Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain on June 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sisters of your sunshine vapor

Four years after the release of their memorable and engaging second record, Spectra Spirit (review here), Detroit psychedelic explorers Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will issue their third album, Desert Brain, on June 2 via Spain’s Mongolic Records. I don’t know much about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which I assume is what the band mean by “northern” when they talk about where they did the album, but my understanding is land is uncrowded and the night sky is beautiful, so yeah, I can see where maybe a psych-minded trio might adjourn there to record. How that translates to Desert Brain in terms of topography, I’m not sure, but I look forward to finding out.

Info follows along with the dates Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will perform in Spain following the release. Dig it:

J100

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain June 2nd on Mongolic Records

Long-Awaited Third Album from the Detroit Psych-Rock Band to Be Launched on the Eve of Their First European Tour

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor are set to release Desert Brain, their third fully selfrecorded album, on Spain’s Mongolic Records June 2nd. The album will be available digitally, on cd, and on translucent clear vinyl with aqua splatter. The album features all new, original artwork by Sisters’ bassist and keyboardist, Eric Oppitz, who has given Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor their signature visual style. The release is scheduled to coincide with the band’s European tour, which will take them through France, Spain, and Greece. While already having built up a strong following overseas, this will be the first opportunity for European fans to witness Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s intense live show.

The band’s reputation as gear-heads is fully apparent on Desert Brain, with its many layered guitar effects, swirling keyboards, distorted chimes, and ephemeral voices all captured in analog to ½-inch tape. As with 2009’s eponymous first album and 2011’s Spectra Spirit, all recording and mixing was handled by Oppitz. Lead singer and guitarist Sean Morrow, drummer Rick Sawoscinski, and Oppitz have delivered their most ambitious album yet, with its ten tracks seamlessly blending together leaving little time for the listener to catch their breath.

In 2014, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor packed up their recording equipment and locked themselves in an isolated cabin in Northern Michigan to lay the foundation tracks for what would become their third full-length album and first since 2011’s Spectra Spirit. The trip away from their own Space Camp Studios was born more out of necessity than a desire for a change of scenery — misfortune struck a month before recording was to begin when a particularly heavy rainstorm flooded Morrow’s basement and bands studio in thigh-deep water.

Morrow describes his goal with Desert Brain as to “create an experience full of highs and lows that take the listener on a journey, eventually leaving them emotionally spent but fulfilled.” The album is once again anchored by Sawoscinski’s massive drum sound, which gives the record an almost relentless heaviness. Added during the recording of Spectra Spirit, the presence of Oppitz’s organ have been expanded upon to produce an even greater sonic depth. Desert Brain is Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s most ambitious album to date.

Desert Brain Track Listing
Side A
1. Seventh Scene
2. Major Medicine
3. What’s your cloud nine, 37?
4. Magic Mother’s Tongue / A Little Jaunt into the Light
Side B
1. Girl of a Thousand Voices
2. The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory
3. Long Lovers Sun
4. Desert Brain
5. Like a Forest Runs
6. Highly Enchanting Eye

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor Spain shows:
9 Junio- Barcelona + RUNA
10 Junio- Madrid + My Expansive Awareness + Árida
11 Junio- Valencia (Mongolic Records Release Party)

https://www.facebook.com/SOYSV
www.sistersofyoursunshinevapor.com
www.mongolic-records.es

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, “Black Mind”

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Bison Machine to Release Hoarfrost Vinyl in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine

Initially released by the Michigan outfit earlier this year to much hullabaloo, Bison Machine‘s full-length debut, Hoarfrost, has been tapped for a release through Kozmik Artifactz in July on CD and 180g vinyl. Not sure how that will mesh with the May 27 gig the band had slated as the release show as a part of their “Mind over Mountain” tour with NY blues rockers Geezer, but it’s their hometown show — Detroit, at Small’s — so they can do whatever the hell they want, regardless of whether or not the LPs are back from the plant. If you didn’t hear it, their “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” opened the latest podcast.

The official release date for Hoarfrost is July 10, as the PR wire informs:

bison machine hoarfrost

Michigan’s BISON MACHINE announce debut release and US tour dates | Stream and share new song ‘Cosmic Ark’

Hoarfrost is out 10th July 2015 on Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation

Burning bright with lysergic energy Bison Machine’s Hoarfrost – the band’s debut album originally self-released to notable acclaim among the stoner rock community earlier this year – will get an official release this July through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records, Europe’s leading purveyor of heavy psych, blues and stoner rock.

