Live Review: Enslaved, YOB, Ecstatic Vision and Witch Mountain in NYC, 03.21.15

Posted in Reviews on March 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

enslaved 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Driving the four-plus hours from Massachusetts to NYC to see Enslaved, YOB, Witch Mountain and Ecstatic Vision on Saturday wasn’t the practical choice, but it was the only choice. True, three of the four would be much, much closer to me this week, but to catch them in a bigger room and with Witch Mountain wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to miss. I left much earlier than I needed to, leaving as little as humanly possible to chance in terms of sitting in traffic, stressing out, etc. Turned out to be one of the easier rides south that I’ve had.

A positive omen? Maybe. I had time to hit Academy Records before the the show, which was a rare pleasure, and plenty of opportunity to catch my breath before doors to Gramercy Theatre opened. Last time I was there was for PentagramKings DestroyBang and Blood Ceremony, and as ambivalent as I was at being back in Manhattan itself, it would prove to be a night surrounded by old friends, laughs and good vibes. More than anything, that made trip worthwhile.

But there was a show on as well, and a killer one at that. An early start for a packed night had Witch Mountain on at 7:30, and here’s how it went from there:

Witch Mountain

witch mountain 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A couple new faces in Portland’s scene-preceding four-piece, Witch Mountain. Very new, as it happened. As in, this was their second show. Led by founding guitarist Rob Wrong and drummer Nate Carson, the band had played Pittsburgh the evening prior, and that was the first gig with newcomer vocalist Kayla Dixon and bassist Justin Brown (also of Lamprey). Night two of the band’s Mk. III lineup was a short set, but they made the most of it and showcased the potential for continued growth. Dixon had a distinctly metallic presence as frontwoman, and the entire band, Brown included, seemed to relish the opportunity to have a bigger stage on which to unfurl their doom. Again, their time was brief, but “Psycho Animundi” from last year’s Mobile of Angels (review here) more than ably demonstrated Dixon‘s vocal range, while “Veil of the Forgotten” and particularly the end of “Shelter” from 2012’s Cauldron of the Wild (review here) thrust into an almost power metal presentation, already edging up to the boundaries of a shifting personality for the band. Especially for it being night two, it was an encouraging sight. I’d expect over time Witch Mountain will loosen up further in presence as they continue to tighten sonically, but I felt fortunate to see that process at its beginning.

Ecstatic Vision

ecstatic vision 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the four bands on the bill, I wondered most about how Ecstatic Vision‘s sound would translate to the spaciousness of Gramercy Theatre. The Philly three-piece would hardly be the first act in history to play space rock in a high-ceiling room, but for their being a newer band despite the experience of guitarist/vocalist Doug Sabolik and drummer Jordan Crouse in A Life Once Lost, it was a point of curiosity. Some of Sabolik‘s flourish, the chimes on his mic stand and melodica, weren’t as prevalent as they had been when I saw the band open for YOB at the Saint Vitus Bar in December (review here), but they did well all the same, and bassist Michael Connor‘s tone came through the house clear and warm in kind. Their custom lighting, the rope lights around the drums, strobe, and so on, left Connor more or less out of the equation, and that seemed to create some imbalance on stage, but unless you happened to be the black metal purists positioned in front of me as I watched Estatic Vision space out on encompassing, fluid psychedelic jams, there was little to argue with as they warmed up and settled into their engaging vibe. They still don’t have much recorded but are expected to make a debut sometime later this year on Relapse. Still worth keeping an eye on.

