Friday Full-Length: Mountain, Climbing!

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Mountain, Climbing! (1970)

The guitar playing is so paramount to Mountain‘s mega-classic 1970 debut, Climbing!, that I think sometimes Leslie West‘s string prowess trumps everything else, but while stellar, it’s far from all the record has to offer. Both West and bassist Felix Pappalardi shine as vocalists, and in addition to the cowbell overdose on “Mississippi Queen” and “Never in My Life,” Corky Laing‘s drums swing so heavy throughout that sometimes it seems a wonder they can move at all, let alone groove as voraciously as they do. From the organ-laced “Theme for an Imaginary Western” to the later acoustic semi-psychedelics of “The Laird,” Climbing! has versatility, poise and sonic and emotional heft. It is no coincidence that it came out in 1970 — a full 45 years ago as of this March — and so many groups went on to beef up their sound circa ’71 and ’72.

I won’t take away from the opener’s landmark status or the rhythm and blues at root in “Sittin’ on a Rainbow,” the subtle proto-prog of “Boys in the Band,” but I think for me the highlight of the album is “Silver Paper,” which gives a decidedly Northern take on a feel that Lynyrd Skynyrd would soon define exclusively as Southern rock, as it seems to draw together all sides of the record, Pappalardi and West trading off vocals, Laing doing much with a relatively straightforward drum progression, Steve Knight‘s hand bells and organ fleshing out the sound. That’s just as likely to change with any given mood though, Mountain positively nailing it as few acts ever have on their first record. Naturally that has its ups and downs as regards the entirety of a career, since while they called it Climbing!, they’d never — at least commercially, if not creatively — reach these heights again, though neither are their subsequent works or members’ contributions to outfits like West, Bruce and Laing (with Cream‘s Jack Bruce, who also wrote “Theme for an Imaginary Western”). An influence as enduring as Mountain has had doesn’t come from just one record, even a monster like this one.

Something of a given in the sphere of heavy rock, it’s an oversight that I haven’t closed out a week with Climbing! before. Actually, I thought I had until I went back and couldn’t find it, so there you go. I don’t imagine that this will be the first time hearing it for many who read this, but as an excuse to revisit it on a Friday afternoon — maybe you’re thinking about a kickass weekend coming up or even just not being at work for a couple days — I thought we could all do a lot worse.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I didn’t get the chance to say it last week, but rest in peace Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. The former drummer of Motörhead‘s passing reminds us of the power that band wields and the generations-spanning effect they have had on rock and roll and heavy musics of all stripes. The work remains but Taylor will be missed.

So, this post, or at least the above portion of it, was originally slated to go up last Friday evening, written in Philadelphia, to which I had flown from my work trip in Chicago on Thursday night. Obviously the attack in Paris superseded that and just about everything else. What a shitshow. Particularly as an American who was conscious when his country passed the Patriot Act late in Oct. 2001, it’s sad to see Europe closing its borders to refugees and to its neighbors, ending the Schengen Agreement, but panic is panic regardless of where it’s born. Now I’m hearing about hostages in Mali. Off to war, forever and always.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, rock and roll.

Next week is a holiday here in the States, and I’ll be traveling to Connecticut and to New Jersey to see family, so I’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing Thursday and Friday, but I’ll have a podcast up probably Wednesday in case I’m not the only one hitting the road. Monday and Tuesday I’ve also got reviews and full-album streams slated for Moon Curse and Tombstones, so there will be plenty to listen to one way or another.

Speaking of, if you didn’t check out the Kungens Män that went up today, the jams are right on and ripe for digging in. I was into it enough to chase down hosting it, so yeah.

I meant to mention it last week, but at this point I’m well into planning out the next Quarterly Review as well. I’ve got about six records slated for each of the five days when it will take place. I’m thinking maybe the week after Xmas for it, though that has it ending on New Year’s Day, and I don’t imagine too many people will really be interested in reading reviews. Maybe the first week in January? I’ll figure it out.

