Brume Sign to Magnetic Eye Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Brume will enter the studio next month to record their second full-length, Rabbits, for release on Magnetic Eye Records. They’ll be working with none other than Billy Frickin’ Anderson — whose CV I’d list even in part but frankly it’s exhausting to think about all the good records he’s helmed, up to and including Brume‘s 2017 debut, Rooster (review here) — on the effort, which also follows their first incursion to Europe, something that one highly doubts will be a one-time-only event. A Fall release would put them right in line for festival season. Just saying.

But of course there’s a lot that needs to happen A-to-B on that one, perhaps most pivotally actually making the album. And “late 2019” can turn into “early 2020” before you know it. I just get excited about these things and about cool bands doing cool stuff, like signing to labels and making new albums and touring. Always a good time.

Cheers to Brume and Magnetic Eye on the partnership and here’s looking forward to the album when it’s ready to roll.

Announcements from band and label follow:

brume magnetic eye

BRUME – Magnetic Eye Records

We are thrilled to announce our signing to Magnetic Eye Records! We head to the studio with Billy ( Everything Hz ) to record ‘Rabbits’ in April and will see a late 2019 release. We have been eyeing up MER and its insane roster for quite some time and honestly couldn’t imagine a more fitting family of stoner metal misfits for Brume to be a part of.

Let’s party 2019!

Says Magnetic Eye: BRUME brings its melodic drone-doom approach to MER after having released several records, toured the US and Europe, and played festivals from Austria to London. Their San Francisco aesthetic brings a welcome West Coast infusion to the label, and this April sees them entering the studio with distortion guru Billy Anderson to embark on recording their forthcoming label outing… which we cannot wait to share with you.

Brume
Susie: Vocals/Bass
Jamie: Guitar/Vocals
Jordan: Drums

https://www.brumeband.com/
https://brumesf.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/brumeband/
http://brume.bigcartel.com/
http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Brume, “Man-Made” official video

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Radio Moscow Announce Summer European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

radio moscow

San Diego classic heavy rockers Radio Moscow were in Europe this past week to make stops at the Bordeaux Psych Fest and a few other shows surrounding it. Neat. Well, while they were there, they went ahead and announced a longer European trip, set for this June/July, which is set to include HellfestBlack Deer Fest in Kent, UK, Resurrection Fest, a secret show in Italy — I’m gonna guess we know what that is — and more. Not too bad either.

Before they go, they’ll appear in May as headliners for Planet Desert Rock Weekend in Vegas and for a slot at Stoned and Dusted out somewhere in the Cali desert, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there are other shows in that mix as well, because that’s basically how Radio Moscow do. When they’re going, they go.

The three-piece released their latest album, New Beginnings (review here), late in 2017 as their label debut on Century Media and toured before and after, like you do. I don’t know what their plans are for the rest of 2018, but it’s easy enough to imagine them back out on the road after this as well. Fall in South America maybe? Somebody call Abraxas.

Sound of Liberation had the Euro dates:

radio moscow tour

Radio Moscow EUROPEAN TOUR SUMMER 2019!

While Radio Moscow are currently on the road in France, Spain & Portugal, we are thrilled to announce more European shows for them in June!

Check out the dates below:

11.06.19 – Leipzig | UT Connewitz (DE)
12.06.19 – Salzburg | Rockhouse (AT)
13.06.19 – Budapest | A38 (HU)
14.06.19 – Graz | PPC (AT)
15.06.19 – Milano | Cronache Marziane Festival (IT)
16.06.19 – Torino | Blah Blah (IT)
18.06.19 – Secret Show (IT)
19.06.19 – Geneva | L’Usine (CH) *with monkey3
21.06.19 – Clisson | Hellfest (FR)
22.06.19 – Schmitten | Schmittner Open Air (CH)
23.06.19 – Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival (UK)
25.06.19 – Leffinge | De Zwerver (BE)
26.06.19 – Cologne | Helios 37 (DE)
27.06.19 – Groningen | Vera (NL)
28.06.19 – Stuttgart | Keller Club (DE)
29.06.19 – Riegsee | Raut Oak Festival (DE)
30.06.19 – Innsbruck | PMK (AT)
01.07.19 – Vienna | Arena (AT)
03.07.19 – Berlin | Lido (DE)
04.07.19 – Wiesbaden| Schlachthof (DE)
05.07.19 – Viveiro | Resurrection Festival (ES)

More info: www.soundofliberation.com/radio-moscow

Radio Moscow line-up
Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar)
Anthony Meier (bass)
Paul Marrone (drums)

http://radiomoscow.net/
www.facebook.com/radiomoscowband
www.instagram.com/radiomoscowband

Radio Moscow, “Driftin'” official video

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Review & Track Premiere: Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saint vitus saint vitus

[Click play above to stream ‘Bloodshed’ from Saint Vitus’ upcoming self-titled album, out May 17 on Season of Mist. They’re on tour in Europe starting next month (dates here).]