YOB

yob 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Would YOB do “Marrow” in that room? Yes, they would. Three of the four cuts from last year’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here) — also my pick for the best album of 2014 — were aired, with opening duo “In Our Blood” and the scorching “Nothing to Win” leading to the aforementioned 19-minute record-closer, which was followed in turn by the title-track of their 2011 sixth album, Atma (review here), the Eugene, Oregon, three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Aaron Rieseberg and drummer Travis Foster crisp in their delivery but not at all dead-eyed in the here’s-another-show way one might expect after their having spent the better part of the last three weeks on the road. The run with Enslaved ends this week, but YOB will continue to tour their way back west before returning in May to the East Coast for Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore. In New York, their response showed a considerable crossover response from the clearly-there-for-Enslaved contingent, particularly as the culmination of “Marrow” hit and they followed it by the gallop-laden “Atma,” which seemed all the more furious in comparison. I’ve seen YOB at least five times in the last 12 months and have yet to come out of a set without any regrets. Foster‘s snare was loud in the house mix, but so was everything else, so, you know, it kind of worked itself out. Every accolade YOB gets, they earn. I know they did that European stint last year with Pallbearer, and that was a month-plus on the road, but it’s still a change to think of YOB as a touring band after their years of keeping shows limited. While I wonder what the rest of 2015 will hold for them, I also couldn’t help but notice how sustainable and decidedly un-worn they looked on stage, like they could just keep going. I doubt they’d have met any complaints if they had.

Enslaved

Enslaved (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Last time I saw Enslaved in New York was early 2013. They played the Bowery Ballroom (review here), which is a not-insignificant space in itself, but not as sizable as the Gramercy, and I think it says something about the long-running Norwegian outfit’s growing US fanbase that their return to Manhattan would be in a larger venue. They’re supporting the release of their 13th full-length, In Times (review forthcoming) on Nuclear Blast, but new material or old, they had the room on their side from the word go. Bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson joked with the crowd between songs, and by the time they got down to playing the title-track from In Times laughingly promised the crowd that it would be the last new song they played. For what it’s worth, I didn’t notice much of a change in reception for recent or older material. Sure, a song like “The Watcher” from 2008’s Vertebrae, with its mega-chorus, or a by-now staple like “Ruun” from the 2006 LP of the same name is bound to get a response, but “Thurisaz Dreaming” and “Building with Fire” sat well alongside those and “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” from 2012’s RIITIIR (review here), and wherever the band headed, the crowd went along. Of course, their stage presentation was air-tight, Kjellson holding down a frontman role flanked on either side by guitarists Ivar Bjørnson and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal, while keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen made a case for up-front featuring of his own with stellar command of the clean-sung parts — I saw Enslaved for the first time eight years ago at SXSW, and I’d mark Larsen‘s growth as a vocalist among the foremost catalysts enabling their musical progression in that time; that growth was, I’ll note, already underway for several years by then — and drummer Cato Bekkevold sat swallowed up by his expansive kit surrounding. They came out one at a time to start their set and for the encore, and each time Bekkevold sat down, he disappeared. Good for a laugh, but he also used that whole drumset, and flawlessly. Their encore was “As Fire Swept Clean the Earth” from 2003’s Below the Lights, “Fenris” from 1994’s sophomore outing, Frost, and the title-cut from 2004’s landmark Isa, and when it was over, there was nothing left for the audience to do but leave, having so thoroughly been handed its ass on a platter by the five-piece, whose reach seems only to continue growing with time.

If you want the short version, the show was a win, but what made it even better was seeing old friends throughout the night and catching up, and that was something that continued even as security started shuffling people out of the downstairs lounge. On my way back north on Sunday, it was the memories of good times and good music that seemed to make the trip shorter, both thoroughly appreciated.

Speaking of old friends, this review is dedicated to Loana dP Valencia of Nuclear Blast, alongside whom it has been my complete and utter pleasure to work for the last decade.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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GIVEAWAY: Win Borracho & Eggnogg Split 7″ Vinyl from Palaver Records!

Posted in Features on March 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

borracho eggnogg vinyl

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Easily one of the best short releases I’ve heard so far this year, I’m stoked to be able to giveaway TWO copies of the brand new Sludgy Erna Bastard split 7″ by Borracho and Eggnogg. The vinyl was released on March 19 by Palaver Records, and to win a copy all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Make sure your email address is in the form provided so if your name is drawn, I actually have a way to contact you. Would be helpful. Winners will be drawn and notified on (or around) Monday, March 30.

