Sumac Announce New LP Love in Shadow Due Sept. 21

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

sumac

Not to be lost in all the excitement of Aaron Turner‘s prior outfit, defunct post-metal innovators Isis, getting back together under the banner of Celestial to pay homage to Cave In‘s departed bassist Caleb Scofield in Los Angeles this October is the fact that Turner‘s now-band, Sumac, are gearing up to release their third long-player the month before. What’s been titled Love in Shadow will be the follow-up to 2016’s What One Becomes (review here) and the band’s 2015 debut, The Deal (review here), and as the teaser below demonstrates, the creative progression is forward moving as ever.

In all seriousness, Isis getting back together for a one-off, especially given the motivation, is commendable, but Sumac are their own band to be sure, and there’s no chance that Love in Shadow will be lost in the shuffle. Expectations are high, to be sure, but Sumac have only proven up to the task of their pedigree and their work stands in testament of that.

You know all this, of course. This is one of those bands I could say anything about and no one will notice and no one will care. Stay tuned for the review where I say they sound like Bobby Darin. Coming soon.

PR wire info in the meantime:

sumac love in shadow

SUMAC releasing new album Love In Shadow Out Sept. 21st

On September 21st SUMAC, the trio of Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer), Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion), and Brian Cook (Russian Circles), will be releasing new album Love In Shadow. Earlier this year, SUMAC released their acclaimed collaborative effort with legendary Japanese artist Keiji Haino, American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On.

Love In Shadow is a brutalizing dive into love and all its raw emotions. SUMAC are always searching for a new approaches and challenges. Turner’s nimble songwriting combusted with the road-honed intuition and technical prowess of his bandmates results in a sound that is at once complex and primal. Riffs lurch into psychotropic scrapes, drum fills are distended and mangled, and Turner’s voice carries the weight of a strife that is colossal in both volume and austerity.

Recorded live in a single room at Robert Lang Studios in Washington by Kurt Ballou (Converge), who later mixed the album at his own studio God City, Love In Shadow ushers in a more improvisational songwriting approach for SUMAC – a sea change galvanized by their collaboration with Haino. Finding comfort in the negative spaces within each track’s borderland was the trio’s primary goal in writing the four massive tracks comprising Love In Shadow.

On the album’s emotional motif, Turner says: “Since many of the surface level aspects of our being are often used as divisive tools to separate/alienate us from one another, the intent here is reveal that at our base level all humans desire and need to be loved and accepted for who they are, for just being.”

SUMAC – Love In Shadow tracklist
1. The Task
2. Attis’ Blade
3. Arcing Silver
4. Ecstasy of Unbecoming

Pre-order SUMAC’s Love In Shadow:
http://thrilljockey.com/products/love-in-shadow

Order Keiji Haino & SUMAC’s American Dollar Bill…:
http://thrilljockey.com/products/american-dollar-bill-keep-facing-sideways-you-re-too-hideous-to-look-at-face-on

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Sumac, Love in Shadow album trailer

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The Rare Breed to Release Looking for Today on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the rare breed

Looking for Today is the debut full-length by Los Angeles trio The Rare Breed, and as thick as the band lays it on in touting their love of Sabbathian ways — and why not; “Mountain of Dreams” takes them to near-Sheavy levels of Sab worship and they named their album after a Black Sabbath song — it’s hard to listen to songs like “The Stranger” and “Rusted Diamond” and not think of more modern, Uncle Acid-style garage doom swing. “Visions” has more of a later-Ozzy-era vibe, and “Echoes” positively gallops in the drums, but in its shuffle, closer “Witches Lore” has some of that now-tinged rhythm as well (and some gallop of its own to boot), so there’s more going on than just “we heard ‘Sweet Leaf’ and decided to start a band,” however much guitarist Oscar de la Torre‘s vocals might be derived from the work of a certain Mr. Osbourne.

Wherever it was coming from, The Rare Breed released Looking for Today back in the BeforeTime, in the long-long-ago — 2016 — and this month the record will get its post-apocalyptic reissue via Ripple Music, which sent the following missive down along the ruins formerly known as the structure of American democracy. No wait. Sorry. It was the PR wire.

