The Well Announce October East Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well

So am I crazy, or are The Well playing Tulsa, Oklahoma, two nights after they play in Helsinki, Finland? I mean, that’s not an impossible scenario, by any means — it’s enough time to travel from one place to the other — but as the Austin, Texas-based three-piece get ready to embark on a Fall tour supporting their earlier-2019 offering, Death and Consolation (review here), it’s barely enough time for them to get their luggage from the baggage claim. I know there’s a day in between there, but still, that’s pretty tight. All the more so if they’re flying into Austin to get their gear and then driving north to play that Tulsa gig. And then they’ve got like 20 shows in a row! Clearly not a band big on doing themselves favors.

But hey, if you weren’t soul-obliteratingly tired afterward, would it really be rock and roll?

(Yes.)

If none of the three of them is yet writing their book about being on the road, I can only consider that an oversight. Hey, The Well. If you wanna do a tour diary, hit me up. I’d run that shit in a heartbeat. Also, your record rules.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

the well poster

The Well announce new tour dates in support of new album Death and Consolation

Austin trio extend North American dates; first time in Puerto Rico

Austin trio The Well announce additional tour dates in support of their beloved new album, Death and Consolation (RidingEasy Records) today. The band has spent much of the year on tour, and here continue the trek through into November. Please see all dates below.

Death and Consolation is without a doubt a weighty album title. And, The Well is among the heaviest heavy psych bands in existence. So when we say that there’s even more darkness and intensity to the band’s third album than previous efforts, take heed. It’s a deep sea diving bell of enveloping heaviness and longing.

“This one is a little more personal,” says guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. “2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year. I wanted to call this Death and Consolation, because in life that’s a constant.”

Death and Consolation is available on LP, CD and download as of April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2019:
09/13 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room
10/10 – Helsinki, FI – Blow Up Festival
10/12 – Tulsa, OK – Mercury Lounge
10/13 – Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
10/14 – Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
10/15 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
10/16 – Chicago, IL – Live Wire
10/17 – Detroit, MI – Sanctuary
10/18 – Toronto, ON – Grand Gerrand
10/19 – Ottawa, ON – House of Targ
10/20 – Montreal, QC – Katacombs
10/21 – Winooski, VT – Monkey House
10/22 – Rochester, NY – Bug Bar
10/23 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus *
10/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Barbary *
10/25 – Baltimore, MD – The Depot
10/26 – Richmond, VA – Wonderland
10/27 – Raleigh, NC – Slim’s
10/28 – Atlanta, GA – 529
10/29 – Gainesville, FL – Hardback Cafe
10/30 – St Petersburg, FL – The Bends
11/01 – Puerto Rico – Club 77
11/02 – Jacksonville, FL – Justice Pub
11/09 – Austin, TX – Levitation Festival
* w/ Heavy Temple

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

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Review & Video Premiere: The Well, Death and Consolation

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well death and consolation

The Well, “This is How the World Ends” official video premiere

[Click play above to stream the premiere of The Well’s video for “This is How the World Ends.” Their new album, Death and Consolation, is out today on RidingEasy Records and streaming in full below.]

Austin trio The Well have always worked with largely familiar elements — riffs, dual vocals, heavy rolling groove, garage-doom burnout and so on — but their third album, Death and Consolation, further demonstrates how they take what’s expected and twist it to suit darker purposes. It’s not just the title of the RidingEasy Records release that seems to be coping and consoling, and as the Austin, Texas, band — who spent a decent portion of the second half of 2018 touring Europe — nod through the nine-track/42-minute offering, their sound retains the raw grit they’ve had since before their debut album, Samsara (review here), came out in 2014. Death and Consolation is very much of a mind with Samsara and Pagan Science (review here), which followed it in 2016, thanks in no small part to guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan returning to work with producer/engineer Chico Jones, who has been involved in all three of their full-lengths — Jason Morales helmed their 2012 debut single, Seven (review here) — and whose relationship with the band would seem to be deep enough at this point to give them space both to revel in the bleary-eyed riffs and echoes of songs like “Act II” and the unrepentantly uptempo Dio-era Sabbathian bounce of centerpiece “Eyes of a God” just before it.

