Purson Announce Final Single and Breakup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you’re thinking the demise of Purson is the last we’re likely to hear from guitarist/vocalist Rosalie Cunningham, I’ll just say that seems deeply unlikely. Though the London-based psych rock outfit released what has now become their swansong full-length in last year’s Desire’s Magic Theatre (discussed here), the fact that they’re not even able to break up without putting out a new single speaks to a desire on the part of Cunningham to keep things going. And she’s not the only one. Guitarist George Hudson premiered a new project called Flare Voyant in London last weekend, so things are already afoot in the Purson aftermath, and that only seems likely to continue as the rest of 2017 plays out into the unknown beyond.

For now though, kind of a bummer to lose Purson, because while a primary part of their expression was always their hyperstylization, they were also legit songwriters. Their last single, “Chocolate Money,” is out now through Spinefarm, as the PR wire informs:

purson photo peter brenchley

PURSON RELEASE FINAL SINGLE “CHOCOLATE MONEY”

BAND CONFIRMS DECEMBER 2016 LONDON SHOW WAS ITS LAST

“FAREWELL” SINGLE SET FOR RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS AS SINGER/SONGWRITER/GUITARIST ROSALIE CUNNINGHAM PLANS NEXT MUSICAL MOVE

PURSON are officially no more.

After a career spanning five years, two studio albums, one EP, a number of singles and videos, plus live shows and festivals in both Europe and America, including a full U.S. run guesting with Ghost, the acclaimed, award-winning, ever-flamboyant UK outfit have decided to call a halt to proceedings.

Singer and guitarist Rosalie Cunningham, the creative force behind the project and the one who provided both the songs and the vision while playing most of the instruments in the studio, had this to say about Purson’s split.

“The past five years have been an unforgettable whirlwind, for which I have to thank our wonderful fans around the world, the band, and all the people who have contributed to Purson’s success over the years. Their support has been overwhelming, but the Purson framework has gone as far as it could go, and now it’s simply time to move on. I feel strongly drawn to a more DIY approach to my career in music, and look forward to the freedom to explore many avenues as a solo artist.”

As a way of going out with a (glam rock) bang, Spinefarm Records released a farewell Purson single on April 21.

“Chocolate Money” was and produced and mixed by Cunningham and John Mitchell (Steven Wilson, It Bites). The song features guest contributions from Jon Seagroatt (Comus) on saxophone and Vodun frontwoman Chantelle Brown on backing vocals. It also boasts wickedly tongue-in-cheek lyrics, taking in “cocoa casanova,” “raison d’etre cake,” and more. The song joyfully celebrates an era when bands like Slade and Wizard ruled the charts, Top of the Pops was essential viewing and vinyl was king.

“‘Chocolate Money’ is a snapshot of the ostentatious decadence of the ’70s,” said Cunningham. “The mythical rock star character with his double-entendre and self-centred hedonism. The industry has become a very different world since then, which is something I will expand on lyrically with my next album. It has inspired my desire to go back to basics and remember what music is supposed to be about.”

“Chocolate Money” does not live on Purson’s last album Desire’s Magic Theatre, which is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/pursontheband/
http://purson.tmstor.es/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/chocolate-money-single/id1225790684
https://www.facebook.com/spinefarm
https://twitter.com/spinefarm
http://www.spinefarmrecords.com/usa/

Purson, “The Window Cleaner” official video

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Wren Announce Debut Full-Length Auburn Rule Due in July; UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wren

Whether or not you heard it, Wren‘s 2016 EP, Host (review here) was one of last year’s best short releases. Their second four-songer behind a 2014 self-titled (review here) that was likewise moody and brutal, the latter release pushed into growlier, harsher terrain, more metal on the whole as well as basking in the post-hardcore-meets-sludge vibes of its predecessor. What their sonic development might hold for Auburn Rule, I don’t know, but the safe bet is it’s going to be heavy in some ridiculous proportion. What will serve as their first full-length will be out July 14 following a quick UK tour with Fvnerals and will be released by Holy Roar Records, which if you’ll recall also put out Host. If it ain’t broke.

