Review & Track Premiere: Iguana, Translational Symmetry

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Iguana Translational Symmetry

[Click play above to hear ‘Below the Hinterlands’ from Iguana’s Translational Symmetry. Album is out Nov. 15 on Tonzonen Records.]

A record that starts off coasting through outer space and ends up wondering amid fuzz and post-rock melo-wash why we just can’t get along, Iguana‘s Translational Symmetry is a progressive genrebender marked by high order songcraft and unrepentantly gorgeous psychedelia. The Chemnitz four-piece’s first offering for Tonzonen and third LP overall behind 2012’s Get the City Love You (review here) and 2015’s Cult of Helios (review here), it comprises nine tracks and runs 44 minutes, seeming in the process to pull influence from a host of styles, from the drifting opening semi-title-track “Time Translation Symmetry” to classic prog and space rock on “Below the Hinterlands” to the desert-tone-meets-hippie-folk-vocals of “Vessel Meerkatze” and the garage-plus-keyboard rocking shove of “Hear the Kid Out” later on.

The name of the game — and it is a game — is dynamic, and Iguana have developed it in earnest over a history that goes back at least a decade before they actually released their first album. Comprised now as they have been at least since 2012 of guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist/synthesist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier, they’ve developed a chemistry that allows them to reach further than they ever have, and though each of their long-players to this point in their tenure has offered something different, whether it was the pure desert worship of the first or the farther-afield, jammy heavy psych warmth of the second, and Translational Symmetry would seem to extend this ethic to the songs themselves.

Tracks are united through a general progressive mindset, and Lörinczy‘s layered vocals play a crucial role in uniting the material while also feeding the various atmospheres the band is working within, but the album shifts in mood and vibe on a nearly per-song basis, hitting on a central riff in “Leaving Crete” that feels like a gift given to the band by Spirit Caravan while using it to their own, broad purposes. This speaks to perhaps the greatest asset of the band’s songwriting at this stage: even when one might recognize an element or an influence in their work, Iguana take it and reshape it to suit the needs of their own work.

The difference is that between playing to style and playing with it, and Iguana are definitely doing the latter on Translational Symmetry. “Leaving Crete” resolves itself in a final hook and fare-thee-well bit of wah before “The Fish Code” takes hold with a jabbier, winding rhythm gracefully executed by the drums and bass with the guitars floating over and the synth seeming to be the current running beneath to hold it all together. Atmosphere is important to the proceedings, but not necessarily central, since the bulk of the material still has a structure underlying; even the eight-plus-minute “Rites of Passages” that opens side B in instrumentalist fashion seems to have an underlying plot, shifting between an initial thrust to dreamier Floydism in a mellower midsection before the energy level creeps back up amid a sleek groove and crash-cymbal wash, ultimately returning to the galloping motion that started off and building on it for a rousing lead that makes a fitting transition into “Hear the Kid Out,” which immediately follows.

iguana

Whether fast or slow, active or dreamy, loud or quiet, Iguana maintain both atmosphere and structure in a balance that’s fluid enough to allow them to enact some sense of a second-half-of-record branch-out, while still having already “branched” in that sense pretty far on the first half of the album. To say their sound has never been so malleable is kind of underselling it, but that’s true just the same. The truth is that Translational Symmetry is a more ambitious work than they’ve issued to-date, and it does not set a goal for itself that it leaves unmet. Those goals are an accomplishment unto itself, but essentially this is the sound of Iguana finding their identity through overcoming their influences and establishing themselves as themselves — their style as their own, to do with as they will. Plus songwriting. So yes, mark it a win.

If one looks at side A as a collection of shorter pieces, still with plenty of sonic diversity between them, from “Time Translation Symmetry” and “Below the Hinterlands” to “Vessel Meerkatze” and side B as made up of “Rites of Passages,” “Hear the Kid Out” and the closing duo of “Repeating Odd Dream” and “Spinning Top” — fascinating that the record would close with two tracks the titles of which both start with gerunds; “Leaving Crete,” earlier, is the only other — then with “Hear the Kid Out” as a relative-back-to-ground moment after “Rites of Passages,” or at least back-to-verses-and-choruses, then the album’s final movement seems to be all the more a cohesive and purposeful delve.

