High on Fire and Crowbar Announce Southeastern Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

I can’t imagine High on Fire and Crowbar are going to run into too many complaints about this one. “Oh no, don’t tour together. Anything but that.” Actually, scrap that. They are going to run into complaints. Lots of them. From everywhere they’re not playing. Because now that I think about it, this is a run that should really go nationwide. They’re labelmates on eOne, and it only seems reasonable that two bands as thoroughly devastating should bring their combined pummel to as many suspecting and unsuspecting skulls as possible. Maybe it’s a precursor to a full US tour? Maybe the South just gets lucky this time around.

From what I hear, Crowbar are headed back overseas in the New Year. More on that to come. Till then, this is fresh off the PR wire:

high on fire and crowbar

HIGH ON FIRE Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Legendary Metal Band’s Late Autumn Trek to Feature Support from Crowbar

Universally celebrated, heavy metal power trio HIGH ON FIRE has announced U.S. tour dates in support of its new album, Luminiferous. The trek will launch on December 10 in Nashville, TN and will feature support from New Orleans’ sludge kings, Crowbar.

The just-announced headlining live dates are as follows:

HIGH ON FIRE tour dates:
December 10 Nashville, TN Exit / In
December 11 Chattanooga, TN Revelry Room
December 12 Durham, NC Motorco
December 13 Charleston, SC The Music Farm
December 15 Orlando, FL The Social
December 16 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
December 17 Ybor City, FL The Orpheum
December 18 Gainesville, FL The Wooly
December 19 Jacksonville, FL Underbelly

HIGH ON FIRE’s new album, Luminiferous, was released on June 23 via eOne Music and, in the time since, has been praised as one of the strongest moments of the award-winning band’s career. Recorded at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou.


High on Fire, “The Black Plot” live in New Orleans, 2015

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Friday Full-Length: Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 4th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Acid Bath, When the Kite String Pops (1994)

I’ve been riding some ’90s regression pretty hard the last few weeks (months) or so. Not claiming I was cool enough to be down with Acid Bath‘s When the Kite String Pops when it came out on Rotten Records in 1994 — and neither were 95% of the people who’ll tell you they were, or the band would’ve been huge — but the vibe suits me pretty well now, its pre-genre take on sludge feels less hedged in by aesthetic than a lot of what came later, as it inevitably would. Formed a couple years after Eyehategod in Louisiana, Acid Bath were sort of lumped in the same scene, but there’s more going on than slowed-down hardcore on When the Kite String Pops and its 1996 follow-up, Paegan Terrorism Tactics, a heavier-edged post-grunge head-down malaise coming through in the vocals of frontman Dax Riggs on “Tranquilized” and any number of other cuts throughout the record’s overwhelming peak-CD-era 69-minute span. I’d call it unmanageable, but the album’s actually worth paying attention to across that time. You figure out a way to manage.

Whether it’s their Nola compatriots in Eyehategod, Soilent Green or even Crowbar, Acid Bath tapped into a vibe that no one else of their ilk and era quite captured in the same way. Eyehategod, more drugs. Soilent Green, more grind. Crowbar, slower. But it’s the fact that they found their own niche — clean vocals, flourish of keys, etc. — that I think has sustained Acid Bath‘s cult following more than two decades after the fact. Of course, guitarist Sammy Duet can now be found in Goatwhore with Soilent Green‘s Ben Falgoust, and Dax Riggs has garnered some measure of a following as a solo singer-songwriter, but after the death of bassist/backing vocalist Audie Pitre in 1997, Acid Bath went on for a while but would never get to putting out a third record. As such, their two offerings retain an individual mark on the fertile heaviness of New Orleans in sound and overall vibe, even if they’re something of a footnote commercially compared to later acts.

Hope you enjoy.

I’m in Maryland tonight and tomorrow for the Vultures of Volume fest, and it starts in less than an hour so I’ll keep it brief. It was a hell of a trip getting here between waiting three hours for AAA to come pick up The Patient Mrs.‘ car last night at a rest stop on the side of I-95 in Massachusetts that we found out later was named “Pickle Park” after all the dudes meeting there to have sex in the woods. It was not the Thursday evening I’d planned, to say the least, and well, if you’re meeting people at a rest stop to get it on and that’s your thing, okay, but it made for a weird three-hour feeling of intrusion on my part.

