Woodhawk Canadian Tour Starts Sept. 3; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk-photo-mario-a-montes

Hooks, hooks, hooks, riffs, riffs, riffs, fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, groove, groove, groove. These are the things that Calgary trio Woodhawk will bring with them this Fall when they hit the road in their native Canada for what they’re calling the ‘Woodhawk Strikes Back’ tour. If you’re wondering what the Star Wars connection might be, aside from being stoked for Episode VIII and the forthcoming Han Solo movie that has Hobie Doyle from Hail Caesar! in the titular role, if I’m not mistaken it’s also the second run of Canadian dates Woodhawk are undertaking to support their earlier-2017 full-length, Beyond the Sun (review here), which also had a song on it titled “A New Hope.” So there you go. All has been made clear.

The three-piece also have a new video posted for “The High Priest” from that album that you can watch below, and whether you heard the record when it came out or not, the already-stuck-in-your-head chorus makes a considerable argument in favor of another visit. Some bands just know how to write a song.

Info follows from the PR wire:

woodhawk tour poster

WOODHAWK “Strikes Back Tour” (AB/SK/BC) + Riff-tastic Debut “Beyond The Sun” Out Now!

Calgary’ AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK will be hitting the road this September for their second Western Canadian tour (AB/SK/BC) (dates listed below) in support of their full length album ‘Beyond The Sun’ released this past April. The album was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 debut EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

The band comments:

“This tour sees us wrapping up our western Canada touring in support of Beyond The Sun. Western Canada is so good to us. A New Hope seeme d to be a lot of people’s favourite song off the album, so we thought it would be funny to pull another Star Wars reference out, with naming the tour Woodhawk Strikes Back.”

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK Strikes Back Tour (AB/SK/BC)
Sept 3 – Calgary, AB – Atlantic Trap and Gil
Sept 8 – Lethbridge, AB – The Slice
Sept 9 – Regina, SK – The German Club
Sept 15 – Golden, BC – The Rockwater
Sept 16 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
Sept 23 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
Oct 7 – Edmonton, AB – UP+DT Festival – Downtown Edmonton Community League

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, “The High Priest” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: Shooting Guns, Flavour Country

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

shooting guns flavour country

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Flavour Country’ by Shooting Guns. Flavour Country is out Aug. 11 via RidingEasy Records and available to preorder here. You can also hear “French Safe” at the bottom of this post.]

There are no words on Shooting GunsFlavour Country except for a sample at the beginning of the penultimate title-track from Richard Linklater’s 1991 film, Slacker. An interviewer asks someone what it would take for them to get a job, and the answer comes back, “Hey, I’ll get a job when I hear the true call,” and it goes on from that point: “To all you workers out there: Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death.” Beyond that, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, outfit’s self-recorded third album and first for RidingEasy Records — with a noteworthy mastering job by former Monster Magnet and Wellwater Conspiracy guitarist John McBain (see also: Kandodo/McBain and Carlton Melton) — is completely instrumental. It would be hard to overstate the effect that single 30-second stretch has on the listener.

Taken as the beginning of a side-B comprised only of the title-track and languid, lumbering LP-closer “Black Leather Jacket,” each of which tops eight minutes on its own, the sample acts as a defining moment in terms of attitude and perspective for the six-piece, who in addition to the 2011 debut Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976 and 2013 Brotherhood of the Ram LPs put together the soundtrack for the Netflix film WolfCop in 2014 and have had a slew of short releases out, most recently 2015’s Himalaya to Mesopotamia split with fellow Canadian ritualists Zaum (review here). Imagine you get to say one thing on your record. One thing. You say “fuck work.” That’s kind of what’s happening here, and it aligns Shooting Guns to a dropped-out-of-life heavy hippiedom in which the space-rocking push of opener “Ride Free” and the drone-backed pastoral drift of “Vampires of Industry” feel equally at home.

Fluidity is the core impression. Liquefaction. Shooting Guns, who list their lineup with seven members (Keef, Laramee, Jay Loos, Jim Ginther, Toby Bond, Zach Low and Brennan Barclay despite showing six on the cover of Flavour Country, commence “Ride Free” with a simple riff and a faded in second guitar behind before the Hawkwindy thrust begins in earnest, giving an almost grunge-style impression in its first couple measures that winds up subtly showing the shared roots of space rock and punk in straight-ahead attitude. The difference is punk goes to ground while space rock goes far out, and Shooting Guns will wind up doing a bit of both and then some as Flavour Country runs through its six tracks/34 minutes, holding fast to an unpretentious throb while realizing moods from across a swath of headphone-ready heavy psychedelia and doom, malleable in style and tempo but keeping its course on an overarching cosmic trajectory. Dudes trip. Off they go. Whoosh and swirl. Sweep and churn and a bit of plod.

