Cold in Berlin Premiere “The Power” Video; Rituals of Surrender out Oct. 11

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cold in berlin

There’s no shortage of drama inherent in the direct-to-camera looks of Cold in Berlin‘s new video for the lead single from Rituals of Surrender, which is out Oct. 11 as their first release through New Heavy Sounds and fourth long-player overall, but with the strobe and smoke effects, creepy silhouette dancing and thunderously doomed metallic crash, the goth-tinged Londoners remind of something that might’ve taken hold in the later reaches of Headbanger’s Ball back in the day; a dark aesthetic familiar but given additional edge here through the modern tonal weight. Their last two records having come out through CandlelightRituals of Surrender follows 2015’s The Comfort of Loss and Dust as well as a couple singles and remixes (in true ’90s fashion) that revamp the band’s approach in various atmospheric ways. “The Power,” the song featured in the clip premiering below, is as much a summary of what’s on offer in terms of style as one could ask.

It is presented with a catchy and commanding hook, as well as a fervent rhythmic stride, the vocals of Maya Berlin in immediate control of the proceedings. Maya is the silhouette in question and has a distinct presence maintained across the song’s sub-five-minute span. As much as the song owes stylistically to goth, though, “The Power” is definitively a work of doom metal, and its not-cult-rock leanings are refreshing in an age of fuzzed-up Insta-ready faux-mystique. Cold in Berlin seem to be taking a different approach, and one that stands them out among the crowded London underground as well as offers a mature approach to craft without sounding stale, overly dramatic or lost in its woes as anything remotely goth runs the risk of doing. That’s not to say there isn’t any drama happening in “The Power” — the video proves that wrong almost immediately — just that the balance between that and the aural heft creates a fusion of elements that enhances both. It’s heavy, it’s metal, it’s doom, it’s goth. Cold in Berlin is an excellent name.

Rituals of Surrender is available to preorder now from New Heavy Sounds and comes in vinyl — red and black smoke — CD and digital editions linked under the video below. More info also follows as per the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Cold in Berlin, “The Power” official video premiere

This video was created By CHEMICALLY SINISTER PRODUCTIONS
Director/Editor: John Clay
Director of Photography: Ben Etchells
Producer/Creative attache/Colour grading/Projector handler: Jorge Dubac
Creative consultant/Lighting: Rob Homewood
Set Designer/prop design: Millie Kemp
Special Thanks to Alfredo Widmer Violante of Public Pressure

There are rituals surrounding all acts of surrender; the strange dance we perform before the many endings scattered throughout our lives, before the next beginning rises from the dust. Cold in Berlin’s new album Rituals of Surrender, released on 11th October via London label New Heavy Sounds, offers up thunderous modern fables, crawling from the wreckage of an ordinary life – dark and hopeful – standing tall in the debris.

Produced with gritty clarity and volume by Wayne Adams (Green Lung – Woodland Rites), Rituals of Surrender is not a crack of lightning or the drumming of rain on a window, it is an unnatural, ground shaking thunder raging through your veins. It is a suffocating howl crashing through your heart. But with the moments before any ending, surrender brings release, the serenity of escape, even from the darkest of days.

Ten years since their debut Cold in Berlin continue their sonic journey in the face of nothing less than the immanent collapse of the world, as we know it.

Pre-order now:
CD and limited edition transparent red and black smoke vinyl – https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/cold-in-berlin-rituals-of-surrender
Digital – https://smarturl.it/RitualsOfSurrender

Upcoming shows:
5th October – The Lending Room – Leeds
10th October – The Victoria – London

Cold in Berlin is:
Maya – Vocals/Lyrics
Adam – Guitar
Lawrence – Bass
Alex – Drums

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Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard Post “The Spaceships of Ezekiel” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mammoth weed wizard bastard the spaceships of ezekiel video

Hey, if you haven’t heard Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard‘s Yn Ol I Annwn (review here), I get it. There’s a lot out there and life is busy. It happens. But go ahead now and take a couple minutes out of your hectic day to dig into their new video for “The Spaceships of Ezekiel,” which is one of the album’s most memorable tracks, and I think you’ll come to understand quickly why the rest of the record is worth your time. The Welsh cosmic doomers issued the album as the purported third in a trilogy on March 1, and with it pushed their synth-laden heavy riffing to new levels of progressive and melodic intent, covering broader spaces with more confidence than one found even on 2016’s nonetheless triumphant Y Proffwyd Dwyll (review here). It’s the kind of record where it’s less about immersion than world-creation, and in headphones it seems to bring new meaning to a phrase like “surround sound.”