Yeah. The PR wire. Sorry about that. I need to stop looking at the Times while I’m writing these posts:

the rare breed looking for today

THE RARE BREED: LA-based rock revivalists to officially release 2016’s Looking For Today on Ripple Music

Looking For Today by The Rare Breed is released worldwide on 22nd June via Ripple Music

In the fall of 2013, Los Angeles’s The Rare Breed slowly rose out of a series of impromptu jam sessions which would carry on until the summer of 2014. For good friends Oscar De la Torre and Joey Castle, both had played together in a number of local groups over the years, each to varying degrees of success, yet together they had at last hit upon a groove that would help steer their ambition and hunger in the right direction.

Joined shortly after by childhood friend and drummer Hernan Rojas (who was on a similar path to self-discovery himself) together the trio channelled their talent into a form of ’70s hard rock which at the time was going through something of a spectacular revival with bands such as Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Graveyard. In fact, that very movement became the catalyst the trio needed and deeply sought, to focus on what they considered, “The Final Effort”. In essence, their last chance to truly make the music they longed to make.

Drawing inspiration from bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, infusing that vibe with a legendary laid-back L.A. attitude, and topping it all off with a “top that” mentality, The Rare Breed recorded and self-released their debut album, 2016’s impressive Looking For Today, which now, in 2018 gets an official worldwide release via the good folk at Ripple Music.

Released on 22nd June on vinyl, CD and all digital formats, pre-order your copy of Looking For Today by The Rare Breed now at www.ripple-music.com

The Rare Breed are:
Oscar De la Torre – Guitars/Vox
Joey Castle – Bass Guitar
Hernan Rojas – Drums

https://facebook.com/RareBreeding
https://rarebreed666.bandcamp.com/album/looking-for-today
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

The Rare Breed, Looking for Today (2016)

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SunnO))) Release Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In case you’re wondering what might’ve driven them-lords-o’-drone SunnO))) to release their Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 all of a sudden as a limited LP via Southern Lord and Ideologic Organ. here’s the hard math: 1998 was 20 years ago.

That’s right. The Y2K scare. The Clinton economic surplus and beejer scandal. The seeming impossibility that we’d soon enough be locked into an endless war from which there’s seemingly neither interest nor ability to extricate ourselves. And also the formation of SunnO))). They’re 20 years old.

And what a 20 years it’s been. Talk about a band the world had to catch up to. SunnO))) started out playing rooms full of curious Goatsnake and/or Burning Witch fans and wound up influencing a generation of amplifier worship. As one might expect, the Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 is pretty raw, but also as one might expect, that only works to the band’s advantage. The more caustic and unlistenable it gets, the more their sound is doing its job.

They’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas in August, as the PR wire reminds:

sunn o rifftape

SUNN O))) Releases Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 Limited Edition LP

SUNN O))) has unleashed the earliest recording of the band’s monolithic tones, revamped for a limited edition pressing via Southern Lord Recordings, as the label celebrates its twentieth anniversary, as a split label release together with Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ imprint.

The Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 dates back to the earliest rehearsals during the genesis of the SUNN O))) project. The source is a C60 cassette tape recorded on a boombox, and the result is essentially an extremely raw noise/drone record. It was taped in the band’s early practice space at Downtown Rehearsal (RIP), Los Angeles, in a practice room which the band shared with The Melvins and Goatsnake at the time. The LP sees SUNN O))) founders Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley on guitars and stacks of amps, the original cassette was mastered by Brad Boatright February 2018.

Longtime/old school diehard listeners of SUNN O)))’s massive sound and those who have watched the collective’s transformation over the past two decades can find the brutal practice tape revamped as Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998, available only through Southern Lord and directly from the band in a limited run on 180-gram vinyl LP – 900 black, 500 silver, 100 white, with machine numbering on the front cover – and digitally.

Find SUNN O)))’s Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 at Bandcamp HERE and find more purchase options at the band’s webshop HERE.

Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 Track Listing:
Side A:
1. Room 206 pt.1
2. Room 206 pt.2
3. B-Witch

Side B:
1. Room 206 pt.3
2. The Grimm Robe / Black Wedding
3. Mustaine / Thorns
4. M & D I.L.F.
5. The DJs

The celebration of twenty years of SUNN O))) and Southern Lord this year will continue with reissues of the band’s lauded White1 and White2 albums in the coming weeks.

SUNN O))) will perform live at the Psycho Las Vegas festival on August 19th alongside Godflesh, Goblin, Enslaved, All Pigs Must Die, Wolves In The Throne Room, and scores more.

Watch for further updates on SUNN O))) in the coming days.

SUNN O))) Live:
8/19/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas

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https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
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http://twitter.com/twatterlord
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SunnO))), Downtown L.A. Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 (2018)

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Black Prism to Release Self-Titled Debut on Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

black prism

Los Angeles doom rockers Black Prism issued their self-titled debut on Xmas Day in 2016, sending it down the digital chimneys of riffhounds and reaping a worldwide response lauding their Iommian loyalism, blues tinge, and preached-to-the-converted groove. The eight-track outing, which makes itself present in its doomly sphere via songs like “Lone Pine,” “Alaska” and “Black Mountain Road,” despite hailing from a town so sunny its inhabitants complain of a lack of seasons. They roll out righteous proto-metallic chug on “Psychomania” and find a peculiar charm in the fuzz wash of “Booger Sugar,” which precedes the particularly dug-in untitled bonus track. Dudes know where they’re coming from, very clearly, and they make it plain for their listeners to hear every step of the way.

A debut of such marked intent is easily worth a look on vinyl, and clearly Cursed Tongue Records feels the same way, as the label has brought Black Prism into its ranks alongside recent signees like Tempelheks, Hashteroid and Mephistofeles, among others. A September release has been set for the self-titled, as the label informs via the PR wire below, and you can of course stream the album in full at the bottom of this post.

Here goes:

Black prism cursed tongue signing

BLACK PRISM SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SELF-TITLED ABLUM IN SEPTEMBER 2018.

Cursed Tongue Records is geniunely thrilled to announce the signing of LA, California band Black Prism for a release of their critically acclaimed self-titled album on hight quality heavy weight vinyl in September 2018. Originally released digitally on their Bandcamp page back in December 2016 Black Prism’s debut album resonated within the stoner and doom underground with such a massive impact that it never really left. Instead their debut kept vibrating as a dark vital eccho within our souls filling a crucial void in our blackened doom hearts.

We where never able to put this album, or Black Prism for that matter, away and kept searching for the light of confirmation at the end of the tunnel that the album one day would materialize itself in the ultimate tangible medium – vinyl. Fast forward summer 2018 and Cursed Tongue Records is here to fulfil this dream of tossing the black prism on your favorite turning table and taking the old girl for a spin.

Black Prism successfully made an “instant classic” in the realm of early 70’s Black Sabbath inspired acid rock at its finest with a Manson Family aesthetic that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It’s an unholy conception of hard rock ritual and cinematic kismet; like a shot in the vein of fellow ‘born-outta-timers’ Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Kadavar. At Cursed Tongue Records, Black Prism’s first (and only) album is considered a contemporary dark rock master piece, nothing short of brilliant. The Black Sabbath influence is undeniable, yet the band truly makes a point of its own and in doing so creates a shiny black pearl that simply craves a vinyl makeover in order to truly shine. To us, an album to stand above most other recent hard rock releases.

So without further ado we give to you Black Prism – ‘Black Prism’ on vinyl this September! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for more info and pressing info in due time. Expect the usual Cursed Tongue Records full red carpet vinyl treatment.

