1782 Premiere “Bloody Ritual”; Doom Sessions Vol. 2 Split with Acid Mammoth out Sept. 18

Posted in audiObelisk on June 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

1782 acid mammoth doom sessions vol 2

Here’s what you need to know: On Sept. 18, proposal and report writing Writing A Dissertation In A Week essay on water essay writing spent my summer vacation Heavy Psych Sounds will release guelph public library homework helps - find out why ProEssayWritings.net is a great choice for you | Our professional custom writing service offers efficient Doom Sessions Vol. 2, bringing together Italy’s Need some http://ichakang.com/e-learning-homework-help/ to promote your company? Order content from BusinessThePensters and attract more target audience to your enterprise. 1782 and Greece’s There are enough Sites To Buy Research Paperss around the web. If you are wondering why you should choose our website to assist you in studying - click here! Acid Mammoth. Yeah, I know, Dissertation Research Writing Construction Are At Your Service. Get the best academic writers currently in the business to work on your paper. Pass any plagiarism check, surprise Doom Sessions Vol. 1, with While there are some major find this that provide reviews at a – Ken Brosky, How To Get Book Reviews Without Spending (Too Much) Money […] Conan and ? Are you a student who works a full time job? Don't have the time to write your thesis or dissertation? Try an online Good Essay Writers. With Deadsmoke isn’t even out until July 17, but I guess the label is trying to stay ahead of the game. What it rounds out to is more riffs, and I know damn well you’ve got room in your life for more riffs, so quit yer yappin’ and dig into Benefits Of Random Assignment. There are multiple dissertation assistance services available on the internet. The trick for you is to find the best 1782‘s “Bloody Ritual” on the streaming doodad below in all its premiere-y goodness. It runs five minutes and it’s got like a whole day’s worth of Vitamin Nod. Take your pills, man.

How on earth did The World’s https://byota.ca/college-essay-review-service Grammarly’s online proofreader automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice and style mistakes Heavy Psych Sounds get the notion to pair up these Roman and Greek titans? Well, both bands released records through the imprint last year. For the duo Good service to Transportation Service Essays. Perfect format, outstanding quality, and affordable prices. Any deadlines and a number of disciplines. 1782 — which also features in its lineup Characteristics Of Essay Writing 10 dissertation writing services usa 10 Ph.D. Experts. Free Revision. 24/7 Support. Get Supreme Quality Instantly!There are many essay writing services that think they List of TOP 10 Essay Writing dissertation or any other writing assignment. 7. Marco Nieddu, who runs Looking for an essay helper? With Grademiners, you can get any type of paper done “University Level Assignment Help for me?” you are probably looking for a Electric Valley Records — it was their self-titled debut (review here), rife with willful primitivism of its approach, drawing from VHS horror grain and a post- dissertation book - experienced scholars, top-notch services, instant delivery and other benefits can be found in our academy writing help EWiz groove that remains well intact on “Bloody Ritual.” Custom Writing Company offers a great service to get Live Homework Help Lapl of high quality at affordable prices. Place your order in a few clicks! Acid Mammoth‘s second album, business plan for writer Dissertation Reading essay philosophy of life breaking barriers essay Under Acid Hoof (review here), arrived later in the year and shared some genre-on-genre aesthetic with their labelmates, both bands favoring a rawness of approach and themes centered around ritualism, darkness, the devil and all that other spooky fun stuff.

I haven’t been graced with the full release as yet, so I can’t speak to what Acid Mammoth are doing this time — please don’t go prog; sometimes I feel like everybody’s going prog — but if it’s up to 1782 to set the tone with “Bloody Ritual,” they’re setting it for all the fuzzy decay you can handle. Like body odor and liquor breath put to tape. Full on scuzz.

Dig:

Bloody Ritual is the first single taken from the upcoming split album DOOM SESSIONS VOL.2 – 1782 // ACID MAMMOTH. This first single is from 1782.

The release will see the light September 18th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/doom-sessions-vol-2-1782-acid-mammoth

TRACKLIST

SIDE A – 1782
Bloody Ritual
Hey Satan
Witch Death Cult

SIDE B – Acid Mammoth
Black Wedding
Sleepless Malice
Cosmic Pyres

Say 1782:
“A song that goes straight to the point, the emotions of the last moments of a ritual, fuzzy and heavy riffs, the battery like a boulder that enters your mind! Bloody Ritual is the track that opens Doom Sessions vol.2, 1782 & Acid Mammoth split album!”

