Review & Full Album Stream: Lizardmen, Cold Blooded Blues

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

lizardmen cold blooded blues

[Click play above to stream Lizardmen’s Cold Blooded Blues in full. Album is out today on Stone Free Records.]

At some point, it makes sense that at some point heavy rock and roll would veer back toward grunge. Of course the roots of the sound go back further, but if one looks at the branch of riff-driven fare that began to surface in the mid-to-late ’90s, it was basically the other offshoot of grunge and noise rock which, unlike nu-metal, received no commercial push. What makes a release like Lizardmen‘s Stone Free Records debut full-length, Cold Blooded Blues, engaging is the bridge it then creates between grunge and what heavy rock has become in the quarter-century since that style first came to public consciousness.

The Osnabrück, Germany-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Nikki, bassist Niklas and drummer Tore might leave something to question at first as to where the “blues” part of the record’s title comes from, because early tracks like “Dust,” “Turn the Screw” and “Seven” don’t really interact with that aesthetic, but by the time they get around to “Prey to the Lord” and “Steady Rolling Man” and even the early-Truckfighters fuzz of closer “The Cannibal,” they’ve broken out the slide guitar and a swinging groove to match. That change occurs right at the midpoint of Cold Blooded Blues, as “Karma” gives way to the stomp of “Mammoth Creep” — countrified and tin-can vocalized in a way that reminds of Larman Clamor — and so the album winds up with a distinct two-sided feel that only emphasizes how vinyl-ready its eight tracks/44 minutes seem to be.

Admirably, Lizardmen skirt the issue of ’70s boogie rock almost entirely in their revisiting of heavy rock’s sonic past. Well, mostly, at least. Part of that might be generational — many of the bands who started in the late ’90s and early ’00s with a heavy ’70s influence were tapping into their youth; Lizardmen are clearly younger — but there’s plenty of retro rock around these days and no shortage of it from Germany, so to hear a band come along with something of a different take is immediately refreshing. Despite its bummer album art — because violence against women is awesome, right? — Cold Blooded Blues digs in early on “Dust,” “Turn the Screw,” “Seven” and “Karma” to a sound that rolls out weighted fuzz tones and rawer vocals atop dirty, thick low end. Nikki is a vocalist of noteworthy presence and developing style, and the bounce and pulled notes on “Dust” seem to come from a place pre-Queens of the Stone Age.

lizardmen (Photo by Bob Sala)

It’s a vibe “Turn the Screw” follows up with a more melodic take that brings to mind underrated UK troupe Crystal Head, building in intensity early only to find catharsis in a wash of wah and prominent tom hits in the second half before a noisy final chorus closes out. With a tambourine behind it, “Seven” has more of a party sensibility and a friendlier fuzz, but “Karma” contrasts that quickly with lines like “Everything’s going down the drain” and “I never gave you my heart/But you fucked it up anyway,” etc. This been-done-wrong spirit ties into the bluesier side B still to come, but doesn’t quite yet make the sonic leap, holding to its gritty snarl for the duration and rounding out with some impressive snare work from Tore.

As for the task of making that leap, it falls to the aforementioned “Mammoth Creep,” heavy on kick drum, slide guitar and lyrics like, “I’m working nine-to-five to keep you satisfied.” Familiar all around, but in the context of where Lizardmen were only minutes prior, a considerable shift to get there. They carried themselves well through the earlier rockers and they do likewise through “Mammoth Creep,” “Prey to the Lord” and “Steady Rolling Man,” basking in fuzz-tinged blues that only grow more engaging as they move forward, “Steady Rolling Man” proving to be a catchy highlight of the record that seems to bring in some of that grungier perspective as well as its hook efficiently states, “I ain’t got what you need — fuck off.” Sometimes the simplest statement is the way to go.

