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:
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.
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.
[It’s Not Night: It’s Space release Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting on June 24 via Small Stone. Click play above to stream an exclusive premiere from the album.]
Cumbersome in its title and awaited in its arrival, Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting is the second full-length and Small Stone Records label debut from New Paltz, New York, heavy psych instrumentalists It’s Not Night: It’s Space. The guitar-bass-drums trio issued their first full-length, Bowing Not Knowing to What (review here), in 2012, and were picked up by Small Stone the next year, and since then it seems to have been a process of letting the band’s slow-motion space rock congeal to a point where it’s able to be processed by human minds, which is apparently where we are now. Beaming in from cosmic depths with six tracks — an intro and five cuts between seven and nine minutes a pop — Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting offers sonic immersion and atmospheric scope in kind with a patient, hypnotic front-to-back flow that adds rich tonality to what guitarist Kevin Halcott, bassist Tommy Guerrero and drummer Michael Lutomski accomplished their first time out.
Parts may have been born of improvisations, but the finished product doesn’t feel like a collection of jams. Rather, a series of interconnected pieces correctly positioned to guide the listener through this aural expanse. Spiritualism, contemplation, philosophy, space itself — all of this seems to be in play for It’s Not Night: It’s Space, as the samples in three-minute opener “Nada Brahma” demonstrate and cuts like “Across the Luster of the Desert into the Polychrome Hills” and “Starry Wisdom” answer back. The material is dynamic, particularly so the build in “Pillars of the Void,” but the key is in the motion of the record as a whole, and It’s Not Night: It’s Space succeed in holding their course while showing varied sides of their approach.
They have some help in that regard from Rick Birmingham, who recorded and mixed and who adds fiddle to “The Beard of Macroprosopus” and closer “The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden,” but though the expanse they conjure throughout feels wider than something a trio might be able to craft, mostly it’s Halcott, Guerrero and Lutomski here. Should probably go without saying that effects have a considerable role to play in Halcott‘s approach, but ultimately the album is as rhythmically hypnotic as it is otherworldly of vibe. “Nada Brahma” fades in on voices that sound like chanting mantras to ease the way into the expanded consciousness that follows. An acoustic guitar line, bass, percussion and swirl give an immediate impression like the kind of ritual Om might enact, but the samples and emergent lead electric guitar assure It’s Not Night: It’s Space maintain their own direction from the outset. They’ll continue to do so as “The Beard of Macroprosopus” takes hold with a kosmiche push that grows more and more resonant before it pays off in echoing, winding guitar the tension its early moments have built.
Much to their credit, It’s Not Night: It’s Space avoid the trap of loud/quiet trades for the most part that seem to be so core in a lot of heavy psychedelia, and instead offer linear fluidity with movement of tempo and mood, and a depth of mix through layers of rhythm and lead guitar, effects and spacious drumming. Ending with more sampled chanting, “The Beard of Macroprosopus” echoes into the start of “Across the Luster of the Desert into Polychrome Hills,” for which it doesn’t seem like an accident that “desert” made it into the title. A patient fuzz unfolds in the bass beneath manipulated drone and a subtle build of guitar and drums. The central line that arrives past two minutes in seems born of a surf tradition — as is desert rock — and if the “Polychrome Hills” are being represented in Halcott‘s lead in the second half and the deeply satisfying roll that follows, I’d say they’re being done justice.
A cold end brings the guitar intro to “Starry Wisdom” — I’ll assume that’s where the A/B vinyl split is as well, but it’s the digital version I’m reviewing — which spends its first couple minutes in a post-rock stoner nod before opening to more driving territory, locked in in a fashion that a low of Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting has shown little interest in being, but still atmospheric on the whole. A big slowdown and blissout awaits in the second half, but the swing never departs entirely as Lutomski plays between crash and snare to ensure the rhythm holds together until the guitar is left to fade on its own into the start of the penultimate “Pillars in the Void,” the subdued opening of which is perhaps all the more effective for how little It’s Not Night: It’s Space have toyed with minimalism throughout.
