Stream Review: Elephant Tree, Live at Buffalo Studio, London, 07.24.20

Posted in Reviews on July 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

elephant tree boiler room

It is a fortunate happenstance of relative geographic positioning that so many live streams taking place in European primetime occur right in the midst of my toddler son’s afternoon nap. An 8PM start in  http://fizmatika.lt/dutch-phd-thesis/ - find main recommendations as to how to receive the greatest research paper ever All sorts of academic writings & research papers. Opt Elephant Tree‘s native London meant 3PM for me, and amidst global pandemic and a chaotic year that no one could have anticipated except for all the people who did and were ignored, I’ll take what I can get. As far as I’m concerned, 3PM is primetime anyway.

I parked myself on the couch to stream You`ve Found the best http://www.igm-bei-vw.de/?a-essay-about-helping-someone online on CustomWriting Entrust you work to skilled specialists Unlimited Support Money back Elephant Tree‘s hour-long performance at  ads for homework help Purpose Of Phd Thesis Online online dissertation help katalog doctoral program without thesis Buffalo Studio in East London — presented and produced/directed by OZ http://www.bavaria-hausverwaltung.de/?my-homework-was-never-quite-like-this provides best online assignment writing service in Australia. We have Australian assignment full time experts to write custom Essays The Preservation Room — and even managed to cast it to the tv, which the Facebook app has been iffy on in the past. Presumably, the four-piece would’ve been on tour by now under different circumstances, supporting their album-of-the-year-contending second LP,  check my term paper Pubmed Research Papers write term papers for money 10 ideas for an essay Habits (review here), on  Discover the best Homework Helping Websites Skills in Best Sellers. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. Holy Roar/ Essay Writing Services Online is best for Thesis Writing Service in US, UK, Australia and Canada.We provide Homepages for all degree Deathwish Inc help me write an argumentative essay http://cpalettre.unepassion.fr/?global-warming-research-papers doctoral dissertation writing help university essay help ., but like everybody’s everything, well, you’re alive, so you know.

Shit luck. The record deserves to be hand-delivered by the band to audiences far and wide.  Vision Statement For Business Plan. Whether you need an essay or a much more intricate research paper, the company can take on any paper. It is not Elephant Tree‘s progression as a four-piece, what guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist  Read and Download tcp phd thesiss Free Ebooks in PDF format - 90 MIATA WIRING DIAGRAM 8TH GEN CIVIC MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE 88 ISUZU TROOPER TRANSMISSION BOOK John Slattery — who joined in 2018 — brings to the lineup, was evident when I last saw the band in Nov. 2019 at  Buy essay online and enjoy high quality, How does online essay writer work on my paper? When you buy essays online, more info here; Magnetic Eye‘s Brooklyn showcase at  Welcome to CustomwritingPros, home of best essay writers! Here, we offer you essays of marriage service for all your research papers. Get help Now! Saint Vitus Bar (review here), and they seemed all the more comfortable highlighting songs from  You no longer need to search to the end of the Internet, or essay on law and order in delhi through a stack of glencoe Clicking Here textbooks. Habits, moving from a windy drone opening similar to that which starts the album with “Wake.Repeat” into lead-single “Sails,” quickly adjusting the line sound to pull  Its crucial to Is There Any Website Which Writes A Research Paper For Me which fits perfectly into your schedule and budget. To do this, youll need to go through all the costs involved. Sam Hart‘s reverby snare down and bring up fellow founder  Essays - largest database of quality sample essays and research papers on someone do my homework for me Jack Townley‘s guitar and vocals, joined in the chorus as he was by  Slattery and bassist Peter Holland (also of Trippy Wicked). Under studio lighting with two movable cameras, it was very much a made-for-tv stream, as opposed to more of a concert-minded experience.

If there was a warmup-factor, they were through it fast. I don’t know how often the four of them have been able to get together or rehearse over the last several mostly-locked-down months, but they ended “Sails” tight and shifted immediately to the between-song banter that has become a staple of their live sets, Townley remarking on how is ears were too small for the in-ear monitors in what would become a running gag for the set — Slattery later referred to himself as “blessed” in that regard — before they moved into the harmony-focused roller “Faceless,” continuing to follow the progression of the album’s tracklisting, Townley chastising himself after for getting the lyrics wrong. New songs. Likewise, Hart reminded Holland before they went into “Wasted” that the count-in was six stick-clicks. Holland pointed to the camera: “Six clicks. Remember.”

They had threatened new material — newer even than the album, which came out in April — but none was aired. The combination of fuzz tones and keys in “Wasted” would be a highlight just the same, Slattery bringing more synthy melody later in the song, before they wished a happy birthday to superfan Sister Rainbow and APF Records‘ Andy Field and launched into “Aphotic Blues.” It was one of two cuts from their 2016 self-titled debut (review here) they would play, and perhaps shifting into something older let them loosen up a bit more, but as that track turned to its bigger-riffing second half, they seemed to let fly a little and get into it, having pushed through the three-part vocal midsection and positively nailed it.

elephant tree buffalo studio

Goofing their way through a vinyl giveaway that would continue after — the game was that Townley was thinking of a number between 1-1,000 and if you guessed it you won a vinyl; I guessed eight and 42 — they soon went into “Bird,” another Habits high point and particularly emblematic of the progressive edge that’s emerged in their sound. With a duly floating vocal above Hart‘s steady drum and Holland‘s bass, they segued smoothly into the song’s atmospheric middle and dynamic ending with energy worthy of a live show, and though I’d seen them play it in November, knowing the song from actually having the record of course made a difference. Not ashamed to say I was singing along with the television at several points during their set, “Bird” being one of them.

