Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
You gotta call your debut EP something, I guess. Rock heads will probably find it pretty easy to get initiated into Wendigo‘s Initiation. Despite the militaristic cover art, they’re not hammering nails into anybody’s chest — sonically speaking or otherwise — and instead proffer a straightforward type of heavy rock with some more classic metal-style vocals. The entire three-song offering can be streamed now below, as well as a couple cover tracks from Mountain, The Cult, AC/DC, that give a pretty decent sense of where the German five-piece are coming from. Some growing to do, but they’re young yet for the most part.
Background and audio:
WENDIGO – Initiation (EP)
Frisia is a region in northwestern Germany where endless pastures meet cow dung and where sheep’s legs grow askew due to them standing on the levee all the time. Frisia is a region both idyllic and calm… but there’s been not much to say about rock music from Frisia so far. So far. Or better: until 2012. Because 2012 has been the year in which four Frisians, back then still underage, came together to found WENDIGO and to teach some classic Rock to their flat homeland.
At first, WENDIGO, completed by changing singers on stage, enthused the people of Frisia with cover versions from AC/DC to ZZ TOP. Charity concerts for kids with cancer, fairs, underground concerts in youth clubs… the Frisian quartet plus guest vocalists took any chance to give people a taste of Rock and Metal classics. And they do that with success: Their concerts kept (and keep) getting bigger and bigger, and soon they found a constant singer and fifth regular band member in Jörg “Schorsch” Theilen.
Their success on stage also is what put enough wind under WENDIGO’s wings to write and record their own compositions. Years of experience as cover band taught the young band what works fine and what doesn’t, and thus their debut EP “Initiation” is full of their influences without bringing one of the influences so much into the foreground that one might speak of a “rip-off”. “Initiation”, that is quick Hard Rock in connection with cool Blues Rock attitude and hot, dry Stoner Rock atmosphere… music that makes you think about smoky pubs and sweaty clubs, but also works outside in the open air. Music, that makes you loose your temper and invites you to bang your head, but is also perfect if you just want to bop along with a cold beer in your hand.
Tracklisting: 1. Play It 2. Sail On 3. Holy Hypocrite
Band members: Vocals: Jörg Theilen Lead Guitar: Eric Post Rhythm Guitar & Vocals: Jan Ole Möller Bass & Vocals: Lennard Viertel Drums: Steffen Freesemann
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
With the news that former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia has pulled the plug on his Fall 2016 European tour plans, Munich-based Keep it Low festival has had to accordingly update its already-completed festival lineup. I’m not sure if they’ll add someone to replace Garcia — also not sure how the tour cancellation coincides with the planned late-2016 release of a new solo record from him; as there’s been no word from Napalm Records on it, I wouldn’t necessarily count on it arriving before 2017 — but the fest is exactly one month away, so it seemed only fair to post the new lineup, which remains strong with the likes of Colour Haze, Elder, Greenleaf, Karma to Burn, and so on.
The following comes direct from Keep it Low 2016. Dig it:
Keep It Low Festival 2016
Keep it Low is a cozy 2 days Indoor Festival with family character and loads of good vibes.Fans of Heavy Rock, Psychedelic, Doom, Stoner and Rock´n Roll should mark 21 & 22 October 2016 in their calendar.The first three editions were sold out and the upcoming 4 th edition will also see an excellent line up. The “Feierwerk”-Areal is only 2 subway stations away from the centre of Munich. KIL 2016 greets with 3 stages and around 20 bands, cozy and rain protected outside beergarden, next to a skatepark. For the ones keeping it really low, we decided to end both festival nights with an aftershow party (+DJ) in one of the concert rooms.
LINE UP 2016: FRIDAY Oct 21: COLOUR HAZE – KARMA TO BURN – ELECTRIC CITIZEN – SALEM´S POT – MOTHER´S CAKE – SWAN VALLEY HEIGHTS – COJONES
KEEP IT LOW 2016 will happen on October 21st and 22nd in FEIERWERK (Munich) and will greet with 3 stages and 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!
The Taurus Triangle doesn’t necessarily sound like a band’s seventh album. That is to say, after putting out seven records in the span of 11 years, one might expect that German trio Burn Pilot — or Burnpilot, depending on who you ask — to have settled into something of a creative routine. Even if their sound was still growing, which by no means is a given, it would be at kind of a steady pace, in the same manner each time out.