True there’s still plenty going on as the track gets underway, but the central guitar figure and drum and basslines are more sparse than, for example, “Starry Wisdom” preceding, and the effect is to enact a linear payoff, then drop back to quiet before unfurling the highlight progression of the album as it moves toward and past the six-minute mark. No less immersive than anything before it, “Pillars in the Void”‘s concluding movement showcases a feel for songwriting and linguistic expression (still without lyrics or samples, mind you) that stands it out from its surroundings. One might think that would leave “Between the Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden” as an afterthought, but that winds up not at all the case, as It’s Not Night: It’s Space close out with a darker mood and straightforward but still trance-inducing groove, bass and echoing guitar giving an impression like Yawning Man by night early before moving into the Spaghetti West in the midsection and reintroducing Birmingham‘s fiddle as they gracefully build their way into the song and the record’s final push, ending noisy and sudden.
As the material comprises it feels worked over, hammered out, and shaped into what the band wants it to be, it makes sense that Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting might show up four years after It’s Not Night: It’s Space‘s debut, but as a front-to-back listen will attest, time comes to matter little once you dig into that wash and find yourself consumed by it. Fuller in its sound and more clearheaded in its purpose, the album shows definitive growth on the part of Halcott, Guerrero and Lutomski, but manages to do so without sacrificing the exploratory feel that helps make it so engaging and meditative. Similar to the chanting that starts off, the record itself seems to be a mantra. Perhaps It’s Not Night: It’s Space have found wisdom in the stars.
Rochester heavy psych-blues trio King Buffalo will issue their debut long-player, Orion, on Aug. 5, 2016. It’s an album rife with organic, flowing grooves, nighttime expanses and memorable progressions… which is something I expect at least some of you reading this already know, since the three-piece — who made their debut with 2013’s Demo (review here) and also released a split with the now-defunct Lé Betre (review here) on STB last year — snuck out a pre-release download-only edition of Orion a couple months ago in order to help finance the pressing of the LP and CD versions, which come with different artwork courtesy of bassist Dan Reynolds and are available now to preorder ahead of the aforementioned release date.
I’ll tell you at the outset that I’ve been waiting for King Buffalo‘s debut, at times impatiently. As in, emailing the band to ask if it’s done yet. I knew before I heard it that I wanted them at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (info here) and was only gladder to have asked them when I actually heard Orion itself. There’s a laid-back sensibility to even its heaviest moments, and some (myself included when I actually get to reviewing it) will compare parts of it to their Nashville-based aesthetic compatriots in All Them Witches, but ultimately King Buffalo are on a denser-toned trip with Orion‘s tracks, guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay (who also engineered and mixed) establishes his own personality and approach, and they come out of their first album having completely justified the anticipation that came before it.
If you haven’t, you can hear a sort-of-premiere for Orion‘s titular cut below, followed by some comment from drummer/backing vocalist Scott Donaldson about the song, the rather extensive list of tour dates the band has booked for the summer, and of course, the preorder link.
Hope you enjoy:
Scott Donaldson on “Orion”:
“Orion (title-track) came together rather easily. Sean started with the opening slow melodic riff, and it organically fell into place. The tempo change and tom build up naturally happened, and we all locked into the crescendo through the end. This was the very first song we recorded for the album. It was so exciting to listen back and hear those sounds for the first time. We knew immediately we wanted it to be the opening track.”
Available for the first time. King Buffalo’s long-awaited debut full length “Orion” on wax! Preorder your copy of what many are calling a “Contender for album of the year!”
The classic Black 12″ Vinyl comes in a Single pocket jacket, with a Polybag and download code. The 1st pressings are limited to 500 and hand numbered.
Albums will be shipped as soon as we receive them, which should be early August of 2016. Download Code will be sent immediately after purchase via email.
Written and recorded by King Buffalo in Rochester, NY at the Main Street Armory in 2015.
Produced and Engineered by Sean McVay. Mastered for vinyl by Bernard Matthews at BMAP INC. Mastered for digital by Matt Ramerman. Artwork by Dan Reynolds.
