Jarboe Announces The Cut of the Warrior Due Dec. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

jarboe

As to just how many decades ahead of her time Jarboe remains, science is still unclear. A new study published in the journal Physics postulates that in fact her work doesn’t emanate from this timeline at all, and is rather an import from another dimension. Certainly there are arguments to be made in favor of such theories, but the inarguable fact of her massive catalog speaks to more localized cosmic origins. Her work is, however, consistently unique unto itself, and she’ll add to the aforementioned discography next month by issuing The Cut of the Warrior via Translation Loss. Comprised of four songs and three remixes — a certain amount of manipulation in the material is to be expected, no? — it’s the first Jarboe outing since… last year, when she released the 4CD Artbox, which easily lived up to its title.

We go now live to the PR wire at the portal between universes:

jarboe the cut of the warrior

Jarboe announces “The Cut of the Warrior”

Translation Loss Records
December 14, 2018

Jarboe offers a spiritually enlightened work titled “The Cut of the Warrior”. Four gorgeous compositions that pull inspiration from Jarboe’s kinship to buddhism are meticulously crafted and presented. The album is armed with three alternative mixes/collaborations with Byla (featuring members of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), End Christian and Kris Force (Amber Asylum) while being housed in a stunning layout by Dehn Sora.

“The Cut of the Warrior refers to the practice of Chöd by illustrating repeated attempts to cut through the ego”, explains Jarboe. “The Chöd practitioner seeks to tap the power of fear through activities such as rituals set in graveyards and visualizations of offering their bodies in a tantric feast in order to put their understanding of emptiness to the ultimate test.”

“The Cut of the Warrior” will be released on December 14, 2018.

Track Listing:
1. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo
2. GodGoddess
3. Feast
4. Karuna
5. Karuna (Byla mix)
6. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo (End Christian mix)
7. GodGoddess reprise (Kris Force mix)

Album credits:
Written, performed, recorded by Jarboe
Mastered by Kris Force

Album layout by Dehn Sora
Video by Monto Mccleery

https://www.thelivingjarboe.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheLivingJarboe
http://translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/

Jarboe, “Ode to V”

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Dead Hand to Release Reborn of Dead Light Sept. 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dead hand

Preorders are up now for Reborn of Dead Light, the second album from Georgian four-piece Dead Hand. The record is out Sept. 7 through Divine Mother Recordings and features the artwork of Jean Saiz, also known as the guitarist/vocalist of Floridian dark-sludgers Shroud Eater, with whom Dead Hand shared a split release (review here) late in 2016. That was the last time Dead Hand were heard from, but the band have the opening track “Alabaster and Bone” streaming right now as well as the CD bonus track “Them Bones,” a cover of the opener from Alice in Chains‘ classic Dirt album which, indeed, may never have sounded dirtier than it does with Dead Hand‘s take.

Both of those cuts are streaming below for your perusal. Before you get there, the PR wire has info, tour dates and links, all of which looks like this:

dead hand reborn of dead light

Sludge/Post-Metal DEAD HAND’s upcoming album ‘REBORN OF DEAD LIGHT’ set for release Sept. 7th via Divine Mother Recordings; Pre-orders available now!

Dead Hand is a full widescreen sludge experience. With keyboard-expanded instrumentation and the panorama of post-metal, they’re a truly doomed, sonic horizon whose bleak beauty deliberately unfurls a slow-rolling tsunami to sweep oceanic ruin over fallen kingdoms.

‘Their second full-length, ‘Reborn Of Dead Light’ is set for release on September 7, 2018, via Divine Mother Recordings. The album was recorded and mixed between February and September 2017, with mastering completed in January 2018, all by Matt Washburn at Ledbelly Sound Studios in Dawnsonville, GA. The striking album cover artwork and design is by Jean Saiz.

Reborn Of Dead Light – Track List:

1. Alabaster and Bone
2. Reborn of Dead Light
3. Parapraxis
4. Amaranthine
5. Them Bones (**bonus track, CD only)

– Vinyl press is limited to 250 copies on Green and Black Merge, with full color jackets and insert. Includes digital download code.

– Compact Disc (CD) is limited to 50 copies on full color disc, with two-panel insert on Black Arigato Pak jackets. Includes digital download code. **The CD version includes the bonus track “Them Bones”, a Dead Hand cover originally recorded by Alice in Chains, and featuring Eric Crowe of Crawl on guest vocals.

