Loose Sutures to Release Self-Titled Debut March 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

So let’s assume that Loose Sutures formed with a pretty healthy idea of what they wanted to do as a band. Their self-titled debut full-length, which is out later this month on Electric Valley Records, arrives only months after the group formed in June 2019. And seeing as it’s nine songs, plus five that are listed as interludes and one of which is a cover, that still hardly seems like enough time to even write them all, let alone record them, but I think if you listen to either of the streaming tracks from the record below — one of which is the aforementioned cover — you can kind of get the feel that the Sardinian four-piece are trying to keep things as to-the-point as possible. I haven’t heard the full album yet, but I’ll be interested to hear how the interludes complement the broader tracks.

The PR wire brings the album info:

loose sutures (Photo by Peppe Corronca)

LOOSE SUTURES: Sardinian fuzzy heavy/garage rockers share new track; self-titled LP sees release this month via Electric Valley Records

Loose Sutures’ self-titled debut album comes on 27th March 2020 via Electric Valley Records. Depicting killer profiles and kinky love stories, this album contains nine tracks (including a cover version of The Laughing Dogs’ “I Need a Million”) and 5 interludes. The track “Lie” features additional guitar contributions from the legendary Trevor Peres (from Obituary).

Artwork: Sscvlt

Formed in June 2019, Loose Sutures is a razor-sharp four-headed machine with lots of evil beats, killer fuzz, and unhealthy lyrics. These 4 Sardinian roughnecks play classic ’70s riffs with a pinch of modern punk attitude, conveying a blend of stoner and garage energy with the spirits of Fuzz, Blue Cheer, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and The Stooges.

The self-titled debut album will be released on Red Vinyl, 50x LTD Marbled Red/Black Vinyl, 25x Ultra LTD “Murder Edition,” and Digital formats via Electric Valley Records.

Recorded: RKS Studios, Sardinia (Italy)
Mixed and Mastered: Alfredo Carboni
Artwork: Sscvlt
Band Photos: Peppe Corronca

Upcoming Shows:
06/19 – Electric Valley Festival in Ossi, Sardinia, Italy
October 2020 – European Tour (TBA)

Pre-order:
http://bit.ly/2vT0YHP (Red Vinyl)
http://bit.ly/32aTImZ (50x LTD Marbled Red/Black Vinyl)
http://bit.ly/329muo2 (25x Ultra LTD “Murder Edition)
http://bit.ly/2SJimbf (Bandcamp)

Loose Sutures are:
Antonio Pilo – Guitar/Vocals
Gianpaolo Cherchi – Guitar/Vocals
Marcello Meridda – Bass
Marco Angius – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/loosesutures
https://www.instagram.com/loose_sutures_band
https://loosesutures.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords
https://www.instagram.com/electricvalleyrecord
http://electricvalleyrecords.com/

Loose Sutures, Loose Sutures (2020)

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Weed Demon Set April 3 Release for Crater Maker

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

weed demon

Tapping into a long history of underproduced Midwestern sludge extremity, Columbus, Ohio’s Weed Demon offer Crater Maker as their new full-length through Electric Valley Records. Comprised of six tracks running 45 minutes, the album — at least after its acoustic introduction “Atmospheric Drag” — dedicates itself almost entirely to conjurations of sonic filth, at least until a kind of hidden progression after the long fade of “Sporelord” that I won’t spoil because it’s too weird. Fuckery abounds, let’s just say that. Is it heavy? Well, it called Crater Maker, so extrapolate from that as you will.

It’s been given an April 3 release, and there’s no audio playing from it yet, which is fair enough, but no doubt that will come in time. A record like this needs some advanced warning, if nothing else.

The PR wire has details:

weed demon crater maker

WEED DEMON TO REVEAL ALBUM NAME/RELEASE DATE

Weed Demon are pleased to announce that they will release their new album Crater Maker on April 3rd 2020.

A bands third release is a challenging one – it’s frequently here where they make or break their career. Having launched on a musical journey five years ago with the desire to reflect their sludgy musical ancestors, Weed Demon live up to their early promise on Crater Maker. This is far and away their most fully realized work to date. Not for the faint of heart, Crater Maker launches with eleven minutes of instrumental stoner rock to set the mood. By the time you get to the devastating vocals of “Serpent Merchant” you know you’re in for a rare treat.

Infused with bluesy roots and defined by a search for the perfect tone, Crater Maker is a sonic quest like few others. Their worship of bands like Sleep and Electric Wizard is apparent throughout, but these Columbus, Ohio doomsters are clearly in touch with another side of themselves on this record. An album that rewards multiple listens, it promises to be a worthwhile listen for doom freaks across the globe. Electric Valley Records has once more signed a winner – are you ready to join them on the journey to this riff filled land?

