Prophets of Saturn Post Video for “Witchrider”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

prophets of saturn

UK heavy psych merchants Prophets of Saturn released their second album, Retronauts, this July on HeviSike Records. In their new video for “Witchrider,” a track taken from that record, they give us a glimpse of what calls forth their dense fuzz and deep-toned swirl — swapping back and forth between in-the-woods and in-the-practice-space vibes before finally ending out in a candlelit ritual. Needless to say, the clip covers all its bases, and in that, it makes a fitting companion to the song itself, which melds classic psych malevolence with a more modern aggression.

The album has sold through a goodly portion of its 400-pressed LP copies, but is out on CD as well and with tape TBA, so Prophets of Saturn are by no means done with it. Nov. 28, they’ll play a memorial show for Mage guitarist Ben Aucott, who passed away earlier this year. MageTemple of Lies and Garganjua will also take part. As Retronauts continues to reap praise in following up Prophets of Saturn‘s 2013 self-titled debut, look for the band to keep their momentum going hopefully into the New Year and beyond.

Clip for “Witchrider” is below, followed by more from the PR wire on that memorial gig and other doings. Enjoy:

Prophets of Saturn, “Witchrider”

Leicester, England psychedelic doomsters unveil new video for ‘Witchrider’

Following the release of the gargantuan RETRONAUTS album in June on HeviSike Records, Prophets of Saturn are pleased to unveil their latest labour of love. The video for Witchrider was created throughout the Summer of 2015. Featuring creepy woodlands, alluring witches and smokey chambers, the film captures the very essence of Prophets of Saturn’s sound.

The band return to their native Leicester for a one-off memorial gig in Novermber, celebrating the life of BEN AUCOTT, guitarist with local doom heroes MAGE. The event, held at Duffy’s Bar on Saturday 28 November will also feature local bands TEMPLE OF LIES and GARGANJUA.

Prophets of Saturn on Thee Facebooks

Prophets of Saturn on Bandcamp

HeviSike Records

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The Electric Cool 2015 Announces Lineup: Siena Root, Cult of Dom Keller, Cherry Choke and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


The 2015 edition of The Electric Cool festival — otherwise known as ThElectriCool — is set for Oct. 17 at the 02 Academy in Leicester, UK. This is the second year of the fest, and along with the returning Cherry Choke, the lineup features headliners Siena Root as well as Roadburn veterans Cult of Dom Keller, as well as Alfa 9 and Electroshock Therapy. It’s a more than solid bill, but that seems like the music is only part of the experience. HeviSike Records will also be on hand with a distro, and there are DJs and vintage clothes around to buy.

Sounds like a psychedelic freakout party? Yeah, I think that’s pretty much the whole idea. Info follows, yoinked off the PR wire:

the electric cool 2015

ThElectriCool – Festival of Psychedelic Rock will be held at 02 Academy, Leicester, UK, October 17th 2015. Organised by promoters ‘The Hidden Museum’ The second edition of The Electric Cool has again curated a fine collection psychedelic rock and sunshine pop groups from across the UK and Europe, including Siena Root, The Cult of Dom Keller, Cherry Choke, Alfa 9 and Elektroshock Therapy.

Also featuring visuals by the Innerstrings Psychedelic Lightshow, Psych Soundz by The Early Remains & DJ Biff!Bang!Pow!, Hevisike Record Store, Vintage Clothing by Yesterday’s Children. The University of Leicester campus venue opens its doors at 5pm. First live act 5:45pm. Curfew 1:00am.

SIENA ROOT came to life in Stockholm in the late 90’s and today are considered as pioneers of an old school Deep Purple influenced psych-prog rock sound. From flaming gongs to sitar solos this amazing live act put on an uncompromising show. Their heavy duty vintage ooze will expand your mind and make your body move to its cosmic caftan wearing sound scape.

THE CULT OF DOM KELLER Whether melting the minds of an over-capacity packed-out room at the legendary Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, following Walter Roadburn’s ‘Album of The Day’ feature in February for The Second Bardo or performing at the Austin Psych Fest in the big old US of A. This Nottingham based four piece will blow you away.

