Nap to Release Ausgeklingt Oct. 4; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

nap

Okay, so before you go ahead and dig into the album announcement for Nap‘s second record, Ausgeklingt, below, you should understand that it’s been run through a social media translation algorithm, so even the most basic level of idiomatic expression is more or less lost, and it should be read really for confirmation of the most basic details — title, release date, etc. — rather than the description of what the record’s like, where Facebook clearly muddled the verbiage. Sadly, I don’t speak German, so I couldn’t do my own translation, but the news is that Nap are following up their 2016 debut album, Villa (review here), and that they have a song from the new outing streaming now that you can hear at the bottom of this post. That’s pretty neat as far as I’m concerned. As for the rest, with the word matrices and AI grammar and all that, it’s secondary at best.

I’ll hope to have more to come on Ausgeklingt as we get closer to the release date — I’ll be working on spelling it as well — but in the meantime, here’s the art and announcement:

nap Ausgeklingt

Finally! The Oldenburger Trio Nap is ready for their second release: the new album will be named Ausgeklingt (“for sounds”) and will be released on October 04th.

If nap has managed to create a great successor album that doesn’t stand up to the predecessor in anything, but still puts a shot on it. Extensive psychedelic jams meet heavy doom riffs, catchy hooks, and isolated surf sounds. Rounded off by almost ghost-looking vocals. A diverse and varied album that you can fall into and which breastfeeding the heavy needs as well as those after quiet-dreamy parts.

A true trip through darker and lighter corners of space… and we are happy that we will be able to take you with you soon!

So eyes and ears up. More news and tour dates coming soon…

Until then, you can listen to the pre-track “VoiGo” Also nice, right?

The Limited first edition comes in colorful vinyl, including poster and download code or as CD.

https://www.facebook.com/napband/
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/
http://www.noisolution.de/
https://www.facebook.com/noisolution
https://www.instagram.com/noisolution/

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Mount Atlas Premiere “The Unknown” from Mistress EP

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

mount atlas

German Hammond-soaked heavy rockers Mount Atlas will release their Mistress EP on May 10 through H42 Records. The four-songer runs a crisp 15 minutes, and while the keys provided by Christoph Ramke bring an inevitable classic flair to the proceedings, neither the production nor the style of the band is outwardly retro in the “vintage” sense of analog worship. Rather, the opening title-track and subsequent “Pace,” “Evil Side” and “The Unknown” are presented with pro-shop clarity and fullness, and the guitars of Jonas Willenbrink (also vocals) and Lars Rempe, the bass of Florian Eckey, Hendrik Kurre‘s drums and the aforementioned organ come through with an energy fitting for a band getting their start — having come together in 2016 — but still plainly moving ahead of their 2017 debut, Titan, in terms of reach and structure, “Pace” tapping into NWOBHM style classic metallurgy as “Evil Side” tap more of a swing, the latter being the only song over four minutes long and accounting for that differential with a still-relatively-quick midsection break.

The point, I guess, is it’s straight-ahead classic-derived-but-not-classic-imitating heavy rock and roll, but that alonemount atlas mistress does little to note the emphasis Mount Atlas put on clarity of performance and on songwriting. “Evil Side”‘s hook is catchy and delivered with an ’80s arena-metal spirit, and “The Unknown” would seem to follow-suit in its general base of influence. Classic rock meets classic metal meets modern riffing — Mistress has no trouble drawing strength from multiple sides, and Mount Atlas seem to be perfectly comfortable in going over the top sound-wise. Titan was a little bit rougher around its edges, but the ensuing cohesiveness of these songs is another unmistakable sign of the band’s growth. They may or may not still be maturing as a group, but even if that’s the case, a foundation of craft only ever serves well, and it does throughout this EP too. Mount Atlas are well comfortable interweaving guitar and organ on “Mistress” itself, and with that, they set the tone for a mini-showcase of their wares; a bit of a sampler for those who either did or didn’t catch the first offering when it came out to let all concerned parties know where they might be heading. A choice EP, in other words.

