Bushfire Post “Zombi” Video; When Darkness Comes out in December

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bushfire

Set for release in December, When Darkness Comes will serve as the third full-length from DIY Darmstadt, Germany, earth rockers Bushfire. The double-guitar five-piece were last heard from with Dec. 2013’s Heal Thy Self (review here), which was a formidable slab of wax in following their 2010 debut, Black Ash Sunday (review here), affirming the focus on songwriting and the dudely approach of frontman Bill Brown, which seems to be intact as well as Bushfire push forward, guitarists Marcus Bischoff and Miguel Pereira joined by the newcomer rhythm section of bassist Vince and drummer Sascha.

Heavy Southern groove is the thing, make no mistake, and at this point Bushfire have been doing it long enough that they’ve got the process down. The new video — animated, of the lyric-video type — for “Zombi” brings the first audio to be unveiled ahead of the release of When Darkness Comes, and not that there was any doubt about Bushfire‘s delivery, but it’s good to know that the last four years hasn’t dulled their affinity for what’s at root beneath their processes. One finds a Clutch-style blues bounce put to righteous use via a clear and full production, and some measure of social commentary in the words as belted out by Brown.

You know how Dawn of the Dead saw the zombies all go to the mall because blind consumerism was what they knew in life? Well, “Zombi” kind of makes a similar point, but about our current inability to disconnect from our mobile devices, cellphones and the like. The clip sees skulking figures in a dark world lit mostly by tiny screens and highlights lines like, “I see zombies transmitting with no communication/I see zombies restless when no connection is there.” The ups and downs of a connected culture are still very much a matter of some philosophical debate and likely will be until we’ve all uploaded our brains to the digitally-immortal singularity (which of course the last human being alive will trip over the plug for and wipe us all out; whoops), but Bushfire make their argument clear and back it with some pointedly heavy riffing, and as a first glimpse of When Darkness Comes, it bodes well in style and sound alike.

Looking forward to hearing more of the record as we get closer to the end of the year. Until then, dig this:

Bushfire, “Zombi” official video

Video: DADIVE STUDIO
Band: BUSHFIRE
Song: ZOMBI
Album: When Darkness Comes (unreleased, est.12/17)
Recorded: 05/17 Lofthaus studios Darmstadt, Germany
Mastering: Tony Reed, Heavy Head Recording Studios, Seattle, WA, USA

By now, Bushfire‘s bio reads like that of one of the really big bands: three demo EPs and two albums, shows and tours through half of Europe, TV airplay on DMAX, a loyal fanbase – all of that WITHOUT any label or management. Because Bushfire means self-determination, passion, freedom, just DIY in its purest form. There‘s the band doing handicraft, drawing, designing, thinking, sawing, even signing in blood.

Bushfire is:
Bill (vocals)
Marcus (guitar)
Miguel (guitar)
Sascha (drums)
Vince (bass)

Bushfire on Thee Facebooks

Bushfire on Bandcamp

Bushfire website

Tags: , , , , ,

Kadavar Post “Die Baby Die” Video; Live Dates Underway

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kadavar-photo-Elizaveta-Porodina

Fresh off appearances this past week at Wacken Open Air and the Los Almiros festivals, German trio Kadavar have unveiled the first single from their forthcoming Rough Times album. Set for release via Nuclear Blast on Sept. 29, Rough Times follows 2015’s Berlin (review here) and once again marks a turn for the highly-stylized outfit, keeping the sonic modernity of its predecessor while embarking on a much more tonally weighted feel overall, especially in the low end. “Die Baby Die,” the single which is also being issued as a 7″ with an accompanying cover of The Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter,” finds Kadavar‘s underlying songcraft as catchy as ever, but in theme and sound, represents the LP’s heavier side well.

