Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well, my summer is pretty much fucking made. When I first saw the tour dates last night for Earthless‘ upcoming East Coast stopover with Tee Pee Records labelmates The Shrine, I was all bummed out that it was either going to be drive down to New York or Philly to see them or pretty much fuck off. Then today along comes the news that not only will Earthless play Boston, but they’ll open for Sleep on Aug. 24 jamming out with J. Mascis and Heavy Blanket, as in doing a full-fledged version of the Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket righteousness from Roadburn 2012 that’s just been released as the In a Dutch Hazevinyl (review here). I could not be more stoked for this show if I tried.
Dates and whatnot follow, but for me the takeaway is “Holy shit fucking Earthless and Sleep on the same night,” so keep that in mind:
EARTHLESS and THE SHRINE to Team Up for August East Coast Live Dates
EARTHLESS and J Mascis’ HEAVY BLANKET to Combine, Open for SLEEP at Special Boston Show August 24!
Award-winning San Diego power rock band EARTHLESS has announced a string of August east coast live dates in support of its critically-championed new album, From the Ages. The space rock kings will be joined on the tour dates by California “Destroyers of Rock ‘N’ Roll” (and Tee Pee Records label mates) THE SHRINE. Confirmed performances include Washington, DC (Aug. 20), Philadelphia, PA (Aug. 21), NYC (Aug. 22) and Brooklyn, NY (Aug. 23).
In addition, EARTHLESS will join J Mascis’ HEAVY BLANKET for a special support slot with metal titans SLEEP in Boston on August 24. At the show, the respected musicians will look to re-create the much-talked-about magic they initially combined to create at the 2012 Roadburn Festival, a searing live performance that will now see release under the title EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET In A Dutch Haze on July 8 via Outer Battery / Roadburn Records. In A Dutch Haze is available for pre-order purchase at this location.
EARTHLESS + THE SHRINE tour dates: August 20 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel August 21 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts August 22 New York, NY Mercury Lounge August 23 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus August 24 Boston, MA House of Blues (* EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET w/ SLEEP)
The long-awaited EARTHLESS east coast shows will be the band’s first since the release of From the Ages, which was named one of 2013′s best albums by Rolling Stone. Formed in 2001 by drummer Mario Rubalcaba, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell and bassist Mike Eginton, EARTHLESS creates energetic, utterly unique and free thinking instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese heavy blues rock. The trio has dedicated itself to the mastery of the mind-bending jam session, evoking the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath in equal measure.
Undoubtedly one of America’s hottest underground bands, THE SHRINE plays loud, heavy rock ‘n’ roll that combines the hook-laden appeal of ’70′s garage rock and gritty ’80′s hardcore with a skate punk energy and attitude resulting in a sound the trio describes as “psychedelic violence”. Recorded on reel-to-reel tape using vintage gear and colossal Marshall stacks, the band’s new LP Bless Off is a record that attacks with buzzing riffs, blazing hooks and a bruising, mega-amplified punch.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Over the last couple years, Roadburn has given birth to some legendary jams. Their late-night set in 2012 might not have been the first time J. Mascis (Witch, Dinosaur Jr.) kicked it off with the guys from Earthless, but in the couple years since it’s become a landmark for the fest and a model of one-off collaborations they’ve continued to refine. That set, under the title In a Dutch Haze, will be released on vinyl shortly, and it’s available to preorder from Outer Battery Records and Roadburn/Burning World Records now.
The lineup was Graham Clise and Mascis, both of Heavy Blanket, and Mario Rubalcalba and Mike Eginton of Earthless. Thus, Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket.
The PR wire has it like this:
EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET “In A Dutch Haze” to be Released July 8
Monstrous Mash-Up From Members of Dinosaur Jr., Lecherous Gaze, OFF!, Rocket From the Crypt, Sweet Apple, Witch and More Delivers Whiz-Bang Wallop the Likes of Which the World Has Never Heard Before!!!
This July, a colossal collaborative concert, previously privy only to those who were fortunate enough to have helped fill a Netherlandic concert hall multiple moons ago, will be unleashed in awesome audio form as EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET In A Dutch Haze. The out-of-this-world recording will see a July 8 release date via Outer Battery Records / Roadburn Records.
Back-story: an impromptu heavy psych JAM between J Mascis (DINOSAUR JR, SWEET APPLE, WITCH and one of both Rolling Stone and SPIN’s “Greatest Guitarists of All Time”) and California space rock masters EARTHLESS at the 2009 SXSW Festival left an onlooking crowd stunned and breathless. When word of the performance spread, the world-renowned musicians were asked to play the main stage of Holland’s annual international rock festival, Roadburn, to attempt to recreate the magic that revved-up an Austin audience at what was thought to be a one-time event.
Fast forward to the 2012 installment of the fantastic fest; when EARTHLESS’ guitarist Isaiah Mitchell had to back out at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstance, six-string shredder Graham Clise from J Mascis’ loud, psychedelic project HEAVY BLANKET (and who also plays with Mascis in WITCH and in the bitchin’ Bay Area band LECHEROUS GAZE) stepped in on second guitar. Backed by the best rhythm section in today’s adventurous rock world — Mario Rubalcaba and Mike Eginton from EARTHLESS — the quartet stormed the stage for what would become an incredible one-time happening, leading to almost a full hour of some of the most mind-bending heavy psych imaginable. The epic jam session gave birth to shredding psychedelia and hard rock blues underpinned by the muscular rhythmic sensibilities of kraut-rock and the unbridled energy of 70′s guitar rock. The formidable foundation laid by drummer Rubalcaba became a jumping off point for Mascis, Clise and Eighton to explore their inner cosmoi for consciousness-expanding riffs and music-induced psychedelic experiences.
