Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Kill Ugly Naked” Live at Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

happy wino weds

I’ve officially decided that I’m going to at least semi-retire Wino Wednesday after the 200th edition. A fictional document has been written in legalese, signed and notarized — yes, my brain has its own internal notary — and included in that are clauses stipulating that the feature can be revived pretty much any Wednesday I feel like it and that all parties involved acknowledge that 200 posts will be plenty and that if there are any complaints, I’ll simply point the complainer back to the 200 editions preceding, because there’s no way he or she possibly read them all. I’m sorry, just no way.

So that’s that. We’ve got eight more Wino Wednesdays to go, however, and this week’s comes from Spirit Caravan‘s recent appearance at the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest in Frederick, MD. Organized by War Injun drummer JB Matson, the festival was by all accounts I’ve seen a rousing success, and well deserved. Matson put together a killer lineup and Spirit Caravan were among the headliners, playing as the trio of Wino on guitar/vocals, Dave Sherman on bass/vocals and Ed Gulli on drums in place of Henry Vasquez, who was in Europe with Saint Vitus at the time, that band being fronted by original vocalist Scott Reagers at least for the time being.

What makes Gulli‘s presence in the trio so special, particularly for a song like “Kill Ugly Naked” — which was released on Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun — is the fact that he played drums for The Obsessed when that band recorded it on their 1985 promo demo. Gulli and “Kill Ugly Naked” quite literally have 30 years of history between them. Fucking awesome.

The shot’s a little odd — a 16:9 aspect ratio, vertical, is just bizarre looking — and where Sherman should be there seems instead to be somebody’s elbow, but the sound is decent and you get a sense for how killer the performance was, so I’ll take it. Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Maryland Doom Fest has already announced its 2016 dates. It’ll be the weekend of June 24, 2016, once again at Cafe 611 in Frederick. Excellent.

Spirit Caravan, “Kill Ugly Naked” Live at Maryland Doom Fest

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Mangog Unveil First Rumblings in Video for “Ab Intra”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mangog

The beating heart of Maryland doom lies in Frederick. It’s not the traditional “Doom Capitol” — that being D.C. or at least Baltimore — but it’s where the style lives on and flourishes today, and it’s from whence the newcomer four-piece Mangog hail, their style steeped in the lurching traditions, downer riffing and sonic heft for which the Maryland scene is so rightly revered. The band features in its lineup former Revelation and current Righteous Bloom bassist Bert Hall — here on guitar and vocals — and ex-Iron Man drummer Mike Rix alongside vocalist/intermittent guitarist Myke Wells (who co-directed the video) and bassist Darby Cox (also of Major Company and Hall‘s experimental hip-hop outfit, Negro Childe), and “Ab Intra” is the first audio they’ve made public from a forthcoming demo, and one finds its eight-minute roll (reportedly they’re playing it slower now, thus further elongating) working in regionalist form as what should be a welcome introduction to the converted awaiting their arrival.

Formed late in 2014, Mangog hit the studio in April with producer Drew Mazurek to track their debut demo, and they’ll make their first stage appearance at the end of this month at the Maryland Doom Festival in — where else? — Frederick, at Cafe 611, performing at the final day of the fest on June 28. If their pedigree isn’t enough to pique interest for those making the pilgrimage to the inaugural three-dayer, then “Ab Intra” should get the job done, with its eerie intro and subsequent theatrical flourish — no, I’m not just talking about Hall‘s fuzzy hat — and moody sensibility. Not sure on an exact release date for the demo. Presumably it would be in-hand for the Maryland Doom Fest, but one never really knows how that kind of thing is going to work out. In any case, worth keeping an eye on, and you can do precisely that (mostly with the video below.

Enjoy:

Mangog, “Ab Intra” official video

We premiered the first song from our demo, “Ab Intra”, recorded and produced by the great Drew Mazurek (Gwar, Revelation, Jawbox)! We hope you’ll enjoy our video for “Ab Intra”, directed and filmed by our very own Myke Wells and Jonathan Carroll of X9 Records!

Come see our debut at the Maryland Doom Festival! Tickets are only sold online! Get ya doom on!

