Dozer Post More 20th Anniversary Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dozer live in 2013

This is the fifth clip posted in Swedish heavy rockers Dozer‘s 20th anniversary series (the others are here and here), and it only underscores how viciously badass they’ve been and for how long. The track “Octanoid” comes from their 2001 second album, Madre de Dios, and is a prime example. Then the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, guitarist Tommi Holappa, bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Erik Bäckwall, Dozer tore into the foundations of post-Kyuss desert rock at a constant fifth gear, their forward momentum steamrolling the sand with enough heat and pressure to turn it into glass. As the follow-up to their 2000 debut, In the Tail of a Comet, the Man’s Ruin Records release would solidify the energy that has come to define Dozer‘s output, regardless of where their sound has progressed through the years.

In that way, it’s fitting that they should mark their 20th anniversary with a bunch of live videos, since the vitality they bring to the stage bleeds through these clips so clearly and is such a huge part of what they do. It would continue to be as Dozer made their way through 2002’s Call it Conspiracy, 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008’s Beyond Colossal, and no doubt it would still be if they got around to making a new record. I wouldn’t expect that this year, with Holappa and Rockner offering up a new Greenleaf album later this month and touring heavily to support it, but Dozer keep playing fests and periodic other gigs, so who knows? Maybe 2017? 2018? Could happen anytime, really.

Enjoy “Octanoid.” Not sure how long Dozer are going with the series, but if they want to keep it up for the year, that’s cool with me:

Dozer, “Octanoid” live in Finland, 2002

20 years is a long time but it sometimes feels as yesterday when we started the band back in 1995. In the following weeks we´ll be putting up some live footage from these past 20 years, recorded with a simple camcorder, so bear with us that the audio and video is not top notch. We enjoyed watching these old vids anyway and hope you do too.

Octanoid live in Finland 2002.

Dozer on Thee Facebooks

Dozer on YouTube

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Dozer Continue 20th Anniversary Video Series

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dozer in 2013

Swedish heavy rockers Dozer press on with their 20th anniversary video series, this time bringing out classic tracks from their second and third albums, performed live in their hometown of Borlänge, Sweden, and in Helsinki, Finland. Both recorded in 2002, possibly a couple nights apart, I suppose, the songs featured are “Rising” and “Soulshigh,” both of which exemplify the shifts the band was going through at the time. Though they had a consistent lineup between them of guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, guitarist Tommi Holappa, bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Erik Bäckwall (later replaced by Olle Mårthans, seen in the photo above), 2001’s Madre de Dios and 2002’s Call it Conspiracy were wildly different records.

The former continued in the desert-minded style of 2000’s debut, In the Tail of a Comet, but with their third outing, Dozer pushed further into their own brand of heavy rock and roll. Riffs were still at the center, as “Rising,” which was the second song on that record, demonstrates, but there was more adrenaline. The songs on Call it Conspiracy hit harder, were more intense, and that would be the model, by and large, that Dozer would develop through their two subsequent LPs, 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008’s Beyond Colossal. What’s most striking about watching “Rising” and “Soulshigh” back to back is just how quickly that switch happened. It was the next year. It’s not like Dozer let it sit for three years and then decided to change things up sound-wise. I’d love to know what drove that shift, whether it was something conscious on the part of the band, and if so, motivated by what.

I don’t have that answer, sadly. I do have two live Dozer videos that the band put up as they continue to celebrate their 20th anniversary, so I guess that’s no reason to complain. Check those clips out below, and please enjoy:

Dozer, “Rising” Live in Borlänge, Sweden, 2002

Dozer, “Soulshigh” Live in Helsinki, Finland, 2002

20 years is a long time but it sometimes feels as yesterday when we started the band back in 1995. In the following weeks we´ll be putting up some live footage from these past 20 years, recorded with a simple camcorder, so bear with us that the audio and video is not top notch. We enjoyed watching these old vids anyway and hope you do too.

