Neurosis Announce Feb. 2019 Japan Tour with Converge

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

neurosis-photo-by-stefaan-temmerman

Granted, it’s been a while by now, but I still approach Neurosis from a mindset of remembering that period where they weren’t really a touring band. It was almost 15 years ago now, after they did Ozzfest and were presumably burnt out from that as only bands on the Second Stage could’ve possibly been, and before The Eye of Every Storm came out, around the Neurosis & Jarboe record. I remember going to see them in Philly, and it was an event. They did maybe four shows that entire album cycle? Less than 10 before Given to the Rising landed. Anyway, Neurosis have been on the road again for years now — in the last 12 months, they’ve toured Europe, South America and the West Coast, and if you go back 14 months, the Northeast and Europe (again) as well. Supporting a record that’s two years old already. It still seems counterintuitive to me, but Neurosis have been touring a lot for at least the last five years or so.

Not a complaint, it just still feels kind of weird to me. I can’t think of another band who toured hard, receded and then hit the road again later. At least not a band of Neurosis‘ profile. I’m sure it’s happened, but yeah.

They continue to cover the globe with a Japanese tour in Feb. alongside apparent-buds Converge, with whom they’ve shared the stage multiple times since passing the 30-year mark in 2015.

Details and dates from the PR wire:

neurosis converge tour

NEUROSIS Announces Leave Them All Behind 2019 Tour Of Japan With Converge For February

NEUROSIS continues to book new tours around the globe supporting their acclaimed 2016-released Fires Within Fires LP. Following several major tours with Converge, the two acts team up once again, announcing their return to Japan together with the Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour.

Both NEUROSIS and Converge have a strong connection based on mutual respect and the two acts have been on double headlining tours in America and Europe every year since 2016. The co-headlining Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour sees NEUROSIS returning to Japan for only the second time in their storied career, the first time in 1999, and Converge returning for their first tour of the country in six years.

Booked and organized by Daymare Recordings with Smash, Leave Them All Behind 2019 will run from February 14th through February 17th, with shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and two performances in different sections of Tokyo. Converge will perform a special You Fail Me set at the final concert where NEUROSIS will also perform a different set from the other shows of the tour. Showcasing the current Japanese extreme underground scene, additional support on the first Tokyo show will be provided by Endon and Self Deconstruction, and the second night Palm and Black Ganion.

Advance tickets for all shows will go on sale Saturday October 27th.

NEUROSIS is also confirmed to play at Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City this weekend. Performing as the main headliner, Chelsea Wolfe, Pig Destroyer, Russian Circles, and many more will also play at the two-day event.

Watch for additional NEUROSIS tour dates to be announced in the months ahead.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
Leave Them All Behind 2019 w/ Converge:
2/14/2019 Trad – Osaka, JP
2/15/2019 E.L.L. – Nagoya, JP
2/16/2019 O-East – Shbuya, Tokyo, JP w/ Endon, Self Deconstruction
2/17/2019 Unit – Daikanyama, Tokyo, JP w/ Palm, Black Ganion

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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High on Fire, Electric Messiah: Sanctioned Annihilation

Posted in Reviews on September 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire electric messiah

Raging furies, unmistakable gallop, deceptively inventive rhythms and Matt Pike‘s gutturalist vocals from with in the tempest — Electric Messiah bears all the hallmarks of latter-day High on Fire and then some. It is the Oakland trio’s eighth full-length, their fourth with E1 Music and their third that finds Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel working with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, etc.) following 2015’s Luminiferous (review here) and 2012’s De Vermiis Mysteriis (review here). Obviously it’s hard to know at this point whether that relationship between band and producer will continue going forward — hard to think of a reason for it not to unless the three-piece just decided to try someone else at the helm next time — but if one thinks of Electric Messiah as the third installment in a to-date trilogy, then it at very least proves there continues to be life in the collaboration six years after it first got going.