The album will be available in the following formats:

-Gold Vinyl
-50x Ltd Trasparent Purple/Black Marbled Vinyl
-25x Ultra LTD “Sporelord Edition”
– Digital

Release date: April 3
Pre-order date: February 21 (6pm CET)

Tracklist:
Atmospheric Drag
Birthquake
Serpent Merchant
Crater Maker
The Elder Tree Pyre
Sporelord

Weed Demon are:
Andy
Jordan
Brian
Big Nick

https://www.facebook.com/weeddemonsludge
https://www.instagram.com/weeddemonsludge/
https://smokeweeddemon.bandcamp.com/
www.electricvalleyrecords.com
www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords
www.instagram.com/electricvalleyrecords
evrecords.bandcamp.com

Weed Demon, “Damage Case (Lemmy is God)”

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Quarterly Review: Total Fucking Destruction, Hippie Death Cult, The Cosmic Dead, Greenthumb, Elepharmers, Nothing is Real, Warish, Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Those Furious Flames, Mantra Machine

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’d like to find the jerk who decided that the week I fly to Norway was a good time for the Quarterly Review. That, obviously, was a tactical error on my part. Nonetheless, we press on with day four, which I post from Oslo on CET. Whatever time zone you may find yourself in this Thursday, I hope you have managed to find something so far in this onslaught of whatnot to sink your chompers into. That’s ultimately, why we’re here. Also because there are so many folders with albums in them on my desktop that I can’t stand it anymore. Happens about every three months.

But anyhoozle, we press on with Day Four of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, dutiful and diligent and a couple other words that start with ‘d.’ Mixed bag stylistically this time — trying to throw myself off a bit — so should be fun. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Total Fucking Destruction, #USA4TFD

Total Fucking Destruction USA4TFD

Who the hell am I to be writing about a band like Total Fucking Destruction? I don’t know. Who the hell am I to be writing about anything. Fuck you. As the Rich Hoak (Brutal Truth)-led Philly natives grind their way through 23 tracks in a 27-minute barrage of deceptively thoughtful sonic extremity, they efficiently chronicle the confusion, tumult and disaffection of our age both in their maddening energy and in the poetry — yeah, I said it — of their lyrics. To it, from “Is Your Love a Rainbow”: “Are you growing? Is everything okay? Are you growing in the garden of I don’t know?” Lines like this are hardly decipherable without a lyric sheet, of course, but still, they’re there for those ready to look beyond the surface assault of the material, though, frankly, that assault alone would be enough to carry the band — Hoak on drums/vocals, Dan O’Hare on guitar/vocals and Ryan Moll on bass/vocals — along their willfully destructive course. For their fourth LP in 20 years — most of that time given to splits and shorter releases, as one might expect — Total Fucking Destruction make their case for an end of the world that, frankly, can’t get here fast enough.

Total Fucking Destruction on Thee Facebooks

Give Praise Records website

 

Hippie Death Cult, 111

Hippie-Death-Cult-111

Issued first by the band digitally and on CD and then by Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl, 111 is the impressively toned debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Hippie Death Cult, who cull together heavy rock and post-grunge riffing with flourish of organ and a densely-weighted groove that serves as an overarching and uniting factor throughout. With the bluesy, classic feeling vocals of Ben Jackson cutting through the wall of fuzz from Eddie Brnabic‘s guitar and Laura Phillips‘ bass set to roll by Ryan Moore‘s drumming, there’s never any doubt as to where Hippie Death Cult are coming from throughout the seven-track/42-minute offering, but longer, side-ending pieces “Unborn” (8:24) and “Black Snake” (9:06) touch respectively on psychedelia and heavy blues in a way that emphasizes the subtle turns that have been happening all along, not just in shifts like the acoustic “Mrtyu,” but in the pastoral bridge and ensuing sweep of “Pigs” as well. “Sanctimonious” and “Breeder’s Curse” provide even ground at the outset, and from there, Hippie Death Cult only grow richer in sound along their way.

Hippie Death Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

 

The Cosmic Dead, Scottish Space Race

The Cosmic Dead Scottish Space Race

Heavyweight Glaswegian space jammers The Cosmic Dead present four massive slabs of lysergic intensity with their eighth long-player, Scottish Space Race (on Riot Season Records), working quickly to pull the listener into their gravity well and holding them there for the 2LP’s 75-minute duration. As hypnotic as it is challenging, the initial churn that emerges in the aptly-named 20-minute opener “Portal” clenches the stomach brutally, and it’s not until after about 12 minutes that the band finally lets it loose. “Ursa Major,” somewhat thankfully, is more serene, but still carries a sense of movement and build in its second half, while the 12-minute title-track is noisier and has the surprising inclusion of vocals from the generally instrumental outfit. They cap with the 24-minute kosmiche throb of “The Grizzard,” and there are vocals there too, but they’re too obscured to be really discernible in any meaningful way, and of course the end of the record itself is a huge wash of fuckall noise. Eight records deep, The Cosmic Dead know what they’re doing in this regard, and they do it among the best of anyone out there.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records website