King Buffalo live: 5/26 Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club 6/4 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar (Tour Send Off) w/ Slow Season, Geezer and Bygone Few JUN 15 WED Carabar Columbus, OH w/ Eye JUN 16 THU FooBar Nashville, TN w/ Holy Mountain Top Removers JUN 17 FRI Murphys Memphis, TN JUN 18 SAT Freak Tulsa 2016 Tulsa, OK JUN 19 SUN The Mix San Antonio, TX w/ Slow Season JUN 20 MON The Grand Austin, TX JUN 21 TUE The Blind Mule Mobile, AL w/ Black Titan JUN 22 WED TBD Athens, GA JUN 23 THU Urban Artifact Cincinnati, OH JUN 24 FRI Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA w/ Year Of The Cobra JUN 25 SAT Guidos Speakeasy Frederick, MD w/ IRATA Akris Floodlore JUL 15 FRI The Dev Utica, NY JUL 16 SAT The Barn Volney, NY JUL 22 FRI The Grog Shop Cleveland, OH w/ All Them Witches JUL 23 SAT Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY w/ All Them Witches JUL 26 TUE Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA w/ All Them Witches AUG 4 THU Monkey Bar Burlington, VT AUG 5 FRI The Low Beat Albany, NY AUG 6 SAT Otro Cinco Syracuse, NY AUG 10 WED The Happy Dog Cleveland, OH AUG 11 THU FooBar Nashville, TN AUG 12 FRI Caledonia Lounge Athens, GA AUG 13 SAT The Garage Winston-Salem, NC AUG 16 TUE Slims Raleigh, NC AUG 17 WED Strange Matter Richmond, VA AUG 20 SAT The Obelisk All-Dayer Brooklyn, NY w/ Mars Red Sky, Funeral Horse
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last we heard from destructive New York heftmongers Mountain God, the Brooklyn three-piece were unveiling their 2015 single-song EP, Forest of the Lost. The trio have been keeping plenty busy, it would seem, as they’ve now been announced as signing to Artificial Head for the release of what will be their debut full-length after the EP and the prior 2013 demo, Experimentation on the Unwilling (review here). They’ll record in August, reportedly, and the album has been given a tentative release date of Feb. 2017 from Artificial Head, the dead of winter seeming appropriate for the disaffected malevolence in which Mountain God revel.
Vinyl will be limited to 400 copies. Expect more to come in the months ahead regarding preorders, titles, artwork, tour dates and all that other happy this-and-that that goes into releasing records these days. I’m very much looking forward to hearing what they come up with for this album. Keep your fingers crossed for creepiness:
ARTIFICIAL HEAD RECORDS WELCOMES MOUNTAIN GOD!!!
New York stoner sludge metal band Mountain God have signed with Artificial Head Records for their debut vinyl release!
Formed in 2012, the band has taken their time to unleash two releases of their sound: 2013’s “Experimentation on the Unwilling” and 2015’s “Forest of the Lost”. Both releases have rightfully earned the band its solid reputation for creating a unique style of dark, heavy psychedelic music.
Mountain God is fronted by Ben Ianuzzi (guitar, vocals) along with and Ryan Smith (drums) and Nikhil Kamineni (bass, synths).
Details on the new album are being held close to the vest — but we can reveal that: • Album is slated to be released in February 2017 • Vinyl only release of 400 copies • Bonus lathe cut 7” to be included with initial orders • Exclusive artwork to be created by New York artist, Max Kahan (maxkahan.com)
Recording for the new album will be completed this August with news on touring and more this Fall.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s been a minute or two waiting on news of It’s Not Night: It’s Space‘s debut on Small Stone. Given the lengthy title Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting, the instrumental New York State trio’s second album is due June 24 and will feature six tracks, the first of which, “Nada Brahma,” is available now for streaming. At four minutes, it’s not exactly insubstantial, but it’s still more of an intro to the record than anything else, with samples and a psychedelic swirl that continues to be a defining thread as the rest of the sprawl plays out across tracks hovering on either side of eight minutes apiece of driving, heavy and thoroughly-spaced rock and roll.
