Desertfest 2013: Live in London Vinyl Compilation Released

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

As Desertfest 2014 continues to take shape, the bi-city festival announced today the release of a new vinyl compilation, Desertfest 2013: Live in London. All tracks were recorded live at this year’s fest, and whether you were there or not, you should be able to appreciate exclusive live recordings from Colour Haze, Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man, Unida, Truckfighters, Lowrider, Dozer and House of Broken Promises recorded there. One can only hope this is just the beginning of many Desertfest documents to come.

Info and links — you know the drill:


Good news Friends, The Vinyl has arrived at DF Towers and its looking and sounding super slick..Those that have pre-ordered should start to receive their copies next week..If you are yet to order your copy, we are running an XMas special where you can purchase a ticket to DF14 & the Vinyl for just £95..1st 30 orders receive a free poster too…

you can watch the latest promo video here

Desertscene are pleased to bring you ‘ Live In London ‘ a Special Coloured Limited Edition LP. Recorded live at London’s renown 3 day Stoner/Doom festival ‘Desertfest’ in April 2013!

The Record is out now and you can order your copy here.

The track listing features some of the best bands from the Stoner, Doom and Desert scene such as Unida, Colour Haze, Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man. Mixed by Harper Hug in Palm Springs this heavy weighted compilation is a unique and collectable item for anyone in the scene.

We have limited it to a 12″ Vinyl only meaning it will not be available in any other formats.



Xmas Special £95:

Vinyl Only £20:

Desertfest 2014 ticket £85:

Desertfest 2013: Live in London Promo

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LONDON DESERTFEST 2013 Day Two: Of Future Past

Posted in Features on April 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

04.27.13 — 11:25PM GMT — Saturday — Holiday Inn, Camden

It was difficult — even last night — not to look forward to today. I won’t say I was trying extra hard not to get hit by a bus on my way out of the hotel and down the block for day two of the 2013 London Desertfest, but if I had been, I certainly would’ve had reason. Strictly speaking, it was my most straightforward of the three days here. Virtually no running back and forth, just one venue change and that was it for the duration. Even before I saw any bands, today felt like a luxury, and sure enough I was able to kind of nestle my way into the groove of the evening and just let it carry me along as it went. This would turn out to be precisely the right strategy.

On a sheer cause and effect level — I went here and this happened — the results are mostly inarguable. I’ll note that there were a lot of bands who played today who I didn’t see. Some whose music I don’t know, some whose music I know and very much enjoy. Rather than lay out each option for each time slot and justify my decisions one at a time, please just know that I’ve put no lack of consideration into how I’m spending my days here, and that the choices I’ve made for what to see have not been easy.

Alright, let’s go:


The first thing was to get a heaping dose of native Londoner sludge, and for that I headed down to The Underworld to catch Gurt, stopping only for coffee and a blueberry muffin along the way. It was sort of half-slushing on the way — semi-frozen balls of unpleasantness falling from the sky — so I just assumed whatever pagan seabeast is in charge of the weather around here was making it appropriate for the onslaught that was coming. I have dug several of Gurt‘s releases, most recently the Collection tape (more here), but ultimately, that would do little to prepare me for seeing them live, since they proved all around to be a more diverse band than I’d previously given them credit for being, working in influences of post-Superjoint Ritual thickened punk along with their standard Eyehategod — or if we’d like to keep it local, Iron Monkey — fuckall, frontman Gareth Kelly‘s screams all the more vicious and throat-searing from the stage. The trend in terms of vocals has swung the other way to the cleaner, melodic end, but I still like to see a screamer who can really scream and keep it up for the duration of a set without losing power, and Kelly did that, making a highlight of “Fucknose” in the process. I also hadn’t given them credit for their sense of satire. “Dudes with Beards with Cats” was right on, and “You ain’t from around these Parts?” was presented as having an agenda that I hadn’t perceived originally — perhaps because I couldn’t understand the lyrics, perhaps because I’m clueless. Either way. Gurt brought up Diesel King vocalist Mark O’Regan for the finale, “Soapfeast,” the Church of Misery boogie of which was one more example of Gurt being better than I knew. Lesson learned.


