Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

Olde on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

Deaf Radio on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

Saturndust on Thee Facebooks

Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sierra Launch Headlining Tour this Weekend at Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Following a performance this weekend at Maryland Doom Fest 2017, Canadian heavy rockers Sierra will hit the road alongside Witches of God on their first headlining North American tour. The run makes a quick redirect after the fest date, taking the two bands across the US to the West Coast and setting them to the task of working their way back east before finishing out in Canada at the start of August. It’s a significant stretch of road-time, but hey, if you’re going to go, make the trip worthwhile. The gigs are presented by Retro Futurist, which released Sierra‘s 2016 single-song EP, 72, and booked by Hi-Wattage and Tone Deaf Touring.

Poster art by David Paul Seymour and dates follow, as posted by the band:

sierra tour

We are thrilled to announce our first ever HEADLINING North American tour this summer! Can’t wait to get back on the road. Our blood brothers from Los Angeles, Witches Of God, will be joining us on their first tour.

Thank to David Paul Seymour for the rad poster

See you all on the road!

Fri 6/23 – Frederick, MD The †maryland DOOM† Fest (Sierra only)
Sat 6/24 – Frederick, MD The †maryland DOOM† Fest (Witches of God only)
Mon 6/26 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
Tue 6/27 – Wichita, KS – The Elbow Room
Wed 6/28 – Amarillo TX – Leftwoods
Thu 6/29 – Flagstaff, AZ – Green Room
Tue 7/4 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick
Wed 7/5 – Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge
Thu 7/6 – Los Angeles, CA – Airliner – Satanic Temple of LA (Witches of God only)
Fri 7/7 – Fresno, CA – Tioga Sequoia Brewing
Sat 7/8 – Yreka, CA – The Music Hall
Sun 7/9 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse
Tue 7/11 – Portland, OR – Kelly’s Olympian
Wed 7/12 – Boise, ID – Shredder
Thu 7/13 – CO Springs, CO – Black Sheep
Fri 7/14 – Denver, CO – Moon Room
Sat 7/15 – Kearney, NE – Gillies Live
Sun 7/16 – Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
Mon 7/17 – Kansas City, MO – Riot Room
Wed 7/19 – Detroit- Small’s
Thu 7/20 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Music Joint
Fri 7/21 – Huntington WV – V Club
Sat 7/22 – Philadelphia, PA – Fire
Sun 7/23 – Pittsburgh, PA – Howlers
Tue 7/25 – Brooklyn, NYC – Bar Matchless
Wed 7/26 – Somerville MA – PA’s Lounge
Sat 7/29 – Montreal QC Piranha
Fri 8/4 – Brantford, ON – Bramsterdam
Sat 8/5 – Waterloo, ON – Starlight

Help us spread the word and tag a friend who lives close to one of these cities.

There are a few more dates in the works. Stay tuned.

Sierra is:
Jason Taylor – Vocals, Guitars
Robbie Carvalho – Bass, Guitars, Piano

https://www.facebook.com/sierrariff/
https://sierrariff.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/retrofuturistrecords
https://retrofuturist.bandcamp.com/
http://retrofuturistrecords.com/

Sierra, “72”

Tags: , , , ,

Völur Announce Ancestors LP out June 2; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

volur

Toronto-based rune-doomers Völur are gearing up to release their second album, Ancestors, June 2 on Prophecy Productions. To herald its coming, the band has unveiled the 10-minute second track “Breaker of Skulls,” which as you can see below is one of the four included cuts, all of which features a “Breaker” of some kind or other.

Symmetry of presentation would seem to be something of a running theme for the band, which features Blood Ceremony‘s Lucas Gadke, as “Breaker of Skulls” and “Breaker of Oaths” — which also tops 10 minutes — are bookended by “Breaker of Silence” and “Breaker of Famine,” both of which are even longer at over 15 minutes. I haven’t had the chance to dig into the full record yet, but I’m guessing from what I’m hearing in “Breaker of Skulls” below that it’s doomed as hell, and yeah, I’ll take that.

Art, info and audio follow here, all courtesy of the PR wire:

volur ancestors

VÖLUR to Release New LP, ‘Ancestors’, June 2; Band Debuts New Song “Breaker of Skulls”

Toronto-based experimental doom trio VÖLUR will release its sophomore album, Ancestors, on June 2 via Prophecy Productions. Produced by the band and mixed by Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene), Ancestors is the follow-up to VÖLUR’s celebrated debut, Disir.

