Quarterly Review: Spotlights, War Cloud, Rubble Road, Monte Luna, High Reeper, Frozen Planet….1969, Zaius, Process of Guilt, Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk, Owlcrusher

Posted in Reviews on September 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Day two of the Quarterly Review and feeling groovy so far. Managed to survive yesterday thanks in no small part to good music and good coffee, and looking at what’s coming up in today’s batch, I don’t expect the situation will be much different — though the styles will. I try to keep in mind as I put these weeks together to change up what’s in each round, so it’s not just all psych records, or all doom, or heavy rock or whatever else. This way I’m not burning myself out on anything particular and I hopefully don’t wind up saying the same things about albums that maybe only share vague genre aspects in common — riffs, etc. — in the same way. Essentially trying to trick my brain into being creative. Sometimes it even works. Let’s see how it fares today.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Spotlights, Seismic

spotlights seismic

After touring hard with the likes of Melvins, Deftones and Refused, heavy post-rockers Spotlights mark their first release on Ipecac Recordings with their second album, Seismic, which finds the core duo of Mario and Sarah Quintero working with producer Aaron Harris (Isis) to follow-up 2016’s Tidals with 65 minutes/11 tracks of weighted atmospherics and far-spanning melodic textures as shown on emotive heft-bringers like “Ghost of a Glowing Forest.” Heavygaze, I suppose, is the genre tag that’s emerged, but with the opening title-track, the chugging “Learn to Breathe” and the later percussive turns of “A Southern Death,” there’s as much focus on crush as on ambience, though as Seismic makes its way through the pair of eight-minute tracks “Hollow Bones” (wonder if they know the 30 Rock reference they’re making) and “Hang us All” before the minimal subdued drones and melodic effects swirls of closer “The Hope of a Storm,” Spotlights succeed in finding a middle ground that offers plenty of both. In its moments of intensity and its range, Seismic builds cohesion from ether and immediately benefits from the purposeful growth the Quinteros have clearly undertaken over the past year by hitting the road with the dedication they have.

Spotlights on Thee Facebooks

Ipecac Recordings website

 

War Cloud, War Cloud

war cloud war cloud

Bay Area rockers War Cloud don’t get too fancy on their self-titled debut, which they make via Ripple Music as the follow-up to their 2016 single Vulture City (discussed here), but as they prove quickly in the dual-guitar Thin Lizzyisms of opener “Give’r” and the later post-Motörhead/Peter Pan Speedrock careening of “Speed Demon,” neither do they necessarily need to. Comprised of guitarists Alex Wein (also vocals) and Tony Campos, bassist Sean Nishi and drummer Joaquin Ridgell, War Cloud offer 31 minutes of brisk, unpretentious asskickery, riffs trading channels at the outset of “Hurricane” as it makes ready to settle into its proto-thrashing rocker groove, and the mood of the release as a whole engaging as much through its reimagining 20-year-old Metallica as a heavy rock band there as on the more grandly riff-led “Divide and Conquer.” Structures are straightforward, and not one of the eight tracks tops five minutes, but they’re more than enough for War Cloud find their place between metal form and heavy rock tone, and cuts like “Chopper Wired” and brazenly charged closer “Vulture City” nail the core message of the band’s arrival.

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Rubble Road, The Clowns Have Spoken

rubble-road-the-clowns-have-spoken

Rubble Road ain’t hurtin’ nobody. The Orlando-based double-guitar four-piece take two prior singles and put them together with four new tracks as their 29-minute/six-song debut EP, The Clowns Have Spoken, and thereby bring forth straightforward heavy rock that seems to be finding its personality in tone but nonetheless has a strong structural foundation underlying that holds up the material and “The Judge” tosses in a bit of metallic gallop to go with the forward-directed heavy rock proffered on the prior “Galactic Fugitives” and “Gospel (Get it Together).” I won’t say much for the politics of “Truck Stop Hooker,” which caps with the line, “Your mother gives great helmet, baby,” but “Wizard Staff” and “Do it Yourself” broaden the dynamic of the release overall. They’ve got some growing to do, but again, there’s an efficiency in their songwriting that comes through these songs, and as an initial showcase/demo, The Clowns Have Spoken shows Rubble Road with the potential to continue to grow.