That’s not the case with these seven tracks, which do indeed build on the style of 2014’s Intense, but do so in a way that seems to strip down that album’s approach down toward its core in songwriting that runs a span between modern boogie, rawer punk — hello, “Death by Machine Power” — and flowing psychedelia.
It’s a progressive blend that would pair exceedingly well with Russia’s The Grand Astoria on tour and even being my first experience with the work of brothers Sidney (vocals/drums) and Joel Jaffe (bass/vocals) and guitarist/vocalist Jonas Hehemann, it’s easy to hear the sense of accomplishment with which they move back and forth between the various elements at play, whether it’s beginning the crisp 34-minute run of the Pink Tank Records release with quiet, grunge-style guitar work before moving into the almost frenetic fits and shuffle of “Hit the City,” or injecting instrumental centerpiece “Levitation” with a bluesy lead and rolling, languid nod.
Because so much of their approach is based on push and movement and go-go-go-go-go, the actual scope of The Taurus Triangle feels subtle, and by no means does any single track represent the entirety of the album. Combined with the momentum the three-piece build as they move from one piece to the next, from “Hit the City” into the initial jangle and subsequent thrust of “Death by Machine Power,” and on from there, it’s that variety that makes The Taurus Triangle so intriguing.
Since they close with their longest song, the six-and-a-half-minute (they’ve gone much longer in the past) “Justice at Play,” side A has four tracks and side B three, and one finds that even with the initial push of the opening duo as it bleeds into the quieter start of “Krautrausch,” which almost tries to nestle into that Graveyardian heavy ’10s mid-paced boogie but can’t quite let go of the throttle by the finish of its build, the diversity of songwriting remains the most constant factor throughout.
Underlying that, of course, is a considerable amount of chemistry, not only between the brotherly rhythm section, but with Jonas as well. That may well be the most telling factor when it comes to understanding that Burn Pilot are on their seventh record.
Their songwriting is fluid despite its often angular take and more than just swapping back and forth between quiet and loud, fast and slow, they mount a dynamic take that plays up resonant hooks like that in “Krautrausch” and give each half of the record its due as a whole entity in addition to offering some standout factor in each song.
So yeah, they sound experienced. They are experienced. Maybe it’s because they’ve worked at a rate of putting out a record every year and a half — a classic model if ever there was one — and maybe it’s because The Taurus Triangle is my first time really digging into their sound, but it’s striking how established they come across while still being refreshingly energetic — to put it in a word: young — in their delivery.
Granted there’s a side-swap in between on the vinyl version, but the range is perhaps best displayed as “Krautrausch” and the flowing, solo-topped instrumental “Levitation” move into “Transformation,” which mirrors the earlier push, if in a somewhat expanded mindset, gradually moving toward a more intense thrust as it goes until by its end, the effects-laden solo gives way to a fuller sprint and the song caps with a build that cuts off to let “You Will Fall” take hold. It does so by teasing a slowdown and then reviving the gallop before opening again to its verse, also more ’90s than ’70s in its roots, and playing to more direct switches in tempo and drive.
In this way, Burn Pilot add breadth without giving up the already-noted momentum they’ve clearly worked to gain. And as one might expect, it’s up to “Justice at Play” as the finale to round out the front-to-back flow and summarize the ground covered and the methods by which they’ve covered it, which it does by boasting yet another blazing lead from Hehemann — there are many, they shine — some jagged, almost noise-rock groove, punker thrust, and heavy blues command. In one song.
For the simple fact that it doesn’t completely fall apart, The Taurus Triangle‘s closer impresses, but again, it’s hardly Burn Pilot‘s first time at the dance, and they very obviously know what they want their songs to do at any given point. I guess that’s the biggest takeaway from the record in the end.
Burn Pilot, as a group with more than a decade together under their belt, show themselves as having a dynamic songwriting process, fervent execution and a seemingly ongoing creative progression that one can hear sharply realized in their tracks. Seven albums later and still actively, willfully growing? I dare you not to admire that.
Posted in Reviews on September 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Each of Wight‘s albums has represented a significant jump in sound from the one before it. At this point, they have a decent track record going of shifting sonically from release to release. Their first outing, Wight Weedy Wight (review here), lived up to its name in 2011 with fuzzy groove and stonerized riffing. The 2012 follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), found the Darmstadt trio working quickly on a path of progression, greatly expanding their scope and psychedelic undertones with a natural, jammy vibe.