Some 35 years ago, Saint Vitus defied the punk scene to which they mostly played at the time and issued their self-titled debut, an all-black cover with the band’s logo emblazoned on top, as though there was nothing else to say. And the raw doom that pervaded that 1984 release met that same barebones standard — as purely derived Sabbathian heavy as has ever existed outside the forebears themselves. With an undercurrent of hardcore punk’s upfront middle-finger-raised confrontation-prone attitude, Saint Vitus became one of modern doom’s formative and essential acts. They’ve come and gone over the years since and changed members and shape, but Saint Vitus are still Saint Vitus, and that would seem to be the message of their second self-titled release.

Also their third outing for Season of Mist behind 2012’s comeback studio offering Lillie: F-65 (review here) and 2016’s Live Vol. 2 (review here), it immediately enters conversation with the band’s earliest days thanks as well to the return of vocalist Scott Reagers, who rejoined the band in 2015 after a split with Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed, etc.) — who had fronted the band since their reunion began at Roadburn Festival in 2009 — thereby keeping the proportion of original members in the band to two, as guitarist Dave Chandler remains the core of the group, while drummer Henry Vasquez (also Blood of the Sun) marks a decade with the group and bassist Pat Bruders (also Down, ex-Crowbar) makes his first appearance. For Reagers, it’s his first time fronting Vitus for a studio record since 1995’s Die Healing (discussed here), which was the band’s final LP until the 2012 reunion release. That makes the new Saint Vitus — a candidate for all manner of nicknames taken from its cover art, whether it’s ‘The Fog Album,’ ‘The Murk Album’ (I like that one), ‘Grey Vitus’ or any number of others — all the more an event than it even would be arriving seven years after Lillie: F-65, and as it brings the band back together with producer Tony Reed (also of Mos Generator), its nine-track/41-minute run succeeds both in capturing the feel of classic Vitus and pushing their sound to places it hasn’t yet gone in the 40 years they’ve been a band.

Two examples to that point, both late in the album: “City Park” and “Useless.” Following the swaying noise/crashfest of “Hour Glass,” “City Park” is not at all the first time Chandler has taken on the vocalist position in the band — one recalls “Just Another Notch” from Die Healing and “A Timeless Tale” from 1992’s C.O.D. (discussed here), as well as “When Emotion Dies” from 1990’s landmark V, and so on — and of those, it’s probably most akin to “When Emotion Dies,” but “City Park” is on a different mission. Its noise is set to the purpose of atmospherics and drama in a way that Saint Vitus have never done before, and Chandler‘s spoken word, almost a whisper, is dark and narrative and backed by guitar noise in an experimentalist way that makes the four-minute piece much more than just an introduction to the subsequent “Last Breath,” which serves as a six-and-a-half-minute culmination of Saint Vitus‘ doomed persona, with a signature riff and lumbering groove and Reagers telltale vibrato over top.

“City Park” sets out to embody that murk on the cover, that feeling of unease of being alone someplace in the darkness with a shapeless and probably imaginary malevolence. “It might be illusion,” Chandler speculates. Indeed it might, but “City Park” is one example of Saint Vitus trying something new for them. At the same time, after “Last Breath” has answered back to the filthy churn and tension of album-opener “Remains” — sure to be a crowd-pleaser — a feedback introduction to album finale “Useless” takes up 13 of a total 91 seconds of what’s both the fastest and most outwardly punk rock song Saint Vitus have ever written. Gang shouts, blazing speed, and a social comment lyric that reminds of early C.O.C., it’s a stripped-raw moment of thrust that, especially in the context of the band’s four decades, seems to be done in good humor. One can almost imagine Chandler introducing it from the stage: “Well it took us 40 years, but we finally wrote a punk song.”

saint vitus

Saint Vitus are no strangers to playing fast. The eponymous track that opened the self-titled is a prime example, or even “Blessed Night” from the last record, but “Useless” goes a step further in a very similar way that “City Park” takes what they’ve done before and brings it to a new level. Even the earlier “A Prelude To…” — which is actually longer than “Bloodshed,” which it would seem to have been composed to introduce — steps beyond the limits of what one might expect from them, with a minimalist creeper of a guitar line and a vocal showcase from Reagers that drifts to about the 2:20 mark before Bruders‘ bassline enters to begin the introduction to “Bloodshed” in earnest. And while “Bloodshed” — arguably the most outwardly catchy inclusion here — and the subsequent “12 Years in the Tomb” both have good speed to their push, the latter finding Chandler taking a particularly noisy solo as Vasquez dutifully holds the track together, they’re still well within Saint Vitus‘ wheelhouse.

