GIVEAWAY: Win a Signed Copy of Fox 45’s Ashes of Man LP!

Posted in Features, The Obelisk Presents on October 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


[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.]

Free signed record. Boom. Post over. Who said I wasn’t a salesman?

Oh wait. I say that. All the time. And while that’s true, I honestly don’t think it should take much convincing to get you on board with entering this giveaway for an LP copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man hand-signed by the Rochester four-piece. Their debut album following a 2014 EP, it was released earlier this year via Twin Earth Records.

You can stream the record in full via the label’s Bandcamp below, and for giveaways I like to keep the posts pretty short — in hope that people will, you know, actually read them — but I’ll say that while it took me a little time to catch onto Ashes of Man, the band do make a striking debut. Raw in the spirit of grunge but unafraid to indulge a bit of boogie on a song like “Coup d’Etwat” — only one of several clever wordplay titles — or some doom on “Snake Oil,” it preaches righteously in a manner that the converted should have no problem hearing.

ode-to-doom-nov-16Particularly when it’s coming in the form of FREE FRICKIN’ SIGNED VINYL, so get on that.

Fox 45 will join Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic and Goat Wizard at the second Ode to Doom show presented by Freebird Productions and The Obelisk at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan on Nov. 16, 2016.

You can find more info about the gig at the link below, which will open in a new tab. That’s convenient because you can still enter this giveaway; something I cannot encourage you enough to do.

Thanks to all who participate, to the band, to Ode to Doom and to Twin Earth Records. Winner will be picked at random one week from today and contacted at the email provided, which of course will never be shared. One more time, the prize is a signed copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man on 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.]

Fox 45, Ashes of Man (2016)

Fox 45 on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Ode to Doom at Arlene’s Grocery, NYC, Nov. 16 event page

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Quarterly Review: Swans, Virus, The Re-Stoned, Castle, Spirit Adrift, Robb & Pott, Family, Les Discrets, Liquido di Morte, Witchskull

Posted in Reviews on October 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Last day. As ever, I am mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted by this process, but as ever, it’s been worth it. Today I do myself a couple favors in packing out with more familiar acts, but whatever, it’s all stuff I should be covering anyway, so if the order bothers you, go write your own 50 reviews in a week and we can talk about it. Yeah, that’s right. That’s what I said. Today we start with Swans. Everything’s a confrontation.

Once again, I hope you’ve found something somewhere along this bizarre, careening path of music that has resonated with you, something that will stick with you. That’s why we’re here. You and me. If you have, I’d love to know about it. Until then, one more time here we go.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Swans, The Glowing Man


Oh fucking please. You want me to try to summarize The Glowing Man – the culmination and finale of an era of Swans that Michael Gira began now more than half a decade ago – in a single review? Even putting aside the fact that the record two hours long, the notion is ridiculous. If there ever was a chart, the scope here is well off it. The material unfolds and churns and is primal and lush at once on “Cloud of Forgetting,” genuinely chaotic on the 28-minute title-track, and it ends with a drone lullaby, but seriously, what the fuck? Some shit is just beyond, and if you don’t know that applies to Swans by now, it’s your own fault. You want a review? Fine. I listened to the whole thing. It ate my fucking soul, chewed it with all-canine teeth and then spit it out saying “thanks for the clarity” and left me dazed, bloodied and humbled. There’s your fucking review. Thanks for reading.

Swans on Thee Facebooks

Young God Records website


Virus, Memento Collider


Oslo trio Virus have long since established that they’re a band working on their own wavelength. Memento Collider (on Karisma Records) is the jazzy post-black metallers’ first album in five years and brings together adventurous rhythms, poetic declarations, dissonant basslines and – in the case of “Rogue Fossil,” the occasional hook – in ways that are unique unto Virus. Look at this site and see how often I use the word “unique.” It doesn’t happen. Virus, however, are one of a kind. Memento Collider makes for a challenging listen front to back on its six-track/45-minute run, but it refuses to dumb itself down or dull its progressive edge, bookending its longest (that’s opener “Afield” at 10:41; immediate points) two tracks around jagged explorations of sound like “Steamer” and “Gravity Seeker,” which engage and intrigue in kind after the melodic push of “Dripping into Orbit” and leading into “Phantom Oil Slick,” a righteous affirmation of the angular thrust at the core of Virus’ approach.