 

Greenthumb, There are More Things

greenthumb there are more things

With just three tracks across a 20-minute span, There are More Things (on Acid Cosmonaut) feels like not much more than a sampler of things to come from Italian post-sludgers Greenthumb, who take their name from a Bongzilla track they also covered on their 2018 debut EP, West. The three-songer feels like a decided step forward from that offering, and though they maintain their screamier side well enough, they might be on the verge of needing a new name, as the rawness conveyed by the current moniker hardly does justice to the echoing atmospherics the band in their current incarnation bring. Launching with the two seven-minute cuts “The Field” and “Ogigia’s Tree,” they unfurl a breadth of roll so as to ensnare the listener, and though “The Black Court” is shorter at 5:37 and a bit more straight-ahead in its structure, it still holds to the ambient sensibility of its surroundings well, the band obviously doing likewise in transposing a natural feel into their sound born of landscape real or imagined.

Greenthumb on Thee Facebooks

Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

 

Elepharmers, Lords of Galaxia

Elepharmers Lords Of Galaxia Artwork

Riffy Sardinians Elepharmers set themselves to roll with “Ancient Astronauts” and do not stop from there on Lords of Galaxia, their third LP and debut through Electric Valley Records. There are some details of arrangement between the guitars of El Chino (also bass, vocals and harmonica) and Andrea “Fox” Cadeddu and the drums of Maurizio Mura, but as Marduk heralds his age on second cut “Ziqqurat,” the central uniting factor is g-r-o-o-v-e, and Elepharmers have it down through “The Flood” and into side B’s classic stoner rocking “Foundation” and the driving “The Mule,” which shifts into laser-effects ahead of the fade that brings in closer “Stars Like Dust” for the last 10 minutes of the 47-minute offering. And yes, there’s some psychedelia there, but Elepharmers stay pretty clearheaded on the whole in such a way as to highlight the sci-fi theme that seems to draw the songs together as much as the riffage. More focus on narrative can only help bring that out more, but I’m not sure I’d want that at the expense of the basic songwriting, which isn’t at all broken and thus requires no fixing.

Elepharmers on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nothing is Real, Only the Wicked are Pure

nothing is real only the wicked are pure

How do you recognize true misanthropy when you come across it? It doesn’t wear a special kind of facepaint, though it can. It doesn’t announce itself as such. It is a frame. Something genuinely antisocial and perhaps even hateful is a worldview. It’s not raise-a-claw-in-the-woods. It’s he-was-a-quiet-loner. And so, coming across the debut album from Los Angeles experimentalist doom outfit, one gets that lurking, creeping feeling of danger even though the music itself isn’t overly abrasive. But across the 2CD debut album, a sprawl of darkened, viciously un-produced fare that seems to be built around programmed drums at the behest of Craig Osbourne — who may or may not be the only person in the band and isn’t willing to say otherwise — plays out over the course of more than two hours like a manifesto found after the fact. Imagine chapters called “Hope is Weakness,” “Fingered by the Hand of God,” and “Uplift the Worthy (Destroy the Weak).” The last of those appears on both discs — as do several of the songs in different incarnations — as the track marries acoustic and eventual harder-edged guitar around murderous themes, sounding something like Godflesh might have if they’d pursued a darker path. Scary.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Warish, Down in Flames

warish down in flames

The fact that Warish are blasting hard punk through heavy blowout tones isn’t what everyone wants to talk about when it comes to the band. They want to talk about the fact that it’s Riley Hawk — of royal stock, as regards pro skateboarding — fronting the band. Well, that’s probably good for a built-in social media following — name recognition never hurts, and I don’t see a need to pretend otherwise — but it doesn’t do shit for the album itself. What matters about the album is that bit about the blasting blowout. With Down in Flames (on RidingEasy), the Oceanside three-piece follow-up their earlier-2019 debut EP with 11 tracks that touch on horror punk with “Bones” and imagine grunge-unhinged with “Fight” and “You’ll Abide,” but are essentially a display of tonal fuckall presented not to add to a brand, but to add the soundtrack to somebody’s blackout. It’s a good time and the drunkest, gnarliest, most-possibly-shirtless dude in the room is having it. Also he probably smells. And he just hugged you. Down in Flames gets high with that dude. That matters more than who anyone’s dad is.