If one is listening to the CD or digital version of Flavour Country — something linear, rather than the vinyl requiring the side-A-to-B flip — it makes sense to break the album down into thirds. The first, made up of “Ride Free” and the subsequent “French Safe,” is the shortest at barely over five minutes between the two tracks, and “French Safe” (1:42) proves even faster and more raw-motor-punk than the opener before it. There’s still some noise and effects swirl behind, but it’s almost as though Shooting Guns are engaging the boosters that will carry them out of the atmosphere as a means of immersing their audience in the rest of the record to come.

Perhaps on that level it’s somewhat ironic that “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” and “Vampires of Industry,” the two six-minutes-each cuts that follow, are so earthy in their overall vibe. Earthy and Earth-y, actually, with “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” providing a dreamed-out hypnotic nod into a quickly-executed apex en route toward the more drone-informed ambience of “Vampires of Industry,” which is a serene and patient highlight of Flavour Country as a whole and effective transition point to set up the aforementioned sample at the intro to the title-track, quieting the proceedings and the mind before Shooting Guns deliver what would seem to be the core message behind the work they’re doing throughout.

And who could disagree? “Look at me,” say the character’s opening lines as cars pass behind, “I’m making it. I may live badly, but at least I don’t have to work to do it.” Feedback rises from beneath that sample and leads into the sludgy stomp of “Flavour Country” itself, the name of the song and album derived from cigarette ads and the tonal buzz ensuing suitably dried-leaf-brown in color. Guitar leads careen atop the core riff in a melodic semi-wash, but it’s the slow groove that’s central to the piece as it marches to its even-noisier crescendo, sounding all the more live-tracked and maybe even improv-based as the drums cut out for a final 30-seconds or so of feedback and amp hum that fades out to let “Black Leather Jacket”‘s stage-setting intro riff begin clean.

The closer is the longest piece on Flavour Country at 8:36 and consistent with the two-songs-as-thirds model, it rounds out the last movement of the album following suit from the title-track’s lumber before it. But it’s even slower, and despite being only about 20 seconds longer than “Flavour Country,” feels more purposefully drawn out, giving way similarly to noise after the seven-minute mark but bringing the drums back for an additional few measures of crash before they stop again and the noise fades quickly to end the record. This final section of Flavour Country, after the kosmiche opening salvo of “Ride Free” and “French Safe” and the trip across the Canadian prairie in “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” and “Vampires of Industry,” is heavier and more doomed, but it underscores the breadth Shooting Guns bring to their material.

If they’re ending on a somewhat sinister note, it’s a considerable journey Shooting Guns take to get there, and perhaps that sonic pilgrimage is itself the alternative the band are offering to the standard, commodity-making death of living in a capitalist system. Maybe that’s reading too much into it, but even if so, it’s a worthy achievement of evocation on the part of the group in putting their audience in that frame of mind, and all the more admirable on the level of both asking a question and answering it. Quit your job. Eat mushrooms. Trade one reality for another. It’s a quick listen, and no doubt it will fly under the radar for many, but Flavour Country‘s resonance makes righteous fodder for multiple repeat visits, and those who take it on with an open mind will be all the more engrossed. Right fucking on.

Shooting Guns on Thee Facebooks

Shooting Guns on Twitter

Shooting Guns on Instagram

Shooting Guns on Bandcamp

Shooting Guns website

RidingEasy Records on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records on Twitter

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records website

Flavour Country at RidingEasy’s webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

Olde on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

Deaf Radio on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

Saturndust on Thee Facebooks

Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

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

Zaraza to Issue Spasms of Rebirth CD in July; New Video Now Playing

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

zaraza

Multi-continental two-piece Zaraza are set to press their first record in more than a decade next month. The CD is called Spasms of Rebirth, which seems appropriate enough both for thinking of the band as a returning entity given how long it’s been since their last long-player and in terms of the visceral, primal kind of violence from which the material on the album is derived. Released for streaming in May, Spasms of Rebirth finds its semi-industrialized main comparison point in Godflesh, but as you can see in the video below for opening track “Church of Gravity,” there’s plenty of experimentalist bite of its own to go around as well from the pair of Jacek Damaged and Brain Damage, whose last full-length was 2003’s No Paradise to Lose.

