Sasquatch Announce European Tour Supporting New Single

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sasquatch photo by banana

Hey, remember a couple weeks ago when we premiered Sasquatch‘s latest single? Golly that was fun. Lots of fun, actually, and even more because the track in question, Rational Woman, kicked so much ass. Not that one would expect any less from Sasquatch, but you know, it’s still nice to have these things affirmed. If you didn’t check it out then, you can hear it at the bottom of this post — convenience! — and pick up the 7″ from Red Sun Records either via preorder or on June 7 when it’s released.

Dates have been trickling out, almost one fest at a time, to such a degree over the last few months that it was almost inevitable the Los Angeles heavy rockers would announce a European run, but knowing it was coming does little ultimately to diminish joy at the confirmation. Glad to see Sasquatch are getting back out, in other words. You can see below the list of dates they’re playing and all the fests — SonicBlast Moledo, Stoned from the UndergroundRed SmokeSweet LeafLake on Fire, etc. — and it looks like it’ll be an awesome tour. One imagines that by the time they land in the US again, the entire pressing of Rational Woman will be gone, if it’s not already gone before then. If it’s not already gone now on preorders.

From the PR wire:

SASQUATCH TOUR POSTER

SASQUATCH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN SUMMER TOUR!

Brand new & limited 7” Vinyl coming out in June!

In support of their upcoming European summer tour, Los Angeles-based heavy hitters SASQUATCH have just announced the release of a brand new and exclusively limited 7” vinyl!

Barcelona-based Red Sun Records will be releasing the album worldwide on June 7th, which will be limited to a one-time print of 500 copies on black vinyl. Pre-orders for the 7” have already started, so better reserve your copy today at: redsunrecordsbarcelona.bandcamp.com

The tracklist will read as follows:

Side A: Rational Woman
Side B: In My World

SASQUATCH are about to heavily hit the road for a five-week tour, which will kick off in the middle of July with scheduled performances at Stoned From The Underground in Germany, Red Smoke Festival Poland, Lake On Fire in Austria, and Portugal’s Sonic Blast. Says the band:

‘Excited to announce that Sound of Liberation is putting us out on the roads of Europe again here in t-minus two months. This will be our fourth trip over, but it’s our first summer tour. Swimsuits are packed. There is a nice chunk of open air festivals this round with some sweet lineups. Come say hello at the merch booth. We like company!”

Make sure to catch SASQUATCH live, when they will finally return to Europe on the following dates:

10.07.17 Madrid (ES) – El Planeta de los Wattios
11.07.17 Barcelona (ES) – Rocksound
13.07.17 Stotternheim (D) – Stoned From The Underground
14.07.17 Pleszew (PL) – Red Smoke Festival
15.07.17 Berlin (D) – Wild At Heart
16.07.17 Hamburg (D) – Hafenklang
17.07.17 TBA
18.07.17 Kiel (D) – Schaubude
19.07.17 Osnabrueck (D) – Westwerk
20.07.17 Cottbus (D) – Zum faulen August
21.07.17 TBA
22.07.17 Rotterdam (NL) – Baroeg
23.07.17 Paris (FR) – Gibus Live
24.07.17 Nantes (FR) – Le Ferrailleur
25.07.17 TBA
26.07.17 TBA
27.07.17 Torino (IT) – Blah Blah
28.07.17 TBA
29.07.17 Taburno Camposauro (IT) – Sweet Leaf Festival
30.07.17 TBA
31.07.17 Zero Branco (IT) – Altroquando
01.08.17 Milano (Segrate) (IT) – Circolo Magnolia
02.08.17 Stuttgart (D) – Goldmarks
03.08.17 Weiden (D) – Salute Club
04.08.17 Waldhausen (AT) – Lake On Fire Festival
05.08.17 Sargans (CH) – Out In The Gurin Festival
06.08.17 Freiburg (D) – Slowclub
07.08.17 TBA
08.08.17 Wiesbaden (D) – Schlachthof
09.08.17 Dresden (D) – Ostpol
10.08.17 Bremen (D) – Magazinkeller
11.08.17 Frechen (D) – Trafostation Festival
12.08.17 Moledo (PT) – Sonic Blast Festival

www.sasquatchrock.us
www.facebook.com/sasquatchrocks
redsunrecordsbarcelona.bandcamp.com
www.soundofliberation.com

