Friday Full-Length: Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Sufferbus

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Sufferbus (1993)

Originally based in Syracuse, New York, Masters of Reality count their beginnings as being in 1981, which as it was also the year I was born, I can tell you was a very long time ago. They released their Rick Rubin-produced self-titled debut, aka The Blue Garden, in 1989 and 1990 on Def American and then Delicious Vinyl, and then it would be three years and a new lineup before Sunrise on the Sufferbus came around as the follow-up via Chrysalis Records. Like much of the band’s work, it inspires these years later a passionate but somewhat obscure fandom, despite being arguably their highest-profile outing thanks to the inclusion of drummer Ginger Baker (who had his 80th birthday this week) — also of Blind Faith, Cream, Hawkwind for a hot minute there in the ’80s, Fela Kuti, and many others besides his own solo output — in the lineup alongside founding guitarist, vocalist and principle songwriter Chris Goss and bassist/backing vocalist Googe, who aside from Goss was the only holdover from the first album to the second.

Now, if you’re playing a kind of then-modern heavy rock that’s super-informed by the blues rock and songwriting modus of the later ’60s and early ’70s, having Ginger Baker on drums is like communing with Buddha, and amid Goss‘ ultra-tight, radio-friendly craft on songs like the boogie-laced opener “She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)” and “Tilt-a-Whirl,” the somewhat more pastoral “Rolling Green,” the cult-rock prescient “J.B. Witchdance,” the blues bouncer “Ants in the Kitchen,” and even the less grounded smooth meander of “Rabbit One,” Baker nails it. His style of play is a graceful complement to Goss‘ intricate but accessible guitar work, flowing melodic voice and flourish of psychedelic elements here and there, and while I won’t take away from Googe‘s bass, Sunrise on the Sufferbus becomes about this meeting of minds between Goss and Baker, each one stepping up to the other’s considerable presence in the material and not necessarily competing, but challenging each other to be more on point in the task before them. Whether it’s the popping snare and crisp toms in the later “Gimme Water,” which follows the brief and actually-drumless “Madonna” — can you imagine having Ginger Baker on your record and then being like, “Hey man, it’s cool to sit this one out?” — or the languid fuzzy roll of “V.H.V.,” the collaboration brims with personality and still never loses sight of the fact that the songs are most important. The songs are paramount. The songs are everything. Songwriting bloody songwriting. It’s the songwriting, stupid.

Masters of Reality have a few genuinely unheralded classics in their catalog — “Why the Fly?,” “Deep in the Hole,” “The Ballad of Jody Frosty” — but if Chris Goss had never written another song after “100 Years (Of Tears on the Wind),” you’d still have to say he beat the universe. Masters of Reality Sunrise on the SufferbusAnd in just four minutes! The song begins with a fade in of guitar and drums and sets up a waltz of resonant strumming and jazzy ride cymbal and maybe mellotron (?) before Goss unveils the subtle raciness of the hook — “I’ve found my place in bed/Three feet beneath your head/I wanted to stay home/I couldn’t think of nothing new” — and croons into the next verse with the same final line repeating at the end, then comes back around and cycles through one more time, and that’s it. Done. But it’s beautiful and theatrical and lush and affecting, and genuinely shifts the mood of the listener even as the band follows it up with “T.U.S.A.,” which finds Baker taking lead vocals on kind of a goofy semi-spoken rant about how no one in America can make tea properly, which is to say, how the British do it. “Now this is serious,” Baker says in the opening line, signaling that of the many things the song might be, serious is not one of them.

But even that goofball transition is pulled off with aplomb and just like the 48-second wisp of melody “Bicycle” that led into “100 Years (Of Tears on the Wind),” “T.U.S.A.” leaves it behind immediately — on to the next thing. That’s very much how Sunrise on the Sufferbus operates, but in the three or four minutes of each track, the band builds entire worlds. “She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)” puts you at some mythical Americana county fair in god knows what year, while “Jody Sings” up-strums classic folk driven simply by the sweetness in Goss‘ voice, and while there’s often a playful aspect to it, as on closer “The Moon in Your Pocket,” that does nothing to pull back from the achievement of craft that the album ultimately is, in fact adding to it because fun is just one more thing Masters of Reality are willing to be.

