Review & Full LP Premiere: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Buried Memories

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Buried Memories Cover

[Click play above to stream Sons of Alpha Centauri’s Buried Memories in full. It’s out Friday and available to order here.]

UK progressive instrumentalists Sons of Alpha Centauri will release the new LP Buried Memories on Oct. 13 through H42 Records, and it’s an offering that immediately begs inspection. Is it an album or a collaboration? An EP, since the first side is three different versions of the same track? As the follow-up to the band’s 2018 outing, Continuum (review here) — which was essentially the band on their own, even if they did work with Aaron Turner (Sumac, ex-Isis) as producer/mixer and John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) for mastering — it continues a string of joined-f0rces efforts that goes back to their 2009 outing with Karma to Burn side-project Treasure Cat, which included tracks by Alpha Cat with both bands working together. Along the way, in addition to their 2007 self-titled debut (discussed here) and Continuum some 11 years later, they’ve also worked with Gary Arce of Yawning Man as Yawning Sons for the 2009 album, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), and had a trilogy of splits with Karma to Burn (2010, 2014, 2015) as well as splits with A Death Cinematic and Hotel Wrecking City Traders/WaterWays (review here) in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

All of this, as one might expect, has made them somewhat hard to track, as they’re in and out of different incarnations and collaborations, but I think the band probably wouldn’t have it another way, and Buried Memories shows some of where that impulse comes from. The six-track/47-minute 12″ dwells in its complication no less than it dwells in instrumentalists depth and purpose, and I should point out right away that while “Hitmen” is the first three songs, not one version is immediately recognizable from the others. And that’s doubly to Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s credit, because it shows how much they’re willing to let their material be malleable. You see, each half of Buried Memories is dedicated to an outside mix collaboration. For “Hitmen,” they bring in three different incarnations of Godflesh‘s Justin K. Broadrick, who takes the song on first under the guise of himself, then as Jesu and finally as JK Flesh, bringing a distinctly different feel to each edition of the same root work. It’s perhaps easier to do since the songs don’t have verses or choruses weighing them down to a strict structure, but it’s true that each one carves its own impression, and as they move from eight-and-a-half, nine- and nine-and-a-half-minute versions, Broadrick seems to pull the track further from its foundation and bring something of his own to it. It’s not just a simple process of mixing in the sense of finding the right volume for Marlon King‘s guitar or Blake‘s synth, Nick Hannon‘s bass and Stevie B.‘s drums, but of exploring what distance “Hitmen” can cover from its origin. As the Broadrick mix turns to the more melodic Jesu mix to the avant-electro JK Flesh mix, that distance turns out to be pretty vast.

The second-side collaborator is no less than James Plotkin, whose mastering and production work covers myriad outfits and whose work in Khanate alone — never mind his copious other projects — deserves an eternity of thank-you cards, who takes on three different songs, all under the guise of himself. So side A, one song mixed by three versions of the same person. Side AA, three songs mixed by one version of the same person.

Everyone got it?

Okay.

Sons of Alpha Centauri 2019

And much to Plotkin‘s credit, the three inclusions he takes on also push further and further out as they go. “Warhero” (9:33) is relatively straight ahead, but in comparison to Broadrick‘s “Hitmen” shows a focus on bringing out a sense of space in the work, while the shorter “Remembrance” (2:42) dips into minimalist drone guitar almost as a transition into closer “SS Montgomery,” which also takes on a more electronic vibe, in a kind of dark-industrial vein that still holds a heavy presence thanks to the prominence of the live drums, but nonetheless surrounds those with a chaos-swirl of synth and the guitar. “SS Montgomery” is the payoff for the whole release, pushing through clarity toward destructive noise wash in its quick apex and leaving behind residual noise on a long outward fade, and the fact that even given all the shifts of style and intent that Buried Memories holds, Sons of Alpha Centauri would be able to pull everything together at the end speaks to what makes them so underrated in the first place. They are very much a conceptual outfit but still not blind to the basic purpose of making an album, of making songs.

