Cavern to Release Outsiders Aug. 25 on Grimoire Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

cavern

The title of the documentary Maryland trio Cavern put together while recording their sophomore full-length for Grimoire RecordsOutsiders, is titled How to Make a Hit Record, so take that as an immediate sign that the post-metallic three-piece are willing to toss in a bit of charm with their dense, progressive riffing — of which two samples from Outsiders are now available for streaming in the form of album-opener “Garrett” and the title-track below. That same documentary also gives a look at the warehouse space where the guys in the band work cutting marble, so it’s doubly worth a look. Want to know how they get that big a sound? High fucking ceiling.

Cavern released their self-titled debut, also through Grimoire, in 2013, and I didn’t get to review it because I suck at this, but I remembered the band immediately on hearing they had a new one in the works and Outsiders sounds like it’s going to be a worthy follow-up going by what I’ve heard so far.

You can find the two-headed-hawk cover, the announcement of the record, audio and that documentary below, all scoured from across the mighty span of the internets:

cavern outsiders

Today we’re proud to debut 2 tracks from Cavern’s instrumental full-length “Outsiders,” out 8/25/15 in CD/cassette/digital on Grimoire Records! For fans of Russian Circles, Baroness, Zebulon Pike.. and highpriest.

“Outsiders” was recorded on May 9th, 2015 by Noel Mueller of Grimoire Records. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller/Grimoire Records. Art by Xavi Forne / Error! Design. © 2015 Grimoire Records.

Cavern is Stephen Schrock, Zach Harkins and Nick Harkins.

releases 25 August 2015

UPCOMING SHOWS:
7/10 @ Metro Gallery w/ Rosetta- Baltimore, MD
7/18 @ Guidos-Frederick, MD
7/25 @ Delmar Bar-Hagerstown, MD
8/7 @ Rte. 22 Rock/Blues Fest.-Huntingdon, PA
8/15 @ TBA
8/16 @ Cafe Nola w/ Rhin- Frederick, MD

https://www.facebook.com/cavernmd
http://cavernmd.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/cavernband/
https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/outsiders
https://www.facebook.com/GrimoireRecords

Cavern, Outsiders (2015)

Cavern, How to Make a Hit Record

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Quarterly Review: Horsehunter, Church, Corpse Light, Sunder, T-Tops, The Space Merchants, Etiolated, Blown Out, Les Discrets, Beast Modulus

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk summer quarterly review

Day one down and feeling good so far. Day two continues the thread of mixing more known quantities with bands either self-releasing or putting out demos, etc., and I like that. More than last time around — last quarter, if you want to use the business-y sounding language for it — I tried to really get a balance across this batch of reviews, posted yesterday and coming up over the next couple days. We’ll see how it works out when it’s over. It remains a ton of stuff, and I hope you dig it. Day two starts right now.

Quarterly review #11-20:

Horsehunter, Caged in Flesh

horsehunter caged in flesh

Pushing their way to the fore of Melbourne’s heavy surge, double-guitar four-piece Horsehunter proffer oppressive tonal crush on the four tracks of their 2LP Magnetic Eye Records debut, Caged in Flesh. The story goes that, unsatisfied the initial recordings weren’t heavy enough, the band – guitarists Michael Harutyanyan (also vocals) and Dan McDonald, bassist/vocalist Himi Stringer and drummer Nick Cron – went back into the studio and redid the entire thing. Mission accomplished. By the time 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Stoned to Death” is done, lungs are suitably deflated, spines are cracked, skulls cleaved, and so on. They’re hardly the only ones in the world to conjure formidable tonal heft, but it’s the deft changes in vocals – clean here, shouts there, more abrasive at the start of the title-track – and the sense of atmosphere in the three-minute penultimate interlude that really distinguish Horsehunter, as well as how smoothly that atmosphere integrates with the pummel in the second half of closer “Witchery,” attention to detail and awareness of the need for more than just sonic weight boding well for future progression.

