High Fighter Premiere “Blinders” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

high fighter

Hamburg-based purveyors of sludgy punishment High Fighter are getting ready to release their debut full-length, Scars and Crosses, via respected purveyor Svart Records on June 10. Like the 2014 EP that preceded it, The Goat Ritual (review here), the album mixes aggressive modern metal with heavy-riffing impulses, the vocals of frontwoman Mona Miluski switching fluidly between raspy screams, low growls and clean-sung choruses naturally, as on the track “Blinders,” for which the five-piece have a brand new video premiering today.

The song is an excellent choice to feature ahead of the album’s release, because it emphasizes the manic sensibility that the band is able to bring to their material. With guitarists Christian “Shi” Pappas and Ingwer Boysen tearing into thrashy riffs as bassist Constantin Wüst and drummer/backing vocalist Thomas Wildelau hold the course together, “Blinders” runs full-speed and seems to time its punch just right to land on the unsuspecting listener’s jaw. Even the video — three solid minutes of a dude walking angrily toward the camera, with various manipulations and so on — has this sense of tension that Miluski‘s quick-changing vocal approach shoves over the line between raucous and raging.

And, as noted, that rage comes accompanied by a fervent sense of melody, particularly in the chorus, which remains catchy and informs a structured feel despite how out of control other parts might seem. It’s something else to witness, so by all means, feel free to do that.

High Fighter recently announced tour dates for July with Earth Ship and Mammoth Storm, and you’ll find them (along with all the other upcoming live shows, including tonight’s), as well as a quote from Miluski giving some thematic insight into “Blinders,” under the video below.

Please enjoy:

High Fighter, “Blinders” official video

Mona Miluski on “Blinders”

Think this track perfectly represents one of the main issues we deal with on our debut record, Scars & Crosses. it’s about a dark past, about the wounds and scars of your soul that life may have given you. It’s about your inner demons, and especially people in society or in any relationships will find your scars as a bad attitude, a bad character. You often need to be a ‘Blinder,’ change yourself until you will be accepted, liked or loved. On this album we say no, having your scars is not bad character and you should not change yourself or try to ignore these scars until you’re “worth” being loved. Learn to also love those who have their scars, we all have them… These darkest days, moments and demons in life, your entire history — our scars engrave us — they belong to you as much as the good sides.

High Fighter live:
27.05 Stadtfest Bad Oldesloe
10.06 Hamburg, Album Release show – with Jucifer & The Moth
17.06 Würzburg – with The Midnight Ghost Train
18.06 Karlsruhe – with The Midnight Ghost Train
02.07 Stadtfest Mücheln

Album summer release tour with Earth Ship & Mammoth Storm:
22.07 Kiel, DE – Kieler Schaubude
23.07 Naaldwijk / Den Haag, NL – De Flatertheek
24.07 Le Havre, FR – Mac Daid’s
25.07 Nantes, FR – Le Ferrailleur
26.07 Köln, DE – Underground
27.07 Weinheim, DE – Cafe Central
28.07 Berlin, DE – Badehaus Szimpla
29.07 Erfurt, DE – From Hell
30.07 Hamburg, DE – Fundbureau

17.08 Summer Breeze Festival
02.09 MetallerGrillen
10.09 Open Air Fraureuth

High Fighter website

High Fighter on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

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Earth Ship, High Fighter & Mammoth Storm Announce July Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Berlin’s Earth Ship are touring on a new album released by Napalm. Hamburg’s High Fighter are touring on a new album released by Svart. Mammoth Storm are supporting their late-2015 release, also on Napalm. Safe to say this upcoming run for the three bands through Germany, the Netherlands and France will be time well spent in terms of getting the word out. And doubtless that’s the whole idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if any or all of these bands had further plans to announce for the summer leading into the fall as well — all seem ripe to take part in any number of coming Euro fests, especially with new or still-relatively-new LPs — but I guess we’ll see what shakes out as we get there.

Just by way of a heads up, I’ve got a video premiere from High Fighter coming tomorrow morning. Scars and Crosses is a beast.

