Z/28 Release Debut Album Nobody Rides for Free This Week

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

z28

If you’re in the Boston area and pay attention to such things, you’ve probably seen the name Z/28 around in contexts that apply, you know, to more than just the car. The three-piece have been playing regional shows since June 2016 but their pedigree dips further back than that with guitarist/vocalist Jeff Hayward having been in extreme sludge pioneers Grief when they made their debut over 20 years ago. Z/28 take nowhere near such an abrasive approach, and nor do they want to. The three-piece of Hayward, bassist/vocalist J. Negro and drummer Breaux Silcio have a straightforward classic heavy rock sound with more than an edge of grit to coincide. There are a couple tracks streaming ahead of the release, which is officially out this Friday on Fuzzdoom Records.

The label sent the following down the PR wire:

z28 nobody rides for free

Z/28 – Nobody Rides for Free

Formed in early 2016, Z28 is the brainchild of Jeff Hayward (ex-Grief, ex-Disrupt, ex-Morne).

After a short hiatus from the scene, Jeff decided to return with a project that could better realize his dream of being in a more true to mode, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Heavy Metal project. Recruiting Breaux Silcio on drums and J. Negro of bass, this well oiled machine was ready to ride.

Being described as a “crusty” Kiss, or Kyuss doing AC/DC covers, Z28 takes it’s primary cues from the great rock bands of the 70s, with a smattering 80s metal for good measure.

After releasing a well received EP in 2016, and a single for the song “Space Bastard” in 2017, Z28 is ready to roll out “Nobody Rides for Free”, their first full-length endeavor on Fuzzdoom Records. Be weary, the rides about to get wild!

Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Wandering
3. Angst
4. Angst II (Electric Boogaloo)
5. Spirit Elk (Lord of the Hunt)
6. Touch of Evil
7. Keep on Rockin’ in (The Invisible World)
8. Night Mysteries
9. Angst III (I Don’t Want to Die)

Z/28 are:
Jeff Hayward – Vocals, Guitar
Jason Negro – Vocals, Bass
Breaux Silcio – Drums, Percussion

https://www.facebook.com/nobodyridesforfree/
https://nobodyridesforfree.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/fuzzdoomrecords
https://fuzzdoomrecords.bandcamp.com/

Z/28, Nobody Rides for Free (2018)

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Morne: New Album To the Night Unknown Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

morne (Photo by Hilarie Jason)

By early September the nights in Massachusetts usually start to cool off from the day’s residual summer assault of Eastern Seaboard humidity and it portends the no-sun cruelties of the winter ahead. I don’t know if this is what Boston’s Morne had in mind when they released their The Coming of Winter live album in 2015, but it makes the Sept. 7 release date of their new studio record, To the Night Unknown, make a lot of sense. To be issued by Armageddon Shop‘s own Armageddon Label in conjunction with the band’s aptly-titled Morne Records imprint, it will follow some five years behind their 2013 LP, Shadows, which came out via Profound Lore and took the four-piece to Roadburn in the Netherlands in 2014 and made a lasting enough impression that they featured last year as well at Psycho Las Vegas.

A band whose quiet stretches even seem to seethe with extremity, Morne have preorders up for To the Night Unknown now, as the PR wire informs:

morne to the night unknown

Pre-Orders Up Now! MORNE “To The Night Unknown” 2LP / CD

Five years since their last release, Morne is proud to announce their fourth studio album entitled, “To the Night Unknown,” which will be released by the Armageddon Label and the bands’ own label Morne Records, in September 2018. The album was recorded at New Alliance Audio Productions by Jon Taft and mastered at Audiosiege by Brad Boatright and features the photography and design of Hillarie Jason.

Morne, formed in 2005, is a heavy, atmospheric band based in Boston, Massachusetts. Their style blends doom metal and classic British crust but stretches beyond those boundaries, combining a bleak lyrical style with driving riffs. The band has toured the US, Canada and Europe, and they have been part of large festivals such as Roadburn, Hellfest and Psycho Las Vegas.

MORNE – “To The Night Unknown”
Armageddon Label
Release Date: September 7th 2018
Catalog Number: Armageddon 020
Available formats: Gatefold 2LP w/download, Digipack CD, Digital

Vinyl: Gatefold 2LP on 180 gram black vinyl or ltd 180 gram black vinyl with gray splatter
CD: Digipack packaging with 8pg booklet
Digital: via Itunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and others

Pre-orders are live NOW via:
https://armageddonlabel.bigcartel.com/
Orders will ship a week before street date.

