Goatsnake and Pelican Announce Dec. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

goatsnake (Photo by Samantha Muljat)


Well shit. I guess, if you’re Goatsnake, and you’ve never played Chicago before, the band you want to team up with to do so is Pelican. The reunited riffers’ sporadic touring to support their 2015 return full-length, Black Age Blues (review here), will continue in December as they hit spots in the Midwest to coincide with their previously announced West and East Coast shows. Europe next year? I wouldn’t be surprised to find them at Temples or some other fests around in the spring, but nothing’s been revealed in that regard as yet. Seems like they have plenty to keep them busy in the meantime.

And fucking Pelican. You’d think they would get exhausted being awesome all the time, but nope. Their latest EP, 2015’s The Cliff, is right on as ever.

To the PR wire:

goatsnake pelican bongripper

GOATSNAKE And PELICAN Confirm Midwest December Tour Dates

Southern California’s raging doom quartet, GOATSNAKE, will join up with atmospheric post-rock artisans and Southern Lord labelmates, PELICAN, for a run of tour dates through the Midwest US together this December, marking GOATSNAKE’s first time performing in the region.

The GOATSNAKE and PELICAN tour festivities will begin in Indianapolis on December 12th, the show also featuring Bongripper and more. Post-show, an afterparty has been scheduled to take place at the local Kuma’s Corner spot, where the bands’ prior special burgers will be made available as a trio of miniatures, the event also featuring DJ Sets by Greg Anderson of GOATSNAKE and Dustin Boltjes of Skeletonwitch. The next show takes place on December 13th in Columbus, followed by Ferndale on the 14th and Chicago for the final show on the 15th with Cloakroom and Canadian Rifle.

9/24/2015 Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Black Breath, Battalion Of Saints, Obliterations
9/26/2015 Highline – Seattle, WA w/ Black Breath, Battalion Of Saints, Obliterations
9/27/2015 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR w/ Black Breath, Battalion Of Saints, Obliterations
10/11/2015 TRIX – Antwerp, BE @ Desertfest
10/13/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA w/ YDI, Big|Brave
10/14/2015 Black Cat – Washington, DC w/ YDI, Big|Brave
10/15/2015 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/ YDI, Big|Brave
11/19-22/2015 Le Guess Who? Festival – Utrecht, NL
12/12/2015 5th Quarter Lounge – Indianapolis, IN w/ Pelican, Bongripper, Rlyeh, Sacred Leather
12/13/2015 Ace of Cups – Columbus, OH w/ Pelican
12/14/2015 The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Pelican
12/15/2015 ThaliaHall – Chicago, IL w/ Pelican, Cloakroom, Canadian Rifle

PELICAN Tour Dates:
10/25/2015 High Noon – Madison, WI w/ Zebras, Jon Mueller
12/12/2015 5th Quarter Lounge – Indianapolis, IN w/ Goatsnake, Bongripper, Rlyeh, Sacred Leather
12/13/2015 Ace of Cups – Columbus, OH w/ Goatsnake
12/14/2015 The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Goatsnake
12/15/2015 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Goatsnake, Cloakroom, Canadian Rifle
12/18/2015 Sticky Fingers – Gothenburg, SE @ Scorched Tundra Festival


Goatsnake, Black Age Blues (2015)

Pelican, The Cliff EP (2015)

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The Skull to Tour Europe in Spring 2016

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the skull

Good news out of the camp of Chicago doomers The Skull in that the five-piece band, which features two former members of Trouble and now two former members of Pentagram, are headed to Europe for the first time since the release of their 2014 debut album, For Those Which are Asleep (review here). That record was a trad-doom gem issued by Tee Pee that boasted highlight work from some of those who set the traditions of doom in motion in the first place. With the still-relatively-recent addition of ex-Pentagram drummer Sean Saley to the lineup, The Skull will set out late in Feb. 2016 and continue through a goodly part of March with more dates still to be added.

While these cats are known for regularly breaking out Trouble songs during the set — you might say that’s how they started out — it says something at this point that if you’re going to see them play, it’s probably even more to get the cuts from For Those Which are Asleep. If you haven’t heard that record, you probably should.