Their awaited third full-length, Love is Not Only What You Know (on Fat and Holy Records, Kozmik Artifactz, Import Export Music and SPV), may have been much slower in arriving, but brings with it no less a sense of departure from its predecessor(s).
First of all, it marks the introduction of percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening to the lineup with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/producer René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek, making it Wight‘s first record as a four-piece, but it also brazenly incorporates elements of classic funk and soul in songs like opener “Helicopter Mama,” “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” and the 11-minute closer “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” that are at once the band’s most clearheaded work to-date but also their most outwardly grooving.
No doubt the inclusion of Kirchpfening plays a role in this — percussion certainly gets its say throughout, right from the bouncing start of “Helicopter Mama,” which was also released as a 7″ single (review here) last year — but as each Wight full-length has moved past the one before it, it has also brought choice elements along for that trip. Through the Woods into Deep Water held to the tonal largesse and fluid spirit of Wight Weedy Wight, and similarly, the seven tracks/46 minutes of Love is Not Only What You Know carry forward the second album’s graceful flow, memorable songwriting, and for the most part, its looser feel and swing.
It’s the context in which those elements arrive that has shifted. Conveniently, the liner notes to the CD version list the band’s influences for each track, and they range from James Brown and Stevie Wonder on “Helicopter Mama,” to broken hearts, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce on “The Muse and the Mule,” to traveling, cultures and chaos on the Eastern-inflected interlude “Three Quarters.” Through the longer stretches in “The Muse and the Mule” (10:10) and “Kelele” (9:29) which follows to round out side A, Hofmann seems to play the role of bandleader.
“Helicopter Mama” was more straightforward, and it gets a complement on side B’s “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” but particularly in the more fleshed out pieces — it goes for “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” (11:47) as well — Hofmann shines vocally, on guitar played through a range of effects, and in adding keyboard flourish. That’s not to say the rest of the band doesn’t make pivotal contributions as well. As with Through the Woods into Deep Water, it’s Schierhorn‘s bass keeping the material grounded, and “The Muse and the Mule” would simply fall flat without him.
Ditto that for “Kelele” and really the record as a whole, including the more subdued penultimate cut “Biophilia Intermezzo,” shorter at three minutes than everything but “Three Quarters,” which is two, but still soulful enough to make an impression. After a dreamier departure in the second half of “The Muse and the Mule,” “Kelele” starts with funky thrust and delivers its hook sans pretense, Kurek holding down the march while Kirchpfening fills the spaces between beats with shekere and djembe.
Just past four minutes in, the song comes to a halt and they launch into a guitar-led heavy psych jam, Hofmann taking an extended solo as the band pushes further and further out, eventually bringing back to the initial progression and the repetitions of the title that seem to beg for a sing-along without actually begging for it, bookending the track excellently and underscoring the sense of control with which Wight execute their material at this stage.
Their stylistic fusion extends even more on “Three Quarters,” which plays up Mideastern drones and chanting for a quick but hypnotic psychedelic centerpiece effect to transition into side B, which comes back to classic funk-infused rock on “I Wanna Know What You Feel,” reminiscent of Humble Pie or early John Mayall if they decided to incorporate sitar accent.
Both “I Wanna Know What You Feel” and “Biophilia Intermezzo” are shorter than anything on side A, including “Helicopter Mama,” but the groove of one and the key-laced soul explosiveness of the other make them standouts nonetheless and though the sound varies widely throughout side B, basically from one song into the next, by the time “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” comes on to close out with a return to the funkier, jammy feel of “The Muse and the Mule,” it all makes an odd kind of sense within the sphere in which Wight seem to be operating.
With Hofmann doing a more than capable Chris Cornell on vocals, the finale opens patiently with a key-solo jam before unfolding its first verse and moving into its chorus, and the difference turns out to be that when the band launches into the last jam this time, there’s no coming back, unlike, say, “Kelele.”
Keys, claves, temple blocks, drums, bass, guitar — all of it creates a fitting swirl to end the expansive feel of the record as a whole, but it’s important to note that the more pervasive vibe comes from the live feel of the song itself, and that’s also a consistent thread tying Love is Not Only What You Know together even as it continues to introduce new ways of working in its final moments. It is unquestionably Wight‘s most vibrant release, and to listen to it and Wight Weedy Wight next to each other, one would hardly even recognize it’s the same band. Because it’s not.