Sludgy Erna Bastard (review here) brings new material from both outfits, Washington D.C. trio Borracho‘s “King’s Disease” offering a taste of what the follow-up to 2013’s Oculus might hold and their progression as a riff-riding three-piece after a likewise encouraging split last year with Boston’s Cortez, while Eggnogg provide a reminder of their elephantine stomp and gleefully weirdo vibe with “Slugworth,” their first new studio track since 2012’s Louis EP and released ahead of the coming full-length, You’re all Invited.

I feel like past the words “free vinyl,” this one doesn’t really need me to sell it, but both cuts are quality work on the part of the bands, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the giveaway. Vinyl is limited to 300 copies with art from Eggnogg‘s Justin M. Karol, and if you need a refresher of the badassery on hand, here’s the full stream of both tracks:

Once again, how to enter:

Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form provided. Please note: I neither have the interest nor the capacity to save or sell any personal information given to me. You will not be added to any email lists as a result of entering. It’s really just free vinyl.

Good luck to all who enter and thanks to Palaver Records for the giveaway! Please check them out and the bands as well.

Palaver Records

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

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Blackout, Blackout: Cavetone

Posted in Reviews on March 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

blackout blackout

Blackout‘s self-titled full-length debut is going to get its point across, even if it has to roll right over you to do it. About 18 months after releasing their debut EP, We are Here (review here), the Brooklynite trio enter RidingEasy Records‘ worldwide search for the biggest riffs with their first LP, a seven-song monolith of thickened tones, blown-out vocals and molasses-churning groove with enough lumber in it to replenish your favorite rainforest. Perhaps its most distinguishing feature is its unrepentant primitive stylization. That is, Blackout are not interested in carving their own niche so much as caveman-clubbing the impulse to do in the first place. Blackout‘s 38 minutes offer little deviation from the central theme of play-loud-play-large, and guitarist/vocalist Christian Gordy, bassist Justin Sherrell and drummer Taryn Waldman seem to delight in such a weighted presentation of a classic punker ethic, keeping simple what, when done so well, requires no complication in the first place. Like We are Here before it, Blackout carves neatly into two sides — all song titles single words — and was clearly intended to convey a vinyl listening experience, but the album goes a step further in affirming that what seemed formative on We are Here is, in fact, the basis for Blackout‘s aesthetic. They weren’t just screwing around, and they weren’t about to go off and sacrifice the heaviness working so much in their favor in the name of progression. One can hear growth on Blackout‘s self-titled from the prior EP, but it’s more about how assured the three-piece sounds in what they’re doing than about an uptick in stylistic range.

This is fortunate. While one may have expected that Blackout‘s stomping MelvinsSleep and (inevitably) Sabbath idolatry would’ve led them to more intricate explorations, the album’s better off for not. A solid minute of feedback buildup introduces opener “Lost,” which delivers its chorus late but makes for a resonant, rumbling launch nonetheless, the first of four on side A and followed by the eponymous “Blackout.” Subtle layers of guitar in the beginning give way to a raucous, shouted hook before a stop sets up a chugging, thudding build that returns to full heft just before the three-minute mark but keeps a slower tempo until about the last 20 seconds, at which point it returns to the hook to finish out. In many ways — tonally, ethically, and for the most part structurally — the course of Blackout‘s Blackout is set. Closing duo “Tannered” and “Human” on side B are longer and push into jammier roll, but as a sample of what the album has to offer, the first two tracks serve well, the underlying sense of chaos in the opener standing in as a preview of the noise wash that also closes. Third cut “Nightmare” picks up with Sherrell‘s bass and Waldman‘s drums before the guitar joins in, but Gordy isn’t far off, and the slowdown and echoing drawl of the vocals feel both in character for the band and a nod to the tempo shifts that make their material fresh and exciting despite its familiar elemental makeup. “Nightmare” has a touch more atmosphere to it than “Blackout,” which is the shortest cut on Blackout at four minutes, and the end-section freak-jam is a highlight of side A, which caps with the marching “Sprites.”