The band recorded the LP The Ballad of Jody Frosty in 1994, and some of that material would show up on 2004’s Give Us Barabbas — including “The Desert Song” with Baker on drums — but Masters of Reality‘s next released studio album wouldn’t be until 1999’s Welcome to the Western Lodge (would someone please put this on YouTube so I can close out a week with it?). By then, the band was just Goss and drummer John Leamy, and Goss had cut his teeth as a producer in the fledgling Californian desert rock scene, working with Kyuss and Fatso Jetson, among others. That style would inform 2001’s Deep in the Hole (discussed here) and the subsequent European touring with Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, then both of Queens of the Stone Age, that resulted in the 2003 live album, Flak ‘n’ Flight (discussed here). After Give Us Barabbas in ’04, it would be five years until the arrival of 2009’s Pine/Cross Dover (review here), which stands as their most recent offering. Goss posted a couple tracks on Soundcloud a while back, and I got offered an interview with him a few months that as yet I’ve been unable to make happen that I’d still love to do, but there’s nothing like a release date for a new Masters of Reality album or anything like that. Would be nice, and could certainly happen eventually, but that’s about the extent of what I know on the subject.

I admit, I picked this one just for me because I wanted to listen to it, but as always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Well, the Massachusetts era would seem to be over. We closed the sale on the place in East Bridgewater, MA, on Wednesday. Drove up for it, sat in the office giggling with our lawyer, who is an old college friend of The Patient Mrs., signed and dated all the whatnot. We ended up getting our asking price for it, which astounded me. Hard not to think the entire market is going to collapse, but whatever. Tidy profit on the sale — all the money’s spent, but I’m still gonna sneak a chunk out to buy a lens, hopefully today and celebrate the new New Jersey homecoming tomorrow night at Starland Ballroom — where else? — for C.O.C., Crowbar and Lo-Pan. That’ll be a good time even though I’m going alone.

We also yesterday came down to NJ with the last moving truck, stuff going essentially from one storage unit to another. I got to say a brief hello to the bulk of my CD collection — hello goodbye — which I’d pretty much have to win the lottery in order to have enough space to properly display. That kind of sucks. Here’s this library you’ve been enjoying building for the last quarter-century-plus, stuck in anonymous moving boxes. Would be out of sight out of mind but for the rental cost of the storage unit. But even in this house, there isn’t really a place where it could work, and the climate control here like so much else is a work in progress. We’ve got new windows coming on Monday. That should help, but even if I didn’t have a toddler hell-bent on destruction, I’d still basically need every available inch of wall in the house for a shelf, and that’s neither feasible nor fair. So, you know. Boxes.

And every couple years, more boxes. I don’t sell CDs.

I do, however, keep buying them.

My phone is busted, so I need to get that taken care of today, and between that, that lens purchase (assuming the wire transfer from the house sale comes through), donating some dishes and maybe another trip to Costco, that’s pretty much the day. Should be plenty. Next week look out for the C.O.C. live review and an Orange Goblin live review, as I’ll be hitting their show with The Skull in NYC on Tuesday, and a track premieres Italy’s Bretus and Esogenesi. Didn’t mean to do an Italian doom theme, but kind of did anyhow. I might go see Bask and Begotten as well the night after Orange Goblin, but we’ll see. That’s a lot and I’m just a poor boy. Might be nice to get a couple shows in before The Patient Mrs. goes to a conference next weekend and then starts her new job and life explodes all over again.

But anyway, we’re in Jersey now. There’s work to do but there always is, and sooner or later we’ll start calling this place home without even thinking about it.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. If you’re at C.O.C. in Jersey tomorrow or Orange Goblin in NYC on Tuesday, please say hi. Otherwise, cheers.

Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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King Buffalo Announce Final 2019 Tour Dates; European Vinyl Pressings Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

king buffalo (Photo by Mike Turzanski)

Actually, by now, the vinyl’s probably gone. So it goes.

