Desertfest London 2018: Graveyard, Elder, Weedeater, Freedom Hawk, Zeke, Miss Lava, Mountains and Trevor’s Head Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hey, look, don’t get me wrong. It was pretty impressive when Desertfest London 2018 came out of the gate in September and confirmed Monster Magnet, Eyehategod and Nebula in its first round of announcements. That was badass — no doubt about it. But it seems like with this next batch of acts confirmed, we’re starting to see more of the shape the festival will take. Weedeater will make a return that will no doubt be welcome, and likewise Graveyard have been confirmed as headliners, and Zeke will bring their inimitable speed rock to the proceedings as well.

Portugal’s Miss Lava hit the UK for the first time, Freedom Hawk head across the Atlantic from their Virginia home, Elder return as conquering heroes, and locals Mountains and Trevor’s Head give London a chance to get to know some of its own. If that already looks righteous to you, and it should, there’s a payment plan available. Might want to hit it up.

Here’s details from the PR wire:

desertfest london 2018 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON adds Graveyard and seven more bands to the 2018 lineup; tickets on sale now!

DESERTFEST LONDON are thrilled to reveal the next 8 acts for the 2018 edition of the festival, who will be joining the likes of MONSTER MAGNET, EYEHATEGOD, NEBULA & JEX THOTH to bring a battering ram of riffs down upon Camden next May.

If any band can claim responsibility for the surge of retro-infused, blues-stuffed rock n roll seeping through the underground over the past decade, it has to be GRAVEYARD. We are delighted to announce that following their brief hiatus, the band will make their long awaited UK return in the most deserving form – a headline set at Desertfest 2018. Rising to the top of the fertile Swedish (and indeed European) fuzz-drenched scene thanks to four immaculate albums, Graveyard quickly mastered their straight-down-the-middle rock foundation and built outwards. Effortlessly creating mind invading hooks just waiting to rattle around your brain for weeks and peppering them with doses of heavy psych, subdued moments and the soulful vocals of Joakim Nilsson, it isn’t hard to see why Graveyard are one of the best bands on the planet.

Goliathan sludge shovelers WEEDEATER, who are no strangers to the Desertfest, are finally returning to their spiritual home. Each time these stoner titans have played, the queues have been round the block. Their legendary status precedes them, and for good reason – as frontman Dave ‘Dixie’ Collins revels in stories to punters at the bar of shooting off his own big toe, they are a true DF family band and one of the most “please book them every year” acts in our remit. Weedeater are simply not to be missed this May – it’s going to be sweaty, loud and most importantly, smoky.

We’re pleased once again to be bringing ELDER back to London, hot on the heels of yet another mesmerising album in Reflections of a Floating World. There was no question that the trio had their work cut out in following-up 2015’s epic Lore. Evolving over the past five years, from one of heavy riffing’s most potential-filled practitioners to a progressive scope entirely of their own, each time they take the stage the crowd are undoubtedly blown away by their sheer musical talent.

Also on the bill are Seattle underground legends ZEKE, a band sandwiched somewhere between the rapid-fire, speed-guzzling lunacy of punk and the distinctly bourbon-scented outright abandon of heavy rock n’ roll. Zeke are finally upon our shores and we’re thrilled to announce they’ll be joining us in Camden next May.

We’ve also added the fuzz filled frenzy that is FREEDOM HAWK, Portugal’s stoner-grunge quartet MISS LAVA (making their first UK appearance), proggy Londoners MOUNTAINS and the chunky stoner riffs of TREVOR’S HEAD all lined up for the 2018 proceedings. This is just the tip of the iceberg – stay tuned for the next offering!

Desertfest London 2018
4th-6th May in Camden Town, London
3-day pass (£115) now on sale AT THIS LOCATION

Our special split payment plan is available until December 12th!
Pay half of your ticket now and the other half in January. Find more info HERE.

