Rancho Bizzarro to Release Possessed by Rancho EP Aug. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

rancho bizzarro

Italian desert-style heavy rockers Rancho Bizzarro — that’s two ‘z’s and two ‘r’s, just so you know; I’ve had it wrong before — will release a new EP titled Possessed by Rancho on Aug. 2 through Argonauta Records. The same countryman imprint issued the band’s debut album last year and has had them on its Argonauta Fest as well, so certainly familiar terrain, but the instrumentalist four-piece are still giving a tease of what the new release portends in streaming “Open Bar Deluxe,” the 7:55 opening track, which is nothing short of a fuzzy delight sure to earn approving nods from the converted. I have to think “Open Bar Deluxe” will be among the longer cuts on Possessed by Rancho, if only for the simple fact that if it’s five songs and they’re all upwards of eight minutes long, well, that’s an album, not an EP. I guess we’ll see when we get there.

Info (and tour dates) from the PR wire:

RANCHO-BIZZARRO-POSSESSED-BY-RANCHO-COVER-710x710

RANCHO BIZZARRO announce brand new EP, coming this Summer!

Tour Dates to kick off in May!

When Palm Desert tunes meet Detroit sounds, it’s time for RANCHO BIZZARRO to take over! The Italian four-piece, known from their excellent jam sessions drenched into fuzzy instrumental Stoner Rock with the hint of a classic 70’s attitude, has just announced the release of a brand new EP, coming on August 2nd 2019 via Argonauta Records! Following the band’s self-titled 2017 debut album and their critically acclaimed MONDO RANCHO EP (2018), the upcoming ‘Possessed By Rancho’ EP will deliver a new trip of a sound between motorcycles, vans, women and bars:

The tracklist reads as follows:
1. Open Bar Deluxe
2. King of the Van
3. El Motardo Loco
4. The Vengeance of Lord Humungus
5. Giusquiamo Slow Drink

Get possessed by the Rancho, and make sure to catch RANCHO BIZZARRO’s unique and heavy live performance at the following dates, to kick off this May:

18.05.19 IT – Montepulciano / Tap Room Olmaia
21.05.19 DE – Dresden / Ostpol
22.05.19 DE – Berlin / Toast Hawaii
23.05.19 DE – Bielefeld / Ptemkin Bar
24.05.19 DE – Tunzenberg / Kulturbraurei
25.05.2019 CH – Kreuzlingen / Horst Klub
27.06.19 IT – Milano / Magnolia Stone III

https://www.facebook.com/ranchobizzarro/
https://instagram.com/rancho_bizzarro
https://ranchobizzarro.tumblr.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

Rancho Bizzarro, “Open Bar Deluxe”

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Full Album Stream & Track-by-Track: Supernaughty, Vol. 1

Posted in Features on February 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

supernaughty

From Kyuss-style careening to toughguy creeper chug, it’s abundantly clear throughout their debut album that Italian four-piece Supernaughty have done their homework when it comes to engaging with classic heavy rock. They pull influence from masters of the form throughout songs like “Bad Games,” “The Slicers” and “Kiss the Death,” executing crisp songcraft and a subtly varied approach along the way, the penultimate “Y.A.T.” pushing into lumbering instrumental exploration as it nears the seven-minute mark while opener “Mistress” and closer “Fuck’n Drive” opt for a more straightforward tack.

Comprised of vocalist Angelo Fagni and drummer Alessio Franceschi, both also of Cora, bassist Andrea Burroni — since replaced by Luca Raffoni — and guitarist Filippo del Bimbo, also of underrated Argonauta Records labelmates Bantoriak, despite their Sabbath-referencing name, there’s very little about Suprenaughtythat veers into doom. If one looks specifically at the interaction between “Mistress” and “Fuck’n Drive” at the beginning and the end of the record — not to mention “The Slicers” in between — there are elements not only of ’90s and ’00s-era greats like Kyuss and Dozer, but their acolyte practitioners like Truckfighters and Deville as well.

It would seem to be the latter class that Supernaughty are trying to enter with their debut release, and it’s an ambitious league to enter for a band their first time out. Still, for having their sound as tightly presented as they do, Supernaughty give a clear impression of knowing who they are and what they want to do as a band. I don’t imagine they’re finished growing together as a unit, and Vol. 1 has some bite to its mix that the band might smooth out overtime in terms of balancing the vocals and guitars and so on, but it’s a raucous, classic-minded heavy rocker that winds up looking to have a good time, and as the motor-ready “Fuck’n Drive” hits the streets to make its final statement, the band sound like they’re nothing if not ready to get on the move.

