Kylesa to Release Exhausting Fire on Oct. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kylesa

Yeah, yeah, Kylesa have a new album coming, that’s very cool. Look at that frickin’ list of tour dates! Kylesa don’t need to be touring like that at this point. I mean, there are breaks in there, but if they wanted, the Savannah, Georgia, outfit could probably take it down a little bit in terms of the road work. People know who they are, have a pretty good idea of what they do — as much as one can as regards Kylesa from one album to the next — so it’s not like they’re going door-to-door-punk-rock spreading the word two ears at a time. Point is it looks like a lot of shows. I guess they’ve found a way to make it sustainable. Not everyone does.

And while the album title Exhausting Fire — which is the follow-up to 2013’s Ultraviolet (review here) — doesn’t do much to capture the energy they bring to the stage, no doubt it will prove of its own merit, Kylesa having yet to stagnate in what seems a creative progression as unrelenting as their touring cycle.

The PR wire brings album details, tour dates and the new song “Lost and Confused” for previewy enjoyment:

kylesa exhausting fire

KYLESA announce new album, ‘Exhausting Fire’

Savannah’s genre-defying quintet KYLESA have announced a new album titled ‘Exhausting Fire’, to be released by Season of Mist on Oct. 2. The band are streaming the first track from the new record titled “Lost and Confused.” Pre-orders for ‘Exhausting Fire’ will be available across several CD and LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

Regarding the new album, KYLESA vocalist/guitarist Phil Cope comments: “‘Exhausting Fire’ is an album we really put our hearts on our sleeves for. We’ve always done that, but emotionally, it’s probably the most honest and raw album we’ve ever done.”

Guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants continues, “No band sounds like us and we don’t sound like any other band. After all these years of experimenting with different styles and sounds, we’ve really developed our own thing and I can faithfully say that we sound like us. With this album, we’ve successfully made a record that incorporates all the elements we’ve always played with into a record that works on its own.”

The album artwork and track list for ‘Exhausting Fire’ can be found below:

Track List:
1. Crusher
2. Inward Debate
3. Moving Day
4. Lost and Confused
5. Shaping The Southern Sky
6. Falling
7. Night Drive
8. Blood Moon
9. Growing Roots
10. Out Of My Mind
11. Paranoid (bonus track)

KYLESA have announced a tour across the U.S. The tour, which begins on August 29 sees the band traveling throughout August and September, before concluding in Seattle on November 22.

KYLESA tour dates:
8/29 Durham, NC @ Motorco
8/31 Charlottesville, Va @ The Southern
9/1 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
9/2 Montreal, QC @ Cafe Campus
9/3 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club Theater
9/4 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
9/5 St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
9/6 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
9/7 Augusta, GA @ Sky City
10/6 St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
10/7 Miami, FL @ Grand Central
10/8 Orlando, FL @ The Social
10/9 Savannah, GA @ Jinx
10/10 Asheville, NC @ New Mountain
10/13 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
10/14 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
10/16 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
10/17 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
10/19 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
10/20 Philadelphia, PA @ Black Box @ Underground Arts
10/23 Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
10/24 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
10/25 Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
11/6 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
11/7 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
11/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
11/10 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
11/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
11/13 Austin, TX @ Red 7
11/14 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/15 Dallas, TX @ The Prophet Bar
11/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
11/18 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/19 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
11/20 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
11/21 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11/22 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
11/6 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
11/7 Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater
11/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Filmore
11/10 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
11/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
11/13 Austin, TX @ Red 7
11/14 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/15 Dallas, TX @ Prophet Bar
11/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
11/18 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/19 Salt Lake City UT @ The Complex
11/20 Boise, ID @ Neurox
11/21 Portland, OR @ Hawthrone Theater
11/22 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile

http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=65
https://www.facebook.com/KYLESAmusic
http://season-of-mist.com/

Kylesa, “Lost and Confused”

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Sleep, Pentagram and Cult of Luna to Headline Psycho California 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

True to their word, it’s Jan. 15 and Psycho California 2015 has announced the headliners for what looks like the best American festival lineup I’ve seen since the days of Emissions from the Monolith. That’s not to take away from the hard work anyone else is doing, but just look at the list of bands. It’s unreal. You’d want to be everywhere at the same time to see all of it. Absolutely wild.