The news came late last night down the PR wire:


The Skull NEW tour dates

THE SKULL featuring former Trouble members including vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner are heading to Europe in March 2016 for performances across the continent!

Featuring original TROUBLE vocalist Eric Wagner and long time TROUBLE bassist Ron Holzner, THE SKULL are giving their legendary former band a run for their money with their new Tee Pee Records / Plastic Head release “For Those Which Are Asleep”.

In 2012, THE SKULL hit Europe as headliner for the Hells Pleasure Fest in Germany, and then followed up as headliner for their own European tour in November 2012 which included performances in Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden; including co-headlining the Hammer of Doom Festival with Pentagram in Wurzburg, Germany. In 2014, THE SKULL’s European headlining tour included headlining the Day of Doom Festival in Barcelona, Spain, as well as venues in Portugal and a headline show at Camden World in London, England playing the classic Trouble album “Psalm 9” in its entirety on this tour.

THE SKULL’s current show includes a large blend of Trouble classics and rarities spanning the Eric Wagner and Ron Holzner periods with the band as well as new “The Skull” material from their critically acclaimed record “For Those Which Are Asleep” played in Europe for the first time ever. The show also includes the occasional cover and expanded live jam versions. It’s doom that rocks.

(ex-Trouble, ex-Pentagram)
For Those Which Are Asleep European Tour 2016
Presented by Rock Hard Magazine, Guitar Magazine, DrumHeads Magazine, & Grow!
26.02.2016 NL-Tilburg, Little Devil
27.02.2016 NL-Amsterdam, Q-Factory
29.02.2016 DE-Cologne, Underground
01.03.2016 DE-Bielefeld, Forum
03.03.2016 DE-Hamburg, Klubsen
04.03.2016 DE-Leipzig, Bandhaus
09.03.2016 DE-Dresden, Chemiefabrik
10.03.2016 DE-Berlin, Cassiopeia
11.03.2016 DE-Markneukirchen, Framus & Warwick Music Hall
12.03.2016 DE-Munich, Backstage
14.03.2016 AT-Graz, Explosiv
15.03.2016 SK-Bratislava, Muzeum Obchodu
17.03.2016 AT-Wien, Viper Room
18.03.2016 AT-Innsbruck, Weekender
19.03.2016 IT-Bologna, Freakclub
20.03.2016 DE-Karlsruhe, Jubez


The Skull, “Sick of it All” Live at The Foundry

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Minsk Announce West Coast Dates Starting Sept. 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Good news for those on the western side of the country in that reborn Illinois outfit Minsk are heading out for a round of dates in support of their 2015 return album, The Crash and the Draw (review here), which came out earlier this year on Relapse. They’ve already been to Europe for the album, playing Roadburn and touring alongside Floor, which if you’re going to make a comeback after six years is a damn good way to do it. With the West Coast covered this time around, that really just leaves the East still to do, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think more dates will follow before the end of this year, though if it winds up being early 2016, certainly they could be forgiven.

The PR wire has the announcement:

minsk cult of luna subrosa

MINSK: Announce US Tour Dates

Illinois post-metal quintet MINSK have announced their first US tour dates in support of their new album The Crash & The Draw. The dates kick off on September 1st in St Paul, MN and run through September 12th, including a series of West Coast shows as direct support for Sweden’s Cult of Luna along with SubRosa. A complete listing of dates is available below.

MINSK released their first album in six years, The Crash & The Draw, this past April to immense critical acclaim. Captured by the band alongside Sanford Parker (Voivod, Eyehategod, Yob etc.), mixed by Parker and MINSK and mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) with additional vocal tracking by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City, Old Man Gloom, Floor) and further tracking, editing, and mixing by Kevin Rendleman and Aaron Austin, The Crash & The Draw is an instant contender for one of the most forward-thinking metal records of the year. The album can be streamed in it’s entirety via Bandcamp here.

The album is available on CD/2xLP/Digital and can be purchased via Relapse at THIS LOCATION or digitally HERE.

