Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I guess I didn’t realize that Zoroaster‘s Will Fiore had joined Royal Thunder. Not sure if he features on their new album, Crooked Doors, or not. Going back to when the Atlanta-based outfit recorded last year, he doesn’t seem to be in the studio pictures, but I wouldn’t necessarily rely on that as absolute confirmation. It’s easy to be wrong about this stuff. In any case, his tone is never a bad one to have around, and should do well live alongside Mlny Parsonz‘s bass, Josh Weaver‘s guitar and Evan Diprima‘s drums.
Royal Thunder‘s 2012 Relapse Records debut, CVI, was one of that year’s most celebrated releases, and the band — then a trio — toured hard to support it, so I’d expect no less this time around. The PR wire info below makes some mention of tour dates to follow, and it seems reasonable to think that after the success last time, Royal Thunder will hit it with no letup probably through the end of 2015 and into 2016 before there’s any kind of slowdown. They’ve proven durable enough on the road and will doubtless only be louder with Fiore in tow.
The quickie album announcement follows:
ROYAL THUNDER RETURN WITH CROOKED DOORS ON APRIL 7
“Show us the door that is not crooked but cracked. Which leads us to that open road. Let us walk through that.” – Royal Thunder
Royal Thunder, the female-fronted hard rock quartet whose debut album, CVI, earned praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, Revolver and saw singer Mlny Parsonz land on the cover of Decibel Magazine, release their follow-up full-length, Crooked Doors, on April 7 via Relapse Records.
“It’s been too long,” said the band. “Thanks for being patient with us in delivering this album! We hope you are fond of it. Looking forward to revisiting familiar places and face.”
The eleven-song album was recorded throughout 2014, with principal recording done at Aria Recording Studio in Marietta, GA with producer Joey Jones.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
You’ve probably already seen this news everywhere, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about the fact that Mastodon and Clutch are touring together and that Big Business and Graveyard will switch off in the support role. Some things are just too badass not to post, no matter how ubiquitous they might be.
The tour starts April 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and all that’s really left to wonder is if Clutch‘s new album — which is being recorded this month — will be released by the time the run ends on May 24. Either way, it’s pretty astounding that these two have come together, so I’ll get out of the way and defer to the PR wire, which has dates and details:
MASTODON & CLUTCH JOIN FORCES TO PUMMEL THROUGH THE MISSING LINK TOUR
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD FOR SPRING CO-HEADLINE TOUR
GRAVEYARD WILL SUPPORT / BIG BUSINESS TO SUPPORT WHERE NOTED
Two of the world’s most respected and influential hard rock bands Mastodon and Clutch are proud to announce THE MISSING LINK TOUR, which brings together both bands as they join forces along with special guests Graveyard and Big Business – each taking part of the tour as support.Together, this night of heavy rock will be one of the heaviest and most exciting concert events of the year.
THE MISSING LINK TOUR kicks off on April 16th in St. Paul, MN. with support provided by Big Business, who recently supported Mastodon throughout a sold-out European tour. Sweden’s Graveyard will then take over the main support slot starting in Los Angeles on April 29th for the remaining dates, closing out the tour in Columbus, OH on May 24th. Tickets are on sale now.
Mastodon and Clutch share a longtime friendship as fans will recall Clutch front man Neil Fallon contributed vocals to “Blood And Thunder” (from Mastodon’s 2004’s Leviathan) so fans can expect surprises in store for fans throughout the tour rumbling across North America. THE MISSING LINK TOUR will feature full sets from both Mastodon and Clutch. Clutch will close the show on April 24th in Vancouver, May 10th in Pittsburgh, May 15th in Bethlehem, May 16th in Baltimore and also the final night of the tour, May 24th in Columbus. Mastodon will close all other shows.
Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster had this to say about the tour.”We are very much looking forward to our US tour with our friends in Mastodon. We always enjoy playing live but when we have the opportunity to share the stage with a band as inspiring as Mastodon we know each evening will be that much more special. See ya out there!”
Mark your calendars, as THE MISSING LINK TOUR will roll into Denver’s prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 3rd, and joins the stellar line up for Atlanta’s Shaky Knee’s Festival on May 8th. The New York City show will take over the celebrated Central Park Summer Stage annual concert series on May 19th. General tickets on-sale Friday, January 23rd.
As previously announced, Mastodon have been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for “High Road,” from ONCE MORE ‘ROUND THE SUN. This is the band’s third Grammy nomination. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 8th. Tune into CBS TV.