That underlying message comes through clearly across Buried Memories, and whether you consider it an album, an EP, a one-off, or something else, there’s never any doubt Sons of Alpha Centauri are ready and willing to push themselves to take their music to new places and to try and encompass different ideas and evoke various mindsets as they go. It’s not every band who would be willing to hand off their material like this, even to the likes of Plotkin and Broadrick, let alone put it out in such a way that allows the tracks to take on a life of their own within their overarching catalog. I won’t pretend to know what Sons of Alpha Centauri might do next or where they’ll go from here — though they were certainly busy enough in between, it’s notable that it was 11 years from their self-titled to Continuum — but the way their progressiveness extends not only to the sound of the band but to the very makeup and intent thereof continues to make them individually flexible in a universe that seems rigid by comparison. Whatever they might do, this openness and dexterity can only continue to bolster their work. Imagine asking Justin Broadrick for three mixes by different personae. Imagine telling James Plotkin, “Just go with it.” The beauty of Buried Memories is in its outward movement and the sense of freedom it portrays: art as a living thing, music as sculpting clay to be shaped and re-shaped. As regards the creative, there are few ideas more noble.

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Sons of Alpha Centauri on Bandcamp

Sons of Alpha Centauri website

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H42 Records on Bandcamp

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Sons of Alpha Centauri Announce Buried Memories Collaborative LP with JK Broadrick & James Plotkin

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri 2019

You have to give it to Sons of Alpha Centauri: they keep good company. These are gentlemen of refined taste. Their last album? Produced by Aaron Harris of Isis and mastered by John McBain, formerly of Monster Magnet. Before that, oh, they’d worked with the likes of Gary Arce and Karma to Burn, and so on, producing killer splits and collaborative offerings in the process. Now? They’ve got a kinda-EP/kinda-LP called Buried Memories coming that has four songs total — one is a revisit of a song from their first record — with mixes by Justin Broadrick, who does three different versions of “Hitmen” in various guises as Justin K. Broadrick, JK Flesh and Jesu, and James Plotkin, who’s only James Plotkin throughout but when you played in Khanate that’s enough as far as I’m concerned. Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s sense of sonic adventurousness continues to extend to a meta level, and if you’re not intrigued to hear this, you probably just haven’t paid enough attention. Snap to it.

It doesn’t actually say so below, but the press kit lists Oct. 13 as the release date through H42 Records, so let’s go with that. They’ve got a quick teaser posted as well, and you’ll find that at the bottom of the post, along with the stream of 2018’s Continuum (review here). Enjoy:

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Buried Memories Cover

H42 Records: SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI Announce New Album with JK BROADRICK and JAMES PLOTKIN!

Sons of Alpha Centauri are back to release Buried Memories, a collaborative post metal colossus and the second part of the journey that started with last album Continuum!

The new album Buried Memories has been mixed by industrial metal icon Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu…) and ambient gloom metal maestro James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis etc.). Buried Memories contains two 10 minute slabs of eclectic ambient progressive rock and a series of interpretative remixes of the theme tracks by both Broadrick and Plotkin.

Justin Broadrick collaborates with the band on side A through the progressive riff saga of Hitmen which he has mixed and also provided two remixes in his guise as Jesu and another as the eponymous JK Flesh. These three staggering pieces of music elapse over 27 minutes of pure instrumental voyage in a way only Sons of Alpha Centauri and Justin Broadrick could deliver!

James Plotkin and SOAC collaborate through several tracks including Warhero a sprawling 10 minute odyssey and a masterful remix of SS Montgomery – the single from the bands classic instrumental landmark debut album.

After entering the Continuum (2018) the listener must now bury their memories. The darkness will envelope the listeners in this second part of their epic sprawling progressive dark rock saga.

The LP version of Buried Memories comes on a selection of 180 gram heavyweight colored vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with photo inlay and download code.

