Dr. Keyboardian Posts “Dang Fish” Live Clip

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dr keyboardian

Right now, on a stage somewhere in North Carolina, Dr. Keyboardian is in the process of getting weird. Is that true? Probably not. I mean, it’s probably not happening at this second, as you’re reading this, but I suppose it could be. Universe of infinite possibilities, folks. That’s one of ’em. And you’d be missing it.

Every now and then, I like being confused, and I’ve yet to have an encounter with the Marion-based experimentalist outfit helmed by former Tasha-Yar drummer Tim Greene that didn’t qualify. Since the end of Tasha-YarGreene has checked in periodically with Dr. Keyboardian updates. It doesn’t always fit with what goes on around these parts — or what goes on around any parts, for that matter — but maybe I’m a sucker for songs about fishing, and maybe Dr. Keyboardian, playing in the clip below captured at a recent show at Crooked Door Coffee as Dr. Keyboardian and the Side Effects with participation in some way or other by Matt Johnson and Mike Holstein, is solidifying around an experimentalist process that I can almost begin to wrap my head around.

Well, no. Not the latter, but again, sometimes I like being confused, so here we are, where weirdness abounds. Am I even certain this is “Dang Fish?” I’m not certain of anything today. The video itself is kind of dark to allow for the video work of Projexorcism to come through, but it’s part of a whole series under the same account that made its way to the YouTubes, so if you find yourself intrigued by the curio streaming underneath this paragraph, there’s plenty more where that came from.

In the meantime, pry open your brain stem and enjoy:

Dr. Keyboardian, “Dang Fish” live in Marion, NC, Jan. 14, 2017

Do not take Dr. Keyboardian with food. No dancing while under the influence of Dr. Keyboardian. Do operate heavy machinery while taking Dr. Keyboardian. Side effects include heavy breathing and palpitations.

Dr. Keyboardian. Gluten-free, organic, locally grown and zero calories since 2013. Eat it.

Dr. Keyboardian on Thee Facebooks

Tasha-Yar on Bandcamp

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Toke Release New Album Orange; Limited Tapes Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

toke

New Year, new riffs. North Carolina sludge specialists Toke could never be accused of being too obscure in their intentions, and their new album Orange (also written as a parenthetical) is no different. They sludge, sludge hard and sludge often. Big tones, big riffs, aggro stoner vibes. The new six-tracker follows a 2015 self-titled and a demo from 2014 (review here) that seems to have disappeared from the interwebs, and has been released as a limited-to-100-copies-and-already-mostly-gone cassette that will no doubt find favor with those seeking to start 2017 off with a fervent nod.

I had the pleasure of watching the Wilmington-based three-piece of bassist/vocalist Bronco, guitarist Tim and drummer Jeremy perform at last year’s Maryland Doom Fest (review here), and even in that riffiest of settings, they managed to stand out for the impact of their presentation. They’ve spent some time on the road since (they had before as well), and seem to be working on establishing momentum toward a larger underground impact. I’ve yet to hear of them doing anything up to this point that hasn’t turned heads in their direction, and seeing them live was an oh-okay-these-guys-are-for-real moment of clarity.

To listen to “Blackened” from Orange, or “Weak Life,” which brings in a guest appearance from Sourvein‘s T-Roy Medlin, I hear nothing to diminish that impression. They were pretty brief in their announcing the album’s arrival, but all the info that’s out there on the digital and cassette versions is below. Their debut is also getting a vinyl treatment from Goya‘s Opoponax Records imprint this month, so heads up on that.

Be informed:

toke orange

New album is live! Go snag a digital copy then a cassette!

Limited to 100 cassettes and 70% are gone! Only 20 being sold online.

Find tracks on tokenc.bandcamp.com.

We will also email you a copy of the album within 48 hours!

Tracklisting:
1. Within The Sinister Void 03:58
2. Weight Of The World 03:43
3. Blackened 03:41
4. Weak Life (Feat. T-Roy of Sourvein) 03:17
5. Legalize Sin 03:53
6. Four Hours For Hours 05:05

Released January 1, 2017

Toke is:
Bass/Vocals – Bronco
Drums – Jeremy
Guitars – Tim

Recorded and mixed by – Rick Contes
Mastered by – Dennis Pleckham
Logo Art by – Nick Males
T-Roy of Sourvein appears courtesy of Metal Blade Records

https://www.facebook.com/TokeDoom/
https://tokenc.bandcamp.com/
http://tokedoom.bigcartel.com/product/orange-cassettes