Worshippers of volume, Bison Machine have gained a reputation for their frenzied, high velocity live shows, welding Graveyard and Pentagram influenced shuffles onto the back of 70s Motor City rock and 90s stoner grooves. If you’re a fan of pounding, colossal blues and heavy Zep-driven riffs then the Hamtramck four-piece’s gnarled and muscular guitar and vocal work on tracks like ‘Cosmic Ark’, ‘Gamekeeper’s Thumb’ and ‘Viking Hand’ will leave you floored, broken and bloodied.

Along with news of their official album release Bison Machine take to the road this month for a run of five dates alongside New York’s heavy bluesers Geezer as part of their Mind Over Mountain tour. (For full list of dates see below.)

Hoarfrost by Bison Machine will be released on CD and limited, high performance 180g vinyl on 10th July via Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records.

Bison Machine/Geezer’s Mind Over Mountain Tour Dates:
Tues, 26/5 – 31st St Pub, Pittsburg (w. Sinister Haze)
Wed, 27/5 – Small’s, Detroit, Michigan (w. Wild Savages & SLO)
Thurs, 28/5 – Blind Bob’s, Dayton, Ohio (w. Grand Mammoth & Zuel)
Fri, 29/5 – The Living Room, Stroudsburg Pennsylvania (w. Wizard Eye)
Sat, 30/5 – Lucky 13 Saloon, Brooklyn, New York (w. The Golden Grass & Wolf Blood)

Bison Machine:
John deVries – Guitar
Breck Crandell – Drums
Tom Stec – Vocals
Anthony Franchina – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/americanbison
https://bisonmachine.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/bisonmachine
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/

Bison Machine, Hoarfrost (2015)

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Geezer and Bison Machine Announce May Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

geezer

bison machine (Photo by Erick Buccholz)

Cool bands playing good shows, there’s nothing not to like about New York blues rockers Geezer heading out for a run of gigs alongside Michigan four-piece Bison Machine. The tour is five dates and it starts in Pittsburgh on May 26 with Sinister Haze on the bill, and wraps in Brooklyn on May 30 with The Golden Grass and Wolf Blood. Right on.

Geezer recently parted ways with bassist Freddy Villano and added Richie Touseull to the lineup, so they’ll no doubt be looking to continue to refine the new trio chemistry between Touseull, guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington and drummer Chris Turco following a weekender April 24 and 25 alongside D.C. heavy rollers Borracho, who are also Geezer‘s compatriots in the first installment of Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy series of splits. That’s out in June.

For Bison Machine, they’ll head out from their native Hamtramck (and why isn’t there a band called Hamtramck?), MI, to support their early 2015 release, Hoarfrost, which was put out by the band digitally in February but will be released in Spring on Bilocation Records. They’ll play the release show for the Bilocation vinyl as part of the tour, on May 27 at Small‘s in Detroit.

The always-on-point Pat Harrington shared the following info and super-stoner-rock-booby-lady show poster via the PR wire:

geezer brooklyn show poster

 

Geezer/Bison Machine Tour

We’re real excited about this upcoming excursion, which we dubbed the Mind Over Mountain Tour. Highlights include Bison Machine’s vinyl release party in Detroit and a killer lineup to close out the week with Wolf Blood and The Golden Grass at Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn! All the bands along the way are sick, but we are especially jazzed about sharing the stage with Wizard Eye and Sinister Haze!

It’s the first proper tour (longer than a weekender) for both Bison Machine & Geezer. Geezer has been working out a bunch of new material since the arrival of our new bass player Richie Touseull and we’ll be taking this opportunity to try it all out live. We also will be playing songs from our upcoming split with Borracho, The Second Coming Of Heavy: Chapter One, which is slated for release in June through Ripple Music.

Please see the full listing of dates below and the attached Brooklyn show poster by Kim Zangrando (https://instagram.com/kimzang/).

Tuesday May 26th @ 31st St Pub, Pittsburg, PA w/ Sinister Haze & TBA
Wednesday May 27th @ Small’s, Detroit, MI w/ Wild Savages & SLO (Bison Machine: Hoarfrost vinyl release party)
Thursday May 28th @ Blind Bob’s, Dayton, OH w/ Grand Mammoth & Zuel
Friday May 29th @ The Living Room, Stroudsburg PA w/ Wizard Eye
Saturday May 30th @ Lucky 13 Saloon, Brooklyn, NY w/ The Golden Grass & Wolf Blood

https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY
https://geezertown.bandcamp.com/
http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/americanbison
http://bisonmachine.bandcamp.com/
http://bisonmachine.bigcartel.com/

Geezer, Live! FULL Tilt Boogie (2014)

Bison Machine, Hoarfrost (2015)

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Lo-Pan and Against the Grain Announce Northeast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Before they split out for Europe in April and, presumably once reaching its shores decide never to return, Ohio fuzz rockers Lo-Pan will hit the road like they do with Detroit speedfreaks Against the Grain. The tour will be in the north and northeast, which should be almost thinking about thawing out by then, and is set to start March 12 and run until March 22. For Lo-Pan, they’re out supporting last year’s Colossus (review here), while the oft-touring Against the Grain will have by that time recorded their fourth album, which is set to release later in 2015.

