Posted in Whathaveyou on May 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Mars Red Sky are giving away the mothership. First, however, they have to make the mothership, and it’s toward that effort that the Bordeaux-based three-piece — who, yes, are playing The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, thank you for asking — have launched a new crowdfunding campaign. The space capsule, along with other items being offered as donation rewards, will appear in a forthcoming video for the “Alien Grounds” two-song suite that opens their new album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), which, if 2016 was ending today, would be my bid for the best release of it. To make the video, as they explain in the fortunately-subtitled clip below, they’ll partner with director Seb Antoine, and they’re thinking of it more as a short film, since it will have dialogue and a plot and whathaveyou.
Probably best to let them explain it. Did I mention they’ll be at The Obelisk All-Dayer? Okay good.
Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) gets its official US release on May 20 via Listenable Records. Here’s what the band has to say:
We are working on a very special project:
A movie/video clip for the song Alien Grounds. To do so, we would like to lunch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Help us raising money to produce Mars Red Sky’s “Alien Grounds” video and win the spaceship that appears on the movie !
Mars Red Sky and Seb Antoine already collaborated on the making of a video for « The Light Beyond » in 2015 / Check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1PM2KT1j5o. This time, the idea is to produce a short movie based on the two first tracks of the Bordeaux-based trio’s new LP, Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul). Indeed those two tracks (Alien Grounds / Apex III) were originally composed and recorded as one and the same song. The main theme for this short movie revolves around space travel, this time featuring a cosmonaut behind the wheel of an old car and aboard a spaceship, wandering in a gloomy ill-famed dive bar, lost around a deserted gaz station…
To undertake such a project, a scapeship needs to be constructed, costumes designed and made up, comedians hired… Let’s just say a lot of preparation and organisation is required and resources are to be found to accomplish this task. This is why we have decided to launch a Kickstarter in order to raise funds to help us realize this project. The short movie will be released OCT 07th 2016 during the Bordeaux show at Le Rocher de Palmer. We’ve planned several rewards in return, spanning from a T-shirt with the movie artwork to the prototype of the space vessel itself, the cosmonaut suit and whatnot… We expect you to partake in the realization of this insane project !!
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Released in 2014, Alcest‘s fourth album, Shelter (review here), was a bold step away from the post-black metal style the French unit had proffered on its first three outings. You can see it in the video below for “Opale” — it’s practically obsessed with color. I’m not entirely surprised to read that for the yet-untitled follow-up fifth LP, Alcest are looking more toward their earlier work than continuing to build on what they accomplished with Shelter, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to come out with Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde Pt. 2 or anything like that either. Alcest has never been anything but forward thinking, and I’d imagine the lessons they learned on Shelter will be a factor in whatever the new one is called as well when it’s finished.
We’ll find out this fall, reportedly, which also happens to be when Alcest are touring Europe with Japan’s Mono. PR wire info and tour dates follow:
ALCEST Working on New Album; Band Issues Statement
Celebrated French Shoegaze Exemplars Ready Fifth Full-Length
Parisian Post-metal duo ALCEST will release its new album this fall via Prophecy Productions. The band — vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Neige and drummer Winterhalter — are currently putting the finishing touches on the record, which they have described as “intense songs full of contrasts and dynamics.” The as-yet-untitled release follows the duo’s celebrated 2014 LP, Shelter.
“For the past 3 months we have been recording our new album, and right now we are doing small adjustments on the mix,” comments Neige. “It’s coming to an end of a very long journey (the longest studio experience we’ve had so far) and we feel quite exhausted, but really happy. For each album we try to challenge ourselves, developing the songs in new directions. This time will be just as special, but also a return to the approach we had in our earlier albums; with intense songs full of contrasts and dynamics. Even if this album is quite “alien” in character, we felt the need to come back to the origins of the project. The release date is planned for Autumn 2016 and then we will embark on a 37 date European co-headlining tour with the Japanese band MONO. We are very much looking forward to this tour and to show you the work of our last couple of years.”
