Freak Valley 2016: Graveyard Announced as Headliner

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2016 band list

Sure, the fest is long since sold out, but that’s not going to stop Freak Valley 2016 from announcing its acts one at a time, giving each its proper due. In the case of Graveyard, they might as well take the next week off, because that’s a good get. The Swedish kings of the heavy ’10s have been announced as a headliner for the German fest along with Dead Meadow, and they’ll head to Netphen in support of their fourth album, last year’s soulful Innocence and Decadence (review here) on Nuclear Blast.

Freak Valley 2016 says it has more announcements to come, and I believe it, but it’s hard to look at the list of groups already taking part below and not think that if they rolled out as-is, they wouldn’t get through a weekend just fine. Here’s word from the fest:

freak valley 2016 graveyard

*** GRAVEYARD will rock FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2016 ***

Spread the news! We’ll give away one free 3-day pass for every 100 shares to one of you (make it sure to be ‘public’).

After FVF’15 we asked you what bands you would like to see @ Freak Valley ’16. By far most of you Freaks asked for Graveyard. Your wish is our command!

Swedish kings of vintage rock will finally play Freak Valley Festival. We are totally thrilled!!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 2016 is SOLD OUT!!
Freak Valley Festival: No Fillers – Just Killers
Line-up 2016:
GRAVEYARD [SW] – Vintage Rock
DEAD MEADOW [US] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
SPIDERGAWD [NO] – Post-Boogie
WHITE HILLS [US] – Fuzzed Out Motorik Psychedelic
BABY WOODROSE [DK]- Psychedelic Garagerock
LONELY KAMEL [NO]- Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
ROTOR [D] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
MONOLORD [SW] – Doom/Sludge
MANTAR [D] – Death Metal Doom Punk
FARFLUNG [US] – Spacerock for 21st Century Heads
THE GOLDEN GRASS [US]- Heavy/Funk//Psych/Freakbeat
SPIDERS [SW] – Hard/Glam Rock
SONS OF HUNS [US] – Heavy Riffin Rock
LÉ BETRE [SW] – Bluesy Hardrock
…more tba very soon

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://twitter.com/FreakValley
https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/start-order/rid/LYSQRABJ/language/en

Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video

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Freak Valley 2016: The Golden Grass Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the golden grass

Freak Valley 2016 is five bands deep and there isn’t a stinker in the bunch. Just the opposite. Full disclosure: I’m hoping that by the time Brooklynite trio The Golden Grass — who opened for a little band this summer called Deep Purple, no big deal — make their way to Germany to join the estimable ranks of Rotor and Monolord at Freak Valley, they’ll have their second album already out. I don’t know that they will, but I also don’t know that they won’t, and I do know that playing Freak Valley 2016 would be a kickass way of celebrating a follow-up for their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), which came out on Svart.

Not saying I know the record will be out by then, but it would be awfully nice.

Poster and announcement follow, courtesy of the fest:

the golden grass freak valley 2016

Brooklyn feelgood rockers THE GOLDEN GRASS confirmed to play FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2016

The glory of American hard rock has returned – Please welcome THE GOLDEN GRASS to the Freak Valley 2016 line-up!!

This Brooklyn-based power-trio is the real deal, and their music harkens back to the golden age when heavy rock music was upbeat, skillfully played, energetic, edgy, and bursting with goodtime sunshine vibes. They come hard with a strong backbone of deep-pocket funky flare and an earnest/uplifting southern/country/mountain rock vibe, layered with waves of psychedelic textures that explode into jaw-dropping proto-metal moves. And throughout their progressive arrangements and timeless grooves are lush and powerfully delivered vocals, stacked with gorgeous harmonies and maddeningly catchy verses and choruses singing the tales of real-life loves, losses, and the drive to keep on keepin’ on!

What truly sets THE GOLDEN GRASS apart from the pack of modern ’70s-inspired music is their relentlessly upbeat, soulful energy and feel-good vibe, which is a welcome departure from the faceless sea of proto-metal/doom bands currently drowning the underground scene. They will make you dance, smile, and catch yourself singing along! They are a sure treat for fans of classic underground hard rock such as Truth and Janey, Dust, and Josefus as well as fans of classic UK psychedelia such as The Move, The Pretty Things and Mighty Baby. THE GOLDEN GRASS will also greatly appeal to folks into the contemporary sounds of DANAVA, Horisont, Graveyard, and Dead Man.

