Ironbird Release Second Album Persian Blade

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


Welsh heavy grunge riffers Ironbird have released their second album, Persian Blade, as a six-years-later follow-up to their 2012 debut, Songs of Spite and Ire (get it?), and they’re streaming the record in full now. It’s easy enough to read a narrative progression into the tracks, and all the more so when one factors in the artwork by bassist Gob and the series of videos they’ve unfurled in support of the tracks. You can see one for the title-cut below, and it’s pretty pro-shop Flash animation in such a way as to make me think Gob is probably a pro of some sort in the graphic arts. It’s like Samurai Jack in the desert, which of course is cool by me, along with the ’90s viibes of the songs themselves.

Here’s the release announcement, followed by the album stream and that clip. Dig it:

ironbird persian blade


Cardiff, Wales premier stoner metal band, Ironbird return with their long awaited second album, ‘Persian Blade’ on 2nd November 2018 through False Lord Recordings. Recorded, mixed and produced by the bands guitarist Van and mastered by renowned engineer Pete Maher (Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Jack White, Rolling Stones), ‘Persian Blade’ builds on the bands successful debut album (2012’s ‘Songs of Spite and Ire’) by displaying a more intricate and dynamic songwriting approach while also adding more colour and texture to the heavy vibes.

Steeped in sounds synonymous with 90’s stoner and grunge bands such as Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, while also being influenced by classic rock melded to progressive metal, ‘Persian Blade’ delivers thunderous tales of assassins, curses and false messiahs reflecting uncertain times. Formed in 2010 through the desire to create something unique in the genre, Ironbird were immediately thrown to the forefront of the burgeoning South Wales stoner rock scene and quickly built up a cult following on the local circuit. Their eclectic blend of hard rock and heavy metal was perfectly captured on their debut album, 2012’s ‘Songs of Spite and Ire’, which spawned the singles ‘Black Sunrise’ and ‘Assassins of the High Crag’. Gigs supporting the likes of Karma to Burn, Sigiriya and Bloody Hammers soon followed.

1 White Stork
2 The Healer
3 Persian Blade
4 Last Siren
5 Cradle of Time
6 From the Slave to the Grave
7 Circle of Sin
8 The Hunt Goes On

Ironbird are:
Eli – vocals
Van – guitars
Ad – drums
Gob – bass

Recorded, mixed and produced by VAN

Mastered by PETE MAHER

Artwork by GOB

Ironbird, Persian Blade (2018)

Ironbird, “Persian Blade” official video

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Lacertilia Announce Fifth Anniversary Show Set for Feb. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Cheers to Cardiff weirdos Lacertilia on hitting the five-year mark in 2018. The band, who continue to support 2016’s We’re Already Inside Your Mind, have announced an anniversary gig in their hometown on Feb. 3 with a pretty awesome poster by Antoine Defarges of Headbang Design with five as its suitable-enough theme. Also playing the show will be Cybernetic Witch Cult and The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk, who I’ll just assume are huge, since, you know, powdered milk and all.

I haven’t heard if Lacertilia have anything new in the works for this year vis a vis an album or anything like that, but anything’s possible when bands start getting down to transcending space and time and all that. When I find something out I’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you want one of those posters you gotta get to the gig, though maybe if you’re from elsewhere and you ask nicely enough on the internet they could be convinced to sell you one. Might take some arm twisting, but seems worth a shot.

Check it out:

lacertilia anniversary show

. . . . Whoah! That was a blur. When you’re zooming about playing shows all over the place time really does fly. We’ve almost hit the milestone that is 5 years of Lacertilia! And what a mad blast it’s been so far. It’s very humbling to see so many faces continually show up at our gigs and promoters booking us back for more. Thank you! To celebrate our coming of age as a 5-year-old quintet we’ve roped in one of our favourite artists Antoine over at Headbang Design to create a commemorative, hand drawn, limited edition screen print for Lacertilia, all based on themes, ideas and mysticism surrounding the number 5.

This limited edition screen print is 5 colours printed on 280g cardboard paper in A3 size (29x42cm). These will be available for purchase exclusively at the show. Any remaining prints will be go up for sale on our Bandcamp page the week after the show. Limited run of 50 prints.

Our 5th anniversary celebration will take place at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff on 03/02/2018 and we’ve compiled a monster line up to go with it. ‘Not Since The Accident’ return after a 2 year hiatus to kick things off with their brand of frenetic punk, Cardiff’s ‘The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk’ follow with enough grooves to burn out your dancing shoes and our touring buddies ‘Cybernetic Witch Cult’ will be journeying up from darkest Cornwall to bring tales of Space Travel, Wizards and Dinosaurs to a backdrop of heavy stoner riffage!

