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Les Discrets New Album Prédateurs Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

les-discrets-Photo-by-Andy-Julia

Themes of looming threat, wistful emotional longing and self-reflection might not be new ground for French outfit Les Discrets, but if you figured you knew what to expect from Fursy Teyssier and company, the 2016 Virée Nocturne EP (review here) should probably have cured you of that. On April 21, Les Discrets will offer Prédateurs, a follow-up full-length to that short release that features the EP’s title-track among newer cuts, and as Teyssier promises a darker vision, one can only take him at his word. Interesting that he notes twice in the info below about traveling via train, since that seems to be what closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” directly references — a scheduled departure time.

Will look forward to hearing how this one turns out, but then, I always do when it comes to Les Discrets. If it’s the way you like to roll, preorders are up now from Prophecy Productions, as the PR wire informs:

les-discrets-predateurs

Les Discrets to Release New Album, ‘Prédateurs’, April 21

Post-Everything Duo Takes Cinematic Sound to “Much Darker” Places on Upcoming LP

Lyon, France dark dreamweavers LES DISCRETS return with Prédateurs, their first full-length album in five years. Ever-evolving, the sound of LES DISCRETS in 2017 takes a stylistic shift which sees the band’s dreamy shoegaze and metallic tinged post-rock colored with a heavy post-punk influence and electronic chill while incorporating inspiration from trip-hop and 70’s film soundtracks. Prédateurs will be released on April 21 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, DOOL).

Known through his work as part of the bands Alcest and Amesoeurs, French songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and film director Fursy Teyssier founded LES DESCRETS in 2003. On the topic of the new album, Fursy comments, “Prédateurs is an album that was five years in the making and will take time to get into. This is a record for late evenings, night driving, journeys on a train, or for those moments we usually think about the meaning of life and things, when we have nothing else to do but sitting and waiting.”

Described as “the soundtrack of a slow film noir happening in a train where the journey leads the auditor to several places seen from the windows”, Prédateurs is a cinematographic, urban album shaped by steel, concrete, snow and electricity. Easy on the ears, Prédateurs interprets the familiar music and melodies of LES DESCRETS with new instruments, approach and ambition. Although its shape has changed, the feeling of the music, its atmosphere and its essential core has remained the same. The songs focus on the concept of predation (the preying of one animal on others) as well as time, nature and life. Prédateurs is the album that – in founder Teyssier’s eyes – now shapes the proper identity of LES DESCRETS.

Prédateurs is not only a new start in terms of music for the band, but also presents a change on the visual level. For the first time, Teyssier – himself a celebrated visual artist and animated film director – has collaborated with an outside graphic designer on the visual appearance of a LES DESCRETS release. The British artist Chris Friel, who combines painting with photography in a unique way, has become a huge inspiration for Fursy. Friel’s work has even subconsciously leaked into the roadmap of the band’s music.

Prédateurs is advanced by the 4-track EP, Virée Nocturne, which was first made available to attendees of last summer’s Prophecy Fest.

“I feel that Les Discrets has its own wings now, free of the influences of post-rock, post-black or post-anything constraints,” he offers. “‘Prédateurs’ is even darker than the older albums. Much, much darker. But just like older albums, some sparks of hope remain.”

Pre-order Prédateurs at this location.

Track listing:
1.) Prédateurs
2.) Virée Nocturne
3.) Les Amis de Minuit
4.) Vanishing Beauties
5.) Fleur des Murailles
6.) Le Reproche
7.) Les Jours d’Or
8.) Rue Octavio Mey
9.) The Scent Of Spring (Moonraker)
10.) Lyon – Paris 7h34

http://www.lesdiscrets.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lesdiscrets/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/les-discrets/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://twitter.com/ProphecyProd

Les Discrets, Virée Nocturne (2016)

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Libido Fuzz, A Guide into Synesthesia: Sparks Ignite the Blues (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

libido-fuzz-a-guide-into-synesthesia

[Click play above to hear the premiere of ‘At the Beginning’ from Libido Fuzz’s A Guide into Synesthesia. Album is out next month on Pink Tank Records.]