Could it be Kadavar are reacting to the somewhat cleaner feel that Berlin had coming off the more vintage-sounding 2013 outing Abra Kadavar (review here) and their 2012 self-titled debut (discussed here)? Listening to the opening title-track to Rough Times, with its buzzsaw fuzz, deep-running bass and riotous crash followed by the even thicker push of “Into the Wormhole,” it certainly sounds like it. As the name would lead one to believe, Rough Times has a darker overarching atmosphere certainly than Berlin, which even at its moodiest kept a celebratory vibe, but is still definitively Kadavar‘s own, and that comes across in “Die Baby Die” in the melody of guitarist Lupus Lindemann‘s vocals, the bounce of drummer Tiger‘s snare and the foundation of warmth from Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup‘s bass.

These are preliminary thoughts, and I’m planning on having a full review up prior to the Sept. 29 release date, so I’ll park my brain there for the time being and let you dig into the video below and the info that follows. Kadavar, as they will, have a substantial amount of touring planned in support of the impending long-player, including a full European run alongside Mantar and Death Alley in October and November. You can see the dates for that in the PR wire info that follows the clip.

Enjoy:

Kadavar, “Die Baby Die” official video

Berlin, Germany-based rock overlords KADAVAR have announced the details for their upcoming fourth studio album, Rough Times. The 7″ vinyl single “Die Baby Die” including the BEATLES cover ‘Helter Skelter’ is available now via nblast.de/KadavarDieBabyDieNB

The official music video for the “Die Baby Die” as well as the pre-orders for Rough Times (in various lavish formats, see below) and brand new merchandise can be viewed here.

Commented singer & guitarist Lupus: “I always wanted to do a trashy VHS styled green screen video. Milan from the band ROTOR got my idea and we shot it on one day at Felsenkeller in Leipzig. As you can see it was great fun. Lots of layers, colors and fast cuts. A lot of chaos. I think it fits the song pretty well.”

Rough Times will be released on September 29 via Nuclear Blast.

After announcing a string of summer shows as well as an extensive European headline run with their label mates MANTAR and DEATH ALLEY, KADAVAR, have also revealed more dates for December 2017. Dates as follows:

KADAVAR live:
30.09. UK London – The Dome
01.10. UK Sheffield – HRH Doom vs. Stoner
20.12. D Bremen – Tower
21.12. D Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache
22.12. D Münster – Sputnikhalle
28.12. D Chemnitz – AJZ Talschock
29.12. D Siegen – Vortex

w/ MANTAR, DEATH ALLEY
12.10. D Essen – Zeche Carl
13.10. D Hamburg – Markthalle*
14.10. D Leipzig – Conne Island
15.10. B Antwerp – Desert Fest
17.10. F Strasbourg – La Laiterie Club
18.10. F Paris – Le Trabendo
19.10. F Rennes – L’Ubu
20.10. F Bordeaux – La Krakatoa
21.10. E Madrid – But
22.10. E Barcelona – Bikini
24.10. F Lyon – Feyzin
25.10. CH Monthey – Pont Rouge
26.10. CH Aarau – Kiff
27.10. D Munich – Backstage
28.10. A Vienna – Flex
29.10. A Graz – PPC
30.10. HR Zagreb – Mocvara
01.11. H Budapest – A38
02.11. PL Warsaw – Progresja
03.11. PL Krakow – Kwadrat
04.11. CZ Prague – Nová Chmelnice
05.11. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
07.11. NL Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord
08.11. D Hanover – Capitol
09.11. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset
10.11. S Stockholm – Debaser
11.11. N Oslo – Bla
12.11. S Gothenburg – Pustervik
13.11. NL Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
15.11. D Cologne – Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
16.11. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
17.11. D Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
18.11. D Berlin – Columbiahalle
*no MANTAR

Video Credits:
Kamera, Schnitt & Postproduktion – Milan Pfützenreuter
Licht & Bühne – Alexander Jung & Marco Schulz
3D und Titelanimation – Denny Münster
ein Dankeschön an den Felsenkeller Leipzig und Meyer Bros. Leipzig

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Zone Six, Live Spring 2017: Zuckerregen