Horsehunter on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Church, Unanswered Hymns

church unanswered hymns

A staggeringly heavy debut full-length from Sacramento, CA, five-piece Church, Unanswered Hymns was initially released digitally by the band and quickly picked up for a cassette issue by Transylvanian Tapes and forthcoming LP through Battleground Records. One gets the sense listening to the three extended tracks – 19-minute opener “Dawning” being the longest of the bunch (immediate points) – that those won’t be the last versions to come. Psychedelic doom blends seamlessly with vicious sludge extremity, creating a morass engulfing in its tones, spacious in its breadth and unrepentantly heavy, making it one of 2015’s best debut releases, hands down, and a glorious revelry in bleak tectonics that challenges the listener to match its level of melancholy without giving into an impulse for post-Pallbearer emotive theatrics. As thrilling as they are plodding, expect the echoes of “Dawning,” “Stargazer” and “Offering” to resonate for some time to come, and should Church show any predilection for touring in the next couple years, they have the potential to make a genuine impact on American doom. Yes, I mean it.

Church on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes

Battleground Records

Corpse Light, Without Form

corpse light without form

Recorded in a day and released by Grimoire Records, the four-track Without Form is slated as the debut from Baltimore atmospheric doomers Corpse Light, but the band have had tracks come out in drips and drabs since getting their start as Ophidian in mid-2012, even if this is their first proper release. Either way, “The Fool” sets up an immediate and grim ambience, the churning lurch from guitarists Keiran Holmes and Don Selner and bassist Aurora Raiten set to roll by Lawrence Grimes (The Osedax) and given earthy aggression by the vocals of Jim Webb. “Lying in State” fleshes out these morose aggro vibes, but it’s with the drop-everything-and-kill peak of the subsequent “R Complex” that Corpse Light hit their angriest mark. If Without Form was just about that, it would be the highlight, but the album’s 29 minutes have more to offer than pissed off tonally-weighted post-hardcore, as closer “Kenophobia”’s clever turns and deceptive forward momentum demonstrate, though a touch of that kind of thing never hurts either.

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Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Sunder, Demo

sunder demo

Heavy psych four-piece Sunder will make their debut this summer through Tee Pee and Crusher Records with a 7” for “Cursed Wolf,” so consider this notice of the tracks on their not-for-public-consumption demo a heads up on things to come. Their “Deadly Flower” was streamed here this past April, and the band’s previous incarnation, The Socks, released their self-titled debut (review here) on Small Stone in 2014, but with songs like the key-laced stomper “Bleeding Trees,” the ‘70s rusher “Against the Grain,” and the Uncle Acid-style swinging “Daughter of the Snows,” the Lyon, France, outfit continue to refine a style drawing together different vibes of the psychedelic era. “Deadly Flower” was also distinguished by its key work, and as for “Cursed Wolf” itself, the melody reminds of proto-psych Beatles singles (thinking “Rain” specifically), but the groove still holds firm to a sense of weight that’s thoroughly modern, and by that I mean it sounds like 1972. Keep an eye out.

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

T-Tops, T-Tops

t-tops t-tops

Granted not everyone is going to make this immediate association, but when I first saw the moniker T-Tops, I couldn’t help think of like C-grade generic stonerisms, songs about beer and pretending to be from the South and all that. If you experienced something similar in seeing the name, rest easy. The Pittsburgh trio of guitarist/vocalist Pat Waters (ex-The Fitt, Wormrigg), bassist Jason Orr (Wormrigg) and drummer Jason Jouver (ex-Don Caballero) are down with far more sinister punk and noise on their self-titled, self-released debut full-length, riding, shooting straight and speaking truth on cuts like “Wipe Down” and the catchy “Pretty on a Girl” after the tense sampling of “A Certain Cordial Exhilaration” turns over the power-push to “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’.” “Ralphie” is probably an inside-joke if not a Christmas Story reference, but point is these guys are way less about-to-sing-about-muscle-cars than the name implies and their tight, crisp rhythmic turns come accompanied by vicious tonal force and an utter lack of bullshit, which is a scenario far preferable to that which one might otherwise expect.