“The Spaceships of Ezekiel” is essentially the opener following the Vonnegut-reference intro “Tralfalmadore,” which one assumes represents the point at which the band become unstuck in time, its impression is more or less immediate once it gets going, with dense riffs and spacious effects weaving out colorful tapestries in a broad mix and vocalist Jessica Ball‘s voice echoing in layers to coincide. The video is likewise otherworldly, with a trip into the forest, some UFOs, and a journey through a wormhole that reminds a little bit of Contact, but remains delightfully weird in the spirit of the song itself. You’ll note at one point about halfway into the clip, Ball holds her hand up at the camera and has a rune marked on her palm. It’s ‘ansuz,’ if you’re curious, denoting either god, or ash, or wheat, depending on the context. Pretty wide range there, I guess, but fair enough.

I’ve included the full-stream of Yn Ol I Annwn below basically because I know that if you haven’t yet heard it — and you probably have, I realize — you’re going to want to. From where I sit, it’s one of the year’s best albums, easily.

Enjoy:

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, “The Spaceships of Ezekiel” official video

Ufo’s, druids and all sorts of cosmic weirdness are contained within this homage to 80’s science fiction.

The band are huge fans of film director John Carpenter’s work and this video … or short film if you will … is directly inspired by the maestro himself, and his 80’s output in particular.

Check that 80’s vibe, and see if you can spot the direct references hidden in the piece.

Buy the album here: https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/mammoth-weed-wizard-bastard-yn-ol-i-annwyn
Digitally here: http://smarturl.it/YnOlIAnnwn
Bandcamp here: https://mammothweedwizardbastard.bandcamp.com/album/yn-ol-i-annwn

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Yn Ol I Annwn (2019)

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Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Yn Ol I Annwn: Mirages and Beginnings

Posted in Reviews on February 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mammoth weed wizard bastard yn ol i annwn

In a few short years, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard have made themselves one of the most essential up and coming heavy acts in the UK. The Wrexham five-piece of vocalist Jessica Ball, guitarists Paul Michael Davies and Wes Leon, bassist Stuart Sinclair and drummer James Carrington began their assault of ethereal and cosmic doom with Nachthexen (review here) in 2015, and since then, they have issued two albums — 2015’s Noeth Ac Anoeth (review here) and 2016’s Y Proffwyd Dwyll (review here) — and a split last year with Slomatics (review here), each one taking a mark stepped forward from its predecessors. The latest footprint left by their ongoing progression is the eight-track/65-minute Yn Ol I Annwn on New Heavy Sounds, which finds the five-piece not only continuing to embrace Welsh language for titles — the translation is “back to go” according to a major internet company’s matrix — but actively pushing their style to new degrees of individualism.

For those who’ve been listening, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard have each time out managed to surpass their prior work — in cosmic doom, one thinks of the run Ufomammut had earlier in their career, say from 2004-2010, as a comparison point — while remaining prolific and building significant momentum behind them. Yn Ol I Annwn feels like a moment of arrival, and for more than just its monolithic hour-plus runtime. In the four-minute “Du Bist Jetzt Nicht in der Zukunft” — “you are not now in the future,” in German — Ball‘s echoing and ethereal melody tops a wave of keyboard that’s boldly poppish, and the penultimate “The Majestic Clockwork” brings in strings to introduce what soon enough becomes its central chugging lumber, adding breadth to an already vast atmosphere, and maybe a bit of humor as well. These are surface impressions, striking on initial listens, but the truth of the band’s evolution runs deeper.

In the wash of effects created by Davies and Leon, and particularly in the emergent use of synth alongside the guitar, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard come into their own with more of a reach than they’ve ever had before, and demonstrate a burgeoning mastery of their approach. Introduced by the John Carpenter-style keyboard pulses of “Tralfamadore” — bonus points for the Vonnegut reference — Yn Ol I Annwn unfurls a multifaceted showcase of craft and performance. It’s not just the dip into synthpop on “Du Bist Jetzt Nicht in der Zukunft,” or the resonant echoing of the prior “Fata Morgana” that makes it so, either. A variety of structure and general approach brings a feeling of movement to the proceedings from the beginning swirls of “The Spaceships of Ezekiel” onward, and as the thickened riffs enter the fray and the first deeply-weighted march soon gets underway with Ball‘s melodic vocals floating overhead, the feeling of consumption arrives early and holds for the duration, even as Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard introduce shifts between shorter songs and longer ones.

