Black Tusk Releasing Pillars of Ash Jan. 29; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black tusk

The forthcoming Pillars of Ash by Savannah, Georgia, trio Black Tusk represents their final recorded work with bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon, who passed away a year ago following a motorcycle accident. The hard-touring outfit — who’ve since recruited Corey Barhorst, formerly of Kylesa and who just released a new record called Heading East (review here) with his other band, Niche, as their third member — will no doubt hit the road in the New Year to support the new album, but preorders are up now and nothing has yet been announced for shows.

Jan. 29 is the release date, Relapse is the label, Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust the producer. Details and the new song “God’s on Vacation” follow from the PR wire:

black tusk pillars of ash


Savannah, GA’s Black Tusk have established themselves as one of the hardest working bands in rock since their formation over 10 years ago. After four full-lengths, numerous splits and EP’s and thousands of shows under their belts, the punk/metal power trio was faced with an immense and unexpected tragedy in late 2014 when founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon passed away after a motorcycle accident in his hometown. Now, as a testament to his profound and lasting legacy on the heavy music scene, the band are releasing Pillars of Ash, their final recordings with Athon, on January 29th, 2016 via Relapse Records. Recorded with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind behind the boards and featuring gorgeous artwork by Jeremy Hush (Skeletonwitch, Rwake), Pillars of Ash is the culmination of three brothers-in-arms’ blood, sweat and tears, and is Black Tusk’s finest accomplishment to date.

Formed in 2005 by Athon, guitarist Andrew Fidler and drummer James May, Black Tusk hit the ground running and toured relentlessly on their first EP, When Kingdoms Fall. They kept up a manic pace, recording two more demos (2006’s untitled demo and 2007’s The Fallen Kingdom). Hyperrealist signed on to release their debut LP, 2008’s Passage Through Purgatory, and 2009 saw them churn out a trio of splits with the likes of The Holy Mountain, ASG, and Fight Amp. Soon after, the band signed to Relapse and formed a partnership that lasts to this day, first collaborating on their 2010 breakthrough Taste the Sin and then on their highly ¬anticipated 2011 follow up, Set the Dial. Since then, Black Tusk have released a pair of EP’s—2013’s Tend No Wounds and the digital¬-only 2014 EP Vulture’s Eye—and kept pounding the pavement in the United States, Europe, and the UK alongside bands like Red Fang, Kvelertak, Down, Municipal Waste, Fu Manchu, Inter Arma, Intronaut, and so many others, as well as being hand¬picked to appear on Metallica’s Orion Festival in 2012.

In 2014, Black Tusk hit the studio with their old friend and accomplished audio engineer, Joel Grind, to work on Pillars of Ash. Before they could get their new record into stores and jump back up in their big white tour van, though, the band suffered a setback beyond what most could even imagine. In November, mere weeks before the band was due to kick off their biggest tour yet, Athon was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Several days later, on November 9, 2014, he passed away at the age of 31, leaving behind hundreds of friends, family members, and his beloved dog Cutter as well as his brothers in Black Tusk. Support poured in from fans, friends, and fellow musicians from around the world; stunned, Andrew and James laid down their instruments and tried to process the loss. For a few weeks, the band’s future was uncertain, but ultimately, the remaining duo made the difficult decision to soldier on and carry on in Athon’s memory. Athon himself could have chosen no better successor than Corey Barhorst, a longtime friend and veteran musician who heads up his own project, Niche, and previously held down the low end for Kylesa. Barhorst initially joined the band as a live member in time for their European tour with Black Label Society, but after that, was welcomed into the fold as a full-blooded member of Black Tusk.

Black Tusk have lived through the kind of hardship and heartbreak that would cripple a lesser band, but it’s that dedication, gumption, and pure bullheaded stubbornness that’s taken them around the world and as far away from the lacey Spanish moss and sweltering streets of Savannah than any of them could’ve dared dream.

Look for Pillars of Ash to be available January 29th, 2016 and stay tuned for more news coming soon.