Track listing: 1.) Paradise in a Purple Sky (58:34)
Now, the rest of the planet can ready their receivers and hoist headphones on high as the full live set from that magical evening in Tilburg is set to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world! Far-out, gatefold-spanning artwork by San Francisco tattoo artist and designer Tim Lehi (High on Fire, Black Anvil, Xasthur) perfectly animates this incredible audio adventure, while matchless mastering by Carl Saff (Boris, Guided By Voices), pushes this priceless performance over-the-top. Flame retardant clothing is highly recommended!
EARTHLESS Meets HEAVY BLANKET In A Dutch Haze is available for pre-order purchase now at this location. The initial LP pressing takes the form of a special, 2xLP on purple sky vinyl, limited to 300 copies. Collectors, don’t delay!
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
With no slowdown in the music coming out as we move into the fall, it’s time for another audiObelisk podcast. Like last month, the idea here was to keep it super-simple, not go too long or get lost too much in including stuff just for the hell of it. Whether it’s a big band or someone you’ve never heard of in this tracklist, it’s all quality, and most of it is new. A couple of these albums haven’t even come out yet.
Things get pretty dark in the second of the two hours, but I figured what the hell? It starts off rockin’ with Sasquatch and The Freeks and so on, so it seemed there was room to doom out for a while, and once I threw in The Body, there was nothing to do but plummet even further. As it winds down, there’s some transition back to more rocking fare though with Earthless, so it’s not like it gets totally lost and drowns in the mire of dark tones and sonic abrasion. I know you were worried. I was too.
Like last time, it clocks in at just under two hours long. I hope you download and enjoy the tracks. Here’s the full rundown of what’s included:
Sasquatch, “The Message” from IV (2013)
Monster Magnet, “Mindless Ones” from Last Patrol (2013)
The Freeks, “The Secret Pathway” from Full On (2013)
Red Fang, “Blood Like Cream” from Whales and Leeches (2013)
Pyramido, “Tiden är Kommen” from Saga (2013)
Hollow Leg, “Ride to Ruin” from Abysmal (2013)
YOB, “Ether” from Catharsis (2013 Reissue)
Seremonia, “Suuri Valkeus” from Ihminen (2013)
Aqua Nebula Oscillator, “Human Toad” from Spiritus Mundi (2013)
Jesu, “Everyday” from Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came (2013)
Ayahuasca Dark Trip, “To the Holy Mountain” from Mind Journey (2013 Reissue)
All Them Witches, “Born under a Bad Sign” (2013)
The Body, “Prayers Unanswered” from Christs, Redeemers (2013)
Primitive Man, “Antietam” from Scorn (2013)
Windhand, “Cassock” from Soma (2013)
Atlantis, “Omen” from Omens (2013)
Earthless, “Violence of the Red Sea” from From the Ages (2013)
Posted in Reviews on August 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
It hasn’t been as long as it can seem since last we heard from instrumental San Diego trio Earthless, whose last studio full-length was 2007′s Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky. The next year, they released Live at Roadburn (arguably their high-water mark to date), and since then, between a rerelease of 2005′s Sonic Prayer Jam, a 10th anniversary jam EP in 2012 and splits with Witch in 2008, Premonition 13/Radio Moscow in 2012 and While Hills in 2013, they haven’t been completely absent leading up to the issue of their third LP, From the Ages(Tee Pee Records), but there can be little doubt that the greater accomplishments of the band’s members during that stretch have taken place outside of Earthless itself. Notably, drummer Mario Rubalcaba joined forces with former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and members of Burning Brides and Redd Kross in OFF!, and also played in punk outfit Spider Fever, while guitarist Isaiah Mitchell made a stunning debut in 2012 with the self-titled Golden Void (review here), also taking on a vocal role that was new to those who knew him solely from his work in Earthless. All this led to speculation that Earthless were finished, but in terms of From the Ages, that just seems to mean that it arrives with all the more fanfare surrounding it; even as the first announcements were being made, the excitement was palpable that Mitchell and Rubalcaba had once again joined forces with bassist Mike Eginton for a studio offering. Comprised of four tracks totaling a solid hour of ripping classic rock jams, From the Agessays in a big way that in fact not only are Earthless not done, but that the vibrant spirit that rested at the heart of the original 2005 Sonic Prayerand the terrifying chemistry that showed itself on Live at Roadburnand put Earthless on the fast track to stoner-rock-legends status are well intact and still very much at the core of what the trio does. They remain instrumental for the duration (in case anyone was wondering if Mitchell might throw in some vocals post-Golden Void), and tap into a rare prowess and classic rock versatility throughout the four mostly-extended cuts, culminating in the 31-minute epic title-track.