Rubble Road on Thee Facebooks

Rubble Road on Bandcamp

 

Monte Luna, Monte Luna

monte luna monte lona

You might check out the self-titled debut from Austin, Texas, duo Monte Luna. You might even pick up the digipak or tape version. You might listen to extended tracks like “Nameless City” (12:53) and “6,000 Year March” (17:42) and be like, “Yeah, cool riffs dudes.” You might even then chase down the The Hound EP that guitarist/vocalist/bassist James Clarke and drummer/synthesist Phil Hook put out last year. At some point though, you’re going to put Monte Luna’s Monte Luna on your shelf and leave it there. Fair enough. However – and I’m not going to say when; could be sooner, could be later — then you’re going to find yourself remembering its massive, 71-minute sprawl of riffs, its doomed-out grooves, shouts, screams, growls and the way its builds become so utterly immersive, and you’re going to put Monte Luna on again. And that’s the moment when it will really hit you. It might take some time, and part of that is no doubt that there’s simply a lot of record to wade through, but whether it’s the rumbling start of “Nightmare Frontier” (14:26), the cacophonous stomp of “Inverted Mountain” (12:04) or the righteous crash of “The End of Beginning” (9:42), Monte Luna will have earned that deeper look, and if you allow them to make that deeper impression with their self-titled, they almost certainly will.

Monte Luna on Thee Facebooks

Monte Luna on Bandcamp

 

High Reeper, High Reeper

high reeper high reeper

Newcomer five-piece High Reeper telegraph Sabbathian heavy rocker intent with their self-released, self-titled debut album. The Delaware-based lineup of Zach Thomas, Napz Mosley, Andrew Price, Pat Daly and Shane Trimble make no bones about their roots in opener “Die Slow,” and as the stoner-swinging “High Reeper,” the doom-swaggering “Reeper Deadly Reeper” and the yo-check-out-this-bassline nodder “Weed and Speed” play out in the record’s midsection, it seems increasingly likely that, sooner or later, some imprint or other will pick up High Reeper for a wider release. As the band demonstrates through the stomping “Soul Taker” and the seeming mission statement “Black Leather (Chose Us)” ahead of closer “Friend of Death,” which breaks its six minutes in half between Judas Priest thrust and an instrumental finish that calls to mind “Heaven and Hell,” they’ve got a keen ear for updating classic elements, and though formative, their first outing is cleverly memorable and an immediately resonant display of songcraft. Now we know High Reeper can engage these stylistic components — the test will be how they develop them into something individualized going forward.

High Reeper on Thee Facebooks

High Reeper on YouTube

 

Frozen Planet….1969, From the Centre of a Parallel Universe

Frozen-Planet-1969-From-the-Centre-of-a-Parallel-Universe

From the Centre of a Parallel Universe is the second long-player of 2017 from Sydney/Canberra’s Frozen Planet….1969. It arrives on CD through Pepper Shaker and LP via Headspin with five tracks/43 minutes of improv-style psych jams following suit from the prior Electric Smokehouse (review here) and helps to bring the band’s funk-infused, spacious dynamic all the more into focus. Also out of focus. Like, blurry vision-style. They range far and wide and keep the proceedings delightfully weird in the three extended pieces “Celestial Gambler,” “Through Hell’s Kaleidoscope, Parts I & II” and “Ancient Wings Taking Flight” – all north of 11 minutes – and with “Signals (Channelling…)” and “The Lady and the Archer” leading the way into each LP side, Frozen Planet….1969 take the time to assure they’re bringing their listeners along with them on their potent journey into the cosmically far out. The must-hear bass tone in “Ancient Wings Taking Flight” is but one of many reasons to dig in, but whatever it takes, From the Centre of a Parallel Universe’s invitation to get lost is not one to be missed.

Frozen Planet….1969 on Thee Facebooks

Pepper Shaker Records on Bandcamp

 

Zaius, Of Adoration

zaius of adoration

Chicago’s history with instrumentalist post-metal goes back as far as the notion of the subgenre itself with acts like Pelican and Russian Circles providing aesthetic-defining landmarks over the last 15-plus years even as a group like Bongripper embraces darker, more lumbering fare. The four-piece Zaius, who make their full-length debut with Of Adoration on Prosthetic Records after two self-released EPs in 2013 and 2011, position themselves more toward the shimmering airiness of the former rather than the latter’s raw lumber, but there’s heft to be found in the expanses of “Sheepdog” and “Seirenes” all the same, and the second half of “Echelon” and closer “Colin” tighten up some of the ethereality of pieces like opener “Phaneron” and the driftingly progressive “Reformer” or the penultimate, patient rollout of “Anicca” to hone a sense of balance that feels as emotionally driven as it is cerebral in its construction. Hard for a band like Zaius to stand themselves out at this point given the swath of acts working in a similar style in and out of the Windy City, but in its textural approach and held-steady flow, Of Adoration satisfies.