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Lords of Beacon House Premiere New Track “Cadillac Daddy”; Announce West Coast Touring & New Releases

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Busy times ahead for Lords of Beacon House. Don’t believe me? Just look at that frickin’ headline. Could it be any longer? Well, probably, but still, you take my point. The band will have two EPs out ahead of their next full-length, titled Recreational Sorcery, one of which will be a split with Great Electric Quest, and they’ve got tours lined up for both June and July to herald all these studio goings on for the rest of 2017. Oh yeah, and they’ve signed with Midnite Collective for these new offerings after issuing their 2015 self-titled debut (discussed here) on HomHomHom. So there’s that too.

Note among the dates next month is a slot in Denver at the Electric Funeral fest (info here). Lords of Beacon House join Corky Laing’s MountainAcid KingSourveinElectric Citizen and many more on that bill. It’s awesome. You should check out that link.

And don’t forget to dig into the track premiere of “Cadillac Daddy” at the bottom of this post. These things are there for you to enjoy.

Alright, here’s all the latest:

lords of beacon house

Lords of Beacon House: Have swagger, will travel.

After scorching the West Coast’s crowded heavy underground with their 2015 self-titled debut on HomHomHom, Los Angeles trio Lords of Beacon House gave boogie jams a much-needed kick in the ass. Before they get up to no good with Recreational Sorcery, the anticipated follow up full-length, they’ll set the theme on a new split with fellow up-and-comers Great Electric Quest as well as a new EP, titled Fools Gold.

Having hooked up with Midnite Collective in early 2017, the band will be treading a rock and roll revival all their own as they travel throughout the Southeast to the Northwest with a feature slot locked in at Denver’s Electric Funeral Fest this year and make moves to shake up the American territories as they charge onward to what lay ahead in 2018.

Here are the dates for upcoming tour:

Dirty South, Dirty Mouth Tour:
6/8 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
6/9 Low Spirits – Albuquerque, NM
6/10 Reno’s Chop Shop – Dallas, TX
6/11 The Lost Well – Austin, TX
6/12 Circle Bar – New Orleans, LA
6/14 Cobra Bar – Nashville, TN
6/15 Sinkhole – St. Louis, MS
6/16 Electric Funeral Fest – Denver, CO
6/18 Double Down Bar – Las Vegas, NV
6/19 Secret Party Video Shoot – San Pedro, CA

West Coast Overdose Tour w/ Roast:
7/14 The Red Cove – Ventura, CA
7/15 Sweet Springs Saloon – San Luis Obispo, CA
7/16 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
7/17 Old Nicks Pub – Eugene, OR
7/18 The Highline – Seattle, WA
7/19 Kenton Club – Portland, OR
7/20 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA
7/21 Tower Bar – San Diego, CA

https://www.facebook.com/Lords-of-Beacon-House-714064795308176/
http://lordsofbeaconhouse.bandcamp.com/
http://lordsofbeaconhouse.com/
http://midniteclv.storenvy.com/
https://midniteclv.bandcamp.com/

Lords of Beacon House, “Cadillac Daddy”

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Ides of Gemini Post “Heroine’s Descent” Video; New Album out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ides of gemini

Directed by vocalist Sera Timms, who also takes on the role of ‘Mother Death’ — you’ll know her when you see her — the new Ides of Gemini video for “Heroine’s Descent” follows suit from the song itself in providing and impressionistic and ritualized sensibility. The song comes from the band’s newly-released third album, Women (discussed here), and has an almost unfinished vibe. Led by guitarist J. Bennett‘s riff and punctuated by Timms‘ vocal repetitions, it rolls atop the fluid rhythm from bassist Adam Murray and drummer Scott Batiste into this chanting progression and then, well, it’s over.