“‘Breaker of Skulls’ is a dark, sludgy slab of doom inspired by the ancient Icelandic warrior poet Egil Skallagrímsson, a man who fought terrible battles across the North Sea,” comments the band. “He was at once barbarous and poetic. A man who would commit a brutal act of violence and then recite a beautiful poem immediately after. The song was inspired by his epic poem, ‘The Loss of My Sons’. It moves from a combative, gnarly sludge riff to a bittersweet and almost beautiful conclusion, all the while filled with yearning chromatic movement. The piece finds the band at its most aggressive, and almost its most experiment with disjointed improvised passages paired against bleak heavy doom.”

Just as the band’s debut, Disir, dealt with themes surrounding female figures from mythology, Ancestors focuses on the heroine’s male counterparts and is the second part of a planned four album series spotlighting various elements of the old Germanic spiritual world. VÖLUR’s songs are long, quasi-narrative pieces that feature Laura C. Bates’ violin assuming the role traditionally executed by a guitar, allowing the bass playing of Lucas Gadke (also of Blood Ceremony) to take on unique responsibilities in both lead and melodic roles while drummer Jimmy Payment (Do Make Say Think) feeds the band’s bombastic, crushing oomph. Doom music (not necessarily metal) is about slow contemplation and the transfixing power of heaviness and VÖLUR’s weighty riffs, layers of feedback, dynamic, angular melodies and moments of beauty give heed to the band’s promise to always seek newer modes of musical expression and discovery.

Moving between high-tension heaviness and beautiful pastoral moods, VÖLUR aims to reflect the world of primordial nature inspired by ancient myths and chilling poems of death and heroism. Ancestors shares the stories and sagas of great men from the past that have been shrouded by the obscurity of time while simultaneously spotlighting one of North America’s most ambitious and striving young acts.

Track listing:
1.) Breaker of Silence
2.) Breaker of Skulls
3.) Breaker of Oaths
4.) Breaker of Famine

https://www.facebook.com/VolurDoom/
https://twitter.com/VolurDoom
https://www.instagram.com/volurdoom/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/voelur/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/

Völur, “Breaker of Skulls”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comet Control Post “Dig out Your Head” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

comet-control-Photo-by-Melissa-Boraski-and-Jennifer-Keith

Hell yes. That’s about the level of insight I’ve got when it comes to there being a new video from Toronto’s Comet Control. Suffice it to say, I’m on board with whatever the heavy psych rocking four-piece want to do to promote last year’s excellent Center of the Maze (review here), which was and remains a joyful and resounding wash of melody, fuzz and breadth. If that happens to be a tour where they come play my basement, well that would be awesome. If it’s a new video for album opener “Dig out Your Head,” that’s cool too. I won’t complain about that. I can always watch it in my basement, I guess, if I’m so committed to the locale.

Nothing personal, but if you can’t get behind this kind of stuff, I’m not sure I have much for you. The depths and reaches that Comet Control explore throughout Center of the Maze are not only gorgeous, but free. I’m not saying they don’t have a handle on their songcraft — they prove just the opposite across the record’s entire span, beginning with “Dig out Your Head” and ending with the 10-minute “Artificial Light,” which was my 2016 Song of the Year — just that in the process of guiding their material, they’re willing to go just about anywhere, and whether that becomes the bright-hued strum and march of “Silver Spade” or the trad-psych turns of “Golden Rule,” the results become a spectrum all their own, encompassing and welcoming in kind.

So yeah, new video? Great. Whatever y’all want to do. If it gives me another excuse to put on Center of the Maze again — as this post has — then I already consider it a win.