CHERRY CHOKE have become one of the UK’s finest heavy psych rock groups. The band recorded their third LP “Raising The Waters” for Elektrohasch Records with Stefan Koglek of Colour Haze at the controls. Live these new tracks take on a life of their own with wigged out jams and heart attack inducing rhythms.

ALFA 9 Cosmic sunshine folk-psych masters influenced by late 60’s masters The Byrds and the Paisley Underground bands of early ’80s. Rich harmonies, ringing 12 string guitars and naturally overdriven and fuzz.

ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY Inspired by the counter-culture movement of the late 1960’s, and with a sound akin to the West Coast bands of the day, you could easily be mistaken into believing that an intense acid trip had sent them deep into the space–time continuum, before dumping them on earth, nearly half a century into the future.

Cherry Choke, Live at ThElectriCool 2014

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Prophets of Saturn to Release Retronauts July 17

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

prophets of saturn

Spacious UK psych-doomers Prophets of Saturn will release their second album, Retronauts, on July 17 through HeviSike Records. The four-piece issue their self-titled debut in 2013, and that was later picked up by HeviSike for a CD and tape pressings, so the new album will be a continuation of the relationship. Additionally, opening song “Retronaut,” which I guess is about as close to a title-track as Prophets of Saturn are getting this time around, unless they decide to pluralize elsewhere on the record, is streaming now and you can hear it below.

Prophets of Saturn have a couple live dates booked in the UK for this summer, as the PR wire informs:

prophets of saturn retronauts

Prophets of Saturn announce new album Retronauts on HeviSike Records

Retronauts by Prophets of Saturn will be released on 17th July 2015 on HeviSike Records

Hailing from the British Midlands, English psych-metal four-piece Prophets of Saturn return this July with a follow-up to their 2013, self-titled debut on the Birmingham-based label HeviSike Records.

Offering up a heady excursion into the dope-smoking amplifier-worship of Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Electric Wizard, Retronauts is for neither the faint of heart nor mind. Traversing cosmic ley-lines on an antiquarian journey through the lineage of English proto-metal, a lysergic love of Cream, The Beatles and fellow Midlanders Black Sabbath permeates Prophets of Saturn’s sound. A sound laced in equal measure with both the usual and unusual, from a band possessed to the point of lunacy with channeling bad acid trips, occultism and electrified doom through a fuzz box to get out of it the desired winding riffs and demented wails.

Like their debut – originally released on Cosmic Tomb and later rereleased by HeviSike Records on limited edition CD and cassette – Retronauts is a must-hear for fans of spaced-out, groove-laden metal. The kind committed to analogue tape in the most esoteric of studios and best heard live through vintage stacks.

Known for their commanding and mesmerizing stage shows the band has shared stages recently with the likes of Wounded Kings, Bong, Goatess and Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and play a number of dates this summer in support of the album’s official release. (See live dates below.)

Retronuats by Prophets of Saturn will be released on 17th July 2015 on HeviSike Records.

Prophets of Saturn Live:
Fri, 17th July – Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham (w. Witchsorrow and Iron Void)
Sat, 1st August – The Rigger, Newcastle-Under-Lyme (w. Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of The Knight and Space Witch)

Prophets of Saturn:
Ben Shone (Guitars)
Max Mead (Bass)
Duncan Torrance (Drums)
George Sanderson (Vocals)

Prophets of Saturn, “Retronaut”

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Cherry Choke, Raising the Waters: Hypnotized with Flesh and Bone