Posted in Reviews on August 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

zone six live spring 2017

On a certain level, what you see is what you get with Zone Six‘s Live Spring 2017. Or, to put it another way, it lives up to its title — and by that I mean its four tracks were recorded onstage earlier this year. It is the second so-far-digital-only live offering from the German space explorers in 2017 behind Forever Hugo, which was posted in March, and if the band wanted to press up physical copies of either or both releases for Sulatron Records, I doubt they’d meet with many complaints. As to why the uptick in activity — you might recall their 2015 studio album, Love Monster (review here), came out following an 11-year break — the fact that 2017 marks 20 years since the band got their start in 1997 might have something to do with it, or it might just be a coincidence of having shows recorded. Whatever the case, my general policy as regards projects involving Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt — see also: Electric Moon, Sula Bassana, Krautzone, Papermoon (who desperately need to put out another record), etc. — certainly applies here as well.

Helming the mixing and mastering as well as drums and synth, Schmidt is joined in this incarnation of Zone Six by guitarist/noisemaker Rainer Neeff and bassist/noisemaker Komet Lulu — both of whom have also played in Krautzone and the latter of whom is a co-founder of Electric Moon — and where Love Monster also including the synth specialist Modulfix to round out a four-piece lineup, one can hardly complain about some lack of wash on the part of Live Spring 2017, the four instrumental inclusions of which top a full 65 minutes beginning with the opener and longest track (immediate points) “Touch Down Heidi,” a 26-minute plunge into acid-drenched space-scaping and swirl-laden spontaneous creation. Improv is clearly at the root, and like the best of jam-based heavy psychedelia the European underground has to offer — incredible how much of it Schmidt is involved in crafting; one waits for the day he and Dr. Space finally collaborate — Live Spring 2017 brings listeners to the very core of Zone Six‘s exploratory process, brought to bear as it happened at two separate gigs, in Heidelberg, Germany, and Liege, Belgium.

That’s particularly noteworthy as there is a difference in the audio between one gig and the other. The aforementioned opener and the subsequent “Song for Richie” (14:55) were captured by Buddha Sentenza drummer Thomas “Jesus Malverde” Traub and “Mäusedisco” (12:14) and closer “Raining Sugar Cane Ritual” (11:57) taken from a video recorded by Schmidt himself during the Belgian show, but to be honest, each piece is of a distinct enough character and the flow between them is so immersive that the listener has to make a concerted effort to notice. By the time Zone Six have made their way through “Touch Down Heidi,” which is followed by some well-earned applause that surprises nonetheless if only because it’s so easy to forget as the song plays out that human beings were there to witness it — and/or exist at all — someone taking on Live Spring 2017 is either going to be hypnotized to its procession or they’re not, and I suspect that, as a digital live outing without wider or physical distribution or promotion, those who do embark on the journey are will do so purposefully and with some sense of knowing what they’re going to get.

zone six

Does that mean Live Spring 2017 is a fan piece? Maybe. But it’s not just a fan piece, and whether it’s the emotionally resonant melancholy of the guitar in “Song for Richie,” which is dedicated to fallen comrade Richard Van Ess, or the semi-tribalist percussive force that emerges in “Mäusedisco,” there is a continual shift in presentation on the part of Zone Six that makes each of the four improvisations stand out from the others, beginning with the textured drones of “Touch Down Heidi” that give way to the album’s most Hawkwindian thrust — met with suitable howling lead work from Neeff — and wrapping with the patient and pastoral wash of “Raining Sugar Cane Ritual,” which skillfully meanders from a launch of drone and effects wash into a dreamscape progression that, even with a rawer, bootleg-style recording, rings out with decided spaciousness.

Of course, it’s chemistry between LuluNeeff and Schmidt making any of that possible, and without that basic but hard-won element, just about any release featuring 65 minutes of improv jamming would be excruciating rather than so joyously consuming, but maybe it’s not a surprise that 20 years on Zone Six are in such a place as to be able to enact that degree of interaction. If that’s what they’re looking to emphasize or at least document with Live Spring 2017, then like Forever Hugo before it, one can only call their efforts successful. As a live album, its mission is different from what a studio record would want to present, but since organic performance and root creativity is so much the point of what Zone Six do, this context suits them from the extended opener onward, and subtle touches like arranging the songs from longest to shortest or how the colors of the cover art seem to draw the eye toward the center like layers of the earth or the band’s own creative process in diagram form allow for a multi-tiered experience on the part of the audience.

