Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
No strangers to spending time on the road at this point, Year of the Cobra are set to make their first trip abroad. The occasion is an appearance set for March 4 at Hell Over Hammaburg, but they’ll be doing headlining gigs starting March 1 in Lille, France, with other shows in Germany as they continue to support their 2016 STB Records debut album, …In the Shadows Below (review here), as well as the limited single you can see above, originally put out by H42 Records and sold through last year, but the final copies of which the Seattle duo will have with them for the shows.
Upon their return, Year of the Cobra will take part March 11 in this year’s Ceremony of Sludge in Portland (info here), and they were also recently confirmed for adding a Pink Floyd cover to the impending Magnetic Eye Records tribute, The Wall [Redux], for which a crowdfunding campaign is on now (info here).
To top it all off, the band gives the hint below that they’ll be back in Europe this fall for a more complete tour. I would be downright amazed if that didn’t include one or more of the autumn festivals — Desertfest Belgium or Athens, Keep it Low, etc. — but that’s speculation on my part for now and we’ll have to see what comes together over the next few months. Seems fair to expect Year of the Cobra to have more US activity in the works as well, so keep an eye out.
Here’s the latest info:
This is YOTC’s first European tour and we’re heading over to play Hell Over Hammaburg Festival in Hamburg, Germany. We’re playing a handful of headlining dates around the festival in Germany and France.
H42 Records released a limited edition 7″, specifically for Hell Over Hammaburg and our tour – which sold out online within hours. We’ll have a small number of these for sale at our shows, they are the only copies available.
We’re planning on heading back to Europe in the fall for a full European tour.
Year of the Cobra on tour: March 1 Lille FR March 2 Essen DE March 3 Berlin DE March 4 Hamburg DE – Hell Over Hammaburg March 5 Freiburg DE
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Desert rock trio Avon made their debut early in 2016 with Mad Marco, a full-length collection distinct in its still-inimitable Californian style. The band is distinguished by its lineup, which features drummer Alfredo Hernandez, of Yawning Man, Kyuss, Che, and Queens of the Stone Age fame, as well as Charles Pasarell of Waxy and James Childs of Vic du Monte’s Persona non Grata and Airbus. As such, it’s little surprise ultimately they’d have their head screwed on right when it comes to knowing what they want to sound like, and as tracks like “Yvone the Avon Lady” and “Bloodlike Rain” — both of which you can sample below as part of the full-album stream — demonstrate, they’ve got a sphere that extends beyond sandy origins to a wider psychedelia.
I’ll admit the album got by me last year when it was issued by Spira Records — trying to run down a CD copy as we speak, actually — but the three-piece have a new single coming in April on respected German purveyor H42 Records and that’s well worth looking forward to.
A quick announcement came down the PR wire:
New 7″ from AVON released in April 17
We from H42 Records are so Happy to announce to release Avon’s new 7″ in April.
Avon is: Alfredo Hernández (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Yawning Man) James Childs (Airbus, Little Villains) Charles Pasarell (WAXY)
AVON play heavy rock and are from California USA. The music is psychedelic, raw, melodic and has something to say. Their musical bond comes from years of playing in their respective bands often together in California’s desert cities, Los Angeles and on many European tours. Each member brings with them influence and experience to form a unique and driven sound. So if you like heavy desert rock, then you have come to the right place. After their 2016 debut ‘Mad Marco’ they will be back with new tunes soon.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Last month, Italian heavy psych rockers Giöbia were announced as signing to Heavy Psych Sounds for booking. Now comes word that Spring 2017 will bring a new single, What Have You Done, as a 7″ platter via the specializing-in-such-things German imprint H42 Records, holding forth a B-side with no less than a cover of Hawkwind‘s “Silver Machine.” Not a minor track to take on by any means, but Giöbia‘s mind expansion hit a particularly resonant wave on 2015’s Magnifier (review here), which came out on Sulatron, so one has little doubt they’re up to the task.
More when I (hopefully) hear it. H42 sent the following down the PR wire:
GIÖBIA will release two new songs on a limited 7“ in May 2017 on H42 Records
Limited up to ONLY 270 copies 50 on white vinyl (H42 Records Edition) 100 on red vinyl 100 on black vinyl 20 testpress edition with different artwork
Side A: What Have You Done Side B: Silver Machine (Hawkwind Cover)
Already on her last album ‘Magnifier’ the sound became harder and darker. With the upcoming 7 “, this path has been consistently pursued: ‘What have you done’ is a straight forward heavy psychedelic rocker. Without a break it follows on the B side ‘Silver Machine’. The Giöbia version of this Hawkwind classic will blow you away!
