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

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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”

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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

 

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Bison to Release You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bison

Five years after their third full-length, Lovelessness, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Bison return on Pelagic Records with the cumbersomely-named fourth outing, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. The band mark a decade since their first EP this year as well — their debut album, Quiet Earth, was released by Metal Blade in 2008, and Dark Ages (review here) followed in 2010 — so it’s a prolonged absence from which they return even when one factors in the 2014 One Thousand Needles two-songer. As to how that might’ve affected their sound one way or the other, the new album seems to be… gray? I don’t know. We’ll see, I suppose.

Preorders are up and they have a teaser posted now for You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient that doesn’t tell much more than the artwork, but if you want to set a mood, it seems to do that well enough. Check it out:

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

BISON: Vancouver Metal Veterans To Release You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient Full-Length Via Pelagic Records; Teaser Posted, Preorders Available + Tour Dates Announced

Vancouver metal veterans BISON are making a devastating return with their brand-new album, You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient.

Set for release in Europe on June 23rd followed by a North American release on July 7th, the crushing new offering follows the band’s 2014-issued 1000 Needles EP and serves as their first full-length to include bassist Shane Clark, former lead guitarist of 3 Inches Of Blood, who joined the band following their Lovelessness full-length (2012, Metal Blade).

“It was important that the songs fit together to tell a bit of a story,” relays guitarist and vocalist James Farwell, “a story of a new life and escaping the city, while still being tethered to it. Life is a constant fight, and though I have taken the fight to a more natural and beautiful place, that struggle persists. This is an album of daily living. It is for everyone.”

BISON’s You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient was captured in the band’s hometown with long time friend Jesse Gander at Rain City Recorders. “I wanted to also steep myself in music that was not necessarily heavy in the obvious sense,” Farwell continues, “so I was listening to lots of blues while writing the album: Peter Green, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. There was also lots of instrumental rock music playing on my long commutes to Vancouver for work and rehearsals.”

“The new songs still sound like ‘us,’ whatever that means,” vocalist Dan And adds, “but we aren’t concerned with shying away from whatever influences creep up. The older we get and the longer we play together, the less we give a shit about trying to sound like anything in particular.”

You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient will be available on CD, vinyl and digital formats. For CD preorders point your browser to THIS LOCATION. For vinyl, go HERE. For US orders go to THIS LOCATION.

You Are Not The Ocean You Are The Patient Track Listing:
1. Until The Earth Is Empty
2. Anti War
3. Drunkard
4. Kenopsia
5. Tantrum
6. Raiigin
7. Water Becomes Fire

BISON will embark upon a short run of Canadian dates next month with additional live incursions to be announced in the coming weeks.

BISON:
6/09/2017 The Palomino – Calgary, AB
6/10/2017 The Capitol – Saskatoon, SK
6/11/2017 The Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB
6/12/2017 The Exchange – Regina, SK
6/13/2017 The Vat – Red Deer, AB
6/14/2017 Brixx – Edmonton, AB
6/16/2017 The Rickshaw – Vancouver, BC

You are not the ocean. You do not orchestrate a beautiful cacophony of life and death, struggle and destruction, creation and dependence. You are not the sole reason for the existence of nation of creatures to live and abide by your stark and simple rules. You are not married to the moon. You do not allow the constellations to be moon. You do not allow the constellations to be your map. You do not destroy cities and drown your map. You do not destroy cities and drown their citizens. You do not embrace land’s golden their citizens. You do not embrace land’s golden hem as your child, with calm and tenderness. You do not crash and spray craggy shores with fury and passion. You are not unstoppable. You are not powerful. You are not necessary.

