Quarterly Review: Bubonic Bear, The F.T.W., Seremonia, JPT Scare Band, Libido Fuzz, Dopethrone, The Moth, War Iron, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Red Mess

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Here we are, the final day of The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy this whole time, but the challenge has been worth it. Will I do another one? I guess that depends on how backed up records get. Even with all of this, I haven’t managed to fit in everything, so yeah, it doesn’t seem unlikely I’ll wind up with fodder for more of this kind of thing. Once again, not at all a hardship to have people interested enough in having me write about their music to send it to me. Not at all something I’m going to complain about.

Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read or share the link or whatnot, and of course to bands and labels for caring enough to send the music.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Bubonic Bear, Shaved Heat

bubonic-bear-shaved-heat

In and out of their three-song Shaved Heat tape in under 10 minutes, one could hardly accuse Philly guitar/drum duo Bubonic Bear of being overly elaborate in their approach, but the tracks, particularly closer “Clean,” drive home their post-hardcore rawness with suitable intensity. No frills, just impact. Vocals are raw shouts and the blue tape, which is limited to 50 copies through Bastard Sloth Records, has a kind of avant garde charm, underground in the house-show sense and mean, mean, mean, but probably nice enough to talk to. “Chlorine,” “Witch Pyle” and “Clean” are arranged shortest to longest, but all three hover around three minutes and tear into frenetic turns and let’s-call-it-spirited pummel. Andrew and Dustin, the pair involved, have a slew of EPs and splits and one full-length under their belt, and their six-plus years together are evident in the sheer fact that they can execute material so chaotic without having it fall apart under their stamping feet.

Bubonic Bear on Thee Facebooks

Bastard Sloth Records

The F.T.W., Vendetta Kind of Mood

the-f.t.w.-vendetta-kind-of-mood

From its biker chug to its unabashed confrontationalism and attitude-laced approach to songs like “Who Crowned You King” and “Axe to Grind,” The F.T.W.’s Vendetta Kind of Mood just screams oldschool New York. Not the New York that’s the family-friendly (as long as you’re rich) center of the fashion world, but the New York that was really eager to tell you about how it was going to kick your ass, if not actually do so. The 10-track vinyl self-release is clean in its production and straightforward structurally, but has a gritty undercurrent anyway, showing some thrash (or is that NYHC? So hard to tell sometimes) influence in “Bleed Out” and a bit of rawer punk in “Billy Bats,” though they wait till the closer to actually extract a “Pound of Flesh,” which they slice with a choice solo and some Judas Priest riffing from guitarist TheMajor Nelson, joined in the trio by bassist/vocalist Michael Dolan and drummer Jason Meraz. Something tells me they’re not abbreviating “for the win.”

The F.T.W. on Thee Facebooks

The F.T.W. on Bandcamp

Seremonia, Kristalliarkki

seremonia kristalliarkki

Kristalliarkki is the third offering from Finland’s Seremonia on Svart Records, and while all of their albums have thrilled in that quiet, warm-toned, psych-proto-ritual kind of way, the crystal ark is where it’s at. The record lands big with penultimate 14-minute sprawler jam “Kristalliarkki I,” open enough to set down a blanket and have a picnic next to the tree line, but before they get there, the five-piece of vocalist Noora Federley, guitarists Teemu Markkula and Ville Pirinen drummer/flautist Erno Taipale and bassist Ilkka Vekka vibe out fuzzy hypnosis on eight shorter native-language tracks, otherworldly from the word “go” and held together with a glue of ‘70s-style shufflebuzz on “Lusiferin Lapset” and the quick bouncer “Kuolema Voittaa” that beg to be dug on repeat visits. At just 1:14, “Kristalliarkki II” taps punker soul to close out with a sudden finish that leaves one wondering what the hell just happened, and no doubt that’s exactly what Seremonia had in mind.