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

cherry choke raising the waters

It’s been a fascinating journey Mat Bethancourt has undertaken for the last half-decade or so. Since putting underrated fuzz rock trio Josiah to rest in 2009 with Procession (review here), a collection of unreleased and live tracks, the Leicester-based guitarist/vocalist has spent time in Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra, been in and out of The Kings of Frog Island and founded and released two, now three, albums with Cherry Choke, all operating under different parameters within the umbrella of heavy rock and psychedelia. With The Kings of Frog Island, Bethancourt explored a fuzzed-out expanse on the first two records and then stripped down the methods for his final album with them, 2010’s III (review here), his songwriting not comprising the whole core of their sound — as subsequent Kings outings would prove — but having a significant impact on it all the same. That more garage rock style would seem to be foundation on which Cherry Choke was based. On Elektrohasch, the trio released their self-titled debut (review here) in 2009 and followed it relatively quickly with A Night in the Arms of Venus (review here) in 2011, the second album expanding on the ideas of the first but keeping the elemental feel intact. Four years later, Cherry Choke offer Raising the Waters, their third full-length on Elektrohasch, recorded and mixed analog with label head and Colour Haze guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek at his Colour Haze Studio (Koglek also adds some vocals and 12-string acoustic), which brings together Bethancourt and drummer Daniel Lockton with bassist/vocalist Simon Beasley, formerly of — wait for it — Josiah.

So yes, more than half a decade and numerous twists and turns of sound and cohort later, Cherry Choke brings together a two-thirds reunion of Josiah on their third album, but they’re doing precious little across the 10-track/50-minute outing to recapture former glories, and instead, Cherry Choke‘s Raising the Waters pursues a blend of classic, laid-back heavy rock songwriting and psychedelic exploration, beginning with the seven-minute “Rage On,” which presents with its first lines one of the record’s landmark and defining hooks, “You move like Lucifer on the floor/Hypnotize me with your flesh and bone,” around which the three-piece builds a psychedelic roll that proves immediately immersive, Bethancourt‘s well-established penchant for layering wah leads and nodding rhythm tracks met by Lockton‘s swinging groove and Beasley‘s warm-toned low-end. The opener is a fitting summary of what the album as a whole has to offer, and there’s no shortage of vibe throughout the rest of side A, but as the hooks of the speedier, Monster Magnet-esque “Mindbreaker,” the preaching “Black Aniss” and the jamming-but-still-chorus-driven “Used to Call You Friend” play out, it’s easy to lose touch with the more psychedelic aspects presented in “Rage On,” perhaps even more so since the aforementioned “You move like Lucifer…” line is given a reprise on “Hypnotize Me,” but the second half of the tracklist brings this further into focus, making Raising the Waters not just a step forward in the aesthetic presented on the first two Cherry Choke outings, but a grander leap into a pool of tone that more than lives up to the goal a title like “Hypnotize Me” sets forth. With guest sitar from Mario Oberpuncher — who also mastered with Koglek — and Hammond M3 and Fender Rhodes by Martin Bischof, the back end of Raising the Waters fulfills in short order the atmospheres that “Rage On” seems to promise, still in league with the memorable songwriting of “Mindbreaker” and “Black Aniss,” but pushing throughout the rolling “6ix and 7even,” the grounded “My Mind to Lose” and acoustic-led “Discarded Hearts” into a bliss of their own making.

cherry choke

That’s not to say the earlier tracks aren’t likewise tripped out or that Raising the Waters plays out like two records in one. There’s a flow between the album’s two halves and the creativity across both is open to be sure, it’s just a question of structure, and what turns out to be side B on the vinyl is clearly intended to expand on the ideas of side A, bringing about a bold, unexpected sonic foray into Euro-style heavy psych that, by the time “Discarded Hearts” is over, has offered as much emotional as aural breadth. “Where the Sun Rises” is an instrumental highlight as deep and lush in sound as one might ask, and “6ix and 7even” picks up that psychedelic thread and adds — Hammond! — yes, the Hammond, but also the fervent rhythmic push of “Mindbreaker” and “Rage On”‘s clever structuring, and while “My Mind to Lose” has a back-to-earth-again effect for the clarity of its chorus, it still spreads wide across a back-half lead section that recalls the best of Bethancourt‘s work with The Kings of Frog Island. A tone wash emerges to carry “Discarded Hearts” into a moment of silence, from which “Where the Sun Sets” picks up as the album’s closer and, entirely backwards, provides a mirror to “Where the Sun Rises” in much the same way “Hypnotize Me” answered back “Rage On” on side A. It’s a dreamy, droning kind of finish a long way from the already-stuck-in-your-head “Rage On,” but fitting somehow for the progression that Cherry Choke have undertaken across Raising the Waters, as BethancourtBeasley and Lockton take the band to ground new and familiar and forge a character sound-wise that’s neither one thing nor the other, but encompassing with songwriting that remains graceful in the expanse. It’s a delicate balance to strike, but Cherry Choke make it seem easy and manage to stay afloat no matter how high the waters rise.