And it should go without saying that for those outside of Germany or the greater European sphere who may or may not ever get to see Zone Six live, Live Spring 2017 touches on some of the distinction they bring to their sound and approach, while also giving the now-trio a chance to contemplate where the last two decades have brought them and the progressive krautrock-infused heavy psychedelia they helped shape. Campaigning for an outfit to press CDs of a digital release hardly seems like the most impartial way to wrap up a review, but screw it, I’m a fan of Schmidt‘s work in any number of outfits and I carry a deep respect for the aesthetic he’s helped foster through Sulatron Records, so take it for what it is. Live Spring 2017 may or may not ever get pressed up as it should, but even if it stays relegated to the internet’s crowded ether, it shows what has allowed Zone Six‘s work to remain vibrant for the last 20 years and the unconstrained spirit that will no doubt continue to carry them for as long as they want to go.

Zone Six, Live Spring 2017 (2017)

Zone Six website

Zone Six on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , ,

Nap and Black Lung to Release Split Aug. 28; Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

While Baltimore’s Black Lung and Oldenburg, Germany’s Nap both have elements of heavy psychedelia swirling at their core, there are still plenty of distinctions and disparities in their two individual sounds. Thus I can kind of understand why their forthcoming split 12″ on Noisolution might be framed as Black Lung vs. Nap, but it seems to me that — as the info below asserts — it probably works out to be less of a fight between them and more of a showcase of what each brings to the style. Complement more than competition, I guess is where my head is at, but I suppose if you’re putting out a release you have to call it something, and at least Black Lung vs. Nap gets the point across that it’s a split. Maybe I’m overthinking the whole thing.

In any case, the new release will be out by the time Black Lung return to Europe this fall to take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 as they continue to support last year’s See the Enemy (review here) and for Nap, this split marks their first recorded output since their successful Villa (review here) debut in 2016, so brings all the more intrigue to see where they’re headed.

Info comes from Noisolution via the PR wire:

BLACK LUNG VS. NAP

Limited Split-12″with 6 unpublished tracks. White 180gr vinyl. Artwork by Alexander von Wieding.

Available from 28/08/2017 !!!!

Baltimore vs. Oldenburg.

This mini album documents a clash of two exceptional trios who are not competing but rather complementing one another. No longing to be the better, heavier or darker, but more so a friendly co-existence that turns out to be the perfect match.

A double A-side, if you wanna call it that. A split-mini-album, that more or less just came together by itself. Both bands‘ paths are crossing over and over again: first as labelmates, now on tour this fall and finally also on this shiny snowwhite piece of vinyl!

We got NAP from Oldenburg, Germany on one side, who only just made a great stir with their debut ‚Villa‘ in January. Before you knew it the first pressing was all sold out and gone. Their unique mix of Doom, Kraut and Stoner blended with epic instrumental parts quickly rewarded them with quite a fanbase, critical acclaim and a whole bunch of respect. Now on this new Split 12“ they‘re coming across somewhat more compact, more to the point, still never losing that certain playfulness that defines what became their signature sound. Adding a sprinkle of space rock as well they easily remind one of a darker version of the early Hawkwind. Something is truly growing here and we better keep an eye on what these three gentlemen will have in store for us in the future!

