Weedeater Touring Next Week; Playing with Orange Goblin & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Alright, you know the drill. Weedeater are touring — because of course Weedeater are touring — so get yourself ready to see Weedeater. You know, it’s kind of weird, since I feel like I’ve been clamoring for a new Weedeater record for like the last three years, but it’s only been four since they released Goliathan (review here), so whatever. Good Southern cooking takes time, or so I’m told, so maybe they’ve got some riffs sitting out in a Dutch oven, waiting for the meat to fall off the bone. That’d be fair enough. Point is Weedeater are gonna tour. Fine. It hasn’t been egregiously long since their last release, even if, as album cycles go, theirs feels particularly extreme. Hazards of being so reliable in kicking ass, I suppose.

The thought of Weedeater and Orange Goblin sharing a stage, in Chicago or pretty much anywhere, is awesome, and I can’t imagine this is the first time it’s happened in the history of those bands, but that show’s bound to be a highlight, even if the impetus for the run is the stop at Muddy Roots in Tennessee on Aug. 30. Pretty sure Orange Goblin will be there as well — a ton of bands certainly will — but either way, it’s more Weedeater touring, so you go and you see Weedeater and you know you’re going to have a good time and then you do. Simple as that.

Word from the PR wire was likewise straightforward. Shows are presented by Tone Deaf Touring:

weedeater tour

WEEDEATER Announce U.S. Summer Tour Dates!

Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced a run of U.S. this summer! The trek will kick off on August 27 in Johnson City, TN and will conclude on September 4 in Athens, GA. The run will also include a festival appearance at Muddy Roots on August 30. The full itinerary is as follows:

WEEDEATER U.S. TOUR DATES:
08/27: Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway
08/28: Tolono, IL @ Loose Cobra
08/29: Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
08/30: Cookville, TN @ Muddy Roots Fest
09/01: Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy’s
09/02: Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
09/03: Savannah, GA @ Jinx
09/04: Athens, GA @ Caledonia
*Supporting ORANGE GOBLIN

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Bask Touring East Coast This Month; New Album Recorded

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

I was only in Asheville once, a decade ago, but it was an easy town to like in the tradition of weirdo-enclaves and places to get good coffee and buy records. See also Brattleboro, Vermont, as well as Austin, Texas, and any number of other burgs out there nestled into the sometimes-horrifying sphere of American existence. Bask, who have newly finished tracking their third album — title TBA — with the right honourable Matt Bayles, will leave their Asheville hometown behind and head out as they did in June for a week’s worth of dates around a festival appearance. Way back two months ago, it was Doomed and Stoned in Chicago. This time it’s RPM Fest in Massachusetts. Both, solid occasions for spending a few days out in the world. And if you like weirdo enclaves, north and western MA have a few to choose from as well, as it so happens.

Begotten are playing the Brooklyn show on this one, and it’s the night after Orange Goblin in Manhattan, but I’m thinking about hitting it up. If you’re around, come down and we’ll converse awkwardly for a little while and then you’ll get disappointed and move on to another spot in the room.

Wow. Just made myself sad right there without even thinking about it.

Better turn this one over to the PR wire:

bask tour

BASK Announce Headlining U.S. Tour Dates!

Southern rock outfit BASK, whose Americana sound contains a unique blend of psych and prog influences, have announced a run of East Coast headlining dates later this month! The tour, which features an appearance at RPM Fest in Montague, MA on August 30, will kick off on August 26 in Richmond, VA and will conclude on September 1 in Harrisonburg, VA. The full itinerary can be found below.

BASK East Coast Headlining Dates:
08/26: Richmond, VA @ Cary Street Cafe
08/28: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
08/29: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
08/30: Montague, MA @ RPM Fest
08/31: Frederick, MD @ Cafe 611
09/01: Harrisonburg, VA @ Golden Pony

BASK have just completed recording their third studio album with legendary producer Matt Bayles (PEARL JAM, MASTODON, MINUS THE BEAR, etc.) The record will be released by Season of Mist, making it the band’s debut to the label. Stay tuned for more news!

