The label compilation is kind of a lost art in this age of digital whathaveyou. Used to be imprints put together comps on the regular. Some had rough mixes, some had exclusive tracks or things that wound up getting dropped off albums, and they kind of became a place where you might find something special once and then not run into it again. Italy’s Heavy Psych Sounds, with an ever-expanding roster and an already-full slate of releases as a result, seems intent on reviving the tradition. In addition to the label, booking agency, four-way split series and now two organized festivals under its belt, last year saw the release of Heavy Psych Sounds Volume I, and it seems that, indeed, it was the beginning of a series.
Heavy Psych Sounds Volume II will feature exclusive tracks from Black Rainbows and Killer Boogie and will be released on March 24. The same day, Black Rainbows will release their “The Red Sky Above” as a digital single following-up on last year’s Stellar Prophecy (review here) and leading to speculation of a sixth long-player in the works from them.
From the PR wire:
Heavy Psych Sounds Records presents: HPS CD SAMPLER VOL II (2017)
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is stoked to announce: The HPS Records Sampler Vol 2
Europe’s ever-growing riff powerhouse HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS is set to release the second chapter of its “Heavy Psych Sounds Sampler”, featuring 15 bands of the roster among which two exclusive new songs!
This new compilation features 15 tracks taken off the label’s most recent releases (Fatso Jetson, Nick Oliveri, The Freeks…) as well as a nice preview of some upcoming gems from The Sonic Dawn, Farflung, Duel or Cachemira. As an icing on this rifftastic cake, “Heavy Psych Sounds Sampler Vol. 2” offers two exclusive new singles from the mighty Black Rainbows and Killer Boogie.
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS VOLUME II TRACK LISTING: Black Rainbows “The Red Sky Above” (exclusive track!) Cachemira “Overpopulation” Doctor Cyclops “Lonely Devil” Duel “Witchbanger” Farflung “You Will Kill For Me” Fatso Jetson “Wire Wheels And Robots” Giöbia “This World Was Being Watched Closely” Glitter Wizard-Mycelia Killer Boogie “Eight Ball” (exclusive track!) Mothership “Crown Of Lies” Nick Oliveri “Anything And Everything” The Clamps “Must Destroy” The Golden Grass “Flashing Out Of Sight” The Freeks “Uncle Jack’s Truck” The Sonic Dawn “Summer Voyage”
Heavy Psych Sounds Sampler Vol. 2 Out March 24th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Black Rainbows, “The Red Sky Above”
Unreleased dope track for the Italian fuzzsters, 6 minutes of Doomy, Stoner, Sabbathty groove stuff, recorded specifically for the new HPS Sampler. Recorded during their last tour in a cool studio surrounded by white snow mountains in the north of Italy last January 2017. You can taste the change of direction for the band with a monolithic style, more dark, more heavy, more straight in your face!
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS is an ever-growing European record label and booking agency specialized in stoner, hard, psychedelic, fuzzy, doomy rock and more largely, all kinds of blazing retro riffage. Since its creation in Roma in 2007, HPS has released projects for Black Rainbows, Nick Oliveri, Karma To Burn, Naam, White Hills, Farflung, Fatso Jetson, Deville, Hot Lunch, Killer Boogie, Mos Generator, Isaak, The Sonic Dawn, Mothership and many more.
[Click play above to stream ‘Helter Skelter’ by Mothership. High Strangeness is out March 17 on Ripple Music and Heavy Psych Sounds.]
Texas heavy rock trio hit a crucial moment with their third album. Their first two records, 2012’s self-titled debut (review here) and the aptly-named 2014 follow-up, Mothership II (review here), brought them to the fore of the then-emergent/now-dominant Ripple Music as one of the label’s best acts and the seeming inheritors of a Lone Star heavy rock legacy spanning decades from Bloodrock and ZZ Top to Dixie Witch and Blood of the Sun. Persistent touring at home and abroad has brought them to the forefront of the US underground and they’re hitting a point where their reputation for an on-stage energy blast is preceding them. Accordingly, it’s time for the trio of guitarist/vocalist Kelley Juett, bassist/vocalist Kyle Juett and drummer Judge Smith to step up and claim that place as their own.
