Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
After delivering 2014 an elephantine boot to the ass with their much-anticipated reunion full-length, Oblation (review here), Floor are set to continue their run in 2015. The Miami trio will launch a European tour at Roadburn on April 9 and be joined by Minsk for shows in Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and a stop in London for Desertfest. It’s a stint that ends on April 25, which is just enough time to give guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks a breather before Torche‘s own recently-announced European tour kicks off on May 2 in Leipzig, where Floor will have been less than a month earlier for the Doom over Leipzig festival.
A cruel schedule for Brooks, perhaps, but sure to be time well spent in Floor alongside guitarist Anthony Vialon and drummer Henry Wilson meeting the riffy demands of a hungry public. If you need a refresher, Oblation can be heard in full under the PR wire news below:
FLOOR announce European tour
Cult underground rock outfit FLOOR (Steve Brooks (also of TORCHE)- Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) have announced a European tour. The European tour, their first, sees them travel throughout a half dozen countries and play several European festivals, including Roadburn, Desert Fest London, Doom over Leipzig, and Solomacello Fest. Support on this tour comes from MINSK, and a full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.
FLOOR are touring in support of ‘Oblation’, their first new album in over ten years. ‘Oblation’, which is available for purchase here, and for digital download here.
FLOOR Tour Dates: (All dates with MINSK) 4/9 Tilburg, Holland @ Roadburn (FLOOR ONLY) 4/10 Leipzig, Germany @ Doom Over Leipzig 4/11 Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang 4/12 Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia 4/13 Warsaw, Poland @ Hydrozagadka 4/14 Prague, Czech Rep @ 007 4/15 Innsbruck, Austria @ p.m.k. 4/16 München, Germany @ Feierwerk 4/17 Bologna, Italy @ Freakout 4/18 Milano, Italy @ Lo Fi Club, Solomacello Fest 4/20 Paris, France @ Espace B 4/21 Nantes, France @ La Scene Michelet 4/22 Lille, France @ La Peniche 4/23 Dortmund, Germany @ FZW 4/24 London, UK @ Desertfest 4/25 Antwerp, Belgium @ Kavka
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
A Torche album is always easy to get excited about, but you’ll pardon me if I’m particularly stoked to hear what their impending full-length, Restarter, has to offer. Not only is it their debut release for Relapse Records, which seems like a label home they could settle into for a while, but it’s also their first outing since guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks‘ reunion stint with Floor, and since word has been kicked around of it being Torche‘s heaviest work yet since I think probably before it was even done being written, I’m eager to hear how the vibe plays out. Their third album, 2012’s Harmonicraft (review here), was a solid showing, but I think particularly with the title they’ve given it, Restarter could be shooting for a fresher approach. We’ll know when we get there, I guess.
The PR wire has details and tour dates:
TORCHE REVEAL RESTARTER DETAILS; UNVEIL TEASER TRAILER WITH NEW MUSIC
ADD ADDITIONAL TOUR DATES IN EUROPE AND UNITED STATES
Torche, whose eagerly awaited Relapse Records’ debut, Restarter, is slated for a Feb. 24 release, have shared more details about the 10-track album including full track list and information on various editions.
The Florida/Georgia based quartet are also giving fans the first taste of music from the highly-anticipated album with a thirty-second teaser trailer featuring a portion of album opener “Annihilation Affair,” which is available now.
Restarter will be released on CD/LP/Deluxe 2xLP/Cassette/Digital, with pre-orders beginning Dec. 8. Two bonus tracks, “Harmonslaught” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Mantasy,” are included on deluxe editions.
Restarter track list:
Annihilation Affair Bishop in Arms Minions Loose Men Undone Blasted No Servants Believe It Barrier Hammer Restarter
The album was recorded at the band’s Miami studio, Pinecrust, with bass player Jonathan Nuñez overseeing production and Converge’s Kurt Ballou once again returning to handle mixing. Speaking with Loudwire, Nuñez discussed the band’s approach to writing and recording Restarter: “I feel that with time you kind of expand and hopefully progress. Hopefully this record is a good reflection of that. I feel it’s strong sonically and harder hitting than the previous record [Harmonicraft]. I’m happy with the last record, but I feel on this record, it’s just more solid song to song. You’ve got to move forward. You can’t release the same record over and over.”
