Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
If you thought the recently-announced Desert Generator fest already looked like an unreasonably good time, sit tight. As it happens, Brant Bjork‘s appearance at the second installment of the festival he’s curating — as well as the pre-party out in the desert the night before, for which Yawning Man/Fatso Jetson‘s Mario Lalli is reportedly bringing the generator to provide power — will serve as the launch point for a coast-to-coast US tour alongside Royal Thunder and Black Wizard.
Bjork, in the company of The Low Desert Punk Band, was in Europe this past Fall, and he heads out in the US supporting 2016’s most-righteous Tao of the Devil (review here), on Napalm Records. If you’re reading this post and haven’t heard that album yet, sorry, but you’re fresh out of excuses. Get on that shit.
Dates follow here as well as the poster by Branca Studio, courtesy of the PR wire:
BRANT BJORK to Launch US Tour at Desert Generator Fest
Support from Royal Thunder & Black Wizard; East Coast dates with Pentagram
Look what the cat dragged in: Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork, king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali! As the founder of Kyuss, the singer / guitarist / drummer might be the ultimate icon the Desert Rock scene has to offer – but despite all this praise and worship, Brant’s only concern rests in supplying the planet with unpretentious laid-back rock, adorned with hefty jam-outs! Tao Of The Devil is more focused than its predecessor Black Power Flower and boasts a more song-oriented and groovy stoner sound, with a healthy dose of 70s style greatness.
BRANT BJORK: TAO OF THE DEVIL TOUR
with Royal Thunder & Black Wizard 04/07 Mojave Desert CA Stoned & Dusted 04/08 Pioneertown CA Pappy & Harriet’s Desert Generator 04/09 Sacramento CA Blue Lamp 04/10 San Francisco CA Slim’s 04/11 Portland OR Hawthorne Theatre 04/12 Vancouver BC SBC 04/13 Seattle WA El Corazon 04/14 Boise ID The Shredder 04/15 Salt Lake City UT In the Venue 04/16 Denver CO Marquis Theater 04/17 Kansas City MO Riot Room 04/18 Chicago IL Beat Kitchen 04/19 Cleveland OH Agora Ballroom 04/20 Baltimore MD Soundstage* 04/22 New York NY Le Poisson Rouge* 04/23 Boston MA Middle East* 04/25 Atlanta GA Masquerade 04/26 New Orleans LA Siberia 04/27 Austin TX Barracuda 04/28 Dallas TX Gas Monkey 04/29 Albuquerque NM Launchpad 04/30 Mesa AZ Club Red 05/01 Los Angeles CA Echoplex * with Pentagram
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Bummer news out of Sweden today in that Greenleaf have been forced to cancel their planned US tour. The run, which was slated to begin March 5 at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar, would’ve been the first for the band, and was to take place over two legs, with desert legends Yawning Man and fellow Swedes Truckfighters keeping company as Greenleaf supported their 2016 Napalm Records release, Rise Above the Meadow (review here), which was without question one of the best albums of last year.
On a purely selfish level, I’m sorry to see this news come out because it means I won’t get to see the band, but they leave open the possibility of making another attempt to get over later in 2017 or next year, and so at least the idea isn’t completely off the table as of now. Visa issues. As ever.
I haven’t seen word of whether Yawning Man will press forward with their intention to play the East Coast for the first time, or who will fill in on the Truckfighters run, if anybody, but when and if I hear, I’ll do my best to post accordingly.
Greenleaf‘s announcement and the list of canceled dates follows:
GREENLEAF – North American Tour CANCELLED
We regret to inform everyone who was so excited to see us on our upcoming dates with Yawning Man and Truckfighters that due to complications with our visas we are very sad to say that we must cancel our appearances on this tour. We’ll do our best to solve this issue and appear on your shores later this year or in worst case in 2018. And yes we know… this really sucks DONKEY BALLS.