Likewise, the mid-tempo centerpiece “Wormhole” — which would seem to be a complement/update in lyrical theme to the opiate-minded “White Stallions” from 1985’s Hallow’s Victim, the band’s second record and the last of Reagers‘ original run with them — does well in fusing faster and slower methods and brings nuance of layered vocals in the verses to standout lines like, “I always feel safe in a sacred place/Far away from the human race,” emphasizing a perspective that is no less quintessentially Vitus than Chandler‘s ultra-low guitar tone, which is not only intact throughout these songs, but reestablished as the foundational component that it is of everything they’ve ever done. Especially as this is the first Saint Vitus full-length not to feature original bassist Mark Adams — whose Parkinson’s diagnosis was revealed last year — Chandler seems all the more the center of what makes the band who they are. That doesn’t, however detract from Reagers‘ performance across this material, as from “Remains” to “Useless” (notwithstanding “City Park”), he brings the most classic feel to the material that ties together the album’s diverse presentation. He surfs the groove of “Bloodshed” like a master and is no less at home among the filth and sleaze of “Hour Glass” than in the lurching final verse of “Last Breath.”

Thus it is a two-pronged righteousness to be found on Saint Vitus‘ Saint Vitus. They bring to bear the sound that’s made their legacy span generations as it has while also pushing themselves to try ways of working they’ve never done before. It’s difficult to look at this album out of the context of Saint Vitus‘ past output, but I’m not entirely sure we’re supposed to. Rather, even the title — or lack thereof — seems to hint at the band coming full circle, both in terms of Chandler and Reagers re-teaming for a studio album, for their ongoing flirtations with punk, and for their reclamation of the style and tone that was so much their own from the very start. Saint Vitus‘ Saint Vitus could stand alone, but it doesn’t have to, and especially considering how much the band has done to shape modern doom, it is all the more admirable that the creative restlessness that drove their earliest days would still be so vibrant these many years later. Why rest on your laurels when you can fully embody the miseries and disaffection of our age?

Saint Vitus, “12 Years in the Tomb”

Saint Vitus on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus on Twitter

Saint Vitus Tumblr

Saint Vitus website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Twitter

Season of Mist on Instagram

Season of Mist website

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Quarterly Review: Stuck in Motion, AVER, Massa, Alastor, Seid, Moab, Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Into Orbit, Super Thief, Absent

Posted in Reviews on March 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Let the games begin! The rules are the same: 10 albums per day, this time for a total of 60 between today and next Monday. It’s the Quarterly Review. Think of it like a breakfast buffet with an unending supply of pancakes except the pancakes are riffs and there’s only one dude cooking them and he’s really tired all the time and complains, complains, complains. Maybe not the best analogy. Still, it’s gonna be a ton of stuff, but there are some very, very cool records included, so please keep your eyes and your mind open for what’s coming, because you might find something here you really dig. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Stuck in Motion, Stuck in Motion

stuck in motion self-titled

The classic style cover art of Swedish trio Stuck in Motion‘s self-titled debut tells much of the story. It’s sweet-toned vintage-style soul rock, informed by Graveyard to some degree, but more aligned to retroism. The songs are bluesy and natural and not especially long, but have vibe for weeks, as demonstrated on the six-minute longest-track “Dreams of Flying,” or the flute-laden closer “Eken.” What the picture doesn’t tell you is the heavy use of clavinet in the band’s sound and just how much the vintage electric piano adds to what songs like “Slingrar” with its ultra-fluid shifts in tempo, or the sax-drenched penultimate cut “Orientalisk.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Max Kinnbo, drummer Gustaf Björkman and bassist/vocalist/clavinetist Adrian Norén, Stuck in Motion‘s debut successfully basks in a mellow psychedelic blues atmosphere and shows a patience for songwriting that bodes remarkably well. It should not be overlooked because you think you’re tired of vintage-style rock.