We’re almost getting on year-end list time too, and the readers poll. Dec. 1 is a Tuesday, so I’ll launch that then (with Slevin‘s always-appreciated assistance), and hopefully everyone will have the chance to chime in. I always get nervous with that kind of thing that nobody’s going to bother. Please bother.

Alright. I think that should do it.

Since I likely won’t get the chance to say so before the day actually comes, a very happy Thanksgiving if you’re here in the US. It’s based on a genocidal lie, but still nice to get everyone together. All the best to you and yours wherever you might be though. I hope you have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Quarterly Review: Holy Sons, WEEED, Mala Suerte, Eternal Black, Were-Jaguars, Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Black Tremor, Aave, Derelics, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Day one down, four more days to go. I forget each time how different it is writing shorter reviews as opposed to the usual longer ones, but kind of refreshing to bust through something, force myself to say what needs to be said as efficiently as possible and move on. Reminds me of working in print, with word counts and such. Only so much room on the page. Not something that usually comes up around these parts, but I guess it’s good to keep that muscle from complete atrophy. Though taking that line of thought to its natural conclusion, I have no idea why. Anyway, feeling good, ready to take on another 10 records, so let’s roll.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Holy Sons, Fall of Man

holy sons fall of man

It would be hard to overstate the smoothness with which Emil Amos, who serves integral creative and percussive roles in both Grails and Om, brings different styles together on Fall of Man, his second album for Thrill Jockey under the Holy Sons solo moniker and upwards of his 11th overall. An overriding melancholy vibe suits dark, progressive pop elements on the opener “Mercenary World,” Amos at the fore playing all instruments and still vocalizing like a singer-songwriter, while the later wash of “Being Possessed is Easy” takes on ‘90s indie fragility and turns what was purposeful minimalism into an expanse of melody and “Discipline” creeps out lyrically while forming experimentalist soundscapes around a steady line of acoustic guitar. Joined by bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem on “Aged Wine” – the only other players to appear anywhere on Fall of ManAmos leads the trio through soaring leads and heavier crashing to give the album a crescendo worthy of its scope, which while astounding on deeper inspection presents itself with simple, classic humility.

Holy Sons on Thee Facebooks

Holy Sons at Thrill Jockey

WEEED, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath


From the opening drone-groan throat-singing of the 14-minute “Dogma Dissolver,” it seems like not-quite-Seattle trio Weeed are making a run for the title “Most Stoned of the Stoner” with their second full-length, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath. They earn that extra ‘e.’ A double-LP on Illuminasty Records, the album is a 54-minute trip into low tone and deep-running vibe, spaced way out, and well at home whether jamming heavy and hypnotized on “Rainbow Amplifier Worship” – a highlight bassline – or nestling into an ambient stretch like “Bullfrog” preceding. Mostly instrumental, Weeed hit their most active in “Enuma Elish” and then chill and strip back to acoustics and sax (yup) for the Eastern-flavored “Caravan Spliff,” bringing back the throat-singing in the process. How else to finish such a work than with the 15-minute “Nature’s Green Magic,” a 15-minute push along a single build that goes from minimal, pastoral acoustics to nod-on-this megastoner riffing? Weeed might be going for the gold, but they end up in the green, and somehow one imagines they’ll be alright with that. They get super-ultra-bonus points for sounding like Kyuss not even a little.

WEEED on Thee Facebooks

WEEED on Bandcamp

Mala Suerte, Rituals of Self Destruction

mala suerte rituals of self destruction

Formed in 1999 and having made their full-length debut a decade later with The Shadow Tradition (review here), last heard from in a 2012 split with Boise’s Uzala (review here), Austin, Texas, doomly five-piece Mala Suerte return with the 10-track Rituals of Self Destruction, which moves past its four-minute intro into chugging The Obsessed-style trad doom with a touch of Southern heavy à la Crowbar and a generally metallic spirit in cuts like “Utopic Delusions” that gets expanded on later cuts like the swirling, crawling almost Cathedral-ish “Labyrinth of Solitude.” Comprised of forward-mixed vocalist Gary Rosas, guitarists David Guerrero and Vincent Pina, bassist Mike Reed and drummer Chris Chapa (now John Petri), Mala Suerte sound as rueful as ever across the album’s span, rounding out with the hardcore sludge of “Successful Failure” and “The Recluse,” which builds from slow, brooding chug to a more riotous finish. It’s been a while, but it’s good to have them back.