Since High on Fire debuted on E1 in 2010 with Snakes for the Divine (review here) after leaving Relapse Records following 2007’s Jack Endino-produced Death is This Communion (discussed here), the arc of their progression has seen them become more and more of a metal band, trading thickness of tone for a sharper edge to the aggression in Pike‘s riffs and to the presentation of their production. Luminiferous was perhaps the most fervent example of this, though Snakes for the Divine is arguably the cleanest-sounding High on Fire release in terms of the actual recording. Electric Messiah, slightly longer than its two immediate predecessors at 56 minutes and nine tracks, beefs up the tones from Pike‘s guitar and Matz‘s bass and, in combination with the always-vicious impact of Kensel‘s drumming — somehow still an underrated factor in the band 18 years after their debut, The Art of Self-Defense, saw its first release — it makes for some of the chewiest output High on Fire have had in more than a decade going back to Death is This Communion if not 2005’s Blessed Black Wings (discussed here).

That doesn’t mean High on Fire are playing the stoner thrash of their earliest days, but it does mean that to go along with their ripping speed and tight performances, there’s an underlying bombast to songs like opener “Spewn from the Earth,” “The Pallid Mask” and closer “Drowning Dog,” the latter two of which touch on cleaner vocal styles from Pike — who’s long flirted with melody amid his harsher shouts — that adds further dimension to the sound of Electric Messiah on the whole. The well-publicized lead single/title-track, with lyrics written reportedly in homage to Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, to whom Pike has often been compared, is a full-on scorcher as it inevitably would be, and along with the later “Freebooter” and the aforementioned opener, is among the fastest cuts here, but even these songs showcase a heft of tone on the part of the guitar and bass — frankly, the drums don’t exactly lack weight either — that ties them to the march in longer pieces like nine-minute second track “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil” and “Sanctioned Annihilation.”

high on fire

Appearing at the end of side B on the first of the two LPs, “Sanctioned Annihilation” is notable on its face for, at 10:29, being the longest song High on Fire have ever written; they only other time they touched the 10-minute mark was “Master of Fists” from The Art of Self-Defense, which was 10:06. They don’t waste the time, and instead offer one of their most dynamic compositions, moving from a quiet but tense beginning into a raucous double-kick assault before shifting into a triplet-gallop that consumes the track’s middle third and perhaps sees Pike taking some influence from YOB‘s Mike Scheidt, who’s made the staccato chugs something of a trademark, though again, it’s an opportunity for Kensel to demonstrate just how special a player he is as he locks step with Matz and Pike on his bass drum and lends a severity that is as much militaristic as it is barbarians-coming-over-the-hill. “Sanctioned Annihilation” moves into further war-drum thud and one of Pike‘s many impressive carbon-burning solos, but remains informed by that rhythmic surge, and as the second LP moves into expanded sonic territory with “The Pallid Mask” and the righteously for-the-converted, HighonFire-being-HighonFire — the band acting as their own aesthetic — “God of the Godless,” the sprawl of “Sanctioned Annihilation” continues to have an effect on the listener.

It is not a minor undertaking at nearly an hour long, and it’s not a minor undertaking in terms of its sound — one could easily get out of breath just trying to keep up with the band even in their slower moments — but each piece on the second LP earns its place, whether its the familiar of “God of the Godless,” which is the kind of track that as one comes back for multiple listens only seems to land harder and harder, or the blistering “Freebooter,” which reinvents Slayer‘s moodier ping-ride-isms en route to an absolute massacre. With both over six minutes, the closing duo of “The Witch and the Christ” and “Drowning Dog” are something of a salvo unto themselves, but the former alternates between nods and headbangs, and the finale, again, “Drowning Dog” almost seems to sneak in its more rock-based approach while still remaining consistent in tone and its noisy affect. It’s not out of place by any means, but put next to a song like “Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil,” which isn’t entirely void of melody either in its layers of guitar or later vocals, it’s moving toward a different end.

