Beerwolf Premiere “Magick Warbird” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

beerwolf

Color! — That seems to be the underlying message of Beerwolf‘s new video for the penultimate track of their Ripple Music debut album, Planetfall. “Magick Warbird” sees guitarist Matthew Howland and drummer AJ Prasad hanging around all casual-like by some electrical meters — as one does — when bassist/vocalist Jason Kleim rolls up with a bag full of mushrooms. Written on said ziplock in big ol’ letters is, of course, the title of the song. From there, the track takes off with a performance clip shot like a classic promotional video, the band coming in and out of focus while surrounded by bright colors and some basic special effects, trails and whatnot. It’s good fun.

The song itself is more grounded, at least in construction. Like much of Planetfall before it, it’s a straightforward rocker based around a strong chorus with a steady, laid back vibe and a tonal warmth derived from a classic heavy rock influence. Some of Planetfall‘s tracks, like “Eagle Shirt” after the opening instrumental title-cut or “Crom’s Steel” would seem to be well aware of the audience to whom they’re speaking, but if it’s to the converted, that hardly makes the preach of “Haze Arcane” or the fuzz-overdosed “Serpentine Fiend” any less righteous. With the jammier, open spirit of the eight-minute “Hunters of Night” on side A seeming to bridge a gap between labelmates Freedom Hawk and more psychedelic fare, Beerwolf set up the vaster reaches of the closing “Epilogue,” an instrumental bookend to “Planetfall” itself that conjures slower pacing and tripped-out effects to cap the record with its farthest cosmic reach.

That blend of the straightforward and the, well, not, helps add breadth to what Beerwolf do in terms of songwriting, but again, the bulk of Planetfall makes its impression through traditionalist songcraft, verse/chorus-style, and through the performances of Kleim, Howland and Prasad as presented with the naturalist production. If you want to get a sampling of that in a sub-five-minute clip that, again, has your full daily allowance of color — sorry, but the rest of your afternoon will have to be grayscale — hit up “Magick Warbird” below and enjoy the good times.

PR wire whatnot follows:

Beerwolf, “Magick Warbird” official video premiere

Beerwolf on “Magick Warbird:

“We’ve always dug the pioneer days of rock ’n’ roll visuals, the fuzzy psychedelia of Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ and the like. We wanted to create our own version of that, something you could enjoy knee deep in the peak of an acid trip. ‘Magick Warbird’ is about freedom from tyranny so it only made sense to style it as a call back to the counter-culture movements that inspired us.”

The trio of troublemakers from Tampa known as Beerwolf ingest a few too many mushrooms and take us on a wild and colorful journey with “Magick Warbird”, from their album “Planetfall” (released digitally by the band in 2017 and physically by Ripple Music in 2018).

Originally self-released last October, the album quickly came to Ripple Music’s attention, largely via cult commendations from fans, players and followers alike across the online community. And now, thanks to the solid appreciation of those at Ripple Music they will have that rare second chance to make a killer first impression, on a grander stage and to a wider audience.

BEERWOLF:
Jason Kleim – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Matthew Howland – Guitar
AJ Prasad – Drums

Beerwolf, Planetfall (2017/2018)

Beerwolf on Thee Facebooks

Beerwolf on Twitter

Beerwolf on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Twitter

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Hollow Leg Set Jan. 25 Release Date for Civilizations; Preorders up Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

hollow leg

The only reason I’m not listening to the new Hollow Leg album as I type this is because the internet connection I’m on is too shitty to stream or download the thing. It’s called Civilizations, it’s their fourth album, and as always, I’m looking forward to digging into it as soon as humanly possible. Or technologically possible. You know what I mean. I’ve got a tab open with the promo. It’s there, mocking me.

Civilizations of course follows on the heels of the special edition release of their Crown (review here) album that also included their Murder EP (review here) and thereby served as their debut on Argonauta Records. The new one, then, is their second through the Italian label, and they’ve already been playing new songs live, as on tour last month with Witchkiss. Seems only fair to expect more dates for early next year sometime near the release. These guys have never really been shy about getting out.