Giöbia has been one of the most influential psychedelic bands in Italy over the last years. Seduced by the lysergic side of the ‘60s, by exotic mantras and the evocative power of space-rock, Giöbia is a band from Milano, Italy with many facets and one only faith, that is to turn every encounter with sound into a psychedelic experience. The band counts four members: leader Bazu (vocals and string instruments), Saffo (organ, violin, vocals), Detrji (bass) and Betta (drums) and their name – Giöbia – comes from an ancient pre-christian festivity celebrated in Northern Italy when a big straw puppet resembling a witch is burnt as a propitiatory ritual towards the forces of nature.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Brazilian desert-style rockers Stone House on Fire will offer up a a physical pressing of their second album, Neverending Cycle, in December. Released digitally back in June by the band — at least if the dates on Bandcamp are anything to go by — the vinyl edition will arrive courtesy of no fewer than six different imprints between Brazil and Europe, and aside from the shame of not having one Stateside one in the bunch, it’s hard not to be impressed at the amount of people who’ve gotten behind the band. Then you listen to the tracks and, yeah, yeah, you start to get it. The band, who reportedly recorded Neverending Cycle live to tape in its entirety, play to a post-Queens of the Stone Age ideology, but have plenty of psychedelic and boogie vibing going on as well. I can see wanting to get on board, even if my home nation is apparently dropping the ball here as it does with so many others when it comes to distribution. So it goes.
Info comes from H42 Records via the PR wire:
STONE HOUSE ON FIRE ‘NEVERENDING CYCLE’ Longplayer out December 2016
*Limited up to 300 copies*
150 on red & 150 on black vinyl
OUT: December 2016
STONE HOUSE ON FIRE are back with a new album called ‘Neverending Cycle’!
Stone House on Fire is influenced by the desert sounds and the 60’s lysergic vibe, combining heavy tones, powerful riffs that go from fast to psychedelic, lots of octaved fuzz, creating an unique sound, ready to blow some ears. Also, the energetic and daring live performances create unpredictable, explosive and mind blowing experiences.
“Neverending Cycle” is an album that leans heavily towards the psychedelic side of the stoner genre, taking it’s cues from the more lysergic orientated late 60’s than the usual mid 70’s era that is the de rigueur of many of todays stoner/psych and doom bands. Songs like “Wrath of the Sun” and “Steam Boat” channel the beads and peace sign vibes of Randy California’s Spirit and the 13th Floor Elevators and mix them with elements of the harder edged, fuzz pedal stamping, downtuned psych of today, sprinkling them with a large dose of old fashioned groove along the way…”
Release by: Electric Valley Records (Italy) H42 Records (Gemany) Abraxas (Brasil) Dinamite Records (Brasil) Tropical FUZZ Fever Records (Brasil) Lovely Noise Records (Brasil)
UK heavy rockers Desert Storm will release their new split with Suns of Thunder next weekend at Desertfest Berlin. Released through H42 Records, the split 7″ (review here) brings together one track from each band, and for Desert Storm, follows up their 2014 third album, Omniscient (review here), it refines their burly take on post-Orange Goblin heavy grooves and brash riffing, booze-ready and sonically forceful. Crisp and clearheaded in its intent, “Signals from Beyond” nonetheless carries the swagger of Desert Storm‘s earlier offerings forward as it moves through its quick four minutes.
As a result, they sound like they know what the hell they’re doing. And well they should with three albums under their belt, an appearance last year Desertfest London, a tour upcoming with Honky (dates here), Berlin next weekend and so on, but it stands as a demonstration of what a few years of kicking around a busy scene can really bring out in a band. Desert Storm made their debut in 2010, and since then, they’ve worked steadily to progress their take across shows and albums, garnering a fanbase the old fashioned way: with songs and on-stage effort.
I wouldn’t look for that to change. Desert Storm seem to have found their niche and have set about developing in it. Not sure what they’re up to after their summer tour, but a fourth long-player for 2017 doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation.
Until then, enjoy “Signals from Beyond” on the player below, followed by more info on the Desertfest split from H42 Records:
Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video
Check out our new video for our track ‘Signals From Beyond’. This track is on our new split 7″ with our friends Suns Of Thunder which gets officially released at Desertfest on 29th April. Cheers to H42 Records and Winwood Media for the video.