You are the patient. You are controlled. You are cared for. You are maintained with medicines and examinations. You are met with cold hands and protocol. Your most with cold hands and protocol. Your most intimate self is put on a form. You are questioned about pains and thoughts. You are dependent on those with knowledge. You are helpless. You are tired and bed ridden. You do no harm and you do not help. You are monitored and caged. You are kept away from others. You are contaminated. You are sick. You are keeping yourself sick. You do not know how to recover. You do not want to recover. You do not know what recovery is.

http://www.facebook.com/bisonbc
http://www.pelagic-records.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient album teaser

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Völur Announce Ancestors LP out June 2; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

volur

Toronto-based rune-doomers Völur are gearing up to release their second album, Ancestors, June 2 on Prophecy Productions. To herald its coming, the band has unveiled the 10-minute second track “Breaker of Skulls,” which as you can see below is one of the four included cuts, all of which features a “Breaker” of some kind or other.

Symmetry of presentation would seem to be something of a running theme for the band, which features Blood Ceremony‘s Lucas Gadke, as “Breaker of Skulls” and “Breaker of Oaths” — which also tops 10 minutes — are bookended by “Breaker of Silence” and “Breaker of Famine,” both of which are even longer at over 15 minutes. I haven’t had the chance to dig into the full record yet, but I’m guessing from what I’m hearing in “Breaker of Skulls” below that it’s doomed as hell, and yeah, I’ll take that.

Art, info and audio follow here, all courtesy of the PR wire:

volur ancestors

VÖLUR to Release New LP, ‘Ancestors’, June 2; Band Debuts New Song “Breaker of Skulls”

Toronto-based experimental doom trio VÖLUR will release its sophomore album, Ancestors, on June 2 via Prophecy Productions. Produced by the band and mixed by Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene), Ancestors is the follow-up to VÖLUR’s celebrated debut, Disir.

“‘Breaker of Skulls’ is a dark, sludgy slab of doom inspired by the ancient Icelandic warrior poet Egil Skallagrímsson, a man who fought terrible battles across the North Sea,” comments the band. “He was at once barbarous and poetic. A man who would commit a brutal act of violence and then recite a beautiful poem immediately after. The song was inspired by his epic poem, ‘The Loss of My Sons’. It moves from a combative, gnarly sludge riff to a bittersweet and almost beautiful conclusion, all the while filled with yearning chromatic movement. The piece finds the band at its most aggressive, and almost its most experiment with disjointed improvised passages paired against bleak heavy doom.”

Just as the band’s debut, Disir, dealt with themes surrounding female figures from mythology, Ancestors focuses on the heroine’s male counterparts and is the second part of a planned four album series spotlighting various elements of the old Germanic spiritual world. VÖLUR’s songs are long, quasi-narrative pieces that feature Laura C. Bates’ violin assuming the role traditionally executed by a guitar, allowing the bass playing of Lucas Gadke (also of Blood Ceremony) to take on unique responsibilities in both lead and melodic roles while drummer Jimmy Payment (Do Make Say Think) feeds the band’s bombastic, crushing oomph. Doom music (not necessarily metal) is about slow contemplation and the transfixing power of heaviness and VÖLUR’s weighty riffs, layers of feedback, dynamic, angular melodies and moments of beauty give heed to the band’s promise to always seek newer modes of musical expression and discovery.

Moving between high-tension heaviness and beautiful pastoral moods, VÖLUR aims to reflect the world of primordial nature inspired by ancient myths and chilling poems of death and heroism. Ancestors shares the stories and sagas of great men from the past that have been shrouded by the obscurity of time while simultaneously spotlighting one of North America’s most ambitious and striving young acts.

Track listing:
1.) Breaker of Silence
2.) Breaker of Skulls
3.) Breaker of Oaths
4.) Breaker of Famine

https://www.facebook.com/VolurDoom/
https://twitter.com/VolurDoom
https://www.instagram.com/volurdoom/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/voelur/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/

Völur, “Breaker of Skulls”

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Hermitess Post “Blood Moon” Video; Debut Album out May 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hermitess-photo-Blair-Russell

Despite, or maybe because of, a steady dose of harp as a central element of the arrangements on Hermitess‘ forthcoming self-titled debut — out May 12, which is apparently this week; whither thou, 2017? — I hear a bit of Hexvessel‘s earth-worship in the deceptively not-minimalist aesthetic of the Calgary outfit. Begun as the solo-project of Jennifer Crighton (ex-Devonian Gardens) and fleshed out from there with a range of guest players and harmony-providers, Hermitess does indeed offer the sense of loneliness one might expect from the moniker, but as those who’ve separated themselves from society are often considered to be imbued with a special kind of ascetic wisdom, so too does Crighton‘s “isolation” come with a particular depth of melody.