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Mountain Tamer Stream “Warlock”; Psychosis Ritual Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

There’s been a menacing undercurrent to Mountain Tamer‘s take on psychedelia since their inception, and it would appear that the forthcoming Psychosis Ritual will continue that thread at least in some measure. The Los Angeles trio have newly unveiled “Warlock,” track two of the seven-cut release, and the song brims with freak-punk intensity, churning riffs around wide-spaced echoes that seem to radiate ill intent, not in that hey-let’s-go-kill-ladies kind of way, but definitely in some fashion that’s up to no good. And that likes being up to no good.

Dark magic, and whatnot. I said last week when the band got signed that they’d probably have a track up to go with preorders. Look at me, seeing patterns.

Preorders for Psychosis Ritual are open and available through Heavy Psych Sounds, and the album has been confirmed for a Sept. 25 release date, which also happens to be my wedding anniversary. Guess it’s a Friday this year. In 2004, it was a Saturday.

Album cover and details came down the PR wire:

mountain tamer psychosis ritual

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce MOUNTAIN TAMER brand new album PSYCHOSIS RITUAL – presale starts TODAY!!!

Today we are extremely proud to start the presale of the MOUNTAIN TAMER brand new album PSYCHOSIS RITUAL !!!

Psychosis Ritual is the sum of Mountain Tamer’s first decade of exploration into the psychedelic arts. The album takes the band on a journey through the occult rhythms and tones of worlds forgotten. Each track is a new chapter of Mountain Tamer riffing their way into uncharted territory. For this ritual, you are the sacrifice…

Mountain Tamer is Andru Hall (Guitar/Vocals), Casey Garcia (Drums), and David Teget (Bass). Psychosis Ritual was recorded and mixed by Salem’s Bend guitarist Robert Parker, with mastering by Mike Tarsia at Sigma Sounds Studios. This recording is the most cohesive and lucid experience Mountain Tamer has yet to offer.

The album artwork by photographer Dillon Vaughn and tattoo artist Derek Pratt only adds to the singular vision of Psychosis Ritual by providing beautifully lysergic visuals that are inseparable from the music itself.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS137

USA PRESALE via Forced Exposure (link available soon):
https://www.forcedexposure.com/SearchResult.html?SearchType=Basic&Type=artist&Key=mountain%20tamer

RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 25th

RELEASED IN :
– 20 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
– 150 ULTRA LTD HALF HALF – ORANGE/GREEN VINYL
– 450 LTD BLUE VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL

TRACKLIST:
1. Psychosis Ritual
2. Warlock
3. Turoc Maximus Antonis
4. Scorched Earth
5. Death In The Woods
6. Chained
7. Black Noise

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Warlung Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Optical Delusions Due in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know about you, but I take some measure of comfort in the fact that Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds has gone back to snag-mode. Last week the venerable label announced it had picked up Mountain Tamer (info here) and they’re following that up with Warlung from Houston, Texas. The four-piece have made a splash with their two records to-date, the latest of which, Immortal Portal (review here), was issued in 2019, and they’ll make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds with their third overall LP, Optical Delusion, this October. I would expect preorder and album info to follow soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Warlung aren’t Heavy Psych Sounds‘ last announcement for the Fall season that seems to be catching up a bit from the last Spring and early Summer. The more the merrier.

News came down the PR wire:

warlung

Texas Heavy Rockers WARLUNG Sign Worldwide Deal With HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS!

Italy’s cult and fuzz rock label, Heavy Psych Sounds Records, is proud to welcome Texas heavy rock unit WARLUNG to their eclectic artist roster. Formed by longtime friends and brothers in 2016 and inspired by a vintage sound, WARLUNG create heavy, catchy songs with a psychedelic twist. Following the band’s sophomore, 2019- album Immortal Portal, the band will release their third full-length album titled Optical Delusions via Heavy Psych Sounds in October 2020!

“We are excited and honored to be a part of the Heavy Psych Sounds family.“ The band comments. “We couldn’t think of a better place that represents who we are. A special thanks to Gabe Fiori for giving us the opportunity to expand our music worldwide. We can’t wait to see where this road takes us!”