Killer poster art by Headbang Design!

Freak Valley Festival – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 3-day tickets – only 69€ incl. camping!!

Tickets are selling like Blues Pills vinlys already – take care to get your’s in time!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2016:
Baby Woodrose [Bad Afro Records] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
Lonely Kamel [Napalm Records] – Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
Rotor [Noisolution] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
Monolord [RidingEasy Records] – Doom/Sludge
The Golden Grass [Svart Records] – Heavy/Funk/Boogie/Psychedelic/Freakbeat

…more tba very soon

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://twitter.com/FreakValley
https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/start-order/rid/LYSQRABJ/language/en

The Golden Grass, Live at The Wick, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 6, 2015

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Freak Valley 2016: Baby Woodrose Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

It feels like a long three years since Danish garage-psych purveyors Baby Woodrose released their sixth album, Third Eye Surgery (review here), through Bad Afro Records, but the truth is it hasn’t, especially when they followed that record with the B-sides collection Kicking Ass and Taking Names (review here) early in 2014. Still, the more Baby Woodrose the better, so it’s good news that the four-piece will be hitting Freak Valley 2016 for an exclusive show.

As to whether the fest appearance will coincide with a new album or release of some kind — they’re no stranger to compilations at this point — I have no idea, but a boy can hope. If I hear of something, I’ll let you know. Until then, the announcement from Freak Valley 2016 follows here:

freak valley 2016 baby woodrose

*** BABY WOODROSE will play an exclusive show @ FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2016 ***

The Danish band BABY WOODROSE has capped its connection to the present long ago!

They can equally master late 60s Garage Rock, delicate Psych-Folk as well as raw and psychedelic early 70s Hard Rock.

Old fashioned yet timeless, forceful and brute: Baby Woodrose must be mentioned alongside names like Monster Magnet or The Bevis Frond as one of the important names in today’s Neo-Psychedelic scene.

In concert Baby Woodrose is a heavy and hallucinating psychedelic rock monster, who named itself after a Hawaiian climbing plant, which produces the highly psychoactive substance LSA, a chemical relative of LSD.

Singer, guitarist and songwriter Lorenzo Woodrose, the mastermind behind Baby Woodrose, must be considered the undisputed godfather of the Danish Garage Rock scene. From 1996 to 2003 he played drums with the Psych-Stoner pioneers On Trial before starting Baby Woodrose in 2001, first as a heavy power trio and since 2009 as a quartet featuring a second guitar.

Since then the band has plowed its way through the international Psych, Stoner and Garage Rock scene, releasing eight albums, playing more than 400 international concerts including appearances at Roskilde Festival, Roadburn Festival, SXSW, Rockpalast and Duna Jam.

For a musical trip back in time please enter here but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Beautiful poster art by Jo Riou Graphic Designer!

Freak Valley Festival – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 3-day tickets – only 69€ incl. camping!!

Tickets are selling like Blues Pills vinlys already – take care to get your’s in time!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2016:
Baby Woodrose [Bad Afro Records] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
Lonely Kamel [Napalm Records] – Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
Rotor [Noisolution] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
Monolord [RidingEasy Records] – Doom/Sludge

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://twitter.com/FreakValley
https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/start-order/rid/LYSQRABJ/language/en

Baby Woodrose, “Dandelion” official video

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Freak Valley 2016: Lonely Kamel Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

freak-valley-2016

Number three! I can’t imagine I’ll keep count the whole way leading up to next May — though it might be fun to try — but Norwegian heavy rockers Lonely Kamel are the third band to join the ranks of Freak Valley 2016, preceded by Rotor and Monolord. The Oslo foursome released their latest album, Shit City, late last year on Napalm Records and haven’t looked back since. This month and into next, they’ll support Thulsa Doom — you might recall their 2000 EP, She Fucks Me — for shows around Norway, and they spent a good portion of the summer kicking around festivals in the north and west of Europe. As one will.