Easier said than done, but this is the place where High Strangeness — the third Mothership full-length and second for Ripple, with a release in Europe via Heavy Psych Sounds — sees them. They have moved beyond the brash upstart position where they started, having collectively played a disruptor role as only a badass guitar-led outfit can, and while no doubt each subsequent tour introduces them to new ears and eyes, among a core audience of the converted, they’ve become more of a known, established quantity. They demonstrated last time out that their songwriting could take a multifaceted approach to classic-style heavy rock, working in elements of psychedelia at a whim and more measured execution, and much to its and the band’s benefit, High Strangeness follows suit in not only expanding their palette, but doing so with a more stripped-down, from-the-stage sound.
While the Adam Burke cover art might lead one to think High Strangeness is gearing toward maximum lushness with its depth of color and detail, its eight-track/33-minute run goes the other way almost entirely. True, the intro title-track and the later subdued instrumental interlude “Eternal Trip” dip into patient psych and offer listeners a stretch to chill out, but Mothership are much more about the raw charge in tracks like “Ride the Sun” — the second cut and a nigh-on-flawless nod to ’90s-style stoner rock à la Fu Manchu — the subsequent chugger “Midnight Express” or the six-plus-minute finale “Speed Dealer,” and the sound and vibe of the album bolsters that intention. Hooks remain a consistent factor in their work — “Midnight Express” is infectious, as is side A closer “Crown of Lies,” as is side B opener and not-at-all-a-Beatles-cover “Helter Skelter” and so on — but a noteworthy change in production method, working at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, Texas, with Crypt Trip‘s Ryan Lee to record and mix (Tony Reed of Mos Generator mastered), as opposed to the first two LPs, which were produced by Kent Stump of Wo Fat, seems to be the conscious choice driving the change in the overarching feel.
With distinct separation between the guitar, bass and drums, as well as some well-placed trades between the Juett brothers on vocals — perhaps best represented in the shift between the brief, penultimate “Wise Man” and “Speed Dealer” as High Strangeness rounds out — Mothership come across as professionally crisp but road-hardened, caked perhaps by the grit of the highways they’ve traveled. Kelley‘s solos on the galloping “Crown of Lies,” the motor-riffed “Ride the Sun” (in layers), snuck in toward the end of “Midnight Express,” etc., will likewise leave scorch marks as ever, but these too carry a rawer, more live impression. If Mothership are looking to represent what they do on tour in these tracks — and listening to the groove locked into at the end of “Helter Skelter,” it’s an easy argument to make that they are — then they’re doing it well. It sounds like a show one would want to catch.
And while there’s still an ‘album’ sensibility, as emphasized by “High Strangeness” itself at the outset — a hypnotic three-minute first impression the band righteously counteracts with the punch in the face of “Ride the Sun” — and the guitar-only spaciousness of “Eternal Trip” prior to the closing duo, it’s worth noting that the naturalistic feel of High Strangeness gives the Juetts and Smith an opportunity to highlight the efficiency in their songwriting in a way that their material simply hasn’t done before. Its 33-minute runtime is over 20 minutes shorter than was Mothership II, and so each track here does more work in crafting the spirit of the record, including those instrumental pieces, and while Mothership come across with fewer tonal frills than they have in the past, playing toward the organic roots of their approach suits them. They may not be upstarts anymore, but they’re still plenty brash.
It’s a wholly unpretentious front-to-back flow, asking next to nothing as far as indulgences and delivering on its early promises. As “Speed Dealer” rounds out — one would not say “winds down” for such a song — with its balance between speed and push and shouted vocals on top, rolling into its bigger-riffed second half, Mothership have found a way to continue their forward growth while driving toward this leaner modus. They could have gone either way and, to be perfectly honest, with the strength of their choruses they’d probably still come out successful in the end had they chosen a more grandiose path, but High Strangeness especially on repeat listens shows its maturity in making the exact moves it needs to make at exactly the times it needs to make them, and it would seem that Mothership — whose momentum carries right through each of these tracks and on to their next tour, recording, whatever it might be — have done exactly the same.