Warish on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Split

It’s a double-dose of New England doom as Connecticut’s Mourn the Light and Boston’s Oxblood Forge pair up for a split release. The former bring more material than the latter, particularly when one counts the digital-only bonus cover of Candlemass‘ “Bewitched,” but with both groups, it’s a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Both groups share a clear affinity for classic metal — and yes, that absolutely extends to the piano-led drama of Mourn the Light‘s mournful “Carry the Flame” — but Oxblood Forge‘s take thereupon is rougher edged, harder in its tone and meaner in the output. Their “Screams From Silence” feels like something from a dubbed-and-mailed tape circa ’92. Mourn the Light’s “Drags Me Down” is cleaner-sounding, but no less weighted. I don’t think either band is out to change the world, or even to change doom, but they’re doing what they’re doing well and without even an ounce of pretense — well, maybe a little bit in that piano track; but it’s very metal pretense — and clearly from the heart. That might be the most classic-metal aspect of all.


Mourn the Light on Thee Facebooks

Oxblood Forge on Thee Facebooks

 

Those Furious Flames, HeartH

those furious flames hearth

Swiss heavy rockers Those Furious Flames push the boundaries of psychedelia, but ultimately remain coherent in their approach. Likewise, they very, very obviously are into some classic heavy rock and roll, but their take on it is nothing if not modern. And more, they thrive in these contradictions and don’t at all sound like their songs are in conflict with themselves. I guess that’s the kind of thing one can pull off after 15 years together on a fifth full-length, which HeartH (on Vincebus Eruptum) is for them. Perhaps it’s the fact that they let the energy of pieces like “VooDoo” and the boogie-laced “HPPD” carry them rather than try to carry it, but either way, it’s clearly about the songs first, and it works. With added flash of organ amid the full-sounding riffs, Those Furious Flames round out with the spacey “Visions” and earn every bit of the drift therein with a still-resonant vocal harmony. You might not get it all the first time, but listening twice won’t be at all painful.

Those Furious Flames on Thee Facebooks

Vincebus Eruptum Recordings BigCartel store

 

Mantra Machine, Heliosphere

mantra machine heliosphere

This is what it’s all about. Four longer-form instrumentalist heavy psych jams that are warm in tone and want nothing so much as to go out wandering and see what they can find. Through “Hydrogen,” “Atmos,” “Delta-V” and “Heliosphere,” Amsterdam-based three-piece Mantra Machine want nothing for gig-style vitality, but their purpose isn’t so much to electrify as to find that perfect moment of chill and let it go, see where it ends up, and they get there to be sure. Warm guitar and bass tones call to mind something that might’ve come out of the Netherlands at the start of this decade, when bands like Sungrazer and The Machine were unfolding such fluidity as seemed to herald a new generation of heavy psychedelia across Europe. That generation took a different shape — several different shapes, in the end — but Mantra Machine‘s Heliosphere makes it easy to remember what was so exciting about that in the first place. Total immersion. Total sense of welcoming. Totally human presence without speaking a word. So much vibe. So much right on.

Mantra Machine on Thee Facebooks

Mantra Machine on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Bellrope, Cracked Machine, The Sky Giants, Sacred Monster, High ‘n’ Heavy, Warlung, Rogue Conjurer, Monovine, Un & Coltsblood, La Grande Armée

Posted in Reviews on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Six. Not that there wasn’t a bit of a crunch along the way, but I definitely think this Quarterly Review was aided by the fact that I dug so much of what I was writing about on a personal-taste level. You get through it one way or the other, but it just makes it more fun. Today is the last day and then it’s back to something approaching normal tomorrow, but of course before this thing is rounded out I want to thank you as always for taking the time and for reading if you did. It means a tremendous amount to me to put words out and have people see them, so thank you for your part in that.

This could’ve easily gone seven or eight or 10 days if scheduling had permitted, but here’s as good a place to leave it. The next one will probably be the first week of July or thereabouts, so keep an eye out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Bellrope, You Must Relax

bellrope you must relax

How much noise can your brain take? I don’t mean noise like start-stop riffs and dudes shouting. I mean actual, abrasive, amelodic noise. Bellrope, with ex-members of the underrated Black Shape of Nexus start their Exile on Mainstream-delivered debut album, You Must Relax, with three minutes of chaff-separation they’re calling “Hollywood 2001/Rollrost.” It’s downright caustic. Fortunately, what follows on the four subsequent extended tracks devotes itself to lumbering post-sludge that’s at least accessible by comparison. “Old Overholt” is the only other inclusion under 10 minutes as the tracks are arranged shortest to longest with the 17:57 “CBD/Hereinunder” concluding. The thickened tones brought to bear throughout “Old Overholt” and the blend of screams and growls that accompany are more indicative of what follows on the centerpiece title-track and the penultimate “TD2000,” but the German four-piece still manage to sound plenty fucked throughout. Just not painfully so. There’s something threatening about the use of the word “must” in the album’s title. The songs realize that threat.