Today they take us briefly through the Vol. 1, one track at a time, and you can read what they had to say and check out a full stream of the album below. Vol. 1 is out now on Argonauta Records.

Please enjoy:

Supernaughty, Vol. 1 Track-by-Track

01. Mistress

The heavy riffing opening track “Mistress” wants clearly show the powerful sound of the band. It talks about different relationships between women and men and the need that the slave has towards his mistress.

02. Bad Games

Most ’90s-influenced track, mixing heavy rock style with early grunge attitude. On “Bad Games,” we wonder who ‘drives the human race’ underlining absurd choices that ‘the power’ make everyday.

03. The Slicers

Mostly influenced stoner rock song, “The Slicers” moves through powerful riff and melodic singing. The meaning of this song is about unsatisfied persons ruining other people’s lives.

04. Andy’s Abduction

This is one of our favourite tracks. Freely inspired by the ’90s movie, Robert Lieberman’ Fire in the Sky. The story of Trevis Walton’s alien abduction, here, is re-adapted for our friend Andy. It’s a monolithic riff slowly that becomes a kind of psychedelic trip.

05. Kiss the Death

The story behind this track is about a dream interpretation: It warns from any wrong choices that we could make in our life but we do it anyway. Starting with acid guitar intro, “Kiss the Death” has a heavy verse and melodic refrain.

06. YAT

Literally “Young Amoeba’s Theory,” recalling the destructive nature of parasites. Unlike predators, parasites typically do not kill their host, but live on their host for an extended period. Here the parallelism is with a young lady. Music switches between powerful and granitic choruses and verses, that guide the listener to a psychedelic final vortex to hell.

07. Fuck’n Drive

This classical rock ‘n’ roll track was chosen to close the album just because sounds different than the other tracks, while the heavy bluesy closure along with the lyrics, sum our vision to be in band and have fun.

Supernaughty on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records on Thee Faceboks

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Supernaughty Sign to Argonauta Records; Debut LP Due Early 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I see what you did there, Supernaughty. Clever. With the name and all. The newcomer Italian four-piece are the latest in Argonauta Records‘ seemingly endless round of pickups — hey Gero, how many bands are on the label at this point? what’s the tally? — and though there isn’t any official audio out yet, going from the live video I managed to scrounge up below, I believe the imprint when they say there’s a strong ’90s influence. At very least I don’t think they’d lie about it at this point. The real question is with so many groups recently signed, how they manage to keep them all straight in their head. Must be one hell of a spreadsheet by now.

Note the association here with Argonauta labelmates and adventure-doomers Bantoriak. That’s always one that catches my eye, it seems, and I’m very much looking forward to their next record as well. Here’s another one for that list in the meantime. Seems to be growing all the time.

From the PR wire:

supernaughty

Italian Heavy Rockers SUPERNAUGHTY sign to ARGONAUTA RECORDS

We’re excited to announce that Italian Heavy Rockers SUPERNAUGHTY are now part of the family!

Born in 2014 and formed by Filippo Del Bimbo, guitar (ex Flora e Fauna, Korkovado, Bantoriak), Alessio Franceschi, drums (ex Lisergica, Cora), Angelo Fagni, voice (ex Gosh, Cora) and Andrea Burroni, bass (ex Moss Garden, Zona Peep; now replaced by Luca Raffoni), SUPERNAUGHTY band name wants to be a clear tribute, as assonance, to Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut”.

After a recent and extensive live activity (also opening for FATSO JETSON and HIGH ON FIRE), the band is actually working with Matteo Barsacchi (MR BISON) on the final touches to the first full-length, to be released by early 2018.

What you can expect is a massive Heavy Rock with remarkable (early) Grunge and Stoner sonorities, with an exciting taste highly influenced by nineties stuff.

[Picture by Margherita Bandini]

https://www.facebook.com/supern4ughty
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords

Supernaughty, Live in Livorno, June 1, 2017

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Rancho Bizarro Announce Debut Album Due this Fall; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you’re like me and you dug the Italian one-man psych rock outfit Bantoriak‘s debut album, Weedoism (review here), when Argonauta Records released it in 2015, you’ll probably want to pay extra attention to the forthcoming initial public offering from newcomers Rancho Bizarro. The four-piece was founded by Izio Orsini, who was and remains the driving force behind Bantoriak, and even as that incarnation prepares to release a new long-player in 2018 — good news in itself — word has come through that Rancho Bizarro will make their own debut this Fall, also via Argonauta.