Virus on Thee Facebooks

Karisma Records webstore


The Re-Stoned, Reptiles Return


In 2010, Moscow troupe The Re-Stoned issued their first EP, Return to the Reptiles, and being obviously concerned with evolution, they’ve now gone back and revisited that debut release with Reptiles Return, a reworking of the four studio tracks that made up the initial version – “Return,” “Run,” “The Mountain Giant” and “Sleeping World.” The opener is a straight re-recording, as is one other, where another is remixed and the other two remastered, and Reptiles Return – which is presented on limited vinyl through Clostridium Records and a CD box set with bonus tracks via Rushus Records – pairs them with more psychedelic-minded soundscape pieces like “Winter Witchcraft,” “Walnut Talks,” the proggy “Flying Clouds” and sweetly acoustic “Roots Patter,” that showcase where founding multi-instrumentalist Ilya Lipkin is taking the band going forward. The result is a satisfying side A/B split on the vinyl that delights in heavy riffing for its own sake in the first half and expands the scope in the second, which should delight newcomers as well as those who’ve followed The Re-Stoned along this evolutionary process.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Clostridium Records website


Castle, Welcome to the Graveyard


It may well be the fate of San Francisco’s hard-touring, ass-kicking, genre-refusing duo Castle to be terminally underappreciated, but that has yet to stop them from proliferating their righteous blend of thrash, doom and classic, fistpump-worthy metal. Their latest outing, Welcome to the Graveyard, arrives via respected purveyor Ván Records, and entices in atmosphere and execution, cohesively built tracks like “Hammer and the Cross” and the penultimate “Down in the Cauldron Bog” finding a balance of personality and delivery that the band has long since honed on stage. The Dio-esque barnburner riff of “Flash of the Pentagram” makes that cut a highlight, but as they roll out the cultish vibes of “Natural Parallel” to close, there doesn’t seem to be much on the spectrum of heavy metal that doesn’t fit into Castle’s wheelhouse. For some bands, there’s just no justice. Four records deep, Castle have yet to get their due, and Welcome to the Graveyard is further proof of why they deserve it.

Castle website

Ván Records


Spirit Adrift, Chained to Oblivion


One can hear a new wave of modern doom taking shape in Chained to Oblivion, the Prosthetic Records debut from Arizona one-man outfit Spirit Adrift. The work of Nate Garrett alone in the studio, the full-length offers five mostly-extended tracks as a 48-minute 2LP of soaring, emotional and psychedelic doom à la Pallbearer, but given even further breadth through progressively atmospheric passages and a marked flow in its transitions. To call it personal seems superfluous – it’s a one-man band, of course it’s personal – but Garrett (also formerly of metallers Take Over and Destroy) brings a palpable sense of performance to the songwriting, and by the time he gets to the 11-minutes-apiece finale duo of the title-track and “Hum of Our Existence,” it’s easy to forget you’re not actually listening to a full band, not the least because of the vocal harmonies. Calling Chained to Oblivion a promising first outing would be underselling it – this is a project with serious potential.

Spirit Adrift on Thee Facebooks

Prosthetic Records website


Robb & Pott, Once upon the Wings


Unpredictable from the start of opener “Flesh ‘n’ Steel,” Once upon the Wings is a first-time multinational collaborative effort from Robbi Robb of California’s 3rd Ear Experience and Paul Pott of Germany’s The Space Invaders. Its five tracks/42 minutes arrive through no less than Nasoni Records, and provide a curious and exploratory blend of the organic and the inorganic in sound, as one finds the 11-minute “Grass” no less defined by its percussion solo, guitar line and ‘60s-style vocal than the electronic drums that underscore the layered wash of noise in its midsection. Further definition hits with the 16-minute centerpiece “Prophecy #1,” which works in a space-rocking vein, but the shorter closing duo of the catchy “Looney Toon” and darkly progressive “Space Ear” show a creative bent that clearly refuses to be tamed. Robb & Pott, as a project, demonstrates remarkable potential throughout this debut, as they seem to have set no limits for where they want their sound to go and they seem to have the command to take it there.