Revered Maryland rockers Clutch have been pushing the boundaries that define heavy rock music since the 4 original members got together in high school. Clutch is an unmatched musical force that has been best described as “the quintessential American Rock Band”. Clutch released their tenth and latest studio album Earth Rocker via their own label Weathermaker Music on March 16, 2013. The album entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #15 giving the band their highest chart position to date.
Clutch is currently working on their follow up to Earth Rocker which will be released in 2015.
Do not miss THE MISSING LINK TOUR this spring. Confirmed dates are as follows:
*Mastodon Closes The Evening. **Clutch Closes The Evening
Apr 16 *St. Paul, MN Myth Apr 17 * Winnipeg, MB The Burton Cummings Theatre Apr 18 *Saskatoon, SK O’Brian’s Events Center Apr 19 * Edmonton, AB Expo Centre Apr 21 * Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall Apr 23 * Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom Apr 24 **Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom Apr 25 *Portland, OR Roseland Apr 26 *Seattle, WA Showbox SODO Apr 28 *Oakland, CA Fox Theater Apr 29 *Los Angeles, CA Palladium Apr 30 *Tempe, AZ Marquee Theater May 01 *Las Vegas, NV House of Blues May 02 *Salt Lake City, UT The Complex May 03 *Denver, CO Red Rock’s Amphitheatre May 05 *San Antonio, TX Kapone’s Ballroom May 06 *Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom May 08 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees Festival May 09 *Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre Street Stage May 10 **Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE May 12 *Clive, IA (Des Moines) 7 Flags May 13 *Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom Club Stage May 15 **Bethlehem, PA Sands Event Center May 16 **Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion May 17 *Boston, MA House of Blues May 19 *New York, NY Central Park Summerstage May 20 *Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre May 21 *London, ON London Music Hall May 24 **Columbus, OH LC Pavilion
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you’ve ever wondered when you might finally get the chance to see Black Oak Arkansas and Lecherous Gaze on the same bill, behold the Meltasia Music Festival 2014 and its bizarre possum mascot, Melty. The three-day outdoor campout/fest is set for Sept. 5-7 in LaFeyette, Georgia, about two hours outside of Atlanta, and it’s a more eclectic lineup than just those two bands even would lead you to believe, with the likes of Witch Mountain and Danava coming east to join a widely varied group of acts in a range of styles. You (and by you I mean me) might not be into all of it, but the mission is admirable anyway, and a celebration of the weird is something worth noting wherever and whenever it might be happening. Shit, Nik Turner‘s gonna be there. Anywhere that guy goes, it’s news.
In case you’re feeling artsy, Meltasia is currently running a contest on the fest’s Thee Facebooks wherein whoever draws the best version of Melty gets a free three-day pass. I can’t draw, but seems like it might be worth a shot anyhow.
The PR wire offers makeup tips and advice on how to win friends and influence cleverly-named noisepunk bands:
MELTASIA MUSIC FESTIVAL
3 Days and 3 nights of camping & music
September 5th, 6th & 7th
Cherokee Farms, LaFayette Georgia www.meltasia.com
For five years, Andy Animal, (who was described by MTV as the “Wavy Gravy of the Black Lips generation,”) has been throwing an annual private gathering in the Catskill Mountains, called ANDY ANIMAL’S MELTDOWN FUNABRATION. But it maxes out at a few hundred, and the party’s too good to keep under wraps. So Andy’s decided to take his circus down South, with MELTASIA. Get ready for three days of camping, vendors, vintage, swimming, food, beer, bands and bonfires. Because Andy wants to party with you.