Such grit isn’t new for High on Fire, but what makes Electric Messiah stand out as it does is how it blends new and old within the band’s particular sound. High on Fire remain one of the most recognizable acts in metal regardless of subgenre, and Electric Messiah reshapes that sphere as it sees fit to best serve the songs. For all its brashness and axe-swinging triumphs, it’s unquestionably the work of professionals on all fronts — that includes Ballou certainly, and Skinner, who did the cover art — and it finds High on Fire marking their 20th year with a reaffirmation of who they are, were and will be not just by trodding out expected elements, but by using them in fresh-sounding and exciting ways. They’re big enough that there will be opinions on all sides, but established fans will have no trouble getting on board with Electric Messiah‘s bludgeoning revelry.

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

High on Fire on Thee Facebooks

High on Fire on Instagram

High on Fire website

eOne Heavy on Twitter

eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

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High on Fire Announce US Tour; “Electric Messiah” Lyric Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire

Science tells us that if you want to live right, you need to see High on Fire at least once per album cycle, preferably more. Only days removed from the announcement of their new album, Electric Messiah, being released Oct. 5 and posting the first single in the form of the title-track, the trio have returned with a vast swath of tour dates and a lyric video highlighting the Lemmy homage of that same song. This won’t be the last tour High on Fire announce, but it will be the first round of US dates they’ll do following Electric Messiah‘s release, and even apart from the thrashy company they’re keeping, that’s reason enough to show up. As if you needed it.

From the PR wire:

high on fire tour

HIGH ON FIRE ANNOUNCE NEW U.S. TOUR DATES WITH MUNICIPAL WASTE

“ELECTRIC MESSIAH” LYRIC VIDEO RELEASED

ALL NEW LP, ELECTRIC MESSIAH, DUE OCTOBER 5, 2018
PRE ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

On the heels of announcing their first new LP in three years, Electric Messiah, HIGH ON FIRE has posted new headlining dates throughout the U.S. and Europe this fall.

The new tour dates will be co-headlined by MUNICIPAL WASTE with Toxic Holocaust and Haunt in support. The three-week trek will kick off in Dallas, TX at Canton Hill on 11/2/18, hitting both coasts before wrapping up in San Diego, CA on 11/25/18. Tickets are now on sale.

“Man it’s gonna get crazy every night!,” says drummer Des Kensel. “Legends will be made on this tour! For after party info contact Dave Witte @ (804) 555-1212.”

High On Fire has announced extensive touring to support the recently announced all-new LP. After a batch of European festival dates, the band will head back to the U.S. to perform at Psycho Las Vegas, The Muddy Roots Music Festival, and the highly anticipated Adult Swim Festival. The band will then head back to Europe for a co-headline run with Enslaved before kicking off the Municipal Waste dates mentioned above.

Just yesterday HIGH ON FIRE released a new single titled “Electric Messiah.” The new song serves as the title track off the band’s all-new LP, which will be released on October 5, 2018, via Entertainment One (eOne). A lyric video for the track is available today.

High on Fire live:
10/08 – BE Belgium, Ieperfest
11/08 – DE Sinzendorf, Void Fest
12/08 – HU Budapest, Durer Kert

8/17/2018 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Psycho Fest)
9/1/2018 – Cookeville, TN – Muddy Roots Music Festival
9/2/2018 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel

w/ Enslaved
30/09 – U Bazyla Poznan PL
01/10 – Proxima Warsaw PL
02/10 – UT Connewitz Leipzig DE
03/10 – Kulturfabrik Esch LU
04/10 – Mezz Jupiler Zaal Breda NL