WARLUNG took the heavy rock world by storm in 2017 with the release of their debut album, Sleepwalker. Playing festivals such as End Hip End It Fest and opening for acts like Wo Fat and Dead Meadow, they quickly gained a cult following and high praise by both fans and critics alike.

Less than a year later, they entered the studio to record their second album, which was released in February 2019. WARLUNG continued to host various breweries and festivals alike SXSW, and quickly became a fan favorite within the local rock community and abroad. Their audience grew as they opened for bands such as High Reeper, Forming the Void or King Buffalo.

Their upcoming, hotly anticipated album, Optical Delusions, is slated for a release in October 2020, with a pre-sale to start on July 2nd with Heavy Psych Sounds. Watch out for many more news and album tunes to follow in the days ahead!

WARLUNG is:
George Baba: Guitar/Vocals
Philip Bennett: Guitar/Vocals
Chris Tamez: Bass
Ethan Tamez: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/WARLUNGBAND/
https://www.instagram.com/warlung/
http://www.warlung.bandcamp.com/releases
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Warlung, Immortal Portal (2019)

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Mountain Tamer Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Psychosis Ritual Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

For those in the States, I know a good portion of Heavy Psych Sounds‘ distribution was formerly handled through the All That is Heavy store. How that whole situation has shaken or will shake out, I don’t know, but it seems to have gotten ugly from my limited, reading-posts-on-social-media-based understanding. Nonetheless, the Italian imprint which by now is one of the world’s foremost purveyors of quality heavy pressed forward, and Los Angeles upstarts Mountain Tamer are a choice snag. The band issued their “Death in the Woods” single (posted here) last year to coincide with a tour that also followed the arrival of their second album, Godfortune//Dark Matters (review here), which came out in 2018 through Nasoni and Magnetic Eye.

There isn’t an exact release date given for Psychosis Ritual, which will be Mountain Tamer‘s debut for Heavy Psych Sounds, but preorders start on June 24 and I’d expect more info, artwork and maybe even a song premiere around then as well.

Until next week, then:

mountain tamer

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce a new band signing: US heavy rockers MOUNTAIN TAMER!!!

We are so stoked to welcome in our roster a brand new band.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the Los Angeles based heavy rockers MOUNTAIN TAMER !!!

The band will release their brand new album Psychosis Ritual via Heavy Psych Sounds.

ALBUM PRESALE STARTS JUNE 24th

SAYS THE BAND:

For Psychosis Ritual, we really wanted to work with a label that could bring our music to a new audience and make our long time fans proud. To sign with a label that has done so much for rock n roll and worked with legendary artists has been a dream come true!

BIOGRAPHY

Mountain Tamer takes the expansive vision of pure psychedelia and pares it down through the brooding and focused lens of doom and stoner rock. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hall, drummer Casey Garcia and bassist Dave Teget, formed their signature fusion of heavy psych rock in 2011 just outside of San Francisco. Now based in Los Angeles, Mountain Tamer’s cult following is built on their DIY ethics, inimitable songwriting, and in your face live performances. After self-releasing several demos, the band released their s/t debut album in 2016 on Argonauta Records.

Mountain Tamer toured heavily following the release, playing with notable acts along the way such as Fatso Jetson, Weedeater and Dead Meadow. In 2018, Mountain Tamer teamed with Magnetic Eye and Nasoni Records to release their sophomore album, Godfortune// Dark Matters to critical acclaim for its unique approach and genre bending aesthetics. The band rode this success to a full US tour and appearances at SXSW in 2019. The band quickly followed up with a taste of their upcoming album, Psychosis Ritual, with their single, Death in the Woods. Although only a teaser of their next work, it has quickly become a fan favorite.

MOUNTAIN TAMER is:

Andrew Hall – Guitar/Vocals
Casey Garcia – Drums
Dave Teget – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/MTNTMR/
https://www.instagram.com/mtntmr/
https://mtntmr.bandcamp.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Mountain Tamer, “Death in the Woods”

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Conan & Deadsmoke to Release Doom Sessions Vol. 1 Split July 17; Preorders up Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Not sure what more info you might honestly need. This is a thing that exists, and preorders are available. It’s Conan and Deadsmoke, so yes, it’s going to be very, very heavy, and it’s coming out July 17. There you have it. Post over.

