Humulus Announce New Album The Deep out Next Year on Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Brew-loving Italian heavy rockers Humulus will release their next album, The Deep, in Feb. 2020 through Kozmik Artifactz. Sounds like something that’s going to happen way, way in the future when we have flying cars and colonies on Alpha Centauri and not-at-all a rising tide of right wing fascism? Well, it’s like five months from now, so unless we’re in for the most condensed stretch of awesome progress ever — and not to play the cynic but I’m guessing we’re not — it’ll probably just be more of that rising tide thing. The good part, however, is new Humulus. Keep up. Also, it’s happening on Kozmik Artifactz, which seems like a fair jump for the Bergamo/Brescia three-piece, who’ve worked with Kozmik-offshoot Oak Island Records in the past, including for 2017’s Reverently Heading into Nowhere (review here), as well as with Taxi Driver Records.

Drummer Massimiliano Boventi had some cool stuff to say about The Deep, so you’ll find below what he sent to me. They did some light touring for the last record, so I’d expect no different this time out:

humulus

Humulus – The Deep

Our new LP will be out in february 2020 for german label Kozmik Artifactz Records. The title will be “The Deep”.

We started working on this record less or more one year ago between tours and gigs around…one fun fact : when we met the first times for take decision about the direction of the new songs we said like “let’s try to compose shorter songs”, maybe just for make something easier to listen for more people…so not too much later the first 2 songs were ready, the first was 9 minutes long the second 15 minutes — so in a totally spontaneous and natural way we realized that this is our direction… we love to jam and make different atmosphere during our rehears and the result is that we can’t cut our songs.

So I can say the one of the detail of the new record is that more than in the previous one songs are more and more a mix between doom and stoner rock riffs and psychedelic and trippy atmospheres…

For the first time there will be also an acoustic song in the record.

As the last works (Reverently Heading Into Nowhere and Walrus EP) this record was recording during this summer at Indiebox Music Hall in Brescia by Giovanni Bottoglia.

Humulus is:
Andrea Van Cleef: guitar, voice
Giorgio Bonacorsi: bass
Massimiliano Boventi: drums

www.facebook.com/humulusband
www.humulus.bandcamp.com
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Humulus, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (2017)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cracked Machine Sign to Kozmik Artifactz; Recording in November

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

UK heavy psych rockers Cracked Machine are not quite five months removed from the release of their second long-player, The Call of the Void (review here), on PsyKa Records, and yet here they are, signing to Kozmik Artifactz for the early 2020 release of their next album. Seems quick, right? Well, I appreciate a bit of efficiency as much as the next guy who also happens to be completely inefficient, so sure, why not? They’ll record this Fall while none other than Tony Reed awaits the tracks for mixing and mastering, and then the label will step in and press the thing up as it so reliably does. No exact release date yet, and of course plans can change at the drop of a hat or a piano on one’s head, but the fact that Cracked Machine have signed the deal and already know when they’ll be in the studio should tell you something about how these guys work and how little screwing around there is involved in the process. One found a similar impression when it came to their setting an atmosphere on The Call of the Void.

You can hear that album at the bottom of the post, of course, and here’s the announcement of the signing via the PR wire:

cracked machine

CRACKED MACHINE sign to KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ: Psychedelic post-rock revellers to release third album in 2020

Originally formed in Wiltshire in 2015 by guitarist Bill Denton, Cracked Machine is a quartet of experienced musicians brought together in a quest for aural mayhem.

Known for their commanding live shows, since their formation the band has shared stages with the likes of The Spacelords, Deaf Radio and Qujaku. Following the release of their debut album, I, Cosmonaut, the band wasted no time in releasing an exceptional follow-up last April. Featuring hook-laden guitars that conjured soaring post-rock vistas, The Call of the Void (PsyKa Records) presented a huge progression in the band’s song writing and showcased a leaner, meaner, and ultimately, heavier sounding machine.

With the band currently writing and discussing new concepts, the quartet will enter Mooncalf Studios in November and join forces with the Berlin-based label Kozmik Artifactz (Forming the Void, Spaceslug, Ruby The Hatchet et al) to release their third full-length in early 2020, with the final mix and master being handled by Mos Generator/Stone Axe’s Tony Reed.