Bands: Black Lips, Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Bloodshot Bill, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Cherie Currie, Shannon & The Clams, Black Oak Arkansas, Danava, Vockah Redu, Shazzula, Daddy Long Legs, Biters, The Coathangers, Ice Balloons, Cheap Time, Gringo Star, Apache, Liquor Store, Barreracudas, Witch Mountain, Dinos Boys, Hank Wood & The Hammerheads, Dirty Fences, Predator, Ravi Shavi, GG King, WEATHER WARLOCK, Golden Pelicans, Atlantic Thrills, Lecherous Gaze, Rapturous Grief, Birdcloud, Expo 70, Crazy Spirit Gymshorts, Black Linen, Hedersleben, Manic, JP5, Zoners, Fletcher C Johnson, White Mystery, Bummers Eve, The Mold, The Neighbors, Rattlesnake Milk, Tight Genes, Classholes, Froth, Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel, Dancer, Golden Grass, T3rd, The Wildtones, Ecstatic Vision, GHB, Citizen Blast Kane, Deadly Lo-Fi, The Birdwings, The Golden Grass, The Mumzees, Gorgeous, Cy Barkley & The Way Outsiders, Turf War, Las Rosas, Corners + a few more TBA
DJs Jonathan Toubin (New York Night Train) Cole Alexander (Black Lips) Howie Pyro (ex Danzig, Intoxica Radio) Josh Styles (Daddy Long Legs) + many more
Sponsors and vendors TBA
Nik Turner’s Space Ritual, “Children of the Sun” live in Silverlake, 2013
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
In their ongoing bid to both burl-rock the pants off of everybody in the house and help save the environment — please note: I have no idea that either of those is a stated goal for either band — Atlanta-based outfits Volume IV and Order of the Owl will be carpooling their way north together as they both head to Worcester, MA, to play The Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 on May 4. For Volume IV, they’re out supporting their Ripple Music debut, Long in the Tooth(review/stream here), and Order of the Owl will hit stages boasting a recently-recorded batch of new material that’s likely to see proper release later this year, either by the band itself or through some yet-undisclosed label.
It’s not listed with the rest of the dates below, but Order of the Owl just announced they’ll also be opening for Eyehategod at the Masquerade in Atlanta on May 28 and later in summer, they play the Southern Darkness Fest 2014 on Aug. 23 with ASG, Zoroaster, Pelican, A Storm of Light and more at the Orpheum in Tampa, Florida. Info on that is here.
Dates for the Volume IV and Order of the Owl tour follow, courtesy of the PR wire:
VOLUME IV announce ‘No Sleep till Stoned Goat’ tour with ORDER OF THE OWL
VOLUME IV and ORDER OF THE OWL, two of Atlanta’s ultra-heavy favorites, have announced a co-headline tour/path of destruction in the days leading up to the Eye of the Stoned Goat Festival.
TOUR DATES: 4/29 Johnson City TN @ Hideaway 4/30 Pittsburgh PA @ Garfield Artworks 5/1 Allentown, PA @ Good Weekend 5/2 Buffalo, NY @ The Lair 5/3 Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron 5/4 Worcester, MA @ Ralph’s Rock Diner, (Eye of the Stoned Goat) *5/22 Birmingham, AL @ TBA *5/23 Nashville.TN @ Foobar *5/24 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
Posted in audiObelisk on March 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It was just about a year ago that Atlanta trio Volume IV — who I think it’s safe to say have the best band moniker to come along since Masters of Reality — self-released their self-titled debut EP, compiling four tracks in what save for its cohesiveness might’ve been considered a demo. March 2014 finds them having worked quickly on their first full-length outing, Long in the Tooth, which is out next week on Ripple Music, available now to preorder and based around 10 songs boasting similar heavy rock burl and dudely push, influences from Clutch, C.O.C., early Down and Alabama Thunderpussy showing up in various points filtered through songwriting of consistent quality and marked heft. If you’ve never had a riff stuck in your head for days on end, there’s probably a good deal about what Volume IV have to offer that will be either over (or under) your head, but among the whiskey ‘n’ Sabbath set, a cut like the ’70s motor-shuffling “Wager” is bound to feel just like home.
You might note a twin guitar lead in that one — because when you’re going to do Thin Lizzy, you do it right, goddammit — but Volume IV are indeed a three-piece, made up of guitarist/vocalist Joe Carpenter (ex-Nihilist, and not the Nihilist who became Entombed, but a different Nihilist), bassist Blake Parris and drummer Troy King. They deal volume with gusto enough to crash lesser media players on swaggering jams like “Blackwater” and opener “Looking Low for a High,” but in partially acoustic pieces like “Cabal” and “Save Your Prayers” — which together sandwich the formidable hook of “Awake the Dreamer” — Volume IV show there’s more to their approach than beardo ballsiness, organ on the country-fried “Save Your Servant” adding to the lost-soul overtones in Carpenter‘s delivery. “Save Your Servant” (5:05) and the hey-remember-the-self-titled-Clutch-record easy-rolling groove of “Blackwater” (6:21) are the two longest in Long in the Tooth, but otherwise share little in common, making a conveniently assembled example of the album’s sonic diversity within its bruiser sphere.