MINSK Tour Dates:
Sep 01 St. Paul, MN Turf Club
Sep 03 Billings, MT The Railyard
Sep 05 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater*
Sep 06 Seattle, WA Neumo’s*
Sep 07 Portland, OR Star Theater*
Sep 08 San Francisco, CA Slims*
Sep 09 Hollywood, CA The Roxy*
Sep 10 Las Vegas, NV Dive Bar
Sep 12 Denver, CO GLOB
* = with Cult of Luna & SubRosa


Minsk, The Crash and the Draw (2015)

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The Skull Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the skull

Fascinating transition for The Skull, who since the release of their 2014 Tee Pee Records debut album, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), have gone from being more Trouble than Trouble to owing just as much of their collective pedigree to Pentagram with the addition of drummer Sean Saley alongside guitarist Matt Goldsborough — both of whom I’m pretty sure were in Pentagram when I saw them at Desertfest London in 2013. Go figure.

What that means to The Skull‘s overall aesthetic will of course remain to be seen, guitarist Lothar Keller (who was never in either Trouble or Pentagram — yet!) having such a huge role in what they do, as well as bassist Ron Holzner and vocalist Eric Wagner, but wherever they go from their first album, I’m glad to see them getting out for a decent bit of touring, even if it’s headed west instead of east. The rest will sort itself out, but more time on stage can only make them a tighter unit and expand on what they were already able to bring to the studio the first time around.

The PR wire has tour details:

the skull tour dates

The Skull Announces North American Tour Dates

Doom Titans featuring Ex-Members of Legendary Metal Bands TROUBLE and PENTAGRAM Set to Hit the Road

THE SKULL, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends TROUBLE, guitarist Matt Goldsborough and drummer Sean Saley (both ex-PENTAGRAM) and guitarist Lothar Keller, has announced a North American tour in support of its debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep.

THE SKULL will launch the 16-city trek on September 11 in Milwaukee, WI. The tour will run through September 29 in New Orleans, LA. At the shows, THE SKULL will perform both songs from For Those Which Are Asleep and time-tested favorites from its canon of TROUBLE classics. The just-announced live dates are as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
September 11 Milwaukee, WI Metal Grill
September 12 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
September 13 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
September 15 Spokane, WA The Pin
September 16 Boise, ID Neurolux
September 17 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw
September 18 Seattle, WA El Corazon
September 19 Portland, OR Star Theatre
September 20 Oakland, CA Opera House
September 22 Los Angeles, CA Satellite
September 23 San Diego, CA Hideout
September 24 Phoenix, AZ Pub Rock
September 25 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
September 26 Fort Worth, TX Lola’s
September 27 Tulsa, OK Downtown Lounge
September 29 New Orleans, LA Sibera


The Skull, “Send Judas Down” live in Dayton, OH, Dec. 2014

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The Luck of Eden Hall UK Tour Starts July 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the luck of eden hall

Long-running Chicago psych rockers The Luck of Eden Hall are getting ready to head to the UK for a round of tour dates between now and Aug. 11, playing in England, Scotland and Wales on a round of gigs ahead of finishing up their new album, The Acceleration of Time. Their most recent release is the single “The Happiness Vending Machine,” for which they made a video you can see below and which was issued back in Sept. of last year. They’ve got a new single in the works with a theme taken from and artwork by Neil Gaiman that has a Kickstarter in progress. This tour was also crowdfunded, so apparently they get some pretty good support.

The stint in the UK will be bookended by two Midwestern gigs, one in Michigan and one later in Aug. with The Psychedelic Furs in Skokie, Illinois. The PR wire keeps us all informed:

the luck of eden hall tour poster

After completing a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for airfare, lodging and rentals, Chicago psych-pop group The Luck of Eden Hall has confirmed the dates for their second UK tour.

The tour, which will begin with a show at London’s 12 Bar Club on July 30 and wrap up with a headlining performance at the book release party for Dave Thompson’s A Séance at Syd’s at The Half Moon, Putney on August 11, will also touch down in Sheffield, Cardigan, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. In addition, the band will be recording a live album for Fruits de Mer Records at MWNCI Studios, August 3-5.