Bordeaux-based three-piece Libido Fuzz return on Pink Tank Records with A Guide into Synesthesia, their second full-length, and with it set up a linear course running from blazed-out boogie rock to hard-impact psychedelic blues jams. A 41-minute/six-song outing, it follows 2015’s Kaleido Lumo Age (review here) and is no doubt intended to work across a vinyl LP, which is appropriate given the trio of drummer Thibault Guezennec, vocalist/guitarist Pierre-Alexis Mengual and bassist Rory O’Callaghan‘s penchant for classic forms. But even keeping the inevitable split between sides A and B in mind, Libido Fuzz enact a front-to-back flow that seems to push further outward as it goes, until finally it reaches the 12-minute semi-title-track “Guide Me into Synesthesia” at the end and decides there’s no return.

Up to — and really through — that point, Libido Fuzz keep a steady blend of the retro and modern, the terrestrial and the ethereal, the frenetic and the drifting, and what results in the span of the tracks, which were recorded by Marco Lima with a mix and master by Franck Roder, is an organic-feeling and nuanced heavy rock that draws power from its moments of thrust and uses that momentum wisely to carry through its slower parts. It is dynamic in the sense of where MengualGuezennec and O’Callaghan take it, from the Radio Moscow-style manias of opener “Sparks” and the intro to “Clouds and Birds,” all blinding turns and risk-laden rhythms, to the smooth-grooving B-side occupants “The Last Psychedelic Blues” and of course, “Guide Me into Synesthesia” itself.

Foremost, it is tied together through the overarching naturalism in the performances. Guezennec‘s bass drum, prominent in the mix, is sometimes responsible for holding an entire song together, as it seems to be doing as “Clouds and Birds” drifts farther from its raging start, but fortunately it proves more than up to the task, and while O’Callaghan‘s warm basslines add a jazzy flair to coincide with all the swing of “At the Beginning,” Mengual takes advantage of the space created to pull out heavy blues-style solos that, regardless of tempo, have a kind of hypnotic effect on the listener. At no point are they technically showy, and the production of A Guide into Synesthesia is clearly geared toward a live feel, but they execute their material with confidence from “Sparks” onward, and indeed they seem well aware of the fires they’re setting, the thrust of that opener creating a sense of movement that is translated into everything that follows, regardless of the actual direction a track like the subsequent “Violence of the Sea” actually follows.

Which obviously is something to mention only for the drastic and immediate turn it represents from A Guide into Synesthesia‘s beginning, the second cut’s bookending progression seeming to nod directly at Trouble‘s “The Tempter” in its structure and layers of harmonized guitar while backing off in a middle third that finds the band stomping through more boogie à la “Sparks,” if perhaps even catchier in the hook. Those twists may well be intended to throw the listener off course, but Libido Fuzz are fluid enough in their transitions that as the drums finish “Violence of the Sea” and “At the Beginning” picks up with a more straightforward heavy rock shuffle, there’s nothing to call incongruous about what they’re doing in terms either of the album’s scope or the jump from one vibe to another.

Synesthesia might be described as a trading of senses. Seeing smells, smelling sounds, touching light, and so on. It’s a rare condition, and the stuff of psychedelic daydreams, and in terms of this album, the keyword in the title would seem to be “guide,” since it gives the impression of Libido Fuzz leading their audience into this place of what might feel like some greater cosmic knowledge. That’s a fair enough explanation for how the second half of the tracklisting plays out, with “Clouds and Birds” (which I actually think is on side A, though I can’t confirm that) marking the point of shift into more ethereal fare that “The Last Psychedelic Blues” — which isn’t — and “Guide Me into Synesthesia” — which is — only continue to expand. Mengual‘s guitar and O’Callaghan‘s bass explore open spaces after settling in post-intro, and samples and cymbal washes from Guezennec lead gradually, fluidly, into a comfortably-paced nod that serves as bed or wah swirl and possibly the album’s best solo, which finishes in time for a big rock ending. Show’s over, everyone go home.