Upcoming Live Dates:
Sep. 07 – Macon, GA @ Grants Lounge (w/ Hexxus, Crawl, Soul Abuse) – Album Release Show
Sep. 08 – Birmingham, AL @ Nick Rocks (w/ Mother’s Keeper, Hexxus, Inclination Of Direction)
Sep. 14 – Asheville, NC
Sep. 15 – Jacksonville, FL
Sep. 16 – Gainesville, FL
Sep. 17 – Valdosta, GA

DEAD HAND is:
C. Carr – Guitar, Vocals
S. Williams – Bass
S. Harris – Synth, Vocals, Trumpet
C. Harper – Drums

deadhandcollective.blogspot.com/
deadhandcollective.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/deadhandcollective/
instagram.com/deadhanddoom/
divinemotherrecordings.com/
divinemotherrecordings.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/divinemotherrecordings/
instagram.com/divinemotherrecordings/

Dead Hand, Reborn of Dead Light (2018)

Dead Hand, “Them Bones”

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Telestrion, Blazing in the Sky: Making Time for Time

Posted in Reviews on July 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

telestrion blazing in the sky

A full 170 years after their last release, Atlanta heavy space rockers Telestrion return with a new one worthy of the distance from its predecessor. Okay, so maybe not 170 years, but Telestrion issued the vinyl-only EP, Molecule (review here), in 2012, and that certainly feels like two lifetimes ago. To the four-piece’s credit, they began recording the double-LP Blazing in the Sky way back when, it’s just only now coming to fruition. What sort of temporal loop may have occurred between then and now to cause the delay, I don’t know, but with a brisk 90-minute stretch its two platters, one can hardly accuse them of lacking productivity. Led by guitarist/vocalists Andy Samford and Brian Holcomb, who also handle a variety of other instruments from synth and theremin to sitar and Mellotron and “wind” between them, Blazing in the Sky features bassists Jonathan Lee and Stephen Carrington (the latter also guitar), synthesist/backing vocalist Karl Kendrick, percussionist Billy Reeves and drummer Ric Parnell, best known for his portrayal of Mick Shrimpton in This is Spinal Tap — an incendiary performance if ever there was one.

This assemblage and their purposes vary from track to track throughout the 15-song release, and while the format of a 2LP is necessary for the extended runtime, it also feeds into the concept behind the release, which is comprised of traditionally structured songs on its first 12″ and five mostly-extended jams on its second. As to which end of the offering might be more spaced out, it’s a judgment call, of course, but listening to the 15-minute penultimate cut “Midnight Never Ends,” freakery certainly abounds in a way that makes earlier three-minute hooks like “The Peak” and “Paperclip” seem positively straightforward. And to a degree, they are. The album begins with the more than slightly funky vibe of “Electric Ball” and embarks on a space-rock-via-grunge mission of aesthetic purpose that’s smoothly produced but still natural sounding. If some of the recordings are six years old — Telestrion went back into the studio in 2017 — they hardly show their age, and along with some decided Rush fandom, Telestrion show an affinity for the cosmic things in life that coincides with their still-weighted tonality and classic Sabbathian spirit.

telestrion

That spirit perhaps shows itself most in the vocal cadence of “The Peak,” but it hardly departs on the slower, longer “Manifestations,” which follows, and it comes to a head on the seven-minute “A Storm is Comin'” later on, dosed as well with a good hit of psychedelia also at the forefront for “Oasis” of souls while “Paperslip” and “Nothing Left” speak more to the grunge side of Telestrion‘s sound, “Out in the Hills” seems to directly call to Spirit Caravan and the title-track is left to pull in a variety of elements — percussion among them — in some form of summary of the scope of the release. That’s a challenge in itself, but as side B closer “I Ain’t Got Time for Time” wraps with an upbeat kick following the space-doom conclusion of “A Storm is Comin’,” the vibe has long since been set for such turns. What allows Telestrion to make these turns as they go is an underlying foundation of songwriting. Their material is strong enough to support the stylistic shifts and still come across as catchy as intended and as strong in performance as it is in structure. LP1 is tight to such a degree as to be making a point of it, and accordingly it’s all the more of a surprise when they depart onto the second LP of all-out jamming.

Blazing in the Sky isn’t really just a double-album. It’s two albums. One follows one tradition, the other another. They’re connected via “I Ain’t Got Time for Time,” a reprise of which opens the second platter, but by and large, sides C and D are on their own wavelength as compares to the material before them. Whether it’s the Mellotron-soaked “Kykeon” or the theremin swirl of “What’s Not On” or the bass and drum pulsations beneath them both holding them together, the jams are of marked and distinct personality, and they tell a different story of who Telestrion as a band. To wit, if they had actually released Blazing in the Sky as two separate LPs over the course of however long, one might simply say, “Oh yeah, this is the record where they jam. Fine.” As it is, with the two methods positioned right next to each other, one experiences the scope of Blazing in the Sky different context. There’s no ignoring the band’s vision and tease with which they move from tight-knit pieces to wide-open, go-where-they-will jams.

