Jesus Tapdancing Christ. Uncle Acid and Graveyard are Touring Together.

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (Photo by Ester Segarra)
graveyard

God damn. I mean, come on. Really? Isn’t there some kind of quota for awesome that this violates? When is it too much for one show?

March 2019. Uncle Acid and Graveyard. North American tour. Co-headline. Come on. I can’t even write the words. You gotta be kidding me.

I don’t know who the fuck sat down and was, okay America, you get Uncle Acid and Graveyard on the road together now. Have fun with that. Like the UN of Doom decided to do us a favor or something. God damn.

Blah blah blah Uncle Acid supporting Wasteland (review here), blah blah blah Graveyard supporting Peace (review here). Are you still reading this? Just go look at the fucking dates and get your ticket already. Think these shows won’t sell out? Come on.

From the PR wire:

uncle acid graveyard tour

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS and GRAVEYARD Announce “Peace Across the Wasteland” Co-Headlining North American Tour

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS and GRAVEYARD are teaming up next March for the “Peace Across the Wasteland” co-headlining North American Tour. The tour kicks off March 6th in Philadelphia, PA and runs through March 30th in Toronto, ON. Twin Temple will provide support through the March 16th date in San Francisco, CA. On March 18th, Demob Happy will join the tour for the rest of the run. A complete list of dates can be found below. Pre-sales start this Wednesday October 24th and the official public on-sale is this Friday October 26th

Revered Swedish heavy rock band Graveyard is touring in support of their critically heralded 5th album, “Peace”, which is available now from Nuclear Blast. The band’s latest chapter in a celebrated catalog, guides the listener through an ever-changing musical landscape filled with their trademark take on classic rock. From the opening track’s blistering declaration that ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’ to the final note of heart beating bass on the epic and moody rocker ‘Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)’ the band manages to squeeze out every last creative drop of what there is to know, hear and love about the band.

“It’s time to let Peace roll out across the Wasteland. Graveyard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats will co headline a tour of North America in march 2019. This will be the first time the bands tour together and were both bringing tons of new music. This one is going to leave no mind unblown,” says Graveyard of the upcoming run.

The brainchild of singer and guitarist Kevin Starrs, Uncle Acid &The Deadbeats have been making extraordinary music since 2009. After the succesful reissue of “Vol 1” in 2017, they have now returned in support of their widely acclaimed fifth album, “Wasteland” The record is 47 minutes of vital, audacious and frequently bewildering heavy psychedelia, and is instantly recognizable as Starrs’ most immersive and evocative body of work yet.

“We’re looking forward to travelling across the wasteland and destroying minds with Graveyard in 2019. This will be our first North American tour in three years so it feels long overdue. See you down the front!” says Uncle Acid frontman Kevin Starrs.

“Peace Across The Wasteland Tour”
3/6: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
3/7: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live!*
3/8: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel*
3/9: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade*
3/11: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall*
3/12: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!*
3/14: Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren*
3/15: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern*
3/16: San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield*
3/18: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox#
3/19: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom#
3/20: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater#
3/22: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall#
3/23: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre#
3/25: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue#
3/26: Chicago, IL @ Metro#
3/28: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel#
3/29: Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre#
3/30: Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall#

*Twin Temple Supports
#Demob Happy Supports

https://www.uncleacidband.com
https://www.facebook.com/uncleacid/

www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial
https://twitter.com/graveyard
https://www.instagram.com/graveyardmusic

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Shockwave City” official video

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

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Friday Full-Length: Burning Saviours, Burning Saviours

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Burning Saviours, Burning Saviours (2005)

It wouldn’t be right to call the band or the album lost, since they’re still active and it’s not like the record is inaccessible or anything — it’s streaming right there, two lines up — but I do think Burning Saviours are relatively under-appreciated when it comes to the sphere of Swedish heavy, and specifically the retroism that was born in the town of Örebro. They’re of the same vintage-minded scene that birthed the likes of Witchcraft and Graveyard, and while unlike those two monolithic exports, Burning Saviours don’t have a tie to the actually-lost group Norrsken — from whence, according to the narrative, the whole scene more or less sprang — they did share an allegiance to early Pentagram with Witchcraft and a decidedly ’70s tonality with both of their contemporaries. Formed in 2003, they issued their self-titled debut via the tastemaking imprint I Hate Records, and though Witchcraft‘s debut had arrived a year earlier and set the tone for the retro boom that would take place over the course of the next decade, Burning Saviours still had a pivotal role to play in establishing that sound and educating the general listenership.