“Things are taking shape nicely,” explains Denton. “We have a concept, plenty of musical ideas and a lot of focus. Our writing process has evolved naturally and we’ve fallen into a more disciplined approach to writing. The structure of how we are working has actually given us a greater freedom to explore and develop ideas so there’s a very healthy level of intensity and focus in the Cracked Machine camp at the moment. We’re all super-keen to deliver the best album we can.”

The Call of the Void is available on CD / VINYL

CRACKED MACHINE:
Bill Denton – Guitar
Chris Sutton – Bass
Clive Noyes – Keys, Vocals
Blazej Gradziel – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/crackedmachineband
https://www.instagram.com/crackedmachineband/
https://crackedmachine.bandcamp.com/
http://crackedmachine.co.uk/

Cracked Machine, The Call of the Void (2019)

Tags: , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: The Black Wizards, Reflections

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The Black Wizards Reflections

[Click play above to stream The Black Wizards’ Reflections in its entirety. Album is out Aug. 23 through Kozmik Artifactz and Raging Planet.]

Reflections is what it sounds like when a band learns the lessons of their past releases and incorporates them into the next one. The third full-length from Portuguese heavy psych blues rockers The Black Wizards, the seven-track Kozmik Artifactz and Raging Planet-issued outing scales back from the 2LP that was 2017’s self-released What the Fuzz! (review here) to a single 41-minute platter with a structure that seems to maximize the overarching flow and still manage to capture a sense of the breadth in their approach, from fervent boogie rock to bluesy sway and onward into resonant psychedelic drift as it rounds out. This range, coupled with the organic style and songwriting approach from guitarists Joana Brito (also vocals) and Paulo Ferreira and the double-João rhythm section of bassist João Mendes and drummer João Lugatte, helps make Reflections an easy bet to win hearts and minds among the converted, as some of the boogie in What the Fuzz! is drawn down into the taffy-pull psych of “Starlight” and closer “Kaleidoscope Eyes,” the band clearly saving their most immersive vibes for the end of each side, in traditional fashion.

“Traditional fashion” could be seen as a kind of running theme for the album, but Reflections is by no means retro. Given the usage of the title-line in “Kaleidoscope Eyes” — a highlight unto itself — I wouldn’t necessarily think the band intended so when they named the album, but their approach to classic heavy rock and psych and blues and all the rest of the stylistic combustibles melted into their sound is very much reflective. Not an exact emulation in the sense of capturing a “vintage” spirit in the actual listening experience — their scope is way too broad and production way too vast for such a thing — but reflecting those ideas back on themselves in a different form. It begins with opener “Imposing Sun” as Lugatte‘s sticks-on-rim tension and Brito‘s vocals lead into a swirl-laced heavy rocker with layers of backing vocals dug deep into the mix and a forward guitar line that’s like sped-up Monster Magnet doing Hawkwind doing Rolling Stones. The vibrato in Brito‘s voice will be familiar to anyone who heard What the Fuzz! or the prior 2015 debut, Lake of Fire, but as everything seems to be, it’s put here to more mature and accomplished-feeling use.

Side A presents a few fascinating turns. True, it works as shorter songs offset by longer ones — three minutes, six, four, six, goes the tracklisting — but second cut “Outlaws” (6:26) introduces more of the psych-blues spirit, with echo ringing out from Brito over rising-sun riffing and a build of effects wash that leads to an immersive linear progression the payoff for which is a righteous return to the central hook riff. The track is little short of a triumph and a fair enough summary of The Black Wizards‘ encompassing style at its best, but it doesn’t tell the whole tale, which continues with the boogie-down spirit of “56th Floor,” though even that start-stoppery has a sense of space to its guitar and drums and some drift in its second half, asking more questions even as it sees fit to answer a few of them as well. The presumed side A finish is in “Starlight,” which is shorter than “Outlaws” at 6:16, but more drawn out in its unfolding of guitar and more patient in its execution overall, presenting Reflections‘ most atmospheric moment in a departure from the groove-groove-groove of the track prior, because take that, expectation. As the whole-album centerpiece and the transition into side B, its role is vital, and “Starlight” lives up to that without a doubt.