I’m rarely one for double LPs, though Earthless have been consistent all along in their flair for the sonically and structurally grandiose, so it’s not at all unexpected that From the Ageswould arrive in that form, and to be fair, there isn’t really a way the album could work without all four of its pieces and still accomplish the same immersive feel. A double it is, then. Helping their case is the fact that each song leading up to the concluding “From the Ages” presents a personality of its own, whether it’s the solo-laden swirl of opener “Violence of the Red Sea” (14:46), the more restrained heavy psych of “Uluru Rock” (14:08), the exploratory vibing of shorter “Equus October” (5:43) or of course “From the Ages” (30:56) itself, which both ties the others together and expands the soundscape in much the way an earthquake might turn plains into mountains. Mitchell‘s guitar leads for most of the album’s duration — seeming especially forward as he rock-shreds solos on “Violence of the Red Sea” and “From the Ages” — but the story of From the Agesisn’t about any one of the three players nearly as much as it is about the exciting music they make in combination. As “Violence of the Red Sea” gets started, Earthless seem to be shaking off the dust of the years since Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, almost winding themselves up, but they quickly lock in a groove brilliantly underscored by classy fills from Eginton and by the time they’re past the minute mark, so is the hook. The tones of Mitchell and Eginton, as captured by producer Phil Manley, are organic but not at the expense of clarity, and Rubalcaba‘s drums come through with a suitable wash of cymbal and pop in the snare, giving Fromthe Agesa fresh, still-punkish jam room feel. Effects are layered in, but the course is set, and the album carries on from the Red Sea to the other side of the world with “Uluru Rock,” named for the sandstone mass also known as Ayers Rock in Australia’s Northern Territory. As “Equus October” refers to a Roman ritual sacrifice to Mars, the God of War, and “From the Ages” is as grand in scale and scope as the jump from the Mideast to Australia is geographically, it should be clear that Earthless are thinking big in multiple dimensions — time and space, specifically. The music mirrors that. Eight minutes in, “Violence of the Red Sea” turns somewhat chaotic, but the course resumes with upbeat fervor, wah and riff colliding as the rhythm section holds firm to the ground its has established, keeping the whole thing from going off the rails of whatever means of interstellar conveyance it might be using for its journey. As the listener would have to expect, they finish in monumental style.
Posted in Features on August 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you’re anything like me — and let’s just hope for your sake you’re not — then you’re sitting in front of your laptop staring at a calendar telling you it’s August wondering what the hell happened to June and July. Last time I turned around, it was barely summer, and now it’s starting to get cold at night.
We’re well past the halfway mark on 2013, and I know for some the year’s best picks are already set in mind, but there’s a ton of cool releases still to come before 2014 hits, and I figured now’s as good a time as any for a rundown of a few picks that seem to be sure to arrive prior to December 31. As much as anything’s ever “sure,” anyway. Subject to change, and all that.
With the gracious suggestions/assistance of those checking in on the forum (see that thread for many more picks) taken into consideration, here are 15 suggestions to be on a lookout for starting in September. Some of these I’ve heard, some I haven’t, but take it as a sampling of what I’m looking forward to, if nothing else.
And because I know nothing says “I know how to have a good time” like a list in order of release date, here goes nothing:
Vista Chino, Peace (Sept. 3)
It took me a couple listens to come around to Vista Chino‘s Peace (review here), but once I got to that point, there was no turning back. The much-anticipated Napalm Records debut from the four-piece birthed out of Kyuss Lives!, Peace ultimately moves forward as much as it looks back, and though much of the lyrics center around the lawsuit that forced Kyuss Lives! to change their name, the songs themselves do arrive at a certain place of acceptance by the end of the record, so that in the end it lives up to its title. Some won’t be able to make the leap over their expectations for what an album with Brant Bjork, John Garcia and Nick Oliveri on it should sound like, but most importantly, Vista Chino are pressing on and I hope this isn’t the last record they make together, even if Oliveri is already out of the band’s touring lineup.
Larman Clamor, Alligator Heart (Sept. 10)
The solo-outfit of graphic artist Alexander von Wieding, Larman Clamor has been pumping out quality swamp boogie for the last two years at a more than prolific clip. Last year, von Wieding made his debut on Small Stone with Frogs (review here), and while the forthcoming Alligator Heart (out through the same label) strips the approach down somewhat — as you can hear on the single “Banshee w’Me” — the murkedelic blues spirit remains supreme at the center of the project’s approach. Larman Clamor has flown relatively under the radar so far into its run, but showing a little bit of a poppier side on Alligator Heart‘s tracks might gain it some more attention. Von Wieding‘s songwriting continues to be worth the price of admission to the bizarre carnival he creates.
Windhand, Soma (Sept. 17)
Richmond-based cult sludgers Windhand made their debut on Relapse earlier this year on a split release with Cough — with whom they share a bassist and a hometown — and will follow that next month with Soma, their second LP behind their 2012 self-titled debut full-length. The band have only gotten darker and meaner since adding Cough‘s Parker Chandler on bass, and with that split heralding its coming, Somashould arrive with a fittingly devastating impact. Windhand have also put in no shortage of time on the road, and even as the new one comes out, they’ll be embroiled in a coast-to-coast US tour, so keep an eye out — and that goes for Europe too. I wouldn’t be surprised if a full tour with Inter Arma got announced around their joint Roadburn appearances next spring.
