Pizzafest 4 Set for June 22-24 in Brooklyn

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Next weekend — not this weekend, the one after that — King Pizza Records hosts Pizzafest 4 in Brooklyn at The Gutter and El Cortez. The lineup boasts 21 bands by my count playing over the course of three days from June 22 to June 24, and I’ll readily admit that I’m completely unfamiliar with more than half of them. To be honest, that’s a big part of the appeal to me in putting together a post about it.

Sure, names like Sun Voyager — who released their latest single, “Trip” (posted here), in January — and The Mad Doctors, whose No Waves, Just Sharks (discussed here) came out in April, are readily familiar, and so too are several others, but Panther MartinThe UndersMax Pain and the Groovies? Well I feel like a real square in saying so, but I’ve never heard these bands and have no idea what they might sound like. Isn’t that fantastic?

There are few better feelings for me than go-do-your-homework when it comes to finding new bands, and with King Pizza‘s penchant for finding the off-kilter in noise, punk and psych, I’ve little doubt there are more than few here worth digging into. So if you need me, I’ll be doing that. Think of the lineup as a checklist and feel free to dig in as well:

pizzafest 4 poster

Pizzafest 4 – June 22-24 @ The Gutter & El Cortez, Brooklyn, NY

Pizzafest a three-day festival of rock n roll, pizza, comedy, weirdo art, and more.

Following tradition, we’re also releasing a tape that weekend – this year for Brooklyn indie rockers El Silver Cabs.

Lineup:

Thur June 22 @ The Gutter (200 N 14th St. Brooklyn)
7pm, $8
Evolfo
Sirs & Madams
Jacques le Coque (CT)
Greasy Hearts
Lumps

Fri June 23 @ The Gutter (200 N 14th St. Brooklyn)
7pm, $8
The Mad Doctors
The Lushpockets (MD)
The Rizzos
Deadly Lo-Fi (GA)
Super FM
Max Pain & The Groovies

Sat June 24 @ El Cortez (17 Ingraham St. Brooklyn)
3pm, $10
The Royal They
Sun Voyager
Panther Martin (CO)
El Silver Cabs (tape release)
Suzies (MI)
Francie Moon (NJ)
Garbage Brain (NJ)
The Unders
Spowder (NJ)
Leg Days
+ DJ Dollarbin & DJ Bagels & Lox spinning after the bands/all night long

All daze hosted by Casey Regan
+ Readings from the Book of Yum Yums by Pizza Scribe Napolitano
++ Pizza
+++ More weirdness

All shows 21+
Snag discount 3-day tickets: http://ptix.co/2prfrD3

https://www.facebook.com/events/301790700240896/
http://ptix.co/2prfrD3
http://kingpizzarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kingpizzarecs/

Sun Voyager, “Trip”

The Mad Doctors, No Waves, Just Sharks (2017)

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Dead Heavens to Release Whatever Witch You Are June 16; Northeast Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dead heavens

New York-based Dead Heavens will issue their debut long-player June 16 via Dine Alone Records. Titled Whatever Witch You Are, the album will be supported by a run of Northeastern tour dates around the release date, and it gets a preview in the form of streaming track “Adderall Highway,” which toes the line between heavy indie, desert push and psychedelic rock while still managing to toss out a hook fervent enough to pull one in on first listen. The band, whose pedigree is formidable and detailed below, have their roots in more aggressive fare, but dig back further into classic rock for influences, and I guess when you mash all that stuff together with some pretty clear willful direction-taking, this is what you get. Won’t hear me complain.

The PR wire brings copious details, and you can hear the audio of “Adderall Highway” at the bottom of this post. Whatever Witch You Are is up for preorder now, as the following affirms:

dead-heavens-whatever-witch-you-are

Dead Heavens (Quicksand, Cults, White Zombie) Release Song Today + New Album + Tour Dates Added

New Album Whatever Witch You Are Out June 16

East Coast Tour Starts June 14

New York City’s Dead Heavens, the psych-rock project of guitarist and frontman Walter Schreifels (Vanishing Life, Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand, and more), Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica), Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another), and Nathan Aguilar (Cults), have released their song “Adderall Highway.”. The song appears on their forthcoming album Whatever Witch You Are, out June 16 on Dine Alone Records. Pre-order the album here.

Walter Schreifels talks about the inspiration behind the song: “Adderall Highway was born somewhere between Düsseldorf and Salzburg at the speed of 115-120mph. We were on our first European tour and taking advantage of Germany’s hyper-efficient autobahn system to make up some lost time between shows. As we watched the idyllic German countryside whirr by our windows the Riff to Adderall Highway stirred in our very souls.”