Seremonia on Thee Facebooks

Seremonia at Svart Records

JPT Scare Band, Acid Acetate Excursion & Rape of the Titan’s Sirens

jpt scare band acid acetate excursion and rape of the titan's sirens

A twofer! Kansas City acid rockers JPT Scare Band Jeff Littrell (“J”), Paul Grigsby (“P”) and Terry Swope (“T”) – dig into their archival material to couple their first two records, Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape of the Titan’s Sirens, for Ripple Music. Both were recorded in the ‘70s but not released until 1994 and 1998, respectively, and the trio’s blown-out heavy continues to wear its years well, the bluesy fire in Swope’s guitar work leading the way through 81 minutes of long-range jams and classic vibes, still underrated after all these years. The second record has more bite tonally than the first, the recording is rougher, but I won’t take anything away from the force behind the 13-minute “King Rat” from the debut either. Think of it as an archival release more than a reissue, and if you haven’t yet been introduced to JPT Scare Band, think of the vinyl as an educational expense.

JPT Scare Band website

Ripple Music

Libido Fuzz, Kaleido Lumo Age

libido-fuzz-kaleido-lumo-age

Bordeaux trio Libido Fuzz trip out pretty hard on heavy ‘70s influences, but I feel like their Kaleido Lumo Age debut LP (on Pink Tank Records) is all the more praiseworthy for the simple fact that it doesn’t sound like Graveyard. Casting off much of the blues that seems to have afflicted so many the world over, Thibault Guezennec, Pierre-Alexis Mengual and Rory O’Callaghan dip back maybe a couple years before ’71, let’s call it ’68, but filter the Hendrix and The Who influences through modern tonality, which means that a boogier like “Raw Animal” and the proto-stoner shuffle of “Enter the Occult” satisfy in concept and execution. Each of the evident two sides caps with a cut past the eight-minute mark, and both “Redemption of the Bison” and album closer “Haight Ashbury” offer significant heavy psych immersion, though it’s the side B finale that ultimately wins out thanks to its second half journey into noise wash, lysergic swirl, last-minute nod and epilogue of birdsong-esque feedback.

Libido Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Libido Fuzz at Pink Tank Records

Dopethrone, Hochelaga

dopethrone hochelaga

Filth-caked Montreal trio Dopethrone eat crust and shit riffs on their Totem Cat-released fourth record, Hochelaga, coating themselves in backpatch-worthy tone and throat-searing screams that would do Bongzilla proud. Weedian scummery through and through. Save for “Dry Hitter,” each of Hochelaga’s seven tracks starts with a sample, as if to emphasize the utter stoner fuckall with which Dopethrone – guitarist/vocalist Vincent, bassist Vyk and drummer Borman – execute their rolling grooves and lumbering viciousness once it kicks in. “Sludgekicker,” “Vagabong” and “Riff Dealer” tell the tale, and the record’s 40 minutes play out in largely unipolar but universally righteous fashion, “Scum Fuck Blues” summing up the ethic nicely with the line, “Smoke, drink, die.” Dopethrone make a show of their rawness, but Hochelaga’s fullness of tone and clarity of aesthetic speak to an underlying sense of knowing what they’re doing, and a record this cohesive doesn’t happen by accident, much as it might be telling you otherwise. That doesn’t mean they’re not also high as hell, just that they can keep it together.

Dopethrone on Thee Facebooks

Dopethrone on Bandcamp

The Moth, And Then Rise

the moth and then rise

A presumed sequel to their 2013 debut, They Fall, Hamburg trio The Moth‘s sophomore full-length, And Then Rise, pulls off heavy rock ethics with a heavy metal sense of purpose and basks in an overarching tension throughout its nine tracks. Fast or slow, doomed or thrashing, cuts like “Battle is Over” and “Travel Light” carry a progressive feel to match their hooks, later doomers like “Slowly to Die” and closer “Fire” – which hides a bonus track in its span – holding onto the tightness even as the relinquish in terms of pacing. Dark atmospherically but brazenly intricate, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Freden, bassist/vocalist Cécile and drummer Tiffy are never showy or putting on a technical clinic, but everything seems to be geared toward the purpose of enhancing the songs, which of course is the ideal. Because the sound is so condensed, it might take a couple listens for And Then Rise to sink in – not saying the chug of “Last Times” doesn’t also have immediate appeal – but The Moth’s genre-bending compositions prove worth the active engagement.