Got to Connecticut a little before midnight, crashed, and continued south this morning, stopping in Jersey to pick up a camera and lens I rented only to find out that I couldn’t afford the $2,000 hold they were apparently going to put on my credit card. I don’t have a $2,000 line of credit, and they couldn’t split up the sale over different cards, so I have my regular camera instead of a nice, fancy one for the fest. Felt great. Really. Really great. Really made that 80 minutes I drive each way to work every day — not today, obviously — feel worthwhile. Feels awesome to still be broke while I work to support someone else’s financial interests.

So needless to say I’m in the perfect headspace to go rock out for the next seven hours or so. Should be a blast. Gotta remember to hydrate. Gotta remember the ibuprofen in my bag. Sore feet I’m just gonna have to deal with — forgot to bring supportive footwear; sandals it is — but the rest I should be able to reasonably control, including the much-needed attitude adjustment.

Hold nose, dive in.

Reviews on Monday and Tuesday? Maybe Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on Labor Day celebration and how much I’m feeling like opening my laptop. We’ll see.

Wherever you’re at, please stay safe and have a great weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Eyehategod Tour Starts this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

eyehategod (Photo by Danin Drahos)

Admittedly, I don’t know much about the West Coast rooms that Eyehategod are playing on this brief run over the next couple weeks, but every show on the East Coast seems like a special event and I’d expect the same applies for out west. Brighton Music Hall should be resoundingly violent and it’s a place I could actually go, which is an appeal in itself. The Clash Bar in Jersey is a tiny room that Eyehategod seem likely to just level. The Saint Vitus Bar is the Saint Vitus Bar; that’s a draw on its own. And the show at the Ottobar? Vitus (the band) and Eyehategod on the same bill with Cro Mags and Misery Index? God damn. Hard to imagine the therapy everyone in attendance will need after so much head trauma.

I’m showing my regional roots in the Northeast for sure, and I’ve no doubt Alex’s Bar in Long Beach and Strummers in Fresno will be just as memorable for those out that way — these are rooms I wish I knew — but either way, it looks like Eyehategod are doing it up for this quick run before they spend a month in Europe in March/April.

The PR wire has more:

eyehategod tour

EYEHATEGOD: Louisiana Volume Dealers To Kick Off 2015 Live Invasion

Louisiana volume dealers, EYEHATEGOD, are readying for another bout of live demolitions this month commencing with a set of California rumblings through Bakersfield, Lancaster, Long Beach, San Luis Obispo and Fresno. From there, the band will head east to sonically traumatize Boston, Massachusetts, Clifton, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York for two nights and a very special show in Baltimore, Maryland with the Cro Mags, Saint Vitus and Misery Index!

1/22/2015 Jerry’s Pizza & Pub – Bakersfield, CA
1/23/2015 Moose Lodge – Lancaster, CA
1/24/2015 Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA
1/25/2015 Sweet Springs Saloon – San Luis Obispo, CA
1/26/2015 Strummers – Fresno, CA
2/04/2015 Brighton Music Hall – Boston MA
2/05/2015 The Clash Bar – Clifton, NJ
2/06/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
2/07/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
2/08/2015 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD w/ Cro Mags, Saint Vitus, Misery Index

Over two-and-a-half decades, EYEHATEGOD have helped define the NOLA sound: down-tuned, blues-inflected guitars awash in furious distortion, underpinning the tormented screams of Mike IX Williams over a thundering rhythm section. Though it was a long time between riffs, EYEHATEGOD reemerged stronger and more determined than ever before. EyeHateGod personifies desperation and addiction in the various backwaters of forgotten America, punctuated by the “N’awlins” sound of rebellion and pollution resulting in triumph over adversity. EyeHateGod is an exclamation mark on an already storied career, a statement of rebirth, catharsis, self-preservation and a sign of things to come.

Order EyeHateGod via Housecore Records HERE.


Eyehategod, Eyehategod (2014)

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Crowbar Unveil New Video for “Walk with Knowledge Wisely”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

To be perfectly honest, the video below for “Walk with Knowledge Wisely” from Crowbar‘s latest outing, Symmetry in Black, is the first I’m hearing of the record. A “promo stream” for the album, which came out on Tuesday, has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks, but I haven’t clicked on it, because what the hell? I click on it, feel the need to review it, take the time, dig the album, and then add it to the growing list of CDs I want to buy but can’t afford. Super. Better to save myself the trouble of being bummed out and not listen in the first place.

