater types are doing their thing in a parking lot somewhere, as one does when that’s their thing, and somebody orders tacos. Taco Guy shows up in full taco regalia and is like, “Yo, here’s your tacos now I gotta get mine,” and they give him a buck and a taco and he gets pissed and wants more money. Which is legit. That extra probably comes out of his taco delivery paycheck. The band doesn’t really have a leg to stand on, argument-wise, but there are like eight dudes hanging out, so they all get on their skateboards and chase Taco Guy into the Volcom skate park, where it turns out — here’s the twist — he can shred. Skate-brodom ensues and all is well as “Slappy Sunday” draws to a close.

At least that’s how I read it. If you’ve got a different take, I’m all ears. Hot Lunch‘s Slappy Sunday EP (review here) is available now as a free download from Scion A/V. Video is below, followed by some info off the PR wire. Dig it:

Hot Lunch, “Slappy Sunday” official video


Hot Lunch, the Bay Area band, premiere a video for the title track from their Scion AV Slappy Sunday EP.

The skate-centric clip, which was filmed in part at Volcom, features clips of the band interspersed with a group of mischievous California skateboarders, including Shea Cooper and Trevor Ward.

The five-song EP was released in March via Scion Audio Visual and is available as a free download:

“We’re beyond stoked about this latest batch of tunes,” said Hot Lunch drummer Rob Alper. “Both structurally and sonically they’re true to Hot Lunch form, but we can’t help feel that this five-headed beast is of a new breed. Born of an all night rock ‘n’ roll house party? Or following a ferocious Sunday curb-skating session? We know not from whence it came. We’re honored to continue working with Scion A/V to bring high-energy punk ‘n’ roll music to the people! The Slappy Sunday EP is up-to-the-very-minute Hot Lunch in all its fuzzy, monstrous glory!”

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High on Fire Announce North American Tour with Pallbearer, Lucifer and Venomous Maximus

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

high on fire

June 16 is the release date for High on Fire‘s new album, Luminiferous, and today the fury-heavy trio have announced a North American tour starting in July with support from Pallbearer, Lucifer and Venomous Maximus, because I guess if you’re going to do something, do it in style. The band released a new track today called “The Black Plot” on some other site, but the tour dates and a live video of the same song are below, along with the art and tracklisting for the Kurt Ballou-produced Luminiferous.

It’s all straight off the PR wire:

high on fire luminiferous

HIGH ON FIRE Announces North American Headlining Tour

Legendary Metal Band to Release New Album, Luminiferous, June 16

World-renowned power trio HIGH ON FIRE will release its highly-anticipated new album, Luminiferous, on June 16 via eOne Music. Recorded at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou, the record is the follow-up to the group’s 2012 release, De Vermis Mysteriis.

HIGH ON FIRE has announced a North American headlining tour in support of Luminiferous. The trio — Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass) — will kick off the 21 city trek on July 30 in San Diego, CA, and will storm stages through August 23 in New Orleans, LA.

Support on the HIGH ON FIRE tour will be provided by Pallbearer, Lucifer and Venomous Maximus. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, May 15.

HIGH ON FIRE tour dates:
North American Luminiferous Tour
July 30 San Diego, CA The Casbah
July 31 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
August 1 San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
August 3 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
August 4 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw
August 5 Seattle, WA Neumos
August 7 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
August 8 Denver, CO The Gothic
August 10 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
August 11 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall
August 12 Ferndale, MI The Loving Touch
August 13 Toronto, ON Opera House
August 14 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
August 15 New York, NY Irving Plaza
August 17 Boston, MA Royale
August 18 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
August 19 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
August 20 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage
August 21 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggy’s
August 22 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
August 23 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s (* Venomous Maximus will not appear)

Universally recognized as one of the most potent acts in music today, HIGH ON FIRE creates molten heavy metal that merges primal fury and aggression, blackened bombast and hall of fame heaviness. The group’s seventh studio album, Luminiferous, is a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume, delivering calculated catharsis as a volcano of revolving riffs and hailstorm of thundering drums combine to beam a blazing spotlight towards the future of modern metal music.

“We’re doing our part to expose The Elite and the fingers they have in religion, media, governments and financial world downfall and their relationship to all of our extraterrestrial connections in the race to control this world,” comments vocalist / guitarist Matt Pike. “Wake up, it’s happening. All while we stare at a socially engineered lie we think of as normalcy. Unless we wake from the dream, there will come true doom.”

After nearly two decades of trailblazing new passageways to heaviness, HIGH ON FIRE’s strong, stunning archetype continues to both sharpen and evolve; the trio’s vision has never been clearer. The Riff, as always, is King.

Track listing:
1.) The Black Plot
2.) Carcosa
3.) The Sunless Years
4.) Slave the Hive
5.) The Falconist
6.) Dark Side of the Compass
7.) The Cave
8.) Luminiferous
9.) The Lethal Chamber

Pre-order HIGH ON FIRE’s Luminiferous now at this location.

“I’m really happy High on Fire decided to come back to GodCity to do another album,” states producer and Converge guitarist, Kurt Ballou. “Having been a fan of theirs since The Art of Self Defense, the opportunity to collaborate with one of my favorite bands has truly been an honor.”