That is to say that while the bulk of Volume IV‘s stylistic take could easily ring familiar to heads who’ve been around Southern heavy for a minute, the band has more in mind than copping riffs from Deliverance, though with a lyrical Pulp Fiction reference in tow, “Kong” seems ready with precisely that brand of righteousness. In order to get a feel for the full LP, there’s nothing quite like a complete listen, so ahead of the official March 11 release, I’m happy to be able to host a front-to-back stream of Long in the Toothfor your listening pleasure. Find it on the player below, followed by some info on the limited edition vinyl version, which is awfully pretty:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Less than 100 of these beauts were pressed! Multi-colored vinyl includes 11 x 17 poster, download card and Long In The Tooth CD!!!
With equal parts elegant beauty and steamrolling aggression, Atlanta’s Volume IV serve up a piece of ear candy for the ages with Long In The Tooth. This first release with Ripple Music is a concise thirty-six minute thrill ride of swampy metal heroics, featuring heavy grooves, classic stoner riffs, and an overall impending sense of doom. Led by singer/guitarist Joe Carpenter (Nihilist) and filled out by bassist Blake Parris and drummer Troy King, Volume IV is set to stun the music world with one of the most anticipated releases of the year!
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
When I streamed Order of the Owl‘s In the Noon of the After Dayin 2012 (right here), I felt like I had a decent sense of where the Atlanta trio were coming from on their debut. Boasting former Zoroaster bassist/vocalist Brent Anderson in their ranks with guitarist Casey Yarbrough and drummer Joe Sweat, they hurled forth psychedelic lurch and crusty doom groove that made its business in leaning one side of genre against another while miring the whole thing in an obscure, far-back production. How does that account for a ripper of a track like “Wraith” or the acoustic interlude “Cope?” It doesn’t, and that’s just the point. Some acts simply refuse such easy categorization.
All the more reason to look forward to what Order of the Owl might have in store for their second release. They’re at work on it now in None of Your Business Studios and reportedly have four songs recorded as of this post. Whether that’s the entirety of the project or not, I don’t know, but we’ll probably have a better sense by the time Order of the Owl come north to play The Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 this May in Worcester, Mass.
Until then, here’s a preliminary announcement off the PR wire and the Bandcamp stream of In the Noon of the After Day for a refresher:
Great news for the beaten down and downtrodden!
Atlanta based psych doom riff mongers, ORDER OF THE OWL, have entered None of Your Business Studios with Andrew Wiggins at the helm. They are recording brand new music to follow up their devastating debut, “In the noon of the after day”
The band featuring Brent Anderson (ex-Zoroaster bassist/vocalist), Casey Yarbrough (Guitars/vocals) and Joe Sweat (drums) is also gearing up for an early spring tour that leads them North to play a headlining slot on Eyes Of The Stoned Goat IV in Worcester MA.
Stay tuned for more info/details and also to order their debut…
Posted in Features on August 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Though they’ve been around in one incarnation or another since 2008, you could probably argue that Atlanta sludge metallers Sons of Tonatiuh are still feeling out their mechanics if not their aesthetics. They have two albums out — a 2010 self-titled debut (review here) and 2012’s rousing, Kyle Spence-recorded follow-up, Parade of Sorrow (released on Hydro-Phonic Records) — and over the course of both have shown a propensity for intense pummeling that at times borders on post-metal churn, but through a balance of screams and cleaner vocals establishes an identity of its own. The only holdup for guitarist/vocalist Dan Caycedo has been sorting a lineup with which to deliver said fare.
Over the course of five years, Caycedo has been through three entire rhythm sections — three bassists, three drummers — and a second guitarist. Given that, it’s a wonder Sons of Tonatiuh have been able to get anything out at all. You have to figure it makes sense; sludge doesn’t pay the bills and Caycedo wants to tour as much as his bandmates will allow. It’s a situation that seems to be geared for conflict, but if Caycedo is discouraged, you wouldn’t know it from the hopeful tone in which he speaks of the current incarnation of the band, in which he’s joined by bassist Twitch and drummer Josh. Maybe having the outlet of a song like “Colors Run Red” from Parade of Sorrowis enough to balance it out.
Through it all, Sons of Tonatiuh have managed to keep together a pretty rigorous touring schedule, and as Caycedo continues to settle into working with Twitch and Josh, the band are also putting together a tour for the fall, and recently played with U.S. Christmas and Generation of Vipers in their hometown at 529. That seemed like a good place to start. In the interview that follows, Caycedo gives his impressions of that gig, recounts his hopefully-finished lineup woes, talks about his songwriting process and recording with Spence, who doubles as the drummer in Harvey Milk, being constantly compared to Eyehategod and much more.
