Friday Full-Length: Shovelhead, Red Sky Horizon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Shovelhead, Red Sky Horizon (2003)

Dig that vibe for just a minute, that’s all I ask. I know dipping back to a record like Red Sky Horizon isn’t exactly high-profile, but man, New Jersey’s Shovelhead could jam. They’d stand on stage at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, all power-trio style and humble about-to-wreck-the-place swagger, and guitarist Jim LaPointe (also vocals) would unload these space-toned solos that stretched out as much as on, while bassist Sha Zaidi — usually chewing a toothpick, I guess because rockabilly — and drummer Mike Scott with his Vistalite kit set up on the small riser in back would hold down these righteous grooves. You can hear it in the mellow groove after the initial Motörheady thrust of third cut “Bottom,” or get a feel for some of LaPointe‘s power-trio-leading in the opening title-track, but the point is Shovelhead played with so much character, whether it was the take on mellow Sabbath that launched “The Weight” or in the Hendrixed-up instrumental take on “Amazing Grace” that closes out, fittingly enough, after the hard-driving chug of “Bastard.” On stage — usually on that stage — they were utterly at home. I had the pleasure of seeing Shovelhead on multiple occasions and even did shows with them, and it was always a bittersweet experience because I knew no matter how good a show it might otherwise be, Shovelhead were about to blow my band right out of the water.

A bit of nostalgia? Yeah, probably, but I remain a Shovelhead fan even though their last record, the all-lowercase spitting oil, came out in 2007. That was their third outing, and by then, they were long since underrated, having made their debut as Shovelhead with a self-titled CD in 2001 following a name change from their original moniker The Lemmings, which I guess wasn’t stoner rock enough. Maybe? I don’t know what motivated the switch, but they had a disc out called The March of Provocation in ’98 that was pretty good as I recall and I seem to think there was at least one other, maybe an EP? It’s kind of fuzzy two decades later, but either way, they were part of the NJ shore-region cohort of post-Monster Magnet heavy rock and came up roughly around the same time as the likes of The Atomic BitchwaxSolaceHalfway to GoneLord SterlingSix SigmaCore, and so on, and while some of those bands would get picked up by labels large and small — Core were on AtlanticBitchwax and Solace on MeteorCityHalfway on Small Stone, etc. — Shovelhead went unsigned for the duration. Fair enough. I don’t think they had particularly huge ambitions for touring or anything like that, so it was just as easy for them to DIY their releases and play where and when they could and felt like doing so. They were a well-kept secret of that scene, and for me, Red Sky Horizon was the album that came closest to capturing what they were able to do live.

To some degree, second track “Crop Duster” is a defining groove in my mind for them. It’s got the speed-punker root in its shovelhead red sky horizonverses, and LaPointe‘s vocals echo out on top to make even that verse a hook before everything stops and he asks, “Do you know what you’re doing?” and “Do you know what you’re saying?” before they kick full-boar into winding power trio jamming. They mellow out before halfway through the track’s six minutes, but just before hitting the four-minute mark turn to a funky series of starts and stops with Zaidi filling out the space with low and as LaPointe busts out a solo and Scott‘s drums gradually build their way back to the verse and chorus to finish out, the last question, “Do you know where you’re going?” held out with a bluesy soul. Likewise, after the seven-minute nod-fest boogie of “The Weight,” the instrumental “Uncle Jesse” begins a salvo of four shorter tracks that includes “Moon Shine Blind” and “Bastard” ahead of “Amazing Grace,” and what might otherwise be a side B in the second half of the tracklisting winds up efficiently expanding on the adventurous vibe of “Red Sky Horizon,” “Crop Duster,” “Bottom” and “The Weight,” stripping down some of the psychedelic elements at play, but keeping that character in their tones and the classic heavy rock spirit of the instrumentals. And hey, fun fact: when I reviewed Red Sky Horizon for the paper in NJ I worked for at the time, I compared “Moon Shine Blind” to the main song from the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? and LaPointe was the first person ever to tell me I nailed it on getting his inspiration for the vocal melody right. That was at least 15 years ago now and I still feel good about it to this day.

