Live Review: Psycho Las Vegas Pool Party, 08.17.18

Posted in Features, Reviews on August 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

viva psycho

08.16.18 – 4:50AM – Friday morning – Hard Rock, hotel room

None of it makes any fucking sense. Not a lick of it. And it took me the better part of the day to realize that’s the idea. The whole point. What even is underground when you watch Bell Witch play by the side of a casino pool in a sweltering den of capitalist exploitation? What is real? Any of it? I don’t know. That’s the point. Psycho Las Vegas is taking the narrative of what the underground is and punching it in the face until it can’t be recognized anymore. The sheer spectacle of this event. The are-you-overwhelmed-yet-okay-good tilt. It’s so weird. It’s so weird.

psycho las vegas 2018 thursdayIt’s so weird.

But I don’t think you’re supposed to get it. It’s not about making sense in any kind of traditional way. Psycho Las Vegas, in the span of three very-clearly-well-funded years, has become the absolute destination heavy festival in the US. There are plenty of other metal fests that have been around longer and have unquestionable reputations, but for this particular branch of heavy, there’s nothing to match this. I don’t know how anything could.

This was the first day. The pool party. By the Paradise Pool. I apologize deeply to Haunt and Toke. I just didn’t make it in time. I wanted to see both. It just didn’t work out. I got myself situated in time to catch most of Fireball Ministry though, and here’s how it went from there:

Fireball Ministry

fireball ministry (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If you gotta start a weekend of top-class heavy somewhere, it might as well be with top-class heavy. Fireball Ministry had bassist Helen Storer filling in for Scott Reeder alongside guitarist/vocalists Jim Rota and Emily Burton and drummer John Oreshnick, but there was no way in hell they weren’t going to rock either way. Ostensibly, they were here supporting their new album, late-2017’s Remember the Story (review here), but even more than that, they were here representing a sans-frills heavy rock spirit that has endured in spite of trend and generational swap. That is, Fireball Ministry were there when, and they’re here now, and they delivered a powerful set as only a group of no-bullshit, ace-songwriting, still-underrated-after-all-these-years veterans could hope to do. I hoped to run into Rota later to ask him if this was the first casino pool party he’d ever played — hey, Fireball Ministry‘s done a lot of shows, so you never know — but didn’t get the chance. Either way, they absolutely delivered, and while I was fairly gutted to miss the first two bands, if you need to get on board with a show already in progress, Fireball Ministry are more than ready to make their rock your rock. Oh and by the way, they rock.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Tough to be the odd band out on this bill, but Dengue Fever managed, and again, I was a little bit in wrapping my head around what was happening. Psycho returnees? Took it all in stride. Let’s assume they were the ones in the patched battle vests dancing to Dengue Fever‘s upbeat semi-punk/semi-funk surf groove. There’s a trick to being here, I think, and no, it’s not just drinking. I’ll grant that Las Vegas is among the worst places on earth to be sober — the town simply wasn’t built for humans to be lucid within its borders — but beyond that, the trick is to just go with it. Dengue Fever played two bands after the dirt-sludge of Toke and two bands before Bell Witch and Wolves in the Throne Room back to back. That was the whole vibe of today in a nutshell. If you sat back and thought about it, you were doing it wrong. It’s a party. It’s a weird party. So party, and be weird. Dengue Fever were more than just a vehicle for that spirit, of course, but in this context, but with the sax blaring and the bouncing rhythms, they seemed to embody this festival’s will to be whatever the hell it wants to be, whenever the hell it wants to be it. Truly Psycho.

Elder

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Band of the day. One more record and Elder will be headlining shows like this. It’s a toss-up whose crowd was bigger, theirs or Wolves in the Throne Room‘s, but even so, their presence on stage, their command of their sweeping progressive heavy rock sound, and their drive to genuinely push the idea of ‘heavy’ to places it’s never been all speak to a band ready to be at the next level. Their 2017 album, Reflections of a Floating World (review here), and 2015’s landmark Lore (review here) were assuredly well known to the masses assembled, and even if it was the title-track of  2011’s Dead Roots Stirring (review here) that got the biggest response, people were cheering during part transitions, let alone the standard round of applause between the songs. Elder are that kind of band, and their movements within tracks have only gotten more fluid and nuanced over time. The four-piece incarnation of the band had all the more depth of tone and sonic reach from guitarists Nick DiSalvo and Mike Risberg (the former also vocals, the latter also keys), while bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto offered swing and intricacy of play alike that just furthered the proggy impression Elder make at this point. They killed. I don’t know how else to say it. It was an utter pleasure to watch and they’ve become one of the best heavy rock live acts anywhere, period. If you missed them, sorry.