blackout

Side B picks up with “Cross,” which seems to herald business as usual, right down to the wailing over the slowdown in its midsection, but proves immersive nonetheless as its pushes toward a false ending and beyond with commanding, hypnotic repetition that seems to be interrupted by a final verse before a big rock finish that sounds drunker than it probably is ends the song. The primary impression of Blackout‘s second half, however, is in “Tannered” and “Human.” Like the song “Blackout,” “Tannered” appeared last year on Blackout‘s live-recorded Converse EP (review here) along with a cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” that, if the self-titled’s album art is a reference to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks‘ 1973 Buckingham Nicks debut, at least means it wouldn’t be the first Fleetwood Mac association. Here though, “Tannered” is more assured and volatile. Vocals are layered in shouts and screams, but too deep in the mix to be abrasive, and by the time Blackout get there, pretty much anything goes. Vocals come forward late and the song ends cold, leading to the seven-minute “Human,” which is the longest of the record and follows a linear course pushing to the apex of its final movement with plenty of room for a squibbled solo in the meantime. There aren’t too many surprises on Blackout, and it’s not like GordySherrell and Waldman are hiding anything up their collective sleeve, but what makes the album work is precisely that. It’s a raw, honest and unremittingly heavy full-length debut makes zero effort to pretend to be anything it isn’t, and ultimately, it would seem unfair to ask anything more of it that what’s delivered. Fuck it, riff out.

Blackout, Blackout (2015)

Blackout on Thee Facebooks

Blackout on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records

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Godmaker, Mountain God and Kosmodemonic Announce April Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next month, Brooklyn doom-sludgers GodmakerMountain God and Kosmodemonic will head out on a four-date long-weekender throughout the Northeast. Of course they’ll play Brooklyn, but also Salem, Mass., Philly, PA, and New Paltz, NY, on the run put on by Some Pig Presents. For both Godmaker and Mountain God, it will be their first out-of-town shows since their latest releases came out, Godmaker having issued a self-titled (review here) on Aqualamb and Mountain God having recently overseen the release of their single-song EP, Forest of the Lost (review/stream here). Owing more in style to black metal than the other two, Kosmodemonic released their Chapel Perilous EP on tape last year.

The PR wire has it like this:

godmaker-mountain-god-kosmodemonic-tour-poster

Some Pig Presents: GODMAKER / MOUNTAIN GOD / KOSMODEMONIC Spring 2015 Tour

Local purveyors of doom/psych/sludge metal Godmaker, Mountain God, and Kosmodemonic will be joining forces and taking to the proverbial band van for a 4-date regional run this coming April. Having carved out a strong presence in the Brooklyn heavy scene, all three groups now prepare to destroy on a regional scale, with a string of appearances throughout the Northeast and the support of prominent heavy acts along the way.

Despite having only formed in 2013, Godmaker has already come to be regarded as a musical force that is impossible to ignore, not only in Brooklyn but throughout the metal community at large. They’ve shared the stage with prominent doom and sludge bands including Weedeater, Floor, and Black Cobra, and their self-titled debut, released in November 2014 by Aqualamb records, was received with rave reviews.

With a more atmospheric, but no less confrontational, take on doom metal, Mountain God adds depth and complexity to pure volume through the use of layered textures and labyrinthine songcraft. The result is dense and compelling pieces of music, both in the form of delicately crafted studio work, and a truly cathartic live show. Spring 2015 finds them hot on the heels of their latest release, the 19-minute opus Forest of the Lost. Rounding out the core lineup is Brooklyn-based blackened doom metal specialists Kosmodemonic, whose 2014 debut EP Chapel Perilous reveals an enormous amount of potential from a band fixated on pummeling listeners to the point of hypnosis.