On the other side we got BLACK LUNG hailing from Baltimore, US. At first the band was just considered a side leap of of THE FLYING EYES‘ Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzmann who brought their psychedelic influences and shenanigans over to the new project. But eventually the trio fully established itself and an own dynamic taking over, forming their own unique and recognizable style. Two guitars that weigh down so heavily that there’s no need for a bass anymore. Completed by the hovering feverish vocals of Dave Cavalier who come as a perfect contrast, altogether creating an overwhelming wave of heavy sounds rolling over the clubs and their audience swallowing them both completely. A tiny hint of Pop and especially Soul has always been present on the previous two records. This time showing itself in a fantastic cover-version of Marvin Gayes‘ ‚Inner City Blues‘. Stonerrock mixed with sould mixed with rap: What seems completely incompatible comes together only so beautifully in this track. A truly exceptional track for a truly exceptional band in sound, style and songwriting – and a band who will absolutely blow your mind once again this time.

1. Black Lung – Strange Seed
2. Black Lung – Use This Stone
3. Black Lung – Inner City Blues
4. Nap – Djinn
5. Nap – Vorlaut
6. Nap – Teer

https://www.facebook.com/napband
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/blacklungbaltimore
https://blacklungbaltimore.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noisolution/
http://www.noisolution.de/shop/Vinyl/Black-Lung-vs-Nap-12-Vinyl-Strictly-limited-Weisses-180gr-Vinyl-mit-Download-Code::209.html

Nap, “Teer”

Black Lung, See the Enemy (2016)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Keep it Low 2017 Adds Mammoth Mammoth; Individual Day Lineups Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Check out the vibe that seems set to develop over the three days of Keep it Low 2017. Always among the fall’s most daydream-worthy festivals anyhow, it starts the first night with the classic warmth of Colour Haze and the ultra-boogie of Radio Moscow, shifts into the riffy grooves for night two with Brant BjorkStoned Jesus and Mars Red Sky (also the crush-your-skull heft of Monolord, lest it go unmentioned) and then dives headfirst into searing doom with Saint VitusUfomammut and Church of Misery for night three. Awesome. There’s variety in each day, but Sound of Liberation, which puts on this fest among many others, clearly has put special regard into executing Keep it Low 2017 with a conceptual foundation behind it, and that only makes the lineup look even more impressive.

Speaking of that lineup, Australian chicanery-bringers Mammoth Mammoth just joined it. They play the first night. Looks like there’s still one band to be added to the bill, but three-day tickets are gone already, and I’d expect the one-day tickets to go in short order as well.

Here’s the latest word from the fest:

keep it low 2017 day splits

Keepers, we have some updates for Keep It Low Festival 2017:

1. We’re happy to present you one more band: Australia’s Heavy Rockers MAMMOTH MAMMOTH! Yeah!

2. we can finally present you the day-split, so please check below which band plays on which day

Fri. Oct. 20
Colour Haze
Radio Moscow
Belzebong
Mammoth Mammoth
Kaleidobolt
Mount Hush
A Great River in the Sky

Sat. Oct. 21
Brant Bjork
Stoned Jesus
Mars Red Sky
Monolord
Conan
Beastmaker
Naxatras
Elephant Tree
Black Lung
Godsground
+1 more TBA

Sun. Oct. 22
Saint Vitus
Ufomammut
Church of Misery
Mos Generator
Mother Engine
Usnea
The Necromancers

3. The 1-day tickets are on sale NOW! Get them here:
http://bit.ly/2nsvJwP

As the 3-day tickets were sold out quite fast you shouldn’t wait too long with a 1-day ticket!

Enjoy your summer and…Keep It Low!

October 20 | 21 | 22 2017
Feierwerk München

After an amazing and once again sold out edition in 2016 you can expect 3 days, 27-30 bands, amazing people and good vibes at Keep It Low 2017! For the very first time we will have the “Doom-Frühschoppen” with some HEAVY bands on the last day of the Festival.

https://www.facebook.com/events/201489380309269/
https://www.facebook.com/keepitlowfestival/

Mammoth Mammoth, “Sleepwalker” official video

Tags: , , ,

Wucan to Release Reap the Storm Sept. 29; Cover and Tracks Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wucan

Flute-laden Dresden four-piece Wucan have spent the last couple years kicking around various Desertfests — they did London and Berlin in 2017, Belgium in 2015, and were at Up in Smoke last year — in support of their 2015 debut album, Sow the Wind. On Sept. 29, they’ll follow that outing with the similarly-titled Reap the Storm through MIG Music, leaving one to wonder what the relationship between the two records is, beyond the simple fact of the one preceding the other. Just curious. Maybe they’re working on a theme of harvesting weather. I don’t know.

