Review & Full Album Stream: 1782, 1782

Posted in Reviews on May 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

1782 self titled

[Click play above to stream 1782’s self-titled debut in its entirety. Album is out May 24 on Heavy Psych Sounds.]

If you go and look up the year 1782 in Wikipedia, you’ll find a rundown of what are considered the noteworthy events that happened across that 12 months. It’s a lot of war and governmental action, people being born, people dying — basically the stuff you’d expect when you think of who was keeping records in the 18th century. None of it is the story Italian doomers 1782 are telling however. The Roman two-piece of Marco Nieddu (vocals, guitar, bass) and Gabriele Fancellu (drums, backing vocals) are focused on the later witch trials in Europe, in particular the case of Anna Göldi, who indeed was tortured and eventually decapitated by the Swiss state in 1782 as a witch after she allegedly put needles in the milk of the child of the family for whom she was working as a maid. In 2007-2008, the Swiss government acknowledged it as a “miscarriage of justice,” so better late than never, but Göldi is considered the last witch to be executed in Switzerland if not wider Europe and her story — including an affair and child with the head of that household, who was married and had her arrested — is emblematic of the treatment of women at the time.

The two-piece don’t take an outwardly critical stance on the subject matter, but neither are they glorifying chopping ladies’ heads off, which is something of a relief. The eponymous “1782,” which appears as the last original cut of the eight inclusions ahead of closer “Celestial Voices,” a Pink Floyd cover with guest vocals and organ, is instrumental, but in “She Was a Witch” and the slow rolling subsequent track “Black Sunday,” they seem nonetheless to be passing judgment of their own on the reasoning of centuries past; fair enough given the enduring spirit of masculine entitlement to control over a woman’s body and life. More than direct commentary, though, 1782‘s self-titled debut — which runs eight songs and 39 minutes delivered through Heavy Psych Sounds with a guest appearance from label honcho Gabriele Fiori (also of Black Rainbows, Killer Boogie and The Pilgrim) on guitar for the aforementioned “She Was a Witch” — prefers to stake its claim in dense-fog doom and nodder groove.

Nieddu‘s vocals are pushed low and echoing in the spirit of true post-Electric Wizard witch doom, and as a result, the tonality surrounding feels all the more viscerally massive. The recording’s overarching rawness — the album was produced by Alfredo Carboni at RKS Studios in Sardinia — only bolsters the bleak aesthetic and makes moments like the chanting toward the end of “The Spell (Maleficium Vitae)” come across as especially resonant ahead of the wah-bass finish. The album begins, suitably enough, with the ringing bell of “Intro (…To the Church)” and moves quickly into the riff-led “Night of Draculia,” a shorter and quicker leadoff that may or may not tie into the witchy thematic but makes a rousing introduction to the sound of the record more generally, with Fancellu‘s drums thud and crash backing the thick guitar and bass tones and Nieddu‘s vocals left to cut through that swamp of low end. The later, hooky “Oh Mary” is more angular, but still something of a complement in terms of overall approach, with the vocals particularly blown out at the forefront of the mix.

1782

That leaves the trio of “The Spell (Maleficium Vitae),” “She Was a Witch” and “Black Sunday” as the doomed heart of 1782, as well as the point of the switch between sides A and B, but the latter seems to be less of a concern for the band than a linear flow from front to back. As they push deeper into the villainous fuzz and damned melodicism, the sense of plunge is palpable, and their take on doom, well informed by the likes of Saint Vitus and of course Black Sabbath, nonetheless holds a modern edge in its willingness to cast off the trappings of frill in favor of the most straight-ahead-into-the-abyss vibe possible. Small turns here and there like Fiore‘s guitar solo in “She Was a Witch,” or the already-noted chanting in “The Spell (Maleficium Vitae),” or the organ showing up in the second half of “1782” in order to tie it more fluidly to the capping Floyd cover, do much to distinguish individual pieces, but clearly 1782 are thinking in terms of their first offering as a whole experience.

