Cloud Catcher Touring in March for The Whip EP Release; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cloud catcher

Denver power trio Cloud Catcher were initially tapped to open for High on Fire on that band’s Winter tour, but as those shows got canceled last week, the Colorado-based purveyors of headspinning riffage will instead play their first show of 2019 in March as the release gig for their upcoming EP, The Whip. 2018 was relatively quiet for Cloud Catcher as they toured with Crypt Trip and continued to support their 2017 sophomore full-length, Trails of Kozmic Dust (review here), which came out through Totem Cat Records, but it seems like they’re getting back down to it in 2019, and they’ve just given a first look at what’s in store with The Whip by unveiling the new song “Beneath the Steel.”

It’s a 4:45 thrust of embers burning and armor pierced by swords, which isn’t necessarily new ground for Cloud Catcher but still more toward a classic metal vibe than they’ve sometimes gone in the past. I wouldn’t necessarily speculate as to how “Beneath the Steel” speaks for The Whip as a whole — mostly because I haven’t heard the EP, but also because as their last album proved, they’re able to bring a number of different moods to fruition throughout a release. Cloud Catcher came out of Trails of Kozmic Dust with no shortage of momentum behind them, and if the tempo of “Beneath the Steel” is anything to go by, their interest lies solely in pushing themselves as far as they can go on any number of levels.

Art, tour dates and audio follow, as seen on the internet:

cloud catcher the whip ep

Cloud Catcher – Beneath the Steel

BENEATH THE STEEL NOW AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING ON OUR BANDCAMP… BANG YOUR HEAD INTO THE WEEKEND… THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT AND ENJOY!!

MIDWEST MARAUDERS TOUR 2019
3/09 Denver, CO Tooey’s Off Colfax (EP RELEASE)
3/25 Colorado Springs, CO Triple Nickel Tavern
3/26 Wichita, KS Barleycorns
3/27 Rock Island, IL RIBCO
3/28 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
3/29 Chicago, IL Subterranean Downstairs
3/30 Detroit, MI The Sanctuary
3/31 St. Louis, MO FUBAR
4/1 Kansas City, MO Riot Room

Rory Rummings – Guitar/Vocals
Scott Schulman – Bass
Jared Handman – Drums

https://cloud-catcher.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cloudcatcherco

Cloud Catcher, “Beneath the Steel”

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The Munsens Set Feb. 15 Release for Unhanded

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the munsens

I was lucky enough to be in the room this past August when The Munsens took the stage at Psycho Las Vegas (review here). It was an “oh shit!” kind of scenario. They’d timed the release of the single “Dirge (For Those to Come)” to the festival, but I hadn’t heard it, so the three-piece got going and started meting out scorched-sludge punishment the whole room knew what it did wrong and why it deserved it, and it was as much a surprise (to me) as it was killer. They owned the joint by the time they were done — or was it Vinyl; ha — and seeing them only made me look forward to what they’d do with their impending full-length debut.

We’ll find that out Feb. 15 as Sailor Records issues Unhanded, for which “Dirge (For Those to Come)” serves as the leadoff.

The PR wire brought the album art and details:

the munsens unhanded

THE MUNSENS: Denver’s Blackened Doom Trio To Release Debut Full-Length, Unhanded, Through Denver’s Sailor Records In February

Denver, Colorado’s THE MUNSENS will deliver their debut full-length album, Unhanded, on February 15th through their new cooperation with Denver’s Sailor Records. The LP comes following a productive 2018 Summer that included performances at Psycho Las Vegas, 71Grind IV, Austin Terror Fest, Electric Funeral Fest, and more. Album details and the opening track from Unhanded are now posted.

THE MUNSENS make noise from a Colfax Avenue dungeon, having carved out a place of their own in the much-lauded Denver metal scene over recent years. Their debut LP, Unhanded is a step in a new direction for the band, melding elements of the members’ early influences in punk, black metal, and hardcore. Offering a more complete representation of the outfit’s output from prior releases, Unhanded distinguishes THE MUNSENS as one of the more unique and enthralling bands on the metal touring circuit.

THE MUNSENS released the LP’s opening track for their Psycho Las Vegas performance over the Summer. Stream the monumental “Dirge (For Those To Come)” at YouTube RIGHT HERE, Spotify HERE, and Bandcamp HERE.

Produced by the band, Unhanded delivers nearly forty minutes of music through five mammoth songs, the album engineered by Mike Moebius at Moonlight Mile Recording, mastered by Dennis Pleckham at Comatose Studio, and finished with photography by Michael Goodwin. The record will see release on February 15th, 2019 via Denver’s Sailor Records through all digital platforms and vinyl formats, with both black and clear/black splatter variants.