“Repeating Odd Dream” brings air-push fuzz and a complex rhythm, while the melodic focus of “Spinning Top” and its hook give it a spirit that draws on shoegaze but isn’t trying to pretend to sound like it doesn’t care. The synth might actually be a part of that impression, as it fills out the proceedings alongside an easy-nodding groove en route to an effects-laced finish, but really it’s everything. And that’s true of the record as a whole. Songs have their standout moments, rest assured, and those come from a flourish here, an arrangement detail there, a melody, a chorus, a verse line, a perfectly-timed tonal shift or snare pop, whatever it might be, but nothing is so prevalent as to take away from the impression of Translational Symmetry as an entirety. It is best heard as a whole album (said the guy streaming a single) in front-to-back fashion, but it stands up to the scrutiny of a deeper, track-to-track listen as well, with each song smoothly executing dynamic shifts of tempo and vibe that feed into the overarching statement.

It’s hard to pinpoint Iguana‘s trajectory, since Translational Symmetry — which seems to be  titled after what they’ve found in terms of bringing their ideas to life — takes the narrative one might’ve constructed for them after their first two records and throws it in the trash, but clearly the lesson of their third offering is that they’re able to do what they want in terms of the actual material and still make it theirs. From that starting point — from this point — they can go wherever they want.

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana on Instagram

Iguana on Bandcamp

Iguana website

Tonzonen Records on Thee Facebooks

Tonzonen Records on Instagram

Tonzonen Records website

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Iguana Sign to Tonzonen; Announce New Album Translational Symmetry

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

German progressive heavy rockers Iguana were last heard from with their 2015 full-length, Cult of Helios (review here), and though they’ve always been around and continued to do live shows, there hasn’t been much word of a follow-up. With the news that they’ve signed to Tonzonen Records for their next release and the announcement that said outing will be called Translational Symmetry, we come the closest we have yet to concrete evidence that, yes, such a thing exists.

And not like the footprint in the snow automatically means there’s a yeti. I mean like at some point the album will be out. As to what point, well, that’s still a little blurry on the horizon, but there’s plenty of 2019 left if it might happen then, or there’s always next year, though waiting that long would only seem to tempt the planet to open wide and swallow humanity whole before the thing is released. Which would be a bummer.

If you’d like a refresher, the Bandcamp stream of Cult of Helios is below. Here’s news from Tonzonen‘s site and the band’s social media:

iguana

IGUANA SIGNED TO TONZONEN RECORDS

I’m very happy to announce that IGUANA signed to Tonzonen Records for the new album.

We are in contact since one year and now we can start the collaboration.

More infos about the forthcoming album coming soon.

IGUANA can be found somewhere in the stylistic abyss that comprises symphonic Kraut, Stoner-beats, Nostalgic Grunge, British Invasion and Dreampop-Crooners. Rarily has Fuzz Rock sounded this diverse and experimental – at least not since the legendary Desert Sessions, which certainly struck a chord with the IGUANA boys. For a while now, they’ve been brewing up something of their own, carefully side-stepping the mainstream and any stereotypes, but dropping little pearls from the genre every now and then. And they’ve been playing with all sorts of acts (like Brant Bjork, Saint Vitus, Colour Haze, Kadavar, and Samsara Blues Experiement) at gigs and festivals, and on tours all across Europe.

Says the band: “We are happy to realize our next record ‘Translational Symmetry’ in cooperation with the Krefeld label Tonzonen. When, how and where – you’ll find out soon!”

Please welcome IGUANA.

www.iguana-music.de
www.facebook.com/iguana666
https://www.instagram.com/iguana_band/
www.soundcloud.com/iguanagermany
https://iguana.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de

Iguana, Cult of Helios (2015)

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Stoned from the Underground 2017: Pentagram, Acid King, Mothership, King Buffalo and Samavayo Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Feels like a given to me, but obviously I’m incredibly interested to see King Buffalo added to the lineup for Stoned from the Underground 2017 this July in Germany. That’s not to take anything away from Pentagram, Acid King or Mothership — also US-based acts — or from Berlin’s Samavayo, whom I also dig a great deal, but King Buffalo issued my pick for the best debut of 2016 in the form of Orion (review here), and the confirmation of their appearance among the hallowed many at Stoned from the Underground — the aforementioned, as well as Elder, SasquatchAll Them WitchesMonolord, SteakCJ Ramone, and so on — is the first confirmation of their going to Europe at all, let alone the timing of the trip. They were a band I was rooting for even before they appeared at The Obelisk All-Dayer this past August. It’s nice to see them making good things happen.