This notion of something being incomplete — in the case of the video, it looks like it’s a life — speaks to the challenge that the record as a whole poses to its listeners in shaking expectations for what songs are and what they can and should do. Atmospherics are central to this and of course “Heroine’s Descent” has plenty to offer on that level as well, aurally as well as visually. In the clip, we see a death ritual playing out — Timms is both ‘Mother Death’ and in the coffin itself, and if you’re wondering who the fourth pallbearer is alongside BennettMurray and Batiste, it’s producer Sanford Parker, who helmed the recording of Women — and the ambience is no less resonant, but the truth is the track is just a piece of the whole impression the album makes.

That is to say, it’s a hard record for choosing what one usually thinks of as “singles” from, since a lot of the material feeds into each other, as “Heroine’s Descent” does in leading to the sharp-cuts of “Swan Diver,” which follows. Still, short of making a 43-minute video for the entirety of WomenIdes of Gemini do well in representing the feel and scope of the outing here and that seems like all one could reasonably ask.

Women came out at the end of last week on Rise Above Records. More info on the clip follows, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Ides of Gemini, “Heroine’s Descent” official video

Taken from the album, Women, released worldwide April 28th 2017.

Directed by Sera Timms
Director of Photography: Brian Sowell
Makeup by Cristina Waltz

Where would heavy music be without singular visions and the lure of the willfully perverse? Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2010, Ides Of Gemini have built a formidable and enigmatic reputation by stoutly refusing to conform to anyone else’s idea of what lurks in the shadows-with a sound that elegantly salutes the greats of the post-punk and proto-goth eras while simultaneously harnessing the oomph and clangor of underground metal. The ornate sparkle of something else, something irresistibly alien has long ensured that Ides Of Gemini have stood proudly alone, and yet their stately invective has clearly connected with the discerning masses.

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Sasquatch Premiere New Single “Rational Woman”

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

sasquatch

Sasquatch will release their new single, Rational Woman, on June 7 via Red Sun Records. The Small Stone Records veterans are still officially based in Los Angeles despite having guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova having traveled across the country to record at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, Massachusetts; also home-base for Craig Riggs, the vocalist for Roadsaw who came aboard as a conveniently-located-on-the-opposite-coast drummer following an apparent split with Rick Ferrante (currently working with Aboleth) sometime since the fourth Sasquatch long-player, IV (review here), came out in 2013. The fact that it’s been four years since IV hit might have something to do with Rational Woman coming together, but whatever the motivation, new Sasquatch is invariably a win for anyone who likes their grooves locked in, their fuzz extra hairy and their hooks surgically implanted on their brains and ready for repeat listens.

That’s basically how “Rational Woman” — already I can’t get Gibbs‘ “She don’t like me anyway…” out of my head — finds Sasquatch operating. Another motivation for the single? This summer marks the second time in two years Sasquatch will head to Europe for a tour, and with slots booked at Stoned from the Underground,sasquatch rational woman SonicBlast Moledo and Red Smoke ahead of a return to the States and a gig lined up at Psycho Las Vegas in August, it’s all the more occasion to make it happen on the back of a new release, even if it’s just a two-songer. It’s not like anybody showing up at one or another of the above festivals is going to complain about new Sasquatch, and particularly with the careening central riff that provides the thrust of “Rational Woman,” the band is quick to let their audience know all cylinders are firing and they’re ready, as ever, to kick ass on any stage that thinks it might be able to contain them.

To that end, I expect Sasquatch will announce more European tour dates as we get closer to the summer, so keep on keeping an eye out for that. In the meantime, Rational Woman, which also features the B-side “In My World,” is set for a one-time-only pressing of 500 copies and available to preorder now from Red Sun Records through Bandcamp (linked below). I suppose the only real question is if there will be any copies left by the time the tour starts.