Whatever Witch You Are, their first full-length, plays effortlessly as a new-classic blues rock album— a new-millennium Fresh Cream or Let it Bleed — only with sharp-angular sounds, noticeably psyche inflections, and melodies that seem wrought out of rebar: strong, pared down, and purposeful at every point. If anything, their musical origins have permitted Dead Heavens to approach blues and psyche rock unnostalgically, arriving at an audibly honest sound, stripped of any of the tassels or affectation. The drums hit heavy. The guitars hit heavy. Yet hovering above them both is always Schreifels’ sandier vocals, urging us on through life’s endless freakishness and frustrations.

“Many of these songs are love songs,” Schreifels explains, “ Basic Cable is about love but a modern love that’s lost its way— when couples are stuck at home, binge-watching or glued to their phones, absently doing the dishes, unsatisfied until they finally realize that what they really need is to just go outside. This song is for when they finally get out there.” The pent-energy of this opening single explodes and never lets up, fueling quasi-Krautrock stretches in Goldtooth or Bad Luck Child, coasters like Silver Sea or Experience, or the pounding rock of Adderall Highway and Away from the Speed. Following a burst of earlier singles like History in my Hands and Feel Low, this album is made for One Big Listen, and its lone rest stop, The Moon Will Listen (But Not the Sun), begins reflectively but shifts into full rollick by its second half.

Dead Heavens first coalesced during a solo tour for Schreifels, in 2013, with Thomas and Aguilar as backing band. Swapping and trading music for road listening— Cream, My Bloody Valentine, White Fence— together the three distilled the musical mood that would soon characterize Dead Heavens. Upon returning to New York, Aguilar reacquainted Thomas and Schreifels with musician, painter, and sound engineer Paul Kostabi, who felicitously still owned the reel-to-reel on which Schreifels had recorded Gorilla Biscuits’ Start Today in 1989, and— in another claim to fame— had coined the title of Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion. Their sympathies obvious, then, they leapt into recording at Kostabi’s Thunderdome Studios, and welcomed on Kostabi as a second lead guitar. A shotgun home studio set in the marshes of Piermont, New York, Thunderdome also guarded a trove of 70’s recording reels from Black Sabbath, The James Gang, and Jimi Hendrix— reels that played between takes and liberally infused the cauldron with an inspiringly darker magic.

But as the title tells you, Whatever Witch You Are enjoins us to radically accept this darker magic, “in the sense of accepting a strong, strange, powerful woman who freaks out people precisely for all her powers,” Schreifels says, “and not just in love, but acceptance in a modern world that can often isolate us, and make us feel like freaks. For the full 36 minutes of this record, we want people to be able to embrace this freakishness.” Even when our world’s havoc-tossed, and our heavens dead, the lifers out there will always shrug it off and ready themselves for the strange new era.

Dead Heavens Tour Dates
6/14 – New Haven, CT – BAR – New Haven
6/15 – Newport, RI – The Parlor
6/16 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
6/17 – Garwood, NJ – Crossroads
6/18 – Washington, DC – DC9 Nightclub
6/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie

http://www.deadheavens.com/
https://www.facebook.com/deadheavens
https://twitter.com/dead_heavens
https://www.instagram.com/deadheavens/
http://hyperurl.co/deadheavens
http://dinealonerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dinealonerecords

Dead Heavens, “Adderall Highway”

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Review & Full Album Stream: Geezer, Psychoriffadelia

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

geezer psychoriffadelia

[Click play above to stream Geezer’s Psychoriffadelia in its entirety. It’s out June 9 via Kozmik Artifactz and STB Records.]

There are multiple angles of approach one might take when it comes to Geezer‘s fourth long-player, Psychoriffadelia. Like the title itself, the tracks are a mash of the different ideas the New York-based band have been advancing since their beginnings, working in a scope of heavy psychedelic jamming, classic heavy rock, heavy blues and often more than a touch of stoner sleaze. No, it’s not a coincidence that I used the word “heavy” three separate times in that last sentence. That’s been a running theme for Geezer‘s work all along, from their 2013 debut, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues through the EP-turned-full-length Gage (review here) and most realized on last year’s self-titled third outing (review here), and Psychoriffadelia finds them more than happy to pick up the thread and run with it for the course of its five tracks and 39 minutes, delivered through Kozmik Artifactz in Europe and STB Records in North America.

