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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Mountains Sign to Rock Freaks Records; Dust in the Glare Vinyl out this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mountains

Though it starts off showcasing some thickened All Them Witches-style psych-blues influence in its opening cut, what unfurls from there on Mountains‘ debut album, Dust in the Glare, digs into a crisp and progressive take on heavy rock by the time its gone from “Everglades” to “Towards the Woods.” An efficient delivery throughout veers toward the aggressive on “Fortess” and the closing title-track — also the only cut to cross the other side of the four-minute mark — but there’s a steady sense of atmosphere as a complement, and Dust in the Glare thereby avoids the chestbeating that so much of London’s underground can’t seem to escape.

The short full-length was originally released in March as a digital offering direct from the band — you can stream it via their Bandcamp on the player at the bottom of this post — and has been newly picked up by the Freak Valley fest-associated Rock Freaks Records for a vinyl pressing this Fall, which will also find Mountains playing shows around town with Green Lung and Wychhound.

As the PR wire confirms:

mountains dust in the glare

From the ale-swamps of the South come London based heavy-trio Mountains. Comprising of David Jupp (guitar/vocals), Chris Randall (bass) and Josh Hussey (drums), the band finalised their line-up in 2015 and began work on their debut album. In the summer of 2016 Mountains entered Rogue Studios in London to record the eight songs that would make up ‘Dust in the Glare.’

Mastered by Ed Woods (The Who, Ghost of a Thousand, Reuben) and released digitally on March 24th 2017, the record garnered great reviews from some of the big names in the scene. This momentum culminated in August 2017 with Mountains signing to German label Rock Freaks Records (Freak Valley Festival) for a run of heavyweight vinyl across white, marble and splatter variants. The release will be issued in the autumn to coincide with Mountains fall tour with Wychhound and Green Lung.

Tracklisting:
1. Everglades 03:13
2. Lonely Cities 03:59
3. Towards the Woods 02:57
4. Ten Paces 03:42
5. Keep Watch 03:04
6. Fortress 02:43
7. Ithaca 02:03
8. Dust In The Glare 04:24

Mountains live:
Sat Sept 30th – The Devonshire Arms – Camden / London
Sat Nov 11th – The Big Red – Holloway / London
Sat Nov 18th – Scream Lounge – Croydon / London
Thu Dec 14th – The Black Heart – Camden / London

Mountains are:
David Jupp – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Randall – Bass
Josh Hussey – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/mountainsuk/
https://mountains-uk.bandcamp.com
http://mountainsofficial.uk/
https://twitter.com/Mountains___
https://www.facebook.com/rockfreaksrecords/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Mountains, Dust in the Glare (2017)

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Slow Season Premiere “Wasted Years” Video; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 31st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

slow season

Visalia, California, four-piece Slow Season made their debut on RidingEasy Records late last year with their second album, Mountains (review here), and they’ve been hitting it ever since. Earlier this month, they were out with labelmates The Well and made a stop at SXSW, and in April they’ll be playing with Joy for Record Store Day before launching a US tour in May that starts with Grizzly Fest — held at the Fresno Grizzlies minor league stadium — alongside Fuzz, and a slot the next day at Psycho California with PentagramSleep and about a million others. Not a bad way to launch a tour, and they’ll play with the likes of Mothership, BlackoutZedGoyaHot Lunch and Sons of Huns on the road as well, so it’s not like it’s a letdown after the first two nights either.

There’s a reason I start with touring, and it’s because on tour is also where Slow Season filmed their new video for the song “Wasted Years” from Mountains. You’ll see banners for The Grotto in Fort Worth and The Lost Well in Austin as the four-piece of Hayden Doyel (bass), Daniel Rice (vocals/guitar), Cody Tarbell (drums) and David Kent (guitar) switch between one show and another the song, suitably enough, remaining the same all the while. The clip has a humble, DIY vibe — no computer graphics, no fancy production other than some snappy editing — but it fits with the natural vibe of the track itself, with its catchy but not beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-chorus hook and steady, welcoming roll. As vibes go, Slow Season‘s is an easy one to dig into, organic but unpretentious, and mindful of songwriting even more than aesthetic.