What’ll be interesting to see here is how far Heavy Psych Sounds takes the notion of Doom Sessions. Certainly Doom Sessions Vol. 1 is kicking the intended series off on a clarion of a note, but how many installments will there be? How often? Who will be involved? What counts as doom? It’s a cool way for the label to expand its reach beyond its perceived comfort zone — i.e. heavy psych; it’s right there in the name — although Deadsmoke released through them before, but as Heavy Psych Sounds steps further into becoming the preeminent label in Europe focused on the heavy underground, it seems like it’s a fair enough time to branch out in terms of style. And bringing Conan on board for the first go is no minor shakes.

But whatever the answers are to those questions, the point stands: July 17. Preorders. Conan and Deadsmoke. There you go.

To the PR wire:

conan deadsmoke doom sessions vol 1

Heavy Psych Sounds Records to release “Doom Sessions” series, “Vol.1” EP featuring CONAN and DEADSMOKE out July 17th!

Leading cult and fuzz rock label HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS proudly announce the launch of their “Doom Sessions” split series, featuring bands from the HPS roster plus some of the heaviest bands from the international doom scene.

Each volume will host two bands, the start of VOL. I will make Italy’s kings of slowness, DEADSMOKE, and UK’s heavy riff masters CONAN. On “Doom Sessions Vol. 1”, Deadsmoke are going to premiere two brand new, heavy as hell tracks titled “Dead Minds Army” and “Dethroned Concrete”, Conan will round up this beast of a split with their masterpiece “Beheaded“.

“DOOM SESSIONS VOL.1” w/ Conan and Deadsmoke Out July 17th on Heavy Psych Sounds – PREORDER

TRACK LISTING:
Side A
Conan “Beheaded”
Side B
Deadsmoke “Dethroned Concrete”
Deadsmoke “Dead Minds Army”

Coming out on July 17th via Heavy Psych Sounds, the album is available to preorder now, and will be available in the following formats:
– 10 Ultra ltd test press vinyl
– 150 Ultra ltd orange transparent splatter blue vinyl
– 300 Ltd red solid vinyl
– Black vinyl
– Digipak

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/deadsmokedoom/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Various Artists, Heavy Psych Sounds Label Sampler Vol. 5 (2020)

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Interview & Full Album Stream: Pat Harrington of Geezer on Groovy and More

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on May 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

geezer

Shifting dynamics, readjusting priorities, moving forward, getting high and playing trippy shit. The way founding guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington talks about Geezer making their latest full-length, Groovy (review here) — also their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds; out digitally on Friday with physical to follow June 12; preorders here — it is as much purposeful and casual as the album itself. Tightened craft delivering immersive fuzz and languid heavy blues grooves, the record is nothing if not aptly named.

I was asked over the winter to write the bio for the album, and it was clear from the first listen both that it would be a highlight of 2020 — I think pushing back the release date as they have due to COVID-19 helps in that regard — and that Geezer had arrived at a special moment for the band, which is Harrinton alongside bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota. I did end up writing that bio, which I’ll probably post around here at some point, but as I’ve already reviewed it and I’m too busy being honored with the chance to do the full-LP stream in addition to posting this interview, I’ll spare you this time around and just say that Groovy is what happens when a band starts out with an idea of what they want to do and then are willing to be guided by their own impulses into becoming what they’re meant to be. There’s a letting go and a holding on alike as a part of that process, but the results are inarguable. And, yes, groovy.

Please enjoy the album stream and the interview. Thanks for reading and thanks to Harrington for taking the time.

Geezer, Groovy Interview with Pat Harrington

So the record is Groovy and the lead track is “Dig.” How much was the intention to strip things down to their essentials this time around?

I guess it wasn’t really the intention, it may be more of a side-effect. The song “Dig” has been around for a few years. Dig and a few other songs on the album pre-date most of the material on the Spiral Fires EP. Somewhere along the way, we made the decision to put all the trippy weird stuff on the EP, which kind of set the more direct tone of Groovy, almost by accident.

Geezer has gotten progressively jammier on each release to this point, and Groovy seems to pull back from that a bit. Tell me about the songwriting this time around, your goals for the material and ideas you had coming off of Spiral Fires?