One finds, however, that the most defining aspect of Psychoriffadelia might just be transience. There is evidence of growth even from where the self-titled had them to be heard in the overall balance between jammy flow and songcraft — Geezer have taken the lessons of Texas’ Wo Fat (who in 2009 put out an album called Psychedelonaut and might be this generation’s masters of the form in the US) and incorporated them into their Northeastern grit — and their sound is ever more identifiable as their own with guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington coming across as more comfortable in tackling vocal melodies on a cut like “Red Hook,” but with the bulk of the material recorded live in the studio — Redbird Studio in NYC — in a single day, the natural vibe that persists as a result, and the inextricable link between Psychoriffadelia‘s release and Geezer‘s first-ever European tour, set for this summer, it’s a fleeting sensibility that most emerges from this material. The fruit of a moment that, no matter what Geezer do from this point on in their tenure, won’t come again.

Add to that the lineup factor. Harrington and bassist Richie Touseull work here with Charles Ruggiero, who steps in to take the place of founding drummer Chris TurcoRuggiero is an ex-bandmate of Harrington‘s in woefully-monikered hard rockers Slunt, so it’s no surprise to find there’s chemistry there based on their past experience playing together, but though he’ll play on the tour as well, Ruggiero is still officially filling in for Turco. So even in their makeup in terms of who’s playing, Geezer seem to be captured here in a state of flux. All the better to get that cover of Nazareth‘s “Hair of the Dog” to tape while the getting’s good. That cowbell-infused, attitude-laden classic serves as Geezer‘s launch for Psychoriffadelia, and Harrington‘s gravely voice does well in taking on its mega-hook, “Now you’re messing with the son of a bitch,” delivering the line with a swagger that goes on to inform the rest of side A in “Stressknots” and the 10-minute “Psychoriffadelia” itself. The former is a chugging enterprise of marked heft and fuzz but a creeping melodic verse, building in energy as it shifts toward its chorus, Geezer working effectively in their more straightforward songcraft modus on what’s the shortest inclusion here, original or otherwise, at 4:40.

An open, bluesy bridge just past the three-minute mark leads back to the charge of the hook and they finish with a section of crackling noise and sparse guitar ambience, leading into the start of the title-track, which buzzes to life over the course of its first 30 seconds before a subdued guitar establishes the defining line for the jam that unfolds. It is especially telling that “Psychoriffadelia” is instrumental in its entirety, as it sends a clear signal of the shift in approach that it marks moving into the rest of the album that bears its name, which, though built to be split over two sides, nonetheless has a linear flow from the title-track into “Red Hook” and 13-minute closer “Dirty Penny.” Transitions are smooth throughout, but the manner in which the cuts in Psychoriffadelia‘s back half feed off each other and the more languid vibe feels like a definite departure from the more raucous “Hair of the Dog” and “Stressknots” — though the finale certainly makes an impression with its hook and strikes a balance between the “psycho,” the “riffa” and the “delia” — and it’s the title-track that serves as the beginning point of that.

geezer photo jj koczan

Even in this linearity, one finds that theme of transience playing out. The turn from “Psychoriffadelia” to the six-minute “Red Hook” is accomplished with a seeming nod to Monster Magnet-style fluidity, and though moodier in its affect, the latter cut is unquestionably the highlight of the album. It’s the most patient and psychedelic unfurling Geezer have executed to-date, and while in the past, a serene beginning like that of “Red Hook” might’ve led to a burst-out of bluesy, boozy heavy riffing — nothing wrong with that — this time, Harrington, Touseull and Ruggiero keep the vibe quiet, thoughtful and emotionally resonant in its melody, adding a new level of depth to their approach not found on the self-titled or any of their releases preceding. In the quick turnaround from their last offering, “Red Hook” is the clearest example on Psychoriffadelia of Geezer‘s continued creative growth. It’s not the only one, but it’s the clearest, and particularly after the immersion of the centerpiece title-track, its arrival feels like it’s being given a distinguished position in the course of the album. That is to say, they know it’s something special, which it is.

After its watery psych strum enters its long fadeout, the low hum that starts “Dirty Penny” takes hold and Harrington‘s voice echoes out the line, “Your pretty face is going to hell,” from deep in the mix, foreshadowing the standout line of the chorus that will serve as Geezer‘s final hook for Psychoriffadelia. Though more grounded than “Red Hook” and more structured feeling than the title-track, “Dirty Penny” still carries a drowsy spirit in its early going, picking up after the three-minute mark with more of a push en route to a quick guitar solo and final runthrough of the sleazy chorus — I’m sure there’s a story to it, but yeah: sleaze — and another, more extended and multi-layered stretch of impressive fretwork that serves as the beginning point for the jam that will consume the rest of the track, beginning in earnest at around six minutes in and expanding outward from there. Funky at the eight-minute mark, explosive by 9:30 and drifting into its compressed slide-and-strum just after 11 minutes in, the ending of “Dirty Penny” feels somewhat pieced together, but that’s also the point, and in that, it reinforces the stylistic patchwork that makes up the record’s title and overarching execution alike.