CTR-011, BLACK PRISM – ‘BLACK PRISM’, official release date: September 2018

BLACK PRISM is:
Joshua – vocals
Anthony – guitar
Matthew – bass
Egan – drums

Recorded and produced by Black Prism and Jules Leon at Studio E
Engineered by Jules Leon
Mixed and mastered by Gabe Vanbenschoten
Photographs by Rick Rodney
Logo by Harley & J
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at Heavy Head Rec. Co
Artwork & design by Chris Arens
Additional layout & Design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

Side A
1. Lone Pine
2. Eye For An Eye
3. Alaska
4. Psychomania

Side B
5. Satan’s Country
6. Black Mountain Road
7. Booger Sugar
8. Untitled (Bonus Track)

http://blackprism.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/BlackPrism666/
https://www.instagram.com/BlackPrism666

http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
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Review & Track Premiere: Here Lies Man, You Will Know Nothing

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

here lies man you will know nothing

[Click play above to stream ‘Taking the Blame’ from Here Lies Man’s You Will Know Nothing. Album is out June 15 via RidingEasy Records.]

This is a band ahead of their time. And like their foreboding moniker, Here Lies Man are waiting. They’re waiting for you, me and everybody else to catch on to what they’re doing, taking elements out of ’70s Afrobeat and repurposing them in a heavy psychedelic context. One hesitates to call them “neopsych” for the shoegazing that seems so prevalent in that movement, and because the Los Angeles-based core duo of drummer Geoff Mann (ex-Antibalas) and vocalist, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia (also Antibalas) keep such a sense of tension even in the quiet spaces. Others have started to take note on both coasts. Philadelphia’s Ecstatic Vision — who’ve been around longer — have begun working Afrobeat rhythms into their sound, and San Diego’s Volcano will make their debut later this year with essentially a party version of what Here Lies Man did on their 2017 self-titled (review here) and continue to develop on their sophomore outing, You Will Know Nothing.

Also their second for RidingEasy Records, it finds Garcia and Mann delving further into rhythmic complexity and holding to a tonally weighted sonic architecture while conducting mathy sonic experiments and stomping away along a path that, for the time being, is almost entirely their own, opening with the hooky “Animal Noises,” digging into heavy riffs on songs like “Fighting” and just about everywhere bringing to bear a percussion-centric, keyboard-laced thrust and shuffle; music intended to move. Self-recorded, its 11-track/39-minute run is both manageable and visionary. They write their own “Planet Caravan” in “Floating on Water,” and spend much of the proceedings toying with the balance to one side or the other of their sound, aided by percussionists Richard Panta and Reinaldo DeJesus on congas and Victor Axelrod (ex-Antibalas) on keys.

In a song like the thickened “Blindness” or even the spacious, relatively minimal centerpiece “Voices at the Window,” Here Lies Man own their aesthetic and bring it to bear with complexity manifest in subtle, low-mixed layers of keys and synth. The whole album is executed with a deceptive vibe. It’s possible to listen to it, be carried along by the bounce of “Summon Fire” and “Taking the Blame” and the two-minute boogie of the penultimate “Memory Games,” but the deeper one digs into the mix, the more one finds to find, whether its a quiet swirl, an extra layer of guitar, whatever. Especially for an album so bent on forward rhythmic motion, that builds such a sense of momentum as it careens from one song to the next — again, even in its quiet moments — it is especially satisfying to also find it so nuanced. The dream drone in closer “You Ought to Know” that seems to have been there all along but makes itself known as the band picks up with the central linear build.

here lies man

The departure of the keys from the main riff in the intro to “Hell (Wooly Tail),” and the layers of voices that emerge from there, echoing from someplace further down amid the fuzzy low end. Even “Animal Noises” refuses to let You Will Know Nothing‘s outset pass without a dive into multi-layered keys and congas, starting off the record with a fervent momentum that cuts in its final third to ringing guitar notes worthy of cult folk backed by Echoplex-style swirl. Where did we just go? How the hell did we get there? No time to think about it because “Summon Fire” is off and running immediately. It’s that kind of twisting and turning that Here Lies Man pull off so brilliantly, and whatever experimental aspects these songs may have, the band hasn’t lost sight of the basic roots of their construction. “Summon Fire” is catchy as hell, and likewise “Blindness,” and “Fighting” and the swinging “Taking the Blame” that like the side A opener it would seem to mirror at the start of side B, turns to strange and quiet keys before the shove of “Fighting” takes hold.

