The Cold Stares Premiere Title-Track of New Album Head Bent

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

THE COLD STARES

The Cold Stares make their label debut on Small Stone Records June 16 with their second album, Head Bent. It’s a title that evokes the notion of capitulation, and particularly in the context of Southern and blues tinges the Nashville-based two-piece bring to their brand of heavy rock, also of prayer. Vocalist/guitarist/etc.-ist Chris Tapp and drummer/percussionist Brian Mullins deliver a crisp 11 tracks in 37 minutes as they follow-up 2014’s A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind and a series of EPs and singles, and the clearheaded traditionalism of their taut songcraft becomes one of Head Bent‘s most defining aspects. It also rocks, and that certainly doesn’t hurt its cause either.

Along the circuitous but accessible path of songs like opener “John,” “Neighbor Blues,” “God and Country” and the later “Kings,” The Cold Stares offer swagger and groove in bulk, hooks a-plenty and subtle plays at religious themes that don’t so much make an attempt at overblown social comment as acknowledge something that always seems to be in the background of American culture to one degree or another. Even the Clutch-style starts and stops of “Price to Pay” and the righteous fuzz of the penultimate “One Way Outta Here” nod in that direction before subdued closer “Break My Fall” more directly takes on the issue. I won’t profess to know the band’s affiliation or lack thereof, but just going by what they bring to the table with Head Bent, it feels like a safe guess somebody made them go to services at some point in their life, whether they still do or not.

the cold stares head bentThat underlying theme isn’t at all a detriment to the album, and if anything, it works to tie the material together in a way that might otherwise find the songs standing apart, as moods vary between a sharp, uptempo motor-thruster like “Head Bent,” the subsequent, almost doomly roll of “Neighbor Blues” and the nestle-into-mid-paced-comfort of “Caught in the Weather” later on. The record has obviously been as meticulously arranged in terms of tracklisting as the songs have been constructed and recorded — but contrary to their moniker, The Cold Stares lack nothing for energy in their execution, and whatever kind of movement a given track might offer, there always seems to be a direction in mind as the band leads the way through Head Bent‘s tidy, efficient and unpretentious course.

And while we’re talking about themes, one would be remiss not to point out the sheer level of command Tapp and Mullins bring to the material here. “Stuck in a Rut” brings forth a hook worthy of fellow Tennesseans Dirty Streets, and the sweet side B ballad “Ball and Twine” toys with Southern rock convention before arriving at a late-cut blowout riff toward its end, having accomplished what would take many bands eight minutes in a span of three. Yet, as often would be the case with this kind of release, there’s no sense that The Cold Stares are looking to convince their audience of how brash they are, or how drunk, or how sexist, and among the various histories they play toward with Head Bent, one of the most engaging is a drive toward making the conventions of style their own via the quality of their craft and their ability to draw listeners in and hold attention while making that very, very difficult task sound practically effortless.

Small Stone has the aforementioned opener “John” streaming at its Bandcamp page, and I’ve included that here as well at the bottom of the post, but you can dig into the premiere of the title-track from Head Bent below, as well as a quote from Tapp about the song and the album, which comes courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Chris Tapp on “Head Bent”:

“Listening to a bit of Queen and always loved ‘Tie Your Mother Down,’ so started writing with that in mind. The music just sounds like bikes to me. I’ve always had hot rods and bikes and wanted to do a tribute song to all the good people in those communities. Big part of my cancer recovery was getting my mind right, and just riding, nothing like the focus and peace it brings. The bike and gear head community is so much about family and respect, and just love for the machine. Head Bent is that feeling of 80 mph wind twisting your neck down the highway.”

Releases June 16, 2017.

The Cold Stares is:
Chris Tapp: vocals, stringed instruments, keys
Brian Mullins: drums and percussion

The Cold Stares, “John”

The Cold Stares website

The Cold Stares on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

Small Stone on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

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Loss Announce Horizonless out May 19 on Profound Lore

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Granted it’s been six years and all, but if the quickie teaser for Loss‘ forthcoming second album, Horizonless, is anything to go by, that time doesn’t seem to have done much to dull the Nashville death-doomers’ general outlook on the the world around them. Bleak, bleak, bleak, and likely to be as righteously slow in its execution as in its arrival behind their 2011 debut, Despond (review here). The esteemed Profound Lore Records issued that first offering and will stand behind the new one as well, which has been topped off with one of those Adam Burke cover pieces that even though you know the dude is amazing and you consistently expect him to do amazing work still manages to blow your brain to tiny little brainflecks.

Not exaggerating. Brainflecks.