Sleep and Pentagram were pretty clear choices to headline. Not only for being legends in the heavy underground, but for also being just about two of the only bands left. Sweden’s Cult of Luna were something of a surprise, but for a festival already showing a European reach in bringing aboard the likes of Samsara Blues Experiment and Stoned Jesus, they make sense. Hell of a bill. Kudos to anyone who actually gets to go to the thing.

Announcement follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

PSYCHO-CALIFORNIA-2015-POSTER-1400

PSYCHO CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES HEADLINERS: SLEEP, PENTAGRAM AND CULT OF LUNA

WEST COAST METAL FESTIVAL HAPPENING MAY 15, 16 & 17 AT THE OBSERVATORY IN SANTA ANA

FIRST WAVE OF ARTISTS ANNOUNCED INCLUDED KYLESA, EARTH, OM AND RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Psycho California, the west coast’s first annual metal festival and a must see for fans of doom, heavy psych and sludge, has announced the headliners for this year’s event: Cult of Luna (May 15), Sleep (May 16) and Pentagram, who will perform First Daze Here in its entirety (May 17).

“2015 is going to be a slow year for Cult of Luna. However as much as we are musicians we are also fans,” said Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson. “Evaluating if the offer to play Psycho California was worth dusting off our instruments was not hard after looking on the line-up. Being on the same bill as Pentagram, Sleep and a festival packed with the best bands around is a privilege in itself and we’ll try to live up to that honor.”

The lineup for Psycho California is: Sleep, Pentagram, Cult of Luna, Kylesa, OM, Earth, Russian Circles, Bedemon, Conan, Wrench, Eyehategod, Indian, Earthless, Pallbearer, Stoned Jesus, Old Man Gloom, Cave In, Acid Witch, Truckfighters, Tombs, Bang, Electric Citizen, Coffinworm, SubRosa, Eagle Twin, Mammatus, True Widow, Anciients, Bellwitch, Dead Meadow, Lord Dying, Death By Stereo, Radio Moscow, Ancient Altar, Samsara Blues Experiment, Atriarch, Elder, Mothership, The Well, Deathkings, Wo Fat, Rozamov, Destroyer of Light, Highlands, Bloodmoon, Slow Season, Goatsnake, Crypt Trip, Wrench, Lords of Beacon House, Tumbleweed Dealer, Sinister Haze, Blackout, Red Wizard, Banquet and Loom.

Festival interludes will be provided by Housecore Records’ artist Author & Punisher and vinyl DJ set from Bob Lugowe (Relapse Records) and Sean Pellet (Last Daze Here).

Previously announced early bird tickets sold out immediately. Tickets for the festival are on-sale this morning with both a 3-day pass ($149.50) and a 3-day VIP pass available ($256.66)

VIP packages include a 3-day festival pass, a signed screen print concert poster by David D’Andrea, express entry via artist check-in booth, access to artist VIP lounge, a limited edition Thief X Obey festival tee, a Psycho record bag and patch as well as access to a complimentary craft tequila bar, premium microbrews and artisan snacks.

www.psychoca.com
www.facebook.com/psychocalifornia
https://www.facebook.com/Thiefpresents

Sleep, “The Clarity/Dragonaut” Live in Chicago, Aug. 28, 2014

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Psycho California 2015 Announces Initial Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The list of bands, quite frankly, is astonishing, but even more astonishing is the fact that  Thief Presents‘ Psycho California 2015 (formerly Psycho de Mayo) hasn’t announced its headliners yet, because these sure as shit look like headliners to me.

A three-day festival set to take place at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA, Psycho California will feature the following acts:

psycho california

Here’s that list again: Kylesa, Om, Earth, Russian Circles, Orange Goblin, Bedemon, Conan, Indian, Pallbearer, Cave In, Old Man Gloom, Tombs, Earthless, Truckfighters, Bang, Eyehategod, Crowbar, SubRosa, Lord Dying, Acid Witch, Electric Citizen, Coffinworm, Eagle Twin, Stoned Jesus, Mammatus, True Widow, Bell Witch, Death by Stereo, Radio Moscow, Samsara Blues Experiment, Anciients, Elder, Mothership, Ancient Altar, The Well, Deathkings, Wo Fat, Rozamov, Destroyer of Light, Highlands, Bloodmoon, Slow Season, Crypt Trip, Lords of Beacon House, Tumbleweed Dealer, Sinister Haze, Blackout, Red Wizard, Banquet, Loom.