Closer “The Cannibal,” also the longest track here at over nine minutes, presents something of another turn. It brings in elements of psychedelic jamming for a surprisingly hypnotic midsection after opening with some of Lizardmen‘s largest-sounding fuzz and shouted vocals — best nod on the record, hands down — and plays itself out on a huge march topped by echoing vocals that manage to come back to a central upbeat riff for a measure before crashing out to a noisy finish. There isn’t much blues about it, ultimately, but the groove is there and it nonetheless ties Cold Blooded Blues‘ two halves together while also building on them in a different way. It will be interesting to hear if Lizardmen can work going forward to bring the varies personalities developing in their sound together or if they’ll keep the feels distinct and just build a multi-faceted songwriting approach from them, but the framework they set down on Cold Blooded Blues should offer plenty of intrigue among the converted seeking a next step from modern heavy.

Lizardmen on Thee Facebooks

Lizardmen at Stone Free

Lizardmen on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Plainride Sign to Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cheers to German heavy rockers Plainride on getting picked up by Californian imprint Ripple Music. The band issued their uptempo groover debut, Return of the Jackalope (review here), last year, and as they join the formidable and increasingly populated Ripple lineup, their first release will be a reissue of their first outing, presumably to be followed at some point by a sophomore effort. We’ll get there when we get there. No doubt the Cologne natives are kicking back a few in celebration of their new alliance, and I wouldn’t argue, either with the band or the booze.

From the PR wire:

plainride ripple music-700

PLAINRIDE – Cologne-based Stoner Rock ‘n’ Rollers sign worldwide record deal with Californian label RIPPLE MUSIC

“Imagine a pack of rabid tumbleweeds sweeping across the hot desert sand of Mojave set on fire by the nearby explosion of a Dodge Challenger ‘69 driven into a fuel soaked pile of Orange Half-Stacks by four whole-body bearded lumberjacks dressed in bearskin.”

This sentence originated in 2013 as part of an attempt to describe a German band that had only just been tossed onto the face of the Earth: Plainride. Little did these guys know they had just created what would soon become a self-fulfilling prophecy of dramatic extent. Three years later, the band is ridiculously close to their own, ambitious vision of themselves. Let’s recap: Beards? Check. Orange Amps? Check. Mojave? Well, kinda.

When you’ve got Plainride spinning on your turntable, you will barely believe these guys are in fact not from California, but from Cologne. Sweat-drippin’ drums, high voltage guitars, wailing solos and a voice so frenetic, one might assume the Beast himself took control of the mic.

That said, it comes to little surprise that Plainride eventually teamed up with Ripple Music from San Ramon, CA. The dedicated rock label will kick things off with a re-release of “Return Of The Jackalope”, the bands’ ferocious debut album, which had first been unveiled in Summer 2015. The re-issue is scheduled for this winter and will include a digital release on all platforms, a CD, a double vinyl release, and world-wide distribution.

While this is undeniably a huge step, Plainride keeps on rolling with their sympathetic down-to-earth attitude, as singer Max confirms: „We’re not a business band at any rate. Rehearsals are what makes my week worthwhile. Hanging and rocking out with the guys, frequenting shady concerts – that stuff is like sex to me: Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty damn good! The day we decide to stop making fun of ourselves should be the day someone takes away our guitars and punches us in the face.” Beer-fueled banter aside, these guys aren’t in it just for the heck of it: “We always had the ambition to achieve as much as possible while staying true to our founding spirit. Signing with Ripple Music is an awesome and humbling opportunity for us and I’ll be damned if we’re not gonna work off our asses to honor that!”

https://www.facebook.com/PLAINRIDE.Official/
http://plainride.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

Plainride, Day of the Jackalope (2015)

Tags: , , ,

Electric Moon, Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum: Voyages in Sunburst

Posted in Reviews on August 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

electric moon zeiss planetarium bochum

There are a few things to know about Electric Moon‘s new live album, Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum, released digitally on their own Sulatron Records. First, it has six songs. Second, all but two of those six are over 24 minutes long. Not a one of them is under 15 minutes long. Do the math and that adds up to a runtime of 2:24:28. That’s a hell of a show, and largely unmanageable for any kind of physical release, but it works for the expansive, exploratory, and largely improvised far-ranging space-psych that the German trio proffer. The liquefied jams of Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, bassist/sometimes vocalist Komet Lulu and drummer Marcus Schnitzler have always kind of existed outside of time anyway, so somehow this long-form excursion suits them as they conjure headphone-worthy immersion in richly-effected guitar and synth swirl, deep and warm bass tones and percussive drive capable of holding it all together.