Mala Suerte on Thee Facebooks

Mala Suerte on Bandcamp

Eternal Black, Eternal Black

eternal black eternal black

Guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob leads Brooklyn’s Eternal Black through the riffy doom of their debut self-titled three-track EP. Unpretentious in the style’s tradition, the trio is anchored by Hal Miller’s bass and pushed forward by the drums of Joe “The Prince of Long Island” Wood (also of Borgo Pass), the rolling groove of Sabbathian opener “Obsidian Sky” setting the tone for straightforward, few-frills darkness, and Eternal Black follow it up with the workingman’s doom of “The Dead Die Hard” and “Armageddon’s Embrace,” the former started out with an extra lead layer before it unfurls the EP/demo’s most satisfying crawl, and the latter a little more swinging, but still Iommic metal at its core, Wohlrob’s gruff vocal and Wino-style riff backed by Miller’s deep-mixed rumble as Wood goes to the cowbell/woodblock (it’s one or the other) during the guitar solo. Even if Joe Wood wasn’t one of the best human beings I’d ever met, it would still be pretty easy to dig what these cats are doing, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye for how they follow this first installment.

Eternal Black on Thee Facebooks

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

Were-Jaguars, II

were-jaguars ii

Austin, Texas-based trio Were-Jaguars have already issued a follow-up EP to their earlier-2015 second album, II, but from its opening and longest track “Between the Armies” (immediate points), the three-piece dig into weirdo psych vibes and dense tones across their latest full-length, released through respected Russian purveyor R.A.I.G. Not at all a minor undertaking at 13 tracks, 68 minutes, it gets into garage ritualism in “Let My Breath be the Air” and unfolds immediate doomadelia on “Bishop Kills Enchanter,” but if you need confirmation that Were-Jaguars – the three-piece of Chad Rauschenberg, James Adkisson and Rick McConnell – aren’t just screwing around in these songs and lucking into a righteous result, let it come on the later “Lost Soul,” which melds a flowing instrumental roll to a host of spiritual and pseudo-spiritual samples, loses itself completely, and then returns at the end to finish cohesive, engagingly complex and sure in the knowledge that all has gone to plan. Figuring out what that plan is can be a challenge at times, but it’s there.

Were-Jaguars on Thee Facebooks


Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Fuzzonaut Split


The Fuzzonaut split between Mexico’s Vinnum Sabbathi and Bar de Monjas takes its name from the closing track, provided by the latter act, but it serves as a fitting title for the work as a whole as well. Vinnum Sabbathi launch the six-track offering with “HEX I: The Mastery of Space,” a slow-rolling instrumental topped by samples pulled from rocket launches, and after the 1:45 droning interlude “Intermission (Fluctuations),” they melt their way into the companion “HEX II: Foundation Pioneers,” doomier in its chug, but similarly-minded overall in intent, with the warm bass, copious samples, and planet-sized riffing. Though their portion is shorter overall, Bar de Monjas answer back with relatively upbeat push in “Hot Rail,” winding up in stoner rock janga-janga before stomping their way into “The Ripper,” cowbelling there as part of an impressively percussed spin and capping with “Fuzzonaut” itself, a shroomy 7:45 creeper with big-riff bursts that rises and recedes effectively, ending with a long residual hum.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Bar de Monjas on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzonaut on Bandcamp

Black Tremor, Impending

black tremor impending

An immediate touchstone for the droning pastoral drear that Saskatoon three-piece Black Tremor elicit on their four-song debut EP, Impending, is Earth’s HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but the newcomer trio distinguish themselves immediately with an approach that replaces guitar with violin, so that not only can Black Tremor tie into these atmospheres, they can do so in a way that speak to country roots in a way their forebears didn’t at the time date. Bassist Alex Deighton, violinist Amanda Bestvater and drummer Brennan Rutherford have only just begun the work of developing their sound, but already nine-minute opener “The Church” and its buzzing follow-up “Rise” prove evocative and come across as more than exercises in ambience. “Markhor” hits with an even heavier roll and an almost Melvinsy undertone, while the title-track makes its way through horse-trod mud to emerge at the end not only clean but positively bouncing. It’s still pretty dark, but they’ve given themselves a vast Canadian Midwestern expanse to explore.