And again, check out the company they’re keeping as they go. Stoned from the Underground is of course one of the longer-running Euro heavy fests, but the 2017 lineup feels particularly high-grade thus far. I’ll continue to keep an eye out as others get added and do my best to update as we get closer to summer. I get a pretty strong sense a certain youth-minded trio from Australia are going to show up.

Till then, here’s the lineup and links:

pentagram

Happy to announce some more bands for the Stoned From The Underground 2017 Festival: Pentagram, Acid King, King Buffalo, mothership and samavayo to announce. The 2017 stoned from the underground is FETT.

Lineup so far (more tba):
Acid King
All Them Witches
Cj Ramone
EARTH SHIP
Elder
Karma to Burn
King Buffalo
Monolord
Mothership
Pentagram (official)
Samavayo
Sasquatch
Steak
ZEKE

Get your tickets here: http://www.sftu.de/pages/raquo-tickets.php

The Stoned From The Underground 2017 takes place from July 13th until July 15th 2017.

The first STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND took place in 2001…the festival offers a platform for diverse kinds of bands within the underground and beyond. The STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND is a pure scene festival…a festival made by fans for fans.

https://www.facebook.com/stonedfromtheundergroundfestival
http://www.sftu.de/
https://www.instagram.com/stonedfromtheunderground

King Buffalo, Live at The Obelisk All-Dayer 2016

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Stoned from the Underground 2017: All Them Witches, Elder, Monolord, Zeke, CJ Ramone, Steak, Karma to Burn Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Long-running German festival Stoned from the Underground has announced that All Them Witches will headline the first of its three nights on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Presumably that means the Nashville outfit will be on a European tour supporting their now-impending fourth album, Sleeping Through the War, which is out in February, but either way, as they join a lineup that also features ElderMonolordZekeSteakKarma to Burn, and somewhat curiously, CJ Ramone, they’re obviously keeping good company in Erfurt. I’ll keep an eye out for those tour dates and for more lineup announcements from Stoned from the Underground 2017 both, and hopefully be better at keeping up with fest than I admittedly was this time around.

Info follows as translated by robots from German into English:

stoned from the underground 2017

STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND 2017 – July 13-15

Hi guys, just before Christmas there are a couple of bands for 2017 the stoned from the underground.

Here we have all of them witches, which will be headlining on Thursdays. But that was not enough for us! We could also add the heavy Rock Heavyweights Sasquatch. And a little punk attitude hurts nobody and that’s why we have the cult-Speed Rocker Zeke booked for you. What, you guys that’s still not enough? Well, because Christmas is here let’s put another, cj ramone on it.

You can look forward to 2017 on earth ship (ENG), Elder (USA), karma to burn (USA), Mono Lord (SWE) and steak (UK)
Get your tickets here: http://www.sftu.de/pages/raquo-tickets.php

The Stoned From The Underground 2017 takes place from July 13th until July 15th 2017.

The first STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND took place in 2001…the festival offers a platform for diverse kinds of bands within the underground and beyond. The STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND is a pure scene festival…a festival made by fans for fans.

https://www.facebook.com/stonedfromtheundergroundfestival
http://www.sftu.de/
https://www.instagram.com/stonedfromtheunderground

All Them Witches, Live on Rockpalast 2016

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Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Iguana, Seamount, Gentlemans Pistols, Wired Mind, Automaton, Sideburn, Year of the Cobra, Drive by Wire, Akris

Posted in Reviews on January 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review winter

And so it begins again. It had been my original intention to launch this latest Quarterly Review last week, but as that would’ve had me basically walking out on the holidays with my family, it seemed somehow prickish to be like, “Uh, sorry dudes, riffs call” and split, particularly when there are hours of driving involved. Still, though it’s already running late by the arbitrary calendar in my mind, I’m glad to be able to tackle a batch of releases that both looks back on the last part of 2015 and to the New Year we’ve just entered. As ever, there is a lot, a lot, a lot of ground to cover, so I won’t delay except to remind of what the Quarterly Review actually is:

Between now and this Friday, I will post 10 reviews a day in a single batch grouped like this one. The order is pretty much random, though something higher profile is usually first. It is my intention that each post covers a range of styles, and hopefully within that, you’re able to find something that speaks to you. Many of these releases were sent to me as physical product, and before I start, I want to extend thanks to those groups for undertaking the time and expense of giving me the full representation of their work to hopefully better do mine.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

jess and the ancient ones the second psychedelic coming

Finnish six-piece Jess and the Ancient Ones pay homage to psych cultistry on their sophomore full-length, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (on Svart), and while one might argue with the band marking this out as the “second coming” of psych – I’d say the third, generationally-speaking – the paean to late-‘60s sonic spaciousness in “In Levitating Secret Dreams” is unmistakable, the songwriting of guitarist Thomas Corpse conjuring fervent swirl behind the soulful Grace Slick-isms of vocalist Jess. At 65 minutes, it’s a classic double-LP, but Second Psychedelic Coming seems most engaged in its longer pieces, the eight-minute “Crossroad Lightning,” which pulls back from the urgency of earlier cuts “”The Flying Man” or the opening “Samhain,” and the 22-minute closer “Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever,” which has an arrangement to match its scope that unfolds no less gracefully. Some of the more frenetic parts seem to be arguing with themselves, but the overarching vibe remains satisfyingly tripped out and that closer is their to-date masterpiece.

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Thee Facebooks

Jess and the Ancient Ones at Svart Records

Iguana, Cult of Helios

iguana cult of helios

No big surprise that a record called Cult of Helios would seem to so unabashedly bask in sunshine. The four-track/32-minute sophomore full-length from German heavy psych four-piece Iguana has its driving moments, some in opener “Josiah” but more in the subsequent melodic thriller “Albedo,” but the prevailing sensibility is toward tonal warmth and steady groove. The band – vocalist/guitarist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier – debuted in 2012 with Get the City Love You (review here), but Cult of Helios is a more cohesive, individualized release, whether it’s the hook of “Albedo,” the Beatles-gone-fuzz of “A Deadlock Situation” or the lush, flowing 15-minute jam of the closing title-track. Iguana’s propensity for blending underlying structure with a wide-open, welcoming atmosphere is writ large over Cult of Helios, and the album shines in a manner befitting its inspiration. A sleeper that begs waking.

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana website

Seamount, V: Nitro Jesus

seamount v nitro jesus

Most long-distance projects fizzle out after a record or two. With a lineup split between Bavaria and Connecticut, doom rockers Seamount have managed to sustain a remote collaboration, the German band of bassist Markus Ströhlein, guitarist Tim Schmidt and drummer Jens Hofmann working with New England-based vocalist Phil Swanson (ex-Earthlord, ex-Hour of 13, Vestal Claret, etc.). The excellently-titled Nitro Jesus (on The Church Within) is their fifth full-length since 2007, and boasts a refined blend of doom, NWOBHM and dark thematics common to Swanson’s lyrics. Tonally crisp but immersive, slow crawlers like “Can’t Escape the Pain” are offset by the ‘80s metal swing of “Beautiful Sadness,” and each side caps with a longer track, whether that’s the seven-minute “Scars of the Emotional Stuntman,” the most singularly sweeping movement here, or the closer “No One Knows,” which has a moodier feel, the guitar recalling Don Henley accompanied by piano as the finale hits its apex. For those who like their metal of tried and true spirit and individual presentation, Nitro Jesus delivers in more than just its name.

Seamount on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

Gentlemans Pistols, Hustler’s Row

gentlemans pistols hustler's row

Every now and then you hear a record that reminds you what you love about rock and roll in the first place. It doesn’t need to be the most complicated thing in the world, or the most expressive, or the heaviest or the most whatever of anything else, but like Gentlemans Pistols’ third LP, Hustler’s Row (on Nuclear Blast), if it locks in a special chemistry between its players, that’s more than enough to carry it through. That the UK four-piece are ace songwriters and bolstered by the lead guitar chops of Bill Steer (Firebird, Carcass) for the Thin Lizzy dual-solos – vocalist/guitarist James Atkinson on the other end – helps plenty as well, but with the tight, classic-style grooves brought to across Hustler’s Row by bassist Robert Threapleton and drummer Stuart Dobbins, Gentlemans Pistols give essential heavy rock a non-retro modern interpretation that might leave one wondering why so many people try to ape a ‘70s production to start with.