Profound Lore posted the cover along with the details for the record — out May 19 — all of which you’ll find below, as well as the aforementioned teaser:

loss horizonless

Six doomed years in creation since their debut LP “Despond”, Nashville, Tennessee melancholic death/funeral doom metal band Loss have completed work on their new LP “Horizonless”, one of the most anticipated death/doom metal releases of the year set for release on May 19th on CD/2xLP/Digital.

Traveling further into the void and beyond the realms of hopelessness and despondency “Horizonless” is a journey destitute of all hope and redemption, one where heartbreak, total death and never ending despair triumphs.

Produced and engineered by Billy Anderson in the band’s hometown of Music City itself, resulting in LOSS’ most majestic sounding work to date, “Horizonless” forges the LOSS’ sound tapestry into a realm more immense and dynamic; heavier, darker, more melancholic, and sorrowful. Where “Despond” laid down that foundation that gave LOSS the reputation as the saddest and bleakest band in the death/doom metal scene, “Horizonless” forges that funeral deathmarch onwards even moreso towards ruin, decay, and utter oblivion.

Featuring guest vocals from Wrest of LEVIATHAN, Stevie Floyd of Taurus/Dark Castle, and Billy Anderson on the closing track “When Death Is All” and featuring artwork from Adam Burke of Nightjar Illustration, track listing for “Horizonless” goes as follows:

1. The Joy Of All Who Sorrow
2. i.o.
3. All Grows On Tears
4. Moved Beyond Murder
5. Naught
6. The End Steps Forth
7. Horizonless
8. Banishment
9. When Death Is All

https://www.facebook.com/LossDoom/
http://lossdoom.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/profoundlorerecords/
http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/
https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/

Loss, Horizonless album teaser

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Woodsplitter, Shroud Eater & Dead Hand, Moaning Cities, Wartime and Megaritual

Posted in Radio on February 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio by cavum

A round of adds to The Obelisk Radio once a month doesn’t seem like too much to ask, right? Well, it probably will be as the rest of the year plays out amid my meandering attention span, onslaught of reviews, etc., but for now, I’m at least two-for-two on 2017, and that should count for something. I won’t speculate as to what.

Pretty varied batch this time around, with some familiar names stepping outside what might be perceived as their comfort zone and others digging into various traditions in rock, blues, psych, sludge and doom. Much as I try to keep the stream running at all times — one has server blips; it happens — I also try to mix things up at least in a context that makes sense from one song to the next, though every now and again as I listen I hear something that completely blindsides me. That can be fun too.

As always, I hope you find something in here you dig.

The Obelisk Radio adds, Feb. 6, 2017:

Woodsplitter, Inflamed

woodsplitter-inflamed

For those who know guitarist Ben McLeod for the bluesy, psychedelic flow he brings to the languid jamming of All Them Witches, no doubt the Inflamed debut from his Woodsplitter solo/side-project is going to be a marked surprise. That would seem to be at least in part the intent. Working in a fire-fueled vein of instrumental progressive metal, “Liturgy” introduces a sense of extremity yet unheard from McLeod. Backed only by his own programmed drums, self-recorded, -mixed and -released, it’s a 39-minute mostly-onslaught that calls to mind a sans-vocal Genghis Tron at times while perhaps nodding at Steve Vai technicality via Devin Townsend‘s more metallized approach. McLeod locks in a plodding groove on “Fatty’s Waltz,” but even this is a bold step stylistically, and subsequent “Pile” and two-part title-track — the second piece of which secures Inflamed‘s ultimate triumph — only continue the push into experimentation. Ultimately, McLeod lands sure-footed in this exploration, showcasing roots that many who’ll take on Woodsplitter probably didn’t know he had — including some post-rock layering at the tail end of closer “The Weather Outside is Frightful” — and setting up a future progression almost entirely distinct from that of his main outfit. Won’t be for everybody, but hits with an equal measure of purpose and force.

Woodsplitter on Bandcamp

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

 

Shroud Eater & Dead Hand, Split

shroud-eater-dead-hands-split

As to what unites Georgian five-piece Dead Hand and Floridian trio Shroud Eater on this late-2016 Southern Druid Records split 7″, it won’t take long to figure out. Both bands are heavy as hell. With “Guaiacol” from the former going head-to-head with the latter’s “Destroy the Monolith” it becomes a contest of churn vs. roll, Dead Hand taking an atmospheric approach that feels in comparison more derived from post-metal than Shroud Eater‘s nonetheless spacious sludgy pummeling. Either way you go, you’re getting crushed by a six-minute track that seems only to revel in the cruelty of its lumbering, Dead Hand‘s chug arriving over a torrent of double-kickdrum before opening to a more forward thrust on “Guaiacol” and locking into a nod that persists even in the relatively minimalist midsection before, the lumbering, growling extremity resumes. As a title like “Destroy the Monolith” might hint, Shroud Eater aren’t exactly taking it easy either. With a multi-vocalist arrangement and vastness of groove, they represent their core sound well as a precursor to the awaited arrival of their second album hopefully sometime in 2017. It’s a quick release — in and out in 12 minutes — but both acts are bound to make an impression on the listener as each shows off their own brand of brutality.