Pillars of Ash, track listing:
1. God’s On Vacation
2. Desolation of Endless Times
3. Bleed on Your Knees
4. Born of Strife
5. Damned in the Ground
6. Beyond the Divide
7. Black Tide
8. Still Not Well
9. Walk Among the Sky
10. Punk Out
11. Leveling

Black Tusk, “God’s on Vacation”

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Niche Premiere “When I’m Gone” from Heading East

Posted in audiObelisk on November 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

niche (photo by Andrew Von Goellner)

The prevailing vibe is vibe, and the vibe is its own excuse for vibing. In the first 20 seconds of their third album, Heading East, Savannah, Georgia’s Niche offer a glimpse at Thin Lizzy meeting up with Queen for summertime harmonies. Plus heavy. Plus Mellotron. Really, it’s the kind of launch that so immediately soothes, there’s little to do but throw up your hands and admit to yourself you’re hooked for the duration. Fortunately, Niche do not disappoint from there. Instead, they build on the pastoral feel with liberal doses of organ and a persistence of melody that comes not in contrast to tonal or rhythmic weight, but in collusion with it.

Dual-guitar leads from Justin Dick (also vocals) and Kristopher Maedke-Russell (also also vocals) ring through a crisp classic heavy rock dogwhistle to those clued in to the aforementioned Irish pioneers, but with the organ/key work of Corey Barhorst and the fluid rhythms of bassist Michael Redmond and drummer Lee Vallier, a song like “When I’m Gone” digs into its own creative space, sounding rich but not overcooked as it meanders through an extended instrumental jam in which all five parties involved take advantage of an opportunity to shine. “When I’m Gone” is one of two longer (over eight-minute) inclusions on Heading East — they’re arranged one per side; the other is closer “Days to Come” at 9:21 — and as far out as it goes, it leaves room to come back to the chorus at the end, Niche keeping songwriting at the fore even as they deliver highlight performances.

“On Down the Line” is a reminder of how Steely Dan‘s hits happened, an niche heading eastinviting vocal arrangement at the forefront, but like with the guitars of “Exiled to Islands,” Barhorst‘s keys do much to enrich the proceedings. Barhorst is a former Kylesa bassist (currently also in Black Tusk), and Heading East was recorded by that band’s Philip Cope at The Jam Room in Colombia, South Carolina, and released on Kylesa‘s Retro Futurist Records imprint, but there’s little sonic comparison between the two to be made. Niche‘s sound is progressive in its way, but the earthy psychedelia they exude as “On Down the Line” Mellotrons its way toward the conclusion of side A is geared toward establishing an organic, classic-styled flow.

And while vinyl is the clear intent in the album’s structure, “Sweet Dear Anne” picks up with a logical continuation of the spirit of “On Down the Line,” moving into even more peaceful stylizations, reminiscent of some of what Night Horse did on their second record in terms of patience with a core of memorable craftsmanship behind it, but the pace gets a boot in the second half and that sets up “Tough and Mean” still to come. They never go so far as to start issuing threats, but Niche get a big thicker on the six-track offering’s penultimate cut, shifting from the quiet final measures of “Sweet Dear Anne” into a swell of lead guitar and cymbal wash that builds over the course of its first minute into the bed for a proto-metallic chug. They’re still having a good time, but the mood is a discernible turn from the song preceding, and in true side B fashion, it expands the context of the album overall, even as it underscores a lot of what has tied the whole release together in a toss-off reference to “the boys” as it winds to its ending.

Somewhat grander in its purposes, “Days to Come” closes out more in a classic prog vein, the early vocal melody in league with late-period Hypnos 69 likely by coincidence, but still, and seems less of a mind to provide a summary of what’s come before it than to expand on it with something even more lush. The one works just as well as the other might, honestly, given how in control of their sound Niche have been all along. The essential difference between “When I’m Gone” and “Days to Come” is that the closer doesn’t make that return to the verse, instead thrusting into more open spaces on propulsive soloing in an entirely instrumental second two-thirds that builds in pace and energy until an inevitable big rock finish brings “the set” to a close. Even in that moment, Niche remain wholesome, and if the last 15 seconds or so of their record is a bit of an indulgence, it’s one well-earned by Heading East‘s 38 minutes prior.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “When I’m Gone” from Heading East as a track premiere. Please find it on the player below, followed by more about the record from the PR wire, and enjoy:

With two previous self-released albums under their belt — So Be It and The Other Side Of The End, which were both recorded by their good friend Chris Adams — in December 2014, NICHE went to The Jam Room in Colombia, South Carolina to record their third album with longtime friend Phillip Cope of Kylesa at the helm of producing the album, the first release with their current lineup. Titled Heading East, the album catapults six new tracks with nearly forty minutes of mega rich, perfectly hazy, psychedelically-induced classic rock fueled and jacked-up for modern times, completed with beautiful, kaleidoscopic artwork by Samantha Muljat.