TRACKLIST:
1. To the Night Unknown
2. Not Our Flame
3. The Blood is Our Own
4. Scorn
5. Show Your Wounds
6. Night Awaits the Dawn
7. Shadowed Road
8. Surrendering Fear

LINE UP:
Milosz Gassan – Vocals, Guitar
Paul Rajpal – Guitar
Morgan Coe – Bass
Billy Knockenhauer – Drums

https://facebook.com/mornecrust
https://morneband.bandcamp.com/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/morne/440400147
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_music_1?ie=UTF8&field-artist=MORNE&search-alias=music
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5hpeBTPIG4IE2ymmNZUiEf
http://www.storenvy.com/stores/120214-morne
http://armageddonshop.com/
https://armageddonlabel.bigcartel.com/

Morne, The Coming of Winter (2015)

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Elder Touring Europe this Fall with Ancestors; Playing Fests and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

elder

Progressive heavy rock forerunners Elder will be back on the road in Europe for Fall 2018, joined by Ancestors for a run through festivals that includes Doom vs. Stoner, Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium 2018, Into the Void and Keep it Low. Because, basically, if you’re throwing a heavy fest in 2018, you want Elder to play. The former-trio-now-four-piece affirmed their ascendance last year with Reflections of a Floating World (review here) and have barely come off tour since. To wit, after the stint with Ancestors? They have another European tour. It’s pretty much how it goes with them these days, and right on.

You’ll note they mention an impending announcement about new music. I know what it is and it’s awesome. It’s not public yet, but yeah, there’s something cool happening. Stay tuned.

They posted the following on the social medias:

Elder announce European tour

We’re back on the autobahn and beyond again this fall, sharing the first leg of our tour with the fantastic @ancestors (who have a killer new album out) Let us know below what show you’ll be at!

Also, we’ve got another exciting announcement regarding new music coming in the near future…

29.09. UK – Sheffield, O2 Academy, Doom vs. Stoner Festival*
30.09. UK – Glasgow, The Audio*
01.10. UK – Leeds, TBA*
02.10. UK – Manchester, The Rebellion*
03.10. UK – Coventry, The Phoenix*
04.10. UK – Bristol, The Fleece*
05.10. UK – London, Garage*
06.10. CH – Pratteln, Up In Smoke Festival*
07.10. I – Milan, Legend*
08.10. I – Bologna, Freak Out / Locomotive*
09.10. I – Rome, Evol*
10.10. I – Fabriano, Sonic Room*
11.10. CRO – Zagreb, Vintage Industrial Bar*
12.10. HUN – Budapest, Dürer Kert*
14.10. B – Antwerp, Trix, Desertfest*
15.10. GER – Hannover, Chez Heinz*
16.10. GER – Berlin, S036*
17.10. GER – Dortmund, Junkyard*
18.10. F – Paris, Glazart*
19.10. NL – Leeurwarden, Neushoorn, Into the Void*
20.10. GER – Munich, Feierwerk, Keep It Low*
21.10. A – Vienna, Arena*

31.10. RUS – St Petersburg
01.11. RUS – Moscow
03.11. DK – Aalborg, Aalborg Metalfest
04.11. GER – Osnabrück, Bastard
05.11. GER – Karlsruhe, Stadtmitte
06.11. F – Poitiers, Le confort Moderne
07.11. E – Barcelona, Razzmatazz
08.11. E – Callosa De Segura (Alicante), Auditorium
09.11. E – Madrid, Nazca
10.10. I – Fabriano, Sonic Room
10.11. E – Bilbao, Santana 27
* with Ancestors

Artwork by @digitaldexter

http://facebook.com/elderofficial
https://www.instagram.com/elderband/
http://stickman-records.com
http://armageddonshop.com

Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (2017)

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Quarterly Review: Worshipper, Dopethrone, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, Omen Stones, Capra, Universo Rojo, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Fire Down Below, Stone Deaf, Cracked Machine

Posted in Reviews on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

Well, we made it to the end of another Quarterly Review. One more batch and then it’s off to planning the next one for late September/early October. I hope you have found something this week that you’ve really dug. I have. A few, to be honest. Not everything is going to stick with every listener, of course, and that includes me, but for as much as putting this one together has been, there’s been some really good, year-end-list-type stuff included. At least as far as my own list goes. I sincerely hope you agree.

So let’s do this last one, then go sleep for a couple hours. Alright? Here we go:

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Worshipper, Mirage Daze

worshipper mirage daze

I don’t know if Worshipper knew they’d be embarking on their first West Coast tour in Summer 2018 when they hit Mad Oak Studios in Oct. 2016 to record the four cover tracks for their Mirage Daze EP on Tee Pee Records, but it certainly worked out in the Boston four-piece’s favor. Following-up their 2016 debut, Shadow Hymns (review here), Worshipper present four cover tracks in Uriah Heep’s “Easy Livin’,” The Oath’s “Night Child,” Pink Floyd’s “Julia Dream” and The Who’s “Heaven and Hell,” and while I’m a little sad that “Heaven and Hell” isn’t the Black Sabbath song, which I think they’d nail if they tried it, and I’m glad to have a studio version of their take on Floyd’s “Julia Dream,” which from the first time I saw them live was always a pleasure to watch live, I think the highlight of Mirage Daze might be “Night Child.” I never bought that The Oath record, and Worshipper’s take on its lead single is about the best argument I’ve seen for doing so. It may or may not be a stopgap issued to coincide with the tour, but Mirage Daze is a welcome arrival anyway. It’s a fan piece? Well, I’m a fan, so right on.

Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

Dopethrone, Transcanadian Anger

dopethrone transcanadian anger

Montreal scumsludgers Dopethrone return with Transcanadian Anger, an eight-track blister-fest of crunch riffing and misanthropic vibes. Delivered through Totem Cat Records, the 36-minute Weedeater-gone-bad-drugs sludge assault seems to invite superlatives front to back, even in the slamming instrumental “Killdozer” – a tribute to the band? – and the swinging penultimate cut “Kingbilly Kush.” Elsewhere, opener “Planet Meth,” “Snort Dagger,” “Tweak Jabber” and “Scuzzgasm” celebrate addiction and violence unto oneself and others, making a spectacle of decay set to voluminous sludge riffs and abrasive vocals. This is Dopethrone’s aesthetic territory, and they’ve done well over the last decade to make it their own. As they answer 2015’s full-length, Hochelaga (review here), and the next year’s 1312 EP with yet another filth-caked collection, they seem all the more in their own league of aural and narcotic self-punishment. They could be straightedge vegans for all I know, but they sure sound high as fuck, and I guess that’s the point. So, well done.

Dopethrone on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records webstore

 

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, BooCheeMish

the mystery of the bulgarian voices boocheemish

Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance would seem to be trying to solve The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, a choral group from Bulgaria who, seemingly until teaming with Gerrard for the Prophecy Productions release BooCheeMish was known by the French name Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Whatever you call them, their history dates back nearly seven decades and their harmonies are utterly timeless. BooCheeMish is comprised of gorgeous folk renditions for 45 minutes of world-building perfection. Percussion of various sorts provides backing and on pieces like “Rano Ranila” they speed through at a pace and arrangement that’s head-spinning, while the later “Zableyalo Agne” finds them joined by flute for a nigh-religious experience and the subsequent “Tropanitsa” has a bounce worthy of any good times one might to envision from its evocative pulse. One can’t help but feel a bit of the cultural voyeur in taking it on – as well as feeling totally outclassed in reviewing it – but these songs were clearly meant to be enjoyed, and as their ambassadors, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices genuinely serve a public best interest.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Omen Stones, Omen Stones

omen stones omen stones

Virginia duo Omen Stones have no online presence as yet. No songs streaming. No cheeky logos-on-photos social media posts that new bands do when they’re sitting on their hands waiting to get material out there. What they – and by “they,” I mean guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hamilton of Druglord and drummer Erik Larson of Backwoods Payback, The Might Could, Alabama Thunderpussy, etc. – have is a four-song self-titled EP collecting about 13 minutes of material in demo fashion, bringing forth the Southern-shuffle-gets-weird-then-explodes opener “Secrete” as a first impression of a deceptive approach. You think it’s all good and then you get punched. Go figure. “Secrete” is also the longest track (immediate points) at 4:06, and the forward charge and harsher vocal of “Fertile Blight” follows, catchy as it is mean, and more indicative of what’s to follow in the maddening tension of “Sympathy Scars” and the fuckall sludgepunk of “Purity Tones.” Immediately against-trend, Omen StonesOmen Stones is a bird of prey unto itself. Hopefully at some point soon they make it publicly available.

Druglord on Bandcamp

Erik Larson on Bandcamp

 

Capra, Unholy Gallows

Capra Unholy Gallows

Taking influence from hardcore punk, post-hardcore and sludge, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Capra seem to fit in a Midwestern style of semi-metallic aggression that has flourished in the wake of the likes of The National Acrobat and Coliseum. The foursome’s Unholy Gallows single follows their also-two-song self-titled 2016 EP, and finds Tyler Harper (also of the recently-defunct The Midnight Ghost Train), Jeremy Randazzo, Ben Paramore and Lee Hooper aligned in their purposes of riff-led bludgeoning. Unholy Gallows is two songs/six minutes long – not by any means an afternoon commitment in terms of listening – but its furies are unveiled in far less time than that, and both “Red Guillotine” and “Hot Lips” waste no time in doling out their beatings. A sense of heft stems from tonal thickness, but they make it move to a propulsive degree, and aside from a quick feedback intro to “Red Guillotine,” there’s no letup; even as “Hot Lips” slows the pace some initially, it maintains geared toward foreshadowing the next fist to fly.

Capra on Thee Facebooks

Capra on Bandcamp

 

Universo Rojo, Impermanencia

Universo Rojo Impermanencia

Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Into space. Universo Rojo’s excellent four-track debut album, Impermanencia, makes you want to speak slowly enough to feel the words vibrate out of your mouth. The Chilean four-piece offer lengthy, jam-based excursions that echo out their feel across vast reaches of effects, progressive rhythm and melody-making unfurling all the while beneath an overarching swirl of effects, guitars and synth running atop the mix like competing currents of water. Opener “¿A Dónde Ir?” (8:13) gives way to the flute-laden krautrockism of “Visión Planetaria de los Tiempos” (8:40) as vocalist/guitarist/clarinetist Ferro Vargas-Larraguibel, drummer Naim Chamás, bassist Cristóbal Montenegro and synthesis Francisco Arellano conjure such molten possibilities. Though it’s just 34 minutes, Impermanencia is nonetheless expansive, with the 9:36 “Cinco (La Quinta Dimensión)” finding a place between drift and psych-jazz undulations while closer “Inmaterialización del Sentimiento Cósmico” (7:32) lets out a full-impulse burst of energy that’s blinding if you know just where to look. Not to be missed.