Holland, who had been handling shout-outs (though Townley mentioned Sister Rainbow), gave me a hello — hey Pete — and “Exit the Soul” followed, with its extended break, three-part vocal and before closing with “Dawn” from the first record, they gave away the Habits vinyl. The winning number was five. At least I was close. Finishing off, they seemed once more right at home, as they had long since gotten momentum on their side and rolled through with apparent ease. Newer songs or older, they had it down and I don’t know if it was me projecting or an actual feeling on the part of the band, but there was evident relief when it was over before the feed cut, like they were glad to have gotten it off their collective chest. There wasn’t a full audience in the room to see it, but hell, at least they got to play and at least those who tuned in got to watch.

I was glad I did, and again, thankful for the afternoon timing making it possible to do so. I wound up spending a decent portion of the second half of the set being chewed on by our new puppy, which reminded me not only to take her out, but of how “real life” and music interact with live streaming in a way that never happens with actual live shows. If it was 10PM, would I have watched in bed on my phone before crashing out for the night? If it was 7PM, would I have been annoyed at having my nightly Star Trek viewing interrupted? Maybe. These are weird times and they’ve forced those who care about art and creativity to adjust the balance of the space they occupy in the day to day. The dog nipped at my hand while they played “Exit the Soul.” I was happy that at no point did she pee on the floor.

Watching the several streams I’ve seen — some trying to capture a band-on-stage experience, some a fly-on-wall camera in the rehearsal space, some, like this, kind of in-between — I can’t help but feel some pressure to bring it in the context of the “current moment,” but honestly, screw that. Bands are trying to get by, like everyone else. They can’t play shows so this seems to be what’s happening. It’s interesting seeing different acts’ personalities come through their A/V presentation, and of course it’s different than watching a band on stage. Do I need to say that? Do I need to say how important supporting each other through a global pandemic is? If I do, I shouldn’t have to. Whatever.

I took the dog for a walk after Elephant Tree were done, then got the kid up from his nap at the appointed wake-up time (4:38PM, if you’re curious). We drove around for a bit while he looked at sundry construction vehicles and ate some food, and when we came home, watched PBS Newshour, took the dog for another walk. I made leftovers for dinner, we watched Star Trek, the dog peed on the floor, and we went to bed. The Yankees — also playing without a crowd — had a day off. Life happened, and the stream got folded into the day, not quite the escapist experience a live show would be, but still something special while it lasted. Listen to Habits.

If you’re still reading, thanks and I’ll make it easy:

Elephant Tree, Habits (2020)

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Interview & Track Premiere: Elephant Tree Talk About the Making of Habits and More

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on April 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

elephant tree with riley

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Exit the Soul’ from Elephant Tree’s Habits. Album is out April 24 through Holy Roar Records and Deathwish Inc.]

I’ve been fortunate a few times now to see Elephant Tree play live, and never once have they not surpassed the prior gig. Each time has been better than the last. The clarity of their progression as a band can likewise be heard in their recordings. The latest of them, Habits (review here), is a sure-fire, no-question contender for the best heavy rock album of 2020, and though it was preceded just by their 2016 self-titled debut full-length (review here) and 2014’s Theia EP (review here), their evolution is to be ignored only at the non-listener’s loss. Emerging as they have from a hyper-crowded London and UK scene, with the advent of Habits, they stand among the most essential underground heavy bands currently active. And yes, I mean that.

Just a few days ago I expounded at great (read: probably too much) length about the quality of their craft across the wide scope of Habits, so I’ll spare you that. If you’re still reading this and haven’t just scrolled on to the Q&A, first, thanks, and second, I’ll just say that another aspect of who they are that comes across with Habits more than ever is the closeness of bond between the now-four members of the band. It’s not just about the harmonies between guitarist/vocalist Jack Townley and bassist/vocalist Peter Holland, or the hefty dose of synth John Slattery brings in his first recording with the group, or the steady foundation of roll drummer Sam Hart sets beneath the floating melodies. It’s the core relationship among the players upon which their performance chemistry is built. These guys laugh together. They’re becoming family as the best and steadiest bands do over time. You can see it when they clown around on stage. Just ask Pete what his favorite kind of bird is.

As that relationship extends to their work with producer/sometimes-bandmate Riley MacIntyre, it’s only fair that all five are included in this interview. If you haven’t found it yet, you’ll find the Q&A below.

Enjoy:

elephant tree habits

Interview with Elephant Tree: Habits Forming

Tell me about being in the studio this time vs. last time. What was different, other obviously than the songs, and what did you want to keep sound-wise from the self-titled?

Riley: The biggest difference between the making of this album and the last was the amount of time we spent on it. With the self-titled we had a very short and specific period of time to finish it. I believe we recorded all the music in four days, and then spent another few weekends doing vocals, production and mixing. It was maybe 8-10 days total. Also, I had a very clear vision for that album in terms of how it should sound. So, although we did play around a bit in the studio, it was a relatively focused process of recording what we needed to make it sound the way we imagined.

By contrast, Habits took the better part of a year (not full time by any means, mind you), and we had almost no idea how we wanted it to sound when we started out. Although we still did all the main live recording inside of a week, the production ultimately became a protracted process of trial and error, exploration, discovery, mistakes and happy accidents. For better or worse, without a deadline we were able to let the album take shape over time, and to be guided by what we found to be working along the way.

In terms of changes to the sound, we knew we wouldn’t be messing with core elements of the band – we would certainly be keeping the heavy guitars and vocal harmonies – but I think everything else was more or less fair game. I don’t remember having any conversations about what we wanted to stay the same, but we did have some about what we wanted to add… namely, energy. Whereas the last record was deliberately raw, lethargic, and syrupy sounding, we wanted this one to have a slightly more focused energy and to feel more alive and exciting. We tried to achieve this with more top end on the guitars, the drums being a bit less smashed and drowned out, little production tricks, and lots and lots of SYNTHS!