BASK hails from the mountains of North Carolina and was fully conceived in the fall of 2013 when guitarist Ray Worth, drummer Scott Middleton, bassist Jesse Van Note, and guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp joined forces.

Since forming in 2013, BASK has released American Hollow (2014) and Ramble Beyond (2017), and toured North America and Europe with seminal artists High on Fire and Weedeater, as well as contemporary figure heads, Pallbearer, Kayo Dot, Royal Thunder, and Black Tusk. The band has also shared the bill with a range of diverse artists, from Guided by Voices to Carcass and Refused on festivals such as Desert Fest Berlin and London, Speedfest in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and Heavy Mountain in Asheville, NC.

Their sound has been described as progressive and cinematic, containing glimpses of Appalachian tonality and heartfelt heaviness. Esse Quam Videri.

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/basknc
https://www.instagram.com/baskband/
https://basknc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Bask, Ramble Beyond (2017)

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Lightning Born, Lightning Born: Warnings Issued

Posted in Reviews on August 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lightning born self titled

There’s a word for a band like Lightning Born, with a powerhouse singer, powerhouse riffs and a powerhouse rhythm section. Give me a minute, it’ll come to me.

In the meantime, the North Carolinian four-piece’s self-titled debut for Ripple Music willfully obliterates the line between any number of forms of heavy rock and roll, whether it’s classic doom and boogie or straightforward push and nod. The lineup is enviable, with Brenna Leath (The Hell No, also Crystal Spiders) channeling Stevie Nicks and Laura Dolan on songs like “Salvation” and “Out for Blood” while backed by guitarist Erik Sugg (also Demon Eye), bassist/recording engineer Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity) and drummer Doza Hawes (Mega Colossus, ex-Hour of 13), and at 11 songs and 51 minutes, their first outing is a substantial undertaking that signals the cues it’s taken from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-era Black Sabbath in the lead riff of opener “Shifting Winds” and lives up to that standard throughout in both production and songcraft method.

Of course, they by no means limit themselves to that sphere, and broaden the palette in later cuts like “Out for Blood” and “Power Struggle,” or even the shuffle of second track “Renegade,” which recontextualizes the speedier riff from “Into the Void,” they show their will to create something new from their root influences. They seem most comfortable in the mid-paced groove of “Silence” and the semi-Southern blues-burner “Oblivion,” but do right to change up the tempo as they move forward through the material, or even within the songs themselves, as with “Salvation” and the seven-minute finale “Godless,” which caps the generally-more-patient side B with a rousing argument for viewing Lightning Born‘s Lightning Born as a first step en route to future more complex songwriting. I’m inclined to do that — that is to say: debut album is a debut album — but between the fluidity of the songs from one to the next and the reminder the album delivers of the all-important value of craft and performance in the final tally of the listening experience, one could hardly accuse them of merely getting their feet wet. More of a headfirst dive.

And fair enough. I’ll admit, there are few phrases that in my estimation are going to hurt your band less than “Mike Dean on bass,” but one would be remiss not to single out Leath‘s vocals as a defining factor in Lightning Born‘s approach. She toys some with layering, but by and large sticks to a single, stage-ready take that distinguishes itself from the hook of “Shifting Winds” onward as being malleable to the energy level of the song, as “Renegades” and “Wildfire” or the midsection slowdown of “Power Struggle” and the greater sprawl of “Godless” show. She’s forward in the mix, but that ends up feeding the notion of Lightning Born‘s heavy ’70s roots. The band aren’t shy about those anyway, but neither does that seem to have been the impetus behind their creation. I don’t imagine Lightning Born got together and said, “Okay, let’s form a classic rock band.”

lightning born

Rather, their execution is organic enough to make one believe their material is based around what came out of jams among friends, eventually structured into bluesy verses and choruses, bridges, the start-stop softshoe of “You Have Been Warned,” and so on. Whatever the case, they’re certainly in conversation with the 1969-1974 era, but are by no means a retro band looking to simply recreate it. Once again, their material speaks more to their own forward potential than the past glories of others. It’s plain to hear in “Magnetic” as the guitar shimmers in the buildup to the hook and in how the bass and drums lead the subsequent final slowdown, the subtle layering from Leath adding ambience to what on the whole is a strikingly straightforward release. That is, there are some light moments of flourish here and there, but in the fine tradition of “nuthin’ too fancy,” Lightning Born stand tall in a stripped-down sound that doesn’t want for anything in making its intentions known or accomplishing its stylistic goals. It’s all about the songs.