Robb & Pott on Bandcamp

Nasoni Records website


Family, Future History


Most of the tracks on Brooklyn progressive noise rockers Family’s second album and Prosthetic Records debut, Future History, come paired with interludes. That cuts some of the growling intensity of winding pieces like “Funtime for Bigboy” and “Floodgates,” and emphasizes the generally experimental spirit of the record as a whole, broadening the scope in sound and theme. I’m somewhat torn as to how much this actually works to the 51:50 outing’s benefit, as shorter pieces like “Prison Hymn” and “Transmission,” while adding dynamic to the sound and narrative drama, also cut the immediacy in impact of “The Trial” or closer “Bone on Bone,” but it’s entirely possible that without them Future History would be an overwhelming tumult of raw prog metal. And while the play back and forth can feel cumbersome when one considers how effectively “Night Vision” bridges the gap between sides, I’m not sure that’s not what Family were going for in the first place. It’s not supposed to be an easy record, and it isn’t one.

Family on Thee Facebooks

Family website


Les Discrets, Virée Nocturne


France’s Les Discrets haven’t had a studio offering since 2012’s Ariettes Oubliées (review here), and while they released Live at Roadburn (review here) last year documenting their 2013 set at that festival, there’s little there that might presage the stylistic turn the Fursy Teyssier-led outfit takes on their new EP, Virée Nocturne (on Prophecy Productions). With four tracks – two new, complete recordings, one demo and the last a remix of the opener by Dälek and DeadverseLes Discrets attempt to find a stylistic middle ground between post-rock and trip-hop, and for the most part, they get there. “Virée Nocturne” itself leads off and can be jarring on first listen, but successfully blends the lush melodicism for which the band is known with electronic-driven beats, and both “Capricorni. Virginis. Corvi” and even the demo “Le Reproche” continue to build on this bold shift. The finale remix adds over two minutes to “Virée Nocturne,” but uses that time to make it even more spacious and all the more immersive. For anyone who thought they might’ve had Les Discrets figured out, the surprise factor here should be palpable.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website


Liquido di Morte, II


Presented across four tracks beginning with the 12-minute and longest-of-the-bunch (immediate points) “The Corpse of Dr. Funkenstein” (double points for the reference), II, the aptly-titled second album from Liquido di Morte expands the progressive atmospherics of the Italian four-piece’s 2014 self-titled debut (review here) without losing sight of the performance and spirit of exploration that helped bring it to life. Isaak’s Giacomo H. Boeddu guests on brooding vocals and whispers for “The Saddest of Songs I’ll Sing for You,” which swells in seething intensity as it moves forward, while “Rodents on the Uphill” casts a vision of post-space rock and closer “Schwartz Pit” rounds out with crash and wash that seems only to draw out how different the two halves of II actually are. Not a complaint. Liquido di Morte make their way across this vast span with marked fluidity, and if they prove anything throughout, it’s that they’re able to keep their command wherever they feel like using it to go.

Liquido di Morte on Thee Facebooks

Sstars BigCartel store


Witchskull, The Vast Electric Dark


Canberra, Australia, trio Witchskull initially released their debut full-length, The Vast Electric Dark, last year, and caught the attention of the cross-coastal US partnership between Ripple Music and STB Records, who now align for a reissue of the eight-tracker. Why is quickly apparent. In addition to having earned a fervent response, The Vast Electric Dark basks in quality songcraft and doomly, heavy vibes, keeping a consistent pace while rolling through the semi-metallic push of “Raise the Dead” or the later rumble/shred of “Cassandra’s Curse.” All the while, guitarist/vocalist Marcus De Pasquale provides a steady presence at the fore alongside bassist Tony McMahon and drummer Joel Green, and what’s ultimately still a straightforward rocker of an album finds a niche for itself between varies underground styles of heavy. Between the balance they strike across their 37 minutes and the energy that courses through their songs, Witchskull’s The Vast Electric Dark proves easily worth the look it’s getting.

