Red Mesa Premiere “Route 666” Video; New Album Written

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

As announced last month, Albuquerque, New Mexico, heavy rockers Red Mesa started writing material for their next album — they just finished this past weekend, by way of an update — as yet untitled, which will be out presumably later this year also-presumably through guitarist Brad Frye‘s Desert Records imprint. Well, that’s still neat news and all, but again, it was last month, which also makes it last year, which basically makes it ancient history even though the album in question hasn’t happened yet — behold the internet age! — and so it’s onward to the next thing, which also happens to be the last thing.

Yes, before Red Mesa — the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell — set themselves to the task of recording the band’s second LP, they’re giving the first one a proper sendoff. Thus arrives their new video for “Route 666,” the penultimate track from Red Mesa‘s 2018 debut, The Devil and the Desert (review here), which you’ll recall was split into semi-acoustic and harder-hitting halves. As the immediate fuzz riff of “Route 666” tells you, the track comes from the heavy half of the record, and that’s just fine.

The secondary point the track raises in bidding farewell to The Devil and the Desert is that Red Mesa are much more of a band now than they were when the debut was put together. Founded by Frye, the lineup at the time split just as Red Mesa was getting ready to hit the studio to record, so he and producer Matthew Tobias went ahead and made the album anyway with studio collaborators. It was a bold play and it made sense in how the record came out, but with FryeBarham and Cantwell as a more established trio, it seems safe to me to expect a different dynamic from their follow-up. They’ve toured together and done shows both plugged and unplugged, and all that “makes a band” stuff is kind of a cliché at this point, but it’s also true. I’ll be interested to hear how the second record moves forward from the first.

We’ve got a while to go before we get there, though I hear details are forthcoming in a couple weeks or so. In the interim, get all desert-y with “Route 666” on the embed below. More info follows.

Enjoy:

Red Mesa, “Route 666” official video premiere

From Red Mesa’s “The Devil and The Desert” album, ‘Route 666’ is fast and full of heavy, desert rock riffs. Inspired by the old north-south U.S. highway in the Four Corners regions of the United States southwest, Route 666 was known as the “Devil’s Highway”. Due to the New Mexico portion being known as a dangerous highway with a long history of death and violence, and a growing superstition of the highway being “evil”, Route 666 was renumbered in 2003 to Route 491.

The band was also inspired by the gritty charm of Albuquerque, and the weird tales along old Route 66 that weaves through the city. Crime, poverty, and Breaking Bad lifestyles mix with artistic creativity and a hungry music scene that is growing quickly in New Mexico’s only metropolis.

The music video was filmed and edited entirely by Hunter Dawson of Desert Dwellers. This video features Red Mesa members Brad Frye (guitar/vocals), Roman Barham (drums), Alex Cantwell (bass/vocals).

The music video captures shots of the Sandia Mountains that loom over the city of Albuquerque.
The live performance was filmed at the Taos Mesa Brewing in Taos, NM on August 30th, 2019.
The street shots are in Downtown Albuquerque on Central Ave.
The music venues and businesses that Red Mesa frequent and/or partner with are featured in the video such as Desert Records, Launchpad, Sister Bar, Arise Music and Coffee, and Bar Uno, and Monolith on the Mesa.

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Irish Cantwell: bass, vocals

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

Red Mesa on Thee Facebooks

Red Mesa on Instagram

Red Mesa on Bandcamp

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

Desert Records BigCartel store

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Quarterly Review: We Lost the Sea, Nebula Drag, Nothing is Real, Lotus Thief, Uncle Woe, Cybernetic Witch Cult, Your Highness, Deep Valley Blues, Sky Shadow Obelisk, Minus Green

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Yesterday was marked by a decisive lack of productivity. I got there, don’t get me wrong, but it took friggin’ forever to make it happen. I’m obviously hoping for a different result today and tomorrow. You would think 10 records is 10 records, but some days it’s easy flowing, bounce from one to the next without any trouble, and some days you’re me sitting there wondering how many times you can get away with using the word “style” in the same post. Punishing. The saving factor was that the music was good. Amazing how often that serves as the saving factor.