Future releases might find Leath self-harmonizing, or Sugg topping solos with solos and solos, or even Hawes and Dean employing some manner of studio-based whatnot into their methods, but Lightning Born‘s first LP holds to a strikingly natural ethic. If you told me “Power Struggle” was recorded live, with the four of them in a room — or maybe Leath in a booth for isolation — I’d believe it. And that feel pervades throughout the entire record, ultimately proving central to its purpose, because while the members of Lightning Born aren’t strangers to the act of being in a group creating music, that’s clearly the spirit in which they’re most looking to revel in these 11 cuts. “Salvation” might be the point at which that’s most readily displayed, but “Godless” might stand as the means through which the band most signal their drive to progress as a unit.

It’s not so radically different from some of what precedes it, but maybe more Dio Sabbath than later-Ozzy, and for the already-converted to whom the record is largely targeted, it is a striking enough distinction, marked out by a more gradual linear build over the first four minutes that give way eventually to some “Electric Funeral”-izing stomp and a slowdown apex given its due momentousness by the vocals that accompany. It’s the finish the album deserves, certainly, but something of a departure as well even from the likes of “Magnetic” and “Out for Blood,” which build on the initial shove and swing of “Shifting Winds” and “Renegade,” changing the structural flow of the offering even as it draws it to a close. This too is well within the tenets of heavy rock traditionalism in terms of style, but stands out owing to what Lightning Born make of it. They could go in any number of directions from here, and given the members’ other commitments I won’t try and predict when that might happen, but if this self-titled is what gets them in motion, that motion is more than infectious enough to make one look forward to what may come.

By the way, the word is powerhouse. I can’t think of one that fits them better.

Lightning Born, Lightning Born (2019)

Lightning Born on Thee Facebooks

Lightning Born on Instagram

Lightning Born on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Irata Premiere “Tower” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

irata

The other day as I made my usual rounds of social media perusal and dicking around not getting anything done, I came across a post — don’t even remember who it was, so don’t ask — griping about how awesome Helmet used to be and why don’t they make bands like that anymore and so on. Well, okay. That’s one way to look at the universe. Yeah, they were cool in their day. On the other hand, fucking Irata. The North Carolinian four-piece made their debut on Small Stone in April with Tower, their second album overall, and if what you’re looking for is to hear a band belting out full-tilt riffs with an emphasis on rhythmic groovemaking, they’ve got you covered — plus melody. Tower is eight songs/39 minutes, and the title-track, with lead vocals from drummer Jason Ward, go-crush guitar work from Cheryl Manner and Owen Burd and low-end force from Jon Case is just the very beginning of what’s on offer on the album that shares its name. And not just because it’s the first track, either. Whether it’s the proggy winding of “Waking Eye” or the wistful guitar melody in “Innocent Murmur,” the Jane’s Addiction-meets-Torche vibe of “Weightless” or the spacier nuance in the early going of “Crawl to Corners,” there’s more dynamic on display throughout Tower than, frankly, anyone bitching about how “they don’t make bands like Band X anymore” probably deserves. Who gives a shit? They make bands like Irata.

Shades of prog metal work their way into side B leadoff “Leviathan” and the harmonies find their most righteous manifestation in closer “Constellations,” but somehow Irata‘s prevailing atmosphereirata tower still seems to be in straight-up heavy rock. They’re grounded in structure, but Manner and Burd have a fluid and often subtle interplay on guitar — the second half of the finale is a fitting example, but the if-you’re-going-to-have-two-guitars-then-use-them-both ethos applies just as well to “Innocent Murmur” and other tracks surrounding — and with the variety in the arrangements of vocals and periodic bouts of thrust like that at the outset of “Waking Eye,” Tower is able to keep its audience guessing in terms of just where the band are headed, something which wouldn’t be possible without Ward‘s drums as an anchor for the material structurally. In the turns of “Waking Eye” and the jabs of the penultimate “Golden Tongue,” the drums provide the flow over which the guitars and bass are able to so effectively careen, giving the vocals an all-the-more solid foundation even as that foundation seems so intent on movement throughout. Dynamic is the word, and chemistry is for sure a factor as well, but whether it’s the fuzzed airiness of “Weightless” or the insistent and deep-weighted apex of Ward‘s synth at the beginning of “Leviathan,” there’s a sense of control in Irata‘s material that only lends consciousness to the creativity of their songwriting — the choices they make in terms of transitions, vocals, etc.

