Primitive Man to Release Caustic Oct. 6; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

No doubt that when the album arrives on Oct. 6, Caustic will be a well-chosen title on the part of Primitive Man. The Denver crushers-of-everything are giving a first taste of their second full-length for Relapse Records in a stream of opening cut “My Will,” which you can hear at the bottom of this post, and if it’s will they’re looking to show off, it’s a will toward utter destruction. From their 2013 debut, Scorn (review here), onward through a bevvy of splits and the 2015 Home is Where the Hatred Is EP (review here), Primitive Man have done naught but rain terror on those bold enough to take them on, and to expect anything less of Caustic seems like setting oneself up for a skull-cleaving. Especially if “My Will” is anything to go by.

The PR wire provides due warning and heed for the taking:

primitive man caustic

PRIMITIVE MAN Announces Upcoming Album Caustic Set For Release Via Relapse Records; New Song Streaming + Preorders Available

Denver-based nihilistic trio PRIMITIVE MAN returns with Caustic, their second full-length offering of soul-crushing, blackened doom and noise-ridden claustrophobia. Recorded and produced at Flatline Audio by Dave Otero (Cobalt, Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation et al), Caustic is twelve songs and over seventy-five minutes of bloodcurdling howls, abysmal tones, and dense, unsettling feedback spewing forth a cesspool of utter misery. With lyrical themes ranging from political corruption, personal struggle, and the crumbling social climate facing the world today, Caustic serves as a cataclysmic soundtrack for a world gone awry.

Listen to opening track, “My Will,” via YouTube HERE and Bandcamp plus all streaming services at THIS LOCATION.

Caustic is set for release on October 6th on CD, 2xLP, cassette, and digital formats via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital orders are available via Relapse.com HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

Caustic Track Listing:
1. My Will
2. Victim
3. Caustic
4. Commerce
5. Tepid
6. Ash
7. Sterility
8. Sugar Hole
9. The Weight
10. Disfigured
11. Inevitable
12. Absolutes

PRIMITIVE MAN will play a pair of shows supporting Eyehategod later this week as well as Crucialfest at the end of the month with additional dates to be announced in the weeks to come.

PRIMITIVE MAN:
8/11/2017 The Marquis Theater – Denver, CO w/ Eyehategod
8/12/2017 The Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM w/ Eyehategod
8/31-9/03/2017 Crucialfest 7 – Salt Lake City, UT

PRIMITIVE MAN’s music matches its name: a savage, sparse mix of death metal, blackened noise, and doom. The three-piece was formed in February of 2012 by Ethan Lee McCarthy and Jonathan Campos (all current and former members of Vermin Womb, Withered, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire, Death Of Self, and Reproacher).

Despite their primeval, bludgeoning approach, PRIMITIVE MAN wouldn’t exist without their savage awareness of modern humanity: simultaneously old and new, atavistic and groundbreaking, PRIMITIVE MAN stands to redefine current conceptions of hope, faith, and metal music. Years of writing on tour and the addition of drummer Joe Linden sparked a black flame in PRIMITIVE MAN molding the band’s second full-length offering, Caustic set for release this fall via Relapse Records.

PRIMITIVE MAN:
Ethan Lee McCarthy – guitars, vocals
Jonathan Campos – bass
Joe Linden – drums

http://www.primitivemandoom.com
http://www.facebook.com/primitivemandoom
http://www.relapse.com
http://www.relapserecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords
http://www.twitter.com/RelapseRecords

Primitive Man, “My Will”

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Quarterly Review: Novembers Doom, Abrams, The Grand Astoria, Hosoi Bros, Codeia, Ealdor Bealu, Stone Lotus, Green Yeti, Seer, Bretus

Posted in Reviews on July 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

So, after kvetching and hemming and hawing and all that other stuff that basically means ‘fretting and trying to shuffle a schedule around’ for the last several days, I think I’ve now found a way to add a sixth day to this Quarterly Review. Looking at all the records that still need to be covered even after doing 50, I don’t really see any other way to go. I could try to do more The Obelisk Radio adds to fit things in, but I don’t want to over-tax that new server, so yeah, I’m waiting at the moment to hear back on whether or not I can move a premiere from Monday to Tuesday to make room. Fingers crossed. I’ve already got the albums picked out that would be covered and should know by tomorrow if it’s going to happen.

Plenty to do in the meantime, so let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Novembers Doom, Hamartia

novembers-doom-hamartia

Look. Let’s be honest here. More than 20 years and 10 records in, one knows at least on a superficial level what to expect from Chicago’s Novembers Doom. Since their first album arrived in 1995, they’ve played to one side or the other between the spectrum of death-doom, and their work legitimately broke ground in the style for a US band and in general. After a push over their last couple albums including 2014’s Bled White (review here) into more deathly fare, Hamartia (on The End Records) brings 10 tracks and 58 minutes of the melancholy dramas – special hello to the piano/acoustic-led title-track – and gut-wrenching, crushingly emotive miseries – special hello to “Waves in the Red Cloth” and “Ghost” – that have defined them. One doesn’t expect a radical departure from them at this point and they don’t deliver one even as they turn to another side of their overarching aesthetic, but whether it’s the still-propulsive death gallop of “Apostasy” or the lush nine-minute finale “Borderline,” Novembers Doom reinforce their position as absolute masters of the style and give their longtime fans another collection of vital woes in which to revel.