Plus interludes by Author and Punisher.

God damn.

Not only does it cover both coasts, huge bands, legends and up and comers, but the reach is international. Take special note of Conan, since their appearance means that Maryland Deathfest won’t be their only US date, and also Samsara Blues Experiment and Stoned Jesus — two killer European bands that you don’t even go after unless you know what the fuck you’re doing. That also hugely extends the possibilities for headlining acts. It’s an assemblage that’s beyond impressive, and if you haven’t already looked up flights to Southern California, I don’t know what to tell you. As I write this it’s after one in the morning on Sunday night, and you know I wouldn’t be doing that if my mind wasn’t leaking out of my ears at the thought of experiencing this thing.

Stay tuned for more to come, since as the poster says, headliners will be announced on Jan. 15. I’ll be looking forward to finding out who else is in store.

Psycho California on Thee Facebooks

Thief Presents on Twitter

Thief Presents on Thee Facebooks

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Southwest Terror Fest Starts Tonight

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you’re gonna book your flight to get to Tucson for the Southwest Terror Fest, you might want to get on it. There are only a few hours left till the four-dayer kicks off and time’s a wastin’! There’s a good chance this’ll be the only all-ages show some of these bands play this year,  so for the kids, all the better, but even for an aged cave ogre such as myself, an assemblage that culls toghether Kylesa, Ancestors (one day I will bring them East for a show and it will be glorious; mark my words), SubRosa and Red Fang is worthy of note. In just their second year out, the Southwest Terror Fest crew have not only outdone what they were able to make happen last year, but set the bar pretty high for 2014. Would be nice to make the trip to the desert one of these days…

Until then, I live vicariously through the PR wire:

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST – Year Of The Snake; Four Days Of Mayhem Takes Over Tucson Tonight

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST 2013: Year Of The Snake, the second annual installment of the Tucson-based extreme underground music gathering featuring over sixty bands in four days, begins tonight.

A fully DIY undertaking, envisioned and organized by Tucson-based sludgecore instigators GODHUNTER, the SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST is a low-cost event for all ages and brings a one-of-a-kind festival to the Southwestern sector of America. Following the dominant 2012 debut of SWTF, this year’s installment of the now annual outing has more than doubled in duration and has expanded to include a more sizable roster of national acts and dozens more crushing newcomers.

Beginning tonight, October 10th, and running through Sunday the 13th at The Rock, the SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST 2013: Year Of The Snake lineup features Sacred Reich Vehemence, Kylesa, Red Fang, Demon Lung, Ancestors, Subrosa, Landmine Marathon, Early Graves, Theories, Transient, Pinkish Black, Helms Alee, Dog Shredder, Children Of God, ACxDC and literally dozens of other acts hailing from across the vast extreme music subgenre spectrum.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST 2013: Year Of The Snakeis sponsored by Earsplit PR, Moon Smoke Shops, Lace Pickups, Cvlt Nation, Zombie Effects Lab, Ear/Splitters, Axe Of Contrition, Acid Reflux Records, Violent Resonance.com, Lindy’s on 4th, Black Rose Tattoo and Sticks N’ Strings Music Center

Any metalhead with an internet connection can stay current with the fest action via Cvlt Nation who will be running day-to-day coverage throughout the entire ordeal.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST 2013: Year Of The Snake
10/10-13/2013 The Rock – Tucson, AZ

Thursday, October 10th: Kylesa, Pinkish Black, Sierra, Ancestors, Demon Lung, Godhunter, Anakim, Vanish Twin, Goatroper

Friday, October 11th: Sacred Reich, Landmine Marathon, Vehemence, Transient, Magguts, Cave Dweller, Angelic To Ashes, Necrambulant, Sovereign, Our Daily Trespasses, Lethal Dosage, Casket Birth, Kvasura, Evasion, Eight Legged Horse, Napalm Strike

Saturday, October 12th: Red Fang, Helms Alee, Dog Shredder, Subrosa, Deathkings, Crankbait, Aseethe, Thorncaster, North, Sorxe, Goya, Ladybird, Oryx, Skulldron, Bhorelord, Acidalia, Funerary, Methra, Conqueror Worm, Destroy Her