All kicks off at 6:30pm and you can buy advance tickets here:

Lacertilia, We’re Already Inside Your Mind (2016)

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Lacertilia Premiere “Fire up the Engine of God” Video; April Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


One does not have to wade far into Lacertilia‘s 2016 debut album, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, to find the ethic by which the record as a whole is defined. Indeed, even before the seven-minute hard-driving stretch of “The Wired and the Weird” has begun, the point of that title has been made in the percussive oddity of the preceding intro, “Inside Your Mind Part 1.” From there, the Cardiff five-piece only continue to flesh out a quirky, space-minded take on heavy rock — here and there reminding of Steak, particularly in the vocals, as I’ve noted before — and by the time they get around to “Fire up the Engine of God,” they’ve established a pretty broad sonic range, leaving the possibilities fairly open for where they might go next.

Somehow it makes sense in context that where they go is basically to ground. “Fire up the Engine of God” follows “Journey to Agartha” — by no means lacking for charge — and is about as close to pure thrust as Lacertilia get on their first album. One can hear desert rock roots in the sans-frills three-minute course, but the winding progression could just as easily be traced to Motörhead. Soon enough they’ll delve into the more spacious “Round and Round,” playing between loud/quiet trades and echoes recounting the hypnotic motion of the big wet ball we all call home, but for “Fire up the Engine of God,” it’s all verse/chorus shove and a motion set dead ahead. They’ve by then demonstrated a knack for hooks in cuts like “Tangled Up” and “Never See the Sun,” never mind the aforementioned “The Wired and the Weird,” but “Fire up the Engine of God” might be the purest display of that on We’re Already Inside Your Mind, casting off much of the atmospheric basis for other songs in favor of all-out scorch.

Lacertilia — who head out in the UK with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters later in April (dates below) — have a new 100-copy LP pressing of We’re Already Inside Your Mind in a gatefold that can be preordered now through their Bandcamp. That info follows the clip itself, which you can see right here.

Hope you enjoy:

Lacertilia, “Fire up the Engine of God” official video

lacertilia-tour-posterMusic video for ‘Fire Up The Engine Of God” taken from Lacertilia’s debut album ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind’ out now on Red Sun Sounds.

Filmed and edited by Mei Lewis of Mission Photographic

Album now on Black Void Vinyl in a Gatefold sleeve. Limited to 100 copies available to pre-order now at

Catch Lacertilia on tour with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters in April
19/04 – Arches Venue, Coventry
20/04 – Mulbery Tavern, Sheffield
21/04 – Opium, Edinburgh
22/04 – Rebellion, Manchester
23/04 – Stag & Hounds, Bristol

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Lacertilia and Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters Announce UK Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Last heard from this past Fall when they headed out on tour in support of their 2016 album, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, Cardiff-based Lacertilia have put out word of a follow-up short UK run in April 2017. The Fall stint was with Cybernetic Witch Cult and the Spring one will find them out with mischievous sludge rock purveyors Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, so they continue to keep good company as they go and spread the word on their LP, which was released on Red Sound Records in July.

In the meantime, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters have dropped hints of new stuff to come in 2017, including a split with I-don’t-know-who-yet and potentially a debut album follow-up on 2015’s Earth Hog EP (review here). Whether or not that first long-player will show up before the end of the year, I don’t know, but if it does, I’ll take it. They’re currently signed to Riff Rock Records, having signed with the imprint in November and announced it here while also premiering their video for “Mother Chub,” which if you haven’t seen it is a damn good time.

Dates and info follow, as seen on the internets:

lacertilia chubby thunderous tour


We’re heading out on tour with our brothers of the riff, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters in April!

Lacertilia // Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters hit the road in April 2017:

19/04- Arches Venue Coventry // Coventry
20/04- Mulberry Tavern // Sheffield
21/04- Opium – Alternative Club & Bar // Edinburgh
22/04- Rebellion Manchester // Manchester
23/04-The Stag and Hounds // Bristol

Lacertilia are a cosmic blend of primal rock ‘n’ roll energy, heavy psychedelia and sludgy groove rock. Their new album ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind’ is out now on Red Sun Sounds and is available to buy via their Bandcamp page

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters: Tie dye Fuzz & Stoner.

Lacertilia, We’re Already Inside Your Mind (2016)

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Earth Hog (2015)

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Lacertilia and Cybernetic Witch Cult on UK Tour Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

UK outfits Lacertilia and Cybernetic Witch Cult have teamed up for a run through their native land that’s on now and will run through Oct. 30. Shows started this past weekend in London and the as-Welsh-sounding-as-it-is Merthyr Tydfil (I honestly don’t know how there’s a word in the Welsh language without a black metal band named after it) and find Lacertilia supporting their 2016 release, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, which came out at the end of July on Red Sound Records, while Cybernetic Witch Cult in May issued their second full-length, Spaceous Cretaceous, as the rhyme-consistent follow-up to their 2015 debut, Morlock Rock.