Here’s word from the PR wire about the album and the preorder link:

hollow leg civilizations

Hollow Leg – Civilizations – Jan. 25

Called an “enormously toned groove engine,” Hollow Leg’s train just keeps a’ rollin.’ Now on the eve of their fourth full-length release since 2010, the band is poised for national notoriety. Civilizations features nine tracks of sludge vitriol akin to Crowbar, Weedeater, and Eyehategod. The album will be available Jan 25th 2019 via Argonauta Records.

Hollow Leg is the sort of demented sludge behemoth that makes the faint of heart tremble and shake. Having emerged from the Florida swamps, this isn’t just another heavy band trying to suck at the teat of a bloated scene. Rather these Psycho Las Vegas veterans have made a name for themselves as weathered professionals, both on the road and in the studio. Blending American blues with English heavy metal, Hollow Leg have refined a sound that is colored with the influences of everyone from Janes Addiction and Faith No More to Eyehategod by way of Judas Priest.

Hollow Leg have been methodical in their tour approach and consistent with their recorded output. This January will see the release of Civilizations on Argonauta Records, the band’s fourth album in eight years and third studio release since 2016. The group recorded it all in their own studio and self produced, eventually being mixed and mastered by Kent Stump of Wo Fat. With huge ambitions and deep roots, Hollow Leg have found themselves playing multiple Maryland Doom Fests.

Cranking out crushing riffs left and right in the nations seedy dive bars as well as alongside titans like Amon Amarth and Enslaved, this band is a veritable train kept a’ rollin’. Unafraid to evolve, having even shifted from being a duo to a four piece, this is a group who constantly push for bigger and better things. Greater than the sum of their parts and constantly expanding their sound, Hollow Leg have the drive and ambition needed to become lords of the stoner metal underground.

Pre-order here: http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/en/home/306-hollow-leg-civilizations-lp-cd.html

https://www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl
https://twitter.com/hollowlegfl
https://www.instagram.com/hollow_legfl/
https://hollowleg666.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Hollow Leg, Murder EP (2017)

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Northern Crown Announce Self-Titled Album out Oct. 12

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

northern crown

Floridian doomers Northern Crown made their debut with The Others two years ago and I was reading the press release below and trying to figure out why I never reviewed the record. It was the cover art that gave me a bummer vibe. Well, the art for their new one, which is self-titled, set for release on Oct. 12 and which features a cover of My Dying Bride‘s “Your River” from 1993’s classic Turn Loose the Swans, is a zeppelin flying over a dusty and scratched out landscape. I’m not going to read into it too hard beyond “blimps are fun,” and yes, that’s a personal choice I’m making.

They don’t have any audio out from the new full-length as yet, but October is a ways away — though not nearly as much of a ways as it feels like it should be in my feeble brain — so one assumes there’s some forthcoming. The blimp-y art and the tracklisting and other details have made their way out, though, and you’ll find them all below, courtesy of the PR wire:

northern crown northern crown

U.S. Doom Lords NORTHERN CROWN Releasing Self-Titled Sophomore Album October 12

U.S. Doom Lords NORTHERN CROWN will release their self-titled sophomore album on October 12. The band has sharpened the approach on the forthcoming full-length, combining more dirty rock organ and chunky guitar riffs with their trademark doom-isms. Following up on their debut album The Others, their self-titled sophomore release maintains the smoke and mirrors of the first EP In The Hands of The Betrayer but leans more in the direction of the first record and the band’s oldest rock influences – DIO, RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, and BLACK SABBATH.

NORTHERN CROWN handled mixing on their own again, but brought in the mastering talents of Tony Lindgren from Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios (Witchcraft, Enslaved, Amorphis) for the final touches. Artwork by prolific artist Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Death) captures the album’s winding atmosphere, rounding out the release.

Reflecting the uncertainty of the dark times we exist in at the moment, Northern Crown tackles the difficult subject of how well we really know ourselves and how that shapes what we do and become. Echoing their previous releases’ indulgent 10-minute+ epics, the track, “The Desert and The Wind,” nods to the prog-heads, while the band also includes a glowing tribute to My Dying Bride with a full cover of “Your River.” The record also introduces a lineup change, with vocalist and guitarist Frank Serafine handling drums. Weaponlord’s mighty Leona Hayward returns on bass, backing Zachary Randall’s guitar alchemy and harsh vocals. Solos from Nightfall/Dark Hound lead shred-monster Evan Hensley punctuate the record.