It was hard to me to look at frontman Chris of Brighton four-piece Turbowolf and not think of a young Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. The superficial factors were there — moustache, mane, frilly shirt, tight pants and so on — but I doubt if many on the Trail of Dead tour that Turbowolf just wrapped had the same issue. There was also about as little in common with the bands as there could be and still have both of them play the same fest, Turbowolf opening at the Electric Ballroom – a new venue for Desertfest as of this year — playing a speed rock that bordered on punk but never really gave up its classic ethic. I wondered watching them if theirs is the kind of sound that has grown out of the next generation past the likes of Turbonegro and The Hellacopters, though I barely had time to get a mental process underway before Turbowolf were on to the next upbeat, catchy rager. They weren’t really my thing (who likes fast tempo and engaging music, anyway? Oh wait, everyone.), but they sure had the crowd on their side and it was easy to see why. While the rest of the band locked in their next ultra-tight, professional delivery, Chris tossed unopened cans of beer into the audience, from whence they did not return. If the room wasn’t theirs before, and it was, that was bound to help their cause, and though it was still pretty early, Turbowolf worked the larger space easily around its collective finger, stopping only to make sure everyone was getting in on the party.

House of Broken Promises

Though they’d apparently come right from their flight into town from the Berlin Desertfest, it was clear by the time Indio, California, trio House of Broken Promises dug into the start-stop stomp of “Obey the Snake” from their 2009 Using the Useless debut full-length (review here) that they were really just waiting for the strippers to show up. New bassist/vocalist Joe Mora fit right in with the band’s crotch-thrusting dude rock, though even if he’s not singing, guitarist/beard magnate Arthur Seay is doing most of the frontman work. Master of the guitar-face and the beard-bang, Seay is nonetheless a more than solid player, and for all the antics, he, Mora and drummer/backing vocalist Mike Cancino were as tight musically as they were uproarious and working to get the crowd into it. That didn’t take much, incidentally. House of Broken Promises may play what to my ears sounds like a very American take on heavy rock, but the Desertfest crowd knows how to dig into catchy songs delivered with quality heavy and quality energy alike, which is just what they got at Electric Ballroom, plus some old biker movie video backdrop courtesy of Mindzap Visuals. I think of some of the places I’ve seen these guys play — the Trash Bar in Brooklyn comes to mind, also the Brighton in NJ — but they seemed much more suited to the bigger stage, the bigger room than to either of those haunts. While I don’t think I would go as far as to call them desert rock — that would come later when Cancino and Seay returned as half of Unida – the three-piece definitely left a boot print in the Electric Ballroom, closing out their set with “The Hurt (Paid My Dues),” which had arms raised and lyrics sung along from the very start. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when they get a follow-up to Using the Useless together, what effect Mora‘s joining might have on their songwriting process or overall sound, but for today, they were dead-on. Rarely can I say the same for myself when I’ve just come from the airport.


If you’ve lived for more than 25 seconds, you know that life long. And if you’ve lived for more than 25 seconds, chances are something has happened to you over the course of your life that you didn’t expect would ever happen. Tonight, I saw Lowrider, the Swedish double-guitar four-piece who released in their day only one full-length album — 2000’s Ode to Io, on MeteorCity — and two splits, with Nebula and Sparzanza, played fewer than 50 shows, and disintegrated, to become in the years subsequent one of the single most pivotal blueprints for European riffing. Yeah, Dozer (wait for it…) came up concurrently, releasing their debut also in 2000, but what Ode to Io offered was a fealty to desert rock really just as the thing was beginning to exist outside of the desert itself. These bands showed not only that it could be done, but gave landmark examples of how to do it. I don’t know where people had come from, if they drove here, got on a plane, train, boat, whatever, but I have to believe that it was the chance to see bands like Lowrider, Dozer and Unida that brought them to Desertfest 2013. And though I don’t really know how a group of individuals could come out onto a stage and live up to that kind of impossible narrative, guitarist Niclas Stålfors, bassist/vocalist Peder Bergstrand, lead guitarist/vocalist Ola Hellquist and drummer Andreas Eriksson did precisely that. Most of what they played came from Ode to Io, as one would hope and expect, but they gave some time as well to the Nebula split, picking up “Lameneshma,” “Shivaree” and “Ol’ Mule Pepe” for anyone who might be looking for a deeper cut out after the mega-hooks of “Flat Earth” or “Caravan,” the latter which rang out as an immediate clarion as if to say, “Yes, this is really happening.” They were visibly glad to be on the stage together at the Electric Ballroom, the tone was right on — having nerded out so many times over for “Texas Pt. 1 & 2,” it was great to hear it announced from stage as the first song they ever wrote — and coming out of it, I have to say that if these dudes had any desire whatsoever to go back and write a new album, nothing I heard from them tonight would stand as argument against doing so. The material — minimum 13 years old — sounded vital and fresh, and when they were done, Bergstrand (who is also in I are Droid), took a picture of the crowd and said he didn’t want to wait another 10 years to do it again. Hell dude, me neither. I never thought I’d get to do it this once, so really, anything on top of tonight is gravy.