“Walk with Knowledge Wisely” has some continuity with “The Cemetery Angels” (video here), which served as a single from 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here), in that it rounds out with a massive-sounding slowdown. They don’t milk quite as much this time around — not that I’ll complain either way — but the point definitely gets made, and the point seems to be that well over 20 years on, Crowbar still serve as a litmus test for sonic weight.

Looks like they’ll get on that list after all. It goes like this:

Crowbar, “Walk with Knowledge Wisely” official video



Well known NOLA earthquake purveyors CROWBAR have debuted a brand new music video for their single “Walk With Knowledge Wisely.” Directed by Mike Holderbeast (DOWN, EYEHATEGOD), this is the first of two videos we’ll see from the band’s all new LP SYMMETRY IN BLACK that debuted last week. “For this video we decided to let the music do the talking. Working with Mike was a breeze and a pleasure. He has filmed many of our live shows and he is a true professional.” says frontman Kirk Windstein.

Symmetry in Black tracklisting:
1. Walk With Knowledge Wisely
2. Symmetry In White
3. The Taste Of Dying
4. Reflection Of Deceit
5. Ageless Decay
6. Amaranthine
7. The Foreboding
8. Shaman Of Belief
9. Teach The Blind To See
10. A Wealth Of Empathy
11. Symbolic Suicide
12. The Piety Of Self-Loathing

Crowbar on Thee Facebooks

eOne Music

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Crowbar Announce Tour Dates; Writing New Material

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 7th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The good news is that Crowbar are touring. The good news is also that Crowbar are writing songs for a new album. I guess there really isn’t any bad news on this one. Crowbar‘s last album, 2011’s Sever the Wicked Hand (review here), found the New Orleans sludge mainstays embracing the influence of many of the bands who followed in their discordant wake, working with producer Zeuss (HatebreedShadows Fall, etc.) and taking on a more modern metal feel throughout the tracks. Of course, a song like the single “The Cemetery Angels” (video here) still had room for a landmark slowdown, but there’s no telling what Crowbar‘s 10th full-length might bring when it surfaces.

And maybe the idea with this tour is to road-test some new songs. The band recently parted ways with bassist Pat Bruders, so no word either on who’s handling the low end (other than everyone). Either way, Crowbar getting back out for a stint is a good thing, and if it’s new material or old, new members or old, the safe bet is it’s going to be loud. Crowbar will also perform at the 2013 Housecore Horror Film & Music Fest at Emo’s East in Austin, Texas, which runs Oct. 25-27 with DownGoblinPig Destroyer and many more on the bill.

Here are the dates:

Crowbar and White Light Cemetery !!

Friday 11/29 Houston TX
@Scout Bar
Saturday 11/30 Dallas TX
Sunday 12/01 Austin TX
@Dirty Dog
Thursday 12/05 Tyler TX
Friday 12/06 Shreveport LA
@Riverside Warehouse
Saturday 12/07 Lafayette LA
@The Station
May have more dates in week of 12/01
Thanks for all your support!!!
Will post any additions as they come !!!


Crowbar, “High Rate Extinction” Live in New Orleans, 2013

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In Memory of Joe LaCaze of Eyehategod

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Joe LaCaze, 1971-2013

He was the only drummer I ever saw snort something on stage. Word started coming through last night on Facebook of the passing of Eyehategod drummer Joe LaCaze. Details at this point are sketchy, and by that I mean nil, but tributes have begun pouring in for LaCaze, who had more than ably handled the task of solidifying the chaos of Eyehategod’s sonic malevolence since 1989, playing on their four studio full-lengths and sundry other releases and touring the world with the groundbreaking sludge five-piece.

Eyehategod just wrapped a 15-date UK and European stint in Toulouse, France, on Aug. 20 and were scheduled to play three special shows in September to mark their 25th anniversary as a band, including a return to the Rocks Off Concert Cruise in Manhattan and an appearance at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Fest in Austin, Texas. Word of a new album had also begun to spread again with the release last year of the new single “New Orleans is the New Vietnam,” which had been Eyehategod’s first non-compilation studio output since 2004. Their last full-length was 2000’s Confederacy of Ruined Lives.