Novembers Doom on Thee Facebooks

The End Records website

 

Abrams, Morning

abrams morning

Not a hair out of place in the execution of Morning, the Sailor Records second long-player from Denver three-piece Abrams (interview here). That has its ups and downs, naturally, but is suited to the band’s take on modern progressive heavy rock à la newer Mastodon and Baroness, and with production from Andy Patterson (of SubRosa) and Dave Otero (Khemmis, Cephalic Carnage, etc.), the crisp feel is both purposeful and well earned. Their 2015 debut, Lust. Love. Loss. (review here), dealt with a similar emotional landscape, but bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen, guitarist/vocalist Zachary Amster and drummer Geoffrey Cotton are tighter and more aggressive here on songs like opener “Worlds Away” (video posted here), “At the End,” “Rivers,” “Can’t Sleep” and “Burned” (video posted here), and “Mourning,” “In this Mask” and closer “Morning” balance in terms of tempo and overall atmosphere, making Morning more than just a collection of master-blasters and giving it a full album’s flow and depth. Like I said, not a hair out of place. Structure, performance, delivery, theme. Abrams have it all precisely where they want it.

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

 

The Grand Astoria, The Fuzz of Destiny

the-grand-astoria-the-fuzz-of-destiny

Dubbed an EP but running 29 minutes and boasting eight tracks, The Grand Astoria’s The Fuzz of Destiny is something of a conceptual release, with the St. Petersburg, Russia-based outfit paying homage to the effect itself. Each song uses a different kind of fuzz pedal, and as the ever-nuanced, progressive outfit make their way through the blown-out pastoralism of opener “Sunflower Queen” and into the nod of “Pocket Guru,” the organ-inclusive bursting fury of “Glass Walls” and the slower and more consuming title-track itself, which directly precedes closer “Eight Years Anniversary Riff” – yup, it’s a riff alright – they’re able to evoke a surprising amount of variety in terms of mood. That’s a credit to The Grand Astoria as songwriters perhaps even more than the differences in tone from song to song here – they’ve certainly shown over their tenure a will to embrace a diverse approach – but in giving tribute to fuzz, The Fuzz of Destiny successfully conveys some of the range a single idea can be used to conjure.

The Grand Astoria on Thee Facebooks

The Grand Astoria on Bandcamp

 

Hosoi Bros., Abuse Your Allusion III

hosoi-bros-abuse-your-allusion-iii

Oh, they’re up to it again, those Hosoi Bros. Their 2016 full-length, Abuse Your Allusion III, from its Guns ‘n’ Roses title reference through the Motörhead riffing of “Saint Tightus” through the stoner punk of “Topless Gnome” and the chugging scorch of the penultimate “Bitches are Nigh” offer primo charm and high-order shenanigans amid the most professional-sounding release of their career. Across a quick 10 tracks and 36 minutes, Hosoi Bros. readily place themselves across the metal/punk divide, and while there’s plenty of nonsense to be had from opener “Mortician” onward through “Lights Out” (video premiere here) and the later swagger of “Unholy Hand Grenade,” the band have never sounded more cohesive in their approach than they do on Abuse Your Allusion III, and the clean production only seems to highlight the songwriting at work underneath all the zany happenings across the record’s span, thereby doing them and the band alike a service as they make a convincing argument to their audience: Have fun. Live a little. It won’t hurt that much.

Hosoi Bros on Thee Facebooks

Hosoi Bros. on Bandcamp

 

Codeia, “Don’t be Afraid,” She Whispered and Disappeared

codeia-dont-be-afraid-she-whispered-and-disappeared

There’s actually very little that gets “Lost in Translation” in the thusly-titled 22-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) of German post-metallers Codeia’s cumbersomely-named Backbite Records debut album, “Don’t be Afraid,” She Whispered and Disappeared. With heavy post-rock textures and an overarching sense of cerebral progressivism to its wash underscored by swells of low-end distortion, the three-piece of guitarist/backing vocalist Markus L., bassist/vocalist Denis S. and drummer Timo L. bring to bear patience out of the peak-era Isis or Cult of Luna sphere, sudden volume shifts, pervasive ambience, flourish of extremity and all. Nine-minute centerpiece “Shaping Stone” has its flash of aggression early before shifting into hypnotic and repetitive groove and subsequent blastbeaten furies, and 16-minute closer “Facing Extinction” caps the three-song/48-minute offering with nodding Russian Circles-style chug topped with growls that mask the layer of melodic drone filling out the mix beneath. They’re on familiar stylistic ground, but the breadth, depth and complexity Codeia bring to their extended structures are immersive all the same.