You can find the premiere of Sasquatch‘s “Rational Woman” on the player below, followed by more info on the release courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Sasquatch on “Rational Woman”:

We’ve never done a 7” before. At some point last year I was feeling nostalgic and remembered the glory days of the Sub Pop Singles Club. I’m not sure if it’s the smartest thing to do, but I wanted to jump off that bridge and put one out, just to say we did it once. Flashback to the year 2014, we ended up in Barcelona on a whim thanks to Red Sun. First time in Spain. We were rookies. I think Red Sun was just getting off the ground back then, but Marc and Lane, the couple who run the booking agency/label, were the nicest, most down-to-earth people. Showed us all of the local spots. They took good care of us and since that trip we’ve kept in contact regularly. Definitely feels like extended family whenever we get to see them. We knew that we wanted to do something exclusively for the Europe tour this summer, and Marc and Lane were the first that came to mind. We asked, and they were actually cool with the idea, so here we are, together… teeing off 2017… 45s or bust.

The Rational Woman 7” will be limited to a one-time print of 500 copies on black vinyl. Grab a copy before it’s too late because once they are gone, they are gone for good!!

Barcelona-based Red Sun Records will be exclusively releasing the album worldwide on June 7th. Pre-orders start today. Get it here: redsunrecordsbarcelona.bandcamp.com.

Track Titles:
Side A) Rational Woman
Side B) In My World

Sasquatch
Keith Gibbs – Guitar/Vox
Craig Riggs – Drums
Jason Casanova – Bass

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Sasquatch website

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New Sasquatch 7″ Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sasquatch

Want to do some fun math? Here’s one for you: 2017 means it’s now been more than a decade since Los Angeles heavy rockers Sasquatch released their landmark second album, II (discussed here). Their self-titled debut? Yeah, it turns out 2004 was 13 years ago. III (review here) came out in 2010, and even IV (review here) turns four later this year. Maybe those numbers don’t astound you — and if not, congratulations on your enduring awareness of the passage of time — but it seems to me that as the three-piece move toward another European tour that will find them at Stoned from the UndergroundSonicBlast Moledo and Red Smoke this summer in addition to their previously-announced slot at Psycho Las Vegas, it’s time to start giving these dudes the respect they deserve as veterans of the scene.

I guess I was still thinking of them as the same upstarts who kicked my ass with “Money Man” and “Chemical Lady” in summer ’04. Go figure. Astute observation: I am old.

They have a new single coming out on Red Sun Records called Rational Woman that’s available to preorder now and which I’m just going to assume tells the story of a lady making responsible career and personal decisions and leading a fulfilling and mindful existence of self-actualization and equal pay for equal work. That’s the assumption I’m making. It’s what I choose to believe. You believe whatever you want.

No audio yet to prove me wrong, but here’s art and info from the PR wire:

sasquatch rational woman

The crew here at Red Sun Records is excited to announce that we will be releasing a limited edition 7” from long-standing Los Angeles rockers, Sasquatch, on June 7th as a pre-launch to their upcoming European summer tour. The band, known for their massive riffage and magnificent out-of-the-90s melodies and powerful grooves, will be showcasing their first new material since releasing their fourth record (appropriately titled “IV”) back in 2013.

The Rational Woman 7” will be limited to a one-time print of 500 copies on black vinyl. Grab a copy before it’s too late because once they are gone, they are gone for good!!

Barcelona-based Red Sun Records will be exclusively releasing the album worldwide on June 7th. Pre-orders start today. Get it here: redsunrecordsbarcelona.bandcamp.com.

Track Titles:
Side A) Rational Woman
Side B) In My World

Sasquatch
Keith Gibbs – Guitar/Vox
Craig Riggs – Drums
Jason Casanova – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/sasquatchrocks/
http://www.sasquatchrock.us/
https://www.facebook.com/redsunrecords
redsunrecordsbarcelona.bandcamp.com

Sasquatch, “Let it In” Live in Athens, Greece, 2016

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Sixes Post New Single; Debut Full-Length Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

One doesn’t necessarily associate Southern California with snow-capped anything, but I guess if you look hard enough on enough mountaintops, anything’s possible. Sludge extremists Sixes have posted a new song that, at 10 minutes, seems likely to consume a substantial portion of their impending debut long-player, and as they proffer the ethic of ‘Worship amps, not gods,’ the track “A Cross to Burn” (uh, really? burning crosses? did we think this one through? am I crazy?) boasts enough feedback, noise and grit to embody the tagline. If you’ve got 10 minutes and want to have the foulness of your mood reinforced, the four-piece work in defiance of their regional climate to kick the shit out of your ears for a while. Sure enough, it’ll make your sunny day dark.