Gentlemans Pistols on Thee Facebooks

Gentlemans Pistols at Nuclear Blast

Wired Mind, Mindstate: Dreamscape

wired mind mindstate dreamscape

Each side of Wired Mind’s Mindstate: Dreamscape LP (on HeviSike Records) gracefully unfolds a lushly-toned, warm, engaging heavy psychedelic sprawl. The chief influence for the Hannover two-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mikey and drummer Chris is their countrymen godfathers Colour Haze, but the duo make their presence felt early on “Road,” the opener and longest-track at 11:01, which balances serene and spaced exploration with post-Kyuss “Thumb” shuffle, all the more enticing for having been recorded live, conjuring Echoplex spaciousness around the repeated line, “All we gotta do is love.” Both sides work on the same structure of a longer track feeding into a shorter one, “Road”’s considerable amassed thickness giving way to the winding groove of “Jennifer’s Dream of a Switchblade” while the Duna Jam-ready vibes permeating from “Wired Dream” finding a moving complement in closer “Woman,” which effectively captures desert rock rhythmic propulsion. As their debut, Mindstate: Dreamscape feels conceptually and stylistically cohesive, and sets Wired Mind up with a sonic breadth on which to continue to build.

Wired Mind on Thee Facebooks

Wired Mind at HeviSike Records

Automaton, Echoes of Mount Ida

automaton echoes of mount ida

Greek heavy rollers Automaton revisit their 2013 debut full-length, Echoes of Mount Ida, for a limited vinyl release. The four-track offering initially surfaced coated in burl and massive riffing, but a remix adds psychedelic edge to the lumbering fervor of “Fear,” on which the Athenian five-piece are joined by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective for added synth and swirl. He delivers, and the opener also adds guest vocals from Nancy Simeonidou, but the remix keeps things consistent as Automaton transition into the chugging “Beast of War,” a complex near-djent rhythm (which will find complement in the end of “Echoes of Mount Ida” itself) smoothly met by drummer Lykourgos to finish side A of the LP while the locked-in nod of “Breathe in Stone” bleeds into the closing title-track as Automaton offer riffy largesse set in a spacious backdrop like mountains in the distance. Interesting to see if the semi-reboot of their debut is indicative of some overall shift in direction, but at least on the vinyl offering, it makes their sound that much broader.

Automaton on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records

Sideburn, Evil or Divine

sideburn evil or divine

Between Martin Karlsson’s keys (also bass) and vocalist Dimitri Keiski’s propensity to soar, the mood turns epic pretty quick on Sideburn’s fifth album, Evil or Divine (on Metalville Records). The Swedish foursome’s latest shares more than just its titular reference in common with Dio — who, in addition to the lyric from “The Last in Line” had a live record with the same title – but keep a foot in doom territory throughout, drummer Fredrik Haake playing with metallic precision and an edge of swing as Morgan Zocek pulls out leads over “Sea of Sins.” The later “The Day the Sun Died” is particularly post-Ozzy Iommic, but Evil or Divine benefits from the kick in the ass that the penultimate “Evil Ways” seems only too happy to provide before “Presence” finishes on a hopeful note. Definitely more fist-pump than nod, Evil or Divine cries out to legions of the brave who want a thicker groove than modern metal is willing to provide without giving up the occasional cause to headbang.

Sideburn on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun

year of the cobra the black sun

Seattle-based bass/drum duo Year of the Cobra had two labels pick up their debut EP, The Black Sun, between Devil’s Child Records and DHU Records, and they’ve signed to STB Records for the follow-up, so it seems safe to say their three-track outing has gotten a solid response. The songs make a compelling argument for why. With vocals that recall Soph Day from Alunah on opener “White Wizard” before delving into faster, more punkish fare on “The Black Sun” itself, Year of the Cobra serve immediate notice of a breadth in their sound, and the seven-minute wah-bass finale “Wasteland” enacts a low-end swirl that pushes even further out while keeping hold of itself via steady, tense drumming. That finisher is a particular high point, with bassist/vocalist Amy Tung Barrysmith self-harmonizing in layers over the steady build and drummer Johanes Barrysmith making sure the considerable tone keeps moving forward. Easy to hear why they’ve found such support in such a short time.