“Fighting” is pretty straightforward in its fuzz, keys and forward drive, and it makes a gang-shout-worthy hook out of the line “Shut your fucking mouth,” but the three subsequent tracks — the closing salvo of “Floating on Water,” “Memory Games” and “You Ought to Know” — comprise a showcase of Here Lies Man‘s sonic adventurousness. They go farther and farther out. As noted, “Floating on Water” is quieter, with keys and soft drums in the lead position, while “Memory Games,” in terms of sheer tone, might be the heaviest piece on You Will Know Nothing, though it still maintains the funk of chunkier earlier cuts like “Blindness,” “Hell (Wooly Tail)” and “Taking the Blame.” As they round out with “You Ought to Know,” there seems to be an arrival at some point of sonic serenity, and where in rounding out the album’s first half, “Voices at the Window” kept some tension beneath its surface, the finale is more genuinely interested in setting a peaceful atmosphere. Instrumental, it does embark on a subtle build, but there’s no overblown finish. A fuzzy solo arrives and leads the way out on a slow fade while the central key figure plays alongside, and they cap with echoing, far back guitar.

I flat out refuse to predict the course of a band’s career or what the arc of their influence will be. They could break up tomorrow and nix the whole thing. Still, Here Lies Man have already had an effect on the underground around them and that’s noteworthy, and they’ve now put out two outstanding — style-wise and achievement-wise — LPs in two years, but to say what they’ll do over the course of a full tenure or what their ultimate reach will be, to even pretend to guess, is irresponsible hyperbole. What I know is that Here Lies Man are on their own trip. In their blend of influences and their execution of the balances between them, they’re offering something that no one else is at this point, and for those open-minded and willing to make the journey along with them, walking that path is an absolute blast. Perhaps most encouraging of all is the sense of willful growth that permeates so much of You Will Know Nothing, since it assures that as ahead of their time as Here Lies Man are, their interest is in staying that way.

Here Lies Man website

Here Lies Man on Thee Facebooks

Here Lies Man on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records website

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Sasquatch Announce Fall 2018 European Tour; Playing Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium, Setalight Fest, Keep it Low, and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

With numerous dates in Germany, Greece and the UK, as well as fest appearances at Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium 2018, Setalight Fest and Keep it Low, you can’t really call Sasquatch‘s newly announced Fall 2018 European tour anything but comprehensive. They’ll start in Bristol and end in Passau, and play a total of 33 dates on the lengthy jaunt, which unless they’ve got a new record I don’t know about yet — always possible — is still supporting last year’s excellent fifth album, Maneuvers (review here). Oh, and they’ll link up with both Wo Fat and Elder along the way, so bit of a bonus there for anyone who happens to be at those gigs.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in Sasquatch‘s touring since the L.A. outfit were joined by Boston-based drummer Craig Riggs, I don’t think that’s an accident. By joining guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova, Riggs seems to have been a factor in the band putting in more time on the road than they ever have before. And if you’ve ever seen them live, you know that’s nothing to complain about.

They announced the tour thusly:

sasquatch tour

Ready. Set. Go.

We will be paddleboarding back over to Europe this fall for an extended tour around our latest record, Maneuvers. There are a handful of festival dates as well as a few select shows with the gents in Wo Fat and Elder. Lots of goodies happening for this run. More to come soon.