I don’t know how much of “What’s Not On,” “Kykeon,” “Midnight Never Ends” and closer “The Law of Averages” — which would seem to be titled in homage to Parnell — is improvised versus being plotted out beforehand, but a sense of spontaneity pervades anyhow thanks to the inclusion of various percussive elements, keys, synth, Mellotron, etc., giving a progressive edge to the longer-form works and allowing Telestrion to convey and exploratory sensibility, resulting in an unwavering commitment to reverb and echo and a spaciousness that, as far out as they went, the earlier tracks on Blazing in the Sky could hardly hope to approach. As someone who’s a persistent sucker for heavy jams, the drift that Telestrion bring to “Kykeon” and the proggy sprawl of “Midnight Never Ends” are boons ahead of the heavier, fuzzy freakout in “The Law of Averages,” which ends the record on its most chaotic note. However it was recorded, whenever it was recorded, Blazing in the Sky marks Telestrion as a band that still has plenty to offer not just in content, but in method, and the departure from accomplished songcraft into the jams from whence that songcraft emerges is an admirable one not only for what it says about their process, but for their knowing when a song is finished and needs to be what it is. The life they breathe into these tracks is only a part of their appeal, but it’s a big one, and if it’s another half-decade-plus until they give a follow-up, there’s plenty here to chew on for the interim.

Telestrion on Thee Facebooks

Telestrion on Bandcamp

Telestrion website

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Dead Now Stream New Single “Ritchie Blackmourning”; Debut LP Due Sept. 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dead now (Photo David Parham)

Kind of hard to argue with the melodic noise rock Dead Now bring forth with their new single, particularly for anyone who’s ever shown concussion symptoms following a bout with the riffing of Torche. That band’s former guitarist, Andrew Elstner, features in Dead Now as the frontman alongside bassist Derek Schulz and drummer Bobby Theberge, who double as the exploratory duo Day Old Man, also based in Atlanta, Georgia. And while they may join the family tree of Cavity/Floor/Torche that seems to stem upward from Miami, they do so with their own take on noise rock and melodic vocals, pulling back on some of the poppier elements in favor of more crunching fare, catchy as it is.

Dead Now will be on tour with Red Fang and Big Business in September, which, frankly, is about the best place I can think of them to be, and you can stream the song “Ritchie Blackmourning” at the bottom of this post. Info follows courtesy of the PR wire:

dead now dead now

DEAD NOW: Announce Debut Album; Premiere First Single “Ritchie Blackmourning”

Self-Titled Debut coming Sept 7th via Brutal Panda Records

See them on tour with Red Fang and Big Business 9/7 – 9/28

Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce the signing of Atlanta, GA’s DEAD NOW. Consisting of current and former members of Torche, Riddle of Steel, Tilts and Day Old Man, DEAD NOW are a veritable power-trio who play dynamic, melodic heavy rock that is best enjoyed LOUD!

The group recently recorded their self-titled debut with Who Cares at None Of Your Business with album art designed by Orion Landau (Red Fang, YOB). The self-titled debut will see a September 7th release on LP/Digital formats via Brutal Panda just in time for their upcoming tour with Red Fang, Big Business and Monolord. Additionally, a record release show in Atlanta with noise rockers Metz has been announced. A complete listing of dates is available below.

Physical pre-orders are available at this LOCATION with digital pre-orders at Bandcamp HERE. The song can be heard via all streaming outlets HERE.

DEAD NOW frontman Andrew Elstner commented on the signing and new material:

“Myself, Derek and Bobby couldn’t be more hyped for this. Killer label, amazing people and now we’re desperate to get the jams in front of some faces and just crush. Things came together so quickly, it feels like the Gods are pleased.”

Stay tuned for more info and music from DEAD NOW.