Codeia on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records website

Mountain Range Creative Factory website

 

Ealdor Bealu, Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain

ealdor-bealu-dark-water-at-the-foot-of-the-mountain

“Water Cycle,” the 13-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) of Ealdor Bealu’s debut full-length, Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain, introduces a meditative feel and a breadth of sound that helps to define everything that follows. The ostensible side B leadoff of the self-release, “This too Shall Endure” (11:04), offers no less depth of atmosphere, and the graceful psychedelic expanses of the penultimate “Behind the Veil” continue to add to the overall scope with interplay of tempo variety and acoustic and electric guitar, but even earlier, shorter cuts like the wistful indie rocker “Deep Dark Below” and the linear-building “Behold the Sunrise” have an underlying progressivism that ties them to the longer form material, and likewise the particularly exploratory feeling “Ebb and Flow,” which though it’s the shortest cut at just over five minutes resonates as a standout jam ahead of “Behind the Veil” and subtly proggy seven-minute closer “Time Traveler.” The Boise-based four-piece of guitarist/vocalist/spearhead Carson Russell, guitarist Travis Abbott (also The Western Mystics), bassist/vocalist Rylie Collingwood and drummer/percussionist/saxophonist Alex Wargo bring the 56-minute offering to bear with marked patience and impress in the complexity of their arrangements and the identifiable human core that lies beneath them.

Ealdor Bealu on Thee Facebooks

Ealdor Bealu on Bandcamp

 

Stone Lotus, Comastone

I can take spicier foods than I ever could before.

One might consider the title of “Mountain of Filth,” the second cut on Stone Lotus’ debut album, Comastone, a mission statement for the Southwestern Australian trio’s vicious ‘n’ viscous brand of rolling, tonal-molasses sludge. Yeah, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Dave Baker, bassist Samuel Noire and drummer Reece Fleming bring ambience to the interlude “Aum,” the slower loud/quiet shifts in “Anthropocene” and the subsequent “Umbra” that leads into the creepy launch of the title-track – in fact, quiet starts are something of a theme throughout Comastone; even the thudding toms that begin opener “Swamp Coven” pale in comparison to the volume swell of massive distortion that follows closely behind – but it’s the rhythmic lumber and the harsh vocals from Baker that define their course through the darker recesses of sludged-out misanthropy. No complaints there, especially on a first long-player, but Stone Lotus are right to keep in mind the flourish of atmosphere their material offers, and one hopes that develops parallel to all the crushing weight of their mountainous approach.

Stone Lotus on Thee Facebooks

Stone Lotus on Bandcamp

 

Green Yeti, Desert Show

I'm not sure if that's an effect of dropping carbs or how it would be, but it's strange.

Even before it announces its heft, Green Yeti’s Desert Show casts forth its spaciousness. The second offering from the Athens-based trio in as many years dogwhistles heavy riffing intent even unto its David Paul Seymour album cover, but the five track rollout from guitarist/vocalist Michael Andresakis, bassist/producer Danis Avramidis and drummer Giannis Koutroumpis, as it shifts from the opening salvo of “Black Planets (Part 1)” and “Black Planets (Part 2)” into the Spanish-language centerpiece “Rojo” (direct homage perhaps to Los Natas? if so, effectively done) and into the broader-ranging “Bad Sleep (Part 1)” and 15-minute closer “Bad Sleep (Part 2)” builds just as much on its atmosphere as on its newer-school stoner rock groove and fuzz riffing. It is a 41-minute span that, without question, speaks to the heavy rock converted and plays to genre, but even taken next to the band’s 2016 debut, The Yeti has Landed, Desert Show demonstrates clear growth in writing and style, and stands as further proof of the emergence of Greece as a major contributor to the sphere of Europe’s heavy underground. Something special is happening in and outside of Athens. Green Yeti arrive at the perfect time to be a part of it.

Green Yeti on Thee Facebooks

Green Yeti on Bandcamp

 

Seer, Victims

seer victims

Let’s just assume that Seer won’t be asked to play at Dorney Park anytime soon. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, three-piece dig into largesse-minded instrumental riffing someplace between doom and sludge and do so on raw, formative fashion on the two-song Victims EP, which features the tracks “Victims… Aren’t We All?” and “Swollen Pit,” which is a redux from their 2015 debut short release, Vaped Remains. Some touch of Electric Wizard-style wah in Rybo’s guitar stands out in the second half of the opener, and the closer effectively moves from its initial crawl into post-Sleep stonerized idolatry, but the point of Victims isn’t nearly as much about scope as it is about Rybo, bassist Kelsi and drummer Yvonne setting forth on a stomping path of groove and riff worship, rumbling sans pretense loud enough to crack the I-78 corridor and offering the clever equalizer recommendation to put the bass, treble and mids all at six. Think about it for a second. Not too long though.