Zaius on Thee Facebooks

Prosthetic Records webstore

 

Process of Guilt, Black Earth

process-of-guilt-black-earth

Portuguese post-doomers Process of Guilt hit the 15-year mark with the release of their fourth album, Black Earth (on Division/Bleak Recordings), and with a mix by Brooklyn noise-rock specialist Andrew Schneider, a mastering job by Collin Jordan in Chicago and striking cover art by growler/guitarist Hugo Santos with images by Pedro Almeida, the sense of atmosphere is thick and the mood is aggressive throughout. Santos, along with guitarist Nuno David, bassist Custódio Rato and drummer Gonçalo Correia chug and flow through a linear 42 minutes and five tracks on the suitably darkened offering, touching on progressive nuance but not letting cerebral underpinnings take away from the onslaught feel of “Feral Ground” or the tension mounted early in the 11-minute penultimate title-track, which uses feedback as a weapon throughout no less capably than the subsequent closer “Hoax” affects immediately with its nodding tonal wash. Taken as a whole, Black Earth finds Process of Guilt exploring depths of their sound as much as with it, and the directions they go feel as much inward as out.

Process of Guilt on Thee Facebooks

Division Records website

Bleak Recordings website

 

Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk, Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk

Sundus-Abdulghani-Trunk-self-titled

The challenge for an outfit like Stockholm’s Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk, whose self-titled debut arrives via respected purveyor Kozmik Artifactz, lies separating themselves from the shadow of fellow Swedes Blues Pills, whose semi-psych heavy-blues-rocking first album has cast a wide influence that can be heard here as well as in any number of other bands currently kicking around the Euro underground proffering as balance of soul and heavy rock as songs like “It Ain’t Love (But Close Enough)” and “Like Water” do here. Where Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk most succeed in doing this is in the harmonies of “Black Magic Man,” which brings to mind classic acid folk while holding to a heavy blues vibe, but there are other moments throughout when individuality flourishes as well. The attitude is laid on a bit thick in “Them Dames,” but the hooks of “Sister Sorrow,” “She Knows,” “The Devil’s Got a Hold on You” and “Stay” and the burgeoning sense of arrangements complementing Abdulghani’s vocals do well in helping cast an identity one hopes will continue to develop.

Sundus Abdulghani & Trunk on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Owlcrusher, Owlcrusher

owlcrusher owlcrusher

Conceived by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Spiers, bassist/vocalist Steve Hobson and drummer Damien McKeown, Banbridge trio Owlcrusher conjure three extended, slicing slabs of black-singed sludge extremity on their self-titled Seeing Red Records debut, and it’s enough to make one wonder just what the fuck is going on in Northern Ireland to inspire such outright bleakness. Beginning with the 16-minute “Feeble Preacher” (also the longest inclusion here; immediate points), Owlcrusher’s Owlcrusher lumbers excruciatingly forth with screams and growls cutting through a tonality geared for max-volume consumption, though it remains to be seen who is consuming whom as “Feeble Preacher” gives way to the likewise scorched eponymous “Owlcrusher” (11:30) and 15-minute closer “Spoiler,” the last of which brings the only real moment of letup on the album after about nine minutes in, and even that takes the form of an interlude of Khanate-style minimalist ambience before the rolling megacrush resumes and plods to a somehow-even-heavier finish. Clearly a band pushing themselves toward the superlative, Owlcrusher get there much faster than their crawling tones would have you believe. Madness.