Upon returning to the states, The Luck of Eden Hall will be supporting The Psychedelic Furs at Skokie’s Backlot Bash on Saturday, August 29 and will be putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album, The Acceleration of Time.

July 25 @ Shakespeare¹s Pub, Kalamazoo, Michigan
July 30 @ 12 Bar Club, London, England
Aug 1 @ The Rocking Chair, Sheffield, England
Aug 6 @ Bannerman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland
Aug 7 @ Nice n¹ Sleazys, Glasgow, Scotland
Aug 8 @ The Magnet, Liverpool, England
Aug 9 @ 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival, Cardigan, Wales
Aug 11 @ The Half Moon, A Seance At Syd’s book release show, London, England
Aug 29 @ Backlot Bash w/ The Psychedelic Furs, Skokie, Illinois


The Luck of Eden Hall, “The Happiness Vending Machine”

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Spillage Release Self-Titled Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


The Trouble family tree strikes again, bringing forth the self-titled debut full-length from Chicago five-piece Spillage. Aside from guitarist Tony Spillman, formerly of Earthen Grave, the band also featured vocalist Lothar Keller, who plays guitar in The Skull. If that’s not enough lineage for you, it was produced by Bruce Franklin, who, of course, is one of Trouble‘s founding guitarists. So there.

It’s out now through Qumran Records on CD with vinyl to follow, as the PR wire informs:

spillage spillage

Behold! The wait is over!

Nearly 10 years in the making, the debut album from Spillage has just been let loose on the highways of hard rock/metal!

Tony Spillman, formerly of Earthen Grave, has assembled a massively talented lineup that brings the songs of Spillage to life with raw emotion, colorful landscapes, and at times, full blown rage! Lothar Keller (The Skull/Divinity Compromised) lends his incredible range to light up the vocals, Nick Bozidarevic (Band of Brothers) joins Tony to create a very Tipton/Downing-esque guitar duo, and Willie Max (Blackfinger/Shadoz Edge) and Chris Martins (Band of Brothers) hold down an absolutely thunderous rhythm section, and Paul Rau lays down the essential keyboard accents. Special guest lead guitar spots by none other than Trouble’s Bruce Franklin send things completely into the stratosphere.

Taking the best qualities of early Judas Priest & Uriah Heep, and mixing it with Uli Jon Roth era Scorpions, Spillage manages to create brilliant, original music that stands well on its own in today’s heavy scene.

Produced by the one and only Bruce Franklin, the self titled Spillage debut will be released world-wide on June 30th, 2015 via Qumran Records. CD and digital downloads will be available online via the band’s official Bandcamp page: www.spillage.bandcamp.com.

The track listing for the debut Spillage album is as follows:
1. The Darkness
2. Live In Fear
3. The Road
4. Call It Freedom
5. In Hell
6. Insomnia
7. Devil Woman
8. Land Of Opportunity
9. We Are

Limited edition red vinyl will be available soon!

Having already shared the stage with the likes of Trouble, Elder, and Brimstone Coven, and taking part in high profile festivals such as Days Of The Doomed, Spillage is poised to hit the road this summer in full force supporting the release of their debut album. Check listings for a city near you!

Be sure to keep up to date with all things Spillage by visiting following these links:

Spillage, Spillage (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Minsk, King Bison, Les Lekin, The Vintage Caravan, Jim Healey, Anu, Iron & Stone, Gorgantherron, Elephant Riders, Lend Me Your Underbelly

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk summer quarterly review

And so we cruise into day three. Not sure how you’re holding up, but I feel like I’m hanging in pretty well. We pass the halfway point today, which is significant, but of course there are still plenty of records to come. I’m not sure I have a favorite day — I tried to spread stuff around as best I could when I was planning the whole thing — but there are definitely a couple highlights today as well. No doubt the standouts will stand out as we make our way through.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Minsk, The Crash and the Draw

