Review & Video Premiere: Wight, Spank the World

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Wight Spank The World

German heavy psych-funk rockers read review. american essay writing companies American essay writing companies, victorian primary homework help, eureka math homework helper grade 1Apr 14, 2015 Since academic writing is becoming one of the most prominent aspects of the educational system, the constant development of the custom-writing industry is clearly justified. Wight release their new album, Are you looking for PhD Write Essay Online like writing of chapter, editing , reviewing, implementation or statistical analysis? We can help. Spank the World, on April 24 through If you want to buy Your Statement, then you have found great writing service for this purpose! Order paper now and get original work from our Kozmik Artifactz and Only high-quality papers Term Papers Republic Day Speech In English that will make you 100% satisfied. 14-4-2015 Why Do Students solar system homework help Feel As Fat and Holy Records. Let it suffice to say that Hire a website content writer from a trusted website http://www.campingsolmar.com/?dissertation-lit-literature-review-thesis to write engaging and exciting content for your website or blog. Spank the World is the funkdoobiest, trippiest, soul-drippingest apocalyptic sci-fi heavy psych epic you’re going to hear this year, and the fact that it’s likely also the only one you’re going to hear this year has very, very little to do with that. Based in Darmstadt and working as a more involved four-piece with percussionist Writing An Executive Summary For A Research Paper warwickshire Best essay writing service, due date or subject. We find not only the best essay writing services for you need Steffen Kirchpfening having become more ingrained as a part of the band since joining after most of the skeletal writing for 2016’s Milk Farm Business Plan - Start working on your report now with top-notch guidance guaranteed by the company Find out all you have always wanted to know Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), Order Essay Right Now! go now with an Urgent Deadline? Again, yes. We often receive requests for essays with a deadline of several hours. Wight moves guitarist/vocalist/key-specialist and directional figurehead Offering professional non thesis masters of nutrition from top rated essay writers of Australia. Buy your custom essay online from a reputable writing service! René Hofmann into the role of producer as well, tracking over the course of most of last year even as his Get the exceptional see here by Ask Writing. Our aim is to provide best assistance in academic career and helping students for stress free Wasted Life Studio was being built to completion.

And Biostatistics Help is essential for successful application! Our college essay editors will refine your writing and make it perfect! Get more chances Spank the World, though it runs a tidy 10 songs and 40 minutes, would not seem to have been a minor undertaking in terms of recording aspirations. Even putting aside the rhythmic complexities brought to bear by Professional http://bmatovu.com/do-dissertation-contents-page. Content editing and proofreading editors. Book editing help for novels, manuscripts, fiction, nonfiction, and more. Kirchpfening and drummer best personal statement writing service - Perfectly written and HQ academic essays. Forget about those sleepless nights working on your report with our academic writing Thomas Kurek and the shifts in prominence between 2nd Law: Home Page Online custom order assignment online essays, term papers, research papers, reports, reviews and homework assignments. Get Hofmann‘s guitar and various keys — organ, clavinet, synthesizers, samplers, etc. ( http://www.vasmetal.net/writer-paper/ - Perfectly written and HQ academic writings. professional and affordable essay to simplify your education Start working on your assignment Kirchpfening contributes in this regard as well) — and the swaps between fretted and fretless bass from Peter-Philipp Schierhorn, the guest spots of violin on post-intro opener “Hot,” sax, trombone and trumpet on “Nervous” and “Island in the Sun,” and yes, baritone oud on the three-part pre-outro closer “Bon Apocalypso,” all make for Wight‘s most sonically complex offering to-date, having grown out of the stoner-fuzz beginnings of 2011’s Wight Weedy Wight (review here) and into more psychedelic fare on 2012’s quick-turnaround follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), before restructuring the lineup and bringing in Kirchpfening as a fourth member.

The shift in direction toward broader arrangements seemed at the time to have necessitated that move, and listening to Spank the World, it makes even more sense. Songs like “Island in the Sun,” or the disco-funk tripper “Spiritual Gangster” — a quick instrumental that follows “Hot” and nonetheless serves as more than an interlude in transitioning between the album’s first single and “Nervous” and Motorgroove,” which follow in succession — have a sonic breadth to them that, well, probably would’ve taken much longer than a year to record, even if the three of them had managed to come up with all the same ideas that having a fourth person as a part of the process allowed them to explore. That of course is to say nothing of the aforementioned guest appearances on strings and horns, or the added background vocals, elements of gang shouts, and general twists of mood that come to fruition in the songs themselves, be it the bound-to-be-a-follow-up-single “Time’s Up” on side B or the seven-minute “Bon Apocalypso” itself, which is a somewhat pieced-together freakout jam, less psych than “Motorgroove” at the end of side A, but still flowing and progressive in the finished product. One way or another, people, it all gets pretty wild.

Wight (Photo by Jan Ehlers)

And there’s no doubt left as to that being the band’s precise intent, but that doesn’t mean the songs themselves are haphazard. After “Intro” sets up the rest of what’s to come with synth and various other elements and the robot-voice spoken word of, indeed, ‘The Robot’s Sermon,’ promising a funky end of the world to come, and that’s exactly how the narrative is framed, even as “Hot” — tagged in the liner notes with the line ‘Global Warming’s Not the Only Thing Heating Me Up!’ — and “Nervous” and “Time’s Up” could be just as easily regarded as relationship pieces one way or the other, and are. But, human life being what it is, and with the traditions Wight are working toward on Spank the World, from the mid-’70s P-Funk of  Let’s Take it to the Stage to the work of groups like Afreaka!MandrillCymande and so on, those records never lacked for sex, whatever other issues they might’ve been tackling at the time, so one is inclined to roll with Wight as they accordingly play it loose on the narrative.

As they come out of the subtly jazzy “Interlude” with the spoken delivery of the album’s title line, and embark into “Island in the Sun,” with its laid-back nod tempo and waka-chawaka guitar, they even go so far as to acknowledge the departure they’re making. Again, the liner: ‘C’mon, Everybody Needs It.’ Aside from the statement of class equality inherent in that ‘everybody,’ the simple ‘c’mon’ acts not only as an invitation to the listener to join them on the trip they’re taking sound-wise, but seems to be looking to be cut some slack as well. And it’s slack well earned, because no matter where Wight venture in terms of mood or atmosphere on Spank the World, they do so with precisely as much of a sense of control as they want to convey. “Island in the Sun” shreds out a solo late. “Hot” departs into talkbox psychedelic quirk. “Motorgroove” dream-jams its way into the collection’s crunchiest riff. The minute-long “Outro” distorts electronic beats and bass to act as a bed for a quick description of the aftermath of the funky overlords’ wiping clean the slate of the earth.

But through all of this and everything else, Wight never seem to get lost, and each piece of Spank the World not only feels complete within itself — the instrumentals feel instrumental for a reason; the hooks are well placed — but feeds into the larger progression of the record as a whole. Spank the World is not at all a full-length that one might’ve guessed the band would eventually come up with nine years ago listening to Wight Weedy Wight, but finding out what they’re going to do next has always been part of what makes hearing a new Wight release such an exciting proposition, and as they take the forward steps they do with these tracks, working in and further toward continued mastery of their highly, highly individualized approach, they remain both exciting and unpredictable. This album? It’s a blast. Maybe you can get down and maybe you can’t, but if you find yourself thinking that an LP about giant alien robots coming not to make the Earth stand still, but to boogie into its oblivion is something that doesn’t appeal to you, I dare say it’s time to rethink that position. Today. Do it now.