Owlcrusher on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Process of Guilt to Release Black Earth Sept. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Even if the preview trailer below for Process of Guilt‘s upcoming fourth album, Black Earth, didn’t sound heavy as all hell — and tense! — and even if the record wasn’t mixed by Andrew Schneider, whose involvement in just about anything is usually enough to pique my interest, I’d still be posting about this record. Because look — just look — at that friggin’ cover art. Really look at it. The way the branches evoke fingers. The way the cowl turns the those fingers into the shape of a face, the brown leaves evoking death, the contrast between black and white. It’s gorgeous and horrifying. I don’t know who set it up or took the photo — there’s no info included on it in what came down the PR wire — but wow. Genuinely striking. It’s been a minute since I added anything to my ongoing best artwork of 2017 list, but this gets right on there. It doesn’t even have the album title on it. What, like you’re gonna look at this once and forget who it is? Awesome.

Details of the release follow. Click the image to enlarge for a somewhat better look:

process of guilt black earth

Process of Guilt Reveal New Album Details

Portuguese doom-merchants Process Of Guilt have announced the full details of their fourth full-length album entitled “Black Earth”.

Dealing with the presence and function of men in the planet, “Black Earth” is five tracks spanning nearly 45-minutes of expertly crafted of monolithic and gargantuan doom/post-metal.

Just like its predecessor, “Faemin”, the new album was once again mixed by Andrew Schneider at Acre in NYC (renowned for his work with such bands as Unsane, Julie Christmas, Cave In or Rosetta) and mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room LLC – Music Mastering, in Chicago (Wovenhand, Eyehategod, Minsk…) and is set for release on September 22th via Bleak Recordings and Division Records. A complete tracklisting and the album cover is included below.

1.(No) Shelters
2.Feral Ground
3.Servant
4.Black Earth
5.Hoax

http://www.processofguilt.com
https://www.facebook.com/processofguilt
http://bleakrecordings.com
http://www.divisionrecords.com

Process of Guilt, Black Earth teaser

Tags: , , , , ,

Closet Disco Queen Stream Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

closet-disco-queen

Swiss instrumentalist duo Closet Disco Queen release their new EP, Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums, this Friday, April 7. Out through Crazysane Records, Unquiet Records and Division Records all at once, it’s the second offering from the guitar/drum two-piece of Jonathan Nido and Luc Hess behind their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and in addition to the multitude of labels, it comes accompanied by a multitude of live dates the band will play across Europe, including a slot among the enviable lineup of Desertfest London 2017.

Nido and Hess‘ progressive pedigree has been well noted in the past — their affiliations with The Ocean, among others — and that continues to be a factor throughout the three songs of Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums as well, though the band seem to want to cloak it in a “we’re just here to have a good time” kind of vibe. Nothing against that, and indeed, “Ninjaune” (6:37), “El Moustachito” (3:57) and “Délicieux” (6:14) are a good time, but while their moniker and titles come across as tongue-in-cheek, there’s much more to Closet Disco Queen‘s presentation than tossoffs or screwing around. From the ambient opening of “Ninjaune” to the graceful linear build that ensues, the EP sets in motion an album-style flow that’s nothing if not purposeful.

Of course, it’s only about 17 minutes long, so Hess and Nido don’t have quite the same amount of roomcloset-disco-queen-sexy-audio-deviance-for-punk-bums to stretch out as they did on the prior full-length, but with flourish of keys/effects and driving payoff rhythms, they make the most of what they’ve got. Beginning with “Ninjaune,” which is the longest track in addition to the opener (immediate points), they set up a subtly patient, still duly stylized motion of turns and winds, rhythmically tight and gradually increasing in volume as it goes until after about four minutes in, they arrive at a start-stop progression that hints at just how far they’re willing to push this time out. Somewhat more raucous from the start, “El Moustachito” picks up from there and might be from whence the notion of “punk” in the EP title comes, but while the movement is more forward-directed, it by no means comes through as oversimplified or lacking in breadth.

Rather, it’s just shorter and more up front in its groove. Less direct than, say, Karma to Burn, but more direct than either “Ninjaune” or the subsequent “Délicieux,” though the closer has its thrust as well, toying somewhat with the linearity of the leadoff track but ultimately working toward something else structurally. One hesitates to call it “verse/chorus” when there aren’t vocals to provide either, but there’s definitely a hook, and Closet Disco Queen make their way fluidly toward a rousing finish marked out by Hess‘ crash and a suitably bouncing riff from Nido that seems to come to a head just as they get to the last minute of the song, only to stop and revive itself on a faster course, ending cold but with maximum energy.