Until then:



In support of their upcoming and hotly anticipated releases, EARTH SHIP have teamed up with HIGH FIGHTER and MAMMOTH STORM for an album release summer tour, kicking off in July!

Hailing from Germany’s capitol Berlin, on their upcoming new album ‘Hollowed’ which is set to be released June 24th on Napalm Records, once again EARTH SHIP celebrate the power of riffs in all shapes and sizes. They’re not just delivering a finest sludge record, but it has been also written to be made for eternity in doom and beyond. Watch out when EARTH SHIP is going to perform their walls of tunes live!

With HIGH FIGHTER on the bill, a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs fuelled by beer and the mighty weedian riffs is already guaranteed, as these guys and girl offer something special to the Sludge, Blues and Stoner Scene! After their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows over Europe including UK dates, festivals, gigs and tours with bands such as Ahab, Mammoth Storm, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, The Midnight Ghost Train & many more, HIGH FIGHTER will release their first & full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ by June 10th 2016 with Svart Records.

But who would mess with a MAMMOTH STORM. These Swedish label mates of EARTH SHIP have already made their name and left a stamp in the worldwide doom scene! With their latest and highly acclaimed release ‘Fornjot’ (November 2015, Napalm Records), MAMMOTH STORM toured with bands such the likes of AHAB and already gained lots of praise from fans and press all over the world of doom and heaviest riffs.

Catch this exciting doom & sludge steamroller live, this summer!

22.07.: Kiel, DE – Kieler Schaubude
23.07.: Naaldwijk / Den Haag, NL – De Flatertheek
24.07.: Le Havre, FR – Mac Daid’s
25.07.: Nantes, FR – Le Ferrailleur
26.07.: Köln, DE – Underground
27.07.: Weinheim, DE – Cafe Central
28.07.: Berlin, DE – Badehaus Szimpla
29.07.: Erfurt, DE – From Hell
30.07.: Hamburg, DE – Fundbureau


High Fighter, Scars and Crosses album trailer

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Robb & Pott Release Once upon the Wings in September on Nasoni Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

robb and pott

Newcomer collaborative duo Robb & Pott go to warp five on “Flesh ‘n’ Steel” from their debut album, Once upon the Wings — out in September through mega-respected purveyor Nasoni Records, now in their 20th year — and that’s still before they get around to covering Sam Gopal, so yeah, it’s pretty fair to say the record’s tripped out. The two-piece is made up of Robbi Robb of Californian desert jammers 3rd Ear Experience and Paul Pott of German space rockers The Space Invaders, and the record boasts five tracks from “Space Ear,” the title derived from the players’ main outfits, to the 16-minute blissery of “Prophecy #1,” each of which proves immersive and basks in chemistry that it would seem even continents couldn’t separate.

From the PR wire:

robb & pott once upon the wings

Robb & Pott – Once Upon the Wings

We are pleased to announce the release of Once Upon the Wings – a collaboration between Robbi Robb of 3rd Ear Experience and Paul_Pott of the German space rock band the Space Invaders.

Cds will be available in July 2016 and Vinyl will be released in September 2016 through Nasoni Records.

Most musicians after they have discovered their instrument of choice, enjoy playing with their friends, jamming in garages, at backyard parties and around campfires. Though some go professional eventually – there remains the attraction to return to those days of jamming and making music with good friends and like-minded musicians we meet on the way. It is this underlying sentiment that inspires this project simply called Robb&Pott. The last names of two friends.

When Robbi performed with Tribe after Tribe at the Burg Herzberg Festival he briefly met Paul who was part of the film crew Andi Weimann put together to capture Tribe live. Years later Paul would help Robbi to get his new album with 3rd Ear Experience to labels and promoters. At that time Robb did not know that Paul played bass in one of his favorite Space rock bands: the Space Invaders. This came as a great surprise. Slowly over the years their friendship developed until it was inevitable that the desire arose to do an album together – just for fun. Thus was born Robb & Pott.