Accompanying the album is a note from the band informing listeners that Schmidt had some technical difficulties during the gig, which does indeed seem to have been held at a planetarium (where they’ll play again in Nov. 2016), and that when it was done both his guitar amp and his Korg Polysix synthesizer — not a minor factor in their sound — were broken. They out-rocked their gear, in other words. Proceeds from sales go toward repairs. Sure enough, there are some clicks and pops audible in the guitar after 24:43 opener “Star Factory” recedes and elsewhere as well, but the overarching impression on Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum is so much more about the krautrock trance the band elicits that it’s easy to pass over those other noises without even realizing they’re there.

Likewise, one might snap back to consciousness 10 minutes deep into “The Last Words of Mr. P.” (28:21) and wonder how the three-piece got from the subdued synth interplay to just a thickened push of a crescendo. They did so gradually, of course, Same way they always do it, but what stands Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum apart from other live outings the band has done like their Live 2012 One and Two (review here), and certainly from their studio work to-date is the scope of the work itself. Not just that it’s longer, but what that extra space in time allows Sula, Lulu and Marcus to do in terms of making the vibe come to life across such a massive span.

electric moon

Each of these jams would eat a side of vinyl whole, if not more than that, but as “The Last Words of Mr. P.” gives way to the particularly space-rocking “Air to Space” (the shortest inclusion at 15:47) and the bass-led experimentalist build of “Radio Contact was Lost” (19:38), they bring quality no less than quantity, the band having long since established a crucial chemistry between them that continues to shine and grow with each subsequent release. That’s audible as Lulu and Marcus hold together the spacey thrust on “Radio Contact was Lost” and Schmidt sets about creating a wash of swirl that seems to grow more intense with each rhythmic cycle, propelled by the drums with the bassline holding steady but increasing its tension as well. At about 14:30, they hit the peak and ride it until just after the 15-minute mark, but even there, Lulu keeps that bassline going, so when they pick it back up, the song remains fluid, the vibe tripped-out, the mood engaging.

Electric Moon aren’t a new band at this point, so that they should be able to bring this level of mastery to the form of heavy psychedelic jamming maybe isn’t such a surprise, but the scale at which they do it on Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum is a statement unto itself. The album ends as it began: with two massive slabs of jammy adventuring. Both “Close Encounter of the 4th Kind” (26:29) — which might just be the highlight of the release, though I won’t take away from the appeal of “Air to Space” — and closer “Sunburst Odyssey” (29:29) have their own development cycle. The former moves through a quiet synthy opening smoothly into guitar-led build, peaks and falls back before finding a sort of middle ground, where Schmidt‘s airy dreamscape guitar feels particularly resonant, while the latter, perhaps unsurprisingly, has a bit of everything. It starts off with quiet hum, then throws in some synth.

It moves through krautrock jamming, deep-space atmospherics, emphasizes the balance of high and low end in what Electric Moon do in its second half and ultimately asks nothing more of the listener than perhaps a bit of mind expansion in the process of letting go and following the band along their extended but still welcoming path. Ever prolific in the tradition of their style, Electric Moon have a new studio album in the works and as “Sunburst Odyssey” meanders its way toward its finish in some world other than this one, I can’t help but wonder how much of the synth integration that typifies Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum will show up there as well. We’ll find out in time, of course, but if anything’s for sure it’s that more than half a decade on from their first offering, Electric Moon keep growing and changing, and here they admirably maintain a cohesive atmosphere across what to many acts would be an utterly impossible stretch. Hard to imagine anyone leaving this show dissatisfied.