Limited up to 350 copies 100 on clear ree vinyl with red artwork 100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork 100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork 50 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DESSERTFEST Berlin edition and only available at the festival)
Limited Up to 350 copies (H42-031, H42 Records) 100 on clear red vinyl with red artwork 100 on clear green vinyl with green artwork 100 on clear yellow vinyl with yellow artwork 100 on clear vinyl with blue artwork (DesertFest Berlin Edition and only available at the festival)
Posted in Reviews on March 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
So it begins. I’d say this one snuck up on me, but the terrible truth of these things is that there are months of planning involved. You know the drill by now: Between today and Friday, I’ll be posting 50 record reviews in batches of 10 per day, and that’s the Quarterly Review. They’re not really in any order. Some have been out for a while, some aren’t out yet. I have tried to mark 2015 stuff where possible, if only to keep my own organizational modus straight. We’ll see how that goes as the week plays out. In any case, I hope you find something here that you dig. I know I have.
Quarterly Review #1-10:
Wheel in the Sky, Heading for the Night
Although Wheel in the Sky’s presentation is modern enough on their The Sign Records debut album, Heading for the Night, to steer them clear of Sweden’s boogie-mad masses, they’re still very clearly taking influence from classic rock, most notably The Who on cuts like opener “Fire, Death to All” (also the longest track; immediate points), “Total Eclipse of the Brain” and “Thrust in the Night.” The clarity of sound and approach puts them more in line with bands like The Golden Grass and, for a countrymen example, Troubled Horse, than Graveyard, and the Uppsala/Stockholm four-piece distinguish themselves further through the dual-lead interplay of “A Turn for the Wicked,” which hints just a bit toward Thin Lizzy bounce to feed into closer “God on High,” which coats its vocals in echo to add a sense of grandeur before the last instrumental push, which picks up the pace at the end to cap a first album from a band clearly looking to find their own niche within a classic heavy rock feel.
Offered first by the band in 2012 and reissued through Sulatron Records with two bonus tracks from the same recording session, Sun Dial’s Mind Control puts the long-running UK psych/space rockers in their element in a kosmiche expanse quickly on “Mountain of Fire and Miracles,” and while electronic experimentation is a factor throughout “Radiation” and “Burned In,” there’s always a human spirit underneath and sometimes out front in what Sun Dial do, and the newly-included “Seven Pointed Star” and “World Within You” fit in with the sense of acid ritual that the original album tracks convey, the title cut transposing Hawkwindian warp drive on a more relaxed atmosphere, each measure seemingly a mantra in a longer meditation. Even with its wah-soaked ending, “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” has a more straightforward tack, proving that even when you think you know what a group like Sun Dial are up to, you’re probably wrong.
The second EP from San Francisco-based shoegazing psychedelic rockers LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place, arrives a whopping nine years after its self-titled predecessor. Granted, it might be the wash of effects and the almost-whispered vocal melodies that seem to barely break the surface of the waves of airy distortion, but if any of this material goes back that far, it doesn’t show its age. The five-piece – guitarist/vocalist Andy Liszt, vocalist Sophia Cambell, guitarist Chris Fifield, bassist Ryan Lescure and drummer Ricky Maymi – offer five tracks of blissed-out, dripping wet vibe, with “Outer Space (Long Way Home)” at the center of a post-grunge swirl following the cosmic push of “(I Don’t Think that We Should) Take it Slow” and before the serenity of “Elizabeth” takes hold as a lead-in for seven-minute finale “Without You,” simultaneously the most lucid and dreamy of the cuts included. Nine years is a long time. Heaven is a Place begs for a quicker follow-up.
Austin purveyors Duel make a striking impression from the cover onward with their Heavy Psych Sounds full-length debut, Fears of the Dead. The four-piece, which by all reports features two former members of Scorpion Child, get down with classic swing on the opening title-track and thereby broadcast the intent of the album as a whole, bringing ‘70s-style grooves and boogie forward in time with modern fullness and a crisp production that highlights the gruff vocals of guitarist Tom Frank, who alongside bassist/vocalist Shaun Avants, guitarist Derek Halfmann and drummer JD Shadowz, swaggers through the record’s eight included slabs as one might through a crowded venue for the next in a long series of an evening’s beers. Later cuts like “When the Pigs are Fed” and 7:52 closer “Locked Outside” bring some more variety to the approach, but the heart of Fears of the Dead remains brash and unbridled, and one doubts if Duel would have it any other way.
