Green Lung Sign to Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

About a month and a half after releasing their debut EP, Free the Witch (review here), and still within a year of their initial single, Green Man Rising (review here), London four-piece Green Lung have signed on to release their first long-player through respected vinyl-minded purveyor Kozmik Artifactz. The condensed timeline one might attribute to the particular sonic niche the band seemed to immediately find and then quickly demonstrate a capacity to progress with. One does not expect the momentum to slow for the UK outfit, which boasts ex-members of Oak and Tomb King in the lineup of vocalist Tom Templar, guitarist Scott Masson, bassist Andrew Cave and drummer Matt Wiseman, as they make their way toward the album, which at the rate they’re going should be pressed and shipped any minute now.

Cheers to the band and to the label on the snag. Here’s the announcement off the PR wire:

green lung

Kozmik Artifactz Announce New Signing – Green Lung

Green Lung combine crushing heaviness with soaring hooks, summoning up the proto-metal spectres of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, the psychedelic heft of heavy prog and the anthemic gloom of Danzig and Type O Negative; all the while dragging those influences into the 21st Century and sculpting them into a sound that is entirely their own.

“The last twelve months have been a blur for us; forming last March, putting out a demo, playing up and down the country, and finally getting an incredible reception for our EP Free the Witch. Signing with Kozmik Artifactz is the perfect way to cap off our first year as a band – we’re excited to collaborate with a label that cares about vinyl as deeply as we do, and join a family of bands we love. We can’t wait to get to work on making our debut LP better than anything we’ve done before, and welcome more initiates to the cult of the Lung. Doom over the world!”

Hailing from South London and made up of vocalist Tom Templar, guitarist Scott Masson, bassist Andrew Cave and drummer Matt Wiseman, the band released their debut EP, Free the Witch, in February 2018.

Green Lung is:
Tom Templar – Vocals
Scott Masson – Guitar
Andrew Cave – Bass
Matt Wiseman – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/greenlungband
https://www.instagram.com/greenlungband/
http://www.greenlung.co.uk/
https://greenlung.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Green Lung, Free the Witch (2018)

Tags: , , ,

Quarterly Review: The Atlas Moth, Across Tundras, The Wizards of Delight, Against the Grain, Our Solar System, Dommengang, Boss Keloid, Holy Smoke, Sabel, Blackwater Prophet

Posted in Reviews on April 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

This is a crucial moment in any Quarterly Review. Today we hit the halfway point one way or the other. I still haven’t decided if this will be a 50- or 60-album edition; kind of playing it by ear, but either way, today’s a landmark in my mind in terms of how far to go vs. how far we’ve come. Uphill vs. downhill to some extent, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m either half-assing it from here on out or that I don’t enjoy the challenge of reviewing 10 records in a day, one after the next, for (at least) five days in a row. I’ve always been a glutton for a bit of self-flagellation. Ha.

Alright, let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

The Atlas Moth, Coma Noir

the atlas moth coma noir

If one still wants to consider Chicago’s The Atlas Moth post-metal after hearing Coma Noir, at least do them the courtesy of emphasizing the “metal” part of that equation. For their debut on Prosthetic Records and fourth full-length overall, the five-piece worked with producer Sanford Parker to solidify a progressive metal sound that, whether in the harsh and weighted impact of the opening title-track or the later interplay between guitarists Stavros Giannopoulos and David Kush on screams and cleaner vocals in “Furious Gold,” seems to take cues from groups like a less manic Strapping Young Lad and a less watered-down Mastodon more than Isis or Neurosis. With prominent synth from Andrew Ragin (also guitar), and the solid roll from the rhythm section of bassist Alex Klein and drummer Mike Miczek, the band brings revitalized edge to “The Streets of Bombay,” and even on the slower, more atmospheric closer “Chloroform,” they’ve never sounded more lethal. It suits them.