Not nearly. With the finale so expansive afterward, the penultimate “The Last Psychedelic Blues” is tasked somewhat with summarizing A Guide into Synesthesia, and it does so with a play between nigh-on-overwhelming fuzz and airier verse-making. All three players shine. In prime power-trio fashion, Libido Fuzz resonate their chemistry forth until the quiet stretch of guitar sentimentality leads to the beginning of “A Guide into Synesthesia,” the extended instrumental journey that will round out the LP. Its beginning feels suitably like an arrival, and it is, and sure enough, a massive and engaging jam ensues, but the band leave room early on for verses without taking advantage. Maybe live. A scorching midsection solo meets with wah bass and building drums, and from there, Libido Fuzz set the course by which they’ll end, plotted but molten, and cutting just before the 10-minute mark to some far-out guitar noise that may or may not be intended to manifest the synesthetic.

I don’t know how it tastes, but it sounds like a trance, and as an epilogue for A Guide into Synesthesia, it’s the last of several pleasant surprises the album presents while highlighting the overall growth of Libido Fuzz from their debut and giving the impression — on any number of sensory levels — that growth is still in progress and likely to remain that way willfully. One can hear MengualO’Callaghan and Guezennec pushing themselves in the realization of these songs, both in the stylistic ground they cover and in the actual performances, and among the many encouraging aspects of A Guide into Synesthesia, it’s that feeling of purpose that most defines it.

Libido Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Libido Fuzz on Bandcamp

A Guide into Synesthesia at Pink Tank Records

Pink Tank Records on Thee Facebooks

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Dot Legacy Premiere “Horizon” Interactive Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dot legacy horizon video

“Horizon” is the opening track from Dot Legacy‘s late-2016 second album, To the Others (review here), and it finds the Parisian heavy fuzz enthusiasts embarking on the first of several risks they’ll take across the record’s genre-hopping course. No way around it, there’s a bit of rapping going on here.

Now, as somebody who lived through the ’90s, that’s what we call a big red flag. Hard not to have post-trauma flashbacks of Limp Bizkit covering George Michael in a protest-too-much display of knuckle-dragging tough-guy heteronormativity, but on any level you want to approach it, that’s not what’s happening here, and certainly in the context of To the Others, it’s not where Dot Legacy‘s intentions lie on the Setalight Records release. “Horizon” sets the tone of energy to which the rest of the album soon responds in deeply varied forms, and if anything the rapping in the opener is an immediate communication to listeners that there’s nothing off the table in terms of where they might go.

That’s very much how the record plays out in its wake, and while I’m willing to admit it’s kind of scary to imagine that rap-rocking impulses might one day rear their heads again, I genuinely think we’re safe. It’s gonna be okay.

Dot Legacy — the four-piece of vocalist/bassist Damien Quintard, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Arnaud Merckling, guitarist/backing vocalist John Defontaine and drummer/backing vocalist Arthur Menard — worked with WIPS (Web Interactive Promotion Site) to put together an interactive video for “Horizon.” If you go to the special site they’ve set up, you can see a version of the clip in which arrows pop up that let you basically choose your own adventure and create the narrative of the video itself.

It’s timed, so you have to pay attention as you make your way through, but it’s actually a pretty cool idea and it’s something special from the band, who’ve already put out clips for “Pioneer” (posted here), “Story of Fame” (posted here) and “211” (posted here) to represent the various sides of To the Others. Something special for a song that has a few surprises of its own up its sleeve.

You can see the regular version of the video premiering below, followed by more info about the interactive project, which also includes a bunch of behind-the-scenes bonus footage and other goodies.

Be brave, and enjoy:

Dot Legacy, “Horizon” official video

Dot Legacy – “Horizon” THE INTERACTIVE VIDEO CLIP

http://www.totheothers.com

Experience DOT LEGACY’s highly acclaimed single “HORIZON” like never before. On this website you will be constantly creating your own version of the video clip, each time changing the story line, and launching you deeper into the musical space Dot Legacy created for you.