Soulshigh live from Helsinki, Finland 2002 supporting Henry Rollins.

The song Rising from Peace & Love Festival, Borlänge, Sweden 2002.

Dozer on Thee Facebooks

Dozer on YouTube

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Dozer Celebrating 20th Anniversary with Video Series

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

dozer

Well, heck. Congratulations to Dozer on hitting the 20-year mark. There was a lot of Swedish rock and roll before them, and there’s certainly been a lot of it since — a goodly portion of it working under their influence — but no one’s ever quite captured the same magic as Dozer across their five records. The last of those, Beyond the Colossal, is now approaching eight years old, having arrived in 2008 on Small Stone, and whether or not Dozer are an active band remains something of a mystery.

They’ve shown up at a couple festivals over the last three years or so — I still consider myself deeply fortunate for having seen them at Desertfest London 2013 — but there’s been no word of a steady return in the sense of writing, touring, basically being a band again. In the meantime, guitarist Tommi Holappa has brought his other band, Greenleaf, to life as a touring act, and their new album, Rise Above the Meadow — also their debut on Napalm Records — is unmistakably a highlight of the year. It’s so good, in fact, that I’m completely comfortable saying that on Jan. 7, with 359 days left to go before 2017 hits.

Where that leaves Dozer seems to be a question for another time. As the remaining founders of the band after parting ways with Erik Bäckwall, Holappa, guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin and bassist Johan Rockner — joined now by Olle Mårthans on drums or at very least whatever of the drums are left after he’s done pounding the crap out of them — are celebrating 20 years since the inception of the band late in 1995, and they’re doing so with a series of video clips posted that contain old live footage edited together and set to audio from the era. Notice the rewind effect in the beginning. That’s a nice touch.

Two clips have been posted so far, but I’ll keep my eye out for more and do my best to keep up with it, because really, if there’s anything that’s going to improve any given day, it’s a Dozer video. Enjoy:

Dozer, “Speeder”

Dozer, “Tanglefoot”

20 years is a long time but it sometimes feels as yesterday when we started the band back in 1995. In the following weeks we´ll be putting up some live footage from these past 20 years, recorded with a simple camcorder, so bear with us that the audio and video is not top notch. We enjoyed watching these old vids anyway and hope you do too.

/ Dozer

Dozer on Thee Facebooks

Dozer on YouTube

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audiObelisk Transmission 052

Posted in Podcasts on October 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Whenever the hell it was that I started really doing podcasts again on a roughly-monthly basis, I said that there would be no theme from one to the other. That’s a rule I’ve bent a couple times since, and this is one of those instances as well. This podcast takes a look at the rather extensive lineup for Desertfest Belgium 2015 (posted in full here). It was a particular challenge to keep it to what’s become the standard two-hour format, but in the end, I think the tracklisting below brings together the headliners and some of the lesser known bands in a way that speaks to the breadth of the festival itself. Or at least I hope it does. It’s a killer mix, either way.

Worth noting that this is the second podcast this year that has started with Goatsnake. That is not an accident. I tried to keep things as current as possible here, and their new one destroys. I think the only cuts not from the band’s latest album are Bongzilla, Monomyth and Monolord, and well, the songs included speak for themselves either way.

Desertfest Belgium 2015 happens this weekend at Trix in Antwerpen. If, like me, you won’t be there, hope this provides a bit of fodder escapist daydreaming. If you’re going, it’s never to early to get psyched on it. Either way, please enjoy:

First Hour:
0:00:00 Goatsnake, “House of the Moon” from Black Age Blues
0:05:17 Crystal Head, “Wouldn’t You Know” from Crystal Head
0:08:05 Orange Goblin, “Demon Blues” from Back from the Abyss
0:12:40 Ufomammut, “Temple” from Ecate
0:20:08 Fever Dog, “The Great Tree” from Second Wind
0:26:05 Causa Sui, “Echo Springs” from Euporie Tide
0:30:56 Dozer, “Flood” from Beyond Colossal
0:34:46 Monolord, “Icon” from Empress Rising
0:42:56 Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia
0:50:55 Stoned Jesus, “Silkworm Confessions” from The Harvest