Sunday, October 13th: Early Graves, Children Of God, Theories, ACxDC, Lost Lands, GAT ROT, Territory, Inoculara, Magnum Force, Sex Prisoner, Seas Will Rise, Sorrower, American Standards, Biocidio, Berith, Freedom Assault, Swamp Wolf, Wookiee Rage, Get A Grip, SLUG

http://southwestterrorfest.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/southwestterrorfest

Godhunter, Wolves (2011)

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Kylesa, Ultraviolet: Grounded in Drift

Posted in Reviews on May 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Almost nothing is certain, and when it comes to doubly-drummed Georgian progressive sludgers Kylesa, even less than that. Yet when it comes to approaching their sixth full-length and second for Season of Mist, the 11-track Ultraviolet — or really any new Kylesa album — the one thing the listener can be sure of going into it is that it will be a step beyond its predecessor. At this point, I don’t think the band would release a record that wasn’t. Ultraviolet‘s predecessor was 2010’s Spiral Shadow (review here), which changed their course from jagged, crunching sludge to a more smoothed out and progressive sound — a shift that they’d built toward on 2009’s Static Tensions (review here) in some ways but come nowhere near materializing as completely — and one that, as ever, divided their fanbase into those who could get on board and those who couldn’t. This seems to happen on a nearly per-album basis with the Savannah natives.

While we’re talking about expectation, I’d anticipate no less for Ultraviolet in the long run, but Kylesa have never had a problem picking up new fans along the way to fill the spots of those who couldn’t get past one period or another of their ongoing progression; they’ve maintained a reputation as a hard-touring band for years and rightly so. Rooted in the work of guitarists/vocalists Phillip Cope (also theremin and production) and Laura Pleasants, there are consistencies of sound to be heard between full-lengths, and sure enough between Spiral Shadow and Ultraviolet as well, but save for very few moments throughout the latest, the band would be all but unrecognizable to anyone who jumped from 2005’s To Walk a Middle Course or 2006’s Time Will Fuse its Worth right to it, and no doubt that’s the intent: Progress. Joined by drummers Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez and bassist Chase Rudeseal (the latter of whom may or may not have actually played on the recording), Pleasants and Cope have never failed to draw a distinct line from one outing to the next, and though it’s an outgrowth of elements from Spiral Shadow like the pop hook of “Don’t Look Back” or the dreamy ambience underlying “To Forget,” that’s no less true of Ultraviolet than it has ever been.

Single-word titles on five of the 11 cuts on the 39-minute album — namely opening trio “Exhale,” “Unspoken,” “Grounded,” and closing duo “Quicksand” and “Drifting” — would seem to hint at some stripped-down sensibility or simplicity of approach, but the fact is Kylesa have never been so melodically switched on or engaged. Cope and Pleasants trade vocal parts immediately and effectively on the insistently-riffed “Exhale,” chugging distortion creating a jabbing tension topped by call and response shouts before a swirl takes hold that the drums(s) underscore with a thud less frantic than it has been in the past, but still indicative of two players at work. I suppose on a structural level, Ultraviolet‘s opening salvo is somewhat simplified, but the atmosphere becomes more complex as “Unspoken” opens with subdued guitar and a wash of effects, Cope coming in as the song kicks off with a semi-spoken line that Pleasants — whose ascent as a vocalist continues unabated — answers back with layered melodies. The most memorable stretches of Ultraviolet are still to come, but the momentum “Unspoken” helps create and its prog-toned guitar solo in the second half act as a precursor to some of the album’s most intriguing moments, giving way to the familiar winding structure of “Grounded”‘s central riff, readily accessible to anyone who’s followed the post-Mastodon course of Southern US heavy metal, Pleasants handling the verse and Cope taking what probably would be the ensuing chorus if it was ever repeated. Instead, they build on the instrumental for a bit and round out with layers of Pleasants‘ vocals, ending with just her voice to set up the shift to the more thickly toned and aggressive “We’re Taking This.”

Read more »

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Kylesa Announce First Tour in Support of Ultraviolet

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Bringing with them the diverse bill of mystic doomers Blood Ceremony, cult psych heroes White Hills, and Atlanta-based instrumental spazzoids Lazer/Wulf, Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa are starting what will most likely be a lengthy tour cycle in support of their new album, Ultraviolet. Expected May 28 on Season of Mist, Ultraviolet is Kylesa‘s first record of new material since 2010’s Spiral Shadow, which saw them greatly expand their melodic reach and progressive sensibilities.