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video

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Miss Lava, Sonic Debris: Fangs of Venom

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

miss lava sonic debris

It’s a pretty easy argument to make that Lisbon’s Miss Lava are Portugal’s biggest heavy rock band. Aside from commercial success in their home country, they’ve toured Europe multiple times over and while the national scene in Portugal is still growing compared to, say, Germany or Italy, it could do far worse than to have Miss Lava acting as spearhead. The four-piece made their debut in 2010 with Blues for the Dangerous Miles (review here) and premiered on respected purveyor Small Stone Records with 2013’s Red Supergiant, which they now follow-up with Sonic Debris, their third long-player, comprising 10 cleanly-recorded tracks for a 51-minute stretch that neither lets its variety stop it from rocking nor its rocking from offering varied modes of expression.

At its strongest, Sonic Debris is as much about atmosphere as its hooks, and the balance Miss Lava strike in songs like “The Silent Ghost of Doom,” “I’m the Asteroid” and the later, airier “Fangs of Venom” demonstrates patience and songwriting acumen in kind. Riffs, somewhat unsurprisingly, still lead the way, but Miss Lava have enough room here to really let their material branch out, and while “Symptomatic” and “In the Arms of the Freaks” are big on their choruses and “Fangs of Venom” winds up that way as well, there isn’t necessarily anything unipolar about Miss Lava‘s overarching approach, and taken front to back, their third album offers peaks and valleys of tempo, mood, etc., that make it that much richer on the whole. Still very much a rock record, but using that more as opportunity than limitation.

So what it comes down to is the lineup of vocalist Johnny Lee, guitarist K. Raffah, bassist Ricardo Ferreira and drummer J. Garcia (no relation) have constructed an outing that’s nowhere near as haphazard as the title Sonic Debris might lead one to believe. Produced by the band with Fernando Matias and engineered by Matias, José Pedro Ataíde and Ricardo Bravo, it also benefits from a Benny Grotto mix at Mad Oak Studios and a mastering job by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs, resulting in a clear, worked-on, big sound, whether that’s in the slower-paced spaciousness of opener “Another Beast is Born” or the post-rant rush of “The Silent Ghost of Doom,” which, when taken in combination with the subsequent “I’m the Asteroid,” make for an initial salvo that says a lot about the ground that what follows will cover.

miss lava

“I’m the Asteroid” is the longest track on Sonic Debris at 7:25, and it uses that time well to blend catchiness and atmosphere fluidly in a manner that — and I know I’ve said this before — reminds of Miss Lava‘s French labelmates in Abrahma, but they continue to change things up with the quick acoustic-strum-and-effects-swirl of “In a Sonic Fire We Shall Burn,” the vocals far back and echoing as they ease their way through toward the drum start to the nodding “At the End of the Light,” which would seem to be a complement to the opener in its riff, but offers an even more satisfying melody. Either way, it’s a departure point from which side B takes off toward its own purposes, so as marking the end of a movement on the record, it fits in multiple roles effectively.

From its beginning, it seems like “In the Arms of the Freaks” is going to be a moment of pure Fu Manchuism, but Miss Lava wind up on their own riffy trip, with a Euro-festival-ready hook that, if it doesn’t wind up in a video at some point during this album cycle, it’ll be a genuine surprise. Both it and the following “Symptomatic” bear out the side of the band that “The Silent Ghost of Doom” put forth — more straightforward in structure but of crisp and largely undeniable execution. Particularly in the stomp of the latter, Miss Lava dig into classic-style stoner rock that they’ll again tip toward with the desert-hued closer “Planet Darkness.”

Between, “Fangs of Venom” and “Pilgrims of Decay” once again move into more studied, atmospheric fare, the former working a subtle build as it moves through headed toward solid ground that emerges in the second half as a fitting payoff, and the latter effectively bringing together its hook, vocal melody and guitar-led crunch for a late-album highlight. That these songs find common ground with “In the Arms of the Freaks” and “Symptomatic” as well as “Planet Darkness” at the record’s finish should say something about how Miss Lava came to earn their rather considerable reputation, but three LPs in, it isn’t really a surprise to find them having long since hammered out the rough edges of their style. Built on a foundation of diverse songwriting, Sonic Debris may be culled together from a variety of influences, but the result of that process is anything but a throwaway.