And it is their first offering. They are a new band, formed in Dec. 2018 and hit the studio this past February. Nieddu and Fancellu have worked together previously in the band Raikinas — whose vocalist, Alfredo Carboni, sings on “Celestial Voices” while Nico Sechi adds Hammond beneath — and that prior experience helps stave off some of the formative feel that might otherwise typify an effort from a group so nascent, but there’s little doubt in listening that 1782 are doing the work here of finding their sound and their place in the sphere of doom, discovering what they want to say with their sound and how they want to go about it. There are moments where the album feels disjointed, as in the jump from “Oh Mary” to “1782,” but the band make clear their foundation in these tracks, and as an initial connection, it still proves largely cohesive thanks in part to its conceptual basis and tonal consistency.

It is one to grow on, and listening to the hint at vocal harmony in the second half of “She Was a Witch,” 1782 give hints of their intention to do just that. In the meantime, their debut under the banner of obscure history gives them an immediately distinguishing place from which to grow. They’re neither strictly traditional doom nor cult rock, stoner riffing nor retro-style throwback, but there are of course elements of all of them at play and more besides. Where 1782 might lead them, I’d expect natural progression around what they’re doing here, with a mindset toward craft coming forward in kind with the clear purpose in their overall sound. They may stay this raw and they may not, but it works for them here.

1782 on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Brant Bjork to Reissue Jalamanta Sept. 13 on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

What, you thought Heavy Psych Sounds was going to embark on a series of Brant Bjork reissues and not do the one that started it all? Of course not. Originally released in 1999 through Man’s Ruin Records, Jalamanta (discussed here) is top-five all-time pivotal desert rock releases, if not top three, and its enduring relevance not only to Bjork‘s work but for the slew of others he’s influenced speaks for itself. Presented with a new mix by Bjork and Tony Mason and a fresh master from John McBain, as well as new cover art, it’s just one of the best records ever to come out of the Californian desert. That’s all. No big deal.

Except it is a big deal. Preorders start later this week, as the PR wire tells it:

brant bjork jalamanta reissue

*** BRANT BJORK – JALAMANTA *** Reissue for the 20th Anniversary – remastered/remixed version

RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13th
PRESALE STARTS: MAY 23rd

It’s been 20 glory years when desert rock icon, BRANT BJORK, released his first solo album Jalamanta.

2019 will see the Kyuss and Fu Manchu- legend celebrate his 20th anniversary in style, when he will re-release his pathbreaking, cult album Jalamanta on September 13rd with Heavy Psych Sounds Records!

Recorded by Tony Mason at Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree, California, in February 1999 and produced by BRANT BJORK, Jalamanta still belongs to the most distinctive desert rock records of all time.

“Jalamanta was a life changing record for me. It’s the record that launched my journey as Brant Bjork.“ he comments. “Listening to the tapes 20 years later was amazing. Tony Mason and myself were transported back to that moment in time. Jalamanta was a first for both Tony and myself. My first record as a solo artist and his first record as an engineer. We didn’t think twice about re-mixing it. With our combined experience over the years, we knew we could take Jalamanta to the place we always wanted it to go. And we did. Dig it.“

Jalamanta has been re-mixed by Tony Mason, with a freshly baked re-master by John McBain at JPM Mastering, San Francisco. New cover art by Branca Studio. Heavy Psych Sounds is proud to start the pre-order of this timeless classic on May 23rd, in the following available album formats:

RELEASED IN DOUBLE GATEFOLD VINYL IN :
45 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
250 LTD WHITE SPLATTER RAINBOW VINYL
250 LTD WHITE MARBLED PURPLE VINYL
600 SOLID YELLOW VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

TRACKLIST
1. Lazy Bones
2. Automatic Fantastic
3. Cobra Jab
4. Too Many Chiefs… Not Enough Indians
5. Sun Brother
6. “Let’s Get Chinese Eyes”
7. Toot
8. Defender Of The Oleander
9. Bones Lazy
10. Low Desert Punk
11. Waiting For A Coconut To Drop
12. Her Brown Blood
13. Indio
14. Take Me Away ( Blue Oyster Cult cover )

