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
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
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 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
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:
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 Space, Ecstatic Vision and Shitkill. More info on that follows the video, which you’ll see below.
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!
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Rochester heavy psych rockers King Buffalo have had some work done on their Buffalo Bills van and would seem to be ready to hit the road ahead of a round of US tour dates next month. They’ll do a couple Upstate kickoff shows this weekend in Buffalo and their hometown, and then head to Columbus on March 1 to begin the run proper, which includes gigs at SXSW at Austin Terror Fest — the Texan manifestation of the Southwest Terror Fest held each fall in Arizona — and alongside fuzz forebears Dead Meadow before they go to Fort Worth and meet up with Wo Fat. Nice to know they’ll be in good company.
They go, of course, supporting last year’s stellar debut, Orion (review here), which was picked up for issue by Stickman after being released initially by the band themselves, and this run should make for a decent preparation for their first trip to Europe this summer. They’re already confirmed for Stoned from the Underground in Germany this July, and at this point I’m wondering if a full tour is in the works around that. As the list of dates below would indicate, they’re clearly looking to hit the road in a bigger way this year. Too bad they won’t be able to take that van across the Atlantic.
I don’t know how to say it more clearly. Go see King Buffalo:
KING BUFFALO TOUR DATES: FEB 24 FRI Mohawk Place Buffalo, NY FEB 25 SAT KB Tour Send Off Continental Drift Rochester, NY MAR 1 WED Spacebar Columbus, OH MAR 2 THU Living Room Stroudsburg, PA MAR 3 FRI The Garage Winston-Salem, NC w/ All Them Witches, IRATA MAR 4 SAT The Cave Chapel Hill, NC MAR 6 MON Strange Matter Richmond, VA MAR 7 TUE Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA MAR 9 THU Reggies Chicago, IL MAR 11 SAT FUBAR Saint Louis, MO MAR 12 SUN Your Mom’s Place Oklahoma City, OK MAR 13 MON The Mix San Antonio, TX MAR 15 WED Spiderhouse Ballroom Austin, TX MAR 16 THU Austin Terror Fest Austin, TX MAR 17 FRI Grizzly Hall Austin, TX w/ Dead Meadow MAR 18 SAT Lola’s Saloon Fort Worth, TX w/ Wo Fat, The Great Electric Quest JUL 14 FRI Stoned from the Underground Erfurt, Germany
King Buffalo is: Dan Reynolds – Bass & Lights Scott Donaldson – Drums & Vocals Sean McVay – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Why it seems like only the other day I was attempting to wrap my head to some degree around the complicated history of legendary heavy rockers Cactus, and here they are making the task even more difficult. As the reactivated Long Island outfit make ready to head to Europe for their first tour abroad in nearly half a decade, founding drummer Carmine Appice has announced the addition of new bassist Jimmy Caputo and guitarist Paul Warren. Warren is a touring member — founder Jim McCarty still contributes to the studio incarnation of the band — and has played with Tina Turner among others, while Caputo worked with Carmine and his brother, Vinny Appice, on tour in their The Appice Brothers Drum Wars outfit. Vocalist Jimmy Kunes and harmonica-ist Randy Pratt, both of whom play on Cactus‘ first album in 10 years, Black Dawn — released last fall with a new CD issue maybe impending? — are still in the band alongside Carmine.
Got it? All caught up? Cool. Here’s how the story’s told by the PR wire:
CACTUS “Redux” Carmine Appice rebuilds legendary rock band with powerful new line-up.
Coming off a very successful US tour and the release of its first studio album in 10 years, Black Dawn, the time has come for founding member and world renown drummer Carmine Appice to re-energize and rebuild Cactus. The band was once heralded by critics as America’s answer to Led Zeppelin.
Appice announced two new members to the legendary band’s line-up: bassist Jimmy Caputo and guitarist Paul Warren. Caputo replaces bassist Pete Bremy, who has left Cactus to pursue other projects. Warren, best known as lead guitarist for Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Joe Cocker, will be the band’s new guitarist for touring, taking over for founding member Jim McCarty. McCarty remains a writing and recording member of Cactus but unfortunately is unable to tour with the band due to health reasons.
Lead vocalist extraordinare Jimmy Kunes and harmonica wizard Randy Pratt, both of whom joined when the band re-grouped in 2006 remain in the line-up.