High on Fire, “The Black Plot” Live at Saint Vitus Bar

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Carlton Melton Meets Dr. Space Live from Roadburn Festival 2014 Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was a spacey happening, rest assured, when Carlton Melton, stepping out from their San Francisco home, hit Roadburn 2014 and paired up with none other than Øresund Space Collective figurehead and roving jammer Scott “Dr. Space” Heller. Each of the two parties is plenty freaked out on its own, but the combination worked to push even deeper into the cosmos, their mission of exploration made bolder by the alliance between them.

Like just about everything that happens within the bounds of RoadburnCarlton Melton Meets Dr. Space — the best ’50s sci-fi flick that never got made — was captured in its 90-minute entirety, and will be out through Lay Bare Recordings and Burning World soon. Not sure on the exact release date, but how do you pinpoint the birth of a galaxy anyway? It’ll be along sooner or later, and it’s available to preorder now. Set it and forget it.

To my knowledge, this was the only time these two have collaborated and I haven’t heard about any further action to come, so it’s kind of a special one-time deal that, as someone who stood in the back of the Cul de Sac and felt the wash surround me from all sides, is worth digging into. The preorder announcement follows:

carlton melton meets dr. space live from roadburn festival 2014

Hear! hear! Lay Bare Recordings proclaims:

Pre-order: Carlton Melton meets Dr. Space, live from Roadburn 2014.

Pass the word!!!…/carlton-melton-meets-dr-sp…

Carlton Melton is a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco who have been blazing their own trail of psychedelic rock and far out drone sounds for the past many years. This was the bands 2nd appearance at Roadburn and a special meeting with Dr. Space from the Øresund Space Collective was arranged at the Cul De Sac in Tilburg on Sunday April 13th. The band debuted 4 new songs never performed live before with or without Dr. Space (tracks 2-5). The full 90min spaced out set was mixed by Dr Space with assistance from Johan Dahlström. Enjoy the trip..

Carlton Melton Meets Dr. Space, Live from Roadburn Festival 2014

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Friday Full-Length: Masters of Reality, Deep in the Hole

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Masters of Reality, Deep in the Hole (2001)

Who could argue? Led by Chris Goss, founder of Masters of Reality, and producer of not only their own landmark output but also records by Kyuss, Fatso Jetson, Queens of the Stone Age, etc., 2001’s Deep in the Hole offered some of the catchiest, most immediately memorable fare ever to come from American heavy rock. Ever. Yes, I mean it. Ever. Goss‘ love of classic rock — need we mention that Ginger Baker played on 1993’s Sunrise on the Sufferbus? — and particularly The Beatles showed itself throughout the record in some of the poppy turns and its strong hooks, but tonally it was of the desert all the way through, and the list of guest reads like a Desert Sessions roster: Josh Homme, Dave Catching, Nick Oliveri, Roxy Saint, Troy Van Leeuwen, among others. Goss himself is the focal point, however, his vocals and guitar front and center throughout, guiding the record in classic form. Its blend of influences and stylistic pulse hit at just the right moment to capture an atmosphere of what post-Kyuss desert rock could be all grown up.

And I guess I’m breaking it out to close the week because it’s summer, or close enough to it. Deep in the Hole, with its bright guitar, sing-along choruses in “Third Man on the Moon,” “A Wish for a Fish,” “High Noon Amsterdam” and the title-track, among others, has always been a warmer-weather record in my mind, so with the sun out and the sky blue, it seems as fitting a time as any to break this one out. I hope you enjoy it.

Kind of dragging ass owing to no caffeine, poor sleep, general stress, and so on, but before I get into any of that, I want to send extreme thanks to Diane Farris aka Diane Kamikaze for having me on her show yesterday at 91.1 WFMU in Jersey City, NJ, for a recap of this year’s Roadburn. If you didn’t get to hear it, please check it out here:

It was great to be on FMU for the second time, and of course awesome to talk about music with Diane and to relive some choice Roadburn memories. I had Enslaved twice in the playlist. I professed my love for Anathema. It was a good time.

After that, en route to lunch with Slevin, whom I’d not actually seen in far too long, my car started to overheat four separate times, so I had to pull off to the side of the road and let the engine cool for a while. It kept doing it later, so my car’s in the shop and I’m waiting to hear from them, and I’m still in New Jersey when I was supposed to leave yesterday evening. Not sure when or how I’ll be getting out of here and heading back north, first to Connecticut, then to Massachusetts, but whatever. I’ll figure it out. After the Kings Destroy show Tuesday, family time Wednesday, FMU and vehicular drama yesterday and a full day today, I’m too exhausted to care. Any one of those things would’ve been enough for one week on its own. This week was like three weeks rolled into one. I feel like a grindcore snare drum.

This week coming is that other job interview. Not sure exactly when that will be, but somewhere in there. I’ve got new stuff coming from PlainrideCloset Disco Queen and maybe Hosoi Bros. if I can actually get two seconds to answer an email, and reviews of Cherry ChokeMy Sleeping Karma, and if there’s time, Goatsnake. We’ll see if I get there.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

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