Dozer are a big part of the reason why I’m here. Not just here in London for Desertfest, but here, in front of this laptop, writing like I do more or less every day. That’s not hyperbole, it’s just fact. When I first started getting into this kind of music in college, it was acts like Dozer who fueled my curiosity to know more about it. The Swedish outfit announced an indefinite hiatus in 2009, and have been little heard from since — though as early as last summer, guitarist Tommi Holappa was dropping hints of a reunion at Desertfest — so to find them back at it with the lineup of Holappa, guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Olle Mårthans was special, and for me, something that will mark out this Desertfest among all the fests I’ve seen and any and all I might see. This was the one where I finally saw Dozer. I knew some of what to expect from Holappa‘s thrashing madness on stage from seeing him at Desertfest last year with side-project Greenleaf (another personal highlight), but wow. Opening with “The Hills Have Eyes” and “Exoskeleton Pt. 2,” they stormed through their hour-long set, making the most of their time with cuts from across their five albums like “Rising” from 2002’s Call it Conspiracy, “The Flood” from 2008’s Beyond Colossal (their last album to date), and “From Fire Fell,” “Big Sky Theory,” “Drawing Dead,” “Born a Legend” and “Days of Future Past” from 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens, the last of which Nordin singled out as his favorite song Dozer had ever written. It’s a strong candidate, with a memorable melody line and dynamic changes within an overarching moodiness that was not in the slightest lost in a live setting, the guitarist tempering his approach to the music and using a few effects here and there as well for echo and warble. His falsetto, shouts and straight-ahead melodic singing were right on, and with Holappa‘s headbanging his way back and forth on the stage, Rockner‘s quiet but steady low end on the other wise and Mårthans‘ positively huge drum sound — the kind of kick you feel in your chest — seeing Dozer was everything I could’ve asked it to be and more. They even jammed! Of course, they could’ve played twice as long and I wouldn’t have complained, but a track like “Headed for the Sun” from 1999’s Coming Down the Mountain EP split with Unida (wait for it…) only underscored for me how much they need to do an early works compilation, like, yesterday. They wrapped with “Rings of Saturn” — the bonus track from the vinyl version of 2001’s Madre de Dios – and the opener of their 2000 debut, In the Tail of a Comet, “Supersoul,” which felt like home from the first note. I don’t know if this is the last time I’ll get to see Dozer play or not — I hope not — but for tonight, I’m just thankful that I got to see them this once at Desertfest. Really. When they were done, I felt like I’d accomplished something.


