Mos Generator and Year of the Cobra Announce Tour Dates and Split 7″

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Washington heavy rock trio Mos Generator and duo Year of the Cobra recently got together to record songs on a 4-track tape for an upcoming split single, with Mos Generator‘s Tony “The Restless” Reed at the helm. The news today is that this split, which will be out on Ripple Music and H42 Records, will coincide with a US tour beginning in June that also leads Mos Generator closer to the release of their new album, Abyssinia, on Listenable Records in July. I’d expect this to be just the first round of what will probably be a several-legged run to support Abyssinia. Ever since Mos Generator took to the road following 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) with a revamped lineup, they have basically never looked back.

Year of the Cobra‘s debut long-player is set to arrive later this year as well. Not sure if it’ll be out by the time of this tour — STB was handling the release, last I heard — but they’re sure to be heralding its coming one way or another. Their 2015 EP, The Black Sun (review here), can be streamed below.

Tour dates and the recently-unveiled art for Abyssinia follow, as seen on the social medias:

mos generator year of the cobra tour

“Been waiting to announce this for a while… Year of the Cobra and Mos Generator have a split 7″ record coming out on Ripple Music and H42 Records. Both bands will tour the U.S. together this summer to support it. Check the poster for dates! Also, both bands will be playing separately on the dates not listed – check our websites for more info on that. Looking forward seeing and meeting some new friends this summer.”

mos generator abyssiniaMos Generator have unveiled the cover artwork of their new full-length album, ‘Abyssinia’, scheduled for a July release.

Tony Reed comments”These new songs show major change and growth for the band, I wanted the cover to represent that as well. I knew it was going to be collage art style and in searching for an image that moved me I came across this untitled piece. Abyssinia is slang for “I’ll be seeing you”. Sometimes my brain feels like the image on the cover.”

Here are the complete dates for the Mos Generator U.S. tour. More Regional (northwest) dates and European dates for MG coming soon.

6/16 Portland OR –
6/17 Missoula MT – The Palace*
6/18 Salt Lake City UT – (Crucialfest)
6/19 Denver CO – Hi-Dive
6/20 Lincoln NE – Bourbon Theater
6/21 Sioux Falls – Bigs Bar*
6/22 St Paul MN – Agharta records (7pm in-store)
Big Vs (night show)*
6/23 Indianapolis IN – State st pub*
6/24 Chicago IL – Reggie’s
6/25 Columbis OH – Ace of Cups
6/26 Frederick MD (Maryland Doom Fest) Cafe 611
6/27 Raleigh NC – Slim’s*
6/28
6/29 Little Rock AR – Vito’s*
6/30 Tulsa OK – Holy Mountain Records(7pm in-store)
Downtown Lounge (evening show)*
7/01 Fort Worth TX – The Grotto*
7/02 Austin TX – The Lost Well*
7/03 OFF
7/04 Albuquerque NM – Launchpad*
7/05 Flagstaff AZ* – Greenroom*
7/06 Las Vegas NV – Dive bar*
7/07 Boise ID – Neurolux*
7/08 Seattle WA – The Substation*
7/09 Vancouver BC – SBC*
* w/ Year of the Cobra

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator/
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www.ripple-music.com
https://h42records.bandcamp.com

Mos Generator, “The Prow” (Voivod cover)

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun EP (2015)

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The Golden Grass, Coming Back Again: Shine a Little Light

Posted in Reviews on April 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-golden-grass-coming-back-again

It’s much to The Golden Grass‘ credit that their second album, Coming Back Again, retains the ‘g’ at the end of the word “coming.” The Brooklynite trio seem to have a sense of just where the line is that would put them over-the-top, beyond belief, and they walk that line carefully throughout their sophomore long-player and Listenable Records debut as they did on their 2014 self-titled first outing (review here), released on Svart. That record’s primary contribution came via its overarching positivity — its material dared to be sweet, melodic, graceful, friendly and warm in a climate that reads authenticity mostly via the miserable, even as regards underground heavy music. The Golden Grass‘ boogie worked in direct opposition to that, and much to their credit at their beginning, they had the songwriting to back up their stylization. Fortunately, that remains true on Coming Back Again.