the black wizards

That’s all the better to lead into “Symphony of the Ironic Sympathies,” which is the longest track on Reflections at 7:57 and moves from wah-drenched verses to a tuned-in psych rock explosion in its choruses to a righteous melodic slowdown at its midpoint that moves through an instrumental section and into a spoken preach from Brito that reminds of Colour Haze‘s “Peace, Brothers & Sisters!” as she gains intensity before dropping out as the song begins to draw down. It’s a surprising moment, but not at all out of place, since by that time the flow of the record is broad enough to allow The Black Wizards to go pretty much wherever they want sound-wise. Accordingly, the penultimate “Soul Keeper” touches on All Them Witches-style blues licks and jams itself forward for about the first five minutes before cutting the volume behind the vocals to let their reverb carry the ending as the shift into “Kaleidoscope Eyes” takes hold, guitar, bass and drums introducing the album’s finale with grace that’s by then well established but every bit deserving of the reinforcement it gets.

It isn’t necessarily a surprise that The Black Wizards would save the most expansive moment on Reflections for last — though I suppose there are arguments to be made for “Starlight” in that regard as well — but they deliver the finishing move as a summary of the offering preceding and tie together sometimes disparate turns with a fluidity that lets the listener know for sure there’s been a master plan at work all the while. That too underscores the idea of Reflections as an actual reflection, but in this case, the band reflecting on what they’ve done before and how to bring a new level of accomplishment to their sound. There’s no question they’ve done precisely that, as the full and natural melodies and weight of their material is nonetheless carried with such ease both by them and by anyone who would take on the record to discover where it and the band end up by the time it’s done. The Black Wizards‘ obvious internalizing of their strengths is palpable here, and the paring down they’ve done in terms of runtime has allowed them all the more to bring the songs into focus, which is exactly where they belong.

The Black Wizards on Thee Facebooks

The Black Wizards on Instagram

The Black Wizards on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Mos Generator Announce Spontaneous Combustions Release Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Comprised of four songs pressed up under the banner of Kozmik Artifactz, the next Mos Generator LP will be a collection of jams titled Spontaneous Combustions. It’s the band’s second outing of 2019 behind the Night of the Lords live album (discussed here) and it follows their 2018 studio offering, Shadowlands (review here), which likewise found the Tony Reed-fronted trio pushing into new avenues of progressive expression. That’s kind of Mos Generator‘s thing at this point, and while the core of the band remains in their foundation of songwriting, they’ve particularly over the last few years taken on a willingness to go places they haven’t before. It suits them.

This release was initially discussed here last month in an interview with Reed, and as you can see in that piece, it’s far from the only thing going on in that camp.

Still, here are the details as posted on thee social medias:

mos generator spontaneous combustions

We have a new album coming out on Kozmik Artifactz later this year. Here’s a few words about it and a work in progress mock up of the cover.

Mos Generator “Spontaneous Combustions”.

Production notes:
With a working title of “rental jams”, the idea to do these recordings came from the fact that long time tenants had moved out of our rental house and it was empty for a while before the next ones would move in. We had a one day window to work with, which meant we had to record as much improvised material as possible and also have a proper rehearsal to prepare for the U.S. tour that was starting the next day. To make things as easy as possible, I recorded using only an eight track machine with a very minimal microphone setup. All music had to be captured live with mistakes and all. I would be able to add additional instruments to what we did but would not be able to take away anything that was recorded live. Three of the four songs recorded that day were written at the moment they were recorded. “Who Goes There” was conceived and partially recorded about a year earlier and finished up during these sessions. Although we use this technique to do demos, we have never made a complete record of freeform jams.