Describe recording with Riley. What does he bring to Elephant Tree’s sound as a producer?

Sam: Riley brings us a pretty unique opportunity when it comes to recording. He usually works on music that’s totally different, if not the polar opposite, to ours, so being able to come at the tracks with fresh ears and ideas is a real boon. The process usually involves us heading into the studio with an idea and Riley really then has free reign to deconstruct and digest it before coming up with all these wired and wonderful suggestions. Sometimes that can mean the whole re-writing of a track and others it might just be an odd synth added here and there. Most of the time though is him taking the hodge podge of riffs we have and moulding them into a song that makes sense.

Obviously having John in the band is a change from the first album. How much of Habits was written when he joined? How do you feel about the way the keys and second guitar fit in this material and how has it changed the experience of playing live for you?

Sam: John was there from the start on Habits pretty much. I think we had maybe Bird and one other track written but nowhere near finished. We needed to take the Self Titled on the road and wanted to do it justice with the extra guitars and synth that you could hear on the album. The more John practiced with us, the more we ended up jamming, and then from there he just naturally became a part of the next album. The keys and extra guitars were there on the self titled release but perhaps slightly less focused. That was because we wanted to still be able to give a live performance that was true to the album that people would listen to at home in some respect. Having John with us now means we can explore those second guitar parts and add these synth flutters knowing that when it comes to playing live we can deliver. He’s really a key member in pushing the band forward now.

How did you land on the title Habits and what does it mean to you? – Jack: It was actually Pete who shouted the album name out when we were trying to think of a title that sums up the ideas behind the album. I wouldn’t want to explain exactly what it means to us because I think it could mean a lot of different things to everyone else. However, I will say that it does reflect different parts of our lives and the times we are living through in a very real sense.

What’s happening in “The Fall Chorus” lyrically, and how intentional was it to pair that with “Broken Nails” at the start and end of side B?

John: Lyrically, “The Fall Chorus” is about struggling on with life against the backdrop of what seems to be an increasingly hostile environment politically and economically. The verses and choruses operate as counterpoint to each other. The chorus offers up the idea of having personal hope and being saved (whatever that might mean to you personally). The verses counter that with a feeling of impending doom. The last verse slightly aims to offer comfort in knowing that it cannot last forever and that at some point in the future, I will die (along with all my hopes and fears). I find some comfort in that.

With regard to the pairing of both songs, I think thematically they are in a similar vein. There was a strong feeling that Broken Nails was going to close the album out relatively early on in the recording process. I think we tried out a few different arrangements for the tracks, but felt that it was nice to come out of Exit The Soul and into something completely different with The Fall Chorus when you flip to Side B.

Tell me about the development of “Bird,” how that came together instrumentally and lyrically. –

Jack: The initial sketch music for Bird came first followed by the first ideas for the lyrics about 10 minutes later! I’ve never really written an idea down like that. Musically it came from a folk place. I’d been listening to old watersons records and a lot of Lankum at that time. I’d also just had my daughter! All this you can hear. The lyrics reflect the happiness and worries that come with raising a child (the worry part is especially relevant now). I brought the demo to the gang and it all came together really easily. We started to play it live for a while before we took it into the studio, it changed a fair bit in terms of arrangement since then as most things do when we work it all out together! Once in the studio Sam helped with parts of lyrics that had holes, Pete brought the riffs in. Slootz Mcootz brought in his keys, synths and charm, and Riley brought the whole thing together with his massive (when warm) production!

One assumes, plague permitting, you’ll tour. Any plans or closing words you want to mention?

Pete: Definitely, when this has settled down and normality (or as close to normal as we can get) has returned to us, we hope to pick up where things have been put on hold. Play out the new tracks from the album people have gotten used to by then, and be the band people want and need. The messages we get from fans can really leave us feeling humbled, we forget how our music and lyrics can help people through tough times, so it truly keeps our glass half full.

And as far as touring goes, plans were being made to be on the road with another band that, coincidentally, have their album coming out the same day as us, so fingers crossed for that come September.

Elephant Tree, “Bird” official video

Elephant Tree, “Sails” official video

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Album Review: Elephant Tree, Habits

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

elephant tree habits

To put the bottom line first: Elephant Tree‘s Habits is absolutely, unquestionably one of the best heavy rock releases of 2020. A top-five album, if not top-three, and such declaration is made with full awareness that half the year has not yet passed. Then a three-piece, the London-based heavy psychedelic rockers set a high standard with their 2016 self-titled debut full-length (review here), and Habits meets and surpasses the standard on every level. It is perhaps a less stark leap than the band made between their 2014 Theia EP (review here), but in following the course that Elephant Tree laid out, the eight tracks and 43 minutes of Habits expand the band’s scope on a multitude of levels.

This continuing evolution is palpable, whether it’s in the shared harmonies between guitarist Jack Townley and bassist Peter Holland, the inclusion of strings and more complex vocal arrangements on the acoustic “The Fall Chorus,” the welcoming of John Slattery on synth and guitar as he adds to the lushness of the melodies throughout, or the intricacies of rhythm that Sam Hart brings to the drums on a cut like “Bird,” or the earlier shifts between roll and chug of “Faceless.”

Habits finds Elephant Tree on every level a more progressive band, and the substance of their material is writ across each track in performance, arrangement, and purpose. This applies even unto the initially-ponderous intro “Wake.Repeat,” which is a 1:14-long drone that builds into the start of the true opener, “Sails,” but which ends up providing the basis of side A’s symmetry as a droning flourish rounds out “Exit the Soul,” the longest cut on the record at 7:20 and the finale of the first half, which gives way to side B’s own reflective property, as heard in the already-noted acoustics of “The Fall Chorus” that later find answer in album-closer “Broken Nails.”