Stuck in Motion on Thee Facebooks

Stuck in Motion on Bandcamp

 

AVER, Orbis Majora

aver orbis majora

Following up their 2015 sophomore outing, Nadir (review here), which led to them getting picked up by Ripple Music, Australia’s AVER return with the progressive shove of Orbis Majora, five songs in 50 minutes of thoughtfully composed heavy progadelica, and while it’s not all so serious — closer “Hemp Fandango” well earns its title via a shuffling stonerly groove — opener “Feeding the Sun” and the subsequent “Disorder” set a mood of careful craftsmanship in longform pieces. The album’s peak might be in the 13-minute “Unanswered Prayers,” which culls together an extended linear build that’s equal parts immersive and gorgeous, but the rest of the album hardly lacks for depth or clarity of purpose. An underlying message from the Sydney four-piece would seem to be that they’re going to continue growing, even after more than a decade, because it’s not so much that they’re feeling their way toward their sound, but willfully pushing themselves to refine those parameters.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Massa, Walls

massa walls

Flourish of keys adds nuance to Massa‘s moody, heavy post-rock style, the Rotterdam-based trio bringing an atmosphere to their second EP, Walls, across five tracks and 26 minutes marked by periodic samples from cinema and a sense of scope that seems to be born of an experimental impulse but not presented as the experiment itself. That is, they take the “let’s try this!” impulse and make a song out of it, as the chunky rhythm of instrumental centerpiece “Expedition” or the melodies in the prior “#8” show. Before finishing with the crash-into-push of the relatively brief “Intermassa,” the eight-minute “The Federal” complements winding guitar with organ to affect an engaging spirit somewhere between classic and futurist heavy, with the drums holding together proceedings that would seem to convey all the chaos of that temporal paradox. Perhaps it was opener “Shiva” that set this creator/destroyer tone, but either way, Massa bask in it and find a grim sense of identity thereby.

Massa on Thee Facebooks

Massa on Bandcamp

 

Alastor, Slave to the Grave

alastor slave to the grave

The first full-length from Swedish doomplodders Alastor and their debut on RidingEasy Records, late 2018’s Slave to the Grave is the four-piece’s most expansive offering yet in sonic scope as well as runtime. Following the 2017 EPs Blood on Satan’s Claw (review here) and Black Magic (review here), the seven-song/56-minute offering holds true to the murk-toned cultism and dense low-end rumble of the prior offerings, but the melodic resonance and sense of updating the aesthetic of traditional doom is palpable throughout the roller “Your Lives are Worthless,” while the later acoustic-led “Gone” speaks to a folkish influence that suits them surprisingly well given the heft that surrounds. They make an obvious focal point of 17-minute closer “Spider of My Love,” which though they’ve worked in longer forms before, is easily the grandest accomplishment they’ve yet unfurled. One might easily say the same applies to Slave to the Grave as a whole. Those who miss The Wounded Kings should take particular note of their trajectory.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Seid, Weltschmerz, Baby!

seid-weltschmerz_baby-web

If Norwegian space-psych outfit Seid are feeling weary of the world, the way they show it in Weltschmerz, Baby! is by simply leaving it behind, substituting for reality a cosmic starscape of effects and synth, the odd sample and vaguely Hawkwindian etherealism. The centerpiece title-track is a banger along those lines, a swell of rhythmic intensity born out of the finale of the prior “Satan i Blodet” and the mellow, flowing “Trollmannens Hytte” before that, but the highlight might be the subsequent “Coyoteman,” which drifts into dream-prog led by echoing layers of guitar and eventually given over to a fading strain of noise that “Moloch vs. Gud” picks up with percussive purpose and flows directly into the closer “Mir (Drogarna Börjar Värka),” rife with ’70s astro-bounce and a long fadeout that’s less about the record ending and more about leaving the galaxy behind. Starting out at a decent clip with “Haukøye,” Weltschmerz, Baby! is all about the journey and a trip well worth taking.

Seid on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records website

 

Moab, Trough

moab trough

A good record tinged by the tragic loss of drummer Erik Herzog during the recording and finished by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis and bassist Joe Fuentes, the 10-track/39-minute Trough demonstrates completely just how much Moab have been underrated since their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo (discussed here), and across the 2014 follow-up, Billow (review here), as they bring a West Coast noise-infused pulse to heavy rock drive on “All Automatons” and meet an enduring punker spirit face first with “Medieval Moan,” all the while presenting a clear head for songcraft amid deep-running tones and melodies. “The Will is Weak” makes perhaps the greatest impact in terms of heft, but heft is by no means all Moab have to offer. With the very real possibility this will be their final record, it is a worthy homage to their fallen comrade and a showcase of their strengths that’s bound someday to get the attention it deserves whenever some clever label decides to reissue it as a lost classic.

