Friday Full-Length: Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops (1994)

I’ve been riding some ’90s regression pretty hard the last few weeks (months) or so. Not claiming I was cool enough to be down with Acid Bath‘s When the Kite String Pops when it came out on Rotten Records in 1994 — and neither were 95% of the people who’ll tell you they were, or the band would’ve been huge — but the vibe suits me pretty well now, its pre-genre take on sludge feels less hedged in by aesthetic than a lot of what came later, as it inevitably would. Formed a couple years after Eyehategod in Louisiana, Acid Bath were sort of lumped in the same scene, but there’s more going on than slowed-down hardcore on When the Kite String Pops and its 1996 follow-up, Paegan Terrorism Tactics, a heavier-edged post-grunge head-down malaise coming through in the vocals of frontman Dax Riggs on “Tranquilized” and any number of other cuts throughout the record’s overwhelming peak-CD-era 69-minute span. I’d call it unmanageable, but the album’s actually worth paying attention to across that time. You figure out a way to manage.

Whether it’s their Nola compatriots in Eyehategod, Soilent Green or even Crowbar, Acid Bath tapped into a vibe that no one else of their ilk and era quite captured in the same way. Eyehategod, more drugs. Soilent Green, more grind. Crowbar, slower. But it’s the fact that they found their own niche — clean vocals, flourish of keys, etc. — that I think has sustained Acid Bath‘s cult following more than two decades after the fact. Of course, guitarist Sammy Duet can now be found in Goatwhore with Soilent Green‘s Ben Falgoust, and Dax Riggs has garnered some measure of a following as a solo singer-songwriter, but after the death of bassist/backing vocalist Audie Pitre in 1997, Acid Bath went on for a while but would never get to putting out a third record. As such, their two offerings retain an individual mark on the fertile heaviness of New Orleans in sound and overall vibe, even if they’re something of a footnote commercially compared to later acts.

Hope you enjoy.

I’m in Maryland tonight and tomorrow for the Vultures of Volume fest, and it starts in less than an hour so I’ll keep it brief. It was a hell of a trip getting here between waiting three hours for AAA to come pick up The Patient Mrs.‘ car last night at a rest stop on the side of I-95 in Massachusetts that we found out later was named “Pickle Park” after all the dudes meeting there to have sex in the woods. It was not the Thursday evening I’d planned, to say the least, and well, if you’re meeting people at a rest stop to get it on and that’s your thing, okay, but it made for a weird three-hour feeling of intrusion on my part.

Got to Connecticut a little before midnight, crashed, and continued south this morning, stopping in Jersey to pick up a camera and lens I rented only to find out that I couldn’t afford the $2,000 hold they were apparently going to put on my credit card. I don’t have a $2,000 line of credit, and they couldn’t split up the sale over different cards, so I have my regular camera instead of a nice, fancy one for the fest. Felt great. Really. Really great. Really made that 80 minutes I drive each way to work every day — not today, obviously — feel worthwhile. Feels awesome to still be broke while I work to support someone else’s financial interests.

So needless to say I’m in the perfect headspace to go rock out for the next seven hours or so. Should be a blast. Gotta remember to hydrate. Gotta remember the ibuprofen in my bag. Sore feet I’m just gonna have to deal with — forgot to bring supportive footwear; sandals it is — but the rest I should be able to reasonably control, including the much-needed attitude adjustment.

Hold nose, dive in.

Reviews on Monday and Tuesday? Maybe Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on Labor Day celebration and how much I’m feeling like opening my laptop. We’ll see.

Wherever you’re at, please stay safe and have a great weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Minor Fret Release Debut 7″ Four

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

minor fret

It’s a concept project. Last month, when we heard from friend of the site Aaron Edge of Lumbar, Roareth and many, many others, it was the news that he’d broken his back mountain biking. And given his track record, it’s not surprising, then, that he’d have a new release out, “persistence” being his thing the way “that grind-your-own peanut butter from the Big Y” is my thing and your thing is whatever your thing is. We’ve all got one.