Sasquatch, IV (Sept. 24)
Sasquatch bloody Sasquatch. If you’ve got a face, these dudes’ll rock it right off. With IV(Small Stone) their first full-length since 2010′s III(review here), L.A. trio Sasquatch very casually offer a reminder that those who talk about how rock and roll needs to be “saved” don’t have a clue what’s really up, that rock and roll never went anywhere and that its awesomeness continues unabated. Need testimony? Check out the track stream for “The Message.” Classic grooves, class-y showoff solos, catchy tunes and later in the album even a foray into psychedelic jamming — let there be no doubt that Sasquatch have nailed down right where they want to be sound-wise and are ready to make the most of the good times they’re rolling out as they continue to lay their own railroad, grand and funky as it is. Soundgarden wishes they had this kind of edge.
Iron Man, South of the Earth (Sept. 30)
You’d pretty much have to be a jerk not to feel good about the fact that long-running, long-underappreciated Maryland doom stalwarts Iron Man are getting their due in the form of a Rise Above Records release for their new album, South of the Earth. I know that’s not the most impartial statement in the world, but seriously, who deserves Lee Dorrian-endorsed doom cred more than Iron Man? The names are few and far between. South of the Earthalready had me on the hook for being their first full-length with frontman Dee Calhoun on board alongside guitarist “Iron” Al Morris III, bassist Louis Strachan and drummer Jason “Mot” Waldmann, but with the hopefully increased profile of issue on Rise Above, who knows what could be in store for them once it’s out?
Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Underground EP (Sept.)
Trippy Wicked caught me off guard last year with the heavier and more metal side that showed up on their Going Home long-player (review here), but this time I’m ready. I’ve readjusted my expectations for what the UK trio might unleash on the new Underground EP — set phasers to who-the-hell-knows — and after the quick mastery of the metallurgical arts they showed the last time out, I’m happy to follow wherever their creative whims might take them. I know this is a list of albums and technically an EP isn’t a full album, but screw it, I dig these guys and am fascinated enough by their progression that it’s worth including even the smaller release here. If the art for Underground(due out through Superhot Records) is anything to go by — and I don’t yet know that it is — we could be in for a pretty wild ride.
Earthless, From the Ages (Oct. 8)
San Diego instrumentalists Earthless are looking to make an epic return on From the Ages (Tee Pee Records), which is their first studio full-length in six years. Though they’ve had a steady stream of live releases, limited splits and the like, and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell released a debut album with the heavy psych outfit Golden Void last year, nothing’s quite the same as Earthless‘ righteous jams and extended progressions. Look out for the 31-minute title-track (one of four on the album; more info here) as Earthless step into the limelight and reap the momentum they’ve built through steady years of touring and critical acclaim. From the Agesmight just prove one for the ages.
Monster Magnet, Last Patrol (Oct. 15)
My only question when it comes to Monster Magnet‘s second album for Napalm Records — touted by frontman Dave Wyndorf as a return to their psychedelic beginnings — is how literally we’re supposed to take the title Last Patroland if indeed this is going to be the final go for the long-running and hugely influential New Jersey outfit. If so, they draw their circle as complete as they possibly could, and whether it’s “The Duke (of Supernature),” which has received nearly 23,000 plays since being premiered here on July 23, or the driving churn of “End of Time,” Monster Magnet tap into the spirit that propelled 1995′s Dopes to Infinity and readjust the balance of their influence in a way fans have been clamoring for for years now. The more I hear it, the more I need to hear it.
Pelican, Forever Becoming (Oct. 15)
A new Pelican album is an interesting enough proposition at this point — it’s been four years since the Chicago instrumental outfit released What We all Come to Need (review here) — but Forever Becoming (Southern Lord) has an added level of intrigue for being Pelican‘s first album without guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. Stepping in to fill the second guitar spot is Dallas Thomas of The Swan King, and it should be interesting to hear how the band’s approach has shifted after almost half a decade and what Thomas brings to the well-established chemistry between bassist Bryan Herweg, drummer Larry Herweg and guitarist Trevor de Brauw. If the first track is anything to go by, Pelican still sounds like Pelican, and I’m not going to complain about that.
Corrections House, Last City Zero (Oct. 29)
Probably the bigger surprise would’ve been if the super-type group Corrections House didn’t make their full-length debut on Neurot, but still, word was welcome when it came down a couple weeks back that the conjoined efforts of Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mike IX Williams (EyeHateGod), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and Sanford Parker (Buried at Sea, Minsk and the guy you want to record your album) were resulting in an actual album to follow up on their initial single and tour earlier this year. Whether the entirety of the record works in the kind of industrial, post-Godflesh noise crunch they brought to the stage on that tour (review here), we’ll just have to wait and see. But I’m damn interested to find out.
Red Fang, Whales and Leeches (Oct.)
Those who heard Red Fang‘s 2011 boot-to-the-ass second album, Murder the Mountains (review here), will probably find Whales and Leeches (named for a track off their 2008 self-titled debut) a reasonable follow-up. The Portland forerunners’ second offering through Relapse finds bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam even more front and center with clean vocals, and ultra-catchy songs like “Blood Like Cream” and “No Hope” seem to pick up right where Red Fang left off last time, offsetting Beam‘s poppier style with guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles‘ throaty grit . Watch out for much more to come on this one. Between the record itself and their formidable road ethic, you’re probably going to be hearing a lot about it.