Bell Witch

Bell Witch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It was sunny when Bell Witch started and by the time they were done, dusk had fallen and the moon was out. Felt about right. They had 80 minutes at their disposal, which would’ve been just enough time to play last year’s brilliant and mournful Mirror Reaper (review here), and sure enough, that single-song outing was basically what comprised their set, even if Erik Moggridge (aka Aerial Ruin) wasn’t around to add his clean parts to it. Bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond and drummer/organist/vocalist Jesse Shreibman had no problem carrying across the outright bludgeoning sensibility of their ultra-doom on their own, however, and with the inward-turned grieving process that is the material itself, Bell Witch nonetheless oozed forth a consuming mass of volume that, despite the outdoor setting, left little choice but to be swallowed whole by it. They’ve toured fairly heavily in support of Mirror Reaper since its arrival — I was fortunate enough to catch them playing it at Roadburn earlier this year as well — and there’s no denying the power of their performance. It’s a masterwork in every sense and deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Wolves in the Throne Room

Wolves in the Throne Room (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The fog machines on full blast for the breezy desert night, incense consecrating the stage during the low-end volume-swell drone of their intro, and Washington’s Wolves in the Throne Room actually managed to make the atmosphere of the pool party their own for the duration of their set. It was a raging, scorching performance, as they took hold on the heels of 2017’s Thrice Woven (review here) and blasted out an intensity that was as much about the ambience as it was the assault. The expanded five-piece lineup was fully charged and as guitarist/vocalist Nathan Weaver, whose brother, Aaron, handles drums in the studio while Trevor DeSchryver fills in live, led the band through an outright pummeling set that made itself even further distinguished from everything before it owing to its keys and synth elements and the manner in which it was able to turn from its most seething stretches to minimalist soundscaping seemingly on a dime. The crowd thinned out some by the end — I’ll admit I watched them finish out my hotel room window as well — but for every dragging-ass member of the audience like me, there were even more for whom the party was just getting started, and somehow, Wolves in the Throne Room fit that party as well as anyone else who played on the poolside bill.

It’s about six-thirty now. Need to shower. Need to sleep more. First band today at 12:30PM. Madness is the order of the weekend. Keep falling asleep while typing. Writing with my eyes closed. Still need to sort pictures. Busy busy busy.

Didn’t have enough coffee yesterday. Will work to rectify that soon enough. More pics after the jump though, so thanks for reading.

More later.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 Reveals Lineup; Dimmu Borgir, Hellacopters, Godflesh, Witchcraft and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 logo

It’s only taken a few years for Psycho Las Vegas to establish itself as the premier underground festival in the US. All well and good. With 2018’s lineup, though, it’s time to start thinking of Psycho among the best in the world.

Sounds like too much? Consider Godflesh and Dimmu Borgir sharing a stage, both for exclusive West Coast appearances. Think of Sweden’s Witchcraft playing one of the two shows they’ll do in the US at Psycho, and ditto that for Japanese riff-madmen Church of Misery. Think of US exclusives from Lee Dorrian’s With the Dead, or Lucifer, whose Johanna Sadonis will also DJ the Center Bar. The commitment to up and coming underground acts local, domestic and foreign like Temple of Void, King Buffalo, Dreadnought, The Munsens and DVNE. Picture yourself watching Wolves in the Throne Room headline a pre-fest pool party with Elder, Young and in the Way, Dengue Fever, Fireball Ministry and Toke.

2018 is the year Psycho Las Vegas outclasses even itself and pushes further than it ever has in terms of stylistic reach (Integrity walks by and waves… at Boris) and the sheer power of its construction. If you’re looking for the future, you’ll find it in scumbag paradise.