If you want to make your day better, go ahead and watch the stream of King Buffalo playing Freak Valley Festival in Germany back in June. The video is below, as recorded by Rockpalast, and it’s heartwarming on any number of levels as a fan of the band. I remain enamored of 2018’s Longing to Be the Mountain (review here), and to see them nailing that material on such a stage in front of such a crowd is like an unexpected birthday card.

These are their last shows of 2019, which makes me think it won’t be long until they announce their first shows of 2020. But where? And when? And… when… again? I don’t know. Whatever. Just go watch that video. Then listen to the record. Then buy a tshirt or something. These guys have earned it.

Dates:

king buffalo dates

KING BUFFALO – LAST TOUR DATES OF 2019 // EURO VINYL PRESSINGS!

We’ve announced our remaining 2019 Tour Dates.

THESE WILL BE OUR LAST SHOWS OF 2019, SO DON’T MISS THEM!

9/25 Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House
9/26 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Mint
9/27 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
9/28 Cleveland, OH @ Ingenuity Festival – JUST ANNOUNCED!
11/8 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
11/9 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle
11/12 Nashville, TN @ High Watt
11/14 Dallas, TX @ Three Links
11/15 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
11/16 Houston, TX @ White Oak Upstairs
11/19 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
11/20 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
11/21 Washington, DC @ DC9
11/23 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
11/27 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place – JUST ANNOUNCED!

BUY TICKETS HERE

EUROPEAN VINYL

LTBTM Euro Edition – The European Version of LTBTM from Stickman Records, normally a European exclusive. We brought back a limited number from our European 2019 Tour. This Edition includes a 180 gram Silver Vinyl! Only 8 copies remain.

Orion Euro Edition – The European Version of Orion from Stickman Records, normally a European exclusive. This Edition includes a 180 gram Orange Transparent Vinyl and comes with a CD! Only 7 copies remain.

Repeater Euro Edition – The European Version of Repeater from Stickman Records, normally a European exclusive. This Edition includes a Beer Yellow Transparent Vinyl with Black silkscreen! Only 12 copies remain.

Lineup:
Sean McVay – vocals, guitar, synth
Dan Reynolds – bass, synth
Scott Donaldson – drums

kingbuffalo.com
facebook.com/kingbuffaloband
instagram.com/kingbuffaloband
kingbuffalo.bandcamp.com

King Buffalo, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

King Buffalo, Longing to be the Mountain (2018)

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Shadow Witch Post Stooges Cover “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Of course there’s The Riff, but the real test of any cover of The Stooges‘ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ that’s trying to be reasonably loyal to the original is the word ‘here.’ The cloying, seething, sex-starved desperation in Iggy Pop‘s vocal just on that one word was like a siren of hormonal charge going off 50 years ago that can still be heard echoing today. Much to the credit of Shadow Witch frontman Earl Walker Lundy, he nails the “here” and thus the song as a whole, capturing the spirit of the original while bringing it into the band’s own sonic context of dark heavy rock.

Released as a free download, the single is intended as a precursor to Shadow Witch‘s new LP, which is expected in November through Argonauta Records. Gotta keep that momentum up.

Lundy offered some comment on the selection via the PR wire:

shadow witch wanna be your dog

All set to go for the new album “Under the Shadow of the Witch” by U.S. Heavy Psych Doomers Shadow Witch, all details to be revealed in the next days!

To shorten the wait the band just releases today an exciting cover song of THE STOOGES classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” you can listen to here: https://shadowwitch.bandcamp.com/track/i-wanna-be-your-dog

About this song, Earl Walker Lundy, the bands vocalist, says:

“It actually started as a joke ! I was in the middle of this really intense affair, and all the songs we were writing started to be about that, about that girl, that obsessive all-powerful romance. Our drummer thought it would be funny to play a cover that related to the situation. We all love The Stooges, so even though people might not think Stooges when they hear Shadow Witch, it really is an influence. Anyway, when we were recording the album we thought “hey, why not ?!? “ We’d been playing it, and it felt kind of ironic and a bitter-sweet reference to what the album is all about ~ love/obsession/addiction. Also we just want to tease y’all a little; not give away too much just yet.”