The hidden message, as it were, sets up a duality between the ethereal and the natural, both seeming to correspond as a part of the entirety of Habits itself; the sound of the band serving as a duality unto itself between airy melody and weight of tone and groove. This conversation is the essence of Habits.

It is a subtlety and depth — conscious or not, whether correctly interpreted here or not — that is simply new ground for Elephant Tree as a band, and it’s brought out with the careful studio guidance of returning-producer/sometimes-bandmate Riley MacIntyre, whose familiarity with what Elephant Tree do and who they are is an essential component. It is crucial to note, however, that as much as the four-piece have grown over the last couple years both through adding Slattery to the lineup and substantial touring, they have maintained and pushed forward their propensity for memorable songcraft.

Elephant Tree

Thus, as much as “Sails” establishes the tonal and melodic foundations upon which “Faceless” and “Exit the Soul” build in succession, each piece makes an individual mark as well, and even the verses of “Faceless” seem to be a hook. The same is true of Habits‘ second half, as “The Fall Chorus” invites quiet sing-alongs as the lines, “So say we all/Saved from the shelf,” in the chorus offset the kind of minimalist verses also found in “Sails” and “Faceless.”

So too does “Bird” — which moves into an airy midsection jam before its chorus surges back and gives way to a faster, more twisting and winding progression that closes out — maintain its poise and undercurrent of purpose, and after coming to structural ground in the penultimate “Wasted,” the show of reach that is “Broken Nails” moves beyond even the rest of Habits in terms of overall scope, while holding fast to a rhythm in the vocal delivery of its verses that gives a sing-song feel, almost becoming at least in part the lullaby that “Bird” seems intended to be.

Front to back, Habits is gorgeous and resonant in kind, and the growth of melodies into harmonies and the broadening of the band’s sound with Slattery‘s keys — plain to hear on “Exit the Soul” as well as at the outset with “Sails,” and indeed across the rest of what surrounds — only makes their approach come through as more masterful. In crunching, riff-led moments like “Faceless” or even the consuming psychedelic finish of “Wasted” — where the largesse seems so much to be the focal point of their intention — Elephant Tree execute their songs with rare grace, perhaps most present in the quiet beginning stretch of “Broken Nails,” but never really gone.

And that closer, which on its own would situate the band among those bringing increasing progressive flourish to heavier styles, offers some of the slowest and most outwardly dense-feeling crash on Habits, while also pursuing the most atmospheric breadth, and as such, it could hardly be a more appropriate end, in its symmetry with “The Fall Chorus” and also in emphasizing the journey the band has undertaken from the relatively straightforward roll of “Sails” to the far-out place they find themselves at the end, with that lightly-strummed guitar leading them on the final fade. It is one last unabashedly beautiful moment on an album that is rife with them, and for all the potential that Elephant Tree‘s self-titled demonstrated, Habits moves beyond even what one might’ve hoped for in a follow-up.

This sounds like hyperbole, and it is, to be sure, but a work of such creative realization doesn’t happen along every day or every year, and what may seem like an extreme response is nonetheless earned in the material itself. These are not songs to visit and disregard. These are songs to live with. To listen to and be enveloped by. To learn and internalize and engage with over a course of time not defined by a release date, or the end of a year, or whenever. To hear the conversation Elephant Tree are having with their sound and their craft is to understand how special their work here genuinely is, and if the methods of Habits were to become a point of influence for other acts, it would only be an improvement to heavy music as a whole.

Recommended.

Elephant Tree, “Bird” official video

Elephant Tree, “Sails” official video

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Elephant Tree Post “Bird” Video from Habits LP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Elephant Tree

From a lyrical standpoint, this might be the most beautiful track on Elephant Tree‘s upcoming second album, Habits. “Bird” tells an out-the-window-perspective story of a sparrow in winter trying to fly high enough to get over the clouds and feel the sun’s warmth, and with lines like “Everything that rises must converge,” and the chorus of, “Fly, rising/Die trying,” accompanied by lush, serene keys, it is a special piece right up to its winding, heavy finish, not the least for its stand-in as a metaphor for parenting. The London-based four-piece were playing it live as early as Fall 2018, and along with the prior-single “Sails” (posted here), it is a standout from Habits even as it plays a larger role in the record’s overarching flow.

Habits is out April 24 through Holy Roar Records and Deathwish Inc., and I have a review set to go up on Monday, April 13, with a track premiere that the band were gracious enough to allow me to host (despite at this point needing press from the likes of me like they need a hole in their head). With that to come, I’ll hold of heaping further praise on the album’s various nuances and heavy/melodic blend and just be glad for the arrival of the video for “Bird” as another excuse to put Habits on this morning. I didn’t really need one, but I’m grateful just the same. I’ll probably spend a decent portion of the day with it on, and no regrets.

There’s some performance footage spliced in here amid the visual effects. You’ll see Pete in his The Young Ones t-shirt, which he’s worn the last two times I’ve seen the band — at this point I hope he has more than one for when this one wears through — and Sam behind the drums, and Jack and John and Pete sharing vocal duties. They’re in there somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy. That’s the point of this whole thing. Enjoy it.

Do that:

Elephant Tree, “Bird” official video

London-based prog-psych-doom artisans ELEPHANT TREE have streamed their new single/video ‘Bird’, taken from their highly-anticipated third album Habits, after four years of honing their sound on the international live circuit.