Second Hour:
1:00:00 Fatso Jetson, “Flesh Trap Blues” from Split with Herba Mate
1:06:25 Bongzilla, “H.P. Keefmaker” from Apogee
1:16:46 Earth, “Badgers Bane” from Primitive and Deadly
1:29:05 The Machine, “Chrysalis (JAM)” from Offblast!
1:45:16 Monomyth, “Huygens” from Monomyth

Total running time: 2:02:20

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 052

 

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Desertfest Belgium 2015 Adds Goatsnake, Dozer, Ruby the Hatchet, Sunder, Moon Duo and The Progerians to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest belgium 2015 banner

Well shit, Desertfest. If you wanted me to come that badly, you could’ve just booked a flight. I’d show up. I guess going out and getting Goatsnake to headline is a pretty badass way to send the message as well though, so I won’t argue. I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to make it — do you have any idea how much a week in Europe costs? It’s insane — but it’s nice to feel wanted, even in this most abstract and completely imaginary of ways.

Along with Goatsnake, the golly-I-wish-they’d-do-another-record Swedish heavy rockers Dozer will be brought in for an appearance — oddly enough not accompanied by Lowrider — and Ruby the Hatchet, Sunder, Moon Duo and The Progerians have been added to the bill as well, which, if you’ll recall, wasn’t exactly hurting, with Ufomammut, Orange Goblin, Greenleaf, Siena Root and so on already confirmed.

Still, if the question is “Goatsnake?” then the answer is definitely Goatsnake.

This from the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2015

Goatsnake, Dozer, Moon Duo and more added to the DESERTFEST BELGIUM lineup!

We are happy to announce that Californian sludge-blues royalty GOATSNAKE have been added to the DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2015 line-up! Additionally, we have confirmations for the touring beast that is DOZER, the face-melting psych of MOON DUO, those fine purveyors of stoner SUNDER and RUBY THE HATCHET, and another slice of Belgian psych with THE PROGERIANS. Spread the news!

Bands already confirmed are: Goatsnake, Orange Goblin, Fatso Jetson, Dozer, Moon Duo, Greenleaf, Valient Thorr, Ufomammut, Causa Sui, Siena Root, Glowsun, Carlton Melton, Child, Ruby The Hatchet, Planet Of Zeus, Psychonaut, The progerians, Wheel Of Smoke, Sunder, Fever Dog and 3rd Ear Experience.
More acts to be announced in the coming weeks…

DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2015
October 9-11th at Trix Muziekcentrum – Antwerp
3 day tickets (96€) on sale HERE

More infos at www.desertfest.be

After a great first edition that saw the likes of Electric Wizard, Brant Bjork, Yob, Kadavar tear down Antwerp, the DESERTFEST promoters decided to run their second Belgium edition this fall. Located in Antwerp outskirts, the Trix venue will once again host the world’s best heavy bands, spread over three stages drenched in that underground atmosphere we all love. Beware of the sandstorm!

https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium
https://twitter.com/desertfestBE
http://www.desertfest.be/

Goatsnake, Live in Glendale, CA, May 21, 2015

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Duuude, Tapes! Dozer, Universe 75 Demo

Posted in Buried Treasure, Duuude, Tapes! on July 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

A band’s early days are often a mishmash of releases, songs cobbled together from rehearsal recordings and put out as demos with live tracks from shows or different sessions. A few songs are copied for friends one week, and the next a demo is professionally pressed under the same title. That’s just part of promoting a new band. You try and get as much out there as possible. As such, when I opened the mail and found this surprise copy of Dozer‘s 1998 demo, Universe 75 — the tape gifted to me unexpectedly by Lansing, MI’s Postman Dan, who’s come up around these parts a few times over the years and will again before the next week is out — it wasn’t a shock to discover that its tracklisting differed from what’s largely been settled on as being Universe 75.