Robb & Pott, “Grass” (Sam Gopal cover)

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Keep it Low 2016: John Garcia, The Atomic Bitchwax, Fatso Jetson & Bright Curse Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

keep it low 2016 header

Man, I saw Fatso Jetson earlier this year, and let me tell you, wherever they are is where you want to be. They’re one of four bands to join the ranks of Keep it Low 2016 today, along with John Garcia, NJ’s venerable The Atomic Bitchwax and London trio Bright Curse, which only makes an already strong lineup stronger. Interesting that the news from Sound of Liberation mentions a new Garcia full-length. The former Kyuss/Vista Chino singer (along with UnidaHermano, etc.) has made some mention of a new full-band outing to be issued under his name and an acoustic solo record as well, but I haven’t seen concrete word of a release date yet for either. “By the time October gets here” makes for a decent ballpark figure though, so I guess I’ll run with that.

Details from the PR wire:

KEEP IT LOW 2016! Oct. 21st & 22nd… John Garcia, The Atomic Bitchwax, Fatso Jetson & Bright Curse Confirmed!

4 new bands joined the KEEP IT LOW FESTIVAL 2016 line-up this afternoon, bringing the total of bands to 13 so far!

Alongside Colour Haze, Elder, Greenleaf, Monkey3, Toner Low, 1000Mods, Black Rainbows, Duel and Kind, we are stoked to welcome to our 4th edition the almighty John Garcia (coming with his full band, a new album, and surely some Kyuss classics in the set!), legendary US Fuzz Rock Riffmasters The Atomic Bitchwax (still promoting their terrific 2015’s album “Gravitron”), Fatso Jetson (Desert rock godfather Mario Lalli is always welcome at our festival) and Bright Curse (which released their excellent debut album “Before The Shore” last week).

KEEP IT LOW 2016 will happen on October 21st and 22nd in FEIERWERK (Munich) and will greet with 3 stages and around 20 bands, outside beergarden & skatepark. On this upcoming edition we are setting up a cozy and rain protected outside area with food and drink station. We also decided to play already on 2 stages on the Friday night and ending both KIL nights with aftershow parties and Dj Sets (Friday until 3 am and Saturday until 5 am).

Hard Tickets (2-day passes) are available on Woolheads for 65 €! Online tickets are also available on Eventim!

You can purchase tickets on http://woolheads.com/ but be quick! E-Tickets are also available on http://www.eventim.de/


Fatso Jetson, “Swollen Offering” Live, April 2, 2016

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Limestone Whale Premiere “Tale of the Snow Child” from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

limestone whale (Photo by Christian Illing)

Bavarian four-piece Limestone Whale will release their self-titled debut album on May 27 via Stone Free Records. They recorded the seven-track offering at Big Snuff Studio in Berlin with Richard Behrens, also of Heat, formerly of Samsara Blues Experiment and who also does live sound for Kadavar. That connection isn’t to be entirely forgotten when it comes to the sound of Limestone Whale‘s 39-minute LP, but neither is it the sum-total of their breadth, because while songs like “Paralyzed in Paradise” (video posted here) and hook-laden opener “Ambrosia” draw from a modified ’70s pastiche, vocalist Clement Hoffer, guitarist Flo Ryan Kiss, bassist René Preiß and drummer Maximilian Brev also dig into a grunge-style lumber on German-language centerpiece cut “Swarms” and the early-PearlJam-gone-bluesier guitar of “A Book I Have to Close,” which follows, one of several effective moments on the record of genuine melancholia alongside the earlier, doomier “Tale of the Snow Child” and closer “An Allegation,” which calls back to “Swarms” in its darker, chugging finish.