Witchskull on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

Ripple Music website


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Geezer Self-Titled LP Due Nov. 18 on Ripple Music & STB Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


This record rules. It really does. I had some decent-sized expectations of New York heavy blues rockers Geezer after their 2015 split with Borracho (review here), but they’ve absolutely blown those out of the water with their self-titled album, due out Nov. 18 through Ripple Music in conjunction with STB Records. That those two imprints — one on the West Coast, the other on the East — would be once again teaming up to get behind the band should tell you something in itself, but I think the songs on Geezer‘s Geezer are not only going to thrill those who’ve already caught onto the band for what they bring to their sound, but probably grab some new ears as well.

So that’s the mini-preview, I guess. Record’s good. Much more to come as we get closer to the release date. For now, the PR wire brings the track “Sunday Speed Demon” for your streaming pleasure and the following art and info:


GEEZER bring heavy cosmic rock on new Ripple Music album | Stream and share new song ‘Sunday Speed Demon’

Geezer will release their self-titled album on 18th November via Ripple Music and STB Records

Hailed as one of the standout EPs of 2014, Gage confirmed that whether spinning on your turntable or playing live, Geezer could electrify listeners with an appreciation of the American outsider like no one else.

Picking up where Gage left off and building on their contribution to the critically-praised Second Coming Of Heavy series on Ripple Music, the Kingston, New York-based trio return this November for another round of sonic meltdown.

For the uninitiated, Geezer is the sound of tres hombres – beer drinkers and hell raisers – spinning Charley Patton, Son House and Corrosion Of Conformity records, doused head to toe in peyote and whisky. From the swirling and psychedelic ‘Sun Gods’, the Iggy-esque ‘One Leg Up’ and hot asphalt shuffle of bluesy opener ‘Sunday Speed Demon’, guitarist Pat Harrington marks himself out as an authentic twenty first century boogie man. A player capable of leaving the likes of Jack White and Dan Auerbach with the meanest of night terrors, especially when backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Chris Turco and bassist Richie Touseull.

Peddling a riotous trip into the hard-edged and heavy acid blues sounds of ’70s groups like Josefus and Blue Cheer, Geezer will receive an official worldwide release on 18th November via Ripple Music (CD/digital) and STB Records (vinyl). In the meantime however follow this link to stream and share their brand new song ‘Sunday Speed Demon.’

Track Listing:
1. Sunday Speed Demon
2. One Leg Up
3. Sun Gods
4. Bi-Polar Vortex
5. Dust
6. Hangnail Crisis
7. Superjam Maximus
8. Stoney Pony

Pat Harrington – Guitar, Vocals
Richie Touseull – Bass
Chris Turco – Drums

Geezer, “Sunday Speed Demon”

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King Buffalo Sign to Stickman Records; Orion European Release Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Only days after announcing an alliance with Tone Deaf Touring and about a week and a half removed from their appearance at The Obelisk All-Dayer at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, Rochester, New York, heavy psych pastoralists King Buffalo have hooked up with Stickman Records. The respected purveyor — home to Motorpsycho, Elder, Spidergawd and others — also recently snagged Papir from the ether and may just be at the start of a round of roster expansion. Their choices in with whom to work remain selective and deeply admirable.

Congratulations to King Buffalo and to the label on the partnership. Stickman will press up King Buffalo‘s recently-released debut album, Orion (review here), for a Dec. 2 European release and hints that the band could tour Europe in 2017 as well. Will keep an eye out for news on that and hope it comes together for them. The more the merrier.