28.09.18 | UK | Bristol | The Old England
29.09.18 | UK | London | The Black Heart
30.09.18 | UK | Bournemouth | Anvil
02.10.18 | NL | Nijmegen | Merleyn
03.10.18 | D | Münster | Rare Guitar
04.10.18 | D | Stuttgart | Keller Club
05.10.18 | CH | Pratteln | UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7
07.10.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound
08.10.18 | SP | Madrid | Wurlitzer Ballroom
09.10.18 | P | Porto | Barracuda
10.10.18 | SP | San Sebastian | Dabadaba
11.10.18 | FR | Nantes | Scène Michelet
12.10.18 | B | Antwerp | Desertfest Belgium
13.10.18 | D | Erfurt | Engelsburg (*)
14.10.18 | D | Leipzig | Soundso
15.10.18 | D | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof (*)
16.10.18 | CH | Zürich | Rote Fabrik (*)
17.10.18 | CH | Martigny | Cave du Manoir (*)
18.10.18 | FR | Paris | Glazart (*)
19.10.18 | D | Berlin | Setalight Festival
20.10.18 | D | Munich | Keep It Low – Festival
21.10.18 | A | Wien | Arena (**)
22.10.18 | SK | Bratislava | Fuga
23.10.18 | HUN | Budapest | Dürer Kert
24.10.18 | HR | Zagreb | Vintage Industrial Bar
25.10.18 | RS | Belgrade | Dorcol Platz
27.10.18 | GR | Athens | Death Disco
28.10.18 | GR | Patra | Giafka
30.10.18 | GR | Volos | Cafe Santan
31.10.18 | GR | Thessaloniki | Rover Bar
01.11.18 | BG | Plovdiv | Rock Bar Download
02.11.18 | RO | Timisoara | Reflektor
04.11.18 | D | Passau | Zauberberg

(*) w/ Wo Fat
(**) w/ Elder

www.sasquatchrock.us
www.facebook.com/sasquatchrocks
http://store.sasquatchrock.us/
http://www.madoakrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MadOakRecords/
www.soundofliberation.com

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Aboleth Premiere “Wovenloaf” Video; Benthos out Next Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

aboleth

Just over a year ago, when it was announced that Los Angeles heavy blues bruisers Aboleth had signed to producer Ulrich Wild‘s WURMgroup imprint, word was they’d soon be recording a new EP. Well, apparently at some point in the line there was something of a burst of creativity, because the EP has turned into an LP and on May 25, the trio will issue Benthos, their debut album. It’s the successor to their first release, EP-1 (discussed here), which came out in 2016, and finds the standout track from that release, “No Good,” included among a total of 10 songs hitting the 40-minute mark with a striking LP’s fluidity and variety of approach. To wit, opener “Wovenloaf” is a heavy as hell riff cruncher laced with enough attitude to sell it in dimebags, while “Shark Town Blues” and “The Devil” are acoustic numbers intended to showcase the inner-Joplin of vocalist Brigitte Roka.

And to be sure, Roka has one. As producer, Wild is known for working with larger commercial acts, but he’s got enough sense to leave in the grit, the pops and the throatiness of Roka‘s voice without cleaning it up too much. Likewise, there’s little throughout songs like the desert rocking “Glass Cutter” and the boozy “Vinny Gets Arrested” to hold back either aboleth benthosthe tone of Collyn McCoy, whose combo bass and guitar — which he suitably enough calls a baguitar — comes to the project from the rhythm section of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and Trash Titan, or the impact in the drumming of Marco Minnemann, who since appearing on the record has been replaced by Boll3t, which I’m just going to assume is the name of a person who plays drums. Fair enough.

“Wovenloaf” is both the opener and longest track on Benthos — immediate points — and in its groove it highlights a lot of the dynamic that works throughout the album, but it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole tale. Other tracks derive more from classic heavy rock, grunge, and, as noted, the blues, but among the elements “Wovenloaf” has in its favor is its meld of weighted riffs and boldly-delivered melody. Unsurprisingly, the sound is crisp in terms of the production, but by no means is it staid or too polished. That’s true of the record as a whole: it finds balance enough to still be dangerous as it needs to be.

I’ve been curious to hear what Aboleth would do with a full-length since EP-1 came down the line, and sure enough they establish a place for themselves between and amid a host of styles while crafting a fluidity that carries across all of them and still sticks its middle finger in the air at pretty much anyone and anything with eyes to see it.

Aboleth have tour dates starting next month as well. You’ll find those and more info from the PR wire directly under the video, which follows here.

Please enjoy:

Aboleth, “Wovenloaf” official video premiere

Brigitte Roka on “Wovenloaf”:

“Wovenloaf” really captures what we’re about in a nutshell: blues and grit paired with super heavy, sludgy riffs. It’s about people you’ve known for a while who start acting like they’re big shots all of a sudden. And they treat you like they’re too cool for school but you know there’s nothing actually genuine (or, half the time, interesting) about them. This song is also about bread that’s woven together, which (little known fact) Albertson’s bakery does NOT always carry. To make, [the video] was very fun indeed. I’m glad we did this because I think the best way to experience Aboleth is live, and this video is a window into what we’re like when we play, so it showcases the essence of our band pretty well.