No audio yet, but art and tracks and word from the band themselves, who indeed have a slew of live dates booked for this Fall. I haven’t seen their name in festival updates as yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t wind up there over the next couple months. Still plenty of time, and when I hear whatever I hear, I’ll post. You know the drill.

Here’s what they had to say about Reap the Storm:

wucan reap the storm

Wucan – ‘Reap The Storm’ Double LP out Sep 29th 2017

Dear Dopetrotters,

After we have spent months in the studios developing, recording and mixing the new record, we are beyond stoked to finally tell you that our 80 minutes Double LP ‘Reap The Storm’ will be out on Sep 29th 2017 via MIG music. Yup, it’s a lot of music we have coming up for you!

Francis: “With this record we took what musically developed and just became apparent on our first LP ‘Sow The Wind’ to the next level. ‘Reap The Storm’ is not just a snapshot of our own personal and emotional state at this point, but the logical follow up to all our previous work.”

And damn, we are excited for you to hear the outcome! This time we’ll have two German songs, one of them being an acoustic ballad, one a politically/ socially critical piece and two songs longer than 15 minutes, that’ll take you on an adventurous trip through the fields of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock. Plus the Heavy Flute Rock tunes that shaped our style in the past.

Title List:

Side A
Wie Die Welt Sich Dreht
Ebb And Flute/ The Eternal Groove
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Side B
I’m Gonna Leave You
The Rat Catcher
Falkenlied

Side C
Aging Ten Years in Two Seconds

Side D
Cosmic Guilt

We truly hope you guys will enjoy the results of our and our team’s hard work! More details on pre-order etc. to come asap.

Yours truly,
Wucan

Produced and Recorded by Nene “Porco Dio” Baratto
Mixed by Charlie Paschen
Mastered by Andreas “Lupo” Lubich
Cover Art by Daniel Stolle
Layout and Inner Design by Burning Moon
Photo by Martin Becker

Wucan live:
Sep 07 Zeche Bochum, Germany
Sep 20 Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Germany
Sep 21 Mephisto, Faust Hannover, Germany
Sep 23 Scheune Kulturzentrum Dresden, Germany
Oct 05 Das Bach Vienna, Austria
Oct 14 Merleyn Nijmegen, Netherlands
Oct 19 Das Bett Frankfurt, Germany
Oct 28 Jovel Club Münster, Germany
Nov 02 Club, Backstage Munich, Germany

https://www.facebook.com/wucanmusic/
http://www.wucan-music.de
https://www.facebook.com/migmusic.de/
http://www.mig-music.de/
http://www.mig-music-shop.com/

Wucan, Sow the Wind (2015)

Tags: , , , , ,

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, Medicine: Walking Trails

Posted in Reviews on July 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bees-made-honey-in-the-vein-tree-medicine

Primarily, Medicine feels like an exploration of depth. Not just in the sense of asking how low they can go in terms of tone, but what kind of distance can they set up between those lows and highs, how far can a song stretch from one end to the other before, like taffy, it is pulled apart. Excitingly, the cumbersomely-named Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree (as opposed, one assumes, to doing so in the lion’s skull, à la Earth) never find out, and their five-song/46-minute first full-length stands among 2017’s strongest — and most weighted — heavy psychedelic releases as a result. The Stuttgart, Germany, four-piece recorded Medicine late in Fall 2016 at Milberg Studios and issued it themselves digitally and on CD in January, but a Pink Tank Records vinyl edition brings it to a well-deserved wider distribution and positions the work of guitarist/vocalist/cover artist Simon Weinreich, guitarist Lucas Dreher, bassist/graphic designer Christopher Popowitsch and drummer/vocalist Marc Dreher (relation to Lucas presumed) as particularly satisfying in its blend of extended, jammed-out instrumental sections and denser tonality.