Northern Crown will be available on CD and Digital Formats at https://doommet.al

Track List

1. I Am Your Slave
2. Merciless, They Let You Suffer
3. Forged from Nothing
4. Chasing the Sun
5. The Desert and the Wind
6. Righteous & Pure
7. By Demons Bidden
8. Your River

Northern Crown is:
Zachary Randall – Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Lead and Backing Vocals
Frank R. Serafine – Lead and Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar, Drums
Leona Hayward – Bass

Additional Performers:
Evan Hensley – Lead Guitar

https://doommet.al
facebook.com/NorthernCrownDoom/
https://twitter.com/NrthrnCrownDoom
https://music.northerncrownband.com/

Northern Crown, The Others (2016)

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Hollow Leg & Witchkiss Touring in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

hollow leg

witchkiss

Last time I heard from Florida’s Hollow Leg, it was this Spring when they announced they’d begun work on their next record. I don’t know what their recording process is like off the top of my head, but I’m going to guess that the album is probably done. Since they’re teamed up with New York’s Witchkiss to tour their way out to Doomed and Stoned Fest in Indianapolis — where Hollow Leg are set to play Oct. 6 — and back eastward after, and since Witchkiss‘ 2018 album is called The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes, and since the tour is called “The Austere Civilizations Tour,” I’ll further guess that not only is the new Hollow Leg record done, but the title in some way involves the word “civilizations.” Maybe that’s all it’s called. I don’t know, folks, these are just guesses.

If you’re looking for harder news, well, there’s the tour dates for starters. They’re right here, as per the PR wire:

hollow leg witchkiss tour

HOLLOW LEG/WITCHKISS ANNOUNCE TOUR

HOLLOW LEG and WITCHKISS are pleased to announce that they will be teaming up for a short East/Mid-western tour of the United States this fall. The tour will also include a stop at the Doomed and Stoned festival in Indianapolis. (Hollow Leg only)

Hollow Leg commented “Hollow Leg are really looking forward to this upcoming run with our labelmates in Witchkiss as well as appearance at this year’s Doomed and Stoned fest! Cities like Chicago we’ve been looking to play for a while and our festival appearance is giving us a chance to get there this time around.”

Witchkiss further commented “We are super stoked to be doing this run with Hollow Leg in early October. Getting to play with our Argonauta labelmates who’s music we love in all of these new cities is a dream come true! We might even be playing a new song for y’all too!”

More information can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/295316921230835/

HOLLOW LEG/WITCHKISS AUSTERE CIVILIZATIONS TOUR DATES
Oct. 3rd – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
Oct. 4th – Memphis, TN @ Growler’s
Oct. 5th – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
Oct. 6th – Indianapolis, IN @ Doomed and Stoned Fest (HL only)
Oct. 6th Canton, OH @Buzzbin (Witchkiss only)
Oct. 7th – Charlottesville, VA @ Golden Pony
Oct. 8th – Baltimore, MD @ The Depot
Oct. 9th – Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s
Oct 12th- Richmond, VA @Wonderland (Witchkiss only)

https://www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl
https://hollowleg666.bandcamp.com/

http://facebook.com/witchkissband
https://witchkiss.bandcamp.com/

www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Hollow Leg, Murder (2017)

Witchkiss, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes (2018)

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Beerwolf Set Aug. 24 Release for Planetfall on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

beerwolf

Floridian word-mashers Beerwolf released their Planetfall album last October on their own, and next month they’ll issue a physical pressing via Ripple Music, whose proven model of snagging bands with successful runs on Bandcamp would seem once more to be paying riffy dividends. The vested three-piece made their debut with Oracle Prophecy in 2015 and bring together spacious leadwork and classic heavy rolling groove with just an edge of elder metal on the eight-minute “Hunters of Night” while the penultimate “Magic Warbird” has a well-punctuated strut that’s straight-up ’70s vinyl fodder. You can hear it yourself in streaming the record in full via the player at the bottom of this post — wonderful future we live in, apart from all the horror — and the PR wire updates with the latest release details and background, as the PR wire will.