All the best Tommi Holappa, Sebastian Olsson, Arvid Jonsson and Hans Fröhlich
Affected dates: 03/05 Brooklyn NY Saint Vitus Bar 03/06 Richmond VA Strange Matter 03/07 Chapel Hill NC Local 506 03/08 Pittsburgh PA Smiling Moose 03/09 Chicago IL Reggies 03/10 Kansas City MO Riot Room 03/11 Saint Louis MO Fubar 03/12 Oklahoma City OK TBA 03/13 El Paso TX TBA 03/15 San Diego CA Brick by Brick 03/16 Los Angeles CA Complex 03/17 San Francisco CA Bottom of the Hill 03/18 Sacramento CA Starlite 03/19 Portland OR Ash St. Saloon 03/20 Seattle WA El Corazon 03/21 Vancouver BC Rickshaw 03/23 Calgary AB Distortion 03/24 Edmonton AB Starlite 03/25 Saskatoon SK Amigos 03/26 Regina SK Exchange 03/28 Denver CO Moon Room 03/29 Albuquerque NM Launchpad 03/30 Tucson AZ Flycatcher 03/31 Mesa AZ Club Red
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Prior to hitting stages at Freak Valley 2017, Desertfest London and Berlin, and Psycho Las Vegas this Spring/Summer with the reunited Slo Burn, desert rock’s iconic frontman John Garcia will embark on a European tour next month supporting his first-ever acoustic solo album. Released last month on Napalm Records, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) blends new original material with fresh arrangements of classic Kyuss tracks like “Gardenia,” “Space Cadet” and “Green Machine” — staples of Garcia‘s nigh-unmatchable body of work. Since the record was born out of European “evening with”-style tour, it seems only fair he’d return abroad to support it, even as one of multiple international trips being made this year.
The run has been dubbed, fittingly enough, “Coyote Unplugged.” Dates and more info follow:
JOHN GARCIA: Coyote Unplugged Tour 2017!
Kyuss, Slo-Burn, Unida, Hermano, Vista Chino – yes, desert crooner John Garcia may rightfully be considered the ultimate incarnation of stoner rock. His first solo album and opus eponymous from 2014 is followed roughly three years later by The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues, a comparatively relaxed and purely acoustic affair! “Better late than never”, Mister Garcia himself comments on the rather lengthy period of time he invested in his new baby. Offering chilled out renditions of some well-known classics as well as John Garcia’s solo work, The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues seamlessly merges past gems with future, howling hits like ‘The Hollingsworth Session‘ – all you need now is a crackling fire!
John Garcia comments satisfied: “This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!”
Recorded and mixed by Steve Feldman and Robbie Waldman, mastered by Gene “The Machine” Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering in California, ‘The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues’ offers an emotional acoustic ride through John Garcia’s solo work as well as songs by Kyuss in new arrangements like you have never heard before.
Acoustic guitar: Ehren Groban Percussions: Greg Saenz Bass: Mike Pygmie
JOHN GARCIA – Coyote Unplugged Tour 2017 14.03. CH – Bern, ISC Club 15.03. GER – Munich, Backstage 16.03. CRO – Zagreb, Vintage Industrial Bar 17.03. SLO – Nova Gorica, Mostovna 18.03. GR – Athen, AN Club 20.03. PL – Wroclaw, Carpe Diem 21.03. PL – Warsaw, Beerokracja 22.03. DK – Kopenhagen, Loppen 24.03. NL – Hilversum, De Vorstin 25.03. GER – Bielefeld, Heimat + Hafen 26.03. NL – Breda, Mezz 27.03. B – Arlon, L’Entrepôt
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Always ready with a riff that just seems to stink of hooch, Mammoth Mammoth have announced an April 28 release for their fifth album, Mount the Mountain, via Napalm Records. That timing puts the Aussie boozehounds in Europe — they were announced last month as taking part in Desertfest Berlin 2017 (info here), which is running that same weekend — and as that’s an awfully long way to travel for one gig and they’re no strangers to the road in general, I’d expect more tour-date announcements to follow between now and April. We’ve got the tracklisting, cover art and release date locked in until then.
Speaking of, if you want to see the definitely-NSFW cover art for Mount the Mountain, click here. Here’s more info from the PR wire:
MAMMOTH MAMMOTH Unveil First Details About Brand New Album!
Cover, Track Listing And Release Date Announced!
Your favorite dirt rockers from Australia, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH are back to deliver another powerful addition to their impressive list of prior heavy rock’n’roll convictions!
Over the course of their career, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH have already left a stamp on the music scene and have proved to be one of Australia’s hottest and heaviest rock exports. Now the 4-piece band, well-known for their unique and energetic live shows which are fronted by the charismatic vocalist Mikey Tucker, unveil first details about the bands upcoming 4th studio album titled, Mount The Mountain, set to be released April 28th 2017 on Napalm Records.
Eleven power tracks that threaten to blow your mind, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH yet again deliver stompers that will lead us blindfolded into a hellish inferno of psyched-out riffs and debauched, fist-pumping anthems.
“We consider the writing of our albums not unlike working on a top fuelling drag car. We tinker around a bit, we strip the engine down to rebuild it by adding a couple new parts whilst taking some out, always trying to make it run faster and sounding louder, this time though we’ve added a bigger exhaust system and a shitload of nitrous …and a cup holder”, comments front man Mikey Tucker.