Pair that next to the maddening tension of “Bastard” — the standout line: “Take all your bullshit, shove it up your ass” — and cap it off with “Amazing Grace” and you’ve got an eight-track/40-minute outing that’s thoughtful but natural sounding and traditionalist in its dynamic, but again, so filled with personality on the part of its players that it almost can’t help but be original. I used to stand in front of the stage at the Brighton, my seventh beer probably in my hand, and you could watch any individual member of Shovelhead at any point in their set and you had at least an 80 percent chance your jaw would drop from what they were playing. That sounds like hyperbole, but these guys were great, and I love this record, so while I know it’s not the biggest release ever and people might prefer something they already know or be hesitant to take on an out-of-print 15-year-old disc from a NJ heavy rock band who once upon a time were really cool, fuck it, it’s my site and I wanted to listen to Shovelhead. I don’t need any more reason than that.

As noted, spitting oil was their third and final album in 2007, so their social media presence is pretty much nil. What was their website would seem to be long gone. I couldn’t even find a MySpace page lingering. But if you’re into Red Sky Horizon, there’s no Bandcamp or anything, but all three of Shovelhead‘s full-lengths are available as downloads from CDBaby — as opposed to being available on CD from DownloadBaby — and there isn’t one of them that isn’t worth time and dime alike.

So dig in, and as always, I hope you enjoy.

For the first half-hour I was awake this morning, I thought it was Saturday. I came downstairs, turned on the coffee pot, was all set to start writing stuff for Monday posts in that casual, maybe-I’ll-just-read-about-baseball-for-a-while way of Saturday mornings, when I remembered I hadn’t even done the Shovelhead post yet. Missed a day there, guy. Might want to get on that. In my defense, I’ll note only that said “first half-hour” was the half-hour between 2:30 and 3AM.

Hard week. On Monday I think it was or maybe Sunday, I can’t even remember, we said goodbye to my family and headed north to Connecticut to come back to Massachusetts, pretty much to hunker down for the semester ahead. We moved the coffee pot, so that’s it. We’ve done plenty of back and forth, but where the Chemex goes is home and it’s back in MA now. I have no problem admitting I was sad to go. It was awesome to spend so much time in New Jersey this summer, to see my family, to have The Pecan get to know those cousins, his aunt and uncle, his grandmother, and have him meet assorted friends. I saw Slevin two days in a row this summer! That’s a special event in itself.

We’ll be back down there a couple times over the next few months — once in October for sure, then again for holidays, but in terms of the daily where-I’m-at, it’ll be back here in MA in the townhouse. The Patient Mrs. has a conference this weekend in Boston, so we’re headed there this morning early — it’s quarter to five now, so by “early” I mean in about two hours, maybe a little less — and I’ll be on baby duty. Should be interesting in a hotel room, but weather permitting, which always a gamble in Boston, I’ll take him out and we’ll go somewhere around town. Even if it’s Armageddon Shop or wherever. Just something to do rather than sit on ass and try to stop him from climbing on the furniture — it’s not so much the climbing I’m opposed to as the inevitable falling off that follows — while I try and fail to stare at my phone and be bored. “You old enough to have a conversation yet? No? Okay, let’s go for a walk somewhere.”

We also found out yesterday that The Little Dog Dio has bone cancer. The vet showed us the rather sizable tumor in her shoulder on the x-ray. We knew she wasn’t well — hence going to the vet — and she’s 12, so the possibility that it wasn’t something minor had occurred to us, but it still hit pretty hard. They did a bunch of blood tests to see if it’s in her organs [Update: it’s not.] and the vet gave us some pain meds for her in the meantime. We have a follow-up appointment next week, which looms large and ominous in my mind. He said the treatment was either amputate her leg — she’s 12; so no — or start her on radiation, which would make her miserable and really only help pain management anyway. Light on options. Heavy on grief.