Reed – August 2019

http://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Mos Generator, Night of the Lords (2019)

Tags: , , , , ,

The Black Wizards to Release Reflections Aug. 23; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the black wizards

So, I don’t want to sound like Captain Jaded or anything, but it doesn’t always happen to me that I put on a preview track, video, teaser, whatever and then immediately feel the impulse to check out the entire record. And yet, here I sit, having just made my way through The Black Wizards‘ new clip for “Kaleidoscope Eyes” and needed to put on their new record, Reflections, pretty much as quickly as I could open the folder on my desktop. Regrets? Not a one. The third album from these Portuguese ministers of heavy takes something of a more psychedelic turn than I recall for their boogie-laced 2017 offering, What the Fuzz! (review here). They’ve also trimmed about 25 minutes off the runtime, no doubt at least in part to be able to fit it on a single LP, which Kozmik Artifactz will release on Aug. 23, while Raging Planet handles the CD release.

If you’re feeling up for being similarly convinced, the video for “Kaleidoscope Eyes” follows the PR wire info below, and even if you can’t get your fix right away, there’s always some satisfaction to be derived from a preorder.

Have at it:

The Black Wizards Reflections

THE BLACK WIZARDS release brand new video! Reflections coming August 23rd!

August 23rd will see psychedelic fuzz rockers The Black Wizards return with their brand new album, Reflections. Born in the digital era, these Portuguese rock talents enthrall with an analogue and unique sound of fuzzadelic grooves. Drinking from the same fountains as many of the contemporary bands around, The Black Wizards give a new twist on previously heard tunes and stamp their own personality.

Today the band is sharing with us their brand new video to the psychedelic juggernaut “Kaleidoscope”, taken from The Black Wizards’ upcoming album!

“Kaleidoscope eyes is one of my favorites songs from this record.” Guitarist and vocalist Joana Brito comments. “It’s a psychedelic floating dream song with a very up-bright vibe. For the video, we had the idea of having eyes on it and we did some experiences with Lugatte’s lens and it worked out, so we thought that maybe we could do it ourselves and take it as a new challenge. So then we did it all by ourselves, from capture to edition and it was quite fast but we are proud that we could do it and capture the same nice vibe that you have in the song to the video, we think it fits very well.”

The band exploded on the scene in late 2015 with their debut Lake of Fire, followed by the Fuzzadelic- EP, the sophomore critically acclaimed album What the Fuzz! and numerous tour dates and festival appearances all over Europe. Their live performances are known for being an intense explosion of emotions with lots of soul and of course, a heavy fuzz. The Black Wizards have grown in their sound, they have upped their ante with sonic experimentation without ever losing sight of the core roots having their feet on the ground. The band has learned and archieved a lot, and the time has finally come to present the hotly anticipated, third album: Reflections is like a sunny day and fresh breeze of groovy beats and psychedelia, swaying between sweet moments and massive fuzz deliriums. This record is here to prove more than ever, The Black Wizards are one of the most prolific and promising bands around!

Reflections is set to be released August 23rd on Vinyl with Kozmic Artifactz and on CD plus Vinyl with Raging Planet (including a deluxe edition with a 7”inch Vinyl outakes)!

Album Tracklist:
1. Imposing Sun
2. Outlaws
3. 56th Floor
4. Starlight
5. Symphony of the Ironic Sympathy
6. Soul Keeper
7. Kaleidoscope Eyes

THE BLACK WIZARDS are:
Joana Brito – Vocals & Guitar
Paulo Ferreira – Guitar
João Lugatte – Drums
João Mendes – Bass

www.facebook.com/theblackwizardsband
www.theblackwizards.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/theblackwizardsgram
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz
https://ragingplanet.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ragingplanet.pt/

The Black Wizards, “Kaleidoscope Eyes” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

The Ivory Elephant Release Stoneface July 26; New Songs Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not gonna say I’m only posting this press release as an excuse to host the songs at the bottom of the post — because I’m a pro-information guy all the way, and I’ve found that sometimes, even years later, this things are awfully handy to have around when looking back through lineups and recording circumstances, etc. — but the Melbourne band The Ivory Elephant have three tracks streaming right now from Stoneface, which is their second album amid a handful of shorter releases on their Bandcamp page unless I missed something looking through. The songs are rad and as I’m listening to it right now I can tell you the rest of the thing follows suit, so yeah, peruse through the PR wire stuff, like you do, but definitely take some time and listen to the music as well — if you’ve got headphones handy, get on that — because it’s not the kind of thing you’ll regret doing. Pro-shop psych rock. Always welcome by me.