The Moth on Thee Facebooks

The Moth on Bandcamp

War Iron, Precession of the Equinoxes

war iron precession of the equinoxes

I’m pretty sure War Iron could play fast and it would still sound slow. They don’t really try it. Deep, deep low end is cut through by indecipherable-but-get-their-point-across-anyway screams on the Northern Irish four-piece’s third album, Precession of the Equinoxes, which plods out a grueling extremity of doom across its four included tracks, the shortest of which is the 7:37 “Summon Demon Scream the Abyss,” a harsh ritual of sonic heft and disaffection well met by its compatriots, from the churning opener “Bludgeon Lord,” to the title-track – which actually does up the pace somewhat, relatively speaking (and yes, it still sounds slow), and only temporarily – which crushes hopes and eardrums alike leading into the closer “From Napalm Altar,” a final affirmation of the deathly miseries at heart in War Iron’s approach, vocalist Baggy going high-low with screams and growls over the Ross’ guitar, Dave’s bass and Marty’s drums. It is a fearsome and challenging listen.

War Iron on Thee Facebooks

War Iron on Bandcamp

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Earth Hog

chubby-thunderous-bad-kush-masters-earth-hog

Guitarist/vocalist Owen Carty, formerly of underappreciated, coulda-been-contender sludge rockers Dopefight, lends his riffy services to the cumbersomely-named trio Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters (also stylized all-lowercase), who make their debut with the self-released five-song Earth Hog EP. Bassist Will Hart and drummer Mark Buckwell swing heavy and land hard on the opening title-track, and there’s not much letup from there, wah bass and cowbell leading to some fervent stomp in the second half of “Chopsticks and Bad Meatballs,” which starts out as a punk song, and “Devil’s Buttermilk” brazenly tackling Southern riffing without the chestbeating that way, way too often accompanies. More cowbell there too, because if you’re going to do something, overdo it. “Mother Chub” and “Riff Richard” close out, the latter with a slowdown that emphasizes the point: the kush may be bad, but the riffs are primo. Silly name or not, I’ll take this shit any day of the week, and considering Earth Hog was recorded in a living room, I have the feeling it’s only going to get louder from here. Right on.

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Thee Facebooks

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Bandcamp

Red Mess, Drowning in Red

red mess drowning in red

With a sense that they’re continuing to feel out where they want to be sonically, Brazilian three-piece Red Mess follow-up last year’s Crimson EP (review here) with the newly-issued two-tracker Drowning in Red – apparently working on a theme chromatically – the cuts “Daybreak’s Dope” and “Ready to Go” impressive in performance and tone as guitarist/vocalist Thiago Franzim shreds out on the latter atop Lucas Klepa’s bass and Douglas Villa’s speaker-popping kick. Each song has a markedly different approach, with “Daybreak’s Dope” topping seven minutes via a Sleep-style rollout while, true to its title, “Ready to Go” seems to have no interest in holding its shuffle still. Pairing them shows sonic breadth, and in the case of the second, a bit of ‘70s influence to coincide with what they showed on Crimson, though the results will still ultimately be familiar. They’re making progress, though, and their cohesiveness and catchiness through stylistic shifts is encouraging.

Red Mess on Thee Facebooks

Red Mess on Bandcamp

 

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audiObelisk Transmission 046

Posted in Podcasts on March 16th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

I was coming down to the end of this one and decided that I couldn’t let it go without including one more track to push it toward the two-hour mark, and the weirdness of Skunk Hawk’s “Lovers of Pompeii” won out. All bets were off after JPT Scare Band anyway. Nothing to lose between that and Jonas Munk and Headless Kross. Kind of all over the place stylstically there, but each song is so immersive on its own that I figured it would work one way or another. Heaven forbid you change it up once or twice in 60 minutes. Ha.

The first hour gets pretty heavy as well — I suppose it starts that way, with Ufomammut leading off, but look out. Once Wren kicks in from the Jarboe & Helen Money track, that, Gale and Watchtower get into some serious heft. Not that the others don’t, but you know what I mean. Blah blah blah riffs. Oh yeah, and I totally snuck in some new Acid King there, because that record is killer. So dig on that for sure if you haven’t yet. As always, hope you enjoy:

First Hour:
Ufomammut, “Plouton” from Ecate
Royal Thunder, “Time Machine” from Crooked Doors
Boarchucker, “Red Rain” from Swine Throne
Suzukiton, “Snakehead” from Suzukiton II
Jarboe & Helen Money, “Hello Mr. Blue” from Jarboe & Helen Money
Wren, “Before the Great Silence” from split with Irk
Gale, “Burn Your Person” from Vol. 1
Watchtower, “Living Heads” from Radiant Moon
Leather Nun America, “Bourgeois Pig” from Buddha Knievel
Worshipper, “High above the Clouds” from Black Corridor/High above the Clouds
Acid King, “Red River” from Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Second Hour:
Headless Kross, “Rural Juror” from Volumes
Jonas Munk, “Absorb” from Absorb Fabric Cascade
JPT Scare Band, “Sleeping Sickness” from Acid Acetate Excursion & Rape of the Titan’s Sirens
Skunk Hawk, “Lovers of Pompeii” from Skunk Hawk

Total running time: 1:59:24

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 046

 

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JPT Scare Band to Release 2LP Set on April 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

jpt scare band

The discography of Kansas City trio JPT Scare Band is not a particularly easy one to trace. Albums were recorded during their initial early-’70s run and then left to sit for decades, then there were compilations and other studio works after they got back together that only made it more difficult to put to a convenient timeline. Bottom line, however, is that their output is worth the effort of trying to make sense of it time-wise. Their latest outing, 2009’s Rumdum Daddy (review here), led to a signing with Ripple Music for the subsequent 2010 comp, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden (review here), but prior to that, the band had also issued records like Jamm Vapour, Past is Prologue and Sleeping Sickness (discussed here) on their own Kung Bomar imprint, leaving just their first two outings, Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape of the Titan’s Sirens, yet un-reissued.

Ripple is stepping in to rectify the situation, and will oversee the release of both records as a 2LP set in April. Below, the PR wire brings word of the new vinyl and does as admirable a job as I’ve seen of making JPT Scare Band‘s complex history — did I mention the members live in different states? — make sense to the layperson. And by “layperson,” I mean me.

Dig it:

jpt scare band double vinyl

Proto-Metal legends JPT Scare Band to release vinyl set via Ripple Music | Stream album track ‘It’s Too Late’

Banded together during the tumultuous years of the early 70s, JPT Scare Band fused a sound equally heavy in hard rocking blues as it was tripped out in psychedelia, creating a sound so imposing that it perfectly reflected the emotions of the era. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Terry Swope, drummer Jeff Littrell, and bassist Paul Grigsby, JPT Scare Band began recording songs in their Kansas City basement and soon compiled a vault full of reel-to-reel tapes that would make up much of the band’s catalogue.

Though the band formed in 1973, JPT Scare Band’s first album, Acid Acetate Excursion, wasn’t released until 1994, over twenty years after the band’s formation. Along with Acid Acetate Excursion, the band, in conjunction with Monster Records, released two more albums, 1998’s Rape Of Titan’s Sirens and 2000’s Sleeping Sickness. Both releases highlighted the bands heavy psych/proto-metal blues sound through the otherworldly and unheralded guitar work of Terry Swope, and each has become an underground cult classic.

The new millennium has seen JPT Scare Band delve deeper into their archive of recorded material, accumulated through massive jam sessions throughout the 70s, as well as the 90s, and a flood of product was soon released. Through the band’s self-realised label Kung Bomar, seven albums hit the streets including 2002’s brilliant Past Is Prologue, 2007’s stunning release of all new material with Jamm Vapour and most recently, 2009’s Rumdum Daddy.

In the waning months of 2009, JPT Scare Band merged their energies with rock label Ripple Music to release Acid Blues Is The White Man’s Burden, a collection of unreleased tracks, extended jams, and outstanding cover tunes that helped bridge the gaps in the JPT chronology and turn on a whole new generation on to their classic version of acid rock.

Despite being scattered across the US, JPT Scare Band has never stopped working and creating relevant music. JPT have the uncanny ability, an almost shared consciousness, to pick up right where they left off after being apart for fifteen years and hammer out a set of hard edged guitar driven rock that would have made Cream sound soft. JPT Scare Band will appeal to fans of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Black Sabbath.

This April, Ripple Music will release a very special LP set consisting of their first two, seminal releases – Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape Of The Titan’s Sirens – re-presented in full, with new gatefold album art that incorporates the images of the original two albums. Originally recorded in the 1970s, these albums have been out of print since the original Monster Records release in the early 90s and represent the full early history of the band that Classic Rock Magazine once hailed as one of the, “Lost pioneers of Proto-Metal.”

Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape Of The Titan’s Sirens will be released together via Ripple Music on 28th April 2015.

https://twitter.com/jptscareband
http://www.jptscareband.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064

JPT Scare Band, “It’s too Late”

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Ripple Music Issues Free Anniversary Compilation

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 28th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Congratulations to Ripple Music on their one-year anniversary. The label is home to the likes of Mighty High, Poobah and Stone Axe, and in celebration of their solar revolution (hopefully the first of many), they’ve made an exclusive digital compilation available for free download from their Bandcamp page. That’s cool enough, but the compilation also features new music from Iron Claw and Grifter, who’ll both have new albums out before the end of the year.

Here’s the news from the label, followed by the audio stream of the comp:

Now, as Ripple Music moves into its second year, founders John Rancik and Todd Severin want to celebrate the enthusiasm of their music lovers with some anniversary specials. As a thank you to their fans and supporters who’ve allowed Ripple to strike out and bring independent music to the world, Ripple is releasing it’s first ever free digital compilation album.

Featuring every band that has made the first year of Ripple Music such a success, Ripple‘s anniversary album kicks off with Stone Axe, before heading down the Ripple highway of Poobah, JPT Scare Band, Fen, and more. And as a special bonus, The anniversary album features the world’s first sneak peeks at two new Ripple releases; Grifter‘s self-titled debut album, and the eagerly anticipated A Different Game, from underground legends, Scotland’s Iron Claw. But the free compilation album may be available for only a limited time, so get over there quickly to get yours!

But wait, there’s more. Over at the Ripple Store, everything is still 15% off until July 4, and every waverider who places an order will get their name placed into a drawing for a very special, last-one-of-a-kind surprise test pressing!

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Video Premiere: Get an Exclusive Glimpse of JPT Scare Band’s “Long Day”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 19th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Today, The Obelisk is thrilled to bring you an exclusive premiere of the new video from heavy ’70s lost classics, JPT Scare Band. The clip is for the song “Long Day” from the trio’s 2011 album, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden (review here), and like the best of things, it combines rocking out in the living room with righteous psychedelic imagery.

Check it out below, followed by some info courtesy of the good people at Ripple Music:

After more than three solid months of Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden holding down a top five spot in CDBaby.com’s “Extended Jam” category, legendary acid rockers, JPT Scare Band come roaring back with a blitzing assault on their newest single, “Long Day.” Featuring the sizzling guitar work of Terry Swope, “Long Day,” tears through more than eight minutes of searing guitar leads, massive bass riffs, and mammoth drum jamming, all in the definitive JPT Scare Band style.

“Long Day” will be available as a digital single from CDBaby and all fine digital music emporiums. Meanwhile, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden is still available in limited quantities from Ripple Music in two-toned, gatefold, double-LP with two bonus tracks, deluxe digipak CD, or digital at www.ripple-music.com.

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The Heavy Burden of JPT Scare Band

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

If it’s as they suggest with the title of their new album, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden, then all our cracker asses owe Kansas City’s JPT Scare Band a thank you card, because they’re definitely carrying more than their share of the weight. The release, available now through Ripple Music, compiles tracks from throughout the band’s multi-decade career, resulting in a record that doesn’t quite flow like an album per se, but manages to engage with its individual songs nonetheless.

For those unfamiliar, the story of JPT Scare Band goes that the band — drummer Jeff Littrell, bassist Paul Grigsby and guitarist Terry Swope — formed in the early ‘70s (and they’ve got the archival footage to prove it) but didn’t release an album until 1994’s Acid Acetate Excursion. Since then they’ve been steadily uncovering old recordings and adding new material to them, at once celebrating what they were and what they are in a way few bands can actually pull off convincingly. Their last outing was the righteously guitar-led RumDum Daddy, and with Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden, the trio once again honor their ‘70s rock lineage while also showing off their current sound. Fortunately for all of us (crackers and not), the one is not so far removed from the other.

Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden begins with “Long Day” and “Not My Fault,” a catchy pair of straightforward jams. One of the typifying elements of JPT Scare Band’s sound is Terry Swope’s extensive soloing, but it’s clear on these more recent cuts that the focus is on songwriting. Toward the end of the album, with the more heavy acid material from the ‘70s like the title track and closer “Amy’s Blue Day,” they let more of their jam tendencies show, leaving what’s between to hold the balance. I don’t know the exact dates of when all seven songs were recorded – though with “Death Letter 2001,” I’m willing to hazard a guess as to the year — but the general progression seems to be backwards in time, which is as it should be, informing the listeners as to what the band can do now before what they’ve already done. It wouldn’t work the other way around.