Recorded prior to that injury, Minor Fret‘s Four reimagines Minor Threat as a sludge band. Edge features on vocals, while Rob Lovell of Louisiana’s No Youth handles the instruments, and the debut 7″, which features the Minor Threat classics “Seeing Red,” “Small Man, Big Mouth,” “Straight Edge” and “Filler,” has just been released in an edition of 300 on Holy Mountain Printing. Info and audio follow, as screamed at a wall by the PR wire:

minor fret four

This is a cover record featuring four songs by the band Minor Threat, but quite a but slower. Hope you like our spin on these tracks of a band that helped shape our lives. Thanx for listening and picking up the vinyl via Holy Mountain Music. — Aaron and Rob

Members of Lumbar, Ossacrux, Iamthethorn and No Youth perform Minor Threat covers stuck in a thick black tar. Vinyl available NOW via Holy Mountain Music. For fans of Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, Bongzilla and the like. It’s an interesting way to give tribute to the band that helped shape punk for all of us.

All music performed by Rob Lovell and recorded by James Whitten at Fountainbleu Studios. Vocals performed by Aaron Edge and recorded by Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio. “Four” was mixed and mastered by Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio/Skyway Audio, September of 2014. Wolf in sheep’s clothing illustration by Metal Jeff.

Limited to 300 copies on white vinyl.

Check out the songs here:

Minor Fret, Four (2015)

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Eyehategod Tour Starts this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

eyehategod (Photo by Danin Drahos)

Admittedly, I don’t know much about the West Coast rooms that Eyehategod are playing on this brief run over the next couple weeks, but every show on the East Coast seems like a special event and I’d expect the same applies for out west. Brighton Music Hall should be resoundingly violent and it’s a place I could actually go, which is an appeal in itself. The Clash Bar in Jersey is a tiny room that Eyehategod seem likely to just level. The Saint Vitus Bar is the Saint Vitus Bar; that’s a draw on its own. And the show at the Ottobar? Vitus (the band) and Eyehategod on the same bill with Cro Mags and Misery Index? God damn. Hard to imagine the therapy everyone in attendance will need after so much head trauma.

I’m showing my regional roots in the Northeast for sure, and I’ve no doubt Alex’s Bar in Long Beach and Strummers in Fresno will be just as memorable for those out that way — these are rooms I wish I knew — but either way, it looks like Eyehategod are doing it up for this quick run before they spend a month in Europe in March/April.

The PR wire has more:

eyehategod tour

EYEHATEGOD: Louisiana Volume Dealers To Kick Off 2015 Live Invasion

Louisiana volume dealers, EYEHATEGOD, are readying for another bout of live demolitions this month commencing with a set of California rumblings through Bakersfield, Lancaster, Long Beach, San Luis Obispo and Fresno. From there, the band will head east to sonically traumatize Boston, Massachusetts, Clifton, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York for two nights and a very special show in Baltimore, Maryland with the Cro Mags, Saint Vitus and Misery Index!

1/22/2015 Jerry’s Pizza & Pub – Bakersfield, CA
1/23/2015 Moose Lodge – Lancaster, CA
1/24/2015 Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA
1/25/2015 Sweet Springs Saloon – San Luis Obispo, CA
1/26/2015 Strummers – Fresno, CA
2/04/2015 Brighton Music Hall – Boston MA
2/05/2015 The Clash Bar – Clifton, NJ
2/06/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
2/07/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
2/08/2015 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD w/ Cro Mags, Saint Vitus, Misery Index

Over two-and-a-half decades, EYEHATEGOD have helped define the NOLA sound: down-tuned, blues-inflected guitars awash in furious distortion, underpinning the tormented screams of Mike IX Williams over a thundering rhythm section. Though it was a long time between riffs, EYEHATEGOD reemerged stronger and more determined than ever before. EyeHateGod personifies desperation and addiction in the various backwaters of forgotten America, punctuated by the “N’awlins” sound of rebellion and pollution resulting in triumph over adversity. EyeHateGod is an exclamation mark on an already storied career, a statement of rebirth, catharsis, self-preservation and a sign of things to come.

Order EyeHateGod via Housecore Records HERE.

Eyehategod, Eyehategod (2014)

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Crowbar Unveil New Video for “Walk with Knowledge Wisely”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

To be perfectly honest, the video below for “Walk with Knowledge Wisely” from Crowbar‘s latest outing, Symmetry in Black, is the first I’m hearing of the record. A “promo stream” for the album, which came out on Tuesday, has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks, but I haven’t clicked on it, because what the hell? I click on it, feel the need to review it, take the time, dig the album, and then add it to the growing list of CDs I want to buy but can’t afford. Super. Better to save myself the trouble of being bummed out and not listen in the first place.