The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Michael Rafalowich, drummer/vocalist Adam Kriney and newcomer bassist/vocalist Frank Caira present six tracks/38 minutes conveniently split across two sides, tracked by Jeff Berner at Galuminum Foil Productions, and geared to be as friendly, welcoming and accessible as possible, while also retaining a sense of heft to the tones and rhythmic push — if you want people to dance, give them a shove — and exploring a newfound progressive flourish in the instrumental chemistry that marks a clear, mindful step forward from the debut two years ago. That answers a big question coming into the album, since it was plain from the effort the band put into their presentation that they had no intention of standing still creatively, but it was up in the air how that progression would manifest. It’s manifested as progress. Go figure.

Crucially, as Coming Back Again moves The Golden Grass‘ sound ahead from where it was, that doesn’t come at the expense of the feelgood atmosphere or the melodic richness overall. If anything, even as the emotional context broadens with some more wistful lyrics, it deepens both the atmosphere and level of performance, as opener “Get it Together” (video premiere here) launches with an immediate rhythmic movement leading to a call and response verse from Rafalowich and Kriney, whose harmonies have only become more engaging. Psychedelic lead guitar in a quick break prefaces jams to come, but the band is looking to start out with earthier fare, and the boogie is as strong as the hook in “Get it Together.” It’s not until the break after about four minutes in that the guitar and drums begin to signal some of the sonic shift Coming Back Again will really present, building to a psych-prog swirl atop Caira‘s rock-solid bassline before Rafalowich‘s dream-tone lead takes hold, shifting back to ground in a tambourine-inclusive gallop that finishes the song. That’s a lot of ground to cover in about two minutes’ time, but The Golden Grass masterfully guide “Get it Together” to a sunshiny melodic finish and the tones fade just in time to let the jazzier “Reflections in the Glass” take hold with a smooth entrance.

the golden grass

Caira shines in the transition between verses, along with some keys and interwoven layers of acoustic and electric guitar — the band once again making complex ideas sound simple — and Rafalowich and Kriney execute a thoughtful vocal arrangement to add to the lushness, both easing back for a more gentle delivery than the harder rocking “Get it Together,” but still finding resolution in the last moments of “Reflections in the Glass,” guitar, bass and drums rounding out deceptively complex turns that meet head on with the launch of side A finale, “Shadow Traveler,” more immediately psychedelic. As one of two cuts on Coming Back Again over eight minutes, one might expect full-on prog exploration, but at least in its early going, “Shadow Traveler” is some of the rawest boogie here on offer, Rafalowich calling out both himself and Kriney in the lyrics — “Hey now here comes Adzo/He gonna show you how to swing” — and so he does, in one of the album’s most resonant choruses and subsequent grooves.

Much of the second half of the song is given to an extended psych jam, Rafalowich and Kriney trading lines back and forth referencing other songs on the album — “Get it Together,” “Reflections in the Glass,” the forthcoming “Down the Line” and closer “See it Through” — in a manner classic and brilliant in how it positions the first-time listener with an immediate familiarity with what they’ve just heard. After a finishing wash and crash, side B begins with the interlude “Hazy Daybreak”; two and a half-minutes interplay between far-back airy electric and progressive acoustic guitar, quiet drums, finger snaps, shaker, etc., that, sadly, doesn’t meet with any vocal harmonies on its brief path. I would not be surprised if next time, i.e., on the next album, the case turns out to be different, but if The Golden Grass are telegraphing future experimentation, they’re no less clearheaded about it than they are with their more established movements on Coming Back Again, such as the building tension of the opening to “Down the Line,” which becomes a defining piece for the album in more than just its 9:45 runtime, an early chug and vocal harmonies giving due sense of motion to the chorus “Going down the line.”

After the initial Kriney-led verses, Rafalowich takes the fore through a section past three and a half minutes in that is the departure point for an extended jam careening through psychedelic lead work and rumbling into quiet bass, drums and sparse guitar noise as it moves into the song’s midsection — the foundation of a subdued dream-prog sequence that moves back to reality via Kriney‘s toms and eventually, skillfully, brings back the verse and chorus to close out with emphasis on the control that was never lost. That makes closer “See it Through” something of a victory lap, though a subtly moodier take in the lyrics — plus another noteworthy performance from Caira — also serve as distinguishing factors. And they find room for a boogie jam as well, pushing toward the last hook with handclaps, interspliced layers of fuzz and bass, cowbell, snare and so on as they execute one final round of deceptively tight rhythmic turns while sounding like they’re smiling all the while. The push ends with a “woo!” and that’s about all that needs to be said.