The Maryland Doom Festival
June 26-28
Cafe 611
611 N. Market Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Mangog on Thee Facebooks

Mangog on Twitter

Maryland Doom Fest tickets

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On Wax: Old Indian, Mumble

Posted in On Wax on June 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

old indian mumble vinyl and package

Mumble is the self-released debut vinyl long-player from Frederick, Maryland, trio Old Indian, and though their moniker and their home base both bring a certain amount of expectation to the release — i.e. they’re called Old Indian and they’re from Frederick, so they must be stoner doom — the record itself plays out with a much more intricate stylistic spread. It’s eight songs, four on each side, totaling a relatively quick 33 minutes, but even so, the turns that the trio of guitarist/vocalist Cory Springirth, bassist/backing vocalist Mark Weeks and drummer/backing vocalist Evan Owens manage to pull off make Mumble a more nuanced experience than one might anticipate.

old indian mumble side a Even just side A. All four of its songs hover around four minutes long, but that proves to be more than enough time for each to establish its own sonic personality, whether it’s the loosely progressive noodling that starts opener “Space Connect,” the bizarre lounge jangle and swing of “Mean Man,” which Springirth uses as the backdrop to introduce his yelping bluesy vocal style and from which Owens sort of inexplicably launches into a drum solo in the midsection, or the purely Saint Vitus-style fuzz of “Too Old to be Cool,” which rolls out low-end heavy in its initial push and tops it with plucked guitar strings at the headstock before opening to a wider, more subdued verse that still swings but does so quietly, giving the vocals room, or the psych-country twang of “Bedside Blues,” on which the vocals are less, well, mumbled, to start with, and which shits in its midsection to an upbeat, near-rockabilly push that features some choice bass runs from Weeks beneath the guitar.

Already the vibe of Mumble is all over the place, but side B works to establish a spirit that, while still malleable, is also somewhat more cohesive one cut into the next. “The Riff” is a solid title, and accordingly its central riff is worthy of highlighting, but the bass fuzz that underscores the later solo is actually the high point, while on the subsequent “Just a Bum,” Springirth offers a touch of Dick Dale influence in the surf-style guitar before winding up in a punkish verse and pushing through a final lead. Oh yeah, and the song’s two and a half minutes long — nothing if not efficient in its motion.

“Eyelids” is more laid back from the start, old indian mumble back coverplaying the low end of “Too Old to be Cool” off more post-grunge oddity and trades between tin-can vocals over open spaces and heavier jamming, an undulating sort of riff emerging near the finish of the three-minute track that cuts out to let Owens‘ cymbals lead the way into the bass beginning of seven-minute closer “Spanish Blues.” Noteworthy that both sides end with a “Blues,” but the “Spanish” variety is on its own trip, taking longer to develop, but also farther-ranging. The extra time is given to instrumental exploration and plotted parts that suit Old Indian well, the last four minutes or so taking off from the foundation of the song and heading outward from there on a satisfying plunge into immersive, rolling heavy that like the rest of the record before it, is decidedly their own in its style and execution.

Unquestionably that’s one of the greatest impressions Mumble leaves behind when it’s over — of individuality. Being their first album, it shows Old Indian can essentially develop as a band in one of two ways: either they can take these elements and tighten them into a crisp but ultimately more single-minded aesthetic, or they can keep getting weirder on an anything-goes Ween-style blend of genres. I don’t think I’d argue if they said they were going to give either a shot, since a more subtle factor on Mumble is the songwriting itself. It might get lost underneath the basic appeal of Springirth‘s yowling vocals, the fuzz, the reverb or the jangle, but it’s there all the same, and ultimately that’s what’s going to make it work as Old Indian move forward from here, in whatever direction they might go.

Old Indian, Mumble (2015)

Old Indian on Thee Facebooks

Old Indian on Bandcamp

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Wino Wednesday: “Adrift” Live in Frederick, MD, Feb. 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

It’s been two weeks since the last Wino Wednesday, which I think is as long as I’ve gone in the more-than-three-years since the feature started. Between the Quarterly Review and traveling for Roadburn, time was pretty limited, but I didn’t want to let it go any longer than it already has, so here we are. Half a decade ago, in 2010, Scott “Wino” Weinrich, issued his first acoustic album, Adrift (review here), via Exile on Mainstream.

Having at that point already fronted the beginning stages of the Saint Vitus reunion, it was something of a side-step for the guitarist/vocalist, still just three years removed from the last The Hidden Hand album and also participating at that point in Shrinebuilder‘s 2009 offering and the subsequent shows, but for Wino fans, it made sense for him to dig to the roots of his songwriting process and unearth something like Adrift, which in turn led to his collaboration with Conny Ochs and a new style of performance he continues to refine today.

I wouldn’t call his first steps in that direction tentative. His first acoustic tour was with his Shrinebuilder bandmate Scott Kelly, also of Neurosis, and they released a split 7″ to mark the occasion, but with Adrift, we got to see a new side of Wino‘s personality, not necessarily separate from the ride-these-riffs grooves of Spirit Caravan or the foundational trad doom of The Obsessed, but more contemplative, more up front. An acoustic guitar provides little cover, and Adrift laid bare a lot of Wino‘s persona in a way that felt sincere in the listening and still managed to deliver in terms of songwriting and performance.