In the meantime, she’s sleeping a lot. She’s lost five pounds in the last month, going from 37 to 32, which is the lowest I can recall her being as a full-grown dog. We’ve had her since she was nine weeks old. She’s the last of the Koczans. My heart breaks.

Monday is Labor Day but I’ll be posting. It’s a busy week because it’s the start of the semester and I’ll be slammed with babytime, so of course I’ve booked a ton of premieres. Here are the notes, with likely changes:

Mon.: Kelly Carmichael track premiere; P.H.O.B.O.S. track premiere.
Tue.: Druglord video premiere/review; Stone Titan track premiere.
Wed.: Stoned Jesus review/album stream.
Thu.: La Chinga review/album stream; LaGoon lyric video premiere.
Fri.: Fuzz Evil review/track premiere; Yung Druid video premiere.

The week is full. I don’t like to do more than one premiere a day, and there are two booked for four out of the five days next week. I know there are a lot of releases coming up, but that’s just silly. I may whittle down the amount of news so I can fit it all in and still, I don’t know, exist?, but we’ll see. To be perfectly honest, I’ve kind of pulled the wind out of my sails thinking about it.

It’s a busy weekend though, so I’m going to punch out and get to it. If you need me, I’ll be social media-available intermittently and otherwise around. One never really detaches these days, or if so, not for very long.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thank you for reading, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Evoken to Release Hypnagogia Nov. 9 on Profound Lore

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Fuck yes. I remember when New Jersey death-doomers Evoken got going again in the latter half of the aughts and I was fortunate enough to catch them live a few times being as we share a home state. They were awesome then. They were awesome when they put out Atra Mors (review here) on Profound Lore in 2012, and I have zero reason to think they’d be anything but awesome now. You want a herald for winter’s darkness late in the Fall? Here’s the first Evoken record in more than half a decade. It’s called Hypnagogia, it’s a concept record and it finds the band heading toward the quarter-century mark since they got their start in 1994. If you get to see Evoken — should you be so god damned lucky — do it.

The PR wire sounds the alarm and brings some background on the story being told. Art is by Adam Burke, because who else?

Doom:

evoken hypnogogia

EVOKEN: Legendary Death/Funeral Doom Legion To Release Hypnagogia Full-Length Via Profound Lore This November; Record Marks Band’s First Release In Six Years

Legendary death/funeral doom legion EVOKEN will unleash theirHypnagogia full-length November 9th via Profound Lore Records. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Sound Spa studios in New Jersey by Steven DeAcutis, the record comes swathed in the artwork of Adam Burke (Artificial Brain, Mos Generator, Hooded Menace) and marks the band’s first new output in six long years.

Known as one of the founding fathers of the American death/funeral doom metal scene, New Jersey’s EVOKEN have been a long-standing pillar over the band’s twenty-five-year pillage. The followup to their landmark Atra Mors full-length, Hypnagogia is a towering monolith that develops and redefines the band’s sound that will only strengthen their position within the death/doom metal hierarchy where EVOKEN have always reigned.

Hypnagogia is an expression of doom metal artistry where the listener will bear witness how EVOKEN can create a new and even more daring expression with a monument that will be recognized as a landmark. This tends to happen regardless with every EVOKEN release, but Hypnagogia sees the band expand their musical dynamics even more through the meticulous care and discrimination of the band’s song writing process, Hypnagogia being a listening experience through a multitude of varying yet flourishing emotions. Pushing both their penchant for grandiose melodicism and their trademark aura of pulverizing supreme unparalleled heaviness even more, it is the base of this repercussion that makes Hypnagogia one of the most intense, compelling, and soul crushing EVOKEN listening experiences yet; one of euphoria, desperation, and hopelessness. As drummer/lyricist Vince Verkay says, “As we do on every record. we definitely wanted to avoid repeating ourselves. We wanted to keep it EVOKEN of course, but go a little deeper with melody and arrangement and also try new things; to present the listener with an emotionally exhausting record.”