Is that “sexy audio deviance?” Is it “for punk bums?” I don’t know. It seems like well structured semi-progressive heavy instrumental rock to me, and I kind of think Closet Disco Queen are underselling how much they put into their craft. But that works out to be part of the charm of the release — not necessarily a humility, but the fact that Nido and Hess have clearly made such an effort with this material and that they’re still willing to present it in a way that highlights the raw enjoyment aspect of both the creation and the listening experience. One expects they’ll keep moving forward in terms of sound, but so long as they can remember to have this kind of fun, Closet Disco Queen should only become more distinct as a part of that process.

Please enjoy a full stream of Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums below, followed by some words from Nido about the EP and hints of future changes to come, as well as Closet Disco Queen‘s upcoming tour dates.

Goes like this:

Jona Nido on Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums:

All three songs from the new EP have been written in the last six months up to a year. That means before recording them, we have played them live a good hundred times. When we recorded the debut album, we had two days to write 75 percent of the songs and record them in live conditions. If you listen to the songs live the way we play them now, there is only few to do with the atmosphere you’ll find on the album.

On the debut album we had no idea how we wanted to sound and went with the flow. Now after all these tours we both know what we like for this band and how we want it to sound on record as well as on stage. It was a long but very constructive process. We also narrowed our sound towards a more straightforward heavy rock. I also think that this is maybe the end of an era for this band. I’m not sure how many more songs we’ll be able to write as a two-piece and not repeat ourselves…

PREORDER-LINK: http://smarturl.it/CDQ

CLOSET DISCO QUEEN live:
Apr 04 MS-Loretta Celle, Germany
Apr 07 Zorrock La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland
Apr 08 Chez Marie Lovens, Switzerland
Apr 14 Port-Franc Sion, Switzerland
Apr 20 Kon-Tiki Zurich, Switzerland
Apr 21 Le Cirque Electrique Paris, France
Apr 22 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Apr 25 La Machine Nancy, France
Apr 26 PDZ Besancon, France
Apr 27 MAC DAID’S Le Havre, France
Apr 28 DesertFest (The Dev, free entry) London, United Kingdom
May 18 Trendkill Music Store Vitrolles, France
May 19 Raymond Bar Clermont-Ferrand, France
May 20 L’Hexagone Bourges, France
May 27 Brasserie BFM Saignelégier, Switzerland
Jun 07 L’Amalgamme Yverdon, Switzerland
Jun 16 Festineuch Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Closet Disco Queen is:
Jona Nido – guitar
Luc Hess – drums

Closet Disco Queen on Thee Facebooks

Division Records on Thee Facebooks

Division Records website

Crazysane Records on Thee Facebooks

Crazysane Records website

Unquiet Records on Thee Facebooks

Unquiet Records website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Closet Disco Queen: Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

closet disco queen

By the time you’re finished wrapping your head around the title Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums, Swiss instrumental duo Closet Disco Queen are finished running through the three tracks of the EP itself. Fair enough that the two-piece would get somewhat cumbersome and imbue the title of the follow-up to their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) with plenty of charm; after all, they’ve got three labels to please in Crazysane Records, Unquiet Records and Division Records, and if you’re keeping tabs, that’s one per cut on the release. Not, by any definition, too shabby as far as backing goes.

Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums will be out April 7 through the aforementioned imprints, and it’s available to preorder now as the PR wire dutifully informs. If you’re feeling bold and not having quite a manic-enough morning/afternoon/evening, you can also stream the head-turning “Délicieux.” Just don’t be fooled by the initial calm as you make your way into the song.

Art, info, links, audio. That’s how we do:

closet-disco-queen-sexy-audio-deviance-for-punk-bums

Closet Disco Queen Announce New EP; Share New Song

Swiss instrumental psychedelic rockers Closet Disco Queen, formed by members of Coilguns and The Ocean, have announced a new EP entitled “Sexy Audio Deviance For Punk Bums”. The three-track EP is set for release on April 7th through Crazysane Records, Division Records and Unquiet Records and further continues the duo’s exploration of 70s instrumental and progressive kraut-rock started on their 2015’s self-titled debut.

“Sexy Audio Deviance For Punk Bums” was engineered & recorded by Karim Pandolfo at Hummus Lab in La Chaux-de-Fonds and mixed & mastered by Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm. Pre-orders are now available here.