Torche launch a round of U.S. dates later this month as they join Clutch and Lionize for a brief outing; a week of dates with Municipal Waste come mid-January. The band has also added three weeks to their previously announced European and UK dates:
December 27 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s December 28 Cleveland, OH House of Blues December 29 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom December 30 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory December 31 Washington, DC 9:30 Club January 3 Atlanta, GA Center Stage January 4 Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues January 6 New Orleans, LA House of Blues January 7 Houston, TX House of Blues January 8 Dallas, TX House of Blues January 9 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom January 10 Austin, TX Emo’s January 16 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggy’s January 17 Wilmington, NC Ziggy’s by the Sea January 18 Tallahassee, FL Pug’s Live January 19 Gainesville, FL The Atlantic January 20 Ybor City, FL Crowbar January 21 Miami, FL Grand Central
May 2 Leipzig, DE Taubchental May 3 Wroclaw, PL Asymmetry Festival May 4 Prague, CZ 007 May 5 Munich, DE Ampere May 6 Milan, IT Lo Fi Club May 8 Barcelona, SP Rocksound May 9 Madrid, SP Boute Live! May 10 Lisbon, PT Musicbox May 11 Bilbao, SP Kafe Antzokia May 13 Zurich, SZ Dynamo May 14 Wiesbaden, DE Schlachthoff May 15 Cologne, DE Underground May 16 Berlin, DE Hafenklang May 18 Nijmegen, NL Merelyn May 19 Haarlem, NL Patronaat May 20 Paris, FR Glazart May 21 Antwerp, BE Kavka May 22 London, UK Underworld May 23 Leeds, UK Belgrave Social Club May 24 Galway, IR Roisin Dubh May 25 Cork, IR Craine Lane May 26 Dublin, IR Grand Social May 27 Belfast, IR The Limelight May 28 Glasgow, UK CCA May 29 Manchester, UK Sound Control May 30 Bristol, UK Temples Festival May 31 Nimes, FR This is Not a Love Song June 1 Nantes, FR Le Ferrailleur
Part Chimp, Kings and Henry Blacker open on all headlining European dates.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I mean, duh, right? This one’s an absolute no brainer. You’ve got Floridian duo Holly Hunt and Northern Irish three-piece Slomatics — both of whom utterly destroy — packed together on a split 7″? ANDHolly Hunt‘s song is called “Bill Ward?” It’s like the easiest sell in the world. What more could you possibly ask of heaviness than that?
Fucking Slomatics, man. Every time I hear that band, it’s just a reminder of how much more I need to hear that band. I’m still kicking myself for not having the cash to shell out and purchase a proper CD copy of their Feb. 2014 full-length, Estron – though it’s audible on Bandcamp here — let alone reviewing it. And Holly Hunt released their Prometheus EP this summer on Other Electricities and like everything they’ve done up to now, it just crushes. Good bands pairing up to do cool shit. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Other Electricities will have the split out on Dec. 2 in the US. Black Bow Records – the imprint helmed by Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis – is handling the UK/EU release as well. All parties worthy of support.
Info and audio previews follow. Fucking a:
Slomatics/Holly Hunt – Split 7”
Two sides of heavy from two parts the world! Holly Hunt’s “Bill Ward” on the A side – an authentic testimonial to the duo’s live sound and energy. Slomatics’ “Ulysses, My Father” on the flip – a sludgy sonic tale. Miami meets Belfast, all take cover! Mastered by James Plotkin. Out Dec 2nd via Other Electricities / Sonic TITAN (US) and Black Bow (UK/EU).
Formed in Belfast late 2004, Slomatics aim to reduce riffs to a primal state of heaviness, to produce music which whilst imploding under its own weight, creates a joyous and euphoric state of wellbeing which can only be obtained with a slew of vintage amplifiers, fuzz pedals, analog synths and an alarming array of percussion instruments. This has endured through UK tours, gigs in Europe, four albums and a mountain of split/vinyl/cassette releases. Showing no signs of slowing down, the band will bring 2014 to a close with a seismic split release with Miami bruisers Holly Hunt. The band’s new lastest album, Estron, was released February 2014 to universal praise, including the Quietus best of 2014 and was nominated for the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2014.
Drummer Beatriz Monteavaro (ex Floor/Cavity) and guitarist Gavin Perry have demonstrated themselves as a loud and lumbering giant of the Miami music scene. The visceral impact of sound – the raising heart rate, neck chills, the warmth spreading throughout your torso – this is Holly Hunt’s raison d’être. Holly Hunt champions heavy metal’s potential to transcend genre and become a physical experience. Though stripped down to the most bare essentials, the duo’s innate technical chops, strong dialogue, and incredibly deep relationship to their gear produces a sound and style far beyond rudimentary tags like “heavy,” “hard,” or “brutal.”
The self-titled debut full-length from Floor is a monument to the gloriousness of weighted tonality. For me, particularly over the last couple years, it’s an album I’ve come to associate with motion, with going places. Reason being is that it was on an iPod I’d initially bought for The Patient Mrs. years back but wound up sort of appropriating after she more or less discarded it (this same iPod was also recently stolen out of my car by some jerk who remains at large), and with the relatively limited selection there as compared to my CD rack, I’d find it in the playlist usually while sitting in an airport and be all excited, pretty much each time out. So walking on airplanes, walking off airplanes, getting from here to somewhere else, Floor‘s Floor is the record for me by which that happens. It’s been my soundtrack for at least the last four trips to Roadburn.