Seer on Thee Facebooks

Seer on Bandcamp

 

Bretus, From the Twilight Zone

bretus-from-the-twilight-zone

Doom! Horror! Riffs! Though it starts out with quiet acoustics and unfolds in echoing weirdness, Bretus’ new album, …From the Twilight Zone, more or less shouts these things from the proverbial cathedral rafters throughout its seven tracks. The Catanzaro, Italy, foursome weren’t shy about bringing an air of screamy sludge to their 2015 sophomore outing, The Shadow over Innsmouth (discussed here), but …From the Twilight Zone shifts more toward a Reverend Bizarre trad doom loyalism that suits the Endless Winter release remarkably well. Those acoustics pop up again in expanded-breadth centerpiece/highlight “Danza Macabra” and closer “Lizard Woman,” and thereby provide something of a narrative thread to the offering as a whole, but on the level of doom-for-doomers, there’s very little about the aesthetic that Bretus leave wanting throughout, whether it’s the faster-chug into drifting fluidity of “The Murder” or the nodding stomp of “In the Vault” (demo posted here) and crypto-NWOBHM flourish of “Old Dark House” (video posted here). Not trying to remake doom in their own image, but conjuring an eerie and engaging take in conversation with the masters of the form.

Bretus on Thee Facebooks

Endless Winter Records

 

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The Munsens Announce West Coast Tour and New LP Due this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Double-tap of sweet news from Denver trio The Munsens. Having just hit the Electric Funeral fest in their hometown last week, they’re announcing both a West Coast tour for July and the Fall 2017 release of their yet-untitled debut album. Expect more on that as we get closer to the release, as the band’s second EP, Abbey Rose (review here), was so readily diggable and I’m looking forward to hearing how they balance the rawness of that with the extra breadth that a full-length context will undoubtedly provide. Slow punk plus doom trip-outs? Sounds like a win either way, quite frankly.

They’re playing with some killer bands on the tour as well — Oryx, Disenchanter, Grey Gallows, Astral Cult, etc. — so all the better for their going. The PR wire brings dates and more:

the munsens (photo Travis Heacock)

THE MUNSENS: Denver Doom Trio To Raid West Coast This July On Plague Of Shit 2017; New Album Due This Fall

Fresh off a standout appearance June 16th at the second Electric Funeral Festival, Denver, Colorado doom metal trio THE MUNSENS will keep the momentum rolling, embarking on their fourteen-date Plague Of Shit tour through the American West where they will continue to support their Abbey Rose release, as well as unveil a couple tracks off their currently untitled debut full-length, slated for a late fall release.

Originating out of their hometown on July 7th, THE MUNSENS will pummel their way through Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona through July 22nd, with some of the standout shows including a kickoff show with Oryx, a performance at Crawfest X in Powell Butte, Oregon – an outdoor festival in the Oregon high desert – and a set at the Transworld Skateboarding movie premiere in Oceanside, California.

THE MUNSENS Plague Of Shit 2017:
7/07/2017 Lost Lake – Denver, CO *Tour Kickoff w/ Oryx, Ghosts Of Glaciers
7/08/2017 Back Alley Pub – Great Falls, MT w/ Empty Gunfight, Jolly Jane
7/09/2017 Old School Records – Kalispell, MT w/ Wizzerd
7/10/2017 The Pin – Spokane, WA w/ Benign, Tsuga
7/11/2017 The Kraken – Seattle, WA w/ Slut Penguin, PissWand
7/12/2017 The Albatross – Astoria, OR
7/13/2017 DI Pizza – Redmond, OR w/ Hocus, Solo Viaje
7/14/2017 Crawfest X – Powell Butte, OR
7/15/2017 Kenton Club – Portland, OR w/ Disenchanter, Red Cloud, Chronoclops
7/18/2017 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA w/ Astral Cult, Yarrow
7/19/2017 Siren Song Tavern – Eureka, CA w/ Ultramafic
7/20/2017 Shea’s Tavern – Reno, NV w/ Thünderhead, American Slacker Society
7/21/2017 The Pourhouse – Oceanside, CA *Transworld Skateboarding premiere w/ Los Micheladas
7/22/2017 Master’s Chambers – Tempe, AZ w/ Grey Gallows, Thrä, Black Habit

Stand by for more updates on THE MUNSENS upcoming live actions and more on their upcoming album in the weeks ahead.

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

The Munsens, Abbey Rose (2016)

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Six Dumb Questions with Abrams

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on June 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

abrams (photo chanelle leslie)

Denver progressive heavy rockers Abrams released their second album, Morning, exactly one week ago via Sailor Records, and immediately set about hitting the road to support it on a three-week West Coast tour. The remaining dates are below, and like what the trio have done with the videos for “Worlds Away” (posted here) and “Burned” (posted here), and even more than their 2015 debut, Lust. Love. Loss. (review here), the new collection seeks to capture the energy that Abrams bring to the stage. Recorded by Andy Patterson (SubRosa, Iota, etc.) and Dave Otero (Cephalic Carnage, Khemmis, etc.), Morning brims with sonic clarity, and balanced with a blistering performance from the three-piece, it not only emphasizes the development they’ve undertaken since getting together, but the varied approach to songwriting that’s been honed as a part of that.

One can readily hear progression in the vocals and the arrangements between bassist Taylor Iversen and guitarist Zachary Amster, who over the propulsive drumming of Geoffrey Cotton bring even more momentum as they trade back and forth in the lead role between tracks like “Rivers” and “Can’t Sleep,” shifting back and forth amid cleaner choruses and echoing shouts. Abrams credit this largely to working with Otero on vocal recording, and it’s an element they share with early-ish Mastodon that comes through more at some points than others, side B’s “Die in Love” taking this core influence and adding an edge of noise rock amid the winding riffery. Along with the clearheaded, crisp punch of the Patterson-tracked instrumentation, this is one more example of the underlying sense of purpose that drives every move Abrams make on Morning.

