Morass of Molasses, The Ties that Bind: New Paths

Posted in Reviews on July 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

morass of molasses the ties that bind

Reading, UK’s Morass of Molasses are former denizens of the unceremoniously defunct HeviSike Records — those bands should form a support group, or at very least make a patch for vests; “we were there” — and they emerge from that particular, well, morass of molasses, in order to deliver The Ties that Bind through Wasted State Records, a tight-knit collection of swinging heavy rock grooves punctuated by drummer Raj Puni (also some vocals) and bluesy licks from lead guitarist Phil Williams met with baritone guitar to provide low end and the post-hardcore vocalizations of Bones Huse, who seems to be in the real-time process of developing his approach as a singer. He and Puni seem to come together on the folkish side A finale “Legend of the Five Sons” — amid flute from Matt Ainsworth and guest backing vocals from Sian Greenaway of Alunah — in a quieter take, and the same happens, minus flute, plus percussion at the end of the record in “The Deepest Roots,” but in the louder material, Huse‘s style shows screamier roots he’s moving away from, resulting in a cleaner bark that reminds of Snapcase without some of the direct aggro attack.

The first Morass of Molasses album, 2017’s These Paths We Tread, also supports the argument of a progression underway in his vocals as well as the general breadth of arrangement, but as much as Morass of Molasses — who are not nearly so sluggish as their name would suggest, by the way — seem to delight in the contrast between subdued moments like the barely-there acoustic album intro “The Darkening” and the sudden crash-in of lead single “Woe Betide” (premiered here), it’s the latter that ultimately frames the primary impression of The Ties that Bind, and Huse‘s pushing himself vocally is a part of that. He sounds more confident here than on the debut, loud or quiet, and one expects the growth will continue across whatever the band do next from here. As it stands, songs like “Estranger” and “Persona Non Grata” arrive with all the more edge for what Huse brings to them as frontman.

Following “The Darkening,” “Woe Betide” and the catchy “Death of All” build considerable momentum in rockers-up-front fashion, the latter with a chugging, start-stopping riff that works its way into a kind of sludge boogie, with Puni‘s toms driving transition into and out of quick spoken-word parts en route to the next assault. A final run through the hook ends with an echoing shout and a moment of silence before “Estranger” crashes in on its bluesy lead guitar line from Williams, clearly taking a more patient approach from the outset. The vibe persists throughout most of the track’s six and a half minutes, though Morass of Molasses aren’t shy about the build that’s happening all the while any more than they are about the subsequent payoff thereof, which arrives announced by a single snare hit just past the 4:20 mark (obviously) in harder fuzz and harsher throat, culminating in a grungy nod backed by consistent kick drum before finally letting go into a drift of whispers and feedback.

morass of molasses

It’s from that natural but still thoughtfully done finish — the band clearly put emphasis on how one song feeds into the next as they were building The Ties that Bind, and indeed, the record all the more lives up to its name for those efforts — that the acoustic-led “Legend of the Five Sons” rises to cap side A with the contributions of Ainsworth and Greenaway, both contributions helping feed a sense of nature-worship that pulls away from some of the more interpersonal themes of songs like “Woe Betide” and “Estranger,” let alone “Persona Non Grata” still to come. But again, Morass of Molasses revel in the departure from one aspect of their sonic ideology to another, and they’re all the more able to pull off the sudden shifts in mood for that, each half of The Ties that Bind effectively framed in these folkish moments with bursts of aggression between. It’s like when you try really hard not to be mad but then you are anyway.

“Legend of the Five Sons” gives way easily to “As Leaves Fall,” with an interplay of electric and unplugged guitar, and soon enough, the feedback-soaked, shout-topped start of “Persona Non Grata” is underway. The longest of the album’s total nine tracks at just under seven minutes long — the record runs an LP-ready 38 minutes — it rolls out a righteous groove through much of the proceedings, pulling back to give Puni and Williams a bit of space during the bridge before the bigger-sounding finish, and then shifts, via feedback, into a concluding stretch of acoustic guitar, tying together with “As Leaves Fall” in a way that the tracks on side A seemed less interested in doing. Likewise, “In Our Sacred Skin” seems to push even further in bridging the gap between one side of their personality and the other, with a cleaner vocal style on display, acoustics layered in at various points, and still plenty of force surrounding to offer vicious counterpoint.