I know the story behind this tape, know that Dozer guitarist Tommi Holappa sent it to Dan when Dozer were putting out their early material, that it came with an orange flyer that had Han Solo on it firing a blaster the laser of which was the Dozer logo, and if you can’t trust Postman Dan, you can’t trust nobody, so its authenticity is without question as far as I’m concerned. I damn near wept when I opened the package and found it.
What’s commonly regarded as Universe 75 has six tracks, and this tape — dubbed onto a Maxell 100-minute blank cassette, though of course it reaches nowhere near that mark time-wise — has four. “Supersoul,” which opens, is the only song shared between the two. It and “Captain Spaceheart” — written in the liner here as “Captain Space Heart” — also appeared on Dozer‘s 2000 full-length debut, In the Tail of a Comet, while “Centerline” and “Tanglefoot” showed up later in 1998 on the first of the two Dozer vs. Demon Cleaner split releases.

At this point, Dozer was Holappa, guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Erik Bäckwall, and these songs were recorded at the end of Jan. 1998 by Bengt Bäcke — here given the nickname “Action.” Of course, he’d come a long way by the time he was continuing to work with Holappa in Greenleaf and tracking that band’s albums, but even in ’98, Bäcke knew what he was doing. The sound of the tape is raw, and the bass is way, way high in the mix, but overall it’s clear enough to get a sense of the songs and where Dozer were coming from stylistically in some of their earliest days, Nordin sounding more directly indebted to Kyuss‘ John Garcia than he even would by the time In the Tail of a Comet was released, and the band seeming to work at full stonerly jamble on “Captain Space Heart” only to up the swing as “Tanglefoot” closes out.

As a longtime nerd for Dozer (obviously not as long as the Postman), I felt incredibly fortunate to hear these songs at all, let alone to be able to sit with them and think of them in context of the Borlänge four-piece’s pre-debut-LP progression. They were prolific as they solidified their sound, and over singles, EPs and splits with Demon Cleaner and Unida, they honed a reinvented — maybe “relocated” is the word? — take on what was then desert rock that of course would turn them into something different entirely over their years together, which hopefully aren’t done as they continue to play shows periodically. A snapshot of one of Sweden’s greatest contributions to heavy rock as a young band is something genuinely special, and I know I’ll cherish it in a cool, dry place for years to come and use it as fodder while I continue to campaign for a compilation of their pre-album material.

Dozer, “Centerline”

Dozer on Thee Facebooks

Dozer’s website

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Friday Full-Length: Dozer, Call it Conspiracy

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dozer, Call it Conspiracy (2002)

I think I’ve made my nerddom for Swedish heavy rockers Dozer plain over the years, but if not, let me just reinforce: The band fucking rules. From their early albums on Man’s Ruin, 2000’s In the Tail of a Comet and 2001’s Madre de Dios right on through the harder edged 2002 Molten Universe third outing, Call it Conspiracy, and their Small Stone era, which brought about 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008’s Beyond Colossal. All the splits, EPs, singles, etc., along the way, Dozer simply don’t have a bum release. There was no point at which they didn’t kick ass.

When it comes to Call it Conspiracy, I’ve always thought of it as the transitional moment for the band. Based as ever around the powerhouse riffs and full-speed charge of guitarist Tommi Holappa and Fredrik Nordin (the latter also vocals), Johan Rockner‘s bass and the driving thud of then-drummer Erik Bäckwall, Dozer‘s songwriting always made them a mandatory band, head and shoulders above most acts proffering heavy rock and roll then or now. But Call it Conspiracy stands out in their catalog as the bridge between the first two and the second two albums, moving away from the Kyuss loyalism of their beginnings and at the same time setting up the progression into bigger tones and a more generally bombastic sound on records four and five. It’s the center-point along that line — in output, not time; the first three Dozer albums were released in three years, the last two in twice that — and very much stands up to that stylistically. In that, it’s unlike anything else they’ve ever done. It was a leap from Madre de Dios for sure for arriving the next year, and when Through the Eyes of Heathens showed up three years later, Dozer had moved even further away from desert rock. Call it Conspiracy was a moment captured — like a snapshot of Dozer coming into their own as a band.

