11PARANOIAS Announce Early 2019 Release for Asterismal

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Interesting to think of 11PARANOIAS‘ last couple records as part of a series, and even more interesting to think that the series is about to conclude with the issue of their latest album, Asterismal. Due early next year through Ritual Productions, the album was recorded across two sessions spanning last Fall and this past Spring, and though they haven’t yet unveiled the cover art, let alone any audio, they have a live clip they’re sharing of the new song “Loss Portal,” which will feature on the release, which is said to be more focused on the guitar and more focused overall. It’s easy to get lost in the overarching muck of 11PARANOIAS‘ sound, but there’s always nuance and ritualism to their assault, and one expects nothing less this time either. I’ll hope to have more to come on it as we get closer to the release.

The PR wire sent info on the album accordingly:

11paranoias (Photo by Al Overdrive)

11PARANOIAS ANNOUNCE NEW RITE, ASTERISMAL, INCOMING EARLY 2019 ON RITUAL PRODUCTIONS

Ritual Productions shall commence 2019 by re-opening the paranoid realms, courtesy of a new rite from the masters of psych-doom-noise experimentation, 11PARANOIAS.

Asterismal is undoubtedly the band’s most exciting yet challenging release to date, coalescing experimental noise elements with pure psychedelia and a devastating deluge of doom and drone. The rite channels unprecedented extra-terrestrial terrain for the band, opening thresholds of esoteric mysticism, immersive euphoria and alluring darkness, subsequently conjuring an overwhelmingly intense rapture for the subconscious and its dormant senses. More propulsive, potent and powerful than its predecessors, bassist/vocalist Adam Richardson explains:

“Asterismal is of the stars, our fifth album. In alchemical terms the sonic content is equal parts Albedo (Psych/Space), Nigredo (Total Doom), Rubido (Noise/Experimental) – never before have we so clearly delineated these genres on one record. This marks the final installment of a trilogy of albums (Stealing Fire From Heaven had lead drums, Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World had lead bass and Asterismal now hones in on the lead guitar). Our most focused release yet, this rite even saw some prior preparation and writing before taking it to the studio!”

Keen purveyors of 11PARANOIAS’ live rituals will recognise the opening track, ‘Loss Portal’, which has been included in the band’s 2018 setlists. Preview this track below, taken from the band’s spellbinding summer solstice ritual with Oranssi Pazuzu.

The artwork – soon to be revealed – comes courtesy of Toby Ziegler: “11PARANOIAS are thrilled to be working with Toby Ziegler after being friends for so long. We are proud to be continuing our forced and unsolicited art history lessons for all and any fans of the band!”, says Richardson. Those who have held onto their Multi-Dimensional Paranoid Vision (MPV) keys – which come with the band’s 2016 rite, Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World – shall be rewarded in the visual realm too…

Asterismal was recorded and mixed by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studio, London in September 2017 and May 2018, respectively. Additional recording and mastering undertaken by Dan Miller and Adam Richardson at XL Recordings Studio, London during July 2018.

Asterismal will see release on LP, CD and digital download in early 2019. Further information, exclusive material and limited-edition packages shall be unveiled in the coming months.

In the meantime, 11PARANOIAS perform a ritual at Bristol’s ‘Dread Haze Weekender’ this Saturday 20th October @ Exchange.

11PARANOIAS IS:
Adam Richardson – bass/vocals
Mike Vest – guitar
Nathan Perrier – drums

11paranoias.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/11Paranoias
https://twitter.com/11PARANOIAS
www.ritualproductions.net
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11PARANOIAS, “Loss Portal” live in London

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Giveaway & Video Premiere: Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, “Döner Trump”

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on October 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

chubby thunderous bad kush masters

[Enter the contest to win one of two vinyl merch goodie packs from Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters by leaving a comment on this post. Make sure your email address is in the form provided so I can contact you if you win. That’s it.]

There are two facts you should know going into the video below. First, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters are fucking awesome, though if you don’t know that, you will soon enough. Second, döner is Turkish street meat. Sometimes gross Turkish street meat. It’s sold in London and elsewhere in small shops with rotating slabs of wrong-looking product from which the meat is cut off in slices and served in pita in styrofoam trays. It is not the kind of thing one should or would eat while sober. It is the kind of thing you might regret later regardless of your level of lucidity. It’s like a gyro, but not a gyro the way Chinese dumplings aren’t ravioli. Okay.

But not to stray too far from the first point, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters — who are right up there with the finest executions of the UK’s silly-long-names-for-really-good-bands program — made their awaited full-length debut over the summer through Riff Rock Records with the charmingly titled Come and Chutney, a collection of eight blazed-out rockers fueled by sludge fuckall, tight grooves like those of “Cojones Feos” or the flatulence-laden “Gutlads” and an underlying current of punk and filthy thrash in cuts like “Krones of the Kiln” and “Döner Trump” that set up the sprawling stoner exploration of the finale “Psychedelic Hallucinogenic Vagrancy.” Opening with nasty intentions quickly on “Doggy Bad of Slurry,” it’s an album willfully crass that nonetheless makes its case via songwriting and the grit of its tones. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Owen Carty, bassist Will Hart and drummer Mark Buckwell, Chubby Thunderous slush and stomp their way through all manner of much and bodily fluids in order to make their point, but there’s no questioning they do precisely that. Building on the accomplishments of their 2015 debut EP, Earth Hog (review here), and their 2017 split with Ten Foot Wizard (review here), the three-piece arrive at their first long-player with a firm sense of who they are as a band and exactly the kind of sonic mayhem they want to cause.