Credits follow the clip below. Please enjoy:

Comet Control, “Dig out Your Head” official video

Artist: Comet Control
Track: “Dig Out Your Head”
Album: Centre of the Maze (6/24)
Label: Tee Pee Records

Directed by Mashie Alam
Shot by Thomas Van Der Zaag
Edited by Jared MacIntyre
Art Curated by Kevin Vansteenkiste
Coloured by Sandy Rossignol

Comet Control on Thee Facebooks

Comet Control at Tee Pee Records

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sons of Otis: LP Preorders Available for Songs for Worship Reissue

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready for some new Sons of Otis. Summer 2017 will make it five full years since their sixth album, Seismic (review here and here), came out via Small Stone, which by any measure is far too long to go without the Toronto trio’s megarolling, tone-crushing psychedelic stoner drift. Concrete Lo-Fi Records has stepped up to provide some means of relief for this by means of an LP revisit of their 2001 third offering, Songs for Worship, that’s available to preorder now ahead of a May release. At this point, I’m inclined to take what I can get.

Songs for Worship — the original version of which you can hear below because, unlike 1999’s Templeball, it’s on YouTube in its entirety; something I mention because I feel like I’ve had my eye out for months for somebody to upload that earlier record so I can close out a week with it — had the circumstantial misfortune of being released on Sept. 11, 2001. Not that they or their label, which was The Music Cartel, knew it at the time, but if you had to pick the worst release date of this century so far, that’s probably it. That bit of trivia aside, the album is easily worth the reissue, so pending any generation-defining terrorist attacks on May 1, keep an eye out.

For those not looking to take their chances, Concrete Lo-Fi have preorders available now. Info follows:

sons-of-otis-songs-for-worship

Sons Of Otis – Songs For Worship – Concrete Lo-Fi

SONS OF OTIS are pioneers of the lethargic heavy blues that fell from space in the early 90s. Along with Sleep in the US and Electric Wizard in the UK, Sons of Otis laid the foundation for a new stoned doom sound.

We are proud to present the Sons of Otis 2001 classic, Songs For Worship, on vinyl for the first time. Remastered with care by Golden Mastering and sequenced for vinyl by the artist.

Expected release May 1st. All editions include download card.

Sons of Otis is:
Ken Baluke – Guitars, Vocals
Frank Sargeant – Bass
Ryan Aubin – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofotis/
https://www.reverbnation.com/sonsofotis
http://clfrecords.com/
http://facebook.com/clfrecords

Sons of Otis, Songs for Worship (2001)

Tags: , , , , ,

Biblical to Release The City that Always Sleeps on Tee Pee Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

There ain’t much as reliable in this unreliable-ass universe as Tee Pee Records knowing their shit when it comes to picking up heavy psych bands. The long-running New York-based imprint has announced intentions toward releasing the second full-length from Toronto outfit Biblical, and a September release date has been set for The City that Always Sleeps, which follows behind 2014’s first full-length, Monsoon Season, as well as their prior 2011 self-titled EP (review here).

Goes without saying that’s a ways off, so there’s no audio yet or anything like that, but keep an ear out. It’s been a while since I saw their name kicking around, but it would seem Biblical were biding their time and they’re ready to roll out over the course of this summer and into the autumn leading up to the release. You’ll note as well the Comet Control connection. Never hurts.

Good stuff:

biblical-Photo-by-Nic-Poullot

BIBLICAL Signs with Tee Pee Records

Toronto Dark Psych Gang to Release New LP This September

Toronto heavy rock band BIBLICAL has signed with NYC independent label Tee Pee Records. The group will release its sophomore LP, The City That Always Sleeps, advanced as “a deep dive into sludgy psych rock that explores spaces, textures and tones beyond the outer limits”, this September.

“We’ve been fans of Tee Pee for ages,” says bassist / vocalist Nick Sewell. “The label has put out so many awesome records, it really is the perfect fit and we can’t wait to share our new LP. It’s got all things that you want in a BIBLICAL record: ‘Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.'”

Formed in 2010, BIBLICAL is a hard rock band with psych undertones that creates catchy, heavy songs that unfold rather surprisingly. In addition to Sewell, the quartet features in its ranks guitar / synth player Andrew Scott (both Scott and Sewell played with Death From Above drummer Sebastien Grainger in his Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains project), lead guitarist Matt Mclaren and drummer Jay Anderson (also of COMET CONTROL). Motivation for the band’s name is rooted in the “Ghostbusters” quote from Peter Venkman: “This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions!”