Toke, Orange (2017)

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Freedom Hawk & Irata Announce Feb. West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I mean, uh, sold. Right? Virginian heavy rockers Freedom Hawk head west next month alongside North Carolinian chuggers Irata, and I’m not even sure this one needs comment from me other than to reinforce the notion that you should make every effort to go to whichever one of these shows is closest to where you live. They’ve also got the last date of the tour open on Feb. 19 somewhere around Austin — or, presumably, a reasonable day’s drive between Austin and the Eastern Seaboard — and how much fun would it be to book those two bands somewhere and put on a kickass show to round out their tour? I like that idea. If I lived in Eastern Texas or somewhere else down south, I’d probably like it even more right about now.

Freedom Hawk are heralding an impending Ripple Music reissue for their 2008 debut album, Sunlight, and still supporting their 2015 fourth long-player, Into Your Mind (review here), while Irata — who upon returning from this tour will roll out again alongside All Them Witches — go on the back of their 2015 Retro Futurist offering, Loris.

Dates, links, audio and whatnots follow, as seen on the social medias:

freedom hawk irata west coast tour

Freedom Hawk / Irata US Tour

February 3 – February 17

Freedom Hawk and Irata Live will embark on a tour to the US West Side to continue the search for the perfect riff!!

Freedom Hawk will also have in tow their Small Stone 2015 release – Into Your Mind AND a hot off the press Ripple Music special remastered limited edition Vinyl/CD (Jan 27) release of their 2008 self released album – Sunlight.

IRATA will have their 2015 Retro Futurist release “Sweet Loris.” in tow and will be jamming these righteous tunes on tour with Freedom Hawk before returning to the road in March, 2017 with Nashville band All Them Witches.

HIWATTAGE Booking presents…
FREEDOM HAWK & IRATA:
THE ENDLESS SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT RIFF – WEST SIDE TOUR – FEB 2017!!

3-Feb Nashville, TN Springwater
4-Feb Fort Worth, TX The Rail Club club
5-Feb El paso, TX Rockhouse Bar & Grill
6-Feb Open (drive day)
7-Feb San Diego, CA Soda Bar
8-Feb Anaheim, CA Out Of The Park Pizza
9-Feb San Francisco, CA Thee Parkside
10-Feb Eugene. OR Old Nick’s Pub
11-Feb Portland, OR High Water Mark Lounge
12-Feb Seattle, WA Funhouse Seattle
13-Feb Yreka, CA, Chromaphonic Music Hall
14-Feb Sacramento, CA Starlite Lounge
15-Feb Las Vegas, NV, Beauty Bar
16-Feb Tucson, AZ The Flycatcher
17-Feb Fort Stockton, TX The Garage
18-Feb Austin, TX Swan Dive
19th-Feb Open (hit us up)

https://www.facebook.com/events/402574540082569/
https://www.facebook.com/freedomhawkmusic/
http://www.freedomhawk.net/
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/into-your-mind
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/iratabandofficial/
http://www.iratalive.com/
https://retrofuturist.bandcamp.com/album/irata-loris

Freedom Hawk, Into Your Mind (2015)

Irata, Loris (2015)

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From Oceans to Autumn Announce Ether / Return to Earth 2CD Due in 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 8th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Most recently heard from with late-2014’s Advent studio sessions recording, which was released digitally just days after it was completed, North Carolina post-rockers From Oceans to Autumn have announced that their second official full-length, titled Ether / Return to Earth, will be out in 2017 on Argonauta Records. It’s a double-CD, so presumably one is Ether and the other is Return to Earth, and while we’re speculating, it doesn’t seem unlikely either that the titles perhaps give some clue as to the sounds contained in each of the album’s two parts — as in, maybe the second is where From Oceans to Autumn come across more grounded sonically than the first. Just guessing here, folks. Just guessing.

No word on a definite, nailed-down release date yet, but Argonauta had the following pretty picture and verbiage on the subject, and if you wanted to check out Advent, it’s name-your-price from the Bandcamp player at the bottom of the post:

from-oceans-to-autumn

FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN, new “double album” to be released in 2017!

North Carolina based outfit FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN return after their last album “A Perfect Dawn” of 2013 and several digital EPs released in 2014/2015.

Being a perfect blend of Post Rock / Ambient and Instrumental Post Metal sonorities, this will be a massive effort by the band, a stunning double album where huge landscapes typical of a band as JAKOB meets the impressive “wall of sound” of ROSETTA.