chubby thunderous bad kush masters come and chutneyOne of the best debuts of 2018? Absolutely. Because while the outward aesthetic may be one of destructive disaffection, the foundation from which Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters execute that is more than solid enough to sustain them. They’re not a sloppy band, as the tense, drum-led rhythm and low-end air-push of “Gawdless” shows,” and though Carty‘s vocals are a harsh, bad-drug sneer throughout, they’re not completely void of melody either, even when they might otherwise be, on the nod-inducing “Glue Ear” or the thrust of the aforementioned “Döner Trump,” which seems to bask in multi-tiered disgust at its subject matter. Further, when they arrive at “Psychedelic Hallucinogenic Vagrancy,” its departure isn’t completely without preface thanks to the subdued launch of “Doggy Bad of Slurry,” though where it heads from there, with the Mellotron and guest appearances from Vodun‘s Chantal Brown, Ten Foot Wizard‘s Gary Harkin and Thom Carter of Riddles, is most definitely in a sphere of its own as regards the rest of the record, pulling back on tempo and passing the 10-minute mark with an open vibe and pervasive swirl of wah. Given the aggression of so much of what surrounds, it’s hard to believe at first, but by the time Brown‘s operatics arrive circa four minutes in, yeah, it’s for real. While we’re talking highlights, the subsequent verse Brown carries is a gem, and the instrumental buildup that follows, with the keys/synth adding to the wash along with the vocals cutting through, is a fitting end both to the track and the record as a whole. I’m not gonna say Chubby Thunderous aren’t fucking around on Come and Chutney. They are, to be sure. That doesn’t change the quality of the results.

For those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the band on stage, they have a new live video for “Döner Trump” filmed at The Black Heart in Camden Town, which, so far as I know, hasn’t changed its policy about letting even well-supervised babies hang out at the bar downstairs. So it goes. Still a great place to see a show, and from the looks of things, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters put on a hell of a one. If you find yourself at any point going “eww” as regards their general sound, that’s the idea, but I suspect that if you haven’t encountered them before — and you probably have by now, I know; but just in case — the energy with which they bring “Döner Trump” to bear is no less infectious than the song itself. And these dudes certainly do seem to be infected.

If you want the vinyl — and you do — leave a comment on this post to get it and I’ll hit you up if you win. No, I’m not gonna keep your email address and blah blah blah all that shit. Either way, please enjoy:

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, “Döner Trump” official live video premiere

Two copies of this one going out with tees, stickers and whatnot:

chubby thunderous bad kush masters come and chutney vinyl

[Enter the contest to win one of two vinyl merch goodie packs from Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters by leaving a comment on this post. Make sure your email address is in the form provided so I can contact you if you win. That’s it.]

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Riff Rock Records website

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Wasteland: Living in It

Posted in Reviews on October 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

uncle acid and the deadbeats wasteland

Along with the stylistic innovation of their general aesthetic, the creepy harmonies and melodic centrality of guitar and vocals, raw fuzz of their tones, their information-age mystique earlier in their career and their classic-but-obscure sound overall, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ work has never been without a corresponding sense of nuance. As they move into album number five, Wasteland — released, as ever, by Rise Above Records — the fine sonic details of their work seem to come through the recording regardless of where an individual goes structurally. The flourish of keys in “Stranger Tonight,” the organ in the ultra-hooky “Bedouin” later in the record, the mellotron and faded-in-drums of the title-track, the VHS-style sampled intro to opener “I See Through You” that set up the arrival of further samples later in “No Return,” after the bell-chord-laden marching plod of that nine-minute track has receded into a long, fog-covered fadeout, and so on.

All of these things become part of the world created at the behest of guitarist/vocalist/ringleader Kevin R. Starrs, and brought to bear with the production of Geoff Neal at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, there’s a balance created between Uncle Acid‘s long established wash of filthy fuzz grit and the melodies that are no less central to who they are as a band. Recording in the same studio where The Beach Boys tracked Pet Sounds and The Doors did Strange Days is something of a direct departure from  2015’s The Night Creeper (review here), which Starrs recorded himself and was the barest-sounding offering since their 2010 debut, Vol. 1 (reissue review here), and they flourish in the grander setting while holding to the eerie, sneaking-around-the-corner vibe that’s always been prevalent and has only helped their influence spread as it has over the better part of the last decade. With eight tracks and 47 minutes, Wasteland is the shortest offering Uncle Acid have made 2011’s world-breaking Blood Lust (discussed here), as both 2013’s Mind Control (review here) and The Night Creeper topped 50 minutes, and in addition to that, there seems to be some shift in how the band are using that time.

Consider for a moment the circumstances of Wasteland‘s release. On a more general level, between Brexit and anti-immigration populism in their native UK and an ever-present sense of disheartening political chaos in Europe and the US — the band’s two central markets — could easily justify the title alone, but when it comes to the actual songs and the album’s arrival, it’s being released at the Desert Daze festival in Los Angeles, and long before any details about Uncle Acid‘s fifth LP were made public, tour dates in Europe and the UK were announced for late-2018/early-2019.