And a bit of unpretentious little-of-this-little-of-that-and-a-lot-of-melody heavy rock never hurts, so I’m happy today to host the premiere of “The Unknown” from the EP. You’ll find it below, followed by more from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Mount Atlas’s bubbling sound of the Hammond organ, their rough guitar riffs as well as the floating melodies will bring you back to the 70s and 80s. At the same time, they manage to maintain their individual sonority. They alternate between spherical sounds and heavy doom riffs, which sound as if played whilst wearing equally heavy leather jackets.

Their first record “Titan” has been leaving its marks on the international rock and metal scenes since April 2017. The new EP “Mistress” will be released on Vinyl, CD and digitally May 10, 2019.

Mount Atlas is:
Jonas Willenbrink (Vocals / Guitar)
Christoph Ramke (Organ / Synth)
Hendrik Kurre (Drums)
Florian Eckey (Bass)
Lars Rempe (Guitar)

Mount Atlas on Instagram

Mount Atlas on Thee Facebooks

Mount Atlas on Twitter

H42 Records website

H42 Records on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records on Twitter

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Nap and Black Lung to Release Split Aug. 28; Preorder Available

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

While Baltimore’s Black Lung and Oldenburg, Germany’s Nap both have elements of heavy psychedelia swirling at their core, there are still plenty of distinctions and disparities in their two individual sounds. Thus I can kind of understand why their forthcoming split 12″ on Noisolution might be framed as Black Lung vs. Nap, but it seems to me that — as the info below asserts — it probably works out to be less of a fight between them and more of a showcase of what each brings to the style. Complement more than competition, I guess is where my head is at, but I suppose if you’re putting out a release you have to call it something, and at least Black Lung vs. Nap gets the point across that it’s a split. Maybe I’m overthinking the whole thing.

In any case, the new release will be out by the time Black Lung return to Europe this fall to take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 as they continue to support last year’s See the Enemy (review here) and for Nap, this split marks their first recorded output since their successful Villa (review here) debut in 2016, so brings all the more intrigue to see where they’re headed.

Info comes from Noisolution via the PR wire:

BLACK LUNG VS. NAP

Limited Split-12″with 6 unpublished tracks. White 180gr vinyl. Artwork by Alexander von Wieding.

Available from 28/08/2017 !!!!

Baltimore vs. Oldenburg.

This mini album documents a clash of two exceptional trios who are not competing but rather complementing one another. No longing to be the better, heavier or darker, but more so a friendly co-existence that turns out to be the perfect match.

A double A-side, if you wanna call it that. A split-mini-album, that more or less just came together by itself. Both bands‘ paths are crossing over and over again: first as labelmates, now on tour this fall and finally also on this shiny snowwhite piece of vinyl!

We got NAP from Oldenburg, Germany on one side, who only just made a great stir with their debut ‚Villa‘ in January. Before you knew it the first pressing was all sold out and gone. Their unique mix of Doom, Kraut and Stoner blended with epic instrumental parts quickly rewarded them with quite a fanbase, critical acclaim and a whole bunch of respect. Now on this new Split 12“ they‘re coming across somewhat more compact, more to the point, still never losing that certain playfulness that defines what became their signature sound. Adding a sprinkle of space rock as well they easily remind one of a darker version of the early Hawkwind. Something is truly growing here and we better keep an eye on what these three gentlemen will have in store for us in the future!

On the other side we got BLACK LUNG hailing from Baltimore, US. At first the band was just considered a side leap of of THE FLYING EYES‘ Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzmann who brought their psychedelic influences and shenanigans over to the new project. But eventually the trio fully established itself and an own dynamic taking over, forming their own unique and recognizable style. Two guitars that weigh down so heavily that there’s no need for a bass anymore. Completed by the hovering feverish vocals of Dave Cavalier who come as a perfect contrast, altogether creating an overwhelming wave of heavy sounds rolling over the clubs and their audience swallowing them both completely. A tiny hint of Pop and especially Soul has always been present on the previous two records. This time showing itself in a fantastic cover-version of Marvin Gayes‘ ‚Inner City Blues‘. Stonerrock mixed with sould mixed with rap: What seems completely incompatible comes together only so beautifully in this track. A truly exceptional track for a truly exceptional band in sound, style and songwriting – and a band who will absolutely blow your mind once again this time.