Hypnagogia also sees EVOKEN delve into their first concept album. Relays Verkay of the themes and lyrics surrounding the record, “Hypnagogia is based around World War I and its physiological impact on those who fought. It’s used metaphorically about events that impacted me the past three years, which I will keep to myself. But the story behind this World War I theme is based on a soldier who was so bitter about being lied to and is losing his life. He’s wounded in battle and decides to write a journal of his final hours, describing what he sees and what he feels as his life is slipping away. Feeling cheated, he makes a pact with a sadistic god that he can leave a part of his soul, which contains all of his suffering, within this journal. To feel some sort of vengeance, anyone who reads this journal releases that part of his soul and it attaches itself to the reader like a host. Each emotion being experienced as if they too where there. As the reader descends into a deep despair, they cannot handle this suffering, deciding to take their own life. Once gone, that part of their soul, containing all the misery is taken by the writer’s misery-laden soul and attaches itself to this journal again, increasing its powerful grip onto the next reader and each time its read with its power increasing.”

Further Hypnagogia info, including teaser tracks and preorders, will be unveiled in the weeks to come.

Hypnagogia Track Listing:
1. The Fear After
2. Valorous Consternation
3. Schadenfreude
4. Too Feign Ebullience
5. Hypnagogia
6. Ceremony Of Bleeding
7. Hypnopompic
8. The Weald Of Perished Men

EVOKEN on Hypnagogia:
John Paradiso – vocals/guitar
Chris Molinari – guitar
Dave Wagner – bass
Don Zaros – keyboards
Vince Verkay – drums

https://www.facebook.com/evokenhell
http://www.profoundlorerecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/profoundlorerecords
http://www.profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/profoundlorerecords

Evoken, Atra Mors (2012)

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Monster Magnet Getting Ready to Mindfuck North America

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet (photo jeremy saffer)

I really want to see Monster Magnet on this tour. Not just out of appreciation for their latest album, the gleefully-titled Mindfucker (review here) or of what they’ve done before, but because I think this tour — this one, with the dates below — is a special moment for the band. Yeah, it kind of looks like a standard major market North American run. Couple dates in Canada, shows spread across both US coasts, a stop at Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. Fair enough. But Monster Magnet‘s last US run was cut short when the band’s frontman, Dave Wyndorf, caught the flu, and though they’ve been to Europe a bunch of times, including just last month to make headlining stops at the Desertfests, a full American stint is rarer.

And with the lineup around Wyndorf of guitarists Garrett Sweeny and Phil Caivano, bassist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella (the latter two both also of The Atomic Bitchwax), it just seems all the more like now’s the time to show up. So I’m going to do my best to absolutely do that.

Oh, and if you need another argument in favor, Electric Citizen are supporting. So right on.

Info from the PR wire:

monster magnet tour poster

MONSTER MAGNET Announces North American Tour

March of 2018 saw the release of the latest MONSTER MAGNET masterpiece “Mindfucker” (Order and Stream The Album) on Napalm Records. Following three exclusive Northeastern US shows, the band headed across the pond for a European headline tour. Now they are ready to return to North America for a full headline tour this Fall.

The band will hit the road in North America on September 28th in Toronto, ON. The tour will run through October 28th in Boston, MA. Support on the tour will come from Electric Citizen and Dark Sky Choir. A complete list of dates can be found below.

A message from MM frontman Dave Wyndorf:

“Can’t wait to hit North America with the MINDFUCKER tour! Warning: This is REAL ROCK music, made loud to be played loud! A Monster Magnet show is a face melting celebration of electric madness made all the better and fueled to peak intensity by the attendance of excitable human beings. Hope you’re part of that equation! See you soon!