Dig this cover art. I feel like I wanna give bonus points for a smoke-whale-in-space. I don’t think I’ve seen one before, and if you have, I’d love to know where:

beerwolf planetfall

BEERWOLF: Floridian blues doom trio to release Planetfall album on Ripple Music

Planetfall by Beerwolf is officially released worldwide on 24th August through Ripple Music

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the official worldwide release of Planetfall, the sophomore album by Floridian blues doom trio, Beerwolf.

Originally self-released last October, the album quickly came to Ripple Music’s attention, largely via cult commendations from fans, players and followers alike across the online community. Throbbing with doom-laden and imposing compositions like, ‘Serpentine Fiend’ and ‘Haze Arcane’, along with phased riffs and pulsating rhythms, for the Tampa Bay trio Planetfall marks a huge step up from their 2015 debut, Oracle Prophecy.

For those that already au fait with the old school aesthetics of 70’s hard and classic rock, gnarly and gnarled desert fuzz and swirling guitar solos, Beerwolf were practically raised to hunt you down. And now, thanks to the solid appreciation of those at Ripple Music they will have that rare second chance to make a killer first impression, on a grander stage and to a wider audience when the album gets its official worldwide release next month.

Planetfall by Beerwolf is officially released worldwide on 24th August through Ripple Music. Stream and share the album in full here and pre-order from Ripple Music here.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Planetfall
2. Eagle Shirt
3. Hunters of Night
4. Haze Arcane
5. Crom’s Steel
6. Serpentine Fiend
7. Opium Meadows
8. Magick Warbird
9. Epilogue

BEERWOLF:
Jason Kleim – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Matthew Howland – Guitar
AJ Prasad – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/beerwolfmusic/
https://twitter.com/beerwolf_band
https://beerwolf.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Torche Enter Studio to Record New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It seemed like Miami’s Torche surprised a lot of people with their 2015 fourth album, Restarter (review here), and maybe confused some as well with a more complex emotional basis than they’d showed previously. That record took the manic energy that typified 2012’s Harmonicraft (review here) and the heft of 2008’s Meanderthal and kept some of both, but also expanded in order to encompass a broader range of expression on the whole. I thought it worked well, but going by the response I saw, others seemed confused by what they were doing and the changes the band had undergone.

All the more curious, then, to hear what Torche come up with for their fifth long-player, about which the first thing they mention is the “balance of new elements.” Does that mean they’re pitting different sides of the band’s sound against each other? Working in new modes of songwriting? New tones? It could be anything, I suppose. Restarter opened a lot of doors for them sonically to work in new directions. Only bummer is it looks like we have to wait until next year to find out how that’s manifest on the new album.

They’re in the studio now with guitarist Jonathan Nunez at the helm:

torche

TORCHE RECORDING RESTARTER FOLLOW-UP; ALBUM SLATED FOR 2019 RELEASE VIA RELAPSE RECORDS

Torche has entered the studio to record the band’s fifth full-length album, due in 2019 via Relapse Records.

“The new record has a great balance of new elements that have become a part of our sound over the last couple years, which is very exciting for us,” said the band in a joint statement. “We’re pushing classic signatures of our sonic identity, and bringing new vibes to the table. This time around there’s going to more dynamics while pushing our ‘wall of sound’ nature much further.”

Guitar player Jonathan Nunez is recording the release at Cabana East in Miami.

torchemusic.com
facebook.com/torcheofficial
instagram.com/torche_band
twitter.com/torcheband
http://www.relapse.com
http://www.relapserecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords
http://www.twitter.com/RelapseRecords

Torche, Restarter (2015)

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Hollow Leg Begin Work on New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Nothing here but good news. New Hollow Leg in the works? Band feeling cool about expanding their sound a little bit, trying some new things and experimenting with new elements in their songwriting? Preproduction done and recording getting started. Fucking a all around. Hollow Leg‘s recent efforts, last year’s Murder EP (review here) and 2016’s third long-player Crown (review here), both showed that sonic expansion in process from their earlier works, and it’s encouraging to see the band is conscious of that and looking to continue moving forward. I’ve been and remain a fan of their work, so to know there’s more of it coming — yeah, that’s a win.