Geezer have always had an element of self-awareness to their approach, so that they would on Psychoriffadelia as well is nothing new, but what’s important to take from the release is that it shows even in a hurried mindset — putting this version of the band and these freshly-composed songs to tape before the opportunity passed — the band are able to conjure a sense of sonic progression. That’s pivotal, of course, but for most listeners it will be secondary to the quality of the material itself (and probably rightly so), but fortunately for the trio and their audience alike, that also holds up here. Psychoriffadelia finds Geezer mature in their style and firm in the knowledge of who they are and what they want to be as a group, building gracefully on their past aesthetic accomplishments while maintaining the roll, nod, blues and edge that has served them so well thus far. With the palpable development they’ve undertaken and the results that has yielded, Geezer have never sounded so ready for export.

Geezer on Thee Facebooks

Geezer on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz on Twitter

STB Records on Bandcamp

STB Records on Thee Facebooks

STB Records BigCartel store

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Geezer to Release Psychoriffadelia June 9; European Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

geezer

Hey, if you’re gonna go, make an occasion of it. We’ve known for some time that New York heavy psych blues rockers Geezer were headed to Europe in 2017. They were announced in December for the lineup of Freak Valley 2017, and just a couple days after that, confirmed the appearance would coincide with a first tour on European shores.

So what’s new? What’s new is the fact that Geezer will go not only supporting their righteous 2016 self-titled full-length (review here), but a new, fourth LP as well — dubbed Psychoriffadelia and due out June 9 through Kozmik Artifactz in Europe and STB Records in the US with preorders set to start as soon as this post is live. So… now.

Comprised of five tracks that run a 39-minute gamut from the scummer boogie bliss of Nazareth‘s “Hair of the Dog” — “Now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch,” and all — to the vulnerable blues of “Red Hook,” the sleaze of “Dirty Penny” and the megajams that ensue there and in the 10-minute title-track, Psychoriffadelia is the result of Geezer firing at max volume on all cylinders, expanding on the self-titled while reinforcing that album’s accomplishments with a brazen next step forward. Don’t be fooled by the quick turnaround — there’s growth here. Not that I’ve heard it yet or anything. Ahem.

Psychoriffadelia also finds Geezer working as the three-piece of founding guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Charles Ruggiero, the latter a former bandmate of Harrington‘s in hard rockers Slunt and stepping in for Chris Turco, who handled drums on the last album as well as the 2014 LP, Gage (review here), and their 2013 debut, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues. Ruggiero will take part in the European tour as well, which is booked through Total Volume Agency and Snuff Lane in the UK, and the band have set up a crowdfunding campaign to help with the inevitable expenses of making the trip. Rewards include an exclusive die-hard edition of the LP.

Info on that, the release announcement for Psychoriffadelia, and of course the tour dates all follow here, courtesy of the band:

geezer psychoriffadelia

GEEZER – Psychoriffadelia

The power of the riff. The allure of the psychedelic. The intensity of the electricity. These are the things that bring us together, these are the things that create Psychoriffadelia.

Recorded mostly live at Redbird Studio on 9/10/16 in New York City, the songs of Psychoriffadelia came together over the course of that summer. It had been months since we turned in the masters for our self titled album, yet still a few months until the album was released. We had been playing shows with Charles Ruggiero on drums while Chris Turco was on a work related hiatus. During that time, riffs arose, jams happened and songs were created. We wanted to capture that moment, no matter how fleeting.

We are proud to announce that Psychoriffadelia will be released on vinyl and CD through Kozmik Artifactz Records on June 9th! For those of you in the US, STB Records will have vinyl for sale through their webstore as well. Digital versions of the album will be available through the band’s Bandcamp page.

Here are the vinyl specs:
Release date: June 9, 2017
Pre-Order: April 27, 2017
180g high quality vinyl with gatefold
100x black
200x yellow
200x red/black marbled

Geezer, Psychoriffadelia tracklisting:
1. Hair of the Dog (4:48)
2. Stressknots (4:40)
3. Psychoriffadelia (10:16)
4. Red Hook (6:02)
5. Dirty Penny (13:23)

Artwork and Design by Kim Zangrando

A special “Die Hard Edition” of the album will be released through Geezer’s European Tour crowd funding campaign. This will include a screen printed jacket with alternate artwork, multi-colored vinyl and more! (see below for more info)

Live Album Official Release

In addition, Geezer’s live album, A Flagrant Disregard For Happiness is being released on June 9th, also through STB Records and Kozmik Artifactz Records. Originally released as an add on to the Die Hard version of the self-titled album, it is now being released on it’s own on beautiful 180g gold vinyl, limited to 150 units total!