I suppose an even easier comparison point — if we’re being lazy — would be the dark goth-folk atmospheres of Chelsea Wolfe, but again, Crighton brings a nuance to the nine-trackhermitess self titled album such that songs like “Obsidian Stairs,” “Black Lake” and “The Guest,” while grim in mood, lean more toward Angels of Light-style Americana in their foreboding than the kind of dystopian emotionalism one might expect. Still, when Hermitess shifts from acoustic fare into the hey-there’s-drums-and-distortion-here of “Hush,” the droning wash is clear in its impression. One would hardly hold sonic diversity against Crighton, though, as it makes Hermitess a stronger record on the whole, and as she closes out by pairing the string-laden “Tender” with the underlying growl of “Vampires,” the ambient scope is given further reinforcement in kind with the songwriting so essential to a release like this in the first place.

The video below for the track “Blood Moon” is fairly minimal in its own right, featuring a lone figure that’s presumably Crighton herself walking toward the camera, mask held up to her face, carrying a lantern, in the gray woods. It’s kind of a creeper, but so is the song, so I’ll take it, and if it’s your introduction to the album as it was mine, you should know that while it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of Hermitess‘ Hermitess in terms of the surrounding instrumentation, the patience in its unfolding and lushness of its melody are very much themes around which the work is built.

PR wire info follows the clip. I hope you enjoy:

Hermitess, “Blood Moon” official video

Lead track from the forthcoming album by Hermitess

Concept & Performance: Jennifer Crighton
Camera & Direction: Tatiana Losev

The Hermitess is the solo project of songwriter and harpist Jennifer Crighton, who comes by way of various other musical incarnations, including The Consonant C and Devonian Gardens. Stripping back the performance to a harp and a circle of women’s voices, the Hermitess is an inquisitive, contrary, wounded, wise and ever dreaming incantation

As the name implies, this album came about at a remove from modern life. While isolated in a cabin in northern Michigan, Jennifer Crighton began to conceive of this character (Hermitess) and a set of songs that would feel at home in the wintry knee-deep snow drifts and creaking trees. Crighton’s electric harp stands at the centre of the project. It’s an instrument that’s often associated with both the traditional and the ethereal, and Crighton makes the most of that contrast. Delicate lines loop and tangle into an intricate latticework of rhythm and melody, while unfamiliar sounds and unplaceable textures enrich the arrangements, courtesy of the Audities Foundation’s incomparable collection of instruments and equipment.

Over this sonic foundation, Crighton sings in the voice of her adopted character, the words part story and part incantation. The lyrics question and caution the listener, walking the line between sweet dreams and nightmares—a feeling that’s only enhanced by the chorus of women’s voices drifting through the album like a soft wind cutting across a frozen landscape. It’s the a sound at once eerie and inviting, traced in magic and grounded in nature. It’s the voice of the Hermitess.

Hermitess on Thee Facebooks

Hermitess on Twitter

Hermitess on Bandcamp

Hermitess website

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Calgary 420 Fest Lineup: Wo Fat, Black Mastiff, Anciients, Chron Goblin, Mammoth Grove and More to Play

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

wo fat necro blanca photography

Appropriately enough, the Calgary 420 Fest starts on April 20 and will feature a host of stoner and other heavy types of acts across its three-day stretch. Among the notables is Wo Fat (above), who’ll be making their debut appearance in Canada as headliners for the final evening, along with Black Mastiff and Anciients on the nights preceding, and a slew of native Canadian bands to go along with, from Mammoth Grove and Chron Goblin to the sludgy likes of Lavagoat and the classic heavy rock of La Chinga. There’s also a bunch of weedian whathaveyou going on as a part of it, as the PR wire details below, food trucks and a beard contest, so seems like a good time on any number of levels.