Black Tremor on Thee Facebooks

Black Tremor on Bandcamp

Aave, There’s Nothing

aave there's nothing

A bright tonal bliss pervades There’s Nothing, the Rock Ridge Music debut long-player from Nashville all-lowercase psychedelic post-rockers aave. The band court indie progressivism across the album’s eight component tracks, but with just one song over four minutes long – closer “Turn Me Off” (4:30) – there’s little about it that feels overly indulgent or beyond the pale stylistically. That is to say that while aave set a sonic course for great distances, they get to where they’re going efficiently and don’t hang around too long in one place. That has its ups and downs in terms of vibe, but the resonant vocal melodies of “Nothing Here” – hard not to be reminded of Mars Red Sky’s sweet emotionality, but there are other comparisons one might make – the focus remains grounded in an accessibility that goes beyond getting lost in dreamy guitars. Aesthetically satisfying, they find an intense moment in the later thrust of “Blender,” but even that retains the overarching wistful sensibility of what’s come before and that unites the material throughout.

aave on Thee Facebooks

Rock Ridge Music

Derelics, Introducing

derelics introducing

Spacious, melodic and entrancingly heavy, Derelics’ debut EP, Introducing, indeed makes a formidable opening statement, and in a crowded London scene of post-Orange Goblin burl and Downy sludge, the trio set more progressive ambitions across “To Brunehilde,” “California” and “Ride the Fuckin’ Snake to Valhalla,” psych-funking up the centerpiece after the grooving largesse of the opener en route to the wider-spreading tones of the closer, guitarist/vocalist Reno cutting through his and bassist Nacim’s tones easily with higher-register vocals that push the limits of his range as he encourages one to “ride that fuckin’ snake,” before cutting out to let drummer Rich lead the charge with toms through a build-up bridge that returns to the echoing fullness conjured earlier, ending on a long-fading organ note. An encouraging first offering from the three-piece, and hopefully they continue develop along an original-sounding path as they move ahead. Already they seem to show a knack for melding atmospherics and songwriting toward the same ends.

Derelics on Thee Facebooks

Derelics on Bandcamp

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Desert Brain

sisters of your sunshine vapor desert brain

True to its krautrock-style cover art, Desert Brain, the third outing from Detroit’s Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, has an element of prog at work within its psychedelic unfolding. But that’s reasonable. With four years since their second release, Spectra Spirit (review here), and the inclusion of bassist/keyboardist Eric Oppitz and drummer Rick Sawoscinski with guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow, the dynamic in the band has legitimately shifted, even though Oppitz (who also did the aforementioned cover art) has recorded all three of their records. Still, they keep the proceedings fluid across the two vinyl sides, finding their inner garage on “Major Medicine” and tripping out easy on “What’s Your Cloud Nine, 37?” on side A before digging in with fuzz and push on side B’s “The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory” and stretching into ritual stomp on the title cut. All the while, they’re drenched in vibe and a flow that’s languid even as it’s running you over, and while some songs barely have a chorus, they implant themselves in the mind anyway, almost subliminally.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Thee Facebooks

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Bandcamp

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Eternal Black Release Self-Titled Debut EP

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

If there was such a thing to be sounded as a “good dude alert,” it would be ringing. The reigning Prince of Long Island, drummer Joe Wood — known best for his work in long-running hard rockers Borgo Pass, but also formerly of sludge-slingers 12 Eyes, a former bandmate of mine and all around one of the best guys you could hope to know on the Eastern Seaboard — has a new band going. The Brooklyn-based trio, with Wood on drums, Ken Wohlrob on guitar/vocals and Hal Miller on bass, are called Eternal Black after an initial introduction as The Black Hand, and their self-titled EP has just been released through their own Obsidian Sky Records.