Three cuts on Yn Ol I Annwn top 10 minutes: “Fata Morgana” (12:08), “Katyusha” (13:24) and closer “Five Days in the Abyss” (10:12). “The Spaceships of Ezekiel” is the longest of the rest at over eight minutes, and the way the songs are paired two-per-side so as to allow for a double-LP playthrough gives the listener a feeling of never quite being settled. Similar to how they bounce from language to language in their titles — here in English, there Welsh, there German, Russian, fictional, etc. — it’s not as if Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard rev themselves up through a couple shorter tracks and then lumber into extended material and flatline. Side B is only 16 minutes long with “Fata Morgana” — its early subdued guitar and later wash of crushing riffs and nod — and “Du Bist Jetzt Nicht in der Zukunft,” but that’s a pivotal moment in itself in that it reverses the structure to come on sides C and D.

mammoth weed wizard bastard

Simply, it goes longer-to-shorter where sides A, C and D work shorter-to-longer. That reversal, like a brief interlude on some albums or the odd acoustic track or something like that, is enough to give all of Yn Ol I Annwn a feeling of unpredictability to which the actual sound and arrangements correspond. As the band moves through the spacious and mournful title-track and into the instrumental triumph that is “Katyusha,” they mark an outward path for the second of the two LPs that showcases not only the depth of the mix in its layers of keys and guitar, bass and drums, but just how immersive the flow of the album has been up to that point. As dense as their work is and as much as it rolls itself forward in apparent steamroller fashion, it is likewise hypnotic in its repetition — another lesson perhaps from Ufomammut — but worthy of close attention for moments like the post-midpoint chimes in “Katyusha” or the aforementioned cello in “The Majestic Clockwork.”

That later track is would seem to be the apex of Yn Ol I Annwn as it pushes faster in tempo than anywhere else on the album dares to go, Carrington building intensity on his snare hits measure by measure until finally cutting out to a concluding rumble and wave of effects, but “Five Days in the Abyss” answers back in quiet/loud trades that are as otherworldly as any sci-fi influence manifested in the circuitry of its cover art could hope to be. Soft at first, the finale swells for a verse and recedes again, and when the full brunt returns, there’s pretty clearly no coming back. The last march begins shortly before the six-minute mark and ascends to a full wash of vocal melody before a guitar solo comes sweeping to the fore to lead the way out. It is psychedelic and blissful, but still weighted by low end at its fade, though Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard go to the album’s end as gracefully as they entered with “Tralfamadore.”

For all the side-flipping involved in a 2LP, Yn Ol I Annwn is remarkably linear, and the expanse it charts is thoroughly its own. If this is what Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard have been moving toward over their prolific half-decade, then it’s easily been worth the journey, but with the glimmers of arrangement manipulation and the affecting emotional crux in the vocals, one does not at all get the sense they are done growing. That is, I’m willing to commit to Yn Ol I Annwn as being their highest achievement to-date, but there remains an open and seemingly ongoing exploration at the root of their sound. Billed as the final act in a trilogy, this may in fact just be the start.

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Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard Set March 1 Release for Yn Ol I Annwn; Preorders up Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mammoth weed wizard bastard

I don’t know if you heard it or not, but the split Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard put out this year with Slomatics, titled Totems (review here), was unbelievably good. Likewise the band’s last long-player, 2017’s Y Proffwyd Dwyll (review here), which followed their 2015 debut, Noeth Ac Anoeth (review here), the goofy-named UK outfit growing more progressive and broader in their reach every time out. Though I’ve heard exactly none of it, I have accordingly high expectations for their next full-length, Yn Ol I Annwn, which is out March 1 and available to preorder now from New Heavy Sounds. The cover art and tracklisting have been posted and you’ll find them below, as per the preorder page at Cargo Records‘ distro site — which, not to tell you your business or anything, you just might want to visit.

They’ve also got a quickie teaser trailer for the record that you can see below, as per the social medias.

