Mr. Bison Sign to Ripple Music; New LP & Split with Spacetrucker Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Look, I’m a gentleman of a certain age, so I remember the first time I encountered the character who in the US version was called M. Bison in Street Fighter II. He whipped my ass. I got mine in the end, and so on through the TurboHyper and sundry other editions of the game, but the threat from M. Bison never dissipated. As such, even now when I see Mr. Bison — the name given to the character everywhere else — coming to the US to play Planet Desert Rock Weekend this month and announcing they’ve been signed to Ripple Music, there’s a decent sense of threat in my mind. Watch out for Mr. Bison because if you’re not ready they’ll whip your ass.

Maybe that’s true and maybe not. Their 2018 outing, Holy Oak (review here), had a more complex agenda, much to its credit, and a broader sonic reach suited the band. Apparently well enough to catch the ear of Ripple, which is saying something. Planet Desert Rock Weekend won’t be their first time in the States, but it feels celebratory nonetheless as they move forward toward their next LP and it’s revealed they’ll take part in Ripple‘s new Turn to Stone split series, following up on the wildly successful The Second Coming of Heavy 10-part excursion.

Good stuff all around. I like a feelgood story, so here’s one:

mr bison

Mr Bison Sign To Ripple Music, Record New Album and Prepare to Storm the Stage at Planet Desert Rock Weekend in Las Vegas

Preparing to deliver on the promise of their 2018 album Holy Oak, heavy psychedelic trio Mr Bison has signed with US purveyors of riff-heaviness, Ripple Music, to bring the band’s latest mesmerizing slab of acid jamming to the world.

MR. BISON, formed by Matteo Barsacchi (Guitar/Vocal), Matteo Sciocchetto (Guitar/Vocal), and Matteo D’Ignazi (Drum/Sound Effect/Vocal) established themselves as one of the most exciting combos in the heavy psych underground. After We’ll Be Brief and the critically acclaimed Asteroid , their singular assault on heavy, distorted blues couldn’t help but be noticed. A U.S.A tour soon followed then dozens of gigs in the Italian peninsula, opening for the likes of DANKO JONES, RED FANG, MONDO GENERATOR, KARMA TO BURN, MY SLEEPING KARMA, and many more. Following a sold out European tour, the trio raged back with the critically-hailed HOLY OAK.

Now it’s time for the next step. Signing to Ripple Music, the band keeps its unusual lineup, two guitars, drums and . . . no bass! In other hands this set up could be a disaster, but in the capable hands of these maestros, the two guitars together create a massive wall of sound where you won’t even notice the absence of bass. First coming out with a 12″ side of vinyl for the new Ripple Music Split LP Series, “Turn to Stone” where they share vinyl with US space rockers Spacetrucker, a new full-length will follow in 2020.

Imagine being in an overloaded black van on the roads of the Big South, playing nothing but early 70’s legendary acts like the almighty Capt Beyond, Orang-Utan mixed with one of the most powerful band of our days, Motorpsycho. And that’s Mr Bison. A refreshingly uplifting blast of gutsy, 70s-inspired stoner rock, played with passion and high energy that puts the power back into the classic power-trio formula.

About the new songs, Matteo D’Ignazi says, “The new songs are a concentration of stoner rock and psychedelic moments, dilated atmospheres that alternate with monolithic riffs. We are proud to be part of the Ripple family, one of the labels that has produced dozens of albums that we have always treasured! Being part of it now is a dream come true.”

Look for “Turn to Stone” the new split series to hit the streets early late 2019/early 2020. And be sure to catch Mr Bison live as they hit the stage at Planet Desert Rock Weekend in Las Vegas.

For more information on Planet Desert Rock Weekend: https://www.facebook.com/VRRProductions/

For Tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/planet-desert-rock-weekend-v2-weekender-pass-tickets-56264327117

www.facebook.com/mrbisonband
http://mrbison.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Mr. Bison, Holy Oak (2018)

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Planet Desert Rock Weekend 2 Set for May 16-19; John Garcia & Radio Moscow to Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

John Gist, who is the gentleman behind the promotional company Vegas Rock Revolution and the Planet Desert Rock Weekend festival getting ready to hold its second edition this May, has passion to spare. Passion enough to spread around and have plenty leftover. There’s a little bit of that guy-who-runs-a-fest urgency about him as well — as one would hope for such an event to be successful — but he’s someone who knows his rock and wants everyone else to know it too. The primary driver is passion.