Shroud Eater on Bandcamp

Dead Hand on Bandcamp

Southern Druid Records webstore

 

Moaning Cities, D. Klein

moaning-cities-d-klein

Issued through EXAG Records, the oddly-but-somehow-appropriately-stylized D. Klein is the second full-length from Belgium’s Moaning Cities, who seem as much at home in referencing The Velvet Underground and The Stooges on “Solitary Hawk” as drifting out All Them Witches-esque on the earlier “Sex Sells.” At 10 tracks/39 minutes, the Brussels-based outfit don’t express any particular need to settle into one sound-niche or another, but they keep a languid flow of psychedelic heavy blues in songs like “Insomnia” and the poetically-stomping “Vertigo Rising” that makes the okay-it’s-freakout-time arrival of the penultimate “Drag” all the more satisfying, even if their clear element of control is well maintained throughout. Flourish like the electronic beats in opener “Expected” and the soundscaping guitar in the finale “Daggers” add further depth to a release that already offers plenty, but Moaning Cities retain a classy, nigh-on-chic atmosphere without losing the tonal substance needed beneath to hold up such a strong aesthetic presentation. Whether they’re digging into ’90s alt vibes on “Born Again” — Violent Femmes goes West? — or tossing some sitar to go along with the spoken word of “Yell-Oh-Bahn,” Moaning Cities thrive on never quite letting their listeners know what’s coming next, and that nuance suits D. Klein well.

Moaning Cities on Bandcamp

EXAG Records webstore

 

Wartime, Wartime Vol. 1

wartime-vol-1

Between its five-minute, horror-sample-topped intro “Breaking Wheel” and its corresponding five-minute, horror-sample-topped outro “Magical Law,” Wartime‘s Wartime Vol. 1 delves so deep into classic doom via NWOBHM cultishness that I’m amazed Shadow Kingdom Records has yet to pick it up for a release. The Colombian trio’s 2016 debut, it’s as effective in the moodiness of its acoustic centerpiece “A Whisper” as in the brash Sabbathism of the eponymous “Wartime,” and an overarching rawness in the tracks only feeds the vision of doomed purity within them. Pressed in a limited number of CDs that, like their prior 2015 demo tape, are already long gone, it’s a fist-pump-worthy execution of doom for doomers that asks little by way of indulgences and delivers much in riff, metal-of-yore ambience and the songcraft of drummer/vocalist Alejandro, guitarist D-Pig and bassist Scum, who hold onto a punkish thrust for “Another Reality” before the Vitus-style plod of “Wicked Son.” Children of doom indeed. At 32 minutes, it’s on the shorter end of a full-length album, but it unquestionably sets the groundwork for an LP-style flow, and as Wartime‘s debut, impresses double with the realization of its conceptual bleakness. Special thanks to Juan Lopez for the recommendation on this one. I’m glad I got to check it out and will look forward to what Wartime do next.

Wartime on Bandcamp

Wartime merch page

 

Megaritual, Temple

megaritual-temple

I’ve been doing my dernedest to keep up with Australian one-man outfit Megaritual since getting hip to the White Dwarf aptly-named LP compilation, Mantra Music (review here), late last year. The product of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Dale Paul WalkerMegaritual followed that release with the 25-minute single-song Eclipse EP (review here), and it’s to that offering that the 18-minute single-tracker Temple seems to have direct lineage, though actually the recording dates back further, to 2013/2014, and finds Walker joined by drummer Govinda Das in a duo incarnation of the band. Not entirely to find “Temple” is a little older, since Megaritual seem to be finding the patience later shown throughout the Mantra Music EPs that comprised the vinyl and then Eclipse afterward here, but you absolutely will not find me complaining about the edge of tonal buzz that complements the massive riff of this track, nor the improvised-sounding spaces around it being explored early on, nor the noise/drone that plays out over the course of the second half. If this is Walker giving a look at the project’s origins, he would seem to have come into Megaritual with an expressive concept in mind, and while it’s clear he’s put himself to the task of refining it, Temple demonstrates it was immersive even in its most formative moments.