These cats have done nothing but impress since they got going, and my big question going into the record is how much of their focus will be on atmosphere vs. pummel, since that seems to be the dichotomy at work in their aesthetic thus far. Where that balance will come down this time out as they take this crucial step in putting out their first album.

Hopefully I’ll have more to come on this one before it’s released. Here’s info from the PR wire in the interim:

wren auburn rule

Wren announce new album ‘Auburn Rule’ and UK tour.

AUBURN RULE | 14.07.17

Following on from the release of their ‘Host’ EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, have announced details of their new album ‘Auburn Rule’, which is due out 14th July 2017 via Holy Roar Records.

The band have released the artwork for the new album (above) and have detailed the track listing as below:

1. In Great Yield
2. Scour The Grassland
3. The Herd
4. Traverse
5. Dwellers Of The Sepulchre

To coincide with the release of ‘Auburn Rule’ Wren have also announced a short UK release tour with Fvnerals, they will be playing the following dates:

30th June – London – Birthdays
1st July – Birmingham – The Flapper
2nd July – Bristol – The Cube
3rd July – Cardiff – The Full Moon
4th July – Brighton – The Prince Albert

https://www.facebook.com/Disciplesofwren/
https://disciplesofwren.bandcamp.com/
http://twitter.com/disciplesofwren
http://www.disciplesofwren.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/

Wren, Host (2016)

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Stubb Premiere 24-Minute Single “Burning Moon”

Posted in audiObelisk on April 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stubb

UK power trio Stubb will release their new single-song EP, Burning Moon, on April 29, marking the occasion of their appearance and performance of it at Desertfest London 2017. They’ll be at The Black Heart in Camden Town, a place of which one has fond memories, and joined by guests Ewan Duffus on keyboard and Thomas Mowforth and Zel Kaute on percussion. Listening to the freshly-mastered studio version of the 24-minute “Burning Moon,” it is duly expansive as to make a trio into a six-piece, with founding vocalist/guitarist Jack Dickinson leading bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson, who makes his debut here, and drummer Tom Fyfe, who came aboard for their late-2014 sophomore long-player, Cry of the Ocean (review here) and the subsequent 2015 The Theory of Light and Matter split with Mos Generator (discussed here), through movements either tied to memorable verses and choruses or floating free on a resounding psychedelic jam.

It does not take long in hearing it for one to realize Burning Moon is a special project for Stubb even after the marked aesthetic growth of Cry of the Ocean, and the continued collaboration with producer Chris Fielding (AlunahElectric WizardConan) at Skyhammer Studios ensures the sound is full and duly expansive throughout. Much as that album started subtly with the quiet unfolding of its two-part title-track, a soft bassline from Hobson begins the first minute of “Burning Moon,” though it will be the swell of Duffus‘ keys that make the most striking immediate impression. It’s not the first time Stubb have put keys to use in their material — Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed guested on Hammond for Cry of the Ocean‘s “Snake Eyes” and Duffus also played on the cover of “Little Wing” that was included as part of Magnetic Eye Records‘ The Best of James Marshall Hendrix tribute compilationSTUBB BURNING MOON (review here) — but they’ve never been more of a presence than they are on “Burning Moon.”

They give the track a stateliness that speaks to their continued inspiration from ’70s heavy and also puts the listener in a more patient mindset for what’s about to take place as the extended track unfurls. After about three minutes in, a sleek, subdued and decidedly Stubbian groove locks in — particularly encouraging to hear, as it’s a new rhythm section since the last record — and Dickinson begins the first verse, shifting easily into and out of a fuzzy, rolling hook that, after its second time through, shifts via a chugging transitional riff into a guitar solo that is the gateway to the jam that will consume the remaining 15 minutes or thereabouts of the piece. It is an immersive stretch beginning with a five-minute run at about the 10-minute mark, and they do come back to ground momentarily with Hobson and Dickinson joining forces for a few lines vocally, but soon enough another fuzzed-out lead hits and from there they shift into section of bass-key-and-percussion shuffle that builds toward the rolling call-and-response crescendo circa 20 minutes in.