We had “the Wasteland tour” before we knew what Wasteland was. For an act of Uncle Acid‘s profile — and at this point it’s safe to call them one of underground heavy’s most essential bands in terms of influence and their general audience reach — that they’d have a well coordinated release isn’t a surprise, but it’s all the more worth noting because so much of the focus throughout Wasteland seems to be on playing live. Of course it’s a two-sided LP and it splits more or less evenly into half with four tracks on each side. Fine. But to take the totality of the tracklisting as a linear whole from “I See Through You” to the militaristic-snare-into-empty-wind (blowing, no doubt, over the titular wasteland) finish of “Exodus,” the entire album seems to be geared toward playing live. It feels like a live set.

It launches with two immediate, standout, catchy hard rockers in “I See Though You” — a firm reminder to the audience of who Uncle Acid are and what they do — and “Shockwave City,” which comes across as something Scorpions might’ve conjured as filtered through Starrs‘ secrets-in-the-basement ideology of sound with scorching guitar work and a tightness of structure and central riff that stands tall among their finest singles. Momentum is built and slashed as “No Return” takes hold with a quiet and tense but slower progression and unfolds its nodding roll over an extended stretch replete with wailing vocals and a wash they’ve not yet brought to bear. It’s telling that at about six and a half minutes in, “No Return” drops to atmospheria, a kind of residual drone taking hold as the samples arrive. This ostensibly isn’t the end of side A — unless I’m way off as regards the placement of the songs on the vinyl; possible — but it does bring to a close the first of three movements happening throughout Wasteland.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (Photo by Ester Segarra)

Think of it this way: two rockers up front, longer song, two more rockers, longer song, and the finale duo of “Bedouin” and “Exodus” to end out. Three tracks, three tracks, two tracks.

This dynamic throughout the album, apart from considerations of physical format, makes Wasteland seem all the more built to be played live. “Blood Runner” and “Stranger Tonight,” like “Shockwave City” before them, barely top four minutes, and as the former taps some surprising NWOBHM gallop, the latter seems to be composed as the quintessential Uncle Acid track, from its threat of violence in the lyrics — it’s noteworthy that Wasteland is unmistakably the band’s album that’s least about killing ladies; perhaps a sign of Starrs having an ear to the ground as to the moment — to the sweep of its hook that only seems to grow more infectious with multiple listens. These in turn lead to “Wasteland” itself, which is unmistakably a forward step in the creative growth of the band.

They’re not strangers to using acoustics or turns to mellower fare, but across its nearly eight minutes, “Wasteland” takes what songs like “13 Candles” and “Black Motorcade” have done in the past to offset more raucous material directly bridges the gap between the two sides. For a band who’ve always, always, been about songwriting, it’s a new level of achievement in that. From the swaying early verses, effectively arranged with the aforementioned mellotron and harmonized vocals, other keys, guitar, bass flourish, etc., to the build that takes hold with the arrival of the drums at the halfway point and moves into an absolute apex for the album as a whole, it’s as gorgeous it is covered in grime, and its relatively quick fade seems to cut short what could’ve easily been a longer section. No mystery how it got to be the title-track; it’s the whole point. “Bedouin” fades in even more quickly than “Wasteland” went out, and begins the last of the three salvos, which works to bring the other two together somewhat.

It’s shorter than the opener at 5:41, but “Bedouin” nonetheless makes its impact with a strutting chorus and the organ in its verses, as well as highlight lead guitar work that recalls “Shockwave City” earlier but is more tripped-out with effects in its ending. But it’s a rager, and as it gives way to the slower-swinging “Exodus” — residing that rhythmic pocket that so many in the garage doom set try to capture but can’t quite do in the same way that comes so naturally to Uncle Acid — there’s a palpable sense of an encore happening. The closer lands squarely between the shorter and longer cuts, but moreover, it has a sense of finality to it that speaks to the band’s ever-cinematic sphere of influences. That is to say, roll credits.

But, more to the occasion, it’s the grand finale of the live set that is Wasteland as a whole, and though there’s nothing lacking by the time it’s done, the fact that the two prior salvos are three songs and the last one is only two seems to tip-hat to the notion of leaving the audience wanting more. Hence the sudden cut at the end of “Exodus” itself and the shorter overall runtime. It works. The danger coming into Wasteland was whether or not Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats would be seen to have run their stylistic course. Could they make their sound do something new? They haven’t yet made their Sgt. Pepper — or, if they were after my own heart, their Rubber Soul — and they may not have interest in doing so, but what Wasteland does is to bring a refreshed vitality to their approach while willfully tightening the songcraft at the same time they push forward into new ground. There will be a lot that’s familiar to established listeners, but as always with Starrs‘ work, the deeper you dig, the more you find, and Wasteland more than earns such excavation. It’d be a show to remember.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Stranger Tonight”

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats website

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Rise Above Records website

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Crawling for Carrion Premiere Townes Van Zandt Cover “Rake”; Debut EP Rake and Roads out Nov. 9

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Crawling for Carrion

Go ahead and take the title of Crawling for Carrion‘s debut EP, Rake and Roads, literally. It’s comprised of two songs, one is “Rake” and the other is “Roads.” Both are covers — of Townes Van Zandt and Portishead, respectively — and both are given a heavy treatment intended to mirror the emotional and atmospheric weight already embedded in them. The rearrangement of “Rake” is premiering now at the bottom of this post, and preorders for the release are up through Giganto Records ahead of its Nov. 9 arrival.