The album was recorded with 40 year industry veteran Paul Orofino, who has recorded everyone from “classic rock” stalwarts Mountain, Foghat, Golden Earring, and Blue Oyster Cult to the extremes of Immolation.

Earl says “We really wanted this record to be a big step up sonically from our last, and working with Paul was an incredible opportunity to make that happen. He’s truly a master of his craft, and brought ideas to the table that became integral to the production of the album. I think it’s our strongest work yet.”

www.facebook.com/shadowwitch.band
www.shadowwitch.bandcamp.com
www.argonautarecords.com

Shadow Witch, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

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Witchkiss Touring to Descendants of Crom with Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

witchkiss

I was at the big Neurosis show the other night, and on my way out the door afterward, I happened to see Witchkiss guitarist/vocalist Scott Prater and drummer/vocalist Amber Burns hanging out. I don’t really know them, but I did go up and say that I had enjoyed their set at Maryland Doom Fest (review here), and that I hoped to see them again. Lo and behold, here’s a tour announcement providing opportunity to do precisely that. I won’t be able to make the trip into Brooklyn for this gig, as I’ll be out of town, but that’s hardly their fault or the fault of Temple of the Fuzz Witch, with whom they’re touring. I guess it’s my fault. Ah, to be raised Catholic. So much guilt.

Anyhoozle, after playing both Maryland Doom Fest and New England Stoner & Doom Fest earlier this year, Witchkiss will be making their way to Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh as a part of this run, makes the last in a pretty impressive trifecta of Eastern Seaboard-ish festivity. They’ve got dates to add to this tour and I would expect their momentum to continue carrying forward into 2020, so will do as they advise and keep an eye out.

Behold:

witchkiss temple of the fuzz witch

WITCHKISS ANNOUNCE SEPTEMBER TOUR

New York doom band WITCHKISS are pleased to announce that they will be doing a short US tour in September.

The band commented ” We are super excited to be playing some new material! We will be joined by “Temple of the Fuzz Witch” on all of the shows except for our stop at the “Descendants of Crom Fest” in Pittsburgh on September 21st. Keep an eye out because it’s likely we will be adding a couple more dates in this run”

TOUR DATES:
9/19/19 ~ Mohawk Place ~ Buffalo, NY
9/20/19 ~ Buzz Bin ~ Canton, OH
9/21/19 ~ Descendants of Crom Fest @ Cattivo ~ Pittsburgh, PA *No TOTFW*
9/22/19 ~ Frankies ~ Toledo, OH
9/23/19 ~ Reggies ~ Chicago, IL
9/24/19 ~ Highlands ~ Louisville, KY
9/25/19 ~ Odditorium ~ Asheville, NC
9/26/19 ~ Tapp Room ~ Boone, NC
9/28/19 ~ Wonderland ~ Richmond, VA
9/30/19 ~ Ottobar ~ Baltimore, MD
10/4/19 ~ 13th Floor ~ Florence, MA
10/5/19 ~ Knitting Factory ~ Brooklyn, NY

Witchkiss:
Amber Burns ~ Drums / Vocals
Scott Prater ~ Guitar / Vocals
Tyler Irish ~ Bass

http://facebook.com/witchkissband
https://www.instagram.com/witchkissband/
https://witchkiss.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Witchkiss, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes (2018)

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Orodruin Sign to Cruz Del Sur Music; Ruins of Eternity Due in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

orodruin

Technically speaking, Ruins of Eternity is the follow-up to Orodruin‘s debut long-player, Epicurean Mass (discussed here). Only kicker there is that Epicurean Mass came out in 2003, so the sophomore effort is arriving some 16 years after the fact. Hey, good doom takes time. The Rochester, New York, outfit are the latest in the classic-doom vein to sign with Cruz Del Sur Music behind the recent acquisition of Ogre and others from the last few years like Apostle of Solitude and Argus, and Ruins of Eternity has been given an October release date, which given guitarist John Gallo‘s penchant for the drama of classic horror, does not make Halloween seem unreasonable. It’ll be out right around the same time as Ogre‘s new record either way, which certainly puts them in good company.