Offers NICHE’s Michael Redmond about the new release, “The music scene in Savannah has always been a family to me; we work, play, live, love, cry and party together. We help and support each other. I could not be happier that something I’m so proud of will be released by friends and musicians here in Savannah.”

Heading East will see release through Retro Futurist on digital and CD November 13th with a vinyl pressing to follow in early 2016.

12/11/2015 The Jinx – Savannah, GA w/ Caustic Casanova

Niche on Thee Facebooks

Niche on Bandcamp

Retro Futurist Records website

Retro Futurist on Bandcamp

Retro Futurist on Thee Facebooks

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Stars that Move, Stars that Move: Holding a Gaze

Posted in Reviews on September 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

stars that move stars that move

The self-titled debut full-length from Georgian trio Stars that Move is a richly stylistic and still somewhat understated affair. To explain: tonally, in its classic swing and garage-buzz presentation, topped off with stare-at-it-long-enough-and-lose-your-mind artwork by David Paul Seymour, the eight-track offering is clear in its aesthetic intent. Touches of cult rock pervade songs like “The Blue Prince” and “She that Rules the King,” but that’s not necessarily the entirety of the band’s context. More pivotal to the experience of the album than any thematic leaning in the lyrics are the swaying rhythms that take hold with opener “I Hold a Gaze” and remain firmly in place leading to the spaciousness of closer “Burning in Flames.”

Both the opener and the closer, as well as “The Blue Prince,” “She that Rules the King” and the penultimate acoustic interlude “No Evil Star” were included on Stars that Move‘s earlier-2015 Demo Songs EP (review here) in what may well have been the same recordings. Likewise, the Black Sabbath cover “A National Acrobat” that serves (“No Evil Star” notwithstanding) as the centerpiece of the album, was previously issued as a digital single, but if the full-length was compiled from past recordings, its sound is consistent and its flow uninterrupted. All of this, and it’s still fair to call Stars that Move “somewhat understated,” as above, because it’s only 25 minutes long. In fact, the only song that touches the four-minute mark is the Sabbath cover, and for the rest of what the three-piece of vocalist Elisa Maria, guitarist Richard Bennett and drummer Frank Sikes create, the core structures are so straightforward and traditional that, while stylistically elaborate, they retain a wide accessibility. A catchy song is a catchy song.

Stars that Move have plenty of them. Bennett and Sikes both being members of underrated stoner-doomers Starchild — also not shy about covering Sabbath in their day, or Sleep — one might expect tonal overload, but that’s not what this band is about. The upshot of “I Hold a Gaze” and “The Blue Prince” one into the next is that a lot of the impression is left to Maria to carry, but between her layering and the grit in Bennett‘s guitar, which, as anyone who ever heard Starchild can tell you is not an accident — he is someone who has given considerable thought and effort to crafting a tone — the initial vibe of Stars that Move feels somewhat derived from Uncle Acid but working in its own vein as well.

stars that move

“From East to West,” which follows, is one of two songs not traced to a prior outing — either Demo Songs or the Jan. 2015 No Evil Star EP — the other being “The Hidden Hand,” which arrives after “A National Acrobat,” and has more bounce than swing, but ultimately works in a similar mindset, though Maria‘s vocals come through less layered and more distinct. The same could be said of “The Hidden Hand,” but that song is even further distinguished by the open groove of its chorus and psychedelic lead-work that emerges in the second half, less directly Iommic than that of “The Blue Prince,” though whether that’s a result of actually being newer or just something easily read into the narrative of what I know about the recordings, I couldn’t say. Either way, “A National Acrobat” between them, they seem to stand out all the more, though I won’t take anything away from Stars that Move‘s version of the Sabbath classic or how well the trio adapt it to their own aesthetic. Maria even adds the Ozzy laugh “Ha-ha!” as it swirls toward the end, though ultimately its Bennett whose performance proves the most striking in taking on such broadly identifiable solos.

