Lee Van Cleef Release New Single “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

lee van cleef

Before we dig in here, I’d just like to point out that I don’t actually condone the killing of anybody — elderly, hippies or otherwise — and I sincerely doubt that if they were faced with the choice, Naples-based heavy psych jammers Lee Van Cleef wouldn’t do so either. Nonetheless, the three-piece who take their name from one of the greatest spaghetti western actors of all time and who released their debut full-length, Holy Smoke, last year on White Dwarf Records, have elected to call their new single “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy” for one reason or another. Sometimes someone says something in the studio and it sticks.

Whoever is or isn’t getting murdered, Lee Van Cleef nail a wah-soaked vibe on the freshly-tracked jam, which was self-recorded in their La Saleeta studio and mixed by drummer Guido Minervini. Trippy guitars flesh out over a heavy roll in the just-under-seven-minute instrumental, filling the spaces where vocal lines might otherwise be with drifting and/or swirling lead work that stays true to an improved-feeling foundation even as a second layer arrives later on. Entirely possible “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy” will show up on Lee Van Cleef‘s next album, as previously-issued singles “Mahana” and “Banshee” made their way onto Holy Smoke, and if that’s something that’s in progress, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out.

True to being an instrumental band, they didn’t have much to say about the release, but their words follow, as well as the stream of the new song, hoisted from their Bandcamp page.

Dig it:

lee-van-cleef-everyone-should-kill-an-old-hippy

Ehi Guys! Just Release a brand new track recorded some days ago at La Saletta! We hope you enjoy it!!!

“Everyone Should Kill An Old Hippy” comes to you!

Just give some info about the recording session, we recorded it by ourself in our studio called “La saletta” here in Naples, mixed by pur drummer Guido Minervini.

Our plan is for some dates this spring/summer, and we will be at Red Smoke Festival in Poland in July.

Lee Van Cleef is:
Marco Adamo (Guitar)
Pietro Trinità La Tegola (Bass)
Guido Minervini (Drums)

https://www.facebook.com/leevancleefjams
https://leevancleefjams.bandcamp.com/
www.whitedwarfrock.com/
https://whitedwarf3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/White-Dwarf-200914153278149/

Lee Van Cleef, “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy”

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Tuna de Tierra Sign to Argonauta Records; Debut Album this Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m interested to hear what Naples-based trio Tuna de Tierra have in store with their full-length debut. The Italian heavy psych rockers piqued intrigue with their first short outing, EPisode I: Pilot (review here), in 2015. It was a three-songer, and they had some room to grow into their approach, but they offset the initial desert-hued meanderings of “Red Sun” with more propulsive riffing, and thereby set themselves up for a well-balanced sound over the longer-term.

Well, a first album is a crucial step toward getting to that longer term, and Tuna de Tierra‘s will be out via Argonauta Records this Spring, as the label announced. Particularly if you’re invested in the narrative of an underground heavy boom throughout Italy, they might be one to keep an eye on, fitting that bill as they do.

No title or audio yet from the new release, but the label’s announcement follows:

tuna de tierra

Argonauta Records New signing: TUNA DE TIERRA

We’re proud to announce we’ve inked a deal with Italian Desert Rockers TUNA DE TIERRA.

TUNA DE TIERRA was born in Napoli (Italy) in the first months of 2013 from the long-standing union between Alessio De Cicco (guitar and vocals)and Luciano Mirra (bass guitar), then joined by Jonathan Maurano (actually replaced by Marco Mancaniello) on drums.

Already authors of the acclaimed self produced ep “EPisode I: Pilot” (2015) and available below, TUNA DE TIERRA are giving now final touches to their anticipated new album, to be released in Spring 2017 by Argonauta Records.

You can expect psychedelic sounds from the desert, wide landscape full of sand at the sunset, intolerable warm atmospheres, lysergic imagination nurturing air. Tuna de Tierra leaves for a trip with neither destination nor end, but just the purpose to move endlessly.