In addition to the reasons above, I think another big reason for the change is our drummer Steve. Unlike our previous drummers, who are very much into improvisation, Steve approaches writing and arranging in a much more deliberate manner. As we spent time developing ideas, this became part of our process. I think it’s fair to say that we brought each other a little out of our comfort zones. Richie and I kept pushing Steve into jammier territory that I don’t think he really explored before. At the same time, he made us more structured in how we put the songs together. There is still room for experimentation, but overall the songs took on a more defined feel.

Unlike other albums, we also had a concept together before all the songs were written. Once the Spiral Fires masters were handed in, we started to look at the songs we had, other ideas that were being developed, etc. Then one day it all clicked. We decided that we were going to focus on songs that were groovy as opposed to the heavier or trippy stuff. So then we should call the album Groovy, right? After that, everything kind of fell right into place.

Talk about your time in the studio for the album. At what point did you know you wanted keys on “Awake” and the title-track? Is that something you think you might explore more going forward?

The real story actually is about the time we spent BEFORE going into the studio. As we’ve already talked about, these songs are much more defined compared to most of our past work. The reason for that is we spent a long time developing the ideas and arrangements. We played most of the songs live. We gave the songs time to grow. We were very disciplined when it came to rehearsals. Everyone worked very hard at developing their parts. Richie and Steve worked especially hard to get all the grooves locked in, they became a machine! I cannot stress this enough, being in a band is HARD WORK and if you don’t take it seriously, it shows.

We spent two days recording most of the “basics”. We did it at Darkworld Studio, where we recorded the Spiral Fires EP. We had the same production team that we’ve pretty much had since the beginning. Everyone came prepared and acted professionally. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun as fuck, but all the preparation paid off. We recorded all these songs together. Standing in the same room. Feeling the kick drum. Connecting to each other. All the drums, bass, rhythm guitars and solos recorded at the same time (more or less). I’m proud to say, not every band can pull that off… we can.

The experimentation mostly came in after the fact. Steve spent weeks developing the percussion tracks (we threw tambourines around like we were AC/DC!). I also stretched out a bit with ambient guitar stuff, synth noise and acoustic guitar tracks. As you mentioned, our friend Jeff Mercel contributed keys to “Awake” and “Groovy: (Jeff also played on “Long Dull Knife” a few years back). We knew right away that we wanted some Hammond B3 type stuff on Groovy, it’s just that type of song. “Awake” has a very tight, syncopated feel to it and I thought some keys could add a softer melodic vibe to it. I was listening to a lot of Nebula at the time, I think I actually sent Jeff the song “So Low” as a reference, I think he nailed it! He really did go above and beyond and his contribution to the songs and album was immense… next level shit.

Some of the songs on Groovy have an almost escapist vibe, and then there are pieces like “Dead Soul Scroll” and “Drowning on Empty.” How comfortable are you with presenting an emotional side in lyrics in a way that’s kind of apart from the blues?

At this point, I think I’ve stripped away most insecurities I’ve had when it comes to songwriting. It took me a long time to figure out, but vulnerability in music is one of the things that people connect to the most. It’s about saying the things that people can’t (or won’t) say themselves. It gives them something to latch on to, a way to express or connect to feelings that they otherwise weren’t able to. The lyrics to both those songs are, in fact, about real personal things. I try and relay them in a way that is open to interpretation, tap into feelings without assigning them to situations. That way, people can relate them to whatever they themselves are going through. To me, that is what music is all about.

How did the Heavy Psych Sounds deal come about? What does it mean to you to be labelmates with acts like Brant Bjork and Nebula and Yawning Man?

The deal came about very fast actually. I’ve been a fan of the label for many years and I had somewhat of an internet friendship with Gabe. With the exception of the first record, this is the first time we’ve “shopped” a record and HPS was very much at the top of our list. I can’t remember how long he had the album, but I followed up with Gabe on a Thursday and by that Monday he was sending contracts. Above all else, I wanted to be on a label that treated us like a priority. Since day one, Gabe and his team have done that and continue to do so. For that, we are extremely grateful.

I am in no way trying to equate myself with these cats, but the fact is, my musical journey was very similar to the bands that were a part of the first generation of stoner rock (or whatever you want to call it). I’m the same age as a lot of these guys, our musical references are all very similar. I grew up on metal and hardcore, felt boxed in by the rules that inevitably popped up around those genres, just like those dudes. Iommi, Page and Hendrix were gods to me… so was Mike Dean and Jello Biafra… so was Chuck D and Duane Allman. Somehow when you distill all this down, a lot of us ended up just wanting to get high and play heavy trippy shit without all the hassle that mainstream music seems to impose.