There isn’t a part that doesn’t serve the greater whole, or a change that doesn’t feed into making a given song better, and while I wouldn’t say they completely avoid indulgences — no one does in this style — Morning works fluidly to justify every turn it presents, and Abrams emerge from the atmospheric closing title-track having reached a new level in craft and delivery.

They’ve been on the road since June 9. Here are the remaining tour dates:

Abrams on tour:
Jun 16 – San Jose, CA @ The Caravan
Jun 17 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Caffe Pergolesi
Jun 18 – Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge
Jun 19 – Reno, NV @ Shea’s Tavern
Jun 20 – Medford, OR @ Johnny B’s Tavern
Jun 21 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s Pub
Jun 22 – Portland, OR @ The Kenton Club
Jun 23 – Seattle, WA @ Lo-Fi Performance Gallery
Jun 24 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Jun 25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club X
Jun 26 – Cheyenne, WY @ Ernie November
Jun 27 – Rapid City, SD @ West Dakota Improv
Jun 28 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Jun 29 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Jun 30 – Des Moines, IA @ The Fremont
Jul 1 – Denver, CO @ The Hi Dive

Iversen took time out to explain the band’s motives and writing methods. Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

abrams morning

Six Dumb Questions with Abrams

What lessons were you able to take from the first album? Tell me about incorporating them into these songs. What did you want to build on from the debut and what did you want to do differently?

Well, we wrote about 50 percent of Lust. Love. Loss. in three weeks’ time after a substantial but amicable personnel change, essentially on the eve of our 2014 West Coast tour. So with Morning, we really wanted to take our time with it. In a way, we’ve been writing Morning, since July of 2015, when the first songs began to take shape. We all entered into the writing process with the desire to create a more dynamic album.

We wanted to be less furious and driving from start to finish, and kind of take people on an emotional journey, though that sounds cliché as fuck. Still, you will notice many more “quieter” passages on Morning, and there is a much wider range to our vocal approach. Vocals were one of the things we wanted to improve upon most. We’re actually, you know, singing.

Talk about the writing process for Morning. How do songs like “18 Weeks” and “Can’t Sleep” come about?

When we wrote the songs, the actual instrumentation, I don’t think we consciously had any idea what we would be singing about. Everything kind of developed naturally in that way. Zach brings in most of the riffs, but we all then work together to make these ideas adhere into an Abrams song. Vocally, Zach and I just shouted nothings for a while. Slowly these nothings coalesced into words and passages that we found dealt with a lot of the same things.

For instance: I went through something like two breakups during the writing of this record, Zach had just gone through a difficult and prolonged breakup of his own, and to top it all off, Geoff‘s mother had just died. We were in a really odd place mentally. Songs like “Can’t Sleep” and “At the End” highlight a lot of that. All of these interpersonal relationships and the pain they caused are lyrically peppered throughout the album. “18 Weeks” is about an experience I had being dragged along by somebody I thought I loved, only to find out 18 weeks later they did not share these feelings. That’s also why, “I can’t sleep in this silence.” What’s beautiful though is I think each of us have our own interpretation of what each song represents. We really needed each other when we wrote this record. We needed these songs. So we made them.

You’ve mentioned duality as a theme for the album, and that “Morning” and “Mourning” are meant to complement each other because of the titles. Expand on that. What are you saying about duality, and what drove you to explore the idea in the first place?

I guess I’m lucky in that I still wake up every morning with a lot of hope for how things are going to go. “I’m going to kick today’s ass.” More often than not though, I lay my head down at the end of the day only to find that it very rightly kicked MY ass. What could have been if I’d just tried harder? Done better? Both songs, “Morning” and “Mourning,” feature that back and forth within them. I forget who mentioned the idea to whom first, but we were very pleased to find that we had all come to the same thematic idea on our own.

So there’s all that emotional turmoil of losing somebody you once shared love with, it’s all over the album. But there’s also these snippets of joy. Life can only be beautiful because it’s so often very painful. So you’ll find in “Rivers” or “Morning” there’s this serenity, this peace, this bright, hopeful liveliness. Yeah there’s a lot of shit about breakups and going insane too, but then for instance, I met somebody right before hopping into the studio and we’re still together. She’s all over the album lyrically too. That’s what it’s all about, you know: Hope vs. Despair. A little bit of good. A little bit of bad.

How does Samantha Muljat’s cover art play into the theme for you?

We presented the idea to Samantha and she just ran with it in a big way. She went searching the woods one morning and found this lonely cabin, not abandoned, but far, far away from anything else. The lonely road leading up past the cabin evokes the thought of a journey. But to where? How far until we get there? The morning light playing through the mist sets such a beautiful scene, but there’s darkness there too. It’s a cold, lonely image, but there’s also warmth and peace throughout.

To me, on the back, the bread represents life, while the fallen leaves scattered around represents death. There is darkness surrounding everything, but at the center of it all there’s the candles casting light throughout.