“Nearly five decades after I formed this band, the time has come to re-invent Cactus once again,” says Appice, who also still drums for Vanilla Fudge, The Appice Brothers, and The Platinum Rock All Stars. Adds Appice: “The music remains the same and Cactus is still a ‘hot and sweaty’ band. The level, quality and consistence of the band’s musicianship is as strong as ever.”
“I saw the original Cactus live a few times, and they absolutely killed it,” says guitarist Paul Warren. “That was one of the great bands of the era, and they are still a great band, today. I am excited, and honored, to play with such an historic band!” Warren, who has his own successful solo band, is a native of Detroit and who considers Jim McCarty as one of his biggest musical influences. “Filling in for Jim McCarty will be a challenge. Not only is he a founding member of the band, he is a brilliant guitarist and one of the best to ever come out of Detroit. Jimmy could never be replaced. I plan to honor and pay homage to his work with Cactus while still bringing some of my own ‘Detroit attitude’ to the legendary music of this band.”
Bassist Jimmy Caputo has worked in a myriad of national touring acts including The Appice Brothers Drum Wars show, which also includes both Carmine and his brother Vinny.
Cactus returned in 2016 with Black Dawn, a new studio album, its first in almost 10 years. Featuring the blistering riff-rock that the band built its reputation upon, Black Dawn is a classic Cactus album with a fresh new energy that the band has not had since its heyday in the early 1970s. The new lineup of Cactus and the release of the Black Dawn CD will land just days ahead of the band’s first string of European dates in 4 years upcoming in May 2017.
The band has had a long and turbulent history. Formed in 1970 from the ashes of The Vanilla Fudge by Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert. the initial line up also featured McCarty and vocalist Rusty Day. (Appice and Bogert had originally planned a new band with Jeff Beck which was put off until 1973 because of Beck’s near fatal car crash in 1969). Jim McCarty had come from Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and was playing with The Buddy Miles Express. Tim and Carmine also found vocalist Day in The Amboy Dukes with Ted Nugent. Together, the four musicians formed Cactus, named after the peyote cactus, which provided a key ingredient in mind-altering drugs.
While Cactus saw success from the start and soon built a loyal fan base, by early 1973 the band had collapsed mainly due to lack of real support from its label and the fact that Beck was now ready play with Carmine and Tim.
It would not be until 2006, three decades after the tragic death of Rusty Day that the group reformed with Pratt and Kunes to record CACTUS V and play Sweden Rock. When Tim Bogert was forced into retirement due to complications after a serious motorcycle accident, Pete Bremy joined on bass in both in Cactus and Vanilla Fudge.
Now, with Jimmy Caputo and Paul Warren onboard, Cactus embarks on a new and exciting musical journey – just as powerful as before – and bound to be just as successful…one way or another.
See Cactus on tour in Europe Sa May 6- Stockholm,Sweden Göta Kallare So May 7- Oslo, Norway Hard Rock Café Mo May 8- Vaasa,Finland Ritz Tue May 9 Helsinki, Finland On the Rocks Thu May 11 Hannover, Germany Bluesgarage Fri May 12 Hamburg, Germany Downtown Bluesclub Sa May 13 Dresden, Germany Tante Ju Tue May 16 Bensheim,Germany Musikkafee Rex Thu May 18 Dortmund, Germany Piano Fri May 19 Verviers, Belgium Spirit of 66
Quite simply one of the best heavy rock records ever released, and more likely than not you don’t need me to tell you that. The 1970 self-titled debut from Cactus, with the classic lineup of vocalist Rusty Day (The Amboy Dukes), guitarist Jim McCarty (The Buddy Miles Express), bassist Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge) and drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) stands among the all-timers. Put it up against Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream, I don’t care who. The first in a heavy rock holy trinity of original-lineup Cactus releases with 1971’s One Way… or Another (discussed here) and Restrictions behind it, it was originally issued on Atco Records and retains a country-blues swagger the better part of half a century later that utterly distinguishes them from their peers, and from the manic thrust of their take on Mose Allison‘s “Parchman Farm” which opens to the harmonica-laden swing of “Bro. Bill” on down through the rush of “Let Me Swim” and the finale drum showcase of “Feel so Good,” there is not a fuckwithable second to be found herein. Hyperbole? You bet your ass.