Cherry Choke, Raising the Waters (2015)

Cherry Choke on Thee Facebooks

Cherry Choke on Bandcamp

Elektrohasch Schallplatten

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Cherry Choke Releasing Raising the Waters in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

cherry choke

UK trio Cherry Choke will release their third album, Raising the Waters, in January on Elektrohasch. The heavy garage rocking three-piece were last heard from with 2011’s A Night in the Arms of Venus (review here), which refined the classically-minded push and Who-style heavy of their 2009 self-titled debut (review here) to an even more natural vibe. To have them return four years later with a new record after a period of relative inactivity on their part — Cherry Choke played ThElectriCool festival this fall, and guitarist/vocalist Mat Bethancourt (ex-Josiah, ex-The Kings of Frog Island) designed the cover for the new Colour Haze record, so it hasn’t been complete stillness — I wouldn’t speculate what they might be up to this time around, but that just makes the anticipation more fun until the album’s release next month.

Cherry Choke will join Radio Moscow and the aforementioned Colour Haze for part of the Up in Smoke V tour in March. Their dates, plus the art and tracklisting for Raising the Waters, follow:

cherry choke raising the waters

Elektrohasch 167 Cherry Choke – Raising The Waters CD & LP

Soon the new Cherry Choke will be released. Produced in the Colour Haze Studio you can look forward to maybe the best record Mat Bethancourt (Josiah, The Beginning, Kings Of Frog island, Dexter Jones Circus Orchestra….) made in his long career so far…

The new Cherry Choke 10 track album “Raising The Waters” out on Elektrohasch Records January 2015 featuring the tracks:

1. Rage On
2. Mindbreaker
3. Black Annis
4. Used To Call You Friend
5. Hypnotize Me
6. Where The Sun Rises
7. 6ix & 7even
8. My Mind To Lose
9. Discarded Hearts
10. Where The Sun Sets

Cherry Choke on Up In Smoke Tour w/ Colour Haze + Radio Moscow

01.03.2015 UK, London, The Garage
02.03.2015 FR, Paris, Le Divan du Monde
03.03.2015 BEL, Brussels, Magasin 4
04.03.2015 GER, Hamburg, Markthalle
05.03.2015 GER, Berlin, SO36
06.03.2015 A, Vienna, Arena
07.03.2015 A, Salzburg, Rockhouse

Cherry Choke, A Night in the Arms of Venus (2011)

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Godflesh, Early Man, Temple of Void, Mage and Lamperjaw

Posted in Radio on October 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

I wanted to make sure I did a round of radio adds for this week. Not just because they’re fun to do and it’s a bit like submerging my head in heaviness for an afternoon, but because I’ve already got one or two records in mind to join the playlist next week (or the week after, depending on time) and I don’t want to get too far behind. As always, these five are just picks out of the bunch. Over 20 records went up to the server today, so there’s much more than this to dig into. As well as all the rest of everything up there. I don’t even know how much stuff that is at this point. Last I heard from Slevin, it was “a lot.” Nothing like more, then.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Oct. 16, 2014:

Godflesh, A World Lit only by Fire

Godflesh A World Lit Only By Fire cover

It seems that after a decade-plus of moving further away from Godflesh‘s sound in Jesu, guitarist/vocalist Justin K. Broadrick has had no problem whatsoever slipping back into songwriting for the ultra-influential early-industrial outfit. Preceded by an EP called Decline and Fall (review here) that was also released through Broadrick‘s Avalanche Recordings imprint, the 10-track A World Lit Only by Fire harnesses a lot of the churn that was so prevalent in prime-era Godflesh and, more impressively, successfully channels the same aggression and frustration without sounding like a put-on. The chug in “Carrion” is visceral, and while “Life Giver Life Taker” recalls some of the melody that began to show itself on Godflesh‘s last album, 2001’s Hymns, and subsequently became the core of Jesu, songs like “Shut Me Down” and the gruelingly slow “Towers of Emptiness” find Broadrick and bassist G.C. Green enacting a familiar pummel that — and this is a compliment — sounds just like Godflesh. No doubt some of that is because so much of the duo’s elements are electronic, and while they might sound dated after a while, electronics don’t actually age in the same way people do, but even in the human core of the band, Godflesh are back in full, earth-shattering force. A World Lit Only by Fire is a triumphant return. I don’t know if it necessarily adds much to the Godflesh legacy that wasn’t already there, but as a new beginning point, a sort of second debut, its arrival is more than welcome. Godflesh on Bandcamp, Justin Broadrick on Thee Facebooks.

Early Man, Thank God You’ve Got the Answers for us All

early man thank got you've got the answers for us all

After starting out in Ohio and making their way to New York around the middle of the last decade, the duo of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mike Conte and guitarist Pete Macy — better known as Early Man — recorded their new album, Thank God You’ve Got the Answers for us All, as they put, “inside various closets, attics and basements within the greater Los Angeles area over the past year.” I recall seeing them in Manhattan and getting their demo in 2004/2005 and Early Man was the shit. They were gonna be huge. A contract with Matador Records brought their debut and then they went five years before their next album came out, and by then, retro metal and heavy rock has passed them by. Thank God You’ve Got the Answers for us All taps some of the same younger-Metallica vibing of their earliest work on “Black Rains are Falling” and closer “The Longer the Life,” but the current of Sabbathian heavy that was always there remains strong and “Always Had a Place in Hell to Call My Own” ups the ante with a more punkish take. The recording is raw in the new digital sense, but the tracks get their point across well enough, and Conte‘s songwriting has always produced some memorable results — the keyboard-soaked “Hold on to Nothing” stands out here — but it seems like the story of Early Man is still waiting to be told. Early Man on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Temple of Void, Of Terror and the Supernatural

Temple Of Void - of Terror and the Supernatural - cover

Any given song, it can be hard to tell where Detroit’s Temple of Void come down on the spectrum of doom/death and death/doom, but whatever genre tag you want to stick on it, their debut long-player, Of Terror and the Supernatural, is fucking grim. A roaring morass of thuds, low growls, bouts of extreme violence and bludgeonry, and horror — oh, the horror. Last year’s Demo MMXIII (review here) was fair enough warning, but what the double-guitar five-piece do across these eight tracks is a cruelty of atmosphere and lurch. Squibbles perpetrate “Invocation of Demise,” which also has some surprise key work that sounds like a flute, and a moment of respite arrives with the subsequent “To Carry this Corpse Evermore” in Opethian acoustics, but as the title would indicate, “Rot in Solitude” throws the listener right back into the filth and it’s there Temple of Void seem most in their element. Buried deep in “Exanimate Gaze” is a melodic undertone and 10-minute finale “Bargain in Death” shows a fairly dynamic approach, but the core of what they do is rooted in toying with a balance between death and doom metals, and already on their first outing they show significant stylistic command. If they tour, it’s hard to imagine one of the bigger metal labels —RelapseMetal Blade — wouldn’t want them somewhere down the line. Temple of Void on Thee Facebooks, Saw Her Ghost Records, Rain without End Records.