Planet Desert Rock Weekend 2 ups its predecessor this past November in terms of ambition. With a third headliner still to be announced, Gist will bring John Garcia back for a headlining spot and see the other go to Radio Moscow, who will play the first night at Count’s Vamp’d. In addition to this, he’s already got four — one, two, three, four — European bands on the bill in the form of Mr. Bison, Kaiser, Monsternaut and Green Desert Water, and to my knowledge none have played the US before. That’s a significant risk from a booking standpoint — those are good bands, but recall it took Truckfighters half a decade of laying groundwork for their first US tour — but there may indeed be more import acts added as well, since one way or the other, the lineup isn’t done.

Passion rarely is.

Info and links:

planet desert rock weekend logo

The time is near to start announcing Vegas Rock Revolution’s Planet Desert Rock Weekend 2 for May 16-19….

Desert legend John Garcia and 17 bands from all over the country …..very tightly selected lineups to showcase top bands from the long storied history of rock of heavy rock melded with hot younger acts. Oh yeah and cannabis is legal in Vegas !

The Lineup for Planet Desert Rock Weekend v2 so far is:
John Garcia and the Band of Gold — Friday
Radio Moscow — Thurs at Count’s Vamp’d
Nebula
Black Water Rising
Ape Machine Thurs at Count’s Vamp’d
The Watchers – Friday
Red Stone Souls
Sundrifter
RIFFLORD
Shotgun Sawyer
Jason Walker and the Majestic 12

European Showcase Bands:
MR.BISON
Kaiser
Monsternaut
Green Desert Water

Presale Tickets for just $20 for first 100 fans!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/planet-desert-rock-weekend-v2-radio-moscow-tickets-55384782375

Only 300 tickets will be sold to this intimate show in one of the most premier rock clubs in the country. Count’s Vamp’d is owned by Danny “The Count” Koker from Counting Cars on the History Channel. All rock all the time and very good food also. Unique cool environment!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2193967267598051/
https://www.facebook.com/events/545651042582860/
https://www.facebook.com/VRRProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/vegasrockrevolution/

John Garcia and the Band of Gold, Live at Planet Desert Rock Weekend, Nov. 2018

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Review & Full Album Stream: Mr. Bison, Holy Oak

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mr bison holy oak

[Click here to stream Holy Oak by Mr. Bison in full. Album is out May 25 on Subsound Records.]

The number of dudes in Mr. Bison? Three. The number of those same dudes named Matteo? Three. The number album their new one, Holy Oak is in their discography? Three. The number of bassists who appear on that same record? None. Number of times you’re going to be responsible for knowing these numbers? Zero, because by the time the Pisa-based sans-bass three-piece of guitarist/vocalists Matteo Barsacchi, Matteo Sciocchetto and drummer/vocalist Matteo D’Ignazi are about two songs in — to the total nine; because numbers — the sweet fuzz, classic style fuzz and periodic excursions into psychedelic space are going to melt the math away anyhow.

Mr. Bison, who release Holy Oak as their second offering through Subsound Records behind 2016’s Asteroid, hone in on the pivotal spirit of modern desert rock. There’s some element of push in songs like “Heavy Rain,” but they’re just as likely to spend their time spreading out an open atmosphere. Consider European acts of lore like Sgt. Sunshine and Lowrider, fellow Italians OJM, or American bands like Solace for a cut like “Earth Breath,” or even up and coming practitioners like Steak. Mr. Bison belong to this category of purveyors. Their third album is mature and aware of the moves it’s making between louder, more driving material and its more subdued places, and the Matteos effectively play different sides off each other both within songs — the 7:30 centerpiece title-track walks by and waves — and in the transition between them as well.

Like many acts who operate without a bass, their claim is that the guitar tones make up for it. And true enough, any band can tune lower to make up for the lacking thicker strings if they’re so inclined, but to think of the legacy of great heavy rock loadbearers — from Geezer Butler through Scott Reeder and so on — and it would seem to be not even so much the tone as the dynamic they’re denying themselves. They compensate by weaving different guitar parts in and around each other, and in so doing craft something that, admittedly, is more their own than it would be if they were a simple guitar/bass/drum configuration. Some of it is a familiar lead/rhythm dynamic, but “The Bark” operates tonally like a battle of dueling Hendrixes, and the results make for a legitimately exciting listen.