Have at you:

mammoth weed wizard bastard yn ol i annwn

MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD ‘YN OL I ANNWN’ PRE-ORDER

Titled ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’, Welsh for Return To The Underworld’, it is the third part of the trilogy of albums that began with ‘Noeth Ac Anoeth’ in 2015 and 2017’s ‘Y Proffwyd Dwyll’.

The final phase of the band’s first intergalactic voyage if you will.

The eight songs that comprise this album see the band delve deeper into their collective influences, embracing full on space rock, atmospheric film soundtracks, melancholic acoustic interludes, psychedelia, cosmic moogs and percussion, moments of introspection and light … and of course, large helpings of doom. The fat riffs, big hooks and endless space grooves are all present and correct.

And once again Jessica Ball’s voice glides over it all, both sweet and melancholy, yet this time more assured. A myriad of stacked harmonies and layered vocals weave in and out of the tracks, adding an ‘other-worldly’ melodicism to the songs.

In fact the album as a whole, is very much a sonic journey into some cosmos on the edge of forever. Just turn off the lights, turn up the volume and be transported to dance at the end of time.

The band’s music has developed and been honed over the previous two records, but there is no doubt that they have distilled the essence of MWWB into this one. Previous comparisons to Windhand, Yob, Sleep. or whatever, are rendered completely redundant with ‘Yn Ol I Annwn’.

No one else is pushing the boundaries of heavy like MWWB.

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard sound like Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, full stop.

First pressing is a double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with 2 colour variants.
Variant 1 in Green/Blue marbled vinyl.
Variant 2 in Amber and red disc vinyl.
Each variant includes is a free download of the entire album.
Main CD package is a 4 panel digipack with booklet

Vinyl Tracklisting:
Side A:
1. Tralfamadore
2. The Spaceships Of Ezekiel

Side B:
3. Fata Morgana
4. Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft

Side C:
5. Yn Ol I Annwn
6. Katyusha

Side D:
7. The Majestic Clockwork
8. Five Days In The Abyss

CD Tracklisting:
1. Tralfamadore
2. The Spaceships Of Ezekiel
3. Fata Morgana
4. Du Bist Jetzt Nicht In Der Zukunft
5. Yn Ol I Annwn
6. Katyusha
7. The Majestic Clockwork
8. Five Days In The Abyss

MWWB are: Paul Michael Davies, Jessica Ball, Wes Leon, James Carrington, Stuart Sinclair.

Preorder: https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/mammoth-weed-wizard-bastard-yn-ol-i-annwyn

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Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard & Slomatics, Totems (2018)

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Blacklab Premiere “Black Moon” from Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Blacklab under a strawberry moon 20

Osaka, Japan, duo Blacklab make their debut July 20 on New Heavy Sounds with Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0. The album is a remix of the two-piece’s first outing — hence the “2.0” — which saw a limited self-release last year. And even before one gets around to the finale of “Big Muff,” which digs into nearly 10 minutes of distortion driven, presumably, by the effects pedal of the same name, the band’s onslaught of doomed extremity has already made itself felt in the screams of the churning “Black Moon,” the liberal amount of feedback strewn throughout the eight included tracks, and even the empty space that populates the verse of “Warm Death” before the and-you-thought-“Hidden Garden”-was-abrasive chorus takes hold. Black Sabbath are a factor on that earlier track, that is, on “Hidden Garden,” as well as on the titular nod in “Symptom of the Blacklab,” but even the most familiar of riffs are given new life and new impact through the blown-out fashion in which they’re used and further influence drawn from the likes of earlier Kylesa, way-gone Boris, Napalm DeathBurning Witch and others too numerous and/or obliterated to list.

Ultimately, you can namedrop whoever you want — the point is that Blacklab use these sounds to their own ends, not the other way around. They’re not playing to genre so much as bending genre to the shape they want it to take, even in “Symptom of the Blacklab,” which directly engages the piece it references in its name before sprinting off elsewhere for a two-minute run that’s the shortest on the record but carrying no less impact for that. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Yuko Morino and drummer Chia Shiraishi, Blacklab arrive obviously schooled in the ways of doom, but that only seems to grant them the foundation to branch out. Whether it’s the crashing end of “Warm Death” or the blower fuzz of “His Name Is” that follows, Blacklab‘s chief interest seems to be in pushing the limits of style and finding a place where chaos meets control while still holding firm to a heavy groove.