T-Tops on Thee Facebooks

T-Tops on Bandcamp

The Space Merchants, The Space Merchants

the space merchants the space merchants

Issued by Aqulamb in the imprint’s standard 100-page art book/download format, the self-titled debut from fellow Brooklynites The Space Merchants seeks to draw a line between psychedelic rock and country. And not pretend country like people with a Johnny Cash fetish because he covered that Nine Inch Nails song one time – actual, bright, pastoral, classic country. Call the results psychtwang and applaud the effort, which works oddly well in a thoroughly vintage context to come across on “Mainline the Sun” like something from a lost ‘60s variety show. Parts of “One Cut Like the Moon” and the later fuzz of “One Thousand Years of Boredom” give away their modernity, but The Space Merchants’ push toward a stylistic niche suits them well, and the intertwined vocal arrangements from guitarist Michael Guggino, bassist Aileen Brophy and keyboardist Ani MonteleoneCarter Logan drums to round out the four-piece – add to the rich, welcoming feel that remains prevalent even as the eight-minute “Where’s the Rest of Life” slips into wah-soaked noise to finish out.

The Space Merchants on Thee Facebooks

Aqualamb on Bandcamp

Etiolated, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies

etoliated grey limbs grey skies

The undercurrent of black metal coursing beneath the surface of Etiolated’s debut full-length, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies, eventually comes to the surface in 10-minute opener “Internal Abyss” and 16-minute eponymous closer, which bookends, but in part it’s the tension of waiting for those rampaging surges that keeps one hooked to the Armus Productions release. Guttural death growls echo up from dense tonal reaches, and tempo shifts, whether in those longer tracks or three-minute lumbering slice “Futility” are fluid, the North Carolina five-piece executing a slow-grinding chug in centerpiece “Exsanguinate,” which seems like a murk without end until the 1:47 “For Your Hell” kicks into a speedier, more blackened rush, guest vocalist Ryan McCarthy joining guitarist/vocalists James Storelli and Walls, bassist Cody Rogers and drummer Elliot Thompson in furthering the already prevalent sense of extremism before “Etiolated,” after a surprisingly peaceful if brooding midsection, plods the album to a close. To say “not for the faint of heart” would be putting it lightly, but if I had a vest and if Etiolated had patches, the two parties would definitely meet up at some point in the near future.

Etiolated on Thee Facebooks

Armus Productions on Bandcamp

Blown Out, Planetary Engineering

blown out planetary engineering

It has not taken long for the discography of UK psych jammers Blown Out to become a populated murky cosmos of its own. Planetary Engineering is released on Oaken Palace Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist Mike Vest (also Bong, etc.), bassist John-Michael Hedley (also Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) and drummer Matt Baty (also the head of Box Records) exploring two mesmeric and sprawling instrumentals – one per side – that bend and flourish and hypnotize in organically-concocted swirl. Side A’s “Transcending Deep Infinity” tops 20 minutes and shifts from its spacey build to a low key groove at about 7:30 in, pulsing forward once more amid head-turning repetition, deep echoes and longform nod, culminating in a two-minute fadeout that brings forward “Thousand Years in the Sunshine,” an immediate bass groove and interstellar swirl no less trance-inducing than its predecessor. Cyclical drum fills morph over time behind the guitar and bass, and Planetary Engineering seems to push continually further out until, of course, it disintegrates, presumably as it crosses the galactic barrier.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Oaken Palace Records on Bandcamp

Les Discrets, Live at Roadburn

les discrets live at roadburn

I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance at Het Patronaat in Tilburg when French post-black metallers Les Discrets took the stage at Roadburn 2013. As such, it’s with some trepidation I approach their Live at Roadburn recording on Prophecy Productions – the impression they made live wasn’t something I’d want potentially spoiled or brought to earth by a document proving it was just another set. With Neige of Alcest on bass with guitarist/vocalist Fursy Teyssier, Les Discrets proved to be something really special to those who, like me, were there to catch them, and the eight-track Live at Roadburn – fortunately – captures both the majestic lushness they brought with them and the underlying weight that seemed to add impact to the material. What might sound like post-production mixing on “L’Echappée” or the wash of “Chanson D’Automne” isn’t – it really was that beautiful and that perfectly balanced coming from the stage. A vastly underrated act and a document that reminds of how stellar they were without sullying the memory in the slightest.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions

Beast Modulus, Beast Modulus

beast-modulus-beast-modulus

Brooklynite foursome Beast Modulus seem to care less about meshing with ideas of genre than sticking them in a meatgrinder and seeing what comes out. To wit the riotous chugging of “Cowboy Caligula,” and the blackened thrust of “WaSaBi!” on their self-released, self-titled outing, which leads to dueling growls and screams on the tonally weighted post-hardcore “Fabulous,” and the appropriately mathy turns of the thrashing “Tyranny of Numbers.” Inventive in their stylizations and in where the six songs included on the release actually go – hint: they go to “heavy” – the lineup of vocalist Kurt Applegate, guitarist Owen Burley, bassist Jesse Adelson and drummer Jody Smith have some post-Dillinger Escape Plan vibe in the calculated chaos of “Kalashnikov,” but closer “Killing Champion” is too impatient to even be held by that, the prevailing manic angularity of Beast Modulus ultimately crafting its own identity from the physical assault the music seems intent on perpetrating upon the listener.

Beast Modulus on Thee Facebooks

Beast Modulus on Bandcamp

 

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Mangog Unveil First Rumblings in Video for “Ab Intra”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mangog

The beating heart of Maryland doom lies in Frederick. It’s not the traditional “Doom Capitol” — that being D.C. or at least Baltimore — but it’s where the style lives on and flourishes today, and it’s from whence the newcomer four-piece Mangog hail, their style steeped in the lurching traditions, downer riffing and sonic heft for which the Maryland scene is so rightly revered. The band features in its lineup former Revelation and current Righteous Bloom bassist Bert Hall — here on guitar and vocals — and ex-Iron Man drummer Mike Rix alongside vocalist/intermittent guitarist Myke Wells (who co-directed the video) and bassist Darby Cox (also of Major Company and Hall‘s experimental hip-hop outfit, Negro Childe), and “Ab Intra” is the first audio they’ve made public from a forthcoming demo, and one finds its eight-minute roll (reportedly they’re playing it slower now, thus further elongating) working in regionalist form as what should be a welcome introduction to the converted awaiting their arrival.

Formed late in 2014, Mangog hit the studio in April with producer Drew Mazurek to track their debut demo, and they’ll make their first stage appearance at the end of this month at the Maryland Doom Festival in — where else? — Frederick, at Cafe 611, performing at the final day of the fest on June 28. If their pedigree isn’t enough to pique interest for those making the pilgrimage to the inaugural three-dayer, then “Ab Intra” should get the job done, with its eerie intro and subsequent theatrical flourish — no, I’m not just talking about Hall‘s fuzzy hat — and moody sensibility. Not sure on an exact release date for the demo. Presumably it would be in-hand for the Maryland Doom Fest, but one never really knows how that kind of thing is going to work out. In any case, worth keeping an eye on, and you can do precisely that (mostly with the video below.

Enjoy:

Mangog, “Ab Intra” official video

We premiered the first song from our demo, “Ab Intra”, recorded and produced by the great Drew Mazurek (Gwar, Revelation, Jawbox)! We hope you’ll enjoy our video for “Ab Intra”, directed and filmed by our very own Myke Wells and Jonathan Carroll of X9 Records!

Come see our debut at the Maryland Doom Festival! Tickets are only sold online! Get ya doom on!

The Maryland Doom Festival
June 26-28
Cafe 611
611 N. Market Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Mangog on Thee Facebooks

Mangog on Twitter

Maryland Doom Fest tickets

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Righteous Bloom Post New Demo “Dying on the Vine”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

righteous bloom logo green background

Like many pieces of essential information, the fact that Chesapeake progressive doomers Righteous Bloom had a new demo made public was put out at 11PM. What the four-piece lack in web-based marketing, however, they more than make up for in distinctiveness of sound. Together with the earlier “Within Trance” (posted here) and their initial single “Of Sanctum and Solace” (posted here), “Dying on the Vine” makes for three new cuts revealed ahead of Righteous Bloom‘s full-length debut, due tentatively later this year on The Church Within Records. I haven’t heard for sure one way or another, but unless it’s already in the can, I think it might be 2016 before that record gets out.