They’ve got a video playing now for the track “Garage Part Two” that you can see below, and it’s about as straight-ahead unpretentious desert riffing as one can get. I don’t know much else about the record — title, art, if it’s done being recorded, release date, etc. — but going from the three minutes of audio provided, it sounds tonally warm and like there’s a clear head about where it wants to go aesthetically. It wants to go to the desert, basically. One looks forward to finding out if it gets there.

Argonauta posted the following:

rancho bizarro.

Argonauta Records New signing: RANCHO BIZZARRO

We’re proud to announce to have inked a deal with Italian Stoner Rockers RANCHO BIZZARRO, the new project by Izio Orsini, who after his debut “Weedooism” with the name BANTORIAK (new album due later in 2018), took the decision to start a new band.

RANCHO BIZZARRO is an Instrumental four-piece formed by two guitars (Matteo Micheli and Marco Gambicorti), bass (Izio Orsini) and drums (Federico Melosi), with a clear Stoner Desert Rock influence. The original idea takes form from jams run into the rehearsals room, then rearranged in studio where the sound gets a typical ’70 attitude.

Be prepared for a stunning album to be released by Fall 2017, with influences from Brant Bjork, MC5, Black Sabbath.

https://www.facebook.com/desertyeah/
https://twitter.com/ranchobizzarro
https://instagram.com/rancho_bizzarro
https://ranchobizzarro.tumblr.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/ArgonautaRex

Rancho Bizarro, “Garage Part 2” official video

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Quarterly Review: My Dying Bride, Glowsun, Caustic Casanova, Dead Sea Apes, Bantoriak, Ahab, Zark, Pyramidal & Domo, Mammoth Salmon, Molior Superum

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-quarterly-review-fall-2015

One thing I’ve noticed over the now-several times I’ve done this is that people have a tendency to apply some value to the ordering. It’s true that I try to lead off with a bigger release sometimes (as with today), but beyond that, there’s really no statement being made in how the albums appear. It usually has way more to do with time, when something came in and when it was added to the list, than with the quality or profile of a given outing. Just that final note that probably should’ve been said on Monday. Whoops.

Before we wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you again for checking any of it out if you did this week. It’s not a minor undertaking to do these, but it’s been completely worth it and I very much appreciate your being a part of it. Thank you. As always.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #41-50:

My Dying Bride, Feel the Misery

my dying bride feel the misery

Led by founding guitarist Andrew Craighan and vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe, UK doom magnates My Dying Bride mark their 25th year with Feel the Misery, their 13th full-length and one that finds them right in their element practicing the melancholic death-doom style they helped forge on pivotal early works like As the Flower Withers (1992) and Turn Loose the Swans (1993). “And My Father Left Forever” starts Feel the Misery on a particularly deathly note, but it’s not too long before the 10-minute “To Shiver in Empty Halls” and the subsequent “A Cold New Curse” are mired in the grueling, poetic, beauty-in-darkness emotionality that is My Dying Bride’s hallmark. The album’s title-track is a chugging bit of extremity, but the record’s strongest impact winds up being made by the penultimate “I Almost Loved You,” a piano, string and e-bow (sounding) ballad that pushes further than “A Thorn of Wisdom” by daring not to get heavy and rests well between the lumbering “I Celebrate Your Skin” and the 11-minute closer, “Within a Sleeping Forest,” which fits well, but more reinforces the point than offers something new on its own. A quarter-century later, they remain an institution. One wonders how they’ve managed to stay so depressed for so long.

My Dying Bride’s website

Peaceville Records store

Glowsun, Beyond the Wall of Time

glowsun-beyond-the-wall-of-time

If French mostly-instrumentalists Glowsun are feeling pressed for time these days – and with the theme of Beyond the Wall of Time (out via Napalm Records) that shows itself in the ticking clocks that launch opener “Arrow of Time” and the like-minded titles “Last Watchmaker’s Grave,” “Against the Clock” and “Endless Caravan” – the material itself doesn’t show it. Opening with two nine-minute cuts, Glowsun’s third outing and the follow-up to 2012’s Eternal Season (discussed here) unrolls itself patiently across its seven-track span, leading one to wonder if maybe Beyond the Wall of Time isn’t intended as another means of expressing something outside of it, the expanse of tones and grooves created by guitarist/vocalist Johan Jaccob (also graphic art), bassist Ronan Chiron and drummer Fabrice Cornille on “Shadow of Dreams” and the centerpiece “Flower of Mist” intended to last after some eternal now has passed. I wouldn’t want to guess, but it’s noteworthy that the trio’s output is evocative enough to lead toward such speculations.

