Holly Hunt and Slomatics Split Coming Dec. 2

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″? AND Holly 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:

holly hunt slomatics split

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).

Audio previews/artwork:
Holly Hunt – “Bill Ward”
Slomatics – “Ulysses, My Father”

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.”

http://hollyhunt.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HOLLYHUNT.LTD
http://slomatics.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Slomatics/196382747053529
http://other-electricities.com/album/oe040
http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/

Slomatics, “Ulysses, My Father” Preview

Holly Hunt, “Bill Ward” Preview

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Friday Full-Length: Floor, Floor

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Floor, Floor (2002)

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.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Torche to Join Clutch on Annual Holiday Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

torche

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:

clutch torche lionize

…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

https://www.facebook.com/torcheofficial
http://www.torchemusic.com/
http://torche.bigcartel.com/

Torche, Live at St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY

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Northern Crown Debut “A Perfectly Realized Torment” from Debut EP In the Hands of the Betrayer

Posted in audiObelisk on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

northern-crown

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 northern crown in the hands of the betrayertames 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 guitar to 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.

Northern Crown on Thee Facebooks

Northern Crown’s website

Northern Crown on Bandcamp

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House of Lightning to Release Lightworker on Translation Loss

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

house of lightning

Hey, so yeah. You might recall earlier this year when House of Lightning released Lightworker on 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 Lightworker that’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 Lightworker CD is available now for preorder through Translation Loss (link below), and the PR wire checked in with the following info on the release:

house of lightning lightworker

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-order HERE.

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

For More Info Visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Lightning/196769132312
http://instagram.com/houseoflightning
http://www.translationloss.com
https://www.facebook.com/TranslationLossRecords

House of Lightning, “More Lights More Trails”

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Torche Announce Sept. Tour; New Album Due Early 2015

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.

The band’s most recent material can be found at torche.bandcamp.com.

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

http://torche.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/torcheofficial
http://www.relapse.com/label/

Torche, “Harmonslaught” Live at 285 Kent, Brooklyn

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Friday Full-Length: Torche, Torche

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Torche, Torche (2005)

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 DieBlackwolfgoat 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.

Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Torche Announce Australian Tour Dates

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 tour if 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

https://www.facebook.com/events/882736731742037/
http://www.relapse.com/label/artist/torche.html
http://tickets.lifeisnoise.com/

Torche, “Harmonslaught”

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Cave of Swimmers Announce East Coast Tour and Debut EP

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

www.caveofswimmers.com
https://www.facebook.com/caveofswimmers/
www.thepathlesstraveledrecords.com

Cave of Swimmers, Cave of Swimmers EP (2014)

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Iron Man (x2), Electric Citizen, Disenchanter, Junior Bruce and Anuseye

Posted in Radio on May 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click here to listen.

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 Void is a full-on lost classic of doom, and if you don’t already own it, I’d imagine the vinyl of The Passage justifies 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 Portals is 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 The Burden. 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. It seems 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 Cloud might 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.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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House of Lightning’s Lightworker Now Available on LP/CS

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 Lightworker album, 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 Lightworker came 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)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Lightning/196769132312
http://fairwarningrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://fairwarning.storenvy.com/

House of Lightning, “More Lights More Trails” from Lightworker (2014)

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Floor Interview with Anthony Vialon: Gathered in the Glare

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 Oblation isn’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.

Read more »

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Floor, Oblation: Offerings and Homegoings

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 Dove and first new material since their reunion — 2009’s 8CD discography box set Below and Beyond notwithstanding — in the form of Oblation on 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. 2 seems 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. Oblation is 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 Oblation that 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.