They were recently in the studio again, though I’m not sure to what end, but if I hear of a new release I’ll let you know. In the meantime, enjoy the clip for “Wasted Years” below, followed by the dates for Slow Season‘s upcoming tour:

Slow Season, “Wasted Years” official video

slow-season-tour-poster

**STARS & BARS TOUR 2015**
5/16 – Grizzly Fest, Fresno w/ FUZZ
5/17 – Psycho CA, Santa Ana w/ Om, Sleep, Pentagram, Earthless, Pallbearer, BANG!, Radio Moscow, and more!
5/18 – Sweet Springs, Los Osos •¥
5/19 – Blue Lagoon, Santa Cruz •¥
5/20 – El Rio, San Francisco w/ Hot Lunch •
5/21 – Rock Bar, w/ Zed •¥
5/22 – The Know, Portland w/ Sons of Huns •
5/23 – Christo’s, Salem w/ Sons of Huns •
5/25 – Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City w/ Red Telephone
5/26 – Three Kings Tavern, Denver w/ Cloud Catcher
5/27 – Foam, Kansas City
5/28 – The Scene, St. Louis +
5/29 – Cobra Lounge, Chicago +*
5/30 – Louie’s, Kalamazoo +*
5/31 – TBA, Columbus ¥
6/1 – TBA, Nashville ¥
6/2 – TBA, Birmingham ¥
6/3 – TBA, Memphis ¥
6/4 – The Blue Note, OKC ¥
6/5 – Double Wide, Dallas ¥
6/6 – The Lost Well, Austin ¥
6/8 – TBA, Santa Fe
6/9 – TBA, Phoenix w/ Goya
6/10 – Brick by Brick w/ Great Electric Quest, Red Wizard, LOOM
•w/ Blackout
+w/ Dead Feathers
*w/ Bone Hawk
¥ w/ Mothership

Slow Season on Thee Facebooks

Slow Season’s website

Slow Season at RidingEasy Records

RidingEasy Records

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Slow Season Premiere “Endless Mountain” from New Album Mountains

Posted in audiObelisk on October 15th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

slow season

Short of slicing a piece of tree trunk and putting that on your turntable, vinyl is widely regarded as about as natural-sounding as you can get. We’ve seen a lot of analog worship over the last several years as a result, fed into by a movement of ’70s-minded retroists, and while Slow Season definitely have some of those elements at play, what’s more striking about their RidingEasy Records debut and second album overall, Mountains (review here), is the spaciousness of the recording. Particularly as the record was put together without digital means, without hand-picking their reverb from a thousands-long list of plugins, the breadth of their mix lives up to the aspiration of the LP’s title — something large, immobile, and seemingly removed from time.

I said when I reviewed Mountains that Slow Season possess a strong current of Led Zeppelin fetishism, and that’s true slow season mountainsof the track “Endless Mountain” as much as the bulk of the rest of the album. You can hear it in the echoing harmonica and in Cody Tarbell‘s stomping, swinging approach to the drums, which lead the march alongside Hayden Doyel‘s bass and the guitars of David Kent and Daniel Rice, the latter of whom is also responsible for the vocals, somewhere between a rawer take on Graveyard and of course the early, riff-riding work of Robert Plant. As a demonstration of the movement and bounce that Slow Season enact over the course of Mountains, “Endless Mountain” is a prime example, the band easing into a swaggering shuffle that starts and stops in the verse and opens well in the chorus without losing its jammy sensibility.

Mountains will be out Nov. 11 on RidingEasy Records (preorder from the label here), and you can check out “Endless Mountain” on the YouTube player below, followed by more info on the release with some comment from Slow Season. Please enjoy:

Slow Season, “Endless Mountain”

SLOW SEASON to release new album via RIDINGEASY RECORDS on 11th November 2014

Press “play” on Slow Season’s second full-length album Mountains (RidingEasy Records), and you might just forget what era you’re in. It could very well be the sixties, seventies, or now. It almost doesn’t matter though because this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization.

The Central California quartet – Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) – scale new heights, while recognising where it all began.

“I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969,” grins Cody. “We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.”

In order to do so, the musicians holed up in Cody’s home studio, which actually doubles as his parents’ garage, and cut Mountain’s ten tracks throughout the course of early 2014. Hayden had just returned home from a short detour at college in Idaho before recognizing he belonged jamming with his brothers. Officially back in the fold, excitement to record proved pervasive. Moving when inspiration struck, they actually recorded the songs live on reel-to-reel tape. Eschewing the digital mindset of today and not even uttering the words “Pro Tools”, everything was caught on analog, giving the music a crackling kinetic energy.