Tuna de Tierra is:
Alessio De Cicco: guitar, vocals
Luciano Mirra: bass guitar
Jonathan Maurano: drums

https://www.facebook.com/tunadetierra
https://tunadetierra.bandcamp.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

Tuna de Tierra, EPisode I: Pilot (2015)

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Lee Van Cleef to Release Holy Smoke Vinyl Nov. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

lee-van-cleef

I gotta tell you, I never wanted there to be a band called Yul Brynner so badly in my entire life, just so they could go on tour with Lee Van Cleef and do a poster for every single show in a Spaghetti Western theme. As it stands, I suppose Lee Van Cleef could probably pull that one off on their own and get away with it. The newcomer Napoli four-piece are streaming their debut album, Holy Smoke, in its echoed-out mostly-instrumental heavy psych spaciousness below — if it wasn’t already on Bandcamp, I’d have asked to do a stream with a review, make no mistake — and Berlin-based White Dwarf Records will have a vinyl edition out on Nov. 25. No word on a tour to support, never mind posters, but for a group who’ve been around less than a year and are already putting their first LP out, I’d say they’ve got plenty enough to go on as they get started.

Italy’s emergence as a major player in the European heavy underground continues. Don’t be surprised if Lee Van Cleef start popping up in festival lineups for 2017.

This from the PR wire:

lee-van-cleef-holy-smoke

LEE VAN CLEEF – Holy Smoke (WHD 007)

The project LEE VAN CLEEF was born as a joke at the end of 2015 and is the result of long jam sessions between Marco Adamo, guitarist (La polvere di Bodélé), Guido Minervini, drum (Efesto, Lamarck) and Pietro La Tegola, bass (Whiskeycold Winter). Influenced by bands like Earthless, Black Bombaim, Harsh Toke (to name a few) The first work “Holy Smoke” was recorded mixed and mastered in the Godfather studio of Naples. The artwork was done by Robin Gnista.

Limited edition of 150 copies on purple marbled 180 gram vinyl! Inside-out-cover, including download card!

Limited edition of 350 copies on black 180 gram vinyl! Inside-out-cover, including download card!

TRACKLIST:
1. Heckle Yuppies 07:27 min.
2. Banshee 13:18 min.
3. Hell Malo 05:12 min.
4. Mah?na 08:27 min.
5. Towelie 07:11 min.

Label: White Dwarf
Release: 25.11.2016

LEE VAN CLEEF are:
Marco Adamo (Guitar)
Pietro Trinità La Tegola (Bass)
Guido Minervini (Drums)

https://www.facebook.com/leevancleefjams/
https://leevancleefjams.bandcamp.com/
https://whitedwarf3.bandcamp.com/album/lee-van-cleef-holy-smoke-whd-007

Lee Van Cleef, Holy Smoke (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Matushka, Tuna de Tierra, MAKE, SardoniS, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Moewn, El Hijo de la Aurora, Hawk vs. Dove

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-quarterly-review-fall-2015

Cruising right along with the Fall 2015 Quarterly Review. I hope you’ve been digging it so far. There’s still much more to come, and I’ve spaced things out so that it’s not like all the really killer stuff was in the first day. That’s not so much to draw people in with bigger names as to get a good mix of styles to keep me from going insane. 10 records is a lot to go through if you’re hearing the same thing all the time. Today, as with each day this week, I’m glad to be able to change things up a bit as we make our way through. Let’s get to it.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #21-30:

Horisont, Odyssey

horisont odyssey

Aside from earning immediate points by sticking the 10-minute title-track at the front of their 62-minute fourth album, Swedish mustache rockers Horisont add intrigue to Odyssey (out on Rise Above) via the acquisition of journeyman guitarist Tom Sutton (The Order of Israfel, ex-Church of Misery). Their mission? To rock ‘70s arena melodies and grandiose vibes while keeping the affair tight enough so they don’t come across as completely ridiculous in the process. They’ve had three records to get it together before this one, so that they’d succeed isn’t necessarily much of a surprise, but the album satisfies nonetheless, cuts like “Blind Leder Blind” departing the sci-fi thematics of the opener for circa-1975 vintage loyalism of a different stripe, while “Back on the Streets” is pure early Scorpions strut, the band having found their own niche within crisp execution of classic-sounding grooves that seem to have a vinyl hiss no matter their source.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Straphanger / Drone Monger Split

blackwolfgoat larman clamor split

I’ll make no bones whatsoever about being partial to the work of both Blackwolfgoat – the solo experimental vehicle of Boston-based guitarist Darryl Shepard – and Larman Clamor – the solo-project of Hamburg-based graphic artist Alexander von Wieding – so to find them teamed up for a split 7” on H42 Records is something of a special thrill. Shepard’s inclusion, “Straphanger,” continues to push the thread between building layers of guitar on top of each other and songwriting that the last Blackwolfgoat full-length, Drone Maintenance (review here), found him exploring, while Larman Clamor’s “Drone Monger” is an alternate version from what appeared on last year’s Beetle Crown and Steel Wand (review here) and “Fo’ What You Did” digs deep into the swampy psych-blues that von Wieding has done so well developing for the last half-decade or so in the project’s tenure. My only complaint? No collaboration between the two sides. Would love to hear what Shepard and von Wieding could do in a cross-Atlantic two-piece.