Soon enough that crashes its way into a fade — Hobson‘s bass holding steady — and the organ line and drums build back into the song’s final push, more melodically resonant in the keys, bass and guitar, and more propulsive in Fyfe‘s drums as one might expect to close a work of such breadth. The finish itself is a series of hits that provide a progressive culmination and end suddenly, cold, as if to highlight the point that all of the preceding motion was not simple instrumental meandering but the outcome of a purposeful and directed approach. Indeed, Stubb have said the plan is for Burning Moon to become a series of between-album releases. Ambitious, but not impossible. If this turns out to merely be a first installment of some greater idea, the scope on offer will no doubt continue to widen, but as it stands, it’s the farthest to-date that Stubb have pushed their sound, and they do so in a manner both vibrant and individualized. Whether you call it an EP or a single, there’s no doubt it will stand among 2017’s best short releases.

Please enjoy the stream of “Burning Moon” below, followed by more info courtesy of the band:

Recorded Jan 2017 at Skyhammer Studios, England, by Chris Fielding.
Music by Stubb
Produced by Chris Fielding/Stubb

Stubb is:
Jack Dickinson – Guitar/Vox
Tom Hobson – Bass/Vox
Tom Fyfe – Drums/percussion

Ewan Duffus – Keys

Burning Moon is part one of the Burning Moon Trilogy, a story about the end of the Earth. The idea is to release the other 2 parts in between albums.

This is the first track that we have released with Tom Hobson on bass//vox. Special guest Ewan Duffus is on keys. He played on our cover of “Little Wing” for the Best of James Marshal Hendrix compilation (MER).

We don’t have a label for this yet, so it will be available for download from our Bandcamp on the weekend of the April 29th (Desertfest London). What ever happens this will definitely be available on CD and Vinyl at some point in the future.

We’ll be playing the tune in full for the first time with Ewan, and we are very lucky to be joined by Thomas Mowforth of Limb and Zel Kaute of Vodun on percussion. Sat 29th April, The Black Heart, Desertfest London.

Stubb on Thee Facebooks

Stubb on Twitter

Stubb on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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Greenleaf & Steak Desertfest Split 7″ Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This year will be the third that H42 Records has offered up an exclusive single to mark the arrival of Desertfest. The first featured Sons of Alpha Centauri and Karma to Burn, and the second was Monster Magnet and Ramming Speed. This year, it’s quintessential Swedes Greenleaf with a classic track and London heavy underground ambassadors Steak with brand new material. Seeming to represent both Desertfest London and Berlin 2017, this year’s single is limited to 400 copies, and the green vinyl is already gone on preorders, so if you want one at all, you probably don’t want to sleep on it.

I also don’t know how many of these will actually make it to Desertfest, versus how many have been preordered and just sold through that way, so yeah, much to consider here. Not trying to sell you on anything, I’m just saying these are factors to consider when acquiring heavy rock and roll. You know how it is.

Release details from the PR wire:

desertfest-split-steak-greenleaf

GREENLEAF & STEAK will take part on this years DESERTFEST Split-7″

GREENLEAF is a righteous kick in the ass and a testament to the almighty riff! On Side A they presents you their alltime classic “Sold My Old Lady (Out of the back of an Oldsmobile)”. The song was originally released on their long sold out debut EP from 2000. If you don’t own this EP this is your chance the get this song on vinyl. That’s the first time in 17 years.

Side B is reserved for a brand new song from STEAK: “Overthrow” is the first living sign of the four Londoners since ‘Slab City’ from 2014. And what is closer to the fact that Steak is represented with a new song on the new DesertFest Split cause they will also rock the stage of the DesertFest London this year.

Limited Edition up to 400 copies out on H42 Records (H42-040)
200 on DARK GREEN vinyl
200 on BROWN vinyl

Tracklist:
A1 // Greenleaf Side: Sold My Old Lady (Out of the back of an Oldsmobile)
B1 // Steak Side: Overthrow

http://www.h42records.8merch.com/presale
https://h42records.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records
https://twitter.com/H42Records
https://www.h42records.com/

Greenleaf, “Sold My Lady (Out the back of an Oldsmobile)”

Steak, “Pisser” Live in London, 2016

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Quarterly Review: Alcest, Galley Beggar, Pontiak, White Light Cemetery, Fever Dog, Duel, Seven Nines and Tens, Automatic Sam, The Next Appointed Hour, Blown Out