Collectively, these three bands represent a new wave of Brooklyn doom. While rooted in the traditions of pounding brutality and mountainous volume, each brings a refreshing sense of innovation, and a distinctive voice to the world of underground metal. The time has come for this wave to spread beyond Brooklyn, for the new doom to be unleashed…

Dates:

Thursday, April 9 at Don Pedro (Brooklyn, NY) with special guests Maggot Brain and Sun Voyager
Friday, April 10 at Koto (Salem, MA) with special guests Conclave and Eerie
Saturday, April 11 at Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA) with special guests TBA
Sunday, April 12 at Snug Harbor (New Paltz, NY) with special guests Harrower

https://www.facebook.com/events/773672286057402/
https://www.facebook.com/godmakerbk
https://www.facebook.com/MountainGodBand
https://www.facebook.com/kosmodemonic

Godmaker, Godmaker (2014)

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Kings Destroy Self-Titled CD/LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kings destroy (Photo by JJ Koczan)

When Kings Destroy issued A Time of Hunting in 2013, I more recommended the album than reviewed it, which felt fair. I was haunted by that record’s genre transgressions and felt compelled to say something, but didn’t want to even attempt to feign objectivity in a review. Their new one, which is self-titled and out in May on War Crime Recordings, will be reviewed. Not that I’m any more distant from this batch of songs than that one — having accompanied the five-piece on tour twice last year, I feel pretty close, actually — just that with a record between this and their 2010 debut, And the Rest Will Surely Perish, which came out on this site’s once-upon-a-time in-house label, The Maple Forum, maybe I’m a little more comfortable dropping the pretense. Or maybe I just wanna talk about how “Smokey Robinson” kicks ass. Whatever. Either way.

So look out for that in the weeks to come if you’re so inclined, and check out the album announcement below, complete with blurbs from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt and Pentagram‘s Bobby Liebling, as well as preorder links, courtesy of the PR wire:

kings destroy kings destroy

KINGS DESTROY: Brooklyn Stoner Rock/Doom Unit To Release New Full-Length Via War Crime Recordings; Preorders Available

Brooklyn stoner rock/doom unit KINGS DESTROY will unleash a brand new studio offering on May 5th. The self-titled monster and follow-up to last year’s critically-lauded A Time Of Hunting full-length was produced and mixed by Sanford Parker (Twilight, Voivod, Eyehategod, Yob etc.) at Studio G in Brooklyn, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) at The Boiler Room in Chicago and delivers seven, lead-footed doom rock hymns.

With their third album in four years, KINGS DESTROY leave their hardcore-born stamp on noise rock and doom. After sharing stages with Pentagram, Winter, Saint Vitus, Church of Misery, Yob, Pallbearer, Vista Chino, Orange Goblin, Trouble, Acid King, Corrosion Of Conformity and so many others, the five-piece stand tall with their defining statement. Championed Yob guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, “It’s a great album. Heavy, yes. Doom? Yes, with a dose of the best of the ’90s. I’m a fan of the ’90s,” he further elaborates, “so that is meant as a compliment. But what is best about KINGS DESTROY is that they write good songs. Helmet meets early Queens Of The Stone Age meets Kyuss/Unida, roughly. [Steve] Murphy’s vocals are strong and really steps up what is already killer. Great production, tones, performances.” Adds Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, “KINGS DESTROY is some heavy shit. I can feel the emotion. I can tell Murphy has got some serious pain; he’s singing from his balls.”

Kings Destroy Track Listing:
1. Smokey Robinson
2. Mr. O
3. W2
4. Mythomania
5. Embers
6. Green Diamonds
7. Time for War

KINGS DESTROY is the name of an infamous graffiti gang from the Bronx circa late ’70s/early ’80s. The band members met in this vicinity and were heavily involved in the New York Hardcore scene of the late ’80s that merged hardcore music, metal, graffiti and hip hop. The band unites musicians from many of the genres’ most prolific bands. Hailing from the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, KINGS DESTROY features guitarists Carl Porcaro and Chris Skowronski from legendary, 100K album selling Killing Time, vocalist Steve Murphy from Uppercut, drummer Rob Sefcik formerly of The Begotten, Uppercut, Fur and Electric Frankenstein and bassist Aaron Bumpus.