Year of the Cobra on Thee Facebooks

Dark Hedonistic Union Records

Devil’s Child Records

STB Records

Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang

drive by wire the whole shebang

The third long-player from Dutch four-maybe-five-piece Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang gets more complex as it goes. Its first couple tracks, “Kerosine Dreams” [sic], “Woodlands,” “The Whole Shebang” and “Five Ft. High” are deeply indebted to desert rock circa Songs for the Deaf, tonally and even in some of Simone Holsbeek’s sing/talk call and responses on “Woodlands.” From there, “Rituals,” “In This Moment” and the moody “River Run” and “Promised the Night” push into more individual ground, and even though they tie it back together in the album’s third and final movement with “Rotor Motor,” “All Around” and “Voodoo You Do,” the context has changed, and by the time guitarist Alwin Wubben swells lead lines behind the verse of the closer, the fuzz of “Kerosine Dreams” is a distant memory. Completed by bassist Marcel Zerb and drummer Jerome Miedendorp de Bie, Drive by Wire wind up on a considerable journey, and while the title at first seems off-the-cuff, it works out to be a whole shebang indeed.

Drive by Wire on Thee Facebooks

Drive by Wire webstore

Akris, Fall EP

akris fall ep

Relaunched as a trio in the first half of 2015, Virginia trio Akris made a studio return with the four-song/32-minute Fall EP, which probably should’ve been called a full-length and probably should’ve been pressed to vinyl (paging Tony Reed to master and STB Records to release…), but the digital-only offering finds Akris and particularly founding bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg anything but apprehensive as she, guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Black Blizzard) and drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) follow-up the band’s raucous sans-guitar 2013 self-titled full-length debut (review here), balancing plodding grooves, melody and abrasion deftly atop rumble and riffs in “Forgiven” as Goldberg swaps between screams and grunge-styled croons. The subsequent “People in the Sky” is less patient, and caps its nine-minute run with a barrage of noise rock synth that continues at the start of closer “Alley Doorway” but ultimately recedes (momentarily) to let that song establish its own course of loud/quiet tradeoffs and resonant exploration. Unless Akris are planning a series of seasonal short releases, I see no reason why Fall EP shouldn’t be characterized as a second long-player and heralded for the bold expansion of the band’s approach it represents.

Akris on Thee Facebooks

Akris on Bandcamp

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Iguana Premiere New Full-Length Live at Radio T Sessions Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 28th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

iguana

German heavy psych rockers Iguana will head out this weekend on a quick jaunt alongside progressive fuzzers Rotor to set up a couple other shows to close out 2015. Earlier this year, the Chemnitz-based four-piece released their sophomore full-length, Cult of Helios, as the follow-up to 2012’s Get the City Love You (review here), and today they answer that album with a new full-length live video release, Live at Radio T Sessions, filmed on July 30 at Larox Tonstudio in their hometown for the titular Radio T.

I don’t know what the band’s plans are for Live at Radio T Sessions, but the quality is exceptional and the performance by the band — guitarist/vocalist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier — is spot on, so it seems to me that if they wanted to, they have worthy cause for pressing up a few copies. I’m not necessarily talking about a DVD, as I think that moment has passed, but even if it’s a limited cassette release of the audio or something like that. I’m not saying that’s what they’re going to do, just that the show they put on in the video below is worth preserving one way or another in the physical realm.

Hopefully you’ll agree. Three of the four cuts on Cult of Helios — “Josiah,” “Albedo” and “A Deadlock Situation” — make an appearance, and only the 15-minute title-track is left off (though you can hear it in a podcast here), so if you haven’t heard the record, Iguana offer a chance to get introduced to their spacious but earthy flow and the peaceful vibe they present across its span while also locking into heavier nod in cuts from the debut like “Vague as a Mirage” and “Madinat al Yasmin,” which unfolds a Tee Pee-style roll and gives the oft-smiling Alexander a chance to showcase his tone alongside the two guitars.

There are a handful of people in the studio with the band as they play — you can hear them clap in between songs and see them periodically reflected in a window — and I’m guessing that’s either friends and family or employees of Radio T, so as an intimate gig, Iguana capture something really cool with Live at Radio T Sessions, and while I’m not one to tell anybody their business, I’m just saying, if they put this one on tape, I’d check it out.

Info follows the clip. Dig in and enjoy:

Iguana, Live at Radio T Sessions

Radio-T-Sessions || 30th of July 2015
Live Radio Concert || recorded at Larox Tonstudio
1. Josiah 00:20
2. Albedo 06:45
3. A Deadlock Situation 11:19
4. Vague As A Mirage 17:16
5. Freshly Tranquilized 23:43
6. Madinat Al Yasmin 28:25
7. Down On You 32:00

IGUANA just won’t stand still. And that’s a good thing, too. After their spontaneous release of the psych- and kraut inspired record “Cult of Helios” (July 2015) and barely home from their tour with low-desert-punk mastermind and stoner rock legend Brant Bjork, IGUANA will hit the road with Berlin’s stoner-space-monument, ROTOR, beginning in October.