Forged in the darkest recesses of the mind, Closet Disco Queen is the diabolical offspring of Jona Nido and Luc Hess, two musicians who have traipsed to the very borders of insanity with such unique musical entities as Coilguns, Kunz and The Ocean and yet lived to tell the tale. Spawned in 2014 as a means to plug a gap in a festival line up, the sole aspiration of these Swiss degenerates is to live the Spinal Tap dream: playing perpetually at 11 to audiences scattered far and wide across the globe and to this end they have already blazed a trail across Asia and Russia, not to mention decimating Baroness’ audiences during a sweaty tour of Europe.

Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums tracklisting:
1. Ninjaune
2. El Moustachito
3. Délicieux

Closet Disco Queen is:
Jona Nido – guitar
Luc Hess – drums

https://www.facebook.com/closetdiscoqueen
https://www.facebook.com/divisionrecs
https://www.facebook.com/crazysanerecords
https://www.facebook.com/UnquietRecords
http://www.divisionrecords.com
http://crazysanerecords.com
http://unquietrecords.com

Tags: , , , , , ,

Closet Disco Queen Premiere “Hey Sunshine!” from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on May 11th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

closet disco queen

The key is movement, except of course when it isn’t. It’s kind of hard to explain, but that seems to be the idea behind the upcoming self-titled debut LP from Closet Disco Queen, the newly arrived duo of guitarist Jona Nido and drummer Luc Hess, the latter also of Red Kunz and formerly the Ocean Collective. From Fatso Jetson-style jazzy spaciousness in “Hey Sunshine!” to the grand post-rock heft of “Black Saber,” they seem bent on sharp turns, on-a-dime twists and in songs like “Catch You on the Flip Side,” go, go, go. Even a droner like “What’s Your 20?” seems to want you to hurry up and wait, a tension underlying that finds its release in the nod-ready angular riffing of “Caposhi,” which follows and leads the way into the aforementioned “Catch You on the Flip Side,” the first of two extended cuts positioned to close their respective vinyl halves.

And one can tell from the moniker under which Nido and Hess operate, their song titles and the ain’t-nuthin’-but-a-party vibe they put out that it’s all supposed to be taken very lightly, like the two just got together and tossed this stuff in a pot to see how it boiled down. It’s a classic misdirect. Closet Disco Queen are waving party rock in your face and meanwhile, up their other sleeve is a textured progressive rollout, so that “What’s Your 20?” or side B’s more contemplative “IYD (In Your Dreams)” and 12-minute closer “Black closet disco queen closet disco queenSaber” push into ambience rare for a duo but engaging through layers of keys, drone wash and of course a feverish bout of distortion. Granted, that turn comes after “The Shag Wag,” which seems to be the name of the central riff as much as the song itself and is missing only a Chubby Checker-type hook to turn it into the dance craze of some alternate dimension, but that’s just the misdirection at work. Nido and Hess are offering a richer experience than they let on, and while it’s got plenty of boogie to match the stated intent, there’s a hidden door behind which one finds a whole other kind of party.

In the end, that only makes the album a more fascinating listen, because since the whole idea of the band is Closet Disco Queen, which as they put it is telling the story of a good girl who’s secretly bad, they’re essentially masking their own purposes in the same way. Granted, Closet Progressive Heavy Rock Duo would be nowhere near as catchy a name, but with the flow they enact between their self-titled’s seven tracks and the range they show in the process, it would fit all the same. Yeah, it’s a good time, but if you just take it as fluff, you’re missing out on the solid foundation beneath.

Closet Disco Queen will release Closet Disco Queen on June 12 through Hummus RecordsDivision Records and This Charming Man Records, with the promise of a European tour to come. Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Hey Sunshine!” for streaming, and you’ll find it on the player below, followed by more info on the album, and a special drum cam video of Hess during the recording. Please enjoy:

CLOSET DISCO QUEEN announces the release of their self-titled debut album due to be released on June 12th

via Hummus Records, Division Records, and This Charming Man Records

Jona Nido and Luc Hess (Coilguns, KUNZ, The Ocean, The Fawn, Schwarz, etc.) have a new hot friend. She came out of her auntie’s closet and will ruin your teenage disco. The loudest cheerleader you’ve ever seen – barely dressed and roughly combed, queue jumping everyone at the entrance of the club. Here she comes, out of nowhere and without warning, carried around by two of the sexiest bodyguards – like she always belonged. Fact is that girl can dance. She dares. She rocks. Odd and weird, charming enough to turn any of her nights into a freak show. We all knew these two guys were party animals, but this band will bring them to a whole new level of frenzy. That CLOSET DISCO QUEEN delivers 70’s instrumental psycheledic kraut rock’n’roll progressive beats for your ass to shake and your shoes to burn. Huuuh, you nasty girl.