As much as it affirms what The Golden Grass accomplished their first time out, Coming Back Again also leaves that record behind in terms of its ambition and the chemistry in development between RafalowichKriney and Caira, who by no means sounds as new to the band in these tracks as he was when they were recorded. With a grander scope that still sounds definitively natural, The Golden Grass strike a rare balance between accessibility and progressive drive in cuts like “Shadow Traveler,” “Reflections in the Glass” and “See it Through” that, along with “Hazy Daybreak,” set a context for future growth while giving their audience songs that, in the present, are worth returning to the way one enjoys visiting good friends. They’re working toward forward movement sonically, but The Golden Grass remain a band with a deeply individual take on heavy rock, and there’s nothing else out there quite like them.

The Golden Grass, Coming Back Again (2016)

The Golden Grass on Thee Facebooks

The Golden Grass on Bandcamp

The Golden Grass at Listenable Records

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Mars Red Sky and Elephant Tree to Tour the UK in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hell’s bells that’s a good show! Here I’ve been considering getting a crowdfunding page going in order to bring Elephant Tree over from their home base in the UK specifically to pair them up with Bordeaux, France, heavy psych masters Mars Red Sky at The Obelisk All-Dayer in August, and Snuff Lane has gone and beat me to making the match. It’s a five-show run through the UK, and they’ll meet up with Black Lung along the way and play Riff Conspiracy III in Manchester, but for however long these two are getting together, it’s a fit that works so well, it’s hard to imagine this will be the only time it happens.

If you haven’t heard it yet, Mars Red Sky‘s recently-issued third LP, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), is currently holding my top spot for album of the year. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of year to go, but woof, that’s a good record. Elephant Tree‘s self-titled debut (review here), which is due out at the end of April through Magnetic Eye, is currently holding my top spot for debut of the year. Take that as an indication of how highly I regard these two bands at this point. These gigs are going to be killer. If you get to go, consider yourself lucky.

Dates from the PR wire:

mars-red-sky-elephant-tree-uk-tour

MARS RED SKY’s will be touring the UK in May in support of their brand new album ‘Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul)’, pushing boundaries further into a colossal heavy sound like never before.

Produced by Gabriel Zander (from Brasil who also engineered ‘Stranded in Arcadia’) and Jacob Dennis in Studio Cryogene in Bègles in France – The band has forged grandiose and hypnotizing thickly produced songs rooted through a wider range of musical influences stretching from Robert Wyatt, The Beatles, Nick Drake, Neil young to bands like Electric Wizard, Acid King and obviously Black Sabbath.

French revered psych-pop doom fuzzers are set to grace the United Kingdom in May for 5 special events, with tour support will be provided by sitar welding, London based Elephant Tree, who are due to release their new album self-titled album through Magnetic Eye Records.

‘Prise for the Burning Soul’ May UK Tour:
12/05 – The Exchange, Bristol Alongside: Black Lung (ft. members of The Flying Eyes), Indica Blues, The Brackish, Raptor
13/05 – The Phoenix, Coventry
14/05 – Birthdays, London Support TBC
15/05 – Rebellion, Manchester Part of Riff Conspiracy III (Noiz)
16/05 – Audio, Glasgow

Tour RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1574569322856563/

www.marsredsky.net
https://www.facebook.com/marsredskyband/
http://store.merhq.com/album/elephant-tree
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Mars Red Sky, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul)

Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree

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Mars Red Sky Announce May 20 North American Release for Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul)

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

I guess I didn’t realize that the prior release date for Mars Red Sky‘s third album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here), didn’t apply worldwide. Fair enough. I’m not about to say the record doesn’t deserve all the focus it can get, so if that means a May 20 issue in North America via Listenable Records, you’ll get no argument from me. Another excuse to put it on, another excuse to check out their video for “Mindreader,” another excuse to plug their upcoming appearance at The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, on and on. There’s really no downside.