Megaritual on Bandcamp

To see everything that joined The Obelisk Radio playlist today, click here.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War: Dancing on the Alabaster

Posted in Reviews on January 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

all them witches sleeping through the war

Devil’s in the details, right? All Them Witches commune with plenty of both across the eight tracks of Sleeping Through the War. Their fourth album overall and second for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), its 46-minute run basks in a depth of arrangement yet unheard from the Nashville four-piece, from the is-someone-behind-you knocks of opener “Bulls” to the swirling layers of Ben McLeod‘s guitar and Sgt. Pepper-style flashes of Mellotron and other keys that ensue, to the slight delay in bassist Michael Parks, Jr.‘s vocals between the channels on “3-5-7” that seem to make that song all the more psychedelic, to the guest harmonica of Mickey Raphael in the just-under-10-minute closing jam “Guess I’ll Go Live on the Internet.”

Parks, McLeod, key specialist Allan Van Cleave — Rhodes, piano, Mellotron, the organ that brings such soul to “3-5-7,” etc. — and drummer Robby Staebler, who’s joined in his considerable percussive efforts by the rest of the band on “Alabaster” as well as producer Dave Cobb on the brief push of “Bruce Lee,” appear to be willfully tackling the kind of songwriting approach they so readily avoided their last time out.

Where Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, which had the rather sizable task of following 2013’s Lightning at the Door (review here), invited the listener into the room during its process of creation, feeling very much a roll-tape-and-see kind of experience, Sleeping Through the War is unquestionably more complete in the studio-record sense. Its songs feel finished and, with special mention to Eddie Spear at Creative Workshop in Nashville, who recorded and mixed, they offer a spaciousness like nothing All Them Witches have conjured to-date, going back to their self-produced 2012 debut, Our Mother Electricity (review here). With the quirk of “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” and the ear-worm repetitions of “Alabaster,” it is All Them Witches‘ finest outing yet and 2017’s earliest contender for album of the year.

They begin at a drift with “Bulls,” which is the longest cut on the first half of the record at 6:42 but takes its time unfolding amid sounds that seem captured from some otherworldly beach, the foursome gradually coming together and introducing one of the key elements that will distinguish the complexity at work across Sleeping Through the War in the echoing choral backing vocals of guests Caitlin Rose, Tristen and Erin Rae. This trio behind Parks gives “Bulls” an aspect of classic soulfulness, and ultimately help tie the different movements of the full-length together as they appear throughout “3-5-7,” “Am I Going Up?” and “Alabaster,” at times adding ambient melody behind a chorus, as on “Am I Going Up?,” and bringing “3-5-7” to glories of psychedelic gospel proportions as its hook swells from the rhythmically engaging groove-meander of its open-spaced verse.

All Them Witches have always played toward bluesy conventions in one way or another, and if bringing these singers in is how they’re doing it this time, it’s an effective expansion of that drive, and one they’re correct in basically announcing outright in the opener, since “Bulls” has the rather formidable task of bringing the listener into Sleeping Through the War‘s textural universe — it also finds Parks delivering the title-line early — as it shifts from its initial dreaminess into an exciting, full-thrust, kitchen-sink cosmic wash after the halfway point; a one-song celebration of the band’s increase in scope that will only continue to expand as the rest of the record plays out behind it.

That’s a process that begins gracefully with the grunge-blues of “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” picking up from the end of “Bulls” with Parks‘ line, “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me how to run my town,” and moving into a chorus about, yes, not liking coffee and people “Letting out from the suburbs/Layin’ us to waste” after the instrumental push is unveiled, McLeod‘s crunching riff conversing with Nirvana along the way as Staebler eases the transitions to and from the verse with gleeful snare work and fills during stops between measures of the hook. “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” and “Bruce Lee,” which follows, are arguably the most straightforward of the inclusions on Sleeping Through the War — they’re also the shortest, at just over three minutes apiece — and while they maintain the band’s personality and deeply individualized take, they’re also rock songs and clearly intended to be taken as such. Where the central impact of Dying Surfer Meets His Maker was in its wandering moments, Sleeping Through the War embraces cohesion of craft on a different level entirely, and between “Bulls,” “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” and “Bruce Lee,” that vibe carries through the rest of the material, which from “3-5-7” onward balances structure against increasingly varied psych-blues jamming.