Blackwolfgoat on Thee Facebooks

Larman Clamor on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

Matushka, II

matushka ii

II is the aptly-titled second full-length from Russian heavy psych instrumentalists Matushka, who jam kosmiche across its four component tracks and round out by diving headfirst into the acid with “Drezina,” a 20-minute pulsation from some distant dimension that gives sounds like Earthless if they made it up on the spot, peppering shred-ola leads with no shortage of effects swirl. In comparison, “As Bartenders and Bouncers Dance” feels positively plotted, but it, “The Acid Curl’s Dance” before and the especially dreamy “Meditation,” which follows, all have their spontaneous-sounding elements. For guitarist Timophey Goryashin, bassist Maxim Zhuravlev (who seems to since be out of the band) and drummer Konstantin Kotov to even sustain this kind of lysergic flow, they need to have a pretty solid chemistry underlying the material, and they do. I don’t know whether Matushka’s II will change the scope of heavy psychedelia, but they put their stamp on the established parameters here and bring an edge of individuality in moments of arrangement flourish — acoustics, synth, whatever it might be — where a lot of times that kind of thing is simply lost in favor of raw jamming.

Matushka on Thee Facebooks

Matushka on Bandcamp

Tuna de Tierra, EPisode I: Pilot

tuna de tierra episode i pilot

If a pilot is used in television to test whether or not a show works, then Tuna de Tierra’s EPisode I: Pilot, would seem to indicate similar ends. A three-song first outing from the Napoli outfit, it coats itself well in languid heavy psychedelic vibing across “Red Sun” (the opener and longest track at 8:25; immediate points), “Ash” (7:28) and the particularly dreamy “El Paso de la Tortuga,” which closes out at 4:08 and leaves the listener wanting to hear more of what Alessio de Cicco (guitar/vocals) and Luciano Mirra (bass) might be able to concoct from their desert-style influences. There’s patience to be learned in some of their progressions, and presumably at some point they’ll need to pick up a drummer to replace Jonathan Maurano, who plays here and seems to since be out of the band, but especially as their initial point of contact with planet earth, EPisode I: Pilot proves immersive and a pleasure to get lost within, and that’s enough for the moment.

Tuna de Tierra on Thee Facebooks

Tuna de Tierra on Bandcamp

MAKE, The Golden Veil

make the golden veil

Much of what one might read concerning North Carolinian trio MAKE and their second album, The Golden Veil, seems to go out of its way to point out the individual take they’re bringing to the established parameters of post-metal. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but part of that has to be sheer critical fatigue at the thought of another act coming along having anything in common with Isis while at the same time, not wanting to rag on MAKE as though their work were without value of its own, which at this point an Isis comparison dogwhistles. MAKE’s The Golden Veil successfully plays out an atmospherically intricate, engaging linear progression across its seven tracks, from the cut-short intro “I was Sitting Quietly, Peeling back My Skin” through the atmospheric sludge tumult of “The Absurdist” and into the patient post-rock melo-drone of “In the Final Moments, Uncoiling.” Yes, parts of it are familiar. Parts of a lot of things are familiar. Some of it sounds like Isis. That’s okay.

MAKE on Thee Facebooks

MAKE on Bandcamp

SardoniS, III

sardonis iii

To an extent, the reputation of Belgium instru-crushers SardoniS precedes them, and as such I can’t help but listen to “The Coming of Khan,” which launches their third album, III (out via Consouling Sounds), and not be waiting for the explosion into tectonic riffing and massive-sounding gallop. Still the duo of drummer Jelle Stevens and guitarist Roel Paulussen, SardoniS offer up five tracks of sans-vocals, Surrounded by Thieves-style thrust, a cut like “Roaming the Valley” summarizing some of the best elements of what they’ve done across the span of splits with Eternal Elysium and Drums are for Parades, as well as their two prior full-lengths, 2012’s II and 2010’s SardoniS (review here), in its heft and its rush. A somewhat unanticipated turn arrives with 11:46 closer “Forward to the Abyss,” which though it still hits its standard marks, also boasts both lengthy atmospheric sections at the front and back and blastbeaten extremity between. Just when you think you know what to expect.