In the words of the band: “‘Bird’ is about having and raising a child, the innocence and fragility of the child in a sometimes hostile and difficult world. You hope to do right by them but know from experience that fairness is not guaranteed.”

Released April 24th via Holy Roar Records / Deathwish Inc., you can pre-order Habits here: http://smarturl.it/elephanttree

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Elephant Tree to Release Habits April 24; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Elephant Tree at Saint Vitus Bar (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If I can be honest for a second here, I don’t even want to start talking about Elephant Tree‘s new album, Habits, yet because I know that if I do I won’t be able to stop. Let me say this, I know we’re early in the year, but they’ve made their candidacy for the best album of 2020 known, and in following up their 2016 self-titled debut (review here), they’ve blown the doors down in terms of sonic expansion. The new record is more psychedelic, heavier in places, and more progressive on the whole in terms of its sense of craft and clarity of intention. If you are madly anticipating its arrival, you are correct.

I’ll stop there and of course there will be more to come as we get closer to the release, but as the London four-piece unveil the first album details, cover art, tracklisting and video — as well as the preorder link; just go ahead and get it done — I felt it necessary to chime in. All that potential they showed on their first record is starting to come to fruition. I’m your friend out here and I’m telling you: don’t miss out.

Fresh off the PR wire:

elephant tree habits

Prog-psych-doom rockers ELEPHANT TREE announce new album and stream new single

Habits released April 24th via Holy Roar Records

‘Sails’ streaming now

London-based prog-psych-doom artisans ELEPHANT TREE have announced their highly-anticipated third album Habits, after four years of honing their sound on the international live circuit.

Released April 24th via Holy Roar Records, you can pre-order Habits here: http://smarturl.it/elephanttree

The champions of the underground have delivered perhaps their most cohesive record yet, a scintillating blur of prog, stoner, psych, and melodic heavy rock. Opening on a hazy note of foreboding dread on ‘Wake.Repeat (Intro)’, the band explode into life soon after and rarely let up.

Every aspect of ELEPHANT TREE’s previously established sound has been amplified to 11 and fine-tuned to perfection. Their heavy, driving, grooves hold a more calculated rhythmic swing counterbalanced with leads that hold a soberingly clear gentleness. This is all tied together with vocals that possess a charming hedonism to their timbre, sure to win over legions more fans.

Elements of a heavy Pink Floyd, Melvins, and Deftones all combine with exhilarating effect, cementing the status of this group who have already sold tens of thousands of records and streams into the millions.

The union of sonic density and yearning is captured wonderfully, thanks in no small part to the band’s production choice of The Church Studios, famed for the sounds of U2, Nick Cave, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Adele amongst others.

If the sound of Kyuss and Smashing Pumpkins partying with Hunter S. Thompson and Cult Of Luna in an arena sounds like a good time, then this is the album for you. If there’s any justice, 2020 will be the year ELEPHANT TREE bloom out of best kept underground secret into a household name.

Tracklisting:
1. Wake.Repeat (Intro)
2. Sails
3. Faceless
4. Exit The Soul
5. The Fall Chorus
6. Bird
7. Wasted
8. Broken Nails

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Elephant Tree Sign to Holy Roar Records; New Album News Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I don’t want to make it out like I was stalking the Elephant Tree studio process a couple months back when the London band was recording with Riley MacIntyre at the helm, at least occasionally dressed like a wizard, but they certainly made it worth keeping up. The announcement that the four-piece will issue the recording on question with Holy Roar Records is also most certainly progress toward the inevitable release, which one expects will be revealed as being sometime early next year, perhaps ahead of or to coincide with the Spring festival season in Europe. Though if they wanted to make it February, I wouldn’t argue with that either. Frankly, the sooner the better.

This weekend, the Londoners play a co-headlining hometown date with Steak and a fest in Sheffield, and both of those shows come ahead of their impending tour with Steak and Lo-Pan, which in turn is before they return to the States to play Brooklyn for what’s been appointed the Day of Doom and is presented by Magnetic Eye Records, who also put out their 2016 self-titled debut (review here).

Congrats to the band on the signing, and if I haven’t made it plain, I’m very much looking forward to the album when it surfaces.

Here’s their announcement:

elephant tree holy roar

We are happy to announce that we have signed to Holy Roar Records Expect some news on new music soon!

We’re thrilled to be bringing Elephant Tree back to home soil. Holy Roar have shown themselves to be passionate about the music they release and it’s an honor to count ourselves as part of their roster. They’re also close enough to make meetings a valid excuse for pints!

Elephant Tree w/ Steak & Lo-Pan:
26.09.19 The Underworld | London (UK)
27.09.19 Psyched Stoned and Doomed 2 | Sheffield (UK)
04.10.19 Paris | Gibus (FR)
05.10.19 Pratteln | Up In Smoke Festival (CH)
06.10.19 Salzburg | Rockhouse (AT)
08.10.19 Linz | Stadtwerkstatt (AT)
09.10.19 Freiburg | Slow Club (DE)
10.10.19 Leipzig | Werk2 (DE)
11.10.19 Berlin | Setalight Festival (DE)
12.10.19 Munich | Keep it Low Festival (DE)
14.10.19 Wiesbaden | Schlachthof (DE)
15.10.19 Cologne | Helios 37 (DE)
16.10.19 Hamburg | Hafenklang (DE)
17.10.19 Bremen | Zollkantine (DE)
18.10.19 TBA | Desertfest Belgium

Elephant Tree live:
Nov. 2 Saint Vitus Bar Brooklyn NY Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom
Nov. 8 Soulstone Gathering Krakow PL

https://www.facebook.com/elephanttreeband
http://instagram.com/elephant_tree_band
https://elephanttree.band
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/holyroarrecords/

Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Surya Kris Peters, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Lair of the Minotaur, Sonic Wolves, Spacelord, Nauticus, Yuxa, Forktie, Ohhms, Blue Dream

Posted in Reviews on December 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I had a terrible thought yesterday: What if this one… went to 11? That is, what if, after 10 days of Quarterly Review ending today with a grand total of 100 records reviewed since last Monday, I did another batch of 10? Like a bonus round? Like I said, terrible thought.