Kings Destroy will be released on LP, CD and digitally on May 5th, 2015 via War Crime Recordings. CD preorders are currently available HERE. For vinyl preorders go HERE.

http://www.facebook.com/KingsDestroy
http://www.kingsdestroy.com
http://www.facebook.com/WarCrimeRecordings

Kings Destroy, “Smokey Robinson” Live at the Met, Pawtucket, RI

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On Wax: Sweet Times Vol. 2 Four-Way Split

Posted in On Wax on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

sweet-times-vol-2-front-vinyl-glasses

If nothing else, the second installment in Who Can You Trust? RecordsSweet Times 7″ series is an efficient use of space. Perhaps even more than its predecessor, which also included four bands, it squeezes seemingly disparate takes on heavy rock onto two sides of what might come across as a sampler for busy heads on the go were it not for the fact that you need a turntable to listen to it. Still, an impressive feat, and all the more when one considers the ground it covers, from the sweet ’70s melodies of Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass to Italian psych-garage rockers Sultan Bathery on side A, and from the sweet classic punk of New York’s Metalleg to the doom-tease-into-Motörhead-jolt of Gorilla. All told, it’s done in under 10 minutes, depending on how fast you flip the platter, and gives a brief glance at some of what each band has to offer. sweet-times-vol-2-front-coverPlus, it comes with 3-D glasses! Because the future!

Yes, the artwork of the 7″, which is pressed in an edition of 500 copies (black vinyl) and comes in thick card stock, is colored so that the included class-style blue and red 3-D glasses make it pop out. Likely you don’t need me to tell you that’s awesome — all the more so because it actually includes the glasses — but even more of a draw are the four songs themselves. The Golden Grass lead off with “All You Have Grown” (premiered here), which at just over three minutes is actually the longest inclusion here. The trio don’t need anymore time than that to establish a resonant, bright melody and a hook, and while the track seems to end cold in comparison to some of what appeared on their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), one can hardly fault them, particularly in context of sharing the side with Sultan Bathery, whose handclap-inclusive “15 Minutes” is a fuzz-drenched rhythmic joy of primal proto-heavy. No time for frills, but a buzzsaw solo carries to side A’s sudden finish with just a second of tape hiss left over for good measure.

I feel like my hand is barely off the turntable arm before Metalleg‘s “Chained” is over. At just 74 seconds, it’s a warm-toned Ramones-style chorus the three-piece — who no doubt by now are tired of being compared to the Ramones — have crafted, and they quickly showcase a grasp for the affinity early punk showed for pop before pop-punk became a commercial force. The tone is warm and sweet-times-vol-2-side-bnatural, raw but not necessarily aggressive, which is all the better for Gorilla, who finish out Sweet Times Vol. 2 with “Three Squealer” by tossing off a measure of a riff spawned from the same muck that birthed “Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes” before they gleefully pull the rug from under it and, after a couple stick-clicks, hit into the aforementioned Motörhead-style rush. Given where they’re coming from, one would expect little wasted space in “Three Squealer” and Gorilla comply ably, ending the release with one last hook and genre crossover that, somehow, fits just as well as the donations from The Golden GrassSultan Bathery, and Metalleg.

Maybe part of what makes it work is that it’s done so soon, but I’m not inclined to argue either way. Who Can You Trust? Records has already issued a follow-up to Sweet Times Vol. 2 that includes Death AlleyWild HoneyPastor and Sonic Love Affair, so they’re keeping true to the form here in working at a speedy pace. It certainly serves the bands well, so I see no reason why it shouldn’t do the same for the label.

VA, Sweet Times Vol. 2 (2014)

The Golden Grass on Thee Facebooks

Sultan Bathery on The Facebooks

Metalleg on Thee Facebooks

Gorilla on Thee Facebooks

Who Can You Trust? Records’ BigCartel store

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

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Mirror Queen’s Scaffolds of the Sky Due April 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mirror queen

I’m not sure if the song below is “Scaffolds of the Sky,” like the album title of Mirror Queen‘s forthcoming long-player due out April 21 on Tee Pee, or if it’s “Scaffold of the Skies,” which is what the track is listed at on the Soundcloud player, but it’s probably more important to take away the album’s release date anyhow. That was April 21, if you missed it, and since it’s the same day Tee Pee is releasing the new The Atomic Bitchwax record, Mirror Queen are in good company. I’ve seen the NYC four-piece play some excellent gigs since their 2011 debut, From Earth Below, was released — as well as seen them have a couple lineup changes — and the new cut, whatever you might want to call it, only makes the prospect of the album from which it comes more intriguing.