Tracklist
1. Hitmen [Justin K. Broadrick Mix]
2. Hitmen [Jesu Remix]
3. Hitmen [JK Flesh Remix]
4. Warhero [James Plotkin Mix]
5. Remembrance [James Plotkin Mix]
6. SS Montgomery [James Plotkin Remix]

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofalphacentauri
https://sonsofalphacentauri.bandcamp.com/
http://www.sonsofalphacentauri.co.uk/
https://www.h42records.com

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Buried Memories teaser

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum (2018)

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Sons of Alpha Centauri Post “Solar Storm” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri

So there’s this submarine. And it’s in a lake. And it’s huge. And the video starts out and there’s all this movement and driving and going through different scenes and where are we going I don’t know but it works really well with the riff so just roll with it and so on. Eventually, we get up to the lake. Maybe a pond? A relatively small-ish body of water. We get there and Sons of Alpha Centauri arrive and there’s no way they all came in the same car because there isn’t enough room for all their gear but whatever that’s not the point. All the while “Solar Storm” is playing and it’s got this crazy kind of tension to it and the band walk out to a spot by the water on what seems to be some pretty nice farmland.

It’s all in black and white until they start playing. And then like purple and orange lasers come out of their guitars and whatnot and start to hit the submarine like they’re rerouting power from the auxiliary systems to feed through the dilithium core — am I right? — and then the submarine shoots into space at what looks an awful lot like warp six. If I had to guess. And then the submarine careens through outer space like it’s the dude in 2001: A Space Odyssey for a while, it breaks through water and then the clip cuts back to the band, who pack up their gear — I still think it’s studio magic to think they fit two guitars, a bass, a full drum kit and themselves in that car, but maybe they’re Tetris pros — and split. The end.

Video of the year? Maybe.

“Solar Storm” comes from Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s new album, Continuum (review here), on H42 Records and Cobraside Distribution and it’s produced by Aaron Harris, who was in Isis when they were a band. Sons of Alpha Centauri recently shared stages with Yawning Man in the UK and have other stuff going on, but quite frankly I’ve delayed enough. You should just dig in here and enjoy:

Sons of Alpha Centauri, “Solar Storm” official video

The journey into instrumental progressive rockers SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI’s new album “Continuum” progresses, as the video for “Solar Storm” lands today on all channels.
“Solar Storm is the cumulative blend of fast, slow, heavy, progressive styles of SOAC all encapsulated within a five minute adrenaline shot. Working with Simon Risbridger on this video was awesome as he completely understands our visual aesthetic and secluded introspective approach. We wanted the video to represent the different segments and styles within the track as part of the journey – it has been highly stylised with multiple references and subliminal messages. Embark the journey and embrace the storm!’ states SOAC bassist Nick Hannon.

The video starts a black and white fine art epic shot in and around the spiritual home of SOAC, Swale and the Isle of Sheppey and the story progresses into a cinematic visual feast of intergalactic travel through space and time. The introspective journey of ‘Solar Storm’ has been directed by long term collaborator Simon Risbridger who worked with Sons of Alpha Centauri on visuals including live performances with A Storm of Light.

SOAC IS
Marlon King – Guitars
Nick Hannon – Bass
Stevie B. – Drums
Blake – Textures

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Twitter

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Bandcamp

Sons of Alpha Centauri website

H42 Records website

Cobraside Distribution website

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri Continuum

[Click play above to stream Continuum by Sons of Alpha Centauri in full. Album is out June 1 via H42 Records and Cobraside Distribution.]

Much as one hesitates to use the word ‘unique’ generally, I can’t think of anything quite so fitting to describe the path that’s led UK instrumental four-piece Sons of Alpha Centauri to Continuum, their second album. Released through Cobraside Distribution in the US and Canada and H42 Records in the rest of the world, the eight-track/39-minute sophomore offering — the sophmoffering? — arrives some 11 years after Sons of Alpha Centauri made their self-titled debut (discussed here) and follows a period of multiple collaborations with US-based acts Karma to Burn and Yawning Man — I still regard Yawning Sons‘ 2009 album, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), as one of the finest atmospheric desert rock albums ever made — as well as splits with A Death Cinematic and Hotel Wrecking City Traders/WaterWays (review here). They also played Desertfest London in 2013 (review here) and have regularly played out, so as I’ve said before, it’s not like the four-piece have been sitting on their ass for the last decade plus.