As with opener “Sabbah,” which seems to take its cues from Kyuss/Vista Chino (thinking “Thumb” or “Dargona Dragona”) in terms of its riffy foundation, “Eyes of a God” acknowledges its influence and sees The Well internalize it to the point of making it theirs. It’s a cliché narrative to say a band’s third album is their moment of arrival, having set out ideas on the first record and corrected initial mistakes on the second — and honestly, in the case of The Well, their work has never needed much in terms of correction. Still, across its span, Death and Consolation shows the steady growth they’ve undertaken and the broader reach they’ve made their own as a result, right from the keyboard chorus in the apex of “Sabbah” to the tolling-for-thee bells that help cap the noisefest ending of closer “Endless Night.”

All along the way, The Well ask few indulgences and deliver a quality of craft indicative of the time they’ve spent hammering out their approach onstage. Their material is efficient while sounding languid, as early cuts like “Raven,” which makes its greater impression in full-push while still varying tempo en route to its Alley/Graham vocal congregation around an effective secondary hook, and the subsequent “Death Song” make plain. The latter rounds out an opening salvo on a record that, while obviously splitting into two sides for the vinyl release, nonetheless seems to work in sets of three. Its riff is more patiently delivered than anything in “Raven” was intended to be, and it builds on the buzz of “Sabbah” at the outset with an intermittent wash of crash from Sullivan that bolsters the Pentagram-style rhythm in the lyrics and righteously adds to the tension in the last verse.

the well

“Cup of Peace,” which follows, feels like the beginning of another movement, and as much as a lumbering intro sets the stage for a guitar dropout during the first part of its verse, Graham‘s voice encased in echo and baring cultish fangs amid the surrounding fuzz. Alley joins in later with a harmony line as the track shifts toward its crescendo solo, a highlight of Death and Consolation as a whole for its blend of technique and raw noise. Obscure, manipulated samples begin “Eyes of a God,” with the central riff kicking in at about the 40-second mark. That introduction makes what’s already the shortest cut at 3:41 seem even shorter, but doesn’t at all detract from its engaging spirit. Instead, it benefits from the sense of contrast, and its sampling helps set up the pulsations of “Act II,” which starts side B while also drawing the middle third of the album to its close — starting the second act in one interpretation of the tracklisting while ending it in another — with a resonant hook and a march that holds sway until the arrival of organ signals the start of the freakout in the second half; solo, thick boogie, crash, noise, threat, stop. The last line, “Forever you will be mine,” echoes out with a due feeling of conclusion.

Likewise, the quiet and slow drums that offer a bed to the bluesy vocals at the beginning of “Freedom Above” seem to be a reset or at least a return to ground. They leave it soon enough, with ambient noise behind Alley and Graham‘s vocals, the rumble of the former keeping one foot on earth even as the sensation of floating becomes ever more prevalent. There’s a subtle build at work, but even as heavy as it gets, it seems to hold back, much to its credit. It might be the best vocal performance The Well have ever had on a record, with Graham giving way to Alley at the end and the latter self-harmonizing to finish, serving as a transition into the penultimate “This is How the World Ends,” with jarring samples of chimpanzees and less-jarring speech leading directly into the verse, drenched in post-Electric Wizard sneer but, again, thoroughly its own. I won’t say it looks good for the world, but The Well at least give planet Earth a characteristic sendoff, the prevailing vibe of “we earned this apocalypse” coming through with due prejudice in its judgment.

The recognizable voice of Rod Serling caps, and “Endless Night” commences with an assault of low distortion from which the winding riff emerges. Together, the three members of The Well seem to be walking into the summation that “This is How the World Ends” laid forth. Sullivan provides the path and Graham and Alley‘s vocal melodies bring order to the chaos of their guitar and bass tones. The aforementioned ringing bells arrive early in the second half and are accompanied soon enough by the noiseiest of the guitar solos on Death and Consolation, which feels well earned and is the last piece to fade out at the end, drawing emphasis on The Well‘s ability to creep even as they entrance the listener. It would be a cliché to say they’ve arrived — they arrived half a decade ago — but Death and Consolation finds them completely in control of their sound when they want to be, and still able to harness an underlying chaos enough to be genuinely dangerous. The growth of arrangement and vocal interaction between Alley and Graham is easy evidence of their progression, but that’s only one of the many ways The Well have carved out their own place in the pantheon of heavy. Their identity is all over these songs like melted candle wax.