Preorders for the album and additional audio samples from the LP will see release in the weeks ahead. THE MUNSENS will tour across the Southwest US for the first half of March in support of the album, with a hometown album release show on March 2nd. The band will also support Monolord on May 2nd. The remaining dates for the March tour and more live dates will be announced shortly.

Unhanded Track Listing:
1. Dirge (For Those To Come)
2. Pitiful
3. Unhanded
4. Bleeding From The Ears
5. Rivers Of Error

THE MUNSENS Live:
3/02/2018 The Hi Dive – Denver, CO *Unhanded release show
5/02/2018 The Hi Dive – Denver, CO w/ Monolord

THE MUNSENS:
Michael Goodwin – bass/vocals
Shaun Goodwin – guitars/vocals
Graham Wesselhoff – drums

https://themunsensnj.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/themunsens
https://www.instagram.com/themunsens
https://www.facebook.com/Sailor-Records-359148970778780/
https://www.sailorrecords.com/
https://sailor-records.bandcamp.com/

The Munsens, “Dirge (For Those to Come)”

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Quarterly Review: Rotor, Electric Octopus, Randall Dunn, Graven, Near Dusk, Svuco, Stonus, Acolytes of Moros, Lime Eyelid, Tombtoker

Posted in Reviews on December 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I’ve been doing this for a while, the whole Quarterly Review thing. Not just talking about the last two weeks — though that also feels like a while to be doing it — but over the last few years. And in so doing I have a couple running gags kind of with myself. One obvious one is the “(immediate points)” for bands who put their longest song first on their album. There is no point system. There will be no tally at the end. I don’t grade records. It’s just a way of noting a decision I almost always find to be particularly bold.

Another is the use of “penultimate.” I don’t even know how this happened, but I use that word all the time in these reviews, way, way more than I might in day-to-day life. Somehow I’m always talking about the second-to-last song. Keep an eye out today, I’m sure it’ll be in there.

Indeed, I bring it up because today is the penultimate day of this extended Quarterly Review. We’ll finish out with the last 10 records tomorrow, and no doubt by the end of it I’ll be doling out more “(immediate points)” and talking about the “apex of the penultimate cut” or whatever else it is I do. Hard not to repeat yourself when you’re writing about 100 records. Or, you know, one.

Quarterly Review #81-90:

Rotor, Sechs

rotor sechs

Long-running Berlin instrumentalists Rotor issue Sechs, their aptly-titled sixth album, as their second for Noisolution after 2015’s Fünf (review here), and in so doing blend the best impulses from where they started with where they’ve ended up. Fünf, not without its moments of heavy psych drift, was a deeply progressive album, and Sechs is likewise, but it also brings in a more natural, warmer production sound like some of their earlier material, so that songs like “Vor der Hern” or “Allmacht” come across as nuanced but welcoming all the same. “Allmacht” is a highlight for its classic prog elements, but that’s not to discount the centerpiece “Abfahrt!,” with its raucous second half or the nine-minute penultimate cut “Druckverband,” which finds Rotor pushing themselves to new heights some 20 years on from their beginnings. Or anything else, for that matter, because it’s all brilliant. And that, basically, is how you know you’re listening to Rotor.

Rotor on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution website

 

Electric Octopus, Line Standing

electric octopus line standing

Next-level naturalism from Belfast trio Electric Octopus means that not only does the digital-only-otherwise-it’d-be-a-box-set Line Standing top four and a half hours, but those four and a half hours bring the listener into the studio with the band — guitarist Tyrell Black, bassist/keyboardist Dale Hughes and drummer Guy Hetherington — as they talk between jams, goof around and discuss what they just played in quick interludes. Complementing cuts like 35-minute opener “Iliudi,” the 38-minute “Line Standing 23336,” the 24-minute “Room Move” and the three-minute funk-reggae vibe of “Inspired by a Chicken,” the chatter gives Line Standing an even more organic vibe not by trying to capture a live feel, like what they’d do on stage — they have plenty of live albums for that — but by bringing the listener into the studio while they pick up their instruments and improvise their way through whatever it is that’s coming next, which is something that everyone seems to find out together. It’s not always smooth, but neither should it be. This is pure sonic exploration — and not a little of it.