I suppose when you feature in as many bands as Chris WestTrippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight (who were way ahead of the UK underground’s silly-moniker arms race), Stubb, Landskap, Named by the Sun, Groan for a hot minute, Glanville, etc. — you make a few friends along the way, and as he handles guitar and bass and directs the arrangements, West is joined by members of Stubb, Wight and Vodun, as well as former(?) Trippy Wicked bandmate Peter Holland, now also of Elephant Tree. On “Rake,” it’s Grave Lines‘ Jake Harding on vocals and Thomas Kurek of Wight on drums, and the groove elicited from the Townes Van Zandt original — which should also be well familiar to Scott Kelly and/or Wino fans — gives a new angle from which to view its lyrical narrative.

Giganto Records is West‘s own label, and he by and large records his own work, so there’s really nothing stopping this new project from fleshing out in any number of directions. Blondie by way of doom? Could happen.

Art, info, links and audio follow:

Crawling for Carrion Rake and Roads

Rake and Roads is the first in a series of releases from Crawling for Carrion. The UK-based project is spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Chris West (Landskap, Trippy Wicked, etc.), and reinterprets “Rake” by Townes Van Zandt and “Roads” by Portishead with an eye toward bringing out an inner heaviness that’s been there all along.

Releasing through his own Giganto Records and handling production, bass and guitar, West is joined by a rotating cast in Crawling for Carrion. Jake Harding (Grave Lines) handles vocals and Thomas Kurek (Wight) drums for “Rake,” while drums on “Roads” were played by Pete Holland (Elephant Tree), and vocals helmed by Chantal Brown (Vodun) and lead guitar by Tom Hobson (Stubb). Rake and Roads will be issued as individual lathe cut 10” records and only available on a preorder basis. The sleeves will be individually printed and numbered by artist Emmett Casley from a linocut.

Chris West launched Giganto Records in 2017 as a platform to release music that he writes and records himself under various names. Best known for playing in Stubb and Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight, in recent years he has also played with Landskap, Glanville and Named by the Sun.

https://www.facebook.com/crawlingforcarrion/
https://twitter.com/christhewest
https://www.instagram.com/christhewest
https://show.co/3B0Clsk
https://www.gigantorecords.com
https://gigantorecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gigantorecords

Crawling for Carrion, “Rake” official track premiere

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Desertfest London 2019 First Announcement: Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze, Kadavar, Witch, We Hunt Buffalo & DVNE Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest london 2019 banner

What’s more exciting than a killer first festival announcement? Not much. So many possibilities, and with its first lineup additions, Desertfest London 2019 throws the door wide open with some massive names. Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze and Kadavar? Hell, I’d take any of them as a headliner, and you can pretty much throw Witch in there too. That’s five acts right out of the gate, any of whom could sell out a show on their own in London, plus the just-reviewed We Hunt Buffalo and Edinburgh’s DVNE, whom I had the pleasure of seeing at Psycho Las Vegas for their US live debut, rounding out an initial seven that’s absolutely massive.

The key part of the announcement below, though? It’s where it says “we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date.” Desertfest London has only grown huger each year, more forward-thinking and broader in its reach. The Desertscene crew have their work cut out for them in topping 2018, but if this is a taste of the scale to come, they might just get there.

From the PR wire:

desertfest london 2019 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019 – Sunday, May 5, 2019

It begins! Desertfest is returning to Camden for our eighth edition over the Bank Holiday weekend of 3rd to 5th May, and as ever we’re bringing you the finest stoner, doom, sludge and psych bands from around the world. Over the next few months, we’ll be revealing our lineup of dozens of the heaviest bands around, so without further ado, here’s the first seven names for Desertfest 2019.

Over the last half-decade, Nashville’s All Them Witches have made themselves indispensable with a sound that has never stopped evolving, with their roots in heavy blues and psychedelia flourishing over time into an approach that is undeniably their own. The Tennessee four-piece arrive at Desertfest with a reputation that precedes them for jammy explorations and a kind of heavy that, while regularly imitated, has yet to be reproduced by anyone else.

Joining them on the bill are Kadavar, who make their long awaited Desertfest return with their fur-coated, barreling riot of a set at the Jazz Cafe in 2013 as fresh in our minds as ever. There are very few who perform the retro-rockin’, ’70s proto-metal revival with the power, prestige and passion of our favourite Berlin trio. The boogie train that is Kadavar won’t be making any emergency stops as it ploughs through Camden this May.

Vermont spell-casters Witch will be enrapturing Desertfest with their stoner rock incantations in 2019. Combining psychedelic rock, Sabbath-ian doom, and Black Flag sludge-punk, stoner aficionados who were around for the noughties boom will fondly remember Witch for releasing some of the hookiest albums of the decade. After a stint lurking in the shadows, Witch are hitting up Desertfest to make magic once again.

Even after seven mammoth editions of Desertfest, there are bands we’ve been chomping at the bit to get over to Camden to grace our stages; finally, we’ve grabbed us the hardest jamming band in the universe, Earthless, are touching down to shred our corner of London to the ground. The epitome of psyched-out Hendrixian-krautrock from day one, San Diego’s ultimate power trio will melt your entire body this May.