In terms of the overarching flow of Sleeping Through the War, it is pivotal that “3-5-7,” “Am I Going Up?” and “Alabaster” appear in succession. While they in no way fail to leave their own mark, they also serve as a transitional “third” — as much as one can have thirds with eight tracks — following the opening salvo and leading into closing duo “Cowboy Kirk” and “Guess I’ll Go Live on the Internet,” bringing back RoseTristen and Rae from the opener to tie the album together while moving in intent further away from the rawer approach of “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” and “Bruce Lee.” “3-5-7,” all odds and prime numbers, ranks among the most immersive songs All Them Witches have written to this point in their career. Its chorus surrounds and engulfs with melodic comfort, and the surge they create is not at all out of place because of the foreshadow they provided for it on “Bulls.”

Again, the details. Parks, whose bassline only minutes ago danced into the noisy finish of “Bruce Lee,” switching channels on vocals amid lines like, “Tell me how much can I convince you to stomach?/I am focused/I am focused…,” the swirls of effects even on Staebler‘s drums — something that will be even more crucial to “Cowboy Kirk” shortly — the always-essential key work of Van CleaveMcLeod‘s movement between interacting with those keys in the verse and the fuller fuzz of the chorus; once more All Them Witches provide evidence that it is the whole effect of the band working together rather than any single member that creates their most standout and progressive stretches. Hypnotic, “3-5-7” is a landmark unto itself, but still a piece of a larger function at work between it, “Am I Going Up?” and “Alabaster,” which while perhaps not as outwardly spacious, run successively longer and branch off from what “3-5-7” sets in motion.

“Am I Going Up?” meets the complexity of its initial guitar and bass progressions with a relatively simple, sing-song lyric, Parks joined gradually by the backing chorus. A rumble either of keys or guitar effects takes hold at about the midpoint, but recedes as the chorus resurfaces, only come up again and carry through to the ending, which finds the song drifting into the more purposefully solidified “Alabaster,” which finds its crux in the word itself, around which is weaved a tale of alienation, melody and trades between quiet and loud movements more patient than, say, “Bulls,” but all the more affecting for that. A well-percussed jam takes hold, Parks making various proclamations over top before signaling a rhythmic turn with the line, “Every day they look more and more like me” the finds the band kicking in with a subtle complexity in timing that leads to a final stomp through the instrumental hook and a cold stop from which Staebler‘s echoing drums pick up for the start of “Cowboy Kirk.”

At 6:51, “Cowboy Kirk” is only a few seconds shorter than “Alabaster” (which runs 6:59), and that’s not dissimilar from how “Don’t Bring Me Coffee” and “Bruce Lee” functioned earlier. The feeling of common intent is furthered in a lyrical structure that, like “Alabaster,” wraps in part around a single idea — in the case of “Cowboy Kirk,” it’s “Love you like…” — but ultimately, much as “Bruce Lee” had a different direction from the song before it, so does “Cowboy Kirk,” which turns fills out a languid, bouncing jam with swells in volume from Van Cleave and full fuzz tones and leads from McLeod, feeling almost dangerously open by the time it hits four and a half minutes, but working its way back to the firm ground of its verse and chorus again to close. In the context of what follows, this move feels (which is to say, I wouldn’t guess it actually is) done in deference to the closer itself, and the molten, harmonica-laden flow of “Guess I’ll Go Live on the Internet” earns its place immediately. Led into by the keys and a quick drum crash, its chillout-factor is prevalent even before the spoken and sung layers of vocals start, piano flourish punctuating the stops of the first chorus: “If you’re asking me/I got one thing to say/If I can’t live here/Guess I’ll go live on the internet.”

Calm swagger, deep green hues, cool vibes — however you want to paint it, “Guess I’ll Go Live on the Internet” is in some ways a prototype All Them Witches jam, but it’s not without its hook either, and by the time they’re two minutes deep, they’ve run through the chorus twice with deceptive efficiency. About two minutes after that, they’re ready to depart into the instrumental ether that will carry to the finish of Sleeping Through the War, marked out by dream-tone spaced guitar, the unshakable but totally shaking progression of the drums and smooth turns of keys and bass to coincide with the guest harp — the band very much in their element having arrived at the place where their fourth album ends up. They finish patiently, eventually, not with a bang or a giant crescendo, but with the jam winding itself down naturally as a swirl of effects remains, bringing “Guess I’ll Go Live on the Internet” through its last minute or so in a melodic trance still peppered with deep-mixed harmonica as it fades away.