It is short, true, but Stars that Move is likewise hypnotic, and while the cover will be somewhat jarring on a first listen through if only because it’s likely the audience will know the original version, “The Hidden Hand” restores the trance with its interlaced leads and start-stop riffing, resulting in what’s to that point the most psychedelic push yet. That might make “She that Rules the King” a return to earth, but the hook retains some airiness amid the strutting central riffs, and so the vibe once again is maintained leading to “No Evil Star” — which appeared both on Demo Songs and as the intro to the EP that shared its name; “Burning in Flames” followed on both releases as well — perhaps no less Sabbathian than the cover for its “Laguna Sunrise”-style feel and thoughtful acoustic strum.

No question as to why “Burning in Flames” would be paired with it across three separate offerings: it works. Also based around acoustic guitar, the finale of the album is also its most atmospheric cut and hits its mark around the lines, “We are the world/Burning in flames,” delivered in Maria‘s most confident declaration here, even if it is the prior recording repurposed. It’s a quiet finish to Stars that Move, but effective, and even it gives some hint at where and how the band might develop moving forward. Because of its quick runtime, I’d almost be tempted to say it’s an EP, but the flow Stars that Move pull off across the span is unmistakable in its aim, and though brief, they deliver a long-player feel and a deceptively broad scope in these tracks, while also establishing a foundation from which to work going into whatever they do next and staking an aesthetic claim that finds them cohesive in sound and approach and varied enough to work in a range of moods. To call it anything other than a successful first album would be denying it its due.

Stars that Move, Stars that Move (2015)

Stars that Move on Thee Facebooks

Stars that Move on Bandcamp

Stone Groove Records on Bandcamp

Twin Earth Records

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Kylesa to Release Exhausting Fire on Oct. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Yeah, yeah, Kylesa have a new album coming, that’s very cool. Look at that frickin’ list of tour dates! Kylesa don’t need to be touring like that at this point. I mean, there are breaks in there, but if they wanted, the Savannah, Georgia, outfit could probably take it down a little bit in terms of the road work. People know who they are, have a pretty good idea of what they do — as much as one can as regards Kylesa from one album to the next — so it’s not like they’re going door-to-door-punk-rock spreading the word two ears at a time. Point is it looks like a lot of shows. I guess they’ve found a way to make it sustainable. Not everyone does.

And while the album title Exhausting Fire — which is the follow-up to 2013’s Ultraviolet (review here) — doesn’t do much to capture the energy they bring to the stage, no doubt it will prove of its own merit, Kylesa having yet to stagnate in what seems a creative progression as unrelenting as their touring cycle.

The PR wire brings album details, tour dates and the new song “Lost and Confused” for previewy enjoyment:

kylesa exhausting fire

KYLESA announce new album, ‘Exhausting Fire’

Savannah’s genre-defying quintet KYLESA have announced a new album titled ‘Exhausting Fire’, to be released by Season of Mist on Oct. 2. The band are streaming the first track from the new record titled “Lost and Confused.” Pre-orders for ‘Exhausting Fire’ will be available across several CD and LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

Regarding the new album, KYLESA vocalist/guitarist Phil Cope comments: “‘Exhausting Fire’ is an album we really put our hearts on our sleeves for. We’ve always done that, but emotionally, it’s probably the most honest and raw album we’ve ever done.”

Guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants continues, “No band sounds like us and we don’t sound like any other band. After all these years of experimenting with different styles and sounds, we’ve really developed our own thing and I can faithfully say that we sound like us. With this album, we’ve successfully made a record that incorporates all the elements we’ve always played with into a record that works on its own.”

The album artwork and track list for ‘Exhausting Fire’ can be found below:

Track List:
1. Crusher
2. Inward Debate
3. Moving Day
4. Lost and Confused
5. Shaping The Southern Sky
6. Falling
7. Night Drive
8. Blood Moon
9. Growing Roots
10. Out Of My Mind
11. Paranoid (bonus track)

KYLESA have announced a tour across the U.S. The tour, which begins on August 29 sees the band traveling throughout August and September, before concluding in Seattle on November 22.