Collyn McCoy on “Wovenloaf”:

I love this song. It think it’s where Brigitte and I really found our groove for writing together. I had this dirt-simple, bone-headed riff. But it was deceivingly complex due to the odd time signature. We worked on it in my living room, with Brigitte singing her ideas, both melody and chord progressions, and before we knew it, we had our signature song. It’s actually been part of our live set for a while. Ulrich Wild, our producer, did a great job of capturing our energy while making it heavy and in-your-face. We actually had this very elaborate narrative video planned, but time and logistics got in the way. Not only were we wrapping up our album and planning a tour, but Brigitte was a few weeks away from graduating Art Center College of Design, so she had a very intense grad show to prepare for (in addition to making all our album art and tour shirt designs!). We decided to just let the music do the talking this time around. We filmed it at The Compound, which is an amazing studio in Long Beach with great vibe and a killer live room.

Wovenloaf from Aboleth’s debut album “Benthos,” available May 25th, 2018 on WURMgroup Records:

Order BENTHOS here: http://wurmgroup.bigcartel.com/product/aboleth-benthos

Shot by: Justin Cornell
Produced and Edited by: Wade and Schneider Webb
Special thanks to: Antoine Arvizu at The Compound

filmed on location at THE COMPOUND in Signal Hill, CA: https://www.thecompoundstudio.com/

Produced by Ulrich Wild
Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Ulrich Wild in The Wilderness
Assisted by Raidar

TOUR DATES:
5/11 – Cincinnati, OH – The Venue Center
5/13 – Braidwood, IL – Top Fuel Saloon
5/14 – Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
5/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
5/16 – Sioux Falls, SD – Bigs Bar
5/18 – Lewiston, ID – 3rd Wheel
5/19 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Loading Dock
5/20 – Denver, CO – The Roxy Theater
5/21 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
5/22 – Oklahoma City, OK – Kendells
5/23 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
5/24 – Clarksville, TN – The Warehouse
5/25 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
5/26 – Orlando, FL – The Haven
5/27 – Margate, FL – O’Malleys
5/28 – Greenville, SC – The Radio Room
5/29 – Fayetteville, NC – Drunk Horse Pub
5/30 – Brooklyn, NY – The Kingsland
5/31 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose
6/1 – Toledo, OH – New Longhorn Saloon
6/3 – Westland, MI – Token Lounge

ABOLETH:
Brigitte Roka – Vocals
Collyn McCoy – Baguitarist, Slide Guitar
Boll3t – Drums

Drums on Benthos performed and recorded by Marco Minnemann

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Review & Full Album Stream: The Freeks, Crazy World

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the freeks crazy world

[Click play above to stream Crazy World by The Freeks in full. Album is out April 27 on Heavy Psych Sounds.]

In the second cut ‘This is Love’ from The Freeks‘ fourth album, Crazy World, there is PJ Harvey‘s standout lyric, “I can’t believe that the axis turns on suffering when you taste so good.” And say whatever you want to about “Chronic Abduction” toward the record’s end or opener “American Lightning” before, to me, it’s that line in that cover summing up the central driving force of classically-derived heavy rock lust and thrust driving the Los Angeles five-piece’s second release on Heavy Psych Sounds, the eight tracks of which span a vast but still hyper-manageable 30 minutes.

That’s runtime is noteworthy because The Freeks‘ prior offering, 2016’s Shattered (review here), was 48, so the new collection is a significant drop in duration; one that brings it more in line with 2013’s sophomore LP, Full On (review here), though as seems to be the case with everything The Freeks have done going back to their 2008 Cargo Records self-titled debut, Crazy World has a mind of its own. It just so happens that that mind sounds like it’s been blown to bits on some obscure desert lysergic, and with a bit of Take it to the Stage mingled in with its Fun House and Superjudge, it offers listeners a quick but ultra-engaging sense of outward voyage, holding to an element of rawness with the vocals of Jonathan Hall (also guitar and bass) and Ruben Romano (also guitar, bass, drums and percussion). They are not, however, simply aping the tenets of classic punk or classic rock of any kind, and Crazy World sounds thoroughly modern in its presentation. But neither are they shy in showing off where their foundation comes from.