Tell me about your time recording with Andy Patterson. How long were you in the studio, what was the atmosphere like, and since this was your second time working with him, did you feel more comfortable being more familiar with the process? You also worked with Dave Otero. Who recorded what and how did it all come together?

Recording with Andy for us was like fuckin’ summer camp! We were in the studio with Andy for about a week, and just like last time Andy and his wife Cindi opened their home to us. We’re such good buddies with them, it’s hard not to enjoy every single moment. It’s a full day of rigorous and focused recording in his studio, but we’re so in tune with each other it went slick as butter. As soon as we’re out, we go back to their place and just crush beers, take rips from the bong, make homemade pizzas and watch garbage television. Grey’s Anatomy was last time, and this time it was just dirty-ass reality shows. We all kind of teared up when we were getting ready to leave. It really felt like the last day of summer camp.

Andy recorded all of the instruments, and we laid down some scratch vocal ideas with him as well. We sent that to Dave, and we all ruminated on that from September to October when we entered the studio with him to track the finalized vocals. If Andy was summer camp, Dave was boot camp. The first day he gave us a lowdown just like,”no booze, no smoke, drink lots of water and tea, above all else get a good night sleep.” From there it was a literal nine-to-five job for seven days where our only responsibility was to sing, and sing, and sing. At the end of the day, we’d go home and go right to sleep; absolutely drained and exhausted. But, if anybody can get a good vocal performance out of you, it’s Dave Otero.

He’ll push you harder than you’ve ever been pushed, and he’ll throw in plenty of his own ideas, which are always amazing. That’s precisely why we went to him. We also had Dave do the final mixes and mastering, which he knocked out of the park. That guy is a monster of his craft.

It was great to get two really professional, really talented audio juggernauts like Andy and Dave to lend their ears to what we were trying to do.

I’ve heard Summer tour dates are in the works. Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

Yeah! We’ll be doing two tours this summer. Three weeks on the West Coast, and two-ish weeks on the East. June and August respectively. In July we have hopes to get demos for our third album, for which we already have a lot of songs. We’re hoping to tour on Morning as much as possible, so there’s been tentative plans to hit the southern half of the country this winter. We’ll see what happens. Maybe we’ll finally find a booking agent, and they’ll put us the fuck to work.

Abrams, Morning (2017)

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

Sailor Records website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

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Love Gang Launch West Coast Tour this Weekend at Electric Funeral Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

love gang

The vibe was immediate and strong when Denver’s Love Gang released their self-titled debut EP (review here) last year, basking in ’70s prog/heavy influences while running a four-song gamut from the flute-laden “Can’t Seem to Win” to the classic, Skynyrd-referencing, organ-infused road-song “Highway.” They’ve rightly been tapped to appear at this year’s Electric Funeral fest (info here) this weekend in their native realm, and they’ll be using it as a launch point for a West Coast tour alongside Banquet that will find them up in Seattle and down across the border in Mexico, playing alongside the likes of Lords of Beacon House, Mountain Tamer, Heavy Dose and others.

This I deem to be good stuff. The band sent the dates for the tour down the PR wire:

love-gang-tour

Denver’s heavy prog/blues 4-piece, Love Gang, will be embarking on a 14-show West Coast tour, beginning in their hometown at Electric Funeral Fest. San Francisco rock n rollers, Banquet (also performing at Electric Funeral Fest), will be joining them on the majority of these dates. Going as far north as Seattle, WA and south to Ensenada, Mexico, Love Gang will be spreading the love to all of these cities for the first time. Catch them with other killer acts including R.I.P., Lords of Beacon House, Roast, Pushy, Chief (SF), Sonolith, and more.

Dates:
6/17 – Denver, CO @ Electric Funeral Fest 2017
6/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court w/ Banquet, Heavy Dose, Reverberation
6/20 – Caldwell, ID @ the Ranch w/ Banquet
6/21 – Seattle, WA @ the Kraken w/ Banquet, The Sharp Teeth
6/22 – Bend, OR @ DI Pizza w/ Solo Viaje
6/23 – Portland, OR @ Blackwater Bar w/ R.I.P., Banquet, PUSHY
6/24 – Salem, OR @ The Space w/ Beef Kitchen, Face Transplant
6/25 – Arcata, CA @ The Alibi w/ Banquet
6/26 – San Francisco, CA @ Elbo Room w/ Banquet, Chief
6/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ All-Star Lanes w/ Roast, Mountain Tamer
6/28 – Fullerton, CA @ The Continental Room w/ Lords of Beacon House, Roast
6/29 – Ensenada, MX @ House show
6/30 – Ensenada, MX @ TBA
6/31 – Las Vegas, NV @ Motor City Cafe w/ FreeLSD’s BADTRIP, Sonolith

Tour flier by Kaegan Cotie

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

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

Love Gang, Love Gang EP (2016)

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Electric Funeral Fest 2017 Announces Schedule; Kicks off this Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This Friday in Denver marks the beginning of Electric Funeral Fest 2017. Kicking things off at 4:15PM will be West Coast boogie groovers Lords of Beacon House, followed immediately by High on the Mountain right across the street. I know these things because the festival has newly announced its full schedule for its two-day run, which features the likes of Slow Season, The Well, Sourvein, Goya, Oryx, headliners Acid King and Corky Laing’s Mountain, and many others. I’ve got kind of a whirlwind couple weeks coming up as it is, but if you were offering me a ticket and a flight, I’d have a hard time turning this one down. Looks like it’s going to be an incredible time for those fortunate enough to be there.