All of this comes together to make Irata‘s sound something of a modern amalgam, definitely drawing from ’90s alternative rock but filtering that through heavy impulses born of the current generation of riffy practitioners of various stripes. It’s a combination that works and still sets Irata up for further growth down the line. I’m not saying it’s revolutionary, but I am saying it knows exactly what it’s doing, and that’s rare enough in itself.

And to the original point, this is a thing that’s happening right now. Wouldn’t you rather make future nostalgia than lament the past?

While you’re thinking about it, here’s a video premiere for “Tower” to smack you upside the head.

Enjoy:

Irata, “Tower” official video premiere

“Tower” is the title track from Irata’s 2019 LP of the same name. Shot in 2018 on location in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

IRATA
Jon Case – bass, vocals
Jason Ward – drums, vocals, synth
Cheryl Manner – guitar
Owen Burd – guitar

Irata on Thee Facebooks

Irata on Bandcamp

Irata website

Small Stone Records website

Small Stone Records on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

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Weedeater Announce Tour Dates with Irata

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Weedeater (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Am I going to begrudge Weedeater doing more touring? No. No, I’m not. Is it time for the Cape Fear, North Carolina, sludge stalwarts to knuckle down and get to work on a new album? Yeah, it probably is. Four years removed from Goliathan (review here) and they’ve hardly gotten off the road at all. I don’t know if they have any new material sitting around or what, but even if they started writing now and took the next year to put it out, you’d have to say they were due. If nothing else, it would give them something else to sell at the merch stand, which I feel like as they come back around to cities time and again, has probably been visited by fans on more than one occasion. The thing though about Weedeater live? They’re pretty incredible. I mean it. Having just seen them a few weeks ago at Desertfest NYC (review here), I was reminded of their overall badassery and enduring wreck-all. They are one of a kind.

They’ll be out with Irata and they have a date with Pallbearer in Philly as well. So sayeth the PR wire:

weedeater irata dates

WEEDEATER Announce New U.S. Tour Dates

Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced a new run of U.S. headliner tour dates in which they will be supported by IRATA. The trek will kick off on May 29 in Johnson City, TN and will conclude on June 3 in Charlottesville, VA. The run will also include a co-headliner with PALLBEARER on 5/31 in Philadelphia, PA. The full itinerary is as follows:

WEEDEATER U.S. TOUR DATES:
05/29: Johnson City TN @ The Hideaway
05/31: Philadelphia PA @ Union Transfer*
06/01: Dayton OH @ Turnbuckles and Brews
06/02: Washington DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
06/03: Charlottesville VA @ The Southern
*With PALLBEARER, No IRATA

All of WEEDEATER’s albums are now available at fine stores nationwide and online at the WEEDEATER Bandcamp page.

WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce Summer Tour with Crowbar, Lo-Pan & Quaker City Night Hawks

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I can think of fewer tour pairings less broken than Corrosion of Conformity and Crowbar, who were out together co-headlining earlier this year on what turned out to be the first leg of a tour that will continue this July. Of particular note is the addition of Lo-Pan this time around, who’ll be out supporting their new record, Subtle. That record is a beast and they’ll no doubt bring an infusion of energy to the run as they provide support and Quaker City Night Hawks open. Starland Ballroom, you say? That’ll be just about the most Jersey shit ever, methinks. See you there.

Though I wouldn’t mind catching C.O.C. at the Psycho Swim party in Vegas either. Really I’ll take what I can get.