The PR wire brought the following:

zaraza-spasms-of-rebirth

ZARAZA to unearth new album after nearly 15 years

ZARAZA are a Canadian/Ecuadorian duo and have been around for almost 25 years. Despite that and their innovative music, they’ve been very underground and largely overlooked. After a gap of around 15 years, they’ve finally come up with a new full length album. Fans of DRUG HONKEY in particular should dig this.

ZARAZA, the Canadian/Ecuadorian industrial sludge/doom band announce their latest full length after a gap of almost 15 years. Having been around since 1993, they were among the pioneers in the creation of this kind of bizarre yet forward-thinking sludge/doom metal, merging the aesthetics of bands like GODFLESH, SWANS, CORRUPTED, UNHOLY, DISEMBOWELMENT and SKEPTICISM to create a sound that’s unique. Over the years, they’ve only tried to establish their identity by expanding upon their groundbreaking template by including elements of crushing sludge and sonic dissonance, and despite innumerable struggles and distance-related issues, the duo have released an album that’s worth the wait. It’s gargantuan in its scope and revolutionizes the method to go about playing sludge/doom with this pensive, electrically-charged atmosphere.

Line up:
Jacek Damaged – vox, guitars, bass, programming
Brian Damage – keyboards, samplers, vocals

Track list:
1. Church of Gravity 06:11
2. Maskwearer 07:03
3. Inti Raymi 05:10
4. Blood.ov.Psychiatrists 05:20
5. Roadkill to You 06:45
6. Wulkan 08:00
7. [BONUS] Wulkan (Brian Damage Remix) 05:58

https://zaraza.bandcamp.com/album/spasms-of-rebirth
https://www.facebook.com/zarazadoom/

Zaraza, “Church of Gravity” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

Shooting Guns to Release Flavour Country Aug. 11 on RidingEasy

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Canadian leftfield psych rockers Shooting Guns have announced an Aug. 11 release date for their third album, Flavour Country, through venerable Californian imprint RidingEasy Records. Last heard from with their 2015 split with Zaum, Himalaya to Mesopotamia (review here), the six-piece last issued a long-player in 2013’s Brotherhood of the Ram, which was the follow-up to 2011’s Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976, but as one will they’ve had a slew of shorter offerings out along the way. Still, they’re about due, and preorders should start for Flavour Country any day now, since RidingEasy is nothing if not on top of that kind of whathaveyou. Keep an eye out.

Details are pretty slim on the album itself in terms of tracks, audio, etc., but there’s art and some preliminary background to go on. Wouldn’t you know, here it is:

shooting-guns-flavour-country

Shooting Guns – Flavour Country

Our 3rd studio album is coming out Aug 11th on RidingEasy Records! Recorded at Pre-Rock Records HQ, “Flavour Country” takes the SG sound to a lot of new places with pre-sales/previews coming next week!!

Shooting Guns provide the perfect soundtrack for the morning after the apocalypse, when you are sitting in the rubble of your home in a bathrobe and think, ‘What should I do now?’ and end up zoning out for hours in a psychedelic trance instead of making a survival plan. Bad move on your part, because you are probably going to die. Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum. Hailing from the subarctic wasteland of Saskatoon, SK, they haunt the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock.

Their debut LP, Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976, was nominated for the Polaris Prize in 2012 and the 2nd LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, was released in Oct 2013.

Shooting Guns is:
Keef
Laramee
Jay Loos
Jim Ginther
Toby Bond
Zach Low
Brennan Barclay

http://shootingguns.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/shootinggunsband/
https://shootingguns.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/product-category/bands/shooting-guns/

Shooting Guns, Himalaya to Mesopotamia split with Zaum (2015)

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: WhiteNails, First Trip

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

whitenails first trip

[Click play above to stream First Trip by WhiteNails in its entirety. Album is out Friday, May 26, via Magnetic Eye Records.]