Electric Octopus on Thee Facebooks

Electric Octopus on Bandcamp

 

Randall Dunn, Beloved

randall dunn beloved

Randall Dunn, through his production work, collaborations with Sunn O))), founding Master Musicians of Bukkake, etc., is no stranger to experimentalism, and his first solo album, Beloved (on Figureight), finds him evoking cinematic landscapes one at a time in ambient tracks that range from minimalist to consuming by sheer will. His range as a composer means that “Mexico City” shimmers with a near-overwhelming post-Vangelis splendor while “Lava Rock and Amber” is barren enough to make each strike of the piano keys feel like a lifeline before the synth horror takes hold near the end. Dunn brings in several guest vocalists for spots on “Something About that Night” and closer “A True Home,” but there’s hardly a lack of human presence throughout the material anyway, as the nine-minute centerpiece “Theoria : Aleph” resonates with the creative drive that made it. Not by any means a record that’s going to be for everyone, Beloved casts a sound that’s impeccably broad.

Randall Dunn on Thee Facebooks

Figureight on Bandcamp

 

Graven, Heirs of Discord

Graven Heirs of Discord

Heirs of Discord, indeed. With guitarist/vocalist Peter Maturi and drummer Chris Csar from the much-missed Swarm of the Lotus and bassist Teddy Patterson of Burnt by the Sun and Human Remains in the up-and-down-the-Eastern-Seaboard lineup with vocalist Jason Borowy, there’s no shortage of discord to go around. Deathly extremity and a pervasive grinding sensibility is conveyed with tones that absolutely crush and a groove that, while not shy with the blastbeats on “I Dreamt You Were Dead” — or the bonus track Human Remains cover “Human,” for that matter — is no less comfortable locked in the nod of the nine-minute “Thieves of Rotted Ilk.” It reportedly took Graven over a year to make the six-song/28-minute LP at various studios (including one two towns over from where I grew up in my beloved Garden State), and one only hopes the no-doubt daunting nature of that task doesn’t dissuade Graven from a follow-up, because whether it’s the angular starts and stops of “Backwards to Oblivion” or the initial assault of “A Failed Mask,” they bring a stylistic nuance to extreme metal that goes beyond the often dry showcase of technical prowess the style can sometimes be. However long it might take to put together, a sophomore outing feels well justified.

Graven on Thee Facebooks

Graven on Bandcamp

 

Near Dusk, Near Dusk

Near Dusk Near Dusk

The cleverly-titled “Humboldt Pie” finds them dipping into bluesier fare with some psychedelic effect on guitarist Matthew Orloff‘s vocals, and “We are the Buffalo” has a distinct spaciousness, but the core of Denver trio Near Dusk‘s self-released, self-titled debut is in straightforward heavy rock, and Orloff, bassist Kellen McInerney and drummer Jon Orloff sound well schooled in the ways of following the riff. “That Bastard” chugs out behind a vocal echo and the six-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “No More” introduces the steady factor that is McInerney‘s bass behind some initial guitar noodling that leads to the first of many rolling grooves to come on the seven-track/34-minute outing. The bass again gets to shine in the subsequent “Sweet Home,” setting up the final push for a moment before being joined by the drums and guitar, and the low-end tone is right on, though by the time they close out with “Furnace Creek,” all three of them seem to tease some jammier sensibilities. Near Dusk allow themselves room to develop their approach and perspective, but establish a strong root of songwriting to serve as their foundation as they move forward.

Near Dusk on Thee Facebooks

Near Dusk on Bandcamp

 

Svuco, El Gran Mito de SanSaru

svuco El Gran Mito de SanSaru

At least some of the material on Svuco‘s debut long-player, El Gran Mito de SanSaru, dates back a few years. The release includes what was the title-track of their 2015 Mizaru EP as well as the title-track of 2016’s Kikazaru, as well as a number of tracks that also featured on the Iwazaru EP shortly before the album actually arrived. Still, taken in this form and with these recordings, the Granada-based four-piece unfurl a varied 13-song full-length that’s crisp in its production and smoothly constructed to hit hard but with a sense of tonal presence that speaks to a heavy rock influence. That is, there might be a current of noise rock to the ’90s-style chug of “Llorarás,” but “Fuzzia” still has room for organ and acoustic guitar along with its central riff. Later cuts like “Nobogo,” the layered-vocals of “El Color del Sol,” and the almost-industrial pulsations (conveyed through organic instrumentation) of “El Dios del Nuevo Mundo” branch out, but there’s an underlying identity taking shape all the while.