Bellrope on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Cracked Machine, The Call of the Void

Cracked Machine The Call of the Void

Here be dragons. Though its core tonality is still within the bounds of heavy rock, Wiltshire, UK, four-piece bring a far more atmospheric and progressive style to fruition on their second album, The Call of the Void, than it might at first appear. With post-rock float to the guitar of Bill Denton, keyboard textures from Clive Noyes, and fluid rhythms carried through changes in volume and ambience from bassist Christ Sutton and drummer Blazej Gradziel, the PsyKA Records outfit present a cerebral seven tracks/47 minutes of immersive and seemingly conceptual work, with opener “Jormungandr” establishing the context in which each song that follows is named for a different culture’s dragon, whether it’s the Hittite “Illuyanka,” Japan’s “Yamata No Orochi” or the Persian “Azi Dahakar.” Cracked Machine use this theme to tie pieces together, and they push farther out as the record unfolds late with “Typhon” and “Vritra” a closing pair of marked scope. The shortest cut, the earlier 5:14 “Kirimu,” has probably the most straightforward push, but Cracked Machine demonstrate an ability to adapt to the needs of whatever idea they’re working to convey.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

PsyKA Records webstore

 

The Sky Giants, The Shifting of Phaseworld

the sky giants the shifting of phaseworld

Taking cues from psychedelia almost as much as jangly West Coast noise and punk, Tacoma, Washington’s The Sky Giants offer the 10-track sophomore outing The Shifting of Phaseworld, which finds a balance in songs like “Dream Receiver” between progressive heavy rock and its rawer foundations. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Jake Frye, bassist Jessie Avery and drummer/vocalist/engineer/graphic artist Peter Tietjen are comfortable tipping from one side to the other between and within songs, starting off with the shove of “Technicolor Kaleidoscope” and getting mathy on the later “Half Machine” ahead of the chunkier-riffed “Rhyme and the Flame,” which somehow touches on classic punk even as it hones a wash of distortion that that has to cut through. Closing each side with a longer track in the rolling, airy “Solid State” (6:53) and the frenetic ending of “Simian” (7:38), The Sky Giants stake out a sonic terrain very much their own throughout The Shifting of Phaseworld and only seem to expand their territory as they go.

The Sky Giants on Thee Facebooks

The Sky Giants on Bandcamp

 

Sacred Monster, Worship the Weird

sacred monster worship the weird

Topped off by the ace screams of vocalist Adam Szczygiel, who taps his inner Devin Townsend circa Strapping Young Lad on “High Confessor” and “Re-Animator,” Sacred Monster‘s debut album, Worship the Weird would seem to cull together elements of Orange Goblin and Bongzilla for a kind of classic-metal-aware sludge rock, the riffs of Robert Nubel not at all shy about digging into aggressive vibes to go with the layers of growls and throatrippers and the occasional King Diamond-esque falsetto, as on “Waverly Hills,” as bassist Guillermo Moreno and drummer Ted Nubel bolster that feel with tight turns and duly driven bottom end. I’ll take “Face of My Father” as a highlight, if only for the excruciating sound of Szczygiel‘s screech, but the swing in closer “Maze of Dreams” has an appeal of its own, and as a Twilight Zone and a Shatner fan, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” offers its own charm.

Sacred Monster on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Monster on Bandcamp

 

High n’ Heavy, Warrior Queen

high n heavy warrior queen

Shades of grunge and skate-fuzz fuckall pervade the Sabbathian grooves of High n’ Heavy‘s second album, Warrior Queen, as guitarist John Steele works some doomly keys into second cut “Shield Maiden” and vocalist Kris Fortin moves in and out of throaty shouts on side B’s “Lydia.” They thrash out in the noisy “Catapult” and Nick Perrone‘s drums seem to bounce even in the longer-winded “Lands Afar” and closer “Smell of Decay / Wings and Claw,” on which Mike Dudley‘s rumble backs classically metallic shred in the lead guitar after offering likewise support to the piano in the early going of “Join the Day.” Released through Electric Valley Records, the eight-song/36-minute LP comes across as raw but not without purpose in that, and its blend of tonal thickness and the blend of thrust and nod does well to ensure High n’ Heavy remain unpredictable while also living up to the standard of their moniker. There’s potential here that’s worth further exploration on the part of the band.