The website also contains amazing access to Bonus material!

– LIVE 360° video of Dot Legacy’s show in Brussels, along with Multi Cam footage
– Two fun and crazy interviews of the Band including on 360° candy eating frenzy madness!
– An interactive map to follow with personal videos of Dot Legacy in all the cites they played in on their tour with TRUCKFIGTHERS (rated PG 18)
– A mixing console to do your OWN MIX of HORIZON! Discover all the seperated track that made this song possible and fuzzy as hell!
– The Making of: go behind the curtain and discover how the video clip was shot. Meet the talented team of WIPS!

Dot Legacy interactive “Horizon” video site

Dot Legacy on Thee Facebooks

Dot Legacy on Bandcamp

Setalight Records website

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Dot Legacy Post “Pioneer” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Parisian four-piece Dot Legacy issued their second full-length, To the Others (review here), last fall on Setalight Records, and with it, set themselves on a bold course of genre defiance/melding. Each track seemed to offer a different persona, tied together through energy of performance and a core underlying purpose in execution — Dot Legacy were putting on a show; it was theatrical from start to finish. As they took to the road supporting Truckfighters around the album’s release, they seemed intent on bringing that show to life.

The band themselves related each cut on To the Others to explosions as part of a rocket launch, and fair enough for the force of their delivery on songs like “211” and the penultimate “Story of Fame.” “Story of Fame” is duly relevant here, since Dot Legacy‘s new video, for closer “Pioneer,” follows one for that track (posted here) and seems to be intended as a sequel of sorts for it. Fair enough since one song follows the other on the record, but like the music itself, the two clips wind up working on different themes despite making use of distinctly cool-toned colors — greens and blues, etc. These aren’t the only videos Dot Legacy have done for To the Others — in October, they also had one for “211” (posted here) — but the notion of “Pioneer” being intended to sit directly alongside “Story of Fame” adds intrigue and an avenue for listener/viewer interpretation, and that’s never a bad thing.

Because, as noted, the record is so varied, I’ve included the full Bandcamp stream at the bottom of this post. Not something I usually do for video posts, but I think it’s justified in this case, especially since a lot of the impact of “Pioneer” comes in context of To the Others as a whole, the song’s initial brooding reminding of something Nine Inch Nails might’ve brought to The Fragile before it takes on a still-wistful push in the guitar, further distinguished through a dramatic vocal arrangement, as well as guitar and piano interplay. As a wrap for the here-then-there-then-over-here To the Others it’s all the more resonant, but even approached on its own, as a single, three-plus-minute work, it tends to stay with you after it’s finished. Take a look and a listen and see if you don’t agree.

And please, enjoy:

Dot Legacy, “Pioneer” official video

From the new album “To The Others”, Setalight Records – November 2016
Pioneer is the 2nd Part of a Duo-logy with the song “Story Of Fame.”

Directed by MARTY %
Starring Quentin Lasbazeilles
D.O.P. Alexandre Thimonier

Dot Legacy, To the Others (2016)

Dot Legacy on Thee Facebooks

Dot Legacy on Bandcamp

Setalight Records website

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Alcest Announce Australia / New Zealand Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Currently embroiled in a US run that kicked off last week in Boston, Parisian post-black metallers Alcest have announced they’ll head to Australia and New Zealand in April — spring here, fall there — as they continue to herald the return to a more aggressive style presented on their 2016 full-length, Kodama. Seems kind of strange to think of Alcest going back to their core sound as kind of a departure, but after the drifting ambient rock of 2014’s Shelter (review here), that’s kind of how it worked out. Cheers to them for being unpredictable even as they bask in the lush melodic melancholia that’s become their signature. Not every band could pull that one off.

Shows are presented by Life is Noise, and you can find the dates below, along with the remaining gigs on the North American stint happening now:

alcest

LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS: ALCEST (FRA) AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND TOUR APRIL 2017

LIFE IS NOISE is ecstatic to announce the return of Alcest to Australian soil this April, with the band also venturing to New Zealand for the first time.