1. Black Lung – Strange Seed
2. Black Lung – Use This Stone
3. Black Lung – Inner City Blues
4. Nap – Djinn
5. Nap – Vorlaut
6. Nap – Teer

https://www.facebook.com/napband
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/blacklungbaltimore
https://blacklungbaltimore.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noisolution/
http://www.noisolution.de/shop/Vinyl/Black-Lung-vs-Nap-12-Vinyl-Strictly-limited-Weisses-180gr-Vinyl-mit-Download-Code::209.html

Nap, “Teer”

Black Lung, See the Enemy (2016)

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Nap Post “Ungeheuer” Video; German Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

nap

Next month, German progressive heavy psych trio Nap will head out for five-night run alongside Norway’s Orango as they herald the impending Noisolution release of their debut album, Villa (review here). That record — self-recorded, self-mixed, self-artworked and initially self-released — made for a strikingly cohesive first outing and signal of intent in melding heavy subgenres. A song like “Ungeheuer,” for which Nap just happen to have a new video, is as much defined by its rumble as by its spaciousness as by its boogie. The band seem to be figuring out how to toy with this blend as they go, but for a single five-minute cut, that’s a solid bit of breadth, especially when one takes it into account as a beginning point.

If you missed Nap on public television 20 years ago, don’t worry, they weren’t really there. They might’ve been like seven years old at the time, from the look of them. Either way, they’ve adopted a somewhat retro — and I only say “somewhat” because thinking of the late ’90s as “retro” makes me feel as old as I am — visual aesthetic for the “Ungeheuer” clip. Don’t worry, youngins. Someday all the social media-ing and selfies, endless war and political horrors of this day will too be remembered as a simpler time, granted authenticity through age and an abidingly human shortness of memory. We can chat about it in 2037 if the oceans haven’t risen to swallow us all.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Nap. While suddenly engaged in a frantic search for reasons to be hopeful about the future, one might consider their stylistic reach is still at a nascent point and will, hopefully — aha! — continue to flourish. Dig into “Ungeheuer” below and see where you think they might go over the longer term, then check out the tour dates that follow to see where they’re headed in the immediate.

Enjoy:

Nap, “Ungeheuer” official video

Happy New Year 1997 !!! This was filmed using the highest Video and best FX Technology available to this date…

Nap from Oldenburg bring their first, “Villa,” out in the spring and are to be heard with Orango (Norway / Stickman Records) in February on a first round trip in some clubs.

A fantastic brew of Psychedelic Rock, a pinch of Stoner, a good herb, and even the skinny Twang sounds do not frighten these three in their session-like arrangements.

Nap on tour:
07.02. – DE – Kiel – Schaubude
08.02. – DE – Hamburg – Astra Stube
09.02. – DE – Hannover – Chez Heinz
10.02. – DE – Dortmund – Subrosa
11.02. – DE – Münster – Rare Guitars
04.03. – DE – Lübeck – Treibsand

Nap on Thee Facebooks

Nap on Bandcamp

Noisolution website

Noisolution on Thee Facebooks

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Nap Sign to Noisolution; Villa Due in Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

nap

When German heavy psych genrebenders Nap self-released their self-recorded debut album, Villa (review here), earlier this summer, they did so with a justifiable note on their Bandcamp page that read simply ‘DIY all the way.’ Well, maybe a little less so now. The Oldenburg-based three-piece have hooked up with countryman imprint Noisolution (see also Black LungThe Flying EyesCoogans Bluff, etc.) in order to give Villa a release presumably on vinyl and/or CD this coming Spring, following a tour they’ll undertake in February to support the album’s first run and herald the coming second, which will also feature new artwork that you can see below.

I ran the announcement — not the headline; I’m comfortable assuming you know what “Willkommen” translates to in English even if you, like my own ignorant American ass, don’t speak German — through a translation matrix, so it might not be word-for-word spot on, but it’s enough to get the idea. The band’s bio is also included below for background, on the off-chance you missed Villa the first time out.