Mars Red Sky are on the road now and are shortly to tour in France alongside Stoned Jesus. The PR wire brings info, dates and more:

mars red sky apex iii praise for the burning soul

MARS RED SKY: French Psychedelic Stoner Doom Trio To Release Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) In North America This May Via Listenable Records

Bordeaux, France-based psychedelic stoner doom trio, MARS RED SKY, will release their stunning new album Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) in North America this May via Listenable Records.

Already available to European audiences, Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) was captured by Gabriel Zander, who also engineered the band’s lauded Stranded In Arcadia offering, and Jacob Dennis in Studio Cryogene in Bègles, France and truly pushes the boundaries of the band’s already monolithic sound. With Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul), MARS RED SKY delivers grandiose and hypnotizing hymns rooted in a far wider range of musical influences stretching from Robert Wyatt, The Beatles, Nick Drake and Neil Young to Electric Wizard, Acid King and, naturally, Black Sabbath.

Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) Track Listing:
1. (Alien Grounds)
2. Apex III
3. The Whinery
4. Mindreader
5. Under The Hood
6. Friendly Fire
7. Prodigal Sun
8. Shot In Providence

Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) will be officially unveiled in North America on May 20th via Listenable Records. To secure your copy today visit THIS LOCATION.

Mars Red Sky on tour:
18/03 EINDHOVEN (NL) Tuchthuis
19/03 HANNOVER (DE) Faust Gold
29/03 RENNES (35) L’Ubu
30/03 ROUBAIX (59) La Cave aux Poètes
31/03 ANGERS (49) Le Chabada – Angers (club et salle de concerts)
01/04 LORIENT (56) MAPL / Le Manège / Les Studios – Lorient
02/04 NANTES (44) Metalorgie Festival
05/04 STRASBOURG (67) La Laiterie Artefact
06/04 LYON (69) Marché Gare
07/04 DRAGUIGNAN (83) Bucéphale
08/04 BARCELONA (SP) Sala Plataforma
09/04 MONTPELLIER (34) Le Black Sheep
10/04 CLERMONT FD (63) Coopérative de Mai
12/04 TOURS (37) Le Temps Machine
16/04 LE MANS (72) Salle Jean Carmet
17/04 DUNKERQUE (59) Les 4Ecluses
20/08 NYC (USA) The Obelisk All-Dayer
26-28/08 LAS VEGAS (USA) Psycho Fest LV

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Mars Red Sky, “Mindreader” official video

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The Golden Grass Premiere Video for “Get it Together”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the golden grass (Photo by Andrea Zavareei)

It’s not long into The Golden Grass‘ forthcoming second album, Coming Back Again — out April 15 on Listenable Records — that the Brooklynite trio revive the sunshiny spirit of their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), and likewise, it’s not much longer after that that they begin to showcase the progression of their sound they’ve enacted over the two years since that record came out. “Get it Together” opens Coming Back Again and couches a relatively simple, friendly lyrical message in a complex vocal arrangement with the refined harmonies of guitarist Michael “Professor Plum Brandy” Rafalowich and drummer Adam “Adzo” Kriney and newcomer bassist/vocalist Frank “The Fireball” Caira topping the first of the outing’s easy-flowing grooves. Tonally, structurally and conceptually engaging, “Get it Together” is about a minute in before Rafalowich dives into an airy psychedelic lead, and with a particularly choice hook, the opener sets a warm tone to which the rest of Coming Back Again seems only too glad to live up.

the-golden-grass-coming-back-againThe video trips out some DIY performance footage, and proves even more how far The Golden Grass have gone to develop their sound. Before they introduce the key progressive stylization in the back half of “Get it Together” that will be fleshed out across the LP, we can see in the video that Caira joins Rafalowich and Kriney on vocals. Of the three (that we know of) bassists who’ve played with The Golden Grass since their first record, he’s the only one to contribute as a singer as well. I’d imagine a good portion of the material for Coming Back Again was written or at least in progress before he was announced as joining back in December, after the band had already been confirmed for Freak Valley 2016 this May in Germany, but he was there when it was recorded, so I’d be interested to find out where his voice appears between the recognizable styles of Kriney and Rafalowich, who’s where in the harmonies and how that will continue to develop from here. If you think that sounds like an interview question, you’re probably right.