Among the many elements Cactus‘ Cactus boasts over its heavy ’70s peers from outfits like Dust, Mountain — both also Long Island bands — as well as groups like Atomic Rooster, Leaf Hound, and so on, is that it’s unabashed, unashamed fun. Even the wistful “My Lady from South of Detroit,” which is an immediate and bold departure from the opener into acoustic balladry, is basically a song about getting laid. And then they move into “Bro. Bill,” which remains one of the best heavy rock hooks ever conjured, and through Willie Dixon‘s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” — listen to Bogert‘s bass! — revive the thrust with “Let Me Swim,” blues jam on “No Need to Worry” with McCarty‘s astonishing lead work, tie the blues and the rock together on “Oleo” (again, the bass, this time in a well-earned solo) and then wrap with the aforementioned “Feel so Good,” which, yes, does pull back from its drum solo to give the record a proper ending, and god damn, it’s just perfect. There’s no other word for it. It’s everything a classic American heavy rock album should have been and should be in its attitude, energy and execution. No pretense, no posturing — only 40 of the most efficiently killer minutes ever put to tape. Though I’ve always kind of associated it as a summer record, it remains an utter joy to revisit year-round, and seems to heat up any room in which it plays from the inside out. Fire on a platter.
As will almost invariably happen, the history of Cactus post-original lineup becomes more complicated the farther one follows it through the years. After Restrictions, the band split with Day and McCarty. Bogert and Appice brought in keyboardist Duane Hitchings, guitarist Werner Fritzschings and vocalist Peter French (Leaf Hound) for 1972’s ‘Ot ‘n’ Sweaty, which opened with a redux of “Let Me Swim,” and though Hitchings would soon lead the short-lived The New Cactus Band and Day had his own version of Cactus prior to his still-unsolved murder in 1982, it would not be until 2006 that Bogert, Appice and McCarty played together again, joining forces with ex-Savoy Brown singer Jimmy Kunes for Cactus V and playing reunion shows.
They’ve done gigs off and on in the decade since — bassist Pete Bremy replacing Bogert in 2008, Fritzschings once more stepping in on guitar for a time — but in 2016, Cactus released a sixth full-length, Black Dawn, with Kunes, McCarty, and Appice alongside Bremy and harmonica-ist Randy Pratt, and toured to support it as well. Not that one needed proof of the continued relevance of the original lineup, but the final two cuts on Black Dawn, “Another Way or Another” and “C-70 Blues,” are lost cuts featuring Day, McCarty, Bogert and Appice, and well, if those don’t qualify as bonus tracks, nothing in the universe does.
All that shuffling of personnel makes Cactus‘ Cactus seem even more like simpler times, and getting lost in the languid blues flow of “No Need to Worry,” one not only misses Day‘s raw-throated whiteboy soul, but can’t help but imagine what Cactus would’ve gone on to do had they held it together following Restrictions, which offered some jammier stylistic expansion. But maybe that’s being greedy. Any way you want to approach, the self-titled Cactus is a special, special album, and there’s nothing else — nothing they did after, nothing anyone else has done — quite like it. Classic. Essential. The words seem pale.
As always, I hope you enjoy, and I’m quite confident you will.
If you’ll forgive me, I’m going to try to be somewhat expeditious in wrapping this up. Not out of any particular hurry to be done with it so much as a hurry to get to work on the ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ post of 2017’s most anticipated albums. There are, according to my half-assed count of the list, over 150 of them, with 35 of the year’s biggest upcoming releases highlighted and the rest listed under three categories of likelihood that they’ll happen — from ‘Gonna Happen and Likely Candidates’ to ‘Definitely Could Happen’ to ‘Would be Nice’ — and like the complicated history of Cactus, it’s a lot to sort through.
My hope is basically to write that all weekend and get it posted on Monday. Here’s how the rest of the week is shaping up so far:
Mon.: 150+ Most Anticipated Releases of 2017 list. Also some news from Bison Machine and others.
Tue.: Track premiere from Altar of Betelgeuze, video premiere from Pater Nembrot.
Wed.: Either a PH track premiere or a Hymn review, and a Dr. Keyboardian video.
Thu.: Either a Hymn review or a PH track premiere.
Fri.: All Them Witches review.
Obviously all of that could change, and the day for that PH premiere is still TBA, but I’m hopeful it will be one or the other.
Quite a week this week. I had Monday off and left work early on Wednesday and was out yesterday just for being kind of wiped out, but still plenty beat. Family coming up this weekend though from Connecticut, and the universe seems to be in a pretty constant state of chaos, so I’m just gonna drink my coffee and try to get by. That’s what I’ve got.
Of course, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Please have some fun, be safe, and check back Monday for that mega-list and more besides.
