audiObelisk: Stream Guzzlemug’s To Leave the Earth EP in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on November 15th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

A few weeks back, I put up an On the Radar post about Chicago-based heavy prog trio Guzzlemug, whose dedication to and affection for the sonically weird was writ large all over their Nervously Counting Rosary Beads EP. This weekend, they’ll release through Speaks Volumes Records and their own Bad Human Records the follow-up to that single-song outing, a four-track EP of roughly the same length called To Leave the Earth, and I’m fortunate enough to have been granted permission to host the tracks for streaming prior to the release.

I’ve been listening to the songs for the last few days, just trying to kind of get my head around the material, and it’s no easy task. Guzzlemug are a challenging listen, the music apologetically complex melodically and rhythmically. To Leave the Earth was recorded in Brooklyn in 2010 — before the EP it follows — so the breadth isn’t even as expansive as it’s become in the time since, but still, they touch on the same kind of dark, organ-infused progressive lurch that made AncestorsIn Dreams and Time such a joy earlier this year (while also predating it) on the 17-minute focal point track “Dust on My Tongue,” and their scope is no less encompassing here than it has become since.

I wouldn’t call the songs accessible in the sense of reaching out and making party favors out of catchy hooks, but neither are they coldly delivered. Guzzlemug are going on this trip whether you’re coming or not, but bassist/vocalist Tom Kelly, guitarist/vocalist Shane Prendiville and drummer Charlie Werber make a strong case for joining them and don’t dissuade engagement, whether it’s the soothing grunge-gone-experimental melodicism of interlude “The Calm,” the storm that follows in the chaotic churn of “Io,” the bass-led intro “Flight” or the mounting tension in “Dust on My Tongue. ”

They’ll have To Leave the Earth available to buy on the Guzzlemug Bandcamp starting this Saturday, but for an early glimpse, please find it on the player below followed by release info sent over by the band, and please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Guzzlemug’s To Leave The Earth EP:

01. Flight
02. Dust On My Tongue
03. The Calm
04. Io

Guzzlemug is: Tom Kelly (bass, vocals), Shane Prendiville (guitar, vocals), Charlie Werber (drums, percussion)

Additional vocals on The Calm by Wes Jones. Additional vocals on Io by Sacha Mullin and Sasha Clara Gibbs.

Recorded in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY in the Summer of 2010 at 1984 Studios.
This was recorded before Nervously Counting Rosary Beads.

Engineer: Wes Jones
Assistant Engineer: Mathew Sherman
Mixed and Mastered in the Summer of 2012 by Adam Tucker of Signaturetone Recording in Minneapolis, MN.
Released on Guzzlemug’s own Bad Human Records and Howie Voigt’s Speaks Volumes Records.
Front cover art by Jaroslaw Miklasiewicz
Back cover by Gina Kelly of Weathermaker Press
Layout/design by Tom Kelly.

Available starting Saturday November 17th through us directly at guzzlemugfalcon [at] gmail [dot] com or through bandcamp: Orders will ship out by the end of the week.

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On the Radar: Guzzlemug

Posted in On the Radar on September 19th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know about you, but every now and again, I like to indulge in something a little weird. A little off the riffy path, if you know what I’m saying. I kind of stumbled on a link to Chicago-by-way-of-Minneapolis abstract rockers Guzzlemug‘s new EP, Nervously Counting Rosary Beads, and it’s been meeting my strangeness quota ever since with its varied movements of choral melodies, instrumental math-metal rhythms, Melvinsian creepy chug, and finally, a grandiose trip into the bizarre no less psychedelic for the weight with which it crushes. Tech-type prog is a factor, but even the trio’s showiest stretches serve an overarching purpose that feeds into the song as a whole. It’s a pretty impressive piece of work, well arranged, tightly performed, and residing in a kind of clenched-stomach atmosphere that’s alternately unsettling and engaging. Once I press play, I can’t seem to stop it.

Nervously Counting Rosary Beads is — if their Bandcamp page is anything to go by — far from Guzzlemug‘s first release, but they’ve pressed it to 180 gram vinyl in an initial gatefold run of 200, so they’re obviously willing to stand behind it as well, and rightly so. By 15 minutes into the 29-minute lone title-track, the band starts to fill some of the space Sleepytime Gorilla Museum‘s KingCrimson-on-a-bad-trip style used to occupy in my waking nightmares, all vague ambient threats, mechanized-sounding churn and yet-unquenched thirst for violence. This reportedly isn’t the only EP they’ll have out before the end of 2012, but it’s worth a listen if you’re in one of those “everything sounds like everything else” moods, because if there’s anything Guzzlemug sound like, it’s not everything else.

They’ve got more details about the release on their Thee Facebooks, but if you do decide to take a listen to the track, take special note of the fact that no matter how far they go rhythmically, they never completely let go of the melody, or if they do, it’s never for too long. Even after the wild never-gonna-end tornado of turns, they bring it back to a weird soulful “sun will rise!” melodic vocal line. Right on. You could spend a while digging through this one:

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