In the meantime, King Buffalo have a hometown release show at the Bug Jar in Rochester booked for Sept. 10. More info in the Thee Facebooks event link under the announcement below:

king buffalo


If you recognize the band in the photo, then you already know what this is about: the New York-based band King Buffalo and Stickman Records are joining forces. The band’s fantastic new album “Orion” will be hitting the European shops on December 2nd on vinyl, CD and digitally, and we hope to be seeing them on tour in Europe next year as well.

King Buffalo invade your ears with heavy driving riffs and a familiar groove. Psychedelic, blues and stoner overtones combine with thunderous bass and drums, reminiscent of heavy 70’s rock. A wall of sound, a trio of soaring sounds, and an unrelenting pace merge to form their own musical styling.

Sean McVay – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Dan Reynolds – Bass & Lights
Scott Donaldson – Drums & Vocals

King Buffalo, Orion (2016)

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: King Buffalo, “Goliath” Live

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

In today’s The Obelisk All-Dayer countdown post we see Rochester, New York’s King Buffalo laying blissful waste to the venue at which I was first fortunate enough to watch them play: The Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA. This clip is from this past April, and I wasn’t at this show, but having seen the band as recently as June, I can vouch for the righteousness of the textures they inhabit.

They’ll play second at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC (if you haven’t, get your tickets now), joining the bill with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and Heavy Temple, as well as aftershow DJs Walter Roadburn and DJ Adzo (aka Adam from The Golden Grass).

The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson come to The Obelisk All-Dayer on the heels of releasing their first full-length, Orion (review here), which continues to unfold on repeat listens and has only come to stand taller among the finest of 2016’s many debut albums. Already they’re no strangers to touring, and this gig will wrap their latest stint directly supporting Orion coming out.

If you haven’t heard the band before, get to the Vitus Bar early. I mean it. Not only are you going to want to see Heavy Temple, but King Buffalo‘s blend of psychedelia and heavy blues is second to none, and they’re precisely the kind of tripped-out and welcoming vibe I want to emphasize with this show, proving that just because something is heavy and has a presence doesn’t mean it needs to be pissed off at nothing or full of testosterone chestbeating. Dig in and look forward to the live immersion.

Special thanks to Steve Truglio of PA’s My Show for the clip. To see the entire gig, click here.


King Buffalo, “Goliath” live in PA, April 16, 2016

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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King Buffalo, Orion: Sleeping on Vines (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

king buffalo orion

[Click play above to stream King Buffalo’s debut LP, Orion, in its entirety. Album is out officially on Aug. 5 and King Buffalo play The Obelisk All-Dayer (tickets here) on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.]

A debut long-player from King Buffalo has been eagerly anticipated since the Rochester pastoralists issued their initial demo in 2013 (review here). That short release found guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay and bassist Dan Reynolds, both from Abandoned Buildings Club, and guitarist/vocalist Randall Coon and drummer/backing vocalist Scott Donaldson, both formerly of Velvet Elvis digging into landscape-infused heavy psych riffing; jams that seemed to spread out as they grew. It was an encouraging start to say the least. Having lost Coon to a move to Philadelphia, King Buffalo tested the waters as a trio both live and on their 2015 split LP with now-defunct Swedes Lé Betre on STB Records (review here), and with more touring under their collective belt, they make their full-length debut under the banner of Orion, offering immediate invocation of big constellations spread across even bigger nighttime skies that perfectly mirrors the ambience and seamless flow of the album itself.

Though their delivery has a vitality doubtless born from their not-inconsiderable time on stage together, and seems to have been captured in the studio with that in mind, it is the languid, serene-but-not-necessarily-peaceful ease with which they execute the eight songs/47 minutes that stands out even more. McVay and Reynolds‘ tones are geared toward the organic, and Donaldson‘s ability to give even the most subdued stretches and circular jams a sense of forward motion, as on the opening title-track (also streamed here) or the rolling nod of “Kerosene,” resides among King Buffalo‘s greatest strengths.