Still, that penultimate cut feels especially important in showcasing how Morass of Molasses might continue to draw the various sides of their approach together, and as they close out with “The Deepest Roots,” the proceedings still seem affected by the energy of the song prior, that tension overlapping in a way that underscores its resonant execution. I won’t profess to know where Morass of Molasses might be headed creatively after The Ties that Bind, but in a UK heavy underground that’s nigh on saturated with bands, their clear drive to distinguish themselves in terms of sound can only do them well as they keep moving forward. Most importantly, on The Ties that Bind, they come across like they want to do precisely that, and their willingness to push themselves into new styles of performance while also looking to others to bolster their own work in service to the songs likewise speaks to the proper placement of their priorities. With a firm sense of the earth under them, Morass of Molasses feel like they’re coming into their own here, and one hopes that’s precisely the case.

Morass of Molasses, The Ties that Bind (2019)

Morass of Molasses on Thee Facebooks

Morass of Molasses on Bandcamp

Wasted State Records website

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Morass of Molasses Premiere “Woe Betide” from The Ties that Bind out June 7; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

morass of molasses

Morass of Molasses will release their second album, The Ties that Bind, on June 7 through Wasted State Records. The follow-up to the trio’s 2017 debut, These Paths We Tread is heralded by the premiere of “Woe Betide,” which you can stream at the bottom of this post, as well as a slew of live dates the band will undertake this and next month in the UK. Already veterans of Desertfest and HRH Doom vs. Stoner, the three-piece seem to solidify around a classic heavy rock sound tinged with just an element of noise to keep things dangerous.

I’m going by one track and it’s four minutes long, but even that has room for a stretch of progressive departure before the solo leads them back to the hooky verse and chorus from whence they came, so as to how the balance might shake out or if they want it to at all on the LP, I can’t say, but from the raucousness in “Woe Betide,” it certainly seems like it’ll be worth finding out.

Preorders soon. Art, info and audio now, courtesy of the PR wire:

morass of molasses the ties that bind

MORASS OF MOLASSES UNLEASH ALBUM DETAILS + FIRST SINGLE!

The Ties That Bind coming June 7th on Wasted State Records!

June 7th will see Swamp master generals of the Reading scene MORASS OF MOLASSES, return with their sophomore album on Wasted State Records. The low-tuned trio create the kind of lumbering heavy blues riffs which induce involuntary head nodding, now awake from a brief slumber, and emerge from the shadows to deliver their latest musical offering; The Ties That Bind. Taking on an altogether more earthly visage, this album is framed by themes of human connection, and delves into the deep-rooted interactions we share with each other and ourselves. The ‘Dark Forest’ motif that runs throughout this collection is the manifestation of these themes and uses familiar archetypes to guide us on this journey.

Today the band is not only sharing with us the hotly anticipated details with the album artwork and track list of The Ties That Bind, but also a first single to the track ‘Woe Betide’ Frontman Bones Huse says: ‘This song is about how quickly a relationship can change, and not allowing someone else to treat you without respect anymore. Regardless of how close you were in the past.’

The Ties That Bind Track list:

Side A
1. The Darkening
2. Woe Betide
3 . Death Of All
4 . Estranger
5 . Legend Of The Five Suns

Side B
6. As Leaves Fall
7. Persona Non Grata
8. In Our Sacred Skin
9. The Deepest Roots

In the lead up to the new album, the band will hit the road for their upcoming Goddess Shrine Tour, to allow audiences to catch a glimpse of the new material ahead of its release. Make sure to catch MORASS OF MOLASSES live at the following dates, to kick-off this Friday in their hometown Reading!