Just today and tomorrow left, so let’s dive in. Lots of different kinds of releases today, so keep your ears and mind open.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

We Lost the Sea, Triumph and Disaster

we lost the sea triumph and disaster

There is plenty of heavy post-rock floating — and I do mean floating — around these days, spreading ethereal and contemplative vibes hither and yon, but none have the emotional weight brought to bear instrumentally by Sydney, Australia’s We Lost the Sea. Across their 65-minute 2LP, Triumph and Disaster (on Translation Loss), the six-piece band recount a wordless narrative of the aftermath of the end of the world through the eyes of a mother and child on their last day. It is a touching and beautiful flow of sentiment, regret and weight that comes through the wash of three guitars and synth, bass and drums, and though 2015’s Departure Songs (review here, discussed here) worked in a similar vein in terms of style if not story, these seven tracks and 65 minutes are wholly distinguished by a willful-seeming progression on the part of the band and a patience and poise of execution as they alternate between longer and shorter pieces that only underscores how special their work truly is. At least the apocalypse is gorgeous.

We Lost the Sea on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss store

 

Nebula Drag, Blud

nebula drag blud

Nothing against the progenitors of the form, but Nebula Drag seem with Blud to pull off the feat that Helmet never really could, bringing together a noise-rock derived dissonance of riff with a current of melody in the vocals and even moments of patience in the guitar to go along with the crunch of its more aggressive points. This inherently makes the Desert Records offering from the San Diego outfit a less outwardly intense affair than it might otherwise be, but songs like “Always Dying,” “Numb” and the closer “Mental” — as well as the album as a whole — are ultimately richer for it, and there’s still plenty of drive in opener “Dos Lados” and the shorter “Faces” and “What Went Wrong,” which arrive back to back on side B and lend the momentum that carries Nebula Drag through the remainder of the proceedings. It’s easy to hear to Blud superficially and pass it off as noise or heavy rock or this or that, but Nebula Drag earn and reward deeper listens in kind.

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Nothing is Real, Pain is Joy

nothing is real pain is joy

Los Angeles oppressive and misanthropic noise project Nothing is Real manifested some of the harshest sounds I heard in 2019 on Only the Wicked are Pure (review here), and the just-months-later follow-up, Pain is Joy, reminds of the constant sensory assault under which we all seem to live. Across five extended tracks of increased production value — still raw, just not as raw — the band seems to be forming a coherent philosophical perspective in “Existence is Pain,” the guest-vocalized “Realms of Madness,” “Life is but a Dream,” “Pain is Joy,” and “We Must Break Free,” but if there’s a will to explain the punishment that is living, there’s not much by way of answer forthcoming in the sludgy riffing, grinding onslaught and surprising solo soar of “We Must Break Free,” instrumental as it is. Still, the fact that Pain is Joy allows for the possibility of joy to exist at all, in any form, ever, distinguishes it from its predecessor, and likewise the clearer sound and cogent expressive purpose. A focused attack suits Nothing is Real. I have the feeling it won’t be long before we find out where it takes the band next.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Lotus Thief, Oresteia

lotus thief Oresteia

If the name Oresteia isn’t immediately familiar, maybe “Agamemnon” will give some hint. San Francisco’s Lotus Thief, with their third full-length and second for Prophecy Productions, not only bring together progressive black metal, post-rock and drama-laced doom, but do so across eight-tracks and 38 minutes summarizing a 5th century Greek tragedy written in three parts. Ambitious? Yes. Successful? I’ll claim zero familiarity with the text itself, but for the eight-minute “Libation Bearers” alone — never mind any of the other immersive, beautiful wash the band emits throughout — I’m sure glad they’re engaging with it. Ambient stretches like “Banishment” and “Woe” and the barely-there “Reverence” add further character to the proceedings, but neither are “The Furies,” “Agamemnon,” “Sister in Silence” or subdued-but-tense closer “The Kindly Ones” lacking for atmosphere. Oresteia is grim, theatrical, stylistically forward-thinking and gorgeous. A perfect, perfect, perfect winter record.