Moab on Thee Facebooks

Moab on Bandcamp

 

Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Split

primitive man unearthly trance split

Well of course it’s a massive wash of doomed and hate-filled noise! What were you expecting, sunshine and puppies? Colorado’s Primitive Man and Brooklyn’s Unearthly Trance team up to compare misanthropic bona fides across seven tracks of blistering extremity that do Relapse Records proud. Starting with the collaborative intro “Merging,” the onslaught truly commences with Primitive Man’s 10-minute “Naked” and sinks into an abyss with the instrumental noisefest “Love Under Will,” which gradually makes its way into a swell of abrasive drone. Unearthly Trance, meanwhile, proffer immediate destructiveness with the churning “Mechanism Error” and make “Triumph” dark enough to live up to its most malevolent interpretations, while “Reverse the Day” makes me wonder what people who heard Godflesh in the ’80s must’ve thought of it and the six-minute finishing move “418” answers back to Primitive Man‘s droned-out anti-structure with a consuming void of fuckall depth. It’s like the two bands cut open their veins and recorded the disaffection that spilled out.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Unearthly Trance on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Into Orbit, Shifter

Into Orbit Shifter

Progressive New Zealander two-piece Into OrbitPaul Stewart on guitar and Ian Moir on drums — offer up the single Shifter as the answer to their 2017 sophomore long-player, Unearthing. The Wellington instrumentalists did likewise leading into that album with a single that later showed up as part of a broader tracklist, so it may be that they’ve got another release already in the works, but either way, the 5:50 standalone track finds them dug into a full band sound with layered or looped guitar standing tall over the mid-paced drumming, affecting an emotion-driven atmosphere as much as the cerebral nature of its craft. Beginning with a thick chug, it works into more melodic spaciousness as it heads toward and through its midsection, lead guitar kicking in with harmony lines joining soon after as the two-piece build back up to a bigger finish. Whatever their plans, Into Orbit make it clear that just because something is prog doesn’t mean it needs to be staid or lack expressiveness.

Into Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Into Orbit on Bandcamp

 

Super Thief, Eating Alone in My Car

super thief eating alone in my car

Noise-punk intensity pervades Eating Alone in My Car, the not-quite-not-an-LP from Austin four-piece Super Thief. They call it an album, and that’s good enough for me, especially since at about 20 minutes there isn’t much more I’d ask of the thing that it doesn’t deliver, whether it’s the furious out-of-mindness of minute-long highlight “Woodchipper” or the poli-sci critique of that sandwiches the offering with opener “Gone Country” immediately taking a nihilist anti-stance while closer “You Play it Like a Joke but I Know You Really Mean It” — which consumes nearly half the total runtime at 9:32 — seems to run up the walls unable to stick to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” point of view of the earlier cut. That’s how the bastards keep you running in circles, but at least Super Thief know where to direct the frustration. “Six Months Blind” and the title-track have a more personal take, but are still worth a read lyrically as much as a listen, as the rhythm of the words only adds to the striking personality of the material.

Super Thief on Thee Facebooks

Learning Curve Records website

 

Absent, Towards the Void

absent towards the void

Recorded in 2016, released on CD in 2018 and snagged by Cursed Tongue Records for a vinyl pressing, Absent‘s Towards the Void casts a shimmering plunge of cavernous doom, with swirling post-Electric Wizard guitar and echoing vocals adding to the spaciousness of its four component tracks as the Brasilia-based trio conjure atmospheric breadth to go along with their weighted lurch in opener “Ophidian Womb.” With tracks arranged shortest to longest between eight and a half and 11 minutes, “Semen Prayer,” “Funeral Sun” and “Urine” follow suit from the opener in terms of overall approach, but “Funeral Sun” speeds things up for a stretch while “Urine” lures the listener downward with a subdued opening leading to more filth-caked distortion and degenerate noise, capping with feedback because at that point what the hell matters anyway? Little question in listening why this one’s been making the rounds for over a year now. It will likely continue to do so for some time to come.

Absent on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

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Brant Bjork Announces June & July European Tour Dates; Playing Freak Valley & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this week, Brant Bjork posted a clip of 2018 European tour highlights that, if you didn’t already want to see Brant Bjork — ah screw it, what am I thinking, of course you did. But the point is it looks like the shows were a blast. All the better timing, then that Bjork and company have a new round of Euro dates on deck, including numerous festival stops beginning with Freak Valley in Germany and wrapping up with Resurrection Fest in Spain on July 4. They’ll be in Belgium, the UK, Greece, Switzerland and Austria as well, so not exactly a minor bit of running around for a 14-show run, but if the video is anything to go by, it’ll be plenty groovy, and maybe even in slow motion!

Brant Bjork is of course about to release the awaited Jacoozzi collection of instrumentals on April 12 — you can hear “Guerrilla Funk” below — through Heavy Psych Sounds after making his debut on the label with Mankind Woman (review here) last year. He’ll once again have Sean Wheeler on the road as he did last time around and on the record.