It also seems fitting that it should be a travel album because the music itself is so compelling. Whether it’s “Scimitar,” or “Downed Star” or the one-two-three quick punch of “Twink,” “Sheech” and “Assassin,” which I still feel like I’m trying to catch up to, the album itself moves. The Miami trio of guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks – who’d go on to found Torche following Floor‘s dissolution — guitarist Anthony Vialon and drummer Henry Wilson propelled themselves from one song to the next, sometimes in attention-deficit-disorder leaps that seemed to leave ideas incomplete in a punkish sort of tradition and sometimes just at the right time, but never with a moment wasted. To date, it remains one of heavy rock’s best examples of a lean record that still sounds mammoth and pummeling — that’s not to mention the upbeat tempos or pop influence — and its thrust and brash feel has had a considerable influence since the time of its release on No Idea Records in 2002. Probably too early to call it a classic just 12 years after the fact, but there’s nothing that seems like it’ll stop it from getting there as the years continue to progress.
All the more so because of Floor‘s reactivated status, and with this lineup. Earlier 2014’s Oblation (review here) was a worthy successor to Floor‘s original run, which came to an end with 2004’s sophomore outing, Dove. By then the lineup had changed and it was clear the dynamic in the band was shifted, but from the time Floor got back together following the welcome reception of their 10LP Below and Beyond box set through Robotic Empire (who also have a reissue of the self-titled for sale on their Bandcamp with outtakes), the question of a new album was always there, and they answered that question loudly and in progressive, still immensely heavy form. Brooks seems primed for a shift back to Torche in 2015 for their Relapse label debut, but Floor continue to play shows in support of Oblation as well, shifting from a “reunion” band to a working one. They’ll play Roadburn and Desertfest in 2015 and probably much more around Europe between. As a fan of the band, I hope they continue on and put out a follow-up fourth long-player, but the self-titled continues to hold a special place in my heart, even if that place seems to constantly be in motion.
Hope you enjoy.
Will keep it quick this time. Stay tuned next week. Hopefully I’ll have a review of the new Murcielago record, plus the Orange Goblin which I’m sure you’ve already heard, plus an interview one way or another, be it the Lowrider Q&A or one with Soph from Alunah. I’ve also got a track premiere and quickie Q&A with It’s Casual slated for Wednesday and maybe one or two audio-type tricks up my sleeve for the rest of the week as well. We’ll see how it shapes up.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last we left them, Florida sludge poppers Torche were preparing to hit the road on a September tour and had dropped word that their next album and Relapse debut would be out in 2015. They’re on that tour now, playing in Ohio tonight and tomorrow, and as they gear up for the new record, word has just come out they’ll join forces with Clutch on the latter’s annual holiday run in December, which seems longer than usual this year, and, interestingly, doesn’t actually include New Year’s Eve, taking a break on Dec. 30 after the Philly show and picking back up on Jan. 3. Can’t do the same thing every time, I guess.
Here are the current dates and a refresher on the album status:
…The band, who recently signed to Relapse Records, completed recording their newest full-length earlier this year at Pinecrust Studio in Miami, with bassist Jonathan Nunez behind the boards. The album was then mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou and will see a release in early 2015 via Relapse.
Sep 23 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups Sep 24 Akron, OH Musica Sep 25 Chicago, IL The Promontory Sep 26 Pittsburgh, PA The Smiling Moose Sep 27 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus Sep 29 Chapel Hill, NC Cat’s Cradle Back Room Sep 30 Tampa, FL The Orpheum Oct 01 Orlando, FL Backbooth
Torche will join the mighty Clutch on tour this winter along with LIONIZE. Check out a full list of dates below…
Sat/Dec-27 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s Sun/Dec-28 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues Mon/Dec-29 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom Tue/Dec-30 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory Sat/Jan-03 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage Sun/Jan-04 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues Tue/Jan-06 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues Wed/Jan-07 Houston, TX @ House of Blues Thu/Jan-08 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Fri/Jan-09 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom Sat/Jan-10 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Posted in audiObelisk on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Floridian trad doom metallers Northern Crown will issue their debut EP, In the Hands of the Betrayer, on Oct. 14. The self-releasing group is comprised of a core duo, guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Zachary Randall and vocalist/lead guitarist Frank Serafine, and to flesh out the short release, they brought in a variety of guest players from guitarist Sally Gates and bassist Randy Piro of Orbweaver to drummer Josh Brown and keyboardist Roberto Celentano, whose contributions to the overall melody greatly enhance Serafine‘s traditional metal vocal style. They wear their influences on their sleeve — as one might expect for a new band out of the gate either in the process of solidifying a lineup or deciding if that’s how they want to go at all — to the point of making the Candlemass cover “Crystal Ball” the centerpiece of In the Hands of the Betrayer, but even to that well-established classic of the genre they bring an innate edge of their own.