Respect to a couple outfits who’ve very clearly taken it upon themselves to get out and spread the word about what they’re doing for what’s sure to be a week off work and away from whatever other obligations real life might present to them. This is the kind of stint that doesn’t happen unless people really believe in their work.

Dates and info follow:


Lacertilia / Cybernetic Witch Cult: Wizards and Lizards UK Tour

Lacertilia & Cybernetic Witch Cult are teaming up on a UK run of shows. Dates posted below

Lacertilia are a cosmic blend of primal rock ‘n’ roll energy, heavy psychedelia and sludgy groove rock. Their new album ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind’ is out now on Red Sun Sounds and is available to buy via their Bandcamp page

Cybernetic Witch Cult are a groovacious metal trio from Cornwall who take their influences from Doom metal, 70s rock, stoner rock, space rock and science fiction/horror B movies. A serious band with a fun outlook on music, the lyrics tell stories of invasions, time travel, space and cult horror, the riffs are grandiose and the drums are pounding.

Lacertilia & Cybernetic Witch Cult:
22/10 – Underdog Gallery, London
23/10 – New Crown, Merthyr Tydfil
24/10 – Crowley’s Rock Bar, Swansea (with Suns Of Thunder)
25/10 – Buffalo Bar, Cardiff
26/10 – The Black Swan, Bradford
27/10 – Opium, Edinburgh
28/10 – Arches Venue, Coventry
29/10 – The Anvil, Bournemouth
30/10 – The Junction, Plymouth

Lacertilia tour promo video

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Lacertilia Release We’re Already Inside Your Mind July 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


UK heavy psych rockers Lacertilia will release their debut, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, on July 29. Due out through Red Sun Sounds, the album follows last year’s Crashing into the Future EP, which found the band working in a post-Steak vein of desert influence but bringing their own swirling twist to the style as well, leaving space in their songs for the driving riffs to melt away into hypnotic jams, almost Naam-esque in how utterly liquefied they became. They also recently played Hellfest 2016 in France, which is pretty good for a band still waiting to release their first record, what with the thousands of people in attendance and whatnot.

As to what the full-length holds, I’ll keep you posted. Here’s the release announcement from the PR wire:



South Wales-based psychedelic heavy rockers, LACERTILIA are gearing up to unleash their first full-length album, We’re Already Inside Your Mind, on July 29.

Since their inception in 2013, LACERTILIA have built up a solid reputation through their energetic live shows and relentless gigging, having already shared the stage with the likes of Karma To Burn, Elder, Trippy Wicked, Bloody Hammers, Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell, Peter Pan Speedrock, and countless others. With an EP and two UK tours under their belt, the band are now ready to release their debut album.

We’re Already Inside Your Mind was recorded at One Louder Studios in Newport by Phillip Smith (Hogslayer, Haasts Eagled), and mastered by Joe Gibb (Jane’s Addiction, Depeche Mode). Intent on capturing their live sound in the studio – a mix of primal rock ‘n’ roll energy, heavy psychedelia and sludgy groove rock, with nods to proto-punk, 60?s psych, 70?s heavy rock, the free festival movement and contemporary stoner and doom – LACERTILIA have created a rich melting pot of sonic indulgence that takes the listener on a journey. This heady mix of influences is perfectly enraptured on lead track The Wired And The Weird.

The album’s main theme centres around the human brain, a prison for the psyche which has been subdued by modern technology, and law and order. LACERTILIA are personified as wise elders, here to help the inhabitants of planet Earth to see things as they really are. The cosmic vibrations and messages within their music are designed to make mankind face its fears, strip away the layers of mental conditioning bestowed upon us and ultimately reveal the power and utmost truth that lies within us all.

We’re Already Inside Your Mind
1. Inside Your Mind Part 1
2. The Wired And The Weird
3. Tangled Up
4. Never See The Sun
5. Ride With Us
7. Journey To Agartha
8. Fire Up The Engine Of God
9. Round And Round
10. Inside Your Mind Part 2

We’re Already Inside Your Mind is scheduled for release through Red Sun Sounds on July 29, 2016 via the band’s Bandcamp HERE. The album will be available digitally and as a digipak CD limited to 500 copies.