Come to think of it, “shy” isn’t a word I’d use for The Freeks on any aesthetic level. Romano and Hall are joined in the band by newcomer bassist Ray Piller, returning drummer Bob Lee, who debuted on Shattered, and keyboardist/synthesist Esteban Chavez, whose work once again proves crucial to evoking a psychedelic atmosphere across Crazy World‘s manic landscape. Not only in the two interludes “Take 9” and the noise and manipulated sample piece “Thank You, Mr. Downing” — a reference perhaps to early LSD researcher Jack Downing; the name comes up again in the finale — that leads and plays into the closing duo of “Chronic Abduction” and “Mothership to Mother Earth,” but also in the strutting Rolling Stones-style piano line of “Easy Way Out” and the low-mixed organ and swirl of “American Lightning,” which sets Crazy World‘s consuming forward momentum in motion.

the freeks

There is little time wasted throughout the record, the longest song being “Mothership to Mother Earth” capping at 7:53. Nothing else hits the five-minute mark — “Hypnotize My Heart”” comes closest at 4:34 — and along with the straightforward structures in which most of the cuts operate, be it “This is Love” hammering its hook via sheer repetition or “Chronic Abduction” worming its way into the consciousness of the listener via easy nod and ambience surrounding its sleazy stonerist verses, the general tightness of the material’s construction helps maintain the momentum that “American Lightning” flashes forth. It would be a quick listen one way or another at a half-hour, but with the deft turns of style and mood between its opening salvo of “American Lightning,” “This is Love,” and “Easy Way Out,” the two, very different interludes with “Hypnotiize My Heart” sandwiched between them, and the final culminating pair, Crazy World sees The Freeks operating in top form and, at times, top pace, to keep a current of motion running through their material. Thus, it’s the kind of record that, when it’s over, you have little choice but to go back to the beginning and start again.

Perhaps one of the most fortunate aspects of Crazy World is that it lives up to that standard of warranting repeat listens. It’s not the kind of record that will take multiple visits to sink in necessarily, because that would kind of run counter to its punker side, but there’s enough depth in the mix even of the most straightforward songs — witness the midsection break in “American Lightning,” for example — that it manages to deliver something new each time out. The band employed a number of guests throughout, whether it’s Ray Hanson adding guitar scorch to that opener, Sara Loera putting backing vocals on “This is Love,” Rainer Fraenkel on bass for “Take 9” and “Mothership to Mother Earth” or Glenn Slater adding synth and keys to those same two songs as well as “Hypnotize My Heart.” That track, likely the side B opener, introduces some of the darker-toned fuzz that will reemerge following the noise wash of “Thank You, Mr. Downing” and add to the sense of relative lurch in “Chronic Abduction,” but the acoustic and swirl and dynamic jam that emerges in “Mothership to Mother Earth” is the ultimate earmark of the band’s triumph over the forces of squaredom.

Its near-eight-minutes are a thrill of minor-key ebbs and flows, classic psych and desert idolatry sharing space in, well, space. Heady vibe? You best believe it, but that’s the idea, and as big a fan as I am of opening records with their longest tracks — always a bold move; always good for bonus points in my book — the inclusion of “Mothership to Mother Earth” anywhere on Crazy World is brazen enough. And one might say the same of the record as a whole: brazen. The Freeks have never exactly been subtle, whether it was the funk-punk of their debut or the psychedelia that’s emerged in their work since, but there’s no question that Crazy World puts their delivery in a new echelon in terms of songwriting and execution. They’ve never lacked confidence, but the poise with which they hurl their rawer side forth here isn’t to be ignored, and though at times the outing may seem unhinged, one should never doubt that the controls are in the hands of masters. This band is so much better than people know. Tell two friends.

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