Elsewhere on the release, the opening title-track launches with a galloping groove, and the ambient interlude “Approaching, Encroaching Storm” sets the table for the 11-minute closer “To Thee I Give an Orchid” to plunge into organ-laced doomed expanse. Next to that track, the longest piece on In the Hands of the Betrayer is “A Perfectly Realized Torment” at 7:27, the second cut which tames the back-and-forth pacing of the opener to a consistent riff-led chug, casually influenced by Trouble but interested in a lushness and fullness of sound, and working with an overarching echo that brings to mind some of Solitude Aeturnus‘ classic drama and emotionally weighted push. The song starts heavy and ends heavy, but there’s a building sense to it as the verse appears and then recedes into the dismal ether of riffing and intermittent keys. In the end, “A Perfectly Realized Torment” relies almost as much on keys as guitarto portray the apex, but however they get there, “A Perfectly Realized Torment” displays a lot of the character of the release as a whole and makes a fitting summary of Northern Crown‘s doom in its early going.
Because of that, I’m happy to be able to host the premiere of “A Perfectly Realized Torment” for your streaming pleasure. Please find it on the player below, and doom on:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Northern Crown‘s In the Hands of the Betrayer was recorded by Zachary Randall and Frank Serafine and mixed by Randall. The EP is out Oct. 14. More info at the links.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Hey, so yeah. You might recall earlier this year when House of Lightning released Lightworkeron LP/tape through Fair Warning Records. No? It was Easter, which was fitting somehow for the Floridian duo’s bright color scheme. Well, either way, it happened. This new version of Lightworkerthat’s set to release Oct. 14 on Translation Loss is CD-only, though, so it’s not so much a reissue of the album as it is completing the physical pressing triumvirate for those who, like me, still enjoy a disc that can also leave the house when called upon to do so.
The LightworkerCD is available now for preorder through Translation Loss (link below), and the PR wire checked in with the following info on the release:
Translation Loss Signs HOUSE OF LIGHTNING – New Record Lightworker Due Out October 14th
Artwork and Track Listing Revealed
Translation Loss are extremely proud to announce the signing of the mammoth and ground breaking band HOUSE OF LIGHTNING and the release of their debut record Lightworker! Everyone at Translation Loss are beyond ecstatic to be able to work with Henry Wilson and his new band HOUSE OF LIGHTNING, being huge fans of both Floor and Dove. HOUSE OF LIGHTNING takes what Dove created to an entirely new level of mathy-proggy rock sensation. Today both the artwork and track listing for Lightworker have been revealed.
The album Lightworker will be released October 14th. It is currently available for pre-orderHERE.
Proudly hailing from Winter Haven, Florida, they feature current and former members of FLOOR, DOVE and CAVITY!
After the death of DOVE and before FLOOR’s current resurrection, a new band was secretly growing, HOUSE OF LIGHTNING’s long awaited debut album does more than just pick up where DOVE left off five years ago, they blast off out of the known universe and into a completely new and unknown dimension!
The resurrection occurs on October 14th, 2014 in the form of a 10 song, 40-minute riff-rollercoaster entitled Lightworker.
From the mad genius mind of Henry Wilson (FLOOR) comes and almost uncategorizable yet positively spiritual incorporation of Heavy Metal, Thrash, bite of Math, a sprinkle of Prog, a pinch of 1984 and a dash of 5150. Sounds wild, you say? That’s because IT IS! Lightworker is difficult to simply just pin a label onto; you are better off hearing this one for yourself. All aboard the rocket ship!
The album was produced at Atomic Audio, Tampa, Florida by Mark Nikolich & Henry Wilson
Lightworker Track Listing: 1. Quickness 2. Downbeat Situation 3. More Lights More Trails 4. Smoke and Mirror 5. New Jam 6. Vote Yes (To Say You Don’t Want it) 7. Need No Help 8. Wheels I-II-III 9. CHKN 10. Ocean
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Neato news that Torche are touring a bit in the US before heading out for their previously announced first run in Australia, but this is also the first concrete word I’ve seen updating on the release for the Miami outfit’s next album, the follow-up to their 2012 outing, Harmonicraft, and their debut on Relapse Records. The label isn’t giving out a specific Tuesday or anything at this point, but at least with “early 2015,” we know not to expect it before the end of the year.
As I understand it, the album’s been in the can for a while, but sometimes the timing has to be just right, and as this is a big release for both band and imprint, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to get all the ducks in a row before actually issuing the thing.
The PR wire does it like this:
TORCHE Announce US Tour Dates
Band to Tour US September 20 through October 1st
TORCHE, the Florida-meets-Georgia heavy rock quartet have announced a short run of US headlining dates this September / October. The dates kick off September 18th in Miami, FL and run through October 1st in Orlando, FL. The band has also recently announced a headlining Australian tour in October. A complete listing of dates is available below.
The band, who recently signed to Relapse Records, completed recording their newest full-length earlier this year at Pinecrust Studio in Miami, with bassist Jonathan Nunez behind the boards. The album was then mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou and will see a release in early 2015 via Relapse.