Announcement and stream follow. More to come:

eternal black eternal black

Eternal Black Unleashes Their Doomy Self-Titled EP

Brooklyn-based doom band Eternal Black have unleashed their debut self-titled EP via their own Obsidian Sky Records. Steeped in the American doom tradition of Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, and EyeHateGod, Eternal Black’s music is full of heavy and bluesy riffs, Bonham-esque drums, and rumbling low-end. Sonically and lyrically, the three tracks on the EP are Armageddon blues songs.

Formed in late 2014, Eternal Black is made up of Joe Wood on drums (Borgo Pass, Bloody Sabbath), Hal Miller on Bass, and Ken Wohlrob on guitar and vocals. The group came together out of a desire to create dark songs driven by fuzz-drenched riffs and old-school heavy grooves.

The Eternal Black EP was produced by Kol Marshall (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Absu, Ministry) and Joe Kelly (Provan, John Hovorka and the Dawn of Mechanized Farming) at the latter’s Suburban Elvis studios. Digital downloads of the album are available now via Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, and other digital music retailers.

Details for Eternal Black’s self-titled EP

Track listing:
1. Obsidian Sky
2. The Dead Die Hard
3. Armageddon’s Embrace

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall
Recorded at Suburban Elvis Studios, May 2015
Released by Obsidian Sky Records

Band members:
Hal Miller: Bass
Joe Wood: Drums
Ken Wohlrob: Guitars, Vocals

For the latest updates on Eternal Black:

Eternal Black, Eternal Black (2015)

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Geezer Comment on Joining Lineup for Eye of the Stoned Goat 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


It is a busy few months ahead of New York blues rockers Geezer. Already this year, the trio oversaw the CD release through Ripple Music of their 2014 full-length, Gage (review here), the vinyl of which came out through STB and blew through its pressing more or less immediately following its going on sale in the Fall, and they’re soon to issue a split with Washington D.C. heavy riffers Borracho, also through Ripple, as the opening chapter of the label’s The Second Coming of Heavy series of multi-band vinyls, stepping in to replace Volume IV in that capacity. That’s not to mention working on new material with their recently-added bassist Richie Touseull, including a trip to the studio not so long ago to record a Hendrix cover as part of Magnetic Eye Records‘ forthcoming The Best of James Marshall Hendrix compilation.

Show-wise, 2015 seems to be likewise packed. Having just this past weekend done a couple gigs with Borracho that included a filmed, soon-to-be-unveiled set at The Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA, Geezer will take off in late May for a round of dates alongside Bison Machine (who opened the latest podcast), playing with Sinister Haze, The Golden Grass, Wizard Eye and others — AND — finally I’m getting here, do you think it was built up enough??? — the trio have just been added to the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 fest in June as a replacement for Weed is Weed, where they’ll play as direct support for Mos Generator as they headline the second of the festival’s two nights at Amityville Music Hall in Long Island, NY.

Badass? Yes, it is. That’s why I hounded Geezer guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington (Obelisk Questionnaire here) this weekend for some comment on the matter. This will be Geezer‘s third appearance at the Stoned Goat, having played the last two editions of the fest in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in Brooklyn, and you can find Harrington‘s words, Geezer’s tour dates with Bison Machine and the announcement from the fest following the poster below:

the eye of the stoned goat 5 poster

Once again, due to unforeseen circumstances, Weed is Weed will be unable to join us at this year’s event… but fear not folks, we have managed to actually fill the slot with a fucking sonic wrecking ball of a band. I give you the incomparable heavy blues of… Geezer!!!

Says Geezer‘s Pat Harrington:

Geezer is stoked to once again be a part of the Eye Of The Stoned Goat! This will be our third one and it looks to be the best one yet! So many killer bands to see and friends to catch up with. We’ll be fresh off our tour with Bison Machine and expect to be hitting on all cylinders with plenty of new tunes to get everyone grooving. Can’t wait!”