The album contains one 30 minute instrumental (mostly improvised) track, A Flagrant Disregard For Happiness, which was performed at BSP in Kingston NY on April 1, 2016 as part of the ongoing Hudson Valley Psych Fest Series.

A video of this performance can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSs0deYCU98

European Tour

To celebrate the release of Psychoriffadelia, Geezer is going to Europe! With the help of Total Volume Booking, Geezer will be doing a 3 week tour that includes our first appearance at Freak Valley Festival! Some dates are still being confirmed but here is the latest:

geezer tour poster.13 June Paris, France / Le Gibus Live
15 June Mannheim, Germany / KURZBAR
16 June Netphen, Germany / FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL
17 June Lille, France / Le Biplan
18 June Brussels, Belgium / Centre Culturel Garcia Lorca
19 June Ghent, Belgium / Kinky Star
20 June Strasbourg, France / Elastic Bar
21 June Lyon, France / La fête de la musique – Bar des Capucins
22 June Olten, Switzerland / Coq D’Or
23 June Clermont Ferrand, France / Raymond Bar
24 June Montaigu, France / Le Zinor
27 June Exeter, UK / Phoenix
28 June London, UK / The Dev
29 June Coventry, UK / The Arches
30 June Bristol, UK / The Old England
1 July TBC – UK

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign
As mentioned above, Geezer will be doing a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo to help offset some of the expenses of the trip. Exclusive perks will include a “Die Hard” Edition of Psychoriffadelia. This edition will include a screen printed jacket with alternate artwork and multi-colored vinyl. Other perks include tour posters and shirts designed by Jo Riou, CD and digital versions of the new album, never before available embroidered patches and other exclusive perks. The campaign is already up and will run until Friday, May 26th.

We need your help to make this tour a reality. Any and all contributions are greatly appreciated!

Contribute to the Indiegogo campaign here: https://igg.me/at/xxo6XcM2mD4/x/16460786

Geezer is:
Pat Harrington – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Touseull – Bass
Charles Ruggiero – Drums

https://igg.me/at/xxo6XcM2mD4/x/16460786
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
https://twitter.com/kozmikartifactz
https://stbrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/STB-Records/471228012921184
http://www.stbrecords.bigcartel.com/

Geezer, Geezer (2016)

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Tia Carrera, Humulus, King Buffalo, Telekinetic Yeti, High Plains

Posted in Radio on April 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

You may or may not be overly concerned to find out, but we’re still running on the backup server for The Obelisk Radio while the data is transferred to the new hard drive. Judging by the number of listeners at any given point, you’re not. The numbers are still pretty good. Nonetheless, I cannot express the depth of my appreciation to Slevin for sorting out this mess. I had no idea when I hit him up on a Sunday to be like, “Uh, the stream is down” that it would be a project requiring more than a month of his valuable time. Dude is a godsend. I should send him a cheese basket.

Instead, he gets a zip file with the following releases to add to that temporary stream (they’ll go on the new server as well when that’s operational). Because I am a shitty friend, and because cheese baskets are expensive as hell. Let’s do this.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for April 10, 2017:

Tia Carrera, Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)

tia-carrera-laid-back-front-side-rock-and-roll

It’s been a hot minute since last we heard from Austin, Texas, three-piece instrumentalists Tia Carrera. The last offering the heavy psych jammers had out with a 2013 vinyl edition (review here) of their 2011 full-length, Cosmic Priestess (review here). So upwards of six years, if you want to go by the original release date of what was their second album for Small Stone Records. They reportedly have a new one coming this Fall, so one might think of the nine-and-half-minute single “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll),” which was recorded live this past January with the lineup of guitarist Jason Morales, bassist Curt Christiansen and drummer Erik Conn, as a lead-in for that. True, Tia Carrera haven’t been completely absent — they played Psycho Las Vegas in 2016 and one sees their name on various SXSW bills each year — but either way, it’s a welcome studio return from a band who were ahead of the post-Earthless curve that has swelled further out West, and who, despite a kind of raw, garage-style recording here, nonetheless showcase the chemistry and fluidity that separated them from the pack to start with. As the title promises, the jam is laid back, rife with swirling guitar, winding basslines and drumming that, while propulsive doesn’t take away from the languid overarching vibe. They’ve made the song a name-your-price download, so all the better should you be inclined to dig in. And you should be.