They’ve been compared on more than one occasion to Nashville’s All Them Witches — a band with whom they’re closely linked, having toured together more than once and brought aboard bassist Michael Parks to fill in for Reynolds at shows as recently as this summer — and that’s fair enough for some of the jammy feel and Americana flourish, but if Orion does anything at all, it establishes King Buffalo as an entity on their own wavelength. Even those aspects of what they do that might come across as familiar have been shaped into something new here, and the songs set a dynamic range that is wildly open and populates a world with its own characters and settings, be it in “She Sleeps on a Vine,” “Goliath,” “Drinking from the River Rising” or “Orion” itself, which begins the album that carries its name with a graceful unfolding, stretching out with guitar and bass for its first minute-plus before Donaldson comes in on drums. Right away, they’re taking their time — patient, fluid, lightly hypnotic — but nothing about Orion comes across as lazy, and it’s worth noting that where they could’ve easily gone with an intro track before the start of the opener, they built their introduction from the song itself and took a more natural, less pretentious route.

A driving swing emerges in the second half of “Orion,” the first of several righteous thrusts the record has on offer, and amps fade into the quiet lines that open “Monolith,” joined soon by McVay‘s vocals. It’s a not dissimilar start, but “Monolith” goes in a different direction, setting a more active jangly guitar shuffle punctuated by toms and held together by Reynolds‘ bass. McVay takes a swirling solo late and the transition into “She Sleeps on a Vine” is direct, the song at 7:31 second only to “Drinking from the River Rising” in length and with the foundation again in the low end, hits into a highlight jam, smooth flowing, right in its pace and building vibe, and still catchy enough to be one of Orion‘s most memorable impressions. It’s pretty raucous by the finish, and that momentum carries into the upbeat start of “Kerosene,” the six-minute roundout to side A that has its footing in just about everything King Buffalo have thus far had on offer and offers a hook of its own that stands up to “She Sleeps on a Vine” easily in its midsection before breaking to drums and bass and sparse guitar noise to set the bed for a riff-driven concluding push that gloriously builds and pulls itself apart as it leaves stratosphere behind.

king buffalo

Side B immediately expands the context of the album overall by bringing acoustic guitar forward with a gentle vocal from McVay, who soon layers in accent notes of electric slide or pedal steel. Bass and kick drum join in seamlessly but the spirit stays quiet, contemplative, sweet and almost melancholy, and even when Donaldson brings in the hi-hat and snare in the second half, they hold that firm, and rightly so to lead into the immediate spaciousness of “Goliath” — by title alone it should be the heaviest song on the record but I don’t think King Buffalo use standard measurement principles; all the better — which moves from that stretch into another forward push, this one marked out further by its fuzz-toned guitar and rhythmic verses.

A complement to the opener, “Orion Subsiding” seems to be an answer more in vibe than what’s actually being played, reenacting the liquefied motion that the band seems to conjure at will, subtly moving toward louder riffing and more fervent crash in the back end but shifting before they’re done once more to the languid lines of guitar and bass that ultimately define the cut along with McVay‘s vocals, which underline their importance to the mood and hue of the album with the folk-blues inflection that begins “Drinking from the River Rising,” calling to mind David Eugene Edwards as much as the aforementioned Parks, and carrying the first two minutes of the 10-minute closer easily before the central guitar and basslines and drum progression take hold. From there, King Buffalo set quickly about winding their way through one more expanse, gradually, again patiently, making their way toward the apex of the album, and in that doing well to reinforce the chemistry and dynamic between the three of them, as seen in the midsection flourish of bass from Reynolds and the far-no-farther-out guitars from McVay that complement over Donaldson‘s drums.