Monster Magnet:
9/28: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
9/29: Pontiac, MI @ The Emerald Theatre
9/30: Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival*
10/2: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
10/3: Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
10/5: Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
10/6: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10/9: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/10: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/12: San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
10/13: Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival*
10/15: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
10/16: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
10/17: Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
10/19: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
10/20: Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall
10/21: Houston, TX @ White Oak (Upstairs)
10/23: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/24: Nashville, TN @ Basement East
10/26: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
10/27: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
10/28: Boston, MA @ The Sinclair

*Festival Appearance

MONSTER MAGNET line up:
Dave Wyndorf (vocals, guitar)
Garrett Sweeny (guitar)
Phil Caivano (guitar)
Chris Kosnik (bass)
Bob Pantella (drums)

http://zodiaclung.com
https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet/
https://www.instagram.com/monstermagnetofficial/

Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” official video

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Solace Finish Recording New Album Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

solace

Someone needs to sign Solace immediately. I’ll brook no delay in hearing their new album, tentatively titled Broken Bodies and Suffering Spirits. Eight years is long enough. The long-running New Jersey outfit teased the possibility of a new record in 2017 with the cassingle Bird of Ill-Omen (review here), which marked the studio debut of the new lineup of the band with drummer Tim Schoenleber and vocalist Justin Goins alongside guitarist Justin Daniels and founders Tommy Southard (guitar) and Rob Hultz (bass), and aside from proving that the band still existed, that tape kicked total ass, so yeah, get that album out as soon as humanly possible. Right from the master to the press to my greedy hands, please.

Solace have been playing shows and mostly making appearances at various fests in the Northeast region since returning to the stage in 2015, but whatever it winds up being called ultimately, their fourth long-player will be the first since 2010’s brilliant A.D. (review here), which came out via Small Stone some seven years after its predecessor, 2003’s 13 (discussed here), which itself was preceded by their 2000 debut, Further. I don’t know how much they’ll play out in support of this upcoming collection, but Solace remain badass on a level few could hope to attain let alone hold onto for any amount of time. Whatever happens in terms of live performances, the point is new Solace. New fucking Solace. Shit, I don’t even care if it’s mixed. Just plug it into my ears as loudly as possible.

Tracklisting and whatnot follow. The album was recorded at Trax East in South River, NJ:

solace studio setup

Intense couple of days tracking the new SOLACE record.

Tentative title “Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits”

10 songs tracked.

1-Breaker of the way.
2-Crushing black.
3-Waste people.
4-The light is a lie.
5-The Dead sailors dream.
6-Husk of darkness.
7-Desert Coffin.
8-Bird of ill omen.
9-Until the last Dog is hung.
10-Dead sailors Reprise.

Can’t wait to finish. More dates to follow! We will keep you posted!

Expect some healthy doses of Heavy 70’s Riff Rock, NWOBHM Riffing, Drunken Sea Shanties, Weighty DOOM, and a smidge of 90’s Noise. You’ve been warned…..

https://www.facebook.com/SolaceBand/

Solace, “The Crushing Black” snippet

Solace, A.D. (2010)

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Vessel of Light Announce Woodshed Album Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vessel of light

Last month when Vessel of Light announced the title of their Argonauta Records debut full-length as Woodshed, I, in full internet-snark mode, cast my bet that there was some murder going on in that backyard. You know what? Called it. If nothing else, Nathan Opposition likes working on a theme.

Vessel of Light, of course, is the Ohio-based Opposition (see also Ancient VVisdom) teaming up with New Jersey guitarist Dan Lorenzo (see also Hades, The Cursed), and they issued their self-titled debut EP (review here) through Argonauta last year, setting an initial tone of drugs, killing and psychosis that it seems the forthcoming long-player is only too happy to follow-up.

Vessel of Light‘s Woodshed is out Sept. 21.

From the PR wire:

vessel of light woodshed

VESSEL OF LIGHT reveal new album details

US Doom Metallers VESSEL OF LIGHT (featuring Nathan Opposition of ANCIENT VVISDOM and Dan Lorenzo of HADES) reveal cover artwork and track-list of their highly anticipated album “Woodshed”.