Svuco on Thee Facebooks

Svuco on Bandcamp

 

Stonus, Lunar Eclipse

Stonus Lunar Eclipse

Welcoming in its tone and bordering on cosmic in its atmosphere, Lunar Eclipse is the second EP from Cyprus-based troupe Stonus, and for the sprawl of its eight-minute title-track alone, it showcases distinct potential on the part of the band. Intro and outro tracks help set up a flow, but as “Aspirin” and “Spiritual Realities” fuzz their way toward “Lunar Eclipse” itself, it’s hardly like Stonus need the help. The tempo of “Aspirin” tells the tale, taking desert rock to three-quarters speed for an extra laid back vibe, still pushed along by the drums, but chill, chill, chill as it goes. “Spiritual Realities” is a little more tripped out in its lumber, and its vocals are more forward in the mix, but once again, “Lunar Eclipse” is nothing but a joy to behold from front to back, and in large part it defines the short release that shares its name. They close out with the minute of experimentalism on “Euphoric Misery” and only make one hope they don’t lost those impulses by the time they get around to a full-length, because they’ll only help them further distinguish themselves.

Stonus on Thee Faceboks

Stonus on Bandcamp

 

Acolytes of Moros, The Wellspring

acolytes of moros the wellspring

Seven years on from playing their first show, Swedish doomers Acolytes of Moros present their first full-length, The Wellspring (CD on Nine Records), and if that might stand as an indication of their pacing overall, it would certainly apply to the album itself. Presented as four extended tracks with an interlude/instrumental near seven minutes dividing the two halves, it’s a rawly-produced take on doom-death traditionalism with an emphasis on the first part of that equation. Calling it “morose” feels too easy given the band’s moniker, but they’re nothing if not self-aware, and the miseries they portray in “Quotidian” and the 14-minute “A Yen to Relinquish and Evanesce” border on the dramatic without ever really tipping too far in that direction, coming through as much in the grueling riffs as in the vocal declarations and willfully repetitive rhythms. It’s a slog and it’s supposed to be, but Acolytes of Moros eschew the sometimes lush presentation of their genre in favor of a barebones take that loses none of its emotional impact for that.

Acolytes of Moros on Thee Facebooks

Nine Records website

 

Lime Eyelid, Week of Wonders

lime eyelid week of wonders

As regards recording narratives, it’s hard to beat the image of Traveling Circle drummer Josh Schultz recording Lime Eyelid‘s debut album, Week of Wonders (as in, The Wonder Weeks?), alone in his kitchen. The resulting limited LP is comprised mostly of numbered instrumental experiments in drone and languid groove, save for “I Saw Waves,” which brings to mind some of Six Organs of Admittance‘s far-out earlier fare, but psychedelia holds a prominent sway and if you ever want a lesson in doing something new with familiar elements, look no further than the watery guitar line of “1” or “3,” with its Earth groove gone processional. The 12-minute soundscape of “4” follows as Schultz moves deeper into the realms of cosmic minimalism — that big, mostly empty, galaxy — but “5” somehow sounds even more piped in from outer space, and closer “6” rounds out with swells of high-pitched volume that seem to be speaking their own language in tone. Pretty vast reaches for a record to hit, having been recorded in the kitchen. One awaits further adventures in the follow-up.

Lime Eyelid on Soundcloud

Lime Eyelid on YouTube

 

Tombtoker, Coffin Texts

tombtoker coffin texts

I don’t know if the band’s moniker refers to one who actually tokes tombs or who tokes in tombs, but neither would surprise me. The Baltimorean five-piece Tombtoker unveil their 20-minute debut EP, Coffin Texts (on Seeing Red, tapes through Metal Swarm), with a melding of doom, sludge and metallic extremity that is righteous in its riffs and malevolent in its purposes. That is to say, they mean harm. “Warfare Revolution” and “Robo Cujo” demonstrate that plainly ahead of the centerpiece “Stenchsquatch” with its oh-you’re-gonna-have-to-play-that-at-all-the-shows lurching midsection of death, while the subsequent “Blood Freak” taps Eyehategoddy swing and closer/shortest track “Globster” (3:21) bludgeons its own riffs before a bit of Slayer-style ping ride late adds even more of that metal-for-metal feel. I’d call it promising, but maybe “foreboding” is a better word. Whether they’re smoking your corpse or just smoking near your corpse, Tombtoker bring a welcome sense of chaos to extreme sludge that hearkens to the genre’s original, unhinged appeal.

Tombtoker on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

Metal Swarm website

 

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The Decemburger III: ‘The Greasy Gala’ Set for Dec. 15 in Denver; Uada, Crypt Trip, Bummer & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the decemburger iii banner

I don’t care who you are or where you lie on the political or social spectrum — if you claim you don’t think there’s something interesting about competitive eating, you’re a liar. I’m not saying you have to fantasize about winning the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island, or that you dream of hoisting a trophy over your distended belly full of a 96 oz. steak surrounded by jealous cowboys at some restaurant in the Midwest where you just earned a free dinner for your entire family like the provider you are, but even if you’re a European looking across the ocean and wondering (once again) how on earth Americans can be so ridiculous and so excessive in our disdain for personal health, you have an opinion. You may find it gross, but you can’t look away.