Freak Valley announced their addition as follows:

lonely kamel freak valley 2016

*** FREAK VALLEY 2016 BAND ANNOUNCEMENT ***

Ahoy Freaks!!

We are totally thrilled to announce that our buddies LONELY KAMEL will be part of FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2016!!

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, LONELY KAMEL is a rare mish-mash of different influences. Inspired by heavy blues-legends, this hard hitting quartet produces a fine blend of bluesy stoner doom sludge : listenning to Lonely Kamel is a journey that starts in blues territory slipping into stoner rock then an intense sludge assault before reverting back to more blues veined rock sounds and with a good dose of classic rock inspiration.

The Kamels have become a household name not just in stoner rock insighter circles but literally throughout the Rock and Metal world.

Live the band is ballbreaking hard, loud and tight, so look out!!

We are flashed about the mindblowing poster by Headbang Design – Killer!!

Freak Valley Festival – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 3-day tickets – only 69€ incl. camping!!

Tickets are selling like Earthless vinlys already – take care to get your’s in time!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2016:
Lonely Kamel [Napalm Records] – Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
Rotor [Noisolution] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
Monolord [RidingEasy Records] – Doom/Sludge
…more tba very soon

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://twitter.com/FreakValley
https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/start-order/rid/LYSQRABJ/language/en

Lonely Kamel, “Shit City”

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Freak Valley 2016: Rotor and Monolord Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2016

By way of a confession, Monolord were announced a bit ago as the first band for Freak Valley 2016, the festival set to take place next May 26-28 in Netphen, Germany, so I’m combining that word with the news that Berlin’s Rotor have also joined the lineup. Rotor, now past the 15-year mark as a band, will be supporting their fifth album, Fünf, which was released last week on Noisolution. They’ll also be touring in Nov. on a self-booked run to herald Fünf‘s arrival.

Monolord, meanwhile, are fast working their way toward veteran status. Already they’ve done Roadburn, and next month they play Desertfest Belgium as the latest in a slew of appearances of increasing profile, and almost directly after their Desertfest slot, they’ll make their way over for their first US tour (dates here), supporting no less than Windhand on what’s sure to be one of fall 2015’s heaviest runs.

Both are great pickups for Freak Valley 2016, and I’m sure they’re just the start of more to come.

Announcements follow:

For fifteen years RoToR have been crafting their dry as a bone instrumental sound merging 90s Stoner Rock and 70s Space Rock. From Berlin, founded 1998. First as a trio, now a quartet. Four studio albums and a live album. The fifth chapter now: “Fünf” (English: “Five”) is the title of the new album.

Those who have seen the band live know about the crushing heavyness, the ultra-tight rhythmic changes and the melancholic space trips. The intoxicating energy and radiation is the real quintessence of the band.

Contrasts meet: Stoner and Psychedelic, Kraut and Progressive make encounters and collapse. RoToR’s music has become more sophisticated, more transparent, more diverse, before suddenly the ton-weighing head-shaking part kicks in to take the listener to far away sound-worlds…

Here we go!! Please welcome Swedens doom metal starsailors MONOLORD

Formed in 2013, Monolord are made up of Swedish rockers Thomas Jäger, Esben Willems, and Mika Häkki. Both Jäger and Willems were in the Swedish boogie rock band Marulk and started Monolord as a side project as a way to play some more heavier tunes, they quickly added Häkki (from The Don Darlings, ex Rotten Sound) and realized that they had something very special between the 3 of them. Monolord is for more than just doom-metal fanatics and will satisfy all fans of guitar driven rock, stoner and monolithic riffs.

With all the flavours of an iconic doom classic Empress Rising follows in the footsteps of Sleep’s Holy Mountain, Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction and Electric Wizard’s Witchcult Today with melodic vocals and harmonies that are as mind bending as they are anthemic.

Did we mention that Monolord are heavy? Fuck are they HEAVY!