The Atlas Moth on Thee Facebooks

Prosthetic Records webstore

 

Across Tundras, Tumbleweeds III

across tundras tumbleweeds iii

A collection of odds and ends from Across Tundras, the 10-track/52-minute Tumbleweeds III may or may not sate anyone hoping for a follow-up to 2013’s Electric Relics (review here), but it provides some curio fodder along the way to be sure, from raw opener “Final Breath over Venom Falls” to the acoustic-percussion jam “Bullet in the Butt” to the fuller roll of “Cold Ride” and later demos for “Spinning Through the Cosmic Dust,” “Hijo del Desierto,” “Stone Crazy Horse” and “The Stacked Plain,” which later became “Seasick Serenade” on Electric Relics, it’s at very least something for fans to dig into and a fascinating listen, as Across Tundras’ rambling sound is almost eerily suited to a home-recording vibe, as the “Stone Crazy Horse” demo, featuring vocalist Shannon Allie-Murphy along with frontman Tanner Olson, sounds all the more folksome as a result of its lack of production polish. Closing with Bob Dylan’s “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” then, could hardly be more appropriate. Still waiting for a proper long-player to surface, but happy at this point to take what comes.

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

Across Tundras on Bandcamp

 

The Wizards of Delight, The Wizards of Delight

the wizards of delight the wizards of delight

Like a chicanery-laced dusty vinyl with a naked lady on the cover, The Wizards of Delight emerge from the London underground to solidly declare “We’ve got the rock ‘n’ rollz.” And yes, they spell it with a ‘z.’ The presence of frontman Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen will be familiar to anyone who ever even briefly encountered Groan – dude makes an impression, to be sure – and the four tracks he and the surrounding five-piece of guitarists/backing vocalists Dan Green’s Myth and Lenny Ray, bassist/backing vocalist Eponymous, organist/backing vocalist Henry and drummer Reece bring is both funky and classically heavy, “Gypsy” referencing Dio Sabbath in the first line while “Mountain Woman” brings a heavy ‘70s shuffle to answer the way-un-P.C. “Shogun Messiah,” which seems to be working under the thesis that because it sounds like it’s from 40 years ago, they can get away with it. I’ll give them that the track is, to an unfortunate degree, catchy. As to the rest, give me the groove of “We Got the Rock ‘n’ Rollz” any day. It’s been a while since anyone so brazenly interpreted Mk. II Deep Purple and actually pulled it off.

The Wizards of Delight on Thee Facebooks

APF Records website

 

Against the Grain, Cheated Death

against the grain cheated death

Hard-touring Detroit heavy rockers Against the Grain are known for speed, and rightly so. When they burst into high gear, as on “Sacrifice,” “No Sleep,” “Last Chance,” “Rolling Stone,” “Enough’s Not Enough,” and “Jaded and Faded” from their latest offering and Ripple Music debut, Cheated Death. The follow-up to 2015’s Road Warriors (review here) sees them no less infectious in their live energy, but it’s hard to ignore the more versatile approach that seems to be growing in their sound, from the classic rocking “Smoke” to the near-centerpiece “Devils and Angels” which ballads-out its boozy regrets before entering into an effective mid-paced build that rounds out in choice dual-soloing. Likewise, though they open at a good clip with the title-track, closer “Into the Light” finds a middle ground between thrust and groove. The truth is Against the Grain have never been just about speed, but they’ve never so directly benefited from a dynamic approach as they do on Cheated Death either.

Against the Grain on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Our Solar System, Origins

our solar system origins

Immediate kudos to Stockholm-based psychedelic progressive explorers Our Solar System – aka Vårt Solsystem – for opening their third full-length for Beyond Beyond is Beyond, the five-track/41-minute Origins, with the side-consuming 21-minute “Vulkanen.” One could hardly ask for more effective immersion in the band’s world of patiently unfurled, languid psychedelia, and with the accompaniment of “Babalon Rising,” the jazz-prog tracklist centerpiece “En Bit Av Det Tredje Klotet,” the birdsong-laced “Naturligt Samspel” and the semi-freaked-out melodic wash of “Monte Verita” on side B, a full, rich, and mind-expanding cosmos is engaged, free of restriction even as it remains thoroughly lysergic, and adherent to no structural will so much as the will to adventure into the unknown, to find out where one progression leads. As regards the long- and short-form material on Origins, it leads far, far out, and if you don’t come out the other side wanting to own everything the band has ever released, you’re decidedly in the wrong.