I said their last time out that I wouldn’t want to predict where they head next, and while they seem to have found a niche for themselves otherwise largely unoccupied in European heavy rock, the same applies here. Wight have shown time and again that their commitment is to following their creative will rather than a predetermined “sound,” and on their third album, that will has produced an accomplished collection of intricate but vital songs that redefine the band’s scope entirely.
What that might mean for the future, who knows? Who cares? It’s a party. Groove out and rock on.
Wight, “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” official video
I had been kind of curious to see how Kadavar might handle their Nico cover as they continued their ‘Visual Album’ project for their 2015 third full-length, Berlin (review here). The closer of the record, “Reich Der Träume” is a pretty significant departure from cuts like “Lord of the Sky,” “Filthy Illusion” and “Pale Blue Eyes” — each of which has also already received its own video (posted here, here and here, respectively) — and caps Berlin with a mellow, melancholic, psychedelic vibe. They may have remixed the track for the video — the vocals seem more forward than I recall from prior listens, though that could also be my laptop speakers, which as we all know is no way to hear anything correctly, ever — but the mood is much the same, and in this case, the mood is everything.
One could say that of much of Kadavar‘s work, I guess, but it’s what that mood represents that’s shifted here. Where “Lord of the Sky” or “Last Living Dinosaur” or “The Old Man” bask in uptempo bounce and highlight the German trio’s ultra-catchy songcraft, “Reich Der Träume” willfully represents another take entirely. It might be most closely related to their tripped-out split with Aqua Nebula Oscillator, but is less lysergic in its substance if still dreamy. I’d have sworn I saw “Reich Der Träume” listed as a bonus track for Berlin at some point, so didn’t know if the band would include it in the ‘Visual Album’ collection — their stated intent to make a video for every song on the album within the span of a year — but they give it a suitably fluid visual accompaniment here, working once again with artist Nathini van der Meer as they have throughout the entirety of the project.
Enjoy the clip below, followed by some comment from the band via the PR wire:
Kadavar, “Reich Der Träume” official video
We have released the fourth video for the »Berlin« visual album concept.
Together with long-time friend and collaborator Nathini van der Meer (http://nathinivandermeer.com), who has created artwork and videos for them in the past, Kadavar are working on their first “Visual Album”- 12 short films accompanying each of the albums’ songs, to be released once a month throughout the entirety of the year.
Commented the band: “The song was originally written for Nico by Lutz Graf (LÜÜL), known for his work with bands like ASH RA TEMPEL, AGITATION FREE or 17 HIPPIES. It is the first song Lupus sings German on. We liked the heavy mood of the song. Within the music as well as in the lyrics. It’s one of the most beautiful Nico songs which unfortunately was barely recognized until now. We were very proud when we got LÜÜL’s blessing to cover the song.”
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
By the time German trio Burn Pilot — also stylized as Burnpilot — release their new album, The Taurus Triangle, on Sept. 30, they will no doubt be ready to embark on their latest European tour to herald its arrival. The record finds Burn Pilot releasing through Pink Tank Records for what I believe is the first time following a prior alliance with Setalight Records, which had previously offered up the band’s punker-delic blend on 2012’s Passionate, and perhaps its follow-up, 2013’s Intense. Both of those albums are starting to run low on the band’s Bandcamp (linked below), and I’d expect no different of The Taurus Triangle once it hits.
Burn Pilot have a live video of “Hit the City” from the new album as well that you can check out with the tour dates and vinyl info below. From the PR wire:
THE TAURUS TRIANGLE by BURN PILOT out 30.09.2016
It’s not only a new record by one of the best live bands who are around in Germany, it’s also their 10th anniversary album which is filled with Energetic-Psychedelic-Stoner-Punk. 100% live recorded, 120% Burn Pilot!
TRACKLIST: 1. HIT THE CITY 2. DEATH BY MACHINE POWER 3. KRAUTRAUSCH 4. LEVITATION 5. TRANSFORMATION 6. YOU WILL FALL 7. JUSTICE AT PLAY
VINYL FACTZ: 500 VINYL TOTAL 100 BLACK WHITE SPLATTER (excl. Pink Tank Edition incl. Poster) 100 RED BLACK SPLATTER (excl. Band Edition incl. Poster) 300 BLACK (wholesale Edition)
All on 180g heavyweight vinyl, 300g heavyweight gatefold cover and incl. download card.