Posted in Reviews on May 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Almost nothing is certain, and when it comes to doubly-drummed Georgian progressive sludgers Kylesa, even less than that. Yet when it comes to approaching their sixth full-length and second for Season of Mist, the 11-track Ultraviolet — or really any new Kylesa album — the one thing the listener can be sure of going into it is that it will be a step beyond its predecessor. At this point, I don’t think the band would release a record that wasn’t. Ultraviolet‘s predecessor was 2010’s Spiral Shadow (review here), which changed their course from jagged, crunching sludge to a more smoothed out and progressive sound — a shift that they’d built toward on 2009’s Static Tensions (review here) in some ways but come nowhere near materializing as completely — and one that, as ever, divided their fanbase into those who could get on board and those who couldn’t. This seems to happen on a nearly per-album basis with the Savannah natives.
While we’re talking about expectation, I’d anticipate no less for Ultraviolet in the long run, but Kylesa have never had a problem picking up new fans along the way to fill the spots of those who couldn’t get past one period or another of their ongoing progression; they’ve maintained a reputation as a hard-touring band for years and rightly so. Rooted in the work of guitarists/vocalists Phillip Cope (also theremin and production) and Laura Pleasants, there are consistencies of sound to be heard between full-lengths, and sure enough between Spiral Shadow and Ultraviolet as well, but save for very few moments throughout the latest, the band would be all but unrecognizable to anyone who jumped from 2005’s To Walk a Middle Course or 2006’s Time Will Fuse its Worth right to it, and no doubt that’s the intent: Progress. Joined by drummers Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez and bassist Chase Rudeseal (the latter of whom may or may not have actually played on the recording), Pleasants and Cope have never failed to draw a distinct line from one outing to the next, and though it’s an outgrowth of elements from Spiral Shadow like the pop hook of “Don’t Look Back” or the dreamy ambience underlying “To Forget,” that’s no less true of Ultraviolet than it has ever been.
Single-word titles on five of the 11 cuts on the 39-minute album — namely opening trio “Exhale,” “Unspoken,” “Grounded,” and closing duo “Quicksand” and “Drifting” — would seem to hint at some stripped-down sensibility or simplicity of approach, but the fact is Kylesa have never been so melodically switched on or engaged. Cope and Pleasants trade vocal parts immediately and effectively on the insistently-riffed “Exhale,” chugging distortion creating a jabbing tension topped by call and response shouts before a swirl takes hold that the drums(s) underscore with a thud less frantic than it has been in the past, but still indicative of two players at work. I suppose on a structural level, Ultraviolet‘s opening salvo is somewhat simplified, but the atmosphere becomes more complex as “Unspoken” opens with subdued guitar and a wash of effects, Cope coming in as the song kicks off with a semi-spoken line that Pleasants — whose ascent as a vocalist continues unabated — answers back with layered melodies. The most memorable stretches of Ultraviolet are still to come, but the momentum “Unspoken” helps create and its prog-toned guitar solo in the second half act as a precursor to some of the album’s most intriguing moments, giving way to the familiar winding structure of “Grounded”‘s central riff, readily accessible to anyone who’s followed the post-Mastodon course of Southern US heavy metal, Pleasants handling the verse and Cope taking what probably would be the ensuing chorus if it was ever repeated. Instead, they build on the instrumental for a bit and round out with layers of Pleasants‘ vocals, ending with just her voice to set up the shift to the more thickly toned and aggressive “We’re Taking This.”
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Atlanta sludgers Sons of Tonatiuh have announced a run of shows between now and July that’ll see them sharing stages with Torche, Hooded Eagle and more. Their last album, Parade of Sorrow, came out last year on Hydro-Phonic and was recorded by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk. Their 2010 self-titled debut was reviewed here, and the only bummer about the list of shows is that they’re not coming north again. Maybe next time, but for anyone in the Southeast, dates are below courtesy of the PR wire:
SONS OF TONATIUH: Down-Tuned Sound Savages Announce Spring Tour Dates
Down-tuned sound savages SONS OF TONATIUH will bring their bottom heavy sludge back to the streets this Friday beginning with a show in Atlanta alongside Torche. The band will then writhe its way through the Southeast on a round of weekend shows through July with additional dates to be added in the coming weeks. The tour showcases the band’s new and improved powerhouse lineup of guitarist/vocalist Dan Caycedo and new recruits Twitch on bass and Josh Lomanto on drums.
Comments Caycedo, “The Mayans were wrong… SONS OF TONATIUH are here to show you the way. Through a heavy, dark road of despair and retribution we will pummel our way through the Southeast and beyond with plans to embark on the great big metal bird to the old world, Europe, by the end of 2013. Anyone crazy enough to stand in our way can either join our ranks or have their heads split open from the molten goodness of our tunage. See you on the killing floor.”