If that’s you, I hope you have a blast. Here’s the info:

electric-funeral-fest-2017-schedule

DUST Presents: Electric Funeral Fest 2017

Tickets: www.electricfuneralfest.eventbrite.com
** 21+, All tickets are non-refundable **

DENVER, CO
HI DIVE // 3 KINGS TAVERN

FRIDAY JUNE 16th
The Joint by Cannabis Stage at 3 Kings Tavern
4:15 – 4:50 Lords of Beacon House
5:15 – 5:50 Oryx
6:15 – 6:50 Muscle Beach
7:15 – 7:50 Communion
8:15 – 8:50 Monarch
9:15 – 9:55 The Well
10:15 – 11:00 Slow Season
11:40 – 12:40 Corky Laing’s MOUNTAIN

Hi-Dive Denver
4:45 – 5:20 High on the Mountain
5:45 – 6:20 Smokey Mirror
6:45 – 7:20 Greenbeard
7:45 – 8:20 The Munsens
8:45 – 9:20 R.I.P.
9:40 – 10:20 Goya
10:40 – 11:25 Sourvein
-After Party-
12:50 – 1:30 Glitter Wizard

SATURDAY JUNE 17th
The Joint by Cannabis Stage at 3 Kings Tavern
4:15 – 4:50 Dizz Brew
5:15 – 5:50 Red Wizard
6:15 – 6:50 Feather Stone
7:15 – 7:50 Great Electric Quest
8:15 – 8:50 Barrows
9:15 – 9:55 The Heavy Eyes
10:15 – 11:00 Electric Citizen
11:40 – 12:40 ACID KING

Hi-Dive Denver
4:45 – 5:20 Urn
5:45 – 6:20 Jagged Mouth
6:45 – 7:20 Malahierba
7:45 – 8:20 Love Gang
8:45 – 9:20 Banquet
9:40 – 10:20 Cloud Catcher
10:40 – 11:25 Destroyer of Light
-After Party-
12:50 – 1:30 Crypt Trip

Electric Funeral will once again be happening in the South Broadway district of Denver. Anyone that is familiar with Denver knows that S. Broadway is one of the greatest neighborhoods this city has to offer. In our second year of this event, we have added a second stage at Hi Dive. Hi Dive is across the street from 3 Kings Tavern and easily one of the greatest places to party in Denver.

There is also no shortage of other great bars and restaurants in the area for attendees to visit if they need a break from head-banging. Although both stages are indoors, this will feel like just as much of an outdoor event as people go back and forth between the two venues that will run simultaneously through both evenings. Hey hey, my my, rock n’ roll sure ain’t fuckin’ dying in Denver!

www.electricfuneralfest.eventbrite.com
https://www.facebook.com/dustpresents/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1810211735896531/

Corky Laung’s Mountain, “Theme from an Imaginary Western” Live

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Abrams Post “Worlds Away” Video; Album out this Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

abrams

Leading up to the release this Friday of their second album, Morning — also their debut on Sailor Records — Colorado progressive heavy trio Abrams have thus far issued two videos. The first was for “Burned” (posted here), and then there’s the one you’ll find below for “Worlds Away.” Two. One never knows, but I doubt they’ll sneak in a third before the end of this week, and the reason I bring it up is because both video releases have arrived with impeccable timing.

In the case of “Burned,” it was the announcement that the band will hit the road on an extensive West Coast tour starting on — wouldn’t you know it? — the album’s release date. With “Worlds Away,” the occasion is of course the record itself coming out. This matters because it’s emblematic of the way Abrams work overall throughout the 10 included tracks. They are deeply purposeful. Their songwriting functions the same way in how it is measured, thought-out, and crisply executed. Captured on the recording so as to maximize its overall impact, yes, but geared in its intent toward building a momentum that, by no coincidence I’m sure, begins with “Worlds Away” itself.

That’s right. What’s effectively the last step Abrams take before unveiling the album as a whole is posting a video that introduces listeners to how it starts off. Even this would seem to be the result of the precise manner in which they operate, which one can hear too in the balance of turns and drive in “Worlds Away.” Aside from looking like it was filmed on a really nice sunny day — maybe in the morning? — the clip finds the band outside in the open air performing the track in a spacious environment. You might recall that for “Burned,” they were indoors. Once more, one doubts that’s happenstance.

Enjoy “Worlds Away” below. Morning is out on Friday, and the tour starts the same night. Dates and more info follow:

Abrams, “Worlds Away” video

With new album Morning set to be released June 9th, and with a US tour kicking off that same night, Denver trio Abrams drop the brand new music video for its song “Worlds Away,” off Morning.