Dig:

the ivory elephant stoneface

The Ivory Elephant – Stoneface

“On this album we really wanted to get deep in to Psych. The blues is still in there, but it’s hidden behind a lot of fuzz and reverb. We also wanted to approach this release as a full album that is best listened to in one hit, rather than just a bunch of songs stuck together. There’s some lengthy jams on there and some pretty heavy stuff, but there’s also tracks on there like Jazzhead pt I and Stoneface which are pretty different to what people would expect from us.

The track we had the most fun recording was probably Stoneface Jamboree. We tracked it on our last day of recording until about 2am on a whim. It started off with just acoustic guitars, then we layered more guitars, sitars, percussion, vocals, a blisteringly loud 70s farfisa organ, and left some whacky tape effects in there for the hell of it too. It’s a long way from anything we’ve done before, and we’ll probably never be able to play it live!

As for lyrical content on the new album, there’s our usual psychedelic shit and vaguely political tracks, but there’s also a few songs about bitter heartbreak, which I haven’t written songs about before. When I listen to music, I often interpret songs my own way, so when I write lyrics I like to leave things pretty vague, so people can relate to it in their own way.

This new album is the first time we’ve really been able to stretch out in the studio. We had five days tracking (which is a lot for us), so there was a lot more time to really refine shit and put more layers in there. There’s A LOT of guitar parts in there and our bassist Arty jumped on the keys for a few tracks, so that’s added a new layer too.

We recorded the album at Soundpark Studio’s in Melbourne, which is where we recorded our last album Number 1 Pop Hit. The place just has a really good vibe. It’s big and has some of the best gear around, and some Aussie legends have recorded there, but it’s also got a run down sort of share-house vibe and you can drink and smoke in there, so it’s pretty chill. We had Andrew Hehir (aka “Idge”) on mixing duties, and he just seems to get exactly what we’re after. Basically we’d always just say “more verb, more dirt and more whack shit!” – Trent Sterling

Stoneface will be released on limited edition heavyweight vinyl July 26th on Kozmik Artifactz.

Available as Limited Edition Vinyl & CD

Release Date: 26th July 2019

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

TRACKS
1. Storm
2. Maybe I’m Evil
3. Wars
4. Roll On
5. Jazzhead pt I
6. Low Expectation
7. Stoneface Jamboree
8. Stoneface
9. Hard Case
10. Jazzhead pt II

The Ivory Elephant are:
Trent Sterling – Guitar/Vox
Arthur Witherby- Bass
Don Sargood – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/theivoryelephant/
https://www.instagram.com/theivoryelephantband/
https://theivoryelephant.bandcamp.com/
https://www.theivoryelephant.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

The Ivory Elephant, Stoneface (2019)

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Earth, Heilung, Thronehammer, Smear, Deadbird, Grass, Prana Crafter, Vago Sagrado, Gin Lady, Oven

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Deep breath. And… here we go.

Welcome to The Obelisk’s Summer 2019 Quarterly Review. You probably know the drill by now, but just in case, here’s what’s up: starting today and through next Monday, I’ll be reviewing 10 records per day for a total of 60. I’ve done this every three months (or so) for the better part of the last five years, each one with at least 50 releases included. Some are big bands, some are new bands, some are releases are new, some older. It’s a mix of styles and notoriety, and that’s exactly the intent. It’s a ton of stuff, but that’s also the intent, and the corresponding hope is that somewhere in all of it there’s something for everyone.

I’ll check in each day at the top with what usually turns out to be a “hot damn I’m exhausted, but this is worth it”-kind of update, but otherwise, if we’re all on board, let’s just get to it. First batch below, more to come.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Earth, Full Upon Her Burning Lips

earth

Finding post-Southern Lord refuge with Sargent House in similar fashion to Boris, Earth seem to act in direct response to 2014’s Primitive and Deadly (review here) with the 10-track/62-minute Full Upon Her Burning Lips, stripping their approach down to its two essential components: Dylan Carlson‘s guitar and Adrienne Davies‘ drums. The former adds bass as well, and the latter some off-kit percussion, but that’s about as far as they go in the extended meditation on their core modus — even the straightforward photo on the cover tells the story — psychedelic and brooding and still-spacious as the music is. Gone are folk strings or vocals, and so on, and instead, they foster immersion through not-quite minimalist nod and roll, Carlson‘s guitar soundscaping atop Davies‘ slow, steady pulse. It’s not nearly so novel as the last time out, but timed to the 30th anniversary of the band, it’s a reminder that if you like Earth, this dynamic is ultimately why.