For the last couple years I’ve posted about The Decemburger in Denver, both because I think the lineups have been cool and because DUST Presents, which puts it on, does good work generally, but there’s also a side of me that a little bit dreams of pounding sliders until the trophy below is secured, then taking that home and displaying it on my mantle — note: I do not have a mantle — for the rest of my days, relishing my moment of glory as it once was. I’m not especially proud of that, but it’s true.

That won’t happen, and I know that, but still. It’s a sick, kind of all over the place lineup this year, and even if you don’t enter the contest to get that trophy, well worth showing up to bear witness to whoever does.

Here’s the info:

The Decemburger III: The Greasy Gala

Dust Presents
The Decemburger III: The Greasy Gala
The World’s Only Heavy Metal / Competitive Eating Throwdown

When: Decemburger 15th, 2018
Where: Hi Dive – Denver, CO

Lineup: Uada, Axeslasher, Crypt Trip, Glacial Tomb, Bummer, The Ditch and the Delta, and The Decemburger Slider-Eating Contest

Tickets: www.thedecemburgeriii.eventbrite.com
Eating Contest Rules:
First to finish their plate of 10 sliders wins
Water and cups are provided
Vomiting = disqualification
Interfering with another contestant = disqualification

1st Place Prizes:
$100 cash
Decemburger III Trophy
Decemburger III poster
Dust Presents merch package
Ritual of Sin Magazine package
All the Greasy Glory
and more…

2nd Place Prize:
Decemburger III poster
Dust Presents merch package
Ritual of Sin Magazine package

Sponsored by Terrapin Care Station, Atlas Cabinets, and Ritual of Sin Magazine

Poster art by Sam Pierson

https://www.facebook.com/events/953611728155396/
https://www.facebook.com/dustpresents/
www.thedecemburgeriii.eventbrite.com

Uada, Cult of a Dying Sun (2018)

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Friday Full-Length: Wovenhand, Woven Hand

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I love this album. There are certain bands where I can be relatively assured that, when I write about them, there will be just about no response whatsoever. Wovenhand is one of them. I don’t know if people just aren’t into it or if it’s not a fit stylistically or what, but I already know going into this post that I’m basically doing it for myself. Fine. Still worth it. Like I said, I love this album. As I love very few others.

Led by then-16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards, Colorado’s Wovenhand released this self-titled debut in 2002. It was a departure from the alternative roots Americana that formed the foundation of 16 Horsepower, into a vibrant and varied take on folk, heavy in presence and melody and diverse in arrangement and mood in a way that would become a signature of Wovenhand‘s approach as Edwards took on the central role of auteur and began to explore influences and instrumentation from around the world. In that regard, the 10-track/40-minute Woven Hand is relatively straightforward, with most of its songs working from a base of acoustic guitar or piano, but even in the backing drones, the plucked notes (mandolin, maybe? bouzouki?) and the percussion of “Wooden Brother,” Wovenhand‘s fascination with elements outside the standard guitar, bass and drums was well on display — though of course this was the case in 16 Horsepower as well.

The difference is one of aesthetic and craft. In the brooding “My Russia” or the lonely-banjo cover of Bill Withers‘ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Wovenhand taps into a dark, full-sounding reach that finds contrast not only in the shimmer in the guitar of “Arrowhead” or the hoedown-gone-boogie “Glass Eye,” but also in the relative minimalism of closer “Last Fist” — turn the volume way up to hear the counting cymbal crashes in the otherwise muted-sounding parts — and the echoing vocal showcase “Story and Pictures,” with its soft standout piano line and deceptive depth of acoustic guitar, keyboard and drum. Edwards‘ Christian faith is a prevalent lyrical factor from opener “The Good Hand” onward, framing perspective and phrasing alike — for example, the first line of “Blue Pail Fever”: “Thy will be done here on this highway” — but there’s still plenty of room for earthly concerns as well, as in the corresponding lyric in “Wooden Brother”: “We hit the floor just like a blue silk slip.”