Look for Abrams on tour all summer. Zach Amster says, “As always, we are excited to head back to the West Coast! Come out and show us a good time. East Coast, see you in August.”

Jun. 9 — Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground
Jun. 10 — Bisbee, AZ @ The Quarry
Jun. 11 — San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar
Jun. 12 — Long Beach, CA @ Blacklight District Lounge
Jun. 13 — Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar
Jun. 14 — Ventura, CA @ The Garage
Jun. 15 — San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Jun. 16 — San Jose, CA @ The Caravan
Jun. 17 — Santa Cruz, CA @ Caffe Pergolesi
Jun. 18 — Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge
Jun. 19 — Reno, NV @ Shea’s Tavern
Jun. 20 — Medford, OR @ Johnny B’s Tavern
Jun. 21 — Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s Pub
Jun. 22 — Portland, OR @ The Kenton Club
Jun. 23 — Missoula, MT @ Monk’s Bar
Jun. 24 — Billings, MT @ The Railyard
Jun. 25 — Salt Lake City, UT @ Club X
Jun. 26 — Cheyenne, WY @ Ernie November
Jun. 27 — Rapid City, SD @ West Dakota Improv
Jun. 28 — Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Jun. 29 — Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Jun. 30 — Des Moines, IA @ The Fremont
Jul. 1 — Denver, CO @ The Hi Dive

Lineup:
Taylor Iversen – bass, vocals
Zachary Amster – guitar, vocals
Geoffrey Cotton – drums

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

Sailor Records website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

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Abrams Post Video for “Burned”; West Coast Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

abrams

We’re nearly a month out from the issue date for Abrams‘ second album and Sailor Records debut, Morning, and the Denver-based trio have newly unveiled a video to herald its arrival. I’m not entirely sure where the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Zach Amster, bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen and drummer Geoffrey Cotton are driving as they trade back and forth between what looks like a rehearsal space and in-the-van-type shenanigans — maybe to the rehearsal space itself, or the recording studio, or somewhere else in that gorgeous high-desert landscape with the Rocky Mountains behind them — but they look like they’re having a good time, and the song is catchy as all hell, so neither am I inclined to argue.

“Burned” is the name of the track, and it’s the second bit of audio to be released from Morning behind the not-quite-title-track “Mourning” that came with the album announcement. Both cuts acquit the band’s crisp take on progressive and modern heavy well, and if you’re looking to get some representation of the kind of flow Morning has on offer, check out this video first and then go right into the “Mourning,” because it just so happens the appear in that order in the tracklisting. That’s a 10-minute sample of a 43-minute record. Nothing to sneeze at. The video for “Burned” also has the advantage of a dreamy, kinda-sounds-like-SuperMarioWorld guitar-led midsection — at least I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m hearing there; it’s definitely something that was on SNES — and some direct vocal interplay from Iversen and Amster, so all the better to get a sense for where Abrams are coming from this time around.

You can check out the clip for “Burned” via the embed below, followed by more info on Morning from the PR wire and some newly announced tour dates that just came through. Because timing is everything.

Please enjoy:

Abrams, “Burned” official video

Denver, Colorado trio Abrams has revealed the music video for its song “Burned.”

The song appears on Abrams’ sophomore album Morning, to be released June 9th on Sailor Records.

Yearning, driving, and bursting with hooks, the ten songs on Morning summon a soulful version of heavy rock akin to Mastodon, Baroness, and Mark Lanegan. Tracks like “Burned” and the recently-premiered “Mourning” (featuring guest vocals by Phil Pendergast of hometown Denver pals Khemmis) are earth-shakers that veer from bittersweetness to defiance to rage.

Morning was recorded by Andy Patterson (SubRosa, Cult Leader) and Dave Otero (Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation), and was mixed and mastered by Otero.

The cover art and layout are by Samantha Muljat (Earth, Goatsnake).

Look for Abrams on tour all summer. Zach Amster says, “As always, we are excited to head back to the West Coast! Come out and show us a good time. East Coast, see you in August.”

Jun 9 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground
Jun 10 – Bisbee, AZ @ The Quarry
Jun 11 – San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar
Jun 12 – Long Beach, CA @ Blacklight District Lounge
Jun 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Five Star Bar
Jun 14 – Joshua Tree, CA @ Beatnik Lounge
Jun 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Jun 16 – San Jose, CA @ The Caravan
Jun 17 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Caffe Pergolesi
Jun 18 – Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge
Jun 19 – Reno, NV @ Shea’s Tavern
Jun 20 – Medford, OR @ Johnny B’s Tavern
Jun 21 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s Pub
Jun 22 – Portland, OR @ The Kenton Club
Jun 23 – Seattle, WA @ Lo-Fi Performance Gallery
Jun 24 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Jun 25 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Club X
Jun 26 – Cheyenne, WY @ Ernie November
Jun 27 – Rapid City, SD @ West Dakota Improv
Jun 28 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Jun 29 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Jun 30 – Des Moines, IA @ The Fremont
Jul 1 – Denver, CO @ The Hi Dive

Lineup:
Taylor Iversen – bass, vocals
Zachary Amster – guitar, vocals
Geoffrey Cotton – drums

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

Sailor Records website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

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