Sound of Liberation has the dates thusly:

brant bjork tour

We’re glad to tell you that Brant Bjork will be back in Europe in June/July, with special guest Sean Wheeler, as follows:

19.06.19 – Nuremberg | Hirsch (DE)
20.06.19 – Netphen | Freak Valley Festival (DE)
21.06.19 – Nijmegen | Doornrosje (NL)
22.06.19 – Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival (UK)
23.06.19 – Izel | La Fete De La Musique (BE)
24.06.19 – Aachen | Musikbunker (DE)
25.06.19 – Darmstadt | Centralstation (DE)
26.06.19 – Hannover | Musikzentrum (DE)
27.06.19 – Saarbrücken | Garage (DE)
28.06.19 – Düdingen | Bad Bonn (CH)
29.06.19 – Salzburg | Rockhouse (AT)
30.06.19 – Korinthos | Under The Sun Festival (GR)
02.07.19 – Thessaloniki | Eightball Club (GR)
04.07.19 – Viveiro | Resurrection Festival (ES)

Brant is still promoting his 13th solo album, “Mankind Woman”, which will was released via Heavy Psych Sounds in September.

https://www.facebook.com/BrantBjorkOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/brant_bjork
https://twitter.com/brant_bjork
http://www.brantbjork.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, 2018 EU Tour Highlights

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Witch Ripper & Brume Stream Split MMXIX in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk, Bootleg Theater on March 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

brume

witch ripper

So, first things first: Witch Ripper and Brume release their Split MMXIX this Friday, March 15, through DHU Records. Second, with Witch Ripper working with Matt Bayles and Brume working with Billy Frickin’ Anderson on production, it should come as no surprise that the thing sounds awesome. From the opening High on Fire-through-a-meat-grinder churn of the early going in Witch Ripper‘s 13-minute-long “1985” and the melancholy creep that follows before they build back up to the last apex, to the fallout symptoms at the end of “Man-Made” (you’ll see it in the video) to the timeless and familiar strains of “In the Pines” as rendered through Brume‘s melodic lurch and longing, Split MMXIX is of course more than the sum of those behind the board, behemoths of the monolithic — or was that monoliths of the behemoth? — as they are, it’s also the result of two bands working each on their own level to affect that consuming sonic largesse. “1985” was recorded when Witch Ripper tracked their 2018 debut, Homestead, while Brume‘s “Man-Made” and “In the Pines” are older and newer recordings, respectively, brought to bear with the sense of lumber one has come to expect from the San Francisco three-piece.

With its extended runtime, the opener consumes the entirety of side A of the vinyl and puts it to good use. Tones are weighted and the initial plod is given duly guttural vocal accompaniment for about the first half of the track, and as it hits the midpoint, “1985” breaks to a stretch of quiet, classically metallic guitar, dramatic and atmospheric and a stark turn from the grit preceding, but not entirely out of place — or at least not anymore than it’s intended to be. Clean-sung lines top as the bass and drums casually work their brume witch ripper split mmxixway back in and Witch Ripper push forward on a subtle build for the next couple minutes, a tolling bell seeming to signal the shift into the grander instrumental solo section that pays off the track in epic metal fashion. The band note below that “1985” was taken off the album because it was too long, and listening to it, one tends to believe them. It is long, but that only seems to make it all the more worthy of the showcase it has here alongside the work of Brume, who follow their 2017 debut, Rooster (review here), with these two tracks showcasing their evolving personality.

“Man-Made” — the video below directed by the band’s own Jordan Perkins-Lewis — seems to rumble out its start in answer to “1985” back on the A side, but obviously that’s just coincidence of tone; it’s an older song recorded before the band knew it would be on this split. The impact of its riffing is well met by the nuclear test footage sped up to match the rhythm of the strumming guitar, and over the eight minutes, “Man-Made” evolves into a maddened beast before, like “1985” before it, dropping to mellow but tense guitar. The difference is “Man-Made” resumes its previous heading and caps with its central riff in the forward position and feedback leading the way via fadeout into “In the Pines,” written by Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and given generational breadth through a particularly tortured performance by Nirvana on MTV Unplugged. Brume make it sound massive, thereby demonstrating not only the malleability of the song itself, but their own reach as they move beyond their debut into this release and whatever might come after.

Below, you’ll find all three tracks on Split MMXIX presented across three different YouTube clips. Not how these kinds of things usually work, but go with it. Witch Ripper have a creepy spider to go with “1985,” while Brume have a static image for “In the Pines” and the aforementioned bomb-dropper clip for “Man-Made.” One way or the other, it all makes sense atmospherically with the release itself, which is unapologetic in its heft and worthy of whatever volume you can give it.

Comment from the bands and more follows the videos.