“Walk with Knowledge Wisely” has some continuity with “The Cemetery Angels” (video here), which served as a single from 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here), in that it rounds out with a massive-sounding slowdown. They don’t milk quite as much this time around — not that I’ll complain either way — but the point definitely gets made, and the point seems to be that well over 20 years on, Crowbar still serve as a litmus test for sonic weight.

Looks like they’ll get on that list after all. It goes like this:

Crowbar, “Walk with Knowledge Wisely” official video



Well known NOLA earthquake purveyors CROWBAR have debuted a brand new music video for their single “Walk With Knowledge Wisely.” Directed by Mike Holderbeast (DOWN, EYEHATEGOD), this is the first of two videos we’ll see from the band’s all new LP SYMMETRY IN BLACK that debuted last week. “For this video we decided to let the music do the talking. Working with Mike was a breeze and a pleasure. He has filmed many of our live shows and he is a true professional.” says frontman Kirk Windstein.

Symmetry in Black tracklisting:
1. Walk With Knowledge Wisely
2. Symmetry In White
3. The Taste Of Dying
4. Reflection Of Deceit
5. Ageless Decay
6. Amaranthine
7. The Foreboding
8. Shaman Of Belief
9. Teach The Blind To See
10. A Wealth Of Empathy
11. Symbolic Suicide
12. The Piety Of Self-Loathing

Crowbar on Thee Facebooks

eOne Music

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Crowbar Announce Tour Dates; Writing New Material

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The good news is that Crowbar are touring. The good news is also that Crowbar are writing songs for a new album. I guess there really isn’t any bad news on this one. Crowbar‘s last album, 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here), found the New Orleans sludge mainstays embracing the influence of many of the bands who followed in their discordant wake, working with producer Zeuss (HatebreedShadows Fall, etc.) and taking on a more modern metal feel throughout the tracks. Of course, a song like the single “The Cemetery Angels” (video here) still had room for a landmark slowdown, but there’s no telling what Crowbar‘s 10th full-length might bring when it surfaces.

And maybe the idea with this tour is to road-test some new songs. The band recently parted ways with bassist Pat Bruders, so no word either on who’s handling the low end (other than everyone). Either way, Crowbar getting back out for a stint is a good thing, and if it’s new material or old, new members or old, the safe bet is it’s going to be loud. Crowbar will also perform at the 2013 Housecore Horror Film & Music Fest at Emo’s East in Austin, Texas, which runs Oct. 25-27 with DownGoblinPig Destroyer and many more on the bill.

Here are the dates:

Crowbar and White Light Cemetery !!

Friday 11/29 Houston TX
@Scout Bar
Saturday 11/30 Dallas TX
Sunday 12/01 Austin TX
@Dirty Dog
Thursday 12/05 Tyler TX
Friday 12/06 Shreveport LA
@Riverside Warehouse
Saturday 12/07 Lafayette LA
@The Station
May have more dates in week of 12/01
Thanks for all your support!!!
Will post any additions as they come !!!

Crowbar, “High Rate Extinction” Live in New Orleans, 2013

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In Memory of Joe LaCaze of Eyehategod

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Joe LaCaze, 1971-2013

He was the only drummer I ever saw snort something on stage. Word started coming through last night on Facebook of the passing of Eyehategod drummer Joe LaCaze. Details at this point are sketchy, and by that I mean nil, but tributes have begun pouring in for LaCaze, who had more than ably handled the task of solidifying the chaos of Eyehategod’s sonic malevolence since 1989, playing on their four studio full-lengths and sundry other releases and touring the world with the groundbreaking sludge five-piece.

Eyehategod just wrapped a 15-date UK and European stint in Toulouse, France, on Aug. 20 and were scheduled to play three special shows in September to mark their 25th anniversary as a band, including a return to the Rocks Off Concert Cruise in Manhattan and an appearance at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Fest in Austin, Texas. Word of a new album had also begun to spread again with the release last year of the new single “New Orleans is the New Vietnam,” which had been Eyehategod’s first non-compilation studio output since 2004. Their last full-length was 2000’s Confederacy of Ruined Lives.