It’s been a long time coming, but Orodruin have a real chance here to make that wait pay off. Here’s hoping they take advantage.

From the PR wire:

orodruin ruins of eternity new cover

ORODRUIN to release “Ruins of Eternity” in October

Veteran Rochester, New York doomsters Orodruin have signed with Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of their second full-length album, “Ruins Of Eternity”. The album — the band’s first in 16 years — will see the light of day this October.

Originally formed in 1998 by John Gallo (guitar), Mike Puleo (bass/vocals), Nick Tydelski (guitar) and Mike Waske (drums), ORODRUIN broke onto the American metal scene with 2003’s “Epicurean Mass”, which remains their lone full-length album to date.
From the vintage school of BLACK SABBATH and SAINT VITUS doom with a European twist, ORODRUIN’s penchant for churning riffs and atmospheric passages instantly put them on the global doom metal map. The band issued a split, compilation, demo and EP in ensuing years, all building up to the eventual release of their sophomore album.

According to Gallo, ORODRUIN wrote nine new songs from 2016 to 2018, with a tenth song, “Letter Of Life’s Regret” coming from 2005. The album was tracked throughout 2018 at Wicked Squid Studio and is currently being mixed with the mastering process right around the corner.

“Stylistically, the songs are in the epic doom realm like the master titans of the 1970s, SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST,” says Gallo. “The songs are a long-awaiting evolution in our writing and chemistry among brothers on a treacherous journey that will finally be unleashed to the masses. We hope it translates well to the hearts and souls of our fans worldwide.”

In preparation for the band’s triumphant return to European shores for this fall’s Hammer Of Doom Festival festival, ORODRUIN have enlisted drummer Kevin Latchaw of labelmates Argus, who is temporarily manning the drum spot while the band searches for a replacement for Waske, who left ORODRUIN in April of 2018.

Gallo: “We are extremely honored to be playing the same night as Uli Jon Roth and TROUBLE alongside our classic doom brothers MIRROR OF DECEPTION, SKALD and ATLANTEAN KODEX on the next day, to mention only a few! We can’t express how amazing it will be to be playing a substantial doom metal festival in Germany again. We hope people enjoy the new material as much as we do playing it.”

ORODRUIN’s addition to Cruz Del Sur adds to an ever-growing stable of excellent doom metal bands. Not only will the partnership expose ORODRUIN to new audiences, it will put them in close company with many bands who they consider contemporaries. “We have been aware of Cruz Del Sur for a while and it seemed like the perfect home for us as we have a more European audience that appreciates our style of doom metal. Plus, it will be great to be alongside our fellow doom friends in WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, SLOUGH FEG and ARGUS.”

Orodruin is:
Nick Tydelski : Guitar
Michael Puleo : Bass, Vocals, Drums
John Gallo : Other Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/orodruinofficialband
cruzdelsurmusic.com
facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic
cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com

Orodruin, Epicurean Mass (2003)

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Python Stream New Album Astrological Warfare in Full; Out This Week

Posted in audiObelisk on June 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

python

New York oldschool grit-metallers Python release their second album, Astrological Warfare, on June 7 and 6 through AnnapurnA Production (EU) and The Ajna Offensive (NA), respectively. And let me run through a quick first impression. You hear opening track “Night Takes All,” with its raw guitar buzz and garage drums, cavernous vocals and periodic Mercyful Fate howls and think you’ve got it figured out: band with tin-can production takes on obscure classic metal — elements of thrash and what would splinter into black metal and doom pervade “Night Takes All” and the subsequent title-track. Their roots are in Italy, so of course there’s a Paul Chain influence to be heard. Easy peasy.