And if a night like this is going to have an epilogue, a 90-minute headlining set from Cali desert rockers Unida is a good one to have. In a lot of ways, Unida sort of sum up what seems to me to be the whole mentality of this fest. They’re a band who, just when they should’ve hit it big with a major label album produced by a major producer, it all came apart on them, and so what you had tonight was people singing along to tracks from a record that never came out. Without the passion for this music at the heart of this festival, there’s no way a band like Unida would resurface for a headliner spot. Vocalist John Garcia has Vista Chino at work on a new album, and guitarist Athur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino had already done a set in House of Broken Promises – the band was rounded out by Arthur‘s nephew, Owen Seay, on bass — so what made it happen? Money? I’m sure they got paid to be here, but money’s what makes you get up and go to work in the morning. What makes you spend months hammering out a set of songs to get up and deliver them in front of a couple thousand people most of whom (myself included) only caught onto your band after the fact? If it wasn’t passion, it would have to be madness. As he has been the several times I’ve seen him — in Kyuss-minded projects like Garcia Plays Kyuss and Kyuss Lives!, from which Vista Chino springs Garcia was a relatively subdued frontman, collected on stage if prone to the occasional leg-jerk softshoe. Seay as well was calmer for the Unida set compared to House of Broken Promises, and since some of my favorite Unida tracks are the moodier, more sedate, I thought it worked well. Over the course of their time, they certainly worked in their share of rocking material, whether it was the ultra-catchy “Red” from 1998’s The Best of Wayne-Gro EP (which also served as their portion of the split with Dozer the next year) or the groovier “Vince Fontaine” from the unreleased For the Working Man. I was hoping they’d have some bootleg copies of that record on sale, but no such luck. The extended “Last Day” found the Seays and Cancino at some of their tightest, musically, and Garcia‘s voice was, as ever, crucial. “Thorn,” “Nervous” and “Human Tornado” were all met with rapturous welcome — they’d almost have to be — and after leaving the stage, Unida came back out and made a blasting two-song encore out of “Dwarf It” and “Black Woman” that answered back some of the quieter stretches of their set with full-fisted gut-punchery. Standing in the very back of the Electric Ballroom and watching the crowd go apeshit for them, I wondered if Unida might finally be getting the payoff they’ve been waiting for a decade to receive.

No time to think about it, really. They shuffled us out of the venue on the quick, and I decided to end the day with a check-in over at The Black Heart to see how things were shaking out there and pick up a copy of the new tape I’d heard Bong brought with them. No such luck on that one, and there didn’t seem to be much of a pathway to the stairs let alone up them to see the band, so I hightailed it back in the direction of the hotel, stopping to pick up some pizza along the way, since nothing says celebration quite like a pizza party for one.

Tomorrow is the last day of Desertfest 2013, with more running around than I had today, but still a decent amount of full sets I’ll get to watch. This trip is winding down, but we’re not done yet.

Thanks for reading. More pics after the jump.

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House of Broken Promises Join Lineups for Desertfest London & Berlin

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

True, if you read the recent interview with Arthur Seay, you already knew that House of Broken Promises would be playing Desertfest this year, but it’s nice to have confirmation, anyway. Official announcements have dropped from both the London and Berlin Desertfest camps, and it seems like every time I stop and think the lineups can’t get any stronger, they go ahead and do precisely that. I think we might be looking at a landmark in the making.

Here’s word from the Desertfest folks:


What’s better than having one of the all-time grand masters of desert rock, head-honchos of stoner-metal, chief cactus-cultivators of the underground, Unida playing live on our humble little island as part of

DesertFest 2013? Well, how’s about three quarters of them playing AGAIN as part of their ‘other’ band in House of Broken Promises for a start!!

Formed during Unida’s many years of inactivity, HOBP are simply the urban coyotes very own guitarist Arthur Seay, bassist/vocalist Eddie Plascencia and drummer Mike Cancino, and collectively they kick more ass with their crunching, metallic hard rock than Chuck Norris surrounded by a strikeforce of ninja donkeys. Although igniting their flame as far back as 2004, the band’s debut album Using the Useless didn’t rupture out of the outer-Californian consciousness until 2009 via (who else!) Small Stone Records. Although not as widely celebrated as their peers in COC, Fu Manchu, Clutch and Monster Magnet, HOBP blaze their own trail whilst at the same time encapsulating the best of desert rock, sledgehammer blues, swaggering hard rock and grooving biker-punk into their offer of purist, unadulterated, riffed-up fury. With Arthur’s E-string-butchering chops and solos hot enough to cause a mirage, Mike’s metronomic tub-thumping and Eddie’s cap-down, foot-on-monitor frontman approach, there are few power trios who could match this tour-de-force of heavy metal thunder.

When it comes to the sounds of the sand, it’s the guys who made it happen in the first place back at Sky Valley HQ who still play it harder and louder than anyone else on earth, and HOBP are no exception to The Law. So don’t just write them off as “just another side-project”, get down the front, soak your shirt in beer and party like you’re on Dave Wyndorf’s stag-do on Jupiter in 1995. And if nothing else, just go check them out simply as a way to get a second glimpse of Arthur’s beard! Seriously, have you seen that beard?!! It’s fucking righteous!