KYLESA tour dates:
8/29 Durham, NC @ Motorco
8/31 Charlottesville, Va @ The Southern
9/1 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
9/2 Montreal, QC @ Cafe Campus
9/3 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club Theater
9/4 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
9/5 St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
9/6 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
9/7 Augusta, GA @ Sky City
10/6 St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
10/7 Miami, FL @ Grand Central
10/8 Orlando, FL @ The Social
10/9 Savannah, GA @ Jinx
10/10 Asheville, NC @ New Mountain
10/13 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
10/14 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
10/16 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
10/17 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
10/19 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
10/20 Philadelphia, PA @ Black Box @ Underground Arts
10/23 Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
10/24 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
10/25 Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
11/6 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
11/7 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
11/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
11/10 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
11/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
11/13 Austin, TX @ Red 7
11/14 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/15 Dallas, TX @ The Prophet Bar
11/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
11/18 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/19 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
11/20 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
11/21 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11/22 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
11/6 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
11/7 Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater
11/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Filmore
11/10 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
11/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
11/13 Austin, TX @ Red 7
11/14 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/15 Dallas, TX @ Prophet Bar
11/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
11/18 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/19 Salt Lake City UT @ The Complex
11/20 Boise, ID @ Neurox
11/21 Portland, OR @ Hawthrone Theater
11/22 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile

Kylesa, “Lost and Confused”

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Sons of Tonatiuh Post New Track; East Coast Tour Starts Wednesday

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sons of tonatiuh

One assumes a “Skull File” is the cabinet in which one keeps one’s meticulously organized collection of skulls. It’s also the name of the new song posted by Atlanta sludgers Sons of Tonatiuh, who will head out on an East Coast tour this Wednesday. Recorded in 2013, “Skull File” will also feature on their to-be-tracked third album, which presumably they’ll put to tape before heading abroad this fall, a run for which the tour dates have yet to be revealed.

Actually, we don’t know much about the album yet either. I’d say Sons of Tonatiuh were playing it close to the chest, but on the other hand, they’re letting people hear rough versions of new songs — they’re not calling it a demo, so I won’t either — months ahead of the album on which they’ll later appear. So you know, give and take.

The PR wire has it like this:

sons of tonatiuh tour

SONS OF TONATIUH: Atlanta Sludge Faction To Kick Off East Coast Live Invasion Wednesday; Unreleased Track Posted

This Wednesday, the sludge slingers in SONS OF TONATIUH will quake the stages of eleven venues on their latest jaunt of live debauchery. Scheduled to embark this Wednesday on their home turf of Atlanta at 529, the band will make their way North and back again, playing several locales they’ve yet to punish, with the tour coming to a close on June 27th in Raleigh. Bring ear plugs.

SONS OF TONATIUH recently unveiled the diseased fruits of unreleased track, “Skull File,” for public intoxication. The scathing hymn was tracked at a home studio in Atlanta in the Fall of 2013 with engineering band acquaintance, Ben Martin, and serves as a precursor to the recording of their full-length, slated to begin this Summer. Their as-yet-untitled third offering will include a re-recorded version of “Skull File,” as well as seven brand new tracks of slow-roasted wrath and desolation.

6/17/2015 529 – Atlanta, GA w/ Rapturous Grief, Waste Layer
6/18/2015 The Milestone – Charlotte, NC w/ From the Gun
6/19/2015 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA w/ Backwoods Payback
6/20/2015 O’Brien’s Pub – Boston, MA w/ Finisher
6/21/2015 Lucky 13 – Brooklyn, NY
6/22/2015 My Place Pizza – Poughkeepsie, NY
6/23/2015 The Hoyt House – Buffalo, NY
6/24/2015 The Smiling Mouse – Pittsburgh, PA
6/25/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA w/ Repellers
6/26/2015 Guido’s – Frederick, MD
6/27/2015 Slim’s Downtown – Raleigh, NC w/ Squall

Sons of Tonatiuh, “Skull File”

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Sons of Tonatiuh Touring East Coast in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sons of tonatiuh

Atlanta sludge crushers Sons of Tonatiuh will hit the East Coast for 11 shows in 11 nights starting June 17. The trio, who also toured in Japan last year, are set to make a return to the UK and Europe this Fall alongside Grey Widow as well, though those dates are less firmed up at this point as the band looks to begin a round of heavy road-time in support of their still TBA third full-length, which will be the follow-up to 2012’s Parade of Sorrow.