Pretty sure it won’t happen. I’ve already got a review and a video premiere booked for next Monday, but I definitely had the thought. It was easy, of course, to fill out another 10 slots, and who knows, maybe this weekend for the first time ever I wind up with some extra time and energy on my hands? Could happen, right?

Again, I’m fairly certain it won’t. Let’s proceed with the assumption today’s the last day. Thank you for reading. I hope you have found something cool in all of this that has really hit home. I certainly have. We cap very much in last-but-not-least fashion, and if nothing’s resonated with you yet, don’t count yourself completely out. You might just get there after all. Thanks again.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Surya Kris Peters, Ego Therapy

Surya Kris Peters Ego Therapy

Those feeling technical will note the full title of the album is Surya Kris Peters’ Ego Therapy, but the point gets across either way. And even as Christian Peters — also guitarist/vocalist for Samsara Blues Experiment — acknowledges the inherent self-indulgence of the proverbial “solo-project” that his exploration of synth and classically progressive textures under the moniker of Surya Kris Peters has become, with Ego Therapy as his second full-length of 2018, he branches out in including drums from former Terraplane bandmate Jens Vogel. The 10-song/53-minute outing opens with its longest cut (immediate points) in the 15-minute “Angels in Bad Places,” a spaced-out and vibrant atmosphere more cohesive than psychedelia but still trippy as all hell, and moves through a bluesy key/guitar interplay in “Wizard’s Dream” following the dancey thriller soundtrack “Beyond the Sun” and into the Blade Runner-style grandeur of “Sleeping Willow” and the video game-esque “A Fading Spark” before bookending with the sci-fi “Atomic Clock” at the close. I don’t know how ultimately therapeutic Peters‘ solo offerings might be, but he only seems to grow bolder each time out, and that certainly applies here.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp

 

Lewis and the Strange Magics, The Ginger Sessions

lewis and the strange magics the ginger sessions

How are you not gonna love a release that starts with a song called “Sexadelic Galactic Voyage?” Barcelona vamp rockers Lewis and the Strange Magics embrace their inner funk on the 23-minute self-released EP, The Ginger Sessions, finding the place where their uptempo ’70s fusion meets oldschool The Meters-style rhythm, digging into the repetitions of “Candied Ginger” after the aforementioned instrumental opening burst and then holding the momentum through “Her Vintage Earrings.” Some departure happens on what might be side B of the 10″, with “The Shadow of Your Smile” turning toward pastoral psychedelia, still rhythmic thanks to some prominent wood block and xylophone sounds, but much calmer despite a consistency of wah and keys. “Suzy’s Room II” follows in fuzzy fashion, bridging the earlier cologne-soaked, chest-hair-out vibes with garage buzz and a heavier low end beneath the synthesized experimentation. Mellotron shows up and continues to hold sway in closer “Witch’s Brew,” playing the band outward along with layers of drifting guitar for about two and a half minutes of bluesy serenity that feel cut short, as does the release on the whole. One hopes they don’t lose that funky edge going into their next album.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Bandcamp

 

Lair of the Minotaur, Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Lair of the Minotaur Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Once upon the mid-aughts, Chicago’s Lair of the Minotaur roamed the land as the long-prophesied American answer to Entombed, as much classic, dirt-covered death metal as they were laden with heavy groove. Their tones filthy, their assault brutal all the while, war metal, ultimate destroyers. The whole nine. They released their last album, Evil Power (review here), in 2010. The two-songer Dragon Eagle of Chaos follows a 2013 single, and was released to mark the occasion of perhaps a return to some measure of greater activity. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but as both “Dragon Eagle of Chaos” and “Kunsult the Bones” affirm in about seven minutes between them, Lair of the Minotaur remain a wrecking ball made of raw meat when it comes to their sound. The madness that seemed to always underline their material at its most effective is present and accounted for in “Dragon Eagle of Chaos,” and the stripped-down production of the single actually helps its violent cause. Will they do another record? Could go either way, but if they decide to go that route, they clearly still have the evil power within.

Lair of the Minotaur website

Lair of the Minotaur on Bandcamp

 

Sonic Wolves, Sonic Wolves

sonic wolves sonic wolves

Eight tracks/34 minutes of smoothly-arranged and well-executed doom rock brought to bear with an abiding lack of pretense and a developing sense of songcraft and dynamic — there’s very little not to dig about Sonic Wolves‘ self-titled LP (on Future Noise and DHU), from the Sabbathian stretch of “Ascension” down through the bouncing low-key-psych-turns-to-full-on-wah-overdose-swirl in the penultimate “Heavy Light.” Along the way, bassist/vocalist Kayt Vigil (ex-Pentagram, etc.) — joined by guitarists Jason Nealy and Enrico “Ico” Aniasi and drummer Gianni “Vita” Vitarelli (also Ufomammut) — gallop through the traditional metal of “Red Temple” and ride a fuzzy roll in “Tide of Chaos,” leaving the uptempo shuffle of “You’ll Climb the Walls” to close out by tapping into a “Wicked World”-style vision of heavy blues that casts off many of the tropes of what’s become the subgenre in favor of a darker approach. If their self-titled is Sonic Wolves declaring who they are as a band after making their debut in 2016, the results are only encouraging.