Electric Moon, Live 2015 – Zeiss Planetarium Bochum (2016)

Electric Moon on Thee Facebooks

Electric Moon on Bandcamp

Sulatron Records

Tags: , , , ,

Colour Haze, Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015: Praising High Gods

Posted in Reviews on August 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

colour-haze-live-vol-1-europa-tournee-2015

Technically speaking, this isn’t the first Colour Haze live record, but it most definitely is the first they’ve put out through Elektrohasch, and it’s their most complete-feeling to date. A set from the Berg Herzberg festival aptly-titled Berg Herzberg Festival 18 Juli 2008 was issued in 2009, but in comparison, Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 attempts to capture the best performances of a whole tour and winds up with two discs and over two hours and 11 minutes of music as a result. Spend an afternoon with Colour Haze. There are few better ways I can think of to dedicate that time, honestly, though I’m hardly impartial as a fan of the band. Comprised of 13 tracks, Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 culls material recorded in Paris, Frankfurt, Wurzberg, Berlin, Köln and puts it together fluidly — presumably in an effort to give an idea of what any given night’s setlist might’ve been — while spanning a decent portion of the Munich trio’s widely influential career.

As ever, Colour Haze are guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald, and this live outing was taped early last year as they were out with Radio Moscow, Cherry Choke and The Sun and the Wolf to support the late-2014 release of To the Highest Gods We Know (review here), their 11th studio album. Though they continue to be regular denizens of Duna Jam — and why not? — they’ve done less overall touring the last several years, having nestled themselves into a kind of statesman-like status in Europe’s heavy rock scene and provided a formative blueprint for an entire swath of jam-based heavy psychedelia with their unmatched instrumental chemistry, depth of tone and memorable songcraft.

Fortunately for anyone who might pick it up, all of those are on display throughout Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015, and Colour Haze show just how successful they’ve been in bringing an on-stage feel to their recordings all along as they dig into the still-exploratory-feeling title-track from 2012’s double-LP She Said (review here), from which “Transformation” and “Grace” are also featured, in succession, both with different arrangements than appear on the album. To the Highest Gods We Know gets its due as well, with a medley of “Überall” and “Call” joined together, a shortened, string-less take on its “To the Highest Gods We Know” and the righteously-riffed album opener “Circles,” on which Koglek‘s and Rasthofer‘s tones come through no less brilliantly than on the record itself. They go as far back as 1999’s Periscope, opening with that album’s title-track, feature “Love” and a 26-minute version of “Peace, Brothers and Sisters!” from their 2004 self-titled, “Aquamaria” and “Tempel” from 2006’s Tempel, and “Moon” from 2008’s All.

colour-haze-live-vol-1-europa-tournee-2015-tracklisting

Transitions across this swath of time — 16 years’ worth of material — are of course as seamless as anyone familiar with their work would expect, the three-piece having set their course with Periscope and continued to refine their processes ever since. Granted, for a live offering like this, there wouldn’t necessarily be the warts-and-all missteps one might find in, say, a single recorded set from any group — a flubbed note here, a flat line there — but at no point does Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 sound anything other than blissfully natural in its execution, and as the band hop from town to town, “Überall and Call” in Frankfurt, “Circles” in Paris, and so on, they give the genuine impression that the circumstances are the same, every night, every city, and so succeed in making Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 a representation of the tour and their live show in general. Whether it’s getting lost in the 13-minute “Transformation” or the far-ranging jam they embark on as part of “Peace, Brothers and Sisters!,” Colour Haze bring their legend to life in welcoming fashion.