I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the video for “Hot” below, and even more thrilled because it comes accompanied with such thorough background on the album from bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn. Thanks to the band for letting me host the clip, and to Schierhorn in particular for taking the time. Spank the World is out April 24 on Kozmik Artifactz and Fat and Holy Records.

Enjoy:

Wight, “Hot” official video premiere

Preorders here: https://lnk.to/Wight_SpanktheWorld

Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on Spank the World:

This is Peter, the bass player from Wight. Rene asked me to write a few words on our new album – right before the release, there are tonloads of stuff to do, and Rene is in charge of most of those. And maybe it’s also not the worst choice to hear the story from the personal perspective of a guy who was involved, but not from THE main guy who did almost everything the entire time.

As you may read in the “official” press text, Rene was definitely in charge of almost everything during the recording as well. At the first glance, that’s only a small change from previous releases, he was quite obviously credited as the producer or pre-producer on all our releases. Which makes sense, the guy went to college for sound engineering and has gathered quite a lot of experience as a live and studio engineer and producer over the years. “Spank the World” is however the first Wight release that didn’t involve at least some external sound engineer getting involved at some point (well, a friend mastered it in the end, but that was when everything was basically finished already).

There is of course a bit more to the story than we put in the official press text. Usually, people never read more than one page (if at all), but Rene told me you may be interested in some more background information. Lots of different things happened since we came back from the last tour in fall 2017. We haven’t been playing live all that much in the meanwhile, but as you can hear on the album we weren’t really lazy either. But we obviously didn’t spend two and a half years recording.

After “Love Is Not Only What You Know”, we were really figuring out how to work as a four piece band. Steffen wrote and recorded percussion for the album, but only got involved after the rest of the music had already been written. We then had to see how to perform live and quickly found out while percussion and synthesizers were a nice addition to our sound, they bounced us from being the easiest-to-mix rock trio in the world to being every FOH engineer’s nightmare. On top of that, we carried a full recording rig with us on one of the tour legs, which resulted in the “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live over Europe” live album. That one turned out nicely, but the tour was semi-hellish especially for our sound guy Josko (the guy who mastered our album) and Rene, who was of course supporting him besides being the front man of the band. Over time, we found a couple of solutions that made everyone’s life easier, such as having a sub-mixer on stage and only sending out a stereo signal of percussion and synths to the FOH. But that was only the beginning.

We also found out we could do a lot more musically with the additional member and a multitude of additional instruments, but that also meant that our usual approach of jamming in the rehearsal room, then playing the songs live until they were really tight, and then recording them in one go, no longer really worked. There are a few old-style jam tracks on the album, but at some point we decided to really focus on a studio recording. Finish and arrange stuff in the studio, use whatever means necessary to produce a great record, and then try and arrange those songs we wanted to play into proper live versions.

I don’t remember exactly when the decision was taken, but I remember that before the last “LINOWYK” tour in late 2017, Rene proposed a live hiatus afterwards, which we should use to help him build a studio so we could record our next album all by ourselves and take all the time we needed. He only had this tiny little studio, but the room next door in the building had just become available, he had rented it and wanted to make a proper recording room out of it.

That’s what we ended up doing, but it didn’t really go as planned. The more predictable bit was that Rene ended up doing most of the work himself, but as it was to be his workplace afterwards anyways, that wasn’t really that big of a problem (Rene may have a slightly different opinion here ;-)). Us other Wight members and many other friends helped and did some work, but of course the bulk got stuck with Rene himself, who basically spent every day in there for almost half a year.

But things didn’t end there – Thomas suddenly fucked off to the US, as he had taken a session job with an American band for four months, Rene’s wife became pregnant (ok, that one was planned I guess), my engineering job suddenly kicked into overdrive and had me flying all over the world, and on top of that, Rene and I got a bit sidetracked with Glanville, the heavy metal band we had founded as a fun little project a while earlier. The studio was usable by late 2018, but the band Wight hadn’t really played at all in the meanwhile. We had a few songs written before and started recording those right after Christmas 2018, but ended up spending most of 2019 rehearsing, writing and recording.

That actually kind of went in waves. The first couple of basic tracks went in pretty quickly, we went back to rehearsing, made a few more, back to the studio, same drill. At the same time, Rene kicked his brain into producer mode and kept layering stuff over the band tracks. There’s a new synth sitting in the studio? Let’s try that out. This sounds like we need horns – call up some friend that play sax and trombone here. Periklis Tsoukalas of Baba Zula is in town? Oh well, let’s see whether we can fit his electric oud in somewhere.

That entire process culminated somewhat in September of last year. We needed one more song for the album (as well as, of course, more overdubs), Rene had a basic structure and a few chords he had made up while lying on the beach in Thailand a few months earlier, and we took one week in the studio to make it into a song. I ended up playing the bassline one evening while high as fuck, with Rene telling me to change individual notes from time to time, but the rest of the week was basically Rene going crazy in there, calling up different guests for features, having Thomas and Steffen arrange some percussions and synths, and trying out every instrument that happened to be in the studio. Can you tell which song was the result of that?

Short story long, there were a few things more to be done, and I think Rene recorded the last bits and pieces only in December 2019 while already in the mixing process. Funnily enough, the cover artwork had been finished a long time before. Rene and our artwork guy, Ingo, hat met up God knows how long before and developed this piece with the huge intergalactic robot appearing over the Darmstadt skyline to destroy the world. That also ended up pushing the lyrical content of the album into a certain direction. Or did it? I’m still a bit surprised that basic love songs like Hot and Time’s Up actually ended up working very well in this entire apocalyptical context, but hey, sometimes things just work. And maybe Rene also knows what he’s doing a bit more than we sometimes give him credit for.

So the album was on its way, but we figured we needed a video. Not the usual live or live-ish video, but a proper music video like in the old days. We met in January 2020 to record the live scenes to the Hot music video, in one of our favorite pubs in town. The entire video was concepted by film students of Darmstadt’s University of Applied Science, with some input from Rene. One of the reasons why I’m writing this already overly long email is that Rene was just finishing the last shoots for the video this weekend… well, as you have the video or will get it very soon, I won’t lose any extra words on it, just see for yourself. And enjoy our new album – you now have the full background story, and I realize that I just made it sound like a mad journey full of “we don’t know what the hell we’re doing” and “oh shit, we didn’t see THAT coming”, but that is also kind of what happened. Does the album reflect that? I’ll let you be the judge. At least you know how it came to pass now, which may ease your confusion… or contribute to it.

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight on Instagram

Wight on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Glanville, Destroyer of Light, The Re-Stoned, Ruff Majik, Soldat Hans, High Priestess, Weed Demon, Desert Storm, Ancient Altar, Black Box Warning

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

So Day 1’s done and it’s time to move on to Day 2. Feeling stressed and totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff still to be done? Why yes, I am. Thanks for asking. In the past, I used to handle the Quarterly Review well ahead of time. It’s always a lot to get through, but the week before, I’d be setting up back ends, chasing down links and Bandcamp players, starting reviews, etc., so that when it came time, all I had to do was the writing and plug it all into a post and I was set.

There was some prep-work done this past weekend, but especially this time, with my old laptop having been stolen in May, it’s all been way more jazz-improv. I was still adding releases as of last Friday, and writing beforehand? Shit. With the baby having just figured out how to climb? Not bloody likely. Accordingly, here we are, with much to do.