Sep 18 Miami, FL Churchill’s Pub Sep 19 Jacksonville, FL Burro Bar Sep 20 Gainesville, FL The Atlantic Sep 21 Atlanta, GA 97 Estoria Sep 22 Nashville, TN The End Sep 23 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups Sep 24 Akron, OH Musica Sep 25 Chicago, IL The Promontory Sep 26 Pittsburgh, PA The Smiling Moose Sep 27 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus Sep 29 Chapel Hill, NC Cat’s Cradle Back Room Sep 30 Tampa, FL The Orpheum Oct 01 Orlando, FL Backbooth
I remember when I got this album when it came out in 2005 — nine years ago now. It was the “former members of Floor” that caught my eye when Robotic Empire was getting ready to release it, but it was as soon as the hook of “Mentor” came on, I had my “holy shit” moment with Torche‘s Torche, and I guess a lot of other people did as well. Listening back to the album now, there’s so much more to it than that — the weird experimentalism of “Fuck Addict,” or the feedback-drenched “The Last Word” — things that Torche moved past on subsequent releases in their drive toward a cleaner, more daringly poppy sound, but that make this album’s threat seem all the more glaring. There was nothing like them when they started. This record could be so sweet sounding and still push past the limits of accessibility.
Of course, the context is different, hearing it now. Nearly a decade’s worth of hindsight, several follow-up LPs and a Floor reunion later, Torche‘s self-titled debut still comes across as brazen, but now it sounds more like a beginning point than the bold declaration it was. I haven’t heard much about Torche‘s impending full-length from Relapse, maybe you have the inside track, but something steered me toward this album today, and it wasn’t an impulse I was about to deny. Maybe Torche are a little too fresh, too recent in the consciousness, to start talking about classics, but in another nine or 10 years, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we come to see their debut in that light. My thinking was that maybe you hadn’t heard it in a while, and maybe you’d be as glad to revisit as I was.
Point being, I hope you enjoy.
Quick week, but aren’t they all. Nice to get three bigger reviews done this week and to take a little time and note how grateful I was to The Patient Mrs. for doing a bit of shopping on my behalf while in Greece. I also took some time to make a list of the shows I want to see this and next month and into October. There are five in August starting on the ninth in Portland, Maine, with We’re all Gonna Die, Blackwolfgoat and Murcielago, and going on from there. Five this month, six next. I don’t know if I’ll actually make it to all of them, but it’ll be good to end this summer’s shut-in lifestyle as we move into fall, however much I end up getting out.
Tonight? Chinese delivery and looking to spend a cloudy evening watching baseball. Not much for Friday night excitement, but I kind of felt like I never woke up today — was up in the middle of the night for an hour-plus — and yeah, been in a haze ever since. I guess some thrills came in the form of my dinner, which arrived, cost me upwards of $40 with the delivery tip factored in, and was uncooked. I’ve lived in this area a year now and have yet to find a place that’s got anything more than barely acceptable takeout. Granted I don’t get it every week or anything, but I’m up to five or six different spots now and only one was worth going back to. Yelp is no assistance whatsofuckingever. All anyone ever talks about is the fucking “crab rangoons.” It’s god damn deep fried crab meat and cream cheese! Of course it’s fucking delicious! The highlight of the meal was when the dog sat and stayed at the door while I futzed with my cash to give the delivery guy. It was all downhill from there.
Next week, look out for streams from Joy and Blackwitch Pudding, reviews of Heavy Temple and Witch Mountain and hopefully I’ll get the John Garcia interview posted, which I actually filed away thinking it already went up when clearly it did not. Whoops. Little late on that one, but so it goes.
Alright, onward to my evening of awful raw meat greasy-flavor aftertaste and watching the off-brand peckerwood Yankees lose to the Red Sox. I hope you have an excellent and injury-free weekend.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Presumably by the time Torche get on the plane to Australia in October, their new album and debut on Relapse Records will be out. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks has been working with the reunited Floor for much of the year so far, while drummer Rick Smith and bassist Jonathan Nuñez have recorded with their other band Shitstorm and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Elstner has an LP coming out with his other band, Tilts, so everybody’s been busy, but I guess the new Torche LP is going to squeeze in there somewhere before they go to Oz. Or not. I’m sure people would still show up for Torche‘s first Aussie tourif they don’t have a record out that week.
Life is Noise, which is presenting the run, sent the following particulars down the PR wire:
life is noise presents for the first time in our fair land: TORCHE (USA)
Australian Tour October 2014
From their blistering melodies to their bulldozer guitar riffs, the Miami four-piece are one of the most innovative bands in metal today, eschewing the genres’s clichés and standards for an entrancing mix of melody, sludge and jubilant doom…
No one else sounds quite like Torche.
Formed after the demise of stoner metal band Floor, Torche’s influences come from far and wide. The usual suspects are there – Melvins, Helmet, Sabbath – but the subtleties of their sound come from all over the canon: Guided by Voices, Jawbox, Superchunk and even Cheap Trick, all of it punctuated by Steve Brooks’ bellowing roar. The result is a dense and distinct wall of noise, one that’s as heavy as it is irresistibly catchy. How many other bands can you say that about?
Torche deal in anthems: every song brims with contagious hooks, rabid riffs and thunderous major-key progressions. Maybe that’s owing to the aesthetic of their beachside hometown – album number three, 2012’s Harmonicraft, was labelled “summer record of the year” by just about everyone who talked about it. But the quartet have no interest in wallowing. Every second of every song is an opportunity for high octane, unapologetic rocking-the-fuck-out.