One might blink and miss the debut single from somewhat mysterious psychedelic rockers The Canadian Sweetmen, which totals its A and B sides together for a runtime of about four and a half minutes, but the fact that the 90-second “Intro” (the A side) manages to marry The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys in that span is definitely something worth taking the time to note. There’s just about no information on the band as to who they are, where they come from, where they’re going, etc., but the three-minute “New Cigarettes” makes an impression on style and substance alike and offers an encouraging glimpse at what seems to be a psychedelia bolstered by organ and Rhodes and unbound by a need to adhere to genre tenets. “Intro” doesn’t even stick around long enough to do so, but “New Cigarettes” careens into a rhythmic push for its chorus that offers an earthy undertone to the heady, spaced-out vibe. More please.
Absolutely devastating. UK post-sludgers Wren dole out a punishment that won’t be soon forgotten on their second EP, Host (on Holy Roar), following up the blackened post-rock of their 2014 self-titled EP (review here) and their 2015 split with Irk (review here) with four pummeling but still richly atmospheric cuts. Working now as the lineup of Owen Jones, Chris Pickering, Robert Letts and John McCormick, Wren have had three different vocalists on their three releases, but not a one of them has failed to add to the ambience and crushing impression of their riffs, and the hook of “No Séance” particularly on Host signifies that despite whatever lineup shifts they may have had, Wren continue to progress and refine their attack. “Stray,” “No Séance,” “The Ossuary” and “Loom” are unshakable, deeply weighted and righteously spaced. They may have flown somewhat under the radar up to this point, but Wren are too loud to be a well kept secret for much longer.
Some 12 years after their initial demo surfaced in 2003, Massachusetts’ Transient present an atmospheric take on alt-metal with their self-titled debut full-length, self-released last fall. Bringing together nine tracks/46 minutes with a patient but tense pacing and underlying currents of progressive metal in cuts like “Ditch of Doubt” and “Wrong Time,” it unfolds gracefully with the intro “Voyager One” and finds an aggressive burst in “Wrong Time” and the Tool-gone-psych build of the penultimate “Slightest Scare.” That song is part of an extended two-cut closing suite with “Hold this Grudge,” which highlights Scott McCooe’s bass tone as it provides a surprising but satisfying laid back finish. McCooe, joined here by guitarist/vocalist Tim Hayes and drummer John Harris, splits his time with metalcore progenitors Overcast, and as Transient was recorded over a year’s stretch and then mixed and mastered a year after that – living up to the band’s name – it may be a while before a follow-up, but after so long from their demo, it’s still a welcome debut.
Issued by H42 Records in a limited edition for this year’s Desertfest, the new split 7” from UK heavy platoons Desert Storm and Suns of Thunder is so dudely they could sell it as vitamin supplements on late-night tv. A complex critique of gender it is not, heavy it is. One track from each band. Desert Storm bring the burl of “Signals from Beyond,” which with its strong hook and gravely vocals brings to mind Orange Goblin nestled into a nodding riff. For Swansea’s Suns of Thunder, it’s “Earn Your Stripes,” with its complex vocal arrangements for lyrics about small men and big men, paying your dues and other whathaveyou that dominant culture tells those with testicles will make them more complete people. Fine. Masculinity and femininity are scams to sell pants, but “Earn Your Stripes” is catchy as all anything and “Signals from Beyond” is even catchier than however catchy that is, so a testosterone overdose seems a small price to pay.
Telstar Sound Drone, Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles
Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles is the second album from Copenhagen-based auralnauts Telstar Sound Drone, and like much of what Bad Afro releases, it presents a strong temptation to drop out, tune in and turn on. Little surprise the band is something of an offshoot from Baby Woodrose, sharing guitarist Mads Saaby and drummer Hans Beck with the seminal garage rockers, but the lush impression made on “Something I Can’t Place” with the watery vocals of Sean Jardenbæk comes from an even more lysergic place, and the experimental side that comes through on “Closer Again,” “Dark Kashmir” and the languid “Dead Spaces” is a multi-tiered dreamscape that closer “Lean down on White” seems sad to leave. Reasonably so. With guest spots from members of Spids Nøgenhat, Bite the Bullet and Baby Woodrose (Kåre Joensen on bass/synth), Telstar Sound Drone’s sophomore outing is an otherworldly psychedelic vision that, as promised, does seem to cure what ails, exciting even in its most subdued moments.