Establishing this decades-spanning sonic meld is the stated intent of Limestone Whale‘s debut, and the outcome is that the songs, whichever period they’re drawing from, are executed with an overarching focus on natural feel. It’s less about sounding like it’s 1971 than it is about presenting the material in organic a manner as possible. Again, I wouldn’t limestone whale limestone whalesay the band are completely divorced from retro European heavy — from the dry treatment on Hoffer‘s vocals to the rhythmic swing permeating the slower “W,” those elements are definitely there — but like their Pentagrammy Danish counterparts in Demon Head last yearLimestone Whale bring a near-immediate sense of persona to the songs on their first album, which is all the more impressive for that clarity of effort since it still sounds live-recorded and laid back. Some of that is Behrens, of course, but if the material wasn’t strong in the first place, the album would feel flat and lifeless, and instead it carries across a palpable energy without sounding sloppy or losing its sense of command as it sets up a dynamic of fluid rhythmic and volume changes that carries the listener across Limestone Whale‘s span.

Aside from the fact that the early ’90s are fair game again for influence, which is understandable since 1991 was 25 years ago, the message Limestone Whale send with these songs is that something truly classic is timeless. This decade has seen a boom in bands — largely in Europe, but in the US as well — turning their heads backward to find their inspiration, but with newer, next-generation acts like Limestone Whale, they don’t even have to go that far, since the heavy rock of the last half-century has become one giant mash, fed into itself and sustained by the continuing drive of those playing it to refine the form. Limestone Whale step into that process confidently on their self-titled, and as they execute broad-minded ambitions in a way that results in cohesive songcraft, one can only look forward to hearing how they’ll develop over their tenure and what they might ultimately contribute to that oeuvre. For now, they’ve shown remarkable potential in their debut full-length and accomplished precisely what it seems they set out to do. That’s more than enough to make the effort worthy of praise.

It’s my pleasure today to host “Tale of the Snow Child” as a track premiere. You’ll find it below, followed by some comment from Kiss about the song and the album as a whole.

Please enjoy:

Flo Ryan Kiss on “Tale of the Snow Child”:

Some parts of our music refer to late ’60s Heavy Psych Blues and early 70s Hard Rock because it’s a very important musical style for us, but we decided not only to revive the spirit of that era by playing riffs that have been played partly over and over again. Instead of that we want to add new flavours like 90s alternative rock or grunge elements. It’s like building bridges between different rock decades with the bridges consisting of a modern but very natural and analog sound.

Limestone Whale on Thee Facebooks

Limestone Whale on Bandcamp

Limestone Whale at Stone Free Records

Limestone Whale at Wormhole Mailorder

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Limestone Whale Post “Paralyzed in Paradise” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Bavarian heavy rockers Limestone Whale issue their self-titled debut album May 27 via Stone Free Records. The album, which was recorded live to tape by Richard Behrens, formerly of Samsara Blues Experiment, finds the newcomer four-piece getting their feet wet in a newer-sounding take on heavy ’70s rock, organic but not necessarily vintage in trying to capture analog crackle as so many have the last few years, particularly in Europe. Nonetheless, some similarities of bounce exist between “Paralyzed in Paradise,” for which Limestone Whale have a new video, and the earlier work of Kadavar, for whom Behrens also does live sound. The influence of an influential band. Fair enough.

More encouraging, Limestone Whale bring a sense of personality to the style and come across as being in pursuit of their own niche, perhaps on their way to finding it. “Paralyzed in Paradise” centers around its hook much as its video, directed by Christian Fischer and at least nodding in the direction of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, basks in a sense of absurd imagery. It suits a stated youthful theme, but it’s not as though Limestone Whale aren’t clearheaded in their approach. The song is clean despite its naturalism, and catchy besides, and it demonstrates the clear grip Limestone Whale have on their aesthetic, which is likely only beginning to develop.

If, like me, the clip is your introduction to the band, I think you’ll find it’s a solid one. It’ll be interesting to dig into the rest of the LP and see how representative “Paralyzed in Paradise” is of their sound overall, or if it’s just a slice of what’s included in their scope. In either case, a hook is never a bad way to start.


Limestone Whale, “Paralyzed in Paradise” official video

This is a song about idealization, about escaping and about being kept imprisoned. This is a figurative and surrealistic music video about YOUTH. Directed and filmed by:
Christian Fischer.