They just haven’t been putting out Continuum, which is something that guitarist Marlon King, bassist Nick Hannon, drummer Stevie B. and keyboardist/synthesist Blake — actually credited with “textures” — at last correct, bringing together a slow motion whirlwind of patient and progressive instrumentalist execution under the direction of producer/mixer Aaron Harris, formerly of Isis. In returning to work in the context of a full-length, Sons of Alpha Centauri don’t see unaffected by how they spent their intervening years, and one can hear the reach of Gary Arce‘s desert-setting guitar tone from King on “Interstellar” and the A-to-B straightforward heavy rock of Karma to Burn on “Solar Storm” and intermittently early on in 11-minute closer “Return Voyage.” The missing link, then, would seem to be Isis, but with Blake‘s textures on keys, synth, loops and presumably somewhere in there a laptop permeating so much of the record and giving King time to breathe on guitar, there’s plenty of post-metal vibe as well.

Sons of Alpha Centauri, then, would seem to draw from the environments in which they place themselves, and that’s kind of the ideal purpose of collaboration in the first place. More importantly, they sound comfortable shifting the balance from one side to the other and the other, which gives Continuum an all the more multifaceted style. At the same time, there’s a marked sense of momentum that takes hold as intro/opener “Into the Abyss” patiently takes hold, part Vangelis, part Isis, leading directly into the starting drum roll of the subsequent “Jupiter,” which in turn will give over to the more straightforward “Solar Storm.” Even here, the fuzzy, careening central “verse” riff is backed by a consistent layer of synth — not quite a drone, but an ever-present ambient melody — that fills out the sound and adds to the proceedings what the band are ultimately right to call texture.

Sons of Alpha Centauri

There are many ways an instrumental band compensates for a lack of vocals. Lead guitar is one. Not compensating at all has arguably worked for Karma to Burn since, well, since they nixed the idea of a vocalist after their first record. Some others fill out arrangements with varying instrumentation. Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s approach, I suppose, is most like the latter, but the four-piece are more subtle about it than many. Blake‘s work on Continuum might be the factor that ties the tracks’ varying moods together, from the side A intro “Into the Abyss” to the side B intro “Surfacing for Air” and all along as each half of the record that unfurls from there, he enhances the ambience of “Interstellar” and brings progressive flair to “Jupiter” and “Solar Storm” at the record’s heavier post-intro outset. Though even this portion of the record is fairy dynamic, as King leads the way through loud/quiet tradeoffs in “Jupiter” that seem to mirror what will unfold on a grander scale with “Return Voyage” at the end of the record. They’re not quite going back the way they came, but one can read some symmetry there anyhow.

And it’s worth noting that the balance of Continuum, which takes its audience on this journey to Jupiter that the band seems to be making, is on the outward. “Return Voyage,” as the final statement they offer, certainly has its impact and fittingly provides a musical summary to coincide with being the final chapter of the narrative, but with one song about getting back to earth and seven about leaving or having left — the penultimate 2:47 piano piece “Orbiting Jupiter” is about having arrived — there’s little question as to which direction is the band’s priority when it comes to evoking a sense of story. Sons of Alpha Centauri are about the going and having gone. And the results of that, while grounded in their structure and presentation thanks to the foundation of Hannon‘s bass and Stevie‘s drumming, are more directed than your standard everything-hang-loose psychedelia, space is obviously still a factor sonically as well as thematically. The final build in “Return Voyage” as it crosses its midpoint might be the most Isis-reminiscent moment on Continuum, but like the rest of their discernible influences, this too is recontextualized in a sound that is the band’s own.