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

The Well on Thee Facebooks

The Well on Instagram

The Well on Bandcamp

The Well website

RidingEasy Records website

RidingEasy Records on Instagram

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

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The Well to Release Death and Consolation April 26; Playing Monolith on the Mesa and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well

Busy Spring coming up for The Well. The Austin-based trio are slated to take part in Monolith on the Mesa alongside the likes of Om and Wovenhand. They’ll tour for a few dates with Monolord on a longer stint of their own that will take them into Canada. And because that’s clearly not enough, they’ll have a new album, Death and Consolation out on RidingEasy to follow-up on 2016’s Pagan Science (review here). If it’s a question of scale though, it’s probably worth noting that they went to Europe twice last year — in August and October — so at this point they’re used to a good amount of here and there. And speaking of, check out the routing that has them going from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Taos, New Mexico, for the aforementioned Monolith on the Mesa. That’s a solid 21 hours by car. Or van, as it were.

They’ve got a few days to make that trip, but even so. Substantial.

By then, the April 26 release date for Death and Consolation will have come and gone, but we’re not there yet. The first-unveiled single, “Raven,” is streaming at the bottom of this post though, so have at it.

The PR wire brings details:

the well death and consolation

The Well – Death and Consolation

Austin trio The Well announce their forthcoming third album Death and Consolation today, sharing the first single.

Death and Consolation is without a doubt a weighty album title. And, The Well is among the heaviest heavy psych bands in existence. So when we say that there’s even more darkness and intensity to the band’s third album than previous efforts, take heed. It’s a deep sea diving bell of enveloping heaviness and longing.

“This one is a little more personal,” says guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. “2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year. I wanted to call this Death and Consolation, because in life that’s a constant.”

While The Well continue to walk an intriguing line between authentic early 70s doom/heavy psych and frayed weirdness of dark folk – especially with their haunting unison male/female vocals – the new album also adds the stark vibe of post-punk acts like Joy Division and early The Cure. “I feel like this album is almost more gothic. We’re big fans of post-punk,” Graham says. There’s also much less jamming, the songs are tight and concise. And, did we mention, heavy? The band tuned down a full step to C-standard tuning for this album, which gives the proceedings its monstrous sound.

Sonically, Death and Consolation picks up where The Well — Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan — left off with their widely heralded 2016 RidingEasy album Pagan Science. The band once again recorded with longtime producer/engineer Chico Jones at Estuary Studio in 2018, who has turned the knobs for all three of their albums (Jones engineered the band’s debut album Samsara with producer Mark Deutrom [Melvins, Sunn0)))] in 2013.) Samsara, released late September 2014 was ranked the #1 debut album of 2014 by The Obelisk and Pagan Science among the Best of 2016 from the Doom Charts collective. Likewise, the band’s intense — some even say “possessed” — live performances have earned them featured slots at Austin’s Levitation Fest, as well as tours with Kadavar, All Them Witches, Black Tusk and more.

“This album might be a little less produced, because I didn’t want to push technical stuff as much,” Graham says. “I’m so scared of getting too complicated when getting better at guitar. This is still kind of punk rock.”

Death and Consolation will be available on LP, CD and download on April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2019:
03/01 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
04/12 – Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room
04/13 – Cypress Creek, LA @ Fête du Void Festival
04/24 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
04/25 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda*
05/01 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown*
05/02 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive*
05/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
05/04 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
05/09 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
05/10 – Seattle, WA @ Substation
05/12 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino
05/13 – Edmonton, AB @ Temple
05/14 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Windsor
05/18 – Taos, NM @ Monolith on the Mesa Fest
05/19 – El Paso, TX @ Monarch
* w/ Monolord

Artist: The Well
Album: Death and Consolation
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release date: April 26th, 2019
01. Sabbah
02. Raven
03. Death Song
04. Cup of Peace
05. Eyes of A God
06. Act II
07. Freedom Above
08. This Is How
09. Endless Night

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

The Well, “Raven”

The Well, Pagan Science (2016)

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