Better yet, Torche promise their fourth album – slated for later this year on their new label Relapse Records – is heavier than ever.
We can’t wait.
Catch Torche on the following dates:
Thursday October 16 – Crowbar, Brisbane – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue Friday October 17 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue Saturday October 18 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, oztix and the venue Sunday October 19 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – tickets from lifeisnoise.com, moshtix, oztix and the venue
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Miami-by-way-of-Venezuela duo Cave of Swimmers have announced an East Coast tour for this July in support of their self-titled EP’s re-release through Illinois imprint The Path Less Traveled Records. The guitar/drum two-piece operate across a pretty broad stylistic spectrum, from the upbeat Red Fang-style hooks of “Hangman” to to the weirdo shuffle that takes hold in “Catch” backed by swells of synth and the resonant pop of snare drum. They bill themselves as progressive and I’m not inclined to argue, except to point out that the stoicism that a “prog” designation sometimes indicates doesn’t seem to apply here.
The EP is available now and the tour starts June 27. Behold the teachings of the PR wire:
Cave of Swimmers announce summer tour & EP release through The Path Less Traveled Records
Cave of Swimmers, a prog-rock duo from Miami, have just announced a US summer tour in support of their recently released self-titled EP on The Path Less Traveled Records.
Originally issued as a limited cassette by the band under their original moniker, ‘The Tunnel’, Cave of Swimmers now have a much deserved wider release on CD. July 2014 will see them storm through the Eastern states to promote their 4 track effort.
Described as a ‘truly progressive’ outfit by Destructive Music, COS have made quite a name for themselves in their home region, known for their blend of progressive rock, latin fusion, and even some operatic flair thrown in for good measure.
Tour dates: June 27 Fubar – St. Pete, FL June 30 Eisenhouser – Murfreesboro, TN July 1 The Grotto – Boone, NC July 2 Nice Price Books – Raleigh, NC July 3 Club K, Baltimore, MD July 4 Bloody Pit of Horror House – Philadelphia, PA July 5 Sammy’s Patio – Boston, MA July 6 Lit Lounge – New York, NY July 7 Gallery 5 – Richmond, VA July 9 Hippo Records – Greensboro, NC July 10 Foxfield Bar & Grill – Columbia, SC July 11 Rain Dogs – Jacksonville, FL July 12 Cabana Inn – Sarasota, FL
This week brings even more radio adds than I expected. I had kind of a hard time whittling it down to figure what I wanted to write about, to be honest with you, but we got there in the end, and I’m thrilled to have another batch of additions to the playlist for this week. Doing this seems to have quickly become a Friday ritual for me, and frankly, I can think of worse ways to spend the afternoon than listening to and writing about a bunch of records. Like just about everything else, for example.
Adds for May 30, 2014:
Iron Man, The Passage & Generation Void
Two brand new vinyl reissues from Shadow Kingdom Records. Digital promos are particularly useless in the case of badass LPs, and I’m pretty sure both of these albums by Maryland doom stalwarts Iron Man, 1994’s sophomore outing, The Passage, and it’s 1999 follow-up, Generation Void, are already on the Radio playlist, but screw it, it’s Iron Man. If the chances of hearing an Iron Man song go up with each file added, then it’s worth tossing both of these records on the server. Generation Voidis a full-on lost classic of doom, and if you don’t already own it, I’d imagine the vinyl of The Passagejustifies picking it up based on the artwork alone. Either way, you’re never gonna lose when it comes to these guys, and Shadow Kingdom‘s loyalty in following up its CD reissues with LP versions is commendable. On Thee Facebooks, Shadow Kingdom website.
Electric Citizen, Sateen
Led by guitarist Ross Dolan and vocalist Laura Dolan, this Cincinnati four-piece traffic in high-order retro-minded Sabbathisms that keep in mind just how much boogie went along with all that darkness. To wit, the shuffle at the heart of the organ-laced “The Trap” and “Burning in Hell” or the push in the earlier “Magnetic Man.” Sateen, the band’s debut on RidingEasy Records, features riffs and leads heavily, and Laura‘s croon never strays from the forefront in delivering a barrage of hooks through the ’70s-worship production, but as with Sabbath themselves, the foundation of what Electric Citizen accomplish in these memorable, immediately familiar tracks is built on a foundation of rhythmic excellence in the bass and drums, here provided by Nick Vogelpohl and Nate Wagner, respectively. That organ ain’t half-bad either. The album arrives with no shortage of hype, but it’s a shockingly cohesive debut in style and performance, and the songwriting more than earns its way. On Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.