High n’ Heavy on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Warlung, Immortal Portal

Warlung Immortal Portal

Houston, Texas, four-piece make a quick case for the attention of Ripple Music on their sophomore outing, Immortal Portal, which is slickly-but-not-too-slickly produced and sharply-but-not-too-sharply executed, a professional sensibility in “Black Horse Pike” and the subsequent “The Palm Reader” — which manages to be influenced melodically by Uncle Acid without sounding just like them — ahead of the ’80s metallurgy of “Heart of a Sinner” and the reference-packed “1970.” “We All Die in the End” gives an uptempo swing to the opening salvo ahead of the more brooding “Between the Dark and the Light,” but Warlung hold firm to clearly-presented melodies and riff-led rhythms no matter where they seem to go in mood or otherwise. That ties the drift of the later “Heavy Echoes” to the earlier material and makes the harmony-laced “No Son of Mine” and the organ-ic proggy sprawling finale “Coal Minors” all the more effective in reaching beyond where the album started, so that the listener winds up in a different landscape than they started, still grounded, but changed nonetheless.

Warlung on Thee Facebooks

Warlung on Bandcamp

 

Rogue Conjurer, Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives

rogue conjurer of the goddess

Originally released digitally by the Baltimore-based unit in 2017, the two-songer Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives sees pressing as an ultra-limited tape via Damien Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Tonie Joy, drummer Colin Seven and organist Donny Van Zandt — since replaced by Trevor Shipley — honing a psychedelic take on doomly riffs and groove. “Crystal Mountain Lives” has a more distinct nod to its central progression, with a wah-drenched break and greater overall largesse of fuzz, but “Of the Goddess” brings an effective almost shoegazing sense to its downer spirit. The first track is also longer, so it has more time to move from that initial impression to its own payoff, but either way you go, Rogue Conjurer bring out their dead ably on the tape, showing influences from heavy psych and beyond as “Of the Goddess” winds its way to its close and “Crystal Mountain Lives” begins its fade-in all over again. No pretense, but a broad range that would allow for some if they wanted.

Rogue Conjurer on Instagram

Damien Records on Bandcamp

 

Monovine, D.Y.E

monovine dye

Athens heavy rockers Monovine wear their grunge influence proudly on their third full-length, D.Y.E, issued late in 2018 digitally with an early 2019 vinyl release. It’s writ large in the Nirvana-ism of the slurring “Mellow” at the outset and remains a factor through the melodies of “Void” and the later punkery of “Messed Up” or “Ring a Bell,” as well as the toying-with-pop “Me (Raphe Nuclei)” and “Your Figure Smells,” but where Monovine succeed in making that influence their own is by filtering it through a fuzzier presentation. The guitar and bass tones keep a modern heavy feel, and as the drums roll and crash through songs like “For a Sun” and “Why Don’t You Shoot Me in the Head,” that makes a difference in the overall impression the album leaves. Still, there’s little question as to their central point of inspiration, and they bring it out in homage and as a fairly honed mode of expression on closer “Haunt,” which teases an explosion in its melancholy strum and then… well, don’t let me spoil it.

Monovine on Thee Facebooks

Monovine on Bandcamp

 

Un & Coltsblood, Split

un coltsblood split

A festering 42 minutes of lurching agonies, Un and Coltsblood‘s split taps the best of modern death-doom’s emotionalism and bent toward extremity. Billed as a “tribute to grief: the final act of love,” it brings just two tracks, one per band, as Coltsblood open with “Snows of the Winter Realm” and Un follow with “Every Fear Illuminated.” Both bands proffer a terrifyingly weighted plod and offset it with a spacious ambience, whether it’s Un departing their grueling nod after about six and a half minutes only to build back up over the next six and grow more ferocious until devolving into noise and slamming crashes ahead of an outro of echoing, needs-a-tune-sounding piano, or Coltsblood fostering their own tonal brutalism and casting their lot with death and black metal while a current of airy guitar seems to mourn the song even as it plays out. Each cut is a monument built to loss, and their purpose in conveying that theme is both what unites them and what makes their work so ultimately consuming, as grief is.

Un on Thee Facebooks

Coltsblood on Thee Facebooks

 

La Grande Armée, La Grande Armée

La Grande Armée La Grande Armée

The blend of drifting guitar and psychedelic wash on opener “El Canto de las Ballenas” earns La Grande Armée‘s self-titled debut three-song EP immediate favor, and the patient execution they bring to the subsequent “Tripa Intergaláctica” and “Normandía,” particularly the latter, only furthers that appeal. The Chilean trio keep a decidedly natural feel to the exploratory-seeming work, and if this is them finding their sound, they seem happy to do it by losing themselves in their jams. All the better someone thought to press record, since although there’s clearly some trajectory behind the progression of songs — i.e., they know at least to a degree where they want to end up — the process of getting there comes across as spontaneous. Guitar pans channels as bass and drums hold down languid flow, and even in the more active midsection of “Tripa Intergaláctica,” La Grande Armée there’s a sense that it’s more about the space being created than the construction under way. In any case, wherever they want to head next, they would seem to have the means of travel at their disposal.