Without losing sight of their core mission, Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree proffer liquefied flow between and within their tracks, coming across as cohesive and patient as a cut like the 14-minute penultimate “Sail Away I” demonstrates in unfolding lines of intertwining guitar and bass held together by the underlying drums on a steady, immersive build that’s warm, headphone-ready, melodically rich and hypnotic without being meandering. Medicine works quickly in that song’s echoing spaces and those of the 10-minute opener “Every Night I Walk the Same Trail of Thought” to earn a place as one of the best debuts of the year.

One can hear the influence of Colour Haze in some of the more open stretches, and that never hurts, but even more than the Munich-based progenitors of the style, Medicine directly reminds of the 2010 debut from Dutch trio Sungrazer. That’s not a comparison I make lightly, and while some of the fuzz that coats the driving first crescendo (preceding the crashing second one) of “Sail Away I” might draw a sonic line in that direction, it’s one even more about the act of blending heavy rock and psych impulses in a specific way and with an overarching naturalism that becomes a righteously defining element. If I note that Medicine might be the most engaging heavy psych debut I’ve heard since Sungrazer‘s self-titled, it will invariably sound like hyperbole, but I’m hard pressed to think of more than a handful of first offerings that have brought forth the same clearheaded idea of what they wanted to do and realize it in the same way. If nothing else, it sets Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree on a path of becoming a truly special kind of band, and one whose impact, in the tradition of Samsara Blues Experiment or Black Moon Circle or others building memorable songs out of jams, may resonate over a longer term.

bees made honey in the vein tree

Structurally, Medicine benefits greatly from starting its two sides with the longer pieces. “Every Night I Walk the Same Trail of Thought” begins so quietly that at first one might be tempted to double-check that it’s actually playing, and while neither “Burn the Sun” (7:40) nor “Medicine” (6:38) slouches in terms of runtime, there’s a notable departure from the shimmering guitar that sounds the opener’s first notes toward crunchier-riffed push as “Burn the Sun” gets moving. There’s still space for space, to be sure, but even as the guitars air out leads late before turning to the heads-down riff that brings the song to its end, there’s an undercurrent of low-end heft behind them that makes for both counterpoint and complement. Likewise, the title-cut and centerpiece launches open and jammy to foreshadow some of the post-rock elements still to come in closer “Sail Away II” (6:54), but makes its way after the two-minute mark via feedback into a heavier plod that would seem to be the source of the band’s claim on an aspect of doom within their approach. It’s slow and heavy, anyhow. In context, the mood doesn’t necessarily feel down or dark in the way one might expect, but to quibble about self-imposed genre tags feels like missing the point. There’s a fluidity there. Better to go with it.

And Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree make a convincing argument for doing so, which turns out to be one of Medicine‘s great strengths. Its tracks earn the listener’s trust such that following the band along the trail they’re walking becomes an absolute joy rather than something done tentatively, and the jammier vibe of “Sail Away I” and willful delve into post-rocking drift in “Sail Away II” gracefully expand on what side A accomplishes before them, “Sail Away I” resolving itself in blown-out echoing vocals and a nodding apex, and the finale holding to its peaceful guitar progression even as some of Medicine‘s heftiest lumbering plays out beneath. That last emphasis on the two sides meeting head on in Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree‘s work serves to highlight the duality at work across the album’s entirety, but it’s not a staid thing by any means, and it wouldn’t work if it was.

The band are clearly comfortable in adjusting the balance to suit the needs of their material, and whether that’s done consciously in arranging parts and pieces or something that just comes out of different jams, it’s no less crucial to Medicine‘s ultimate success. There’s a telling moment after “Sail Away II” has blissed itself into final lines of fading guitar when we hear a chair creak and what sounds like drum sticks get laid down. It’s over. These quick, last few seconds are an effective acknowledgement that Medicine is intended to convey a live experience — it may well have been recorded live, I don’t know — and Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, who’ve already proliferated such an organic chemistry, seem to hint that along with the exploration of spaciousness at work throughout their material, the corresponding message with that is that the direction in which they’re headed has been plotted naturally, i.e. in an unforced manner. One can only hope they continue to tread the path Medicine lays out before them.