Here’s the lineup:

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 poster

Psycho Las Vegas 2018

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas
4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169

Tickets: https://www.vivapsycho.com/pages/tickets

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2018 lineup:
DIMMU BORGIR (west of chicago exclusive)
HELLACOPTERS (one of two shows to be played in the USA in 2018)
SUNN 0)))
GODFLESH (west of chicago exclusive)
WITCHCRAFT (one of two shows to be played in the USA in 2018)
ENSLAVED
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE
HIGH ON FIRE
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
RED FANG
ZAKK SABBATH
CHURCH OF MISERY (usa exclusive 2018 with exception to one other show in San Diego)
TINARIWEN
GOBLIN
CKY
VENOM INC
EYEHATEGOD
VOIVOD
BORIS
COVEN
INTEGRITY
PALLBEARER
WITH THE DEAD (USA exclusive 2018)
MONOLORD
LUCIFER (USA exclusive 2018)
ACID WITCH
SURVIVE
DOPETHRONE
BIG BUSINESS
UNEARTHLY TRANCE
MUTOID MAN
TODAY IS THE DAY
HELMS ALEE
SPIRIT ADRIFT
BATUSHKA
PRIMITIVE MAN
DVNE
ALL PIGS MUST DIE
EIGHT BELLS
WORMWITCH
INDIAN
NECROT
HOMEWRECKER
BRAIN TENTACLES
CLOAK
BLACK MARE
MAGIC SWORD
UADA
TEMPLE OF VOID
DREADNOUGHT
WOLVHAMMER
ASEETHE
DISASTROID
FORMING THE VOID
VENOMOUS MAXIMUS
GHASTLY SOUND
HOWLING GIANT
KING BUFFALO
NIGHT HORSE
THE MUNSENS
GLAARE

Paradise Pool Pre Party
August 16th

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
ELDER
YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
DENGUE FEVER
FIREBALL MINISTRY
TOKE

Center Bar DJ’s
Andrew W.K.
Nicke Andersson (Entombed/Hellacopters)
Johanna Sadonis (Lucifer)

https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.facebook.com/events/125340824913552/
http://vivapsycho.com

High on Fire, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2016

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

Psycho Las Vegas 2018 Announces Pool Party Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In the long, storied and groundbreaking career of Washington-based US black metal innovators Wolves in the Throne Room, I’m willing to wager that this will possibly be the first pool party they’ve ever played. Now, if you told me Toke had done pool parties, or even Elder, or Fireball Ministry — yeah, I’ve got no trouble believing that. But Wolves in the Throne Room? No way. This has to be the first.

They’re in good company with the aforementioned as well as Young and in the Way and Dengue Fever, but it should be an interesting test of their aesthetic to see if it works in such an unexpected context. Call me crazy, but it seems like Wolves in the Throne Room would be way more suited to a party in a dark and humid cave than a Vegas poolside. Hey, cave party! Maybe next year.

One more reason to hit Psycho Las Vegas 2018, as far as I’m concerned. Incongruity like that doesn’t come along every day. I dig it. You wouldn’t want to let the chance to see it slip.

Info from the PR wire:

psycho las vegas 2018 pool party

Wolves in the Throne Room, Elder, Dengue Fever to play PSYCHO LAS VEGAS Pre-fest Pool Party (Tickets Limited)

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS ANNOUNCING
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
ELDER | YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
FIREBALL MINISTRY
DENGUE FEVER | TOKE

TO PLAY PRE-FEST POOL PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK HOTEL

LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS HERE

PLUS TINARIWEN JOINING FULL LINEUP AUGUST 17-19, 2018
@ HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO, LAS VEGAS

In a week oversaturated with redundant festival announcements, Psycho Las Vegas throws its hat into the ring to once again prove why the award-winning festival keeps fans on their toes year after year. Playing the exclusive pre-fest pool party will be Psycho alumni Young and in the Way, as well as Wolves in the Throne Room, Elder, Dengue Fever, Fireball Ministry, and Toke. This event will be the only time during the weekend where desert festival goers can enjoy the lineup from the comfort of the Hard Rock Hotel pool during the daytime — and tickets are extremely limited, available only to the first 2500 ticket buyers (labeled as Tier I), with less than 1000 remaining.

In true Psycho form, they have announced their first curveball for the main lineup: Mali’s Tinariwen.