From Oceans to Autumn’s Brandon Helms (also in MAGI and MOUNTAINS AMONG US) says: “Writing and recording of this double album has been going on for 2 years off and on. Mainly in the fall months. We wanted something a little different, yet was still us at heart. The songs are more airy, with the guitars seemingly drift in and out of consciousness.”

“Ether/Return to Earth” is a sound experience where ethereal and dreamlike atmosphere of the first part is in opposition to the darker and “otherworldly” feel of the second one.

FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN come-back has been scheduled in 2017 and will be released as 2CD/DD by ARGONAUTA Records.

www.facebook.com/fromoceanstoautumn
http://www.twitter.com/oceanstoautumn
https://fromoceanstoautumn.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com

From Oceans to Autumn, Advent (2014)

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Weedeater European Tour on Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

The touring schedule of North Carolinian sludge mainstays Weedeater — who were into this shit before anyone was paying attention and will be around long after everyone else has gone, make no mistake — remains more than respectable. On Oct. 4, they began yet another run through Europe to support their 2015 album, Goliathan (review here), which was their fifth outing overall and first for Season of Mist.

And I don’t know when the last time you saw Weedeater was — you’ll forgive the assumption that you’ve seen them before, but let’s face it, you probably have — but they’re crushing it as always. It’s been a while for me, I’ll admit, but I can only recommend that you Euro-types haul your ass out to one of the gigs if you haven’t yet, because there’s nothing quite like Weedeater on stage to turn your blood into molasses… in a good way.

Dates and info follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

weedeater-tour-poster

WEEDEATER embark on European tour

Notorious southern metal outfit WEEDEATER have kicked off their previously announced European fall tour. The band will travel through Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and more, before concluding at Desertfest in Belgium. Following the Desert Fest appearance, the band will continue through the UK with a headlining run. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

WEEDEATER are touring in support of their new album Goliathan’. The album is streaming here. ‘Goliathan’ is available across various CD and LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

‘Goliathan’ once again features album art by Arik Roper (HIGH ON FIRE, SLEEP, THE BLACK CROWES) and will be available across multiple CD and Ltd. Ed. LP formats. WEEDEATER previously re-issued their first four albums, ‘Jason…the Dragon’, ‘Sixteen Tons’, ‘…And Justice for Y’all’, and ‘God Luck and Good Speed”. The long out of print albums are available as vinyl for the first time, as well as a CD and digitally at the Season of Mist E-shop and at Bandcamp.

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
Oct 5 Dresden (DE) Scheune*
Oct 7 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof*
Oct 8 Hamburg (DE) Hafenklang*
Oct 9 Arnhem (NL) Willemeen*
Oct 10 Hannover (DE) Cafe Glocksee*
Oct 11 Würzburg (DE) Immerhin*
Oct 12 Nantes (FR) Scene Michelet*
Oct 13 Bordeaux (FR) Le Fridge*
Oct 14 Roissy (FR) Pub ADK*
Oct 15 Antwerpen (BE) Desertfest*
Oct 16 Birmingham (UK) @ The Flapper+
Oct 17 Leeds (UK) @ The Brudenell Social Club+
Oct 18 Glasgow (UK) @ Cathouse+
Oct 19 London (UK) @ Underworld+
*w/ Arabrot + w/ Conjurer

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/album/goliathan

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Beaten Back to Pure Post First New Song in More than a Decade

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

beaten-back-to-pure

Between 2001 and 2004, Beaten Back to Pure released three albums of unrepentantly kickass Southern metal. With elements of thrash, death metal, classic heavy rock and more, they were a ferocious, drunk force to be reckoned with, and across ’01’s Southern Apocalypse, the next year’s The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches, and ’04’s The Burning South, they ripped through heavy and metallic convention and cast their own identity at a time before a new generation was about to discover what sonic weight sounded like. That timing means that, while they kicked ass at Emissions from the Monolith, they never quite got the recognition they deserved, as was the case with many acts of that same era. MySpace was a long time ago.

This past weekend, Beaten Back to Pure vocalist Ben Hogg (also Night Magic, Birds of Prey, ex-Hour of 13) put out word he’d be posting the band’s first new song since The Burning South was released on behalf of himself and guitarist/engineer Vince Burke (also Hail!Hornet), who also helmed the recording at his Sniper Studio. The track has the working title “Life Time Served,” which I’m told might change, and while it revives some of the core push and extremity that made Beaten Back to Pure so righteous during their initial run, that spacious guitar intro at the start and all those cleaner, more soulful vocals are hard to ignore. Nor do I want to, frankly. “Life Time Served” would seem to benefit from the work Burke and Hogg have done since their last outing together, and from where I sit, that only makes it stronger.