They’ll be in Los Angeles supporting Conan and North on May 10, as the PR wire — which also brought the aforementioned new track — dutifully informs:

sixes

Sixes – Worship Amps, Not Gods.

Blackened, Doom, Sludge outfit Sixes have just released their new single ‘A Cross To Burn’.

After trudging their way through Anaheim’s backyard scene, this long awaited release has proven that Sixes will be a force to be reckoned with in 2017. Recorded deep in the snow covered mountains of Southern California at 13 O’ Clock Studios, during one of the coldest winters California has seen in a long time, A Cross To Burn captures the essence of what blackened doom is, and will be to come.

This quartet was formed in 2016 and quickly got to work laying down their unique brand of doom, using unconventional amplifier and cabinet combinations to create unique tones that make this band stand at the forefront of what California doom is all about. Expect to see a lot more from Sixes in 2017, as this is only the beginning. Full length due for release late 2017.

Sixes are:
Hannes Bogacs (guitar)
Eddie Estrada (drums)
Stephen Cummings (vocals, guitar)
Zander Reddis (bass)

See Sixes live opening for Conan on May 10th at The Complex in Los Angeles.

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Six Dumb Questions with Ides of Gemini

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on April 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ides of gemini

The arrival of Women, the third full-length from Los Angeles ethereal heavy rockers Ides of Gemini, has been a gradual process. True, their prior outing, Old World New Wave (review here), came out in 2014 and three years is hardly an egregious stretch between albums, but in the case of Ides of Gemini, the last year-plus has involved not only the usual playing out and writing time, but also the switching of labels from Neurot Recordings to Rise Above Records — substantial endorsement, in either case — and the reconstruction of the group itself, which went from a trio to a four-piece in adding the rhythm section of bassist Adam Murray and drummer Scott Batiste (the latter also of Saviours) to the founding duo of guitarist J. Bennett and vocalist Sera Timms (also ZunBlack Mare and formerly Black Math Horseman), the latter of whom gave up her dual role as bassist for the 10-track/43-minute, Sanford Parker-recorded offering.

One might think that with a degree of tumult surrounding its making, Women would be confused or uneven in some way, yet it’s arguable that Ides of Gemini have never sounded so clearheaded. From the early semi-metallized urgings in “The Dancer” to the vast soundscaping in “Heroine’s Descent,” which nods to goth dramas and black metal in like proportion, on through the lumber of “She Has a Secret” and ritualized-feeling closer “Queen of New Orleans,” Women basks in its diverse purposes and unites them through a foundation of performance. Timms, as ever, adds to the atmosphere on vocals, but her melodic command is unmistakable, and whether it’s the sway of “The Rose” or the more straightforward push of “Swan Diver,” Bennett‘s riffing is varied and crisp as backed by Murray‘s bass and Batiste‘s drums; the whole affair only given further reach by Parker‘s production work. In some ways, it is very much a “third album,” as it could easily be seen as a new level of maturity in the band’s approach and benefiting from the lessons of Old World New Wave and 2012’s Constantinople before it.

Women is out April 28 via Rise Above Records and the band have tour plans in the works for later this year. Bennett was kind enough to take part in a short interview about making the album and to discuss the development of Ides of Gemini from their beginnings to this point.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

ides of gemini women

Six Dumb Questions with Ides of Gemini

Tell me about writing Women. It’s been three years since Old World New Wave but the band has been through a lot in that time. When did these songs start to come together?

J. Bennett: I started writing songs for the album that would become Women not long after we recorded Old World New Wave. I usually have the title, concept and many of the songs ready for our next album before the most recent one is even available. At that time, our original drummer Kelly was still in the band and the album had a different working title. After Scott and Adam joined, I ended up abandoning most of the material I had and started writing new stuff that I felt was more suited to the new lineup — and was partly inspired by it. And I changed the title to Women. So almost everything you hear on the new album ended up being written after Adam and Scott joined.