The PR wire asks you to dig:

mirror queen scaffolds of the sky

MIRROR QUEEN to Release New Album Scaffolds of the Sky April 21

NYC Volume Dealers Take Guitar Rock by Force with Ominously Titled New LP

New York City’s MIRROR QUEEN will release its new album Scaffolds of the Sky on April 21 via Tee Pee Records. The follow-up to the band’s 2011 LP, From Earth Below, Scaffolds of the Sky was recorded in front of a wall of Marshall amplifiers at Momek Studios in Brooklyn, and was mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering (Roky Erickson, Big Star). A mainstay in the NYC hard rock scene, MIRROR QUEEN has shared the stage with heavyweight peers such as Earthless and The Shrine and toured Europe with legends such as Uli Jon Roth and UFO.

Scaffolds of the Sky is available for pre-order purchase now at this location.

MIRROR QUEEN’s driving music accelerates at the distinct point where NWOBHM and heavy Prog Rock intersect; a direct and definite delineation of an era when urgent metallic sound was the order of the day. MIRROR QUEEN’s twin-guitar harmonies and rhythmic gallop? recall early Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, while its hook-laden, timeless riffs and instrumental fireworks reference cherished champions UFO, Blue Öyster Cult and Captain Beyond. Scaffolds of the Sky is a modern day collection of laser-focused, lights out songs that carry the listener across a myriad of musical thresholds, each at once, time-honored and top-notch.

Scaffolds of the Sky track listing:

1.) Scaffolds of the Sky
2.) Quarantined
3.) Strangers in Our Own Time
4.) Vagabondage
5.) At the Borderline at the Edge of Time
6.) Dark Ships Arrived
7.) Wings Wetted Down

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorqueennyc
http://teepeerecords.com/

Mirror Queen, “Scaffold of the Skies”

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Borracho and Eggnogg Announce Sludgy Erna Bastard Split; Both Tracks Streaming

Posted in audiObelisk on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

borracho

eggnogg

Today — pretty much right now, if you want to be technical about it — Palaver Records has launched preorders for the first in a series of split 7″s it’s calling Sludgy Erna Bastard. Say the title out loud and with just the right accent and it becomes a play on “sludgier than a bastard,” which is a standard that the first installment, featuring Washington D.C. heavy rockers Borracho and Brooklyn’s own Eggnogg, easily lives up to across its relatively brief span. Both bands contribute one song, topped off with cover art by Eggnogg guitarist Justin M. Karol, and between the two of them it’s more or less 11 minutes of choice, thick-cut riffing and heavy, rolled-out grooves, Borracho‘s “King’s Disease” finding that trio pushing further its modus of hooks and badass swing, while Eggnogg‘s “Slugworth” unleashes an elephantine stomp that’s bound to turn some heads their way.

borracho king's diseaseWhat the two bands have in common is that they’re both in the process of settling into their current configuration. For BorrachoSludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1 is another step forward from last year’s split with Boston’s Cortez (review here) and their second full-length, 2013’s Oculus (review here), and as one can hear on the track, guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano sound not only cohesive but dynamic, the chemistry between the three of them having been honed across a bevvy of short tours, around the Eastern Seaboard, in Europe last year (including a stop at Desertfest), and most recently for three shows in California last month. As their reach has expanded — they’ll also have a split out on Ripple in April/May with Volume IV – their riffy style has solidified, and after starting as a four-piece on their first album, 2011’s grower Splitting Sky (review here), they’ve progressed into one of the finest three-pieces East Coast heavy rock has to offer. “King’s Disease” has a touch of Southern-styled raucousness to it, but is right in line with the kind of roll that Borracho does best.