DEAD NOW TOUR DATES:
— All Dates Sep 11 – 28 w/ Red Fang & Big Business —
Sep 07 Raleigh, NC Hopscotch Music Hall *
Sep 08 Richmond, VA Capital Ale House *
Sep 09 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
Sep 11 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Hall
Sep 12 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
Sep 13 St. Louis, MO Firebird
Sep 14 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
Sep 15 St. Paul, MN Turf Club +
Sep 16 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
Sep 18 Harrisburg, PA Stage on Herr @ HMAC
Sep 19 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sep 20 Hamden, CT Space Ballroom
Sep 21 Boston, MA The Sinclair
Sep 22 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
Sep 24 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
Sep 25 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
Sep 26 Detroit, MI El Club
Sep 27 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Sep 28 Indianapolis, IN The Hi-Fi
Sep 30 Atlanta, GA 529^

* w/ Monolord, No Big Business
+ w/ Cro-Mags, Dillinger Four, Blind Approach; No Big Business & Dead Now
^w/ Metz

DEAD NOW IS:
Bobby Theberge – Drums (Day Old Man)
Derek Schulz – Bass (Day Old Man)
Andrew Elstner – Vocals / Guitar (Ex-Torche, Tilts, Riddle of Steel)

Dead Now Tracklist:
1. Brunette
2. Ritchie Blackmourning
3. Bird Leaf
4. Powershapes
5. Motorekt

http://www.facebook.com/deadnowband
http://www.instagram.com/dead_now_band
http://www.deadnow.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BrutalPandaRecords/
https://brutalpandarecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.brutalpandarecords.com/products/dead-now-dead-now

Dead Now, Dead Now (2018)

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Telestrion Release Double-Album Blazing in the Sky

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

telestrion

Okay, so Telestrion‘s Blazing in the Sky has been out for a minute or two. Sometimes a thing comes to my attention after it’s been a while. It’s not like the record’s a year old, so, you know, stuff it. The span of the thing is more important than time anyway — though while we’re quibbling dates, I’ll note it’s been six years since the Atlanta natives released their last EP, Molecule (review here) — and maybe making up for lost time is part of the reason they’ve gone to a double-LP with Blazing in the Sky, though listening to the four jams that would comprise the second platter of a vinyl release, they don’t really need any justification for being included. They’re there, and awesome. That should be and is enough.

Blazing in the Sky is Telestrion‘s second full-length behind 2007’s self-titled debut, though the band also trace their roots back to the lone 2004 outing from another outfit called Qualone. I still have my CD of that record. Cool stuff. It’s on Telestrion‘s Bandcamp if you get through the new album and are up for digging back. Ah hell, you’ve got time. You know you do.

I don’t know if they’re doing a physical pressing at this time or waiting to get a label involved in such an endeavor, but either way, Blazing in the Sky is certainly lit up. Details follow from the PR wire:

telestrion blazing in the sky

Atlanta Cosmic Rockers Telestrion release “Blazing in the Sky” featuring Spinal Tap/Atomic Rooster Drummer, Ric Parnell

The music of Telestrion is an assault on the senses with their brand of own brand psychedelic acid fuzz rock. Think Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Hawkwind and you’ll be in the ballpark, however Telestrion have a sound that is uniquely their own. Telestrion’s performances meander back and forth between tightly rehearsed songs and loose free form improvisational jams, depending on the state of the players and the moment.

In April of 2018, Telestrion released their long awaited double album, Blazing in the Sky. The album was produced by Telestrion and Jeff Tomei and features legendary Spinal Tap/Atomic Rooster drummer Ric Parnell. Blazing in the Sky is a 15 song cosmic journey that covers all of the bases from the short and sweet “Nothing Left” to the 15 minute epic “Midnight Never Ends.” Telestrion’s music is definitely food for the mind and is something to not just be heard but to be experienced as well.

Founding member/singer/guitarist/songwriter Andy Samford had this to say about working with the legendary Ric Parnell (aka. Mick Shrimpton in Spinal Tap):

“He was amazing, he would listen to a demo, I’d walk him through the arrangement and then he’d create and perform a perfect part in one or two takes. Genius, really. We’d give him some direction and I’d call out changes but other than that it was pretty spontaneous and in the moment. Sides 3 and 4 are all improv and were made up on the spot with zero discussion.” – Andy Samford

Tracklisting:
1. Electric Ball 03:08
2. The Peak 03:15
3. Manifestations 04:55
4. Oasis Of Souls 05:23
5. Paperclip 03:38
6. Blazing In The Sky 05:15
7. Nothing Left 02:37
8. Out In The Hills 04:39
9. A Storm Is Comin 07:22
10. I Ain’t Got Time For Time 04:03
11. I Ain’t Got Time For Time (Reprise) 03:59
12. What’s Not On 08:02
13. Kykeon 10:22
14. Midnight Never Ends 15:33
15. The Law Of Averages 07:44