Mage, Last Orders


UK fivesome Mage debuted in 2012 with Black Sands (review here) and showcased a burly blend of heavy rock and metal, and tonally and in the drums, their sophomore outing, Last Orders, follows suit in copping elements of thrash, Voivod-style otherwordliness and a penchant for shifting tempos effectively while keeping a seemingly downward path. Vocalist Tom has pulled back on the ultra-dudely vocals and it makes a big difference in the band’s sound for the better. He’s much better mixed and exploring some new ground on “The Fallen,” but he boldly takes on the task with the slower “Beyond” — the longest song here at six minutes flat — and comes out stronger for it. Guitarists Ben and Woody, bassist Mark and drummer Andy showcase some Electric Wizard influence in that song, but I wouldn’t tie Mage‘s sound to any one band, as “Lux Mentis” before offers huge-sounding stomp and “Violent Skies” after feeds an adrenaline surge of chugging and turns before opening to Last Orders‘ satisfying payoff, Tom tapping into mid-range Halford along the way and closer “One for the Road” reminding that there’s still a riffy side to the band as well. Mage on Thee Facebooks, Witch Hunter Records.

Lamperjaw, Demo EP 2014

LAMPERJAW - Demo EP 2014

Formed in 2011, Virginian trio Lamperjaw make their three-track debut with the descriptive Demo EP 2014, drunken-stomping the line between sludge and Southern heavy. One can’t help but be reminded of Alabama Thunderpussy‘s glory days listening to “Throw Me a Stone,” but with guitarist Dedrian, bassist Lane and drummer Codi all contributing vocals, Lamperjaw bring something immediately distinguishing to their approach. “Blood Dreams” aligns them with the burl-bringing Southern set, some screams and a metallic chug surprising after the opener’s booze-rocking vibe, but their real potential comes out on the seven-minute “Menace of a Cruel Earth,” which moves from low-in-the-mouth whoa-yeah-style grit across a successful linear build to a harmonized, well-arranged apex. It’s always hard to judge a band’s intent by their first release, and there’s a lot about their sound Lamperjaw are still figuring out, but they’ve given themselves some directional liquidity on their first demo, and it will be interesting to hear how they proceed from this point. Lamperjaw on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Like I said, this is just a fraction of the stuff that went up to the server this afternoon, so if you get a second, I hope you’ll peruse the The Obelisk Radio Updates and Playlist page, or whatever it is I’m calling it in my head this week. It’s the same page as always either way.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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VINYL WEEK: The Kings of Frog Island, V

Posted in On Wax on September 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cool record. I'm not sure if they ever pressed IV, but they sure as hell pressed V. Always good to hear from these guys. If I still had a label going, or more appropriately if I ever really had one, like with backing and more than one person involved, I'd want to work with them.

There’s little I’m inclined to argue with less than a new The Kings of Frog Island record. Their 2013 outing, IV (review here), began a new era for the amorphous UK band, self-releasing LPs after a three-album stint on Elektrohasch, and they follow that LP quickly with the heady two-sides of V, which furthers their blend of classic psych, garage rock and heavy/desert rock impulses. I don’t think it really matters who shows up on a given day for the studio, just so long as they can jam, and unquestionably benefits from that mentality, and this time around, steady partakers Mark Buteaux (vocals/guitar), Roger “Dodge” Watson (drums) and Gavin Searle are joined by Gavin Wright and Tony Heslop, who came aboard last time out, and Lee Madel-Toner, with Scarlett Searle guesting. Change and fluidity have been running themes for The Kings of Frog Island since their 2005 self-titled debut, and is no exception.