Glowsun on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records store

Caustic Casanova, Breaks

caustic casanova breaks

As with their 2012 debut, Someday You Will be Proven Correct, Washington D.C.-based trio Caustic Casanova recorded their sophomore long-player, Breaks, with J. Robbins at The Magpie Cage in Baltimore. They’re also releasing the album through Kylesa’s Retro Futurist Records imprint, so they come nothing if not well-endorsed. With bassist Francis Beringer and drummer Stefanie Zaenker sharing vocal duties throughout – the trio is completed by Andrew Yonki on guitar – they run and bounce through a gamut of upbeat post-hardcore noise rock, thick in tone but not so much as to get up and move around, tempo-wise. Yonki brings some post-rock airiness to the early going of the nine-minute “Elect My Best Friend for a Better World,” but the album on the whole feels more about impact than atmosphere, and Caustic Casanova work up considerable momentum by the time they get around to paying off the 12-minute finale, “The Painted Desert.” Its melodies open up more on repeat listens, but not at the expense of the push so well enacted throughout.

Caustic Casanova on Thee Facebooks

Retro Futurist Records

Dead Sea Apes, Spectral Domain

dead sea apes spectral domain

An outwardly familiar conceptual framework – instrumental space/psychedelic rock – does little to convey how much of themselves Manchester, UK, trio Dead Sea Apes put into their new full-length, Spectral Domain. Released by Cardinal Fuzz in conjunction with Sunrise Ocean Bender, it’s the band’s sixth or seventh LP, depending on what counts as such, and bookends two north-of-10-minute explorations around three shorter pieces (though not much shorter in the case of the 9:50 “True Believers”) varied in color but uniformly galaxial in intent. “Brought to Light” rings out with a wash of drumless echo and swirl, seemingly in response to the tension of centerpiece “The Unclosing Eye,” and the whole album seems to take a theme from things seen and unseen, between “Universal Interrogator” and closer “Sixth Side of the Pentagon,” a vibe persisting in some conspiracy theory exposed as blissful and immersive truth with something darker lurking just underneath. Thick but not pretentious, Spectral Domain seems to run as deep as the listener wants to go.

Dead Sea Apes on Thee Facebooks

Sunrise Ocean Bender

Cardinal Fuzz Records

Bantoriak, Weedooism

bantoriak weedooism

A ritualistic spirit arrives early on Italian heavy psych rockers Bantoriak’s debut LP, Weedooism, and does not depart for the duration of the Argonauta Records release’s six tracks, which prove spacious, psychedelic and heavy in kind, playing out with alternating flourishes of melody and noise. “Try to Sleep” seems to be talking more about the band than the act, but from “Entering the Temple” through the rumbling closer “Chant of the Stone,” Bantoriak leave an individualized stamp on their heavy vibes, and that song is no exception. If Weedooism is the dogma they’re championing on the smooth-rolling “Smoke the Magma,” they’re doing so convincingly and immersively, and while they seem to have undergone a lineup shift (?) at some point since the record was done, hopefully that means Weedooism will have a follow-up to its liquefied grooves and weedian heft before too long. In an increasingly crowded Italian heavy psych/stoner scene, Bantoriak stand out already with their first album.

Bantoriak on Bandcamp

Bantoriak at Argonauta Records

Ahab, The Boats of the Glen Carrig

ahab-the-boats-of-the-glen-carrig

Though somewhat counterintuitive for a band playing their style of doom to start with, Ahab have only been met with a rising profile over their decade-plus together, and their fourth album for Napalm Records, The Boats of the Glen Carrig, answers three years of anticipation with an expanded sonic palette over its five tracks that is afraid neither of melodic sweetness nor the seafaring tonal heft and creature-from-the-deep growling that has become their hallmark. Their extremity is intact, in other words, but they’re also clearly growing as a band. I don’t know if The Boats of the Glen Carrig is quite as colorful musically as its Sebastian Jerke cover art – inevitably one of the best covers I’ve seen this year – but whether it’s the 15-minute sprawl of “The Weedmen,” which at its crescendo sounds like peak-era Mastodon at quarter-speed or the (relatively) speedy centerpiece “Red Foam (The Great Storm),” Ahab are as expansive in atmosphere as they are relentlessly heavy, and they’re certainly plenty of that.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