Miss Lava, Sonic Debris (2016)

Miss Lava on Thee Facebooks

Sonic Debris at Small Stone’s Bandcamp

Small Stone Records

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Miss Lava Post “The Silent Ghost of Doom” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

miss lava

I’m not entirely sure what Miss Lava are railing against in the start of their new single — the general state of culture, maybe; people staring at their tvs and phones instead of rocking out — but I won’t question the Lisbon outfit’s conviction. They’re gearing up to issue their new album, Sonic Debris, as the follow-up to 2013’s Red Supergiant, via ultra-respected purveyor Small Stone Records, and if nothing else, “The Silent Ghost of Doom” is definitely working against any sense of apathy the band might perceive in this age of bought-and-sold wonders. Clocking in at an efficient 4:20, it’s a kick in the ass run from front to back, its initial rant building into a careening heavy rock riff met with a catchy hook that only pushes the momentum further forward.

Sonic Debris is out May 20, and “The Silent Ghost of Doom” is the second track to be featured from it behind the grander opening salvo “Another Beast is Born” (posted here), and as it’s also the second track on the record itself, it shows the kind of one-two punch with which Miss Lava are starting their latest outing, shifting from a larger-sounding roll and melody into the rush of “The Silent Ghost of Doom.” One doubts that’s the entirety of the scope of the album, but as the already-noted intro of “The Silent Ghost of Doom” (performed in a guest spot by Rui Guerra) demonstrates, the band are clearly given to offering a surprise or two along the way. For what it’s worth, neither of the two cuts that have made their way to the public so far has stopped me from wanting to hear more of the album.

Hopefully you feel the same. PR wire info follows “The Silent Ghost of Doom” below.

Enjoy:

Miss Lava, “The Silent Ghost of Doom” official video

Portugal’s volume merchants, MISS LAVA, will drop the deliciously riff raging sounds of their Sonic Debris full-length via Small Stone Recordings next month.

As a precursor to its release comes the visual accompaniment to “The Silent Ghost Of Doom.” The second single from Sonic Debris, “The Silent Ghost Of Doom” clip was directed by Bruno Simões with direction of photography by Mr. Ivo Cordeiro (the team behind MISS LAVA’s “Black Rainbow” video). “To shoot this video, we went to Lisbon’s old athenaeum — the Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa,” elaborates drummer, J. Garcia. “The historic scenery set the right vibe for the song.”

“This is a loud one that shouts about freeing yourself from tedium, apathy and past time glories,” adds vocalist Johnny Lee. “The broken mirror sights the silent ghost of doom.”

Sonic Debris will be released May 20th and come available on CD and 180-gram light blue vinyl limited to 500 units. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where you’ll also hear a stream of opening track “Another Beast Is Born.”

Miss Lava on Thee Facebooks

Miss Lava at Small Stone Records

Small Stone on Thee Facebooks

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Miss Lava Release Sonic Debris May 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

An overarching atmospheric sensibility and spacious mix would seem to find Portugal’s Miss Lava exploring some similar textures as their France-based labelmates in Abrahma on their upcoming third album, Sonic Debris, at least if opening cut “Another Beast is Born” is anything to go by, but there’s still an undercurrent of that straightforward Eurostoner vibe persistent as well. That’s been there since the days of their 2009 debut, Blues for the Dangerous Miles (review here), and held true for 2013’s Red Supergiant as well, though it was arguably that record that began to expand the band’s approach.