Like IV, there’s no number anywhere on the 12″ sleeve that would tip you off if you didn’t already know it was the fifth album, but even side-by-side with its predecessor, shows off a heady growth in sound and confidence from last year’s offering, Buteaux comfortable topping side A’s tripped-out closer “Raised in a Lion’s Den” with a single line of vocals (“I was born in a desert, raised in a lion’s den”) to add mystique to an already molten atmosphere. In particular, the blend of ambience the kings of frog island v coverand more grounded songwriting — something The Kings of Frog Island have never lacked — is readily on display throughout the new LP, an early highlight arriving with the psychedelic desertisms of “Sunburn,” the opener that billows out of the introductory “Tangerine.” For the first half, divisions between songs are otherwise pretty clear. “Tangerine” hypnotizes early and gives way directly to “Sunburn,” but that song, “Temporal Riff,” which follows, “Born on the Fourth” and “Raised in a Lion’s Den” have definitive starts and finishes, which by the time side B rounds out won’t be the case. “Temporal Riff” is another early high point, departing from “Sunburn”‘s distortion waves and into ’60s-style acoustic psych pop that subtly builds around a wash of cymbals that continues a theme from last time out of patient, impeccably captured drumming from Watson, fluid in the speakers and in the ears and a key element in the band’s approach. The song itself isn’t limited to that or to a jam — it has one of the album’s best hooks, right up there with “Sunburn” — but it makes the transition easier into the classic garage rock swagger of “Born on the Fourth,” a quicker jaunt distinguished by call and response vocals and the lyric “Put your hand in the palm of mine,” which mirrors the rhythmic insistence well.

“Raised in a Lion’s Den” is likewise well placed at the end of side A, since it foreshadows some of what side B gets up to with its lull-your-consciousness rollout and sense of lysergic space rock meandering. “Novocaine” is earthbound compared to some of what follows, with a lightly Beatles-style verse-into-chorus transition, but still plenty groovy, starting out soft and getting into volume-swell guitar antics and subdued airiness before the more purely desert-tinged “Five O Grind” reminds of the expanses a Kyuss influence can cover when put to best use. The swirl and heavier vibe is immediate, echoing vocals deep under the riff, the title repeated as the lyrical center of the song, the fuzz consuming. It’s the most forceful of the riffers on V, but not out of place either with “Novocaine” before it or “Destroy all Monsters” after, which references Godzilla in its title and is pretty clearly named for its largesse of riff, similarly to how “Temporal Riff” may have been titled for its backward-in-time vibing. “Five O Grind” is the last bit of earthly grooving The Kings of Frog Island do here, if you can call it that, since even when their material is structured it’s blissed out, and the last three cuts, “Destroy all Monsters,” “Make it Last”  and “On” bleed together to finish the album in flowing fashion, the clear ending of “Five O Grind” with its lead guitar, buried vocals and steady nod giving way to the stomp of “Destroy all Monsters” — how else would one do that but with giant lizard feet and maybe a bit of laser breath? — which flows nebulously into “Make it Last” and “On.” Where the point of separationthe kings of frog island v back cover is between the last three tracks, I don’t know exactly, but “Destroy all Monsters” seems to separate after several turns of standalone drone riffing into feedback from which a more fuzzed riff emerges (the drums rejoin), and if you told me that was the switch into “Make it Last,” I’d believe you.

From there, one might point out any number of points at which “On” takes hold to round out V, but in doing so I think a crucial intent of the album would be sacrificed. As with IV, it’s pretty clear that a big part of The Kings of Frog Island‘s intent in only releasing an LP edition of is that the record should be experienced as a whole, in one complete sitting split only between sides A and B. Ultimately, where “Make it Last” becomes “On” doesn’t matter. It’s the fades in and out, the feedback, drum-propelled, the steady bassline and the ground the material covers that’s all the more important than if the quick stop is where one ends and another begins. Either way, is finished with its fading, synth-topped jam, a foundational guitar, bass, drum rhythm topped by a wash that continues even as ambient vocals make a surprise return as if to remind that there are still humans somewhere behind all this liquefied noise. Tambourine punctuates for a while and what must be “On” devolves into one last hypnotic wash of psychedelic melody, organ sounds being the last element present before the needle returns. I’ve been a nerd for The Kings of Frog Island since their 2008 fuzz-landmark, II, and in the years since, they’ve showed an unrelenting pursuit of expanded-mind exploration. What’s perhaps most encouraging about is how amiable a companion it is for IV while maintaining a personality of its own. Clearly grown out of the preceding full-length, seems to establish the band’s progression as one set to continue with no end in sight. Again, you won’t hear me argue.