Has bringing new members in changed the dynamic between you and Sera at all? You’re the founders of the band. How involved in making the album were Scott and Adam?

It’s changed the dynamic in the practical sense that she’s not playing bass anymore, which has freed up her vocals considerably. And she doesn’t have any gear to haul around anymore, which I know she loves. I think she and I are also more open to arrangement suggestions than we were in the past.

These songs absolutely would not be what they are without Scott and Adam. Sera and I can build a basic Frankenstein monster on our own, but those guys are the electricity that brings it to life. Scott in particular made some excellent arrangement suggestions that greatly improved the dynamics of the songs.

How was your time in the studio with Sanford Parker? Was there anything specific you wanted to get out of the experience of recording with him?

Our experience with Sanford was fantastic. A few years ago, we had talked with him about the possibility of recording Old World New Wave, but he was still living in Chicago at that time, and the logistics, timing and budget just didn’t work out. When we talked to him about doing Women, it just so happened that he was planning to move to Los Angeles right around the time we wanted to record. I think he had only been living here for two weeks or so when we went into the studio.

In addition to him being a hugely talented producer and engineer, the appeal of working with Sanford came largely from some of those pre-Old World New Wave conversations we’d had with him — he “gets” Ides of Gemini in a way that many people do not. The references he made when talking about our music were to the post-punk, gothic rock, and black metal records that we feel the most affinity with, rather than the doom or “stoner rock” references that most folks seem to make. So I guess you could say he told us what we wanted to hear.

What’s your relationship to heavy metal at this point? Women is definitely heavy, but where is the line for you between something being heavy and it being metal? Is “The Dancer” metal?

Great question. I’ve loved heavy metal since I was a little kid and will do so until the day I die. But as much as I enjoy heavy metal, I have no desire to play genre music in Ides of Gemini. Besides, there are so many bands out there that play straight-up metal better than I’ll ever be capable of. Why try to compete in such a crowded field when you can at least attempt to stand out by doing something different?

Then again, there are obviously elements of heavy metal in what we do. As far as the new album, songs like “Swan Diver” and “Raft of Medusa” are even predominantly metal. Is “The Dancer” metal?  I don’t know. I can see how it could be perceived that way, but in the end it’s not up to me. This question gets to the heart of the weird conundrum we’ve been in since the band’s beginning. I get the sense that we’re often perceived as not heavy enough to play with the metal bands that we’re usually lumped in with, but then we’re considered way too heavy to play with the gothic rock bands that we might feel more affinity with. That can be frustrating at times, but ultimately I think it means we’re doing something right.

Three full albums in, how do you feel the band has grown and how conscious has that growth been? How much of the direction of Women just happened, as opposed to being a purposeful goal of songwriting?

I feel like the band has grown immensely over three albums. Constantinople to Old World New Wave felt like a pretty big improvement, and Old World New Wave to Women feels like a massive one.  Like any band, we’re always striving to get better, but this time we did so in ways that we could never have anticipated because of the lineup changes. The second part of your question is a little tougher to answer. The songs always start with a riff—some of those riffs are written very purposefully, but many definitely just “happen.” So the initial inspiration — that first riff — could go either way. But the direction each song takes after that first spark happens with much more purpose.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

We’re playing a record release show here in Los Angeles on May 6 with our friends Zig Zags and Taarkus. After that, world domination? A girl can dream.