This balance too forms an essential part of what makes Wovenhand‘s Woven Hand such a rich album, but I will gladly argue for the insistent push of “My Russia,” the tension in its masterpiece later-album-answerback “Your Russia,” and the sheer moodiness of “Ain’t No Sunshine” as heavy works prescient of the full-band Wovenhand would become, and that fluidity, toying with different musical traditions and ideas, heft among wovenhand woven handthem, is part of what ties the material together, though one shouldn’t discount Edwards‘ voice in that either. He is the central figure across the entire span of the record, with his compressed voice in the verses of “Glass Eye” — on stage he uses two mics — and self-harmonizing on the joyous “Arrowhead.” That track begins with a sample of a grandmotherly-sounding woman talking about going to grade school for an immediate tap into nostalgia, so Edwards isn’t necessarily the only presence throughout the entire album, but for plenty of it he remains the focal point, whether it’s the gospel resounding of “Story and Pictures” or the interwoven layering in “My Russia” earlier on. Working with Daniel McMahon and Stephen Taylor on the recording, he’s nonetheless more than up to the task of carrying the songs.

And the songs are the focus. Whatever Wovenhand conjures in terms of arrangements and melodies, it is consistently in service to the song in question. The sustained backing melody that fills out beneath “The Good Hand,” the brush snare of “Glass Eye,” the far-back echoing bells resonant in “Story and Pictures,” and the empty spaces without them, all work to making the material more dynamic, open and, ultimately, effective in conveying thought and emotion as well as a broad instrumental sensibility. In kind with this, Woven Hand — or, you know, Wovenhand, depending whom you ask and on what day — functions with two primary salvos: one at the beginning of the album and one toward the end.

Starting out with “The Good Hand” and the turn into “My Russia” helps set the course of breadth in and beyond Americana, an entire musical world at the project’s disposal, and after the meditative “Story and Pictures,” to have the bright strum of “Arrowhead” and its so-alive uptempo kick isn’t just a surge forward later in the tracklisting, but also a lead-in for “Your Russia,” which serves as the apex of the album, driving from a tense buildup of verses into a push of vocals that seems to be the moment of release to which the entire record has been leading. It’s not the end — I’d count the quiet aftermath in “Last Fist” as a worthy epilogue — but neither is its placement accidental both in speaking to “My Russia” before and in providing a landmark for the band that, 16 years later, is still capable of running a chill down the spine.

Wovenhand‘s discography of course would continue to build. Several of Woven Hand‘s cuts were reworked on 2003’s Blush Music, and as 16 Horsepower entered hiatus, Edwards diverted his full attention to his new outfit, digging into an increasing range of composition on 2004’s Consider the Birds and 2006’s Mosaic before beginning to build a complete band around himself with 2008’s Ten Stones, and getting outwardly heavier while remaining sonically adventurous on 2010’s The Threshingfloor (discussed here), 2012’s The Laughing Stalk (review here), and 2014’s Refractory Obdurate (review here). The band’s latest outing, 2016’s Star Treatment (review here), pushed their farthest yet into weighted tones and styles, and as it seems that barring a surprise announcement for a November release 2018 will pass without a new album from them — you’ll note the even-years pace of releases — one can’t help but wonder if some turn in their approach isn’t in the works for their next offering. Though they’ve toured a lot as well, so the timing could just as easily be affected by that.

I don’t know if Woven Hand will hit home for you as it does for me. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. If you’ve never heard it and give it a shot, or if it’s already familiar and you’re coming home to it, as always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

It’s just after four in the morning. Alarm went off at 2:30AM, as it has been for I don’t know how long at this point. Last night I sat on the couch with The Patient Mrs. around 8PM — The Pecan put to bed at 6:30 upstairs — and was falling asleep reading a Star Trek novel while she answered email and worked on whatnot. I went up to bed and called it a night, maybe 8:15PM. Big Thursday. At least it’s dark now when I go to bed. It kind of felt silly over the summer to hit the sack when it’s still daylight out.

A bumpy start to the week, but we got there by the end of it. Before I went to Norway for the Høstsabbat fest last weekend, my prescription ran out, so I was off my depression meds for a few days. Thursday through Monday, and by Monday, I was curled up in the shower wishing my life would end. That sucks. I’ve been on meds at different periods in my life, and I always thought of them as a crutch kind of help you get through it. Not a longterm thing. It’s been 10 months now that I’ve been taking them, and I still can’t really go without for any length of time. What a shitter. My wife and my baby both deserve better.

Norway was incredible though, my subsequent inner collapse aside (there wasn’t really time for such things at the fest itself). Seeing Elephant Tree again, and Asteroid, and SÂVER, who, yeah, I know it’s the dude who runs the fest’s band, but were really one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I was into Tombstones as well going back before Høstsabbat was a thing, so if you think I’m blowing smoke because of the good work being done with the festival, I’m not. Pelagic Records would seem to agree, what with having signed them and all.