Goddess Shrine Tour:
05.04.19 – The Swamp, Reading
06.04.19 – The Black Heart, London
12.04.19 – Trash, Bradford
13.04.19 – Opium, Edinburgh
14.04.19 – West Street Live, Sheffield
15.04.19 – Rebellion, Manchester
16.04.19 – Lady Luck, Canterbury
24.05.19 – The Anvil, Bournemouth
25.05.19 – Firehouse, Southampton
26.05.19 – The Underground, Plymouth
31.05.19 – The White Horse, Tiverton
01.06.19 – Mothers Ruin, Bristol

www.facebook.com/MorassOfMolasses
www.morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com
www.wastedstate.com

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End of the World Festival 2018 Set for July 7 with Gurt, Chubby Thunderous, Trevor’s Head & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The ultra-populated UK heavy underground celebrates its own next month with the second installment of the End of the World Festival. An all-dayer-type event set for July 7, it boasts a lineup featuring the likes of Gurt, Monolithian and Sergeant Thunderhoof, as well as Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, whose debut album should be along any minute now and thereby not nearly soon enough. Even apart from its most noteworthy names, the bill is pretty massive, so if you happen to be sailing into Plymouth early next month, maybe you drop anchor for a bit and spend an afternoon and an evening getting tore up listening to riffl

You could do much, much worse. Dig what the PR wire:

end of the world festival 2018

End of the World 2018

15 BANDS, TWO VENUES, ONE DAY, 10 HOURS OF BACK TO BACK RIFF

End of the World festival is back in 2018; a small stoner/doom/psych/metal festival in the South West of the UK. Run by bands for a passion and love of Doom. Two venues, and some of the best underground doom (and subgenres) that the UK has to offer!!! This is as grassroots as possible, being our second event and building on the success of 2017!

End Of The World is a celebration of the best of the UK’s stoner and doom underground, focussing especially on the South-West but showcasing talent from all over the country. The first installment in 2017 saw big players like Elephant Tree, Morass of Molasses and Grifter take the stage, and this year the lineup is completed by heavyweights such as Gurt, Monolithian and Sergeant Thunderhoof.

First Band at 2pm
Music until Midnight
Two venues on Mutley Plain, Plymouth, numerous food shops on the street, carparking nearby.

The event takes place between The Underground and The Junction in Plymouth on 07.07.18.

The bands playing are:

Gurt
Monolithian
Sergeant Thunderhoof
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
Cybernetic Witch Cult
Morass Of Molasses
Voodoo blood
Thuum
Gévaudan
Trevor’s Head
Silverchild
Witch Tripper
Sail
Six Sins till Sunday
Battle Ready Bear

Tickets can be found on the site here: www.endoftheworldfestival.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1973611246245218/
https://www.facebook.com/endoftheworldfestivalUK/

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, “Mother Chub” official video

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Desertfest London 2018 Adds High on Fire, Church of Misery, The Obsessed, Black Rainbows, Death Alley, Akercocke and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Bit of a stunner announcement from Desertfest London 2018, whose third headliner arrives in the form of High on Fire celebrating their 20th anniversary, and who’ll be joined at the Camden Town festival by doom legends The Obsessed, Japan’s number one riff export Church of Misery, plus Italian forerunners Black Rainbows, UK devil worshiping extremists Akercocke, Dutch proto-specialists Death Alley and more.

Look. I post a lot of fest updates. I mean, a lot. This is one of three slated for today, for example. Rarely does an announcement immediately up the game of a given event like this one does for Desertfest London 2018. With High on Fire completing the triumvirate of headliners alongside Monster Magnet and Graveyard, and The Obsessed and Church of Misery joining EyehategodNapalm DeathWeedeaterElderNebula and Warning on the next tier, the festival’s seventh edition moves into nigh-unfuckwithable terrain. Kudos to Desertfest on outdoing itself once again in 2018.

From the PR wire:

desertfest london 2018 square banner

DESERTFEST LONDON announce final headliner High On Fire and more acts to join the 2018 edition!

DESERTFEST LONDON announce High On Fire as final headliner and further acts to join the likes of Monster Magnet, Graveyard, Napalm Death, Eyehategod and many more to set the riff party in Camden on May 4-6th, 2018.