This summer, ALCEST will join labelmates GERM, Secrets of the Moon, Les Discrets, Helrunar, Völur and more at the 2016 Prophecy Fest, set to take place July 29-30 inside Balver Höhle, “a natural cave from old stone age” in Balve, Germany. For full details, visit this location.
Alcest & MONO on tour: Oct 27, 2016 // Beatpol // Dresden, DE Oct 29, 2016 // Strom // Munich, DE Oct 30, 2016 // Gebaude 9 // Cologne, DE Oct 31, 2016 // Jubez // Jubez, DE Nov 1, 2016 // Salzhaus // Salzhaus, CH Nov 2, 2016 // Circolo Magnolia // Segrate, IT Nov 3, 2016 // Mostovna // Nova Gorica, SI Nov 4, 2016 // Locomotiv // Bologna, IT Nov 5, 2016 // Init // Rome, IT Nov 6, 2016 // Spazio 211 // Turin, IT Nov 7, 2016 // Cco Villeurbanne // Lyon, FR Nov 8, 2016 // La Maroquinerie // Paris, FR Nov 9, 2016 // Engine Rooms // Southampton, UK Nov 10, 2016 // The Institute // Birmingham, UK Nov 11, 2016 // Queens Hall // Leicester, UK Nov 12, 2016 // Classic Grand // Glasgow, UK Nov 13, 2016 // Brudenell Social Club // Leeds, UK Nov 14, 2016 // Gorilla // Manchester, UK Nov 15, 2016 // The Globe // Cardiff, UK Nov 16, 2016 // Marble Factory // Bristol, UK Nov 17, 2016 // Brixton Electric // London, UK Nov 18, 2016 // VK // Brussels, BE Nov 19, 2016 // 013 // Tilburg, NL Nov 20, 2016 // P60 // Amstelveen, NL Nov 21, 2016 // Uebel & Gefährlich // Hamburg, DE Nov 22, 2016 // Lille Vega // Copenhagen, DK Nov 23, 2016 // Pustervik // Gothenburg, SE Nov 24, 2016 // Parkteatret // Oslo, NO Nov 25, 2016 // Debaser Strand // Stockholm, SE Nov 26, 2016 // KB // Malmo, SE Nov 27, 2016 // Binuu // Berlin, DE Nov 28, 2016 // B90 // Gdansk, PL Nov 29, 2016 // Firlej // Wroclaw, PL Nov 30, 2016 // Szene // Vienna, AT Dec 1, 2016 // Durer Kert // Budapest, HU Dec 2, 2016 // Tabacka // Kosice, SK Dec 3, 2016 // Rockstadt // Brasov, RO
[Click play above to stream Henryspenncer’s Hypnosis Gumbo in full. Album is out April 12 through Robotic Empire and Bookmaker Records.]
It’s nearly impossible to imagine that Henryspenncer didn’t name their new album, Hypnosis Gumbo, after its own sound. Released through Robotic Empire and Bookmaker Records, the Parisian instrumental post-heavy-rockers’ fourth full-length enacts varying modes of trance-inducing sonics throughout, from molten chugging to tribal-style percussion to dreamy Western psychedelia, and a given recipe for gumbo being “whatever you got, over rice,” Hypnosis Gumbo makes a fair title for the deeply atmospheric and at times resoundingly weighted outing. Wherever Henryspenncer go in the six-track/42-minute span, they manage to keep a sense of space in the material and offer substance to go with all the otherworldly vibes and patient execution.