Disenchanter, On through Portals
The Sept. 2013 Back to Earth demo from Portland, Oregon, doom-blues metallers Disenchanter has been sitting on my desk for an embarrassingly long time. That release is added to the playlist as well, but on the early-2014 follow-up, On through Portals, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Sabine Stangenberg, bassist Joey DeMartini and drummer Jay Erbe stretch out the form somewhat. Both arrive as EP-style releases, but On through Portals tops half-an-hour and executes a darkened psychedelic flow over its three extended tracks — “Journey to Abydos/Moon Maid” (12:15), “Invoke” (7:38), and “Into Darkness” (11:20) — so it could just as easily pass for a short album. Either way, the partial shift in aesthetic suits Disenchanter well, and what seems to have been in-process on their first demo comes closer to fruition here. Songs are patient and lumbering, but never boring, and Stangenberg‘s vocals layer effectively at the front of the mix to give the impression of a consummate frontwoman in the making. I won’t declare their development finished, but On through Portalsis a big and interesting step for Disenchanter to take. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Junior Bruce, The Nomad
Just two tracks on this latest release from Southern heavy rockers Junior Bruce. The Nomad is the second of two (to date) digital releases following Junior Bruce‘s 2012 debut full-length, The Headless King, and intended as a complement to last year’s TheBurden. Fair enough. Taken as such or on their own, The Nomad‘s two cuts, “The Promised Sleep” and “Nomad,” offer unpretentious heavy rolling groove from the Floridian five-piece fronted by Scott Angelacos and featuring bassist Tom Crowther, both also of Hollow Leg and formerly Bloodlet and Hope and Suicide. Molasses riffs from guitarists Nate Jones and Bryan Raymond and steady crash from drummer Jeff McAlear further distinguish “Nomad” in the Southern tradition, and the single/EP is twice as intriguing in the context of Hollow Leg‘s most recent recording, “God Eater” (discussed here), which moved in a more rocking direction as well. Itseems to work for both bands. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Anuseye, Essay on a Drunken Cloud
Cuts like “J R” and “Wrong Blues” take ’90s crunch and heavy rock vibes to heart, but where Italy’s Anuseye really distinguish themselves on their Vincebus Eruptum Recordings debut — other than with their somewhat unfortunate moniker — is in the weirdo jamminess of “Push Magic Button” or the psychedelic exploration of “Earthquake.” Essay on a Drunken Cloud boasts a few riffs and effects-laced stretches like that in “Cursed Pills” that might call to mind guitarist Luca Stero and vocalist/guitarist Claudio C.‘s and prior work together in That’s all Folks, but Anuseye has a personality of their own here, with bassist Michele V. and drummer Antonello C. keeping step with the strange vibes every step of the way. The balance shifts effectively between psych rock and noisy post-punk, but songs like “Demon Pulse” and the penultimate “S.S. Abyss” find an engaging and unexpected middle ground on which to make an impression. And then they do. For those days when you feel like you’re heard everything a riff can do, Essay on a Drunken Cloudmight just convince you there’s still territory to be discovered. On Thee Facebooks, at Vincebus Eruptum.
For the complete list of this week’s adds, click here.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Also releasing a new album with Floor this week and hitting the road in support of it, Henry Wilson steps to the front on guitar and vocals with House of Lightning‘s Lightworkeralbum, continuing some of the same ideas Wilson brought to the table with his post-Floor project, Dove. As the PR wire informs below, Dove‘s no longer with us (their 2004 self-titled remains a piece of buried treasure from among the Floor-related milieu), but House of Lightning‘s Lightworkercame out on Easter via Fair Warning Records and is a solid burner. If you missed it, Floor‘s Anthony Vialon spoke highly if it in his interview last week as well.
Details and music follow, the PR wire vigilant as always:
HOUSE OF LIGHTNING is coming—look busy. Proudly hailing from Winter Haven Florida, they feature current and former band members of FLOOR, DOVE, and CAVITY. The death of DOVE finally gives rebirth to HOUSE OF LIGHTNING…Rising from the ashes like a mighty phoenix. The resurrection occurs on Easter Sunday 4/20 in the form of a 10-song, 40-minute riff-rollercoaster, “Lightworker.”
House Of Lightning’s long-awaited debut album does more than just pick up where DOVE left off five years ago; they blast off out of the known universe and into a completely new and unknown dimension. From the mad-genius mind of HENRY WILSON, comes an almost uncategorizable yet positively spiritual incorporation of Heavy Metal, Thrash, bits of Math, a sprinkle of Prog, a pinch of 1984, and a dash of 5150. Sounds wild, you say? That’s because IT IS. Lightworker is difficult to simply just pin a label onto; you are better off hearing this one for yourself. All aboard the rocketship!
“April is a busy month for our brother HENRY WILSON. Not only does this cat have a new FLOOR album dropping, but his long-awaited much-belabored HOUSE OF LIGHTNING record finally gets unleashed, taking what he started with DOVE, upping the riff-tornado and generally fucking with your dome. Nothing else sounds like this and it comes out 4/20 via brethren Fair Warning Records.”—Andy Low, Robotic Empire
Henry Wilson – Guitar, Vocals, Synth John Ostberg – drums
Recorded by Mark Nikolich at Atomic Audio Sleeve Art by Francesco LoCastro (of Floor ‘Oblation’ fame)
Posted in Features on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
A little over four years ago, when Miami’s Floor reunited for a couple shows to coincide with the release of the 8CD box set, Below and Beyond, on Robotic Empire, I was fortunate enough to interview guitarist Anthony Vialon about the band’s getting back together for what seemed then to be a very limited run. Now, as they prepare to release their new album, Oblation (review here), next week on Season of Mist and embark a day later on a cross-country tour that will place them squarely on the other side of the line between a “reunion band” and a working one, it seemed only fitting to follow-up with Vialon about Floor‘s progress these last several years and how they got to where they are.