So do they get there? Short version: yes. Particularly as their debut, and even in the New Heavy Sounds redux form, Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0 is a significant statement of aesthetic purpose. In its volume-worshiping sensibilities and its distortion-on-distortion shove, it has moments that sound like they’re genuinely about to fall apart, and yet before they finish with the aforementioned “Big Muff,” they offer the relatively straightforward, melodic-vocal-topped “Fall and Rise,” seeming to be in direct conversation in its first half with the marching rhythms of Acid King, and there’s never any doubt of the consciousness at work behind their craft as the track moves into more visceral chug and growling past its midpoint. Whether brutal or serene, Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0 approaches its influences with a pickaxe and proves capable of giving the front-to-back listening experience a feeling of extremity that ultimately serves to unite the varied material and give Blacklab all the more context for the breadth of their work overall. They seem to make the most of it here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they push even further into their own space next time out.

I have the pleasure today of hosting opener “Black Moon” as a premiere ahead of the album’s release. Please find it below, followed by more info on the band from the PR wire, and please enjoy if you dare:

Blacklab describe themselves as ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. However, when it comes to witches, they are more the spectral Sadako from ‘The Ring’ than campy ‘Countess Dracula’. Chilling cool with built in overdrive.

Yuko and Chia are undoubtedly immersed in the Japanese stoner doom scene, and it’s no surprise that with this first offering, they’ve pulled out a calling card that is as ‘in yer face’ and arresting as anything out there. A full frontal assault of distorted riffs, howls and ghostly vocals, as well as bags of riot grrl attitude and lo-fi bravado.

Being nominally a ‘Doom’ band, expect a bucket load of Sabbath worship for sure, but Blacklab have a vibe and experimental undertow akin more to their countrymen ‘Boris’ and the souped up lo-fi fuzz of Ty Segall or Comets On Fire. Tracks like ‘Black Moon’ ‘Hidden Garden’ ‘Spoon’ ‘Symptom Of The Blacklab’ (which starts like Sabbath … then thrashes somewhere else), twist, burn and boil into the red. ‘His Name Is …’ is a churning chunky throb. ‘Spoon’ and ‘Warm Death’ offer moments of relief and crushing noise. And ‘Big Muff’ is … well … 9 minutes of drum-less fuzz, that will probably do serious damage to your speakers. What’s not to love?

This first Blacklab release on NHS, is a version of their ‘Under The Strawberry Moon’ album which was released in tiny numbers on CD only in Japan, a pull together of previous tracks and new songs recorded over 2017. But the NHS variant is different. Wayne Adams (Death Pedals, Shitwife, Vodun, Casual Nun) noise guru at Bear Bites Horse Studio, has remixed the tracks to maximum effect, upping the fuzz and weight of the originals, to create Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0. exclusively for NHS. You will not be disappointed.

It’s an album full of promise, and we at New Heavy Sounds are super stoked to be working with ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. Expect a new album when they have crawled back out of their televisions.

Blacklab are: Yuko Morino, guitar and vocals. Chia Shiraishi, drums.

Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0 will land on July 20th. Available as limited edition Black/Orange vinyl which includes a free CD and download of the whole album. Also available in regular CD and digital formats.

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Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard Post “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mammoth weed wizard bastard

Over the next couple months, ethereal Welsh doomers Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard will take part in a slew of festivals across the UK and Europe, from Desertfest London in April to Germany’s Stoned from the Underground in July to Portugal’s SonicBlast Moledo in August. All the while, the now-fivesome from Wrexham continue to rightly reap acclaim for their 2016 New Heavy Sounds full-length, Y Proffwyd Dwyll (review here). From their attention-grabbing moniker to their floatingly melodic and keyboard-infused semi-cosmic doom, the band would seem to have struck a chord amid the crowded UK underground, and as one checks out the video for Y Proffwyd Dwyll‘s title-track below, the reasons why should be that much clearer.

Where much of the UK scene at this point is given to straight-ahead heavy rock riffing and booze-laden post-Orange Goblin riffing, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard manage to find a niche in doom that’s neither that, nor playing at Electric Wizard-style cultistry, nor Uncle Acid‘s garage psychedelia. Yet they bask in heavy riffs, a ritualized sensibility and psychedelic overtones — they’re just taking all of them and putting them to use in their own direction. Doesn’t seem like something that should be a novelty, but in the context of Y Proffwyd Dwyll, it’s an engagement made all the more striking by the memorable nature of cuts like “Valmasque” and “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” itself, and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard set a deceptive balance between hypnosis-via-atmospherics and songwriting that even if it wasn’t so outwardly grooving would still likely earn nods.