Lotus Thief website

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Uncle Woe, Our Unworn Limbs

Uncle Woe Our Unworn Limbs

Chugging, sprawling, and most of all reaching, the late-2019 debut LP, Our Unworn Limbs, from Ontario as-yet-solo-outfit Uncle Woe — composed, performed and recorded by Rain Fice — is one of marked promise, taking elements of modern progressive and cosmic doom from the likes of YOB‘s subtly angular riffing style and unfolding them across an emotionally resonant but still manageable 43-minute span. The stomp in “That’s How They Get You” is duly oppressive in following the opener “Son of the Queen,” but with the one-minute experiment “When the Night Fell Pt. 2” and jagged but harmonized “Mania for Breaking” ahead of 15-minute closer “Push the Blood Back In,” the record’s tumult and triumphs are presented with character and a welcome feeling of exploration. I would expect over time that the melodic basis and vocal presence Fice demonstrates in “Mania for Breaking” will continue to grow, but both are already significant factors in the success of that song and the album surrounding it, the first 20-plus minutes of which is spent mired in “Son of the Queen” and “That’s How They Get You,” as early proof of the sure controlling hand at the helm of the project. May it continue to be so.

Uncle Woe on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Woe on Bandcamp

 

Cybernetic Witch Cult, Absurdum ad Nauseam

cybernetic witch cult absurdam ad nauseam

Guitarist/vocalist Alex Wyld, bassist Doug MacKinnon and drummer Lewis May have processed the world around them and translated it into a riffy course of sci-fi and weirdo semi-prog thematics across Absurdum ad Nauseam. What else to call such a thing? At eight songs and 52 minutes, it stands astride the lines between heavy rock and doom and sludge in lengthier pieces like “The Cetacean,” “The Ivory Tower” and the finale “Hypercomputer Part 2,” yet when it comes to picking out discernible influences, one has to result to generalizations like Black Sabbath and Acrimony, the latter in the rolling largesse of “Spice” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” later on in the outing and the vocal effects there particularly, but neither is enough to give a sense of what Cybernetic Witch Cult are actually about in terms of the modernity of their approach and the it’s-okay-we-know-what-we’re-doing-just-trust-us vibe they bring as they rush through “Cromagnonaut” after the intro and “Hypercomputer Part 1.” I’m inclined to just go with it, which should tell you something in itself about the band’s ability to carry their listener through. They earn that trust.

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Bandcamp

 

Your Highness, Your Highness

Your Highness Your Highness

Heavy blues meets heavy metal on Your Highness‘ self-titled and self-released third album, collecting eight tracks that divide evenly across two sides of an LP, each half ending with a longer piece, whether it’s “Black Fever” (9:00) on side A or “Kin’s Blood” (14:14) on side B. Through these, in full-throttle movements like opener “Devil’s Delight” and “Rope as a Gift” and in nestled-in groovers like “The Flood” and “To Wood and Stone,” Your Highness don’t shy away from bringing a sense of atmosphere to their material, but maintain a focus on burl, gruffness and tonal weight, an aggressive undercurrent in a song like “Born Anew” — the riff to which is nonetheless particularly bluesy — being emblematic of the perspective on display throughout. It moves too fleetly to ever be considered entirely sludge, but Your Highness‘ 51-minute span is prone to confrontation just the same, and its ferocious aspects come to a head in satisfying fashion as the wash of crash pays off “Kin’s Blood,” shouts cutting through en route to a finish of acoustic guitar that lands as a reminder to release the breath you’ve been holding the whole time. Heavy stuff? Why yes, it is.

Your Highness on Thee Facebooks

Your Highness on Bandcamp

 

Deep Valley Blues, Demonic Sunset

Deep Valley Blues Demonic Sunset

Italy’s fervor for stoner rock is alive and well as represented in Demonic Sunset, the eight-song/34-minute debut full-length from Catanzaro’s Deep Valley Blues. Their sound works out to be more heavy rock than the desert one might imagine given the album cover, but that influence is still there, if beefed up tonally by guitarists Alessandro Morrone and Umberto Arena (the latter also backing vocals), bassist/vocalist Giando Sestito and drummer Giorgio Faini, whose fluid turns between propulsion and swing enable a song like “Dana Skully” to come together in its verse/chorus transitions. The penultimate nine-minute “Tired to Beg For” is an outlier among more straight-ahead songwriting, but they use the time well and close with the acoustic-led “Empire,” an encouraging showcase of sonic breadth to follow up on the start of “Lust Vegas” and a widening of the melodic range that one hopes Deep Valley Blues push further on subsequent releases. Centered around issues of mental health in terms of its lyrics, if somewhat vaguely, Demonic Sunset is a first LP that extends its focus to multiple levels while still keeping its feet on the ground in a way that will be familiar to experienced genre heads.