And yeah, maybe the two-plus-hour live record is a fan piece. We’re coming up on being two years removed from the release of To the Highest Gods We Know and Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee coincides with Colour Haze‘s return to the US to take part in Psycho Las Vegas after a decade since their last US show, at Emissions from the Monolith in Ohio, so that they’d want to get something out makes sense from a practical standpoint as well, but it says something about the band that clearly this material has been carefully compiled, edited together so smoothly, and done in a manner worthy of the quality of the performances contained within. It is in no way half-assed, up to the point of including “Get it On” from 2000’s CO2 as a bonus track after the show-unto-itself “Peace, Brothers and Sisters!” caps what would be the regular set. An encore! After a 26-minute song!

There are few acts who could get away with such a thing, let alone as gloriously as KoglekRasthofer and Merwald do here — the latter’s snare subtlety even coming through on the live recording — but Colour Haze aren’t just any band. As they’ve demonstrated time and again, their strange brew is endlessly potent, and while they’ve marched past 20 years since the release of their first album in 1995’s Chopping Machine (discussed here), this collection proves their luster has only shone brighter over time and that their vision of a new classic rock finds no conflict in being as loyal to its roots as it is forward-thinking. Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee will be essential for any Colour Haze fan regardless of geography or how often they might tour in a given place, but for newcomers as well, it gives not only a sense of the spectrum of (much of) their catalog, but also provides a wholly immersive listening experience, and so pushes forward an essential aspect of the band’s sonic personality. Go with it.

Colour Haze website

Elektrohasch Schallplatten website

Tags: , , , , ,

High Fighter, Scars and Crosses: Trials to Bear

Posted in Reviews on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

high fighter scars and crosses

What ultimately stands High Fighter‘s Svart-delivered debut long-player, Scars and Crosses apart, aesthetically, is its aggression. The Hamburg, Germany, five-piece of vocalist Mona Miluski, guitarists Christian “Shi” Pappas and Ingwer Boysen, bassist Constantin Wüst and drummer/backing vocalist Thomas Wildelau made their debut in 2014 with the impressively cohesive The Goat Ritual EP (review here), and at its foundation, the story was much the same. Though High Fighter have been duly embraced by the heavy rock community in Europe and beyond, they’re really a metal band. That’s audible in their tonality, their attention to detail, in the clean singing and screams and growls of Miluski and in the arrangements of how and when she switches between them.

Mixed and mastered by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Leeches of Lore, etc.) from a recording by Jens Siefert at RAMA Studio in Mannheim, the album’s 41-minute span is vehemently straightforward, with some flourish of effects in the guitars and bluesy undertone, but interested primarily in thrust, and when there’s any letup at all as on the swaying start of “Portrait Mind,” it doesn’t last long. It’s an active listen, and the energy with which they deliver the included eight tracks gives the impression of an active band — punching someone in the face, after all, can be a real workout — but what’s going to be the deciding factor for many listeners particularly within the sphere of the heavy underground is whether they view High Fighter‘s metallurgy as righteous in its defiance of a genre status quo that’s only gotten lazier over the last half-decade or a group simply trying to meld styles to whatever degree of success depending on the audience’s point of view.

Listening to the command with which Miluski and the band behind her execute this material makes it easier to argue toward the former. Adrenaline is a major element at work even in the slower chug and wah of the penultimate “Down to the Sky,” but in its more intense moments — looking at you, “Blinders” — Scars and Crosses plays to modern metal sensibilities with a viscerally screamed verse and soaring clean chorus. The dual guitars of Pappas and Boysen careen through riffs of winding thrash on that song but are no less comfortable dug into the more rolling groove of the preceding “The Gatekeeper,” which also trades melody for screams between its verses and choruses, but swaps the structure to suit the groove and the linear built taking place over the song’s five and a half minutes.

high fighter

Following 6:33 opener and longest track (immediate points) “A Silver Heart” and the subsequent “Darkest Days” — which features a choice “ough” grunt from Miluski and the most satisfying direct linear build on offer — “The Gatekeeper” expands the context of Scars and Crosses to a degree, finds High Fighter leaning more toward groove than assault, but as noted, “Blinders” is perhaps the most raging cut on the record, so the balance is readjusted almost immediately as side A rounds out. What unites those two tracks, the first two, and the four still to come on side B is the songwriting and the confidence in execution that High Fighter show across the board. The Goat Ritual showed solid potential, but Scars and Crosses takes pivotal steps in positioning High Fighter where they would seem to want to be sound-wise — in a space between worlds that few bands would be so bold as to willfully inhabit.