10/5/18 – Los Angeles, CA – Adult Swim Festival

08/10 – Academy 2 Manchester UK
09/10 – Tivoli Dublin EIRE
10/10 – Limelight 2 Belfast UK
12/10 – The Mill Birmingham UK
14/10 – SWX Bristol UK
15/10 – The Dome London UK
16/10 – La Machine Du Moulin Rouge Paris FR

w/ Municipal Waste
2-Nov-18 – Dallas @ Canton Hall
3-Nov-18 – Austin @ Mohawk
4-Nov-18 – New Orleans @ Southport Hall
6-Nov-18 – Tampa @ Orpheum Theatre
7-Nov-18 – Atlanta @ The Masquerade
9-Nov-18 – Washington @ Black Cat
11-Nov-18 – Brooklyn @ Warsaw
12-Nov-18 – Philadelphia @ Union Transfer
13-Nov-18 – Boston @ Paradise Rock Club
15-Nov-18 – Chicago @ Metro
17-Nov-18 – Denver @ The Oriental Theater
18-Nov-18 – Salt Lake City @ Metro Music Hall
20-Nov-18 – Portland @ Bossanova Ballroom
21-Nov-18 – Seattle @ Showbox at the Market
23-Nov-18 – Sacramento @ Ace Of Spades
24-Nov-18 – Berkeley @ The UC Theatre

HIGH ON FIRE features Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
https://www.instagram.com/highonfireband/
www.highonfire.net
https://twitter.com/eoneheavy
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

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High on Fire to Release New Album Electric Messiah on Oct. 5; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high on fire

October just got ridiculous with the word that heavy thrash titans High on Fire will release their awaited new album, Electric Messiah, on Oct. 5 through Entertainment One. They’re streaming the title-track now and you can hear it at the bottom of this post. The trio’s latest outing will be their third in a row tracked by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, and it follows behind the raging 2015 LP Luminiferous (review here) and 2012’s De Vermiis Mysteriis (review here), which I think it’s fair enough to argue are the hardest-hitting records of the band’s career thus far. Luminiferous showed a little more dynamic in letting up from the gas a bit as it played through, so I’m interested to hear how guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensel proceed along the line of melodic flourish they brought to bear last time out, let alone the punishment that surrounded.

Art and title-track audio follow here, as sent freshly along the PR wire:

high on fire electric messiah

HIGH ON FIRE ANNOUNCE NEW LP, ELECTRIC MESSIAH, DUE OCTOBER 5, 2018

PRE ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW

HIGH ON FIRE releases a new single today titled “Electric Messiah.” The new song serves as the title track off the band’s all-new LP, which will be released on October 5, 2018 via Entertainment One (eOne).

“I had a dream about Lemmy,” says Matt Pike, explaining the inspiration behind the title of High on Fire’s triumphant new “Electric Messiah.” “When Lemmy was still alive I always got compared to Lemmy,” the gravelly-voiced guitarist elaborates, “so I had this dream where he got pissed at me.”

“He gave me a bunch of shit, basically, and was hazing me. Not that he didn’t approve of me, but like I was being hazed. The song is me telling the world that I could never fill Lemmy’s shoes because Lemmy’s Lemmy. I wanted to pay homage to him in a great way. And it turned out to be such a good title that the guys said we should call the album ‘Electric Messiah.'”

Electric Messiah will serve as the follow-up to Luminiferous released in 2015, which went on to be one of the band’s most critically acclaimed albums.

Electric Messiah reunites the band once again with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Torche, Kvelertak) for the third time. “Kurt just has a knack for us, man,” Matt Pike says. “We all work really well with him. Even if we have differences about how we want to record something, he works with us and understands what we do. We’ve been sticking with him because we haven’t made a bad record with him yet.”

It feels absurd to think that this late into their career High on Fire has hit a new career peak, but that’s what happens when you have a trio that works this well together. For all of Ballou’s sonic wizardry, Electric Messiah is all about the evolution of Pike, Matz, and Kensel. They simply cannot be denied a permanent spot among American royalty.

“This band keeps evolving,” Pike enthuses. “This is by far the best record I’ve ever made with the High on Fire stamp. It just keeps getting better and better. We just try to outdo ourselves. I’m not saying the old work is progressively worse, it’s just that we get better every time instead of burning out, which is a common finality for a lot of bands. This album is fucking excellent, I just love everything on it, I’m not bummed about anything. It’s great when you think that about your record.”