Particularly coming from their already-impressive 2015 debut, Noeth Ac Anoeth (review here), Y Proffwyd Dwyll is a significant forward step for the band, and given that they’re beginning to expand beyond their own borders and explore wider touring, one can only hope that progression will hold strong leading to whatever comes next from them. We’ve probably got a while to go before we get there — at least another year, I’d think — but in the meantime, they keep their momentum rolling with the video for “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” and the potential for more tour and festival dates still to be announced.

I’m not exactly sure what’s happening narrative-wise in the clip, but you can see it for yourself below, courtesy of the Vevo stream, followed by the credits and copious links for further digging.

Please enjoy:

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” official video

Last year filmaker Dimitris Kotselis decided to make a piece featuring Y Proffwyd Dwyll starring actress Penelope Tsillika and Mwwb’s own Jessica Ball. Here it is.

Artists: Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
Directed By: Dimitris Kotselis
Composers: Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
Producers: Maria Repousi
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Ex People Sign to New Heavy Sounds; Bird Due May 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ex people

I’m not sure I’d tag London’s Ex People as stoner or sludge, as the PR wire does below in announcing the four-piece have signed to New Heavy Sounds for the release of their debut album, Bird, on May 19, but they certainly are heavy. If the new streaming single “Over,” which you can hear at the bottom of this post, is anything to go by, I might even add “progressive” to that. In whatever genre, subgenre or other kind of categorization one might want to situate them, Ex People arrive with an immediately professional sounding presentation and crisp songwriting process, so if you’re seeing the words “stoner” and “London” and thinking you’re getting another batch of drunk dudes trying to sound like Orange Goblin‘s The Big Black — not that there’s anything wrong with that, because there definitely isn’t — think again.

Better quit while I’m ahead (behind?). News and track follow, courtesy of the aforementioned PR wire:

ex people bird

New Heavy Sounds sign sludge four piece Ex People

The band tackle dystopian themes on their debut album ‘Bird’, for release in May

New Heavy Sounds is pleased to announce our latest signings, stoner sludge four-piece Ex People.

Emerging from the London DIY scene, vocalist Laura and drummer Vicki first met playing in series of riot grrrl and noise bands, before forming Ex People in 2015 with guitarist Calum and bassist Ed. Since then, the quartet have gone on to share stages with the likes of Palehorse, Lower Slaughter, Torpor, and Church of the Cosmic Skull. The band self-released a digital single “Without/Surekill” in late 2016. Ex People also also wrote and released a video for Without, directed by DIY filmmaker Jojo Khor, about a teenage runaway joining an all-female cult led by the band’s singer, Laura.

Now for NHS, the band have delivered a bruisingly assured debut album.

‘Bird’ was recorded with Wayne Adams (Vodun, USA Nails, Death Pedals, Casual Nun) at Bear Bites Horse Studios, and he’s managed to perfectly capture the visceral weight of their sound, a startling amalgam of super filthy fuzz thick riffs, grunge, noise rock and stoner, combined with a punk attitude. Taking their cue from bands as diverse as Electric Wizard, Bardo Pond, Harvey Milk and Kylesa, along with 90s sludge such as the Melvins (yet still managing to sound cohesive) the ten tracks that make up ‘Bird’, combine stoner hooks and soaring vocals with a crushing heaviness. Add to that some thumping motorik beats (almost like a heavy ‘Neu’ at times), shot through with an ever-present melodic sensibility, and you have a band that once again shows that when it comes to heavy music, all gates are open.

Lyrically Laura draws on apocalyptic and dystopian themes, with “Over” telling the story of a planet colliding with the earth, sung over a driving, crunching circular riff. Other tracks tackle real-world horror, with “The Host” about a woman and child escaping domestic violence, and opening track “Not a Drill” calling for resistance against oppressive regimes. And album closer ‘Crested’ is as dark as it gets, 8 minutes of full on doom meets discord, combining the atmospherics of Windhand with the slowed down hardcore of My War-era Black Flag. ‘Bird’ is gloriously heavy, fuzzed up yet melodic, at times bleak and thrilling as it is infectious.