Before and since the 2014 release of its full-length debut, Monsoon Season, BIBLICAL has toured and / or rocked stages alongside DFA1979, Eagles of Death Metal, Fucked Up, Kyuss Lives! and Red Fang among many more.

https://www.facebook.com/BIBLICALBAND/
https://twitter.com/BIBLICALBAND
https://biblical.bandcamp.com/album/biblical
http://www.biblicalband.com/
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Biblical, “Monsoon Season” live in Ontario

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: Godstopper & Grizzlor, Split 7″

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

godstopper grizzlor split

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Down Here for Long’ by Godstopper from the Godstopper & Grizzlor split single, out Feb. 17 on Corpse Flower Records.]

Who doesn’t like a quick shot of weirdo noise? From the alliteration of their two names to the madcap, wackydoodle stylizations they deliver on one side, then the other, there isn’t really a level on which the Godstopper and Grizzlor split 7″ from Corpse Flower Records doesn’t live up to its promise. Because basically it promises weirdo noise. Each act — in this corner, Godstopper on side A, from Toronto, Ontario; and in this corner, Grizzlor on side B, from New Haven, Connecticut — has some measure of extreme underpinning, though what they most share in common is a refusal to limit themselves to that. To wit, Grizzlor‘s last 7″, Cycloptic (review here), was rife with grinding elements.

This time? It’s the punker push of “Jack and Diane.” It’s been a while since I’ve heard from Godstopper, who released their debut album, What Matters (discussed here), in 2012 to follow their Empty Crawlspace tape (streamed here) and answered it with Lie Down in 2015, but the line they cross between aggressive noise and alternate-universe pop quirk remains decidedly their own on their two inclusions here: “Down Here for Long” and “Cellophane.” Met with the stomp of Grizzlor‘s “Are You Doing Your Job” and the aforementioned “Jack and Diane,” the split totals just about 12 minutes in length but uses that time masterfully to engage a strange and cerebral vibe. I don’t know if it was the label who got them together or some action on the part of the bands themselves, but they are exceedingly well paired, and it lends the release a genuine sense of curation.

Because of that, and because it arrives as part of an ongoing series from Corpse Flower, one tends to think it was the party responsible for setting the whole thing up, but again, Godstopper and Grizzlor make good neighbors for each other. Both are as much art-gallery as they are barroom-corner, and though it’s short, the split between them benefits from a variety of sound that works on a per-track basis, not merely one divided up by two groups each doing their own thing. For Godstopper — the lineup of guitarists Mike Simpson (also vocals) and Derek del Vecchio, bassist Miranda Armstrong and drummer Adam McGillivray — they open with the two-and-a-half-minute crunch of “Down Here for Long,” which takes on a ’90s-style dissonant push and thud but is neither lacking for the modern in its tonality nor void of melody.

godstopper grizzlor split

Its hook is arguably the most straightforward of the release — “Jack and Diane” is not, as it turns out, a John Mellencamp cover — and it’s met with a blend of intense thrust and roll that, in the context of how quick the track moves through, is doubly impressive for its efficiency. Their “Cellophane,” then, of course plays off a line of toy-piano-sounding guitar (I think) anchored by Armstrong‘s bassline, bizarre pop backing vocals, and Simpson‘s almost taunting croon. One could call the whole thing post-Mike Patton, but that’s hardly a descriptive measure, and Godstopper don’t seem to have any of the the snide condescension to their experimentation that defines that part of the Ipecac oeuvre. That said, they’d probably be a boon to the label precisely for that reason.

The bass hits hard enough in a start-stop progression and the drums march along correspondingly in “Are You Doing Your Job” to make me think Grizzlor are playing off Brown Album-era Primus, though I wouldn’t actually hazard a guess at their influences one way or another. Working as the two-piece of Victor Dowgiallo (guitar/vocals/engineering) and John Mohr (drums) while crediting Beef McMeat with bass — whom the Mark Rudolph artwork for the release liner has a charming drawing of the band with a cow between them to represent — Grizzlor are for sure the more abrasive of the two acts, and they give “Jack and Diane” a suitable roughing-up, turning the Americana pop of the original into a sneering punker thrust that devolves into noisy thrust, laughter and guitar-driven cacophony before deftly turning back to a last, tense verse and cutting short there with a quick build and hard stop, leaving only needle-skipping noise afterwards with some creepy drone and crackling in the background.