As, frankly, one would hope for a record having been a decade-plus in the making. I won’t say Sons of Alpha Centauri wasted their years, because they’ve clearly been able to enrich their own style by collaborating with those outside the confines of their own lineup. Rather, the fact that Continuum is their second full-length is somewhat deceptive given all the experience and sense of purpose they’ve been able to garner since their debut, which even then had a fervent progressive streak at its foundation. What Continuum represents, though, is significant growth on multiple fronts for the band, and an awaited moment of declaration of who they are and who they can be in aesthetic and performance terms. Will it be another decade before album number three? I don’t know, but if it is, it will still be worth keeping track of how and with whom Sons of Alpha Centauri choose to spend that time, since invariably they’ll continue to learn lessons that will feed into their own work later. That process has unquestionably worked to their advantage here.

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum teaser

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Sons of Alpha Centauri to Release Continuum June 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sons of Alpha Centauri

Space is the apparent theme of Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s sophomore long-player. Continuum is set to release on June 1 through H42 Records and Cobraside, and it follows 11 years after the band made their self-titled debut (discussed here). What have they been doing in all that time? Mostly releasing splits and collaborations. They took part in Yawning Sons with Yawning Man and Alpha Cat with Karma to Burn offshoot Treasure Cat, put out no fewer than three splits with Karma to Burn proper, as well as a split with WaterWays and Hotel Wrecking City Traders and a split with A Death Cinematic.

So they’ve been keeping plenty busy, in other words, just not putting out an album. Well, the eight-track/39 minute Continuum changes that with graceful progressive flourish and more weighted stretches to match its breadth of atmosphere in cuts like “Solar Storm” and “Interstellar.” A science-driven post-rock pulses through “Io” while the penultimate “Orbiting Jupiter” offers reflective piano ahead of the 11-minute closer “Return Voyage.”

Not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, but it’s an album that covers a lot of ground and well earns its voyaging aspects. Here’s info from the PR wire:

Sons of Alpha Centauri Continuum

Sons of Alpha Centauri announce details from upcoming album “Continuum”

Over a decade since the release of their debut album, UK’s stoner/progressive metallers Sons of Alpha Centauri return for their sophomore album – an epic introspective journey of abrasive and ambient progressive electronic alt rock entitled Continuum.

Over a decade in development, Continuum is driven with a raw infusion of power that only Aaron Harris from ISIS and Palms (which features members from Deftones) could deliver from the producing and mixing helm. Harris has driven his unique and deep understanding of the genre to channel the album to compare against contemporaries such as the debut Palms album and the ISIS masterpiece Panopticon.

This raw and cathartic performance further reinforces that this is Sons of Alpha Centauri at their heaviest with Continuum wrought with dark anthems, intense textures, introspective interludes and tidal waves of immersive distortion.

Having just recently released a boxset of their collaborations with Karma to Burn and their partnership with Yawning Man known as Yawning Sons being widely regarded as a cult act the return of Sons of Alpha Centauri is something to really watch in 2018.

Continuum sees a development of the heavier blended concepts expressed on the debut album and Sons of Alpha Centauri re-emerge with Aaron Harris as the instrumental electronic alt rock titans!

New Sons of Alpha Centauri album Continuum will be released on 1 June 2018. H42 Records – Worldwide and on Cobraside Records – United States & Canada

Aaron Harris from post metal band ISIS and Palms (featuring members of Deftones) has engineered and produced the Continuum.

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofalphacentauri
https://twitter.com/SoAlphaCentauri
https://sonsofalphacentauri.bandcamp.com/
http://www.sonsofalphacentauri.co.uk/
https://www.h42records.com
http://cobraside.com/

Sons of Alpha Centauri, Continuum teaser

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Greenleaf & Fatso Jetson Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Good show. I can’t think of any other way to say it. Pitting Swedish heavy rockers Greenleaf — who premiered their new video here earlier this week — and desert legends Fatso Jetson against each other for a European stint? Yeah, that’s a good show. Greenleaf of course are out supporting 2016’s excellent Rise Above the Meadow (review here), while Fatso Jetson‘s latest outing was a 2015 split with Farflung (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds.