It’s a bold statement of intent, and we are stoked to add Ex People to the NHS roster.

‘Bird” will be released on May 26th on limited edition red and black vinyl, cd and digital.

Ex People is:
Laura Kirsop: Vocals
Calum Gunn: Guitar
Edward White: Bass
Vicki Dawson: Drums

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Ex People, “Over”

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audiObelisk Transmission 060

Posted in Podcasts on December 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk podcast 60

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Consider this your usual disclaimer that, like any of this site’s coverage of year-end whatnottery, this podcast is by no means attempting to capture all of 2016’s best tracks. It is, however, over four hours long, and frankly that seems like enough to ask. If you decide to take it on and sample what I found to be some of the best material to come down the line over the last 12 months, please know you have my thanks in advance. For what it’s worth, it was a lot of fun to put together, and that’s not always the case with these.

But about the length. I’ve done double-sized year-end specials for a while now. It’s always just seemed a fair way to go. And the last few at least have been posted the week of the Xmas holiday as well, which for me is of dual significance since it just so happens four hours is right about what it takes to drive from where I live to where my family lives, so when I look at this massive slew of 34 acts, from the riff-led righteousness of Wo Fat and Curse the Son to the crush of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and SubRosa to the psychedelic reaches of Zun and Øresund Space Collective (who probably show up in podcasts more than anyone, oddly enough), I also think of going to see my family, which has become my favorite part of the holidays.

Whatever associations you might draw with it, I very much hope you enjoy listening. Thanks for taking the time.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Wo Fat, “There’s Something Sinister in the Wind” from Midnight Cometh
0:09:35 Greenleaf, “Howl” from Rise Above the Meadow
0:14:57 Elephant Tree, “Aphotic Blues” from Elephant Tree
0:20:49 Brant Bjork, “The Gree Heen” from Tao of the Devil
0:26:27 Sergio Ch., “El Herrero” from Aurora
0:29:44 Child, “Blue Side of the Collar” from Blueside
0:35:31 Geezer, “Bi-Polar Vortex” from Geezer
0:43:59 Zun, “Come Through the Water” from Burial Sunrise
0:49:27 Baby Woodrose, “Mind Control Machine” from Freedom
0:54:11 Curse the Son, “Hull Crush Depth” from Isolator
0:59:31 Borracho, “Shot down, Banged up, Fade Away” from Atacama

Second Hour:

1:05:50 Scissorfight, “Nature’s Cruelest Mistake” from Chaos County
1:09:19 Truckfighters, “The Contract” from V
1:16:30 Spidergawd, “El Corazon del Sol” from III
1:21:24 Fatso Jetson, “Royal Family” from Idle Hands
1:26:13 Worshipper, “Step Behind” from Shadow Hymns
1:30:57 Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, “Y Proffwyd Dwyll” from Y Proffwyd Dwyll
1:39:42 Druglord, “Regret to Dismember” from Deepest Regrets
1:46:34 Moon Coven, “New Season” from Moon Coven
1:52:03 Gozu, “Tin Chicken” from Revival
1:59:49 Year of the Cobra, “Vision of Three” from …In the Shadows Below

Third Hour:

2:06:53 The Munsens, “Abbey Rose” from Abbey Rose
2:14:56 Lamp of the Universe, “Mu” from Hidden Knowledge
2:21:26 1000mods, “On a Stone” from Repeated Exposure To…
2:26:45 Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Watch it Grow” from Is Satan Real?
2:30:43 Vokonis, “Acid Pilgrim” from Olde One Ascending
2:37:35 Slomatics, “Electric Breath” from Future Echo Returns
2:43:02 Droids Attack, “Sci-Fi or Die” from Sci-Fi or Die
2:47:20 King Buffalo, “Drinking from the River Rising” from Orion
2:56:51 Comet Control, “Artificial Light” from Center of the Maze

Fourth Hour:

3:06:37 Øresund Space Collective, “Above the Corner” from Visions Of…
3:22:51 Naxatras, “Garden of the Senses” from II
3:33:14 SubRosa, “Black Majesty” from For this We Fought the Battle of Ages
3:48:23 Seedy Jeezus with Isaiah Mitchell, “Escape Through the Rift” from Tranquonauts

Total running time: 4:07:32

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 060

 

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