Dates follow from the pr IWRE:

corrosion of conformity crowbar lo pan tour

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Announces North American Summer Headlining Tour With Crowbar + Band To Headline Psycho Las Vegas Pre-Party And More!

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will kick off the second leg of their North American headlining tour this July. The A Quest To Believe, A Call To The Void II Tour will commence on July 26th in Poughkeepsie, New York and run through August 25th in Providence, Rhode Island. Support will be provided by their comrades in Crowbar as well as Lo-Pan and Quaker City Night Hawks. Tickets go on sale this Friday at all local ticket outlets.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will also play a special one-off show with country singer Cody Jinks next month in addition to festival appearances at Rocklahoma, Heavy MTL, KISW’s Pain In The Grass, and a headlining performance at Psycho Swim, Psycho Las Vegas’ annual pool-bound kick-off party where the band will be joined by Lucifer, Danava, ASG, Primitive Man, and more. In October, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will appear on the inaugural MegaCruise alongside Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, and so many others with more shows to be announced in the months to come. See all confirmed dates below.

No Cross No Crown is available on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various order bundles are available at nuclearblast.com/coc-nocrossnocrown.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY:
5/09/2019 Coyote Joe’s – Charlotte, NC w/ Cody Jinks
5/24/2019 Rocklahoma – Pryor, OK

w/ Crowbar, Lo-Pan, Quaker City Night Hawks:
7/26/2019 The Chance – Poughkeepsie, NY
7/27/2019 Westcott Theater – Syracuse, NY
7/28/2019 Heavy MTL – Montreal, QC *
7/29/2019 Dallas Nightclub – Kitchener, ON
7/31/2019 Mercury Ballroom – Louisville, KY
8/01/2019 Elevation – Grand Rapids, MI
8/02/2019 The Rave II – Milwaukee, WI
8/03/2019 KISW’s Pain In The Grass @ White River Amphitheatre – Auburn, WA *
8/05/2019 Deluxe @ Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN
8/06/2019 Pop’s – Sauget, IL
8/07/2019 Slowdown – Omaha, NE
8/10/2019 Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO
8/11/2019 Mesa Theater – Grand Junction, CO
8/13/2019 Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID
8/14/2019 The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
8/15/2019 Psycho Swim @ Daylight Beach Club – Las Vegas, NV *
8/16/2019 Encore – Tucson, AZ
8/17/2019 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
8/19/2019 Come And Take It Live – Austin, TX
8/21/2019 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL
8/22/2019 The Tarheel – Jacksonville, NC
8/23/2019 Elevation 27 – Virginia Beach, VA
8/24/2019 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
8/25/2019 Fete Music Hall – Providence, RI
10/13/2019 MegaCruise 2019 – Los Angeles, CA *
* COC only

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
http://www.twitter.com/coccabal
http://www.nuclearblast.com
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa

Corrosion of Conformity, “Wolf Named Crow” official video

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Bask Recording New Album with Matt Bayles; Announce June Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask

It was just the other day I was talking about an absolute generational landmark album Matt Bayles happened to produce — that being Leviathan, by Mastodon — and here comes word that he’s been brought aboard by North Carolinian four-piece Bask in order to helm the follow-up to 2017’s Ramble Beyond, which will also serve as the band’s debut on Season of Mist. Not saying Bask‘s next record needs to be a generational landmark or anything — no pressure, dudes — but it’s funny sometimes how these things tie together.

Presumably, and hopefully in terms of costs, by the time Bask start their touring in June at the Doomed and Stoned fest in Chicago, they’ll have the album in the can. As such, they should be itching to get back on stage, which of course only bodes well for those in their path. Barring any serious delay, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect the album before the end of the year, but of course one never knows when it comes to schedules and pressing and this and that. Worth keeping an eye out, in any case.

Word from the PR wire:

BASK Enter Studio with Legendary Producer Matt Bayles, Announce U.S. Tour Dates

Southern rock outfit BASK have entered the studio today to record their third studio album with legendary producer Matt Bayles (PEARL JAM, MASTODON, MINUS THE BEAR, etc.) The record will be released by Season of Mist, making it the band’s debut to the label.