The final headliner for Desertfest London 2018 is an act fronted by a man who is no stranger to the DF family and all it encompasses, having headlined last year’s proceedings with one of his many musical outlets Sleep: living legend Matt Pike returns to Camden with the mighty HIGH ON FIRE. Formed in Oakland, California in 1998, the heavy metal trio have perfected their feel-good, balls-out and take-no-prisoner sound. HOF’s sludgy-thrash vibrations are an unstoppable wrecking force, with seven seminal albums under their belt; we are more than ready for the HOF tidal wave to hit.

Doom-rock trailblazers THE OBSESSED will make their first UK appearance next May after their two-decade long hiatus. Having recently reformed and playing shows met with critical acclaim, this will truly be a set to remember, and it is an honour to finally play host to one of the most iconic bands of our time.

Also returning to UK shores are Japanese overlords CHURCH OF MISERY, always delivering staggering live performances, the trio are a constant welcome addition to Desertfest. Their riff-filled, horror inspired sound has risen to fresh heights with new singer Hiroyuki Takano at the helm.

Space leaders BLACK RAINBOWS are crashing into town, fuelled by the power of hard rock and insanely good riffs. The Italian psych-fuzz trio have been storming through the cosmos for the last 10 years, their expert fusion of slick 70’s swagger with a 90’s stoner-grunge tint make them one of the most talked about and respected acts of their kind across Europe. Straight up, fuzzing good times. Speaking of heavy, London extreme metal masters AKERCOCKE are heading to familiar grounds to bring their perfected devilry to eager ears!

Dutch destroyers and feel good heroes DEATH ALLEY will bring their rock’n’roll, punked up party to Desertfest 2018. A nod to times gone past, the band plays proto-metal psychedelic music with a slab of heavy metal chucked in for good measure – if you want energy, look no further. Acclaimed newcomers PUPPY, who have been on hot on the lips of the London scene for some time now, is another welcome addition. They are hard to label but a true must-watch!

Also making up the bill are Bay Area fuzz-lovers THE WATCHERS, UK favourite psych demons OLD MAN LIZARD, Oakland’s stoner rock stalwarts BLACKWÜLF, Mancunian groove leaders PIST and heavy doom harbourers MORASS OF MOLASSES.

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://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

High on Fire, “Devilution” Live at Roskilde 2017

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Buried in Smoke All-Dayer Set for Nov. 12

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

With 12PM doors and 13 bands on the bill, the Buried in Smoke All Dayer should most certainly live up to its name. The dirt-cheap and dirtier-heavy onslaught is set to take place Nov. 12 at The Bullingdon in Oxford, UK, and along with Desert Storm — who are also directly involved in putting the event and all of Buried in Smoke Promotions‘ shows together — the lineup boasts several noteworthy names out of the UK’s ultra-fertile underground heavy scene. Worth noting that Desert Storm fit right where they are in closing out the night, and to have them joined by Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Grifter, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters and Lacertilia at the top of the bill shows the utter strength of the scene in which this show is taking place.

No less encouraging, however, are the names toward the earlier part of the day: Morass of Molasses, King Goat, Mastiff, The Atrocity Exhibit, Black Skies Burn, The Darkhorse, My Diablo and Crimson Tusk. You’re doubtless already familiar with all of the above (also below), because you’re more in touch than I am and/or you live in the UK, but they would seem to represent a decent cross-section of underground rock and metal, and as always with this kind of gig, it’s as much about seeing the bands you don’t know as the bands you do.

At least that’s how it should work. Full lineup info and links follow here, as hoisted from the social medias:

buried in smoke all dayer poster

Nov. 12 – B.I.S. All Dayer

The Bullingdon
162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE Oxford, United Kingdom

Buried In Smoke promotions present:

Desert Storm
Trippy Wicked
Grifter
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
Lacertillia
Morass Of Molasses
King Goat
Mastiff
The Atrocity Exhibit
Black Skies Burn
The Darkhorse
My Diablo
Crimson Tusk

Doors at 12pm
£10 on the door

https://www.facebook.com/events/1752579818352918/
https://www.facebook.com/Buried-In-Smoke-Promotions-152851731433057/

Desert Storm, “Signals from Beyond” official video

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