The Melvins, Tres Cabrones (Nov. 5)
If you were to ask me how many records the Melvins have out in 2013, I’d go, “Uh… I dunno… six?” and the mere fact that that doesn’t seem like a ridiculous answer should be indicative of the frankly absurd pace at which the long-enduring Washington outfit add to their already insurmountable catalog. What makes Tres Cabrones (Ipecac) different? Reportedly, it’s a semi-reunion of the band’s 1983 lineup — as close as they were willing to get, was how Buzz Osbourne put it in the press release — that finds Dale Crover playing bass to make room for drummer Mike Dillard. The Melvins released the collection Mangled Demos from 1983 in 2005, but Tres Cabroneswill be entirely new material. You never know quite where the Melvins are headed next, and if anyone could find a way to go forward even as they go backward, it’d be them.
Sandrider, Godhead (Date TBA)
So in case you couldn’t tell by the “TBA” above, this one’s a bit of wishful thinking on my part. I don’t actually know that Sandrider (members of Akimbo and The Ruby Doe) will issue a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled Good to Die Records debut (review here) before the end of 2013, but golly, I hope they do. The band said on July 11 via their Thee Facebooks that they’d finished mastering the album, titled Godhead, for a Fall release, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see once it’s pressed and ready to go. The sooner the better, since that first record was a smoker and nothing says “autumn” like some noise crunch bombast. At least that’s what I have embroidered on my doilies…
Snail, Feral (TBA)
Not sure on the release date for West Coast riffers Snail‘s fourth album and third since reactivating in 2009 with Blood, but the recording’s reportedly done, so hopefully it’s not too long before they get it out. The band recently announced the departure of guitarist Eric Clausen, so they’re down to the original trio of guitarist/vocalist Mark Johnson, bassist Matt Lynch and drummer Marty Dodson, and how that will affect their sound on the follow-up to last year’s metallized self-release, Terminus (review here), remains to be seen, but if there’s any chance Snail might be able to get more road time in support of Feral, whenever it arrives, than no doubt it will have been worth the tumult in the meantime.And even if not, the album’s still one to watch for.
The Wounded Kings, Consolamentum (TBA)
Another one with no exact date, but according to producer Chris Fielding, it’ll be out before 2013′s over. Either way, when it lands, Consolamentum will serve as the Candlelight Records debut. It’s their fourth outing overall, and the second to be produced by Fielding and to feature frontwoman Sharie Neyland, whose work on 2011′s In the Chapel ofthe Black Hand (review here) made that album one of the year’s most satisfyingly bizarre and dreary doom offerings. Along with founding guitarist Steve Mills, Neyland returns for Consolamentum and whether it hits in 2013 or 2014, look for the band to progress from the last time out. Mills (interview here) is a relentlessly forward-thinking songwriter and his penchant for creating atmospheric and crushingly dark sonic spaces is not to be underestimated.
Whew. These things always take so much longer than I think they’re going to when I start writing names on Post-It notes.
Of course, this is just a sampling of what’s to come over the next few months. Borracho‘s new one is supposed to get a vinyl release, and A Storm of Light have a new record, plus I heard rumors of new Slough Feg (they have a new single that would seem to back that up) and a much-awaited Brothers of the Sonic Cloth full-length coming before the end of the year — I also, right now, quite literally this second, just got news of a new Diesto on Eolian Empire — so please don’t assume that if it’s not here it’s never coming or whatever. There’s so much out there, I always feel like I’m leaving out something big and/or awesome.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last time we checked in, San Diego trio Earthless were playing some of their new material live as they began a European tour to herald the coming of their new album, From theAges, at Stoned from the Underground in Germany. Before that, there appeared the cover art for the record, which is their first studio outing in six years. And now, at last, a release date, track listing and some further info on the album’s doings. No music just yet, but that can’t be far off.
Earthless‘ From the Agesis set for release Oct. 8. The PR wire takes it from here:
San Diego Psych Rock Supergroup EARTHLESS to Release New Album “From the Ages” October 8
Revered Band’s First New LP in Six Years Blends Japanese Psychedelic Guitar Heroics with Krautrock’s Experimental Underpinnings
Award-winning San Diego power rock band EARTHLESS has completed work on its brand new album From the Ages. The first new studio album from the globally celebrated trio since the release of 2007′s critically acclaimed Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, the LP was recorded in San Francisco with producer Phil Manley (Trans Am, The Fucking Champs, SubArachnoid Space). An hour-long double LP, From the Ages will see an October 8 release date via Tee Pee Records.
Formed in 2001, EARTHLESS prides itself on creating energetic, utterly unique and free thinking instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese heavy blues-rock. The Californian trio has dedicated itself to mastery of the mind-bending jam session, evoking the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath in equal measure. Named after a song title from vintage New York garage-psych band The Druids of Stonehenge, EARTHLESS’ sound has been called “A sonic kaleidoscope of lava and lightning”, earning it the title of “California’s loudest band”. The group delivers “one of the best live shows in all of modern, heavy rock,” leading to one reviewer stating that the band’s “epic shredding harkens back to the days were psychedelic rock had balls the size of grapefruits and wasn’t afraid to take its listeners on a ride for which they may never return.”