None of that is necessarily new from Henryspenncer, which was founded by guitarist/bassist Valentin Féron in 2008, but Hypnosis Gumbo does represent a significant shift in approach, as it’s Féron‘s first long-player with Henryspenncer not executed as a solo artist. In the studio, he worked with drummer/bassist/Rhodes specialist Julien Magot, and since then the lineup has grown even further, with the additions of guitarist Carl Boisson, bassist Charlie Batalla and Thomas Kuratli on electronics. Even with just Féron and Magot on the studio tracks, however, Hypnosis Gumbo is immediately a shift in vibe from Henryspenncer‘s past work, which has its explosively loud moments, but was much more Grails than Pelican and now finds that balance shifted significantly. Presented as two vinyl sides, each opening with its longest track, Hypnosis Gumbo trades the somewhat more intimate feel the project honed previously for a richer and more densely weighted sound that, in addition to its ambient roots, is not at all shy about crushing when to inclined.
The stated central theme of the album is fire, which is fitting enough with the cover art, certainly, and the tones throughout keep plenty warm as well. Opener “Quetzalcoatl” unfolds a rolling groove in Magot‘s drums beneath Féron‘s riffing, freaking out with effects as it makes its way toward a faster push topped by transposed layers of noise, breaking down just past the halfway point only to rebuild again, that noise becoming abrasively high pitched by the end of the song, which gives way to the minimalist, spacious opening of “Relic,” thudding drums growing gradually in intensity atop a bed of drone.
A swell of post-metallic riffing emerges for a moment, but recedes again, and when the guitar comes back, it’s to unleash a slogging chug of doom, that will carry the elephantine stomp to the song’s finish several minutes later, a slow-motion effects swirl growing in intensity near the finish to provide transition into the percussion-led “Vortex,” which closes out side A with a linear build that seems to take cues earlier on from Russian Circles‘ progressivism and in its later reaches from the rhythmic urgency of Neurosis. Neither is a bad cue to take, frankly, and the manner in which Henryspenncer play these influences off each other helps to create an identity not necessarily entirely beholden to either. They come out of with with something individual, in other words, and particularly in context with the breadth of the rest of the album’s first half, they maintain a genuinely experimental feel.
At just past 10 minutes, “Voodoo’s Rising” is the longest cut on Hypnosis Gumbo, and perhaps its most ambitious installment as well, with clanging percussion behind its early rumble, a chaos of Rhodes keys tossed in to enhance the swampy atmosphere, shakers, a growing intensity of drums and noise, and a thrilling final push that, in fine tradition, is torn apart over the last minute or so. Its kitchen-sink approach feels emblematic of the album’s title, and broadens the context in which the subsequent “Foxes” arrives, its relatively subdued open-air guitar more in line with some of what Henryspenncer offered on 2013’s Saturn or 2011’s To the Timeless Valley, even with Magot‘s drums gradually emerging to complement Féron‘s guitar. Somewhat more languid in its execution, it also happens to be particularly hypnotic as it moves with subtle efficiency toward a keyboard-laden apex that fades out before closer “New Days” commences its droney start, setting a bed for what sounds like looped guitar runs and tapped-out notes, Magot joining in to set an overarching groove to the turns as the build gets moving, keys fleshing out the space.
After three minutes into the total six, “New Days” comes to a halt, thickens its tones and rolls out a last nod at full-weight, ending the album with a build on the drums met by key/effects swirl and buried guitar leads that cuts itself short to fade quickly out. Maybe Henryspenncer had such a finish plotted out all along for Hypnosis Gumbo and maybe it just happened to be what worked best when Féronand Magot were putting the record together, but either way, it’s a final emphasis of the new era on which the band has embarked with these tracks. As Henryspenncer has continued to add to their lineup, and particularly as that lineup has started to play live, it seems likely there are more changes in store going forward from here, but with Hypnosis Gumbo as a kind of second debut, the band has given themselves plenty to build upon for the next time out.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Hell’s bells that’s a good show! Here I’ve been considering getting a crowdfunding page going in order to bring Elephant Tree over from their home base in the UK specifically to pair them up with Bordeaux, France, heavy psych masters Mars Red Sky at The Obelisk All-Dayer in August, and Snuff Lane has gone and beat me to making the match. It’s a five-show run through the UK, and they’ll meet up with Black Lung along the way and play Riff Conspiracy III in Manchester, but for however long these two are getting together, it’s a fit that works so well, it’s hard to imagine this will be the only time it happens.