Another exciting addition to the Psycho Las Vegas team is legendary artist Dirty Donny Gillies, who will be designing this year’s exclusive artwork. Deemed to be one of the most influential artists to invade the pop culture scenes of the punk, rock and metal underground, Dirty Donny has been spreading his art across all mediums for decades; ranging from skate decks to pinball machines, hot rods and album covers for clients like Metallica, Vans, Stern Pinball and Snap-on Tools, to name a few. The pairing of Psycho Entertainment with Gillies’ signature psychedelic themes and acid-soaked color palette is a celebration of the classic underground, the roots of heavy music and the surrounding culture. Limited prints of the 2018 poster will be available soon.

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2018
AUGUST 17-19
WITCHCRAFT | GOBLIN | HIGH ON FIRE | TINARIWEN
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM | ELDER | S U R V I V E
ZAKK SABBATH | DENGUE FEVER | INDIAN | YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
FIREBALL MINISTRY | TOKE | DVNE
And many, many more to be unleashed…

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/psycho-las-vegas-2018-tickets-41041983678
http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven (2017)

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

Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story: Taking a Page

Posted in Reviews on November 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

fireball ministry remember the story

It’s difficult to believe that it’s been 18 years since Los Angeles-based heavy rockers Fireball Ministry made their debut with Où Est la Rock? (discussed here) on Bong Load Custom Records, but then, it’s also hard to believe it’s been seven since their self-titled (review here) was issued via Restricted Release. Fireball Ministry followed two strong outings in 2003’s The Second Great Awakening and 2005’s Their Rock is Not Our Rock, and while a perhaps overly slick production took away some of the impact one found in the songs on their earlier offerings, the band’s songwriting was as crisp and efficient as ever.

Prior to and following the release of that album, founding guitarist/vocalist James A. Rota spent time in supergroup The Company Band alongside guitarist Dave Bone, Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon, Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis and CKY drummer Jess Margera, but still, seven years is a significant delay between full-lengths for Fireball Ministry, who in the interim have continued to play shows and brought bassist Scott Reeder (The ObsessedKyussUnida, etc.) on board the lineup with Rota, guitarist/backing vocalist Emily Burton and drummer John Oreshnick.

No doubt that’s a powerhouse presence and I won’t take away from what Reeder brings to the Hollywood rockers’ overall sound on their fifth long-player, Remember the Story (on Cleopatra Records), but as was the case seven years ago and has been the case with Fireball Ministry all along it is still the songwriting that most shines through. Elements bleed in from classic metal, desert heavy and voracious riff rock, but it’s the structural integrity of what Rota and company do with those pieces that makes the 10-song/51-minute full-length so undeniably their own.

Especially after the self-titled, production was a question heading into Remember the Story, but as opener “End of Our Truth” and the following “Everything You Wanted” set a tone through hook, comfortable tempo and a purposeful fervency of groove, the contribution of producer/engineer Paul Fig — who has helmed records for post-reunion Alice in Chains as well as Rush and Ghost, among others of a more metallic ilk — shines through in presenting the songs with a clean sense that nonetheless doesn’t detract from their harder-hitting aspects.

Oreshnick‘s drums push “End of Our Truth” into and through its chorus with ease as Reeder noodles his bassline beneath the core riffing from Rota and Burton, and an immediate balance is established that Remember the Story maintains for its duration as cuts like the bruiser-riffed “The Answer” and the melodic highlight “Weavers Dawn” bring a feeling of variety around the root approach, which remains straightforward and unabashed in its will to engage the audience on the level of classic heavy rock. That is, Fireball Ministry clearly aren’t looking to change the world.

fireball ministry

While peppered with raucous moments as on the cowbell-laden “Back on Earth” here or the transfigured Sabbathian swing and stomp of “All for Naught” — which seems to draw a direct line to “A National Acrobat” — it’s never been Fireball Ministry‘s intention to reinvent heavy rock so much as to highlight the best of what never needed reinventing about it in the first place.