Brant Bjork live:
19.06.19 – Nuremberg | Hirsch (DE)
20.06.19 – Netphen | Freak Valley Festival (DE)
21.06.19 – Nijmegen | Doornrosje (NL)
22.06.19 – Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival (UK)
23.06.19 – Izel | La Fete De La Musique (BE)
24.06.19 – Aachen | Musikbunker (DE)
25.06.19 – Darmstadt | Centralstation (DE)
26.06.19 – Hannover | Musikzentrum (DE)
27.06.19 – Saarbrücken | Garage (DE)
28.06.19 – Düdingen | Bad Bonn (CH)
29.06.19 – Salzburg | Rockhouse (AT)
30.06.19 – Korinthos | Under The Sun Festival (GR)
02.07.19 – Thessaloniki | Eightball Club (GR)
04.07.19 – Viveiro | Resurrection Festival (ES)

Brant is still promoting his 13th solo album, “Mankind Woman”, which will was released via Heavy Psych Sounds in September.

https://www.facebook.com/BrantBjorkOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/brant_bjork
https://twitter.com/brant_bjork
http://www.brantbjork.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, Jalamanta (1999)

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Returns to Austria with Conan, Ecstatic Vision, Gozu & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

heavy psych sounds fest innsbruck banner

Hey, anyone else kind of notice Heavy Psych Sounds taking over the world? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the idea, but as the Italian imprint continues to expand its reach to things like a US West Coast package tour and a return to Austria that includes a second venue, I can’t help but notice the spreading influence. Global dominance may or may not be an intent — frankly, we should be so lucky — but as Heavy Psych Sounds Fest hits Innsbruck again, an initial lineup of Conan, Ecstatic Vision, Gozu, Sapo and Oreyeon bodes well immediately. Again, they’ve got two venues to fill this time around, so I believe the poster when it says “more bands tba,” but even just that top three is a fine start as far as I’m concerned, and as we see the busy Fall fest season in Europe spill over into November, the march toward every-weekend-of-the-year festival paradise seems inevitable. So be it.

Here’s the PR wire announcement for the first five bands, and yeah, more to come:

heavy psych sounds fest innsbruck

Conan, Ecstatic Vision, Gozu and more confirmed for HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST in Innsbruck this November 1 & 2

After the great success of last year’s HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST that took place in Innsbruck, Austria, the Italian fuzz rock label has just announced to return to the hills and capitol of Tyrol in 2019!

With locations and hot-spots all over Europe, including London, Brussel, Deventer as well as the recent, first edition of Heavy Psych Sounds Fest even in the US with headlining bands such as Red Fang, Nebula and many more, the underground cult label has become an important live and festival institution; with a brisk participation from heavy rock fans all over the Globe, celebrating the almighty riffs in all that is heavy, doom, sludge and stoner rock.

In cooperation with Poison For Souls, the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest-series will once again turn the Austrian venues, PMK and this time also Jellyfish, into a psychedelic wonderland. The first and high class acts have just been announced! Get ready for doom heavy weights CONAN, psychedelic fuzz rockers ECSTATIC VISION, as well as GOZU, OREYEON and SAPO to round up this first line-up announcement in style, with many more bands to be revealed soon!

The 2nd edition of HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST INNSBRUCK will be taking place between November 1st & 2nd 2019, tickets are now available HERE!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2365485103727812/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Gozu, Equilibrium (2018)

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Glitter Wizard Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

glitter wizard

San Francisco psych-boogie freaks Glitter Wizard will head out on a European tour beginning May 30 at Muskelrock in Sweden. From there, they’re in Italy and Austria, Switzerland and Germany and France as they support their newly issued full-length, Opera Villains. Out this past April 20, the release is the band’s second through Heavy Psych Sounds, which is also presenting the tour and also brought the band over for their last outing. Opera Villains, however, is over the top in its ’70s-flavoured (yes, that ‘u’ is on purpose) righteousness taking the best of your Ritchie Blackmores and your Greg Lakes and dosing it all before mashing it together in a good-time vibe that as infectious as the hooks themselves. Mark it a win. I hadn’t really dug into the album until listening to it for this post. Now I want to write about it more.