I’m going to avoid the thing I usually do when it comes to posting about Freak Valley and not fall into woeful daydreaming about how much I’d like to go to the festival. I’m not going to give into the impulse in my head which says things like, “Golly, it sure would be nice to see Asteroid again now that they’re back together,” or, “You know, that live record Mothership put out after the last time they played was awesome, I bet they’ll kill it again at Freak Valley.” Nope.
Not gonna let myself go down a rabbit hole of being like, “Gee, I don’t even really know The Great Machine, and Sativa Root are supposed to have a bunch of new material and their last single was pretty cool,” and then make myself sad thinking about things like the prices of international flights and hotel stays.
I’m not going to do any of that stuff I normally do when it comes to these announcements. Nope. No sir.
It’s liberating to be so contented.
Freak Valley 2017 is June 15-17 in Siegen, Germany. It in no way kills me that that is a place I’ve never seen. No way whatsoever.
Here’s the latest from the fest:
Hi Freaks – here are 4 more bands that will join the Freak Valley 2017 lineup.
Asteroid [SW] – Hardrock/Blues/Jam Mothership [US] – Heavy Rock The Great Machine [IL] – Stoner/Doom/Psychedelic Sativa Root [OE] – Austrian Instrumental Doomedelic Stoned Sludge Metal
For the past ten years, ASTEROID have been one of the trend setting bands in the independent psychedelic heavy rock community. With their origin in hard hitting stoner rock, they’ve constantly been adding more musical layers to evolve their own unique brand of rock. With inspiration taken from American and British Blues and Swedish folk music, the three piece always bring something new and fresh to the table. After all these years together and all these concerts Asteroid is a very impressive act to watch live, where their genuine love for the music really shines through in every song. The trio is well known for making use of the entire musical spectrum with a rich and powerful musical energy that never leaves any stone unturned.
“It’s got the murky darkness of the more menacing Zeppelin songs, the spaciness of Floyd’s cosmic tracks, and the bluesiness of Howlin’ Wolf – not to mention the incredible harmonies that tie everything together and keep you coming back for more.”
The supersonic intergalactic Heavy Rock trio MOTHERSHIP is landing at Freak Valley again!!!
The band will be releasing its highly anticipated third studio album “High Strangeness” in Spring 2017. The band is best known for its highly energetic and infectious live show, their non-stop dedication to performing on the road, and their unique Texas brand of heavy rock & roll boogie, blistering guitar solos, and thick grooves many find hard to believe for a 3 piece band. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath. Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70?s, updated and amped up for the modern day. TRIP ON THE SHIP
THE GREAT MACHINE is a four piece band from Israel.
Led by the brothers Haviv: Omer on guitar and Aviran on the bass. Combined with the energetic drumming of Michael Izaki and the powerful singing of Noga Shalev they create a strong psychedelic, stoner-rock musical experience. The music of THE GREAT MACHINE is very powerfull. Two words: Riffs forward. the Brothers Haviv produce a heavy aggressive riff, that worships at the same time Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin ; From the back Yitzhaki kills with his drums . Some things make this simplicity wins. First,the free spirit and wild feeling that the Great Machine spreads, their stage behavior immediately releases the rocker in the mind , even if it is quite suppressed . Second, the brothers Haviv are very good at creating a dynamics and tension of slow and heavy rock, and then they shatters.