Details follow:

calgary 420 fest lineup

Calgary’s 420 Music & Arts Festival Announce Concert Line Up w/ Wo Fat, Anciients, Black Mastiff and more!

April 20, 21, 22 @ Distortion
3828 MacLeod Trail S., Calgary, Alberta T2G 2R2

Big Rock Brewery & METALHEADS UNITED Presents the 420 Music & Arts Festival at Distortion – Live Music Venue in Calgary, AB, Canada, April 20, 21 and 22, 2017.

The 420 Music & Arts Festival is a three day celebration featuring 22 Stoner Rock, Desert Rock, Doom & Sludge Metal and Fuzzy, Kick Ass Rock n Roll bands surrounding the culture that is 420. Headlining this inaugural year all the way from Dallas, TX for their first Canadian performance, stoner legends WO FAT, Vancouver’s ANCIIENTS and Edmonton/ Vancouver based BLACK MASTIFF.

In addition to all the rad music, festival attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase the work of select local artists, artisans and craftsman at the 420 Expo, Saturday, April 22 at Distortion from 10am-4pm. Interspersed with vendors of interesting and eclectic wares will be information on medical marijuana and hemp products and even more 420 enthusiasts. Select vendors, artists and marijuana related companies will be available in the evenings at the festival as well. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will be in attendance to answer questions.

You will be able to indulge your desire for munchies with a variety delectable culinary creations from some of Southern Alberta’s best food trucks. If that isn’t enough, each night of the festival there will be an opportunity to show off your glorious facial hair in our beard contest. Celebrity judges will decide who moves onto the final round on the last night of the festival where one beard will rule them all!

* Big Rock Beer is exclusive beer for the 420 Music & Arts Festival

* 420 Music & Arts Festival will be the very first Canadian performance by Dallas, TX stoner rock legends Wo Fat

Festival Lineup:

Overall Festival Event Link (Main Link) www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584/

Wednesday, April 19 – Pre-Fest – FREE SHOW + Advance Pass Pick Up

Ten Dead Crow
Terminal Human Condition

Thursday, April 20
FB Event www.facebook.com/events/240616399708945/

Black Mastiff (Edmonton, AB/Vancouver, BC)
HighKicks (Calgary, AB)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
The Electric Revival (Calgary, AB)
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary, AB)
Hypnopilot (Calgary, AB)
Set & Stoned (Crossfield, AB)

Friday, April 21
FB event www.facebook.com/events/1702426476734012/

Anciients (Vancouver, BC)
Dead Quiet (Vancouver, BC)
Lavagoat (Saskatoon, SK)
Orbital Express (Regina, SK)
ChronoBot (Prince Albert, SK)
Lordosis (Calgary, AB)
Hunted By Ravens (Red Deer, AB)

Saturday, April 22
FB event www.facebook.com/events/795080193963870/

Wo Fat (Dallas, Texas, USA) First ever appearance in Canada
Chron Goblin (Calgary, AB)
Cowpuncher (Calgary, AB)
Mammoth Grove (Calgary, AB)
NVGR (Nikki Valentine & Gypsy Riders) (Calgary, AB)
Black Thunder (Regina, SK)
Brown Dwarf (Red Deer, AB)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)

Ticket links:

Available at http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/store-2/ and on FB page on the festival store https://store10885031.ecwid.com/.

https://www.facebook.com/events/226953177757584
http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/
http://www.twitter.com/420FestivalYYC
http://www.facebook.com/420MusicAndArtsFestival
http://www.instagram.com/420MusicandArtsFestival

Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (2016)

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Woodhawk Premiere “Quest for Clarity”; Canadian Tour Dates Announced

Posted in audiObelisk on March 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