Our Solar System on Thee Facebooks

Beyond Beyond is Beyond website

 

Dommengang, Love Jail

dommengang love jail

Once calling Brooklyn Home, Los Angeles trio Dommengang waste no time in getting down to the business of boogie on their second album for Thrill Jockey, Love Jail. Produced by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), the 10-track/50-minute long-player has all the room for organ/guitar mashups, righteous West Coast vibes and easy-flowing classic heavy rock one could hope for, and in the opening salvo of “Pastel City,” “Lovely Place” and “Lone Pine,” the three-piece of guitarist Dan “Sig” Wilson, bassist Brian Markham, and drummer Adam Bulgasem reaffirm mellow bluesiness as well on the title-track and dig into ‘90s-style alt bliss on the penultimate “Color out of Space.” There’s a welcoming air throughout that holds steady regardless of tempo, and in heavier moments like the second half of “I’m out Mine,” the band resonates with fuzz and noisy elements that bring just enough danger to the proceedings to keep the listener riveted. Classy, but not too classy, in other words.

Dommengang on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records website

 

Boss Keloid, Melted on the Inch

boss keloid melted on the inch

It would seem that Wigan, UK, outfit Boss Keloid — newly signed to Holy Roar Records for the release of their third LP, Melted on the Inch – internalized a few crucial lessons from their sophomore outing, 2016’s Herb Your Enthusiasm (review here). At six tracks and 40 minutes, Melted on the Inch is about 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor. Its title isn’t a weed pun. Its cover art conveys a work of dimensionality, and most importantly, the album itself turns to be precisely that. Taking a significant step toward a more progressive sound, Boss Keloid maintain the heft of their prior outing but base it around material that, frankly, is more complex and dynamic. I won’t say that “Tarku Shavel” and “Lokannok” are without their elements of self-indulgence, but neither should they be for the five-piece to do justice to the multifaceted nature of their purpose. They still roar when they want to, but Boss Keloid strike with breadth on Melted on the Inch as well as sheer impact.

Boss Keloid on Thee Facebooks

Holy Roar Records website

 

Holy Smoke, Pipe Dream

holy smoke pipe dream

After forming in 2015, Philadelphia’s exclamatory Holy Smoke! issued their first three-track release, It’s a Demo! (review here) the next year and showed marked stylistic promise in cuts like “Rinse and Repeat” and “Blue Dreams.” Both of those tracks, as it happens, stand at the opening of the band’s latest EP, the five-song Pipe Dream, and reaffirm the potential in the group. The opener (also the longest track once again; immediate points) is a tale of workaday redundancy, the very sort of monotony that the rest of the offering seems to leave behind in favor of post-grunge heavy rock, marked by the wah-bass on finale “Asch Backwards” and the brooding sensibility of the prior “Golden Retriever,” which surges in its midsection like a lost Alice in Chains demo only to end quiet once again, a departure from the linearity of centerpiece “Missing the Mark” just before. Less psychedelic than their initial impression conveyed, they seem to have undertaken the work of crafting their own sonic niche in Philly’s increasingly crowded scene, and there’s nothing on Pipe Dream to make one think it’s not a realistic possibility they’ll get there.

Holy Smoke on Thee Facebooks

Holy Smoke on Bandcamp

 

Sabel, Re-Generation

sabel re-generation

Sabel know what they want to be and then are that thing. Their third album, Re-Generation, arrives via Oak Island Records as six tracks of to-the-converted stonerism, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “In the Walls of Eryx,” the Swedish trio do little more than ask their listeners to smell the smoke emanating from their speaker cabinets (oddly sweet), and hone walls of fuzz that each seem to be bigger than the last. There are some elements of earliest Electric Wizard at play in “Atlantean” or the sneering “Voodoo Woman,” but belters like “Interstellar Minddweller” and “Green Priestess” stave off their sounding overly derivative, and though at the end of Re-Generation’s 42-minute run, one might feel as though they need a shower, the record itself proves well worth the dive into the muck. The band would seem to have carved their own descriptor with the title of their self-released 2015 LP, Hard Doom, and that’s as good as anything I could come up with, so let’s roll with it. They seem to.