Please enjoy:

Witch Ripper, “1985”

Brume, “Man-Made” official video premiere

Brume, “In the Pines”

Witch Ripper on “1985”:

Recorded during the “Homestead” sessions by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon, Minus the Bear) it was cut from the full length because frankly, it was too damn long to fit on the vinyl. Luckily we found a home for the song as our side of a killer split with San Francisco doom weirdos Brume. The song “1985” is one of our most ambitions creations yet. At 13 minutes strong the song moves from grunge inspired doom riffs to a psychedelic clean bridge and huge musical soaring outro. It’s got a lot. Lyrically it’s about knowing that you love music, not knowing how long you can do it for but not wanting to give up that dream. Something that I think we can all relate too.

Brume on “Man-Made” & “In the Pines”:

Brume’s two tracks on the split are a celebration of the SF Trio’s second home, the Pacific Northwest and bring to light recordings old and new. “Man-Made” is the first track the band worked with producer Billy Anderson (Neurosis/Sleep) and was recorded in Portland while on their first West Coast tour in 2015. “In the pines” is the most recent track recorded with Billy (also in Portland), some three years after. The cover was pulled together for a show in Seattle, paying homage to both Nirvana and Leadbelly. What better way to release these tracks than with label mates Witch Ripper from Seattle?

Brume/Witch Ripper Split MMXIX

Side Witch Ripper
A1. 1985

Side Brume
B1. Man-made
B2. In the Pines

Pre orders go live Friday January 25th at 7PM CET

Official release date March 15th

The Brume/Witch Ripper Split will be released on 3 different limited edition color vinyl options

DHU Exclusive: Limited to 90 copies
Witch Ripper Edition: Limited to 100 copies
Brume Edition: Limited to 100 copies

Brume
Susie: Vocals/Bass
Jamie: Guitar/Vocals
Jordan: Drums

Witch Ripper
Curtis Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Joe Eck: Drums
Brian Kim: Bass
Coltan Anderson: Guitar

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Sweet Chariot Premiere “Miles Away” from Lean into the Breeze

Posted in audiObelisk on March 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sweet chariot (photo by Charlie Karr)

Oakland, California, doesn’t quite have the tech-industry gloss of its across-the-Bay kin city of San Francisco, but even that wouldn’t account for rambling sunset serenity of Sweet Chariot‘s second record, Lean into the Breeze. The album, which is due out April 15 through Who Can You Trust? Records and available to preorder now, comes across with a vibe extracted from the smoother end of the heavy ’70s as shades of Southern rock are held over from the band’s 2014 self-released, self-titled debut in cuts like “Wicked Night” and the later, well-harmonized “Over and Over,” the affect bringing to my East Coast ears an echo of a decidedly more Californian, less regretful, The Brought Low, similarly unafraid to touch on twang when so inclined, as on “Let it Start” or “My Front Pages,” but less strictly heavy rock even in the decidedly guitar-led “Miles Away” or “Can’t You See the Wind.” Vocals are shared between guitarists Eric Shea (also Hot Lunch) and Chris Guthridge (Ride the Blinds) while the rhythm section of bassist Doran Shelley (Nik Turner’s Hawkwind) and drummer Chris Labreche (Planes of Satori) provide the fluidity of groove to match the shifts of mood along the way, from “Billy Bliss” working on its night moves to the melancholic closing pair of “Night Light” and “Nothing Seems to Matter,” which touches on some of that wistful Southern nostalgia without going the full-Skynyrd. Something there seems to cry out for a grand piano, but the vocal arrangement is right on and Guthridge‘s winding lead lines certainly get the point across.

Analog production, sometimes used as an excuse for crappy sound, becomes part of the character throughout Lean into the Breeze. The breeze, by the way, is warm. sweet chariot lean into the breezeAnd so are the melodies. There’s a switch in who’s singing lead between “Wicked Night” and “My Front Pages,” which follow opener “Best I Had” — notice the use of past tense; immediate call to something bygone and remembered fondly — that expands the scope of the album as a whole and brings a via-’90s-college-rock vibe to the established classic pattern, but the songs are and remain central as the 10-track/36-minute long-player stretches out into the start-stop swag of “Miles Away” and the genuinely sweet melodies of “Billy Bliss” and “Let it Start,” the move from side A to side B flowing easily like, well, the warm breeze, I guess. Organ shows up and finds welcome on “Can’t You See the Wind,” and “Over and Over” pushes into a more complex arrangement of vocals to preface the closer still to come, but before they get there, Sweet Chariot dip into the three-minute “Night Light,” ahead of “Nothing Seems to Matter,” pulling back on the (relatively) grander feel of the tracks surrounding for a stretch of minimalist sentimentality no less effectively conveyed than anything in either “Over and Over” or the closer still to come. They end with the line “Nothing seems to matter anymore,” which taken in kind with “Best I Had” gives a decent impression of the point of view from which at least a good portion of Lean into the Breeze is working.