Formed in the shadows of the Bavarian forest Limestone Whale have developed their very own approach to heavy psych blues – far beyond prevailing stereotypes. The quartet combines the natural roughness of proto metal and psychedelic rock with straight 70s inspired hard rock and 90s alternative/grunge elements. With their mixture of heavy riffs and refreshing melodies the young but yet experienced musicians create a vivid and stirring presence on stage. Limestone Whale are definitely among the few bands who are able to revive the spirit of the golden age of rock music without trying to sound „retro“.

With their self-titled debut Limestone Whale set an example for their three-year-old career. The seven songs found on “Limestone Whale” are not just a good lesson in variety and covering different genres like they were meant to form a symbiotic relationship, but they also come with an outstanding, clear and characteristic sound, which is the result of recording the album live and with analogue technology at Berlin-based Big Snuff Studio.

Limestone Whale on Thee Facebooks

Limestone Whale on Bandcamp

Limestone Whale at Stone Free Records

Limestone Whale at Wormhole Mailorder

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Earthship Premiere Lyric Video for “Valley of Thorns”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


To call Berlin’s Earthship (also stylized as Earth Ship) a sludge rock band is really only telling half the story. Maybe even less than half. I haven’t had the pleasure yet as regards their impending fourth full-length, Hollowed — out June 24 via Napalm Records — but to listen to “Valley of Thorns,” there’s sludge, yeah, but also metallic underpinnings that come through in the guitar periodically, a hint of Slayer here, some black metal, something more extreme in the middle, more progressive in the ending. Couple that with a shift into melodies brazenly born out of the self-titled-era Alice in Chains playbook, which is ground few dare to tread, and Earthship emerge four minutes later with a sound that seems less indebted to genre than built outward from it.

If sonic individuality isn’t enough to intrigue on principle, there’s also songwriting at work, and a sense of scope to “Valley of Thorns” as it moves between these elements, almost struggling against itself as it works out verses and choruses en route to a bleaker, chugging midsection. Growls back cleaner singing as they unleash the true hook in the nodding second half, and they finish with a torrent of a guitar solo before cutting “Valley of Thorns” short presumably to make way for what follows in the tracklisting (if you’re curious, it’s “Conjured”). How representative “Valley of Thorns” might be of Hollowed as a whole, again, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find Earthship changing up their approach, considering their past releases and the fact that a band so intentionally stylistically broad is rarely content to stand still.

You can find the premiere of a new lyric video for “Valley of Thorns” below, followed by some comment from the band on the track.

Please enjoy:

Earthship, “Valley of Thorns” lyric video

Earthship on “Valley of Thorns”

“VALLEY OF THORNS is one of our faster, a bit more progressive and cheerful tracks of the album but quite the opposite are the lyrics, mainly dealing with emptiness and despair. A sad and lonesome trip into oblivion but in a very colorful and metaphorical way. It shows you up somehow that we’re all running our private race against time before it’s all over and gone. Life is short, let’s get some shots!”

Earthship website

Earthship on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

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Freak Valley 2016 Completes Lineup: Black Lung, Krissy Matthews Band, Snowy Dunes and Powder for Pigeons Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

freak valley 2016 header

I guess it was bound to happen eventually, but it’s still something of a surprise to find Freak Valley 2016 rounding out its lineup. Granted, the German festival takes place later this month, and granted they’ve already announced a shit-ton of groups playing — that’s a metric shit-ton, if you’re wondering; not a king’s shit-ton — but I suppose I just assumed Freak Valley 2016 announcements would go on forever. It would just cycle through one fest to the next, trade out 2016 for 2017 and pick up where they left off. Maybe they will, who knows? But we’ve hit a definite demarcation line — the lineup for this year’s Freak Valley is complete — after months of trickling out band names one at a time and months after the fest as a whole sold out.