If you haven’t heard it yet, Mars Red Sky‘s recently-issued third LP, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), is currently holding my top spot for album of the year. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of year to go, but woof, that’s a good record. Elephant Tree‘s self-titled debut (review here), which is due out at the end of April through Magnetic Eye, is currently holding my top spot for debut of the year. Take that as an indication of how highly I regard these two bands at this point. These gigs are going to be killer. If you get to go, consider yourself lucky.
Dates from the PR wire:
MARS RED SKY’s will be touring the UK in May in support of their brand new album ‘Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul)’, pushing boundaries further into a colossal heavy sound like never before.
Produced by Gabriel Zander (from Brasil who also engineered ‘Stranded in Arcadia’) and Jacob Dennis in Studio Cryogene in Bègles in France – The band has forged grandiose and hypnotizing thickly produced songs rooted through a wider range of musical influences stretching from Robert Wyatt, The Beatles, Nick Drake, Neil young to bands like Electric Wizard, Acid King and obviously Black Sabbath.
French revered psych-pop doom fuzzers are set to grace the United Kingdom in May for 5 special events, with tour support will be provided by sitar welding, London based Elephant Tree, who are due to release their new album self-titled album through Magnetic Eye Records.
‘Prise for the Burning Soul’ May UK Tour: 12/05 – The Exchange, Bristol Alongside: Black Lung (ft. members of The Flying Eyes), Indica Blues, The Brackish, Raptor 13/05 – The Phoenix, Coventry 14/05 – Birthdays, London Support TBC 15/05 – Rebellion, Manchester Part of Riff Conspiracy III (Noiz) 16/05 – Audio, Glasgow
Parisian heavy rockers Abrahma remain among my most positive impressions from last year’s Roadburn festival. I mean, I dug the band before, but their set (review here) last April put that in a new light, and what was so doubly engaging about it was that not only were they heavy — hell, everybody’s heavy, right? — but they were able to really bring to life the atmospheres and open spaces of their second album, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here), in a manner that made their sound all the more immersive. And to go with that, they had scope, a melodic presence that stayed through the set even in its most aggressive moments. Heavy rock bands sometimes cast all that off in favor of an all-out assault live. I won’t take anything away from that approach when it works, but Abrahma‘s style was right not to sacrifice its dynamic moodiness for impact.
The Nazareth cover “Witchdoctor Woman” was put to tape last July and is set to be included on the Go Down Fighting tribute that’s been in the works for a while now from Underdogma Records (info here). I’m not sure what led to Abrahma posting it on their own, whether or not it’s in advance of a release for the compilation that will also include Calamus, Långfinger and Against the Grain, but having enjoyed the excuse to revisit how much ass they kicked when I was fortunate enough to see them last Spring, I’ll take what I can get. You’ll hear pretty quickly that Abrahma manage to make the song their own, lending a deep-toned psychedelia to the original, which opened Nazareth‘s 1971 self-titled debut.
Abrahma, “Witchdoctor Woman” (Nazareth cover)
Discover our cover track of “WITCHDOCTOR WOMAN” from NAZARETH
Soon to be released on “Go Down Fighting” a riff rock tribute to Nazareth!
Song recorded in 2015 by Benjamin Colin at HAKESOUND STUDIO (Romainville, FR) Produced by ABRAHMA Mixed by Benjamin Colin Mastered by James Plotkin @ PLOTKINWORKS
Coming soon “Go Down Fighting” – a riff rock tribute to Nazareth! Limited Edition Colored Vinyl.