About the album concept, Nathan says: “Woodshed is a twisted plot involving a torturer and his numerous victims, his devious plan to kill in the name of God, and the mental breakdown that follows. The consequences of murderous actions that tell a tale of ritualistic sacrifice, homicide/ suicide, offerings to “the holy Lord”, and the truth behind the lies of reality. The content is dark and cold. A drugged out murder spree by a man haunted by the voices of the dead.”

By commenting this new album, Dan Lorenzo said: “Woodshed is a title that has intrigued me for a while now. I consider myself a songwriter more than a true musician. I know serious musicians will say they are ‘woodshedding’ or practicing a lot. In the winter when it’s cold out in New Jersey, I definitely pick up a guitar more than I do in the summer..not to ‘practice’, but to write new music. The woodshed in American culture has traditionally been a place where someone goes to work on something often secretly. In the old days it might be where a parent goes to give their child a beating. Sometimes the woodshed could be used to hide nefarious things that nobody is supposed to find out about. Nathan took this concept and created lyrical genius. It’s fucking dark as hell man.”

VESSEL OF LIGHT teamed-up with renowned Italian artist Marco Castagnetto (www.zenpunkart.com) to give their visions a proper form by realizing a stunning cover artwork.

VESSEL OF LIGHT “Woodshed” will be released on CD/LP/DD by ARGONAUTA Records and available from September 21st, 2018.

More details and preorder info available soon.

TRACK-LIST:
1) Woodshed
2) Part of My Plan
3) A Love So True
4) Son of Man
5) Watching The Fire
6) Beyond The Cellar Door
7) One Way Out
8) Man’s Sin
9) Day of Rest
10) End It All
11) Pray For A Cure

Nathan Opposition Vocals, drums, lyrics, melodies, keyboard
Dan Lorenzo Guitar, bass, music, backing vox on Part Of My Plan
Michael Jochum guitar solo One Way Out

https://www.facebook.com/vesseloflightband
www.instagram.com/VesselOfLightMusic
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/ArgonautaRex

Vessel of Light, “Son of Man” official video

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The Atomic Bitchwax Touring Europe in July & August

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

The moral of the story would seem to be it’s a busy summer coming up for The Atomic Bitchwax. The New Jersey-based stalwarts of headspinning riffery had already announced a North American run in June with The Sword, and now it seems that once that’s over, they’ll go home for a couple weeks and then head back out, this time to Europe, where they’ll take part in gigs alongside Yawning Man and 1000mods as well as the SonicBlast Moledo festival and others. The North American tour is presented by Tone Deaf, the European by Sound of Liberation.

They go, of course, in support of late-2017’s Force Field (review here) on Tee Pee Records, their seventh album and prove that the ferocity of their approach remains steady and that the three-piece have only grown tighter with all the road time they’ve put in over the last couple years. I could go on and on about that, but the bottom line is these guys are on fire right now, and if you miss them it’s at your own peril.

Here’s dates and such from the PR wire:

the atomic bitchwax tour

The Atomic Bitchwax – European Tour 2018!!

Still promoting their latest (and most badass!) album “Force Field”, released in December 2017 via Tee Pee Records, New Jersey’s The Atomic Bitchwax will return to Europe this summer!

Check-out the dates below, and plan your vacations accordingly! You don’t want to miss them if they come near your town!

The Atomic Bitchwax w/ The Sword:
6/07 Albuquerque NM @ Launchpad
6/08 Tucson AZ @ 191 Toole
6/09 San Diego CA @ Belly Up
6/11 Portland OR @ Wonder Ballroom
6/12 Bellingham WA @ Wild Buffalo
6/13 Vancouver BC @ Venue
6/15 Calgary AB @ Marquee
6/16 Edmonton AB @ Union Hall
6/17 Regina SK @ The Exchange
6/18 Winnipeg MB @ Pyramid
6/19 Chicago IL @ Thalia Hall
6/20 Cincinnati OH @ Bogart’s
6/22 Pittsburgh PA @ Mr Smalls Theatre
6/23 Washington DC @ Rock N’ Roll Hotel
6/24 New York NY @ Irving Plaza
6/26 Johnson City TN @ Capone’s
6/27 Nashville TN @ Exit/In
6/29 Hot Springs AR @ Maxine’s