Go figure.

Dates from the PR wire:

glitter wizard euro tour

Hey people, our beloved Glitter Wizard will smash Europe in 3 weeks!! They will perform also songs from their latest album Opera Villains, out on April 20th via Heavy Psych Sounds !!!

GLITTER WIZARD EUROPEAN TOUR 2019

30.05.2019 SE Alvesta-Musklerock
31.05.2019 IT Cecina-Stones from the Hill
01.06.2019 IT Torino-Blah Blah
02.06.2019 IT Castel D’Ario-Hostaria
03.06.2019 IT Altroquando-Zerobranco
04.06.2019 IT Trieste-El Covo De Jameson
05.06.2019 AT Wien-Venster99
06.06.2019 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
07.06.2019 AT Bludenz-Villa K
08.06.2019 CH Muotathal-Earls Music Club
09.06.2019 DE Frankfurt-DKK
11.06.2019 DE Oldenburg-Mts Record
12.06.2019 DE Berlin-Urban Spree
13.06.2019 DE Dresden-Ostpol
14.06.2019 DE Erfurt-Tiko
15.06.2019 DE Mannheim-JUGENDHAUS SCHÖNAU
16.06.2019 BE Zottegem-Kaffee Maboel
17.06.2019 BE Liege-La Zone
18.06.2019 CH Basel-ExEsso
19.06.2019 FR Chambery-Le Brin De Zinc
20.06.2019 CH Olten-Coq D’Or
21.06.2019 DE Karlsrhue-Alte Hackerei
22.06.2019 DE Munich-Freaking Out Fest
26.06.2019 IT Cagliari-Corto Maltese
29.06.2019 IT Roma-Traffic

order the new album :
OPERA VILLAINS
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS095

Glitter Wizard:
WENDY STONEHENGE: “Master of Ceremonies,” vocals / flute / lyrics / piano
LORFIN TERRAFOR: “Minister of defense,” guitar / vocals / piano / percussion / bong
KANDI MOON: “Ambassador to Hollow Earth,” bass / vocals / acoustic & electric guitar / piano
FANCY CYMBALLS: “Minister of Transportation,” drums / tecate
DOUG GRAVES: “Minister of Records,” keys / synth / organ / violin / vocals

https://glitterwizard.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/glitterwizardwagon/
https://twitter.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUND
https://instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Glitter Wizard, Opera Villains (2019)

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Ecstatic Vision Finish Work on New Album; Touring with Heavy Temple

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ecstatic vision

New stuff from Ecstatic Vision is a win. Their next record — it’ll be their third LP — is reportedly in the can, and that’s awfully nifty, so I’d expect news about it, oh, say, about three minutes after this post goes live. Just so I can still be behind as I am in posting these tour dates. I try to keep up. And fail. Consistently. Nonetheless, I’m curious to see who’ll be handling the release for the upcoming offering from the Philadelphia psych forerunners, since Heavy Psych Sounds put out their 2018 Under the Influence EP (discussed here), and their two records to-date, 2017’s Raw Rock Fury (review here) and 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here), came out on Relapse. Could be either of those or of course someone else. I have a hard time imagining anyone wouldn’t want to get in on putting out their stuff.

For what it’s worth, Heavy Psych Sounds is presenting the tour, and Ecstatic Vision will play the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest out on the West Coast. They’ll also be back in Europe this Fall for Keep it Low in Munich, and they’ll presumably have more dates TBA around that. So, more to come. I’ll try to keep up.