Both groups were previously announced for the Up in Smoke 2016 and Keep it Low 2016 festivals — both of which are put together by Sound of Liberation — so that they’d head in similar directions makes sense, but still, for anyone who happens to be in their path on a given night, this is an awesome two-band bill that one imagines will be joined nightly by choice locals wherever it goes. Run starts Sept. 23 and ends at Keep it Low on Oct. 22. Badass.

Greenleaf also have other select live dates coming up in the next couple months. You’ll find those listed with the shows for this tour below, as culled from the social medias:

greenleaf

fatso jetson

Sound of Liberation UG presents
Greenleaf – Rise Above The Meadow Tour 2016
(*/support by FATSO JETSON)
25.06. Finowfurt / Roadrunner’s Paradise & Race 61 Fest (Ger)
22.07. Trömso / Bukta Festival (Nor)
29.07. Aschaffenburg / Mühlbergfest (Ger)
30.07. Breitenbach / Burg Herzberg (Ger)
05.08. Beelen / Krach am Bach (Ger)
12.08. Turku / Kiarama (Fin)
14.08. Geel / Yellowstock (Bel)
21.09. Kiel / Schaubude (Ger)
22.09. Kassel / Schlachthof (Ger)
23.09. Aschaffenburg / Colosaal (Ger)*
24.09. Regensburg / Alte Mälzerei (Ger)*
26.09. Berlin / Cassiopeia (Ger)*
27.09. Copenhagen / Loppen (Den)*
28.09. Hamburg / Headcrash (Ger)*
29.09. Hannover / Chez Heinz (Ger)*
30.09. Jena / KUBA (Ger)*
01.10. Pratteln / Up in Smoke(Ch)*
02.10. Lausanne / Le Romandie (Ch)*
04.10. Paris/ Le Backstage (Fra)*
05.10. Bordeaux / Void (Fra)*
06.10. Nantes / Ferrailleur (Fra)*
07.10. Utrecht / DBs (NL)*
08.10. Vorselaar / Jeugdhuis (Bel)*
10.10. Leipzig / Werk 2 (Ger)*
11.10. Dresden / Scheune (Ger)*
12.10. Poznan / Bazyla (Pol)*
13.10. Katowicze / Kobra (Pol)*
14.10. Gdansk / Ucho (Pol)*
15.10. Vilinius / Kablys (Lt)*
16.10. Warsaw / Hydrozagadka (Pol)*
18.10. Zagreb / Klub Attack (Cro)*
19.10. Trieste / Tetris (Ita)*
20.10. Salzburg / Rockhouse (Aut)*
21.10. Vienna / Fuzzfest (Aut)*
22.10. Munich / Keep it Low (Ger)*

https://www.facebook.com/greenleafrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/fatsojetson/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/
napalmrecords.com

Greenleaf, “Tyrant’s Tongue” official video

Fatso Jetson, “Too Many Skulls” live 2016

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Friday Full-Length: Yawning Man, The Birth of Sol: The Demo Tapes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Yawning Man, The Birth of Sol (2009)

Still kind of surprising that a physical pressing of Yawning Man‘s demo collection, The Birth of Sol, has never surfaced. There was talk for a while of doing one, but it never manifest, and the persistently-underrated, due-for-their-due desert rock progenitors oversaw a digital version in 2009 through Cobraside that remains as close as The Birth of Sol has come to-date. Granted, the material is pretty rough. Recorded over the course of 1986-’87 — or somewhere around there, anyhow — it’s basically pre-digital rehearsal-space recordings. You can hear the warped tape as you listen through the near-90-minute span of 24 tracks (as well as a couple CD skips, oddly), which span avant jazz weirdness to a brand of bouncing punk that’s indistinguishable from that would shortly become Fatso Jetson, all the more for Mario Lalli‘s even-then-recognizable voice and quick-turning rhythmic progressions. It would be nearly two decades before Yawning Man put their first album out — that was Rock Formations, in 2005 — but like Across the River‘s even-earlier 1985 Demo Tape (discussed here), The Birth of Sol is an integral document of what was coalescing in the California desert at the time.