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Holly Hunt’s Prometheus EP Out April 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Having recently had the pleasure of seeing Florida’s Holly Hunt live, their upcoming EP, Prometheus, will arrive all the more anticipated. The Miami-based duo of guitarist Gavin Perry and drummer Beatriz Monteavaro made their intent clear on their Year One debut, embroiled in a sonic demolition of big riffs and big stomp that hopefully continues its tide of destruction on the new release. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Time and the PR wire shall tell:

Holly Hunt – Prometheus (Other Electricities/Sonic TITAN) Out April 29, 2014

Following their highly lauded full-length album Year One, Holly Hunt returns with a 3-song, 12’’ EP, Prometheus. Recorded by Jonathan Nuñez of Torche and mastered by New Alliance East, the record builds on the two-piece’s reputation for metal that’s crafted with the heaviest alloys, and a most magisterial patterning – the type that drones vehemently and drowns in the blues.

Drummer Beatriz Monteavaro (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. Prometheus manages to transmit an almost perfect rendering, delivering listeners to a heightened physical (and mental and spiritual) state. The record conjures the image of an approaching behemoth, striking paranoia and fear until the final, exhilarating sweep of humanity’s total destruction.

Where Year One established the bedrock of Holly Hunt’s punishing sound, Prometheus thunders with the clarity of a crack of lighting. It establishes a supremely balanced, critical distance between amp worship and riff devotion, rising and falling with ecstatic highs and sublime lows. And while Year One represented the genesis of the band’s existence; Prometheus stands as a churning, threatening hint of things to come.

https://www.facebook.com/HOLLYHUNT.LTD
https://www.facebook.com/SonicTITAN.ltd
http://other-electricities.com/

Holly Hunt, “Meano” from Prometheus (2013)

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Floor Announce Tour Dates; New Album Oblation Due April 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Time does strange things. It’s 2014. Floor, Sleep, Spirit Caravan and most of Kyuss are back together. Black Sabbath won a Grammy. The whole fucking world is upside down, the underground is over(ground), and all these things that seemed impossible to see are right in front of us. And yet we still use the combustion engine. Go figure.

I got sidetracked. Floor. The point is Floor are touring again, and the key difference is they’ll have a new album out — Oblation, which will be their first in a decade. Season of Mist will have the collection in the public’s greedy mitts come April 29, and wouldn’t you know the tour starts the day after? One would almost swear these things were coordinated ahead of time.

So says the PR wire:

FLOOR announce North American tour

Cult underground rock outfit FLOOR (Steve Brooks (also of TORCHE)- Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) have announced a North American tour this spring. The Noisey/Vice sponsored tour starts on April 30th in Miami, FL, and will see FLOOR travel throughout the month of April, before ending on May 1 in Atlanta, GA. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

FLOOR will be touring in support of their forthcoming album, ‘Oblation’. ‘Oblation’ will be released via Season of Mist on April 29 in North America (April 25 worldwide). ‘Oblation’ can be pre-ordered in various formats here.

‘Oblation’ track list:
1. Oblation
2. Rocinante
3. Trick Scene
4. Find Away
5. The Key
6. New Man
7. Sister Sophia
8. The Quill
9. Love Comes Crushing
10. War Party
11. Homegoings and Transitions
12. Sign of Aeth
13. Raised to a Star
14. Forever Still

The Florida-based trio was originally formed by Brooks and Vialon in 1992, and issued singles on respected underground labels like No Idea, Bovine, Rhetoric and more. The band’s wildly influential self-titled album was recently inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame.

FLOOR Tour Dates
4/30 Miami, FL @ Churchills
5/2 Gainesville, FL @ The Wooley
5/3 Charlotte, NC @ The Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall
5/4 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
5/5 Brooklyn @ Saint Vitus
5/6 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
5/7 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
5/8 Buffalo, NY @ The Tralf
5/9 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
5/10 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
5/11 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
5/13 Denver, CO @ Moon Room
5/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe
5/16 Portland, OR @ Branx
5/17 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
5/19 San Franciso, CA @ Elbo Room
5/24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
5/25 Fullerton, OC @ SlideBar
5/26 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
5/27 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
5/29 Austin, TX @ Red 7
5/30 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/31 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
6/1 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

https://www.facebook.com/floorofficial
http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/predefined-search/46421

Floor, “War Party” from Oblation (2014)

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