Again, there is nothing really made public at this point about the circumstances of his passing or any official word from the band (I’ll update when I see some), but LaCaze — who also drummed in Eyehategod offshoots Outlaw Order and The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight — leaves behind a formidable presence within what’s inarguably sludge’s greatest influence. In his attitude and his style, he was the swinging rudder steering a tornado and across classic albums like 1992’s In the Name of Suffering, 1993’s Take as Needed for Pain, and 1996’s Dopesick, he solidified a legacy that few can match.

The Obelisk sends heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, bandmates and anyone else who knew LaCaze. He will be missed.

UPDATE 08.28.13

Eyehategod released this statement today:

Joseph M. LaCaze, New Orleans native and drummer for Eyehategod, Mystick Krewe of Clearlight and Outlaw Order passed away on Aug. 23rd in New Orleans after a very successful five week UK and European tour with EHG.

He also performed ceremonial voodoo drumming and in numerous solo experimental electronic projects. Doctors confirmed to family members the cause as respiratory failure. He also suffered from severe long term asthma.

An account is set up for the benefit of his daughter Lilith LaCaze. Checks can be made payable to the Lilith LaCaze or Joseph LaCaze donation fund at any Capital One Bank in any city.

Eyehategod, In the Name of Suffering (1992)

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Wino Wednesday: Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” from Split with Acid King

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Mystick Krewe of Clearlight are one of those bands who, once you hear them, you just want more. And to that impulse, the only answer is really “too bad,” because there just isn’t that much out there. The band, led by Jimmy Bower of EyeHateGod/Down, only ever released one full-length — a self-titled in 2000 on Tee Pee — and splits with Acid King and The Obsessed (the latter a single with A and B side Lynyrd Skynyrd covers) before fizzling out. As late as 2004, they had a track appearance on the High Volume compilation released via High Times, but that’s the last heard from the instrumental classic heavy rockers to date. Once you’ve heard it all, there’s no place else to go.

In that regard, that makes the two tracks they included on the 2001 Acid King split all the more special. Featuring guest contributions from Wino on vocals and ebow, the two tracks “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” and “Veiled” that made up Mystick Krewe‘s portion of the split — which was subtitled The Father, the Son and the Holy Smoke in ultimate stonerly fashion — were a moment never to be repeated. At the time, Spirit Caravan were releasing their second album, Elusive Truth, and the next year, Bower would return to Down to record and release Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow, leaving little time for a lower-profile project like Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, however righteous their jams may have been.

And while those who got down with their organ-heavy boogie the first time have held out vague hopes for a follow-up full-length, it’s yet to happen. Never say never in a world where even Black Flag can reunite, but I’m not exactly holding my breath for new Clearlight material anytime soon. Call me crazy.

So enjoy “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” for what it is. Wino gives an especially killer performance, and if you’ve never had the chance to check it out, I think you’ll find it’s worth the time. Happy Wino Wednesday:

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Thou to Release Heathen in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

You’d need a checklist like on the back of a G.I. Joe action figure to keep up with all the splits and EPs Louisiana sludgers Thou put out, but when it comes to actual full-lengths, they occur somewhat less frequently, and so the news of a 2013 release for Heathen — their fourth behind the also-single-word titles Summit (2010), Peasant (2008) and Tyrant (2007) — is welcome. The band put the album to tape at the Living Room Studio in Algiers, LA, and it’ll reportedly top 60 minutes, which if you’re keeping track, is a whole lot o’ sludge.

Adam from Gilead Media sent over confirmation of Thou’s progress in the label’s latest newsletter:

I spent January 5th-8th down in New Orleans hanging out with Thou while they finished up tracking for their new full-length album, Heathen.

It was great to get out of Wisconsin for a bit–particularly after 14 inches of snow in the last month and a half–and spend some time in a drastically different environment. Especially watching things come together on the new Thou record. Many thanks to the guys for hosting me while I was down there. Always a pleasure to spend some time with my favorite Louisiana folks.

Recording took place at The Living Room Studio in Algiers, LA, engineered by James Whitten. Heathen should be released on CD by Gilead Media in June, after James completes mixing and Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording gives it the ol’ mastering treatment. Vinyl should be ready around the same time, but we haven’t ironed out if the band will be releasing it themselves or not. I need to keep hammering away at Bryan to let me take care of it.

The album will ultimately clock in at around 60 minutes, their longest single piece of work to date.

I took some photos while I was in New Orleans. Whenever I travel I rarely take photos, which is a critical error since I have an awful memory. When I do take photos, it’s always random stuff like this. Check it:

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