As if that weren’t enough IGUANA, the desert-psych-post-whatever-quartet from Chemnitz, will release a complete video recording of a live radio concert right on schedule with their tour start. A rather obvious decision as, from year one, IGUANA have been first and foremost a live band. To duly capture this passion on canvas, the makers of Radio-T unceremoniously invited IGUANA to play a live concert in the glorious halls of Larox recording studio. The result is an intimate live tape containing brand new songs from their latest record and tracks from their 2012 debut album – a private psych and desert concert for your living room so to speak. All that’s left to do is watch the video, turn up the volume and rock on.

Iguana_Tourdates_Cult_Of_Helios_Fall2015
29.10.2015 – Bielefeld, Forum w. Rotor
30.10.2015 – Hannover, Mephisto w. Rotor
21.11.2015 – Chemnitz, Zukunft w. Rotor
18.12.2015 – Weil der Stadt, JH Kloster

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana on Twitter

Iguana website

Cult of Helios stream

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Iguana Release New Album Cult of Helios; Touring with Brant Bjork

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

iguana

Germany’s Iguana are kind of a well-kept secret at this point. Heading into their second full-length, Cult of Helios, which is the follow-up to their 2012 debut, Get the City Love You (review here), they’ve done a decent amount of touring around Europe, and played several fests along the way as one might, but I feel like they’re still waiting to have people really catch on to what they do. Cult of Helios is out as of today, and they’re hitting the road with Brant Bjork next week, so it seems likely they’ll come back having turned a few more heads than when they left.

The news is abundant, and under it you’ll find their brand new video for the song “A Deadlock Situation,” which is well worth your time:

iguana cult of helios

IGUANA are going to release their brand new record “Cult Of Helios” at the end of July, right on time for their tour with Brant Bjork. It contains 4 songs in 32min of finest Psych-Desert-Post-Whatever-Rock. The record is a portrait of IGUANA’s contemporary songwriting and sweetens up the time, waiting for the next full length album.

IGUANA are holding on to their distinct Desert-Session-Psychedelic-Rock. But they managed to sound even more heavy, raw, fuzzy and genuine this time, which mostly is a result of the full-band-live-recordings of „Cult Of Helios” at the band’s own studio. „Cult Of Helios” provides old-school Desert Rock – rough, psychedelic, melodious, but, above all, multi-faceted. The 4 songs represent different tunes in finest Desert-Session-Rock without even relating to any desert-clichés: sometimes instrumental, sometimes just straight, and then laidback again. Somewhere between Doom, Psychedelic, Noise and the Desert Sessions. “Cult Of Helios” is the soundtrack for your summer and will be released as a special-tour-edition during their upcoming shows. It also will be available via Itunes, Spotify and so on.

Tourdates 2015 – IGUANA
26.07. Dresden – Groove Station*
27.07. Hannover – Musikzentrum*
29.07. Saarbrücken – Garage*
15.08. Hohenstein-Ernsttal – Voice of Art-Festival
21.11. Chemnitz – Zukunft
* Supportshow für Brant Bjork

IGUANA performs a sincere, versatile, heavy and progressive kind of Fuzz Rock at its best. Although still being deep-seated with this genre they have moved on to develop their own vision of a deep, melodic and wistful Hard Rock music. It’s some kind of Desert-Psychedelic-Doom-Post-whatever in the broadest sense. However, the band is full of stylistic variability, packed with hooks as well as accompanied by crazily arranged instrumental gimmickries. IGUANA is sick of trends, the mainstream and, above all, the dos and don’ts of Rock’n’Roll. It’s addicted to music – nothing more and nothing less! An outcome made for the stage to unfold its unbridled power. That’s what it has been and always will be!