They do that again with Remember the Story, and indeed as the songs play out through the meatier “Dying to Win,” the aptly-titled instrumental “Stop Talking” and the rolling title-track, that indeed becomes the narrative of the record as a whole. It is a story worth remembering, and the hooks the entire way through are earworm enough to make sure that listeners do precisely that, whether it’s the initial energy of the opening two cuts as bolstered by “Back on Earth” or the seeming B-side that begins with “Stop Talking” and moves inexorably toward acoustic-led closer “I Don’t Believe a Word.”

That latter, and last, track is a Motörhead cover taken from 1996’s Overnight Sensation and is given something of a manifesto feel as regards Rota‘s delivery of the lyrics. The perspective is very much in keeping with sentiments like Their Rock is Not Our Rock and the more political mindset of the self-titled — the band setting itself apart from its surroundings and offering a critique from a distant point of view. With Burton joining Rota on vocals in a follow-up to the harmonies that cap “Weavers Dawn” or the call and response in the verses of “Everything You Wanted” back on side A, it’s a moment of departure from the rest of Remember the Story, but still not so far removed as to upset the overarching flow of the record, which after finding itself on the steadiest of ground in its first half takes relative advantage of the opportunity to be a bit more adventurous with its second.

Again, classic form. And giving that classic form a modernist execution is what Fireball Ministry have done best for going on 20 years. Listening to Remember the Story, one can’t help but wonder if the band’s intention wasn’t to remind its audience of that in the first place — an urging toward recall rather than, say, the suggestion that this outing is the complete story to be remembered. It may or may not be, but especially as the title-track and “All for Naught” roll into “I Don’t Believe a Word” and the band get ready to make their collective exit, there’s a sense of summary that seems to extend beyond this record itself, speaking perhaps for the work of Fireball Ministry across their discography and examining the group’s place in the heavy rock underground, their accomplishments, their letdowns, and what they might still hope to do.

The question that will remain to be seen, especially with a seven-year gap between the last LP and this one, is whether Fireball Ministry‘s story has received its last chapter, or if it will continue. For what it’s worth, the returned vigor to their impact serves them remarkably well throughout here, and though well expected, their level of craft is as uncompromising in its accomplishment as ever. It’s not like they didn’t know what they were doing all along, but maturity suits them, and if this might be their final statement, they’ve reaffirmed their place among deeply underappreciated heavy rock songwriters.

Fireball Ministry, “The Answer” official video

Fireball Ministry on Thee Facebooks

Fireball Ministry on Twitter

Fireball Ministry on Instagram

Fireball Ministry website

Fireball Ministry at Cleopatra Records

Cleopatra Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Here are 40+ New Releases to Look for in the Next Three Weeks

Posted in Features on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow, the next three weeks are absolutely stupid with new albums. Over-the-top, ridiculous. An immediately-go-broke amount of music. Nothing less than an onslaught. We’re under attack.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money — also far be it from me not to — but there’s some really killer stuff in here. As to why it’s all landing now? Some of it of course has to do with the timing of when it was recorded, bands hitting the studio in Spring before heading out on the road over the summer, but Fall releases also line up nicely for tours in October and November, heading into the holiday season, when the music industry basically shuts down. This is the last chance for releases to come out in 2017 and be considered for best-of-year lists.

I doubt the likes of Chelsea Wolfe or Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Kadavar would cop to that as a motivating factor, instead pointing to the timing of Fall touring and so on, but these things are rarely coincidental. You know how there aren’t any blockbusters in January but every movie feels like it’s trying to win an Oscar? Same kind of deal.

Nonetheless, 2017 is laying it on particularly thick these next couple weeks, and as you can see in the lists below, if you’ve got cash to spend, you can pretty much choose your rock and roll adventure. I’ll add to this as need be as well, so keep an eye for changes:

Sept. 22:

Alcest, Souveinirs d’un Autre Monde (10th Anniversary Edition)
Brant Bjork, Europe ’16
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spunthe-flying-eyes-burning-of-the-season
Epitaph, Claws
Faces of the Bog, Ego Death
The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season
Fvzz Popvli, Fvzz Dei
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers
Jarboe & Father Murphy, Jarboe & Father Murphy
Monarch, Never Forever
Nibiru, Qaal Babalon
Process of Guilt, Black Earth
Satyricon, Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Spelljammer, Inches from the Sun (Reissue)
Thonian Horde, Inconnu
Trash Titan, Welcome to the Banana Party
Ufomammut, 8
With the Dead, Love from With the Dead
Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