Telestrion is:
Andy Samford – Guitar, Vocals, Synth, Piano, M-Tron, Percussion
Brian Holcomb – Guitar, Vocals, Theremin, Vocoder, Sitar, Maracas, Wind, Arpanoid
Ric Parnell – Drums
Stephen Carrington – Bass, Guitar
Jonathan Lee – Bass
Karl Kendrick – Synth, Backing Vocals
Billy Reeves – Percussion
Allen Beaver – Allen Holcomb’s Dragster

https://www.facebook.com/TELESTRION
https://telestrion1.bandcamp.com/
http://telestrion.net/

Telestrion, Blazing in the Sky (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Avon, The Discussion, Alms, Vessel of Light, Enojado, Mother Mars, Southfork, Gypsy Sun Revival, Valhalla Lights, L.O.W.

Posted in Reviews on April 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

This is the part of each Quarterly Review when I begin to question my life choices. Otherwise known as ‘the beginning.’ I still haven’t decided if this is going to be a five-dayer or a six-dayer, but one way or another, between now and whenever it ends, at least 50 records will be reviewed in batches of 10 per day. It’s completely insane. Completely. Every three months or so I remind myself of this by doing it again, and every time it ends up being worth the insanity. I’ve no doubt that will be the case here as well, but looking across the next five days at placeholders where reviews need to be, well, yeah. It’s pretty insane.

So let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Avon, Dave’s Dungeon

avon daves dungeon

Dave’s Dungeon is the second full-length from Californian desert rockers Avon, and with it they make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds. Peppered with varied songwriting across alternately garage rocking cuts like “Yello,” “On Fire” and “Red Barn” (video premiere here), languid psychedelic excursions in “Space Native” and the subtly proggy “Hero with a Gun,” and the classic desert crunch of “Dungeon Dave,” “Mace Face” and “Terraformations,” the three-piece of vocalist/guitarist James Childs, bassist Charles Pasarell (also Waxy) and drummer Alfredo Hernández (ex-Kyuss, Yawning Man, etc.) have no doubt garnered attention due to the participation of the latter, but all three manage to leave their mark across the 10 tracks, particularly Childs. His English-accented vocals become a defining element in “Hero with a Gun” and “Yello,” and whether fast or slow, the rhythm section offers air-tight accompaniment. Straightforward in their approach but not without some flourish, Avon bring their own touch to the classic desert style and offer memorable songs in the process. Nobody loses.

Avon on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

The Discussion, European Tour EP

The Discussion European Tour Ep 2017

Issued to coincide with an initial string of Fall 2017 European shows, the aptly-titled Tour EP serves as the debut offering from The Discussion, and its five tracks mark the return of guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants, not heard from since the end of her prior outfit, Kylesa. With “A Gesture/Other Side,” Pleasants and company commune with post-rock and atmospheric stretch, where “Like Rain” and “Surf Jesus” channel New Wave and Blondie pop with an underlying heft of low end to add presence. Through it all, Pleasants’ vocals prove a patient and melodic element, and as “Before We’re Gone” brings in a moody krautrock sensibility and finale “Cuts Like a Knife” engages louder and more forward riffing in its final minute payoff, the message that The Discussion has only begun comes through loud and clear. Tour EP sounds like the beginning stages of a larger process of experimentation and creative growth, and one hopes it proves to be precisely that.

The Discussion on Thee Facebooks

The Discussion on Bandcamp

 

Alms, Demo Vol. 1

alms demo vol 1

Modern heavy rock groove meets classic metal guitar on AlmsDemo Vol. 1, which, as it turns out, is more of a sampler than an actual demo, comprised as it is of two rough mixes from the band’s forthcoming debut album. The result of this mesh on “The Offering” and “Dead Water” is somewhere between Uncle Acid swing and Iron Maiden twin lead work, and the five-piece do well immediately to own the combination and make it cohesive sonically. Traditional doom play more of a role in “Dead Water,” and the keys of vocalist Jess Kamen – joined by guitarist/vocalist Bob Sweeney, guitarist Danny McDonald, bassist Andrew Harris and drummer Derrick Hans – and while I don’t know what label it is that’s going to pick them up (I’d believe anyone from Ripple to Shadow Kingdom to Season of Mist, depending on how much they want to tour), but if these two songs are anything to go by, they’ll be lucky to get them.