Universo Rojo on Thee Facebooks

Universo Rojo on Bandcamp

 

Sergeant Thunderhoof, Terra Solus

sergeant thunderhoof terra solus

Kudos to Bath, UK, four-piece Sergeant Thunderhoof on starting off their sophomore long-player, Terra Solus, with the album’s longest track in “Another Plane.” And likewise for the blend of psychedelia and burl that unfolds. In taking on the follow-up to their 2015 debut, Ride of the Hoof, they offer eight cuts and 51 minutes of spacious riffing charged with just an undercurrent of English boozer burl, Elephant Tree and Steak meeting head on for a raucous session of who knows what. “B Oscillation” taps nod and particularly satisfying fuzzy warmth in its lead section, while even a would-be bruiser like the subsequent “Diesel Breath” has a trip-out included. There is time for such things as every track but the penultimate and relatively minimalist soundscaper “Half a Man” tops six minutes, but Sergeant Thunderhoof make a much richer impression overall than their moniker might lead one to believe, and close out in particularly resonant fashion with “Om Shaantih,” emphasizing the breadth and post-rock elements that help make Terra Solus so engaging from the outset.

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Bandcamp

 

Fire Down Below, Hymn of the Cosmic Man

fire down below hymn of the cosmic man

The adaptation of Kyuss’ “Thumb” riff for Fire Down Below’s “Ignition/Space Cruiser” after the “Red Giant” intro on their second album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (on Ripple), is nothing short of a clarion to the converted. The Belgian unit’s mission would seem to be to find that place on the horizon where the desert ground and space itself seem to meet and become one, and as side A closer “The Cosmic Pilgrim” turns from its initial crunch into more patient and drifting psych, they’d seem to get there. Atsmophere is certainly central to the record, as the aforementioned “Red Giant” and its side B counterpart “Nebula” demonstrate, never mind the other five tracks, and even as “Saviour of Man” runs through its janga-janga stoner-riffed hook there’s a flourish of effects to create a balance between the earthbound and the interstellar. Side B’s “Ascension” and especially 11-minute album-closer/highlight “Adrift in a Sea of Stars” seem to find the balance the four-piece is shooting for all along, and just before the nine-minute mark when the thick, fuzzed-out riff emerges from the jammy lead, the entire impetus for their journey seems to be laid bare. Well done.

Fire Down Below on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Stone Deaf, Royal Burnout

stone deaf royal burnout

Denver, Colorado’s Stone Deaf present a sans-frills desert rock vibe across the eight tightly structured tracks of their sophomore album, Royal Burnout (on Black Bow Records). Specifically, the compressed crunch in the guitar tone and some of the start-stop bounce riffing in cuts like “Room #240” and “Monochrome” seem to be drawn from the Songs for the Deaf methodology, and some of the vocals on opener “Spitshine” (video premiere here) remind of Queens of the Stone Age as well, but Stone Deaf – whose moniker, then, would be well sourced – have a deeper root in punk rock that underscores the “Go with the Flow” thrust of “Deathwish 62” as well as the chugging verses of “Boozy Spool” immediately preceding. It’s a sound that benefits greatly from the sharpness of its delivery and the craft Stone Deaf bring to it, and even when they seem to loosen up a bit on the midpaced pre-finale “That Lefty Request,” there’s a fervent sense of a plan unfolding. That plan would seem to be a success.

Stone Deaf on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cracked Machine, I, Cosmonaut

cracked machine i cosmonaut

Originally released last year, Cracked Machine’s debut, I, Cosmonaut, finds vinyl issue through PsyKA Records and earns it well with six tracks/45 minutes of mostly-instrumentalist and progressive space-psych. One assumes there’s a narrative thread at work across the span, as guitarist Bill Denton, bassist Chris Sutton, keyboardist/vocalist Clive Noyes and drummer Blazej Gradziel weave their way through “Twin Sons Rising” and “New Vostok” at the outset into the easy flow of “Baikonur Cosmodrome,” the harder-hitting title-track, the fuzzy declaration of “Svetlana” and the patiently executed 10-minute closer “Transorbital,” Denton’s guitar singing all the while. These places and, maybe, characters would seem to weave together to tell the story in impressions largely open to interpretation and correspondingly open in terms of their creativity, sounding spontaneous and maybe live-recorded if not entirely improvised, instead working to a plan for where each inclusion should go or end up. As Cracked Machine’s first album, it’s an ambitious work that does far more than get the band’s feet wet. It takes them out of the atmosphere and embarks on a journey beyond that one hopes is just beginning.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Cracked Machine at PsyKA Records webstore

 

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Worshipper and Old Man Wizard West Coast Tour Starts July 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

In just over a week’s time, Boston heavy rockers Worshipper will head west to join San Diego progressive weirdos Old Man Wizard on a tour of the West Coast. The stint begins July 19 and goes till Aug. 4 and finds both acts supporting new releases. For Old Man Wizard, it’s their second long-player, Blame it all on Sorcery, which they released in May, and for Worshipper, it’s a new covers EP, Mirage Daze, which they issued in June. Both offerings are streaming in their entirety at the bottom of this post, so, you know, dig in and make an afternoon of it. If you had other plans, they can wait.