Because of this, I look up to people like Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri, Eddie Glass and Mario Lalli. Not only do I love their music, they helped a lot of us figure out a way to express ourselves without having to worry about all the genre politics of the time. To be on the same label as these bands, as well as bands like Black Rainbows, Duel, Gorilla and Ecstatic Vision, is an honor and a challenge. It’s an honor to be here, but we gotta prove that we belong. That is the challenge.

Will you return to Europe to tour for the album? Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

There were all kinds of plans. This past weekend was supposed to HPS Fest in NYC which has been postponed indefinitely. We had quite a few shows set up for this summer to promote the record, they have all been postponed indefinitely as well. In addition, we were well on our way to booking a European Tour for the late fall and that too is no more. It’s a total bummer for sure, but in the grand scheme of things, these are mild inconveniences compared to the suffering that many are going through right now, so I do my best to try and stay positive.

On that note, there is some good news here in NY. Much of the state has been moved into “Phase 1” of re-opening and our region is on schedule to enter Phase 1 this week. There is still a long way to go, but after a seemingly endless stream of bad news over the last few months, these are all very welcoming signs. Stay strong everybody, take care of yourselves and each other and we may actually make it through this thing. It will still be a while before live music returns. When it does, we’ll be there. I got a new fuzz pedal for fuck sake, I need to crank that shit and rip a hole in the sky! Ya dig?

Geezer, Groovy (2020)

Geezer on Instagram

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Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Album Review: Black Rainbows, Cosmic Ritual Supertrip

Posted in Reviews on May 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

black rainbows Cosmic Ritual Supertrip

This is a band who know what works. Some 13 years on from their debut album, Twilight in the Desert, and working as a flagship act for frontman Gabriele Fiori‘s Heavy Psych Sounds label as well as spearheads of Italy’s jam-packed underground, Roman trio Black Rainbows have every sense of who they are as a unit and where they want to be in terms of their sound. And even as Fiori has split his focus with the label, a festival series of the same name, and with other projects like Killer Boogie and The Pilgrim, the mission of Black Rainbows has remained consistent: To embody the sound of riding a motorcycle made of fuzz riffs through space on a desert interstate to hell.

Cosmic Ritual Supertrip is the seventh or eighth Black Rainbows full-length depending on how you count, and like 2018’s Pandaemonium (review here), it was recorded with Fabio Sforza. Tracked over a period of three days at Forward Studios in Rome, it finds Fiori as the lone remaining original member of the band joined by the rhythm section of returning drummer Filippo Ragazzoni and newcomer bassist Edoardo “Mancio” Mancini, who steps in for Giuseppe Guglielmino. The shifts in lineup around Fiori aren’t necessarily anything new for Black Rainbows, and as noted, who’s where around him ultimately factors little into the band’s purpose. That’s not to take away from anyone else’s personality or playing style — there are certainly changes in the band’s dynamic that have emerged over time as well as an evolution of songwriting that hits its high water mark here — but there’s little question whose band Black Rainbows is.

Past efforts from Black Rainbows have pounded away through space rock, psychedelia, classic stoner idolatry — Nebula have always been a crucial influence — and jammy freakouts, and Cosmic Ritual Supertrip brings a mix of all of the above, but mostly what comes through the 12-track/49-minute long-player (the vinyl leaves off two songs) is the underlying strength of craft. Fiori, Ragazzoni and Mancini weave and wind their way through these varying styles and elements, working at a range of tempos within and between songs, but whether it’s the scorching layered soloing at the apex of “Hypnotized by the Solenoid” or the pure stoner-is-as-stoner-does-ism of the earlier “Radio 666,” there is a distinct energy and vitality to the work that is singularly Black Rainbows‘ own.