Track List: “Miss Misery” – The Rubes “Sunshine” – Calamus “Razamataz” – The Humanoids “Changing Times” – The Heave-Ho “Please Don’t Judas Me” – Argus “Whiskey Drinking Woman” – Shatner “Witchdoctor Woman” – Abrahma “Expect No Mercy” – Against The Grain “Empty Arms, Empty Heart” – Resande Man “Alcatraz” – Wild Eyes “Light My Way” – Långfinger “Beggar’s Day” – Bozeman’s Simplex
Also possible contributions from RAGING SLAB, Left Lane Cruiser, Solace, Daniel Davies, Gideon Smith, Contra, Mothership, Magic Jove, and surprise special guests!
Posted in Reviews on March 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The Wednesday of a Quarterly Review is always special to me. In the six, maybe seven, times I’ve done this now, Wednesday has always been the marker of turning to the second half of the week. Hump Day in a bizarre context. That said, I feel good about how it’s gone so far and I feel very good about the stuff that’s being written about in more than just that getting-it-out-of-the-way spirit. Still, we start today with something that should’ve been reviewed months ago, and I’ll admit to being glad to have such a formidable weight off my chest.
Quarterly Review #21-30:
Sunn O))), Kannon
Sunn O))) are without question among the most integral bands of their generation. I don’t feel like it’s going even remotely out on a limb to say that. With the three-song full-length, Kannon (on Southern Lord), they go back to exploring the waveforms and ritualistic atmospheres that helped their influence spread in the first place, after several years of collaborating with others like Scott Walker and Ulver. Kannon is the first Sunn O)))-proper LP since 2009’s orchestral Monoliths and Dimensions (review here), and while I understand any and everything I might have to say about it is barely a drop in the bucket compared to the from-all-sides laudits founding guitarists Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have received, its three parts nonetheless demonstrate the fact that with Sunn O))), there is never any backward looking, and that even as they strip away elements that made Monoliths and Dimensions as expansive as it was in favor of the claustrophobic rumble and chants of “Kannon 3,” they move relentlessly forward. They remain necessary.
Hey, I like Swallow the Sun. I’ve dug the Finnish outfit since their debut, The Morning Never Came, but I gotta say, maybe a triple album, which Songs from the North I, II and III is, is a bit much? The concept is awesome – one record of light/dark, one record of light, one record of dark – but in practice it’s about a 160 minutes long and a considerable investment to ask of their audience. When it comes to repeat listens, I can’t help but continually go to Songs from the North III, the most extreme installment, which still has plenty of spacious guitar melodies to go with its death-doom emotional and tonal crush, and while I’m not sure that Swallow the Sun would’ve been doing themselves any favors if they spaced out three separate releases rather than bundling them together as they have, it’ll be years before a release of this scope can be properly digested, if it can at all, and for a band whose work is as complex and often lush as Swallow the Sun’s, one wants to absorb it in a way that such a massive offering doesn’t allow.
Italy’s heavy rock boom continues with the debut album from Roman riffers Beesus. The four-piece nod at desert grunge with “6 Ft. Under Box” and roll out thick, loosely-psychedelic vibes on the opening title-track, but The Rise of Beesus primarily tells its story in its plays of density and spaciousness – see “Waltzer” and the later “Sonic Doom/Stoner Youth” – and one is reminded a bit of Snail circa Blood in that, but a sense of variety brings moments like the quiet opening stretch of “Kusa” and the bass-led thrust of “Mata la Verguenza,” making The Rise of Beesus not as easy to predict as it might first appear. When it does indulge its heft, as on “Beesus in Dope,” it satisfies, but while consistent, it is by no means unipolar. It seems to set Beesus up for future expansion on any number of lines, but as their first outing, it also has a noteworthy sense of itself, carving out an identity from diversity of songcraft and an abidingly chaotic vibe.