Not to sidetrack or anything, but one of the things I’ve found most interesting/disconcerting since my laptop got ripped off in May has been rediscovering albums that were on my desktop waiting for review that disappeared with that computer. Both Old Man Wizard and Worshipper‘s new releases were right there in that bunch. Sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the situation turned out toward the positive with the new computer and camera and all, but yeah. Things like this are still kind of a bummer to find. “Why didn’t I write about that? Oh yeah…” and so on.

Don’t want to bring the room down so I’ll end by saying it’s awesome to see Worshipper make their way to the Pacific. They’re such outliers when it comes to East Coast heavy in that their approach, at least thus far, is heavy without necessarily the same kind of aggression one so often gets, especially in the Northeast. I’d think they’d be welcome out there where it’s a little more chill, generally speaking.

Hope the run goes well all around:

worshipper old man wizard tour

Worshipper & Old Man Wizard West Coast tour:

Thurs 7/19 – COSTA MESA, CA – Tiki Bar – $10ADV / 21+
Fri 7/20 – SAN DIEGO, CA – Til Two Club – $8ADV/$10DOS/ 21+
Sat 7/21 – OCEANSIDE, CA – Oceanside Sports Bar – 21+
Sun 7/22 – LOS ANGELES, CA – Five Star Bar – 21+
Tues 7/24 – SAN JOSE, CA – The Caravan Lounge – 21+
Wed 7/25 – SACRAMENTO, CA – Blue Lamp – $10ADV/ 21+
Thurs 7/26 – OAKLAND, CA – Golden Bull
Fri 7/27 – GRANTS PASS, OR – The Haul – $10ADV/ 21+
Sat 7/28 – PORTLAND, OR – Tonic Lounge – $7ADV / $10 DOS / 21+ *
Sun 7/29 – SEATTLE, WA – Funhouse – $10 ADV / $12 DOS / 21+
Tues 7/31 – BOISE, ID – The Shredder – $8 ADV / ALL AGES
Wed 8/1 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Club X
Thurs 8/2 – DENVER, CO – Streets of London Pub – $5 ADV / 21+
Fri 8/3 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Moonlight Lounge – $5 ADV / 21+
Sat 8/4 – TEMPE, AZ – Time Out Lounge – 21+

Old Man Wizard is:
Francis Roberts – Guitar, Vocals
Kris Calabio – Drums, Backing Vocals
Andre Beller – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Worshipper is:
Alejandro Necochea (guitar)
John Brookhouse (vocals / guitar)
Dave Jarvis (drums)
Bob Maloney (vocals, bass)

https://www.facebook.com/Old.Man.Wizard/
http://twitter.com/oldmanwizard
https://www.instagram.com/oldmanwizard/
http://oldmanwizard.com/

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://www.twitter.com/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

Worshipper, Mirage Daze (2018)

Old Man Wizard, Blame it all on Sorcery (2018)

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Conclave Post “War Stalks the Land” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

conclave

The quote at the beginning of the new video by Massachusetts death-doomers Conclave is credited to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and it’s hard to read it with anything other than irony given the fact that the United States has spent the last 17 years embroiled in its longest ongoing conflict which, and it’s sad that this is still a debate, was confused, misdirected and reactionary from the start. Lee, of course, was speaking about the American Civil War between the northern and southern parts of the country, and the story goes that Conclave — the current lineup of bassist/vocalist Jerry Orne, guitarists Jeremy Kibort and Chris Giguere and drummer Dan Blomquist — were passing through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on their way to play last year’s Maryland Doom Fest and the song came out of that experience born of then-guitarist Terry Savastano‘s fascination with the years-long conflict. They recorded the track with Savastano still in the band — he’s presently killing it in Come to Grief — and shared the video on the occasion of this year’s edition of that same festival this past weekend. The track also appears on Death Kiss Vol. 2, a compilation from Death Kiss Radio on respected Boston-based freeform station WEMF.