minsk the crash and the draw

Six years after the release of their third album, With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here), the 75-minute breadth of The Crash and the Draw (on Relapse) marks a welcome resurgence for Illinois post-metallers Minsk. Only keyboardist/vocalist Timothy Mead and guitarist/vocalist Christopher Bennett (also of Lark’s Tongue) remain from what was a four-piece and is now five with Aaron Austin on guitar/vocals, Zachary Livingston on bass/vocals and Kevin Rendleman on drums, but Minsk’s cascading heft is well intact as they show immediately on 12-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “To the Initiate.” True enough one is bound to be initiated after it, but it hardly scratches the surface of the atmospheric sludge Minsk continue to develop over the course of the four-parter “Onward Procession,” the glorious later melodies of “The Way is Through,” or the tribal tension in the percussion-led “To You there is No End.” They cap with the 10-minute “When the Walls Fell” and find themselves standing after all else has crashed down. A sprawling and triumphant return.

Minsk on Thee Facebooks

Minsk at Relapse Records

King Bison, King Bison

king bison king bison

Not to be confused with New York’s King Buffalo, Michigan’s Bison Machine or any number of other large mammals in the well-populated fur-covered contingent of American heavy rockers, King Bison make their self-titled debut via Snake Charmer Coalition, comprising seven riffy bruisers owing a deep debt to Clutch and, in that, reminding a bit of their Pennsylvanian countrymen in Kingsnake. Songs like “One for the Money” and “March of the Sasquatch” signal a watch for stoner-roller grooves to come in “Queen of the South” and “Pariah,” the dudeliness of the proceedings practically oozing from the speakers in the gruff vocals of guitarist/vocalist Chris Wojcik, who’s joined in the trio by bassist Dean Herber and drummer Scott Carey. The penchant for booze and blues, ladies and US auto manufacturing holds firm in “Night Ride” and the slower “I’m Gone,” and while one might expect a closer called “Space Boogie” to flesh out a bit, King Bison instead reinforce the foundation they’ve laid all along of Southern-style heft, remaining light on pretense and heavy on riffs.

King Bison on Thee Facebooks

Snake Charmer Coalition

Les Lekin, All Black Rainbow Moon

les lekin all black rainbow moon

Originally issued digitally late last year, Salzburg, Austria, instrumental trio Les Lekin are set to give their debut long-player, All Black Rainbow Moon, a second look with a 180g vinyl pressing in Fall 2015. Comprised of six tracks, the record is a spacious 49 minutes, and the three-piece of guitarist Peter G., bassist Stefan W. and drummer Kerstin W. enact a fluid heavy psych groove, somewhat less dense in its fuzz than the post-Colour Haze sphere and following plotted courses throughout, whether it’s in the Arenna-esque “Solum,” which unfolds after the album’s wash of an intro, the efficient exploration of “Useless,” which seems to pack a 12-minute jam into a six-minute song, or the still-open-sounding bluesy stretchout of “Loom,” the longest inclusion here at 13:16. Familiar in aesthetic perhaps, the songs are nonetheless complex enough to represent the band’s beginnings well, the closer “Release” coming to a heavier apex that could perhaps foreshadow future expansions of the chiaroscuro elements at which the title of this debut is hinting.

Les Lekin on Thee Facebooks

Les Lekin on Bandcamp

The Vintage Caravan, Arrival


After releasing their 2012 debut, Voyage, on Nuclear Blast last year, young Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan return in 2015 with their sophomore full-length, Arrival – the second record seeming by title to be an answer to the first. Maybe that’s the intention musically, but the 10 tracks/55 minutes comprising Arrival do well to stand on their own, with the impressive lead work of guitarist/vocalist Óskar Logi never too far from the fore on songs like the standout “Babylon” or “Sandwalker,” though backed capably by the rhythm section of bassist Alexander Örn (also backup vocals) and drummer Stefán Ari Stefánsson. While unquestionably a more mature outing than their debut and more accomplished in its chemistry and songwriting, Arrival still gives a sense of the progression to come, and it’s easy to worry that by the time the listener gets to the powerful closing trio of “Innerverse,” “Carousel” and “Winter Queen,” the dizzying play throughout will have dulled the senses past the point of full appreciation. Room to tighten? Perhaps, but still a strong second outing for a band loaded with potential.