As much as I’ve been looking forward to hearing the LP, Kylesa have always been an excellent live act, so it’ll be great to catch the Ultraviolet songs in-person as well. The PR wire has info and the rather considerable list of dates:

KYLESA ANNOUNCE SPRING TOUR

ULTRAVIOLET PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

Kylesa kick off their first North American tour in support of Ultraviolet (May 28, Season of Mist) on May 10 in Gainesville, Fla. at the High Dive.

“It’s been a while since we’ve done a headlining tour in the US or Canada,” explained singer/guitar player Laura Pleasants, referring to the near two-year gap since the Savannah band’s last run. “We are looking forward to doing a proper tour supporting Ultraviolet. It will be good to see friends and fans (old and new) and hit these once familiar landscapes again. “

Spin premiered “Quicksand,” a new song from the 11-track album, earlier this week (http://www.spin.com/articles/kylesa-quicksand-ultraviolet-stream) describing the song “joins the melodies of ‘90s shoegaze with the churn of modern sludge.” Ultraviolet pre-orders are available now via Season of Mist’s e-shop (http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/predefined-search/37879).

Tour dates:
April 19 Savannah, GA The Dollhouse (Free show)
May 10 Gainesville, FL High Dive
May 11 Orlando, FL Backbooth
May 12 Miami, FL Churchhill’s
May 13 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
May 15 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
May 16 Houston, TX Walters
May 17 Dallas, TX Trees
May 18 Austin, TX Mohawk
May 20 Albuquerque, NM Blackwater
May 21 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
May 22 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
May 24 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst
May 25 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
May 27 Portland, OR Star Theater
May 28 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
May 29 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl
May 31 Calgary, AB Dickens
June 1 Regina, SK The Exchange
June 2 Winnipeg, MB The Pyramid
June 3 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
June 4 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s Oasis
June 5 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
June 6 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
June 7 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
June 8 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
June 9 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
June 11 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
June 12 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s
June 13 Montreal, QC Il Motore
June 14 Brooklyn NY Northside Fest (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
June 15 Albany, NY Bogie’s
June 16 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs
June 18 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
June 19 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
June 20 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall
June 21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
June 22 Savannah, GA The Jinx

Opening for Kylesa will be Blood Ceremony, White Hills and Lazer/Wulf. “I think the package will deliver the goods as well; a little mix in the stew for everyone who digs our sound,” commented Pleasants. Tickets are available next week.

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New Kylesa Album Ultraviolet Due May 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

This one should be interesting. It’s been three years since Savannah, Georgia, metallers Kylesa released Spiral Shadow (review here), their first album for Season of Mist and easily their most progressive outing to date, pushing their intricate, dually-drummed arrangements further than ever while also showing periodic affinity for a strong pop chorus. What will Ultraviolet bring three years later? As I haven’t yet had a second to check out the new track “Unspoken” via the link below, I haven’t the foggiest, but with this as the first word that the album is coming May 28, I’m excited to find out.

One thing about Kylesa records though is that no two are ever the same. Not knowing what to expect only makes it more fun.

The PR wire takes it from here:

Kylesa is set to release Ultraviolet, one of the most anticipated hard rock releases of the year and the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album Spiral Shadow, on May 28 via Season of Mist (May 24 in Europe).

“Whereas Spiral Shadow was a warm album suggesting concepts of hope, Ultraviolet is a bit colder and darker,” explains songwriter/guitar player Laura Pleasants. “All of our studio albums have their own unique identity and we’ve always been a band who strives for something different than what current fads suggest. With Ultraviolet, we took a step inward and wrote music that we felt we had to write; this album centers around the multiple themes of loss and you can feel it in the music. Everyone goes through it during their lifetime and this record reflects that experience.”

“Unspoken,” a new song from the eleven-track album is available now for Season of Mist newsletter subscribers (www.season-of-mist.com/news/kylesa-2013-02-26).

The Savannah-based quintet recorded Ultraviolet at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC with the band’s guitar player/songwriter, and sought-after producer, Phillip Cope (Baroness, Black Tusk) once again overseeing production.

Kylesa released a rarities collection in November titled “From The Vaults, Vol. 1,” which featured unreleased, new and alternate versions of songs spanning the band’s catalogue as well as one new song titled “End Truth.” Cope and Pleasants spent over a year going through their archives preparing the release.

Kylesa will return to the road in May with more details forthcoming.