“I like everything associated with reel-to-reel,” Cody goes on. “I love the sound. I like the mojo that comes along with it.”

“Working with the limitations of tape really pushed us to play our best,” adds Daniel. “You have to prioritize your ideas. You can’t layer too much on there. You also have to nail the takes. You don’t get to go back and cut paste. You have to feel it when you’re playing it. When everything comes together, it really shines because we’re all playing together on tape.”

They lock in during the album opener and first single, ‘Sixty-Eight’. It snaps into a bluesy riff and bombastic beat before Daniel lets out a soaring refrain and a screeching solo roars. “We wanted to nod back to Led Zeppelin,” the vocalist says. “We managed to get this really big sound in the garage. It’s very organic and natural. The subject matter is pretty gnarly, and I’d encourage everyone to take a close listen to the lyrics.”

That mystique carries over to the hazy ‘Synanon’, which details the exploits of a mountain cult nearby where the boys reside. Meanwhile, ‘Endless Mountain’ drives forward on robust guitars and propulsive drums. It also reflects the overarching theme inherent within the title.

“Mountains embody a few things,” explains Daniel. “They’re difficult, seemingly insurmountable, and bigger than us. They’re both foreboding and beautiful at the same time. I had been doing a lot of hiking and backpacking in the higher Sierra Nevada. It all fit together. We live right next to Sequoia National Park, and we go up there all the time. We connect with the idea of man versus nature.”

Slow Season first emerged in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Supported by shows throughout California and nationally, they began to garner palpable buzz. Now, Mountains kicks off their next chapter. However, they’ll continue to exist within an epoch of their own.

Daniel leaves off, “I want people to walk away knowing there’s integrity behind the music, the process, the words being sung, and the notes being played. We love what we do, and we hope that listeners do too.”

Slow Season on Thee Facebooks

Slow Season’s website

Mountains preorder

RidingEasy Records

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: The Melvins, Slow Season, Beak, GravelRoad and The Lords of Beacon House

Posted in Radio on October 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

Yeah, it’s been a couple weeks since I added records to The Obelisk Radio playlist, mostly because these posts are a pain to set up, but once again, I’ve been keeping track of stuff to go up and this time around we’ve got 24 new albums joining the ranks. Some of it is stuff recently covered — 35007, Ice Dragon, Truckfighters — and some has yet to be — Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork — but as ever, it’s a lot of good stuff, so if you get the chance to hit up the playlist and updates page, you should find plenty there for your perusal, in addition to the running tab of the playlist, which from where I sit puts the whole stream in a different league of enjoyable. Hope you agree.

A lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Oct. 3, 2014:

The Melvins, Hold it In

the melvins hold it in

Sometimes I have to wonder how it is that for a band who are so off the wall and experimental one can still basically approach any Melvins record no matter who’s involved in making it and have a decent idea of what to expect. Yeah, guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo and drummer Dale Crover have hooked up with JD Pinkus and Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, and yeah, “You Can Make Me Wait” sounds like it would play over alternate universe credits to The Breakfast Club, but a lot of Hold it In (released by Ipecac) — “Bride of Crankenstein,” “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad,” “Sesame Street Meat,” “Nine Yards” — is pretty much in the Melvins wheelhouse. It’s in moments like the jangly “Eyes on You,” trucker rocking “Piss Pisstoferson,” spacious seven-minute jammer “The Bunk Up” and sprawling noise finish “House of Gasoline” that Hold it In really distinguishes itself, but there are stretches even in those where the Melvins just continue to sound like the Melvins. I know they’ve got a fanbase that will eagerly snap up everything they do, and after 30 years of busting their collective ass on tour and in the studio without major commercial success, I’ll far from begrudge them their following, it just seems like for as much praise is heaped in the direction of every new Melvins release, there’s not nearly as much genuinely new ground being broken as time goes on and that even the gleefully weird territory Hold it In covers is starting to feel an awful lot like a comfort zone. The Melvins on Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.