Sept. 29:

monolord rust
Cities of Mars, Temporal Rifts
Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy
A Devil’s Din, One Hallucination Under God
Disastroid, Missiles
Jim Healey, Just a Minute More (Sept. 26)
Idylls, The Barn
Kadavar, Rough Times
Lucifer’s Chalice, The Pact
Monolord, Rust
Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings
Scream of the Butterfly, Ignition
Tronald, Tronald (Sept. 30)
Unsane, Sterilize
Wucan, Reap the Storm

Oct. 6:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-storyElder Druid, Carmina Satanae
Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story
Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (Oct. 2)
Himmellegeme, Myth of Earth
House of Broken Promises, Twisted EP
O.R.B., Naturality
Primitive Man, Caustic
Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception
Spotlights, Seismic
Sumokem, The Guardian of Yosemite
Torso, Limbs
White Manna, Bleeding Eyes

Also:

Oct. 13: Enslaved, Firebreather, I Klatus, R.I.P., Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (reissue), Weird Owl, etc.

Oct. 20: Iron Monkey, Spectral Haze, Bell Witch, The Spacelords, etc.

Something I forgot?

Invariably, right? If you know of something not seen above that should be, then by all means, please leave a comment letting me know. My only ask is that you keep it civil and not call me a fucking idiot or anything like that. I write these posts very early in the day, and if something has been neglected, I assure you it’s not on purpose and I’m happy to correct any and all oversights.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping. Support local record stores.

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

Fireball Ministry Post Video for “The Answer”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

fireball-ministry

Executions of heavy rock as straightforward and yet as thoroughly satisfying in their melody and craft as that of Fireball Ministry are not easy to come by. On the West Coast of the US, maybe only Mos Generator would stand up to the standard of songwriting and I’m not sure even that Washington trio has the longevity factor working for them as does founding guitarist/vocalist Jim Rota‘s Los Angeles-based outfit. As Rota, guitarist/backing vocalist Emily Burton, drummer John Oreshnick and the noteworthy addition of bassist Scott Reeder prepare to release the new album, Remember the Story, on Oct. 6 via Cleopatra Records, they’ve posted a video for the track “The Answer” that only draws out some of the best elements the record has to offer.

Those elements? The hook, for one. Fireball Ministry have never been short on chorus quality, and Remember the Story certainly hits that mark as well. There’s also an overarching sense of professionalism at play in “The Answer” and in the video for it that comes through clear. Think “production quality” as a theme bringing together the aural and visual representation of the material The album was helmed by Paul Fig, who’s worked with Alice in Chains and others you can see listed below, and in addition to Rota‘s own video work, the band has partnered with director Brandon Trost for the clip, which seems to portray a narrative of betrayal, with a gutshot protagonist who meets his death in the most righteous and headbanging fashion possible.

Easy to dig for its melody, for the clarity of its performances and the multi-tiered appeal in general, there’s just about no way “The Answer” isn’t four and a half minutes well spent, and if you haven’t heard any of Remember the Story yet, it’s a resounding argument for why you should be looking forward to the release date. And make no mistake, you shoud be.

Video and PR wire info follows, as well as upcoming tour dates on the West Coast that include a stop at Cal Jam ’17.

Please enjoy:

Fireball Ministry, “The Answer” official video

With only a month to go until the release of their long-awaited, 5th studio album, Southern California’s reverends of rock ‘n’ roll Fireball Ministry unveil the video for their new single “The Answer.” The rock anthem is featured on Remember The Story, which debuts on October 6th via Cleopatra Records. Pre-order the album now at iTunes and BandCamp.

“We’re really excited to be teaming up again with director Brandon Trost for “The Answer” video. Brandon most recently worked with [Fireball Ministry vocalist] Jim [Rota] on the latest two Foo Fighters videos as Director of Photography and he has a visionary way of telling stories set to music.” – Fireball Ministry

“The Answer” is Fireball Ministry’s latest track from Remember The Story, and follow up to the previously released song “Back On Earth.” The band’s first album in nearly seven years delivers their tried and true signature stomp and fuzzy swing with an even broader scope and deeper emotional range. The album mines the depths of loss, pain, and confusion, exorcising demons with the spirited uplift this kind of music best delivers.