For now, here’s this from the PR wire:

ecstatic vision tour

Ecstatic Vision Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Philly Krautrock Crew Gears Up for Album Number Three with 15 City Spring Live Trek

Philadelphia heavy psych band Ecstatic Vision has announced a spring U.S. headlining tour. The dangerous live group, known for its hybrid sound that merges the sound and style of ’70s rock acts like Hawkwind, Can and MC5 with the feel and flow of Afrobeat artists such as Fela Kuti and Africa 70, will launch the two week trek on May 2 in Baltimore, MD. Support on the Ecstatic Vision tour will be provided by fellow Philadelphians Heavy Temple.

As part of the 15 city tour, Ecstatic Vision will perform live as part of the recently-announced Heavy Psych Sounds Fests, a celebration of the Italian underground rock label of the same name to which the group is signed. Ecstatic Vision will join labelmates Mothership, Duel, Crypt Trip and more on both May 10 in Fort Worth, TX and May 11 in Austin, TX. For more details on these HPS Fest shows, visit these locations.

Ecstatic Vision is touring in support of its EP of space / zam rock covers, ‘Under the Influence’ (2018), its 2015 debut album, ‘Sonic Praise’, and the band’s ballsy experimentation into Detroit rock meets white noise, ‘Raw Rock Fury’ (2017). Ecstatic Vision recently completed work on its as-yet-untitled new album, and is expected to debut some of its new songs live over the course of the upcoming tour.

“”We are stoked to get back on the road to play live at places we haven’t been in a long time, and with a new record in the can,” says vocalist / guitarist Doug Sabolick. “Yes you heard right! Expect news on our new LP soon as well. See you at the shows!”

Ecstatic Vision tour dates:
May 2 Baltimore, MD The Metro Gallery *
May 3 Richmond, VA Wonderland RVA
May 4 Raleigh, NC The Pour House Music Hall
May 5 Asheville, NC The Odditorium
May 6 Charlotte, NC The Milestone Club
May 7 Columbia, SC Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse
May 9 Memphis, TN Growlers
May 10 Fort Worth, TX Lola’s
May 11 Austin, TX The Lost Well
May 12 Denton, TX Andy’s Bar
May 14 St. Louis, MO Fubar
May 15 Nashville, TN The East Room
May 16 Johnson City, TN The Hideaway
May 17 Washington, DC The Pinch *
May 18 Harrisonburg, VA The Golden Pony *
* = No Heavy Temple

Ecstatic Vision is:
Doug Sabolick (vocals / guitar)
Michael Field Connor (bass)
Kevin Nickles (saxophone)
Ricky Culp (drums)

https://www.facebook.com/ecstaticvision
https://twitter.com/ecstaticvision_
https://www.instagram.com/ecstaticvision

Ecstatic Vision, Under the Influence (2018)

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Yawning Man Set June 14 Release for Macedonian Lines; Preorder Up & Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

yawning man heavy psych sounds

Yawning Man are working on a quick turnaround from 2018’s The Revolt Against Tired Noises (review here) to release their new LP, Macedonian Lines, in June on Heavy Psych Sounds, but listening to the album only confirms the experimentalist approach that’s let them do so. Exploring some moodier atmospheres with keys and their inimitable tones, the pivotal desert rock three-piece will use the long-player’s release as the launch point for a European tour in June, so the timing works on multiple levels. They’ve got a video posted for the title-track that shows some of where they’re coming from in terms of sound this time around, and it’s a twist on the established Yawning Man approach that’s made them so widely influential. Take a second and check it out.

Cover art and PR wire whatnot follow, as well as the preorder link, should you want to get in on that.

And you probably should:

Yawning Man Macedonian Lines

YAWNING MAN share details + stunning video off new “Macedonian Lines” album on Heavy Psych Sounds; preorder available now!

YAWNING MAN continue to establish their exceptionally unique approach to rock music on the bands latest album “Macedonian Lines” (Heavy Psych Sounds Records). The follow up to the critically acclaimed “Revolt Against Tired Noises” shows a further maturing of melody, dynamics and emotion in the bands songwriting. Yawning Man’s roots lay at the foundation of the desert rock and stoner rock sub-genres, however the music the band creates is truly organic and visceral, conjuring a flowing imagery and a emotional response. On this release, the band has a darker and massively heavier sound than past recordings as most of these tracks were developed in live performance and then fully realized in the studio. YAWNING MAN returned to Gatos Trail Studio in the Joshua Tree CA desert to record this album and the space and beauty of the surroundings is ever present in every track. Heavy, beautiful, and delicate. Gary Arce, Mario Lalli and Bill Stinson continue to expand and dig deep with every track.