Goes like this:

nap villa

NAP – Willkommen!

And once again a debut album. And what kind of thing!

Nap from Oldenburg bring their first, “Villa,” out in the spring and are to be heard with Orango (Norway / Stickman Records) in February on a first round trip in some clubs.

A fantastic brew of Psychedelic Rock, a pinch of Stoner, a good herb, and even the skinny Twang sounds do not frighten these three in their session-like arrangements.

Soon there will be more information about the band, the album, the tour and perhaps also the story of how the demo found the way to our table.

Bio:
Nap plays as a classical 3-piece rock-formation, mostly instrumental with rather rare vocal parts. Psychedelic sounds, uptempo beats, grooving Doom and Stoner-riffage plus some Noise and Surf influences with strong tendencies reminiscing the sound of the Hippie-Era and the origin of Metal. A combined musical paradox, of highs and lows, all to end into an excessive nightmare.

https://www.facebook.com/napband/
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/
http://www.noisolution.de/
https://www.facebook.com/noisolution
https://www.instagram.com/noisolution/

Nap, Villa (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Blues Pills, Arctic, Major Kong, Hands I Annul Yours, Storm Ross, Sinister Haze, Love Gang, Nap, Manthrass, Astral Cult

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

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Today we hit the halfway mark on the Fall 2016 Quarterly Review. Always an occasion worthy of song — or, you know, another batch of 10 records — which happens to be precisely the plan. We pick up much where we left off yesterday in working across a broad spectrum of heavy, and though there are some major releases in here as seems to be the case increasingly, please make sure to note some of the deeper underground stuff as well, whether it’s Hands I Annul Yours or Astral Cult, as nothing here is included by mistake. Some of this I’m late on, some of it isn’t out yet, but all of it is pretty current, so if there’s something here you’ve missed, bigger name or smaller, I hope you get some use out of the lot of it. Here goes.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Blues Pills, Lady in Gold

blues-pills-lady-in-gold-700

Blues Pills – like their Nuclear Blast labelmates in Witchcraft, Graveyard and Kadavar before them – have modernized. Their second album behind what became a landmark self-titled debut (review here) in 2014, Lady in Gold arrives with a slick production casting off the vintage vibes while holding onto classic sensibility and rightfully continuing to feature the soulfulness of vocalist Elin Larsson, joined in the band by guitarist Dorian Sorriaux, bassist Zack Anderson (ex-Radio Moscow) and drummer André Kvarnström (ex-Truckfighters). Its 10 tracks/40 minutes are unmistakably pop in their construction, and deftly, complexly arranged, and play to an alternative vision of commercial accessibility in rock that I’m not sure exists anymore even in Europe. Or needs to for an album like Lady in Gold to be successful. As they weave into and out of gospel and R&B conventions, Blues Pills take a bold step away from what one might have expected coming off their debut and ultimately define themselves precisely through that boldness. Whether that works for them in the longer term will have to remain to be seen. For now, Lady in Gold can be jarring at first, but one would be hard pressed to come up with something else out there that sounds quite like it.

Blues Pills on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast website

 

Arctic, Arctic

arctic-arctic-700

Los Angeles three-piece Arctic make their entry into Southern California’s crowded sphere of heavy/psychedelic rock with their self-titled debut on Outer Battery Records. To call them skate rock seems fair enough, since guitarist Justin “Figgy” Figueroa (also Harsh Toke), bassist Don “The Nuge” Nguyen and drummer Frex are all professional skateboarders, but the core of Arctic’s five-track/half-hour-flat runtime is in mixing classic stoner impulses with heavy psych jamming. Most of the record is instrumental, including 8:51 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Over Smoked,” but vocals pop up to surprise on centerpiece “Burnt Ice” and return again in form drawled enough to justify their having called the nodding closer “High” as they do. At very least they make it believable. Between the dankness throughout, the guitar-led fuzz boogie of “Cryptic Black Sun,” the natural vibes, the Arik Roper cover art and the utter lack of pretense, Arctic summarize much of the appeal of the West Coast’s current heavy movement, and so, should have no trouble continuing to make their name as part of it.