The record was produced/mixed by Paul Fig, the engineer behind records from Alice In Chains, Ghost, Deftones and Stone Sour. Sabbath soaked rhythms, Priest worshipping melodies, and no-nonsense Thin Lizzy mayhem collide in the Hollywood, California band, a group that has humbly but confidently flown the flag for rock authenticity since the hard-partying year of 1999.

Pre-order the CD/Vinyl of Remember The Story here: FireballMinistry.cleorecs.com

Fireball Ministry will be performing with Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and more at the Cal Jam 17 Festival on October 7th at Glen Helen Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are available at https://www.caljamfest.com/. The band has also announced a handful of Southwest dates with Red Fang, including a hometown show at the Troubadour, in Los Angeles on October 28th. Buy tickets at http://fireballministry.com/.

Fireball Ministry Tour Dates:
Oct 7 – San Bernardino, CA – Cal Jam 17 Festival @ Glen Helen Amphitheater
Oct 25 – Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
Oct 26 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Oct 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
Oct 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour

Fireball Ministry on Thee Facebooks

Fireball Ministry on Twitter

Fireball Ministry on Instagram

Fireball Ministry website

Fireball Ministry at Cleopatra Records

Cleopatra Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Fireball Ministry Set Oct. 6 Release for Remember the Story; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

fireball ministry

Been waiting a while for this one. Los Angeles heavy rockers Fireball Ministry are gearing up to release their fifth album, Remember the Story, on Oct. 6 via Cleopatra Records. I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of their last record, a 2010 self-titled (review here) that struck as having tipped the balance accessibility that was always there in their sound over to the sacrifice of the classic heavy rock thrust that made earlier outings like 1999’s Où Est la Rock? (discussed here) and 2003’s The Second Great Awakening so righteous, but one piece of the equation that’s never been missing has been songwriting, and as the streaming single “Back on Earth” (not an Ozzy cover) reintroduces that heavier edge — plus cowbell — they continue to live up to the high standard of craft they’ve set over their 18 years together.

You can stream “Back on Earth,” which also marks the studio introduction of bassist Scott Reeder (yup, that’s the one), at the bottom of this post. Fireball Ministry are also set to play Cal Jam ’17 in October, and they were just out in the desert a couple weeks ago to shoot a video for “The Answer” from Remember the Story, so expect more before the album surfaces. Right on.

Here’s word from the label:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-story

FIREBALL MINISTRY – Remember the Story

Remember the Story, the band’s 1st album in nearly seven years, delivers their tried and true signature stomp and fuzzy swing with an even broader scope and deeper emotional range. The album mines the depths of loss, pain, and confusion, exorcising demons with the spirited uplift this kind of music best delivers.

“Remember The Story is about moving forward while staying connected to your past. With this album we’ve reached a new stage of crystallization and prowess in our riffage.” – Emily J Burton

“This is a very personal record to me and was written from down deep. It’s also an honor to be playing alongside Emily (Burton) and John (Oreshnick) for the last 20 years. Having Scott (Reeder) with us along for the ride has made our greatest music to date in my humble opinion.” – James A Rota

The upcoming record was produced/mixed by Paul Fig, the engineer behind important records from Alice In Chains and Ghost. Sabbath soaked rhythms, Priest worshipping melodies, and no-nonsense Thin Lizzy mayhem collide in the Hollywood, California band, a group that has humbly but confidently flown the flag for rock authenticity since the hard-partying year of 1999.

Remember The Story’s cover artwork was created by Caitlin Mattisson and conveys the album’s theme of death and renewal. Speaking about the art, Mattisson says, “the vulture represents renewal and transformation and has connections to many mythologies and cultures, from being descended from Griffins in Greek Mythology to the scientific (Latin) name of Turkey Vulture translating to Golden Purifier, which ties in to Jim’s theme about a 2nd chance at life. Elements inspired by Hildgard of Bingen have been worked into the border shapes, as well as 2 blown out candles on the front. The book on the front is a Fireball Ministry hymnal shooting light. On the back of the album the candles are lit again and the vulture is flying away towards a new moon, new beginning.”