For this week’s Wino Wednesday, we have a clip of Wino playing the title-track of Adrift live at Guido’s Speakeasy, in Frederick, Maryland, which is arguably the epicenter of Wino‘s influence at this point. At the very heart of a Maryland doom he helped create, he stands with an acoustic guitar, a crappy stand that can’t seem to actually hold up the microphone, and someone with a shaky cellphone recording it vertically. It’s not the best quality clip I’ve ever posted for a Wino Wednesday, but worth it for the solo at the end.

Hope you enjoy:

Wino, “Adrift” Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Feb. 1, 2014

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The Obsessed’s Ed Gulli to Drum for Spirit Caravan at Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

spirit caravan

If you ever find yourself in need of some Maryland doom cred, being able to say something like, “I played on the self-titled The Obsessed record” is bound to help out. Of course, there are only three dudes who can actually make that claim, and drummer Ed Gulli is one of them. The other two are guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and bassist Mark Laue, but as news comes out that current Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez will be on tour with Saint Vitus at the time, it’s Gulli who’s stepping in alongside Wino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman to play in Spirit Caravan for their headlining set at the first Maryland Doom Fest this June.

Now, to hear War Injun drummer and fest-organizer JB Matson tell it, as he does below, Mark Laue will also be on hand helping Gulli run sound all weekend, so basically what you’ve got is the potential — not saying it’s happening, not saying anything’s been confirmed — for a scenario where self-titled era The Obsessed maybe gets on stage and does a song or two at some point either during Spirit Caravan‘s set or maybe after or who knows. Even if that doesn’t happen, having Gulli up there with Sherm and Wino is something pretty special, and it seems like a one-time thing exclusive at this point to the Maryland Doom Fest. Given just how much of a blueprint The Obsessed‘s The Obsessed has been for what’s followed in Maryland doom — second perhaps only to Pentagram in its influence — even just the potential of seeing that lineup together is noteworthy.

Here’s how JB put it, along with the fest’s schedule as previously announced:

maryland doom fest 2015

Henry will be on tour with Vitus so Ed Gulli will be drumming for Spirit Caravan at The Maryland Doom Fest and they will be playing multiple Obsessed songs from the purple album…..yes, The Obsessed Caravan.

Mark Laue (purple album bassist) will also be present at the fest as Ed Gulli will be the stage manager and Mark is also helping keep things rolling. You never know what could happen having all three members present at the same festival.

The Maryland Doom Fest 1
June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Caravan-Official/684094061621546
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

The Obsessed, The Obsessed (1990)

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Maryland Doom Fest 1: Nagato Added; Final Schedule Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

nagato (Photo by Rachel Ellen Morton)

It turns out Pull had to them-out (get it?) of the first-ever Maryland Doom Fest, but they’ve been replaced by reunited riffers Nagato, who got back together last year after a cessation of activity in 2012. Thick on vibe, they’ll add progressive atmospherics and gorgeous tone to the lineup of the fest, which takes place from June 26-28 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland. I’ve only been fortunate enough to see the four-piece once, at Stoner Hands of Doom XI in 2011 (review here), for which they also played on a Sunday, but that set left enough an impression that four years later I keep hoping I’ll hear some news about them putting out a record sooner or later.

They might get there. I know the members of Nagato are involved in a few other projects as well, so maybe their playing Maryland Doom Fest is enough for the moment. They’ve joined a killer lineup, for which the final schedule has just been announced.

And just so we have it all in one place, alphabetically, here’s the full lineup as of now (there are still a couple months to go, things can change) for the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest: Apostle of Solitude, Balam, Banned from H.E.L.L., Foehammer, Foghound, Into the Void, Iron Man, Lord, Mangog, Mind’s Eye, Nagato, Outside Truth, Primer Grey, Project Armageddon, Season of Arrows, Serpent Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Slaves B.C., Spirit Caravan, The Skull, Unorthodox, Valkyrie, Weed is Weed.

Poster by Audrey Mantel and running order follow, along with Nagato‘s return show last August:

md doom fest flyer

The Maryland Doom Fest 1

June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

Nagato, Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Aug. 23, 2014

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Weed is Weed Stream Blunt Force Trauma in Full; Album Reissue out Today

Posted in audiObelisk on October 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

weed is weed

At one point or another, Weed is Weed members Dave Sherman (vocals/guitar), Gary Isom (guitar) and Rob “Cougin” Brannigan (drums) were members of the underrated Maryland doom act Wretched, but that’s just one of the lines of connection between them. Isom, who also played drums in Pentagram for a time, was Sherman‘s bandmate in the original lineup of Spirit Caravan, and it’s safe to say that these dudes, as well as guitarist Jason Fisher, bassist Darren Waters and guitarist Rob Portillo — yeah, that’s right, up to four guitars — have been kicking around the underbelly of MD’s fertile doom underground for a while. Today marks the Ripple Music issue of their 2013 debut album, Blunt Force Trauma (review here), initially self-released.