Geezer: Mind Over Mountain Tour with Bison Machine
Tuesday May 26th @ 31st St Pub, Pittsburg, PA w/ Sinister Haze & Old Dream
Wednesday May 27th @ Small’s, Detroit, MI w/ Wild Savages & SLO (Bison Machine: Hoarfrost vinyl release party)
Thursday May 28th @ Blind Bob’s, Dayton, OH w/ Grand Mammoth & Zuel
Friday May 29th @ The Living Room, Stroudsburg PA w/ Wizard Eye
Saturday May 30th @ Lucky 13 Saloon, Brooklyn, NY w/ The Golden Grass & Wolf Blood

Geezer, Gage (2014)

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Axis/Orbit to Release LP on Nasoni Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

axis orbit

Long Island trio Axis/Orbit have announced they’ll release their debut LP on limited vinyl through ultra-respected long-running German imprint Nasoni Records. The LP, of which the title has yet to be revealed, is the follow-up to a self-titled EP that contains three songs and was issued by the band digitally late in 2014, and to my knowledge, this will be their first physical pressing. Due date is June 1, though as the band notes, that’s tentative.

The prior EP is streaming on the band’s Bandcamp, and as you can hear below, they dig into classic heavy rock with some garage-style flourish. Tones are warm but not necessarily retro, and the vibe on cuts like “Hazy” and the bass-led “The Owl” is laid back — at least until the animal noises kick in — and closer “Riot Canal” has an open-spaced, jammy sensibility that follows a linear course toward a satisfying freakout. Not to spoil it if you were going to listen, but solos are had.

Here’s the announcement and the band’s bio off the PR wire:

axis orbit ep

Axis/Orbit sign with Nasoni Records to release limited edition vinyl!!

Long Island’s stone groovers Axis Orbit have signed with seminal Stoner/Psych label Nasoni Records in Berlin to release their debut LP in a limited edition run of colored vinyl. Tentative release is June 1, 2015. Distribution through Clearspot of the Netherlands.

The album was recorded at Freedom of Speech Recording and engineered by Micky James (Chris Angel Mindfreak). Original art by Vincent Scala (

Axis/Orbit makes Rock and Roll. Stoner rock, retro rock, doomy, but unabashedly not completely metal. More of a cavalcade of 60’s-70’s rock stylings from the menace of Sabbath to the spaciness of Floyd’s cosmic tracks, to the heavy prog jam trio art of Cream and Band of Gypsies, with strokes of classic Cali folk rock, vintage grunge and straight up garage rawk. Formed in 2014 on Long Island, NY by drummer Mike Margulis, guitarist Bill Fridrich and bassist Lee Greenman with all contributing to writing, arranging and vocal duties, the group is rapidly gaining a following headlining regional shows, releasing an EP and preparing for a full length album of heavy psyche rancor for 2015.

Axis/Orbit, EP (2014)

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 Official Poster Unveiled; Lineup Finalized

Posted in Visual Evidence on February 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Tickets go on sale March 6 for Eye of the Stoned Goat 5, set to take place June 12-13 at Amityville Music Hall, on Long Island. The Golden Grass and Mos Generator will headline, and the lineup has been finalized to include acts from the East Coast, the West Coast and in between — Lord FowlWounded Giant and Brimstone Coven, if you need an example of each — in what’s without a doubt the most expansive Stoned Goat festival yet.

The poster for this year’s Stoned Goat is by Joe Mruk, and you can see the final version below (click to make it even larger) followed by the official lineup announcement from the fest:

eye of the stoned goat 5 poster

‘Eye of the Stoned Goat 5’ announces official lineup for summer festival!

Snake Charmer Booking is pleased to announce the final artist lineup for the annual celebration of stoner-psychedelic rock and doom-heavy metal known as The Eye of the Stoned Goat Festival—now in its 5th year. The two-day fest, featuring some of the most exciting talent of the Mid-Atlantic, East and West Coast, will take place June 12th and 13th 2015 at the Amityville Music Hall in Long Island, New York.