Sonic Wolves on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

Future Noise Recordings webstore

 

Spacelord, Indecipher

Spacelord Indecipher

There is an immediate sensibility drawn from classic heavy rock to the vocals on Spacelord‘s second record, Indecipher, like Shannon Hoon fronting Led Zeppelin, maybe? Something like that, definitely drawn from a ’70s/’90s blend. Produced, mixed and mastered by guitarist Rich Root, with Chris Cappiello on bass, Kevin Flynn on drums and Ed Grabianowski on vocals, the four-piece’s sophomore LP is comprised of a neatly-constructed eight songs working around sci-fi themes on bruiser cuts like “Super Starship Adventure” and the particularly righteous “Zero Hour,” as opener and longest track (immediate points) “For the Unloved Ones” sets forth the classic vibe amid the first of the record’s impressive solos and resonant hooks. Something about it makes me want them to go completely over the top in terms of production their next time out — layers on layers on layers, etc. — but the kind of false start Grabianowski brings to the ultra-Zepped “New Machine” has a charm that I’m not sure it would be worth sacrificing.

Spacelord on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Nauticus, Disappear in Blue

Nauticus Disappear in Blue

Six years after the release of their second album, The Wait (review here), Finnish atmospheric progressive metallers Nauticus effect a return with the 78-minute Disappear in Blue, which following the relatively straightforward opening with “Magma” casts out a vast sprawl in accordance with its oceanic theme. Longer tracks like “Claimed by the Sea,” “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies,” “Arrival” and “Hieronymus” are complex and varied but united through a deep instrumental dynamic that’s brought to light even in the three-minute ambient post-rocker “Desolation,” which is something of an interlude between “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies” and the tense build of “Singularity.” Other ambient spaces “Jesus of Lübeck” and the later “Whale Bones” complement and add reach to the longer-form works, but it’s hardly as though Nauticus‘ material lacks character one way or the other. Overwhelming in its length, Disappear in Blue might take some time to wade through, but what a way to go.

Nauticus on Thee Facebooks

Nauticus on Bandcamp

 

Yuxa, Yuxa

yuxa yuxa

As the greater part of anything related to post-metal invariably does, UK outfit Yuxa have their “Stones from the Sky” moment in “Founder in Light,” the opening cut from their self-titled debut EP, that most formative of progressions making itself known in modified form to suit the double-guitar four-piece’s intent with dramatic screams and shouts cutting through an ably-conjured surge of noisy adrenaline resolving in winding chug and crash en route to “Exiled Hand,” the seven-minute cut that follows and serves as centerpiece of the three-tracker. “Founder in Light,” “Exiled Hand” and nine-minute closer “Peer” are arranged shortest to longest, and the effect is to draw the listener in such that by the time the angular, purposeful lurch of the finale begins to unfold, Yuxa‘s rhythmic hypnosis is already well complete. Still, the straightforward arrangements of guitar, bass, drums and vocals give them a rawer edge than many synth- or sample-laden post-metallic cohorts, and that suits the atmospheric sludge with which they close out, harnessing chaos without giving themselves over to it. A quick sample of a creative development getting underway, though it’s telling as well that Yuxa ends with a sudden buzz of amp noise.

Yuxa on Thee Facebooks

Yuxa on Bandcamp

 

Forktie, EP

forktie forktie

The first EP release from Forktie — who stylize their moniker and titles all-lowercase: forktie — is untitled, but contains five tracks that tap into proto-emo post-hardcore and ’90s alt rock sensibilities, finding a place between heavy rock and grunge that allows for Aarone Victorine‘s bass to lead toward the hook of centerpiece “Decomposition Book” with a smooth presence that’s well complementary the vocals from guitarist Dom Mariano, their presence low in the mix only adding to the wistful feel of “Anywhere but Here” and “September Morning,” before the shorter “Spores” lets loose some more push from drummer Corey LeBlanc and closer “Ph.D. in Nothing” reinforces the underlying melancholy beneath the thicker exterior tones. It’s a new project, but Forktie have worked their way into a niche that suits their songwriting well, and given themselves a space to grow within their sound. Members experience in bands like UXO, Test Meat and textbookcopilot will serve them in that effort.

Forktie on Thee Facebooks

Forktie on Bandcamp

 

Ohhms, Exist

ohhms exist

As a fan generally of bands opening albums with the longest song included, I can get on board with UK heavy progressive metallers Ohhms opening Exist with the 22-minute “Subjects.” Immediate points and all that. Far more consequential, however, is the substance of that launch for the four-song/43-minute Holy Roar LP, which is the band’s fourth in four years. It’s a vast, broad and complex offering unto itself, consuming side A as vocalist Paul Waller embodies various entities, “I am wolf” (preceding a Duran Duran reference, perhaps inadvertent), “I am child,” and so on. Those proclamations are just the culmination of a progression that, frankly, is an album unto itself, let alone a side, and maybe should’ve been released as such, though the absolute post-metallic crush of “Shambles,” the seething of “Calves” and the heavy post-rock reach of “Lay Down Your Firearms” need no further justification than a simple listen provides, the last of them pummeling side B to a then-sudden stop. Ohhms are no strangers to longform work, and it suits them well enough to make one wonder if they couldn’t be headed toward a single-song LP in the near future.