Like I said, after this, Lo-Pan are off to Europe alongside Black Pyramid, but it’s worth noting that this will be their first tour with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, so it should be a chance for them to further solidify before they go. They’ve given themselves a high-energy companion in Against the Grain, who will no doubt keep them on their toes for the duration.

The PR wire brings details and dates, and we all like details and dates, right? Okay then:

lo-pan against the grain march tour 1

Lo Pan & Against The Grain to tour Northeast in March

Columbus riff titans Lo Pan will be pairing up with Detroit neck breakers Against The Grain for a ten date Northeast tour in the month of March in what will be a travelling showcase of two of the heaviest bands going from the Midwest.

Both bands coming off a successful campaigns in 2014 with Against The Grain seeing the release of Motor City Speed Rock on vinyl and nonstop touring throughout the year with dates that included runs with Guttermouth, Koffin Kats and Nashville Pussy and Valient Thorr to close out the year.

Against The Grain start the year doing a two shows with Detroit’s own Koffin Kats in Chicago (Reggie’s) and in Westland, MI (Token Lounge) and a local show with notable punk/metal band Gang Green in the Detroit area (Corktown Tavern).   From there, the four will be spending the month of February recording the follow up to 2012’s “Surrounded By Snakes” at Train – A Comin’ Studios in Mt. Clemens, Michigan which will be slated for a summer release.

Dates:
March 12 – The Loving Touch (Ferndale, MI)
March 13 – Grog Shop (Cleveland, OH)
March 14 – The Lost Horizon (Syracuse, NY)
March 15 – TT the Bears (Boston, MA)
March 16 – TBA
March 17 – TBA
March 18 – Saint Vitus Bar (Brooklyn, NY)
March 19 – Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)
March 20 – The Pinch (Washington D.C.)
March 21 – 31st St. Pub (Pittsburgh, PA)
March 22 – Spacebar (Columbus, OH)

https://www.facebook.com/lopandemic
http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/colossus
https://www.facebook.com/Againstthegraindetroit/
http://againstthegrain-atg.bandcamp.com/
http://selfdestructorecords.bandcamp.com/

Lo-Pan, Colossus (2014)

Against the Grain, Surrounded by Snakes (2013)

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Bison Machine Sign to Bilocation Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

bison machine

Heavy rockers Bison Machine will release their debut album, Hoarfrost, in 2015 via Bilocation Records. The Detroit four-piece get down on some serious boogie, as the check-out-our-vinyl-master sample track “Cosmic Ark” — not to be confused with the Mos Generator song of the same name — showcases, shuffling Graveyard style to do a wild roundabout back to ’70s Detroit influences: Detroit to Örebro to Detroit. Their impending Spring 2015 tour, with dates yet to be unveiled, may or may not take them that far, but it’s a cool sound one way or another and Bison Machine seem to wield it well.

The PR wire saw fit to provide the details and a bit of background on the band:

bison machine cosmic ark

BISON MACHINE are signing with Bilocation Records

Detroit’s finest heavyrockers BISON MACHINE signed for a vinylrelease with Bilocation Records. Their album ‘Hoarfrost’ will be out during 2015 on limited high performance 180g vinyl.

“Conceived in a single family wigwam on the far eastern reaches of the city of Detroit, and thrust from the birth canal in a dusty basement in Hamtramck, Bison Machine giveth and Bison Machine taketh away.

No Prisoners; no one survives. Liveshows are things of wonderment. Volume, blues, saturation. That is the prevailing ethos. Hamtramck’s own rock spectacle, heavy and melodic. Things are broken, blood is spilled, clothes and loin cloths are rent from bodies, antler and hides are prevalent.

Picture a small child raised on the delta blues since birth, then force fed Zeppelin and Sabbath til they could no longer move, then beaten and whipped with Kyuss, Pentagram, Earthless, Dead Meadow, Willie and Waylon, Queens of the stone age and Thin Lizzy, until one day, the child rears its ugly bruised and mishapen head perched upon its grizzled, muscular, agromegalic body rippling with virility, shrugs of it’s chains, and runs down Jos Campau naked, riding a sabertooth tiger.