Either way, while it’s somewhat discomfiting to hear a new band talk about “Dying on the Vine,” the demo version finds Righteous Bloom further branching out from guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt and drummer Darin McCloskey‘s past recorded work in Beelzefuzz, while also making the most of lead guitarist Greg Diener (also Pale Divine) and bassist Bert Hall (also Revelation), the latter of whom joined earlier this year, pushing Righteous Bloom from “offshoot” to supergroup status within the sphere of Maryland (and the surrounding area) heavy. Ortt plays the role of mystical conjurer in these lyrics, tossing out “clandestine melody,” “sickening soliloquy,” and “tumultuous threnody” in quick succession over a bouncing and chugging verse that has an almost oompah feel to it with his guitar-as-organ tonality. Catchy in as bizarre a fashion as ever, it’s one more teaser to make one look forward to the album’s realization, whenever it might come.

Righteous Bloom will play the Vultures of Volume fest in Sept. (info here) alongside Solace, Elder and many others. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to their full-length’s release. If nothing else, I think I’ve made it pretty plain that if these guys see fit to post a new song, I’m going to see fit to blab about it.

Enjoy:

Righteous Bloom, “Dying on the Vine”

Righteous Bloom on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

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On Wax: Old Indian, Mumble

Posted in On Wax on June 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

old indian mumble vinyl and package

Mumble is the self-released debut vinyl long-player from Frederick, Maryland, trio Old Indian, and though their moniker and their home base both bring a certain amount of expectation to the release — i.e. they’re called Old Indian and they’re from Frederick, so they must be stoner doom — the record itself plays out with a much more intricate stylistic spread. It’s eight songs, four on each side, totaling a relatively quick 33 minutes, but even so, the turns that the trio of guitarist/vocalist Cory Springirth, bassist/backing vocalist Mark Weeks and drummer/backing vocalist Evan Owens manage to pull off make Mumble a more nuanced experience than one might anticipate.

old indian mumble side a Even just side A. All four of its songs hover around four minutes long, but that proves to be more than enough time for each to establish its own sonic personality, whether it’s the loosely progressive noodling that starts opener “Space Connect,” the bizarre lounge jangle and swing of “Mean Man,” which Springirth uses as the backdrop to introduce his yelping bluesy vocal style and from which Owens sort of inexplicably launches into a drum solo in the midsection, or the purely Saint Vitus-style fuzz of “Too Old to be Cool,” which rolls out low-end heavy in its initial push and tops it with plucked guitar strings at the headstock before opening to a wider, more subdued verse that still swings but does so quietly, giving the vocals room, or the psych-country twang of “Bedside Blues,” on which the vocals are less, well, mumbled, to start with, and which shits in its midsection to an upbeat, near-rockabilly push that features some choice bass runs from Weeks beneath the guitar.

Already the vibe of Mumble is all over the place, but side B works to establish a spirit that, while still malleable, is also somewhat more cohesive one cut into the next. “The Riff” is a solid title, and accordingly its central riff is worthy of highlighting, but the bass fuzz that underscores the later solo is actually the high point, while on the subsequent “Just a Bum,” Springirth offers a touch of Dick Dale influence in the surf-style guitar before winding up in a punkish verse and pushing through a final lead. Oh yeah, and the song’s two and a half minutes long — nothing if not efficient in its motion.

“Eyelids” is more laid back from the start, old indian mumble back coverplaying the low end of “Too Old to be Cool” off more post-grunge oddity and trades between tin-can vocals over open spaces and heavier jamming, an undulating sort of riff emerging near the finish of the three-minute track that cuts out to let Owens‘ cymbals lead the way into the bass beginning of seven-minute closer “Spanish Blues.” Noteworthy that both sides end with a “Blues,” but the “Spanish” variety is on its own trip, taking longer to develop, but also farther-ranging. The extra time is given to instrumental exploration and plotted parts that suit Old Indian well, the last four minutes or so taking off from the foundation of the song and heading outward from there on a satisfying plunge into immersive, rolling heavy that like the rest of the record before it, is decidedly their own in its style and execution.