Quebecois six-piece WhiteNails make a resoundingly cohesive impression with First Trip, which telegraphs its self-awareness even unto its title. Delivered through Magnetic Eye Records, it is the debut release from the Canadian outfit, not just their first full-length, and as an opening argument it speaks to the band having come together last year with some clear idea of what they wanted to do sonically, in form and maybe general style if not the direct specifics of cuts like “Dead in Time” or “Damn Judas.” A mission to make catchy, uptempo, soulful heavy rock, perhaps, and First Trip is the result of that from the first-name-only lineup of vocalist Darcy, guitarists Danahé and Taylor, bassist JP, keyboardist Vince and drummer Maxx, who for all the personnel — they also bring in guest vocalist Gab Shonk on the aforementioned “Dead in Time” — don’t come across as overblown in the slightest.

Throughout the eight-track/41-minute offering, they endeavor to hone a foundation of songwriting to underscore the boogie in cuts like “In My Blood” and the thrust of opener “Shanghaied,” and though their arrangements are full, it’s perhaps in part thanks to the vocal command of Darcy that the record remains grounded, as from the leadoff onward, his presence as a frontman comes through in verses and chorus alike, whether he’s surfing the riff of “Shanghaied” reminding somewhat of Black Thai‘s Jim Healey or calling to mind Gozu‘s Marc Gaffney in “In My Blood” and the layered harmonies of “Silver Linings.” Gozu, in some of their harder-edged post-Queens of the Stone Age swagger, would seem to be an influence across the board.

Still, those vocals are well-balanced in the mix, and the aesthetic remains modern throughout, with a full and willfully distortion driving Danahé and Taylor‘s guitars that finds its most-doom moment in the penultimate “Brazen Bull” after a variety of executions playing around the central heavy rock theme in terms of pace, push and the structure of the riffs that lead, be it the all-forward movement of “Shanghaied” welcoming the listener to First Trip by pulling them through an open doorway of accessibility, or the ultra-catchy companionship that track finds as “Damn Judas” leads off side B. Some of the titles convey a sense of darkness, whether it’s the chugging “Done and Gone” or “Dead in Time,” which come back to back after the opener, or “In My Blood” and “Damn Judas” later — even closer “The Crooked Lake” seems to have some measure of threat in the use of “crooked” — but it’s not until “Silver Linings” that one finds that darkness beginning to come to fruition.

whitenails (Photo Caroline Perron)

And though their cover art might lead one to go into the album immediately searching for an Uncle Acid influence, the amount of strain required to hear it in the riff of “Damn Judas” is enough to make me think it simply isn’t there at all. Okay then. Basically, the crux of First Trip sets itself toward pursuing a solid execution of varied heavy rock songcraft, and it most certainly gets there, building in momentum through the first five songs — if one is listening on CD/DL, the linear momentum flows notably well; I haven’t heard a vinyl edition but the track structure is definitely two-sided — before shifting into that darker terrain on “Silver Linings” and “Brazen Bull” and airing out a bit of psychedelia on “The Crooked Lake,” which marks the most patient stretch of the record and a departure from the preceding ground covered.

Particularly for a debut, it would likely be enough for WhiteNails to acknowledge the need for aural diversity, let alone actually bring it to fruition in the manner they do, but they find a balance between consistency of tone and changes in structure and mood that hints either at prior experience among the members in bands together or at an especially quick-in-developing chemistry at work. One way or the other, the reward is palpable throughout First Trip, up to and including the closer, which with its more prominent keys and fluid guitar lines nods at Vangelis-style atmospherics early and drifts into a markedly satisfying linear build in its second half to pay off the album as a whole. It’s a long way from the party vibe of “Dead in Time” or “In My Blood,” which would seem to be the most motion-minded cuts along with “Damn Judas,” which is a highlight overall, but it serves as an encouraging last-minute defiance of the expectation WhiteNails have already put in effort to establish.

That is to say, they’ve set forth their rules and then almost immediately, gleefully broken them. Again, this is something a penchant one generally expects a group to develop over time — and WhiteNails may yet have more anti-conventionalism up their collective sleeve; I wouldn’t speculate after only one release — but it serves notice to anyone willing to hear it that the band are not at all finished growing. So be it. While the destination where that growth might take them ultimately in terms of style feels open to a range of possibilities, it seems safer to bet that the underlying quality of songwriting will be a continuing factor from WhiteNails as they move forward, as it proves to be the essential statement made by their impressive and cogent first offering.