SONS OF TONATIUH Tour Dates 2013 5/10/2013 529 – Atlanta, GA w/ Torche 5/11/2013 The Atlantic – Gainesville, FL w/ Hot Graves 5/12/2013 Burro Bar – Jacksonville, FL 5/24/2013 Slim’s Downtown – Raleigh, NC w/ Old Codger (ex-Man Will Destroy Himself) 5/25/2013 Reggie’s 42nd St Tavern – Wilmington, NC 6/01/2013 Star Bar – Atlanta, GA w/ Degradations (ex-Withered) 6/07/2013 The Jinx – Savannah, GA w/ Humungous 6/08/2013 Tin Roof – Charleston, SC w/ Hooded Eagle 7/20/2013 529 – Atlanta, GA 7/21/2013 The Owl Farm – Nashville, TN 7/22/2013 Poison Lawn – Knoxville, TN
SONS OF TONATIUH will be touring in support of their current full-length Parade Of Sorrow issued via Hydro-Phonic Records last Summer.
Posted in On the Radar on April 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
They call it an EP, but the self-titled debut release from Rossville, Georgia, duo Alabama Church Fire tops 39 minutes, so it’s pretty much an album from where I sit. Let’s compromise on “demo.” That categorization may be up for debate, but what comes through much clearer is an rich affection for the tenets of Southern sludge. The seven-track affair makes an immediate show of its overarching tonal weight with “Smokevision,” a plodding riffer that sets guitarist/bassist/vocalist Chris Lamb and drummer/vocalist Jerry Wooldridge to work showing Stars ‘n’ Bars — turns out it’s both: history and racism! — and pot leaves in kind in an underproduced wash of stoner distortion.
What sets Alabama Church Fire‘s Alabama Church Fireapart, then? The creepy atmosphere that pervades. Recorded differently, I don’t know that there’d be much throughout the demo to distinguish the twosome from a lot of the post-Down II Southern riffers — certainly a cut like “Definifiniliate” draws on that influence — but as it stands, the muddiness in Lamb and Wooldridge‘s presentation gives the whole release a sense of malevolence even apart from its heaviness, so that the standalone guitar on “Trainsong” that Woodridge meets with far-back plod issues an indirect threat before it fades out about two-thirds of the way through the track, giving way to mournful and metallic guitar and bass contemplations upon return.
Covers of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Creedence Clearwater Revival close out, the former becoming a minimalist acoustic ballad and the latter slowing down and beefing up an already dark arrangement and stretching past nine and a half minutes as the longest track Alabama Church Fire have on offer. The multiple vocal layers — not sure if it’s Lamb and Wooldridge or just one of them recorded twice — bode well for future experiments the outfit might try, as does the meld of acoustic and hairy, distorted guitars, and if they can keep the buried-alive ambience they elicit here while continuing to develop these ideas, it’s easy to see them growing into something vicious down the line.
For now, the demo has its ups and downs, but gives some notion of where Alabama Church Fire might be headed. Check out the clip below for “Smokevision” to get a feel:
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Bringing with them the diverse bill of mystic doomers Blood Ceremony, cult psych heroes White Hills, and Atlanta-based instrumental spazzoids Lazer/Wulf, Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa are starting what will most likely be a lengthy tour cycle in support of their new album, Ultraviolet. Expected May 28 on Season of Mist, Ultraviolet is Kylesa‘s first record of new material since 2010’s Spiral Shadow, which saw them greatly expand their melodic reach and progressive sensibilities.
As much as I’ve been looking forward to hearing the LP, Kylesa have always been an excellent live act, so it’ll be great to catch the Ultraviolet songs in-person as well. The PR wire has info and the rather considerable list of dates:
KYLESA ANNOUNCE SPRING TOUR
ULTRAVIOLET PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW
Kylesa kick off their first North American tour in support of Ultraviolet (May 28, Season of Mist) on May 10 in Gainesville, Fla. at the High Dive.
“It’s been a while since we’ve done a headlining tour in the US or Canada,” explained singer/guitar player Laura Pleasants, referring to the near two-year gap since the Savannah band’s last run. “We are looking forward to doing a proper tour supporting Ultraviolet. It will be good to see friends and fans (old and new) and hit these once familiar landscapes again. “
Spin premiered “Quicksand,” a new song from the 11-track album, earlier this week (http://www.spin.com/articles/kylesa-quicksand-ultraviolet-stream) describing the song “joins the melodies of ‘90s shoegaze with the churn of modern sludge.” Ultraviolet pre-orders are available now via Season of Mist’s e-shop (http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/predefined-search/37879).