Fall 2015’s Magnifier (on Sulatron Records) is the fourth LP from Italian psych/space rockers Giöbia, who launch with the ominous cosmic thrust of “This World was Being Watched Closely” and make their grandest statement on side B with the 15-minute lysergic noise excursion of “Sun Spectre.” There and elsewhere in “The Pond,” “The Stain” and the closing “The Magnifier,” Giöbia pursue shroomy sonic enlightenment through soaking reverb and wah, Moog, synth, bouzouki and so on – a somewhat kitchen sink approach resulting in a joyous front-to-back wash of spirited energy and engaging depth. The follow-up to 2013’s Introducing Night Sound (review here), Magnifier finds synth-laden prog swing in “Lentamenta la Luce Svanirà” and pushes air with the low end of its finale title-cut, a right-on dripper that’s round enough to make the world seem square by comparison. The place Giöbia inhabit between psychedelia and space rock is fast becoming a planet all their own, and for ambassadorship of their sound, Magnifier thrills.
Recorded by the band in 2014 and issued in 2015 as their debut EP, Decasia’s Decasia flows more like a long-player, with five cuts that unfold from the tanpura and didgeridoo immersion of opener “Halo,” but I won’t argue. While rawer than what one might commonly expect out of European heavy psychedelia, the French trio nonetheless cull aspects of that sound into their own, so that centerpiece “Blue Love” is right at home with its Hendrixian guitar swing, and closer “Dive” feels within rights to demonstrate a touch of Colour Haze in its initial rhythm, though on the whole Decasia are less laid back and more grunge-informed, resulting in an intriguing blend that, from the burst at the open of “Sherpa” through the crashing finish of “Dive,” shows them as a group able to play to either side at will. They’ve already followed up with the jam “Moodoo Majja,” but I wouldn’t speculate which side will win out as they continue to develop, if indeed any single one does.
The second long-player from London sludgers Sonic Mass, You People Never Learn… would seem immediately to be positioning itself as punishment. Fair enough – there’s certainly some abrasive aspect to its overriding rawness and liberal feedback – but the huge groove that pays off the build in the second half of “Butcher of Brogdael” is more righteous inclusion than it is masochistic, and even faster, shorter cuts like the blown-out punk of “Biker Satania” or “Toga”’s unhinged dual-guitar thrust feels more about a raucous vibe than putting someone off. In the title-track, they move from a wash of distortion into some caustic feedback by the end, but by then the context of You People Never Learn… is such that the nodding push of eight-minute closer “Quadranoid” is more a celebration than a beating, even if it does round out with two minutes of amp crackle, effects and feedback. If it was coming from a stage, you’d raise a pint to it.
Longform material is nothing new for Boise, Idaho-based duo Wolvserpent. Both of their two full-lengths to-date, 2010’s Blood Seed and 2013’s Perigaea Antahkarana, have found the ritual drone-doomers working in extended contexts. However, the newly-issued Aporia:Kala:Ananta EP (on Relapse) pushes that line even further. It is a single-song work running 40 minutes of spacious, sometimes grueling, thrillingly challenging heft, marked by a cinematic sense of drama in its use of violin, blackened extremity and striking depth. Drummer/violinist Brittany McConnell and guitarist/vocalist Blake Green aren’t so much taking any huge stylistic leaps from what they’ve done before, but the scope of “Aporia:Kala:Ananta,” as well as the overarching flow of the piece, its patient execution, and the masterful hand with which they guide it, cannot be called anything but progression. The only question I have is why they’re not calling it an album. Considering both its runtime and its breadth, to consider it anything less feels like selling it short.
Swapping back and forth between Spanish and English lyrics adds variety to Family, the 13-song/45-minute debut long-player from Uruguayan foursome Delouners, but they weren’t short on it anyway. Spacious, echoing guitars and a languid psychedelia-gone-heavy-blues carry across laid back blowout rolls like “Low” and the more uptempo “Secreto,” and all the more in the side A-ending “Mistery Caravan,” the lazy, hazy, take-it-way-down groove feels derived from an All Them Witches influence. There are more garage rock moments, as on the title-track, the earlier “Los Dormidos,” “Alain Delon” and closer “Mirtha Legrand,” and the shoegazing tropicality of “Sea/Side” furthers an individualized sensibility overall, but that naturalist spirit never departs completely. So be it. Delouners drench this central inspiration in their own sonic persona, and so come off influenced rather than derivative, setting themselves up to branch out their progression as they see fit on whatever they might do next.