Tracklisting:

1. Spewn from the Earth
2. Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil
3. Electric Messiah
4. Sanctioned Annihilation
5. The Pallid Mask
6. God of the Godless
7. Freebooter
8. The Witch and the Christ
9. Drowning Dog

HIGH ON FIRE features Matt Pike (guitar, vocals), Des Kensel (drums) and Jeff Matz (bass).

https://www.facebook.com/highonfire
https://www.instagram.com/highonfireband/
www.highonfire.net
https://twitter.com/eoneheavy
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

High on Fire, “Electric Messiah”

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War Cloud Premiere Video for “Red Witch”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

war cloud photo Janiece Gonzalez

Oakland classic heavy rockers/proto-metallers/whatever-they’re-good-ers War Cloud have been readily hitting stages since making their self-titled debut (review here) last Fall on Ripple Music. Their new video for the track ‘Red Witch’ from that album would seem to be one of at least two they’ll issue this summer, as they’ve also posted on the social medias that they’ll have one out for “Chopper Wired,” but it’s hard as hell to argue with the hook of “Red Witch” and I find that as I make my way through I’m not inclined to try. The song appears on side B of the record — track six of eight on CD or digital — but it’s nonetheless worth the focus of the new clip, the premiere of which you can see below.

In terms of the record as a whole, “Red Witch” is pretty indicative of what works well in War Cloud‘s sound. As alluded to above, they straddle the line between heavy rock and metal, but even their most thrashing riffs from guitarists Alex Wein (also vocals) and Tony Campos and thickest lumber from bassist Taylor Roach come accompanied by a fervent swing in Joaquin Ridgell‘s drumming, so there’s never really a loss of momentum, regardless of where an individual track might go. The rolling groove of “Red Witch,” for example, nestles easily into its lead riff and charges out from there. With the crashing “No Man’s Land” before and “Speed Demon” afterward, it would almost be easy for the track to get lost in the mix were it not for the fact that the chorus is so standout-memorable.

The classic riff and the open lines of its verses create a cycle that should be immediately familiar to experienced heads, but whether they’re drawing from Judas Priest, Sabbath or the earliest days of thrash, War Cloud’s songwriting helps them maintain an identity of their own. No doubt the touring they did earlier this year to support the self-titled and the Midwest tour they’re soon to announce around their appearance at the Doomed and Stoned Festival in Indianapolis will help that out as they start to think about moving onto their next offering. Either way, the bottom line is War Cloud made one of last year’s best debuts, and it’s no challenge at all to look forward to what they might do from here in realizing their potential.

Please check out the premiere for “Red Witch” below. I’ve also included the album stream at the bottom of the post, because more likely than not after the one song is over you’re going to want to revisit the whole record. I know I did.

Enjoy:

War Cloud, “Red Witch” official video premiere

Music Video for War Cloud’s “Red Witch” from their 2017 self-titled debut album, on Ripple Music.

Buy the album: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/artist/war-cloud

War Cloud is:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Tony Campos – Guitar
Taylor Roach – Bass
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums

War Cloud, War Cloud (2017)

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

War Cloud on Bandcamp/

War Cloud webstore

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Twitter

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Hot Lunch Premiere New Single “Haul of Meat”

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

hot lunch

Chances are you never thought ‘spatula of Satan’ was the kind of hook that you’d have stuck in your head. Well, Bay Area heavy skate rockers Hot Lunch will see their new single, Haul of Meat ship out July 16 via Who Can You Trust? Records, and in the span of 3:41, it just might have you rethinking your position on the matter. The single, which comes accompanied on its B-side by “Pot of Gold,” which is a title one might read in any number of ways depending on how clever one is feeling, marks Hot Lunch‘s first outing since 2015’s Slappy Sunday EP (review here) — issued by the now-defunct Scion A/V — and if you’re wondering what the four-piece have been doing with the time in between, uh, I don’t know. Probably hanging out. Skating. Maybe having jobs. You know, life stuff.