April 15 is the North American release, April 22 is the European release for Coming Back Again by The Golden Grass, who have European tour dates to be announced and more to come all around. You can see and hear “Get it Together” on the player below, followed by more particulars on the album, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

The Golden Grass, “Get it Together” official video

Listenable Records is proud to release the stunning new sophomore full-length, Coming Back Again, from Brooklyn, New York-based psychedelic rock trio THE GOLDEN GRASS this April.

A truly serpentine journey where the epic glory and might of ’70s psychedelia, the sun-drenched warmth of Laurel Canyon’s golden country/folk era and sheer blues-based Southern rock boogie give way to exploratory landscapes, lysergic prog arrangements and a swinging jazz touch, the six-track follow-up to the band’s 2014 self-titled Svart Records debut, was tracked by Jeff Berner at Galuminum Foil Productions.

In support of their forthcoming new album, THE GOLDEN GRASS will embark on their third European tour this coming May which already includes an appearance at the legendary Freak Valley Festival.

Coming Back Again will be available on CD, limited edition colored vinyl and digitally on April 15th in North America and April 22nd in Europe with preorders, track teasers and tour dates to be unveiled in the weeks to come.

Coming Back Again Preorder

The Golden Grass on Thee Facebooks

The Golden Grass on Bandcamp

Listenable Records

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Mos Generator Announce New Album Abyssinia Due in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been a hell of a couple years for Mos Generator, who have become as restless on the touring end as founder Tony Reed has been in his songwriting and studio work all along. The Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock and rollers have swapped out two-thirds of their lineup since issuing Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) through Listenable Records in 2014, and been back and forth across the country multiple times, Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jon Garrett working quickly to hammer out a stage chemistry that one will listen for as their new album, Abyssinia, arrives in July.

They’ve already confirmed an appearance at the Maryland Doom Fest to support it, and I can’t imagine that will be their last road show. Also newly announced by the band is a Reed-recorded split with Seattle duo Year of the Cobra that finds both bands using 4-track tape. Not sure on the release date for that one, but presumably it will be out either before or after July (I guess it would have to be one or the other) as Mos Generator set about touring to support Abyssinia. The label confirmed the album thusly:

mos generator

MOS GENERATOR have just finished mastering their brand new album entitled ‘Abyssinia’ which is scheduled for a July release.

The band’s hyper creative main man and writer of more than 1000 songs Tony Reed comments : “Abyssinia” is the continuation of an open relationship with many musical styles. This kind of exploration has always been a part of my writing but now I am letting the flood gates open and I’m welcoming all of my musical influences to flow through the songs. “Strangest Times” and “Red Canyons” are very typical MG style heavy rock songs but tunes like “Outlander“, which takes a lot from the soundtrack era Pink Floyd, or “Catspaw“, which sounds like something I would have written at age 20 under the influence of Husker Du and Voivod, move the band into a whole new area that I’m very excited to be moving towards.”

TONY REED / guitar, vocals, keyboards, assorted instruments (stone axe, treepeople, goodbye harry, twelve thirty dreamtime.)
SEAN BOOTH / Bass (Special Guests, Inifinite Flux, (9999), Second Sun, Drywater)
JON GARRETT / Drums (Turbid North)

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
http://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/47_mos-generator

Mos Generator, “Electric Mountain Majesty” official video

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New Keepers of the Water Towers, Infernal Machine: A Work in Texture (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

new keepers of the water towers infernal machine

[Click play above to hear the premiere of “Tachyon Deep” from New Keepers of the Water Towers’ Infernal Machine, out April 1 on Listenable Records. Enjoy.]

Stockholm five-piece New Keepers of the Water Towers issue their fourth album, Infernal Machine, April 1 via Listenable Records. It is easily their most textured and expansive work yet. The band have been on an outward push since 2011’s The Calydonian Hunt (review here) followed their rawer 2009 debut, Chronicles (review here), but along with aligning themselves to Listenable in 2013 for the release of their third LP, The Cosmic Child (review here), the band also took a corresponding stylistic leap into progressive psychedelia, basking in Floydian contemplations and spacious heft, and Infernal Machine is very much born of that same tradition. The difference is in the amount of the cosmos that the lineup of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, drummer/vocalist Tor Sjödén, guitarist/vocalist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson and keyboardist Adam Forsgren cover over the seven-track/45-minute span of Infernal Machine, and in the precise manner by which they control the linear flow between and throughout the songs.