The Vintage Caravan on Thee Facebooks

The Vintage Caravan at Nuclear Blast

Jim Healey, This is What the End Looked Like

jim healey this is what the end looked like

Guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey is known more for the aggressive edge he’s brought over the years to bands like We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai and most recently Shatner, but his solo material brings a different look. Joined in this “solo” endeavor by guitarist/vocalist/organist Joe McMahon, cellist/backing vocalist Dana Fisher, drummer Kyle Rasmussen and accordionist/backing vocalist Bridget Nault, Healey’s songwriting is nonetheless front and center across the nine tracks of This is What the End Looked Like, memorable cuts like “A Whole Lot of Nothing,” the more subdued “Radio” (written by Eddy Llerena) and closer “World War Eight” fleshing out arrangements that could work and/or have worked just as well on solo acoustic guitar for Healey in live performances. Worth noting that for all the vocal and instrumental embellishments on the studio incarnations, the songs lose none of the heartfelt feel at their core, Healey’s voice remaining a lonely presence despite obviously keeping good company.

Jim Healey on Thee Facebooks

Jim Healey on Bandcamp

Anu, Nighthymns

ANU Nighthymns

Nighthymns marks a return for ANU and the band’s sole inhabitant Chad “Drathrul” Davis (Hour of 13/Night Magic, Tasha-Yar, The Sabbathian, and so many others) after a four-year absence following the release of 2011’s III EP. Offsetting blasting, ripping black metal on cuts like “Enter the Chasm” and “The Eternal Frost” with the ambient drones of “Risen within the Mist of Obscurity,” the longer “Winterfall” and the title-track, Nighthymns nonetheless gnashes its teeth in a dense blackened murk, screams far back in “Enter the Chasm” beneath programmed-sounding thud and full-on guitar squibblies. A project Davis has had going in one form or another since releasing a first demo in 1999, and likely before that, ANU’s slicing extremity and atmospherics rest well alongside each other, but neither is accessibility a remote concern. If you get it, you get it, and if you don’t, you don’t. Nighthymns is way more concerned with separating wheat from chaff than it is with making friends, and that plays much to its ultimate success.

Anu on Thee Facebooks

Wohrt Records

Iron and Stone, Old Man’s Doom

iron and stone old man's doom

Comprised of gruff-shouting vocalist Henning L., guitarists Christopher P. and Stephan M., bassist Matthias B. and drummer Torsten H., German riff idolizers Iron and Stone debuted in 2013 with an EP titled Maelstrom and Old Man’s Doom is a follow-up short release. Pressed to DIY cassettes, the three-tracker preaches loud and clear to the nod-ready converted in “Place in Hell” and “Into the Unknown,” big riffs lumbering out stone vibes, intertwining rhythms and leads in the latter as Henning works his shouting into a corresponding notation. “Into the Unknown” ends large and Sabbathy, but speedier closer “Bliss of Diversion” is a high point unto itself for the consistency of the tonal morass that the uptick in pace brings out of the guitar and bass, resulting in a kind of noisy, dense-in-the-low-end punk that suits Iron and Stone well despite operating in defiance of the EP’s title. New material reportedly in the works as well.

Iron and Stone on Thee Facebooks

Iron and Stone on Bandcamp

Gorgantherron, Second Sun

gorgantherron second sun

Their first album, Second Sun follows a 2012 self-titled EP from Indiana trio Gorgantherron, but is in a different league entirely. A well-set mix balance establishes itself on the opening title-track and develops throughout “Superliminial” and “Bookbinder” as they get rolling, and Gorgantherron – guitarist/vocalist Clint Logan, bassist/vocalist Toby Richardson and drummer Chris Flint – continue to foster grooving largesse over the nine tracks/47 minutes, veering skillfully between boogie and doom on “Pre-Warp Civilization” before airing out an atmospheric take on “Seventh Planet,” the rough-edged vocals prevalent in quieter surroundings. Richardson’s fuzz on “The Stone” ensures the song lives up to its name, and the soft guitar noodling that opens “Paranoia” brings a surprising touch of Colour Haze influence out of the blue before a count-in from Flint puts the band’s roll back on its appointed track. Closing duo “Entropy” and “Defy” offer some shuffle and chug, respectively, but by then the trio have already made the album’s primary impression in their heavy riffs, burl and more than capable execution.