Deep Valley Blues on Thee Facebooks

Deep Valley Blues on Bandcamp

 

Sky Shadow Obelisk, The Satyr’s Path

sky shadow obelisk the satyrs path

You can toss a coin as to whether Sky Shadow Obelisk are death-doom or doom-death, but as you do, just keep an eye on the bludgeoning doled out by the solo-project of Rhode Island-based composer Peter Scartabello on his latest EP, The Satyr’s Path, because it is equal parts thorough and ferocious. Flourish of keys and melody adds a progressive edge to the proceedings across the five-track release, particularly in its two instrumentals, the centerpiece “Ouroboros” and the first half of closer “Shadow of Spring,” but amid the harnessed madness of “Chain of Hephaestus” — which from its lyrics I can only think of as a work song — and the one-two of “The Serpent’s Egg” and the title-track early on, those moments of letup carry a tension of mood that even the grand finish in “Shadow of Spring” seems to acknowledge. It’s been since 2015 that Scartabello last offered up a Sky Shadow Obelisk full-length. He shows enough scope here to cover an album’s worth of ground, but on the most basic level, I’d take more if it was on offer.

Sky Shadow Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Yuggoth Records on Bandcamp

 

Minus Green, Equals Zero

Minus Green Equals Zero

Following up on a 2015 self-titled the material on Minus Green‘s sophomore album, Equals Zero, would seem to have at least in part been kicking around for a couple years, as the closer here, “Durial” (11:22) was released in a single version in 2016. Fair enough. If the other three cuts, opener “Primal” (9:58), “00” (11:51) and the penultimate “Kames” (10:08), have also been developed over that span, the extra rumination wouldn’t seem to have harmed them at all — they neither feel overthought to a point of staleness nor lack anything in terms of the natural vibe that their style of progressive instrumentalist heavy psychedelia warrants. The procession unfolds as a cleanly-structured LP with two songs per side arranged shorter-into-longer, and their sound is duly immersive to give an impression of exploration underway without being entirely jam-based in their structure. That is, listening to “00,” one gets the feeling it’s headed somewhere, which, fortunately it is. Where it and the record surrounding go ultimately isn’t revolutionary in aesthetic terms, but it is well performed and more than suitable for repeat visits. Contrary to the impression they might seek to give, it amounts to more than nothing.

Minus Green on Thee Facebooks

Kerberos Records website

 

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Red Mesa Begin Writing New Album; Playing Unplugged Set Dec. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

Tomorrow night — nothing like a timely post, am I right? — New Mexico’s Red Mesa will play their last show of 2019, and they’re doing something somewhat different for it. You might recall that the first half of their debut album, 2018’s The Devil and the Desert (review here), was a mostly-acoustic affair, not at all shy about bringing along some lap steel or twangy vibe. Well, that’s the set tomorrow night at Taos Mesa Brewing as the Monolith on the Mesa veterans wrap up their year. Obviously they’ve worked in this fashion before — you might say they made half an album that way — but I don’t know how often they’ve done it live, let alone with their current lineup of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell. But hey, if you’re in the neighborhood, should be a fun one to catch. And if you’re not in the neighborhood, well, maybe someone’ll be kind enough to throw some of it on the ol’ YouTubers. Nothing’s ever really distant these days, you know.