Mario Lalli (bass) says about the new record: “Macedonian Lines represents the spirit of this band beyond the sound and composition. All the elements of this song were created in live improvisations during Yawning Man’s last European tour. The band refined the ideas night after night in front of live audiences. By tour’s end, the composition is what your hear on the new LP…. truly organic. The title comes from the band’s experiences crossing the Eastern European borders during this turbulent time of refugee migrations and political discord, while the music tends to add beauty to these observations.

‘Macedonian Lines’ will be available June 14th in the following formats; preorder at this location: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS105

– 30 Test Press vinyl
– 250 LTD Orange vinyl
– 650 Yellow splatter/Purple/Red vinyl
– Black vinyl
– CD and digital

YAWNING MAN New album “Macedonian Lines”
Out June 14th on Heavy Psych Sounds

TRACK LISTING:
1. Virtual Funeral
2. Macedonian Lines
3. Melancholy Sadie
4. Bowie’s Last Breath
5. I’m Not A Real Indian (But I Play One On TV)
6. I Make Weird Choices

YAWNING MAN LIVE:
13.06.19 Amsterdam | Melkweg
14.06.19 Achterhoek | Manana Festival
15.06.19 Liège | La Zone
16.06.19 Bristol | The Lane
18.06.19 Manchester | Rebellion
19.06.19 Glasgow | Audio
20.06.19 Coventry | The Phoenix
22.06.19 Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival
25.06.19 Hamburg | Markthalle
26.06.19 Köln | Sonic Ballroom
27.06.19 Karlsruhe | Alte Hackerei
29.06.19 Vitoria | Hell Dorado
02.07.19 Barcelona | Rocksound
03.07.19 Bilbao | Satelite T
04.07.19 Bordeaux | Astroshøw Open Air
06.07.19 Leuven | Sojo
10.07.19 Cottbus | Zum Faulen August
11.07.19 Wien | Arena
12.07.19 Salzburg | Rockhouse
13.07.19 Erfurt | Stoned From The Underground
14.07.19 Pleszew | Red Smoke Festival
23.07.19 Munich | Free & Easy Festival
25.07.19 Breitenbach | Burg Herzberg Festival

YAWNING MAN IS:
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, “Macedonian Lines” official video

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Yawning Man Announce New Album Due in June on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Yawning Man will release a new album in June through Heavy Psych Sounds to coincide with their previously announced European tour. Info on the record is pretty sparse at this point, as regards title and songs and so on, but preorders start next week and there’s reportedly audio to come then as well, so I assume this preliminary announcement will be followed up with more news next week. Suits me just fine. I don’t know if you heard it, but 2018’s The Revolt Against Tired Noises (review here) was an absolute gem, and it’s awesome that the band are following it up so quickly. Don’t forget they also toured in the US earlier this year, so it’s quite a bit of productivity for the band who count their origins as well over 30 years ago and who still have never quite gotten their due. A sense of urgency suits them. Can’t wait to hear the record.

Fresh off the PR wire:

yawning man heavy psych sounds

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS is stoked to announce that our desert rock godfathers YAWNING MAN are coming back with a brand new album in June !!!

PRESALE STARTS: APRIL 16th

Formed in the late 1980’s, the lineup of Gary Arce, Mario Lalli, and Bill Stinson rounds out their yearlong active recording and touring schedule. Arce and Lalli’s background together date back to the start of Yawning Man with Stinson’s background steeped in the SST Records world through performing and recording with Greg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag for several years. Yawning Man is acknowledged and recognized throughout the underground heavy music community as a key piece in the developments of the desert/stoner rock subgenres. While their contemporaries gravitated toward the heavy riffs of grunge, and post punk, Yawning Man leaned in another direction with their unique and organic, cinematic compositions and psychedelic improvisations…the perfect soundtrack to encompass the spacious moonscape atmosphere of the well documented “generator parties” of their area in the late 1980’s.