It’ll get done. I haven’t flubbed a Quarterly Review yet, and if I took an extra day to get there, I’m under no delusion that anyone else would care. So there you go. Let’s hit it for Day 2:

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Glanville, First Blood

glanville first blood

First Blood is the aptly-titled five-song debut EP from Glanville, a newcomer dual-guitar outfit with established players Philip Michel (The Earwix) on lead and Christopher West (Named by the Sun, ex-Stubb, etc.) on rhythm, Wight’s Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass and René Hofmann on vocals, and Thomas Hoffman (ex-Bushfire) on drums. Based in Germany and the UK, the group present 23 minutes of material on their first outing, drawing from the guitar-led likes of Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest to capture early metal and present it with a heavy rocking soulfulness and modern production. The most raucous of the cuts might be centerpiece “Durga the Great,” but neither “God is Dead” nor “Dancing on Fire” before nor “Demons” and “Time to Go” after want for action, and especially the latter builds to a furious head to close out the release. Hofmann as a standalone singer wants for nothing in range or approach, and the band behind him obviously build on their collective experience to dig into a stylistic nuance rarely executed with such confidence. They’ve found a place willfully between and are working to make it theirs. Can’t ask for more than that.

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville on Bandcamp

 

Destroyer of Light, Hopeless

destroyer of light hopeless

Having just recently signed to Argonauta Records for a new album in 2019, Austin doomers Destroyer of Light follow their 2017 long-player, Chamber of Horrors (review here), with a further auditory assault in the lumbering Hopeless. Psychedelic and yet still somehow traditional doom lingers in the brain after “Nyx” and “Drowned” have finished – the latter with an Alan Watts sample discussing alcoholism – and the band moves into demos for Chamber of Horrors cuts “Into the Smoke,” “Lux Crusher” and “Buried Alive.” Between the two previously unreleased songs and those three demos, Hopeless pushes to 39 minutes, but it’s probably still fair to call it an EP because of the makeup. Either way, from the miserable plod of “Nyx,” in which each chug in the riff cycle seems to count another woe, to the rolling nod early and surprising melody late in “Drowned,” Hopeless is anything but. Anticipation was already pretty high for Destroyer of Light’s next record after the last one, but all Hopeless does is show further depth of approach and more cleverly-wielded atmospheric murk. And the more it sounds like there’s no escape, the more Destroyer of Light seem to be in their element.

Destroyer of Light on Thee Facebooks

Destroyer of Light on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Stories of the Astral Lizard

the re-stonEd stories of the astral lizard

The inevitable question is “Why a lizard?” and if you make it four minutes into 11-minute opener “Fractal Panorama” and don’t have your answer, go back ad start over. Moscow heavy psych instrumentalists The Re-Stoned intend the reptile as a spirit guide for their new outing Stories of the Astral Lizard (on Oak Island Records), which follows quickly behind their late-2017 offering, Chronoclasm (review here), and given the ultra-patient desert vibes in the opener, the acoustic-laced folk-prog of “Mental Print for Free,” the languid meander of “A Companion from the Outside,” the swirling sprawl of the 16-minute “Two Astral Projections” and the final cowpoke drift of “The Heather Carnival,” one might indeed just find a lizard sunning its belly amid all the atmospheric evocations and hallucinatory vibes. I’ll take “Two Astral Projections” as the highlight, but mostly because the extra length allows the band to really dig in, but really the whole album feeds together gorgeously and is a new level of achievement when it comes to atmosphere for The Re-Stoned, who were already underappreciated and find themselves only more so now.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Ruff Majik, Seasons

Ruff Majik Seasons

Right on fuzz, right on groove, right on vibe – there isn’t much else one might say about Ruff Majik’s Seasons (on Rock Freaks Records and Forbidden Place Records) beyond “right on.” Heavy rock with twists of psychedelia, the Pretoria, South Africa, three-piece of Johni Holliday, Jimi Glass and Benni Manchino make their home on the lines of various subgenres, but wherever they go, the proceedings remain decisively heavy. To wit, a cut like “Breathing Ghosts” or the later “Birds Stole My Eyes” might dig into shuffle boogie or extreme-metal-derived thrust, but there’s a chemistry between the members and a resonant looseness that ties the material together, and as the last 14 of the total 66 minutes are dedicated to “Asleep in the Leaves,” there’s plenty of progressive weirdness in which to bask, one song moving through the next such that neither “Hanami Sakura (And the Ritual Suicide” nor the semi-doom-plodding “The Deep Blue” nor the funky twists of “Tar Black Blood” come across as predictable. Seasons might take a few listens to sink in, but it’s easily worth that effort.

Ruff Majik on Thee Facebooks

Ruff Majik at Rock Freaks Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Soldat Hans, Es Taut

SOLDAT HANS ES TAUT-750

Hyperbole-worthy post-ism from Switzerland’s Soldat Hans makes their sophomore outing, Es Taut – on Wolves and Vibrancy Records as a 2LP – a forward thinking highlight. As rich in atmosphere as Crippled Black Phoenix and as lethal as Converge or Neurosis or anyone else you might dare to put next to them, the six-piece made their debut with 2014’s Dress Rehearsal (review here) and served notice of their cross-genre ambitiousness. Es Taut finds them four years later outclassing themselves and most of the rest of the planet across three extended tracks – “Story of the Flood” (26:15), “Schoner Zerbirst, Part I” (8:03) and “Schoner Zerbirst, Part II” (18:56) – that sprawl out with a confidence, poise and abrasion that is nothing short of masterful. Es Taut may be a case of a band outdoing their forebears, but whatever their legacy becomes and however many people take notice, Soldat Hans singlehandedly breathe life into the form of post-metal and prove utterly vital in so doing, not only making it their own, but pushing forward into something new in ambience and heft. This is what a band sounds like while making themselves indispensable.

Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records website

 

High Priestess, High Priestess

high priestess high priestess

Calling to order a nod that’s immersive from the opening strains of leadoff/longest-track “Firefly” (still immediate points), Los Angeles trio High Priestess build out the psych-doom ritualizing of their 2017 demo (review here) to make their self-titled full-length debut through Ripple Music. The difference between the demo and the album in terms of what’s included comes down to artwork and the track “Take the Blame,” which adds its bell-of-the-ride swing between the atmosphere and melodic focus of “Banshee” and the spacious roller “Mother Forgive Me.” Potential is writ large throughout from guitarist/vocalist Katie Gilchrest, bassist/vocalist Mariana Fiel and drummer Megan Mullins, as it was on their demo, and even the harsh growls/screams on “Despise” seem to have found their place within the proceedings. As they wrap with the guitar-led jam of “Earth Dive,” High Priestess put the finishing touch on what’s hands-down one of 2018’s best debut albums and offer a reminder that as much potential as there is in their sound for future development, the accomplishments here are considerable unto themselves.

High Priestess on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Weed Demon, Astrological Passages

weed demon astrological passages

Four tracks of gurgling riffy plunder pervade Astrological Passages, the 41-minute – longer if you get the digital version or the tape/CD, which includes the 7:24 “Dominion of Oblivion” – debut album from Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon. Delivered on vinyl through Electric Valley Records, the nodder/plodder carves out a cave for itself within a mountain of tonally thick stoner metal riffing, infusing a sense of sludge with shouted and growled vocals from guitarists Andy and Brian and bassist Jordan – only drummer Chris doesn’t get a mic – and an overarching sense of bludgeoning that’s Sleep-derived if not Sleep-adjacent in terms of its actual sound. Nasty? Why, yes it is, but as “Sigil of the Black Moon” heads toward the midpoint of its 10-minute run, the repetitive groove assault makes the band’s intention plain: worship weed, worship riff. They get faster on “Primordial Genocide” and even sneak a bit of speed in amidst the crawl before the banjo takes hold in the second half of 12-minute closer “Jettisoned” – more Americana sludge please; thank you – but they never lose sight of their mission, and it’s the uniting factor that makes their debut hit like the brick to the head that it is.