The track listing for MAMMOTH MAMMOTH’s Mount The Mountain will read as follows:
1. Mount The Mountain 2. Spellbound 3. Hole In The Head 4. Kickin’ My Dog 5. Procrastination 6. Sleep Walker 7. Epitome 8. Hard Way Down 9. Wild And Dead 10. Cold Liquor 11. I Cant Get You Out Of My Head ( Bonus Track )
Mount The Mountain will be coming as a CD Digi Pack, Digital Download and LP Gatefold on April 28th 2017 on Napalm Records.
Last month, Napalm Records announced that it had picked up Belgian outfit Black Mirrors for the release of their debut EP, Funky Queen. Now, that’s a badass title, to be sure. Any angle you want to approach it from, Funky Queen works. But it’s no minor thing for a band who doesn’t have a release out to get picked up by a label like Napalm. That’s a significant endorsement of promise. I said at the time that I was curious what the band could actually do in the studio, since it seemed likely the imprint knew something that had not yet been revealed to us as listeners — except perhaps those fortunate enough to have seen them at Desertfest Belgium last fall — about Black Mirrors‘ potential.
With the lyric video below for the title-track to Funky Queen, we start to get an answer in terms of where Black Mirrors are coming from. The elephant in the room in terms of influence is probably Blues Pills — and will be for a good number of other acts before they’re done, to be sure; that stuff isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — but Black Mirrors bring a more modern, almost commercial clarity to the production aspect, and what really puts “Funky Queen” over the top is the track’s hook. Delivered by vocalist Marcella di Troia, it’s immediate, and likely won’t take more than one listen to embed itself in your frontal lobe for a while. As an initial impression, it finds Black Mirrors straightforward and making no bones about their intentions: they’ve come to rock as many ears, turn as many heads as possible.
The tour they’re about to embark on alongside Horisont after the March 3 release of Funky Queen certainly won’t hurt their cause, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their name starts popping up around summer festivals as well, but already they’ve got a couple headlining dates that take them into April. Expect more of those too, for sure.
The band offered some comment on the track and EP via the PR wire. Find it under the player below.
Black Mirrors, “Funky Queen” lyric video
Debut ‘Funky Queen’ coming March 3rd 2017 on Napalm Records!
The band explains: “We are proud and happy to introduce you to our new EP! We worked on it with a lot of passion and love and we can’t wait to share it with the world and to hear people’s reactions. Making and releasing this EP fills us with great joy and hopefully more people will love our songs as much as we do! Initially the song “Funky Queen” – from a musical point of view – was far more complicated than how it is today. There were many different parts that have been revised to eventually come to the current version. We composed the final version on a folk guitar which helped us getting more into the essence and feeling of the song. Funky Queen is about any kind of addiction as in drugs, alcohol or even love. The Queen confronts everyone with one’s own demons.”
BLACK MIRRORS live: w/ Horisont 16/03/2017 DE – Hamburg / Logo 17/03/2017 DE – Siegen / Vortex 18/03/2017 DE – Düsseldorf / Pitcher 19/03/2017 NL – Helmond / Cacaofabriek 20/03/2017 NL – Nijmegen / Merleyn 21/03/2017 BE – Liège / La Zone 23/03/2017 DE – Munich / Backstage 24/03/2017 IT – Fontaneto D’Agogna / Phenomenon 25/03/2017 CH – Pratteln / Z7 26/03/2017 AT – Vienna / Das Bach 27/03/2017 AT – Salzburg / Rockhouse 28/03/2017 DE – Mörlenbach-Weiher / Live Music Hall 29/03/2017 DE – Lichtenfels / Paunchy Cats 30/03/2017 DE – Berlin / Privatclub 31/03/2017 DK – Randers / Von Hatten 01/04/2017 DK – Copenhagen / Huset
BLACK MIRRORS Headline Shows: 02.03.2017 BE – Brussels / Botanique 07.03.2017 TU – Ankara / ODTÜ 06.04.2017 BE – Antwerp / Trix
Everyone’s favorite plunderers-of-riff, Conan, are coming back to North American shores this May for a coast-to-coast run that includes stops at Maryland Death Fest 2017 in Baltimore and 71 Grind in Colorado Springs. The UK trio will of course be over supporting their battle-axe-to-the-side-of-the-head third album, Revengeance (review here), on Napalm Records, who present the tour alongside respected booker Nanotear.
Yours truly also has a logo on the poster, though I can’t actually take credit in terms of making any of it happen. Still, humbling to be involved at all in something that will be so god damned heavy. I feel compelled to note in the interest of full disclosure that no money exchanged hands as a part of this process — Conan frontman Jon Davis asked me if I wanted the logo on there and because I highly support the cause and because I’m no dope I said a quick hell yes. This content isn’t sponsored in any way. It just kind of came together, and again, I’m humbled and appreciative that it did.