“Portrait Mind” continues the thread at the launch of the album’s second half but also boasts a highlight guitar solo, while the subsequent “Gods” seems to nod back at “The Gatekeeper” with a desert rock riff reconstituted to suit High Fighter‘s purposes, giving a fuller look at what might become an expanded context over time for their approach. That continues in “Down to the Sky” as they draw back on some of the urgency in order to let a fluidity take hold for a few minutes in the song’s first half, Wildelau‘s kick offering firm punctuation throughout and signaling the launch of the solo section in the final third with an uptick in pace leading back to the chorus. This leaves the title-track with an even more difficult task of summarizing the album as a whole.

It does so with a central push derived in part from Kyuss‘ “Odyssey” that arrives offset by a slowdown hook and layered-in lead work that solidifies around a still-upbeat but nod-ready groove before expanding outward with effects on the guitar, vocal harmonies and a move into the apex of the record itself before a final minute filled only by the hum of feedback. Certainly that says it all as much as anything I could come up with, and “Scars and Crosses” rounds out the album by emphasizing what are already the band’s strengths in songwriting and performance while also giving a look at possible sides of their personality they might play with going forward. Make no mistake, they’re already a solid band, and I think Scars and Crosses deserves consideration among 2016’s most accomplished debuts, but High Fighter give no indication in these songs that this is the sum total of what they have to say as a unit, and that only bodes well for their future progress.

High Fighter, “Blinders” official video

High Fighter on Thee Facebooks

High Fighter website

High Fighter on Bandcamp

Svart Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

ZQKMGDZ to Release Orbit Dualkraut in Aug.

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

German outfit ZQKMGDZ have signed to Pink Tank Records and made their second album, Orbit Dualkraut, available now to preorder. The band lists their full-name as 10.000 km² Gegen Die Zeit, of which I’m just going to assume translates in their native language to the acronym in question, and made their long-player debut last year with Dimension Plasma. They’ll have Orbit Dualkraut out on Aug. 26 in a number of different editions, CD, vinyl and digital, and it seems each will include some different look from the others, whether that’s in color, longer songs or a bonus track. If you’re going to put a bonus track on your record, by the way, you should probably call it “Space Golem,” which of course ZQKMGDZ do.

From the PR wire:

ZQKMGDZ orbit dualkraut

ORBIT DUALKRAUT is the long awaited second release by ZQKMGDZ. The three guys from Lübeck, Germany are nailing it again with their unique Interstellar Psycho Doom. A fantastic mixture between Stoner-, Psychedelic-, Kraut- and Doom Rock straight outta space. With ORBIT DUALKRAUT Don Alfredo (Warpguitars & Roar) & Don Libido (Subways of Doom) Don Fernando (Spacedrums) made a big step forward. Harder, louder and more angry they crank the fuzz out of their amps.

Release Date:
26th of August 2016 on limited vinyl, cd and digital
Pre-order 1st of July 2016 via Pink Tank Records

VINYL
– 500 copies total all on 180g heavyweight vinyl pressed in Germany
– 200 copies dualkraut green incl. exclusive ZQKMGDZ patch, CD & Poster (Pink Tank Records & band edition)
– 300 copies clear (wholesale edition)
– 350g heavyweight cover

CD
– 700 copies total
– 200 copies exclusive vinyl version
– 500 copies jewel case 4/4 page booklet & BONUS TRACK
– both incl. long versions of Monkraut Jupiter & Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom

DIGITAL
– long version of Monokraut Jupiter & Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom
TRACKS:

VINYL:
A:
Plasma Russian – 05:59
Hypergrant – 08:02
Monokraut Jupiter – 06:53
B:
Orbit Dualkraut – 06:05
Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom – 14:47