Colour Haze make their return to the Desertfest stage in 2019 after six long years. The German trio, in whose image modern heavy psychedelia is in large part cast, have affirmed their position as unflinching masters of the form in their absence, finding a new niche between heavy riffs and expansive arrangements. The Colour Haze that return to Desertfest are, somehow, even better than the one we saw in 2013.

Vancouver trio We Hunt Buffalo‘s brand of prog-minded fuzz rock has been stampeding out of amps and trampling audiences since 2010. Professing a love of all things stoner and psych and citing influences from all genres of rock, all underpinned with driving fuzz lines, We Hunt Buffalo will be just the ticket to a sore neck at Desertfest.

Last but not least in our first batch of bands are Edinburgh’s DVNE who play their own unique brand of night sky-gazing melodic sludge. Early-period Mastodon fans should take note, as the progressive changes and all-conquering vocals conjure up scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution in their epic soundscapes of post-metal ebb and flow.

So there you have it, our first seven bands. With dozens more names to come, including all three headliners, we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date. Weekend tickets are on sale now at the link below, so be sure to book your place at the heaviest lineup in town; Desertfest 2019!

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest

All Them Witches, ATW (2018)

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Yung Druid Premiere “Take Me to Your Dealer” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yung druid video

Whoever decided to put London four-piece Yung Druid in front of a green screen very clearly had the right idea. I’m going to guess that was the masterful decision of director Emily McDonald, and if so, kudos. Likewise to whichever involved party decided to include the candy flying saucers along with all the background footage and other low-budget effects thereof, and then not onto to have the jar, but to actually throw the candy at the band as they play, in alien masks. Also it’s shot on VHS. Also there’s a baby that gets zapped by alien lightning eyes and everyone has fun wearing colors that disappear on the green screen. Also they ride a pretend rocketship wrapped in tin foil and smoke a giant novelty joint. Also the song rules. It’s all kind of genius.

The track is called “Take Me to Your Dealer,” and it comes from Yung Druid‘s self-titledyung druid take me to your dealer debut album, which is set to release before the end of the year on Totem Cat Records. Recorded by Mark Jasper in East London, the sound and vibe are as hash-oiled as the video concept, and so the two couldn’t be more appropriate together. It’s a right-on riff for those who might dig on the likes of Witch or some of their rawer stoner acolytes, but the sense of personality, aural and visual, is a marked distinguishing factor. Yung Druid had a demo out in 2016 that in cuts like “Underneath the Aching Sky” and “Went into a Wooden Room” called to mind a somewhat psych-doomier take on earliest Groan with hints of Elephant Tree-style melody in the vocals of “Lung,” and while I don’t know if any of them or the Blind Melon-meets-first-album-Mars Red Sky esque melody of “Morning Come,” which capped the demo, will be included on the self-titled, their over-the-top leads, languid nods and spacious reach offer context for where “Take Me to Your Dealer” is coming from.

Accordingly, I’ve included the demo in an embed at the bottom of this post. “Take Me to Your Dealer” is six minutes long but has no problem holding the viewer/listener’s attention for the duration. For its intriguing take on familiar elements, the burgeoning charm of its execution, and for how well it portends the album to be released, I’m thrilled to be able to host the premiere of the video.

You’ll find more info under the player below. Yung Druid play The Bird’s Nest in Deptford tonight, Sept. 7, in the company of Morag TongTrevor’s Head and Dead Lettuce.

Please enjoy:

Yung Druid, “Take Me to Your Dealer” official video premiere

Yung Druid on “Take Me to Your Dealer”:

It’s a send-up but in a way that’s representative of the best parts of the Stoner genre in general… a holy quadrangle of pastiche, tribute, weed, and evolution. “Take Me To Your Dealer” is pretty indicative of the way we approach music in general. It’s loud, exploratory, rooted in what may or may not have actually happened, and good to crush beers to.

We started recording a year or so back in a converted shed in a semi-industrial part of East London. The initial sessions resulted in a handful of demos which later found their way onto the final cut. We returned a few months later and finished the job, turning up louder to compete with the sonic frequency of the African Evangelical church who had set up next door.

London based, ‘70s inspired Stoner Rock band YUNG DRUID have unleashed their debut video clip for the track ‘Take Me To Your Dealer’; the first single from the band’s forthcoming self-titled LP, due for release via boutique Stoner/Doom label Totem Cat Records in late 2018. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Jasper at Soundsavers Studio, East London.

The retro inspired clip, shot on VHS by filmmaker Emily McDonald, is a psychedelic trip through space; cue alien transformations, flying babies, and a smattering of other ‘organic’ stimulus. To celebrate the release of the video, Yung Druid will be headlining the September edition of the Doom residency show at The Bird’s Nest in Deptford, alongside fellow UK riff merchants Trevor’s Head, Morag Tong and Dead Lettuce, on September 7.