Weed Demon on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Desert Storm, Sentinels

desert storm sentinels

With Sentinels, Oxford, UK, five-piece Desert Storm pass a decade since making their self-titled debut in 2008. They followed that with 2010’s Forked Tongues (review here), 2013’s Horizontal Life and 2014’s Omniscient (review here), and though they had a single out in 2014 on H42 Records as a split with Suns of Thunder (review here) in 2016, Sentinels is their first outing on APF Records and their first long-player in four years. Burl has always been an important factor in what they do, and the High on Fire-meets-Orange Goblin slamming of “The Brawl” backs that up, but Desert Storm have left much of the hyper-dudeliness behind in favor of a more complex approach, and while Sentinels isn’t a minor undertaking at 10 songs and 51 minutes, longer cuts like “Kingdom of Horns” and “Convulsion” demonstrate the maturity they’ve brought to bear, even as the one-two punch of “Drifter”  and “The Extrovert” offer swinging-fist hooks and beard-worthy chug that assures any and all testosterone quotas are met.

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Bandcamp

 

Ancient Altar, Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras

ancient altar cosmic purge foie gras

Based in Los Angeles, Ancient AltarScott Carlson (bass/vocals), Barry Kavener (guitar/vocals), Jesse Boldt (guitar) and Etay Levy (drums) – were last heard from on 2015’s dug-in atmosludger Dead Earth (review here), and they return lo these several years later with the two-tracker Cosmic Purge/Foie Gras, pushing into more extreme crush-of-riff with an abandon that’s anything but reckless. On the contrary, there’s some clear development in the 10-minute “Cosmic Purge” and 13-minute “Foie Gras,” rolling out oppressive grooves with blended screams/shouts and cleaner vocals. As with the last album, a drive toward individuality is central here, and Ancient Altar get there in tone while bringing forth a sense of scope to a sound so regularly thought of as closed off or off-putting in general. In its early going, “Foie Gras” hypnotizes with echoing melody and spaciousness only to resolve itself in a deeply weighted dirge march, furthering the pummel of “Cosmic Purge” itself. I don’t know if the EP – on vinyl through Black Voodoo Records, CD on Transcendental Void Records – will lead toward another album or not, but the sense of progression in Ancient Altar’s style is right there waiting to be heard, so here’s hoping.

Ancient Altar on Thee Facebooks

Black Voodoo Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Black Box Warning, Attendre la Mort

black box warning attendre la mort

Listen to it on headphones and the kickdrum on Black Box Warning’s Attendre la Mort is downright painful. Next-level blown-out aggro pulsations. Brutal in a physical sense. The rest of the band doesn’t follow far behind in that regard. Riffs are viscous and violent in noise rock tradition, but denser in their tone despite some underlying punkishness, and the vocals are likewise distorted and abrasive. The five-song/23-minute EP’s title translates to “Waiting for Death,” and each of the tracks is a dose: Opener “5 mg” is followed by “4 mg,” “1 mg,” “2 mg” and “3 mg.” Unsurprisingly, pills are a theme, particularly on “4 mg,” and the sense of violent threat is clear in “2 mg” and 3 mg,” which boast lines like, “Watch them all scream/Watch your enemy bleeded,” and “You are the pig/I am the butcher,” respectively. Between the lyrical and the general aural cruelty, the dis-ease is consuming and unmitigated, sludge becoming a slow-motion grindcore, and that’s clearly the point. Not stabbing, but gouging.

Black Box Warning on Thee Facebooks

Black Box Warning on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Eagle Twin, Wight, Sundrifter, Holy Mushroom, Iron and Stone, Black Capricorn, Owl Maker, Troll, Malditos, The Freak Folk of Mangrovia

Posted in Reviews on April 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

I’m pretty sure this Quarterly Review — life eater that it is — is going to wind up being six days long. That means next Monday look for sixth installment, another batch of 10 records, which were not hard to come by among everything that’s come in lately for review. I do my best to keep up, often to little avail — some random act’s Bandcamp page starts trending and all of a sudden they’re the best band ever, which hey, they’re probably not and that’s okay too. Anyhowzer, I’m trying is the point. Hopefully another 10 records added into this Quarterly Review underscores that notion.

More coffee. More albums. Let’s rock.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn)

eagle twin the thundering heard songs of hoof and horn

Consuming tones, throat-sung blues, a wash of lumbering doom – yes, it’s quite a first three minutes on Eagle Twin’s The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn). Released by Southern Lord, it’s the Salt Lake City duo’s first outing since 2012’s The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (discussed here), which arrived three years after their 2009 debut, The Unkindness of Crows (review here). Once again, the four-song outing finds guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley and drummer Tyler Smith exploring the natural order and the natural world the 11-minute “Quanah un Rama” and the 14-minute “Antlers of Lightning” bookend “Elk Wolfv Hymn” (8:22) and album highlight “Heavy Hood” (7:21), creating an ever-more immersive and grit-laden flow across the album’s span. It’s hard to know if Densley and Smith are the hunters or the hunted here, but the tones are massive enough to make YOB blush, the rhythms are hypnotic and the use they’re both put to is still unlike anything else out there, ending after the chaos and assault of low end on “Antlers of Lightning” with a moment of contemplative guitar lead, as if to remind us of our solitary place in imagining ourselves at the top of the food chain.

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Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Wight, Fusion Rock Invasion

wight fusion rock invasion

One wonders what it might’ve been like to see Wight on the 2015 tour on which the Bilocation Records-issued vinyl-only Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe was captured. Still a year out from releasing their third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), the former trio had already become a four-piece with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek bringing in percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening and already undertaken the funkier aesthetic turn that LP would represent coming off of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here). At least I’d think it would be something of a surprise as the band hit into “Helicopter Mama” and “The Muse & the Mule” and “Kelele,” which comprise side A of Fusion Rock Invasion, but by all appearances listening to the crowd response between songs, they seem into it. Who could argue? Wight’s groove in those songs as well as the older “Master of Nuggets” and Love is Not Only What You Know finale “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” on side B, are infectious in their grooves and the soul put into them is genuine and unmistakable. One more reason I wouldn’t have minded being there, I suppose.

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Wight at Bilocation Records

 

Sundrifer, Visitations

sundrifter visitations

Name your bet someone picks up Sundrifter’s Visitations for a proper release. The Boston three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Craig Peura, bassist Paul Gaughran and drummer Patrick Queenan impress in performance, aesthetic and craft across the nine songs and 48 minute of their for-now-self-released debut long-player, and whether it’s Queenan dipping into blastbeats on “Targeted” or Gaughran’s rumble on the Soundgarden-gone-doom “Fire in the Sky” or the fuzz that leads the charge on the Queens of the Stone Age-style “Hammerburn,” Peura doing a decent Josh Homme along the way, each member proves to add something to a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is able to take familiar elements and use them to hone an individualized atmosphere. In the wake of melodically engaged Boston acts like Gozu, Sundrifter would seem to be a focused newcomer with a solidified mindset of who they are as a group. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised either if they kept growing their sound. Something about the psychedelic distance in “Fire in the Sky” and “I Want to Leave,” says there’s forward movement yet to be had.