Ohhms on Thee Facebooks

Holy Roar Records on Bandcamp

 

Blue Dream, Volume Blue

Blue Dream Volume Blue

Chicago four-piece Blue Dream issued their first LP, Volume Won, early in 2018 and follow with Volume Blue — as opposed to “two”; could ‘Volume Tree’ be in the works? ‘Volume Free?’ — which collects nine neo-psych-mit-der-funky-grooves cuts chic enough to be urbane but fuzzed out enough to make the freakouts more than just a come on. They open peaceful enough with “Delta,” before the hook of “9,000 lb. Machine” defines the course and cuts like “Thank You for Smoking” and the almost woefully catchy “She’s Hot” expand the parameters. I’ll take the dream-tone shimmer of “Kingsbury Goldmine” any day in a kind of self-aware reflection of British folk and/or the garage rock of “Shake the Shake,” but the dense roll of “Viper Venom” that immediately follows reimagines grunge as more than just an influence from three popular bands and something that could genuinely move forward from the perspective of a new generation. Hearing Blue Dream close out with the boogie of “The Glide,” one hopes they do precisely that, though I’d by no means limit them to one avenue of expression. They’re clearly able to harness multiple vibes here.

Blue Dream on Thee Facebooks

Blue Dream on Bandcamp

 

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Roadburn 2019 Adds Three Fests’ Worth of Bands to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

Yeah, I put it at about three festival’s worth of bands added to Roadburn in this announcement. Maybe four. Consider Tomas Lindberg‘s curated event its own fest. Then you have the Holy Roar Records showcase with five bands playing. Then you have the announcements besides, and that’s enough for at least one fest on their own, if not two, so yes, at least three festivals happening here as Roadburn 2019 continues its let’s-be-all-things-to-all-people-and-actually-get-away-with-it push into new aesthetic territory, working to redefine and proliferate ideas of what “heavy” can and needs to encompass. If you don’t see this as an art project, you’re looking at it wrong.

I haven’t heard whether or not we’ll be doing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine as part of Roadburn 2019 next April, but of course I’m hopeful it happens. Hard to imagine a year without a Roadburn at this point. I’d prefer not to, actually.

Here’s the latest announcement in its yes-this-is-all-happening-at-one-fest totality:

roadburn 2019 mono

MONO, MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE, MARISSA NADLER, AND MORE ADDED TO ROADBURN 2019

– MONO to perform Hymn to the Immortal Wind as part of Tomas Lindberg’s curation
– Myrkur: Folkesange set to captivate the main stage
– Marissa Nadler will make her Roadburn debut
– Holy Roar x Roadburn showcase to take over Hall of Fame
– Day tickets on sale December 13

Of the new additions to the Roadburn line up, Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce this latest group of bands to the Roadburn line up. As well as representing well established artists, we have also included a huge array of boundary-pushing performances which will continue to expand the scope of the festival. These are artists that we believe will shape the future of heavy music.”

MONO & MORE FOR TOMAS LINDBERG’S CURATED EVENT

Tomas Lindberg has added a clutch of new bands to his curated event, The Burning Darkness, topped off by MONO who will be performing a special anniversary show.

The Japanese post-rock four piece will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, and the 10th anniversary of of their iconic album Hymn to the Immortal Wind with a full album set at Roadburn 2019. They will be joined on stage by the JO QUAIL QUARTET, adding another layer of lush instrumentation to their intricate tracks. Lindberg comments: “It is with great pride I present them as a part of my curation this year.”

In addition, Lindberg has chosen three further bands for his curated event. AGRIMONIA – who Lindberg loosely describes as “a more progressive Amebix” – plus Swedish dynamic prog outfit GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA have also been confirmed. Rounding out the new additions is ORCHESTRA OF CONSTANT DISTRESS – a hybrid of Brainbombs and Skull Defekts.

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE will bring some folk magic to the main stage as she is accompanied by musicians including Heilung’s Christopher Juul, and celebrated cellist Jo Quail. Folkesange brings together both traditional Nordic folk songs, as well as her own original compositions in a mesmerising swirl of ethereal darkness.

MYRKUR will be performing with her metal band at the 013 on December 16, with support from Jo Quail.

MARISSA NADLER

Darkness comes in many forms, and one of the most beautiful we’ve witnessed this year is on the tracks of MARISSA NADLER’s latest album, For My Crimes. We’re thrilled that she will bring these songs – and more – to life, on the Roadburn stage this coming April.

HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN

For 12 years now, HOLY ROAR have been quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) releasing a steady stream of incredible albums. The label has become home to some of the most exciting rising bands around and we’re thrilled to team up with the label to bring you five of their brightest stars for HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN.

On Friday, April 12, the Hall of Fame venue will play host to the unapologetic abrasiveness of SVALBARD, the sonic alchemy of PIJN, the nihilistic post-metal of CONJURER, the genre-bending delights of SECRET CUTTER, and the label’s newest recruit, the haunting A.A.WILLIAMS

ALSO CONFIRMED….
BLACK BOMBAIM & PETER BRÖTZMAN will see Portuguese psych masters team up with a free jazz legend
BLISS SIGNAL will be fusing the jagged edges of blast beats and black metal with the hypnotic tremors of dark electronics
BOSSK will perform Audio Noir in full
CRYPT TRIP are a righteous trip back to days when acid-tinged rock was both exciting and thriving on attitude and energy
DEAF KIDS combine D-beat, and psychedelia with their South American roots
DEAF KIDS X PETBRICK will team up to deliver audio chaos
MALOKARPATAN offer a mix of the best classic heavy metal with an oblique take on black metal
MORNE will deliver a crushing dose of sludge
MYTHIC SUNSHIP are poised to deliver a set as iconic as their Another Shape of Psychedelic Music album
PETBRICK mix together crushing electronics with grinding drum violence, featuring Iggor Cavalera
RAKTA bring post punk, death rock, psych and just good old noisy garage rock’n’roll
STUCK IN MOTION prove there’s vibrancy in classic forms
TERRITOIRE performing Alix in full
THE END is the new project of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bringing chaos and beauty to the Roadburn stage

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2019 announcement video

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