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

 

Humulus,Reverently Heading into Nowhere

humulus-reverently-heading-into-nowhere

With nodding groove, fuzzed tonality and, for good measure, flourish of psychedelia, Brescia, Italy, trio Humulus may be working amid familiar elements on their second long-player, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (on Taxi Driver and Oak Island Records), but the results are impeccably constructed. The album, which follows their 2015 Electric Warlrus EP (review here) and 2012 self-titled debut, offers six tracks that carefully balance atmosphere and heft, cuts like “Catskull” digging into classic desert rock sensibilities via the modern European approach of a band like 1000mods while longer pieces like opener “Distant Deeps or Skies,” “Anachronaut” and the 11-minute finale “Rama Kushna” save room for increasingly expansive jamming, the latter the most spacious of all with floating guitar over a satisfyingly warm bass in its midsection leading to an instrumental apex that, while predictable, is no less engaging for that upon its arrival. Even shorter pieces like “The Gold Rush” and “The Great Hunt” find a balance between rolling rhythm and broader psychedelic consciousness, and when guitarist/vocalist Andrea Van Cleef, bassist Giorgio Bonacorsi and drummer Massimiliano Boventi lock into a slowdown, as at the end of “The Great Hunt” or in the Snail-esque “Anachronaut” earlier, the effect is duly massive to fit with the rhinoceros on the album’s cover. Their reverence is palpable, and throughout the 43-minute outing, Humulus make it plain that wherever they’re actually heading, they welcome their audience to come along for the trip.

Humulus on Thee Facebooks

Taxi Driver Records webstore

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

King Buffalo, Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16)

king-buffalo-live-at-wicked-squid-studios

It’s nothing more or less than a live set, but as King Buffalo have already wrapped a round of US touring and were recently announced as support for Stickman Records labelmates Elder on their next European run, it seems only fair to grab the name-your-price Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16) while the grabbing’s good and consider the four-track/29-minute release a document of their chemistry as a live band as they marked the release of their debut album, Orion (review here), last summer. Not everything they play comes from that record — “New Time” was featured on their 2015 STB Records split with Lé Betre (review here) — but in their tone, breadth and expanse, they represent the full-length all the same. The psychedelic wash of “New Time” leads the way out of opener “Orion” and into a one-two medley of “Kerosene / Goliath Pt. 2,” and they finish by setting the controls for the heart of a nine-minute rendition of “Drinking from the River Rising,” which also closed Orion and proves no less immersive in this setting than it did on the studio offering. I’ve made no secret of the potential that I think resides in the Rochester, NY, three-piece, and as they move further into becoming a touring band, they’re only doing the work of bringing that potential to life. It may be that at some point we’ll look back on Live at Wicked Squid Studios as a kind of primitive beginning — I don’t want to predict where they’ll go or how their sound will continue to develop — but even so, it’s fortunate that we’ll have it to look back on at all.

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable

telekinetic yeti abominable

This shit is like catnip for riff-hounds. Iowan two-piece Telekinetic Yetstoner-march their way into the hearts and minds of the converted and onto the list of 2017’s best debuts with Abominable (on Sump Pump Records), a clean eight-track/41-minute long-player marked out by its tonal thickness and shifts between using it for Sleep-style roll and fuzzier fare, perhaps most directly and efficiently summarized on the single “Stoned and Feathered,” but in fluid proportion throughout cuts like the lumbering “Lightbearer” and the neo-stoner-delic chug of “Beneath the Black Sun” as well. Comprised just of guitarist/vocalist Alex Baumann and drummer Anthony Dreyer — though I’ll be damned if somebody isn’t playing bass on “Electronaut” — Telekinetic Yeti seem to burst out of the gate with a solid idea of who their audience is and what their audience wants, and to their credit, they deliver just that and have been met with a flurry of hyperbole for their efforts. I can’t really argue with the heft or cohesion of the material on Abominable, and the willingness on the part of Baumann and Dreyer to inject some atmospheric depth into the aptly-named nine-minute tour de force “Colossus” and closer “Himalayan Hymn” bodes well for their chances of leaving a mark over the longer term, even if there’s growing to be done before they get there. Still, as their first time out, Telekinetic Yeti‘s Abominable signals a righteousness of intent and wholly succeeds in capturing the attention it plainly seeks. The next few years will write their story, but if these guys take this show on the road, they could indeed turn into a monster.