Earth on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

Heilung, Futha

heilung futha

It might seem like an incongruity that something so based in traditionalism conceptually would also turn into experimentalist Viking jazz, but I defy you to hear “Galgadr,” the 10-minute opener of Heilung‘s third full-length, Futha (on Season of Mist), and call it something else. Cuts like the memorable and melodic “Norupo” and the would-be-techno-but-I-think-they’re-actually-just-beating-on-wood “Svanrand,” which, like “Vapnatak” before it, is rife with the sounds of battle, but it’s in the longer pieces, “Othan,” 14-minute closer “Hamrer Hippyer,” and even the eight-plus-minute “Elivgar” and “Elddansurin” that precede it, that Heilung‘s dramas really unfold. Led by the essential presence of vocalist Maria Franz — who could hardly be more suited to the stated theme of calling to feminine power — Heilung careen through folk and narrative and full cultural immersion across 73 minutes, and craft something willfully forward thinking from the history it embellishes.

Heilung on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Thronehammer, Usurper of the Oaken Throne

thronehammer usurper of the oaken throne

The reliable taste of Church Within Records strikes again in picking up Thronehammer‘s first full-length, Usurper of the Oaken Throne. The project is a dark and warmaking epic mega-doom working mostly in longform material — it’s six tracks/78 minutes, so yeah — conjured in collaboration by the trio of vocalist Kat Shevil Gillham (Lucifer’s Chalice, etc.), guitarist/keyboardist Stuart Bootsy West (ex-Obelyskkh, ex-The Walruz) and drummer/bassist Tim Schmidt (Seamount), that hits with a massive impact from 17-minute opener “Behind the Wall of Frost” into “Conquered and Erased” (11:24) and “Warhorn” (19:12), making for an opening salvo that’s a full-length unto itself and a beast of doomed grandeur that balances extremity with clearheaded presentation. They simplify the proceedings a bit for “Svarte Skyer” and the eponymous “Thronehammmer,” but are clearly in their element for the 15-minute closing title-track, which rounds out one of the best doom debuts I’ve heard so far this year with due heft and ceremony.

Thronehammer on Thee Facebooks

Church Within Records on Bandcamp

 

Smear, A Band Called Shmear

Smear A Band Called Shmear

Smear‘s live-recorded A Band Called Shmear EP is basically the equivalent of that dude getting dragged out of the outdoor concert for being at the bottom of the puffing clouds of smoke going, “Come on man, I’m not hurting anybody!” And by that I mean it’s awesome. The Eugene, Oregon, four-piece get down on some psychedelic reefer madness tapped into weirdo anti-genre tendencies that come to fruition in the verses of “Guns of Brixton” after the drifting freaker “Old Town.” The whole thing runs an extra-manageable 21 minutes, and six of that are dedicated to the fuzzed jam “Zombie” — tinged in its early going with a reggae groove — so Smear make it easy to follow their outward path, whether it’s the surf-with-no-water “Weigh” at the outset or “Quicksand,” which hints at more complex melodic tendencies almost in spite of itself. You like vibe, right? These cats have plenty to go around, and they deliver it with an absolute lack of pretense. Whatever they do next, I hope they also record it live, because it clearly works.