Its relevance goes well beyond Doom Fest though, and the ripples of that Civil War which ended 153 years ago are still being felt in the cultural struggle in the US today. The regional markers aren’t as clear as they once were — that is, it’s not just the north being the north and the south being the south — but in many ways, America has never stopped fighting that battle for and against progress. Imagined futures and imagined pasts collide daily as ideas of becoming “great again” and moving toward a “brighter tomorrow” both perpetrate equally vague notions of a largely make-believe ideal. Media stokes that, but isn’t a driving force no matter what anyone says otherwise — sorry, but the American press doesn’t have the budget for conspiracies — and with their minds taffy-pulled to distraction by petty scandals and non-issues, people don’t see the other hand reaching into the fabric of their democracy and ripping it to shreds with gold-painted fingernails while a nasally voice reiterates that this is what “winning” feels like. It’s a shitty time to be an American, and there’s a long way to go before we hit bottom.

I don’t know Conclave‘s politics, and they’re secondary at best to the song itself, which doesn’t so much celebrate war as convey the horror of it through its sludgy extremity and downtrodden riffing. The band have a couple choice live dates coming up over the next few months, including playing Churchburn‘s record release show at Dusk in Providence (nice.) and joining forces with Come to Grief Sept. 15 at the worth-the-drive Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, MA.

Those dates and more info follow the clip, which you can see on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Conclave, “War Stalks the Land” official video

1 year ago we visited Gettysburg on our way to The maryland DOOM Fest where finality came to us for our song War Stalks The Land. It is only fitting that we share this visual aid with you today as The Maryland Doom Fest 2018 is crushing in grand fashion.

“It is well that war is so terrible, lest we should grow too fond of it.”

Recorded at Amps vs. Ohms by Glenn Smith and mastered at New Alliance East by Nick Z for the Death Kiss Volume 2 compilation.

JUL 14 Dusk Providence, RI Armageddon Shop Presents: Churchburn Record Release Show
AUG 31 Great Scott Allston MA w/ Dopethrone, Crud, Leather Lung
SEP 8 Altones Jewett City CT w/ Toke and Crossing Rubicon
SEP 15 Ralph’s Rock Diner Worcester MA w/ Come to Grief, Chained, Bogha

Conclave on Thee Facebooks

Conclave on Twitter

Conclave on Instagram

Conclave on Bandcamp

Deathkiss Vol. 2 on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Roadsaw, Rawk n’ Roll

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It’s easy to argue that Roadsaw‘s third album is more relevant today than 16 years ago when it was initially released. Both moments represent a general flourishing of heavy and stoner rock(s), but to listen to Rawk n’ Roll — which originally came out in 2002 via Luna Records and which Small Stone reissued in 2007 (also maybe there was a Tortuga release in 2000?) — its tracks seem even more of this moment than that one. Roadsaw were never the “let’s make a record about weed and space” band. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen them on multiple occasions and even share the stage once or twice, and they’re a heavy rock hailstorm: riffs that leave dents in the roof of your car. And likewise, they’ve never wanted to be the most intense band on the planet, but to listen to opener “Right on Through” or the rampaging “Blackout Driver,” the undercurrent of punk is right there to be heard. Still, with bassist Tim Catz‘s classically-influenced writing style, Ian Ross‘ heroics on rhythm and lead guitar, drummer Hari Hassin‘s bending of time on the aforementioned “Blackout Driver,” all-out thrust on “The Finger,” strutting groove on “Bad Ass Rising,” quiet timekeeping on “Your Own Private Slice of Hell” and grounding the nod of “Hoof,” which pulls the band into previously undiscovered spaces, they could hardly be tighter or more electric in their delivery. And in the current moment where it’s more accepted that not every “stoner” band actually spends their days dropping out of life with bong in hand, a sans-bullshit record like Rawk n’ Roll, were it coming out now, could only possibly be greeted as a liberator.

Like the best of Roadsaw‘s work throughout the years, Rawk n’ Roll is dynamic, masterfully composed and structured, and executed with a precision that borders on the scary. With frontman Craig Riggs — who started out on drums when they released their debut, One Million Dollars, in 1995 — so firmly in command of the material, Roadsaw‘s range was able to flourish both from album to album and within the records themselves. Consider the spring of “Disconnected” and the organ and guitar showcase instrumental “That’s Mr. Motherfucker to You,” or the hook of “Bad Ass Rising” and the thickened shuffle of “Buried Alive,” the Hammond-infused midpaced classic vibe in “Foot” and the acoustic-based “Planet Caravan”-style spacer “Burnout,” and the range of Roadsaw‘s craft is all the more the star of Rawk n’ Roll. While acting as a tight, crisp and vibrant unit, they’re able to affect a broad range of material while still keeping an central current of righteousness throughout thanks to the quality of their songwriting, Riggs‘ presence as a frontman, and the focus they demonstrate across the entire album, no matter where an individual song might head. In other words? Really good fucking band and really good fucking album. If Rawk n’ Roll hit inboxes today, the heavy rock blogosphere, myself included, would crap its collective pants, and rightly so.