Next month, Red Mesa will begin the recording process for their second album with an eye toward a 2020 release. I’ll be interested to see if that happens through Frye‘s Desert Records imprint or another outlet — they worked with Ripple Music in 2016 for the split The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Four (review here) — but that’s perhaps getting ahead of things and maybe it’s best to let them, you know, finish writing the thing first before sending it off to the pressing plant with this or that logo on back. I’m sure it’ll all work out, and in the meantime, their doing this live acoustic set would seem to be a way of signaling their continued interest in working with different arrangement styles despite Frye having traded out rhythm sections since the first album. However that might manifest in the new material remains to be seen/heard, of course, but it’s something else to keep an ear open for.

Their latest update follows. They’ll record at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque:

red mesa show dec 19

We are writing a new album.

Recording begins in January 2020 at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, NM.

Our last show of the year is at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership.

For this special evening Red Mesa will bust out the acoustic guitars, harmonicas, lap steel, cajon, and tambourine to perform songs like we’re sitting around a campfire out in the desert.
7pm All Ages.

Photo by Hunter Dawson

From L to R: Roman Barham (drums, backup vocals) Brad Frye (guitar, vocals), Irish Cantwell (bass, vocals).

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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Nebula Drag to Release Blud Sept. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

nebula drag (Photo by Chad Kelco)

When I finally dug into it — because I’m late to the party, always — I was genuinely into Nebula Drag‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), and you know what? I kind of dig the track they’ve shared so far from the upcoming Blud as well. Hey y’all, I think I might like this band. How about that?

Preorders are up now for Blud, which the based-in-San-Diego-more-in-geography-than-in-sound Nebula Drag will release through Desert Records on Sept. 27, and the songs “Always Dying” and “We all Want to Know” offer chunky-style riffing and a kind of melodified take on ’90s noise rock that hits a sweet spot of heavy without coming across as stylistically redundant or faceless. They’ve got dates booked out west, as one will, and that includes a weekender in the desert next month that I’ll just go ahead and assume is gonna be a good time celebrating the new offering.

That Vegas date is TBA. Somebody call John Gist from Vegas Rock Revolution! Dude should be on that.

Here’s the album info and the aforementioned tracks:

nebula drag blud

Nebula Drag – Blud

Nebula Drag is a psycho-delic three piece rock band from San Diego, CA. Definitely not your typical Southern California band… Nebula Drag’s music gives a nod to Stoner Metal and Psych Rock—all with a sound that is uniquely their own. The haunting and blistering riffs paired with the thunderous drumming comprises the heart of this band. Add the melodic and spaced out vocals to the mix and let a listening journey of the highest caliber begin.

Nebula Drag will be releasing their second album “Blud” on Desert Records in September 2019. Their first self-titled album was released in 2016, and they also released a 3 song ep “Always Dying” in 2017. The band also contributed to the San Diego Gimme Danger compilation in 2018, released by Fresh Pots Music.

Tracklisting
1. Dos Lados
2. Knives
3. Always Dying
4. Dogs or Gods
5. We All Want to Know
6. Faces
7. What Went Wrong
8. Numb
9. Infinite Vacation
10. Mental

2019 Performance Dates:
9/10 – The Merrow – San Diego, CA
9/14 – Tower Bar – San Diego, CA
9/26 – T.B.A. – Las Vegas, NV
9/27 – Time Out Lounge – Tempe, AZ
9/28 – Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM

Nebula Drag is:
Corey Quintana – Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Varns – Drums
Garrett Gallagher – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/NebulaDragz/
https://www.instagram.com/nebuladrag/
https://nebuladrag.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordlabel/
https://desertrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://desertrecords.bandcamp.com

Nebula Drag, Blud (2019)

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Women of Doom Compilation Beats Kickstarter; Set to Feature SubRosa, Year of the Cobra Members and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The basic mission of Women of Doom — celebrating women as a traditionally in recognition of being a marginalized group both within bands and as groundbreaking artists in general — is noble enough, but I have to think it was the personnel involved in this particular project from Desert Records and Blues Funeral Recordings that led to it trouncing the Kickstarter funding goal well ahead of the end date. New music from ex-SubRosa members, from Year of the Cobra‘s Amy Tung Barrysmith, but Frayle and others — hell, I just saw on Thee Facebooks a bit ago that Laura Pleasants (ex-Kylesa) had finished recording a new song for a yet-to-be-revealed compilation with her band The Discussion; that could easily fit here — and more announcements to come seems like an excellent start and I’ve no doubt the end result will be a comp that’s forward thinking in more than just its approach to issues of gender.

