Hypnos Sign to The Sign Records; New Releases Coming in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Swedish classic style heavy rockers Hypnos have signed on to release two new offerings through The Sign Records next year. The first of them is a live-in-studio session that will be out in Spring as the follow-up to their 2016 Crusher Records long-player, Cold Winds (review here), and the second is a proper next full-length, which will be issued in the Fall and will mark their third album overall and first to feature frontman Linus Johansson.

No word on whether the live-in-studio release might contain any preview of what the next album holds, but we’ve got plenty of time before we get there either way, so figure details will probably surface after the New Year. The PR wire brings the following style-statement photo and preliminary announcement of the signing and the impending releases:

hypnos

Hypnos signs with The Sign Records

Hypnos signs with The Sign Records. The Gothenburg act is no stranger to those who are familiar to the contemporary Swedish rock scene. Hypnos can best be described as Heavy Rock where they cheery picked the best out of the 70´s hard rock and 80´s heavy metal scenes. The bands Swedish roots can´t be misstaken as they add heavy melodies and rock n roll energy. Hypnos have up until now been a part of Crusher Records and have done several tours in Europe and previously released two albums.

The Sign Records head of operation Kaj comments on the new signing: “We feel very excited to begin working with Hypnos. It´s without a doubt a extraordinary live band that have impact on audiences all over Europe! The band ain´t afraid of challenges and have developed with every line up change and album to the better. This is one of the true rock n roll band that still wanna make the world better with music.”

Hypnos entered the studio last weekend to record an eight track live session that will be released on vinyl and CD. It will be released during the spring of 2018. The band just completed a line-up change and this release will be the first with new singer Linus Johansson. Hypnos will tour Europe during the spring of 2018 and their next gig is on the 5th of January when the band is headlining a show at Pustervik, Gothenburg where the lineup also consist of their new label mates Märvel and Night. After the tour Hypnos will return to the studio to record a new studio album that will be released during the autumn of 2018.

The Sign records is a Swedish label working with bands as Honeymoon Disease, Lizzies, Tid, MaidaVale, Grande Royale, Night, Märvel, Svartanatt, Demon Head, Hällas among others. The label is a part of the Almost Religious label group that also holds the labels Lövely Records and Gaphals.

Hypnos:
Linus Johansson – Vocals
Oskar Wersäll – Guitarr
Anton Frick Kallmin – Bass
Pontus Isebring – Guitarr
Hamus Hansson – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/hypnosboogie/
https://www.instagram.com/hypnosboogie/
http://www.thesignrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thesignrecords/
http://freighttrain.se/sv/the-sign-record/

Hypnos, “Descending Sun” official video

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Quarterly Review: Atomikylä, Sunnata, White Dynomite, Horehound, Sulfur Giant, New Planet Trampoline, Hypnos, Honky, Cheap Wine, Gurt & Trippy Wicked

Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

This one’s for all the marbles. Or at very least tiddlywinks. The last day of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review begins. I’ll admit that when I was planning this out — started soon after the last Quarterly Review was finished in early April; that one ran late, this one has run early — I decided to take it easy on myself the last day. Still 10 reviews, so not that easy, but in terms of what’s included today, a lot of is stuff I feel pretty comfortable talking about, whether it’s bands I’ve covered before (which a lot of it is, now that I look at the list) or whatever. If you’ve been keeping up this week, thanks. I hope you found some cool music.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Atomikylä, Keräily

atomikyla Keraily

From the Finnish hotbed of Tampere, Atomikylä made a striking impression with their 2014 Svart Records debut, Erkale (review here), giving a take on psychedelic black metal that was immediately and truly their own in its balance of elements. The band, featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, return with doom-jazz fervor on sophomore full-length, Keräily, with three songs covering yet-unnamed stylistic reaches and offering a get-to-the-studio-and-see-what-happens experimentalism to go with their plotted course on 18-minute opener and longest track (bonus points) “Katkos,” which is followed by the building horn freakout “Risteily” (9:15), from which a space rock push takes hold on drums, resulting in maddening guitar swirl – because of course – and closer “Pakoputki” (6:55), which consumes with a darker thrust and more up-front blackened vibe that still holds onto some of the psychedelia in its layers of guitar. Keräily progresses effectively from Atomikylä’s debut and highlights just how individualized they are as a group. They continue to have the potential to do really special work, and the argument is easy to make they’re already doing it.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Sunnata, Zorya

sunnata zorya

As opener and longest track (bonus points) “Beasts of Prey” careens toward its apex finish near the 12-minute mark and the title-track begins is crashing, harmonized intro before moving into an Alice in Chains-via-stoner verse, the distance Poland’s Sunnata cover on their second full-length, Zorya, begins to really unveil itself. There doesn’t seem to be a genre within the heavy sphere that’s off limits. They never get into death metal, but heavy rock, doom, psychedelia, prog, sludge – it’s all in play at one point or another in Zorya’s five-track/50-minute run. The reason the album works and isn’t just a haphazard mash of styles is because Sunnata, who’ve been active in Warsaw since the last decade, make each one their own and thus bend genre to suit their purposes and not the other way around. They continue to impress through the rush of “Long Gone,” the airy expanse of “New Horizon” and the more brooding closer “Again and Against,” conjuring effective flow from what in less capable hands would be disparate components.