Arctic on Thee Facebooks

Outer Battery Records

 

Major Kong, Brave New Kong

Robot

Three new tracks from Poland’s Major Kong is nothing to complain about. The Lublin trio have been not-at-all-quietly stomping out quality riffs for more than half a decade now, and with “Energy Whip,” “Escape from the Holodeck” and “Pollution Halo,” the instrumentalists are in and out of Brave New Kong in under 14 minutes, working quickly and efficiently with a crisp but still thick production that pulls away from some of the focus on crush from late last year’s Galactic Cannibalism EP (review here). That may well be the Brave New Kong to which the title refers, or it’s entirely possible they’re just having fun with their own moniker – subsequent offerings will tell the tale – but Major Kong continue to be a well-kept secret for Poland’s fertile heavy underground, and if nothing else, they sound like a group due for a third full-length album, which will hopefully arrive sooner than later.

Major Kong on Thee Facebooks

Major Kong BigCartel store

 

Hands I Annul Yours, Year of Death

hands-i-annul-yours-year-of-death-700

One could make the argument that given the swath of cultural icons passed away, 2016 is the Year of Death to which Hands I Annul Yours are alluding to in the title of their latest Major Destroyer Records three-song tape, but aside from the fact that they specify it was 2013, one seriously doubts they give a shit about famous people dying. Beginning with the drone and feedback noise of “Year of Death Part I,” the cassette moves into a 19-minute stomp and crush that’s as misanthropic as it is weighted, and much as there is one, the prevailing sentiment is less reflecting on loss than it is rolling out claustrophobic heft. Fair enough. Following the tape-only “Verloren,” “Year of Death Part II” boasts more sample manipulation and a discernible lead from the guitar, but finds its way toward abrasion as well, rounding out Year of Death with a dissolution into feedback that would seem to bring it full circle.

Hands I Annul Yours on Bandcamp

Major Destroyer Records website

 

Storm Ross, Welcome, Sunshine

storm-ross-welcome-sunshine-700

Fortunately, the fact that Storm Ross named the opening track of Welcome, Sunshine “We Need to be Fugazi Now, More than Ever” is only the start of the 37-minute/10-track LP’s experimentalist charms. The follow-up to the Michigan-based guitarist’s 2014 return full-length, The Green Realm (review here), this new collection finds Ross himself once again making his way through soundscapes manic and pastoral with like ease, and as one piece feeds into the next on “Please Don’t Kill My Family” and “Benzie County Farm Fire, 1973” or the synth-infused, tech-shredding “Atheon” fading into the penultimate post-rock drift of “The Smiler” later (think Dylan Carlson solo gone sentimental for the West, plus a late uptick of noise), the sense of Welcome, Sunshine as a whole work is even more palpable than was the last outing, even as Ross jumps from one style to another or incorporates keys, percussion, etc., following various whims toward a universally progressive payoff. Limited to 300 copies on yellow vinyl or on cassette through Already Dead Tapes and Records.

Storm Ross on Thee Facebooks

Storm Ross on Bandcamp

 

Sinister Haze, Laid Low in the Dust of Death

STB_SINISTER_Cover

Virginian doomers Sinister Haze follow-up their 2015 debut EP, Betrayed by Time (review here), with the raw and scummed up Laid Low in the Dust of Death LP on STB Records. Recorded by Chad Davis (Hour of 13), it’s their first outing to feature Naam’s Eli Pizzuto on drums, and they do trip out a bit on guitar, but if you’re thinking slow space rock here you’ve got the wrong picture. Guitarist/vocalist Brandon Marcey (ex-Cough) and bassist/vocalist Sam Marsh lead the charge – the low-end is particularly satisfying in its roll throughout – and fellow newcomer JK (Lost Tribe) adds to the mix as well, so the spirit of Laid Low in the Dust of Death is bare-bones and classic, but positively covered in its titular dust. And maybe one or two other kinds. Six tracks split easily onto two sides, Sinister Haze’s first full-length outing comes across as a reaction against cleanliness in doom – call it gutter doom – flowing in its 12-minute closer “A Buried Dream,” but still clearly from the gut.