The French post-black metal masterminds will be reaching into the hearts and heads of audiences in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Alcest have always been a strangely entrancing beast. Originally serving as a solo project for Neige (Stephane Paut), the outfit evolved into a creative connection between the frontman and drummer Winterhalter (of legendary Peste Noire fame) over more than 16 years.

Transcending their early black metal ties through five very different releases, their latest effort—Kodama—sees the band meticulously reframe their origins through a kaleidoscope of rich, warm and soaring sounds that connect with the very soul of the listener.

Influenced by the gorgeous Hayao Miyasaki film, Princess Mononoke, Kodama – meaning ‘tree spirit’ or ‘echo’ in Japanese – delves into the concept of living between two worlds; of not belonging and striving to establish a sense of being through contrasting planes of existence.

Exploring the juxtaposition of nature and humanity and the perpetual struggle faced trying to achieve cohesion in a modern world, the album taps into the divide to serve as a reminder that the spiritual is often neglected in a time that embraces the physical.

Alcest live is a truly humbling experience. Their emotive power works its way through every inch of your psyche, as they effortlessly transition from darker, harsher tones to climbing, ethereal highs. This is a sonic adventure that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Catch Alcest on the following dates:
Wellington – San Fran – April 23
Auckland – Kings Arms – April 24
Brisbane – Crowbar – April 25
Sydney – Newtown Social – April 27
Melbourne – Max Watt’s – April 28
Perth –Badlands – April 29

Alcest US tour:
01/23/2017 Cleveland OH Grog Shop
01/24/2017 Grand Rapids MI Pyramid Scheme
01/25/2017 Chicago IL Reggies Rock Club
01/26/2017 St Paul MN Turf Club
01/28/2017 St Louis MO Ready Room
01/29/2017 Kansas City MO Riot Room
01/30/2017 Denver CO Marquis Theater
01/31/2017 Salt Lake City UT Metro Music Hall
02/02/2017 Seattle WA Highline
02/03/2017 Portland OR Dantes
02/04/2017 Vancouver BC Rickshaw Theater
02/06/2017 Oakland CA Oakland Opera House
02/07/2017 Los Angeles CA Roxy Theater
02/08/2017 San Diego CA Brick By Brick
02/09/2017 Mesa AZ Club Red
02/10/2017 Albuquerque NM Sister Bar
02/11/2017 Dallas TX Curtain Club
02/12/2017 Austin TX Grizzly Hall
02/14/2017 Nashville TN The End
02/15/2017 Atlanta GA Aisle 5
02/16/2017 Richmond VA Strange Matter
02/17/2017 Baltimore MD Metro Gallery
02/18/2017 Philadelphia PA Foundry
02/19/2017 New York NY Irving Plaza

Tickets from lifeisnoise.com, the venues and undertheradar.co.nz for NZ shows.

https://www.facebook.com/events/249725725466365/
https://www.alcest-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official
https://twitter.com/Alcestofficial
https://www.instagram.com/alcestofficial/
http://en.prophecy.de/alcest/

Alcest, Kodama (2016)

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Hors Sujet Post “Le Début N’Est Jamais Trop Sombre” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hors sujet

Prolific French soundscape artist Florent Paris had two releases out in 2016 under his working moniker Hors Sujet. The first was the Déclin EP, issued in March, and the second was a Sept. split with AUVN. Both are available to stream and download in their entirety via the Bandcamp page linked below, and they’re the latest in a long line of offerings dating back over the last nine years that find Paris engaging various levels of textural experimentation, progressive flourish, and cinematic mood-making. It’s little surprise he’s done periodic soundtrack work over that same span; his drones seem to leave plenty of room for visual evocation, real or imagined.