Then the real chicanery starts. The seven-and-a-half-minute “No Coming to the Light,” with its ambient guitar and horror samples, and the acoustic-backed vague echoes, toy piano and whispers of the 8:32 “Into the Mire of Death” — also attributable to a Paul Chain influence, as it happens — showcase a different side to Python that not only expands the context of the opening duo, but makes the entire outing that follows entirely less predictable. There are 12 tracks on Astrological Warfare, and by the time “Into the Mire of Death” is done — again, on a first listen — each one is a mystery waiting to be unlocked. “This Flame Burns Forever” is a crashing headbanger that seems to touch ground, but “Wheels of Blood” once again delves into samples, jingling bells and a cultish experimentalist feel, all incantation and ceremony, fading to even more minimal drone after the halfway point. What seems like a relatively python astrological warfarestraightforward affair — at least in its own way — turns out to be anything but.

“Enemies Bring Honor” seems to find a middle ground between the heretofore separate sides, with copious lo-fi distortion backing howls and shouts with a drumbeat behind, furthering both the filth and the weirdness of the proceedings as a whole, leading to “Aeons Has Fallen,” which takes a more roots-doom approach in its nod, not quite Sabbathian, but maybe given some of Venom‘s early cave-dweller spirit, mixed with a more straight-ahead vocal and riff. By the time they get there, it’s almost a relief, and “Land of Phantoms” continues the thread at least somewhat, with more wailing fuckall over a dirty guitar line, before “No Tomorrow” buzzes out across five basement-dank minutes that in a different context might be punk and might be genius indie, but here are par for the course.

How else to end Astrological Warfare than with two more experimental cuts of atmospheric creep and outright terror? “Burning the Shrines of Christ,” which sounds like it should be ripping black metal, is instead all drones and spoken whispers, while “Shadow of the Curse” seems to take that approach and make it even less friendly in its early going, only to give over to cassette worthy rawness as Python make their way out. It’s as fitting an end as anything one might otherwise come up with, wailing vocals and all, and I suppose when taken together, the 9:44 closer summarizes most of what the album as a whole has to offer in mood and ultra-opaque metallurgy. Still, there’s nothing quite like sitting with the whole thing in all its mesmerizing, confusing anti-glory.

To that end, you can stream the album in full below. Be warned, this is some weird shit. Approach with an open mind and realize that the challenge is part of the appeal.

With caution or without, enjoy:

The Ajna Offensive, in conspiracy with AnnapurnA, sets June 6th as the international release date for Python’s highly anticipated second album, Astrological Warfare.

Python became a breath of existence in late 2008 between two Mediterranean friends with blood-roots south of the Vatican. With mutual appreciation for the catacombs and gallows of ancestry, they set forth to unravel what mysteries and folklore from the motherland. As time progressed, songwriting and words became a steady diet tucked away for when the time was right. A self-fulfilling prophecy constructed songs for the initiated; a medium in the crypt of the cemetery was born, for ghosts of the past and present to eliminate questions and answers of the pretenders. Superstitions and metaphysical manifestation take control and tell the tales of Python.

Imagine digging around in a dusty, moldy basement of some tenement in Italy and discovering an old box of demos with one obliquely marked “1976” and brandishing only song titles such as “Iconoclast,” “Fire Sacrifice,” “Strega,” “Black September,” “Neophyte” and “Echoes of Past Darkness.” You might be led to confuse this with some long-lost Paul Chain demo, but this was, in fact, the sound of Python’s debut album, Serpent Superstition. Now arrives the likewise presciently titled Astrological Warfare, the second full-length from from native New Yorkers with old roots drilling through to Italian soils. Python is not kids playing genre exercises, but rather a decrepit, lusty, distant, and coiling analog occult rock fueled by old legend. Dutifully recommended for fans of old Paul Chain, The Black (Italy), and The Mezmerist.