Sunnata on Thee Facebooks

Sunnata on Bandcamp

White Dynomite, Action O’Clock

white dynomite action oclock

I have kind of a hard time with White Dynomite. Not musically – the Boston five-piece’s new EP, Action O’Clock (on Ripple) typifies their accessible punk rock; a reminder of a time when the style used guitars – but conceptually. Their lineup features bassist Tim Catz and vocalist Craig Riggs (on drums) of Roadsaw, as well as guitarist Pete Knipfing (also Hey Zeus, Lamont), vocalist Dave Unger and guitarist John Darga, and while I can’t argue with the charm of a track like “Werewolf Underwear” or “Evil Ballerina” — the lyric “Tutu woman, too too much for me” alone makes Action O’Clock worth the price of admission, let alone “I got fangs in my pants” from “Werewolf Underwear” – but I haven’t yet been able to listen to the band in the context of it having been six years since the last time Roadsaw released an album, and thinking about years passing, priorities and whatnot. They sound they’re having a blast all the way through, and I won’t begrudge them exploring other influences, I guess I just miss that band.

White Dynomite on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Horehound, Horehound

horehound horehound

Pittsburgh newcomers Horehound formed just last year, so one might go into their self-titled debut full-length thinking it’s an early arrival, but in an unpretentious seven-track/33-minute collection of straightforward but engaging doom rockers, the five-piece demonstrate a clear idea of what they want to do sonically. While it may not represent where they’ll ultimately end up as a band, its songs sound fleshed out in terms of direction and the resultant feel on the release is much more album than demo. So be it. A particular highlight is “The Waters of Lethe,” on which a sweeter melody emerges in the guitar and vocals, but neither will I discount the low-end crunch and vocal call-and-response in closer “Waking Time” or the more uptempo thrust of second cut “Sangreal.” Not that Horehound don’t have room to grow, but their initial offering preaches well to the converted and should give them a solid foundation to work from in that process.

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

Horehound on Bandcamp

Sulfur Giant, Beyond the Hollow Mountain

sulfur giant beyond the hollow mountain

Beyond the Hollow Mountain is the first full-length from Portuguese mostly-instrumentalists Sulfur Giant, who bring together influences from classic progressive rock, psychedelia and heavy rock so that when they dip into Iommic riffing on “Vertigo,” it’s no stranger than the peaceful jamming of “Whisper at Dawn,” which follows. Friendly if not exactly innovative, Sulfur Giant’s debut makes its chief impression with the four-piece’s instrumental chemistry, which brings about an easy flow within and between the eight tracks, which having already been issued digitally will see vinyl release later this year on Pink Tank Records. It’s hard to ignore what organ adds to “Evermore,” but “Sea of Stone” sneaks in some vocals amid its thicker-riffing and Sungrazer-style exploration, and “Magnolia” and the galloping “Unleash Fears” follow suit, so Sulfur Giant have a few tricks up their collective sleeve they hold back from the initial roll and gallop of the opening title-track. All the better.

Sulfur Giant on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records

New Planet Trampoline, Dark Rides and Grim Visions

new planet trampoline dark rides and grim visions

Never say never in rock and roll. From Cleveland, Ohio, the psych-rocking four-piece New Planet Trampoline called it quits in 2008, leaving behind an unfinished album. After coming back together for 2014’s The Wisconsin Witch House EP, the ‘60s-stylized outfit set themselves to the task of finishing what became Dark Rides and Grim Visions, basking in the glow of early Floyd, Beatles and others of the ilk while keeping a harder edge to songs like “Grim Visions” and a healthy cynicism to “We’ll Get What We Deserve” and the tongue-in-cheek keyboard-laced closer “Haunted as Fuck.” Of the several more extended tracks, the nine-minute “Acts of Mania” is the longest, and provides suitable patience and atmospherics to stand up to its scope. All told, Dark Rides and Grim Visions is a formidable journey at 13 songs/68 minutes, but after more than half a decade away, it’s hard to hold New Planet Trampoline having their say against them, particularly when that say is as lush and dreamy as “This is the Morning.”