Each member of EARTHLESS has done time in many other bands. Drummer (and former pro skater) Mario Rubalcaba currently plays in the hardcore punk band OFF! and has also occupied the drum throne in Rocket From The Crypt and Hot Snakes amongst many others. Bassist Mike Eginton played with Electric Nazarene and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell was most recently in Howlin’ Rain, has played with Nebula and Drunk Horse and also heads up the Bay Area band Golden Void. In the end, EARTHLESS is the musical rock that grounds the three musicians and now, after more than half a decade since the release of their last studio LP, EARTHLESS has returned and is out to prove — through sheer rock power — why they are considered the cream of the modern day heavy psych scene.
“We feel this is some of the strongest material that we have ever created and we cannot wait to get out there and share it with everyone in a live setting,” said the band when asked for comment. From the Ages’ sprawling, epic cover art was created by renowned rock music poster artist Alan Forbes (Queens of the Stone Age, SWANS, Black Crowes) while the record’s surreal inner design was brought to life by the band’s own Mike Eginton.
Track listing: 1.) Violence of the Red Sea (14:44) 2.) Uluru Rock (14:08) 3.) Equus October (5:42) 4.) From the Ages (30:55)
Earthless, “From the Ages”/”Godspeed” Live in 2009
Earthless, Live at Stoned from the Underground 2013
So this happened today. I’ll admit I’ve been jealous all week of everyone heading to the Stoned from the Underground festival in Germany. It’s the kind of thing that if I had a ton of money and no responsibilities whatsoever I’d hit up in a minute, and Earthless are a good example of why. The Cali-based instrumentalists posted the cover art of their new album, From the Ages, this week, and you gotta figure they’re breaking out a few new jams as they kick off their European tour with The Atomic Bitchwax and Mirror Queen, so yeah, it would be cool to see that in an alternate universe where such a thing is possible.
That Earthless cover was just one slice of a huge pile of news over the last few days. From that to Volume IV and Leaf Hound signing to Ripple, to The Midnight Ghost Train tour dates that I still need to post — so… tired…. — it seemed like every day I started out with a plan to put up a bunch of stuff that got pushed aside in my ongoing and doomed-to-miserable-failure attempt to remain even slightly topical with the updates from bands. I’m not going to complain about a new Borracho record or Vista Chino touring, it’s just a lot to keep up with, and as evidenced by the several I didn’t get to as of yet, my keeping up with it could use some work.
I did a fair amount of later-in-the-day posting this week, though, so I guess it’s fitting to end off as we approach two in the morning. The Patient Mrs. and I cut out today and headed north to take a trip to Montreal that we’ve been talking about for — no joke, no exaggeration — a decade. It’s only six hours north, but it took this long to get here. So she’s conked out and I’m up in the hotel room typing. Fine. We rolled into town at around 6PM, I had some work to do and then we grabbed dinner from someplace like on the other end of the universe and cabbed it back. Seems like a nice city so far. Tomorrow, hopefully a little record shopping and seeing the sights. Hopefully also sleeping late. That would be nice.
This was supposed to be a bit of fun before the big move coming up at the end of the month. Time we probably should spend continuing to pack, but a good opportunity to blow off a bit of steam before she starts a new job in September and I’m never allowed to spend money again because of mortgage payments. Yeah, then we got the news today that the house we’re about to buy — whoops — had a chemical leak seep into the groundwater where it will apparently permanently stay, thus moving the resale value from “unlikely” to “not on your fucking life.” We were set to close July 31. The mortgage has been acquired. The movers are booked. Tonight, I ruined a perfectly good moment sitting outside at some bar by turning to her and saying, “I can’t fucking believe we’re not buying this house.” It was the only thing I could think of on the subject.
To clue you in: The Patient Mrs. got a job in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. As we currently reside in New Jersey, a move has been in the works since, oh, last November. We were finally there, finally all good to go, and then yesterday our lawyer finds out — because a lawsuit was settled over the spilling of the aforementioned chemical — that this shit happened and no one bothered to tell us, meanwhile the fucking family who owns the house I guess decided to pocket the 38 grand they got in the settlement and get the hell out of dodge. Fucking brilliant. We wondered how so many people in the neighborhood had been able to add onto their houses. Pretty clear now. Settlement money. Also explains the water filtration system in the basement of this place. Ugh.
So while next weekend I’m going to head north — YET. FUCKING. AGAIN. — to try and find a place to live in Massachusetts (renting now, because we wouldn’t have enough time to start the home-buying process and make her September start date even if we wanted to), this weekend is to be a fun, relaxing break from it all in Montreal, not at all tinged by the dashed hopes of housing unattained and seemingly unfuckingattainable or the visions I had of living and working in that space or the feeling that if only at some point I’d grown up and gotten a real job I’d be able to afford something, say, not built on a steaming pile of carcinogenic shit. No, no, no. Not at all tinged by that. I’m not at all souring this mini-vacation that, again, has been discussed for at least the last 10 years. I’m not at all blinded by set-my-skin-on-fire rage at the thought of these people selling us this house without giving notice of the gasoline additives bled into the dirt. Me? I’m gonna go see The Brought Low next Friday in Boston and make the most of my stunted opportunities. Me? I’m a rock and roller. I’ll take pictures!