More to come, I’m sure, but with that in mind, here are the East Coast dates and some comment from the band, hot off the PR wire:

sons of tonatiuh east coast tour

SONS OF TONATIUH: Atlanta Sludge Trio Set For East Coast Takeover Next Month

Atlanta sludge trio, SONS OF TONATIUH, will take to the streets next month on another round of lead-footed live invasions touting psalms from their impending new full-length. The tour will kick off on June 17th on their home turf and stomp its way through eleven metropolises in eight states – some of which the band has never performed — concluding on June 27th in Raleigh. Ears will be deafened. Children will cry.

“Seven years running and the coals are still blazing bright,” offers the band of their latest bout of onstage annihilation. “With our first time up to Buffalo and Boston, the Armageddon will ensue. This tour will be in support of our upcoming third release. Touring will be non-stop for the next couple of years as we plan to cover new ground across the pond as well as within this great mud bowl. We hope to see some old friends as well as meet some new ones so don’t be a stranger and come out and support our venom towards authority.”

6/17/2015 529 – Atlanta, GA w/ Rapturous Grief, Waste Layer
6/18/2015 The Milestone – Charlotte, NC w/ From the Gun
6/19/2015 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA w/ Backwoods Payback
6/20/2015 O’Brien’s Pub – Boston, MA w/ Finisher
6/21/2015 Lucky 13 – Brooklyn, NY
6/22/2015 My Place Pizza – Poughkeepsie, NY
6/23/2015 The Hoyt House – Buffalo, NY
6/24/2015 The Smiling Mouse – Pittsburgh, PA
6/25/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA w/ Repellers
6/26/2015 Guido’s – Frederick, MD
6/27/2015 Slim’s Downtown – Raleigh, NC w/ Squall

SONS OF TONATIUH – guitarist/vocalist Dan Caycedo, bassist Twitch and drummer Josh Lomanto – released their Parade Of Sorrow long player via Hydro-Phonic Records in 2012.

Sons of Tonatiuh, Parade of Sorrow (2012)

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Ripple Music Announces 12″ Split Series Beginning with Borracho and Volume IV

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

ripple music logo

It’s enough to make your head spin. Today Ripple Music announced their ambitious intent to create a series of limited vinyl split releases called The Second Coming of Heavy, and while one could sit and argue the number of the “coming of heavy” in which we now reside — I’d call it at least the third — the thought behind it and the label’s purposeful delving into the underground are admirable in the extreme. Each 12″ release will be limited to one-time, 300-copy pressings, and the first unites Washington D.C. riff-mongers Borracho, freshly back from the West Coast and hot off the prior announcement of a split with Brooklyn’s Eggnogg, with Georgia’s Volume IV, whose Ripple debut, Long in the Tooth (review here), was released last year.

The LP is due out late April or early May, as Ripple explains below:

borracho volume iv split

I’ve been working on this for over a year and am so psyched to finally break my silence. Ever since we formed Ripple, I’d always loved the old SubPop model of a subscription club. Well, this is our contribution to that legacy. Not a subscription, but an ongoing three times a year, 12″ split series “The Second Coming of Heavy” Featuring the best and most exciting emerging bands from the underground, already onboard with the project are Borracho, Volume IV, Supervoid, Red Wizard, Desert Suns, Bonehawk, Blue Snaggletooth, Red Desert, Switchblade Jesus, Geezer, Chiefs, Red Mesa and more bands coming like crazy.

Each “chapter” of the series will be strictly limited to 300, with no repressings and will have three editions, Black Virgin (for those who love black vinyl), OBI Edition, and the Resurrection Edition. These will be the most badass vinyl we’ve ever put out, with the art all tied together by Joseph Ruddell. Expect Chapter One to come out end April or early May. Here’s a sneak peek at the first cover.

Volume IV, Long in the Tooth (2014)

Borracho, Oculus (2013)

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Royal Thunder to Release Crooked Doors on April 7

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:

Capitol Photography Parnters


“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.

More details, including tour dates, to come.

Rolling Thunder, CVI (2012)

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