I didn’t write the bio below, but I definitely gave it an edit. Here it is off the PR wire, followed by that track:
IT’S NOT NIGHT: IT’S SPACE: Psychedelic Drone Merchants To Release Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting June 24th Via Small Stone Recordings
Guitarist Kevin Halcott and drummer Michael Lutomski founded IT’S NOT NIGHT: IT’S SPACE early in 2010. Crammed in a small, smoky bedroom, they tapped in and jammed, compelled by chemistry to push forward. By that Fall, Tommy Guerrero had joined on bass and the band dropped two self-releases by 2012. The first EP arrived in October 2011. East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon featured three epic instrumental pieces that set the tone for what to expect from INN:IS. Positive response came in virtual and physical realities, and the band set about honing their craft, averaging about fifty-to-sixty shows a year.
Momentum carried them straight into their first LP, 2012’s Bowing Not Knowing To What, self-released with the help of successful crowdfunding raising $5,000 to press CDs and vinyl. It was this album that caught the attention of Small Stone Records. A series of roadblocks and personal setbacks fowlloing that release album set the tone for their second album, the soon-to-be issued Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting, set for official unveiling worldwide on June 24th, 2016.
In moldy warehouses, grimy basements, and the dusty backrooms of pizza shops, the psychedelic drone trio channeled new material and worked tirelessly to craft the songs that would become a definitive offering. It became a full-time task. Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting rings both familiar and fresh. Longtime fans should have no trouble getting down with the heavy grooves and climaxes of these sonic journeys, but the band has pushed into dreamier territories as well. The long wait to share this very personal and powerful album is finally over, and IT’S NOT NIGHT: IT’S SPACE is ready to get back on the wave and ride it forward.
IT’S NOT NIGHT: IT’S SPACE’s Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting was recorded, produced and mixed by Rick Birmingham at Castle Alamut and The Tin Roof Studios and mastered by Chris Goosman (Acid King, La Chinga, solace, Lo Pan, Freedom Hawk etc. ) with artwork by Travis Lawrence. The record will be released worldwide on CD, digitally and limited edition, 180-gram vinyl.
Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting Track Listing: 1. Nada Brahma 2. The Beard Of Macroprosopus 3. Across The Luster Of The Desert Into The Polychrome Hills 4. Starry Wisdom 5. Pillars In The Void 6. The Black Iron Prison And The Palm Tree Garden
It’s Not Night: It’s Space are: Kevin Halcott: guitar Michael Lutomski: drums Tommy Guerrero: bass
(((SPRING SHOWS))) 5.19 – Manchester, NH Fuzz Hut – w/ Black Norse & Big Mess 5.20 – Lowell, MA UnchARTed Gallery – w/ Black Norse, Big Mess, & Inspector 34 5.21 – Dover, NH The Dover Brickhouse – w/ Black Norse, Big Mess, & Green Bastard 5.28 – New Paltz, NY LUDWIG DAY CELEBRATION 6.16 – Kingston, NY The Anchor – w/ Moon Tooth & ROZAMOV 6.17 – Worldwide Live on Music With Space 6.18 – Newburgh, NY 2016 Newburgh Illuminated Festival 6.24 New Paltz, NY Snug Harbor Bar and Grill – RECORD RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kingston, New York, four-piece Shadow Witch have inked a deal to release their debut album, Sun Killer, via Snake Charmer Coalition. The record has been given a Summer 2016 release date from the label, which is run by Brendan Burns of Wasted Theory (also The Eye of the Stoned Goat festival series), and there are currently three tracks streaming from it that you can hear below if you’re so inclined. Sound-wise, Shadow Witch dig into dudely heavy with a side-order of hey-check-it-out-it’s-tits objectification in the artwork and the like-you-better-without-clothes lyrics to the aptly-titled “Creeper.”