Headlining the Friday night opener on June 12th are Brooklyn, New York trio The Golden Grass (Svart Records), whose catchy progressive psychedelic self-titled debut received numerous accolades as the “Best of 2014.” Another band that has received copious amounts of praise from rock blogs and music rags alike are none other than Long Island’s long-running rock outfit John Wilkes Booth, whose album ‘Useless Lucy’ was mentioned in many journalists “Best of 2014” lists. Also joining the bill from Long Island territory, those wildly eclectic heavy rockers Moon Tooth, who Metal Injection recently named one of “10 Awesome Underground Bands You Need in Your Life!”

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a ‘Stoned Goat’ show without giving attendees a healthy dose of band from the excellent Small Stone Records label. This year’s elite selection includes three bands that are simply a treat to bring to the stage: Boston’s master craftsmen and 2014 Desertfest alums, Gozu; local New York natives It’s Not Night: It’s Space; and returning ‘Stoned Goat’ retro rockers Lord Fowl, currently working on the follow-up to their 2012 riff encyclopedia, Moon Queen.

More contenders for total rock domination include Ripple Music stalwarts White Dynomite, composed of former members of such fine acts as Roadsaw, Lamont, and Wrecking Crew, to name a few. Also on the Ripple Music roster, from Frederick, Maryland: Weed is Weed, featuring Dave Sherman and Gary Isom of Pentagram, Earthride and Spirit Caravan fame. Additionally, hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, fans will experience the infectious “sludge n’ space rock” vibe of Supervoid, who will be heading into the studio in February to record their follow-up to 2013’s Filaments.

For the first time, Seattle Washington’s own rising stars Wounded Giant will be bringing their blistering, monstrous, signature sound to this year’s festival. Also spearheading the volume-dealing campaign from STB Records is Connecticut’s Curse The Son, who’s latest offering Psychache (2014) was widely heralded as “the best of its kind in 2014” by The Sludgelord and other critics. Another band traveling a good distance to bring their doomy, occult craft to the east coast is Metal Blade Records’ newest acquisition, Brimstone Coven, who are currently working on their much anticipated next album for the label. Speaking of travelling a long distances, the festival will witness the U.S. debut of Toronto, Canada’s demonic stoner-blues rockers Ol’ Time Moonshine. Alongside this already hefty bill, ESG5 has decided to treat festival goers to the atmospheric retro-doom stylings of Totem Cat Records’ own Doctor Smoke.

One band that has been tenaciously trekking through the rock scene for over a decade now is Philadelphia’s working class groove dealers, Kingsnake. The four boys of Kingsnake have had the honor of performing alongside such acts as Clutch, The Sword, Scorpion Child, The Skull, and Vista Chino, to name a few. Also on board for the 5th installment of the festival, Long Island locals Borgo Pass—a popular act that has developed quite an impressive loyal following.

Last, but not least, officially closing out this year’s Eye of the Stoned Goat festival is none other than Port Orchard, Washington’s stoner rock torch-bearer’s Mos Generator. This marks the band’s first ever performance in New York. Mos Generator have released 5 studio albums, a retrospective album, numerous splits, and a live album, attracting such labels as Roadburn, Small Stone, Ripple, Nasoni, and Lay Bare. For charismatic singer/guitarist Tony Reed and crew, touring has been just as important to the profile of the band as making records. Over the years, Mos Generator has shared the stage with many great heavy rock bands, and in March of 2013 joined a 26-date European tour with Saint Vitus, earning a whole new fan base to their fuzzy, energetic sound. On stage, Mos Generator embodies the word “chemistry,” revolving their sound around swagger and groove, while improvising just enough to keep the songs feeling fresh from night to night—often with delightful results.