Ides of Gemini, Live in Los Angeles, Jan. 7, 2017

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Here Lies Man Premiere “Here Lies Man”; Self-Titled Debut out April 7

Posted in audiObelisk on March 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

here lies man

Los Angeles heavy-psych-gone-Afrobeat outfit Here Lies Man will issue their self-titled debut next week through RidingEasy Records. Preorders are up now ahead of an April 7 release date. I think even the band would probably have to admit that not everyone who hears the album is going to get it, but even if that’s so, for those who do, the eight-track offering is bound to be taken as a treasure. Amid a seemingly endless slew of traditionalism in underground rock, Here Lies Man — the fuzz-‘n’-funked-up brainchild of Antibalas guitarist/vocalist Marcos J. Garcia — tread a different path. Garcia, whose affinity for Ethiopian psychedelic rock and particularly the work of Fela Kuti in defining Afrobeat comes through in the resonant percussiveness of cuts like “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” the instrumental “Belt of the Sun” and the repetitions throughout “When I Come To,” the closing title-track and so on, spearheads the conceptualist outing, but the vibe across the record’s entire span is one of pure rhythmic celebration. Here Lies Man sound more like a festival than a band, and yeah, not everyone’s gonna get that, but those who do will find it impossible not to be swept up by their multi-tiered pulsations.

Among the album’s many hooks is that of its concept. It’s the first question the PR wire asked in sending notification of the record, and you can see it below: What if Black Sabbath played here lies man self titledAfrobeat? If your answer for the question isn’t, “Well, that would be fucking awesome,” then you can probably count yourself among the “not gonna get it” above, but as a thematic foundation for the sonic territory that Here Lies Man are exploring, it’s a question as appropriate as it is evocative. But neither is it the sum total of what the record winds up offering. Because if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat, it would be riffs and percussion. Fine. Here Lies Man expand beyond this in the proclamations of “I Stand Alone” and the swaggering ultrafunk of “Letting Go.” It’s not just about bringing two seemingly disparate components together in a sonic collider — it’s about the new molecules discovered as a result of that and how those can be manipulated into something genuinely individual. Much to Here Lies Man‘s credit — and the credit of their experience as players and songwriters; because while it’s a new project it’s not necessarily a new band — they bring their debut to that high standard and flesh out something bold from the pieces of its creation, finding a whole from the sum of its parts that’s brightly colored and brimming with a vitality of expression and swirl all its own. Their starting point may be that central question, but where they end up is a different wavelength altogether.

And they’re better for it. Certainly the approach makes them an outlier among the more traditional forms of heavy proffered by RidingEasy acts like Monolord, Electric Citizen or Slow Season, but that’s obviously the point, and the progressive aspects of Here Lies Man‘s approach are writ large over the commitment to aesthetic that the band shows throughout. Seems like more than it would be reasonably fair to ask of a debut album, and yet the songs not only realize this multifaceted sonic persona, they set it up for future development should Garcia and his cohorts choose such pursuit. One hopes they do.

Today I’ve got the pleasure of hosting the premiere of “Here Lies Man” from Here Lies Man‘s Here Lies Man. As you might expect, it sums up a lot of what they’re going for in terms of sound and their overall take, and if you want to know just what the hell I’m talking about in the above ramblings, it’s all right there.

PR wire info follows. As always, I hope you enjoy:

What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat? In short, that’s the underlying vibe to the self-titled debut by Here Lies Man. The L.A. based quintet is founded and conceptualized by Marcos Garcia of Antibalas, bringing his erudite experience of World rhythms and music to the more riff-based foundations of heavy rock. The results are an incredibly catchy and refreshing twist on classic forms, without sounding forced and trite like some sort of mash-up attempt. Here Lies Man merges and expands musical traditions organically, utilizing the talents of drummer Geoff Mann (son of jazz musician Herbie Mann and former Antibalas member) and a host of skilled musicians to make Garcia’s vision a reality.

“These repetitive guitar figures that happen in Afrobeat music are pretty close to heavy rock guitar riffs,” Garcia explains. “It’s based on the clave. It’s the musical algorithm that the rhythms revolve around. That’s what gives it integrity and is part of this musical conversation going on. I knew I wanted it to be psychedelic and heavy, and I wanted to be expanding on a musical tradition than pretending to be creating something new.” The recording and band came together in the somewhat spontaneous fashion for which L.A. is famous. Garcia and Mann laid down the foundations and the band quickly expanded the recording and live shows soon followed.

And that expansion is the brilliant, hazy, psychedelic, hook-laden 8-song masterwork Here Lies Man, available on LP, CD and download on April 7th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at iTunes and RidingEasyRecs.com.

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