Anyway, we had a couple nice days this week in Massachusetts while Hurricane Michael was devastating Florida and the greater Southeast, so I got to spend some time outside with The Pecan before the big winter lockdown comes. I don’t know when the clocks change — nor do I know how that’s still a thing — but we’re losing light each day and soon enough it’ll be dark at like 3PM and cold and rainy all the time for what probably 30 years ago would’ve been December snowfall but now that doesn’t really start until January.

He went down a slide on his own for the first time, and he claps hands now. These little things become a big deal. He’s a pain in the ass, but fun too. I feel ways about stuff.

I should do the notes. Ostensibly next week is the Quarterly Review, but between the fest last week and I’m still fucked up in terms of timing from being robbed in May, I’m not sure it’s going to work out. Tomorrow I’ll know for sure. I’m thinking I could skip it and do a plus-sized one to close out the year in December, though that inevitably comes up against list season as well. Maybe earlier in the month? I don’t know. I’m thinking of these things as I type them. That would allow me to get back on track, rather than be half a month late on the QR as I seem to have been throughout 2018. Will debate, and pending that I’ll actually hold off on notes. Be surprised.

I’m waiting on a date for when it will air and waiting to record my voice tracks for it, but I’ve turned in a second playlist for “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio. Hopefully sometime next week I’ll find out when it’ll air and I’ll let you know. They’ve also launched an archive so you can sign up and hear past shows. It’s five bucks a month or something, which sounds like a lot until I think of the bullshit I blow five bucks on like every single day. Bags of ice and chewing gum. Protein bars. I’d count coffee in there, but that’s more of a life-support issue than bullshit expenditure.

So I kind of talked about it on the social medias while I was at the fest, but I’m going to do merch again. This site’s coming up on a special occasion, and in addition to my own way of celebrating, I thought setting something up tshirt-wise would be a good way to go. Yeah, I said I’d never do it again, and I’m not doing it the same way, but we can talk about that when the announcement goes out.

Alright. 4:30 now. I’m gonna go prepare the ground for when the baby gets up, hopefully not for another hour at least. Or maybe just crash on the couch for a bit.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thanks for reading and have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Love Gang Announce Tour Dates with Wolfmother

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

love gang

I don’t know about you — I mean, really; how are you? is everything okay? you can tell me if not — but I’m pretty intrigued at the prospect of what the debut full-length from Love Gang is going to bring. The Denver, Colorado, four-piece, which shares Shaun Goodwin with The Munsens, made an encouraging first showing in their 2016 Love Gang EP (review here), and just at the end of July, they posted the new single “Break Free” (review here), which was a demo cut the final version of which will reportedly appear on said album. If you didn’t hear it, it’s at the bottom of this post. Dig in.

For all I know, which is nothing, Love Gang‘s LP could already be in the can, mixed, mastered, waiting on somebody’s badass cover art to put it over the top. Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, the band will head out for two quick strings of dates alongside Wolfmother, first this month and then again in November. Maybe they’ll record in between! Ah hell, I don’t know. The point is I’m looking forward to hearing the new one from Love Gang whenever it might show up, presumably sometime early-ish in 2019, unless they get into the whole looking-for-a-label thing, then could be basically anytime between now and anybody’s guess. I bet they’ll have a new song or two in the live sets though. At least probably “Break Free,” if nothing else.

Here are the dates:

love gang tour

Hitting the road this month and November with Wolfmother on these select dates. Check out their page for the full tour. Love Gang coming to a Theatre near you! #lovegangbang

Love Gang live:
09.18 Gothic Theatre Denver CO
09.20 Rialto Theatre Tucson AZ
09.21 The Marquee Tempe AZ
11.05 Paper Tiger San Antonio TX
11.06 Emo’s Austin TX
11.07 Granada Theater Dallas TX

Love Gang is:
Kam Wentworth
Leo Muñoz
Grady O’Donnell
Shaun Goodwin

http://www.facebook.com/lovegangco
https://www.instagram.com/lovegangco/
https://lovegangco.bandcamp.com/

Love Gang, “Break Free”

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The Munsens Post New Single “Dirge (For Those to Come)”; Playing Psycho Las Vegas This Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the munsens (photo by Underground Chuck)

If you go back to 2014’s Weight of Night EP (review here), the trio The Munsens, then based in New Jersey, recorded with Mike Moebius (PilgrimKings Destroy) at Moonlight Mile in Hoboken. The band has roots in my beloved Garden State, but made their way out to Denver, Colorado, in time to track 2016’s follow-up EP, Abbey Rose (review here), out that way with Jamie Hillyer at Module Overload. Fair enough. I don’t know what brought them back to the Eastern Seaboard — tour, family, etc. — to record their debut album, but the forthcoming Unhanded finds The Munsens back with Moebius, and the leadoff single “Dirge (For Those to Come)” shows some significant stylistic shift from the prior outing. It’s an oozing, charred sludgy rollout, not about the heft of tone so much as that of the atmosphere, and there’s a consistent threat lurking just beneath the surface of it. It’s down there at the bottom of this post if you want to check it out.