There are five songs on the self-titled debut EP from Cleveland, Ohio’s Dead East Garden and three of them could be said to have something to do with cars – “Starting Line,” “El Camino Rock” and “Straight Burning Road.” That’s not a judgment, just a statement of fact. From the post-Pepper Keenan chug of opener “The Lurker,” one kind of knows what’s coming from the workingman’s heavy rockers, but “Mother’s Disease” fleshes out a less dudely aggro spirit with a more patient initial roll and satisfying lead work from guitarist Ryan Scheel. The beer-soaked vibes resume as “Straight Burning Road” comes on to close, vocalist Pat Homolish layering spoken and belted-out hooks as bassist John Roach (since out of the band) and drummer R.J. Drenski hold down one more straightforward groove, and Dead East Garden reinforce the plainspoken intent on display across the short release, as light on pretense as it is heavy on testosterone.
As with their 2013 sophomore outing, This Mountain Waits (review here), the third album from UK heavy blues/classic rockers Pearl Handled Revolver, titled If the Devil Cast His Net, uses synth, Mellotron, electric piano and organ to explore a wide variety of moods, from the soft-guitar blues of “Someone Like You” to the rambling “Absinthe in Adelaide.” All throughout, the band reaffirm their mastery of these styles as they go, be it the boogie shuffle of “Loverman” or the side A closing title-track, which sets forth one of the record’s most engaging bass grooves under gravelly verse before moving into an extended instrumental jam, no less poised than anything preceding or following. That plotted feel is at the core of Pearl Handled Revolver’s approach – nothing is here by accident – and it makes their songcraft all the more inarguable, taking in a post-The Doors bounce on closer “Into the Blue” as they mirror the end of the album’s first half for another striking finish.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I guess I didn’t realize that the prior release date for Mars Red Sky‘s third album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), didn’t apply worldwide. Fair enough. I’m not about to say the record doesn’t deserve all the focus it can get, so if that means a May 20 issue in North America via Listenable Records, you’ll get no argument from me. Another excuse to put it on, another excuse to check out their video for “Mindreader,” another excuse to plug their upcoming appearance at The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, on and on. There’s really no downside.
Mars Red Sky are on the road now and are shortly to tour in France alongside Stoned Jesus. The PR wire brings info, dates and more:
MARS RED SKY: French Psychedelic Stoner Doom Trio To Release Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) In North America This May Via Listenable Records
Bordeaux, France-based psychedelic stoner doom trio, MARS RED SKY, will release their stunning new album Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) in North America this May via Listenable Records.
Already available to European audiences, Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) was captured by Gabriel Zander, who also engineered the band’s lauded Stranded In Arcadia offering, and Jacob Dennis in Studio Cryogene in Bègles, France and truly pushes the boundaries of the band’s already monolithic sound. With Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul), MARS RED SKY delivers grandiose and hypnotizing hymns rooted in a far wider range of musical influences stretching from Robert Wyatt, The Beatles, Nick Drake and Neil Young to Electric Wizard, Acid King and, naturally, Black Sabbath.
Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) Track Listing: 1. (Alien Grounds) 2. Apex III 3. The Whinery 4. Mindreader 5. Under The Hood 6. Friendly Fire 7. Prodigal Sun 8. Shot In Providence
Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) will be officially unveiled in North America on May 20th via Listenable Records. To secure your copy today visitTHIS LOCATION.