CD FACTZ: 1.000 COPIES TOTAL (jewel case)
Burn Pilot on Tour: 16.09. Heidelberg – Villa Nachttanz (+ ???) 23.09. Karlsruhe – AKK 24.09. Rastatt – Art Canrobert 30.09. Bielefeld – Forum NEW ALBUM RELEASE SHOW 14.10 Berlin – Fischladen 15.10 Hannover – 20.10. Hengelo – Innocent * 21.10. Bielefeld – Nr. z. P. * 22.10. Dortmund – Junkyard * 28.10. Kiel – Pumpe * 29.10 Hamburg – Astra Stube / Bar 227 * *Pink Tank Festivals 2016
Founded in 2005 Released “CHEVY TIMEMACHINE” in 2007 Did not release “FREE AT LAST” in 2008 Released “RIOTS IN JERUSALEM” in 2009 Released “BOHEMIAN TRAUMA” in 2010 Released “REVEAL” in 2011 Released “PASSIONATE” in 2012 Released “INTENSE” in 2014 “The Taurus Triangle” in 2016
We played our asses off on approx. 500 gigs in Europe and the U.S.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
German weirdo two-piece Beehoover are heading back to the UK this month to support their 2016 release, Primitive Powers. The band, who issued four full-lengths through Exile on Mainstream, curiously self-issued this fifth outing back in February — this news post is the first I’m hearing of the album’s existence — and the reason I say it’s curious is because the label was still so very into the band when it issued 2013’s The Devil and His Footmen (review here), so I can’t help but wonder what happened there. Either way, the eight-tracker can be streamed in full below, in case you, like me, would like to get caught up.
Beehoover — of whom Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward recently said, “make sure you check them out!,” which is about as much of as endorsement as I’d think anything happening of any sort would need in the UK — also toured Britain early in 2014 for the last record, so it would seem they got a good enough response to head back. They’ll be at Snuff’est on Sept. 17, and that and the other dates follow here, presented by Snuff Lane:
Beehoover are coming back to the UK!
Beehoover have made great efforts to defy the laws of heavy rock and to create an awkward hotchpotch of complex, unusual, groovy, unpredictable and naive noise. If you missed the insane duo last time and if you are a fan of the Melvins, Tool, No Means No or Primus, be sure to catch them this September at your favourite live club.
And prepare to add a new word to your vocabulary for what’s to be witnessed: beehooveresque.
Beehoover UK tour: 15/9 Bournemouth – Anvil 16/9 Plymouth – Junction 17/9 Bristol – Snuff’est 18/9 Leeds – Chunk 19/9 Edinburgh – Bannermans Bar 20/9 Dundee – Beat Generator 21/9 Glasgow – Nice N Sleazy 22/9 Newcastle – Northumberland Arms 23/9 Nottingham – Chameleon Arts Cafe 24/9 London – Black Heart
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’d hardly call myself an expert on Germany’s Valborg at this point, but the more I hear, the more I like. The dark metal three-piece will issue a new EP, titled Werwolf, on Sept. 23 through Temple of Torturous, and if you want to hear what I’m talking about, by all means dig into “Ich Bin Total” below, the churning metallic riff and lurching vibe of which should bring a recall of the best of peak-era Paradise Lost though the band undeniably bring their own spin to it as well.
It took me a bit to catch onto it, but their 2015 album, Romantik, is a gem of atmospheric bleakness and the band released the collaborative EP, Karbon Winter, earlier this year, working directly with Costin Chioreanu‘s Bloodway project. Werwolf — normally I’d say something smartass about “therwolf, thercastle” but in light of Gene Wilder’s recent passing will let it go this time — will be out as a limited 7″ and “Ich Bin Total” is one of two tracks being featured. I’d sure as hell be interested in hearing the other one.
Preorders are up now. From the PR wire:
Valborg – German Dark Metal Trio Reveal New EP Details Share First Single “Ich Bin Total”
German dark metal trio VALBORG have announced a new EP titled “Werwolf”, due out on September 23rd via Temple Of Torturous.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Marius Costache at Studio 148 in Bucharest, Romania, “Werwolf” follows up their critically-lauded fifth album “Romantik”, released last year through Temple Of Torturous and sees the German trio fulfilling their fans’ wishes who were constantly requesting the recordings of two of the most acclaimed songs from their live set, “Werwolf” and “Ich Bin Total”. Originating from the pre-Romantik era those songs represent the best of what Valborg stands for and also offer a glimpse of what is about to follow on the sixth full-length record, which is already in the making. Pre-orders are available here.
Jan Buckard – Bass, vocals Christian Kolf – Guitars, vocals Florian Toyka – Drums