New Planet Trampoline on Thee Facebooks

New Planet Trampoline on Bandcamp

Hypnos, Cold Winds

hypnos cold winds

With their second LP, Cold Winds (on Crusher Records), Gothenburg’s Hypnos seem to be betting that the next step in the retro game is NWOBHM. They make a convincing argument; it’s kind of how it went the first time around, and their songwriting offers a top-notch look at the moment where Thin Lizzy bounce became Iron Maiden gallop, as on second cut “I’m on the Run,” just minutes after opener “Start the Hunt” featured a flute solo. Broken into two sides, each one works its way toward a longer finale – “Det Kommer en Dag” (7:23) on side A and “1800” (8:32) on side B – but sonic diversity and changes in song structure throughout do much to keep Cold Winds from feeling overly plotted, and like their countrymen in Horisont, Hypnos offer a seamless melding of classic heavy rock and metal, soaring and scorching on “Descending Sun (Unrootables White)” and swinging and swaggering immediately thereafter on “Cold September,” both accomplished with unwavering command.

Hypnos on Thee Facebooks

Hypnos at Crusher Records

Honky, Corduroy

honky corduroy

Texas boogie rockers Honky were last heard from with 2012’s 421 – which I’ll assume is the “going to 11” equivalent for getting high – and their eighth outing, Corduroy, finds bassist JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Melvins) and guitarist Bobby Ed Landgraf (Down) hooked up with drummer Trinidad Leal of Dixie Witch and Housecore Records for the release. To call is business as usual for the underrated outfit in the classic swing and grit they hone would only be a compliment, songs like “Baby Don’t Slow Down,” “Bad Stones” and the harmonized “Double Fine” offering soul as much as push, ‘70s influences given a modern kick in the ass throughout as a swath of guests, including Melvins drummer Dale Crover, come and go, perhaps none making their presence felt as much as Rae Comeau, whose work on “Bad Stones” makes that song a highlight – not to take away from the a capella cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” here retitled as “Mopey Dick,” that closes. Chicanery ensues, booze flows, good times are had for those who’ll have them.

Honky website

Housecore Records website

Cheap Wine, Sad Queen

cheap wine sad queen

Distinguished as on centerpiece “The Rambler” by their use of organ amid a semi-retro heavy boogie style, French five-piece Cheap Wine recorded Sad Queen – as the cover art says – live for Celebration Days Records. It’s somewhere between an EP and album, and strips away some of the individual track length of their 2013 debut, Mystic Crow, in favor of maximizing the energy put into each piece, the subdued “Intro” and “Opening” that start sides A and B, respectively, aside, though as “Opening” feeds cleanly into the quiet, airy and soulful beginning of the title-track, even that seems to have a tension that builds toward its eventual release, different from the shuffling raucousness of the post-“Intro” opener “Cyclothymic” maybe, but palpable nonetheless. They close somewhat melancholy on “Yesterday’s Dream,” but the complementary guitar of Valentin Constestin and keys of Ahn Tuan aren’t to be missed, nor how well work in concert with vocalist Mathieu Devillers, bassist Valentin Lallart and drummer Louis Morati.

Cheap Wine on Thee Facebooks

Celebration Days Records website

Gurt & Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Guppy

gurt trippy wicked guppy

The UK heavy scene excels at not taking itself too seriously. To wit, Gurt and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight get together for a split (on When Planets Collide for CD and HeviSike cassette) and, they call it Guppy and the first two songs are “Owlmegeddon” and “Super Fun Happy Slide.” It kind of goes from there. Recorded together, sharing a drummer and collaborating on the centerpiece, “Revolting Child,” it’s basically two outfits who are close friends coming together to have a good time, but that doesn’t take away from Gurt’s sludgy intensity on “I Regret Nothing” or the nodding heavy rock Trippy Wicked hold forth on closer “Reign.” Taking its title from the two band names put together, one can only wonder if this will be the last conjoined offering Gurt and Trippy Wicked will make, or if there might be a whole school of guppies in the future. Frankly, this sounds like too good a party to only throw it once.

Gurt on Thee Facebooks

Trippy Wicked on Thee Facebooks

When Planets Collide website

HeviSike Records

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Hypnos Post New Video for “I’m on the Run”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

hypnos

According to the latest stats from the UN, there is absolutely no shortage of boogie rock in Sweden. Their cup shuffleth over. And yet a band like Hypnos can come out of Gothenburg, tear ass along a song like “I’m on the Run” and make their presence felt through what continues to be an increasingly crowded field of acts. Fortunately Europe has 150 festivals every summer to house all of this creativity — Hypnos will play Stoned from the Underground, likely among others — but while Sweden’s mustache economy may be at its highest level in decades, there’s no question that Hypnos, who formed in 2013 and will offer up their second full-length, Cold Winds, on April 29 via Crusher Records, are out to leave a mark.