Chin up, motherfucker.
Next week: Reviews of The Dirty Streets and Carpet and Phantom Glue and Sioux.
This Thursday, San Diego mega-jammers Earthless are set to launch a European tour alongside The Atomic Bitchwax and Mirror Queen at Stoned from the Underground in Germany. On their way out, Earthless have unveiled the cover art that will adorn their upcoming Tee Pee Records release, From the Ages, due Oct. 8, which will be the trio’s first studio album since 2007′s Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, though they’ve released two live albums — 2008′s Live at Roadburnand 2012′s Sonic Prayer Jam — since.
Those, as well as splits with Witch and White Hills, have kept Earthless in the (expanding) consciousness of their audience, and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell introduced his heavy psych project Golden Void with a self-titled debut (review here) last year while drummer Mario Rubalcaba has enjoyed a stint in the raw hardcore punk outfit OFF!, fronted by Keith Morris formerly of Black Flag, so they’ve been plenty busy as well. Still, a new Earthless record feels like an event worth marking, so check out the Alan Forbes album art below and stay tuned for more news and info on the release to come:
Earthless, From the Ages cover by Alan Forbes
Friends- The time has finally come! We have ended our hibernation from the recording studio & are very excited to say that we have a new record coming out soon on Tee Pee Records! Just take a look at the sneak peak cover by the Wizzard Alan Forbes
Stay tuned & if you are in Europe or London, come out & shake yr brains! This tour starts next week!!!
Earthless, The Atomic Bitchwax & Mirror Queen – Cosmic Sonic Rendezvous
11.07. (GER) ERFURT, Stoned from the Underground 12.07. (BEL) GENT, De Centrale 13.07. (UK) LONDON, The Garage 14.07. (NL) TILBURG, 013 15.07. (FR) PARIS, Nouveau Casino 16.07. (CH) ZURICH, Kinski KLUB 17.07. (AT) VIENNA, Arena 18.07. (ITA) ZEROBRANCO, Altroquando Summer Live Festival 19.07. (GER) MUNICH, Feierwerk 20.07. (GER) BERLIN, BI NUU
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I really, really don’t have a spare grand-plus lying around at this point, but golly that’s a cool lineup posted for Stoned from the Underground this year in Erfurt, Germany. It seems Lowrider‘s reunion — they were a highlight of the London Desertfest in a one-two punch of Swedish awesomeness completed by a set from Dozer immediately following — continues, which is unmistakably good news, and along with the likes of Earthless, Acid King, Troubled Horse, The Gates ofSlumber, Pelicanand the many others listed below, it seems like it’s going to be a killer weekend July 11-13. The kind of weekend I’d like very much to see, let’s say with a camera and laptop in tow. One of these years, maybe.
Indulge a bit of escapism with me, won’t you?
Welcome to the Mother of all German Stoner Rock Meetings
July 11th , 12th & 13th – Alperstedter Lake near ERFURT
Festival founded in 2001 and located in the very geographical center of Germany, in the area of Erfurt (Thuringen): Stoned From The Underground grew from a one day indoor event with 400 visitors in 2001 to a 3 days outdoor event with 3000 visitors last year !
Located a few kilometers away from the city, in a nest of nature bordered by the Alperstedter Lake, the festival is the perfect location for a very first relaxing summer weekend !
Whether you want to sit in the grass, puffing up clouds of smoke, sipping a beer while checking out the best Rock & Stoner acts of the moment,
Or whether you want to chill out laying on your belly on the sand of the beach with your toes cooling down in Lake’s water…..
STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND is the place where all your dreams will come true.
LINE- UP 2013: EARTHLESS ( Usa) MUSTASCH (Swe) POTHEAD (Ger)
TRUCKFIGHTERS (Swe) THE GATES OF SLUMBER (Usa) BEEN OBSCENE (At) LOWRIDER (Swe) HORISONT(Swe) TROUBLED HORSE (Swe) ISOPTERA (Ger) LORD VICAR (Fin) MIRROR QUEEN (Usa) ACID KING (Usa) PELICAN (Usa) THE OPERATORS (Ger) THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (Usa) FIVE HORSE JOHNSON (Usa) SARDONIS (Bel) HYNE (Ger) DEVILLE (Swe) BLACK BOMBAIM (Por) HERKULES PROPAGANDA (Ger) TRECKER (Ger)
Stay with me, friends, because there’s a lot going on here. Last November, Scion A/V and Roadburn Records got together in Hollywood to put on a label showcase at the Roxy. By all accounts, it was a ritzy affair. Red carpet, Orange amps, Blue Velvet, green horseshoes, the whole nine. Okay, I don’t know any of that, but whatever. On the bill were Enslaved, Astra, White Hills and Earthless. You don’t need me to tell you that’s a hell of a show.
Okay. At this gig of gigs, Earthless and White Hills had some material recorded, and that’s being presented today as a FREE DOWNLOAD LIVE EP at the Scion A/V website. I’ve also included the widget below for your convenience. Needless to say, both bands are in top form, because when the dudes from Roadburn come to town, you don’t want to let anything slide.