Sabel on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Blackwater Prophet, As I Watch it Freeze

blackwater prophet as i watch it freeze

Cheers to Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment for putting me onto Spokane, Washington’s Blackwater Prophet, who with the seven-track As I Watch it Freeze collect various tracks recorded between 2015 and 2017. Thus something of a compilation, the 40-minute outing wants nothing for overarching flow, “In My Passing Time” leading off with a mellow psych-blues spirit that only grows more classic-feeling through “House of Stone” and the gorgeously pastoral “The Swamp.” The band have two proper full-lengths out, and if they wanted to count As I Watch it Freeze as their third, I don’t think they’d find much argument, as centerpiece “Gold in the Palm” opens like a gateway leading to the increasingly resonant “Careworn Crow,” the fuzzy swing of “Eating the Sun” and finally, the title-track itself, which answers the acoustics of “The Swamp” earlier while adding flourish of volume-swelling and swirling electric guitar and late choral vocals that only make the proceedings seem all the more complete in their engagement.

Blackwater Prophet on Thee Facebooks

Blackwater Prophet on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IAH to Release Self-Titled Debut March 23 on Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The self-titled debut EP (review here) from Argentinian heavy psych rockers IAH left enough of an impression on my first runthrough with it that I included it as one of the top short releases of 2017. And so it was. The jammy newcomers put forth an offering of marked character and sonic personality, and their chemistry was apparent from the very start. It was an easy record to dig into and get lost in, and held considerable promise for things to come from them. Immersive and hypnotic but as engaging so as not to let the listener get anymore lost than they necessarily wanted to be, it was a thrill and something of a surprise of a first release.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one taken by it, as Kozmik Artifactz will have it out on vinyl later this month. Details on the release follow here, but you pretty much know the drill by now: Limited numbers, vinyl mastering, Euro pressing, quality gatefold. Kozmik Artifactz doesn’t screw around when it comes to this kind of thing, and if you’ll note that the release is six tracks instead of the original four, it’s because the band issued two bonus cuts last June as a follow-up, and the LP version compiles them all together. Makes perfect sense.

From the PR wire:

iah

IAH – IAH – Kozmik Artifactz

Introducing IAH and our first Kozmik release of 2018! We’ve been waiting patiently to be able to release this stunning debut. Hailing from Argentina, IAH are a cosmic force of interstellar proportions. From the opening of “Cabalgan los Cielos” to the epic climatic implossion of “Nuboj”, IAH is a voyage through sound that will leave you mesmerised.

Available as limited edition vinyl

Release Date: 23rd March 2018

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high performance vinyl at Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. Cabalgan los cielos
2. Ouroboros
3. Stolas
4. Eclipsum
5. La piedra que sujeta el sol
6. Luboj

IAH are:
Mauricio Condon – Guitar
Juan Pablo Lucco Borlera – Bass
José Landin – Drums
Guillermo Scarpa – Visuals

https://www.facebook.com/IAHBanda/
https://iahbanda.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

IAH, IAH Bonus Tracks (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

Estuary Blacks to Release Self-Titled Debut on Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ESTUARY BLACKS

Something of a gem here in the recently-released self-titled debut offering from Welsh heavy psychedelic progressives Estuary Blacks. The members of the three-piece have ties going back years and that shows itself in album tracks like the 10-minute “Trawlers” and the rolling groove of the subsequent “Fat Jason,” but perhaps most of all in the balance of heft and serenity they’re able to maintain throughout the six cuts on the whole, setting up a ranging sound that never seems to lose track of itself anymore than it wants to while giving a persistent, wandering vibe.