In any case, Sonic Debris is out May 20 on Small Stone. Preorders are up now through the label’s Bandcamp, and you can stream “Another Beast is Born” under the PR wire info below:

miss lava sonic debris

MISS LAVA: Lisbon Volume Dealers To Release Sonic Debris This May Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Portugal’s foremost heavy rock ‘n’ rollers MISS LAVA return in 2016 with Sonic Debris, their third album, set to launch on May 20th, 2016 worldwide through Small Stone Records.

Sonic Debris witnesses the band exploring new auditory landscapes and an open and inclusive creative process. Throughout, they design explosive sound textures, get high on psychedelic asteroids, and unleash obscure beasts. The album is a true sound voyage with a diversity beyond anything yet evidenced by the band. Sonic Debris was recorded at Pentagon Audio Manufacturers, JDB Showroom and Estúdio Crossover in Lisbon at various times throughout 2014 and 2015, was produced by Fernando Matias and MISS LAVA, engineered by Matias, José Pedro Ataíde and Ricardo Bravo, mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Boston, Massachusetts, and mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sonic Debris follows 2013’s Red Supergiant, 2009’s Blues For The Dangerous Miles, and 2008’s limited edition, self-titled EP.

“With this album we left the door of our spacecraft wide open… this is a trippy ride with lots of headbanging going on,” comments guitarist K. Raffah. “We feel this is our best journey so far,” adds vocalist Johnny Lee. “It explores a sonic galaxy somewhere between Monster Magnet’s Dopes To Infinity and Corrosion Of Conformity’s Deliverance.”

Sonic Debris will be available on CD and 180-gram light blue vinyl limited to 500 units. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where you’ll also hear a stream of opening track “Another Beast Is Born.”

Sonic Debris Track Listing:
1. Another Beast Is Born
2. The Silent Ghost Of Doom
3. I’m The Asteroid
4. In A Sonic We Shall Burn
5. At The End Of The Light
6. In The Arms Of The Freaks
7. Symptomatic
8. Fangs Of Venom
9. Pilgrims Of Decay
10. Planet Darkness

https://www.facebook.com/MissLavaOfficial/
http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/sonic-debris
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords

Miss Lava, “Another Beast is Born”

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Miss Lava Ooze the Blues

Posted in Reviews on May 26th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Lisbon, Portugal’s Miss Lava are the kind of stoner rock band that could only survive in Europe. They ooze with a blatant and un-contradictory stoner rock commercialism that’s completely antithetical to the American scene, and like a lot of European bands of their ilk – Spiritual Beggars comes to mind as a primary comparison point – they make it work. They play dirty, sweaty rock and roll, but they do it with clean, crisp production and tight pop songwriting. When US bands try this stuff, it either doesn’t work or turns into douche rock, which isn’t good for anyone involved.

On Miss Lava’s full-length debut, the perhaps referentially-titled Blues for the Dangerous Miles (Raging Planet), the four-piece present 11 tracks mostly in the three and a half to five minute range, centered around solid structures of verses, choruses and so forth. The riffing of guitarist K. Raffah is central to the songs, but I wouldn’t call Blues for the Dangerous Miles guitar-led. Bassist Samuel Rebelo, drummer J. Garcia and vocalist Johnny Lee know where they’re supposed to be at any given time, so it’s not like the guitars need to start the song and everyone picks up from there. Miss Lava are tighter than that. They’ve worked out those kinks.

Most of the recording was done by Rebelo, or at least involved him in some way (apart from the vocals), and Miss Lava sent the record to metal titan Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Katatonia, etc.) at Fascination Street Studios for mixing and mastering. You can hear some of that modern metal sheen in Raffah’s guitar on cuts like “Blind Dog” or the opener “Don’t Tell a Soul,” but in the context of the band’s approach, it works. Ditto for Lee’s vocals, which make tracks like “Shine On” and the slower “The Wait” highlights of Blues for the Dangerous Miles, but would probably be grating in another band situation. In Miss Lava, they seem to swagger just right; their multiple-layer arrangements only adding to the pop sensibilities of the band.

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