One more time, the details. They are, in the end, what makes Sleeping Through the War such a special offering, and what most bring to light the creative growth, both since 2015 and over the last half-decade generally. All Them Witches have yet to stop moving forward from one release to the next, and though each of their albums speaks with its own voice — whether that’s the rawness of Dying Surfer Meets His Maker or the even-fuller realization of a collective vision here — the band have made themselves one of the most distinct acts of their generation with an influence that’s already begun to spread. Sleeping Through the War will insure it only continues to do so, and with its memorable songwriting, natural warmth and far-ranging breadth, it delivers a resonance sure to ring out through 2017 and beyond.

All Them Witches, “3-5-7” official video

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

All Them Witches on Instagram

New West Records

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All Them Witches Post “3-5-7” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

all them witches

We’re still more than a month out from the release of All Them Witches‘ impending fourth album, Sleeping Through the War, but if you’re not already feeling the anticipation for it, you probably haven’t had the chance to check out either their prior video for “Bruce Lee” (posted here) or the new clip below for “3-5-7.” Both taken from the new outing, they show how very much into their own the Nashville four-piece have come over the last couple years, even since debuting on New West Records with their last LP, 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), and I’m not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, but that’s pretty much the story of the record as a whole.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go ahead and click that link and go back and watch the “Bruce Lee” video again and then take on “3-5-7.” The vibes are completely different — “3-5-7” playing much more to their jammier aspects, a kind of languid, earthy psychedelic blues marked out by the guest vocals backing bassist Michael Parks, Jr. in the chorus — where “Bruce Lee” is almost all push. Which one sounds more like All Them Witches? The answer is they’re each just as much the band’s own as the other, and it’s the context of what that means that has expanded. Sleeping Through the War is full of those kinds of shifts — wait until you fucking hear “Alabaster”; not that I have — and the band’s experience on the road and overall creative progression shows itself both in the development of their style and the command with which they wield it.

Album’s out Feb. 24 with preorders up now. Tour dates (they’ve got a bunch of new ones) and more info follow.

Enjoy:

All Them Witches, “3-5-7” official video

Stoked to announce the new video for “3-5-7” is premiering right now! Pre-order the record and you’ll receive a download of the new song: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/allthemwitches

ALL THEM WITCHES 2017 TOUR DATES
FEB 24 Exit/In Nashville, TN
MAR 3 & 4 The Garage Winston-Salem, NC
MAR 5 Cat’s Cradle Back Room Carrboro, NC
MAR 7 DC9 Washington, DC
MAR 9 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA
MAR 10 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
MAR 11 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
MAR 12 Bar Le Ritz Montreal, QC
MAR 14 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON
MAR 15 Magic Bag Ferndale, MI
MAR 16 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
MAR 17 Turf Club St. Paul, MN
MAR 18 High Noon Saloon Madison, WI
MAR 19 Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids, MI
APR 06 Hi-Tone Cafe Memphis, TN
APR 07 Proud Larry’s Oxford, MS
APR 08 Gasa Gasa New Orleans, LA
APR 09 The Merry Widow Mobile, AL
APR 12 Cafe 11 St Augustine, FL
APR 13 40 Watt Club Athens, GA
APR 14 Barley’s Taproom Knoxville, TN
APR 28 Zanzabar Louisville, KY
APR 29 Firebird St Louis, MO
APR 30 The Riot Room Kansas City, MO
MAY 02 Larimer Lounge Denver, CO
MAY 03 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
MAY 05 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
MAY 06 The Cobalt Vancouver, Canada
MAY 07 Mississippi Studios Portland, OR
MAY 09 Red Room at Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV
MAY 10 The Chapel San Francisco, CA
MAY 12 The Roxy Theatre West Hollywood, CA
MAY 13 Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA
MAY 14 The Casbah San Diego, CA
MAY 16 The Rebel Lounge Phoenix, AZ
MAY 18 Antone’s Austin, TX
MAY 19 White Oak Music Hall: Upstairs Houston, TX
MAY 20 Club Dada Dallas, TX

All Them Witches is:
Charles Michael Parks, Jr. – Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Mellotron, Percussion
Ben McLeod – Guitar, Bass, Mellotron, Percussion
Robby Staebler – Drums, Percussion
Allan Van Cleave – Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Mellotron

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Twitter

All Them Witches on Instagram

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

Sleeping Through the War preorders at PledgeMusic

All Them Witches website

New West Records website

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All Them Witches Post “Bruce Lee” Video; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

all them witches

Having thus started the push into their upcoming fourth long-player, Sleeping Through the War, which is out Feb. 24 via New West Records, Nashville’s All Them Witches are wasting no time in building momentum leading up to the release. Less than a week ago, they made the date public and unveiled the track “Bruce Lee” at the same time, and now they have a video for the song, a wide variety of preorder packages available through Bandcamp and PledgeMusic — I’ve got my eye on a signed CD and signed tape, personally — and new North American tour dates for soon after the record hits, starting with a hometown release show that’s bound to be a good time. I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys on their own turf. Or, you know, just about anywhere. Duna Jam would work too, if the planets happened to align that way.