The Munsens will be at Psycho Las Vegas later this week — hey, me too! — as the PR wire details:

the munsens dirge for those to come

THE MUNSENS: Denver Trio Releases Single From Impending LP As Band Prepares For Psycho Las Vegas Performance

Denver, Colorado-based THE MUNSENS will hit the road to perform at Psycho Las Vegas in the coming days. In conjunction with the festivities, the band has issued a single, “Dirge (For Those to Come),” which is pulled from their recently-completed new LP, Unhanded, which will see release this Fall.

THE MUNSENS make noise from a Colfax Avenue dungeon. Having carved out a place of their own in the much-lauded Denver metal scene, the band’s debut full-length comes on the heels of a productive summer that included appearances at 71Grind IV, Austin Terror Fest, and Electric Funeral.

The band’s impending Unhanded comprises five new tracks, running approximately forty minutes in length. It is the band’s most caustic and critical release to date. “Though it’s roughly the same running length as our last release, the Abbey Rose EP, we were able to put more time into the writing and recording of this one,” issues the band. “For a number a reasons, this release feels like a much more comprehensive effort from us” says the band. Call it what you will.”

Recorded at Hoboken Recorders with Mike Moebius of Moonlight Mile Recording, who recorded the band’s Weight of Night EP, and mastered by Dennis Pleckham (Comatose Studio), Unhanded is being finalized for release in the months ahead, with a release date and outlet to be announced.

The band plays Friday, August 17th alongside the likes of Witchcraft, High On Fire, Boris, Church Of Misery, Integrity, Rocket From The Crypt, and many others. A more extensive US tour will follow later this year; stand by for additional tour and album updates shortly.

THE MUNSENS Tour Dates:
8/17/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas

THE MUNSENS:
Michael Goodwin – bass/vocals
Shaun Goodwin – guitars/vocals
Graham Wesselhoff – drums

https://themunsensnj.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/themunsens
https://www.instagram.com/themunsens

The Munsens, “Dirge (For Those to Come)” official video

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Love Gang Enter Studio to Record Full-Length; New Demo Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

love gang in studio

I don’t know much about the impending debut album from Denver, Colorado, rock traditionalists Love Gang beyond the generalities. It’s their first record. They hit a friend’s home studio to begin the recording process this past weekend and got the basic tracks done. As to particulars in terms of what the album’s called, when it will be out, who’s doing the releasing — i.e. the band themselves or a label — I don’t know. So if you’re wondering why I’d post about something with such an utter lack of news to go on, it’s because there’s a song up. And music is always more important.

The track is called “Break Free” and it’s a five-minute classically-styled riffer recorded presumably live at the four-piece’s practice space. More so than on their 2016 self-titled EP (review here), one can hear metallic roots in the riffing and the gruff vocals, kind of tapping into that moment circa 1975-1977 when heavy rock started to become heavy metal and the NWOBHM began to bubble under the surface. It’s raw — it’s a practice space recording, so duh — but has an appeal through that as well, so seemed well worth sharing, not the least for the shredding solo.

I’ll keep you posted when I hopefully hear more about Love Gang‘s full-length debut coming out. Could be a while, could be next week, but I’m at least glad to know it’s happening and progress is being made. Whenever they arrive, the results will be welcome.

Info and track follow:

love gang break free

Surprise! We’ve got a new track up on Bandcamp from our forthcoming album! Hitting the studio tomorrow, go giv’r a listen!
https://lovegangco.bandcamp.com/track/break-free-demo

Recorded and mixed by LOVE GANG at rehearsal space on Colfax Ave. Mastered by Dennis Pleckham.

Love Gang live:
Aug 06 Hi-Dive Denver, CO
Sep 01 Lost Lake Lounge Denver, CO

Love Gang is:
Kam Wentworth
Leo Muñoz
Grady O’Donnell
Shaun Goodwin

http://www.facebook.com/lovegangco
https://www.instagram.com/lovegangco/
https://lovegangco.bandcamp.com/

Love Gang, “Break Free”

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