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Sundrifter on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mushroom, Moon

holy mushroom moon

Serenity and presence. There’s no shortage of either on the second Holy Mushroom full-length, Moon. Incorporating the prior-issued digital single “Éufrates,” the five-track/43-minute excursion is rife with natural-toned psychedelic resonance, marked out by organ/piano working alongside the guitar (see “Birdwax Blues”), as well as guest contributions of double bass and saxophone, and other sundry moments of depth-creating flourish. Their trance-effect is palpable, and Moon is an easy album to get lost in, especially as the Spanish three-piece make their way through 12:35 centerpiece “The Preacher,” moving from a dreamy opening line of guitar into funk-laden heft that only pushes forward with Hendrixian abandon through a massive jam before rounding out sweetly with vocals over background organ and sweetly-strummed guitar. “Éufrates” would seem to start the same way, but varies the structure in more of a back and forth format before closer “Grand Finale in the Blind Desert” brings both Holy Mushroom’s most patient execution and their most vibrant jam (sax included), essentially building from the one into the other to end the album in energetic fashion. To say it works for them would be underselling it.

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Holy Mushroom on Bandcamp

 

Iron and Stone, Petrichor

iron and stone petrichor

A debut long-player of no-pretense, no-nonsense sludge-infused doom, Petrichor (on Backbite Records) shows German five-piece Iron and Stone as ready to follow where the riff will lead them. The late 2017 album is a solidly-delivered 10 tracks and 43 minutes that strikes mostly in monochrome intent, save perhaps for the acoustic “Interlude” near the midpoint. Their 2015 EP, Old Man’s Doom (review here), was similarly upfront in its purposes, but carrying across a full-length – especially a debut – is a different beast from a shorter outing. Their heavier push on “Monolith” is welcome and the break-then-chug of “Deserts” does plenty to satisfy, but Petrichor might require a couple concerted listens to really sink in on its audience, though as I’ve said time and again, if you can’t handle repetition, you can’t handle doom. Iron and Stone effectively balance traditional doom and rawer sludge groove, playing fluidly to whichever suits their purposes at a given moment.

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Backbite Records webstore

 

Black Capricorn, Omega

black capricorn omega

Sardinian doom cult Black Capricorn push well beyond the limits of the manageable with their 95-minute fourth album, Omega (released Nov. 2017 on Stone Stallion Rex), and that’s clearly the idea. The three-piece of bassist Virginia, drummer Rakela and guitarist/vocalist Kjxu offer grim ambience and tempos that sound slow regardless of their actual speed. That said, the 17-minute “Antartide” is an accomplishment as regards crawl. After a sweetly melancholic opening of guitar, it lurches and lumbers out its miserable heft until a return to that intro bookends. Even shorter tracks like “Flower of Revelation” or “Stars of Orion” hold firm to the tenet of plod, and though the results are obviously a lot to take in, the idea that it should be a slog seems all the more appropriate to Black Capricorn’s style. The band, which hits the decade mark in 2018, churn out one last bit of wretchedness in the nine-minute closing title-track before giving way to an acoustic finish, as if to remind that Omega’s sorrows are conveyed as much through atmosphere as actual sonic heft.

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Stone Stallion Rex website

 

Owl Maker, Paths of the Slain

owl maker paths of the slain

Guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli, also of malevolent doomers Vestal Claret, leads the new trio Owl Maker, and in the company of bassist Jessie May and drummer Chris Anderson, he embarks on a heavy rock push of six tracks with the debut EP, Paths of the Slain, still holding to some elements of metal, whether it’s the double-kick in opener “Ride with Aileen” or the backing vocals and guitar solo of the subsequent “99.” Songwriting is clearheaded across the EP’s 23 minutes, and in terms of first impressions, “Mashiara” shows a focus on melody that retains a metallic poise without losing its riff-driven edge. The balance shifts throughout “Freya’s Chariot” and the all-go “Witches,” the latter of which touches on black metal in its first half before turning on a dime to mid-paced heavy rock, and closer “Lady Stoneheart” nods in its back end to NWOBHM gallop, as Owl Maker seem to tip their audience to the fact that they’re just getting started on their exploration of the many interpretations of heavy.

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Owl Maker on Bandcamp

 

Troll, Troll

troll troll

When one considers the multiple connotations of the word, Portland’s Troll are definitely going more for “lives under a bridge” than “meddling in elections” when it comes to their sound. Their self-titled debut EP, issued in 2017 before being picked up by respected purveyor Shadow Kingdom Records for a 2018 CD/tape release, is a highlight offering of classic-style doom worthy of Orodruin and Pilgrim comparisons and headlined by the vocal performance of John, who carries songs like opener “The Summoning” and the later, more swinging “Infinite Death” in a manner impressive in both frontman presence and melodic range. His work is only bolstered by the riffs of guitarist Lou and the consistent groove held together by bassist Wayne and drummer Ryan, whose drive in centerpiece “An Eternal Haunting” is neither overdone nor incongruous with the wall its tempo hits, and who meld shuffle and plod on closer “Savage Thunder” with naturalist ease. Potential abounds, and they reportedly already have new material in the works, so all the better.

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Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Malditos, II

malditos ii
Some bands, you just have to accept the fact that they’re on a different wavelength and that’s all there is to it. Magma. Master Musicians of Bukkake. Circle. Enter Oakland, California’s Malditos, whose sophomore outing, II: La Réve, arrives via Svart Records. From bizarre psychedelic chants to ritualized repetitions that seems to be daring you to play them backwards on your turntable, the spiritual freakout to songs like “Azadeh” and the penultimate “Momen” is palpable. Reach out and touch it and it will ripple like water in front of you. A sense of space is filled with elements alternatingly horrifying and engrossing, and after they make their way through “Le Passage” and centerpiece “Disparu” and wind up in the title-track to close out, the journey to the final wash of noise gives the distinct impression that for neither the listener nor the band is there any coming back. High order head trippery. Will simply be too much for some, will gloriously expand the minds of others.

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Svart Records webstore

 

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach

the freak folk of mangrovia sonic meditations live at palach

I don’t know how much improvisation is a factor in the sound of The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, but the Croation collective bring an ultra-organic presence to their perhaps-debut release, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach. The group, which seems also to have gone under the names Marko Mushan & the Mangrovian Orchestra and The Free Folk of Mangrovia, was opening for Acid Mothers Temple that night, and Sonic Meditations mostly breaks down into parts – “Sonic Meditation I,” “II,” “III” and “IV” – before the band closes out with “’Mangrovian Summer,” all the while with The Freak Folk of Mangrovia making their way through progressive dreamscapes, dripping with effects and spacious enough to house an entire Mangrovian village, however big that might be. It is otherworldly and jazzy and moves with such fluidity that the entire “Sonic Meditation” becomes one overarching piece, complemented by the closing “Mangrovian Summer,” which ebbs and flows through louder, more active jamming before capping in a wash of noise.