Anyhoozle, the video is directed by Jason Staebler — who if I’m not mistaken is brother to drummer Robby Staebler, who also handles a lot of the four-piece’s graphic design work — and offers all kinds of puppeteering weirdness in its three-minute span. There’s a narrative to it, a chase, a kind of sense of cloying into which one can read any number of interpretations, and it’s entirely likely that’s the whole idea. If you didn’t get the chance to check out the track when it was posted here last week, it’s a good opportunity to dig into its headphone-worthy depths and also have your dreams potentially haunted in the process. We learned last time out on All Them Witches‘ 2015 album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) — which I’ll admit I’ve been revisiting — that the lead single, which was “Dirt Preachers” (video here), doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of the record surrounding, but across three to-date full-lengths and numerous other jams, singles and short digital releases, All Them Witches have yet to disappoint, and accordingly, Sleeping Through the War is among my most anticipated albums for 2017.

Enjoy “Bruce Lee” below, followed by the aforementioned tour dates and preorder links:

All Them Witches, “Bruce Lee” official video

Sleeping Through The War is coming in 2017

LISTeN UP!!! It’s been the most insane year of our lives. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for the support. We are stoked to announce our new album Sleeping Through The War is coming February 24, 2017. Our first single “Bruce Lee” is premiering right now.

We’ve also announced brand new US tour dates. More to come.

2017 TOUR DATES
FEB 24 Exit/In Nashville, TN
MAR 3 & 4 The Garage Winston-Salem, NC
MAR 5 Cat’s Cradle Back Room Carrboro, NC
MAR 7 DC9 Washington, DC
MAR 9 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA
MAR 10 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
MAR 11 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
MAR 12 Bar Le Ritz Montreal, QC
MAR 14 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON
MAR 15 Magic Bag Ferndale, MI
MAR 16 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
MAR 17 Turf Club St. Paul, MN
MAR 18 High Noon Saloon Madison, WI
MAR 19 Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids, MI

All Them Witches is:
Charles Michael Parks, Jr. – Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Mellotron, Percussion
Ben McLeod – Guitar, Bass, Mellotron, Percussion
Robby Staebler – Drums, Percussion
Allan Van Cleave – Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Mellotron

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Twitter

All Them Witches on Instagram

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

Sleeping Through the War preorders at PledgeMusic

All Them Witches website

New West Records website

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All Them Witches Set Feb. 24 Release for Sleeping Through the War

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

all-them-witches

“Bruce Lee” is the first studio audio to come from All Them Witches‘ new album, the title of which has been revealed as Sleeping Through the War. A Feb. 24 release date has been announced. The record, which follows on the heels of the Nashville four-piece’s 2015 outing, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), is their fourth and was produced by Dave Cobb, known for his work with Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell, among others.

Another, less direct glimpse at Sleeping Through the War came through last week in a posted performance from Rockpalast in Germany that included the song “3-5-7” that looks according to the tracklist like it might close out side A, though I guess one never really knows. In any case, I’m sure there will be a host of announcements, videos, streaming tracks and so on before Sleeping Through the War actually hits public ears, but if you want to get your hopes up, “Bruce Lee” should do nicely for this afternoon. I’d be up for hearing “Cowboy Kirk” whenever they wanted to drop that one too though. You know, anytime works.

Art, track and recording info, and audio hoisted from All Them Witches‘ Bandcamp:

all-them-witches-sleeping-through-the-war-700

All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War tracklisting:
1. Bulls
2. Don’t Bring Me Coffee
3. Bruce Lee
4. 3-5-7
5. Am I Going Up?
6. Alabaster
7. Cowboy Kirk
8. Internet

All Them Witches is:
Charles Michael Parks, Jr. – Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Mellotron, Percussion
Ben McLeod – Guitar, Bass, Mellotron, Percussion
Robby Staebler – Drums, Percussion
Allan Van Cleave – Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Mellotron

Additional:
Mickey Raphael – Harmonica (Internet)
Caitlin Rose – Vocals (Bulls, 3-5-7, Am I Going Up?, Alabaster)
Tristen – Vocals (Bulls, 3-5-7, Am I Going Up?, Alabaster)
Erin Rae – Vocals (Bulls, 3-5-7, Am I Going Up?, Alabaster)
Dave Cobb – Percussion (Bruce Lee)