Guitar players are sissies and Jona Nido is a dancing queen. A fairly secret one though, who hides his riffs like we all do with W’s in our granny scrabble bag. “Nah, this can’t be a serious tune. Nah, I have a hyperactive record label to run almost by myself. Nah, I already have three awesome bands to tour with. Nah, I would really need to be too drunk to play it live. Nah. Pink leggings would shrink my lovely booty ass.” Any reason was good to keep all of this six strings epicness in its closet. But then came Luc Hess, the undestructible rock beats and vodka shots machine, and he said : dude, we need a trick to party more. This trick, don’t call it a band, became CLOSET DISCO QUEEN and by the way all of their sounds are excellent, truely experimental and one-of-a-kind classics. Also, if proof was needed, Jona Nido is the freakiest guitar player in town

The band will also embark on a European tour from June 19th to July 6th. Full list of shows to be announced soon.

Tracklist:
01 Hey Sunshine!
02 What’s Your 20?
03 Caposhi
04 Catch You On The Flip Side
05 The Shag Wag
06 IYD (In Your Dreams)
07 Black Saber

Credits:
Engineered by Boris Gerber and Raphaël Bovey
Recorded live at Bikini Test, La Chaux-de-Fonds, CH by Jona Nido and Luc Hess
Mixed by Raphale Bovey at MyRoom Studio, Lausanne, CH
Mastered by Magnus Lindberg at Magnus Lindberg Productions, Stockholm, SWE
Artwork by David Haldimann (https://www.facebook.com/davidhaldimannart)
Photographs by Stan Of Persia (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanofpersia/)
Videos by Camille de Pietro

Closet Disco Queen, “Hey Sunshine!” Drum Cam

Closet Disco Queen on Thee Facebooks

Preorder at Hummus Records

Preorder at Division Records

Preorder at This Charming Man Records

Tags: , , , , , ,

Video Premiere: Red Kunz Perform “Four Good Reasons” Live in Switzerland

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 28th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time that the bassists and drummers of Red Fang and Kunz (also ex-The Ocean) came together to perform in front of an audience as Red Kunz. Of course, their debut EP, Teeth, Hair and Skin, was tracked live, as we learned in the video premiere of the session two weeks ago, but this gig at Le Romandie in Lausanne, Switzerland, seems to be it for live shows for the time being, though the two component bands — Red Fang and Kunz — have several shows lined up for August, and I guess there’s a chance Red Kunz could get some stage time in there as well.

The song in the video is “Four Good Reasons,” third of the four tracks on Teeth, Hair and Skin, which is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. As you can see, Kunz‘s Louis Jucker and Red Fang‘s Aaron Beam share vocal duties while drummers Luc Hess and John Sherman tear up their drums behind. A catchy, upbeat heavy rock push ensues, interrupted only by a feedback-soaked, noisy bridge, and though the track is under four minutes long, its momentum is undeniable. And the crowd — which had never heard this or anything else Red Kunz played that night back in January — would seem to agree.

Teeth, Hair and Skin is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. Special thanks to both labels for letting me host this second premiere, and even more thanks to you for checking it out. The only reason I’m able to do things like this is because you take the time to listen/watch. It is hugely appreciated.

Enjoy:

Red Kunz, “Four Good Reasons” Live

Red Kunz is a project that gathers RED FANG (Aaron Beam and John Sherman) and KUNZ (Louis Jucker and Luc Hess – ex-THE OCEAN, COILGUNS).