It was at these gatherings where they developed this distinctive style and sound by enchanting spectators with their seemingly endless free form instrumental sessions, which echoed through the beautiful deserts, mesas, and landscapes of the Coachella Valley. As time passed, their legend grew with notable names of the Palm Desert music scene paying homage to the group through mention and praise, notably with legendary desert band Kyuss (Joshua Homme, Brant Bjork, John Garcia, Scott Reeder) doing their own rendition of the Yawning Man track “Catamaran” on the 1995 Elektra release ..And The Circus Leaves Town. Festival appearances include Hellfest (FR), Azkena Fest (ES), Reverence Fest (ES) Desertfest London, Desertfest Berlin, Up in Smoke (CH), Psycho Las Vegas (US), Stoned & Dusted I & II (US), and various others. The recent documentaries on the Deserts unique music scene Lo Sound Desert and Desert Age give light on Yawning Man’s influential impact on underground rock music.

13.06.19 Amsterdam | Melkweg
14.06.19 Achterhoek | Manana Festival
15.06.19 Liège | La Zone
16.06.19 Bristol | The Lane
18.06.19 Manchester | Rebellion
19.06.19 Glasgow | Audio
20.06.19 Coventry | The Phoenix
22.06.19 Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival
25.06.19 Hamburg | Markthalle
26.06.19 Köln | Sonic Ballroom
27.06.19 Karlsruhe | Alte Hackerei
29.06.19 Vitoria | Hell Dorado
02.07.19 Barcelona | Rocksound
03.07.19 Bilbao | Satelite T
04.07.19 Bordeaux | Astroshøw Open Air
06.07.19 Leuven | Sojo
10.07.19 Cottbus | Zum Faulen August
11.07.19 Wien | Arena
12.07.19 Salzburg | Rockhouse
13.07.19 Erfurt | Stoned From The Underground
14.07.19 Pleszew | Red Smoke Festival
23.07.19 Munich | Free & Easy Festival
25.07.19 Breitenbach | Burg Herzberg Festival

YAWNING MAN IS
Gary Arce – Guitar
Mario Lalli – Bass
Bill Stinson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/yawningmanofficial/
https://yawningman.bandcamp.com
http://www.yawningman.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Yawning Man, Live at Bovine Sex Club, Jan. 20, 2019

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Brant Bjork, Jacoozzi: Guerrilla Wonderland

Posted in Reviews on April 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

brant bjork jacoozzi

Roll tape. Jam. Repeat. It’s not a new methodology by any means, but it still works, and one imagines the process becomes more complicated when there’s only one person involved. Fortunately for anyone who might find themselves immersed in the Heavy Psych Sounds-issued Jacoozzi, that one person is Brant Bjork, who plays all instruments throughout the release recorded in 2010. It was a productive era for Bjork in the studio and on the road, as the years immediately preceding had seen him touring with his then-band, Brant Bjork and the Bros., as well as putting out LPs at a steady clip like 2006’s serene, acoustic Tres Dias (reissue review here), 2007’s Somera Sól (discussed here) and 2008’s Punk Rock Guilt (though that was recorded in 2005) through his Low Desert Punk Records imprint, and the former Kyuss drummer was still a couple years off from putting his solo career aside to participate in the semi-reunion Kyuss Lives!/Vista Chino circa 2011-2013. It would seem to have been during the making of what became 2010’s Gods and Goddesses (review here) that Bjork, apparently frustrated with how the material was coming together, scrapped everything and instead jammed out Jacoozzi with Tony Mason engineering for what has ended up as 10 tracks and 46 minutes of mostly-instrumentalist heavy chill mastery.