Check it out below, followed by an update on where the band is at now. When and if I hear of a new release, I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy:

Beaten Back to Pure, “Life Time Served”

First new song in over a decade. We got 9 of em. We’re calling it an album but maybe just 9 singles. Like Flo Rida.

Aight folks uploading this was a bitch. Vince is passing out like a lame. Anyway, here’s what I was speaking on earlier. There’s some intro but it’s all sick

Actually just occurred to me I hope y’all dare this shit.

That makes no sense^ we were drinking like broz do. I’m not sure what I was trying to say.

Beaten Back to Pure:
Ben Hogg – crooner
Vince Burke – drunk
Richie Scharr – friend of Scott Travis
Slam Jacobs – impoverished
David Vaughn – new guy

Beaten Back to Pure on Thee Facebooks

Ben Hogg on YouTube

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Soon A.D. Post Video for “Gold Soul”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

soon ad

They were known as Soon just a couple scant months ago when they released their debut album, Vol. 1 (review here), through Temple of Torturous, but apparently sometime between then and now, they’ve added the someone-threatened-to-sue A.D. to the moniker. Thus, Soon A.D. have a new video. Fine. My question here is who the hell owns the word “soon?” Is there another band out there called Soon? Was the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, four-piece just completely tired of being Googleproof? I’d be very interested to know what happened there. Soon A.D., however, seem to prefer being shrouded in mystery.

If you got the chance to hear Vol. 1, there’s a high probability “Gold Soul” was one of the most resonant impressions. Like the bulk of its surroundings, it’s coated in effects and given a melodic depth to match, but its central riff is a particular standout and likely to get in your head and not get out. Soon A.D. wander around here and there during the midsection of the song, but the verses have a kind of lumber to them that usually doesn’t come hand-in-hand with their brand of accessibility. It’s the key blend — heavy, melodic, psychedelic, poppy — that defines Soon A.D.‘s first offering, and it would seem to be the groundwork for future stylistic expansion. At least that’s the hope.

Album is out now. Might be a sleeper, but I think if you take the time to check out “Gold Soul” below, you’re not likely to regret it.

Enjoy:

Soon A.D., “Gold Soul” official video

Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based transcendental rock unit, SOON A.D., (formerly Soon), is very pleased to unveil the stunning new video accompaniment to “Gold Soul.”

What SOON A.D. has manifested with Vol. 1 is multifaceted, melodic and adventurous. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based quartet pulled from a deep well of influence and experience in crafting its eight-song LP spending a concentrated week of revising and tracking, plus two months of tinkering, at the Greensboro studio Legitimate Business with engineer Kris Hilbert (Torch Runner, Between The Buried And Me, The Body) at the helm.

Soon on Thee Facebooks

Soon on Twitter

Soon at Earsplit Compound

Soon at Temple of Torturous

Temple of Torturous on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Sourvein, Mantar, Elevators to the Grateful Sky, The Poisoned Glass, Spirit Collector, Phiasco, The Cosmic Dead, Postures, Estoner, The Black Explosion

Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.

If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sourvein, Aquatic Occult

Sourvein Aquatic Occult

Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records

 

Mantar, Ode to the Flame

Mantar Ode To The Flame

Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Mantar at Nuclear Blast

 

Elevators to the Grateful Sky, Cape Yawn

elevators to the grateful sky cape yawn

There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.

Elevators to the Grateful Sky on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website

 

The Poisoned Glass, 10 Swords

the poisoned glass 10 swords-700

Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned GlassRitual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.

The Poisoned Glass on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions on Bandcamp

 

Spirit Collector, Owls to Athens

spirit collector owls to athens-700

Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.

Spirit Collector on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Collector on Bandcamp

 

Phiasco, Vieh

phiasco vieh

Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.

Phiasco on Thee Facebooks

Phiasco on Bandcamp

 

The Cosmic Dead, Rainbowhead

the-cosmic-dead-rainbowhead

Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Paradigms Recordings website

Blackest Rainbow Records website

 

Postures, Halucinda

postures halucinda

Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.

Postures on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound Records

 

Estoner, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis

estoner lennud saatana dimensioonis

What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.

Estoner on Thee Facebooks

Estoner on Bandcamp

 

The Black Explosion, Atomic Zod War

Unbenannt-1

Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.

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Metalville Records

 

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