WhiteNails on Thee Facebooks

WhiteNails on Bandcamp

WhiteNails website

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Magnetic Eye Records on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records webstore

Tags: , , , , , ,

Coeur Atomique: New Project from Voivod Founder Announces Landscape of Emergency I Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

coeur atomique

Founding Voivod bassist Jean-Yves ‘Blacky’ Thériault has announced that his new project, Coeur Atomique, will release its debut album July 10. Preorders are up now for what’s been given the title Landscape of Emergency I from the low-end-centric experimentalist two-piece of Theriault and fellow bassist Monica Emond. Comprised of six songs, the 42-minute offering basks in progressive textures and markedly atmospherics, but holds firm to a sense of movement across its span as lines from Thériault and Emond intertwine and feel their way through songs like “Castle Bravo” and “The Waste,” both of which you can hear below.

Thériault, who co-founded Voivod in 1981 with still-missed guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, left that band following the release of their latest full-length, Target Earth, in 2013. Coeur Atomique — which seems to have originally been called Landscape of Emergency — will use its first long-player as the launch point for a series of releases exploring social themes through instrumentalist means, and already one finds considerable resonance in its focus on tonality, presentation and depth.

Landscape of Emergency I is available now to preorder direct from Coeur Atomique, and you’ll find the link in the info below, which comes courtesy of the band via the PR wire:

coeur-atomique-landscape-of-emergency-i

CŒUR ATOMIQUE is a bassists duo formed by Monica Emond and Jean-Yves Thériault (Voivod, The Holy Body Tattoo). During live performances, their music written for two basses and electronics is accompanied with powerful film projections. Art, they say, is meant to act and to resist! Watch our videos on Youtube.

Their first album called Landscape of Emergency I ~ will be released on vinyl by July 10th, 2017. Pre-order it now through coeuratomique.org. The digital format is already available. This album is the first part of the Landscape of Emergency series of releases which address the silencing machine of ignorance of indifference…

Landscape of Emergency I ~ Song List
1. Fail Safe
2. Calutron
3. Castle Bravo
4. The Waste
5. Berghof
6. Green Run

http://coeuratomique.org/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6An1AAp1UQehEsvKzvOCVA

Coeur Atomique, “The Waste”

Coeur Atomique, “Castle Bravo”

Tags: , , , , , ,

audiObelisk Transmission 061

Posted in Podcasts on May 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk podcast 61

Click Here to Download

 

Yes! A new podcast! Are you stoked? I’m stoked. If you’re not, you will be when you look at the list of bands included. In any case, let’s be stoked together, because rock and roll, and heavy psych and good music and, well, yeah. That’s pretty much stuff to be stoked about. It’s been absurdly long since the last time we did one of these. Too long. I don’t really have an excuse other than… gainful employment? Don’t worry, though. That’ll be over soon enough. Then it’ll be podcasts out the ass.

There’s some killer goods here though. Yeah, I decided to do a “Yeti” double-shot with Green Yeti into Telekinetic Yeti. That’s my version of me being clever. But both bands are righteous, and if you haven’t heard the Savanah record, or that new Tia Carrera jam, or the Cachemira or Big Kizz or Yagow or Vokonis or the Elder — oh hell, frickin’ all of it — it’s worth your time. That Emil Amos track just premiered the other day and I think will surprise a lot of people, and I liked the way it paired with the dark neofolk of Hermitess. And of course we get trippy in the second hour, as is the custom around here. But first a moment of prog clarity from the aforementioned Elder. That’s a good time as well.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Vokonis, “The Sunken Djinn” from The Sunken Djinn
0:06:47 Tia Carrera, “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)” from Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)
0:16:33 Supersonic Blues, “Supersonic Blues Theme” from Supersonic Blues Theme / Curses on My Soul
0:19:28 Emil Amos, “Elements Cycling” from Filmmusik
0:22:28 Hermitess, “Blood Moon” from Hermitess
0:26:24 Savanah, “Mind” from The Healer
0:34:22 Yagow, “Non-Contractual” from Yagow
0:42:35 Big Kizz, “Eye on You” from Eye on You
0:45:53 Cachemira, “Jungla” from Jungla
0:52:05 Green Yeti, “Black Planets (Part 2)” from Desert Show
0:58:02 Telekinetic Yeti, “Stoned and Feathered” from Abominable

Second Hour:

1:02:10 Elder, “The Falling Veil” from Reflections of a Floating World
1:13:20 Riff Fist, “King Tide” from King Tide
1:24:15 Cavra, “Montaña” from Cavra
1:39:18 Causa Sui, “A Love Supreme” from Live in Copenhagen

Total running time: 1:55:53

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 061

 

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