Telekinetic Yeti on Thee Facebooks

Sump Pump Records on Bandcamp

 

High Plains, Cinderland

high plains cinderland

The story goes that Cinderland was recorded in Wyoming in a refurbished schoolhouse by the duo of ambient multi-instrumentalist Scott Morgan and classical cellist Mark Bridges — working together under the moniker High Plains — and composed very much with that high-altitude, utterly empty landscape in mind. Represented in a pervasive minimalism that makes every swell of volume on “The Dusk Pines” stand out and shifts between piano, cello, guitar, drone and electronics cinematic in their drama like the soundtrack to one of those foreboding Westerns where nobody talks because they’re afraid that if the earth hears them speak it will open up and swallow them whole — which it might — it is an immersive, resolutely melancholy execution across nine tracks and 36 minutes that is likewise stark and beautiful. “A White Truck” and “Hypoxia” carry some nuance of the paranoid, but there’s resolution in “Blood that Ran the Rapids” and “Song for a Last Night” that, like the high desert itself, teems with life while giving the impression of being a void for the lack of human presence. Mood-affecting in its atmospherics, Cinderland draws the listener into this world that is both gorgeous and threatening, and fits itself to the narrative that birthed it with resonance and depth. One hopes it is not a one-off collaboration between the Canadian Morgan and Wisconsin-based Bridges and that wherever their next trip together takes them — go to New Mexico! — they’re able to likewise capture the setting in such evocative fashion.

High Plains on Thee Facebooks

Kranky Records on Bandcamp

 

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Eternal Black Release Live at WFMU Digital Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

eternal black

Brooklyn doomers Eternal Black are reportedly in the midst of having their upcoming debut album, Bleed the Days, mastered by none other than Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed (who else?), but that’s not stopping them from giving a preview of four of the record’s tracks with their new live outing, Live at WFMU. Recorded last month at the world-renowned freeform radio station — a jeweled treasure of my beloved Garden State, to be sure — Live at WFMU has been posted on Eternal Black‘s Bandcamp as a name-your-price download, so not only have guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob, bassist Hal Miller and drummer Joe Wood gone to the trouble of putting the thing together, but they actually want you to hear it, too.

If you caught wind of the trio’s 2015 self-titled demo EP (review here), I doubt you need me to tell you checking it out is worth your time and the utter non-investment of a (free) download. I’ve got personal history with these guys via Wood — the good kind of personal history — so I might be extra looking forward to the arrival of Bleed the Days on account of that, but if you’d like to join me in that anticipation, feel free to check out Live at WFMU on the streaming player below. It makes a convincing argument.

Wohlrob was also kind enough to send along some comment about the new offering, and you’ll find that below as well:

eternal-black-live-at-wfmu

Eternal Black – Live at WFMU

On February 12th, we were honored to be able to record a live set at WFMU’s studios in Jersey City, New Jersey. This was for an episode of “What Was Music?” hosted by Marcel M, which airs on Wednesdays. We loaded in our gear, checked sound, and then tore into six songs like we would at any live gig. In addition to a few songs off our EP, we played four new songs that will be on our upcoming album, Bleed the Days.

Once we heard the playback, we thought it would make a hell of a live album. No messing about, get the damn thing out fast. Hal designed the cover. Kol Marshall handled the mastering. And in the end, we decided to make it available for free via Bandcamp. It’s our way of saying thanks to the doom heads who support our music.

Tracklisting:
1. All Gods Fall 10:44
2. Bleed the Days 06:26
3. Sea of Graves 06:11
4. The Dead Die Hard 06:23
5. Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun 07:22
6. Obsidian Sky 04:46

Recorded live at WFMU Studios, Jersey City, NJ, February 12th, 2017 for “What Was Music?” hosted by Marcel M.
Recorded and mixed by Scott Konzelmann
Mastered by Kol Marshall
Cover design by Hal Miller
Words and Music by Wohlrob
Obsidian Sky Records

Eternal Black is:
Hal Miller: Bass
Joe Wood: Drums
Ken Wohlrob: Guitars, Vocals

http://eternalblackdoom.com/
https://www.facebook.com/blackhanddoom
https://instagram.com/eternalblackdoom/
https://eternalblack.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-wfmu

Eternal Black, Live at WFMU (2017)

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Endless Boogie Announce Vibe Killer Due May 19; Australian Tour Dates this Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

endless boogie

Were it not for the lyrical proclamations made by guitarist Paul Major throughout, I’d almost accuse New York’s Endless Boogie of the grammatical flub of forgetting to put a colon between the two words in the title their new album. That would make the No Quarter Records release Vibe: Killer instead of Vibe Killer, which to me seems a much likelier description of how the record will actually sound upon its arrival May 19, following the band’s Australian tour set for later this month and preceding by a week a new book release by the aforementioned Major.