Tour dates: April 19 Savannah, GA The Dollhouse (Free show) May 10 Gainesville, FL High Dive May 11 Orlando, FL Backbooth May 12 Miami, FL Churchhill’s May 13 Tampa, FL The Orpheum May 15 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s May 16 Houston, TX Walters May 17 Dallas, TX Trees May 18 Austin, TX Mohawk May 20 Albuquerque, NM Blackwater May 21 Denver, CO Marquis Theater May 22 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge May 24 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst May 25 San Francisco, CA Slim’s May 27 Portland, OR Star Theater May 28 Seattle, WA Chop Suey May 29 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl May 31 Calgary, AB Dickens June 1 Regina, SK The Exchange June 2 Winnipeg, MB The Pyramid June 3 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club June 4 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s Oasis June 5 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge June 6 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme June 7 St. Louis, MO The Firebird June 8 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups June 9 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies June 11 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace June 12 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s June 13 Montreal, QC Il Motore June 14 Brooklyn NY Northside Fest (Music Hall of Williamsburg) June 15 Albany, NY Bogie’s June 16 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs June 18 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts June 19 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel June 20 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall June 21 Atlanta, GA The Earl June 22 Savannah, GA The Jinx
Opening for Kylesa will be Blood Ceremony, White Hills and Lazer/Wulf. “I think the package will deliver the goods as well; a little mix in the stew for everyone who digs our sound,” commented Pleasants. Tickets are available next week.
Considering that Atlanta trio Zoroaster‘s third album, 2010’s Matador (review here), followed about 16 months after their second, 2009’s Voice of Saturn (review here), a three-year break before a follow-up to their E1 Music debut seems like kind of a long stretch. Granted, in that time, the band had to replace a third of its lineup in switching out Brent Anderson — whose subsequent band, Order of the Owl, released their In the Noon of the After Day last year (streaming here) — for Mike Morris, and they did plenty of touring for Matador with Morris on board (reviews here and here), but even so, they’re about due for a new one.
It’s encouraging, then, to see Zoroaster in the studio putting together demos for a fourth album, and hopefully it won’t be too long before one materializes. The audio here boasts some of the most complex melodies I’ve ever heard from the band, so for still being in the beginning stages, they seem like they’re off to a good start.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
This one should be interesting. It’s been three years since Savannah, Georgia, metallers Kylesa released Spiral Shadow (review here), their first album for Season of Mist and easily their most progressive outing to date, pushing their intricate, dually-drummed arrangements further than ever while also showing periodic affinity for a strong pop chorus. What will Ultraviolet bring three years later? As I haven’t yet had a second to check out the new track “Unspoken” via the link below, I haven’t the foggiest, but with this as the first word that the album is coming May 28, I’m excited to find out.
One thing about Kylesa records though is that no two are ever the same. Not knowing what to expect only makes it more fun.
The PR wire takes it from here:
Kylesa is set to release Ultraviolet, one of the most anticipated hard rock releases of the year and the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album Spiral Shadow, on May 28 via Season of Mist (May 24 in Europe).
“Whereas Spiral Shadow was a warm album suggesting concepts of hope, Ultraviolet is a bit colder and darker,” explains songwriter/guitar player Laura Pleasants. “All of our studio albums have their own unique identity and we’ve always been a band who strives for something different than what current fads suggest. With Ultraviolet, we took a step inward and wrote music that we felt we had to write; this album centers around the multiple themes of loss and you can feel it in the music. Everyone goes through it during their lifetime and this record reflects that experience.”
The Savannah-based quintet recorded Ultraviolet at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC with the band’s guitar player/songwriter, and sought-after producer, Phillip Cope (Baroness, Black Tusk) once again overseeing production.
Kylesa released a rarities collection in November titled “From The Vaults, Vol. 1,” which featured unreleased, new and alternate versions of songs spanning the band’s catalogue as well as one new song titled “End Truth.” Cope and Pleasants spent over a year going through their archives preparing the release.
Kylesa will return to the road in May with more details forthcoming.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 11th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Atlanta-based sludgers Sons of Tonatiuh released their second album, Parade of Sorrow, in June on Hydro-Phonic Records, and to follow up an East Coast run they did over the summer, they’re headed west to take part in the Southwest Terror Fest in Tuscon, Arizona, next week (more info here) and share the stage with a slew of other cool bands before and after. The tour starts tonight with a house show in Tennessee, as all great tours must.