Sentiment suits Sweet Chariot, however, and with Shea and Guthridge sharing vocals, the band are that much more able to bring forward a classic but not necessarily backward or reactionary feel. Ahead of the release, I’m happy to be able to host “Miles Away” as a track premiere, and you’ll find it on the player below, followed by the vinyl info from the label.

Please enjoy:

Taken from the SWEET CHARIOT – Lean Into The Breeze LP | WHO-38

Release Date: April 15th
(** Pre-orders shipping two weeks earlier **)

Pre-orders at: https://whocanyoutrustrec.bigcartel.com/product/sweet-chariot-lean-into-the-breeze-lp

Edition of 500 copies on black vinyl.
(The first 100 copies include a free Sweet Chariot logo sticker!)

Sweet Chariot comprises singer/guitarist Eric Shea (Hot Lunch, Mover) and Planes Of Satori drummer Chris Labreche – both from the bygone band Parchman Farm. They also landed bass player Doran Shelley, a former member of The Cramps and Nik Turner’s Hawkwind. Ride The Blinds’ frontman Chris Guthridge completes the band with shared singing duties and top-shelf lead guitar playing.

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Pharlee Announce Self-Titled Debut out April 5 on Tee Pee

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pharlee pharlee

Pharlee have members of Joy and Harsh Toke and Arctic and probably eight or 15 other bands like it’s no big deal. At least for someone observing from the other side of the continent, that would seem to be how it goes in San Diego these days. And bless their organ-soaked, frantically rocking hearts, Pharlee stand at the ready to unveil their self-titled debut next month via the ready outlet for such things, Tee Pee Records, which has fostered and stood behind the development of that scene since picking up Earthless way back when and brings Pharlee into the fold that not only includes Joy and Harsh Toke, but also Sacri Monti and Volcano as well. What’s really kind of astonishing about it — about that scene in San Diego — is that the bands sometimes have common threads, but they almost down to each group still manage to bring something different to the mix, whether it’s Harsh Toke‘s outward-directed jams or Pharlee‘s forward, all-go boogie on their 2018 single “Burn,” which you can stream at the bottom of this post.

April 5 is the release date. Preorders are up now if that’s your thing. Here’s info from the PR wire:

pharlee pharlee

San Diego Heavy Psych Band Pharlee to Release Self-Titled Debut April 5

Electric Rock Group Featuring Members of Arctic, Harsh Toke, JOY, Sacri Monti and Volcano Set to Drop High Voltage Debut

Pharlee is a heavy-riff-ridin’ machine. The California rock group was forged in the middle of the white-hot psychedelic jam scene in San Diego by members of Harsh Toke, Sacri Monti, Arctic and Joy. Propelled by the powerfully emotional voice and fiery wail of blues-rock banshee Macarena Rivera, Pharlee calls its energetic sound “psychedelic speed rock”. The band will release its debut LP, ‘Pharlee’, on April 5 via Tee Pee Records (Ruby the Hatchet, Witch).

Hard-blues rockers Pharlee are loud, unabashed and one of San Diego’s best kept secrets! Confident, commanding and highly influenced by diverse acts such as Judas Priest, Betty Davis, Deep Purple and Motörhead, Pharlee’s sound is equal parts soul-scorching, boogie-woogie bar rock and shadowy psych urgency. In addition to the sensational, soulful vocals of Rivera, Pharlee features familiar faces to fans of the Cali psych scene including guitarist Justin “Figgy” Figueroa (Harsh Toke, Arctic), bassist Dylan Donavan (Sacri Monti), Zach Oakley (Joy, Volcano) who swaps his guitar for drums, and Garrett Lekas (Operation Mindblow) on keys. Pharlee was first exposed to the world in 2018, featured as part of a special live showcase dubbed “The San Diego Takeover” at the Netherlands’ popular Roadburn Festival. Locally, the band has shared California stages with pals in Earthless, Petyr and more.

Captured on tape at Audio Design Studios in San Diego, by engineer Jordan Andreen (Earthless, Rocket From The Crypt), Pharlee’s debut LP is a dynamic and cracking hard rock album and a first-hand account of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the making of this head-turning new band. Alongside the album’s five formidable tracks, ‘Pharlee’ features a killer cover of the Freddie King blues classic “Going Down”.

Track listing:

1.) Ethereal Woman
2.) Creeping
3.) Darkest Hour
4.) Warning
5.) Going Down (Freddie King cover)
6.) Sunward

Pre-order ‘Pharlee’ at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/pharleee/
https://www.instagram.com/pharlee_/
https://pharlee.bandcamp.com/releases
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Pharlee, “Burn”

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