Smear on Thee Facebooks

Smear on Bandcamp

 

Deadbird, III: The Forest Within the Tree

deadbird iii the forest within the tree

One hesitates to speculate on the future of a band who’ve just taken 10 years to put out an album, but Deadbird sound vital on their awaited third full-length: III: The Forest Within the Tree (arrived late 2018 through 20 Buck Spin), and with a revamped lineup that includes Rwake vocalist Chris Terry and Rwake/The Obsessed bassist Reid Raley as well as bassist Jeff Morgan, guitarist Jay Minish and founders Phillip (drums) and Chuck (guitar) Schaaf and Alan Short — all of whom contribute vocals — Deadbird emerge from the ether with a stunningly cohesive and varied outing of post-sludge, tinged Southern in its humid tonality but still very much geared toward heft and, certainly more than I recall of their past work, melody. In just 38 minutes they push the listener into this dank world of their creation, and seem to find just as much release in experiments “11:34” and “Ending” as in the crashes of “Brought Low” or “Heyday.” Are they really back? Hell if I know, but these songs are enough to make me hope so.

Deadbird on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin on Bandcamp

 

Grass, Fresh Grass

grass fresh grass

Brooklyn four-piece Grass released a live recording in 2017, but the late-2018 EP Fresh Grass marks their studio debut, and it comprises five tracks digging into the traditions of heavy rock with edges derived from the likes of Clutch, Orange Goblin, maybe a bit of Kyuss and modern bluesier practitioners as well in cuts like “Black Clouds” — the lone holdover from one release to the next — and the swaggering “Runaway,” which veers into vocal layering in its second half in a way that seems to portend things to come, while the centerpiece “Fire” and closer “Easy Rider” roll out in post=’70s fashion a kind of rawer modern take. Their sound is nascent, but there’s potential in their swing and the hook of opener “My Wall.” Fresh Grass is the band searching for their place within a heavy rock style. I hear nothing on it to make me think they won’t find it, and if they were opening the show, you’d probably want to show up early.

Grass on Thee Facebooks

Grass on Bandcamp

 

Prana Crafter, MindStreamBlessing

Prana Crafter MindStreamBlessing

Reissued on vinyl through Cardinal Fuzz with two bonus tracks, Prana Crafter‘s 2017 offering, MindStreamBlessing, originally saw release through Eidolon Records and finds the Washington-based solo artist Will Sol oozing through acid folk and psychedelic traditions, instrumentally constructing a shimmer that seems ready for the platter edition it’s been granted. Songs like “As the Weather Commands” and “Bardo Nectar” are experiments in their waves of meandering guitar, effects and keys, while “Mycellial Morphohum” adapts cosmic ecology to minimal spaciousness and vague spoken word. Some part of me misses vocals in the earthy “FingersFlowThroughOldSkolRiver,” but that might just also be the part of me that’s hearing Lamp of the Universe or Six Organs of Admittance influences. The interwoven layers of “Prajna Pines,” on the other hand, seem fine without; bluesy as the lead guitar line is, there’s no doubting the song’s expressive delivery, though one could easily say the same of the krautrock loops and keys and reverb-drenched solo of “Luminous Clouds.”

Prana Crafter on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

Vago Sagrado, Vol. III

vago sagrado vol iii

Heavy post-rockers Vago Sagrado set a peaceful atmosphere with “K is Kool,” the opening track of their third album, Vol. III, that is hard to resist. They’ll soon enough pump in contrast via the foreboding low end of “La Pieza Oscura,” but the feeling of purposeful drift in the guitar remains resonant, even as the drums and vocals take on a kind of punkish feel. The mix is one that the Chilean three-piece seem to delight in, reveling in tonal adventurousness in the quiet/loud tradeoff of “Fire (In Your Head)” and the New Wave shuffle of “Sundown” before “Centinela” kicks off side B with the kind of groove that Queens of the Stone Age fans have been missing for the last 15 years. Things get far out in “Listen & Obey,” but Vago Sagrado never completely lose their sense of direction, and that only makes the proceedings more engaging as the hypnotic “One More Time with Feeling” leads into the nine-minute closer “Mekong,” wherein the wash teased all along comes to fruition.