Unquestionably that’s one of the greatest impressions Mumble leaves behind when it’s over — of individuality. Being their first album, it shows Old Indian can essentially develop as a band in one of two ways: either they can take these elements and tighten them into a crisp but ultimately more single-minded aesthetic, or they can keep getting weirder on an anything-goes Ween-style blend of genres. I don’t think I’d argue if they said they were going to give either a shot, since a more subtle factor on Mumble is the songwriting itself. It might get lost underneath the basic appeal of Springirth‘s yowling vocals, the fuzz, the reverb or the jangle, but it’s there all the same, and ultimately that’s what’s going to make it work as Old Indian move forward from here, in whatever direction they might go.

Old Indian, Mumble (2015)

Old Indian on Thee Facebooks

Old Indian on Bandcamp

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Church of Misery in Rehearsals for New Album Recording; And Then There Were None Due Later this Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Church of Misery bassist and founder Tatsu Mikami, in addition to having a considerable influence on the shape of modern doom with his band, is obviously someone who knows his stuff. He’s also someone with a tendency toward lineup changes. The long-running Sabbathian loyalists have had more members than I think even Tatsu could count, but so far as I know, their upcoming fifth (or sixth, depending on what you count) full-length, And Then There Were None, will be the first time he’s worked with American artists in collaborating on new material.

Tatsu and his low-slung Rickenbacker are currently in Middletown, Maryland, in rehearsals for the new album recording at the Polar Bear Lair studio. The plan is to have seven new songs ready to go with Chris Kozlowski recording. Dave Szulkin of Blood Farmers will play guitar and Eric Little from Earthride will play drums. These are not happenstance picks in any way, and one can’t help but wonder exactly what sort of doom this new incarnation of Church of Misery will bring to bear when And Then There Were None arrives, as it will reportedly later this year on Rise Above Records.

The big question here is who Tatsu is going to get to perform vocals on the album. One assumes the lyrical theme will be the same as ever — serial killers — but as Church of Misery readies the follow-up to 2013’s excellent Thy Kingdom Scum (review here), one can’t help but wonder just what other tricks the bassist might have up his sleeve. That I’m very much looking forward to finding out should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.

Studio pic of the lineup and announcement follows:

church of misery

Rehearsal continues…..Middletown, Maryland

The time has come. I will stay in Maryland for 2 weeks in May to record the new album. US DOOM legends, Dave from BLOOD FARMERS and Eric from EARTHRIDE are going to join this recording. We will record 7 new materials at “Polar Bear Lair Studio” with Chris Kozlowski as an engineer – He has been working for tons of great US DOOM albums, like IRON MAN, INTERNAL VOID, EARTHRIDE, SPIRIT CARAVAN, PENANCE, PENTAGRAM and WRETCHED etc. Also, I will announce about a singer for this album soon. Let there be DOOM!

Tatsu

http://www.churchofmisery.net/
https://www.facebook.com/churchofmiserydoom/

Church of Misery, Live at Shibuya Cyclone, April 5, 2014

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Alone Time Stream Bored EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on May 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

alone time

Chaos, noise, chaos. Or is it noise, chaos, noise? Either way, Baltimore noise rock five-piece Alone Time will issue their debut EP, Bored, on May 26. Tracked, mixed, mastered and put out under the banner of Grimoire Records, the five-song outing clocks in at a vicious, feedback-soaked 14 minutes, and alternates between Black Flag-style lyrical rawness — see “Routine” — and thick-toned ’90s pummel as three three-and-a-half-minute cuts play out with two two-minute cuts between them, surprisingly orderly in its structure and flowing from one song to the next à la a live set even as Alone Time twist and turn and blow out tubes and slay and chaos, noise, chaos. Or is it noise, chaos, noise?

A sudden surge of feedback at the launch of opener “Advice” tells the tale, and all the more so because that’s actually the song starting, not just a kind of introductory formality. The lineup of Adam, Spencer, Ted, Jess and Austyn waste little time in establishing as raw a foundation as possible, and the point seems to be less about holding the material together than letting go of the impulse to try. “Advice” is house-show madness, and the invitation to “Come and See” that follows answers fire with gasoline, a more forward rhythmic drive offset by mathy fret runs and distorted shouts delivered at feverish pace, cycled through twice before “Routine” slams in with its own vaguely directed sear. A alone-time-boredhardcore punk progression emerges from the fray running at full sprint, but it’s soon enough given over to churning thrust as the wheels once again come off and the track tears itself apart.