CD
01. Plasma Russian
02. Hypergrant
03. Monokraut Jupiter (long version 11:53)
04 Orbit Dualkraut
05 Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom
06 Space Golem (BONUS TRACK)

DIGITAL
01. Plasma Russian
02. Hypergrant
03. Monokraut Jupiter (long version 11:53)
04 Orbit Dualkraut
05 Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom

https://www.facebook.com/ZQKMGDZ/
https://10000kmgegendiezeit.bandcamp.com/
http://www.pink-tank-records.de/label-1/the-pink-tank-family/zqkmgdz/

ZQKMGDZ, Orbit Dualkraut (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,

Setalight Festival 2016 Announces Lineup for Oct. 21-22 in Berlin

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

setalight festival 2016 header

The fall festival season kicks off in Europe before fall even starts. It’s like car companies rolling out next year’s models before we’re halfway through this year (though we are that now as well; you get my point). It seems like between August and November there isn’t a week when one if not multiple nations is playing host to a swath of quality bands, and Setalight Festival 2016 throws itself into the heart of the fray on Oct. 21 and 22, hosting an already-packed two-day lineup at the these-are-German-words Zukunft am Ostkreuz venue in Berlin.

I’m not sure if this is the complete lineup or not. It could be, easily. As of now, jam-prone Dutch trio The Machine, and Germany’s own Mother Engine — veterans of Freak Valley and Desertfest Berlin, no doubt among others — will also take part, as well as East-meets-West groovers Samavayo (based in Berlin), French mostly-instrumentalists Glowsun, uptempo rockers Phiasco and a host of others, some familiar — looking at you, Motorowl — and some less so. A couple names to investigate below, since if Setalight Records — which of course is putting on the festival — knows anything it’s how to pick bands.

The particulars came down the PR wire:

setalight festival 2016 poster

The Berlin based music label SETALIGHT presents the 4th time bands out of Stonerrock, Heavy & Hard Rock, Doom, Noise and Psychedelic Rock. Beside known bands of the scene, we will also present new or unknown bands.

For the lineup, we picked some great bands out of the dust, such as:

THE MACHINE
MOTHER ENGINE
SAMAVAYO
NEUME
OUZO BAZOOKA
PHIASCO
GLOWSUN
THIEVES BY THE CODE
BALG
MOTHERBRAIN
SWEDENBORG RAUM
KALAMAHARA
MOTOROWL
and many more.

When / where:

The SETALIGHT FESTIVAL will take place from 21st to 22nd of October 2016 in Berlin, (Club: Zukunft am Ostkreuz). The pre-sale just started. Get more information at the links:

www.setalight-festival.com
https://www.facebook.com/events/1671298366486172/

The Machine, “Coda Sun” official video

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Picturebooks Sign to Another Century Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Don’t get me wrong, good for The Picturebooks and all that, but I’m just a little curious as to how the German duo wound up with Another Century as opposed to Century Media proper, where they’d be labelmates to the likes of The Shrine, Hexvessel and Truckfighters (among others). Doubtless some internal organizational thing and I don’t know that it really matters in the long run — they’re both under the Sony banner at this point — but it’s just interesting that Century Media seems to be on such a purposeful push into heavy rock and The Picturebooks, who have their indie stream to be sure but probably still fall under a “heavy rock” banner, would wind up on Another Century instead. Can’t help but wonder if other acts might migrate over as well or how separate the two entities actually are. Past Century Media rock imprints — Liquor & Poker comes to mind — have been pretty fluid.

Either way, The Picturebooks will be on tour in Europe this fall and have a new video even as they work on their next record, so it’s bonus news all around. Note the comments below from Mike Gitter of Another Century and Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, who released The Picturebooks‘ 2014 album, Imaginary Horse. Those are two excellent dudes to have in your corner.