Riffs fuzz out a bit there as opposed to “The Shadow Witch,” which has a more cultish swirl in the guitar and vocals, if still showing an underlying sense of command rather than delving into chaos. “Occupy” would seem to answer “The Shadow Witch” in its NWOBHM chug, and while the band have earned comparisons to the ’70s and ’90s, there’s little retro about what they do either in tapping into proto-metal or grunge, which is what both those decade callouts would usually signify. Modern in their production and songwriting approach, Shadow Witch cap “Occupy” with militaristic call and response having shown a breadth of atmosphere that comes through even in rough mix form.
Snake Charmer Coalition announced the signing thusly:
SHADOW WITCH signs with Snake Charmer Coalition
Their debut full-length album “The Sun Killer” will be released this summer on Snake Charmer Coalition.
Snake Charmer Coalition is proud to announce its partnertship with Kingston, New York’s very own Shadow Witch. Shadow Witch delivers a fresh idea on teh stoner rock genre, and yet calls to mind influences of ’70s doom and ’90s grunge. “The Sun Killer” is their first full-length offering for the label.
Shadow Witch: Earl Lundy: Lead Vocals, Mellotron, Loops Anton Van Kleek: drums Jeremy Hall: Guitars David Pannullo: Bass, vocals
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
In a little less than a month, Long Island prog-metallers Moon Tooth head out on tour to support their latest album, Chromaparagon, which was released in February. They’ll be doing essentially a month-long swing down and back up the Eastern Seaboard, playing New England with Warm at the end of May, pushing into the South early in June, and then cutting back north, meeting up with Boston trio Rozamov to continue into Upstate New York and into Canada for shows in Montreal and Toronto before rounding out June 20 in Burlington, Vermont.
All put together, it’s a not inconsiderable run, and hardly Moon Tooth‘s first, the band over the last several years having basically forced their way into East Coast the progressive consciousness through hard work and volume. As noted below, this is the first time both of these acts will hit Canada, and Rozamov do so ahead of the release of their much anticipated debut album, due out later this year. They’ll apparently be playing new material at these shows.
Word came down the PR wire:
Long Island progressive sludge rock weirdos Moon Tooth and Boston atmospheric sludge mongers Rozamov have announced a string of dates together this June. This will be both bands’ first excursion north of the border, hitting both Montreal and Toronto on this run. Moon Tooth are supporting their self released debut LP “Chromaparagon” which has reached numbers 85 and 120 on the Hard Rock and Best New Artist charts respectively.
Rozamov recently wrapped up the recording for their own first full length, and will be airing songs from the album on this run. Last year saw Rozamov release “Ghost Divine” on a split with Deathkings via Midnite Collective.
June 16th – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor June 17th – Rochester, NY @ Monty’s Krown June 18th – Montreal, CAN @ Crobar June 19th – Toronto, CAN @ Smiling Buddha June 20th – Burlington, VT @ Nectar’s
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Been a couple months since New York heavy psych rockers Sun Voyagerlast checked in. At that point, they were saying their debut long-player would be out early this year, and as we make our way with blinding speed toward the middle of it, the band offer up the new song “Ghost Valley” as demonstration of progress and to herald the arrival of a new split with The Mad Doctors out this weekend on King Pizza Records. They play a release show in Brooklyn on Saturday.
The vibe will be right on for anyone who’s dug into Sun Voyager‘s past work — ultra-bright psychedelia like shoegaze given a kick in the ass — and as the band says they’ve been recording the aforementioned album, I’ll continue to look forward to it. Curious if “Ghost Valley” represents their last work as a four-piece, having parted ways with guitarist Steve Friedman since it was put to tape, but I guess we’ll find out.
Info and audio:
Split 7″ Single – New Song Out Now
It’s been a minute since we last updated you. Long story short, we’ve been writing, gigging, and recording an album. The new tunes are going to rock you and speaking of new tunes, we have a new song out today!
It’s called ‘Ghost Valley’ and it’s on our split 7″ coming out April 9th. One song from us, one ripper from The Mad Doctors, and we’ve put together a ripper of a release show at Idio Gallery in Brooklyn this Saturday with KDH, Super FM, and The Royal They.