The Ajna Offensive website

The Ajna Offensive on Thee Facebooks

Annapurna Production website

Annapurna Production on Thee Facebooks

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Front Biz Premiere “Little Mutants” Video; Lunch Money out June 14

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

front biz (photo by Kiki Vassilakis)

I’ll admit that other than the relative age of the parties involved, I have no idea what makes something neo-psych versus regular-psych. But whatever, I like a good story, and Albany four-piece Front Biz have that as they present their debut full-length, Lunch Money, through Five Kill Records. You can read it below. It’s got intergalactic money laundering and everything, and in that, it sets a decent mood for how Lunch Money plays out across its seven component tracks, whether it’s the frenetic funk of opener “Little Mutants” or the subsequent let-me-slip-into-a-tempo-more-comfortable groove in the second half of “Winter’s Dream,” which follows. Front Biz — the core four of vocalist/guitarist Raurri Jennings, guitarist Peter Lavery, bassist Josh Potter and drummer Erik Pravel, with sundry others partaking throughout — change it up as those with a will toward artistic progression should their first time out, tripping out impulses from Mr. Bungle‘s let’s-do-it-lounge-style jazz surf of “WYCH” and the penultimate “Interlude” to the Funkadelic-via-TalkingHeads-or-whoever hookery of “Dead Ass.”

There’s a mellow stretch every now and then to catch your breath — looking at you, “Lunch,” right there in the middle of the album — but Front Biz are front biz lunch moneymore about keeping their audience off balance, as they do pitting “Interlude” before the buzz-happy “Wolf Mistress,” with the two guitars intertwining in fuzz and sunny shimmer before opening to an uptempo verse that would be dancey if we were all dancey monsters of various colors: greens, purples and the like. Once again, the funk gets strange and the strange gets funky. If you feel like you can dig it, I don’t know, maybe you can. Much to its credit, Lunch Money is less beholden to genre than most of anything that might be psychedelic by even the loosest of definitions, and the sense of personality brought to the material is palpable from “Little Mutants” all the way through “Wolf Mistress,” which peaks with a trippy solo before some puller riffing cuts short after a few measures, ending cold to snap the experience back to reality really the only way it could — cruelly and suddenly.

Standard fare it ain’t, even around here, but the video for “Little Mutants” came my way, and for its Beetlejuice nods and clever animation, let alone the song itself, I couldn’t resist. Sometimes it’s fun to get weird, so let’s do that.

That PR wire info follows the video below.

Please enjoy:

Front Biz, “Little Mutants” official video premiere

Front Biz, LLC, is a shell company for an intergalactic real estate firm, primarily focused on laundering money through an Earth-based rock band. Don’t worry; they’re the good guys in this story. With analog syncopations and guitar riffs algorithmically programmed to stream alongside the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Chicano Batman, Kenny Rogers, and other psychedelic avatars, the quartet fights fearlessly against the Russian bot-driven influx of sad bands in the simulation. Lunch Money is their debut album, released exclusively on immaterial digital platforms by Fivekill Records.

Endlessly cycling through a quantum time loop, Front Biz first formed around Erik Pravel’s electronic drum kit in 2016 to play glitched mashups of Charles Mingus and Black Sabbath in the basement of a Presbyterian church. The project soon evolved into a double-barrel guitar workout fronted by Raurri Jennings, the holographic result of Rick Moranis singing Prince karaoke, and Peter Lavery, the world’s fattest man. Josh Potter plays himself, also the bass. In their first year, Front Biz shared the stage with White Denim, Naked Giants, Rubblebucket, K. Flay, and won a battle of the bands held at a bowling alley in the mall.

Lunch Money was recorded over three days in an upstate cabin during March 2018. Produced by Ryan Slowey (Maggot Brain) with engineering by Craig Dutra (Aficionado, Hospital Corners), the album was tracked live with virtually everything piped through a vintage Roland Space Echo for that timeless UFO hover. Victoria Rutledge and Anna Lazarou were abducted for vocal support. Deep in the delay chain, the band made first contact with a disincarnate intelligence, entrapping them in a cosmic Ponzi scheme. Lunch Money is the group’s attempt to pay off their debt, and maybe get a bite to eat. Either way, the portal is open.