The Atomic Bitchwax European tour:
20.07.18 (D) Cottbus | Zum Faulen August
21.07.18 (D) Siegen | Vortex
22.07.18 (NL) Leeuwarden | Welcome To The Village
23.07.18 (D) Karlsruhe | Alte Hackerei
25.07.18 (HUN) Budapest | A38
26.07.18 (CRO) Zagreb | Vintage Industrial Bar
27.07.18 (A) Ebensee | Kino Ebensee
29.07.18 (D) Munich | Backstage (*with 1000Mods)
30.07.18 (D) Dresden | Ostpol
31.07.18 (D) Wiesbaden | Schlachthof (*with Yawning Man)
01.08.18 (D) Berlin | Cassiopeia (*with Mammoth Mammoth)
02.08.18 (D) Hamburg | Hafenklang
03.08.18 (D) Beelen | Krach am Bach
04.08.18 (GR) Almiros | Los Almiros Festival
06.08.18 (UK) Coventry | The Phoenix
07.08.18 (UK) Glasgow | Audio
08.08.18 (UK) London | The Black Heart
09.08.18 (UK) Bristol | The Exchange
10.08.18 (B) Kortrijk | Alcatraz Festival
11.08.18 (PO) Moledo | Sonic Blast Moledo

http://www.theatomicbitchwax.com/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/
http://teepeerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
www.soundofliberation.com/the-atomic-bitchwax

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Hippie Speedball” official video premiere

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Vessel of Light to Release Woodshed in Sept.; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vessel of light

Druggy heavy death rockers Vessel of Light have announced their first long-player, titled Woodshed, will be released in September by Argonauta Records. Anyone wanna guess what’s happening in that woodshed? Is it the neat organization of a host of useful tools and gardening equipment? Maybe. Is it where they keep the lawnmower? Maybe. Is there murder? Oh most definitely.

The duo of Ancient VVisdom frontman Nathan Opposition and Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo made their debut in 2017 with their self-titled EP (review here) and worked quickly to establish a foothold in a sound fueled by Lorenzo‘s weighted riffage and Opposition‘s drug-praising murder poetry lyrics. Together, they made the hooks of songs like “Dead Flesh and Bones” almost unfortunately catchy — let’s face it, that’s not the kind of thing you want to go around singing on a crowded train; or maybe it is — and the newly unveiled song “Son of Man” would seem to have followed suit.

“Son of Man” shows an immediately more balanced mix for Vessel of Light, which is encouraging, and I’m pretty sure that footage of Strawberry Alarm Clock from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls used in the video. Hey, if you’re not gonna appear in your own clip, that’s probably the footage you want to use, so right on.

Details are pretty minimal for the moment, but I’ll hope to have more on Woodshed as we get closer to the release, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, you’ll find “Son of Man” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Dig:

Vessel of Light, “Son of Man” official video

US doom metallers VESSEL OF LIGHT (featuring Nathan Opposition of ANCIENT VVISDOM and Dan Lorenzo of HADES) release their new single taken from the forthcoming full length.

The song “Son of Man” is an impressive step forward compared to the already highly acclaimed self-titled EP. Opposition handles both drums and vocals and Lorenzo plays guitar and bass on Son of Man.

This is the third video for the duo who also released two lyric videos off their self-titled debut on Argonauta.

“Son of Man” is taken from the forthcoming full “WOODSHED”, to be released by ARGONAUTA Records on CD/LP/DD in September 2018.

Dan Lorenzo (Hades, Non-Fiction, The Cursed) teamed up with Nathan Opposition (Ancient VVisdom) to form a musical project called Vessel Of Light. The duo entered Brainchild Studios in Cleveland to record their debut during Summer 2017.