The album practically starts at a sprint with “At Midnight You Cry” and even a subdued moment like the two-minute drifter “The Great Design” is followed up by “Master Rocket Power Blast,” which — if it even needs to be said — hits like it’s been huffing paint thinner for three weeks straight and decided now was a good time to try skydiving. What’s come to the fore over time in Black Rainbows‘ let-it-fly-off-the-rails approach, however, is just how much it actually doesn’t fly off those rails. It was true to an extent on Pandaemonium and 2016’s Stellar Prophecy (review here) and 2015’s Hawkdope (review here) as well, but never more than it is now, that there is a plan being followed in the material. The title Cosmic Ritual Supertrip sounds like pure druggy nonsense, but that’s the idea too. The record, the band, and the songs — they’re all supposed to be the vehicle of the pure, out-of-your-mind escapism that is relishing volume, weight, and presence in heavy music. The medium is the message.

black rainbows

Where Black Rainbows bring a shift in approach into play is the focus on songs. Cosmic Ritual Supertrip flows suitably as a full-length release — the vinyl edition drops the last two tracks of the CD, “Searching for Satellites I & II” and “Fire Breather,” bringing the runtime to about 40 minutes even — but it’s the manner on which individual tracks stand out that would seem to distinguish this latest work from its recent predecessors. A normally hard-touring unit, Black Rainbows are no strangers to engaging an audience, and whether it’s the initial salvo of “At Midnight You Cry,” the desert-rolling “Universal Phase,” “Radio 666” and the hotshot swing of “Isolation” ahead of “Hypnotized by the Solenoid,” or later pieces like the lead-and-crash-soaked “Snowball,” “Glittereyzed” with its mashed-together space and gallop impulses, or the almost chunky-style turns of “Sacred Graal” — Deliverance-era C.O.C. come to mind — there’s a sense that even when Cosmic Ritual Supertrip is at its most sonically sprawling, the songs aren’t wasting a second of their time or yours.

I don’t know if it’s right to call it urgency, though it can be intense at times and Black Rainbows have bordered on speed-rocking mania in the past, but these songs maintain the electric current so key to the band’s collective persona even as they feel particularly hammered out and worked through. They’re not overthought, but it’s as though Fiori and company went into the process of making Cosmic Ritual Supertrip with the goal of having the individual tracks each do as much work as possible. And they do, from front to back. Be it the sharp turns from “Hypnotized by the Solenoid” into “The Great Design” into “Master Rocket Power Blast” or the Monster Magnet-y keys and effects laced throughout “Searching for Satellites I & II” or the samples from 1957’s The Giant Claw about seeing a giant bird as a harbinger of death in “Fire Breather” as the band conjure one last rush, each piece finds a way to leave an impression, and because of that, the album as a whole does as well.

It’s not a case where Black Rainbows have undergone a radical shift in approach. Their sound will be easily recognizable for anyone who took on Pandaemonium, etc., but Cosmic Ritual Supertrip proves their mastery of their approach on a new level by seeing them use songwriting in a different way. They’ve released collections of songs before, and they’ve released albums that have cohered like single long-form works as well, but never quite with as much purpose behind doing so as Cosmic Ritual Supertrip has in how it gives each inclusion its moment in the spotlight. As Black Rainbows continue through this stage of their maturity — and 13 years and seven or eight records on, “maturity” seems like a fair word — that they’re still working in different modes of expression as a unit, and seeming to control it more than ever before, could hardly be more encouraging. The possibilities become endless.

Black Rainbows, Cosmic Ritual Supertrip (2020)

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Album Review: Geezer, Groovy

Posted in Reviews on May 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Geezer Groovy

They throw it down immediately. The question is right there, track one, in the hook: Can you dig it? While the lyrics that accompany that central question in the opener of Geezer‘s fifth full-length and first for Heavy Psych Sounds, titled simply Groovy, turn out to be something of a subtle screed against the greedy ravages of capitalism and an urging toward a more communal lifestyle — “We gotta stand and testify/We gotta live for today, yeah” — the question remains, “Can you dig it?”

Well, can you, punk?

If not, it’s not the band’s fault. Groovy is the finest work the Kingston, New York-based three-piece have yet issued, hands down. With guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington helming as producer with engineering and mixing by Matthew Cullen (assisted by David Daw and Robert Kelly) at Darkworld Studio, the eight-track/45-minute offering to the gods of groove arrives in with a two-sided LP structure that, in normal circumstances could be thought of like a mullet — business up front, party in the back. Except in this case, the business is the party too. So it’s party up front, party in the back, like if Cousin Itt were a record. A hairy undertaking, and one that wholly justifies a blacklight poster for the Ryan Williams cover art. Make it so.