With the arrival of Haul of Meat, however, their return to activity comes caked in classic heavy fuzz, the warm and buzzing guitar of Aaron Nudelman holding ’70s-style sway over the shuffle-into-proto-thrash-into-CaptainBeyond-prog-at-the-last-minute groove of bassist Charlie Karr and drummer Rob Alper while vocalist Eric Shea spins the tale of skin-meets-sidewalk woe — hot lunch haul of meatthe perils of skateboarding providing the fodder for the lyrics, “Hit the ground/Quarter pound/Spatula of Satan,” etc. Obviously the vibe is lighthearted despite any and all scars accrued, and with a live sound and flourish of tambourine and the aforementioned out-of-nowhere turn to prog-circa’72 at the finish, there’s a residual sense of weirdness that only makes it an even better time. Shea ends with a multi-layered “Get behind me, Satan,” as if to underscore the purely West Coast vibe throughout. That sense of, “yeah man we’re just screwing around,” while also kicking serious ass in the process.

As for what Hot Lunch have planned after Haul of Meat, I haven’t the foggiest. New album? Maybe. They’re due, if you believe in “due.” Leading up to the release of the two-songer, they’ll be on the road in Europe, starting June 29 in Switzerland and hitting a good swath of shows over the course of the two weeks-plus following in Germany and Italy, finishing the Heavy Psych Sounds-presented run — more than a jaunt, less than a temporary residence, but definitely a tour — at the respected Stoned from the Underground fest in Germany alongside Nebula, Orchid, Sons of Otis, and of course many others. What comes next, we’ll have to wait and see.

And before I give you over to the stream, you should know that I’m not just running this so I can re-post the band’s quote about scabs turning into cheeseburgers for Satan. That rules, make no mistake, but so does the song.

Tour dates and that badass commentary follows the song on the player below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Taken from the HOT LUNCH – “Haul Of Meat / Pot Of Gold” 7-inch | WHO-35

Hot Lunch are not ambassadors of skateboarding. They are harbingers of hamburgers. “Haul of Meat” is a skatanic and cautionary canticle that rolls like an avalanche of high-voltage, overdriven fuzz across rumbling rhythms birthed by broken tectonic plates beneath Earthquake City. When asked to explain the caustic lyrics of this urethane-and-wood musing, the band replied, “You know when sometimes you slam so hard that your scabs become cheeseburgers for Satan and the tail of your deck turns into the devil’s spatula?” When further pressed to clarify, they added, “We have a holographic memory. Satan!”

Edition of 500 copies on black vinyl. Free ‘Sacrificial Blood’ sticker included with a limited number of copies! (Only 100 made… Choose your path, but do it wisely!)

hot lunch tour posterHOT LUNCH European Summer Tour 2018:
29.06.2018 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff
30.06.2018 DE Siegen-Vortex
01.07.2018 DE Augsburg-City Club
02.07.2018 DE Mannheim-7er
03.07.2018 DE Leipzig-So&So
04.07.2018 DE Berlin-Urban Spree
05.07.2018 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
06.07.2018 CH Olten-Coq D’ Or
07.07.2018 IT Bozen-Mountain Sessions
08.07.2018 IT Sabbioneta-Sabbio Summer Fest
09.07.2018 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
10.07.2018 IT Torino-Blah Blah
11.07.2018 IT Bologna-Mikasa
12.07.2018 DE Stuttgart-Keller Klub
13.07.2018 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
14.07.2018 DE Stoned from the Underground – Festival

HOT LUNCH are
Eric Shea – Vocals
Aaron Nudelman – Guitars
Rob Alper – Drums
Charlie Karr – Bass

Hot Lunch on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Hot Lunch Haul of Meat preorder at Who Can You Trust? Records

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

Who Can You Trust? Records webstore

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Just in Case You Thought You Heard All the New Sleep, There’s More New Sleep

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sleep

So in case you didn’t feel the universe caving in on itself at the time, it’s now been nearly two months since Sleep released The Sciences (review here), their first album in 15 years and first since getting back together to play shows starting in 2009. Dropped with mere hours of notice beforehand, it was an event that for many will define the soundscape of 2018, not just for the sheer existence of the record as something that was rumored for so long and finally realized, but for the quality of the material itself, songs like “Sonic Titan,” “Antarcticans Thawed” and “Giza Butler” providing all the march to the riff-filled land Sleep‘s generations-spanning audience could hope for while at last giving representation to the band as they are today, both in the lineup of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist Matt Pike and drummer Jason Roeder, and in terms of their actual sound.