Tickets for ‘Eye of the Stoned Goat 5’ will officially go on sale on March 6th 2015. The Event will be 21+ with I.D. Tickets will be $15 per night, or $25 for a weekend pass. For more information on the Eye of the Stoned Goat festival, visit

The Golden Grass, A Curious Case/The Pilgrim (2014)

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5: Doctor Smoke and Supervoid Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

eye of the stoned goat 5

Two more bands added to the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 this afternoon, and it’s Ohio/Pennsylvania four-piece Doctor Smoke and Pittsburgh’s Supervoid, both of whom add to the festival’s already considerable tally of sonic heft. As it turns out, the lineup is nearly complete — just one more band to be announced, reportedly — and here’s the full roster of acts slated to appear thus far:

Weed is Weed
White Dynomite
The Golden Grass
Lord Fowl
Wounded Giant
Curse the Son
Doctor Smoke
Borgo Pass
John Wilkes Booth
Ol’ Time Moonshine
It’s Not Night: It’s Space
Brimstone Coven
Moon Tooth

Don’t think I left anyone out there. Either way, that’s plenty for two days, and with one still to come, Amityville, Long Island, should definitely have its fill of heavy. Doctor Smoke‘s trip to New York will be their second of the year by the time we get to June, as they’ll team up with Wasted Theory for a weekender at the end of March in support of last year’s The Witching Hour full-length on Totem Cat Records.

Newly signed to Ripple MusicSupervoid join the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 lineup with late-2013’s Filaments full-length (review here) and 2014’s The Other Side single (streamed here) as their latest releases, and their melodic and metallic approach to heavy rock is sure to stand out from the crowd, but they’re no less hopped up on riffs than anyone, and no doubt they’ll find welcome when they hit Amityville. I’ll be particularly interested to see if they get paired off with Moon Tooth, whose sound also has a bit of bite to it, or if they’re split up over the two days.

Presumably we’ll find out sometime after the last band is announced, when the schedule comes out. Here’s the announcement from the fest for these two:

ESG5 is proud to announce, from Totem Cat Records, Ohio’s newest doom masters Doctor Smoke!!!

Also making their ESG5 debut in Long Island NY is Pittsburgh’s space-sludge warriors Supervoid!!!

Only 1 more artist to announce.. stay tuned kids, It’s gonna be a monster!

Supervoid, Filaments (2013)

Doctor Smoke, The Witching Hour (2014)

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5: The Golden Grass and Borgo Pass Added to Lineup

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

eye of the stoned goat 5

Lineup additions continue to trickle out in pairs from this year’s Eye of the Stoned Goat fest, to be held June 12 and 13 in Amityville, Long Island. Last we heard, the fest reached across the nation to pluck Wounded Giant out from their Seattle base of operations and have them join with Connecticut’s Curse the Son, and today it’s feelgood Brooklynite trio The Golden Grass and LI’s own Borgo Pass who’ve hopped on board.

To be honest, it would be more of a surprise if Borgo Pass didn’t play Eye of the Stoned Goat 5. The long-running bruise rockers are an institution out on Long Island, gigging regularly and consistently throughout the region for nearly 20 years while staying true to their roots in classic heavy metal, loosely Southern-styled sludge rock and burly groove. Releases have proved infrequent — their latest full-length, Deadwater (review here), came out in 2011, six years after the prior Nervosa — but Borgo Pass have never shied away from a Long Island stage, and to have both them and John Wilkes Booth on the bill, no one could accuse Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 of showing up to Long Island without giving native acts their due.

As regards Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass, their appearance at Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 will follow a trip to Europe for a stop at this year’s Roadburn festival to follow-up on their across-the-pond live debut last fall, with which their latest 7″, A Curious Case/The Pilgrim, was issued to coincide. Their 2014 self-titled full-length (review here) was released by Svart and served as one of last year’s finest first-albums, and they’ll have along with them their new bassist Morgan McDaniel, who joined either at the start of the year or late in 2014 to replace Joe Noval in the trio lineup with guitarist/vocalist Michael Rafalowich and drummer/vocalist Adam Kriney, whose prior outfit, the psych-freakout-prone La Otracina, also seem to be rearing their head once more.

The Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 announced their additions as follows:

Alright Long Island, you wanted them.. You got ’em!

Announcing that appearing on the ESG5 stage this year is none other than New York’s sonic bulldozers… BORGO PASS!!! Additionally, we are absolutely thrilled to announce for the first time on the ‘Eye of the Stoned Goat’ is Brooklyn’s psych-rockers The Golden Grass!!!

The Golden Grass, A Curious Case/The Pilgrim (2014)

Borgo Pass, Deadwater (2011)

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