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, Medicine (2017)

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree on Thee Facebooks

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree on Bandcamp

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree at Pink Tank Records

Pink Tank Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Marius Tilly Premieres Video for “Revel Outer Space”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

marius tilly

Tomorrow night, July 27, German singer-songer-rocker Marius Tilly takes the stage at Zirkonium in Dortmund for an acoustic set. Taken in context with the work the three-piece of Tilly, bassist Benjamin Oppermann and drummer Max Wastl do on last year’s Nebula Rising album (released through MIG Music), that’s a pretty significant showcase of range, but that would seem to be a running theme in Tilly‘s work. Starting out more in a blues songwriter context, the Bochum native seems to have grown into more of a classically rock sphere, and throughout Nebula Rising, he and his rhythm section deliver varied and crisp material underscored by a tightness of craft and directional clarity. In other words, they know what they want to do and they do it.

No minor feat, even three records in. “Revel Outer Space,” for which you can see the video premiering below, is one of the harder rocking cuts on Nebula Rising, and where songs like “Animal Serenade” and “Colder Below” dig into even poppier alt-rocking terrain and “Danger” and “Solar Woman” emphasize upbeat, danceable vibes, “Revel Outer Space” finds something of a middle ground between those sides, with a latter-day Queens of the Stone Age unabashed play for catchiness and a hook that hits that mark nicely. Tilly, Oppermann and Wastl captured the bulk of the footage while on tour last year, though an early 2015 trip to Memphis, Tennessee — which seems appropriate enough environs for what they’re doing stylistically — features as well.

If you’re so inclined, the entirety of Nebula Rising is streaming on Tilly‘s Bandcamp page (linked below), as well as 2015’s preceding LP, Come Together, which was issued under the moniker of the Marius Tilly Band. In addition to the unplugged show tomorrow, Marius Tilly — presumably the full band, though Wastl seems to be out of the lineup and I’m not sure who, if anyone, has replaced him — will also appear next month at Moosenmättle Open Air in Wolfach and Snakepit Festival in Detmold, both in Germany.

Enjoy:

Marius Tilly, “Revel Outer Space” official video

Marius Tilly reinvented himself with his new album: ”Nebula Rising“ (M.i.G. Music/Indigo) presents the German singer and guitarist, who has been at home in the postmodern blues rock genre before, as a mature songwriter and performer in the area of conflict of alternative and rock. “I didn’t want the songs to be a base for staging me as a instrumentalist,“ explains the man from the Ruhr area, ”Instead the focus is on the songwriting.” his artistic reorientation ended with the consequence of deleting the annex ”Band“ out of the groups‘ name and releasing the “with a rhythm duo for 90 per cent live recorded” album under “Marius Tilly.”

His third CD since 2009 has been produced by the sound engineer Helge Preuß in the Horus-Sound- Studio in Hannover. The studio belonged to Frank Bornemann for a long time. The founder of the art rock band ELOY and discoverer and part-time producer of the cross over quartet GUANO APES (Hit: ”Lords Of he Boards“) not only is the publisher, but also Tilly’s mentor. His makeover appears in the form of twelve songs, which are mastered by Brian Lucey (the Arctic Monkeys, Ray LaMontague).

“This time the framing concept is the universe,” notes Tilly. the fan of Douglas Adams’ science fiction satire classic ”the Hitchhiker’s Guide through the Galaxy“ concretizes: ”the lyrics are a glance on our world from the outer space.” As to read in the eight-page booklet of the digipak.

Marius Tilly on Thee Facebooks

Marius Tilly on Instagram

Marius Tilly on Bandcamp

Marius Tilly website

MIG Music on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music on Instagram

MIG Music website

Tags: , , , , ,