About two weeks ago, Sleep offered something of another shocker — a new track called Leagues Beneath — through the ongoing Adult Swim Singles Program. A bit of symmetry there, since that’s how Sleep issued their first post-reunion studio recording in the 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), which was also a surprise when it came out, but 16 more new minutes of Sleep just the same. It doesn’t seem outlandish to imagine it was recorded during the same sessions as The Sciences — though I suppose Sleep could’ve gotten together at some point since the album was done and put it to tape; anything’s possible — and though its arrival might be seen as anticlimactic in comparison to the full-length LP, if you’re the type of person to complain about things like all that new music Sleep are putting out simply being too much to bear, you should probably sit down and take an honest look at your perspective on life. I’m just trying to help. I’m your friend out here.

Okay, so “Leagues Beneath” itself. 16:45 of hypnotic groove, pickled-liver tone and pointedly Iommic worship. Pretty much what you get on The Sciences, right down to the sense of PikeCisneros and Roeder playing together in a room riding the warbles from their speaker cabinets. It’s five minutes before Cisneros‘ vocals kick in, and when they do, it’s kind of a reminder that there are humans at work behind the proceedings at all, let alone a songwriting process. At 53 minutes, The Sciences is a pretty air-tight 2LP. It doesn’t overstay its welcome — would be a challenge — and at the same time, it offers a far-out glimpse at stonerized space as seen through the eyes of the band. “Leagues Beneath,” as its lumbering forward motion continues, is held together by its drums and seems to range even further. Including it would’ve pushed the album over 70 minutes long, and even Dopesmoker (discussed here) was only 63, so I get why they left it off. It has a flow of its own as it veers into pulled-string weirdness after 10 minutes in and swirls forward its multi-layered lead before hitting minute 12 and embarking from there on its drifting finish, and as much as the material on The Sciences is fluid one song into the next, “Leagues Beneath” stands on its own. In other words, it makes a fitting single.

When Sleep put out The Clarity, it was a little while before vinyl surfaced, so I have to wonder if they’ll do a physical pressing of Leagues Beneath at some point — this is me casting my vote for a live version of “Giza Butler” as a B-side unless there’s yet more unheard studio stuff sitting around; by the way, I don’t get a vote — but for now it’s available digitally through Adult Swim and streaming on the usual webular haunts, and I’ve included it for the purposes of instant gratification. I’m sure you’ve already heard it, but somehow I doubt a revisit is going to bring many complaints.

Dig:

Sleep, “Leagues Beneath”

Listen to a new song by metal behemoth Sleep, courtesy of Adult Swim Singles. Available now @ http://adultswim.com/singles.

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Owl Premiere New Cassingle Awaken Jupiterian

Posted in audiObelisk on June 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

OWL

Oakland traditionalists Owl (also stylized Ovvl) will release their third album sometime later this year, following for years after their sophomore outing, Screech. To lead into the new offering, the three Baechle brothers — Axell and K. on guitar/vocals, Clint on drums — and newcomer bassist Magic Spiegel send forth a new two-songer cassette single titled Awaken Jupiterian in reference to the tracks contained: “Awaken the Mountain” and “Jupiterean Ocean.” It’s only 11 minutes long, but with it, the band ask the pivotal question of what might have happened had heavy metal in the ’80s not become so commercialized, so overblown in its production, and had it been able to move forward from its roots in the decade prior and develop its sound without becoming so grandiose. Owl will play the Alehorn of Power festival on July 28, and one can hardly think of a more appropriate setting for them.