Posted in Reviews on March 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cropped-Charles-Meryon-Labside-Notre-Dame-1854

Always a special moment in the Quarterly Review when we pass the halfway mark. That’s where today’s batch brings us, and in rocking style as well. You might say I’ve been taking it easy on myself with the selections this time out — albums there’s plenty to say on and generally good stuff — but the basic fact of the matter is even with 50 reviews in a week, this is still just a fraction of what’s out there and still just a fraction of what I’d cover if I had the time. I couldn’t in terms of my own sanity, but one could probably do 10 reviews a day every day of the year and still have room for more. I do the best I can. Picking and choosing is a part of that process. Let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Alcest, Kodama

alcest kodama

After the bold departure presented in 2014’s Shelter (review here) toward even-airier, more indie-hued fare, French post-black metal innovators Alcest make a no-less-bold return to their core sound – screams included, as they’re quick to show on “Eclosion” – with 2016’s Kodama (on Prophecy Productions). It’s a less progressive move, and for that distinct in Alcest’s discography, but one can’t argue with their execution of a track like “Je Suis d’Ailleurs” and the immediately recognizable melodic wash they craft, as resonant emotionally as it is heavy in its tone. Most of the six cuts seem contented to have (re-)found their place, but “Onyx” finishes out with just under four minutes of layered guitar droning, and so Alcest seem to tease that perhaps they’re not completely ready to settle the issue of their aesthetic just yet. One hopes that’s the case, and in the meantime, the reorientation that Kodama brings with it should no doubt please those longtime fans who bristled at the turn they made their last time out.

Alcest on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Galley Beggar, Heathen Hymns

galley-beggar-heathen-hymns

Galley Beggar’s fourth offering and second for Rise Above, Heathen Hymns, brings 42-minutes of the traditional acid folk one has come to expect from them over the last half-decade plus, no less graceful in its melodies, harmonies and weaving into and out of psychedelia, Eastern inflections on the sitar-laced “The Lake” and cleverly rhythmic in the post-rocking electric flourish of “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.” Knowing what to expect, however, does nothing to diminish the joy of the listening experience. Rather, the return of Galley Beggar’s fluid string and/or more rock-based arrangements, memorable songcraft and gorgeous vocal treatments is welcome, and perhaps most of all on closer “My Return,” which draws their multiple sides together in a cohesive vision of futures past that only benefits from the maturity they’ve grown into. With poise as a defining feature as much as their British folk stylistic lineage, Galley Beggar remain a special outfit doing deeply individualized and satisfying work.

Galley Beggar on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Pontiak, Dialectic of Ignorance

pontiak-dialectic-of-ignorance

A steady foundation of low-end drone underpins songs like “Ignorance Makes Me High” and “Hidden Prettiness” on Pontiak’s Dialectic of Ignorance (released via Thrill Jockey), and though they move away from it somewhat in the more active freakout “Dirtbags,” the patience shown by the Virginian trio forms a key part of the album’s personality. To wit, they open with “Easy Does It,” essentially telling their listener their intention for what will ensue throughout the eight-track/46-minute offering. Brothers Jennings, Van and Lain Carney bring forth willful drift in that opener and across the percussive-but-still-shoegazing “Tomorrow is Forgetting,” finding an organ-laced folkadelic middle ground later in “Youth and Age” and punctuating the dreamy harmonized gorgeousness of “Herb is My Next Door Neighbor” with fervent tom runs and ping ride before closer “We’ve Fucked this Up” starts out amid blistering chaos only to smooth itself as it goes. Serene and somewhat moody to the same degree their last outing, 2014’s Innocence, was raw, Dialectic of Ignorance carries the feel of a personal journey undertaken, but is ultimately too warm in tone and melody not to welcome its audience to be a part of that as well.