Front Biz is:
Raurri Jennings – Vocals / Guitar
Peter Lavery – Guitar
Josh Potter – Bass
Erik Pravel – Drums

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Front Biz on Instagram

Front Biz on Bandcamp

Five Kill Records on Thee Facebooks

Five Kill Records website

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Sun Voyager Cover Budgie; Playing Deserfest NYC This Weekend & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sun voyager

If a new Sun Voyager track covering Budgie with a digital release through Tee Pee isn’t enough to make your day, well, jeez, you must be having either a really good a really shitty day. For what it’s worth, I hope it’s the former, and as the New York trio continue to step into the shoes emptied by NYC’s bygone psych scene of the aughts — everyone either moved to Philly or grew up, I guess; priced right out of the neighborhood, either way — their homage to the classics of the form comes through with due sincerity and shuffle. They’ll be at the inaugural Desertfest New York this weekend — hey! me too! — and will make their way westward in June for Electric Funeral Fest in Denver and some tour dates thereafter, then Descendants of Crom III in September. They’re a good band, and they’re only getting better. Seems like people are starting to catch on.

The alliance with Tee Pee is particularly interesting. Have to wonder if that might mean anything going forward as the band will look to follow-up their 2018 debut LP, Seismic Vibes (review here). We’ll see, I guess.

They sent the following down the PR wire:

sun voyager crash course in brain surgery

It’s been just over a year since our album came out and to say we’ve been busy would be an understatement. We’re thrilled to share our cover of Budgie’s 1971 classic, “Crash Course in Brain Surgery” with you today, which is now streaming everywhere thanks to the mighty Tee Pee Records.

Budgie was part of an era of heavy rock that inspired us from the beginning. Their influence is virtually everywhere in metal and they don’t get nearly enough recognition for that. We hope you enjoy our take.

Please stream, share, add to playlists, etc, etc
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PoAL9X
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2PnnBtV
iTunes: https://apple.co/2PoAmUZ

We also have a limited run of dugouts available on our bandcamp that come with a free download of the song.
https://sun-voyager.bandcamp.com/album/crash-course-in-brain-surgery

We will be performing the song on the road this spring and hope to see many of you out there.

4/25 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie w/ Here Lies Man, Narcos Family Band
4/28 – Brooklyn, NY – Desertfest NYC w/ Elder, Monolord, ASG, Ruby The Hatchet, Fatso Jetson, Mick’s Jaguar, Duel, Green Milk from the Planet Orange (Tickets available here)
5/3 – Utica, NY – Nail Creek Pub w/ Here Lies Man
6/15 – Denver, CO – Electric Funeral Fest w/ Torche, Dead Meadow, Tombs, Call of the Void, Fotocrime, Gozu, Un, The Lion’s Daughter, Bummer, The Munsens, Chrome Waves, Trapped within Burning Machinery, Teeth, Casket Huffer, Horseneck, Thra, Yatra, Dizz Brew, Red Mesa
6/16 – Wichita, KS – Kirby’s Beer Store w/ Snowchild, Easy Killer
6/17 – Kansas City, MO – Riot Room w/ Kyle Shutt (of the Sword), Keef Mountain, Stoner Grower
6/18 – St. Louis, MO – The Sinkhole w/ Spacetrucker, Cyanides
6/19 – Chicago, IL – LiveWire Lounge w/ Dead Feathers, Diagonal
6/20 – Indianapolis, IN – State Street Pub w/ Hemperor
6/21 – Detroit, MI – Outer Limits Lounge w/ Eroders, Werewolf Jones
6/22 – Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class w/ Contra, Earth Chief
9/21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Descendants of Crom III

More merch available here: https://sun-voyager.bandcamp.com/merch
There are only 2 gold copies of Seismic Vibes left so get those quick!

www.facebook.com/sunvoyagerband
http://www.twitter.com/sunvoyager_rock
http://www.instagram.com/sunvoyager
http://www.sunvoyagerband.com/
https://sun-voyager.bandcamp.com/track/trip
https://soundcloud.com/sunvoyager/trip/
http://www.kingpizzarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kingpizzarecs/
https://kingpizzarecords.bandcamp.com/

Sun Voyager, “Crash Course in Brain Surgery”

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