And while I already said it, I’ll reiterate that the songs themselves are unfuckwithable. The rush of “Rising,” the swagger of “Man Made Mountain,” the way “Crimson Highway” seems to invite a sing-along even when you’re hearing it for the first time. Dozer have been making periodic live appearances since last spring, and they released the Vultures EP (review here) last year, collecting unused tracks from the Through the Eyes of Heathens sessions, but as Holappa (Obelisk Questionnaire here) has been busy with Greenleaf — whose fifth album, Trails and Passes (review here), came out earlier this year — there’s been no word of a studio return from Dozer. Needless to say I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope you enjoy.

Up until today, I was doing really well with the rules I’d posted last week that I was trying to live by while The Patient Mrs. is in Athens. It’s 9:30PM and I haven’t left the house in two days. I knew that was gonna be a tough one when I wrote it, but was hoping I’d be able to keep up. Today and yesterday, neither the time nor the desire nor the need to go anywhere has been present. I might get in the car and drive around for 10 minutes when I’m done here, so at least I can say I did something, but otherwise, yeah. Been a lot of the couch, not a lot of not the couch. The little dog likes it.

Next week, reviews of Dunst and Grifter. It’ll probably take me two days (at least) to transcribe it, but I’m going to try to get the Lowrider interview up as well. Look out for another batch of Radio adds, and one way or another, some vinyl’s getting written about. I still need to hook up my stereo. You’d think that would’ve been a day one activity moving into the new place, but all the CDs are still packed away as well.

Trying to find a new high-volume CD storage solution. I was looking at some radio station library racks online and I think something like that might be the way to go, but I have no idea where one acquires such a thing, let alone what it might cost. But yeah, I’m thinking it might just be time to buy a shelf that lets me store 18,000 CDs and then just fill it over the next however many years. In case you’re wondering, I’d probably take up a little more than a third of that now. I don’t know if you knew this, but in addition to the stuff I buy, I keep everything sent to me for this site. I don’t sell promos, or give them away, or anything like that. Every single CD that’s been sent to me, regardless of if it’s a CDR in a slimline or a sleeve or a full-art jewel case, gatefold digipak, whatever, it goes in the archive. I keep it all. Tapes and vinyl too. And not in some random pile either. It’s taken care of. Loved. I can’t nearly write about everything that comes in these days, but I hold onto everything. Even the press releases. Seriously. I’ve got files of them.

Got off on a tangent there. Anyway, I hope you dig the Dozer and that you’ll join me in my letter-writing campaign to Tommi Holappa to get the tracks from their first several singles released as an early works compilation à la Church of Misery. I was thinking about starting one of those White House petitions. Get Obama on the case.

Alright. I’m gonna go get in the car and wander aimlessly for a bit so I can say I did. Hope you have a tremendous and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 EPs, Demos and Singles of 2013

Posted in Features on January 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve been trying to get this one on the page for a couple weeks now — really since last year if you want to go back that far — and I finally just decided to do it. Granted, it’s already 2014, but I’m pretty used to being behind the times, so I hope you’ll indulge me on this one.