Read more »

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JPT Scare Band Get Oiled Up, Premiere New Video for “Not My Fault”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 14th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

As previously reported, everyone’s favorite super-underground Kansas City rockers, JPT Scare Band, have a new album coming out called Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden. In honor of it, the band has just compiled their first-ever video, which The Obelisk is honored to be on a short list of sites premiering. The song, originally written by the band in the ’70s, is called “Not My Fault,” and as the video shows, it’s just as applicable today as it was then. Some things, never change. Like scumbags. Scumbags never change.

Here’s the clip, plus some info off the PR wire:

Legendary rockers JPT Scare Band released some of the most collectible psychedelic/acid rock of all time, and now they’re about to release their first ever music video. Banded together during the tumultuous years of the early ’70s, JPT Scare Band fused a sound equally heavy in hard rocking blues as it was tripped out in psychedelia, creating a sound so imposing that it perfectly reflected the emotions of the era. Hailed as one of the “lost pioneers of Heavy Metal” by Classic Rock Magazine, JPT Scare Band has seen a resurgence of interest by fans of 1970s heavy fuzzed out rock.

Now, on the heels of the release of their new album, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden on Ripple Music, JPT will unveil their first ever music video for the new JPT classic, “Not My Fault,” a song written by JPT in the ’70s but never recorded until the early 2000s. The video makes direct use of the song’s title and biting sarcastic edge as it assails BP for their denial of any blame for the Gulf oil spill disaster. The video is thought provoking and inflammatory, in addition to being a good ‘ol rock video, with tons of never before seen footage of JPT Scare Band doing what they do best.

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JPT Scaring up Some Buried Treasure

Posted in Buried Treasure on April 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

A while back, I reviewed RumDum Daddy by Kansas City rockers JPT Scare Band, and as a result, the band was kind enough to send me two more of their discs, 2007’s Jamm Vapour and the 2009 reissue of Sleeping Sickness (both on the band’s own Kung Bomar label). Now, as I said in the initial review, RumDum Daddy was my first real exposure — I own Past is Prologue but don’t really count it for whatever reason — but on the occasions I’d heard the band’s name, it was usually in connection to Sleeping Sickness, so I was glad to get the chance to listen. And now that I’ve spent some real time with both it and Jamm Vapour, I thought it warranted a quick note, if only to say “no regrets.”

2000’s Sleeping Sickness was the first album JPT Scare Band put out on CD. The two preceding — 1994’s Acid Acetate Excursion and 1998’s Rape of Titan’s Sirens — were vinyl only and have never been reissued (good luck finding them), so for most of us, Sleeping Sickness is the earliest glimpse at JPT Scare Band we’re going to get. Of course, the legend goes the band got together in 1973 and just never put out an album, but hey, 27 years late is still better than never, and listening to the mighty guitar solo work of Terry Swope on the 15-minute title-track, I’m certainly not about to start complaining.

What amazes me is how JPT Scare Band manages to capture the spirit and sound of early ’70s heavy/acid rock without coming off as retro or over-stylized. Jamm Vapour is even more given over to that spontaneity, but even on Sleeping Sickness, it’s right there waiting to be heard. JPT Scare Band pull off what every retro act in this generation has been trying for, and by all accounts, they do it in a basement in the Midwest. They’re like a mathematical equation that makes two and two equal five, and they kick ass in the process.

Bassist Paul Grigsby and drummer Jeff Littrell do an excellent job backing Swope throughout (Swope and Grigsby handle vocals when they come up), but there’s no doubt that both Sleeping Sickness and Jamm Vapour are vehicles for the guitar to shine. And man, it does shine. Swope‘s got the kind of lead playing used to make bands famous, and these songs feel like what Blue Cheer could have become after their first two albums if they’d been able to keep it together. Thanks to the band for sending this stuff over for me to experience. It’s been a pleasure getting to know this work.

And by the way, JPT Scare Band reportedly have a new double-vinyl/CD, Acid Blues is the White Man’s Burden, due out this year on Ripple Effect Music. More info on that here.

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