While Borracho went from four to three, Eggnogg have gone from three to four in the last couple years. Bassist Corey Dozier joined in 2013 as Bill O’Sullivan (also vocals) moved from bass to guitar alongside Karol, and drummer Jason Prushko (also of math-rockers Mean Little Blanket and numerous other projects) came aboard in 2012, following the recording of Eggnogg‘s most recent studio outing, the Louis EP (review here) — though they also had a compilation of material, Apocrypha, out in 2013. As the first recorded track with both Prushko and Dozier eggnogg slugworthinvolved, “Slugworth” bodes remarkably well for what might come when Eggnogg get down to releasing their awaited next full-length, You’re all Invited, as their nod has never sounded more righteous. “Slugworth” starts out all quiet an unassuming, but once the full tonal thickness kicks in, it’s an enviable push of low end, Prushko‘s kick drum the hard foot landing each crater-making marker of time. Palaver says Eggnogg‘s You’re all Invited is due to release later this year. Listening to “Slugworth,” I hope even more that turns out to be the case.

Sludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1: Borracho & Eggnogg is out March 19 and can be ordered now from Borracho‘s Bandcamp and Eggnogg‘s Bandcamp. Please enjoy the premiere of “King’s Disease” and “Slugworth” below, followed by the official announcement from Palaver:

Palaver Records announce split 7” featuring Borracho & Eggnogg

Palaver Records announce the release of a new split 7” single featuring Washington, DC riff monopolizers Borracho and Brooklyn, New York-based genre-bending heavy rockers Eggnogg, to be released on March 19. The record will feature a brand new Borracho original “King’s Disease” and new Eggnogg tripper “Slugworth.” The limited edition of 300 copies will be available on black vinyl, with original artwork by Eggnogg’s own Justin Karol. Both tracks can now be streamed at TheObelisk.net, and preorders are available from Palaver Records.

The record is the first in Palaver Records’ new “Sludgy Erna Bastard” series, that aims to pair up and highlight some of the best heavy underground acts today. Palaver Records representative Gary Branigan said “We’ve been working with Eggnogg for 4-5 years now and really want to embrace this scene. We’ve never seen such a responsive audience. Sludgy Erna Bastard will cater to fans of heavy rock (desert, stoner, doom, sludge, psychedelic), specifically those that love vinyl. The name Sludgy Erna Bastard is a play on words from an American phrase. This is the first of many Sludgy Erna Bastard releases. All of which will feature two bands with artwork by Justin Karol from Eggnogg.”

Sludgy Erna Bastard will be Eggnogg’s first release since 2013’s Eggnogg Apocrypha. After a break in studio recording following the departure of drummer Ryan Quinn, Eggnogg is proud to present the “Slugworth” single, a fascinating excerpt from their forthcoming LP You’re All Invited. Featuring the drumming of Jason Prushko, who joined Eggnogg’s ranks in the summer of 2012, “Slugworth” marks a new height of creative achievement for the band. “Slugworth” is an indication of things to come from a newly resurrected Eggnogg—one which promises to be “sludgier than a bastard.” Eggnogg’s part in the split single Sludgy Erna Bastard will pave the way for their full-length You’re All Invited, which will be released in 2015.

This release is Borracho’s second split 7” in the past year, following 2014’s split with Cortez. In that time the band has taken their live show to Europe and back, and will be kicking off a schedule of winter and spring dates in the eastern US starting tomorrow. The dates include some familiar stops, and team the band up with some powerhouses and rising stars of the US stoner/doom scene. Their March 20 hometown show at The Pinch in Washington DC will serve as the official 7” release show, and will also feature Columbus OH fuzz-freaks Lo-Pan and Detroit’s Against the Grain. Expect more news and new music from Borracho very soon.

Borracho Eastern US dates
February 19 – Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge w/ Carousel, Joy & Caustic Casanova
March 20 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Lo-Pan & Against the Grain
March 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Doctor Smoke, Wasted Theory & Heavy Temple
March 27 – York, PA @ The Depot w/ Doctor Smoke & Wasted Theory
March 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery w/ Elder, Fortress & The Convocation
April 25 – Stroudsburgh, PA @ The Livingroom
June 7 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Mos Generator, Wounded Giant & Wasted Theory

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Borracho on Bandcamp

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Bandcamp

Palaver Records’ store

Palaver Records

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