In addition to the aforementioned EP, which features the wah-drenched 12-minute “Red” from Earthless and 7:38 antigrav excursion “Under Skin or by Name” by White Hills, the Scion A/V team also sat down with the Roadburn Records crew — Jurgen van den Brand (note his 35007 shirt; awesome) and Jean-Paul van Steen — to talk about the formation of the label and how you sell music in the post-download age.
The clips provide an intensely fascinating look behind the scenes, and of course the EP is choice, so I’m thrilled to present the premiere of both below.
Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – The Festival Label
Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – Strategy
Scion A/V Releases Split EP Featuring EARTHLESS and WHITE HILLS
Celebrated Space Rock Bands Team Up, Deliver Herculean Cosmic Sound
Scion A/V, the creative enterprise of Scion devoted to the discovery, nurture, funding and distribution of compelling music and arts programming today releases a special two track, 20 minute EP featuring the heavy sounds of San Diego cosmonauts EARTHLESS and Brooklyn astral rockers WHITE HILLS. Recorded in November, 2012 at the world famous Roxy in Hollywood as part of the Scion-presented Roadburn Records label showcase, the free EP features EARTHLESS performing the stargazing track “Red” and WHITE HILLS delivering the boundless cut “Under Skin or by Name.” The EP is available as afree download now at ScionAV.com.
“Roadburn is an influential rock festival that is well respected internationally,” ?comments Jeri Yoshizu, manager of sales promotion for Scion. “We love what they do and wanted to be the first to bring Roadburn to the U.S.”?
EARTHLESS was formed in 2001 by Mario Rubalcaba, Isaiah Mitchell and Mike Eginton with the desire to create music incorporating a wide array of influences ranging from diverse bands (from Flower Travelin’ Band, Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind to The Birthday Party, Can and Rory Gallagher, to name a few) re-imagined and born to stand on its own. Described by Rubalcaba as a “heavy, loud, sonic mind melt,” the music of EARTHLESS features epic instrumental passages that have solidified the California trio as one of the must-see heavy psych rock bands on the planet today.
WHITE HILLS is guitarist Dave W., bassist Ego Sensation and drummer Nick Name. The New York group twists beauteous, brain-tenderizing riffs into tight spirals of sound that succeed through sheer momentum. Paying just as close attention to the quiet moments as the raging ones, WHITE HILLS’ songs are a push-pull between churning and floating, abandon and control. The end result is invigorating deep space rock that’s built to be performed (and experienced) live.
Track listing: 1.) EARTHLESS “Red” (12:31) 2.) WHITE HILLS “Under Skin or by Name” (7:38)
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Roadburn goes Hollywood! If there was any conflict involved, you could almost call this a clash of the titans. Somehow “alliance of the titans” doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it, or “titans putting on a killer show.” Still, pretty bitchin’ that Roadburn and Scion A/V Metal could get it together for a label showcase. How bitchin’, you ask? Well, it’s just about giant-size poster bitchin’.
Scion A/V Metal are excited to announce their next Scion Label Showcase with Roadburn Records!
We are taking over The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA on Saturday, November 10, and we’re bringing Enslaved, White Hills, Scott Kelly, Earthless, and Astra with us. RSVP coming soon, so stay tuned toScion A/V Metal’s Facebook page.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
My theory on San Diego/Tee Pee Records epic instrumental rockers Earthless is they play the parts of the ’70s live jam everyone liked best. You know the part where “the song” was like half an hour ago and the band has gone totally apeshit on one guitar solo for like 15 minutes, Dio has left the stage and Ritchie Blackmore looks like the muse just gave him brain damage? Yeah, that’s where Earthless live pretty much all the time. Only thing is the song never kicks back in and Earthless just keep jamming. Forever. That’s how they do, and apparently, they’re about to head over and do it in Europe. Quoth the PR wire:
Earthless are set to kick off a two week tour with Russian Circles! The band will also be performing at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland.
Earthless w/ Russian Circles
Apr 6 Hafenklang – Hamburg, Germany
Apr 7 Patronaat – Haarlem, Holland
Apr 8 Thekla – Bristol, UK
Apr 9 Brudenell – Leeds, UK
Apr 10 Captain’s Rest – Glasgow, UK
Apr 11 Islington Mill – Manchester, UK
Apr 12 Rock City Basement – Nottingham, UK
Apr 13 Underworld – London, UK
Apr 15 Roadburn Festival – Tilburg, NL
Apr 16 Impetus Days Festival – Lausanne, Switzerland
Apr 17 Sidecar – Barcelona, Spain
Posted in Reviews on March 2nd, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster
As I here and look at the window on the snowy valley and make ready to type this review, I’ve popped in my old promo of Witch‘s self-titled debut (filed right between Wintersun and Witchcraft) from 2006, in an effort to remind myself just why I expected such awesomeness at the show they, Earthless and Philadelphia local riffers Snake Sustaine put on at Asbury Lanes on Friday. Admittedly, it had been nearly three years since I’d seen them, but I didn’t expect the ravages of time to have played out quite so cruelly on their sound.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, despite its unfortunate locale, is probably the best venue in New Jersey to see a show. Where Starland Ballroom is too big and absolutely unbearable when overcrowded and Maxwell’s has the even worse luck to be stranded in the douchebag metropolis that is Hoboken, the Lanes is just right. Unfortunately it’s also a 90 minute drive from the valley. Some you win, some you lose.