Freak Valley Festival – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 3-day tickets – only 69€ incl. camping!!
FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers
Line-up 2016:
Monolord [RidingEasy Records] – Doom/Sludge
Rotor [Noisolution] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://twitter.com/FreakValley
https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/start-order/rid/LYSQRABJ/language/en

Rotor, “Volllast”

Monolord, Vænir (2015)

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Wo Fat, Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley: Bringing the Bayou

Posted in On Wax on April 24th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

wo-fat-live-juju-cover

It seems unlikely that a casual listener or at very least someone who’s not already a fan would chase down an offering like Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley, which captures Dallas trio Wo Fat‘s five-song, 40-minute set at the 2014 edition of the German Freak Valley festival, held in Netphen. However, we live in a universe of infinite possibilities, so as a perfunctory notice, I’ll say that like the vast, vast majority of live releases, it’s better appreciated by those with some familiarity to the studio versions of the tracks, and that if you’re hearing Wo Fat for the first time — unless you were at Freak Valley (or somewhere else they played, I suppose), didn’t know the albums, saw them live, were super-into it and want a memento — the place to go is probably to one of their albums before you get back to Live Juju. That’s a condition of live records in general, not necessarily something related to the three-piece’s performance at the fest or anything about the recording, which is released by Fuzz Lab Records and was recorded by Jens Hunecke, but it’s a disclaimer worth putting out there anyway, should anyone happen to be new to the band. For the already-converted, Live Juju is an utter no-brainer. One of US heavy rock’s finest and fuzziest taking the stage at a major Euro fest, a setlist spanning six years in five songs recorded clean and crisp, pressed to thick-stock black LP with cover and inside-liner art by David Paul Seymour, live photos from the fest by Falk-Hagen Bernshausen (first published here) and a download code that includes a bonus 14-minute studio jam called “Dark Snow” that rumbles and grooves like the best of Wo Fat‘s latter-day explorations? If you’re already a fan of Wo Fat, there’s really nothing about Live Juju not to like.

Call it a victory lap. Guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump (who also mixed at the band’s Crystal Clear Audio in Dallas), bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter first took to European stages in 2012, then supporting their Small Stone label debut and fourth album, The Black Code (vinyl review here, CD review here). Their 2014 return trip, arriving on the heels of their fifth record and finest work to-date, The Conjuring (review here), was dubbed the “Texas Takeover” and Wo Fat were joined by fellow Dallas natives Mothership on their inaugural run. Freak Valley was an earlier stop on the tour, which lasted about two weeks. Not really what you’d call a “touring band,” in the sense of road-dogging their way back and forth from market to market, venue to venue, Wo Fat have nonetheless managed to concoct a formidable stage presence, and at least going by the audio (much as I’d like to, I’ve yet to see Freak Valley in-person), they hit stage in Netphen with no hesitation. Their set boasts highlights going back to their second full-length, 2008’s Psychedelonaut (review here), tying the material together with a fervent sense of ride-ready groove and weighted tones, Stump opting for a bluesman’s gruffness on “Read the Omens” from The Conjuring, which follows opener “The Black Code.” That song, the title-track of the 2012 album, is nothing if not a landmark hook for the band, and they faithfully give it a rendition north of 10 minutes, their motion no less fluid on stage than in the studio, rolling their way into the faster verses of “Read the Omens” before the chorus opens wide and echoing true to the outdoor space where it was recorded. Side A is just the two songs, and the flip does sort of pull you out of the live experience, but the way I wound up thinking about it was a second to tune ahead of “Bayou Juju” serving as the centerpiece of the set.