At 6:20, McVay asks, “Where will you go when the well runs dry?” and the final build begins in earnest, thudding, chugging and all. The remainder of “Drinking from the River Rising” is given to a molten, heavy jam that, yes, brings Orion to its peak, but also emphasizes one more time the live feel that has remained throughout, no matter how many layers are in play at any given moment. That may be finally where King Buffalo are defined — on stage — but they’re not there yet either way, and they benefit greatly from the open creativity on display in Orion‘s tracks and from that sense of exploration of their sound and their dynamic. It would be a great third LP, but factoring in that this is their first, Orion is even more impressive for the cohesion that so clearly rests beneath all that exploration and the skill with which the band walks the line between the two. No question it will stand among the best debuts of 2016.

Orion LP preorder

Orion CD preorder

King Buffalo BigCartel store

King Buffalo website

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

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Friday Full-Length: Dust, Dust

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dust, Dust (1971)

When Dust‘s 1971 self-titled debut was reissued on Sony Legacy in 2013 along with 1972’s Hard Attack, I was fortunate enough to interview original drummer Marc Bell, who of course later went on to become Marky Ramone of The Ramones, about the process of revisiting those two albums from early in his career. One of the things I asked him about the process of overseeing those remasters was whether it was strange to go back to hearing that material after so long and being so known for other work. Here’s what he had to say:

It wasn’t strange; it was more of a grateful opportunity to be able to do this because we were still in high school when we did these two albums. We were on a label called Buddha/Kama Sutra, which catered to bubblegum bands. So we really weren’t on the right label that could really push the genre of music, which was heavy metal. Looking back and knowing what we were facing and now, it was a little strange in a way. Because if we did a third album on a legitimate label that knew how to handle this kind of music, I think we would have went over the top with Dust. But in the studio we were remastering it a few months ago, we were thinking of the great memories we had.

Doing shows with Alice Cooper, John Mayall, Uriah Heep then coming back to the high school — Erasmus, where I went. Seeing the album in the windows in the record store. It was really amazing for an 18-year-old teenager to see this. Then everyone wanted to be my friend in high school. Even the people that hated me. It was strange but it brings back funny and youthful memories of how well we played as a unit, three people at that time. — Marky Ramone

He was pretty on-message the entire interview, by which I mean he had the story of the band and albums down and stuck to it for the duration of our talk — something with which, I should mention, I have no problem; as long as it’s cordial, I consider it a sign of professionalism for someone to know what they want to say going into a phoner — and he was vigilant in calling Dust a heavy metal band, and one of the first in America. Ever since, that’s kind of stuck in my head as the standout point. I don’t usually think of proto-metal as metal, or heavy rock as metal, and with its liberal use of slide guitar on opener “Stone Woman” and the classically swinging rhythm of “From a Dry Camel,” I’m still not sure I’d call the self-titled debut or its follow-up metal proper. For sure it was pushing in that direction, but it would still be five years before Judas Priest offered up the visionary Sad Wings of Destiny, and to call Dust‘s Dust metal diminishes the scope of the boom of heavy rock in which it arrived. Consider, for example, that Dust formed in 1969, the same year as fellow New Yorkers Cactus, though that band’s first record landed a year earlier in 1970. Dust were a standout for sure, but they didn’t exist in a vacuum, and to call them metal takes away from the progressive elements of “Often Shadows Felt” or “Goin’ Easy,” however much Bell, guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise and bassist Kenny Aaronson might push Mountain further on “Love Me Hard” or scorch in Motörheady fashion on closer “Loose Goose.”

In whatever genre you want to tag it, Dust‘s self-titled debut remains a classic of the original heavy rock era. The band would make arguably their greatest achievement on “Suicide” from Hard Attack, but their first outing is one not to be missed — frankly, I was surprised to find I hadn’t closed out a week with it before — and I hope as always that you enjoy.

Did you read that Buried Treasure post earlier this week? The one all about driving to Maryland and back? I still feel like I’m recovering from that trip, and as such, no Connecticut this weekend. Staying home. I’ll be back down that way in a couple weeks — both CT and MD, actually — so I honestly think the quiet time will do me some good. Plus I just finished my second week at the new job at Hasbro, and that’s been a pretty big change. Lots to get used to there, many different processes to figure out still. Everyone I talk to there says it takes time, and nothing I’ve seen leads me to think they’re wrong. It’s been good so far though. They dig their board games, and it’s awesome to be in surroundings where people is into what they’re doing.