SardoniS on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds

Lewis and the Strange Magics, Velvet Skin

lewis and the strange magics velvet skin

With their debut long-player, Barcelona trio Lewis and the Strange Magics answer the promise of their 2014 Demo (review here) in setting a late-‘60s vibe to modern cultish interpretation, post-Uncle Acid and post-Ghost (particularly so on “How to be You”) but no more indebted to one or the other than to themselves, which is as it should be. Issued via Soulseller Records, Velvet Skin isn’t afraid to dive into kitsch, and that winds up being a big part of the charm of songs like “Female Vampire” and “Golden Threads,” but it’s ultimately the chemistry of the organ-inclusive trio that makes the material hold up, as well as the swaggering rhythms of “Cloudy Grey Cube” and “Nina (Velvet Skin),” which is deceptively modern in its production despite such a vintage methodology. The guitar and keys on that semi-title-track seem to speak to a classic progressive edge burgeoning within Lewis and the Strange Magics’ approach, and I very much hope that’s a path they continue to walk.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Soulseller Records

Moewn, Acqua Alta

moewn acqua alta

Basking in a style they call “oceanic rock,” newcomer German trio Moewn unveil their first full-length, Acqua Alta, via Pink Tank Records in swells of post-metallic undulations that wear their neo-progressive influences on their sleeve. Instrumental for the duration, the three-piece tracked the album in 2014 about a year after first getting together, but the six songs have a cohesive, thought-out feel to their peaks and valleys – “Packeis” perhaps most of all – that speaks to their purposeful overall progression. Atmospherically, it feels like Moewn are still searching for what they want to do with this sound, but they have an awful lot figured out up to this point, whether it’s the nodding wash of airy guitar and fluid heft of groove that seems to push “Dunkelmeer” along or second cut “Katamaran,” which if it weren’t for the liquefied themes of the art and their self-applied genre tag, I’d almost say sounded in its more spacious stretches like desert rock à la Yawning Man.

Moewn on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records

El Hijo de la Aurora, The Enigma of Evil

el hijo de la aurora the enigma of evil

Since their first album, 2008’s Lemuria (review here), it has been increasingly difficult to pin Peruvian outfit El Hijo de la Aurora to one style or another. Drawing from doom, heavy rock, drone and psychedelic elements, they seem to push outward cosmically into something that’s all and none of them at the same time on their third album, The Enigma of Evil (released by Minotauro Records), the core member Joaquín Cuadra enlisting the help of a host of others in executing the seven deeply varied tracks, including Indrayudh Shome of continually underrated experimentalists Queen Elephantine on the acoustic-led “The Awakening of Kosmos” and the penultimate chug-droner “The Advent of Ahriman.” Half a decade after the release of their second album, Wicca (review here), in 2010, El Hijo de la Aurora’s work continues to feel expansive and ripe for misinterpretation, finding weight in atmosphere as much as tone and breadth enough to surprise with how claustrophobic it can at times seem.

El Hijo de la Aurora’s website

Minotauro Records

Hawk vs. Dove, Divided States

hawk vs dove divided states

Dallas outfit Hawk vs. Dove recorded Divided States in the same studio as their self-titled 2013 debut (review here) and the two albums both have black and white line-drawn artwork from Larry Carey, so it seems only fitting to think of the new release as a follow-up to the first. It is fittingly expansive, culling together elements of ‘90s noise, post-grunge indie (ever wondered what Weezer would sound like heavy? Check “X”), black metal (“Burning and Crashing”), desert rock (“PGP”) and who the hell knows what else into a mesh of styles that not only holds up but feels progressed from the first time out and caps with an 11-minute title-track that does even more to draw the various styles together into a cohesive, singular whole. All told, Divided States is 38 minutes of blinding turns expertly handled and impressive scope trod over as though it ain’t no thing, just another day at the office. It’s the kind of record that’s so good at what it does that other bands should hear it and be annoyed.