PRE-ORDER (release date august 15th 2014) visit:

http://hummus-records.com/portfolio/red-kunz/

http://divisionrecords.bigcartel.com/product/red-kunz-red-fang-kunz-teeth-hair-skin-lp

The whole HUMMUS RECORDS catalog is available for free here: http://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com

Not sure whether RED KUNZ will be performing, but RED FANG and KUNZ will play the following shows together:

2014
Aug 1st — Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Aug 3rd — Le Grillen, Colmar, France
Aug 12th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 13th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 15th — Rock Altitude Festival, Le Locle, Suisse

Red Kunz on Thee Facebooks

Kunz website

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Hummus Records website

Division Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

PREMIERE: Watch Red Kunz Record Teeth, Hair and Skin Debut LP Live

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 15th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

In January, bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam and drummer John Sherman of Portland, Oregon, heavy rock forerunners Red Fang flew to Switzerland after appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. There, they met up with drummer Luc Hess and bassist/baritone guitarist/vocalist Louis Jucker, also known as the duo Kunz and also the rhythm section of The Ocean, to record an album together. Thus emerged Red Kunz.

You can read below the day-by-day breakdown of how it happened over the course of the week, but what’s staggering about the results on their Division Records/Hummus Records debut LP, Teeth, Hair and Skin, is both how fresh the material sound and also how solid and tight Red Kunz are as a band. You’d figure Jucker and Hess would work well together, and Beam and Sherman likewise, but on Teeth, Hair and Skin it’s all four of them. It doesn’t sound like two bass/drum duos jamming out at the same time. It sounds like a four-piece band who’ve been playing together for years.

I think even they must’ve been surprised, since the instrumental tracks they recorded live that you can see in the video below wound up as the final takes for the album, with Beam and Jucker putting their vocals on afterwards. No argument though. With the performances they give here — you’ll note Beam is set up in front of Hess and Jucker in front of Sherman — Red Kunz managed to capture a spontaneity that works exceedingly well with the upbeat bounce of the five songs, “Transatlantic,” “The Beggar,” “Four Good Reasons,” “Prisms” and “Teeth, Hair and Skin,” while still getting a full and clear sound.

Teeth, Hair and Skin is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. Much more info follows the clip below, including pre-order links, but for now, enjoy the making of Red Kunz‘s debut as it happened:

TEETH, HAIR & SKIN will be released on August 15th.

Red Kunz is a project that gathers RED FANG (Aaron Beam and John Sherman) and KUNZ (Louis Jucker and Luc Hess – ex-THE OCEAN, COILGUNS).

This was shot on wednesday january 15th. Although it was not meant to be, these are the final versions you can find on the record. Vocals were recorded the day after so this is completely instrumental.

Filmed and edited by Camille De Pietro & Nathan Jucker (Le Manoir)

PRE-ORDER (release date august 15th 2014) visit:

http://hummus-records.com/portfolio/red-kunz/

http://divisionrecords.bigcartel.com/product/red-kunz-red-fang-kunz-teeth-hair-skin-lp

The whole HUMMUS RECORDS catalog is available for free here: http://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com

Not sure whether RED KUNZ will be performing, but RED FANG and KUNZ will play the following shows together:

2014
Aug 1st — Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Aug 3rd — Le Grillen, Colmar, France
Aug 12th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 13th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 15th — Rock Altitude Festival, Le Locle, Suisse

Good records sometimes need to go that easy:

Saturday, January 11th 2014 : Aaron Beam and John Sherman “RED FANG” fly to Switzerland straight after the band’s performance at the famous Letterman Show in New York to meet Louis Jucker and Luc Hess “KUNZ” at the airport. The 4 guys drive to Lausanne, straight to the venue LE ROMANDIE, put their two bass amps and drums on stage, then go out for a beer in a funny local cover bands festival.

Sunday 12th, They write 4 songs in the deserted venue and go to sleep.

Monday 13th, a whole crew of video makers, graphic designers and other creative minds set up its camp in the club’s backstage. Mission is to get the most work done within a week.

Tuesday 14th, Everyone is super pumped and party a little too hard.

Wednesday 15th, The band spends the day tracking songs, goes out for a walk, buys a small acoustic guitar in a pawn shop, comes back to the club, plays the tunes again in front of the crew’s cameras and decides to keep these takes as the final ones.

Thursday 16th, Aaron and Louis write vocal lines and lyrics in Jucker’s attic studio. John and Luc drink beers and eat pizzas.

Friday 17th, The whole town is gathered in a packed venue to see the new born RED KUNZ playing their first record : TEETH, HAIR AND SKIN, 20 minutes of raw bass riffing and double drums battles that somehow manage to sound like proper catchy songs. Fact is that they were all conceived and taped within a single and cool week of friendship, beers, and jams.

Red Kunz on Thee Facebooks

Kunz website

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Hummus Records website

Division Records website

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,