Words courtesy Pete Green


Formed from the ashes of Unida, desert trio HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES composed of righteously-bearded guitarist Arthur Seay, bassist/vocalist Eddie Plasciencia and drummer Mike Cancino will play at DesertFest 2013 !!

HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES is no-holds-barred double shot of classic, pure and hot desert rock whose songs are clearly based around the riffs. The rhythm section mounts a considerable presence with downright huge guitar sounds, equally massive bass and drumming, and catchy refrains that move along in a very dynamic way due to several tempo changes.

After their “Death in Pretty Wrapping” four-song demo and their split with Duster 69, both in 2007, Small Stone Records released their full-length debut “Using the Useless” in 2009, which should have been followed by an European Tour in 2010… but an Icelandic volcano decided it differently, and the tour was cancelled !!.

But this year, working on a new album, they will be in Europe to play at DesertFest !!

House of Broken Promises, “Obey the Snake” Official Video

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Unida Interview with Arthur Seay: At the Perilous Mercy of Adult Scheduling

Posted in Features on February 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

With the announcement that post-Kyuss desert rock outfit Unida would headline this year’s Desertfest in London and Berlin, one of the genre’s most incomplete chapters was reopened. Unida, you see, has been through their fair share of what guitarist Arthur Seay — also of House of Broken Promises — rightly calls “bullshit,” having recorded an album with Rick Rubin only to have it sit shelved and go (officially) unreleased to this day.

Like Sleep, whose contractual immobility also resulted in their dissolution, there was really nowhere for Unida to go. They’d had the Coping with the Urban Coyote full-length out on Man’s Ruin and a split with Dozer, but what was supposed to begin their ascent was this full-length — varyingly titled For the Working Man or The Great Divide, depending on from whom you download it — and with it sitting in the can,Unida were shot down before they even took flight. The list is long, but it’s up there with stoner rock’s bigger bummers.

It wasn’t long before vocalist John Garcia resurfaced in Hermano with a promising first album in 2002 — his movement from Kyuss to Slo Burn to Unida having led him to that point — and the rest of Unida moved ahead as well. By 2004, Seay and drummer Mike Cancino had aligned with bassist/vocalist Eddie Plascencia in House of Broken Promises (Scott Reeder, who played bass in Unida, went on to produce acts, put out a solo record and join a slew of other bands, among them Goatsnake), though it would be half a decade before their debut LP, Using the Useless, showed up via Small Stone.

With Seay and Cancino in HoBP and Garcia devoting his last several years to revitalizing the Kyuss brand in Garcia Plays Kyuss, Kyuss Lives! and now Vista Chino, it’s been a winding road to get back to the unfinished business of Unida. But though there’s enough backstory to fill a book and then some, mostly it was the future that Seay wanted to talk about in our recent interview. New touring, new albums for both Unida and HoBP, and plans for things to come. Seay also built his own recording studio and works traveling the globe as a guitar tech for commercial metal acts like Slipknot and Limp Bizkit, so there was much to discuss.

Fortunately, Seay‘s a bit of a talker. There was a lot of the interview that was off the record, some talk about the desert scene, etc., but there’s a tremendous amount of information contained in his answers, so even if you’re a relative newcomer to Unida or just heard about them through Desertfest, I hope you’ll agree it’s worth a read.

Please find the complete 3,900-word Q&A with Arthur Seay after the jump, and please enjoy.

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Small Stone Announces Lineup for Philly Showcase

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 14th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s the weekend of my wedding anniversary, but man, the lineup for Small Stone‘s Philadelphia showcase is pretty badass. True, I’ve seen most of these bands, but I don’t imagine House of Broken Promises are going to make a habit of being on the East Coast, Backwoods Payback are buddies, Solace kill every time, Red Giant‘s got a new album coming, I’d really, really like to hear some of the material from Sasquatch‘s third record live, and the Millcreek Tavern has their own home brew. Looks like it could be another test of The Patient Mrs. living up to her name.