SATIVA ROOT: A world created from the darkness of ourselves, the homogeneous perfection of the nature and the consequent discrimination of our community. All that and more surrounds the Austrian Band Sativa Root and consequences their motivation to create their special kind of music. But not that bad attributes alone provokes the Trio to write such hypnotic sounds. With a pure and raw instrumental Doom, a fist full of Sludge Metal and spooky psychedelic parts they will put you in a head banging trance.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
The Psycho Las Vegas lineup wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘holy shit’-factor before, but, uh… holy shit. The poster below is so god damned packed it’s got me wondering if they’re going to sneak in an extra day to fit it all. Well, I guess they are if you count the pre-party — a fest unto itself with the additions of Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Conan, Yawning Man and Great Electric Quest — but to see acts like Earthless, Corrosion of Conformity, Diamondhead, Laura Pleasants of Kylesa, Mothership, Saturndust, Heavy Temple, Toke and so many others added to the bill for the fest proper, it borders on the overwhelming. Sons of Otis? Year of the Cobra? Eternal Tapestry? I take back that part about “borders on.” Shit’s giving me the vapors.
Blah blah blah tickets, blah blah blah on sale, blah blah blah how much you don’t need me to tell you this is probably the best heavy lineup the US has ever seen. Also Ace Frehley will be there.
Full lineup follows:
Psycho Las Vegas 2017
-CONFIRMED LINEUP- KING DIAMOND (USA 2017 Exclusive) THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE ACE FREHLEY GOJIRA SWANS NEUROSIS MAGMA SLEEP MELVINS CARCASS MURDER CITY DEVILS CORROSION OF CONFORMITY SLO BURN DIAMONDHEAD CIRITH UNGOL ABBATH CHELSEA WOLFE CULT OF LUNA WITH JULIE CHRISTMAS WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM MULATU ASATKE PSYCHIC TV EARTHLESS SUMAC MANILLA ROAD CELESTE WINDHAND PELICAN BLOOD CEREMONY CODE ORANGE WEEDEATER MINSK COUGH VHOL ZEAL & ARDOR OATHBREAKER MYRKUR BUZZOV-EN THE SKULL INTER ARMA SLOMATICS GOST YOUNG AND IN THE WAY GATECREEPER MOTHERSHIP CULT LEADER LAURA PLEASANTS & SPECIAL GUESTS MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT SONS OF OTIS SNAIL MORNE DOMKRAFT KHEMMIS ETERNAL TAPESTRY JEX THOTH FISTER NORTH WIZARD RIFLE USNEA ROYAL THUNDER YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT TOKE SATURNDUST HEAVY TEMPLE SUMMONER BLACK ANVIL FLOORIAN HOLLOW LEG YEAR OF THE COBRA MERLIN ELEPHANT TREE CLOUD CATCHER
PSYCHO PRE-PARTY: PENTAGRAM CONAN YAWNING MAN SASQUATCH MUSTARD GAS & ROSES GRAF ORLOCK RUBY THE HATCHET URCHIN GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST
Psycho Las Vegas 2017 is set for Aug. 18-20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are available athttps://www.vivapsycho.com
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Feels like a given to me, but obviously I’m incredibly interested to see King Buffalo added to the lineup for Stoned from the Underground 2017 this July in Germany. That’s not to take anything away from Pentagram, Acid King or Mothership — also US-based acts — or from Berlin’s Samavayo, whom I also dig a great deal, but King Buffalo issued my pick for the best debut of 2016 in the form of Orion (review here), and the confirmation of their appearance among the hallowed many at Stoned from the Underground — the aforementioned, as well as Elder, Sasquatch, All Them Witches, Monolord, Steak, CJ Ramone, and so on — is the first confirmation of their going to Europe at all, let alone the timing of the trip. They were a band I was rooting for even before they appeared at The Obelisk All-Dayer this past August. It’s nice to see them making good things happen.
And again, check out the company they’re keeping as they go. Stoned from the Underground is of course one of the longer-running Euro heavy fests, but the 2017 lineup feels particularly high-grade thus far. I’ll continue to keep an eye out as others get added and do my best to update as we get closer to summer. I get a pretty strong sense a certain youth-minded trio from Australia are going to show up.