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Quarterly Review: The Sword, Mountain Tamer, Demon Head, Bushfire, Motherslug, Dove, Treedeon, Falun Gong, Spider Kitten, Greynbownes

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Okay then. We got past the first day and I thought it went reasonably well. No casualties. Nobody’s brain melted from trying to find another word for “riffs” for the 19th time, so yeah, mark it a win. There’s a good spread of stuff in today’s batch — a little of this, a little of that — so hopefully somewhere in the mix you’re able to run into something you dig. Hell, I’ll say the same for myself as well. Come on, let’s go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

The Sword, Used Future

the sword used future

Now-veteran Austin heavy rockers The Sword have gotten a mixed response to the more progressive approach their recent work has taken, and I doubt Used Future (on Razor & Tie) is going to be any less polarizing, but its crisp 13 tracks/43 minutes are pulled off with professionalism. Yes, it has its self-indulgent aspects in “Sea of Green” or the earlier instrumental “The Wild Sky,” but The Sword have never done anything other than deliver accessible heavy rock and tour like hell, so while I get the mixed response, at this point I think the band has at very least earned a measure of respect for what they’ve accomplished as ambassadors of underground heavy. They wanna throw a little John Carpenter influence into “Nocturne?” Fine. They’re not hurting anybody. The unfortunate truth about The Sword is that neither polarized side is right. They’re not the end of heavy metal as we know it; some crude ironic take on what metal should be. And they’re not the greatest band of their generation. They have a good record deal. They write decent songs. Where’s the problem with that? I don’t hear it on Used Future.

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Razor & Tie website

 

Mountain Tamer, Living in Vain Demo

mountain tamer Demo 2017

If it was Mountain Tamer’s intention to get listeners excited about the prospect of a second full-length from the Santa Cruz, CA three-piece, then the Living in Vain demo serves this purpose well. Their 2016 Argonauta Records self-titled debut (review here) expounded on the potential they originally showed with 2015’s Mtn Tmr demo (review here), and though it’s only two songs, Living in Vain would seem to do the same in building on the accomplishments of the album before it. The opening title-track is labeled “Living in Vain Pt. 1” and nestles easily into a mid-paced shuffle before shifting into psychedelic lead layering and a more jammed-out spirit, from which it returns in the last 30 seconds to hit into a more solidified ending riff, leading to the immediately slower “Wretched.” More spacious, more of a march, it plays into an instrumental hook and holds to its structure for its entire 5:40, ending with guitar on a quick fade. Obviously the intention with a release like this is to entice the listener with the prospect of the band’s next album. Living in Vain does that and more.

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Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, The Resistance

demon head the resistance

Returning just about a year after issuing their second album, Thunder on the Fields (review here), Copenhagen-based proto-metallers Demon Head offer a new two-songer single titled The Resistance that at least to my ears speaks to the current political moment of populism opposing liberalism – as much at play in Europe as in the US, if not more so – and the fight for an open society. They present it as a six-plus-minute languid groove with flashes of militaristic snare; something of a turn from the cult rock of their two-to-date long-players. One could say the same of the sci-fi themed “Rivers of Mars,” though like its predecessor, it remains sonically on-point with the band’s vintage aesthetic, fostered through naturalist guitar and bass tones, bluesy, commanding vocals and classy, creative drumming. Actually, apply that “classy” all around. As Demon Head continue to come into their own sound, they do so with poise that’s all the more striking for how raw their presentation remains.

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The Sign Records

 

Bushfire, When Darkness Comes

bushfire when darkness comes

When Darkness Comes is German heavy rocking five-piece Bushfire’s follow-up to late-2013’s Heal Thy Self (review here), and it retains the Darmstadt-based outfit’s penchant for quality riffcraft and a showcase for the vocals of frontman Bill Brown, which hit in bottom-of-the-mouth melodies and gruff shouts fitting to cuts like “The Conflict” and the swinging “Shelter.” Bushfire are no strangers to a semi-Southern element in their sound, and that remains true on When Darkness Comes from the opening title-track through the later “Another Man Down” and closer “Liberation.” Somewhat curiously, that closer is instrumental, and where the vocals play such a role in the overarching impression the record makes, it’s an interesting twist to have them absent from the final statement, leaving guitarists Marcus Bischoff and Miguel Pereira, bassist Vince and drummer Sascha to finish out on their own. If groove is the measure, they’re certainly up to the task, but then, that was never really in doubt.

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Bushfire on Bandcamp

 

Motherslug, The Electric Dunes of Titan

motherslug the electric dunes of titan

I’m sorry. I don’t see how you could dig anything calling itself “stoner” and not be down with what Motherslug are doing with their second long-player, The Electric Dunes of Titan. Plus-sized riffing all over the place, languid rollouts, excursions into psychedelic splendor (see “Followers of the Sun,” etc.), explosions into massive groove (see “Staring at the Sun”), a nod to High on Fire in “Tied to the Mast” and a Sleep-style march on closer “Cave of the Last God” that’s probably the best I’ve heard since the Creedsmen Arise demo in 2015. Really, if Motherslug doesn’t do it for you, nothing will. Five years after they initially released their self-titled EP (review here), which was later expanded into their debut album for NoSlip Records (review here), the Melbourne outfit charge back with what should be a litmus test for riff-heads. In all seriousness, from tone to structure to songwriting to production to the cover art, there’s just nothing here that doesn’t deliver the message. Should’ve been on my best of 2017 list.

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Motherslug on Bandcamp

 

Dove, Dove Discography

dove discography

In the wake of Floor’s disbanding, drummer Henry Wilson formed Dove. They were around for about five years, did some touring (one remembers picking up their self-titled in a Manhattan basement with $2 Rolling Rocks calling itself The Pyramid), and disbanded to a cult status not so different from that which Floor enjoyed prior to their own reunion, if to something of a lesser degree. As the title indicates, Dove Discography compiles “every listenable track” the band ever put out, including their self-titled, Wilson’s original demo for the project, compilation and 7” material. All told, it’s 20 tracks and just under an hour of documentation for who Dove were and the kind of punk metal they were about, never quite stoner, but heavy rock to be sure, and definitely of the Floridian ilk that produced both Floor and Cavity and a style Wilson has progressed with House of Lightning. Dove could be blazingly intense or they could plod out a huge riff, holding a deceptively wide purview that was only part of the reason they were so underrated at the time.

Dove on Bandcamp

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Treedeon, Under the Manchineel

treedeon under the manchineel

To anyone who might complain that all sludge sounds the same, I humbly submit Treedeon, whose second album for Exile on Mainstream, Under the Manchineel, is a work both noise-laden and righteously avant garde. Perhaps even more ferocious than its 2015 predecessor, Lowest Level Reincarnation (review here), the seven-track/44-minute outing offers a touch of melody in “Breathing a Vein” and buried deep in the midsection of 16-minute closer “Wasicu,” and arguably in guitarist Arne Heesch’s delivery in opener “Cheetoh” as well, but he and bassist Yvonne Ducksworth mostly keep to harsh shouts as they create consuming washes of noise over the madcap drumwork of newcomer Andy Schuenemann, who punctuates every punch of Ducksworth’s gotta-hear-it bass tone on album centerpiece “No Hell” as Heesch goes lands the chorus with the line “No hell can hold me” as its standout line. Bringing a sense of themselves to an established style to a degree that’s rare, rarer, rarest, Treedeon are no less aggressively weird than they are aggressive, period.