Again, there is nothing really made public at this point about the circumstances of his passing or any official word from the band (I’ll update when I see some), but LaCaze — who also drummed in Eyehategod offshoots Outlaw Order and The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight — leaves behind a formidable presence within what’s inarguably sludge’s greatest influence. In his attitude and his style, he was the swinging rudder steering a tornado and across classic albums like 1992’s In the Name of Suffering, 1993’s Take as Needed for Pain, and 1996’s Dopesick, he solidified a legacy that few can match.

The Obelisk sends heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, bandmates and anyone else who knew LaCaze. He will be missed.

UPDATE 08.28.13

Eyehategod released this statement today:

Joseph M. LaCaze, New Orleans native and drummer for Eyehategod, Mystick Krewe of Clearlight and Outlaw Order passed away on Aug. 23rd in New Orleans after a very successful five week UK and European tour with EHG.

He also performed ceremonial voodoo drumming and in numerous solo experimental electronic projects. Doctors confirmed to family members the cause as respiratory failure. He also suffered from severe long term asthma.

An account is set up for the benefit of his daughter Lilith LaCaze. Checks can be made payable to the Lilith LaCaze or Joseph LaCaze donation fund at any Capital One Bank in any city.

Eyehategod, In the Name of Suffering (1992)

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Wino Wednesday: Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” from Split with Acid King

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Mystick Krewe of Clearlight are one of those bands who, once you hear them, you just want more. And to that impulse, the only answer is really “too bad,” because there just isn’t that much out there. The band, led by Jimmy Bower of EyeHateGod/Down, only ever released one full-length — a self-titled in 2000 on Tee Pee — and splits with Acid King and The Obsessed (the latter a single with A and B side Lynyrd Skynyrd covers) before fizzling out. As late as 2004, they had a track appearance on the High Volume compilation released via High Times, but that’s the last heard from the instrumental classic heavy rockers to date. Once you’ve heard it all, there’s no place else to go.

In that regard, that makes the two tracks they included on the 2001 Acid King split all the more special. Featuring guest contributions from Wino on vocals and ebow, the two tracks “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” and “Veiled” that made up Mystick Krewe‘s portion of the split — which was subtitled The Father, the Son and the Holy Smoke in ultimate stonerly fashion — were a moment never to be repeated. At the time, Spirit Caravan were releasing their second album, Elusive Truth, and the next year, Bower would return to Down to record and release Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow, leaving little time for a lower-profile project like Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, however righteous their jams may have been.

And while those who got down with their organ-heavy boogie the first time have held out vague hopes for a follow-up full-length, it’s yet to happen. Never say never in a world where even Black Flag can reunite, but I’m not exactly holding my breath for new Clearlight material anytime soon. Call me crazy.

So enjoy “Buzzard Hill (My Backyard)” for what it is. Wino gives an especially killer performance, and if you’ve never had the chance to check it out, I think you’ll find it’s worth the time. Happy Wino Wednesday:

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “Dying Inside” in New Orleans with Phil Anselmo, 2009

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 23rd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, it hasn’t been that long since the last time I had Saint Vitus‘ “Dying Inside” as the Wino Wednesday pick, but there are two key differences: One, this clip of the song, which was filmed during a New Orleans warmup show prior to their leaving to play Roadburn in 2009, features guest vocals in the chorus by Down frontman Phil Anselmo (he used to be in some metal band as well, I can’t remember). Two, whatever, it’s Saint Vitus. A second reason need not apply.

Though if you actually want one, another reason to highlight this clip specifically is for drummer Armando Acosta. The number of shows he played with Vitus upon their resurgence in ’09 was few, just the European run that included Roadburn and one or two warmups beforehand. By the time they came through New York in the fall, Acosta was out and Henry Vasquez was in. The reason I didn’t point it out initially though is that the video itself is pretty dark and Acosta can barely be seen. Still, he’s there and you can hear him no problem — as, I’m sure, could people three blocks down the way from One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, where this gig took place.

And of course, “Dying Inside” is just one of several anthems from 1986’s Born too Late LP, along with the title-track and “The War Starter.” Wino‘s first release with the band in place of vocalist Scott Reagers is one of the all-time most classic albums in doom, so yeah, looking for excuses to post a song from it is probably pointless to begin with. Happy Wino Wednesday:

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