Zark, Tales of the Expected

zark tales of the unexpected

One would hardly know it from the discouraging title, but all-caps UK progressive metallers ZARK do manage to catch one off-guard on their debut full-length, Tales of the Expected. Duly melodic and duly complex, the eight tracks rely on straightforward components to set deceptively lush vibes, the guitar work of Sean “Bindy” Phillips and Josh Tedd leading the way through tight rhythmic turns alongside bassist Andy “Bready” Kelley and drummer Simon Spiers’ crisp grooves. Vocalist Stuart Lister carries across the aggression of “LV-426” and hopefulness of “The Robber” with equal class, and while ZARK’s first outing carries a pretty ambitious spirit, the Evesham five-piece reach the high marks they set for themselves, and in so doing set new goals for their next outing, reportedly already in progress. A strong debut from a band who sound like they’re only going to get more assured as they move forward. More “pleasant surprise” than “expected.”

Zark on Thee Facebooks

Zark on Bandcamp

Pyramidal & Domo, Jams from the Sun Split

pyramidal and domo jams from the sun

Paired up by style almost as much as by geography, Alicante, Spain, acts Pyramidal and Domo picked the right title for their Jams from the Sun split – a bright, go-ahead-and-get-hypnotized psychedelic space vibe taking hold early on the Lay Bare Recordings release and not letting go as one side gives way to the other or as the noisy post-Hawkwindery of “Uróboros” closes out. Pyramidal, who made their debut in 2012 (review here), offer “Motormind” and “Hypnotic Psychotic,” two 10-minute mostly-instrumental jams that progress with liquid flow toward and through apexes in constant search for the farther-out that presumably they find at the end and that’s why they bother stopping at all, and Domo, who made their debut in 2011 (review here), counter with three cuts of their own, “Viajero del Cosmos,” “Mantra Astral” and the aforementioned “Uróboros,” switching up the mood a little between them but not so much as to interrupt the trance overarching the release as whole. I remain a sucker for a quality space jam, and Jams from the Sun has 45 minutes’ worth.

Pyramidal on Thee Facebooks

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings

Mammoth Salmon, Last Vestige of Humanity

mammoth salmon last vestige of humanity

After releasing a couple internet EPs (review here) and 2013’s Call of the Mammoth EP as the duo of guitarist/vocalist/bassist Paul Dudziak and drummer Mitch Meidinger, Portland, Oregon’s Mammoth Salmon enlist bassist Alex Bateman and drummer Steve Lyons for their first full-length, the Adam Pike-produced Last Vestige of Humanity, which rolls out plus-sized Melvinsery across six amp-blowing tracks of sludgy riffing and nodding, lumbering weight. The title-track, which ends what would and probably will at some point be side A of the vinyl version, picks up the tempo in its second half, and “Memoriam” teases the same in Lyons’ drums at the start, but of course goes on to unfold the slowest progression here ahead of “Shattered Existence”’s toying with playing barely-there minimalism off full-on crush and the 10-minute “Believe Nothing” rounding out with appropriately elephantine march. Sustainable in their approach and viciously heavy, Mammoth Salmon seem to have hit reset and given themselves a new start with this lineup, and it works to their advantage on this promising debut.

Mammoth Salmon on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Salmon on Bandcamp

Molior Superum, Electric Escapism

molior superum electric escapism

“Karma is a bitch that will definitely hunt you down for what you have done,” would seem to be the standout message of “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife,” the third and longest (at 6:34) of the four inclusions on Molior Superum’s new EP, Electric Escapism. The non-retro Swedish heavy rockers fire up righteous heft to put them in league with countrymen Skånska Mord, but ultimately have more in common with Stubb out of the UK in the loose-sounding swing of “Försummad,” despite the different language. I had the same opinion about their full-length debut, Into the Sun (review here), and last year’s The Inconclusive Portrait 7” (review here) as well. Can’t seem to shake it, but Molior Superum’s ability to switch it up linguistics – they open and close in Swedish, with the two middle cuts in English – is an immediately distinguishing factor, and whichever they choose for a given song, they kill it here.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

Molior Superum on Bandcamp

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