WOODHAWK photo-mario-a-montes

Calgary three-piece Woodhawk have set an April 7 release for their new album, Beyond the Sun. It’s their first full-length following a 2014 self-titled EP, and it’s hard to imagine that, given the cohesive songwriting, resonant fullness of tone and crisp harmonies that make up its foundation, I won’t be posting a news item in the near-ish future about this or that label picking it up for a vinyl and/or CD issue. They’re taking care of a first run on their own, of course, and have preorders available through Bandcamp, but it seems to me that once people get a grasp on the hooks of songs like “The High Priest,” “Living in the Sand,” the Star Wars paean “A New Hope” and “Quest for Clarity” that the interest won’t be there. Hell, they recently shared the stage with Truckfighters, and listening to album centerpiece “Lawless,” it seems to me they’d make excellent Fuzzorama Records labelmates for Valley of the Sun. Not trying to tell anyone — band or imprint — how to live their lives, I’m just trying to note in my cumbersome way that while Beyond the Sun is the debut long-player from the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Turner Midzain, bassist/vocalist Mike Madmington and drummer Kevin Nelson, it has a professionalism at its core that’s hard to miss as you make your way through its platter-ready 38 minutes.

You can hear it in the call and response of “Living in the Sand” to be sure, but it’s there from the start ofwoodhawk beyond the sun “Beyond the Sun” itself, which opens the record that shares its name. One is reminded at first of post-Queens of the Stone Age London rockers Crystal Head, but that kind of moodiness is only one aspect of Woodhawk‘s delivery, and the band ultimately feels much more at home dug into the active drive that emerges later in that track and continues with “The High Priest.” Later, “Magnetic North” brings an organ-laced (keys added by Jesse Gander) semi-lumber to the proceedings before “Lawless” answers in chugging verse fashion, and the bass opening of “Quest for Clarity” plays up the harmonies en route to the closing third of the nine-track outing. That final segment starts with the aforementioned “A New Hope” — kind of had me wondering if they were talking about Star Wars or StarWars-as-existential-metaphor, but yeah, it seems to just be a song about Star Wars; okay then — and continues into the drifting interlude “Foresee the Future” and the not-at-all-an-ElectricWizard-cover “Chrononaut,” which seems to expand the arrangements in all directions, instrumentally and vocally, as if to underscore the quickness and efficiency with which the journey from the title-track has been made, looking back on the formidable amount of ground covered with due purpose and clearheadedness. If they’ve been on any kind of “Quest for Clarity” at all, they’ve found it.

Woodhawk will celebrate the arrival of Beyond the Sun with two release shows next weekend and then head out on a 10-date Canadian tour in May. The dates came down in an announcement from the PR wire, and you’ll find them under the premiere of “Quest for Clarity” below, which I’m happy to host, along with some welcome perspective from Midzain on the song’s making and how it relates to the rest of the tracks around it.

Please enjoy:

Woodhawk, “Quest for Clarity” from Beyond the Sun (2017)

Turner Midzain on “Quest for Clarity”:

“‘Quest for Clarity’ was one of the last songs we wrote for the record. It’s about taking a step back and really looking around at what’s going on. Sometimes you need to step back in order to move forward. We felt this song really tied the two sides of the album together. It’s a bit of a different side of us with more harmonies and contrast than some of our previous straight-ahead riffers.”

Slathered in rock and roll riffs and dealing with a case of wanderlust, Calgary’s rock revival heroes WOODHAWK set out to unleash their debut full-length ‘Beyond The Sun’ paired with dates across Western Canada.

Their album ‘Beyond The Sun’ is produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) and is slated for release April 7, 2017. Pre-order of Vinyl, CD or Digital with an instant download of the first single ‘The High Priest’ available via their bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

After opening for Truckfighters, Yawning Man and We Hunt Buffalo in Calgary, WOODHAWK will be hitting the road for tour of Western Canada to quell their hunger for playing shows.

Show Dates:
April 7 – Edmonton, AB – Sewing Machine Factory (CD Release Show)
April 8 – Calgary, AB – The Palomino (CD Release show)

Vagabonds of The Western Gig Tour:
May 4 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
May 5 – Nanaimo, BC – The Queens
May 6 – Victoria, BC – Logan’s Pub
May 7 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
May 8 – Edmonton, AB – Rendezvous Pub
May 9 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
May 10 – Winnipeg, MB – The Handsome Daughter
May 11 – Regina, SK – The German Club
May 12 – Calgary, AB – Palomino
May 13 – Fernie, BC – Northern Bar

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

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