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Exile on Mainstream website

 

Falun Gong, Figure 1

Falun Gong Figure 1

There are some post-Electric Wizard shades that emerge in the debut single from London’s Falun Gong by the time it reaches its feedback-soaked finale, but really, “Figure 1” is much more about digging into its own cultistry than that of the Obornian sort. Still, the overarching impression is somewhat familiar, and will be particularly to those who were fans of The Wounded Kings, but the duo who remain anonymous present themselves with a clearheaded intent toward maximum sonic murk, and with the lumbering misery they trod out in “Figure 1,” they seem to achieve what they’re going for. I don’t know who they are, but I’d guess this isn’t their first band, and as crowded as London’s heavy underground has become over the course of this decade, acts like Falun Gong are fewer and farther between than some others, and during these 10 minutes, they make a striking first impression. One hopes for “Figure 2” sooner rather than later.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Spider Kitten, Concise and Sinister

http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/spider-kitten-concise-and-sinister.jpg

Intended as a thematic continuation to some degree of 2016’s Ark of Oktofelis, the four-song Concise and Sinister finds long-running multi-genre UK outfit Spider Kitten bookending two extended crushers around two shorter pieces, one of which is a cover of Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” (also memorably done by 16 Horsepower) and the other of which is a noise-punk assault that lasts 46 seconds and is called “I’m Feeling So Much Better.” Whether fast or slow, loud or quiet, the intention of Spider Kitten doesn’t seem even at its most abrasive to be to punish so much as to challenge, and whether it’s the cinematic elements dug into the march of opener and longest track (immediate points) “A Glorious Retreat” (11:33) or the harmonies that accompany especially-doomed 10-minute closer “Martyr’s Breath,” Spider Kitten and founder Chi Lameo demonstrate a creativity acknowledging that bounds exist and then simply refusing to accept them, making even the familiar seem unfamiliar in the process.

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Spider Kitten on Bandcamp

 

Greynbownes, Grey Rainbow from Bones

greynbownes grey rainbow from bones

Comprised of guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Lukas, bassist Martin and drummer Jakub, Greynbownes hail from Moravia in the Czech Republic and the moniker-explaining Grey Rainbow from Bones is their self-issued debut full-length. It is comprised of nine tracks of inventive heavy rock, pulling elements from grunge and ‘90s-era stoner noise on cuts like “Across the Bones” while veering into fare more aggressive, or psychedelic or jammy in the trio of six-minute tracks “Seasons,” “Death of Autumn Leaves” and “B 612” that precedes the closing duo of the funky “Sitting at the Top” and the mellow-but-still-heavy finisher “Weight of Sky,” which feels far removed from the opening salvo of “Boat of Fools,” the fuzz-punker “Madness” and the fuckall-chug of “What is at Stake.” Yes, it’s all over the place, and one might expect Greynbownes’ sound to solidify over time, but to the trio’s credit, Grey Rainbow from Bones never flies apart in the way that it seems at multiple points it might, and that’s an encouraging sign.

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Greynbownes on Bandcamp

 

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Wight to Release Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Well, if I hadn’t already put Wight on my favorite covers list for their earlier-2017 single Atlas (review here), for sure they’d earn a spot with the piece by Ingo Kimalkin Lohse that adorns their new live album, Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe. The LP/DVD offering is out tomorrow, Dec. 15, and available through Bilocation Records, but there won’t be a digital edition at all, so if you want it, you gotta get the vinyl. Blamo. Decisive.

Seems a worthy endeavor, though — certainly owning that art would be no big sacrifice — since the pro-recorded outing captures Wight as they were out in Europe in 2015 heralding the funk-infused progression they’d undertaken with their then-not-yet-released third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), which would surface the next year. The chance to hear Wight, only recently become a four-piece, exploring those textures on stage in front of audiences for what might’ve been the first time? Sounds pretty badass. I’d put that record on.

Info from the band and the label’s preorder page, also linked below:

wight fusion rock invasion

Sadly too late after our tour, but finally finished and a perfect christmas gift: The first Wight Live Album „Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe“.

YES there will be a live DVD together with the LP.

NO there will be no digital version available for this release! This is going to be a collectors item only. Pre-order your copy here: http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?a=58461

300 copies on white/blue/green marbled vinyl. High quality vinyl pressed by Pallas Group in Germany. Package includes LIVE DVD (FSK 0)!

In August 2015, Wight set out for another tour to present new material to European audiences. Albeit not released until almost exactly a year later, the album “Love Is Not Only What You Know” had already been recorded at this point, and Steffen Kirchpfening on percussion and keys had established himself as a permanent addition to the former power trio. Nevertheless, Wight were still treading new ground at this point, emancipating themselves from their blues and stoner rock roots while not completely discarding them.

Enriching their psychedelic sound with new found funk, jazz, prog and world music influences, the band aptly named their tour “Fusion Rock Invasion.” Carrying a full recording rig across Germany, the Netherlands, England and Switzerland in a small touring van, tour sound engineer Josko Joketovic and Wight mastermind Rene Hofmann pushed themselves to the limit to professionally record every show. The result now sees the light more than two years later in the form of the “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe” LP.

The live album shows the band during a truly transitional period, presenting at the time unreleased tracks from “Love Is Not Only What You Know” in a four piece constellation for the first time. “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live Over Europe” includes five grooving, moving and hard rocking tracks, recorded in an intimate atmosphere in small, hot and sweaty clubs in Cologne, Munich, London, Hamburg and Tilburg.

The LP is available as a limited bundle with a bonus DVD, containing five live videos recorded during the tour as well as around the release of “Love Is Not Only What You Know.”

VINYL TRACKLIST

1. Helicopter Mama
2. The Muse & The Mule
3. Kelele
4. Master Of Nuggets
5. The Love For Life Leads To Reincarnation

DVD TRACKLIST (42 mins total):

1. The Muse & The Mule (8:48)
2. Kelele (8:56)
3. The Love For Life Leads To Reincarnation (11:02)
4. Cosmic Rhythm #2 (3:34)
5. Master Of Nuggets (9:20)

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http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?a=58461

Wight, “Atlas” official video

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Bushfire Post Video for “Die Trying”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bushfire

Apparently if you want to get into a headquarters building for EUMETSAT, it’s all about who you know. Having a killer van like the one from Dumb and Dumber probably helps too — one imagines that helps everything — and it would seem Darmstadt, Germany-based heavy rockers Bushfire have both working in their favor in their new video for “Die Trying.” The clip is the second to be unveiled from their forthcoming third full-length, When Darkness Comes, behind one for “Zombi” posted in August, and where that had kind of a creeper lyric video vibe going, the metaphor of zombies being put to use as a descriptor for our relationship to technology — think dead-eyed people staring at their phones, etc. — “Die Trying” plays up a little bit more of the fun side that Bushfire bring to their personality.

To wit, that Dumb and Dumber van. And if you’re not familiar — I certainly wasn’t — the EUMETSAT stands for “Europäische Organisation für meteorologische Satelliten” and is essentially a network of weather satellites used across the European Union to share meteorological data between member states. There are headquarters throughout the EU, and oneBushfire-When-Darkness-Comes is in Bushfire‘s native Darmstadt, so yeah, they clearly found some way to get in and have a good time in the process, so kudos all around. One assumes they didn’t knock any orbital apparatus out of alignment in the process, and the lighter-hearted spirit of the video does well to represent When Darkness Comes, which, while severe in its title, cover art and in the themes of cuts like the aforementioned “Zombi” and the later “Fallen from Grace,” does have some letup in brooding in this track as well as the fuzz-rolling march of closer “Liberation” amid the moodiness of songs like “Shelter,” “Another Man Down” and “Wild Eyes,” all of which seem to bring together elements from the sonic personae of bands like Borracho, Clutch and Down to follow Bushfire‘s 2013 outing, Heal Thy Self (review here), with their most cohesive sonic vision to-date.