Alms on Thee Facebooks

Alms on Bandcamp

 

Vessel of Light, Vessel of Light

vessel of light vessel of light

Collaborating between Ohio and New Jersey, Vessel of Light brings together vocalist Nathan Opposition of Ancient VVisdom and guitarist Dan Lorenzo of Hades. Their self-titled five-tracker EP (on Argonauta) melds bluesy metallic riffing with tales of murder and drugs on cuts like “Dead Flesh and Bones” (video premiere here) and its eponymous closer, which emphasizes a hook based around the lines, “LSD has got a hold on me/I wanna show you all the things that I’ve seen.” It goes like that. For Lorenzo, parts recall the groove he brought to short-lived heavy rock outfit The Cursed, but with Opposition’s lyrics and the periodic delving into harsher vocals, there’s a moodier and more aggressive edge to the songs that helps define the personality of the duo as a band. How often they’ll work together remains to be seen, they make a murderous introduction with this EP and there’s plenty of fodder here for further exploration should they get there.

Vessel of Light on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

Enojado, Mist and Thunder

enojado mist and thunder

German trio Enojado was founded by guitarist/vocalist Stephan Kieserling circa 2002, and though he’s been through numerous lineups since, with bassist/vocalist Thomas Schnaube and drummer Till Junker, he’s put together the band’s first release since their 2014 The Chain is Loose LP was issued by Setalight. At under half an hour and six tracks plus an intro, late 2017’s Mist and Thunder offers solid heavy rock songwriting with a straightforward approach bordering on the metallic in its tone but never quite departing a heavy rock context in rhythm, even in the starts and stops of “Notorious.” The obvious standout in heft is the seven-minute “Coma,” which seems to add weight to everything around it, from “The Truth About Gold” earlier to “I Saw the Sun,” which follows, and the finale in “Queen of Heaven,” which brings a quick payoff to the release and leaves a residual echo and drone/guitar minimalism for its last two minutes. Less derivative than it at first seems, Mist and Thunder might take multiple rounds to sink in, but proves worth the effort of a dedicated listen.

Enojado on Thee Facebooks

Enojado on Bandcamp

 

Mother Mars, On Lunar Highlands

mother mars on lunar highlands

It’s kind of rare for a band to sound like they’re making fun of their own music as they play it, and yet, “Lost Planet Airmen” from Mother Mars’ fourth full-length, On Lunar Highlands, does precisely that. The Aussie trio led by multi-instrumentalists Frank (drums, synth, Clavinet) and Paul (guitar, bass, synth, banjo-mandolin, keys) Attard – who also produced together – and featuring the bluesy stylings of vocalist Dave Schembri, did not make the 11-tracker a minor undertaking. Rather, at 69 minutes, it pushes through stoner boogie on “Thought it Best to Cut You Loose” and still has room for heady jams on extended pieces like “The Stalwarts of Stalwart Castle” (9:31), “Woodhollow Green” (12:55) and the penultimate title-track (8:35), which leads to the far-out banjo shenanigans of closer “The Heavy Hand of the Destroyer.” Needless to say, madness ensues. Interludes like “Bean Stalkin’” and “Bean Stalkin’ Again” and the experimental “The Working Mind of the Creator” add anything-can-happen flair, and the weirder On Lunar Highlands gets, the more it satisfies. It gets very, very weird.

Mother Mars on Thee Facebooks

Mother Mars on Bandcamp

 

Southfork, Through a Dark Lens

southfork through a dark lens
Two decades after their founding in 1997, Stockholm’s Southfork returned late last year with their first album since 2001’s Straight Ahead, the seven-track Through a Dark Lens, which itself is nearly five years in the making. Opening with its longest cut (immediate points) in the 7:59 “Already Gone,” the bass-heavy approach the band takes is indeed emblematic of an era now easily thought of as classic, but one could hardly call it dated for that. Rather, tracks like “Into the Deep” and “Tomb of the Mirror Men” flow easily from one to the next and the record reveals in the strut of “Seventosix” and the answer-back closer “Nowhere Gone” just why someone might put almost half a decade of effort into realizing it. Whether you remember Southfork’s original run or not, Through a Dark Lens offers immersive tone and songwriting and as Southfork have already followed it up with what seems to be a compilation release, it may signal a return to fuller activity on their part.