Vessel of Light on Instagram

Vessel of Light on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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The Atomic Bitchwax Premiere Video for “Hippie Speedball”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the atomic bitchwax

There’s a moment at about 1:40 into the 2:26 ‘Hippie Speedball’ where founding bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik of The Atomic Bitchwax lets loose this quick run that will absolutely, 100 percent knock you on your ass. Should you be surprised? Hells bells, no. Shifting their audience out of an upright position — i.e., relocation to “on ass” — has become standard practice for the long-running New Jersey trio of Kosnik, guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan and drummer Bob Pantella. Ever since their 2011 riff-splurge, The Local Fuzz (review here), and most definitely once they came around to 2015’s more aggressive Gravitron (review here), they’ve been recharged and completely on the attack. Late 2017’s Force Field (review here) is just the latest manifestation of this impulse that’s been at the heart of the band since their 1999 debut.

It may, however, also be the most badass manifestation. The Bitchwax have been around long enough that given fans are going to have given favorite records. Hey, that’s cool. But as the three-piece move forward with Force Field and get ready to hit the road supporting The Sword — funny, I recall seeing the two bands together in Jersey opening for Kyuss Lives! and The Atomic Bitchwax had Dave Witte filling in on drums; Black Cobra also played that night; weird show, but awesome — they do so at their most progressive moment. They seem at this point not only to be challenging themselves physically, as in, “Can we possibly play faster than this?,” but also as songwriters: “Can we write songs that speed by listeners in a blur but are still somehow memorable?” The answer, at least on Force Field, is a resounding yes.

To wit, “Hippie Speedball” is an unbridled beast of a track. Placed right at the open of Force Field it’s primed to shake even the least shakable of posterior chains, and the new video for the track, with clips out of old sci-fi movies, the band jamming out and good fun all around, could hardly do more to represent some of what works best about the record as a whole: excellent band, all cylinders, killer tune, hitting the road. How could you call that anything but a win?

I consider pretty much any time I get to post about The Atomic Bitchwax a favor to myself, so I’m extra thrilled today to be able to host the premiere of the “Hippie Speedball” clip, which you’ll find on the player below. The tour dates with The Sword and more info off the PR wire follow.

Enjoy:

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Hippie Speedball” official video premiere

Recorded at the Freakshop in Keyport, New Jersey, mixed at The Panic Room in Ocean, New Jersey and mastered by Alan Douches (CHELSEA WOLFE, TOMBS, THE OBSESSED), “Force Field” sees THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX’s high energy, scale-based guitar mangling hitting astronomical levels, with full stack amps pushing out dangerous levels of blown-out metallic mayhem. An awe-inducing tumult of head-down forward drive and top tier hard rock, “Force Field” mashes sci-fi and hi-fi, rocketing THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX into the outer reaches of the modern-day heavy music universe.

The Atomic Bitchwax w/ The Sword:
6/07 Albuquerque NM @ Launchpad
6/08 Tucson AZ @ 191 Toole
6/09 San Diego CA @ Belly Up
6/11 Portland OR @ Wonder Ballroom
6/12 Bellingham WA @ Wild Buffalo
6/13 Vancouver BC @ Venue
6/15 Calgary AB @ Marquee
6/16 Edmonton AB @ Union Hall
6/17 Regina SK @ The Exchange
6/18 Winnipeg MB @ Pyramid
6/19 Chicago IL @ Thalia Hall
6/20 Cincinnati OH @ Bogart’s
6/22 Pittsburgh PA @ Mr Smalls Theatre
6/23 Washington DC @ Rock N’ Roll Hotel
6/24 New York NY @ Irving Plaza
6/26 Johnson City TN @ Capone’s
6/27 Nashville TN @ Exit/In
6/29 Hot Springs AR @ Maxine’s

The Atomic Bitchwax on Thee Facebooks

The Atomic Bitchwax website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

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