You can check out the burl and the groove of “Die Trying” on the player below, followed by more info about When Darkness Comes, for which Bushfire have a hometown CD release show booked for Oct. 27. Last I heard the record was due in December, but I guess if you can get it while the getting’s good, then yeah, get it while the getting’s good. Maybe vinyl later? I don’t know anything anymore.

Enjoy the video:

Bushfire, “Die Trying” official video

BAND – BUSHFIRE
SONG – DIE TRYING
ALBUM – WHEN DARKNESS COMES (2017)

This video would not have been possible without the following persons and their contributions: EUMETSAT, Phil Harvey, Ry Evill, James Snook, Patrick Boyny, Beate Springer, and Jonas Roem — BUSHFIRE, THANKS YOU ALL!!!

This video was filmed and edited by Schnittsache.
https://www.facebook.com/schnittsache/

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Bushfire website

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Bushfire Post “Zombi” Video; When Darkness Comes out in December

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bushfire

Set for release in December, When Darkness Comes will serve as the third full-length from DIY Darmstadt, Germany, earth rockers Bushfire. The double-guitar five-piece were last heard from with Dec. 2013’s Heal Thy Self (review here), which was a formidable slab of wax in following their 2010 debut, Black Ash Sunday (review here), affirming the focus on songwriting and the dudely approach of frontman Bill Brown, which seems to be intact as well as Bushfire push forward, guitarists Marcus Bischoff and Miguel Pereira joined by the newcomer rhythm section of bassist Vince and drummer Sascha.

Heavy Southern groove is the thing, make no mistake, and at this point Bushfire have been doing it long enough that they’ve got the process down. The new video — animated, of the lyric-video type — for “Zombi” brings the first audio to be unveiled ahead of the release of When Darkness Comes, and not that there was any doubt about Bushfire‘s delivery, but it’s good to know that the last four years hasn’t dulled their affinity for what’s at root beneath their processes. One finds a Clutch-style blues bounce put to righteous use via a clear and full production, and some measure of social commentary in the words as belted out by Brown.

You know how Dawn of the Dead saw the zombies all go to the mall because blind consumerism was what they knew in life? Well, “Zombi” kind of makes a similar point, but about our current inability to disconnect from our mobile devices, cellphones and the like. The clip sees skulking figures in a dark world lit mostly by tiny screens and highlights lines like, “I see zombies transmitting with no communication/I see zombies restless when no connection is there.” The ups and downs of a connected culture are still very much a matter of some philosophical debate and likely will be until we’ve all uploaded our brains to the digitally-immortal singularity (which of course the last human being alive will trip over the plug for and wipe us all out; whoops), but Bushfire make their argument clear and back it with some pointedly heavy riffing, and as a first glimpse of When Darkness Comes, it bodes well in style and sound alike.

Looking forward to hearing more of the record as we get closer to the end of the year. Until then, dig this:

Bushfire, “Zombi” official video

Video: DADIVE STUDIO
Band: BUSHFIRE
Song: ZOMBI
Album: When Darkness Comes (unreleased, est.12/17)
Recorded: 05/17 Lofthaus studios Darmstadt, Germany
Mastering: Tony Reed, Heavy Head Recording Studios, Seattle, WA, USA

By now, Bushfire‘s bio reads like that of one of the really big bands: three demo EPs and two albums, shows and tours through half of Europe, TV airplay on DMAX, a loyal fanbase – all of that WITHOUT any label or management. Because Bushfire means self-determination, passion, freedom, just DIY in its purest form. There‘s the band doing handicraft, drawing, designing, thinking, sawing, even signing in blood.

Bushfire is:
Bill (vocals)
Marcus (guitar)
Miguel (guitar)
Sascha (drums)
Vince (bass)

Bushfire on Thee Facebooks

Bushfire on Bandcamp

Bushfire website

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Wight Premiere “Atlas” Video; New Single out Tomorrow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wight-Photo-by-Christian-Heyse

As announced earlier this week, tomorrow is the digital release date of Atlas, the new single from German four-piece Wight. With vinyl forthcoming through H42 Records (presale starts tomorrow for that as well) sometime over the summer, the band begins quickly to move forward from their 2016 third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), while keeping some of the same principals intact. You might recall that Love is Not Only What You Know was the latest in a series of three departures for Wight; each of their full-lengths to-date has marked a significant shift in sound from the one before it.

In the case of Love is Not Only What You Know, it was funk and soul elements incorporated with a classic rock feel building on the heavy psych of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), which likewise was a marked shift from the straightforward nod-riffing of 2011’s Wight Weedy Wight (review here) debut. Out and out they go. Where they’ll stop, nobody knows.

With Atlas, though, Wight maintain some of the flavor of their third outing while also moving it forward. The single features two versions of the song “Atlas,” one performed by the band and the other an extra-funkified redux called “Atlas (Flashbaxx Remix),” which you know is trouble from the sheer number of ‘x’s the title contains. It lives up to that standard. Even the core “Atlas” is plenty dangerous, though, with the organ and Rhodes lines of Steffen Kirchpfening intertwining with René Hofmann‘s guitar early only to step back and allow his increasingly soulful vocal delivery — coated in far-off echo here that seems to answer him back when heard through headphones — to feature even more than on the last record en route to a quick but telling bridge jam held together atop the rhythm from bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek and a last run through the somewhat restrained hook.

It’s a quick listen, under five minutes, but it sees Wight bring further cohesion to the impulses that drove the material their last time out, and when the “Atlas (Flashbaxx Remix)” starts in with its Curtis Mayfield-style groove, yeah, the band lets you know they have a few more tricks up their collective sleeve yet. I’d love to hear these dudes with a full-on funky string section. It could happen. Don’t think it couldn’t.

Wight have a history of performing live in videos. They did it to lead the way into the last album with a clip for “The Love of Life Leads to Reincarnation” (posted here), and they represented Through the Woods into Deep Water by actually going to the woods and playing the title-track (posted here), so to find them digging into “Atlas” leading into the single fits their character well enough, and it’s to their credit that as they keep pushing their sound to these new places, they refuse to not draw that line of vitality in their approach. There’s some surprisingly melancholy imagery included here — for a track so colorful, the clip is awfully black and white — but Wight have very clearly come to dwell on their own wavelength, so I’m not inclined to ask questions.

Please find the video premiere for “Atlas” below, followed by the credits and the band’s upcoming live dates. My thanks to Wight and H42 Records for letting me host it.

Enjoy:

Wight, “Atlas” official video

Recorded live at Orange Box Studio, Darmstadt, January 2017

Produced by René Hofmann, Fat&Holy Records 2017

– Video Credits –
Camera & post-production: Gabriel Sahm, Johanna Amberg
Additonal Camera: Martin Kadel, Jonas Eichhorn, Fabian Weber

– Audio Credits –
Recording: Hüseyin Köroglu, Josko Koketovic
Mixing: Maurice Young
Mastering: René Hofmann

– Wight is –
Rene Hofmann: Vocals, Guitar
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn: Bass
Thomas Kurek: Drums
Steffen Kirchpfening: Organ, Rhodes

Wight live:
Mar 24 Centralstation Darmstadt, Germany w/ Colour Haze & My Sleeping Karma
Apr 01 Sputnikhalle Münster, Germany
May 05 DasBach Vienna, Austria
May 06 Zukunft Chemnitz, Germany
May 24 Schraub-BAR Bückeburg, Germany
May 26 Limes Cologne, Germany
May 26 O:M:A Karlstadt am Main, Germany

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight on Twitter

Wight on Bandcamp

H42 Records website

H42 Records on Thee Facebooks

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