Southfork on Thee Facebooks

Southfork on Bandcamp

 

Gypsy Sun Revival, Journey Outside of Time

Gypsy Sun Revival Journey Outside Of Time

Production by Kent Stump (Wo Fat). Mastering by John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet). Released through Nasoni Records. Sure enough, the second album from Texas heavy psych rockers Gypsy Sun Revival, Journey Outside of Time, wants nothing for the quality of its associations and with the Hendrixian guitar work of Will Weise and the bluesy classic frontman approach of vocalist Mario Rodriguez, they earn that pedigree through and through. Tyler Gene Davis’ contributions on organ only further the ‘70s vibes on “To the Sky” before Weise takes a wah-soaked solo backed by Lee Ryan on bass and drummer Ben H., and the later two-part “Pisces” combines with closer “Departure” to create a thrilling jammed-out side B that takes the more structured craft of “Indigo” and catchy opener “Cadillac to Mexico” earlier and pulls them through an interdimensional haze that only does more to evoke the album’s title. Between Journey Outside of Time and Gypsy Sun Revival’s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), one is left wondering how long we’ll be able to think of them as a well-kept secret of Texas’ fertile heavy underground.

Gypsy Sun Revival on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Valhalla Lights, My Gracious Highway

valhalla lights my gracious highway

There’s a commercial sense of clarity to Valhalla LightsMy Gracious Highway, which seems to have been originally issued by the band in 2016 but is being given a renewed international push. It’s a crisp 13-track/45-minute long-player, marked by solid songcraft and the forward performance of vocalist Ange Saul, who takes the place of departed original singer Phoebe Black, who passed away in 2015 just prior to guitarist George Christie, bassist Brent “Badger” Crysell and drummer Deon Driver – all formerly of heavy rockers FORT – entered the studio to record their debut release. Songs veer toward Queens of the Stone Age-style groove on “Hammer the Witch” and closer “Punk,” and there’s enough variety of mood between the brooding “Beautiful,” showcase centerpiece “The One” and “Darker Side of Love” and the all-go rockers “Rise Above,” “Crucify” and “Someday” to carry the listener through smoothly with an abiding sense of professionalism. Will be too clean for some listeners, but is largely inarguable in its execution.

Valhalla Lights on Thee Facebooks

Valhalla Lights website

 

L.O.W., Bones EP

low bones ep

Located in the northwest of Poland, the acronymic four-piece L.o.W. debut with the Bones EP, which hurls forth three extended works of extreme sludge led into by an atmospheric intro. The band – the lineup of vocalist Adam, guitarist Marek, drummer Witold and bassist Micha? belong to the post-Primitive Man sphere of viciousness, but “Tear Me Open” offers some respite in its closing moments, pulling back on the massive plunder and switching from guttural growls to spoken vocals. With just a touch of Electric Wizard swirl, “Almost Like God’s,” renews the onslaught, offering a break in its middle from the Eyehategod-style sway while saving its most brutal growl for last, and at just under 10 minutes long, the title-track rounds out Bones with bass and drums unfolding a progression soon topped by guitar noise that lets the listener know they’ve just entered another level of punishment. There are moments of impulse toward stonerism that show themselves in Marek’s guitar work, but the primary mission on Bones seems to be assault, and the band has no problem living up to that intent.

L.o.W. on Bandcamp

L.o.W. on Thee Facebooks

 

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The Discussion Announce Inaugural European Tour Dates this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the discussion laura pleasants

Former Kylesa guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants recently announced the formation of a subsequent project, The Discussion, and it seems that she’s diving headfirst into the new band. Though no music has yet to surface from the outfit, which consists thus far of Pleasants alone in the studio but will perform as a live three-piece including bassist Derek Lynch and drummer/sampler Richard Adams, a first live incursion has been announced that’s set to take place over the bulk of Fall 2017 across a considerable swath of Europe.

A band’s first tour covering a span of three months on a route of multiple countries on foreign shores? Some might prefer to test the waters with a weekender here or there, but hitting the road hard is nothing new for Pleasants, who did so for years as a member of Kylesa. And with that band’s increasingly progressive output leading up to their 2015 swansong, Exhausting Fire, which you can hear in full below, I have the feeling I won’t be the only one interested to find out where Pleasants takes The Discussion sound-wise. All the better she’s taking the project out to get it into as many ears as possible.

Dates, many of which are still to be announced, follow here, as posted on the social medias:

the discussion euro tour

The Discussion – European Fall Tour 2017

Updates are happening all the time, so please keep checking with us!