Kozmik Artifactz will have the record out as a CD and LP later this year, but the band released it on Bandcamp last week, and you can stream it in full below. Take the time to do so and I can only imagine you’ll find your day improved.

Dig:

ESTUARY BLACKS ESTUARY BLACKS

Welsh psych-rockers Estuary Blacks sign with Kozmik for debut Vinyl release!

Having formerly worked with these Welsh rockers on their previous project, Bomb the Sun, we were super excited to offer Estuary Blacks a deal to release their stunning debut on vinyl via Kozmik Artifactz. Their debut has been gaining rave reviews, and rightly so, this is an incredibly deep and intensely atmospheric record which you are sure to dig!

Hailing from The Gower Peninsula, South Wales, Estuary Blacks are a 3 piece band who play progressive, dynamic, heavy psych. For fans of Kyuss, Mogwai, GY!BE and Elder. Recorded in the depths of West Wales in 2017, their debut album is equally gentle and soothing as it is powerful and heavy.

Containing former members of Bomb The Sun and Tabularasa, Estuary Blacks have been quietly going about their business since 2014, and have been playing music together in various outfits since 1998. After releasing a well received 2 track E.P. in 2016 they have now released their self-titled debut album on Bandcamp. German label Kozmik Artifactz will release the album on vinyl and CD later this year.

“Having worked with Kozmik Artifactz with the Bomb The Sun record a number of years ago we were keen work with them again. Our band is a real labour of love and we know that the guys at Kozmik have the same attitude to their work – plus they did one hell of a job on the BTS vinyl! Hopefully people dig it as much as we do. We haven’t played outside of Wales yet so we’re hoping to get out and play some shows around the UK and Europe if the opportunity arises. After 2 years of writing and recording this record we’re happy to finally get it out there for people to listen to.”

https://www.facebook.com/estuaryblacks/
https://www.instagram.com/estuaryblacks/
https://estuaryblacks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
https://twitter.com/kozmikartifactz
https://www.instagram.com/kozmikartifactz/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/

Estuary Blacks, Estuary Blacks (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Forming the Void Stream New Split; Rift LP Due in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

forming the void

Looks like a busy couple months coming up for Louisiana-based progressive heavy rockers Forming the Void. They’ve teamed up with Black Bow Records‘ own Pyreship for a new split that will be out in a couple weeks’ time via Endhipendit Record Co., a label wing of the Texas-based festival of the same name, and in the meantime have dates booked that will take them down to South by Southwest, you know, which Endhipendit is kind of playing off of, name-wise. Ironic? No. That’s not actually irony. It’s a band booking shows and releasing albums. There’s a difference.

Speaking of releasing albums, word’s also come down from that most venerable of sources — the PR wire — that Forming the Void, whose last outing was 2017’s righteously plotted Relic (review here), will issue a new full-length in June titled Rift via Kozmik Artifactz.

There’s a lot of news to keep up with, and some new audio as well, but I think you’re up to the task. Have at you:

forming the void pyreship split

Louisiana prog-rockers FORMING THE VOID to release new album this June on Kozmik Artifactz | Stream new split with Pyreship

Rift, the new studio album from Forming The Void is due for release this June on Kozmik Artifactz

Forming The Void/Pyreship limited edition split is released on 9th March 2018 on Endhipendit Record Co.

Following the release of last year’s critically acclaimed album Relic, Louisiana’s preeminent prog warlocks, Forming The Void, are thrilled to announce news of their signing to Kozmik Artifactz for new album Rift, US tour dates and the imminent release of a split LP with Texan sludge thugs, Pyreship.

Originally formed in 2013 in Lafayette – a place with an impressive reputation for raising underground rock into realms of the unknown – Forming The Void became one of the city’s most talked about bands of 2017. With the release of their third album Relic, their colossal and atmospheric sound summoned the towering hard rock riffs and progressive influence of bands like Mastodon, Baroness and Torche. A distinctive sound that not only marked them out as ‘ones to watch’, but a sound that promptly earned them recognition around the world as ambitious and gifted players.