I guess that’s the other point. It’s been 16 years, maybe more, since Rawk n’ Roll first came out, and it’s timeless. It’s not so much that the genre of heavy rock hasn’t moved on, but that it’s moved on to a place even more suited to Roadsaw than “their day” in the late ’90s and aughts. Their material is straightforward without a lot of the dude-for-dudes chestbeating that permeated so much of the riff-based mindset a few years ago, and their songwriting is top notch to a degree that it could and should be used as a blueprint for others to follow. “Oh, Roasaw did it this way? Cool. That’s what I’ll do.” If only. I talk about it a lot here, especially in these week-ending posts, it seems, but Roadsaw belong in that class of pre-social media heavy that, at this point, doesn’t nearly get the recognition it deserves, though part of the reasoning behind that is obvious: it’s been seven years since they last put out a record.

The shame of that is that 2011’s Roadsaw (review here) was brilliant. No loss of edge, but a more mature band doing what they did best in terms of kicking ass and taking names. Like the preceding outing 2008’s See You in Hell!, it came out on Small Stone, and its hooks were as furious as ever. They did some touring for it, but mostly members have spent the years since developing other projects. Catz and Riggs have the suited-punker troupe White Dynomite, and Riggs also went back to drumming, this time in L.A.’s Sasquatch, making them a cross-country outfit. Ross released a self-titled debut (review here) in 2014 with the Maine-based Murcielago, and then-drummer Jeremy Hemond eventually found himself out of the lineup. Roadsaw signed to Ripple Music in 2016 and of course at that point there were discussions of their next album, but nothing has yet to surface. They’ve continued all along to play regional live shows, doing a weekender last Fall with the reactivated Scissorfight.

Their latest post, from February, on thee social medias reads, “The new Roadsaw record sounds great! Can’t wait for you all to hear it,” so it’s hardly like there isn’t any hope the thing will eventually come out, it’s just a matter of when. In any case, Roadsaw are a band who deserve to be embraced by the generation of heavy listeners who’ve come up in the last half-decade-plus, and nothing’s going to make that happen like a new album. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they get there, and so should you. If you need to know why, listen to Rawk n’ Roll again from the start. It’s not a punishment; you’re only doing yourself a favor.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Massachusetts on the brain. Because I’m leaving. Not permanently, but as of this coming week, The Patient Mrs., The Pecan and I will be setting up shop to spend most of the summer splitting time between New Jersey and Connecticut, trying to give the baby as much exposure to both sides of his family as possible, familiarize himself with his older cousins, aunts, uncle, grandmothers. It’s important, and though the house where we’re staying needs a new kitchen — tear! down! that! wall! — I’m also looking forward to getting back to my beloved Garden State and feeling a little bit more like I belong where I am, which I never really have in the five years I’ve lived on the South Shore of MA. I know good people in and around Boston. A lot of them. But while I certainly enjoy the occasional Dudesbrunch (TM) or hanging out with Johnny Arzgarth once or twice a year, I don’t exactly have much going on here. Anyway, I’ll be back around up here periodically — my therapist is here, if nothing else — so I’m not moving, but the base of operations will change until probably later in August, sometime post-Psycho Las Vegas.

This weekend we’re making an initial run. There’s some stuff to bring down — I don’t even know what as of this writing, but stuff all the same; probably baby clothes and toys, maybe my giant Batman action figure. Again, I don’t really know. But I’ve got a few hours to figure it out, so yeah. And if I forget something, well, I’ll be back in MA on Monday, so there’s plenty of opportunity to forget again.

I woke up this morning at 1:30AM. The last couple days I’ve been running a science experiment on myself wherein I forego my evening dose of anxiety medication, which I originally started taking because, well, I was losing my mind. All the time. Anyone remember January? Not me. Anyhow, they’re not the kind of thing that I really think of as a long-term solution, so yeah, I was trying to pull back a bit. Lesson learned? Maybe. I’m going to give it another couple days and if I continue not to sleep, I’ll have my answer. Should make for an interesting weekend though, regardless of the geography. Hell, I’ll probably go back to bed in a bit and read a Star Trek book until I fall asleep, which will be all of 30 seconds. It’s quarter after three as I type this, in case you’re wondering.

While I’m bitching: I also have half a cold, which is delightful if you like sore throated coughing, congestion and sinus pressure. At least I got it traveling.

Notes for next week? Yeah, I have some. With the given that amid all the back and forth over the next five days — running around Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then back to CT, then back to NJ for what we’re thinking of as the actual start to summer on Thursday or Friday, weathepermitting — but here’s what I’ve got so far:

Mon.: Churchburn review. Holy shit that’s heavy.
Tue.: Pelagos review/album stream. Svart weirdness. Also a post about that 18-minute Sleep single.
Wed.: YOB review. That’s a day in itself.
Thu.: Orange Goblin review. Also have an interview done that will run soon.
Fri.: TBD. I’m sure something will come along.

I’m also waiting for my new camera and laptop to show up. According to FedEx, the camera was due yesterday, so I’m hoping it’s here today, and the laptop is supposed to be here early next week. I anticipate it’ll be pretty much an entire day to set that up to my specifications and preferences — no notifications for anything, as little as possible in the startup, remove intrusive and ineffective bundled “virus protection,” install VLC, PhotoShop, etc. — as Windows 10 has a mind of its own in addition to being a data mine. Also, that day will probably take place over the course of three days, because baby.