This is the music that poor soul would be singing.

Bison Machine.

…and no one survives.”

John deVries- guitar
Breck Crandell- drums
Tom Stec- vox
Anthony Franchina- bass

https://www.facebook.com/americanbison/
https://bisonmachine.bandcamp.com/
http://bisonmachine.bigcartel.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?s=3
https://www.facebook.com/bilocationrecords

Bison Machine, “Cosmic Ark”

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Blue Snaggletooth Get Down to Business in “Transmutation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

blue snaggletooth (Photo by Doug Coombe)

In the time since Ann Arbor, Michigan, heavy rockers Blue Snaggletooth released their 2011 debut, Dimension Thule (review here), guitarist/vocalist Chris “Box” Taylor has changed out the entire lineup of the band other than himself. As they are now on the newly-released sophomore outing, Beyond Thule, Blue Snaggletooth is comprised of Taylor as the principal songwriter, with guitarist Casey O’Ryan bassist Joe Kupiec and drummer Mike Popovich. There’s some continuity in the references of their song titles — “Ahamkara” is a dragon in the video game Destiny and “Nameless Cults” comes from Lovecraft, etc. — but the vibe on the new record comes across tighter than on the debut, and that’s what really matters.

Their new video for relatively brief album closer “Transmutation” is similarly tight, or at very least a straightforward affair. One by one, the band walks into a building — you’ll note it’s drummer Mike Popovich who gets there first; right on time — and once inside, they proceed to jam the hell out of the song, and then they leave. It might be the quickest practice they’ve ever had, but it makes for a cool clip, bathed as they are in blacklight and surrouded by posters responsive to same. There’s a break in the middle where they touch visually and sonically on psychedelia, but the song’s primary impression clicks somewhere between punk and heavy rock, and Taylor is well suited to his position as bandleader.

I’ve been trying all week to get a second to get the clip posted, and I think once you put it on, the appeal speaks for itself. Beyond Thule is available now on clear vinyl from Blue Snaggletooth‘s Bandcamp, where the full album is also streaming.

Enjoy:

Blue Snaggletooth, “Transmutation” official video

From the band’s latest release Beyond Thule, Transmutation. Recorded at Metro 37 Studios, Mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound.

Video Production: The Garage Auteurs
Shot by: Brad Torreano + Robert Felts
Directed / Edited by: Brad Torreano

BST is:
Chris Taylor – vocals, guitar
Casey O’Ryan – guitar
Joe Kupiec – bass, vocals
Mike Popovich – the drum kit

Blue Snaggletooth on Thee Facebooks

Blue Snaggletooth’s website

Beyond Thule on Bandcamp

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Buried Treasure: Beast in the Field, The Astral Path to Satan’s Throne

Posted in Buried Treasure on November 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

beast-in-the-field-the-astral-path-to-satan's-throne-live-at-widr

I managed to buy just one CD while on tour recently and it was the new live album from Michigan instrumental destroyers Beast in the Field. Recorded in 2012 as an in-studio performance at the Kalamazoo-based radio station WIDR, it’s been given the cumbersome title The Astral Path to Satan’s Throne and coupled with a sans-dialogue comic book featuring the band’s two members, guitarist Jordan Pries and drummer Jamie Jahr. At first I thought I might’ve had it wrong it and it was a DVD because of the case, but no, it’s a CD. After seeing even half of the band’s amplifier stack in Lansing, it became quickly apparent they don’t do anything small.

beast-in-the-field-the-astral-path-comic-pagesLike their five studio albums, The Astral Path to Satan’s Throne is out on Saw Her Ghost Records, which has overseen everything the two-piece has done since their 2007 debut, Goat Isle Seance. That record is represented here by “Deep in the Caves,” which follows a noisy solo by Pries, and is preceded by “The Destroying Angel” and followed by closer “Through the Fires in all of Hell,” both of which come from 2011’s Lucifer, Bearer of Light. That would’ve been Beast in the Field‘s newest album at the time, though interestingly, the first three cuts they played at WIDR were “Hollow Horn,” “Altar Made of Red Earth” and “Wakan Tanka,” which also appear in that order following the intro “Great Watcher of the Sky” on 2013’s stellar The Sacred above, the Sacred Below (review here, stream here). Whether Pries and Jahr had recorded by then or were hammering out the flow of the album in a live setting, I don’t really know, but in hindsight it makes for some sound continuity from the record to the live outing and gives some sense of how the duo relate shows and studio work.