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
I don’t mind telling you I’ve been awaiting word of a proper Sun Voyager debut album for a while. Well, not so much word, which they’ve had out as far back as Dec. 2015, as audio. The New York-based heavy psych trio have impressed across a slew of short releases, including last year’s split with The Mad Doctors (discussed here), but they’re right when they say below it’s been long enough. They’re well due for their first album, and they’ve given an initial taste of what that might offer in unveiling the opening track, “Trip.”
It’s nothing if not aptly-titled. For anyone who dug into their 2015 Lazy Daze EP (review here) or 2013’s Mecca (review here), the vibe here should be right on. King Pizza Records pressed the 2015 outing to a limited tape and it looks like it will stand behind Sun Voyager‘s Sun Voyager as well, which one feels increasingly confident will arrive sometime later in 2017. They say Spring. The sooner the better, frankly.
Sun Voyager Unleashes New Song “Trip” from LP & New Website
We are pleased to announce the release of the new single, “Trip,” off our self-titled debut coming. The album is being recorded in its entirety with Paul Ritchie in Neptune, NJ for a spring release. “Trip” is currently available as a pay-what-you-want download on bandcamp and streaming on our new website, designed by our very own Stefan Mersch. We decided to skip the premiere and blast this one off. It’s 2017. And it’s been long enough.
Tracklist: Trip Stellar Winds God is Dead Psychic Lords Harebrained Carousel Strange Birds Fifth Dimension Ride On
Two chances to see Sun Voyager in Brooklyn this month: 1/14 – Sunnyvale – King Pizza Records’ Pizzamania 1/30 – Shea Stadium – PopGun Presents Max Pain & The Groovies & Heavy Birds
Sun Voyager is: Carlos Francisco – Guitar, Vocals Stefan Mersch – Bass Kyle Beach – Drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Just a couple days ago, New York heavy psych-blues rockers Geezer were announced as taking part on Freak Valley 2017. That revelation was particularly significant not only as it will find them sharing a bill with the likes of Slo Burn, Pentagram and Greenleaf, but also because it marks the first time the trio will go to Europe. They signed with Paris-based Total Volume Agency some while ago, so one had a sense that a trip abroad was coming, but confirmation makes all the difference.
In this endeavor, Geezer‘s timing couldn’t be better. Last month, they issued their third, self-titled long-player (review here) through Ripple Music and STB Records. By mid-June, when they take the Freak Valley stage, that album will have had plenty of time to sink in, and I expect they’ll be all the more well received as a result of that, what with the kicking ass and the jamming and all.
We’re still a ways off from next summer, so the dates aren’t locked in yet — when I see them, you’ll see them — but I’m happy to Geezer will be crossing the Atlantic in 2017 because they’re ready to do so, and because especially for American bands, it’s a crucial step in their growth that not everyone gets to take. On their part it shows a commitment to their creative form, and in traveling and playing with European acts, they become part of furthering a sonic dialogue that’s ongoing and makes everyone better on all ends. It’s the ultimate win. So yes, good for Geezer and safe travels in the New Year to come.
See below for some comment from guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington on the matter:
Pat Harrington on touring Europe:
We are beyond stoked about being invited to Freak Valley Festival 2017! Of all the European festivals, we think FVF is the perfect starting point for Geezer’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic. Much of our fanbase is from Europe and our fans have been asking us for the better part of the last two years to come over. In today’s world, one has to go where the action is and we can’t wait to share this experience with our European fans and to get a chance to meet them personally.
Total Volume (France) will be handing all the official duties and we can’t thank them enough for giving us this opportunity. We are still in the very early stages of putting this all together, so the routing is still being worked out. We are planning on a two-week-plus tour that will start somewhere around June 13th and go through June 28th. We hope to hit as many countries as possible. Any promoters or clubs interested in booking Geezer, please contact Andre at Total Volume at Andretotalvolume@gmail.com.
Being that this is our first time out, we will need some assistance in working out all the financial entanglements that go along with such a venture, so we will be launching a Kickstarter-type campaign at some point to help make this all happen. As always, our fans are what keep us going and we’ll need your help now more than ever! We’ve already starting coming up with ideas for the related perks and I think we’ll have a lot to offer on this front. New album? Exclusive reissues of old releases? Shirts? Posters? Bongs?Right now, everything is on the table! Keep an eye out for more info in the coming months.
Happy Holidays everyone! We will see you soon… dig!
Geezer is: Pat Harrington – Guitar, Vocals Richie Touseull – Bass Chris Turco – Drums