From the PR wire:

the picturebooks

PRIMAL BLUES-ROCK DUO THE PICTUREBOOKS SIGNS WITH ANOTHER CENTURY

ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN DATES WITH LE BUTCHERETTES & DEBUTS MUSIC VIDEO FOR “THE RABBIT AND THE WOLF”

Primal blues-rock duo THE PICTUREBOOKS has just announced their signing to US-based rock label Another Century. Featuring Fynn Claus Grabke [vocals, guitar] and Philipp Mirtschink [drums], the two perform blues-saturated heavy rock.

“The Picturebooks’ sound is as distinct as the smell of burnt motor oil coming off the sun-baked California desert highway,” explains Another Century’s VP of A&R Mike Gitter. “They are at once completely unique, musically unforgettable, and tapped into the psyche of rock n’ roll at its most primal. We had to get involved with these raw riders of the sonic highway.”

RidingEasy Records’ Daniel Hall adds, “The Picturebooks are destined for greatness and we are excited to be able to combine forces with Another Century who will be able to provide some of the big label resources that we currently aren’t set up to do. I look forward to watching this band continue to grow into the timeless act that they are.”

This September, THE PICTUREBOOKS will hit the road with Le Butcherettes on their month-long “A Raw Youth” European run. A full list of dates can be seen below. With a rigorous touring history, the band has played alongside Eagles of Death Metal, Kadavar, The Answer, and more, as well as performed at Riot Fest (Chicago, Denver; USA), Governor’s Ball (New York, USA), and Sziget (Hungary).

Additionally, THE PICTUREBOOKS have released a new video for their song “The Rabbit And The Wolf,” which was featured on ‘Imaginary Horse.’ Directed by Claus Grabke, the video documents the two riding from city to city on their custom built choppers, amidst a number of daring stunts and electric performances.

“Nothing in the video for ‘The Rabbit and the Wolf’ is staged,” explains THE PICTUREBOOKS. “We just filmed what happened on tour or when hanging around with our friends, riding choppers, skating etc. Some of it was filmed in Europe and some was filmed in the US. The lyrics in the song kinda describe us and the way we feel when being on tour, so it seemed appropriate to use mostly tour-footage for the video. Most of the smaller locations in this video are what really made this band. People believed in us and gave us the chance to play, even before we were signed. We kept coming back till the place was finally packed. We owe these people a lot!”

THE PICTUREBOOKS are working on new material for their Another Century debut, so fans are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled on the group’s socials for future updates.

2016 Tour Dates:
09/09 – Faak am See, Austria – European Bike Week Festival **free entry**

“A Raw Youth” European Tour:
w/ Le Butcherettes
09/22 – Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia
09/23 – Cologne, Germany – Artheater
09/25 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Loppen
09/27 – Nijmegen, Netherlands – Merleyn
09/28 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg Theater
09/29 – Courtrai, Belgium – De Kreun
09/30 – Paris, France – Le Backstage By The Mill
10/01 – Stuttgart, Germany – Kellerclub
10/03 – Prague, Czech – Lucerna Music Bar
10/04 – Munich, Germany – Kranhalle
10/05 – Vienna, Austria – B72
10/07 – Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo
10/08 – Milan, Italy – Tunnel
10/10 – Valencia, Spain – Loco Club
10/11 – Madrid, Spain – El Sol
10/12 – Barcelona, Spain – Sidecar
10/14 – London, UK – The Black Heart
10/15 – Coventry, UK – Kasbah (club night)
10/16 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds
10/17 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
10/19 – Dublin, Ireland – The Workman’s Club
10/20 – Belfast, UK – Black Box
10/21 – Glasgow, UK – King Tuts
10/22 – Manchester, UK – Night & Day

http://www.thepicturebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/ThePicturebooks
http://www.twitter.com/ThePicturebooks
http://www.instagram.com/ThePicturebooks
http://www.anothercentury.com
http://www.facebook.com/AnotherCenturyRecords

The Picturebooks, “The Rabbit and the Wolf” official video

Tags: , , ,