Baby. Man, I had that Pecan all day Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Best job ever, but definitely exhausting. The Patient Mrs. was at a social justice colloquium, because she’s fucking brilliant and that’s the kind of awesome shit she’s into, so it was me and The Pecan pretty much straight through the morning and afternoon each day until we went and picked her up on campus. Coming off the London trip, where the situation was much the same, it was no big deal — like, not something scary at this point — but he’s crawling and pulling himself up to standing, and yeah, it’s baby-chasing time for sure. He’s a good dude though. The other night I sang him to sleep with Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell,” so yeah. He stays.

Oh, and yesterday we went to this baby music class thing. Like a bunch of babies and toddlers in some very nice guitar-playing lady’s basement, an entire brigade of housewives and yours truly, sitting there in my faded-as-hell Earthless t-shirt with my son, singing “Wheels of the Bus.” Life takes you to unexpected places. The kid liked it though, and it’s an introduction to music more than what he hears me playing in the house all the time and what The Patient Mrs. and I sing to him, plus socialization for an only child who clearly already enjoys engaging with other kids, so I mark it a win.

Jeebus, think this post is long enough? Time to cut my losses and get the hell out for a bit. We’ll be on the road in a few hours, I imagine — everything these days seems to depend and center around naptimes — but I’m going to try to catch up on some email this weekend and Facebook messages and all that stuff. It’s the communication factor that’s really taken a hit since The Pecan was born. I used to be really good at that stuff, but there are only so many hours in the day and it’s the actual writing that I need.

Anyway, point is I’ll be around. Please have a great and safe weekend. It’s June now, so coming on Summer here in the States. If you can see this, I hope the weather’s good where you are and you can enjoy it. That’s what I’m hoping for as well.

All the best and thanks for reading. Back Monday. Forum and Radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Worshipper Set June 1 Release for Mirage Daze Covers EP

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

worshipper

First discussed here almost exactly one year ago, the new Worshipper covers EP, Mirage Daze, is set to arrive via Tee Pee Records on June 1. Preorders are up now for what’s the first new music to come from Worshipper since the Boston four-piece made their debut with 2016’s Shadow Hymns (review here), and even though the songs aren’t orginals, it’s a good opportunity to hear some development in the band’s studio persona and their performances on the whole, as well as get a look at some of their direct influences. If nothing else, having a studio version of their take on Pink Floyd‘s “Julia Dream,” which has been a staple of live shows more or less since their outset, is worth the cheap-as-hell price of admission.

The title, of course, is a phonetic play on Metallica‘s Garage Days covers EP, which was also a bargain when it came out.

From the PR wire:

worshipper mirage daze

Worshipper to Release New EP, ‘Mirage Daze’, June 1

Boston Rock Band Updates Uriah Heep, The Oath, Pink Floyd and The Who on Cover Collection

Boston hard rock band Worshipper will release a collection of cover songs titled Mirage Daze on June 1 via Tee Pee Records. The four song EP, a boisterous bash through songs by Uriah Heep (“Easy Livin”), The Oath (“Night Child”), Pink Floyd (“Julia Dream”) and The Who (“Heaven and Hell”), sees the award-winning quartet put its shredtastic spin on some of its personal favorite rock songs a la Metallica’s The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited.

Mirage Daze is the first new music issued by Worshipper since the release of its critically-acclaimed debut LP, Shadow Hymns, which dropped in summer 2016. Shadow Hymns was hailed as “a highly melodic tightrope between heavy metal, stoner rock and pop” by Decibel and as one of the best hard rock releases of the year by Magnet. Recorded just prior to the debut, Mirage Daze will serve as an electric bridge between Shadow Hymns and Worshipper’s impending sophomore LP, scheduled to be recorded this June at God City Studios in Salem, MA with Chris Johnson (Deafheaven, Summoner).

“Only once in a young bands’ life comes the time to release a debut album. For us this translated to some waiting around in the fall of 2016. With time on our hands before tour dates in support of LP #1 we parked the van and loaded gear into the new Mad Oak Studios, set up and recorded a handful of covers we had been kicking around,” comments guitarist Alejandro Necochea. “The idea was to make something quickly without the typical laboring that goes into making records – for fun. It’s our version of ‘Garage Days,’ Miraze Daze…get it? The covers are an obvious cross-section of the music on which we all agree; some classics and one on the newer side, band-favs The Oath. It’s recorded live, clams and all with just a couple overdubs here and there (a 12-string on Julia and some deep synth wows).”

Track listing:
1.) Easy Livin’ (Uriah Heep)
2.) Night Child (The Oath)
3.) Julia Dream (Pink Floyd)
4.) Heaven and Hell (The Who)

Pre-order Mirage Daze at this location.

In addition to Necochea, Worshipper features John Brookhouse (vocals / guitar), Dave Jarvis (drums) and Bob Maloney (vocals, bass).

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://www.twitter.com/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

Worshipper, “Darkness” official video

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