Vago Sagrado on Thee Facebooks

Vago Sagrado on Bandcamp

 

Gin Lady, Tall Sun Crooked Moon

gin lady tall sun crooked moon

I’m more than happy to credit Sweden’s Gin Lady for the gorgeous ’70s country rock harmonies that emanate from their fourth album, Tall Sun Crooked Moon (on Kozmik Artifactz), from the mission-statement opener “Everyone is Love” onward, but I think it’s also worth highlighting that the 10-track outing also features the warmest snare drum sound I’ve heard maybe since the self-titled Kadavar LP. The Swedish four-piece have nailed their sound down to that level of detail, and as they touch on twang boogie in “Always Gold” or find bluesy Abbey Roadian deliverance in the more riff-led chorus of “Gentle Bird,” their aesthetic is palpable but does not trump the straight-ahead appeal of their songwriting. The closing duo of “The Rock We All Push” and the piano-soother “Tell it Like it Is” are the only two tracks to push past five minutes long, but by then the mood is well set and if they wanted to keep going, I have a hard time imagining they’d meet with complaints. Serenity abounds.

Gin Lady on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Oven, Couch Lock

oven couch lock

For an EP called Couch Lock — i.e., when you’re too stoned to even stand up — there’s an awful lot of movement on Oven‘s debut release, from the punk thrust of “Get It” to the arrogant sleaze of “Go James” and even the drums in “This Time.” And the nine-minute “Dark Matter” is basically space rock, so yeah, hardly locked to the couch there, but okay. The five-tracker is raw in its production as would seem to suit the Pennsylvania trio, but they still get their point across in terms of attitude, and a closing cover of Nebula‘s “To the Center” seems only to reinforce the notion. One imagines that any basement where they unleash that and the nod that culminates “Dark Matter” just before it would have to be professionally dehumidified afterward to get the dankness out, and an overarching sense of stoner shenanigans only adds to the good times that so much of East Coast-ish psych misses the point on. They’re having fun. You should too.

Oven on Bandcamp

Oven on Thee Facebooks

 

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

Gin Lady Release Tall Sun Crooked Moon LP May 24; “Sweet Country Livin'” Video Now Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gin lady

Seems like no matter where Sweden’s Gin Lady go, they’re getting down to their roots. That was the case on 2017’s Electric Earth (review here), on which they gave up some of the twang in favor of a more ’60s rock-oriented sound, and it seems to be the case with Tall Sun Crooked Moon, as the track “Sweet Country Livin'” shows them bringing some of that twang right back in. I don’t know how much the song speaks for the new album as a whole, but it’s their fifth record, so I don’t think they’re novices at deciding which songs to lead with at this point going into a release. Call me crazy.

Either way, the album is out later this month, and I love the cover art — seriously, I’d take a poster of that; or better yet, a tapestry — so it seemed the least I could do to post it. Info and whatnots came down the PR wire:

gin lady tall sun crooked moon

Swedish Rockers Gin Lady Return with ‘Tall Sun Crooked Moon’ 24th May on Kozmik Artifactz

These northern Sweden rockers formed their band in 2011 and have released four studio albums so far: Gin Lady, Mother’s Ruin, Call The Nation and Electric Earth.

The band consists of singer and guitarist Magnus Kaernebro, drummer Fredrik Normark, bassist Anthon Johansson and guitarist Johnny Stenberg. Each member a gifted songwriter in their own right, Gin Lady are a highly productive unit able to craft and deliver a signature sound that oozes of early 70s vibes and soul soothing melody.

With their upcoming album Tall Moon Crooked Sun they take the listeners on a musical journey towards Laurel Canyon. Excellent musicianship, vocal harmonies, freedom and beautifully crafted songs with a message is what you can expect from these bliss merchants’ fifth album.

Tall Moon Crooked Sun will be released on limited edition heavyweight vinyl and CD on the 24th May on Kozmik Artifatcz.

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

TRACKS
1. Everyone Is Love
2. Sweet Country Livin’
3. The Darkest Days Of All Time
4. The Visit
5. Gentle Bird
6. Into The Wasteland
7. Always Gold
8. Undertow
9. The Rock We All Push
10. Tell It Like It Is

Gin Lady are:
Magnus Kaernebro – Guitar/Vocals
Fredrik Normark – Drums
Anthon Johansson – Bass
Johnny Stenberg – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/Gin-Lady-254447104608141/
https://ginlady.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/

Gin Lady, “Sweet Country Livin'” official video

Tags: , , , ,