Accordingly, it’s kind of fascinating to see what might go into a video for a single Hors Sujet track. The song in question comes from Déclin and is the 10-minute centerpiece and longest cut “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre,” the title of which translates to “the beginning is never too dark,” or “the start is never too dark.” Throughout the piece, Paris joins his sometimes lush, sometimes minimal droning to a barrage of impressionistic images, doubled and manipulated, but still somehow playing to a sentimental graininess that speaks of a lost past. One is left wondering what beginning the title is referring to, but I’d imagine that’s at least part of the point — asking questions rather than deigning to answer them.

There’s a certain hypnotic effect here as well, but if you can keep your wits about you for the duration, it’s worth the effort. More info follows the clip.

Dig it:

Hors Sujet, “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre” official video

“Le début n’est jamais trop sombre” appears on my latest Ep, “Déclin” here: https://horssujet.bandcamp.com/album/d-clin-2

I hope you’ll enjoy.

This Ep has been recorded between dec 2014 and dec 2015, in the shadows of the cd I was releasing, at the same moment. Music, lyrics, recording, mastering & artwork by Florent Paris | Hors Sujet.

Hors Sujet is the solo project of Florent Paris, started in 2006. Stories told through shapes, noises, feedback and landscapes.

Hors Sujet on Thee Facebooks

Hors Sujet on Bandcamp

Hors Sujet on YouTube

Hors Sujet website

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Lord Mountain, The Giraffes, Saint Vitus, Långfinger, Soggy

Posted in Radio on January 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

It’s been a long time. Long enough that I’m not even going to link back to the last time I did a round of Radio Adds. Life happens, and with the Quarterly Review, I guess my focus went elsewhere. Well, I just did a Quarterly Review, and that actually kind of inspired this, since I found there was yet more records that wanted covering even after that over-full round of 60 that closed out 2016 and opened 2017. So here we are.

There are, in fact, more than 50 albums being added to The Obelisk Radio playlist today. I can’t promise I’ll do Radio Adds weekly like I once did, or monthly, or again in 2017, or ever, but the opportunity presented itself and it seemed only right to take advantage. This stuff all came out last year, so it’s all readily available, and audio samples are included, because, you know, music and such.

Let’s dig in:

Lord Mountain, Lord Mountain

lord-mountain-lord-mountain

Of all the styles under the vast umbrella of “heavy,” traditional doom is among the hardest to execute – especially, I’d think, for new bands. You need a balance of atmosphere and lack of pretense, a classic vibe, riffs, and groove. On the surface, you’re playing to the past, but if you put out something that just sounds like Sabbath and bring nothing of yourself to it, you’re sunk. Santa Rosa, California’s Lord Mountain – vocalist/guitarist Jesse Swanson, guitarist Sean Serrano, bassist Dave Reed and drummer Pat Moore – would seem to have it figured out on their self-titled debut EP. Released by King Volume Records on limited tape, it brings forth four tracks in 21 minutes that are no less comfortable playing to the downer riffing of Candlemass – opener “Fenrir” – than to the epic chanting of Viking-era Bathory – “Under the Mountain” – and that find distinction for themselves in nodding to one side or the other as they make their way across the bass-y Sabbathism of “Dying World” and into the concluding solo-topped gallop of “Tomb of the Eagle” (more Dio-era there, but effectively translated tonally). As an initial offering, its presence is more stately than raw, and part of that is aesthetic, so I still think Lord Mountain will have growth to undertake, but their EP shows marked potential and brings a fresh personality to doom’s rigid traditionalism, and there’s nothing more one could reasonably ask of it. A CD would probably be too much to ask, but it’s hard to believe no one’s snagged it for a 10” release yet.