Just in case the actual material wasn’t already weird enough, the tack-on at the end drives the point home without question, and in that works well to underscore the idea of just how easily a band can go where they want when they want after setting their own rules. Really. Both Godstopper and Grizzlor make it plain on this split that they’re going to do whatever the hell they want at any given moment, and yet the entirety of the offering lacks nothing for flow, and with two differing approaches, comes across as cohesive as side A moves into side B. It probably shouldn’t make sense, but it does — almost in spite of itself — and while I’m not sure either band would take that as a compliment to their work, that’s certainly how it was intended.

Godstopper on Thee Facebooks

Godstopper on Bandcamp

Grizzlor on Thee Facebooks

Grizzlor on Bandcamp

Corpse Flower Records webstore

Corpse Flower Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Godstopper & Grizzlor Split 7″ Due Feb. 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Given the propensity both these bands have shown for being absolutely off their nut, I’d imagine there’s a good chance their upcoming split is going to be noisy as all hell. The streaming track from Grizzlor — a stomper called “Are You Doing Your Job?” — bears that out, and it’ been a while since I heard anything from Godstopper, but the last time I did I seem to recall it being extraordinarily creepy. Seems like one to look forward to bringing them together, even just for a 7″.

Release date is Feb. 17 on Corpse Flower Records, which has preorders up now. Because it’s damn near February. Where did the last month go? How about the last five years?

From the PR wire:

godstopper grizzlor split

GODSTOPPER And GRIZZLOR: Corpse Flower Records To Issue Limited Edition Split Seven-Inch Next Month; New Track Streaming

Next month, Corpse Flower Records will release part two of a four-part split seven-inch series with GODSTOPPER and GRIZZLOR.

GODSTOPPER is a heavy, sometimes sludgy, sometimes noisy band from Toronto. Forged in 2010, the band’s catalogue features many twists on aggressive music, where supreme heaviness often mixes freely with outright poppy melodies and song structures, alt-rock inspired guitar work, and mood swings varying from the ugly and misanthropic to the pretty and the triumphant. The band’s uniqueness has earned them many accolades from both media and fellow bands, who praise their unusual take on music. Fans of Melvins, Failure, YOB, Torche, and Big Business, pay heed.

Formed in 2014, GRIZZLOR is an American noise rock trio from New Haven, Connecticut, known for their fuzzed out, angular riffs, and abrasive vocals. Early in 2014, the band self-released their debut EP, We’re All Just Aliens, it having been equated to the “chaotic and sloppy nastiness” that is reminiscent of early AmRep bands such as Cows and Halo Of Flies. The record earned critical accolades both Stateside and abroad. Later that year, their second EP and first on seven-inch vinyl, When You Die, was issued. Following another seven-inch and various live shows, the band released its third EP, Cycloptic, which marked a faster, riff heavier writing style, where most songs hover on either side of ninety seconds apiece, released with the Syracuse, New York hardcore/punk label, Hex Records.

On February 17th, Corpse Flower will unleash two brand new tracks from each band limited to 300 copies on yellow vinyl with a digital download. The record comes sheathed in the artwork of Mark Rudolph (Carcass, Coalesce, Battlecross) and is currently available for preorder at THIS LOCATION.

GODSTOPPER’s tracks were captured by Collin Young at B Town Sound in Burlington, Ontario and mastered by Greg Dawson at BWC Studios in Bramton, Ontario while GRIZZLOR’s were recorded and mixed by Victor Dowgiallo at Hermit Cave Studios, Connecticut and mastered by Stu McKillop at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, Britich Columbia.

GODSTOPPER/GRIZZLOR Track Listing:

GODSTOPPER:
1. Down Here For Long
2. Cellophane
GRIZZLOR
1. Are You Doing Your Job?
2. Jack And Diane

GODSTOPPER:
Mike Simpson – guitar, vocals
Derek Del Vecchio – guitar
Miranda Armstrong – bass
Adam McGillivray – drums

GRIZZLOR:
Victor Dowgiallo – guitar/vocals
Beef McMeat – bass
John Mohr – drums

http://www.corpseflowerrecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/corpseflowerrecords
http://www.corpseflowerrecords.storenvy.com
http://www.facebook.com/godstopperband
http://www.facebook.com/pg/grizzlordestroys
http://www.grizzlordestroys.com

Tags: , , , , , , ,