Because when they first booked three gigs back in 2010 in Florida and Georgia, the going impression — I think on the part of the band as much as fans — was that was it. Then the response they got was huge enough that it turned into a few more shows, and a tour, and then some more shows, and it kept rolling on until next thing you knew, they had been picked up by Season of Mist and streaming new material. It’s been a few years getting to this point, but for Floor – the trio of Vialon, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks (also of Torche) and drummer Henry Wilson (also of House of Lightning) — the progression seems to have been natural, one step taken at a time, building momentum as they might otherwise with a series of crushing bomb-string riffs.
Certainly that seems to be the method on Oblation. Set in the shadow of Floor‘s by-now-legend 2002 self-titled, what could’ve easily been a project doomed from the start — and not in the good way — has turned out to mark not only a successful return on the part of the band, but a creative evolution that gives a sense of where they left off and where they are now. Songs penned and constructed by Vialon, Wilson and Brooks like “Rocinante” and “War Party” call to mind the unabashed pop hooks of Floor‘s first run, while the eight-minute “Sign of Aeth” takes these elements to places they haven’t yet gone, so that Oblationisn’t nostalgic, but looking forward.
Doubtless a good part of Floor‘s legacy will remain linked to the self-titled, but in talking to Vialon yesterday, that only seemed like something for the trio to be proud of. Oblation releases in the EU and elsewhere tomorrow, April 25, and is out in North America next Tuesday, April 29. Floor begin their tour April 30 in Miami and will finish in Atlanta on June 1 (dates here). In the interview, Vialon discusses writing for the band again, the response the reunion has gotten these last few years, his affinity for Rush, and much more.
Enjoy the Q&A after the jump, and thanks for reading.
Posted in Reviews on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s been just over four years since Miami trio Floor played a one-off reunion show that warned, “One show. One chance. Don’t blow it,” and it’s been a decade since the band’s sophomore outing, Dove, was released in 2004. Since that time, the band has spawned a family tree rivaled by few, members of the lineup throughout their 12-year initial run going on to play in acts like Torche, Dove, House of Lightning, MonstrO, Holly Hunt and Cavity (the latter of whom ran concurrent to Floor and who seem like fodder for a reunion of their own), among others. The biggest impact in terms of audience has unquestionably been by Torche, who, led by guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks, inherited much of their pop-meets-bomb-drop-sludge-riffing ethic directly from Brooks‘ work in Floor, continuing to refine those methods and ultimately creating something new from them. Both bands now active, Floor release their first album since Doveand first new material since their reunion — 2009’s 8CD discography box set Below and Beyondnotwithstanding — in the form of Oblationon Season of Mist. Its title refers to “an offering,” and that may well be what Floor have in mind, but while the core focus on tone and pop melody remains intact, there have been some very distinct changes in the approach of Floor – the trio of Steve Brooks, guitarist Anthony Vialon (2010 interview here) and drummer Henry Wilson — since they issued their landmark 2002 self-titled debut and they show up audibly in the listening experience of Oblation.
That’s to be expected, right? It has been a decade. To expect Floor to get back together and release Floor Pt. 2seems unreasonable and unfair. As righteous as that album is, for Brooks, Vialon and Wilson to have come in with the intent of recapturing that magic — and it is the self-titled lineup that’s reunited — would be shooting themselves in the foot before they started. No. Oblationis a collection of songs poised not to surrogate the hooks of old, but to serve as a beginning for this new stage of the band. In short, Floor have grown up. Oblation is not the work of a three-piece experimenting with their sound and happening into brilliance. There is poise, confidence, and awareness at its root, and whether it’s the ultra-thick underlying chugging of the spacious opening title-track or the ensuing upbeat rush of “Rocinante” — one of Floor‘s sonic gifts was to not only have tones so thick, but to make them move, and that remains the case here — or the standalone megastomp of “Love Comes Crushing,” the band offer crisp, assured songcraft and a defining clarity of intent. While the songs remain exciting well beyond the simple novelty of their existence, a new Floor album seeming like an impossibility for years, that clarity necessarily comes in trade for the spontaneous sensibility of their earlier work. That’s the nature of creative progression — once you know what you’re doing, your approach to it changes. The middle section of Oblationthat runs from “New Man,” through “Sister Sophia,” “The Quill” and the aforementioned “Love Comes Crushing” before getting to the catchy “War Party” still works as a fitting summary for Floor‘s aesthetic — thick, at times lush, alternately crawling, running, but always moving, etc. — but it does so more in triumph at its level of execution than in raw punkish urgency.