Lord Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Lord Mountain on Bandcamp

King Volume Records on Bandcamp

 

The Giraffes, Usury

the giraffes usury

Behold the winding, self-directed narrative of underrated, underutilized and underappreciated New York heavy rockers The Giraffes, who issued Usury via Silver Sleeve Records in Jan. 2016, on the cusp of their 20th anniversary and with it welcomed back frontman Aaron Lazar (also a one-time contributor to The Book of Knots, speaking of underrated) to the fold alongside guitarist Damien Paris, drummer Andrew Totolos and bassist Josh Taggart. Comprised of just six songs with a 28-minute runtime, it nonetheless holds to a full-album sentiment, with songs like the tense “Washing Machine” working in a vein not dissimilar to their righteous 2008 offering, Prime Motivator (review here), while the preceding “Facebook Rant” and “Product Placement Song” bask in a social commentary that one can only hope the ensuing decades make dated and the subsequent “White Jacket” has a melancholy danceability that one might’ve related around the time of The Giraffes’ 2005 self-titled debut related to System of a Down, but now just sounds like an enrichment of their approach overall. Usury gets off to a slow start (not a complaint, given the groove) with “Blood Will Run,” which seems to shake off its dust initially before commencing its real push and chug circa the halfway point, but by the time they get down to eight-minute finale “How it Happened to Me,” the sudden conclusion of the jam leaves one to wonder where they went and when they’ll be back, which presumably is the whole idea. Behold a band who did it before it was cool, should’ve been huge, and still kept going. The story is more complicated than that, but there are few tales more admirable.

The Giraffes on Thee Facebooks

The Giraffes website

 

Saint Vitus, Live Vol. 2

saint-vitus-live-vol-2

The first Saint Vitus live album – Live – surfaced in 1990 via Hellhound Records and captured the band in Germany in 1989. Its 2005 reissue on Southern Lord played a large role in introducing the pivotal doomers to a new generation of fans. Live Vol. 2 follows some 26 years later via Season of Mist and likewise documents a crucial era in the four-piece’s existence, having been recorded in 2013 in Luxembourg following the release of their 2012 album, Lillie: F-65 (review here), with the lineup of vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez. It’s a 59-minute set, all told – one suspects some of Chandler’s stage rants between songs were shortened or removed – and among the most striking impressions it makes is how seamlessly Lillie: F-65 cuts “Let Them Fall,” “The Bleeding Ground” and “The Waste of Time” fit in alongside classics like the speedy “War is Our Destiny” and “Look Behind You” or the more grueling “Patra (Petra)” and galloping “White Stallions.” Of course, the anthemic “Born too Late” closes out, with Chandler’s wash of feedback and all-low-end tone at the start the ultimate hallmark of what Saint Vitus have always been – a middle finger to square culture unlike any other. This era of the band may be over, with original vocalist Scott Reagers stepping back into the frontman role, but as one continues to hope for another studio album, Live Vol. 2 proves more than a stopgap and takes an active role in adding to the band’s legendary catalog.

Saint Vitus on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Långfinger, Crossyears

langfinger-crossyears

After two successful full-lengths in 2010’s Skygrounds and 2012’s Slow Rivers, next-gen Swedish heavy rockers Långfinger join forces with Small Stone Records for their 10-song/46-minute third album, the crisply-executed Crossyears. Like their countrymen labelmates in Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, the Gothenburg three-piece bring modern edge and production to what a few years ago might’ve been purely retro ‘70s boogie rock, as tracks like “Fox Confessor,” “Say Jupiter,” the more languid “Atlas” and “Caesar’s Blues” bask in a showcase of tight, natural performance with a clean production style that still highlights same, bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Victor Crusner, guitarist/backing vocalist Kalle Lilja and drummer/backing vocalist Jesper Pihl proving the maturity of their songwriting while still delivering the push of “Silver Blaze” and closer “Window in the Sky” with a sense of energy behind them. Their approach so solidified, Långfinger don’t seem to leave much to chance in their sound, but Crossyears engages heavy rock tradition effectively while bridging a gap of decades across its run, and that, frankly, seems like enough for any one record to take on.