Hawk vs. Dove on Thee Facebooks

Hawk vs. Dove on Bandcamp

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NAGA Show Some Fang in “The Money Will Roll Right In” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 24th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

naga

Not much word from Italian post-sludgers NAGA since the 2014 release of their Hen (review here) debut full-length, but the Naples three-piece come roaring — actually screaming — back with a new video covering Fang‘s “The Money Will Roll Right In.” The cut originally appeared on 1983’s Landshark!, and since the band also notes that they’re looking for a new label for their next release, it seems fair to think there may have been some business drama unfolded at some point in the last year-plus. Still, they’ve done local shows and have a yet-untold amount of new stuff recorded, so we may hear from them again soon.

As for “The Money Will Roll Right In,” it was tracked with Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio, and Pascolo also adds some backing shouts to the chorus. Compared to the material from the debut, it’s rawer and less geared toward atmospherics, but with the punker roots of the track, that’s to be expected. NAGA‘s version, slowed down, pissed off, is pretty true to how sludge emerged from hardcore punk in the first place, so while I doubt giving a history lesson was really their intent going into the studio, they kind of do anyhow, topping it off with the simple and misanthropic credo, “Life’s shit.”

Fair enough. The clip for the track, which seems to have been recorded either in their rehearsal space or the studio itself, is suitably sans-frill. It’s below for the digging:

NAGA, “The Money Will Roll Right In” official video

Hello everyone, it’s been a while… We have recently finished to record something new with our brother Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio. At the moment, our work has to find its own way to emerge from the abyss. If you are a label, or if you have something interesting to tell us you can write us (nagadoomATgmailDOTcom). In the meantime you can watch our ugly and bored faces in our rehearsal room… this song is a tribute to a lot of people, things and stories, all hail to the Fang!

Life’s shit!

Recorded and Mixed in September 2015 by Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio (Italy). Additional chorus vocals by Alessandro Pascolo.

“The Money Will Roll Right In” was originally written by Tom Flynn, Chris Wilson/Fang in 1983

NAGA on Thee Facebooks

NAGA on Bandcamp

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Salice Cried the Big Stoner Machine Have a Two-Minute Video that Clearly Took Longer than that to Make

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 19th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

If you’ve got two minutes and an affection for stoner rock, Italian trio Salice Cried – The Big Stoner Machine, whose name I prefer to write as though someone named Salice was crying the machine itself — through what I can only imagine would be abnormally large tear ducts — have a few riffs they’d like to send your way. The admirably-titled cut “Freedoom” comes from their new album, the title of which I can’t seem to find anywhere. Either way, the video has charm to match the song, so I figured it was worth a post, whatever information I’d generally prefer to have.

Should you decide to investigate the band for yourself and see if you have better luck finding that album title than I did (admittedly, I’ve had a few at this point — woo hoo, living it up on the blog), check them out on Thee Facebooks here. Please let me know if you get it figured out.

And either way, dig it:

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Kill the Easter Rabbit, Apokatastasis: Reconstitution of the Primordial

Posted in Reviews on October 27th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know in particular what Naples outfit Kill the Easter Rabbit (abbreviated KTER on their album artwork and elsewhere) have against the mythical holiday hare. Being a remnant of the Pagan origins of the Christian Easter holiday, I’d think the Easter Rabbit is way more metal than, say, Jesus, but certainly there are those who’d argue that point. Christians, mostly, one would expect. No matter, whatever anger the Easter Rabbit has aroused in the three dudes comprising Kill the Easter Rabbit, surely their aggressions are worked out on their first full-length, Apokatastasis, available now via Trips und Träume.

Kill the Easter Rabbit (I’ll grant it’s a lot of fun to say) specialize in a modern type of sub-doom, with marked influence from High on Fire, Entombed and any number of noise rock acts. Apokatastasis — the title defined by the Stoics as the restoration of the primordial — is eight tracks/47 minutes of surprisingly diverse material working within that context. Beginning with its opening title track, the album moves through swatches of genre tints, held together by tonal consistency and the steady drumming of Ciro O., who seems ready to insert a double-kick at a moment’s notice, mostly to the benefit of the given song. “Apokatastasis” is a groover, among the album’s slower-paced and more doomed material, the riffs of guitarist/vocalist Lorenzo de Stefano held out in multiple, cleanly-produced layers and deftly switching to a thrashier approach later in the song.

Read more »

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