Fireball Ministry will be performing with Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and more at the Cal Jam 17 Festival on October 7th at Glen Helen Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, CA. Tickets are available at www.caljamfest.com.

1. End Of Our Truth
2. Everything You Wanted
3. Back On Earth
4. The Answer
5. Dying Win
6. Stop Talking
7. Weavers Dawn
8. Remember the Story
9. All For Naught
10. I Don’t Believe A Word

Fireball Ministry live:
Oct 07 Cal Jam 17 Glen Helen Amphitheater San Bernardino, CA

Fireball Ministry is:
James A. Rota II – Vocals/Guitar
Emily J. Burton – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Scott Reeder – Bass
John Oreshnick – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/fireballministry
https://twitter.com/fireballmin
https://www.instagram.com/fireballministry/
http://fireballministry.com/
https://fireballministry.bandcamp.com/album/remember-the-story
https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords
https://twitter.com/cleopatrarecord
https://instagram.com/cleopatrarecords/
http://cleopatrarecords.bandcamp.com/

Fireball Ministry, “Back on Earth”

Tags: , , , , ,

Borderland Fuzz Fiesta 2015: Fireball Ministry, Wo Fat, Mos Generator and More Playing Arizona Festival

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 29th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

fireball ministry on motorboat (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

Sharing a base of operations with the Southwest Terror Fest in Tucson, Arizona, the upcoming Borderland Fuzz Fiesta will make its initial showing in 2015 an impressive round of acts including Fireball Ministry — as seen on Motörhead‘s Motörboat above, with none other than Scott Reeder on bass — Wo FatMos GeneratorPowered Wig Machine and plenty of others, plus a light show from the venerable Mad Alchemy to add visual psychedelia to what’s sure to be a well-distorted evening Feb. 21 at The Rock. Not a bad way to start out, if you’re starting out.

Put together by Wayne and Joseph Rudell of Powered Wig Machine, the whole deal was announced via the PR wire as follows:

borderland fuzz fiesta

BORDERLAND FUZZ FIESTA: Tucson, Arizona’s First Annual Riff Party Reveals 2015 Lineup Including FIREBALL MINISTRY, WO FAT, MOS GENERATOR & More

The desert city of Tucson, AZ is host to a wide array of annual events in the musical realm and this coming February will see the addition of a still another: The Borderland Fuzz Fiesta. Conceived and curated by the Rudell brothers of regional desert rockers Powered Wig Machine and Fuzz Evil, the inaugural show will take place on February 21st at The Rock.

Borderland Fuzz Fiesta 2015 Official Lineup:

Fireball Ministry
Wo Fat
Mos Generator
Powered Wig Machine
Goatroper
Skulldron
Asimov
Yeti Ender
Conqueror Worm
Methra

When: February 21, 2015
Where: The Rock, 136 North Park Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719

“My brother and I have always wanted to put together a stoner rock themed fest and we’re definitely excited about this first year’s lineup,” comments an enthusiastic Wayne Rudell. The bill for the event certainly serves up ample helpings of the stoner genre with its fine mix of bands from the Southwest region and beyond, including Fireball Ministry, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Powered Wig Machine, Skulldron, Asimov, Goatroper, Yeti Ender, Conquerer Worm, Methra and the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show.

While the lineup is definitely under the wider umbrella of the stoner rock genre, there is a great diversity of sounds among the bands, from sprinklings of the psychedelic to slabs of doom and scorching thrash riffs, or pretty much something for every pair of ears inclined towards heavy music. Mr. Rudell certainly believes so: “We really feel that fans of this music would appreciate this event and will hopefully get behind it in the time to come, we’re going to be striving to make the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta bigger and better every year.”

Tickets for Borderland Fuzz Fiesta are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and are available now RIGHT HERE.

Sponsored by Eminence Speakers, Lace Pickups, Hovercraft Amplifiers, Greeson Custom Guitars, Tucson Maidens of Metal, Electric Beard of Doom, Radio, Sludged.com, and Wildcat Screen Repair.

Links:
facebook.com/borderlandfuzzfiesta
rocktucson.com
therocktucson.ticketleap.com/borderland-fuzz-fiesta-2015

Fireball Ministry, “Butcher, Faker, Policy Maker” official video

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,