Here’s the news from Small Stone:

Small Stone is pleased to announce that we will be doing two back-to-back showcases at The Philadelphia Film & Music Festival in September. Our events will be taking place at the Millcreek Tavern which is located at 4200 Chester Avenue, University City, Philadelphia (215-222-1255). And, now for the lineup:

Friday September 24th: Dixie Witch, The Brought Low, Throttlerod, Lo-Pan, Sun Gods in Exile, Backwoods Payback

Saturday September 25th: Solace, Roadsaw, Sasquatch, House of Broken Promises, Gozu, Red Giant

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Interview with Arthur Seay of House of Broken Promises: A Beast of the Bitter Sands

Posted in Features on January 14th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s a formidable statement of intent that Indio, California, desert rockers House of Broken Promises made with their Small Stone debut full-length, Using the Useless. Basically, it went like this: if you’ve got balls, they’re gonna rock ‘em right off. No tricks, no bullshit, no extended prog solos to show off musicianship — just heavy rock and roll, all the time. Do one thing, do it loud.

After they made themselves known with the Death in Pretty Wrapping demo and a split with Germany‘s Duster69, there was little doubt Using the Useless would destroy in classic fashion. The band’s lineage traces back to Unida, one of the many acts in the Kyuss family tree, fronted by vocalist John Garcia. Screwed by their label and more or less shut down for good, Unida slowly dissolved as Garcia set about becoming a family and working man (nothing against it; we all have to choose our priorities and a good many times real life wins), leaving bassist Eddie Plasciencia, guitarist Arthur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino bandless. It wasn’t long before Plasciencia took the vocal spot in addition to playing bass and House of Broken Promises was established.

They recorded Using the Useless in Seay‘s own BitterSand Recording studio, and are set to play this year’s Small Stone showcase at SXSW and the Roadburn Afterburner event in The Netherlands as part of a European tour with Texas heavyweights Dixie Witch. In the following interview, an excited Seay discusses the formation of the band, the secrets of the riff, and just whose dog that was in the video they filmed for the song “The Hurt (Paid My Dues).”

Q&A, always, is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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Big Time Small Stone Records Update

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Detroit‘s Small Stone Records has a whole batch of good news, including release updates on House of Broken Promises, Sasquatch, Gozu and more. Be sure you make it to the end where it talks about Sk?nska Mord, the new project from the dudes who brought us Half Man. Wholesome Swedish goodness. Check it out:

Yes, I stole this from their website.We are pleased as punch to let you all know that the debut album Using the Useless from California‘s House of Broken Promises is now here and in stock. If you were one of the smarter folk who pre-ordered the album from us, your copy was mailed out to you earlier today. For those of you who are not quite self starters, the rawk and roll dinner bell is now ringing for you… Come and get it!

In other news, Benny Grotto has been busing recording the debut Gozu full length Locust Season over at Mad Oak. The album should be completed sometime in December, and is due for release sometime in 2010 (perhaps late Winter or Spring). The word on the street is that the new Gozu album is one of the best soundings recording to come out of the boards and gizmos at Mad Oak Studios. We are very much looking forward to hearing it!

Mr. Grotto will also be mixing the new Sasquatch album III in the next two weeks (or less). We already know how good that one sounds, and it sounds damn good! The new Sasquatch album will be coming out in March of Sk?nska Mord in the woods.2010, just in time for their headline appearance at the Small Stone Showcase at SXSW 2010. The Sasquatch band is also gearing up for their first European Tour which will is tentatively scheduled to begin sometime in the Spring of 2010.

Finally, Mr. Goosman hand delivered us the mastered master of the debut album from Sweden’s Sk?nska Mord today. If you are not all that familiar with them, perhaps you may recall the band Half Man from about a decade ago (same guys, new band). Their debut album is called The Last Supper, and it will be our first release of 2010. We will also have a track from them up on our Jukebox sometime next month. If you are a fan the retro classic rock, ala The Want, Stone Axe, Greenleaf, Five Horse Johnson, and The Brought Low then you are going to really dig this band. Big guitars, big songs, big tones, all delivered with soul! Quite a dying art if you ask us.

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House of Broken Promises Have a New Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

And here it is. Their ass kicking Small Stone Records debut, Using the Useless, is on iTunes now and will be available on CD next month.