I’ve been getting up at 5AM — yesterday was earlier, actually, but the alarm was set for five — in order to write reviews and then filling in news posts and such during the day, things like the Brant Bjork announcement yesterday going up as quickly as possible, and doing some writing at night as well, so the balance still needs to be worked out, but I’ll get there. That takes time too. For now, getting up early hasn’t been so bad, even if it’s meant I’m in bed by like 10PM each night. Worth it to get stuff done.

Speaking of, there’s a lot on the docket next week. Monday and Tuesday a couple new album announcements booked for stuff on Small Stone, and also look for reviews and streams from HyponicMos Generator16Naevus and The Company Corvette — that’s one a day for the whole week — as well as new videos from SeaMonkey3 and Hey Zeus, as well as all the news that’s fit to cut and paste and whatever else I can come across. Should be plenty to keep me busy on those mornings.

It’s not really applicable here — though I could make arguments either way — but if you think it’s something you might also be into, I’ve been very much enjoying Monolith of Phobos by The Claypool Lennon Delirium, which I picked up this week. It’s Les Claypool of Primus and Sean Lennon, and the two play all the instruments and share vocal and keyboard duties and some of it has a really dead-on psychedelic vibe. I don’t think I’ll review it, but it’s worth checking out if you have a spare couple minutes to track it down on YouTube or something.

Alright, gotta run, but I hope you have a great and safe weekend, whatever you might be up to. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

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KINGS DESTROY and HEAVY TEMPLE Confirmed for The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on May 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

Buy Tickets Here

The first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer is set for Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NY. So far the announced lineup includes Mars Red Sky for their first East Coast appearance, Snail for their first East Coast appearance, Ohio’s EYE supporting their new album, Funeral Horse for their first East Coast appearance and King Buffalo, who’ll be playing the last night of their release tour.

I’m proud and thrilled today to add Kings Destroy and Heavy Temple to the bill.

I can’t say enough about what each of these bands brings to the show, and I couldn’t be more stoked to have them involved. One thing I’ve been trying to do all along is build a genuine flow to the day that I think will make sense as one set leads to the next. It’ll make sense once the full running order is posted, but for the time being, let me just say that both these bands hold a special place in the lineup.

Here’s more on each:

Kings Destroy

kings destroy
There isn’t a band today I feel closer to than Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy. If you read this site at all, you probably already know that. I’ve been a nerd for these cats since their first 7″ and I’m fortunate today to consider them as friends and the bottom line is there’s just no way in hell I’d put on this show and not have them involved. They were out on tour earlier this year with Black Cobra, Lo-Pan and Bongzilla supporting their 2015 self-titled third album, for which they’ve already started writing the follow-up. They have a new 15-minute song that last I heard was about half done and they don’t know it yet, but I’m calling them out to play it at this show. The gauntlet is thrown down, gentlemen.

Heavy Temple

heavy temple
Oh my god, the new Heavy Temple is so good. Don’t get me wrong, I knew before I heard it that I wanted them on this bill — I’ve known it since Vultures of Volume last year, but the Philly trio have a new EP in the can and it’s absolutely stellar. They’ll open the show hopefully playing tracks from it and I expect by the time August comes around, there will be some official announcement as to the release, but even if you don’t know it yet, you’re in for a treat as they kick things off at The Obelisk All-Dayer. I shouldn’t have to tell you to get there early — looking like a 2:30PM start — but I will anyway, just to reinforce the importance of the issue. Get there early.

The Obelisk All-Dayer is Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York, and will feature full sets, after-show DJs, food truck on-hand, live recordings, limited edition merch and much more. One more band to be announced in June, along with DJs and the running order.

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

The Obelisk All-Dayer event page

Kings Destroy on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

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