Clearly intended to be taken in its entirety, Infernal Machine has standout moments, but each one of them feeds into an overarching impression of the whole, and New Keepers of the Water Towers make themselves at home working in such a grand scope, beginning with the 11-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Forever War” — also the name of the book on which the album is based — which eases the listener into the soundscapes they’ll inhabit as they make the journey from front to back, some alarming textures and wide-open guitar and keys gradually taking shape over a marching drum beat and howling tones.

Like a lot of Infernal Machine, “The Forever War” isn’t without some structure, but mood and atmosphere are for more central to the listening experience than hooks or anything of the sort. By its halfway point, “The Forever War” has locked into a kosmiche groove, but the band departs from there to go back to more spacious fare, guitar leading to an instrumental build that feels like it’s going to be grandiose but never actually goes overboard, quieting down as it makes ready to shift into “Tracks over Carcosa,” which swells initially like the monolith scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey and patiently transitions into more pulsing space rock. Patience is a virtue throughout Infernal Machine, something New Keepers of the Water Towers have learned over time, and something they use exceptionally well here.

The second cut morphs into kind of a surf rock if you were surfing on Titan, but the immersion that “The Forever War” began holds firm, and they pull back from the instrumental push to end the last minute-plus of “Tracks over Carcosa” on an ambient note before mellotron sounds set a peaceful beginning of “Tachyon Deep,” from which a standout rhythm will emerge along a contained linear build led by keyboard textures in a deceptively complex pastoral atmosphere. There’s just a hint of tension beneath to betray the insistence that will come as thicker tones enter the fray in the song’s back half, winding lead guitar echoing over the percussion and bassline in a way that recalls Ancestors‘ “First Light” — not a comparison I make lightly — before crashing to a finish that even with six minutes leading up to it feels somewhat sudden. Given the obvious intent shown in everything else on Infernal Machine and the song’s position right before centerpiece/likely-side-B-intro “Misantropin Kallar,” one has to imagine that’s on purpose, a cold ending following 20-plus minutes of graceful flow to toss a bucket of water on the audience before they flip the platter to its second half.

new keepers of the water towers

Either way, the effect is palpable even on the digital version, though its worth noting that the quiet fade-in of “Misantropin Kallar” makes for a cinematic reentry into the band’s cosmic sphere, bringing to mind Goblin‘s soundtrack work and even including a bit of spoken word dialogue, in Swedish, to highlight the point. A noisy wash comes to the fore in the last seconds of “Misantropin Kallar,” but drops out as “Escape Aleph Minor” begins its more immediate space rock push. The pattern of the drums is pure Hawkwind, but much to their credit, New Keepers of the Water Towers do about as much as anyone could to make such a recognizable element their own, surrounding the push with lush tones, manic rhythm guitar, piano/key lines and soaring vocals in the first half of the song and pushing through to a psych-jazz freakout in the second before bringing everything to a swirling head and crashing out to let the keys end on a subdued-into-silent note, from which “Jorden Wave” emerges, slowly crashing but eminently spacious.

Shorter, but mirroring the instrumental “Tracks over Carcosa,” its breadth works through in the melodies brought to bear over a simple rhythm, lumbering and made melancholy through mellotron, but still unremittingly progressive. There is a foreboding thud, crash and ring-out in the midsection — is that V’ger? — but they never let go of the restraint, and the tension crafted in the droning finish of “Jorden Wave” is all the more effective for the payoff the band refuses to give it. Silence — used here the way many bands use volume — leads into the closing semi-title-track “This Infernal Machine,” also the second-longest cut at 8:46, which, also instrumental, sets out to expand on the interplay of mellotron and lead guitar and cascading sweeps of “Tachyon Deep” as the moment of resolution to which the whole of Infernal Machine has been traveling. There’s even a bit of bounce in the keys à la “Misantropin Kallar,” so not only does it summarize the band’s stylistic accomplishments across the record, but bookends side B as well before it enters into its final build and caps, suitably, on a long tonal wash fadeout.