And whatever the inherent politics of the thing, I’m looking forward to seeing who else gets confirmed and how the songs sound when it’s all put together. There’s certainly a wide enough aesthetic sphere to draw from.

Info from the PR wire:

avarice

Ambitious WOMEN OF DOOM Project Announced, feat. Members of SUBROSA, YEAR OF THE COBRA, FRAYLE, DOOMSTRESS and DEATHBELL

Kickstarter for project celebrating female heavy artists surpasses goal easily, with more artist announcements to come during last 12 days

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Desert Records, in collaboration with Blues Funeral Recordings, has announced the concept for its forthcoming Women of Doom album project.

The carefully-curated release will feature new songs from female heavy/stoner/doom/riff/psych solo artists and bands with prominent female members, with the specific goal of spotlighting their immense talent and massive artistic contributions to all things heavy.

Women of Doom was announced via Kickstarter and social media on July 26th, and, after being singled out by Kickstarter as a project it loves, has already surpassed the initial funding goal with about half of the campaign duration left to go.

Some of the artists announced as participating with brand-new performances are:

Kim Cordray and Sarah Pendleton of the renowned and recently laid-to-rest SubRosa, collaborating with their new experimental project Avarice
Amy Tung of Year of the Cobra with a solo composition
Deathbell, featuring Irish doom siren Lauren Gaynor
Rebecca Vernon, also of SubRosa, with the first appearance of her new project The Keening
Alexis Hollada of Texas metal institution Doomstress
Frayle, featuring the spellbinding vocals of Gwyn Strang
More to come

Discussing the project’s genesis, Desert Records founder Brad Frye says:

“I started Women of Doom with the idea to highlight and celebrate the heavy music that female artists have brought us through the years. These are some of my favorite musicians, and I hope that heavy music fans around the world will discover their own new favorite musicians and bands through this one-of-kind project!”

With support and advisement from female music industry empowerment group Women in Vinyl, Desert Records and Blues Funeral will finalize the lineup on the project by end of Summer, with finished songs submissions already starting to come in.

The collaborative release is planned for arrival early next year, with a possible Women of Doom stage at a May 2020 festival being considered as well.

Further info and background on the project as well as personal video clips from some of the participating artists can be viewed on the Kickstarter, which runs through August 25th at this location: kck.st/2Y4RdE3

facebook.com/desertrecordslabel/
instagram.com/desertrecords/
facebook.com/bluesfuneral/
instagram.com/blues.funeral/
facebook.com/womeninvinyl/
instagram.com/womeninvinyl/

Deathbell, With the Beyond (2018)

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When the Deadbolt Breaks & Red Mesa Touring Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You’re probably doing something right when your tour starts at the SX Stoner Jam, which has something like 150 bands on the lineup and will no doubt be the kind of thing that 10 years from now people who were fortunate enough to be there will still be talking about. I mean that. But for Red Mesa and When the Deadbolt Breaks, both supporting releases on Desert Records, it’s just the beginning. They’ll go from Austin to Houston and then kick around the Southwest and the mountains for a 10-day run that unless I’m mistaken marks the Connecticut-based Deadbolt‘s first time out toward West Coast. I could be wrong about that — they’ve got some history at this point — but I’m reasonably certain.

Either way, a lot of the difference between the two bands can be seen in the photos below. Red Mesa are the dudes in the desert, sunglasses on, having a good time. When the Deadbolt Breaks are framed by eerie light in the woods, hands in pockets, staring downhill at whatever it is they might be threatening. Those should be some good shows.

Dates came down the PR wire:

red mesa

when the deadbolt breaks

When The Deadbolt Breaks and Red Mesa announce ‘Path of the Heavy’ tour!

When The Deadbolt Breaks (Psychedelic Doom) and Red Mesa (Desert Rock) have announced a tour together centered around their appearances at Austin’s STONER JAM ’19 on March 14th.