Pontiak on Thee Facebooks

Pontiak at Thrill Jockey Records

 

White Light Cemetery, Careful What You Wish For

white-light-cemetery-careful-what-you-wish-for

Nearing the mark of their first decade together, Louisiana Southern heavy four-piece White Light Cemetery issue their second full-length, Careful What You Wish For, through Ripple Music and keep a steady focus on songcraft throughout. Heavy riffs, a bit of boogie on “Sky River” and the stomping “Better Days,” boozy Southern-isms on the directly countrified “On a Dime” and a cowbell-infused finish with “Bullet to Erase” – it’s only fair to say White Light Cemetery hit all the marks. The beery post-Deliverance execution of “Looking Out (For Number One)” will likely ring familiar to many who take it on, but that’s the idea, as vocalist/guitarist Shea Bearden, guitarist Ryan Robin, bassist Tara Miller and drummer Thomas Colley are clearly less concerned with reinventing rock in their own image than honoring the pantheon of those who’ve come before them in the style. Hard to argue with the ethic preached or the dual-guitar harmonies of “Quit Work, Make Music,” though the record as a whole seems awfully “workingman’s rock” for any such bohemian aspirations.

White Light Cemetery on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Fever Dog, Mainframe

fever dog mainframe

It’s been three years since next-gen Californian desert trio Fever Dog released their last album, Second Wind (review here), which was long on potential, big on songwriting and resonant in vibe. I’d been hoping for a third long-player in 2017, but even the arrival of new single Mainframe – which of course doesn’t preclude a subsequent album release – is fine by me, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Graham, bassist Nathan Wood and drummer/organist/synthesist/vocalist Joshua Adams digging into progressive vibes on the title-track and the subsequent, talkbox-inclusive “Let Me Out.” I don’t know if they’re planning to press a 7” – somebody call H42 Records! – but the cover art certainly justifies one if the songs themselves don’t (and they do), and the name-your-price download comes with the raw 19-minute classic heavy rock jam “Alpha Waves Medley Live at Club 5,” which emits buzz like it’s a bootleg from 1973. If Mainframe is the process of Fever Dog getting weirder, it bodes well. All the more reason one might keep their fingers crossed for a new full-length.

Fever Dog on Thee Facebooks

Fever Dog on Bandcamp

 

Duel, Witchbanger

duel witchbanger

“If you see him it’s much too late/Close your eyes, girl, accept your fate.” So goes the title-track hook of Duel’s Witchbanger, the Austin-based rockers’ second album for Heavy Psych Sounds. Released on a quick turnaround from last year’s debut, Fears of the Dead (review here), the eight-track/34-minute swaggerfest delves into fantasy themes drawn from classic metal – hard not to look at six-minute closer “Tigers and Rainbows” and not think of Dio, at least thematically – but cuts like “Astro Gypsy” and “Heart of the Sun” in the record’s midsection build on the ‘70s loyalism of the first outing and find guitarist/vocalist Tom Frank, guitarist Jeff Henson, bassist/vocalist Shaun Avants and drummer JD Shadowz clear in their intentions in that regard. Though it takes a sizable grain of salt to get over that title, Duel’s heavy rock traditionalism comes complemented by efficient songwriting and a natural-sounding recording that’s neither completely retro nor totally modern but draws strength and fullness from both sides. A worthy and rousing follow-up.

Duel on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Seven Nines and Tens, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Slums

seven-nines-and-tens-set-the-controls-for-the-heart-of-the-slums

If the dates are to be believed, the second full-length from Vancouver’s Seven Nines and Tens, cleverly-titled Set the Controls for the Heart of the Slums, has roots going back to 2014, when basic live tracks were recorded and subsequently built on for about two years. Indeed, the four-song offering – whose tracks “I Come from Downtown,” “Metropolis Noir / Rigs” and closer “Rave Up” have been presented in the meantime as singles and/or on early 2017’s Live at the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret – has plenty of layers in its heavy post-rock wash, and it’s with depth and heft that guitarist/bassist/vocalist David Cotton and drummer Mario Nieva (the current incarnation of the band has a different lineup), make their prevailing impression, be it in the roll of 13-minute “Metropolis Noir / Rigs” or the loud/quiet trades of “Dope Simple,” which follows. With a focus on atmosphere over structure, Seven Nines and Tens offer a quick 32-minute immersion that feels less pretentious than purposeful and would seem to have been worth the time it took to construct.