La Grande Armée on Thee Facebooks

La Grande Armée on Bandcamp

 

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Mother Iron Horse Sign to Electric Valley Records; Begin Work on First Album

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

Massachusetts newcomers Mother Iron Horse have been a band for about seven months, give or take, but they’ve already got an initial two-songer out in the form of Fall 2018’s The Curse, and they’ve already announced work has begun on their debut full-length, which will be released through Electric Valley Records. One might call that a productive start and perhaps leave the understatement to speak for itself, but either way, the four-piece don’t have a set arrival date for the record or anything — “work has begun” could mean six months of writing followed by another six of recording, however contrary that would be to their initial intensity — but it’s in progress. In the meantime, the two tracks of The Curse are at the bottom of this post if you’d care to dig in, and we’ll file the rest neatly away under “more to come.”

The announcement from Electric Valley follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

mother iron horse

Electric Valley Records – Mother Iron Horse

Electric Valley Records is proud to announce the signing of the american Stoner/Doom Band *** MOTHER IRON HORSE ***

Formed in 2018 in Salem, Ma, Mother Iron Horse is Adam Luca, Marco Medina, Chris Kobialka and Devin Fields.

Blending esoteric lyrics with roaring guitar riffs in a way that packs Doom Metal and Rock n Roll into one red eyed, beer soaked suitcase and kicks it down the stairs.

The band came to fruition over a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and the shared background of Boston’s heavy music scene. The band officially started in July 2018, but, due to set backs, didn’t get going until October 2018. The Salem band released a two-track EP on Halloween 2018 which garnered them some national exposure. In January of 2019 Mother Iron Horse signed to Electric Valley Records and began recording their debut full length album.

https://www.facebook.com/MotherIronHorse/
www.instagram.com/mother_iron_horse
motherironhorse.bandcamp.com
www.electricvalleyrecords.com
www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords
www.instagram.com/electricvalleyrecords
evrecords.bandcamp.com

Mother Iron Horse, The Curse EP

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High n’ Heavy Sign to Electric Valley Records; New Album in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I think we’ve hit the stage of the year when most of the new album announcements will either be for the tail end of November or for next year. Massachusetts’ moniker-as-aesthetic heavy rockers High n’ Heavy have their fourth album in post-production now — presumably that means mixing/mastering, not CGI — and they’ve signed to Electric Valley Records for the release, but I’d be really surprised if it showed up before the end of the year. Nobody wants to do releases in December — traditionally, the music industry goes home for the holidays — and if the record’s not pressed yet because it’s not completely finished, then yeah, let’s say 2019. Pretty impressive however that even so, it’ll be the band’s fourth album in five years when it comes out. The other three, including the latest, which is 2017’s From the Flames, are all name-your-price on Bandcamp.

The label sent the following down the PR wire:

high n heavy

Electric Valley Records is proud to announce the signing of the Stoner Doom band *** HIGH N’ HEAVY ***

High n’ Heavy are a four piece instrument of destruction out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Formed in late 2014 with The Stooges, Black Sabbath, and Motörhead in mind; their sound has evolved to perfectly embody all of their influences. Mostly playing shows in their native New England, High n’ Heavy has been gathering a following with their electrifying musicianship and high energy live sets.

From the depths of space they came. One by one. From out of the skies they fell. Now, with the magic they possess, they melt the faces of earths people. With thunderous drums, booming bass, screaming guitar solos, and mystical vocals they are… HIGH N’ HEAVY!!!

Their first 3 albums have shown the band to be at home playing everything from the most brutal of doom to the dirtiest of rock n’ roll. With their fourth already in post production, High n’ Heavy are guaranteed to melt faces and break hearts.

https://www.facebook.com/HighnHeavy
http://instagram.com/Highnheavy
https://highnheavy.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords
http://instagram.com/Electricvalleyrecords
www.electricvalleyrecords.com

High n’ Heavy, From the Flames (2017)

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Elepharmers Sign to Electric Valley Records; New Album out in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

There’s a running gag around my house — there are a few, actually — wherein, as the husband and patriarch of our family, I am the spiritual head of the household for myself, The Patient Mrs., The Pecan and The Little Dog Dio, and as such, I’ve chosen the religion for the family to be “ancient astronaut theory.” I’ll admit, lately I’ve also been flirting with crystals — which I’m not even sure how you’d make that a religion, but you know, can’t you kind of say the same for any dogma? — so my position is evolving as the spiritual head of the household, but for now, yeah, aliens. Accordingly it’s with particular interest that I look forward to the release of the third album from Italian three-piece Elepharmers, which will also be their debut on Electric Valley Records, and will cavort with ancient astronaut theory as well as other doodads out of the sci-fi landscape.