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Buried Treasure and the Walking Ghosts

Posted in Buried Treasure on February 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Time was limited. It was Monday morning and I was supposed to go to work after all, but as I was in New England anyway, a quick run to Armageddon Shop in Providence didn’t seem all that unreasonable. I’ve never come out of there feeling less than satisfied, and even back in December at the Boston store, I was able to pick up a few winners. Plus, Armageddon‘s been on my mind lately with their handling the repress of Elder‘s Spires Burn EP and the release of Magic Circle‘s self-titled, for which I have a review pending. All that, coupled with my general desire to crane my neck before a CD rack, made the stop a necessity. Turned out work was still there when I finally showed up anyway. Go figure.

On the wall of my office is a post-it with albums I’ve been meaning to pick up — mostly review stuff that labels won’t send out physical copies of anymore that I’ll grudgingly buy and devalue the effort I put into writing about them while also diminishing my appreciation for the record out of the pervasive annoyance. It’s a vicious cycle. Anyway, most of what’s on it I couldn’t remember, but it was fine. I managed to find enough and then some, as you can see in the stack above. The new Bedemon (track stream here) and Seremonia (track stream here) records were a must, and I hadn’t actually gotten a CD of the last Enslaved (review here), so I figured if I was going to give someone the cash for it, at least I could feel good about it going to Armageddon. The rest was gravy.

The first Hooded Menace full-length, Fulfill the Curse, Orodruin‘s Claw Tower and Other Tales of Terror and the repress of Life Beyond‘s Ancient Worlds were cool finds, but I was even more stoked on the 2003 Cream Abdul Babar/Kylesa split on At a Loss. I think they came by their progression honestly and I think Spiral Shadow (review here) bears that out, but it’s easy to forget how blisteringly heavy that band was at one point, all noise and fury and potential. With the unbridled weirdness of Cream Abdul Babar to complement, that split was a killer. The punkish War and Wine by the UK’s The Dukes of Nothing was something I had my eye on for a while, with Orange Goblin‘s Chris Turner on drums, bassist Doug Dalziel (ex-Iron Monkey) and Stuart O’Hara (ex-Acrimony, current Sigiriya) as one of two guitars, and more on the hardcore end, the self-titled collection from Hard to Swallow was a pleasant surprise, spanning the short tenure of the outfit that featured Jim Rushby (Iron Monkey) on guitar and Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey and even later of Crippled Black Phoenix) on drums and a host of others from that sphere ripping out primitive, violent bursts in rapid succession.

With 13 tracks in 27 minutes, there’s little room for screwing around, so Hard to Swallow get right to it, blending raw riffage with extreme punk fuckall. The compilation was released on Armageddon‘s own label, and though it’s more hardcore than what I’ll generally grab, it’s a solid, intense listen. A secret track incorporating Sabbath‘s “Under the Sun” into a grind medley made a decent, meaner answer to The Dukes of Nothing‘s album on Tortuga, and the metallic outing from Enslaved and Seremonia‘s distinctly Finnish weirdness. More local to home, I grabbed Halfway to Gone‘s split with Alabama Thunderpussy, which I already own but figured for six bucks I’d take a double, and the 1997 debut from underrated Jersey-based psychedelic rockers, Lord Sterling.

Your Ghost Will Walk was one of those albums I figured I’d probably never happen upon, perhaps even less so in Rhode Island. I haven’t been chasing it down for years and years or anything like that — a preliminary search can find copies out there — but neither was I going to pass up the chance to get a new one. The pressing is on Chainsaw Safety Records, may or may not be original, and for anyone who heard Lord Sterling‘s Weapon of Truth (2002, Rubric) or Today’s Song for Tomorrow (2004, Small Stone), the first one is a little more jagged, a little more post-hardcore, somewhat less psychedelic, though the ethereal garage via The Doors vibes of the later albums are definitely present in some nascent form. I always dug those guys, so it was cool to hear where they came from a little bit.

Because I can’t resist a CD on Man’s Ruin and because I’m forever a sucker for NYC noise, I impulse grabbed The Cuttroats 9‘s self-titled. The band had Chris Spencer and Dave Curran from Unsane in it, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong and I was right. It was a last-minute thing as I was looking through, but I’ve done way worse. All told, the haul was well-rounded and with a cup of coffee from the bakery down the street, I felt like the win was even more complete. About five hours later, I strolled into my office like I owned the place.

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