Seven Nines and Tens on Thee Facebooks

Seven Nines and Tens website

 

Automatic Sam, Arcs

automatic sam arcs

With their third album, Nijmegen’s Automatic Sam bring together a straightforward and coherent collection of well-intentioned semi-psychedelic heavy rock. Their past works, 2011’s Texino and 2013’s Sonic Whip, have been conceptual or at least thematic pieces, and it may be that the 13-track/38-minute Arcs (on Goomah Music) is as well, but if so, it would seem to find that theme in a vision of post-grunge ‘90s alt rock, cleanly and clearly executed and vibrant in the performance of vocalist/guitarist Pieter Holkenborg, guitarist/vocalist Rense Slings, bassist/vocalist Erik Harbers and drummer/vocalist Lars Spijkervet, who open with the five-minute “Ukiyo” (their longest inclusion; immediate points) and then run through a varied swath of shorter pieces from the attitude-laden “City Lights” through the uptempo post-punk of “This is Not a Holiday” and the fuller push of “Parnassia.” Side B seems more flowing, with that song, “Tarantula,” a complementary reprise, the title-track and drifting acoustic closer “So Long in E Minor,” but Automatic Sam manage to hone a diverse approach across Arcs’ span while skillfully directing themselves around choppier waters.

Automatic Sam on Thee Facebooks

Automatic Sam at Goomah Music

 

The Next Appointed Hour, Not the End of the World

the-next-appointed-hour-not-the-end-of-the-world

Ambition may be the defining aspect of Not the End of the World. The 2016 self-released debut from Birmingham, Alabama’s The Next Appointed Hour willfully refuses easy categorization, basking in bright psychedelic space rock harmonies one minute and digging into folkish melancholia the next in a way that one is left with no other option but to call “progressive.” What ultimately makes songs like “Keeper’s Heart” and the ethereal pop of “Back to You back to Me” work is an underlying cure of songcraft, and whatever ground the six-piece cover on the 10-track outing, from the fuzzy rush of “Drone Riot” to the trippy shimmer of the penultimate “Red Flame,” that core is maintained, uniting the material and making Not the End of the World a work of scope rather than haphazard. It requires an open mind, but rewards open-mindedness with moments like the accordion on “Valley,” or the rhythmic drift of “Any Who but Here,” the nuance of which is no less gracefully held together than the overarching flow of the album as a whole.

The Next Appointed Hour on Thee Facebooks

The Next Appointed Hour on Bandcamp

 

Blown Out, Superior Venus

blown out superior venus

Already sold out on preorders, the vinyl edition of Superior Venus from UK cosmic jammers Blown Out features two tracks – one per side – of space-wash heavy righteousness. “Impious Oppressor” and “Superior Venus” both top 15 minutes (and are accompanied by demo versions if you get the download), and proffer the kind of progressive improvisation-based flow that, indeed, might make one inclined to get an order in while the getting’s good. Blown Out, with members of Bong and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, have put out a slew of live and studio releases over the last three years, but as planets invariably revolve in cyclical patterns, so too does the regular frequency of their work become part of the expression itself. If you’re going to jam, do it all the time. On Superior Venus, Blown Out once more bring this ethic to life, and the resulting material spreads itself wide over its still relatively brief span. A short trip to orbit, perhaps, but well worth the undertaking.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records on Bandcamp

 

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Ex People Sign to New Heavy Sounds; Bird Due May 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ex people

I’m not sure I’d tag London’s Ex People as stoner or sludge, as the PR wire does below in announcing the four-piece have signed to New Heavy Sounds for the release of their debut album, Bird, on May 19, but they certainly are heavy. If the new streaming single “Over,” which you can hear at the bottom of this post, is anything to go by, I might even add “progressive” to that. In whatever genre, subgenre or other kind of categorization one might want to situate them, Ex People arrive with an immediately professional sounding presentation and crisp songwriting process, so if you’re seeing the words “stoner” and “London” and thinking you’re getting another batch of drunk dudes trying to sound like Orange Goblin‘s The Big Black — not that there’s anything wrong with that, because there definitely isn’t — think again.

Better quit while I’m ahead (behind?). News and track follow, courtesy of the aforementioned PR wire:

ex people bird

New Heavy Sounds sign sludge four piece Ex People

The band tackle dystopian themes on their debut album ‘Bird’, for release in May

New Heavy Sounds is pleased to announce our latest signings, stoner sludge four-piece Ex People.