wo-fat-live-juju-cover-and-lp

Side B is longer, beginning with “Bayou Juju” and rolling through “Enter the Riffian” and closer “Sleep of the Black Lotus” smoothly and with enough rumble in Wilson‘s bass as Stump tears into an extended solo on the first of them that it’s easy to imagine the grasses of Freak Valley vibrating from the low end. By the time they get there, Wo Fat are full on, about halfway through and nailing it. The track, taken from 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), is a highlight, but the shorter “Enter the Riffian” from Psychedelonaut grounds the set and thus the recording with a more straightforward, less jammy movement. Wo Fat may have grown beyond the kind of dead-ahead heavy rock that Psychedelonaut offered — to their credit, keeping a balance of hooks and jams in doing so — but they use the older material well here, and Walter‘s ride-cymbal swing comes through loud and clear on Live Juju behind the winding riff. It’s the only song here under seven minutes long, but lives up to its multifaceted purpose, bleeding directly into “Sleep of the Black Lotus” with a cymbal wash and guitar freakout, Stump seizing an opportunity to tear into an improv-sounding take on the finale’s intro in front of the festival crowd. They telegraph the groove from the start, if only to bring that audience along, and it’s easy to imagine the sea of nodding heads that stood before them, maybe a puff of smoke here or there as the midsection evolves into a churning jam from the earlier verses and choruses, a model that came to light earlier and which The Black Code and The Conjuring continued to grow. Feedback and earned applause ends and the arm returns, but for those listening digitally, the instrumental “Dark Snow” further affirms Wo Fat‘s improvisational sensibilities, building from a creepy backwards-cymbal fade-in to a solo-topped roll that shares in common with its live compatriots on Live Juju just how in their element Wo Fat seem to be. That’s really the story of Live Juju: Wo Fat at Freak Valley. It’s an act who have cut their teeth and organically developed their sound across five records getting on stage and sharing the fruits of their labor. The short version? They deliver, and prove that sometimes when a band doesn’t tour all the time, nine months out of the year on the road and so on, that only makes it more special when they do. This must have been something to see.

Wo Fat, Live Juju (2015)

Wo Fat on Thee Facebooks

Wo Fat’s website

Freak Valley Festival

Fuzz Lab Records

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Freak Valley 2015: Orchid Added as Headliner

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 16th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2015 banner

San Francisco’s Orchid have been announced as Friday-night headliners at Freak Valley 2015. The festival is set to run June 4-6 in Netphen, Germany, and Orchid join the ranks of Goatsnake and Earthless in headlining, rounding out an all-Californian top rank for the event. Says something about the reach of the Golden State, perhaps, but you can’t really argue that any of the three don’t deserve the spot. In the case of Orchid, their Nuclear Blast-proliferated Sabbath worship has made them a household name among heavy rock aficionados, and they’ll also appear in April at Kirk von Hammet‘s Fear FestEvil in San Jose with High on FireMeshuggah and more.

Freak Valley got some Vance Kelly art to mark the occasion and put it this way:

orchid freak valley 2015

ORCHID TO HEADLINE FRIDAY NIGHT AT FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2015!!

Classic Heavy Rock is once again making an unstoppable advance onto the music scene. One of the greatest new acts of its kind is surely ORCHID. Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, the band is rapidly overtaking and destroying each and every competitor; and there are many reasons why.

Musically, Orchid owe their sound to the grand masters of rock. They walk in the footsteps of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and even Pink Floyd – they certainly are generating abundant exhilaration wherever they roam. This musical genre, the mix of blues, folk and hard rock, was surely the most widespread bravura in the early seventies, and those legendary acts mentioned above would easily fill stadiums even today. Their timeless music has survived decades of trends and fashions. It has inspired multiple generations of hard rock acts and is once again spreading to the forefront of rock. It is hard music, music with groove, music that is authentic and true to its roots. It can fill the largest of arenas to enthrall millions of concertgoers around the globe.

Thanks to Vance Kelly for the mindblowing poster art!!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 4th-5th-6th June 2015
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF tickets are selling like Blues Pills vinyls already – get yours in time – the first 3 editions have been sold out early!!
We are selling tix to all parts of this planet!!

Tickets: www.freakvalley.de | Only 66€ for 3 days incl. Camping!!

Hardtickets @ our onlineshop: http://shop.rockfreaks.de/

Also: http://kozmik-artifactz.com/ | Kozmik Artifactz

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers

Orchid – Goatsnake – Earthless – Crippled Black Phoenix – The Vintage Caravan – Electric Moon – Horisont – Gas Giant – Monkey3 – Danava – Egypt – Siena Root – Bröselmaschine – Sigiryia – Kamchatka – Purson – Dead Man – Freedom Hawk – Mountain Witch – Tuber – Valley of the Sun – Tombstones – Travelin’ Jack – more tba soon!!

https://www.facebook.com/orchidsf
http://www.orchidsf.com/
http://www.merchaye-revolve.com/orchid

Orchid, “Masters of it All” live in San Francisco, CA, Feb. 8, 2014

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