The run begins on the West Coast this May 10 and goes through June 4, ending in Tucson. They’ll hit Canada for shows in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and cover both sides of the US and in between, hitting major markets and suitably killer venues in the company of North.
Full list of dates follows the poster below. Check the bottom right corner. Dig it:
Conan Revengeance Tour 2017
05.10 Glendale CA Complex 05.11 Oakland CA Metro 05.12 Portland OR Dante’s 05.13 Vancouver BC Astoria 05.14 Seattle WA Highline 05.16 Minneapolis MN The Triple Rock 05.17 Chicago IL Beat Kitchen 05.18 Indianapolis IN 5th Quarter 05.19 Cleveland OH Now That’s Class 05.20 Pittsburgh PA Smiling Moose 05.21 Toronto ON Garrison 05.22 Montreal QC TBA 05.23 Boston MA TBA 05.24 Brooklyn NY Knitting Factory 05.25 Baltimore MD Ram’s Head – Maryland Deathfest* 05.26 Raleigh NC Kings 05.27 Atlanta GA 529 05.28 New Orleans LA Siberia 05.29 Houston TX White Oak 05.30 Austin TX Sidewinder 06.01 Denver CO Hi-Dive 06.02 Colorado Springs CO 71 Grind 06.03 Albuquerque NM Sister 06.04 Tucson AZ Club Congress * = no North
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 January 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Belgian four-piece Black Mirrors have signed to Napalm Records for the release of their debut EP, Funky Queen. That winning title is — again, this is worth stressing — the band’s debut EP. Not just their label debut, but the first thing they’ve put out. And they’re signed to Napalm. That’s not an easy feat, considering that by signing to the label Black Mirrors join the ranks of Brant Bjork, Greenleaf, John Garcia and an impressive host of others. Already veterans of Desertfest Belgium, Black Mirrors will also tour in March as support for Sweden’s Horisont, and they have headlining shows besides, so it seems only fair to expect them to make a splash in 2017 one way or another. I’ll be interested to hear how the EP — which features a likewise brazen MC5 cover — actually sounds when its March 3 release gets here.
The PR wire has details:
BLACK MIRRORS Sign Worldwide Deal With Napalm Records & Reveal Details Of Debut EP!
BLACK MIRRORS are a new Garage Rock / Blues Rock gem that enriches the Napalm Records roster and are Belgium’s answer to pretty much every Rock band out there. BLACK MIRRORS sound encompasses endless amount of Rock influences, which have been ruling the Rock N’ Roll universe for decades. If Janis Joplin, Jack White, Anouk, Nirvana and Queens Of The Stone Age ever had the chance to breed, BLACK MIRRORS would have been their favorite creation. This one’s a keeper!
The band on their new home with Napalm Records: “We are super proud to announce that we signed a record deal with the high-acclaimed label Napalm Records! We are grateful and proud that we can work together with such a big record label and that we’ll be on the same roster like bands as John Garcia, Alter Bridge, Monster Magnet, Brant Bjork among so many others!
We are looking forward to working together with the whole Napalm family and to bring our music to every corner of the world and to rock with all of you! See you on the road soon and stay tuned as we will have some other great news coming for you!”
But not enough of good news from team BLACK MIRRORS as their debut EP entitled Funky Queen will be released worldwide on March 3rd 2017 via Napalm Records!
Check out the stunning EP artwork Artwork by mighty Sebastian Jerke (Greenleaf, My Sleeping Karma,).and track listing below and make sure to catch them live on tour.
The track listing reads as follows: 1 Funky Queen 2 Kick Out The Jams (MC5 cover) 3 The mess 4 Canard vengeur masque
The EP Funky Queen will be available as a Limited First Edition 4 Page EP Digipack as well as black & colored vinyl.
Catch up with BLACK MIRRORS in Europe: w/ Horisont 16.03.17 DE – Hamburg / Logo 17.03.17 DE – Siegen / Vortex 18.03.17 DE – Düsseldorf / Pitcher 23.03.17 DE – Munich / Backstage 25.03.17 CH – Pratteln / Z7 26.03.17 AT – Vienna / Das Bach 27.03.17 AT – Salzburg / Rockhouse 28.03.17 DE – Mörlenbach-Weiher / Live Music Hall 29.03.17 DE – Lichtenfels / Paunchy Cats 30.03.17 DE – Berlin / Privatclub
BLACK MIRRORS Headline Shows: 02.03.2017 BE – Brussels / Botanique 07.03.2017 TU – Ankara / ODTÜ 06.04.2017 BE – Antwerp / Trix
BLACK MIRRORS Line-Up: Marcella Di Troia: Vocals Pierre Lateur: Guitar Gino Caponi: Bass Nicolas Scalliet: Drums