Project: Yung Druid – Take Me To Your Dealer
Director: Emily McDonald
DOP: Joseph Gainsborough
Art Dept: Samantha Crossley
Editor: Emily McDonald
AFX: Kieran Gee-Finch

Yung Druid is:
Jack Oliver – Guitars and Vocals
Magnus Reid – Drums
Luke Waldock – Bass
Chris Reid – Guitars

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Yung Druid on Bandcamp

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The White Swan Premiere “Inamorato”;Touch Taste Destroy EP out Sept. 7

Posted in audiObelisk on August 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the white swan

Based out of London, Ontario, spacious-riffing trio The White Swan will have upon the Sept. 7 arrival of their three-songer, Touch Taste Destroy, released three EPs in the last three years. The prior two, 2016’s Anubis and 2017’s The White (sans “swan”), were recorded by Alastair Sims and featured original cuts — a rolling reinterpretation on the first of Wings‘ “Jet” notwithstanding — of thick-toned, nodding modern stoner doom, hit hard, but still unfolding with an overarching sense of patience and melody. A song like “North Carolina” from “The White,” or the previously unveiled title-track of Touch Taste Destroy create a decided murk reminiscent of earlier Windhand, but distinguished particularly on the latter by a current of keyboards and a fluidity of pace that draws beyond the easy trap of doomly confines.

It’s a relatively familiar breadth of sound more than ably conjured, and “Inamorato” — the Italian-language title referring to a male lover — is the closing track on Touch Taste Destroy following, perhaps suitably enough, “Pelvic Sorcery.” the white swan touch taste destroyWhile I haven’t heard that track — and really, only fools don’t want to hear a song with such a name — “Inamorato” and “Touch Taste Destroy” give a sense that the new EP is picking up perhaps more noisily where the others left off. The White Swan, which is comprised of Mercedes Lander on guitar, vocals, keys and drums, Kira Longeuay on bass and Shane Jeffers on guitar, have their sonic path laid out before them and seem to be steadily pressing forward along it, progressing each time out while sticking to the core thickness and melodic resonance that would seem to be their foundation.

If Lander‘s name rings familiar, it might be due to her 20-plus-year (god I’m old) tenure in metallers Kittie. Even given that band’s shift from nü-metal stylizations to more scouring fare, The White Swan are a marked turn in genre for Lander, but there’s no arguing with results. I’ll admit that as I’ve never been a fan of her other outfit, I was hesitant to check out the track being premiered below, and if you find yourself feeling similarly, I can only offer my lack of regret as having done so as encouragement. The pedigree is an interesting bit of context, but ultimately has little bearing on the sound itself, which feels bent on developing its own identity.

The White Swan have a quick Midwestern run booked for next month and shows in Ontario and Quebec surrounding. Give “Inamorato” a fair shot and see what you think.

And please enjoy:

The White Swan, “Inamorato” official track premiere

Canadian doom/sludge trio The White Swan, which features KITTIE’s Mercedes Landers on vocals, will be releasing their latest EP, “Touch Taste Destroy”, on September 7.

Following up from their previous EP’s, 2017’s ‘The White” and 2016’s “Anubis,” “Touch Taste Destroy” spans over three tracks recorded, mixed and mastered at Noble Street Studios in Toronto, ON with acclaimed engineer Alastair Sims (Rush, Three Days Grace).

THE WHITE SWAN bleeds warm ’70s flavoured Black Sabbath doom mixed with classic ’90s grunge, creating a trademark sound within the space of only three songs. Backed by Kira Longeuay (bass) and Shane Jeffers (guitars), Lander’s previously unknown vision for her music has taken on a life of its own and has been met with praise by the open-minded legions of the rock and metal community.

Tracklisting:
1. Touch Taste Destroy
2. Pelvic Sorcery
3. Inamorato

Upcoming shows!
8/31 Windsor, ON – Phog Bar
9/1 Newmarket ON – The Gray Goat
9/5 Champaign, IL – Blips & Chitz (w/ StagHorn & Close The Hatch)
9/6 Dayton, OH – Blind Bob’s (w/ Close The Hatch)
9/7 Decatur, AL – The Jam Shop (w/ Close The Hatch & I Am The Law)
9/8 Murfreesboro, TN – Autograph Rehearsal Studio (w/ Close The Hatch & I Am The Law)
9/29 Montreal, QC – Piranha Bar
10/20 London ON – 765

The White Swan is:  
Mercedes Lander – drums, vocals, keyboards, guitar  
Shane Jeffers – guitar  
Kira Longeuay – bass  

The White Swan website

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The White Swan on Twitter

The White Swan on Instagram

The White Swan on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Khemmis, Morag Tong, Holy Mushroom, Naisian, Haunted, Pabst, L.M.I., Fuzz Forward, Onségen Ensemble, The Heavy Eyes

Posted in Reviews on July 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

I always say the same thing on the Wednesday of the Quarterly Review. Day 3. The halfway point. I say it every time. The fact is, doing these things kind of takes it out of me. All of it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy listening to all these records — well, I don’t enjoy all of them, but I’m talking more about the process — just that it’s a lot to take in and by the time I’m done each day, let alone at the end of the week, I’m fairly exhausted. So every time we hit the halfway point of a Quarterly Review, I feel somewhat compelled to note it. Cresting the hill, as it were. It’s satisfying to get to this point without my head falling off.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Khemmis, Desolation

khemmis desolation

Continuing their proclivity for one-word titles, Denver doom forerunners Khemmis take a decisive turn toward the metallic with their third album for 20 Buck Spin, the six-track/41-minute Desolation. Songs like opener “Bloodletting” and its side B counterpart “The Seer” are still tinged with doom, but the NWOBHM gallop in “Isolation” and “Maw of Time” – as well as the sheer force of the latter – is an unexpected twist. Khemmis showed classic metal elements on 2016’s was-a-very-big-deal Hunted (review here) and 2015’s debut, Absolution (review here), but it’s a question of balance, and as they’ve once again worked with producer Dave Otero, one can only read the shift as a conscious decision. The harder edge suits them – certainly suits the screams in “Maw of Time” and side A finale/album highlight “Flesh to Nothing” – and as Khemmis further refine their sound, they craft its most individualized manifestation to-date. There’s no hearing Desolation and mistaking Khemmis for another band. They’ve come into their own.