Till then, here’s the lineup and links:
Happy to announce some more bands for the Stoned From The Underground 2017 Festival: Pentagram, Acid King, King Buffalo, mothership and samavayo to announce. The 2017 stoned from the underground is FETT.
Lineup so far (more tba): Acid King All Them Witches Cj Ramone EARTH SHIP Elder Karma to Burn King Buffalo Monolord Mothership Pentagram (official) Samavayo Sasquatch Steak ZEKE
The Stoned From The Underground 2017 takes place from July 13th until July 15th 2017.
The first STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND took place in 2001…the festival offers a platform for diverse kinds of bands within the underground and beyond. The STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND is a pure scene festival…a festival made by fans for fans.
Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.
Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’
Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.
Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.
Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.
— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —
1. Abrahma, TBA
Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
If 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.
3. Alunah, Solennial
Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.
4. Arbouretum, TBA
I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.
5. Atavismo, Inerte
This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.
6. Bison Machine, TBA
In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.
7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA
News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.
8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust
Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.
9. Colour Haze, TBA
I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.
10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA
Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?
11. Elder, TBA
I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.
12. Electric Wizard, TBA
Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.
13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues
Out Jan. 28 on Napalm, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo Burn, Hermano, Vista Chino, Zun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.
14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads
Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.
15. Ides of Gemini, TBA
Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.
16. Kind, TBA
Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.
17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions
Yes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.
18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA
It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.
19. Monster Magnet, TBA
I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
20. Mothership, High Strangeness
A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.
21. The Obsessed, Sacred
On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of Weinrich, Costantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.
22. Orange Goblin, TBA
When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.
23. Pallbearer, Heartless
Doomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.
24. Radio Moscow, TBA
Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.
25. Roadsaw, TBA
Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in Kind, White Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.
26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.
27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA
It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for Desertfest, Riff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.
28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA
Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, Tranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.
29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun
Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.
30. Sleep, TBA
If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.
31. Stoned Jesus, TBA
Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.
32. Stubb, TBA
Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.
33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
It Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.
34. Ufomammut, TBA
Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.
35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.
Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates
Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.
Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:
36. Against the Grain
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
42. Beaten Back to Pure
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
73. Green Desert Water
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
87. Merlin, The Wizard
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
110. Spidergawd, IV
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle
Definitely Could Happen
Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.
So, you know, life.
123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
140. Devil Worshipper
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
164. Mondo Drag
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
169. Never Got Caught
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
191. Zone Six
Would be Awfully Nice
This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:
192. Across Tundras
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
204. Masters of Reality
207. Queens of the Stone Age
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.
As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Dallas octane rockers Speedealer played a few gigs in November that they highlighted as a ‘return’ for the band, but they seem to have been doing shows for a while before that as well. Their last studio release was 2003’s Bleed, so one way or another, it’s probably fair to call anything they do a return. One recalls (vaguely and through a Shiner Bock-filtered haze) seeing them at SXSW in the mid-’00s — was it the tiki bar joint on Red River with JJ Paradise Players Club? — and being fairly blown out of the room, though to be fair, that was kind of how it went in Austin at the time. I haven’t seen word of a new record or anything, but even if they’re doing 10 days out to test the waters, they gotta have a reason. These things don’t happen by mistake, you know.
The two bands joining them on the run, as it happens, are both heralding new albums. In the case of fellow Texas trio Mothership, it’s the forthcoming High Strangeness (info here), which is out March 17 on Ripple Music. Less is publicly known at this point about Against the Grain‘s next full-length, but the Detroit-based speed rockers have at least announced their intentions toward a 2017 release. There’s plenty of year ahead, so let’s get there first and then we’ll see what comes.