The thing is, of course we already did the Top 20 Albums of 2013, but that leaves an awful lot out in terms of quality shorter releases. Demos, singles, EPs, splits — whatever it might be — there’s a lot more to the story of a year in music than who’s putting out what full-length. That might be true now more than ever, with digital releases and artists having the ability to more or less give a song-by-song feed of new material should they so choose. Since this is the first time I’ve done this list, I’ve kept the presentation pretty basic, but there’s a lot to dig into here anyway in terms of the quality of the music and what people were able to accomplish in, in some cases, just one or two tracks.

My basis for judgment here is basically the same as with the full-albums list, and by that I mean how much I listened to something played a huge role, and it’s not just how important I think an EP or a split or a demo was that got it included on this list — though of course that stuff matters as well. Like spelling, repeat listens count. And it goes without saying these are my picks and have nothing to do with the Readers Poll, the results of which are here.

Okay, let’s do this:

The Top 20 Short Releases of 2013

1. The Machine/Sungrazer, Split
2. Dozer, Vultures
3. Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide
4. Black Thai, Seasons of Might
5. Wo Fat/Egypt, Cyclopean Riffs Split 12″
6. Young Hunter, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain
7. Shroud Eater, Dead Ends
8. Steak, Corned Beef Colossus
9. Geezer, Gage
10. The Golden Grass, One More Time b/w Tornado 7″
11. Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Underground
12. King Buffalo, Demo
13. Groan, Ride the Snake
14. Crypt Sermon, Demo MMXIII
15. Stubb, Under a Spell b/w Bullets Rain 7″
16. Salem’s Pot, Watch Me Kill You Tape
17. Undersmile/Coma Wall, Wood and Wire Split
18. Second Grave, Antithesis
19. Sinister Haze, Demo
20. Olde Growth, Owl

Honorable mention has to go to the Fatso Jetson/Yawning Man split, C.O.C.‘s Megalodon EP, which was right on but which I didn’t really hear enough to include. The Gates of Slumber‘s Stormcrow as well.

Just a couple notes: In the case of Olde Growth, putting them last was actually more about not being sure when the official release date of Owl was than anything else. I actually listened to that quite a bit, and “Tears of Blood” remains my favorite work of the duo’s to date. In terms of demos, it was a good year for doom debuts, with Crypt Sermon and Sinister Haze both showing some malevolent classicism, and King Buffalo‘s demo grew on me almost immediately upon hearing it and right away made me look forward to whatever might come next from them.

I was a little hesitant to put a split in the number one spot, but The Machine‘s riff for “Awe” alone made it necessary. I’ve kept this disc on my person for almost the entire year and continue to have no regrets in doing so. For Dozer, yeah, it was a collection of older material, but I still enjoyed the crap out of it. Both Mars Red Sky and Black Thai signaled considerable creative growth in four-song EPs, and the Wo Fat and Egypt split more than lived up to its mission. The riff lives in bands like that, and as we get further into stylistic nuance and subgenre development, it’s those groups who are holding on to the Heavy.

Young Hunter are one of the most promising bands I’ve heard in the last three years. Flat out. Killer release. Ditto that in a much different context for Shroud Eater, whose take on heavy only got more sinister and more effective with Dead Ends. Steak emerge as tops among the five British bands — a quarter of the list! — here. Their Corned Beef Colossus also had the best title I heard all year, and though Trippy Wicked, Groan, Stubb, and Undersmile/Coma Wall (the latter earning bonus points for putting out a split with themselves) all thrilled, Steak‘s potential got them that spot. Time for a full-length, guys.

Not to leave out New York — though the geographical alignment is a coincidence — Geezer‘s Gage tapped into a jammier feel that I thought suited the band remarkably well, and The Golden Grass‘ debut single offered one of the most charming irony-free good times I’ve heard in a long while. The Salem’s Pot cassette was one of my most-listened-to tapes this year, last mentioned but not at all least, Second Grave‘s Antithesis probably would’ve clocked in higher if I’d had more time with it, but was definitely one I wanted to put in here anyway.

As I said, a lot of really astounding shorter outings, and worthy of attention in their own right. If I missed anything, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments.

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