Khemmis on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin website

 

Morag Tong, Last Knell of Om

morag tong last knell of om

A rumbling entry into London’s Heavy Generation, the four-piece Morag Tong unfold voluminous ritual on their debut full-length, Last Knell of Om. Largely slow and largely toned, the work of guitarists Alex Clarke and Lewis Crane brings the low end to the forefront along with the bass of James Atha while drummer Adam Asquith pushes the lurch forward on cuts like “New Growth” and “To Soil,” the band seemingly most comfortable when engaged in crawling tempos and weighted pummel. Asquith also adds semi-shouted vocals to the mire, which, surrounded by distortion as they are, only make the proceedings sound even more massive. There’s an ambience to “We Answer” and near-13-minute closer “Ephemera: Stare Through the Deep,” which gives the record a suitably noisy finish, but much of what Morag Tong are going for in sound depends on the effectiveness of their tonality, and they’ve got that part down on their debut. Coupled with the meditative feel in some of this material, that shows marked potential on the band’s part for future growth.

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Morag Tong on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mushroom, Blood and Soul

holy mushroom blood and soul

Working quickly to follow-up their earlier-2018 sophomore long-player, Moon (review here), Spain’s Holy Mushroom present Blood and Soul, an EP comprised of two songs recorded live in the studio. I’m not entirely sure why it’s split up at all, as the two-minute “Introito” – sure enough, a little introduction – feeds so smoothly into the 19-minute “Blood and Soul” itself, but fair enough either way as the trio shift between different instrumentation, incorporating sax, piano and organ among the guitar, bass, drums and vocals, and unfold a longform heavy psychedelic trip that not only builds on what they were doing with Moon but is every bit worthy of being released on its own. I don’t know if it was recorded at the same time as the record or later – both were done at Asturcon Studios – but it’s easy to see why the band would want to highlight “Blood and Moon.” Between the deep-running mix, the easy rhythmic flow into and out from drifting spaciousness, and the turn in the middle third toward more expansive arrangement elements, it’s an engaging motion that makes subtly difficult shifts seem utterly natural along the way. And even if you didn’t hear the latest full-length, Blood and Soul makes for a fitting introduction to who Holy Mushroom are as a band and what they can do.

Holy Mushroom on Thee Facebooks

Clostridium Records website

 

Naisian, Rejoinder

naisian rejoinder

Sludge-infused noise rock serves as the backdrop for lyrical shenanigans on the three-song Rejoinder EP from Sheffield, UK, trio Naisian. Running just 12 minutes, it’s a quick and thickened pummel enacted by the band, who work in shades of post-metal for “90 ft. Stone,” “Mantis Rising” and “Lefole,” most especially in the middle cut, but even there, the focus in on harsh vocals and lumbering sonic heft. It’s now been seven years since the band sort-of issued their debut album, Mammalian, and six since they followed with the Monocle EP, and the time seems to have stripped down their sound to a degree. “Lefole” is the longest track on Rejoinder at 5:18 and it’s still shorter than every other song Naisian have put out to-date. Their crunch lacks nothing for impact, however, and to go with the swing of “Lefole,” everybody seems to contribute to a vocal assault that only adds to the punishing but thoughtful vibe.

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Naisian on Bandcamp

 

Haunted, Dayburner

haunted dayburner

The effects-laden vocal swirl at the outset of Haunted’s “Mourning Sun” and moments in the Italian act’s longer-form material, “Waterdawn” or “Orphic,” for example, will invariably lead some listeners to point to a Windhand influence, but the character of the band’s second album, Dayburner (on Twin Earth, DHU and Graven Earth all), follows their 2016 self-titled (review here) by holding steady to a developing identity of its own. To be sure, vocalist Christina Chimirri, guitarists Francesco Bauso and Francesco Orlando, bassist Frank Tudisco and drummer Dario Casabona make their way into a deep, murky swamp of modern doom in “Dayburner” (video posted here), but in the crush of their tones amid all that trance-inducing riffing, they cast themselves as an outfit seeking to express individuality within the set parameters of style. Their execution, then, is what it comes down to, and with “Orphic” (12:46) and “Vespertine” (13:19) back to back, there’s plenty of doom on the 66-minute 2LP to roll that out. And they do so in patient and successful form, with marked tonal vibrancy and a sense of controlling the storm they’re creating as they go.