Run has been tagged as the “Southern Disruption Tour 2017.” Poster and dates follow here, as seen on the social medias:
Speedealer w/ Mothership & Against the Grain: Feb 9 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade. Feb 10 – New Orleans, LA – The Siberia. Feb 11 – Birmingham, AL – The Nick. Feb 12 – Nashville, TN – The End. Feb 13 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone. Feb 14 – Little Rock, AR – White Water Tavern (no speedealer). Feb 15 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Blue Note (no Speedealer). Feb 16 – Austin, TX – The Sidewinder. Feb 17 – San Antonio, TX – Hi-Tones. Feb 18 – Dallas, TX – Three Links. Feb 19 – Houston, TX – FitZgeralds.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Dallas heavy rock forerunners Mothership have confirmed High Strangeness as the title of their new album, which will see a March 17 release in the US via Ripple Music with European issue through Heavy Psych Sounds. The name of the record marks a departure from the self-titled path the band previously walked with 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but if upping their game is to be the theme on which the trio is working this time around, I guess the swirl-laden Adam Burke art fits into that as well when compared at least to the cover of their debut. This remains one of my most anticipated records for 2017, and if it’s not on your list as well, that’s probably your loss.
Just off the PR wire:
MOTHERSHIP to Release New Album, ‘High Strangeness’, March 17
Dallas, Texas heavy rock band MOTHERSHIP will release its new album, High Strangeness, on March 17, 2017 via Ripple Music. Recorded and mixed by Ryan Lee (Crypt Trip) at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, TX and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator / Stone Axe), the album delivers eight strong songs of the band’s self-coined “supersonic intergalactic heavy rock”. High Strangeness is the highly anticipated follow-up to MOTHERSHIP’s 2014 LP, Mothership II. Artwork for the new album was created by artist Adam Burke (Ruby the Hatchet).
MOTHERSHIP’s stout sound delivers an amped-up take on ’70’s heavy rock fury, laced with electrifying psychedelics and space rock elements. The group formed in 2010 when brothers Kyle and Kelley Juett decided to start a new band with their father John Juett on drums. In 2011, Judge Smith would assume drum duties and the trio began to hone its heavy, blues-based sound by performing live at every opportunity. Non-stop road warriors, MOTHERSHIP has risen to headliner status in 2016 and is the go-to opener for D-Town’s national touring shows, having shared the stage with Slayer, Alice in Chains, Ghost, Baroness and more in the last twelve months alone. The band was named Dallas’ Best Metal Act at the 2016 Dallas Observer Music Awards, earning the honor amidst a strong group of contenders that included True Widow and Pinkish Black.
“Our third album is fueled by the very supersonic intergalactic heavy rock and roll music that brought us together,” comments bassist / vocalist Kyle Juett. “We are confident that this new batch of tunes will fire up those who are already on board with us and motivate others to take a “trip on the ship” as well. These songs perfectly capture what will be the next chapter in our ongoing saga across this great planet and beyond. We are now playing a few new songs in our live set, so come out and hear ’em before they are released!”
1.) High Strangeness 2.) Ride the Sun 3.) Midnight Express 4.) Crown of Lies 5.) Helter Skelter 6.) Eternal Trip 7.) Wise Man 8.) Speed Dealer
High Strangeness will see release in Europe via Heavy Psych Sounds Records.
On January 6, MOTHERSHIP will kick off a short run of U.S. tour dates leading up to its appearance as part of the 2017 ShipRocked Cruise. The just-announced dates are as follows:
MOTHERSHIP tour dates: January 6 Denton, TX Dan’s Silver Leaf January 7 Oklahoma City, OK Blue Note January 8 Fayetteville, AR The Smoke & Barrel Tavern January 9 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room January 10 St Louis, MO Fubar January 11 Nashville, TN Springwater Supper Club and Lounge January 12 Atlanta, GA The Basement (Orange Amplifiers Showcase) January 13 Orlando, FL Will’s Pub January 14 Savannah, GA The Jinx 912 January 16 ShipRocked Cruise January 17 ShipRocked Cruise January 18 ShipRocked Cruise January 19 ShipRocked Cruise January 20 Miami, FL Churchill’s Pub January 21 Tampa, FL Crowbar
Mothership is: Kelley Juett – Guitars/Vox Kyle Juett – Bass/Vox Judge Smith – Drums