The immediate temptation is to cue up the Graveyard comparison, which is kind of the low-hanging fruit for anything vaguely Swedish and New Millennium Analog, and I guess that’s fair game, but the alternate-universe-radio friendliness of earlier Kadavar seem closer to the kind of bounce in “I’m on the Run,” to which Hypnos bring an added element of their own via Thin Lizzy-style guitar work in the chorus. Just earlier this month, the five-piece said goodbye to guitarist Fredrik Bäckström, so it remains to be seen what the future of those twin antics might be, but the course for Cold Winds, which will arrive preceded by a single for “I’m on the Run” which is available now through a range of digital outlets, seems set in the track’s hook, vintage vibe and tight swing. Plus momentum, because you know, it would be kind of a waste to call the song “I’m on the Run” if it was standing still the entire time.

I wish I knew the origin of the screen at the start of the clip, which just feels like an inside joke from late night Swedish television probably of the late ’70s/early ’80s, but even without that wisdom, if you’d like to dig into the video, it’s below, followed by more background on the band from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Hypnos, “I’m on the Run” official video

The single “I’m On The Run” is taken from the upcoming album “Cold Winds”. Single out February 19th and album out April 29th, 2016. Single available from iTunes, Spotify, Amazon: https://crusherrecords.lnk.to/imontherunID

Hypnos was formed in late autumn 2013 and it only took a handful of shows of intense energy backed by a solid repertoire to get Crusher Records immediate attention. Shortly a deal was struck! Hypnos wasted no time and in February 2014 the band entered Kungsten Studios to start recording their debut album.

NEW ALBUM COLD WINDS, set to be released April 29th via Crusher Records!!

MEMBERS
Philip Lindgren – vocals
Oskar Karlsson – guitar
Fredrik Bäckström – guitar
Anton Frick Kallmin – bass
Lasse Ekelöf – drums

Hypnos on Thee Facebooks

“I’m on the Run” single portal

Crusher Records

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The Golden Grass Announce European Tour with Hypnos

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 13th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Brooklyn trio The Golden Grass are headed overseas next month in support of their 2014 self-titled Svart Records debut (review here) and subsequent short releases. This will be the three-piece’s second trip to Europe following a stint last fall, but their first with new bassist Morgan McDaniel, who was announced as having joined the band at the start of the year in place of Joe Noval. Upon their return, The Golden Grass will also take part in the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 in Amityville, Long Island, early in June, alongside Mos GeneratorWounded Giant and many more.

Joining them on the European trek will be Hypnos, from Sweden, whose self-titled debut came out in September. Of special note is the show on April 10, at which point The Golden Grass and Hypnos meet up with Lo-Pan and Abrahma en route to the last stop of the tour, which is Roadburn in the Netherlands.

Swamp Booking sent this down the PR wire:

the golden grass
hypnos

American and Swedish Psychedelic Boogie Tour all over Europe, March/April 2015!

Presented by Swamp (Born to promote)!

Swamp Booking is proud to announce the the return to Europe by one of the most exciting new groups of the global underground Heavy Rock scene, THE GOLDEN GRASS! Feel-good heavy boogie rock music, complete with soaring soulful harmony-laden vocals, epic psychedelic/prog passages, southern/country vibrations and top-notch musicality!

They will on tour with another great band from Sweden on Crusher Records: HYPNOS. They play heavy action boogie rock and is at this moment one of the fastest growing bands on the Swedish heavy rock scene. Never before in the history of Crusher Records has a band been signed to the label this quickly!!

25.03 – Copenhagen (dk) – KB18
26.03 – Berlin (de) – DUSTOWN
27.03 – Ostrava (cz) – TBA
28.03 – Budapest (hu) – Trafik
29.03 – Bratislava (slo) – U O?ka
30-03 – Wien (at) – Arena
31-03 – Münich (de) – Backstage
01-04 – Graz (at) – Sub
02-04 – Zagreb (cro)- Vintage Bar
03-04 – Vicenza (ita)- CS Arcadia
04-04 – Castel D´ Ario – Mantova (ita) – L´Hostaria
05-04 – Olten (swi)- Coq dór
07-04 – Köln(de)- Yard Club
09-04 – Hamburg (de)- Kleiner Donner
10-04 – Lichtnefels (de)- Punchy Cats
11-04 – Den Haag (nl) – De Besturing
12.04 – Tillburg (nl) – Roadburn Festival

Hypnos ( Crusher Records) – Sweden
https://www.facebook.com/hypnosboogie
http://www.crusherrecords.com/?page_id=1537
https://soundcloud.com/crusherrecords/hypnos-the-mountain

The Golden Grass (Svart Records) – US
https://www.facebook.com/thegoldengrass
http://svartrecords.com/bands/golden-grass
https://thegoldengrass.bandcamp.com/

The Golden Grass, “One More Time” official video

Hypnos, Hypnos album teaser

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