The final four? Baltimore’s Black Lung — whose new LP, See the Enemy, is out as of last week on Noisolution — along with Krissy Matthews Band (I’ll just assume no relation), Swedish retro rock upstarts Snowy Dunes and Powder for Pigeons, who are also veterans of Desertfest Berlin.

Freak Valley gives one last rundown as follows:

freak valley 2016 last announcement

Hey Freaks – the long wait is over!! Here they are, the final 4 bands that still had to be announced:

BLACK LUNG – Doomed Black Soul Stoner Classic Rock
(feat. two members of The Flying Eyes)

Krissy Matthews Band – Heavy Bluesrock at its best

Snowy Dunes – Psychedelic FuzzRock (Vinyl release show!!)

Powder for Pigeons – The Riffs Blaster Duo !!

This power trio came into its own in 2014 with its stately pound fully formed. Guitarist Adam Bufano and drummer Elias Mays Schutzman, both of The Flying Eyes, establish a patient rhythmic menace over which vocalist/guitarist Dave Cavalier adds distorted growls of melody and oomph. The trio’s self-titled debut on the impeccable local label Grimoire splits the difference of early Queens of the Stone Age majestic desert feel and True Widow’s hypnotic groove. After two European Black Lung will be back in 2016 with their second album.

Krissy Matthews is half-Norwegian, and half-British. He is named a wonderful child of blues. His story started when he was only 3 years old and 5 years after that he received his first electric guitar. At the age of 12 he performed with John Mayal and Bluesbreakers at Notodden Festival! The legendary musician was so amazed with the young guitar player. After the festival, Krissy Matthews became more and more popular. You’ll know why very soon!!

Snowy Dunes are a four piece psychedelic rock outfit hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. Even though created out of the love for vibes of old, Snowy Dunes is a unique blend of vintage hard rock, 60’s psychedelia and the fuzz rock of today.
Their debut album will be released incl. a loooong Bonustrack by Rock Freaks Records and will be available for the first time @ FVF!!

Powder for Pigeons is an Australian/German two piece that was founded in 2013 in the dusty regional back drop of Western Australia. Inspired by the rugged surroundings the male/female power duo has crafted a gigantic sound that fills the frequency spectrum with punchy, warm, low, fuzzy guitar riffery and thumpin drums to be heard for miles around.
You’ll love them ! Blasting tracks made of really catchy riffs, you won’t have the time to breathe !

The official running-order will be public very soon now!! Stay tuned!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 2016 is SOLD OUT!!

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2016: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2016:
GRAVEYARD [SW] – Vintage Rock
ORANGE GOBLIN [UK] – Heavy Metal
DEAD MEADOW [US] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
ELDER [US] – Psychedelic Rock / Heavy Prog
SPIDERGAWD [NO] – Post-Boogie
WHITE HILLS [US] – Fuzzed Out Motorik Psychedelic
THE SHRINE [US] – Psychedelic Violence Rock and Roll
BABY WOODROSE [DK]- Psychedelic Garagerock
LONELY KAMEL [NO]- Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
ROTOR [D] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
MONOLORD [SW] – Doom/Sludge
MANTAR [D] – Death Metal Doom Punk
TOUNDRA [SP] – Postrock
FARFLUNG [US] – Spacerock for 21st Century Heads
THE GOLDEN GRASS [US]- Heavy/Funk//Psych/Freakbeat
BLACK LUNG [US] – Doomed Stonerrock
SPIDERS [SW] – Hard/Glam Rock
V.I.C (Villagers of Ioannina City) [GR] – Post/Stoner/Folk/Rock
GIÖBIA [IT] – Acid Rock
SNOWY DUNES [SW] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
THE SONIC DAWN [DK] – Psychedelic Rock
JEREMY IRONS & THE RATGANG MALIBUS [SW] – Space Rock/Stoner/Psychedelic
GOMER PYLE [NL] – Psychedelic/Rock/Stonerrock
MOTHER ENGINE [D] – Stoner/Rock/Psychedelic
BUSHFIRE [D] – Heavy Blues Rock


Black Lung, “Transmissions”

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