This is something that a band three records in can do much more effectively than a band making their debut, but it’s admirable nonetheless, and from the mid-paced groove of opener “Roots” and the blown-out shuffle swagger of “Sacred Deal” — there may not be any bass, but I’d swear I hear an organ — onward, Mr. Bison retain fervent control over their transitions and the fluidity of Holy Oak as a whole. At 46 minutes, it does not feel like a minor undertaking, but neither is it redundant, as “Heavy Rain” breathes ambient life into the initial salvo and “Earth Breath” contrasts with more straightforward edge and riffing. The appropriate metaphor would be to say these two sides are doing battle, but it’s more like they’re both fighting toward the same end than fighting each other. In the post-Black Rainbows sphere of Italian heavy, Mr. Bison make a place for themselves alongside acts like Tuna de Tierra, who take the established tenets of various forms of heavy and pull them together in varying balances in order to best serve their songwriting.

True, one could easily argue that “Red Sun,” from name, to riff, to its forward punkish rhythm, is probably direct Kyuss tribute, but consider that it arrives after the Golden Void-esque “The Bark” and the boogie-laden “The Wave” and the context becomes a bit broader than a band from Italy trying to sound like a band from California. It also precedes seven-minute closer “Beyond the Edge,” and where one might expect Mr. Bison to simply switch back into the psychedelia-as-primary modus of the earlier title-track, they instead hold to a blend of funkified start-stop fuzz and scorching lead, a gritty, Radio Moscow-style blues vocal laid overtop that leads to an extended but still mostly earthbound jam.

That is to say, the band doesn’t just have a couple of set methods of songwriting and swap one out for the other. Of course this works to the benefit overall of Holy Oak, which caps with a repetitive and duly hypnotic progression while also bringing back vocals to keep the song grounded even at its most “out there” moment, which is a pretty fair analog to the entirety of the record. I’m not sure I’d call myself 100 percent on board with the zero-bass philosophy, but there’s no question that for Mr. Bison, the numbers add up. Their sound is fluid and engaging and their songwriting is varied enough that indeed they leave nothing wanting for dynamic. Many elements of what they do will be familiar to those experienced with the genre, but it’s in how they’re melded that Mr. Bison make their statement, and they make it loudly.

Mr. Bison on Thee Facebooks

Mr. Bison on Bandcamp

Subsound Records on Thee Facebooks

Subsound Records webstore

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Mr. Bison to Release Asteroid on March 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mr bison

Hailing from the northern side of Italy’s western coastline, it’s little wonder that Cecina trio Mr. Bison are looking to have a good time. The upbeat heavy rockers will release their second album, Asteroid, via Subsound Records on March 18, and it will serve as the foll0w-up to the band’s 2012 debut, We’ll be Brief, which showed some clear influence from modern fuzz à la Truckfighters — who at this point should be charging royalties to the Italian Ministry of Culture — and a clear readiness not to take itself too serious in songs like “Grocery Store” and “R&R Cobra.”

If there’s any shame in Mr. Bison moving beyond that record and toward the new release, it’s that they didn’t make a video for “Grocery Store” from the debut, which featured the chorus, “I go to the grocery store,” and seem ripe for some visual representation. Perhaps even of someone going to the grocery store. A missed opportunity, but four years after issuing their first LP — they also had an EP out in 2011 called We Don’t Like Love Songs that, like the debut, is available as a free download from their Bandcamp — it’s probably time for them to roll on one way or another.

Since their last time out, the band has apparently dropped the bass in favor of a dual-guitar approach. The PR wire brings confirmation of that as well as the preorder link for Asteroid, which you’ll find under the artwork below:

mr bison asteroid

Subsound Records is thrilled to announce the signing of the italian stoner rockers MR.BISON

The long awaited album “ASTEROID” will come out worldwide on March 18th 2016, powered by a new double guitar line up balancing the absence of bass with a wall of sound result of home made splitted triple amplifiers.

Artwork by acclaimed designer Luca Solo Macello. “ASTEROID” will hit the stores in Cd and Lp formats

Pre-Orders Here: http://subsoundrecords.bigcartel.com/artist/mr-bison

www.facebook.com/mrbisonband
www.subsoundrecords.it

Mr. Bison, We’ll be Brief (2012)

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