Initially offered by the band in 2012 and subsequently pressed to a six-song 7” and jewel case CD, the self-titled debut EP from San Diego trio Fantasy Arcade only runs about 11 minutes, but that’s all it needs to bring together punk, thrash, sludge and heavy rock across fuckall-heavy cuts like “The Dwarves are Missing” – the longest song here at 3:38 – and the rumbling finale “Die Before You Suck,” which gallops and shouts and seems to crash into walls on its way out, though drummer/vocalist Adam, bassist/vocalist Chris and guitarist Mike actually do well in deciding when to keep control and when to let it go. More nuanced than it lets on, Fantasy Arcade is an aggressive pulse given to moments of frustration boiling over, but being rooted in metal as much as punk, its dwelling in two worlds gives heft to the freneticism at play, as shown in “Poison Arrow,” the first half of which runs at a sprint right into the brick wall slowdown of its second, and final, minute.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan
With a special edition to be sold at Desertfest Berlin 2016, UK outfits Desert Storm and Suns of Thunder have announced a new split single due in April via H42 Records. It may be something of a companion for the Monster Magnet and Raging Speedhorn split (info here), but even more than that it shares in common with the concurrent platter a pairing of two decidedly different acts.
Suns of Thunder bask in a crisply produced heavy rock bounce, while Desert Storm offer burl overdose in sludgy form. Both are plenty, plenty dudely, but they definitely have missions of their own. So in other words, if you’re passing by the merch table at Desertfest or if you have a hankering to place a preorder, it’s worth keeping an eye out.
The PR wire had info to add:
DESERT STORM/SUNS OF THUNDER ANNOUNCING PRESALE START + A FIRST LOOK AT THE ART OF THE UPCOMING SPLIT 7″
March 29th H42 Records will start the PRESALE for the new Split 7″ of Oxfords finest Heavyrockers DESERT STORM and their pals SUNS OF THUNDER from Wales. It is also time to preview some art for the upcoming 7″.
And don’t forget – for the DESERTFEST BERLIN they will have a strictly limited special Edition of the single!
Oxford based riff hounds Desert Storm have been making a name for themselves since they formed in 2007. From the beginning the band have worked hard…with 3 albums and a demo and relentless touring of the UK & Europe with the likes of Karma To Burn, Nashville Pussy, Peter Pan Speedrock, Honky (ft members of Down/Melvins/Butthole Surfers) as well as support slots to the likes of Orange Goblin, Red Fang, American Head Charge and festival appearances at The Bulldog Bash, The Desertfest, Brisfest & Roadkill.
Suns Of Thunder was formed in 1999 – They have spent many years sharing the stage with some of the most amazing musicians all over the U.K and Ireland….and spent our fair share of hours in the back of shitty white vans…plodding along, doing our thing all in the name of Stoner & Rock and roll.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Since it was first announced the other day, I’ve been squinting my eyes at what were purposefully-blurred out logos of the two bands taking part in H42 Records‘ second annual Desertfest London split single, but today I’m happy to announce that it will be UK sludge aggressors Raging Speedhorn and New Jersey heavy psych legends Monster Magnet teamed up for the release. Art is a switched up form of the cover for last year’s Sons of Alpha Centauri and Karma to Burn split by Alexander von Wieding, preorder info is still to come, and the release is out April 29, which also happens to be the night Desertfest London 2016 kicks off.
Long defunct, Raging Speedhorn will include the track “Halfway to Hell,” which was also released as their first 7″ since reuniting, and Monster Magnet contribute “Hallucination Bomb,” presumably the version that appeared on last year’s excellent Cobras and Fire (review here), though I don’t have confirmation of anything other than that the songs will be included in some form.
The 7″ will invariably be limited to some small number yet to be revealed, and it’ll be available exclusively at Desertfest. More info follows from the PR wire:
NEW DESERTFEST LONDON 7″-SINGLE 2016 ANNOUNCEMENT
In 2015 H42 Records started the cooperation with the DESERTFEST LONDON with the split single Six/66 by KARMA TO BURN and SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI:
2016 Festival line-up is complete and just around the corner and H42 Records are working hard on the new Festival 7″ Part 2. To provide a unified art we choose the old art but a bit modified! Responsible for the art is once again the great Alexander von Wieding (www.Zeichentier.com).
Once again we were able to win two grandiose bands: The Saviours of British Metal meets a psych-rock whirlpool from the USA! The single will be released again in very limited quantities available at the DesertFest London and H42 Records!