And like its cover art with an image of Bjork — ex-Kyuss as noted, also formerly of Fu Manchu and by 2010 already with no fewer than eight solo/bandleader full-lengths under his belt — staring directly at the camera, surrounded by an aura of muted shades like a ’70s wall hanging, Jacoozzi is about as dead-ahead and stripped-down as he’s ever gotten. As an entire work, it oozes vibe, and even the 44-second drum bed “Five Hundred Thousand Dollars” has a sleek groove, but it is definitely a collection of individual movements rather than something written as a single entity. It’s a different process of capturing the moment, then, not about bringing in a collection of pre-written songs and putting them down to establish an overarching feel, but getting there from another direction, piecing together jams one component at a time until finally a song like the mellow highlight “Black and White Wonderland” is built to where it needs to be.

That there are no vocals on the bulk of the material feels on one level like a missed opportunity at times — one imagines an improv rant over the tense wah guitar of “Oui” or a couple verses added to “Lost in Race” would’ve added to the effect rather than detracted from it — but it speaks to the circumstance in which the record was made and the fact that it likely wasn’t intended to be a record at all. It was Bjork expunging ideas in the studio, and getting stuff out of his head either as some kind of catharsis or to save and make into songs later before returning to work on Gods and Goddesses. Thus it is the nature of even the jazzy electric piano in “Mixed Nuts” or the cool-toned mood-setting in opener and longest track (immediate points) “Can’t Out Run the Sun” to be what they are and to feel like ideas waiting to be fleshed out. Jacoozzi isn’t a traditional Brant Bjork record, as much as that exists. At its core, it’s very much a drum album. The first element that enters on “Can’t Out Run the Sun” is a quiet tom progression, and “Mexico City Blues,” “Five Hundred Thousand Dollars” (which is only drums), “Oui,” and vocalized closer “Do You Love Your World?” all lead with drums one way or the other.

brant bjork

The only song that starts with guitar is the penultimate “Polarized,” which swells in with Hendrixian fuzz feedback before its slow ride cymbal backbeat takes hold and continues to wind its way forward in that fashion for all of its four minutes, with keys and bass and drums behind it. Other cuts like righteously on-the-beat “Guerrilla Funk” (premiered here) and the sleek “Mixed Nuts” and “Lost in Race” bring the drums and guitar, etc., in at the same time, but either way, it’s still drums at the foundation of the material, and that’s somewhat inevitable given how it was recorded, essentially constructed on top of improvised drum parts. Given an infinity of time, money and interest, might Bjork have turned all of these jams into full-fledged verse/chorus songs? I don’t know. Does it matter? Jacoozzi works as well as it does precisely because it’s not that, and it gives a different and heretofore largely unseen look at the process by which Bjork creates. It’s a single creative burst from nine years ago. One should not go into it expecting the same kind of fleshed-out songcraft as Bjork featured on last year’s Mankind Woman (review here), but if that bit of necessary context makes Jacoozzi a fan-piece, then the album is only an argument in favor of fandom.

Brant Bjork is no stranger to carrying a record on his own. The majority of his landmark 1999 solo debut Jalamanta (discussed here) was him alone, and certainly other outings along the way have been as well. Of those, it seems to make the most sense to liken Jacoozzi to Tres Dias. Not necessarily in terms of sound, but idea. Tres Dias was a mostly-unplugged collection of songs, some of which were older, some were newer, but all were given a new interpretation in a setting that was as intimate as possible. It was a rawer glimpse of Bjork‘s songwriting process than he’d given before. Jacoozzi functions to do much the same thing, but with a different target. “Do You Love Your World?” might be considered “finished,” but if Tres Dias was showcasing the songs, Jacoozzi is showcasing the jams that birthed them. And while Bjork has done plenty of jamming on recent albums, there’s never been a work so purely based around the idea, and that makes Jacoozzi all the more special of a moment to have been caught on tape, and after being shelved for nine years, its arrival is as welcome as it was awaited. It may be an aside, or a kind of footnote in Bjork‘s ongoing creative progression, but damn is it listenable.

Brant Bjork, Jacoozzi (2019)

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