Speaking about the upcoming effort and working with Bayles, the band comments: “We are beyond excited to announce that we’ve begun work on our third record, and label debut, for Season of Mist Records at Echo Mountain Studios. We hope working in a studio that’s played host to an amazing eclectic roster, such as Band of Horses, Widespread Panic and War on Drugs, and the skill of veteran producer/engineer Matt Bayles, who’s credits include seminal works from Mastodon, Isis and Russian Circles, will capture the spirit and shape of our latest batch of songs. We can’t wait to share them with you.”

Additionally, the band will be embarking on a headlining Southern U.S. tour this summer. BASK will first appear at Doomed and Stoned fest in Chicago on June 1 and then will kick off their official tour on June 9 in Atlanta, GA and will wrap up on June 15 in Greenville, SC. The full itinerary is as follows:

BASK Tour Dates:
06/01: Chicago, IL @ Doom & Stoned Festival
06/09: Atlanta, GA @ 529
06/10: Orlando, FL @ Standard Motorcycle
06/11: Jacksonville, FL @ Nighthawks
06/12: Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
06/13: Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone
06/14: Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
06/15: Greenville, SC @ The Radio Room

Hailing from the Asheville, NC, BASK was fully conceived in the fall of 2013 when guitarist Ray Worth, drummer Scott Middleton, bassist Jesse Van Note, and guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp joined forces.

https://www.facebook.com/basknc
https://www.instagram.com/baskband/
https://twitter.com/thebandbask
https://basknc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Bask, Ramble Beyond (2017)

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Quarterly Review: Kungens Män, PFUND, Crystal Spiders, The Misery Men, Hubris, Woorms, Melody Fields, Oreyeon, Mammoth Grove, Crimson Devils

Posted in Reviews on March 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

I used to be pretty artsy and write poetry. Let’s give it a shot:

There was an old man who wore no-toe shoes.
He said, I’mma go do 60 reviews.
He was out of his head,
Should’ve gone back to bed,
But he loves him some dirty psych blues.

Years from now, when I link back to this post for a “(review here)”-type scenario, I’m going to see that and I’ll still think it’s funny. The planet’s dying. I’d say a bit of silly is more than called for.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Kungens Män, Chef

kungens man chef

Krautrockers, assemble! Or, you know, whatever krautrockers do — I assume it involves homemade spacecraft that, yes, absolutely fly. Perhaps one of these days I’ll ask Stockholm’s Kungens Män, whose latest outing for Riot Season, simply titled Chef, is an outbound delight of psych-infused progressivism. Beginning with the opening throb of “Fyrkantig Böjelse” and moving into the volume swells, steady drum line and wandering guitar that starts “Öppen För Stängda Dörrar” on side A, its four extended tracks craft otherworldly textures through a meld of organic instrumental flow and waves of synth, the second cut building to a tense wash of distortion all the while keeping that hypnotic march. The two corresponding 10-minute-plus cuts on side B waste no time in offering cosmic boogie in “Män Med Medel” with a more active rhythmic flow, and closer “Eftertankens Blanka Krankhet” — longer than the opener by one second at 11:24 — fades in on meditative guitar and explores a serene minimalism that only underscores the all around joy of the album.

Kungens Man on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records webstore

 

PFUND, PFUND

pfund pfund

The self-titled, self-released debut full-length from Kiel, Germany’s PFUND arrives and departs with a guesting horn section, and while that inevitably adds a bit of grandeur to the proceedings, the bulk of the outing is dedicated to straightforward, semi-metallic heavy rock, held to ground even in the seven-minute “Spaceman” by a considered sense of structure and an earthy drum sound that draws the songs together, whether it’s the classic riff rock in “Sea of Life” or the moodier sway in the earlier “Lost in Rome.” Dual guitars effectively multiply the impact, and the vocals showcase a nascent sense of melody that one imagines will only continue to grow as the band moves forward. At nine songs and 44 minutes, it shows some breadth and nuance in “Exhaustion” and “Paranoia,” the former tapping into an edge of progressive metal, but the primary impact comes from PFUND‘s heft of groove and how it blends with a rawer edge to their production. The Kyuss-referencing centerpiece here might be called “Imbalance,” but that’s hardly representative of what surrounds, horns and all.