Check out the dates and further info-matics below:
SONS OF TONATIUH Fall Tour Kicks Off TODAY!
Following a short run of live dates at the close of the Summer, SONS OF TONATIUH will again bring their slow-roasted sludge sorcery to the stage as the Parade Of Sorrow Tour 2012 lives on! Set to commence October 11, 2012 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the band will drag their audio ruckus through 15 cities including a stop on the Southwest Terror Fest, a two-day auditory assault organized by Arizona sludge terrorists Godhunter.
SONS OF TONATIUH unearthed their Parade Of Sorrow full-length through Hydro-Phonic Records this Summer. Recorded in Athens, Georgia by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk, the record continues to harvest praise from fans and critics alike for its raw, angst-stricken method of dirge.
SONS OF TONATIUH Tour 2012: 10/11/2012 Frankie Avalon Place (house show) – Murfreesboro, TN w/ Sovereign 10/12/2012 Cusammanos – St. Louis, MO w/ Jack Buck, Everything Went Black, Rowsdower 10/13/2012 The Lightbulb Club – Fayetteville, AR w/ Dirtmother, Dying, Crankbait 10/14/2012 Jackpot Muisc Hall – Lawrence, KS 10/15/2012 Aqualungs – Denver, CO w/ In the Company of Serpents, Western Ritual 10/16/2012 Burt’s Tiki Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Nevertanezra, Athena Score 10/17/2012 Yayo Taco – Las Vegas, NV 10/18/2012 The Shakedown – San Diego, CA w/ Pigeonwing, Hull 10/19/2012 Blue Cafe Underground – Long Beach, CA w/ Spilth*!%, Hull, Pigeonwing 10/20/2012 Southwest Terror Fest @ The Rock Club – Tucson, AZ w/ Pigeonwing, 16, Hull [INFO] 10/21/2012 The Lovesprout – El Paso, TX w/ Communion of Thieves, Resin Cum 10/22/2012 Headhunter’s – Austin, TX w/ VBT, Bearded Ox, Prison Moon 10/23/2012 Toppers – Watauga, TX w/ Enormicon, Diseased 10/24/2012 Bucaneer – Memphis, TN 10/28/2012 5 Spot – Atlanta, GA w/ Hull, Mortals, Order of the Owl
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t know about you, but for me, the news that Savannah, Georgia, progressive sludgers Kylesa will release a new collection called From the Vaults Vol. 1 begs more questions than it answers. I mean, I didn’t know Kylesa had vaults. How many vaults do they have? Are they man-sized like Dick Cheney‘s was? What do they keep in them? Are they room temperature or refrigerated?
While we wait for the answers to those questions and one or two others, here’s this from the PR wire:
Kylesa Rarities Collection, From The Vaults, Vol. 1, Set For Nov. 20 Release Via Season Of Mist
Twelve-Song Release Features One New Song, Previously Unreleased And Alternate Versions Of Songs From Band’s Catalogue
Kylesa is set to release From The Vaults, Vol. 1, a twelve-song collection featuring unreleased, new and alternate versions of songs spanning their catalogue including one entirely new song (“End Truth“) as well as the band’s legendary cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” on Nov. 20 (Nov. 16 in Europe).
“This project has been a labor of love,” explained guitarist/singer/producer Phillip Cope. “We have spent over a year going through old songs, covers, etc. and collected those we felt went well together; remixing and finishing them up. We didn’t want to release something just thrown together so we put a lot of thought and time into it. I am really happy about how this came together. I think it is a good representation of Kylesa’s different styles from early on to present day.”
The Savannah-based band recently wrapped up a European tour, which included stops at the Wacken Open Air and Area 4 Festivals, and will enter the studio to begin work on a new album for 2013. Kylesa’s most recent release, 2010’s Spiral Shadow, was revered by fans and critics alike as a “record that trashes everything you might expect from the genre” (Pitchfork) and is “as sweaty as a south Georgia summer” (Spin). Singer/guitarist Laura Pleasants was recently featured on the cover of Decibel Magazine‘s inaugural Women in Metal issue.
From The Vaults, Vol. 1 track listing: 1. Intro ** 2. Inverse ** 3. 111 Degree Heat Index *** 4. Between Silence and Sound II *** 5. Paranoid Tempo ** 6. End Truth * 7. Bottom Line II *** 8. Wavering ** 9. Bass Salts ** 10. Drained ** 11. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun ** 12. Drum Jam **
* New ** Previously unreleased/limited availability *** Alternate Version