Sinister Haze on Thee Facebooks

STB Records BigCartel store

 

Love Gang, Love Gang

love-gang-love-gang-700

The flute-laden heavy rock with which Denver’s Love Gang open their debut EP might stand among the best outcomes of Colorado’s marijuana legalization. A four-piece with a full sound only enhanced by the organ/woodwind work of Leo Muñoz, Love Gang self-release their first outing as four tracks that sap classic prog of its pretense and offer ‘70s heavy chemistry without leaning on vintage production. Guitarist/vocalist Kam Wentwork, bassist Grady O’Donnell and drummer Shaun Goodwin, together with Muñoz, get down to business on “Can’t Seem to Win” and the instrumental “Lonely Man,” go bluesy on “Highway” and boogie to a finish in “Sands of Time,” all the while sounding ready in their songcraft and execution for whatever label might come calling to stand behind their work. It’ll be somebody. Some bands take time to develop into their own sound, and some break the doors down out of the gate. Love Gang are the latter. Whenever they get around to a first full-length, I hope they remember to weird out a little bit.

Love Gang on Thee Facebooks

Love Gang on Bandcamp

 

Nap, Villa

nap-villa-700

Though five of the eight tracks on Nap’s debut, Villa, have words at one point or another, it’s probably still fair to note the psych-inflected German trio as a mostly-instrumental outfit. The lyrics, when they’re there, arrive in short verses, lines included it seems more to create the impression of a human presence rather than affirm a structure. They are vague in theme for the most part, but there, though there isn’t a song in the bunch that goes as far as a chorus. No complaints. Nap, as a project, feel much more given toward the spacious and atmospheric exploration one finds in the midsection of second cut “Sabacia” than the four or five lines in the driving riff subsequent. As the record plays out, they incorporate elements of surf – surprisingly more on “Duna” and closer “Autobahn” than “Xurf,” but it could also be a Yawning Man influence surfacing – resulting in an overarching progressive feel that serves their fluidity on this first album.

Nap on Thee Facebooks

Nap on Bandcamp

 

Manthrass, Blues del Destino

manthrass-blues-del-destino-700

Heavy rocking Buenos Aires three-piece Manthrass issued their debut, Blues del Destino, last year and were subsequently snagged for release through South American Sludge Records, no doubt for the record’s cohesive, hard-driving bluesy push, natural tones and easy-grooving feel. The shuffle of “Una Flor” is a highlight, but neither will you find me arguing with the Pappo’s Blues cover “El Brujo y el Tiempo,” with a burlier vocal and a rolling progression that seems to sum up a lot of where Manthrass are coming from to start with, though closer “Navegar” gets down with more raucous fare. A quality first full-length with a crisp production balanced by a fervent live feel in the energy from the trio of guitarist/vocalist Mariano Castiiglioni, bassist/vocalist Ángel Rizzo and drummer/backing vocalist Fede Martínez, who are clearly versed in modern heavy as well as the classics, and are able to control their own destiny here accordingly.

Manthrass on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge on Bandcamp

 

Astral Cult, The Sacred Flame

astral-cult-the-sacred-flame-700

Commencement comes on Astral Cult’s second album, The Sacred Flame, via the ritualized psychedelic incantations of “Prayer,” and from there, the Californian four-piece unfold a molten vision of heavy space rock that stands apart from a lot of what bands further sound in San Diego or even San Francisco are doing, vocalist Alexandre Lapuh, guitarist Ryan Musser, bassist Stefan Henskens and drummer Brazdon Goodwin (since replaced by Cristian Gonzalez) finding their footing in a lumbering and deceptively doomed “Quetzalcotl” after so much lysergic preaching on “Call of the Wild” and “Beacon of Darkness.” The range is surprising, but more so is the fluidity Astral Cult conjure between what are often disparate styles, the four-piece nearly hitting the 13-minute mark on the closing title-tack as they lay the two sides together, one into the next. It’s a rarer blend, but The Sacred Flame, at nearly an hour long, gears itself for maximum immersion.

Astral Cult on Thee Facebooks

Astral Cult on Bandcamp

 

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