The Kings of Frog Island, “Sunburn” official video

The Kings of Frog Island on Thee Facebooks

V on CDBaby

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Colour Haze, Cherry Choke, Stubb and More to Play ThElectriCool Festival

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster


Hard to mess with a party when Colour Haze is showing up. The German heavy psych progenitors will headline the inaugural ThElectriCool festival in Leicester, UK, topping a bill that includes the garage whims of Cherry ChokeStubb‘s fuzz riffery and check-ins from The Exploding Sound MachineThe Kumari and The Junipers. No doubt it’ll be a groovy happening, but adding to the friendly vibes is that the fest is also telling you where and when you might find the afterparty. They might be selling vintage pants, but it’s not like they’re keeping secrets, and I respect that.

No doubt said postshow will consist of any number of smashed denizens ranting and raving about how badass Colour Haze just were — at least that’s been my experience after watching them play — as well as the rest of the night, which seems to push into early psych, mid-’60s-stylizations, psych-folk, shoegaze, and of course Stubb‘s motor-heavy riffing. Cool blend. Wish I could be there to see it.

PR wire had this to say:


ThElectriCool – Festival of Psychedelic Rock will be held at 02 Academy Scholar Bar, Leicester, UK, October 11th 2014. Organised by promoters ‘The Hidden Museum’ ThElectriCool has brought together the cream of current psychedelic/acid rock and pop groups, including Colour Haze, Cherry Choke, The Kumari, Stubb, The Exploding Sound Machine and The Junipers.

The festival also offers a chance to buy vintage clothing, records and custom art under the glow of a psychedelic light show whilst listening to the sounds of DJ Baron Saturday or one of the great live acts. The University of Leicester campus venue opens its doors at 3pm. First live act 3.20pm. Curfew 10.30pm. Then it’s just a 5 minute taxi drive or a 20 minute walk to the aftershow party at Firebug, Millstone Lane, Leicester. Hosted by Biff bang Pow! playing 60’s garage and psych sounds. This will run from 11pm till 3am. Free Entry with ThElectriCool wrist band.

COLOUR HAZE are a German psychedelic/stoner rock group of gigantic proportions. Formed in Munich by Stefan Koglek, they are the leading lights of the European stoner rock scene. The groups tours have included headline slots at rock festivals ranging from the U.S. festival Emissions from the Monolith right through to Germany’s Berg Hertzberg festival. Colour Haze have recorded a live set for the legendary TV show Rockpalast, alongside their 10 studio albums. Tune in, hold on and freek out!

CHERRY CHOKE fronted by singer/guitarist Mathew Bethancourt (ex Kings of Frog Island and Josiah) are one of the UK’s finest acid rock power trios. Their second album ‘A Night In The Arms of Venus’ and their high energy European tours have firmly placed the band at the forefront of a new contemporary psych rock scene. Live, this band lay down some heavy acid rock grooves.

THE KUMARI are for anyone into groups like The See See or The Black Angels. They evoke an era where punk and paisley were synonymous with full on, ringing mid-60s sounds and cool background chorus harmonies. Neo garage psych pop for the paisley generation.

STUBB build on the solid foundations laid down by the pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s such as Mountain, Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. This power trio journey on through psychedelic live jams and stoned riffs. Sounds like Hendrix playing at Altamont. Heavy Psych!

THE EXPLODING SOUND MACHINE just wanna blow ya mind with their hammond driven interstellar psychedlic wall of cosmic sound. This group would have been right at home in Londons UFO club in the late 60’s, but we get to enjoy the acidic excursions and garage psych explosions in the here and now.

THE JUNIPERS are one of the UK’s finest psychedelic pop acts. Their debut album Cut Your Key (2008) gained airplay on BBC Radio from dj’s, Bob Harris, Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe and Janice Long among others. The band played two live sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music, supported Kasabian and played festivals such as The Big Chill, Summer Sundae, Moseley Folk Festival and many more. The Junipers second album Paint the Ground was released to rave reviews in February 2012. This pop psych outfit are not to be missed.

Further information:

The Exploding Sound Machine, “Higher Power”

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