Besides releasing music, IGUANA is dead keen on playing live! IGUANA are touring Europe for some years now in the good old manner of DIY. IGUANA have already had 140 gigs and they have hit the stage of dozens of festivals and clubshows together with bands such as Saint Vitus, Brant Bjork, Los Natas, Kadavar, Blues Pills, The Atomic Bitchwax, Dozer, Spidergwad, Dyse, Colour Haze and many many ingenious acts more. Not just old hand doom legend Wino Weinrich knows that these boys are killer. Numerous club-shows in Europe and of course in the German scene’s most appreciated live hot-spots (Stoned From The Underground, Void Fest, Keep It Low Fest) proved that IGUANA embodies the never-ending story of live celebrated love to chunky riffing, psychedelic jamming and rhythms that are out-of-the-ordinary! Look forward to the sound of former desert sessions along with instrumental gimmickries and stoner-doom attacks yet charmingly and a little crazily wrapped up.

IGUANA are going to release their brand new record “Cult Of Helios” at the end of July 2015, right on time for their tour with Brant Bjork. It contains 4 songs in 32min of finest Psych-Desert-Post-Whatever-Rock. The record is a portrait of IGUANA’s contemporary songwriting and sweetens up the time, waiting for the next full length album. “Cult Of Helios” is the soundtrack for your summer and will be released as a special-touredition during their upcoming shows. It also will be available via Itunes, Spotify and so on.

Discographie:
•“Iguana – Cult Of Helios” special tour release “Sweet Home Records” 2015
•“Iguana – Get The City Love You” full lenght debut album on “Sweet Home Records” 2012
•“Iguana – B|L|U|E|S”extended reissue on “Sweet Home Records” 2011
•“Iguana – B|L|U|E|S” on “Sweet Home Records” 2008
•“Iguana – Wheeler Dealer” on “Sweet Home Records” 2006

www.iguana-music.de
www.facebook.com/iguana666
https://twitter.com/iguanagermany
www.soundcloud.com/iguanagermany
www.youtube.com/user/IguanaVideochannel

Iguana, “A Deadlock Situation” official video

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Iguana Announce European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

iguana

German/Russian heavy psych rockers Iguana kick off a round of European dates tonight that will cover the next couple months, playing with Naam in Weil der Stadt. Later this month, they’ll hit the Keep it Low festival and then on from there for a series of weekenders that goes into December. Their debut album, Get the City Love You (review here), came out in 2012. Rumor has it — and by “rumor” I mean what they said on Thee Facebooks — they’ve got new songs written, so perhaps they’ll use these dates as a means for working out the kinks en route to recording their sophomore outing sometime this winter or next year.

Either way, if you happen to be somewhere these dudes are playing and up for a jammy good time, you know what’s up.

Dig:

iguana tour

The IGUANA-Tour starts with some highlights. On 3rd of October IGUANA shares the stage with brooklyn based psychrockers NAAM. On the 18.10. they will play Keep It Low Festival, with acts like KADAVAR, BLUES PILLS, MARS RED SKY and THE SHRINE. The bands’ personal highlite will take place on the 25th of October, when IGUANA will be playing with SPIDERGAWD (including two members of the fabulous MOTORPSYCHO). So there is a lot of parties to come. Please join us!

IGUANA are touring Europe for some years now in the good old manner of DIY. IGUANA played more than 120 shows with bands such as Colour Haze, Kadavar, Saint Vitus, Brant Bjork. And they played Stoned From The Underground twice, also Void Fest and Blue Moon Fest.

Tourdates 2014 – IGUANA – Fall Winter Tour 2014:
03.10.2014 – Weil der Stadt (DE), JH Kloster, w. Naam
18.10.2014 – München (DE), Feierwerk – Keep It Low Festival, w. Kadavar, The Shrine, Mars Red Sky
24.10.2014 – Lüneburg (DE), Jekyll & Hyde, w. Eta Lux
25.10.2014 – Hamburg (DE), Bambi Galore, w. Spidergawd
31.10.2014 – St. Gallen (CH), Rümpeltum, w. Wight, Bushfire
01.11.2014 – Kranichfeld (DE), Crossing All Over Fest
14.11.2014 – Nijmegen (NL), De Onderbroek
15.11.2014 – Den Haag (NL), Club tba
20.11.2014 – Dresden (DE), Ostpol, w. Kalamahara
22.11.2014 – Würzburg (DE), Immerhin, w. Stone Troopers
13.12.2014 – Berlin (DE), Cortina Bob, w. Deaf Flow

http://www.iguana-music.de
http://www.facebook.com/iguana666
http://www.youtube.com/user/IguanaVideochannel
http://soundcloud.com/iguanagermany
https://twitter.com/iguanagermanyel

Iguana, “Get the City Love You”

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