Newly signed to German label Kozmik Artifactz, in preparation for the official release of their fourth studio album Rift this June, the band will take to the road throughout 2018 for an extensive run of live dates and festival appearances, including shows at South By Southwest (more info below). Before that however, this March will see the release of a limited split 10” on the Houston-based label Endhipendit Record Co. with Black Bow Records’ Pyreship. Another excellent band in ascension, Pyrsehip blend post metal and doom with a raft of 90s slowcore and noise rock influences, deftly slammed out at punishing volume.

With both bands tackling a side apiece, the two track 10” – featuring Forming The Void’s storming and celestial new work ‘To The Wolves’ – hints at electrifying things to come in what will undoubtedly be a breakout year for the Lafayette quartet.

Rift, the new studio album from Forming The Void is due for release this June on Kozmik Artifactz. In the meantime, Forming The Void/Pyreship’s split is released on 9th March 2018 through Endhipendit Record Co.

US Tour (More TBC):
Fri, 23/02 – Nighthawks – Jacksonville (FL) [w. Hollow Leg, Count the Dead, Insalubrious Minanthropes]
Sat, 24/02 – Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery – Atlanta (GA) [w. Hollow Leg, Canopy, Malevich]
Sun, 25/02 – The Cobra – Nashville (TN) [w. Deathstar Lovebeam, Eddas presented by Nashville Psych Alliance]
Wed, 14/03 – SXSW; Stoner Jam at Swan Dive – Austin (TX)
Thurs, 15/03 – SXSW; Stoner Daze at Texas Mist – Austin, (TX)

Forming The Void:
James Marshall – Guitar/Vocals
Shadi Omar Al-Khansa – Guitar
Luke Baker – Bass
Thomas Colley – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/formingthevoid/
https://twitter.com/forming_thevoid
https://formingthevoid.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
https://twitter.com/kozmikartifactz
https://www.instagram.com/kozmikartifactz/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
http://www.facebook.com/endhipenditrecordco
http://www.instagram.com/endhipendit_record

Tags: , , , , ,

Friendship Premiere New Single “Gypsy”; Ain’t No Shame LP Coming Soon

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

friendship-Photo-by-olav-areklett-vikingstad

Today, Jan. 26, marks the release of Friendship‘s new single ‘Gypsy’ ahead of the impending Kozmik Artifactz issue of their sophomore full-length, Ain’t No Shame. On an almost song-by-song basis, from the arena-rock lead-in of opener “Are You Ready?” to the Stevie Wonder-style soul and funk of the penultimate “Live Peacefully,” the record showcases a multifaceted personality on the part of the Oslo-based trio. There are some commonalities, of course — the earlier “Harmony Turns to Sound” is plenty funky as well — but mostly what ties together Friendship‘s work is the underlying songwriting prowess, and whether it’s the boogie shuffle and build of “Gypsy,” or the eight-track ready sunshiny brightness of “Got Me Feeling So Good,” the Hammond-laced post-Graveyard melancholy of “Moments,” or the ultra-vibrant mega-fuzz start-stop of “Fire,” which follows, that sense of craft holds firm even through the blowout blues of “Alaska Night” in headphone-worthy sonic nuance, mindful performances and an earthy production that allows the band to maximize their scope while remaining consistent in overarching sound and tone.

Friendship made their debut in 2012 with the Alpha Male EP and followed with a 2014 self-titled long-player that Kozmik Artifactz picked up in 2016. For Ain’t No Shame, the lineup of drummer/vocalist Fredrik Skalstad, guitarist FRIENDSHIP GYPSYSander Eriksen Nordahl and bassist Martin Morland returned to work in conjunction with engineer Christian Engfelt (also Elephant9 and many others across a wide swath of genres), and the fruit of that labor can be heard in the confidence with which the 10-track/41-minute LP pulls off its various sonic turns. I wouldn’t call the album linear exactly — it does seem more interested in jumping from place to place in terms of style rather than digging into a single overarching groove and riding it out for the duration; nothing against either approach when it works — but it does find common groun through its sense of structure and while brimming with variety nonetheless retains a human core of performance beneath that plays up not only a classic feel but cohesion behind even that of hook-making or choice-level chorus execution.