Endless Boogie‘s last studio offering was 2013’s Long Island (review here), which it would be fair to call a sleeper only if you had the misfortune of sleeping on it, and notice of Vibe Killer‘s Spring arrival follows their inclusion on my 2017 Most Anticipated Albums list, for which I had them in the most-speculative “Would be Awfully Nice” category. Sure enough, I still think it’ll be awfully nice to get a new record from them.

Feeding that argument is the public unveiling of the Vibe Killer title-track, which you can and should stream below, and which comes courtesy of the PR wire:

endless boogie vibe killer

Endless Boogie announce “Vibe Killer” / share title track

Endless Boogie have announced their 4th studio album Vibe Killer will be released on May 19th. Vibe Killer is the bands first single LP, a concise 6 track effort recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn, NY. As on the 2013 album Long Island, Matt Sweeney again joins the Boogie’s core of Marc Razo (bass), Harry Druzd (drums), Jesper Eklow (guitar) and Paul “Top Dollar” Major (guitar).

Endless Boogie will tour Australia this March, and the US this Summer (Dates TBA). On May 26th Anthology Archives will release a book Paul by Major called Feel The Music collecting all of his writings on rare and private press albums, as well thoughts on his time in New York, going back to his days in a grimy East Village apartment in the 70’s. It’s an incredible collection.

March 13th – The Curtin – Melbourne
March 14th/15th – Boogie Festival – Tallarook
March 20th – Newtown Social Club – Sydney
March 21 – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane

https://www.facebook.com/Endless-Boogie-31128877690/
https://endlessboogie.bandcamp.com/
http://noquarter.net/
https://twitter.com/NoQuarterRex
https://soundcloud.com/noquarterrex

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Shadow Witch Post “Blitzkrieg” Video; New Album Artwork Revealed

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

shadow-witch-Photo-by-Kristin-Troost-Hall

Riding out a winding groove somewhere between classic metal and speedy heavy rock, New York’s Shadow Witch have a new video taken from their 2016 debut album, Sun Killer. The record, issued through NoSlip Records and the now-defunct Snake Charmer Coalition, was a stomper, and “Blitzkrieg” — the video for which yes, features a bunch of footage of bombs exploding in black and white, presumably from World War II — follows suit. Only question is the timing. Not that one might begrudge Shadow Witch posting a clip whenever, but at the same time, they’ve also newly unveiled the David Paul Seymour cover art for their next outing, to be titled Disciples of the Crow. It looks like this:

shadow-witch-disciples-of-the-crow

The vibe I get from perusing their social media is Shadow Witch still have to put their new songs to tape — last update I saw from them was they were rehearsing and demoing, which would indicate not being as far in the process as, say, recording, mixing or mastering — so it may be a while before Disciples of the Crow makes its way to public ears, but I guess it’s good to see that even as they wind down one album they’ve already got their feet dug into the next one. Maybe “Blitzkrieg” is their way of saying farewell to Sun Killer, or maybe someone just got bored and had editing software sitting around. I won’t pretend to know.

Whatever the case, neither will I complain at the refresher on what Shadow Witch were getting up to with the record. Presumably Disciples of the Crow will be out before the end of 2017 — a Fall release doesn’t seem unreasonable if they hit the studio sometime before May; otherwise it might be next year — but when and if I hear more, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, the four-piece have been playing locally, and they’ll be in their native Kingston, NY, on March 31 with It’s Not Night: It’s SpaceEcstatic Vision and Shitkill. More info on that follows the video, which you’ll see below.

Please enjoy:

Shadow Witch, “Blitzkrieg” official video

Video for Shadow Witch’s song “Blitzkrieg” from the album Sun Killer (Snake Charmer Coalition, 2016). Download the album at: http://shadowwitch.bandcamp.com.

Busy rehearsing and demoing new material for our upcoming album. Looking forward to playing 3/31 at The Anchor with Ecstatic Vision, INN:IS and Shitkill!

SHADOW WITCH “Sun Killer” is now Available @ www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com

Shadow Witch:
Earl Lundy: Lead Vocals, Mellotron, Loops
Anton Van Kleek: drums
Jeremy Hall: Guitars
David Pannullo: Bass, vocals

Shadow Witch on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Witch on Bandcamp

Shadow Witch at Snake Charmer Coalition

Shadow Witch at Salt of the Earth Records

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