I’m assuming the release will be through Argonauta Records, like the EP and last album. They don’t mention it either way, but I’ll keep an eye out for confirmation one way or the other. When I know, you’ll know.

Until then, here’s the latest from the PR wire:

hollow leg

Hollow Leg announces return to studio

Florida metal quartet Hollow Leg announces their return to their own recording studio, Hi Five Audio, to begin work on their fourth full-length release. Drum tracking commenced on April 7th with vocalist Scott Angelacos and Jeff Mcalear at the helm of engineering and production.

The band commented on their new music and recording method:
The writing and preproduction process has been really fun and efficient. The material is definitely still “Hollow Leg,” but we’re trying to throw something fresh in there also. In general, we feel we’re making better use of having our own studio space and really nailing down songs and sounds in preproduction so we’re more focus. We’re heading back to Hi Five Audio (our home away from home in DeLand, Florida) for production with our heads up, guts sucked in, and chests puffed out, feeling good about our aim and ready to rock this.

The band expects to release this album in late 2018. Their blend of American blues and English metal conjures the likes of Sabbath, Eyehategod, Weedeater, and even Judas Priest. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

https://www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl
https://twitter.com/hollowlegfl
https://www.instagram.com/hollow_legfl/
https://hollowleg666.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Hollow Leg, Murder EP (2017)

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Quarterly Review: The Sword, Mountain Tamer, Demon Head, Bushfire, Motherslug, Dove, Treedeon, Falun Gong, Spider Kitten, Greynbownes

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Okay then. We got past the first day and I thought it went reasonably well. No casualties. Nobody’s brain melted from trying to find another word for “riffs” for the 19th time, so yeah, mark it a win. There’s a good spread of stuff in today’s batch — a little of this, a little of that — so hopefully somewhere in the mix you’re able to run into something you dig. Hell, I’ll say the same for myself as well. Come on, let’s go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

The Sword, Used Future

the sword used future

Now-veteran Austin heavy rockers The Sword have gotten a mixed response to the more progressive approach their recent work has taken, and I doubt Used Future (on Razor & Tie) is going to be any less polarizing, but its crisp 13 tracks/43 minutes are pulled off with professionalism. Yes, it has its self-indulgent aspects in “Sea of Green” or the earlier instrumental “The Wild Sky,” but The Sword have never done anything other than deliver accessible heavy rock and tour like hell, so while I get the mixed response, at this point I think the band has at very least earned a measure of respect for what they’ve accomplished as ambassadors of underground heavy. They wanna throw a little John Carpenter influence into “Nocturne?” Fine. They’re not hurting anybody. The unfortunate truth about The Sword is that neither polarized side is right. They’re not the end of heavy metal as we know it; some crude ironic take on what metal should be. And they’re not the greatest band of their generation. They have a good record deal. They write decent songs. Where’s the problem with that? I don’t hear it on Used Future.

The Sword on Thee Facebooks

Razor & Tie website

 

Mountain Tamer, Living in Vain Demo

mountain tamer Demo 2017

If it was Mountain Tamer’s intention to get listeners excited about the prospect of a second full-length from the Santa Cruz, CA three-piece, then the Living in Vain demo serves this purpose well. Their 2016 Argonauta Records self-titled debut (review here) expounded on the potential they originally showed with 2015’s Mtn Tmr demo (review here), and though it’s only two songs, Living in Vain would seem to do the same in building on the accomplishments of the album before it. The opening title-track is labeled “Living in Vain Pt. 1” and nestles easily into a mid-paced shuffle before shifting into psychedelic lead layering and a more jammed-out spirit, from which it returns in the last 30 seconds to hit into a more solidified ending riff, leading to the immediately slower “Wretched.” More spacious, more of a march, it plays into an instrumental hook and holds to its structure for its entire 5:40, ending with guitar on a quick fade. Obviously the intention with a release like this is to entice the listener with the prospect of the band’s next album. Living in Vain does that and more.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, The Resistance