What does that mean? It means the chops are in place, but as you dig into the track premiere for “Gypsy” below which I’m thrilled to be hosting today, don’t necessarily expect the track to speak for the entirety of what Ain’t No Shame brings to bear on an aesthetic level. Do, however, expect a damn good time.

Please find “Gypsy” on the player here, followed by some discussion from the band about the track and the long-player from whence it comes, which again is out soon on Kozmik Artifactz:

Friendship, “Gypsy” official track premiere

Friendship on “Gypsy” and Ain’t No Shame:

Gypsy is a rock tune with a riff that gave associations to a dude who rides alongside railroad tracks, and the lyrics pretty much came after that. The song is about a guy who lives his life on the road looking for love. The band worked a bit to get the riff to sound tight and we are happy with the way it turned out on tape. We included bongo drums in the main riff to recreate the association the riff gave when it first was made on an acoustic guitar in Fredrik’s living room. Sander came up with the riff for the chorus and the rest of the song came together through a collaboration in the rehearsal room. Gypsy is the first taste of a new album from Friendship that sounds like rock and good vibes!

‘Ain’t No Shame’ is an album consisting of ten songs with various feels, grooves and stories. Hence the name, Ain’t No Shame. There are songs inspired by country tunes from bands like The Band and Dylan from his Nashville Skyline period to hard, heavy and slow Sabbath-feel songs. Where we wanted the song to sound like a soul song we went all out; four horns, a Hammond organ, crazy percussion and an extremely talented female singer. The album sounds like Friendship in 2018. Many of the groovy riffs and energetic rhythms from the debut album are present, only performed better. The sound is also more defined and has a higher level of quality. We used a great studio with an amazing technician, Christian Engfelt, who also mixed the record.

We are extremely excited to show the record to everyone. It sounds surprising, sexy and superb!

Friendship is:
Fredrik Skalstad – drums and vocals
Martin Morland – bass
Sander Eriksen Nordahl – guitar

Friendship on Thee Facebooks

Friendship website

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz on Twitter

Tags: , , , , ,

Church of the Cosmic Skull Announce New Album Science Fiction

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

church of the cosmic skull 1

There’s good news and then there’s the good news, and UK harmony-bringers Church of the Cosmic Skull specialize in the latter, with harmonized hymnals to soothe the troubled soul and a classically progressive aplomb that proved to be immediately fluid, gentle, kind and heavy all throughout their 2016 Kozmik Artifactz debut, Is Satan Real? (review here), and with a second album, Science Fiction, the seven-piece group only look to expand their palette sonically and emotionally, leaving their audience to wonder if their noise is actually so joyous or if the smiles they’re sharing are hiding pointed teeth and seeming to enjoy the ambiguity.

Much more on this one to come, I hope, but here is the preliminary announcement and info on Science Fiction as per the PR wire:

church of the cosmic skull science fiction

New Album ‘Science Fiction’ Out May

Church of the Cosmic Skull release their second studio album ‘Science Fiction’ this May on limited edition heavyweight vinyl, CD (Kozmik-Artifactz), and limited edition cassette (Septaphonic).

Described as ‘Occult Pop’ for fans of ELO, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac and Queen, the 9 track record from the Nottingham based ‘spiritual organisation’ sees an expansion on the prog / psych / retro stylings and hook-heavy songwriting of the critically acclaimed debut ‘Is Satan Real?’ (2016 Bilocation Records). Piano and vintage synths have been introduced alongside the Hammond organ, electric cello and six-part vocal harmonies, resulting in a sound that truly ‘puts the ABBA in Sabbath’.