Mars Red Sky on tour: 18/03 EINDHOVEN (NL) Tuchthuis 19/03 HANNOVER (DE) Faust Gold 29/03 RENNES (35) L’Ubu 30/03 ROUBAIX (59) La Cave aux Poètes 31/03 ANGERS (49) Le Chabada – Angers (club et salle de concerts) 01/04 LORIENT (56) MAPL / Le Manège / Les Studios – Lorient 02/04 NANTES (44) Metalorgie Festival 05/04 STRASBOURG (67) La Laiterie Artefact 06/04 LYON (69) Marché Gare 07/04 DRAGUIGNAN (83) Bucéphale 08/04 BARCELONA (SP) Sala Plataforma 09/04 MONTPELLIER (34) Le Black Sheep 10/04 CLERMONT FD (63) Coopérative de Mai 12/04 TOURS (37) Le Temps Machine 16/04 LE MANS (72) Salle Jean Carmet 17/04 DUNKERQUE (59) Les 4Ecluses 20/08 NYC (USA) The Obelisk All-Dayer 26-28/08 LAS VEGAS (USA) Psycho Fest LV
There are all kinds of questions one might ask of Parisian four-piece The Texas Chainsaw Dust Lovers, about things like naming their debut album, Me and the Devil, after a Robert Johnson blues even as they proffer a heavy rock sound that pulls more from Morricone and black metal, and what the hell is a dust lover anyway? To ask these questions, however, is to get sidetracked. Sometimes in life, shit is weird. You have to roll with it.
Enter the band themselves, who in their new video for “Summer Spleen” are dressed like it’s the Day of the Dead and rocking like they’re Clutch gone extreme. Elsewhere on the record, they vibe out on post-QOTSA bounce (see “Me and the Devil”) and effectively blend Western sounding soundtracking with post-rock (“My Lover of the Moon”), but the unifying factor is that you never quite know what’s coming next. No doubt that’s by design. Still, somehow they manage to affect a focus on songwriting amid all this style-swapping, and as someone who on occasion has been fortunate enough to appreciate a fraction of the absurdity of the world in which we live, every now and again a weirdo hook is just the thing. Anyone remember Sleepytime Gorilla Museum? Some similar drama here, but The Texas Chainsaw Dust Lovers are more heavy rock at their root.
“Summer Spleen” — and I think we’re using the definition of “spleen” that means melancholy, rather than the organ; though one never knows — was also the title of a 1973 single released by French artist David Foster, but barring some personal connection to that song on the part of the band, I’m guessing the title is coincidental. Either way, it’s a catchy push through some strange territory and the video is, well, it’s the most attention-grabbing performance clip I’ve seen in a while, and if you hang around here on the regular, you know I’ve seen a couple.
Get yourself freaked out with the “Summer Spleen” video below, directed by guitarist/vocalist Clément Collot, followed by some comment from the band and more background from the PR wire. Me and the Devil is out March 28 on Besta Records.
The Texas Chainsaw Dust Lovers, “Summer Spleen” official video
The Texas Chainsaw Dust Lovers on “Summer Spleen”
Summer Spleen is about the pain and sorrow we felt during the making of the album. We felt that we were rushing everything: the agenda was crazy, as we all have shitty jobs to keep things moving with the band. We didn’t have any lyrics for this track, although it was already on tape. In the meantime, a close relative died during the most busy week of August… That was just too much. The theme came naturally as we were working day and night, dealing with the grief, when everyone else seemed to have fun during this very hot summer. There are a lot of different influences in our work, in general. From cumbia to black metal, going through gothic rock, post punk, stoner rock and many other genres. I guess that in this video, we just went for a stylish mess of all those things.”
Formed in 2011 in Paris, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW DUST LOVERS brought together their definitive lineup with new guitarist Nagui Méhany in 2014. After their debut EP entitled Born Bad (2012) and the release of their blazing single “White Teeth”, the foursome puts out their second EP The Wolf Is Rising in 2014.
After they fully toured France and Spain, and played shows alongside the likes of The Midnight Ghost Train, No One Is Innocent, Black Spiders and The Picturebooks, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW DUST LOVERS are back in the spring of 2016 with a long-awaited first album entitled Me And The Devil, out on March 28th via Besta Records.