demon head the resistance

Returning just about a year after issuing their second album, Thunder on the Fields (review here), Copenhagen-based proto-metallers Demon Head offer a new two-songer single titled The Resistance that at least to my ears speaks to the current political moment of populism opposing liberalism – as much at play in Europe as in the US, if not more so – and the fight for an open society. They present it as a six-plus-minute languid groove with flashes of militaristic snare; something of a turn from the cult rock of their two-to-date long-players. One could say the same of the sci-fi themed “Rivers of Mars,” though like its predecessor, it remains sonically on-point with the band’s vintage aesthetic, fostered through naturalist guitar and bass tones, bluesy, commanding vocals and classy, creative drumming. Actually, apply that “classy” all around. As Demon Head continue to come into their own sound, they do so with poise that’s all the more striking for how raw their presentation remains.

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records

 

Bushfire, When Darkness Comes

bushfire when darkness comes

When Darkness Comes is German heavy rocking five-piece Bushfire’s follow-up to late-2013’s Heal Thy Self (review here), and it retains the Darmstadt-based outfit’s penchant for quality riffcraft and a showcase for the vocals of frontman Bill Brown, which hit in bottom-of-the-mouth melodies and gruff shouts fitting to cuts like “The Conflict” and the swinging “Shelter.” Bushfire are no strangers to a semi-Southern element in their sound, and that remains true on When Darkness Comes from the opening title-track through the later “Another Man Down” and closer “Liberation.” Somewhat curiously, that closer is instrumental, and where the vocals play such a role in the overarching impression the record makes, it’s an interesting twist to have them absent from the final statement, leaving guitarists Marcus Bischoff and Miguel Pereira, bassist Vince and drummer Sascha to finish out on their own. If groove is the measure, they’re certainly up to the task, but then, that was never really in doubt.

Bushfire on Thee Facebooks

Bushfire on Bandcamp

 

Motherslug, The Electric Dunes of Titan

motherslug the electric dunes of titan

I’m sorry. I don’t see how you could dig anything calling itself “stoner” and not be down with what Motherslug are doing with their second long-player, The Electric Dunes of Titan. Plus-sized riffing all over the place, languid rollouts, excursions into psychedelic splendor (see “Followers of the Sun,” etc.), explosions into massive groove (see “Staring at the Sun”), a nod to High on Fire in “Tied to the Mast” and a Sleep-style march on closer “Cave of the Last God” that’s probably the best I’ve heard since the Creedsmen Arise demo in 2015. Really, if Motherslug doesn’t do it for you, nothing will. Five years after they initially released their self-titled EP (review here), which was later expanded into their debut album for NoSlip Records (review here), the Melbourne outfit charge back with what should be a litmus test for riff-heads. In all seriousness, from tone to structure to songwriting to production to the cover art, there’s just nothing here that doesn’t deliver the message. Should’ve been on my best of 2017 list.

Motherslug on Thee Facebooks

Motherslug on Bandcamp

 

Dove, Dove Discography

dove discography

In the wake of Floor’s disbanding, drummer Henry Wilson formed Dove. They were around for about five years, did some touring (one remembers picking up their self-titled in a Manhattan basement with $2 Rolling Rocks calling itself The Pyramid), and disbanded to a cult status not so different from that which Floor enjoyed prior to their own reunion, if to something of a lesser degree. As the title indicates, Dove Discography compiles “every listenable track” the band ever put out, including their self-titled, Wilson’s original demo for the project, compilation and 7” material. All told, it’s 20 tracks and just under an hour of documentation for who Dove were and the kind of punk metal they were about, never quite stoner, but heavy rock to be sure, and definitely of the Floridian ilk that produced both Floor and Cavity and a style Wilson has progressed with House of Lightning. Dove could be blazingly intense or they could plod out a huge riff, holding a deceptively wide purview that was only part of the reason they were so underrated at the time.