What do you get with Weed is Weed? Weed. A lot of it. Also riffs. Their multi-guitar attack provides some density to the album’s 10 tracks but much of what you need to know about Blunt Force Trauma you can get from looking at the cover. It’s raw stoner fuckery, riffs leading the way with punkish abandon and Sherman‘s distinctive weed is weed blunt force traumagravelly vocals tossing out simple but effective hooks on cuts like the opener “Weed is Weed,” the more Southern-styled “Alligator Crawl,” the shuffling “Goin’ Down to Harlem” and “Low to No,” which sleeks out a winding sort of groove while paying homage to SabbathOzzy and, of course, reefer. Most of the songs deal with or at least mention weed on one level or another — it’s a steady theme — but they change it up musically some along the way and by the time they get down to “One Hit Wonder” and “Blunt Force Trauma,” the riffs win out. I won’t say much for “Eat Pussy” — though it’s important in a relationship to be attentive to your partner’s needs, and I’ve certainly heard worse advice than “Eat that pussy don’t you be no jerk” — but its alternate lyric, “Eat Cookies,” rounds out as a bonus track with no shortage of smirking cleverness and charm.

It’s one for the converted, but between half the band’s pedigree and the nod-ready riffs the six-piece ride into smoked-out oblivion, Blunt Force Trauma outstones the stoners and is a mean boogie the whole way through. They had it up somewhere at some point, and I already said it came out last year and was available from the band on CD, so I wouldn’t exactly call this a premiere, but I’m happy to be able to feature Weed is Weed anyway on the day of the Ripple release, and you’ll find the album in its entirety on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Weed is Weed‘s Blunt Force Trauma is out now on Ripple Music. More info at the links.

Weed is Weed on Thee Facebooks

Weed is Weed at Ripple’s webstore

Ripple Music

 

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The Skull, Unorthodox and More to Play Vultures of Volume Fest this August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Frederick, Maryland, has doubled as a secondary Doom Capitol for some time now. For several years the home of the Stoner Hands of Doom festival, is just happens to be in a place central enough to pull bands from near-enough-by Baltimore, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It has kind of an out-of-the-way feel, but for years there was a genuine scene around Krug’s Place on the outskirts of the town that was strong and true to the roots of doom, which in the US more or less began in that region as well. The first Vultures of Volume will bring a doom fest back to the town after a couple years’ absence, and has assembled a lineup worthy of showing up for, with Trouble offshoot The Skull and a rare Unorthodox reunion headlining and backup on the bill from the likes of Nagato, GorgantherronBlack Manta, Beelzefuzz, Blizaro, Ogre and Pale Divine.

Of those, I think Ogre might be traveling furthest — from Maine — but Indiana to Maryland is no picnic either in terms of road time, so Gorgantherron will put some miles on as well. Between Unorthodox, Nagato, Beelzefuzz and Black Manta, Maryland is also well represented.

Vultures of Volume is set for Aug. 30, 2014 at Cafe 611 in Frederick. Poster art by Brad Moore and info follow:

“VULTURES OF VOLUME FEST” SET TO DEBUT IN FREDERICK, MD THIS AUGUST

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 30, 2014 for the debut of “Vultures of Volume”, a new annual festival coming to Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD.

“Vultures of Volume” promises to shine the spotlight on local and national acts that bring it loud, hard, and above all else, heavy! This first installment of “VoV” proudly presents the return of Maryland legends UNORTHODOX, featuring the 1995 “Balance of Power” lineup of Ronnie Kalimon (drums), Josh Hart (bass) and the legendary Dale Flood (guitar/vocals) for this one time only reunion! Not to be missed!

Also joining in on the worship of the riff will be Chicago’s THE SKULL, featuring original Trouble members Eric Wagner and Jeff ‘Oly’ Olson, as well as fellow Trouble alumni Ron Holzner (rounded out by guitarists Matt Goldsborough, formerly of Pentagram, and Lothar Keller). THE SKULL will commemorate the 30th anniversary of their classic 1984 debut album “Psalm 9” by performing it in its entirety at the inaugural “Vultures of Volume” fest!

As if that wasn’t enough, also performing will be a strong supporting roster of local and national heavy weights: Nagato (MD), Gorgantherron (IN), Black Manta (MD), Beelzefuzz (MD), Blizaro (NY) Pale Divine (PA) and Ogre (ME).

For more info including door times, full schedule, ticket prices, and sale dates, please visit the official “Vultures of Volume” event page at: www.facebook/pages/Vultures-of-Volume-FEST/578873918893964

Cafe 611: 611 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701 Ph: (301) 631-1460

Unorthodox, “Lost in Tomorrow” from Balance of Power (1995)

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