Emerging from the London DIY scene, vocalist Laura and drummer Vicki first met playing in series of riot grrrl and noise bands, before forming Ex People in 2015 with guitarist Calum and bassist Ed. Since then, the quartet have gone on to share stages with the likes of Palehorse, Lower Slaughter, Torpor, and Church of the Cosmic Skull. The band self-released a digital single “Without/Surekill” in late 2016. Ex People also also wrote and released a video for Without, directed by DIY filmmaker Jojo Khor, about a teenage runaway joining an all-female cult led by the band’s singer, Laura.

Now for NHS, the band have delivered a bruisingly assured debut album.

‘Bird’ was recorded with Wayne Adams (Vodun, USA Nails, Death Pedals, Casual Nun) at Bear Bites Horse Studios, and he’s managed to perfectly capture the visceral weight of their sound, a startling amalgam of super filthy fuzz thick riffs, grunge, noise rock and stoner, combined with a punk attitude. Taking their cue from bands as diverse as Electric Wizard, Bardo Pond, Harvey Milk and Kylesa, along with 90s sludge such as the Melvins (yet still managing to sound cohesive) the ten tracks that make up ‘Bird’, combine stoner hooks and soaring vocals with a crushing heaviness. Add to that some thumping motorik beats (almost like a heavy ‘Neu’ at times), shot through with an ever-present melodic sensibility, and you have a band that once again shows that when it comes to heavy music, all gates are open.

Lyrically Laura draws on apocalyptic and dystopian themes, with “Over” telling the story of a planet colliding with the earth, sung over a driving, crunching circular riff. Other tracks tackle real-world horror, with “The Host” about a woman and child escaping domestic violence, and opening track “Not a Drill” calling for resistance against oppressive regimes. And album closer ‘Crested’ is as dark as it gets, 8 minutes of full on doom meets discord, combining the atmospherics of Windhand with the slowed down hardcore of My War-era Black Flag. ‘Bird’ is gloriously heavy, fuzzed up yet melodic, at times bleak and thrilling as it is infectious.

It’s a bold statement of intent, and we are stoked to add Ex People to the NHS roster.

‘Bird” will be released on May 26th on limited edition red and black vinyl, cd and digital.

Ex People is:
Laura Kirsop: Vocals
Calum Gunn: Guitar
Edward White: Bass
Vicki Dawson: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/expeopleband/
http://www.twitter.com/expeopleband
https://expeople.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/newheavysounds/
https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/ex-people-bird

Ex People, “Over”

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Föllakzoid Team with J. Spaceman for London Sessions LP out April 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

follakzoid-j-spaceman

In May, Chilean psychedelic adventurers Föllakzoid will head to Europe for an extensive month-long tour that includes stops at Eindhoven Psych Lab and Freak Valley 2017, among other fests. Before they go, the trio will issue London Sessions, a collaborative work with J. Spaceman of Spiritualized and Spacemen 3 that reimagines two tracks from their 2015 outing, III.

That album was in itself a collaboration, the band working with German synth specialist Atom TM to foster a minimal but spaced-out sound on tracks like “Electric” and “Earth,” the opening duo that reappear on London Sessions. As to how these versions might be different than the ones released on III, you’ll have to pardon me if I pass on guessing. They were recorded live, so it seems fair to expect some measure of difference, but yeah, just not gonna even speculate.

The PR wire teases possibilities:

follakzoid j spaceman london sessions

Föllakzoid and J. Spaceman (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized) Join Forces on London Sessions

Available April 20 via Sacred Bones

Föllakzoid feat. J. Spaceman
London Sessions
Pre-order: Sacred Bones | Bandcamp

1. Electric
2. Earth

It should come as no surprise to fans of the Chilean trio Föllakzoid that upon meeting the legendary Jason Pierce a.k.a. J. Spaceman (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized), they discovered they were kindred spirits. Föllakzoid and Spaceman’s projects share a restless drive to explore the outer limits of music, as well as an uncanny ability to lock into a groove until it infiltrates the deepest recesses of the listener’s psyche. When Föllakzoid met Spaceman backstage at a Wooden Shjips gig at London’s Electric Ballroom several years ago, they instantly became friends.