WTDB will be touring in support of their sixth studio album, “Angels are weeping…God has abandoned”. Red Mesa will be touring in support of their second studio album, “The Devil and The Desert”. Both band’s albums were released on the new Albuquerque based record label, Desert Records.

Tour Dates:
March 14th – Austin, TX Stoner Jam ’19 Festival @ Spider House Cafe and Ballroom
March 15th – Houston, TX @ Rudyards British Pub
March 16th – OKC @ Your Mom’s Place
March 17th – Wichita, KS @ Elbow Room
March 18th – OFF
March 19th – Colorado Springs, CO @ Bar-K
March 20th – Denver, CO @ TBA
March 21st – Albuquerque, NM
March 22nd – Phoenix, AZ @ Time Out Lounge
March 23rd – TBA

https://www.facebook.com/WhentheDeadboltBreaks/
https://whenthedeadboltbreaks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordlabel/

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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Red Mesa Announce First-Ever Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

Despite a recent back injury to drummer Roman Barham — who I think I might’ve half-met earlier this year someplace; was it Maryland Doom Fest? — Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Red Mesa will head out on tour next month in support of their 2018 album, The Devil and the Desert (review here). This will be the band’s first-ever tour, and they’ll be out for 10 days beginning Nov. 8 suitably enough at the Launchpad in their hometown before covering a good swath of the sprawling and sandy Southwest, as well as into Los Angeles and San Diego, Las Vegas and so on. It’s a good run and they’re playing with good bands along the way — you can bet that Sierra Vista show is with Fuzz Evil — and there is a date still TBA in Tucson, so if you’re there and can help out, do that. Because it’s the right god damned thing to do, and you know it.

I’ve said as much before, but a first tour is a special time for a band that, like a first album, only comes once. Kudos to Red Mesa on getting out. I hope the shows are a blast.

Dates follow:

RED MESA TOUR POSTER

Red Mesa – First Tour

November 8th-November 17th.

Red Mesa will be heading out on the road this November for their first tour!

“The Devil In the Desert” tour will kick off in the band’s hometown of Albuquerque, NM on November 8th. From there, the band will do a SW/West Coast circuit.
This will tour will promote the band’s June 2018 release of “The Devil and The Desert” album.

The band’s ringleader, Brad Frye, will be doing vocals and playing guitar. Roman Barham, Albuquerque’s local favorite promoter, drummer, and music store owner will be playing drums. This tour will feature the band’s new bass player, Josh Vigil, an accomplished musician who plays bass and flamenco guitar.

The band has booked the tour themselves using the network of bands and venues they have worked with and hosted through the years. Salem’s Bend, King Chiefs, Nebula Drag, Big Mean, Fuzz Evil and many others will be hosting Red Mesa along the way.

“THE DEVIL IN THE DESERT TOUR 2018”
Thurs 11/8: Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
Friday 11/9: El Paso, TX – Neon Rose
Sat 11/10: Sierra Vista, AZ – The Horned Toad
Sun 11/11: Los Angeles, CA – Characters Pomona
Mon 11/12: San Diego, CA – Space Bar
Tues 11/13: Los Angeles, CA – The BLVD
Wed 11/14: Las Vegas, NV – Sahara Events Center
Thurs 11/15: Flagstaff, AZ – House Party
Fri 11/16: Tempe, AZ – Cornish Pasty Co.
Sat 11/17: Tucson, AZ – TBA

Big News! This tour will coincide with the release of Red Mesa’s cover song of “Breathe” for Magnetic Eye’s The Best of Pink Floyd compilation on November 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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When the Deadbolt Breaks Premiere “Centering Through Isolation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

when the deadbolt breaks

In the great annals of the underrated, there has to be a special place reserved for When the Deadbolt Breaks. True, the Connecticut-based doomers haven’t exactly toured the pants off the Eastern Seaboard, but even so, the simple fact that they’ll so willingly move from grueling, lurching riffs into what’s essentially grindcore before dropping to a minimalism crawl of guitar and maybe some drum thud is astounding in itself, let alone the smoothness with which they execute those turns and the mangled grace with which they build back up afterward. I’ve been listening to this band for over a decade, and I still can’t think of anyone else who conjures the same kind of atmospheric malevolence, live or on record. Yeah, they’re kind of underproduced, but this is doom — everybody’s underproduced! This site is underproduced. Seriously. I’ve had the same theme since 2009! The point I’m making is that for a band whose first album dropped in 2006 and whose guitarist, vocalist and principal songwriter Aaron Lewis (also a noted fetish photographer) has seen lineups come and go — currently working with Mike Parkyn and Randy Dumas as he has for a couple years — they don’t even have a proper bio on their Thee Facebooks page.