That, of course, is the idea. Happy accident? Not so much as disaffected expression, but whatever you want to call it, Alone Time have it in spades. Their sound is restless fitting to the EP’s title, and nestled between punk, hardcore, noise and angular technicality — they are playing notes in all those unhinged squibbly parts, after all — it hits on a balance both challenging and familiar, building momentum all the while knowing there’s a brick wall up ahead. “Pills” follows “Routine” and is the shortest piece at 1:54 and the jazziest, but a lurching groove lies beneath all that Eastern Seaboard intensity and that carries through into closer “Drunk at Work,” which begins with what sounds an awful lot like Echoplex before playing intermittent blasts and open, swinging verse lines off each other on the way to an oblivion well earned. It may be the product boredom, but ultimately, the EP doesn’t last long enough to inflict that on the listener. Rather, its frenetic pulse courses through fast and is gone with little ceremony or circumstance, and it’s only afterwards that one might realize how much of the chaos, noise, chaos — or was it noise, chaos, noise? — was by design.

Grimoire has Bored out on tape May 26, limited to 100 copies, recorded, mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller. Full stream follows for the daring. Enjoy:

Alone Time is Adam, Spencer, Jess, Ted and Austyn.

“Bored” was recorded on 3/07/2015 at Hour Haus by Noel Mueller of Grimoire Records. Mixed and mastered by Noel Mueller/Grimoire Records. Cover art by William Chapman. © 2015 Grimoire Records.

Amazing audio quality from the masters of tape, at National Audio Company. B/W 2-sided j-card, white shells with black imprint, shrink wrapped with love. Edition of 100.

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Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

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Sixty Watt Shaman Announce Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

A genuine bummer. Sixty Watt Shaman were working against a considerable geographic spread, with members in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, but for a while there it looked like they were going to be able to pull it off. They were slated to appear at the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest and later this month at subsequent shows alongside Karma to Burn and drummer Chuck Dukehart‘s other band, Foghound, but of course the real loss here is the promise of new material which was said to be in the works over the last several months, first as an EP, then as a full-length, now as nothing. Tabula Rasa, which was to be the title of their fourth album, was due this winter on Ripple Music.

So it goes. Glad I got to see them at The Eye of the Stoned Goat last year and glad I bought a shirt while shirts were available for the buying. Hopefully sooner or later they pick it back up, but it looks like they’ll be keeping busy in Serpents of Secrecy and King Giant, Foghound, etc., so these dudes will still be around.

Here’s the announcement:

sixtty watt shaman

Hey guys, we didn’t know what to expect when we first started this group many years ago. And then again when we regrouped a little over a year ago with just the idea to have fun and go play a few shows.

We have had a blast doing it, and the response from you guys has been awesome! We are extremely thankful for all the opportunities to play on some pretty great heavy music fests and on shows with so many amazing bands!

At this time, due to scheduling conflicts, family commitments, and not being able to commit as much time as is needed to keep going as a full time group again, we are going to be taking a hiatus.

Unfortunately that means we won’t be working on new music or playing the few upcoming shows that we had on the books, and we regretfully apologize for that.

We will be taking some time off as Sixty Watt Shaman, and no one knows what lies ahead in the foreseeable future.

We would like to thank each and every one of you all so much for all of your overwhelming support through the years, it really means the world to us!

As for the immediate future, Rev Jim, Chuckrock and T.I. will be continuing on as SERPENTS OF SECRECY, the project they started before the Sixty Watt reunion was even a thought.

This page will remain active, and we look forward to sharing our other projects and music with all you guys real soon!

Cheers!

https://www.facebook.com/SixtyWattShaman
http://twitter.com/sixtywattshaman
http://sixtywattshaman.com/

Sixty Watt Shaman, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Dec. 28, 2014

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