Dove on Bandcamp

House of Lightning on Thee Facebooks

 

Treedeon, Under the Manchineel

treedeon under the manchineel

To anyone who might complain that all sludge sounds the same, I humbly submit Treedeon, whose second album for Exile on Mainstream, Under the Manchineel, is a work both noise-laden and righteously avant garde. Perhaps even more ferocious than its 2015 predecessor, Lowest Level Reincarnation (review here), the seven-track/44-minute outing offers a touch of melody in “Breathing a Vein” and buried deep in the midsection of 16-minute closer “Wasicu,” and arguably in guitarist Arne Heesch’s delivery in opener “Cheetoh” as well, but he and bassist Yvonne Ducksworth mostly keep to harsh shouts as they create consuming washes of noise over the madcap drumwork of newcomer Andy Schuenemann, who punctuates every punch of Ducksworth’s gotta-hear-it bass tone on album centerpiece “No Hell” as Heesch goes lands the chorus with the line “No hell can hold me” as its standout line. Bringing a sense of themselves to an established style to a degree that’s rare, rarer, rarest, Treedeon are no less aggressively weird than they are aggressive, period.

Treedeon on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream website

 

Falun Gong, Figure 1

Falun Gong Figure 1

There are some post-Electric Wizard shades that emerge in the debut single from London’s Falun Gong by the time it reaches its feedback-soaked finale, but really, “Figure 1” is much more about digging into its own cultistry than that of the Obornian sort. Still, the overarching impression is somewhat familiar, and will be particularly to those who were fans of The Wounded Kings, but the duo who remain anonymous present themselves with a clearheaded intent toward maximum sonic murk, and with the lumbering misery they trod out in “Figure 1,” they seem to achieve what they’re going for. I don’t know who they are, but I’d guess this isn’t their first band, and as crowded as London’s heavy underground has become over the course of this decade, acts like Falun Gong are fewer and farther between than some others, and during these 10 minutes, they make a striking first impression. One hopes for “Figure 2” sooner rather than later.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Spider Kitten, Concise and Sinister

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Intended as a thematic continuation to some degree of 2016’s Ark of Oktofelis, the four-song Concise and Sinister finds long-running multi-genre UK outfit Spider Kitten bookending two extended crushers around two shorter pieces, one of which is a cover of Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” (also memorably done by 16 Horsepower) and the other of which is a noise-punk assault that lasts 46 seconds and is called “I’m Feeling So Much Better.” Whether fast or slow, loud or quiet, the intention of Spider Kitten doesn’t seem even at its most abrasive to be to punish so much as to challenge, and whether it’s the cinematic elements dug into the march of opener and longest track (immediate points) “A Glorious Retreat” (11:33) or the harmonies that accompany especially-doomed 10-minute closer “Martyr’s Breath,” Spider Kitten and founder Chi Lameo demonstrate a creativity acknowledging that bounds exist and then simply refusing to accept them, making even the familiar seem unfamiliar in the process.

Spider Kitten on Thee Facebooks

Spider Kitten on Bandcamp

 

Greynbownes, Grey Rainbow from Bones

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Comprised of guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Lukas, bassist Martin and drummer Jakub, Greynbownes hail from Moravia in the Czech Republic and the moniker-explaining Grey Rainbow from Bones is their self-issued debut full-length. It is comprised of nine tracks of inventive heavy rock, pulling elements from grunge and ‘90s-era stoner noise on cuts like “Across the Bones” while veering into fare more aggressive, or psychedelic or jammy in the trio of six-minute tracks “Seasons,” “Death of Autumn Leaves” and “B 612” that precedes the closing duo of the funky “Sitting at the Top” and the mellow-but-still-heavy finisher “Weight of Sky,” which feels far removed from the opening salvo of “Boat of Fools,” the fuzz-punker “Madness” and the fuckall-chug of “What is at Stake.” Yes, it’s all over the place, and one might expect Greynbownes’ sound to solidify over time, but to the trio’s credit, Grey Rainbow from Bones never flies apart in the way that it seems at multiple points it might, and that’s an encouraging sign.

Greynbownes on Thee Facebooks

Greynbownes on Bandcamp

 

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