The decision to self-produce the release is a reflection of both the changing landscape of the music industry, and the Church’s wholeheartedly DIY approach, having turned down major label offers in favour of maintaining independence. Quoting one of the ‘7 Objects’, Church founder Bill Fisher describes the record as a chance to ‘Celebrate and uphold the freedom of art, science and thought.’

‘Science Fiction’ will be supported by UK and European shows, including Desertfest Berlin and an elaborate live event on June 2nd. The group are contributing a track to Magnetic Eye Records’ Pink Floyd ‘The Wall Redux’ tribute album alongside the Melvins and Mark Lanegan, and continue their ‘Tele-Vision’ output with three new music videos, coming soon at cosmicskull.org.

Church of the Cosmic Skull is:
Michael Wetherburn – Hammond Organ & Vocals (Hellset Orchestra, Ulysses Storm)
Loz Stone – Drums (Iron Swan, Rescued by Wolves)
Sam Lloyd – Bass & Vocals (You Slut!, Pilgrim Fathers)
Jo Joyce – Vocals (Solo Artist)
Amy Nicholson – Electric Cello & Vocals (Hellset Orchestra, Polymath)
Caroline Cawley – Vocals (Dystopian Future Movies)
Bill Fisher – Guitar & Vocals (Mammothwing, Distillery Blues Band)

churchofthecosmicskull.com
cosmicskull.org
facebook.com/churchofthecosmicskull
soundcloud.com/churchofthecosmicskull
churchofthecosmicskull.bandcamp.com
youtube.com/c/churchofthecosmicskull
instagram.com/churchofthecosmicskull
twitter.com/thecosmicskull
play.spotify.com/artist/3KY6i8EJac9URU9OeC1n89
itunes.apple.com/us/artist/church-of-the-cosmic-skull/id1146826464#

Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Evil in Your Eye”

Tags: , , , , ,

Hazemaze Sign to Kozmik Artifactz for Self-Titled Debut; New Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

While no question that, as the PR wire asserts, there’s a core element of ’70s vibing in the initial impression from Hazemaze, I’m getting some pretty strong post-Fu Manchu fuzz from their new video, which if you’re so inclined you can view below. It’s for the track “Beast and Prey” from the Swedish three-piece’s impending self-titled debut, which will be out on Kozmik Artifactz later this year, and as I haven’t heard the full record yet, I guess the question is just how much interaction those two pivotal-to-heavy-rock decades will have in the band’s sound ultimately.

In any case, I give Hazemaze immediate points for spelling “volume” with a ‘y’ as they do in the quote that follows here. Something I’ve legitimately never seen before in a press release, and I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I read a lot of press releases.

To wit:

hazemaze

Kozmik Artifactz Welcome New Signing – Hazemaze

It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to Hazemaze, the newest band to join the Kozmik Family.

Hazemaze are a 70’s infused stoner-rock band hailing from the middle of Sweden, surrounded by lakes and forest. In the depth of Mälardalen, the three piece summoned the forces of fuzz and heavy riffing in the spring of 2016. A combination of early doom-rock and psychedelic elements with a modern touch is what creates the bands heavy fuzz sound.
In the fall of 2017 they went up north to the city of Falun to record their first full length album. The self-titled studio album will be released in 2018 through Kozmik Artifactz.

Speaking of the signing with Kozmik, Bass player, Stefan Carillo said:

“We are super stoked to announce that we have signed to Kozmik Artifactz for the release of our self-titled debut album!

It’s been a dream of our to release a vinyl record since we started playing together, and the Kozmik crew made it happen! Our hopes for the future is that with the help of Kozmik Artifactz we can reach a broader audience and spread the gospel of Fuzz, Volym and Riffs!”

Hazemaze are:
Vox/Guitar – Ludvig Andersson
Bass – Stefan Carrillo
Drums – Nils Einéus

https://hazemazeband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hazemazeband/
https://twitter.com/hazemazeband
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
https://twitter.com/kozmikartifactz
https://www.instagram.com/kozmikartifactz/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/

Hazemaze, “Beast and Prey” official video

Tags: , , , , ,