I’ll gladly argue that Yawning Man‘s most pivotal days, sound-wise, were still ahead of them when they tracked the material on The Birth of Sol, but even if you listen through these songs, you can hear that desert rock, as it was, was already something different from punk, from the heavy metal of its day, and even from the post-hardcore slowdowns that, soon enough, would become grunge. Even in their rawest form, Yawning Man stood apart from that, and that makes a release like The Birth of Sol all the more special.

The band’s last full-length was 2010’s Nomadic Pursuits (review here), and while the years since have seen a flurry of activity from founding guitarist and principle figure Gary Arce (2012 interview here) both in Yawning Man — who did a split with Fatso Jetson in 2013 — and outside of it, in collaboration with Hotel Wrecking City TradersYawning SonsWaterWays or Zun, whose debut stands among my most anticipated releases for 2016, word of Yawning Man proper’s next full-length has yet to materialize outside of some long-teased Raymond Pettibon art, the title Gravity is Good for You, and the occasional snippet or rough mix. Come to think of it, that’s plenty of word. I guess what I’m looking for is a release date.

When/if I happen upon one or one happens upon me, I’ll let you know, but until then, enjoy The Birth of Sol and take it for what it is. There’s plenty to get lost in, and from where I sit, it’s still worth hoping it gets pressed up one way or another one of these days.

As I write this, it’s actually Thursday night, a little bit before 11:30PM. I’m taking a half-day from work tomorrow (today by the time this gets posted) and figured I’d sleep better if I didn’t have this hanging over my head. Plus I miss writing at night, headphones in, the little dog Dio and The Patient Mrs., the latter of whom has been suffering from a cold for most of the week, both conked out. It’s already a seven-post day — rare, even rarer for the end of a week — but the holdover from yesterday was the Eight Bells news, and I thought it seemed tacky to post something about Portland when they obviously had bigger things going on in Oregon, what with the mass shooting and all.

And as to that, it seems pretty clear to me that we as a people, Americans, don’t give a fuck about it. We’re willing to sacrifice bunches of people for the illusion of what we’re told is a freedom. Trust cops. Buy more. Eat what they feed you. I don’t care anymore either. Not when there’s so much on Netflix to see! Until somebody picks up a molotov cocktail and starts a revolution — violent uprising is not the only way of producing substantive cultural change, but you can’t argue with a decent track record — nothing will change. Because we don’t want it to. Pumpkin spice! Selfies! Internet snark! Mass murder. Hallmarks of our season and our age.

What was I doing? Oh yeah, putting the blinders back on.

Headed to CT this weekend because I hear there’s a hurricane coming and fuck it, that’s how I wanna go out. Bedroom Rehab Corporation play the release show for their new one on Saturday in New London and it’s a killer lineup, so I’ll be at that, and look for a review on Monday. Also next week, reviews of Clutch and Graveyard. Both are late, but seriously, I reviewed 50 fucking records this week — more if you count streams, which at this point I do — so if that’s not enough for you I don’t know what to say. If I have time, I might do Monster Magnet or Snail as well, but we’ll see if I get there. Both are on the docket though either way. Also got an Admiral Browning tape that I’d very much enjoy writing up. Might save that for next Friday and treat myself a bit. And the interview with Lori S. from Acid King. That will be up somewhere in there as well. Busy week all of a sudden.

There are a lot of shows coming up I wish I could see. I will not get to all of them, but I will do my best. It bums me out deeply and sincerely to report that I’ll be unable to make the trip to Munich for Keep it Low. Car trouble for both The Patient Mrs. and I has severely sapped funds that would’ve otherwise gone toward a plane ticket, and my student loans are apparently in default if the increasingly disturbing emails I get from Navient: Or Whatever the Fuck They’re Called this Week can be remotely trusted. Whatever. Amnesty now for immigrants and students. Too big to fail is too big to exist. Let them dock my pay if they want my money so fucking bad.

Got myself all jazzed up tonight. So much for sleeping.

Have a great and safe weekend. Please. Consider it a favor to me. And while you’re doing me favors, please check out the forum and radio stream.

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