PFUND on Thee Facebooks

PFUND on Bandcamp

 

Crystal Spiders, Demo

crystal spiders demo

Three songs, 11 minutes and three distinct vibes from the aptly-titled Demo demo of North Carolinian three-piece Crystal Spiders. On “Tigerlily,” “Flamethrower” and “Devil’s Resolve,” the trio of bassist/vocalist Brenna Leath (also Lightning Born), guitarist/vocalist Mike Deloatch and drummer/backing vocalist Tradd Yancey careen from bluesy spaciousness to hard-driving catchiness and end up — because why not? — in repeating cult-sludge chants, “Come to the devil’s resolve!” like Black Widow trying to lure people to the sabbat, except shouting. If the purpose of a demo is for a new band to try different methods of working and thereby take a first step in discovering their sound, Crystal Spiders are well on their way, and for what it’s worth, there isn’t anything within their scope as they present it that doesn’t work for them. There are edges to smooth out, of course, but that too is a part of the process starting here.

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The Misery Men, Deathspiration

The Misery Men Deathspiration

If you’d asked, depending on which part of Deathspiration was on, I’d probably have called The Misery Men a bass/drum duo, but nope, that’s guitar. Tonally one is reminded of At Devil Dirt from Chile, but the Portland, Oregon, two-piece of vocalist/guitarist Corey G. Lewis and drummer Steve Jones are entirely more barebones in their craft, eschewing digital involvement of any sort in the recording or mixing process and sounding duly raw as a result throughout the subtle earworm of “C.W. Sughrue” and the lumbering “Harness the Darkness.” The subsequent “Night Creeps In” brings a Northwestern noise payoff to quiet/loud trades and the near-10-minute closer “Stoned to Death,” well, it seems to meet an end befitting its title, to say the least. As their stated intent was to capture the most organic version of their sound possible, and made a point of working toward that ideal in their recording, one could hardly fault them for the results of that process. They wanted something human-sounding. They got it.

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Hubris, EP #II Live

hubris ep ii live

Some — not all — of what one needs to know about HubrisEP #II Live is right there in the title. Indeed, it’s their second EP. Indeed, it was recorded live. And indeed, like using a ‘#’ sign with a Roman numeral, there’s something about the way the three included songs from the Toulouse, France-based outfit sound that’s just a little bit off-kilter from what you might expect. “Zugzwang” (7:19), “Tergo” (19:58) and “Biotilus” (27:04) are arranged shortest to longest, and while the opener starts off like Queens of the Stone Age on an Eastern-tinged psychedelic bender, the lengthy jams that follow — the first of them with a fervent drum punctuation, the second a gradual intertwining of synth and guitar with hardly any percussion at all until after its 22nd minute. The instrumental flow that ensues from there is almost like a hidden bonus track, at least until they Hubris get to minute 26 and the whole thing explodes in crash and plod. The underlying message, of course, is that if you think you’re safe at any point, you’re not.

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Woorms, Slake

woorms slake

Lumbering fuckall pervades the debut full-length, Slake, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sludgers Woorms — also stylized all-caps — which incorporates past singles “Find a Meal Find a Bed Find a God” and “Mouth is a Wound” amid the sample/noise barrage of “Our Lady of Perpetually Shitfaced” and the willfully brash “Racist Kevin” that follows. There’s an edge of Melvinsian chug to the proceedings, but Woorms‘ take, though presented in finished compositions, comes across as almost nihilistic rather than making a show of its experimentalism. That is, they’re trying to say they don’t give a fuck, and in listening, they make it kind of easy to believe, but there’s still something about the cohesiveness of “Veni Vidi Fucki” and “Rice Crispy” and the saved-the-best-nod-for-last finale “Sore Afraid” that undercuts the notion even while making the listening experience all the more pummeling, and from the intro “Corpse Corps” through “Urine Trouble Now”‘s echoing shouts and the closer’s unmitigated stomp, there’s still plenty of exploration being done.