Harrington as the founding member is joined by the returning rhythm section of Richie Touseull, who came aboard in 2015, and drummer/percussionist Steve Markota, who made his first appearance on early 2019’s Spiral Fires EP (review here), as well as Jeff Mercel, who contributes organ and other keys to midtempo side A closer “Awake” and the title-track that launches side B. The two sides of the album intertwine for sure, as the titular “Groovy” more than earns its tambourine with its ultra good-timey vibe and the earlier second cut “Atlas Electra” follows “Dig” with a more spacious preview of things to come on side B’s spacious cappers “Slide Mountain” and “Black Owl.” But there is a question of balance to both, and while Geezer have never shown so much range in terms of their dynamic between the tightness of their songwriting — “Groovy,” “Dig,” “Awake,” even the beginning stretch of “Atlas Electra” — neither have they shown such a propensity for purpose to their jamming.

That is to say, while both Spiral Fires and the preceding LP, 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here), went all-in on post-Wo Fat heavy blues jam exploration, Groovy redirects. Even its broadest, most open-feeling moments, which surely come in the nine-minute “Black Owl” as the three-piece slowly make their way into a long-fade oblivion of guitar effects, Groovy retains a sense of purpose in terms of substance and aesthetic. “Black Owl” jams out precisely because “Drowning on Empty” could have and didn’t, instead riding its fuzz-coated solo-topped crescendo of layered electric and acoustics, more tambourine and righteous bass to a finish exciting enough to mask the darker emotional undercurrent of its lyrics. Likewise, back on side A, “Dead Soul Scroll” highlights Touseull‘s bass tonality as the guitars trip out, essentially reversing the structure to put its somewhat moodier jam forward while the instrumental solidification hits right around the four-minute mark and carries through the rest of the song’s 5:31 as one of the record’s most satisfying payoffs.

geezer

By toying with structure in this way, adding arrangement details and nuance as they are — percussion elements like that tambourine or the cowbell in “Dig” are used with class and efficiency throughout — and adjusting their focus on songwriting, Geezer showcase the mastery of their sound even as they use that sound in ways they haven’t done to this degree before. One could cite “Dead Soul Scroll” as clear evidence of their progression, but really any track on Groovy makes the case, be it the ending drift in “Slide Mountain” that seems to end by asking, “Is everybody high enough?” (unless I’m hearing wrong), or the sleeper hook in “Awake” — “I’ve seen more than most/But not as much as many/When I’m feeling lost/Here you come to make me smile” — bolstered by the Mercel‘s well-mixed keys as it moves smoothly through its patient and well-controlled tempo; not slow, but no quicker paced than it needs to be.

But while Groovy goes deeper into emotionality than Geezer have been willing to go before — lines like those quoted above from “Awake” and others about drinking contribute to the coinciding depressive strain — the record is remains an upbeat affair in its overarching spirit. It almost has to. You can’t help but groove, what with the bounce-a-quarter shifts between its verses and choruses and the clarity with which it comes to fruition across the two sides, its stretch finally going in “Black Owl” willfully beyond the limits of its own point of no return. Influences remain — Wo Fat have already been mentioned, Brant Bjork is another — but with that has to comes the realization that Geezer have transcended the fervent stylization of their 2013 debut, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues (discussed here), and found a path of their own within a sphere that encompasses not only those heavy blues, but psychedelia, classic rock, stoner groove and so on. More than ever on Groovy, they are singly identifiable. Harrington‘s gravelly vocals are a big part of that, but he also demonstrates a more melodic take than could be found either on Psychoriffadelia or their 2016 self-titled (review here), which until now had been the band’s highest achievement in songwriting.

There are two key lessons, takeaways, whatever-you-want-to-call-them, from Groovy. The first is that Geezer have found their way. And in fact, they’ve worked their way toward doing so. Each of their records has built on the last, and even their stopgaps have been effective in constructing the forward line of their progression. So while Groovy stands and testifies its own accomplishments, there’s nothing to say those can’t or won’t be surpassed. The second is that the balance in their sound is something no less fluid to them than their jams themselves. That is, with Groovy, Geezer offer proof of dynamic and live chemistry, but their method for doing so does not hold that their next work will be staid or simply seeking to recapture the same feel. The next party might be even more wild, but as Harrington advises, it’s worth living in the present. This is a moment captured. A crucial one for them. One that is wholly theirs. Can you dig it?

Geezer, Groovy (2020)

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