Unsurprisingly, they kill it. I’d be interested to know how many cabinets they didn’t bring to the radio station that day, but whatever balance they found, the audio is clear on both guitar and drums — or at least no more blown out than sounds cool — and the sheer density of their tone and impact of their crash are both captured. Speaking of “captured,” that’s pretty much the plot of the comic book as well. Pries and Jahr load up their gear and are in their van headed to, wouldn’t you know it, Kalamazoo, when all of a sudden they’re kidnapped by naked-lady demons and taken to some approximation of an underworld where they’re torn apart and fed to a beast-in-the-field-the-astral-path-back-and-comic-coverskeletal version of a four-horned goat beast. I won’t spoil the ending, if they get out of it or not. With art by Mark Rudolph, it’s an engaging complement to the recording itself, and puts The Astral Path to Satan’s Throne in different category of releases than it might otherwise reside in were it just a live album. It may still be a stopgap en route to whatever Beast in the Field do next, but there’s enough presence and force behind the band’s sound that whatever they’ve got, it’s bound to turn a few heads. Just far enough to hear a pop.

With bonus points earned for the smiling cartoon depictions of Pries and JahrThe Astral Path to Satan’s Throne is further proof of how ready Beast in the Field are for recognition outside regional borders. For now, they remain a secret kept all too well.

Beast in the Field, Live at Dirt Fest, Aug. 9, 2014

Beast in the Field on Thee Facebooks

Saw Her Ghost Records

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Fall Tour Pt. 11: Just Don’t Know

Posted in Features on October 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

michigan sunset

10.27.14 — 2:27PM — Monday afternoon — En route to Cleveland

“She’s not real pretty, but she’s rich.” — Postman Dan, on Senator Dianne Feinstein

I snapped the above picture last night before the show of the sunset in Michigan. If it looks peaceful or serene in any way, then please just imagine the exact opposite for how the rest of the night played out after the show ended. As ever, the party was at Postman Dan’s place — the Postmansion — which is an old converted church that he’s essentially corrupted in the name of riff worship and nuanced horticulture. Radio Moscow, who’d been hanging out at the show, came back as well, and Travis from Hydro-Phonic and two of the other members from Dan’s band Cruthu, and of course Mama Jo, Connie, Jim Pitts and I. Made for a crowded kitchen, but there were drinks flowing and Elonkorjuu playing through Dan’s kitchen setup — Swedish heavy prog as party music: awesome — and it escalated quickly. Charm-laden debauchery. Loud voices. Blatant social interaction. Enjoyment of good people and good times. Terrifying.

Dan had set me up with a bedroom, but once I’d charged the camera battery and dumped the pics from the show, postman dan's streetI abdicated to Steve to let him sleep in a bed and said I’d go crash in the van. Great idea. Believe it or not, it wouldn’t be the first time I slept in a van in Postman Dan’s driveway. I think the third. It was about 3:30 in the morning by then and I was ready to crash out, so I went into the driveway. It wasn’t quite at the freezing point, but it was certainly cold enough that Carl remarked this morning that the beer left out here overnight was still chilled. I set up on the back bench with my hoodie on and my bookbag for a pillow and Mystery Science Theater 3000 playing and managed to crash for about an hour, but by 4:45, I was awake and too cold to really go back to sleep, so I decided to see if I could find someplace in the house that wasn’t yet occupied.

My mistake was thinking the festivities would’ve ended by then. Dan, Scott from Cruthu and Paul from Radio Moscow were up playing pool. I couldn’t see them at first through the window and the front door was locked and my phone was dead, so I had a moment of panic that I was going to be stuck outside for the night, but they were there and Dan let me in, wondering why I wasn’t upstairs asleep. Music still playing, though they’d moved on from Elonkorjuu to something else heavy ’70s. Fair enough. Dan took me up to his room and told me to take his bed, he’d sort something out and it was 5AM and I was too cold and tired to argue. I could still hear the music coming up from downstairs, but I nodded off for about an hour and a half and then set to work sorting pictures around 6:30, which I’d fleetwood dinerfind out later was when the last stragglers fell out. I started writing the show review but was nodding off again soon enough and slept for maybe another hour between seven and eight. I’ve been up since.

No shower on the way out, but breakfast at the Fleetwood Diner in Lansing hit the spot — try the Hippie Hash — and we got on the highway shortly thereafter to head for Cleveland. The tour resumes tonight with Kings Destroy, Pentagram, Radio Moscow and Bang and the show is at House of Blues, so should be more like Minneapolis than Grand Rapids, though I’ll take it either way. I expect by the end of the night I’ll smell even worse than I already do, and there are some vicious sleepytime farts floating around the mostly-napping rear portion of this van. Might need to air that out at some point as we roll toward the cruel inevitability of the Ohio Turnpike.

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