Well, I’m gonna fix that.

I don’t know if Deadbolt will use it or not, but it’s here and at least I can say I tried. Lewis, with whom I’ve been in touch a long, long time, and I have not talked about this prior, but it’s something I’m doing and if he wants it, fine, and if not, fine. Not gonna hurt my feelings either way.

The original point of this post was 13-minute album opener and longest track (immediate points) “Centering Through Isolation,” the legit-disturbing video for which you can see premiering below. It’s made in honor of the vinyl release of their ellipse-laden latest album, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…, through Desert Records. A CD version is also available through Sliptrick Records. Okay, here we go with the bio:

For more than a decade, When the Deadbolt Breaks have carved a niche for themselves within the interplay of extreme genres. They are no less at home in grind than they are in pummeling sludge or ambient soundscaping, casting forth triumphant riffs or proffering murder-dirge nods at a volume level that can only be considered violent. Led by guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lewis, their four to-date full-lengths read as a chronicle of threat that even unto the Connecticut-based outfit’s moniker tells of some lurking danger in the dark. Whether spanning a massive sprawl on 2016’s 2CD, Drifting Towards the Edge of the Earth, or casting a grim psychedelia on album number four, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…, When the Deadbolt Breaks are immediately recognizable in style and malice, and they continue to push forward into a filth and emotional disaffection of their own making.

Joined on Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… by bassist/backing vocalist Mike Parkyn and drummer Randall Dumas, Lewis brings the three-piece through a cacophony of wretched cinematography. In the dug-in growls of “Sky Will Fall” or the victorious push of “Bloodborn,” Deadbolt make their home in a bleak, murky space that is as much atmosphere as it is impact. In the stretches of “Floyd’s Machine” or the deranged epilogue of closer “Color the Sun,” they expand on the scope set out at the beginning of the record on “Centering Through Isolation,” and the question isn’t so much how are you going to listen, but whether or not your turntable is going to survive the vibrating low end when you do.

As the latest installment of When the Deadbolt Breaks’ ongoing narrative, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… takes them to new depths and new heights, but by no means does it sound like they’re finished or relying on past laurels. Instead, expect them to keep growing and changing, because like that threat somewhere out in the woods at night, their shape is only ever what serves to terrify most at the moment.

Or something like that. Enjoy the video:

When the Deadbolt Breaks, “Centering Through Isolation” official video premiere

Aaron Lewis on “Centering Through Isolation”:

The song was inspired by some old school horror flicks I was watching. It’s pretty much a song about horror. A story about being chased down, not knowing what’s gonna come next, being trapped in the woods in the middle of the night with somebody stalking you. That’s why the pulsing bass is there. Like the old-school movies, where somebody’s trapped in the woods, it’s too dark to see, but as the viewer, all you hear is that pulsing bass and you can just sense their panic. writing the video part it was easy. The ideas seem to fit perfectly together with the song and the actors were spot on. It’s the third video that I’ve written and directed. But this is the first time that I did most of the cinematography as well as editing myself. Charlie Sad-Eyes filmed all of the live shots, and I filmed the story part of it.

When the Deadbolt Breaks live:
Nov 17 33 Golden New London CT
Dec 1 The Rough Draft Hamden CT

When The Deadbolt Breaks are:
Aaron Lewis – Guitars/Vocals | Mike Parkyn – Bass/Backing vocals | Randall Dumas – Drums

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Thee Facebooks

When the Deadbolt Breaks on Bandcamp

When the Deadbolt Breaks on YouTube

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Sliptrick Records on Thee Facebooks

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