For London Sessions, the Chileans and Spaceman joined forces for new, live-to-tape renditions of “Electric” and “Earth,” two highlights from Föllakzoid’s III. The recordings were made in a private studio in London while Föllakzoid was on tour in Europe in June 2016, and Spaceman’s contributions breathe new life into the songs.

“Jason added a very different harmonic atmosphere to the songs,” guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro explained. “It somehow re-articulated the space and metric that already existed in a way the band never could. These new versions have a different edge.”

Föllakzoid Live Dates:
May 18: Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
May 19: London, UK @ London Fields Brewhouse
May 22: Haifa, Israel @ wunderbar
May 23: Tel Aviv, Israel @ Levontin 7
May 24: Ghent, Belgium @ Charlatan
May 25: Brussels, Belgium @ AB
May 26: Eindhoven, The Netherlands @ Eindhoven Psych Lab
May 27: Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ London Calling
May 28: Groningen, The Netherlands @ Vera
May 29: Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland @ L’Amalgame
May 30: Winterhur, Switzerland @ Albani
May 31: Leipzig, Germany @ Ilses Erika
June 2: Malmo, Sweden @ Plan B
June 3: Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pustervik
June 4: Copenhagen, Denmark @ Loppen
June 5: Berlin, Germany @ Lido
June 6: Warsaw, Poland @ Hydrozagadka Club
June 7: Poznan, Poland @ LAS
June 8: Prague, Czech Republic @ Theremin
June 9: Zagreb, Croatia @ KSET
June 10: Milano, Italy @ Santeria
June 11: Guastalla, Italy @ HandMade Festival
June 13: Marina di Ravenna, Italy @ Hana-Bi
June 14: Rome, Italy @ Monk
June 15: Torino, Italy @ Magazzino sul Po´
June 17: Siegen, Germany @ FreakValley Festival
June 18: Bern, Swiss @ Reitschule

https://www.facebook.com/FOLLAKZOID/
https://follakzoid.bandcamp.com/album/london-sessions
https://soundcloud.com/follakzoid
https://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/collections/frontpage/products/sbr176-follakzoid-feat-j-spaceman-london-sessions

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Steak Sign to Ripple Music; No God to Save out in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Just off the PR wire comes word that London, UK, heavy rockers Steak have inked a deal with Ripple Music and will release their second album, No God to Save, this June through the label. The four-piece have, over the course of the last several years, become one of the most formidable presences in London’s crowded heavy rock sphere, establishing a firm hometown presence while embarking on wider European touring and appearing at fests like Keep it Low, Desertfest Athens, Reverence Valada, and so on.

They’re already booked at Desertfest London 2017 next month and Stoned from the Underground in Germany this July, and as they get set to follow-up 2014’s Napalm Records-delivered debut, Slab City (review here), I’d only expect more announcements to follow. I’ll do my best to keep pace.

In the meantime, here’s the official word:

steak

Steak – No God to Save – Ripple Music

Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome U.K. Stoner Rock Legends, Steak,to its roster of the best of the modern heavy bands.

Emerging from the depths of the murky London bars, this 4 piece have a love for underground rock n roll. Helping to shape a movement in underground music in the UK and Europe STEAK have forged themselves a new path. A riff laden, neck breaking force to be reckoned with on a mission to make rooms shake and heads roll.

Now, after releasing a series of EP’s and a debut Full length on Napalm Records, Steak joins forces with Ripple Music, one of the world’s leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner and doom, to release “No God to Save” to a world-wide audience of heavy rockers. Expect “No God to Save” to be available around the world on limited vinyl, CD and digital come June 2017.

“Steak are back and we are honoured to be joining the Ripple family for what is our most badass record to date. This is heavy shit and we couldn’t imagine a better label to work with on it. See you on the road soon….”

Steak is:
Reece Tee
Chris Haley
James Cameron
Sammy Forway

https://steakmusic.bandcamp.com/
?https://www.facebook.com/steakuk/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

Steak, “Pisser,” Live at the Underworld, London, Oct. 10, 2016

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