Slow Season, Mountain

slow season mountains

Whichever of Cali four-piece Slow Season‘s parents introduced them to Led Zeppelin, thanks. The Visalia outfit will release their second album, Mountains, this November on RidingEasy Records, following-up a 2012 self-titled, and by way of advance notice, the thing’s a ripper, echoing out Plant-style vocals and Bonham stomp with an underlying skater-rock groove that fits well with the label’s output in bands like The WellElectric Citizen, and so on. Of course, there’s more than that at play — second cut “Synanon” reminds of some of The Flying Eyes‘ heavy psych rollout — but from the oohing and ahhing that cap “Damo’s Days” to the bombast that comes to the fore in “Wasted Years,” Zeppelin are a central influence, bolstered throughout by touches of early Soundgarden and forays into mega-swagger for “King City” and acoustic psychedelia in “Apparition.” Mountains‘ bread and butter, though, is the meaty riffer fare of “Shake” and closer “The Defector,” the sheer arrogance of which impresses, let alone the fluidity of the riff or the obvious aesthetic drive of the production. Slow Season on Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.

Beak, Let Time Begin

beak let time begin

Not to be confused with Beak>, who are a different band entirely, post-metal four-piece Beak are based in Chicago and Let Time Begin (released by Someoddpilot Records) is their chugging, growling, atmospherically ranging debut full-length. Chicago has proven a hotbed for the genre, and Beak seem well aware of the tenets, trading off crushing riffs for atmospheric post-rock airiness, the lineup of Chris Eichenseer, Jason Goldberg, Andy Bosnak and Jon Slusher taking an Isis influence to unexpected synthy weirdness on “The Breath of Universe” — a vocoder early bringing to mind some of Cynic‘s post-reunion proggism — after the lumbering of “Light Outside.” Longer songs like “Into the Light” and “Carry a Fire” flow well, incorporating some blackened guitar squibblies and echoing screams between them, and the penultimate “Over the Shelter, the Morning” moves from abrasive feedback to contemplative ambience ahead of “Fiery They Rose,” which meters out weighty pummel but ultimately caps Let Time Begin on a subdued note that’s both satisfying and emblematic of a burgeoning will toward individuality. Beak on Thee Facebooks, Someoddpilot Records.

GravelRoad, El Scuerpo

gravelroad el scuerpo

Seattle blues rockers GravelRoad get the vibe just right on “Waiting for Nothing,” which opens their fifth album, El Scuerpo (Knick Knack Records), rocking out quiet, unpostured blues to lead the way into the record’s varied takes, from the boogie-woogie shuffle of “40 Miles” to the psychedelic fluidity of “Green Grass,” straight-up heavy rock of “DD Amin,” languid roll of “Asteroid” and upbeat finish of “Flesh and Bone,” which is among the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about cannibalism. My chief issue with some of their past work has been a tendency toward disjointedness and a modern blues production style that hones in on clarity and the brightness of the guitar and gives up some of the malevolence of the low end — something more related to my own perspective listening than the actual mission of the band — but El Scuerpo flows well and a mix by Jack “Yes, That Jack Endino” Endino treats eight-minute heavy jam rocker “Asteroid” with its due reverence, and the more I hear it, the more I want to hear it. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks, Knick Knack Records.

Lords of Beacon House, Lords of Beacon House

Los Angeles heavy rockers Lords of Beacon House serve notice of their arrival this fall via a three-song EP on Homhomhom that takes loose, Graveyard-style ’70s worship and adds a touch of Western flair in the snare march of “Seven Days” and Sabbathian string pull on “Cool Water Blues.” The EP (they call it an album, it’s really more of a demo, but whatever you want to call it) runs shortest to longest, and opener “Distant Thunder” is the most straightforward of the bunch accordingly, but even in its 8-track chug, Lords of Beacon House showcase natural tones and a penchant for writing strong hooks that continues right through until the last repeat of the line “I asked for water/She gave me gasoline” in “Cool Water Blues,” which rounds out with familiar if welcome nod. They’re a new band and so far as I can tell, this self-titled is the first audio they’ve made public, but they seem to have a handle on what they want to do, and that’s never a bad place to start working from. More to come, I’m sure, and thanks to Bill Goodman for steering me their way. Lords of Beacon House on Thee Facebooks, Homhomhom.

As noted, this is just a fraction of the stuff that joined the playlist today, so if you get a second, check out the rest at The Obelisk Radio updates and playlist page.

Thanks for reading and listening.
 

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