Not that ancient astronaut theory isn’t real, mind you. This is the spiritual foundation of my home we’re talking about.

And so on.

From the PR wire:

elepharmers

Electric Valley Records is proud to announce the signing of the Stoner Doom Psych band ELEPHARMERS

Elepharmers are a trio that plays a mix of hard 70’s blues, psychedelic space-rock, 90’s stoner: they come from Sardinia (Italy), an island in the West Mediterranean Sea.The band’s members are strongly influenced by their native land: sunny and unspoiled plains, wild coasts, mysterious megalithic sites, ancient forests. Elepharmers’ sound is made by impressive riffs & psychedelic guitar solos, powerful drums’ grooves, bluesy vocals and some synth incursions. The band released 2 full-lenght albums: “Weird Tales From the Third Planet” (Go Down Records, 2013) and “Erebus” (Go Down Records, 2016).

Elepharmers toured Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands; they played at important international festivals like Duna Jam, Elav Stoner Open Air, Maximum Festival, Monolithix Fest and they shared the stage with bands like Karma to Burn, Yawning Man, Red Fang, Mars Red Sky, Toner Low, Monkey 3, Electric Moon and many others. In 2018 the band is working on a new album: a concept inspired by Isaac Asimov’ sci-fi novels and Zecharia Sitchin’s theories about “ancient astronauts”. The new album will be released in February 2019 by Electric Valley Records.

Elepharmers is:
El Chino – vocals; rhythm guitar; bass; harmonica
Andrea “Fex” Cadeddu – lead & rhythm guitars –
Maurizio Mura – drums

www.facebook.com/elepharmers
www.instagram.com/elepharmers
https://twitter.com/Elepharmers
https://elepharmers.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords
www.instagram.com/electricvalleyrecords
www.electricvalleyrecords.com

Elepharmers, Erebus (2016)

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Weed Demon Post “Sigil of the Black Moon” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

weed demon

With their debut album, Astrological Passages (review here), Columbus, Ohio, four-piece Weed Demon step into one of the country’s most vicious sludge legacies. There are few phrases that strike fear into the heart of pharmaceuticals like “Ohio sludge,” and with good reason. From Fistula and Rue to Rebreather and Sofa King Killer, the Buckeye State has produced landmarks for the genre to rival anything that’s come out of New Orleans or any of the other US hotbeds on the West or East Coasts. Issued by the band in 2017 and pressed to vinyl by Electric Valley Records, Weed Demon‘s four-tracker LP bring in shades of modern riff tectonics à la groups like Monolord and rumbles with a tonal heft that seems to extended even to the high end of their guitar solos. Vocals have a tendency to roar accordingly.

“Sigil of the Black Moon,” for which the band has a new video out, is the second-longest song on Astrological Passages at 10:46 — only closer “Jettisoned” tops it, at 12:37 — and is a fervent, lumbering beast of a track. Shades of Goya‘s ultra-stonerism pervade, but with the harsher edge, there’s little question where Weed Demon‘s collective corrupt heart lies in terms of style. You’d call it brutal and not be wrong. The band appear in the video, playing through the song in front of what looks like a really nice rock wall in someone’s living room maybe. They’ve got some candles set up around them and it’s all well and good. Then there’s another part of the video, where it cuts to this guy and his lady and they’re like covered in dirt makeup and chocolate sauce or whatever it is and making out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to sit here and judge anyone’s kink, it’s just not the kind of thing you usually see in a sludge clip.

All the better, I guess. It’s pretty hilarious though to watch the guy in the mirror putting on his makeup and think of the Primordial video earlier this year that was basically their frontman doing the same thing. Context goes a long way.

The clip follows here, along with some PR wire background on its making and live dates.

Enjoy:

Weed Demon, “Sigil of the Black Moon” official video

WEED DEMON are pleased to reveal their new video for “Sigil Of The Black Moon”. The song is taken from the album Astrological Passages which is getting a fresh release on vinyl July 27th.

The band commented “We started working on the video for “Sigil” in August of last year. A handful of setbacks and numerous bowl packs later we finally got around to wrapping everything up. Seeing the final product was like a huge collective exhale for us. It’s no easy task to put together an almost 11 minute video. A huge thanks to Josh Richter for helping to keep the project moving forward. Keep it heavy. Keep it hazy.”

Weed Demon live:
Aug 10 The Green Lantern Lexington, KY
Aug 11 Urban Artifact Cincinnati, OH
Sep 13 The Spacebar Columbus, OH

Weed Demon is:
Jordan Holland – Bass, Vocals
Andy Center – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Brian Buckley – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Chris Windle – Drums

Weed Demon, Astrological Passages (2018)

Weed Demon on Thee Facebooks

Weed Demon on Instagram

Weed Demon on Bandcamp

Electric Valley Records on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

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