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Oreyeon, Ode to Oblivion

Oreyeon Ode to Oblivion

Rebranded since their 2016 debut, Builders of Cosmos (discussed here), from their more phonetically intuitive original moniker, Orion, Italy’s Oreyeon issue a cosmically expansive spacescape follow-up in their six-song/40-minute sophomore outing, Ode to Oblivion, also their first release through Heavy Psych Sounds. Echoing vocals pervade “Big Surprise” after the introductory “T.I.O.” and “Trudging to Vacuity” establish the wide-cast mix and anti-grav rhythmic density, and the nine-minute side A finale title-track runs mostly-instrumental circles around most of what I’d usually call “prog” only after it lays down a sleek hook in the first couple minutes. After “Big Surprise,” the 8:45 “The Ones” trades volume back and forth but finds its breadth at about the sixth minute as the dramatic lead turns on a dime to desert rock thrust en route to wherever the hell it goes next. Honestly, after that moment, everything’s gravy, but Oreyeon lay it on thick with closer “Starship Pusher” and never neglect melody in the face of nod. Worth a deeper dig if you get the chance.

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Melody Fields, Melody Fields

melody fields melody fields

Sometimes you hear a record and it’s like the band is doing you a favor by existing. To that, thanks Melody Fields. The Gothenburg psych troupe lace their lysergic flow with folkish harmonies and an open sensibility on their self-titled debut that comes coupled with enough tonal presence to still consider them heavy not that it matters. They break out the sax on “Morning Sun” to welcome effect, and the sun continues to shine through “Liberty” and the garage-buzzing “Run” before “Rain Man” turns water droplets into keyboard notes and Beatlesian — think “Rain” — voice arrangements atop soothing instrumental drift, every bit the centerpiece and an excellent precursor to the acoustic-based “Fire” and the 10-minute “Trädgränsen,” which is the crowning achievement of this self-titled debut, which, if I’d been hip to it in time, would’ve made both the 2018 best albums and best debuts list. They cap with a reprise of “Morning Sun” and underscore the solid foundation beneath the molten beauty of their work throughout. To ask for another album seems greedy, but I will anyway. More, please.

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Mammoth Grove, Slow Burn

mammoth grove slow burn

Okay, look, enough screwing around. It’s time for someone to sign Mammoth Grove. The Calgary natives have been putting out quality heavy psych rock since their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), and their latest long-player, the four-song Slow Burn is a righteous amalgam of peace-thru-rock that lives up to its freewheeling vibes in “Seasons” after the methodical opener “Valleys” and rolls out a bit of melodic ’70s biker rock bliss in “Black Meadow” before the side-B-consuming “Gloria” (18:42) asks early if you’re ready to go and then goes like gone, gone, gone, and gone further. Given the analog mindset involved and the heart on display throughout, there’s something fitting about it being pressed up in an edition of 100 hand-screenprinted LPs and 100 CDs likewise, but the more people who could hear it, the merrier, so yeah, some label or other needs to step up and make that happen, and I dare you to listen to the solo that hits past the 14-minute mark in “Gloria” and tell me otherwise. Dare you.

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Crimson Devils, A Taste for Blood

crimson devils a taste for blood

Since pared down to a trio from the four-piece incarnation they present here, Austin’s Crimson Devils first released their debut, A Taste for Blood, in 2017, but gave it a vinyl revisit last year and it’s little mystery why. The record comprises 11 sharply-composed tracks of Small Stone-style heavy rock, taking cues from Sasquatch in modern-via-classic modus, picking and choosing elements of ’70s and ’90s rock to conjure formidable groove and engaging hooks. There’s considerable swagger and weight in “They Get It,” and while opener “Dead and Gone” seems to show an influence in its vocal patterning from Elder, as the album unfolds, it’s more about the blast of “Captain Walker” or the penultimate “Nothing to Claim” and the straight-ahead vibes of “Bad News Blues” and “No Action” than anything so outwardly prog. There’s plenty to dig in the rock-for-rockers mindset, and it’s the kind of offering that should probably come with an octane rating. However such things are measured, safe to say it would not be low.

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