Those who caught wind of New Keepers of the Water Towers through The Cosmic Child will find that Infernal Machine is a more coherent representation of similar progressive sonic ideals, but the real triumph of the new record is how masterfully the band guide their audience through it and how smoothly it seems to flow. Patient, but heavy, Infernal Machine acts like a classic concept record in that it devotes more time to telling its story than to being impressed with itself for telling a story at all. That’s not to say there aren’t self-indulgent moments — there would have to be, or it wouldn’t be making its point — but that where their last time out, New Keepers of the Water Towers were making a foray into uncharted ground, this time they’ve made that ground their home and proven themselves able to remake it to suit their creative will.

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Mars Red Sky Post “Mindreader” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

mars red sky

I’m not sure if I accurately conveyed in my review of Mars Red Sky‘s just-released third album, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here) just how heavy the song “Mindreader” really is. Granted, the Bordeaux trio are no strangers to a thundering riff, but when “Mindreader” kicks in, the guitar of Julien Pras and Jimmy Kinast‘s bass get pushed forward by a surge of double-kick drumming from Mathieu Gazeau, and when that drops out and they launch into the groove that defines the verses of the song, the effect is utterly engulfing — huge low end making for unquestionably the single heaviest push on the record. It’s a moment well worth singling out, which is presumably the idea behind featuring “Mindreader” in a new video by Mars Red Sky lighting/video specialist Geoffrey Torres.

The new clip follows shortly behind one for the song “Shot in Providence” (posted here), much as the new album follows shortly behind the Providence EP (review here) on which “Shot in Providence” appeared. Torres was behind that video in part as well, and like that and many that Mars Red Sky have issued over the last five years, it’s easy to imagine the footage from “Mindreader” behind the band on stage. Where “Shot in Providence” was mostly black and white or otherwise muted in color, this time around, the found footage is in large part beaming and bright, and even its darker moments have elements of light in them — fire and rituals and this and that culled from old horror movies and so on. Naturally, the song is the highlight, but it’s easy to get lost in the video as well and the two create a similar kind of wash, one aural, one visual.

And yeah, since we’re on the subject, Mars Red Sky play The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn for what will be their first East Coast US appearance. It’s going to be awesome. You should come. More info here, tickets here.

Enjoy “Mindreader” below:

Mars Red Sky, “Mindreader” official video

“Mindreader” From “APEX III (Praise For The Burning Soul)” – Out Feb 29th 2016 on Listenable Rds / Recorded and mixed by Gabriel Zander & Jacob Dennis. Vidéo : Geoffrey Torres / Grading by Colin Manierka.

Mars Red Sky on tour:
01/03 LEIPZIG (DE) WERK2-Kulturfabrik
02/03 HAMBURG (DE) Hafenklang
03/03 BRUSSELS (BE) VK concerts
04/03 PARIS (FR) Le Divan du Monde
05/03 ROTTERDAM (NL) Baroeg Open Air
06/03 BERLIN (DE) Lido Berlin
08/03 STUTTGART (DE) Universum
09/03 LINZ (AT) Stadtwerstatt
10/03 VIENNA (AT) ARENA WIEN
11/03 LJUBLJANA (SI) Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture
12/03 MUNICH (DE) Under The Black Moon Festival
14/03 LAUSANNE (CH) Le Romandie – Lausanne
15/03 PRATTELN (CH) Konzertfabrik Z7 Bleibt
16/03 WIESBADEN (DE) Schlachthof Wiesbaden
17/03 ARLON (BE) L’Entrepôt À Arlon
18/03 EINDHOVEN (NL) Tuchthuis
19/03 HANNOVER (DE) Faust Gold
29/03 RENNES (35) L’Ubu
30/03 ROUBAIX (59) La Cave aux Poètes
31/03 ANGERS (49) Le Chabada – Angers (club et salle de concerts)
01/04 LORIENT (56) MAPL / Le Manège / Les Studios – Lorient
02/04 NANTES (44) Metalorgie Festival
05/04 STRASBOURG (67) La Laiterie Artefact
06/04 LYON (69) Marché Gare
07/04 DRAGUIGNAN (83) Bucéphale
08/04 BARCELONA (SP) Sala Plataforma
09/04 MONTPELLIER (34) Le Black Sheep
10/04 CLERMONT FD (63) Coopérative de Mai
12/04 TOURS (37) Le Temps Machine
16/04 LE MANS (72) Salle Jean Carmet
17/04 DUNKERQUE (59) Les 4Ecluses

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