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Friday Full-Length: Budgie, Budgie

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Budgie, Budgie (1971)

There are plenty of people around more qualified than I am to comment on Budgie‘s enduring legacy or their effect on heavy rock and metal, but one doesn’t exactly need a masterful knowledge of the form to hear the roll of “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” and have a lot of things subsequently make more sense. The Welsh trio’s self-titled 1971 debut is one of those albums you hear and recognize pieces of from the work of other bands who’ve snagged a riff here, a melody there, and really you can take your pick from among their first three full-lengths — this, 1972’s Squawk and 1973’s Never Turn Your Back on a Friend — for supremacy. What ultimately does it for me is Burke Shelley‘s bass tone. With guitarist/vocalist Tony Bourge and drummer Ray Phillips along with Shelley on bass/vocals, Budgie was nothing if not a power trio, but to hear the weight in the production by Rodger Bain (who also helmed early outings for Black Sabbath and Judas Priest) as “Guts” gets the album going, yeah, it’s a pretty easy sell.

And in classic ’70s heavy form, they open with this killer heavy track and then move immediately into ballads, in this case the quick “Everything in My Heart” and subsequent “The Author,” which picks up as it makes its way to toward the aforementioned “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman,” which rounds out side A. From there, “Rape of the Locks” picks up with an immediate slam and proto-shredding solo, and all the swing and swagger you could hope for, leading to the fuzzed out “All Night Petrol,” an acoustic resurgence on “You and I,” and the unfuckwithable closer “Homicidal Suicidal.” In the spirit of many of the best records of its era, it gets in, kicks ass and gets out — probably because by the time it was finished Budgie were due either out on tour or back in to start tracking Squawk.

If you know heavy rock or doom, you don’t need me to tell about this one I’m sure. Frankly, I was surprised to find that I’d never closed out a week with Budgie before, so consider this my way of making up for lost time. Of course, I hope you dig it.

Nothing to say, really. If you’re wondering about that job, I heard today [after this post first went up] that they want to do another interview. Between phoners and in-person, this will be number four. It’s in two weeks.

I also put in for a bartending gig yesterday, just out of a need to try for something. No word back.

Next week, audio from Insect Ark and Mos Generator and reviews of Cigale and Ichabod. Akris interview too at some point. Unless I get a call in the next two hours telling me to start work Monday, I was supposed to head to Brooklyn on the 5th for Kings Destroy‘s record release with ElderApostle of Solitude and Clamfight, but it occurs to me that in addition to having no job and no money, my car is also dead in the parking lot outside and needs a new battery before it can go anywhere. Which of course I can’t afford. So we’ll mark those plans as “tentative” for the time being.

Got some cool vinyl this week though and was referred to twice as a “legend.” Feels great. Feels legendary.

Fuck it.

Great weekend, forum, radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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On the Radar: Former Acrimony Members Surface in Sigiriya

Posted in On the Radar on September 13th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Well, if there’s one thing “Mountain Goat” and “Deathtrip,” the two brand new tracks posted by the UK‘s Sigiriya, show us, it’s that the dudes from Acrimony have been keeping up with stoner rock for the nine years since their original band broke up. Sigiriya has four out of the five Acrimony members — only guitarist Lee Davies is absent — and under their new moniker, the band plays a totally modern, much less shroomed take on riff metal. In no way is Sigiriya a throwback or an attempt to recapture Acrimony‘s past greatness. One expects if they wanted to do that, they would have just reunited Acrimony.

The shorter “Mountain Goat” and more expansive “Deathtrip” were posted on SoundCloud, which I’m going to pretend to have heard of before for fear of being behind the times. SoundCloud allows for embedding its players, so you can hear both songs below (or click here). “Mountain Goat” is definitely the more straightforward of the two songs; at 3:22 it’s a recognizable stoner excursion. At over 10 minutes, however, “Deathtrip” does the bulk of the work distinguishing Sigiriya from both Acrimony and the modern stoner metal scene. The guitar of Stuart O’Hara comes on well-layered, offering melody and crunch, and vocalist Dorian Walters seems more melodically capable as well for his time away. It’s been nine years. A little development shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

And the rhythm section — bassist Paul Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey — are as locked in on “Deathtrip” as they ever were on Acrimony‘s now-classic Tumuli Shroomaroom, proving no less adept at keeping a groove going during the song’s lengthy jam than during the riffy freakouts of yore. I’ll say if you dug/dig Acrimony you’ll like Sigiriya, but that’s not because they’re the same musically. Despite the subtle end of “Deathtrip,” Sigiriya is (at least going by these two songs) much less psychedelic. They’re doing what the age demands of them, and they’re doing it well. As someone into Acrimony, but more as someone into Sigiriya, I look forward to hearing more.

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