Långfinger on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

 

Soggy, Soggy

soggy soggy

Soggy’s self-titled LP, released in this edition by Outer Battery Records (see also Arctic, Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket), is a reissue of a 2008 collection of tracks from a span of years that find the blown-out French punkers paying direct homage to The Stooges with a cover of the seminal “I Wanna be Your Dog,” immediately drawing a line to what seems to have been the band’s most prominent influence. Some 35-plus years after they were initially put to tape, Soggy’s tracks continue to feel dangerous and raw in their frenetic proto-punkery, and that would seem to be exactly what the Soggy LP is looking to convey, digging into the vast trove of lost artifacts in heavy and punk rock and finding a treasure ripe for hindsight appreciation. As much as it just makes me want to put on the self-titled Stooges record or Fun House, I can’t argue with the success of Soggy’s Soggy or not admire its mission, even if some of its blows land harder than others.

Soggy on Bandcamp

Outer Battery Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Aluk Todolo and Insect Ark Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

As recently announced, early next month, both Aluk Todolo and Insect Ark will take part in Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul, being held Feb. 3-5 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Almost immediately thereafter, the two experimentalist outfits — from France and Brooklyn, respectively — will head to the West Coast for a five-evening run of shows that will no doubt involve several late-night drives as they make their way in between Seattle and Los Angeles. The amount of geography involved in such things can be staggering.

You can see in the dates below that the shows are dirt cheap. Eerily so. For two bands who should probably play exclusively in museum settings, it feels excessively easy on the wallet in a way that says Aluk Todolo are about to experience one of the most crucial aspects of touring in the US: not being paid well enough. So if you go, make sure you buy all the merch. That’s my recommendation to balance things out.

From the social medias:

aluk todolo insect ark tour

ALUK TODOLO + INSECT ARK USA 2017

Aluk Todolo will be back in February 2017 for two sets at NYC’s Stardust VI, and will team up with the instrumental doom drone band Insect Ark for a week of shows on the West Coast. Last time Aluk Todolo played in the USA was under the stars of Stella Natura Fest, in 2012. Since then the band has released Occult Rock and Voix, two milestones in their discography, an adventurous and magical exploration of black metal, psychedelic rock and jazz.

Aluk Todolo & Insect Ark:
Feb 3,4,5 New York – Stardust VI – St Vitus
Feb 7 Seattle – Highline w/ Caligula Cartel, Serpentent. $12 advance / $15 at door.
Feb 8 Portland – High water mark w/ Miserable, HZ, High and Fragile. $10 advance / $13 at door.
Feb 9 San Francisco – Elbo Room w/ Common Eider King Eider, Alaric. $12 advance / $15 at door.
Feb 10 Sacramento – The Colony
Feb 11 Los Angeles (Glendale California) – the Complex w/ TBD. $12 advance / $15 at door.

ALUK TODOLO (Grenoble, France) is an instrumental power trio performing Occult Rock since 2004. Their music is a methodical exploration of the powers of musical trance.
Part occult black metal fiend and part snide kraut menace, the band conjures rabid obsessive rhythms and abyssal disharmonic guitars, subliminal spiritualist vibrations and bizarre, magick summonings. ALUK TODOLO reduces psychedelic improvisation to a bare, telluric instrumentation, in which dry, spare percussion grievously mines the scrapes, shrieks and shimmer of mutated guitar and bass. The band’s sound is monolithic and stabbing, hypnotic but unpredictable, minimalist yet teeming: a dangerous, noxious coil of all things black.

INSECT ARK is an instrumental doom-psych duo based in NYC / Portland (Dana Schechter – bass, lap steel, synths / Ashley Spungin – drums, synths). Schechter plays/has played with M. Gira’s Angels of Light (Swans), Wrekmeister Harmonies; Ashley Spungin also plays in Taurus. Since the band’s inception in late 2011, Insect Ark have toured internationally, had their music used in feature films, and released 5 records/singles. A new full-length LP is currently in production for a 2017 release.

https://www.facebook.com/events/629118407276539/
https://www.facebook.com/events/135674466908454/

www.amortout.com/aluktodolo
www.aluktodolo.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/InsectArk/
http://insectark.com/

Aluk Todolo, Voix (2016)

Insect Ark, Portal/Well (2015)

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