Haunted on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records website

DHU Records webstore

Graven Earth Records webstore

 

Pabst, Chlorine

pabst chlorine

So, the aesthetic is different. Pabst play a blend of noise, post-punk, heavy rock and grunge, but with the ready pop influence — to wit, the outright danceability of “Shits,” reminiscent in its bounce of later Queens of the Stone Age – and persistent melodicism, there’s just a twinge of what Mars Red Sky did for heavy rolling riffs happening on Chlorine, their Crazysane Records debut. It’s in that blend of dense low-end fuzz and brighter vocal melodies, but again, Pabst, hailing from Berlin, are on their own trip. Weird but almost more enjoyable than it seems to want to be, the 12-track/35-minute outing indulges little and offers singalong-ready vibes in “Catching Feelings” and “Waterslide” while “Waiting Loop” chills out before the push of “Accelerate” and the angularity of “Cheapskate” take hold. Chrlorine careens and (blue) ribbons its way to the drive-fast-windows-open stylization of “Summer Never Came” and the finale “Under Water,” a vocal effect on the latter doing nothing to take away from its ultra-catchy hook. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a record someone with just the right kind of open mind can come to love.

Pabst on Thee Facebooks

Crazysane Records webstore

 

L.M.I., IV

lmi iv

If you’ve got a dank basement full of skinny college kids, chances are Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s L.M.I. are ready to tear their faces off. The sludge-thickened riff punkers run abut 11 minutes with their five-song release, L.M.I. IV, and that’s well enough time to get their message across. Actually, by the end of “Neck of Tension” and “Weaning Youth,” roughly four and half minutes in, the statement of intent is pretty clear. L.M.I. present furious but grooving hardcore punk more given to scathe than pummel, and their inclusions on L.M.I. IV bring that to life with due sense of controlled chaos. Centerpiece “Lurking Breath” gives way to “First to Dark” – the longest cut at a sprawling 2:55 – and they save a bit of grunge guitar scorch and lower-register growling for closer “June was a Test,” there isn’t really time in general for any redundancy to take hold. That suits the feeling of assault well, as L.M.I. get in and get out on the quick and once they’re gone, all that’s left to do is clean the blood off the walls.

L.M.I. on Thee Facebooks

L.M.I. on Bandcamp

 

Fuzz Forward, Out of Nowhere

fuzz forward out of nowhere

Released one way or another through Discos Macarras, Odio Sonoro, Spinda Records and Red Sun Records, the eight-song/43-minute debut album from Barcelona’s Fuzz Forward, Out of Nowhere, has earned acclaim from multiple corners for its interpretation of grunge-era melodies through a varied heavy rock filter. Indeed, the vocals of Juan Gil – joined in the band by guitarist Edko Fuzz, bassist Jordi Vaquero and drummer Marc Rockenberg – pull the mind directly to a young Layne Staley, and forces one to realize it’s been a while since that low-in-the-mouth approach was so ubiquitous. It works well for Gil in the laid back “Summertime Somersaults” as well as the swinging, cowbell-infused later cut “Drained,” and as the band seems to foreshadow richer atmospheric exploration on “Thorns in Tongue” and “Torches,” they nonetheless maintain a focus on songwriting that grounds the proceedings and will hopefully continue to serve as their foundation as they move forward. No argument with the plaudits they’ve thus far received. Seems doubtful they’ll be the last.

Fuzz Forward on Thee Facebooks

Fuzz Forward on Bandcamp

 

Onségen Ensemble, Duel

Onsegen ensemble duel

The kind of record you’re doing yourself a favor by hearing – a visionary cast of progressive psychedelia that teems with creative energy and is an inspiration even in the listening. Frankly, the only thing I’m not sure about when it comes to Oulu, Finland, outfit Onségen Enseble’s second album, Duel, is why it isn’t being released through Svart Records. It seems like such a natural fit, with the adventurous woodwinds on opener “Think Neither Good Nor Evil,” the meditative sprawl of the title-track (video posted here), the jazz-jam in the middle of “Dogma MMXVII,” the tribalist percussion anchoring the 12-minute “Three Calls of the Emperor’s Teacher,” which surely would otherwise float away under its own antigravity power, and the free-psych build of closer “Zodiacal Lights of Onségen,” which shimmers in otherworldly fashion and improvised-sounding spark. On Svart or not, Duel is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and one the creativity of which puts it in a class of its own, even in the vast reaches of psychedelic rock. Whether it means to or not, it tells a story with sound, and that story should be heard.

Onségen Ensemble on Thee Facebooks

Onsegen Ensemble on Bandcamp

 

The Heavy Eyes, Live in Memphis

the heavy eyes live in memphis

Since so much of The Heavy Eyes’ studio presentation has consistently been about crispness of sound and structured songwriting, it’s kind of a relief to hear them knock into some feedback at the start of “Mannish Boy” at the outset of Live in Memphis (on Kozmik Artifactz). The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Tripp Shumake, bassist Wally Anderson and drummer Eric Garcia are still tight as hell, of course, and their material – drawn here from the band’s LPs, 2015’s He Dreams of Lions (review here), 2012’s Maera, 2011’s self-titled, as well as sundry shorter offerings – is likewise. They’ve never been an overly dangerous band, nor have they wanted to be, but the stage performance does add a bit of edge to “Iron Giants” from the debut, which is followed by singing “Happy Birthday” to a friend in the crowd. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Live in Memphis is hearing The Heavy Eyes loosen up a bit on stage, and hearing them sound like they’re having as good a time playing as the crowd is watching and hearing them do so. That sense of fun suits them well.

The Heavy Eyes on Thee Facebooks

The Heavy Eyes at Kozmik Artifactz

 

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