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Correction: Arthur Seay Doesn’t Sing Lead in House of Broken Promises

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

PLEASE NOTE: In my recent review of House of Broken PromisesSmall Stone debut, Using the Useless, I attributed The cover once again.lead vocals to guitarist Athur Seay, when in fact, bassist Eddie Plascencia is on lead, and Seay and drummer Mike Cancino handle backing vocals. This is what happens when you rush to get a review done before there’s a bio available. Apologies for any inconvenience the mistake may have caused, and in case you’re wondering how I found out, Eddie was kind enough to send me the following polite corrective email:

Hey H.P. appreciate the review of our upcoming album….correction though. Eddie is actually lead vocalist and Bass player, Arthur and Mike contribute to the back up vocals.
Eddie P.

So there you have it. If I trust anyone’s word on the matter, it’s gonna be the dude from the band’s. In this fast-paced world of internetular reviewism, sometimes the hurry to get something out there trumps rigorous fact-checking. Never believe what you read, kids. Again, unless it’s the dude in the band…

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House of Broken Promises Put the Useless to Work

Posted in Reviews on September 2nd, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

There's the house.At the mountaintop of heavy metal clich?s (and quite a mountain it is) sits the mighty ?Formed from the ashes of.? It is the ultimate, beating out the many variations on ?shred? and any use of ?brutal? you can imagine. Imagine any (every) local band press release: ?Formed from the ashes of Three Bands You Never Heard, New Band X is totally shredding brutal?? and so forth. Happens all the time. So when you see it in the next paragraph, please feel free to wink back.

Formed from the ashes of Unida, Indio, CA, desert trio House of Broken Promises make their debut offering in the meaty riffs of Using the Useless (Small Stone), combining accessibility with desert fuzz and a raucous catchiness. At the helm is righteously-bearded guitarist Arthur Seay, and bassist Eddie Pasciencia‘s vocal delivery reminds of one-time Unida frontman John Garcia but comes on unhinged and confrontational where the former Kyuss/current Hermano singer was more controlled. The commonality is largely in using the gut as the launch point for their voices.

Seay?s guitar sounds downright huge from the start of ?Blister? and remains so for the rest of Using the Useless, but fortunately the bass of Plasciencia and Mike Cancino?s drumming are equally massive, so although the songs are clearly based around the riffs, the rhythm section mounts a considerable presence. Both Seay and Cancino contribute vocals as well. Hand-claps, gang shouts and a low in the mix female orgasm permeate ?Obey the Snake,? in the first demonstration of House of Broken Promises? commercial tendencies, which pop up again later on ?Torn,? where the central riff follows a progression similar to Corrosion of Conformity?s ?Shake Like You? while the vocals take a turn in the direction of Skid Row?s ?18 and Life.? If this song doesn?t end up in a video game somewhere, there?s no justice in the universe.

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Congrats to House of Broken Promises, All Time High and Small Stone

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Why so miffed, dude? You just signed to Small Stone. That's a good thing!In a pairing that can only lead to good things, Californian desert rockers House of Broken Promises have signed to Small Stone Records for the release of their debut full-length, Using the Useless. Here’s the news as it appeared on, saying pretty much exactly what I just said:

House of Broken Promises consists of Arthur Seay, Mike Cancino, Eddie Plascencia (all 3/4`s of the famed Unida band). HOBP`s Small Stone debut Using The Useless will be hitting store shelves this fall, and the band will be touring Europe in November in support of this release. Perhaps a stop at SXSW 2010 is in the cards as well. More to come very soon, including, bios, photos, lies, and other modern day propaganda…

I interviewed Seay years ago back in my excitable college radio days, but of course, didn’t tape it. Shit happens. He was a cool guy then, pretty clearly stoned, and his band’s demo ruled. Looking forward to the album. In other news, VALIS side-project All Time High also joined the Small Stone roster. Dig it:

All Time High at the bar. (Photo by Stephen Vest)All Time High is led by Adrian Makins (current VALIS low end man), and also features Steven Brown, Samuel Williams, and Matt Vandenberghe (also from VALIS). So, you get 50 percent of VALIS for the same low price… Oddly enough, we had only heard of the band`s name, but it was not until Van Conner turned in the audio master for his Northwest Mind Meld comp [review here for curious parties] a few months ago that we finally got to hear their music. We dug it, and we hope you do as well. The band`s debut album, Friends in High Places, will be out as soon as we get it remastered and make some art tweaks. If you are overly curious or just a self starter, head on over to iTunes or eMusic and check out the All Time High song “Steel Sunshine”… It is what sold us!

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