Produced By: Dave Cobb
Recorded & Mixed By: Eddie Spear at Creative Workshop – Nashville TN
Mastered By: Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound – Los Angeles, CA

http://allthemwitches.bandcamp.com/album/sleeping-through-the-war
http://www.facebook.com/allthemwitches

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Season of Arrows Premiere “Farewell to the Horseman”; Give it to the Mountain Due Spring 2017

Posted in audiObelisk on November 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

season-of-arrows-photo-by-diana-lee-zadlo

Nashville five-piece Season of Arrows will release their second album, Give it to the Mountain, in Spring 2017 through Static Tension Recordings. It was originally set to arrive next month via the same label, but it’s been pushed back to next year in what I can only think is a smart move from the standpoint of giving the record its due, which nothing released in December ever seems to get. Fair enough with people’s minds elsewhere, be that on year-end lists or holidays or whatnot, but with a deeply atmospheric presentation throughout its eight tracks/45 minutes of ethereal creeper doom, Give it to the Mountain shouldn’t be ignored.

The good news is that while the follow-up to Season of Arrows‘ well-received 2014 self-titled debut has been delayed, the band have opted to nonetheless unveil opener “Farewell to the Horseman” early. And while it doesn’t necessarily represent Give it to the Mountain‘s full breadth, from its ritualized acoustic/keyboard/voice intro through the intensity of chug-and-churn riffing, the underlying metallic feel to it all and the echoing vocals of Stormie Wakefield, it’s got more than a few key tells. Joining Wakefield in the lineup are guitarists Brandon Shepard and Dave Gates, bassist Shawn Van Dusen and drummer Brad Lawson, and all five work to conjure a dense fog on “Farewell to the Horseman,” coming across as partially indebted perhaps to Windhand, but as their second offering continues through the march of “Deep Graves,” the near-thrash apex of “Evening Lord” and the thudding and crashing breakdown in “Autumn Wings,” the mood might be largely unipolar — that is, nobody suddenly gets happy — but the sound is varied and with Wakefield‘s far-back, echoing vocals do much to enhance the spooky feel without veering into hyper-postured cult rock cliché. It can be a fine line sometimes.

season-of-arrows-give-it-to-the-mountainBut fine lines are made to be stomped on, and Season of Arrows do a solid job of walking all over that one and a few others on the borderline between metallic aggression and doomed lurch. Presumed side B opener “The Bridge” mirrors some of the gradual unfolding of “Farewell to the Horseman,” but remains more spacious and open-feeling, with the guitars echoing behind a forward drum progression, coming forward for the chorus only to recede again before shifting into a harmonized solo in the second half as part of a satisfying finishing movement that Wakefield meets head-on vocally. Faster and more rolling from the outset is “New Sorcery,” but it comes paired with the acoustic/organ/voice ambient piece “Bellow,” a well-timed shift in approach as the penultimate cut, and the two work fluidly together, although “Bellow” is hypnotic enough that the somewhat blackened riff that starts closer “From the Wilderness We Return” comes out of it just as easily as “New Sorcery” went in. That’s a credit to Season of Arrows, obviously, but should be all the more because the ambience of “Bellow” doesn’t just disappear once the finisher hits. The gradual move into and through a verse and chorus leads in the midsection to a minimal stretch of drums, voice and sparse guitar that would seem to acknowledge from whence it came before moving into the final thrust and capping with feedback, drum thud and one last vague whisper.

Of the eight cuts on Give it to the Mountain, four of them — “Farewell to the Horseman,” “Autumn Wings,” “The Bridge” and “From the Wilderness We Return” — are over six minutes long, and they basically open and close the two sides of the album with shorter tracks between. That structure invites the listener to go deeper into each side and experience it almost as a miniature version of the record in itself, but even in linear form, the progression across Season of Arrows‘ work flows effectively. I don’t know if “Farewell to the Horseman” can really sum that up on its own, or if any single piece could, but go ahead and put it on and see how long it takes for the band to put you in a doomly trance. I’m guessing it won’t be all that long.

Season of Arrows had some brief comment about “Farewell to the Horseman” that you’ll find under the player below. Give it to the Mountain arrives in Spring 2017.

Thanks for listening and enjoy:

Season of Arrows on “Farewell to the Horseman”:

“This song is about ultimate sacrifice. Giving to something bigger than ourselves. A bloodstained ground built on the bones of our fathers. Under stars, through the ether and within the heavens we claim our lands.”

Season of Arrows on Thee Facebooks

Static Tension Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Give it to the Mountain preorder on Bandcamp

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