Gorgantherron on Thee Facebooks

Gorgantherron on Bandcamp

Elephant Riders, Challenger

elephant riders challenger

The two cuts of Spanish trio Elephant RidersChallenger EP take Kyuss-style desert riffing and reset the context to something altogether less jammy. Tight and presented with a near-metallic crispness in their production, both “Challenger” – rerecorded from an earlier EP – and its more rolling B-side “Lone Wolf” push the line between heavy and hard rock, but riffs remain central to their purposes. Having released their debut full-length, Supernova, in 2014, they’re still getting settled into their sound, but a blend of heavy rock, grunge and metal impulses pervades these two songs, and when “Lone Wolf” shifts into a couple measures of start-stop fuzz riffing in its second half, they show off just a reminder nod for where they got their name. Two catchy tracks that maybe aren’t reinventing the stoner rock game, they nonetheless provide a quick sample of Elephant Rider’s songwriting development in progress and plant the seeds of future hooks to come.

Elephant Riders on Thee Facebooks

Elephant Riders on Bandcamp

Lend Me Your Underbelly, Hover

lend me your underbelly hover

When placed next to each other, the five one-word titles on Lend Me Your Underbelly’s Hover – either the project’s third or fourth full-length, depending on what you count – result in the phrase “Everything” “Was” “Deep” “Dark” “Green.” Whether or not that is of special significance to Netherlands-based multi-instrumentalist/sampler Christian Berends, I don’t know. The whole idea across these tracks seems to be experimentation and improvisation, so if the titles were grabbed from somewhere at random or carrying a rich emotional connection, either is just as likely. Not knowing turns out to be half the fun of Hover itself – not knowing that, not knowing what Berends is going to do around the next turn as each track builds, not knowing where all this noise is leading as the swirls and riffs of “Green” close out. Layers careen, appear and disappear throughout, but the wide open structures and creative sensibility remain consistent and tie Hover together as an intricate work of exploratory psychedelia.

Lend Me Your Underbelly on Thee Facebooks

Lend Me Your Underbelly on Bandcamp


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Wino Wednesday: Wino, “Dark Ravine” Live in Chicago, Jan. 2013

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

As I suppose will happen when you’re approaching your 200th Wino Wednesday — this is #190, so if there’s a countdown (and there isn’t), then the countdown is on — I went to look up the date when Wino was at Reggies in Chicago early in 2013 and found the info in another Wino Wednesday post. File under “Go Figure.” The date, incidentally, was Jan. 6, and it was after he and Mondo Generator and Saviours finished touring with Clutch for their annual holiday bonanza, and that other clip was of Nick Oliveri and Saviours and Wino jamming out a cover of Savoy Brown‘s “Hellbound Train,” a song Wino had also been performing for over a year in the duo Wino & Conny Ochs.

That set-finishing jam seems not to have been the only exceptional circumstance around those shows. “Dark Ravine” was a track originally included on the first Wino & Conny Ochs album, 2012’s Heavy Kingdom (review here), and as Wino did tours in that duo in Europe and the US, it’s easy to imagine that material was pretty fresh in mind. Still, it’s an interesting take to hear him perform the song solo; its already lonely, melancholic vibe becoming only more so for the solitary rendition. The camera in this clip sticks pretty close to the man himself — it’s a tight shot the whole time through — so there’s not as much a sense of what the crowd’s response would’ve been, but the song sounds good anyway, and we get a little of that good acoustic fuzz, so I’ll take it.

Been curious to see what Wino‘s going to do next, touring-wise. He’ll play with Spirit Caravan at the Maryland Doom Fest at the end of the month, but with the status of his spot in Saint Vitus questionable, it’s kind of an in-between moment. In the past, that’s brought about new projects, and there have been murmurings in that direction with the Royale Daemons collaboration with Oliveri, but nothing has materialized there as yet, so time will tell what’s actually going to happen.

One thing’s for sure, more Wednesdays. Enjoy:

Wino, “Dark Ravine” Live at Reggies, Chicago, Jan. 6. 2013

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