Wed 6/9: Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
Thurs 7/9: Stockholm, SE @ Undergången
Fri 8/9: Gothenburg, SE @ Truckstop Alaska
Sat 9/9 Oslo, NO @ Revolver
Sun 10/9 Copenhagen, DK @ Beta
Mon 11/9 Berlin, DE @ Tiefgrund
Tues 12/9 Leipzig, DE @ AKKO
Wed 13/9 TBC
Thurs 14/9 Vienna, AT @ Das Bach
Sat 16/9 Budapest, HU
Sun 17/9 Belgrade, RS
Thurs 21/9 Sofia, BG
Fri 22/9 Thessalonik, i Greece
Sat 23/9 Athens Greece
Sun 24/9 Ioannina Greece
Thurs 28/9 – 7/10 : ITALY TBA
Sun 8/10 Lyon, FR
Tues 10/10 Barcelona, ES TBC
Wed 11/10 Castellón, ES
Thurs 12/10 Madrid TBC
Fri 13/10 Langreo, Asturias, ES
Sat 14/10 Bilbao, ES TBC
Tues 17/10 Paris, FR TBC
Thurs 19/10 UK TBC
Fri 20/10 UK TBC
Sat 21/10 UK TBC
Sun 22/10 UK Stonehenge
Tues 24/10 Ghent or Antwerp, BE TBC
Wed 25/10 Amsterdam, NL TBC
Thurs 26/10 NL TBC
Fri 27/10 NL TBC
Sat 28/10 Belgium or Germany TBC
Sun 29/10 Belgium or Germany TBC
Tues 31/10 Karlsruhe, DE Dudefest
Wed 1/11 Switzerland TBA
Thurs 2/11 Munich TBC
Fri 3/11 Leanna’s b-day / off
Sat 4/11: TBC Southern Germany

The Discussion is:
Laura Pleasants – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, etc
LIVE:
Richard Adams – Drums, Percussion, Samples
Derek Lynch – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/thediscussion.laurapleasants/
http://www.kylesa.com/

Kylesa, Exhausting Fire (2015)

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Kylesa Set April 22 Release for Live at Maida Vale Studios

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kylesa

I know this is probably the least-relevant measure that’s ever been applied to the band, but I’ll take a Kylesa live performance 150 times before I go see Mastodon. The two groups, who pretty much have in common Georgian lineage and a move from the heavier end of sludge thrust into more progressive and melodically conscious fare — not nothing — aren’t really comparable at this point, with Mastodon having gotten a major label push a significant-enough difference to make them largely apples and oranges and Kylesa pretty much having broken up (at least for now) last year following the release of the apparently-aptly-titled Exhausting Fire through Season of Mist in 2015, but still. I’m just saying. Kylesa were fucking awesome live every time I saw them.

They’ll release Live at Maida Vale Studios on April 22. It’s their fourth outing for Season of Mist, which makes me wonder what the terms of their contract with the label might’ve been after three studio outings in Exhausting Fire, 2013’s Ultraviolet (review here) and 2010’s Spiral Shadow (review here). For some reason, three-album deals and five-album deals seem more likely in my head than four-album deals, which of course Live at Maida Vale Studios would fulfill. Odd.

Okay. Whatever happens with Kylesa in the future, remember they never stopped progressing. PR wire has art and details:

kylesa-live-at-maida-vale-studios

KYLESA release Record Store Day exclusive, “Live at Maida Vale Studios”

Savannah’s genre-defying heavy rock group KYLESA will see the release of ‘Live at Maida Vale Studios’ as part of Record Store Day 2017. ‘Live at Maida Vale…’ captures KYLESA’s February 2014 BBC Radio 1 Rock Show session in its entirety, and has never been commercially available before. The session was recorded with BBC DJ Daniel P. Carter for the BBC program “Rock Show with Daniel P Carter”.

The track list for ‘Live at Maide Vale…’ is:
1. Quicksand
2. Long Gone
3. Don’t Look Back
4. To Forget

‘Live at Maida Vale…’ is a one time pressing of 1500 12″ LPs, 1000 CDs, and 150 cassettes and will be available on April 22 2017 at independent record stores worldwide. A full list of confirmed Record Store Day special releases and more can be found here.

Maida Vale Studios is a complex of seven BBC sound studios in London.The historic set of studios have seen musical performances dating back from 1946 to the present. Past performances have include music from legendary rock icons such as DAVID BOWIE, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX and many more.

KYLESA’s most recent studio release is their critically acclaimed record ‘Exhausting Fire’. ‘Exhausting Fire’, which is available across several CD and LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop. The album is streaming via Bandcamp, and is also available on Spotify.

https://www.facebook.com/KYLESAmusic
https://twitter.com/kylesamusic
https://www.instagram.com/kylesa_band/
https://kylesasom.bandcamp.com/
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=kylesa

Kylesa, Exhausting Fire (2015)

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