Their guitar work on “Awaken the Mountain” and their willingness to smash one part into the next would seem to be derived from the Mike Scalzi school of metallurgyowl awaken jupiterian, but there’s more to their gallop than simple imitation or musical conversation with the Lord Weird. That’s true on the almost completely instrumental “Jupiterean Ocean” as well as in “Awaken the Mountain,” as both cuts showcase an edge of progressive, thoughtful songwriting with a mind toward flow and capturing the spirit of metal’s post-formative years, its righteousness still in its ability to be a middle-finger to the mainstream while capturing an increasing portion of the sales market. In “Awaken the Mountain,” one might hear shades of Leeches of Lore‘s off-kilter winding, or (if you’re on the Eastern Seaboard) some of Valkyrie‘s dual-axe heroics, but Owl hold firm to a sonic persona of their own — dig that last section of “Jupiterean Ocean” — and as much as they seem to look back at what metal was and could have been, they don’t at all lose sight of the individualist expression that’s always been at the heart of the form. They are, in other words, their own band.

The cassingle, which one can only hope comes in a cardboard sleeve open on top and bottom, either shrinkwrapped or not, is available now and to herald the coming of their third long-player, on which “Awaken the Mountain” promises to feature — frankly I’m not sure how you’d get away with calling the album anything else, but the title hasn’t been announced yet — Owl will head out on their first full US tour in more than half a decade. The dates for that run follow the Awaken Jupiterian single itself, which I’m thrilled to be able to premiere via the player below.

Please dig in and enjoy:

Three and a half years since the release of the Screech LP, Oakland, California’s Owl returns to the scene with two brand new tracks on the archaic “cassingle” format! “Awaken The Mountain,” taken from a new album album which will be released later this year, is a prog metal epic, and cautionary tale of dwelling too close to volatile geologic formations! The B-side, “Jupiterian Ocean,” is a sweeping instrumental that glides into view on terrestrial winds, before plummeting into stoner caves and finally scaling staggering zeppelinesque heights!

ORDER THE CASSINGLE HERE
https://owlbrotherhood.bandcamp.com/album/awaken-jupiterian

Two LPs, eleven tours, and four bass players later, 2018 finds the band poised to reach a new plateau, with an epic new album on deck, and the first full US tour since 2012! Join the party this summer!

“OWL BE BACK” TOUR 2018
7.11 ALBANY, CA – Ivy Room
7.12 OJAI, CA – Ojai Deer Lodge
7.13 LOS ANGELES, CA – The Lexington
7.14 FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Flagstaff Brewing Co.
7.15 SANTA FE, NM – TBD
7.16 DALLAS, TX – Transit Bicycle Co.
7.17 LITTLE ROCK, AR – TBD
7.18 NASVILLE, TN – TBD
7.19 ASHEVILLE, NC – TBD
7.20 RICHMOND, VA – Chum
7.21 NEW YORK, NY – Cobra Club
7.22 WALLINGFORD, CT – Cherry Street Saloon
7.23 BURLINGTON, VT – Nectar’s
7.24 PHILADELPHIA, PA – TBD
7.25 PITTSBURGH, PA – Camp Clarke
7.26 DETROIT, MI – Outer Limits
7.27 MILWAUKEE, WI – Quarters
7.28 CHICAGO, IL – Reggie’s – ALEHORN OF POWER FEST
7.29 MADISON, WI – The Wisco
7.30 MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Memory Lanes
7.31 LINCOLN, NE – TBD
8.1 DENVER, CO – Squire Lounge
8.2 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Triple Nickel
8.3 SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Ridinghoods
8.4 RENO, NV – Shea’s Tavern
8.5 SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Bottom Of The Hill

Owl is:
Axell Baechle: Guitar, Vocals
K. Baechle: Guitar, Vocals
Clint Baechle: Drums
Magic Spiegel: Bass Guitar

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