I’ve said as much before, but I’m not sure if this scene or subgenre happens without the widespread release of Pentagram‘s First Daze Here via Relapse in 2001. True, Norrsken had a ’70s vibe a couple years earlier in ’99, but First Daze Here would become such an aesthetic blueprint, and one can hear its impact on Burning Saviours tracks like “Thoughtless Fools,” “Seeing is Believing,” the earlier “Pytho,” or closer “What’s the Point?,” a heavy rock swing brought to back the steadily lumbering doom riffs. At the time, Burning Saviours were comprised of guitarist/vocalist Andrei Amartinesei, guitarist Mikael Marjanen, bassist Fredrik Evertsson and drummer Martin Wijkström, and the doom they wrought was the key defining factor separating them from the other early post-turn-of-the-century Swedish retroists. Graveyard wouldn’t make their debut until later. Likewise, Witchcraft almost immediately adopted a more progressive stance coming off of their first record. Burning Saviours, meanwhile, certainly dug into some classic progressive rock, as Erica Enback‘s flute work demonstrates on “Spread Your Wings” and “Trees & Stone,” but the thicker-toned roll of “Shadow” is prescient of the direction which the band would head in terms not only of sticking to the very roots of proto-metal, but driving specifically to maintain an allegiance to classic doom.

And that’s pretty much the story here. “Shadow” picks up its pace in the second half, “Thoughtless Fools” offers particularly classy lead work, “Trees & Stone” bounces a rhythm as natural as its title, and “What’s the Point?” finishes with a suitable apex. Sometimes with these posts it’s tempting to regard albums as unheralded classics or something like that. Burning Saviours‘ Burning Saviours is an aesthetically cohesive debut that put the band in position as early adopters of a vintage style of doom before it became the still-evolving subgenre it is today. And where other acts who were putting together their first releases and tours at the time would reach a more mass audience, Burning Saviours stuck to doom on their subsequent 2006 sophomore outing, Hundus, and on through their 2007 third album, Nymphs & Weavers, which would end their initial run and lead to a couple years’ hiatus. One might consider that an influence culled from Finland’s Reverend Bizarre, who would claim Europe’s doom revivalist crown despite a more modern production feel, but whatever the case, it kept Burning Saviours in more of a niche, preaching to the converted in a church of warm tones, brooding atmospheres and laid back nod.

Steady lineup changes pre- and post-hiatus revamped the band almost entirely over time. When they came back, Burning Saviours issued a series of singles called Förbannelsen that were eventually collected on 2014’s Boken om förbannelsen. They’ve been reasonably productive since, releasing two full-lengths in 2015’s Unholy Tales from the North and the simply-titled Death, which came out this past March via Transubstans. At this point, Marjanen is the sole remaining founder in the now-five-piece incarnation of the band, and having cast off the ’70s vision of their earlier work, Burning Saviours have embraced a rawer, darker vision of doom, still very much in line with the genre’s traditions but unquestionably more modern in its presentation. They remain thoroughly, unquestionably, doomed.

Hard for me to pick a favorite between this debut and Hundus, which was a little more sure of itself, maybe, and had more rock at its foundation. Either way, in light of the development of heavy ’70s style doom and boogie as a style all its own, it seems like Burning Saviours‘ earliest output is worth another look for both its quality and the fact that the band were so much on the ground floor of the wave that would soon enough become a tsunami the ripples of which are still feeling felt today.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Woke up this morning at 12:45. On the dot. I was just getting up to go to the bathroom, because I’m an old man and old men get up to go to the bathroom in the “middle of the night” when others are just getting home from whatever they did with their evening — I watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and ate slow-cooker chicken with The Patient Mrs.; zero regrets — and I noticed the dog wasn’t in her bed. Uh oh.

I knew immediately what it meant, and it meant I wasn’t getting back to sleep anytime soon. Sure enough, I came downstairs to find her in the basement, having just taken a huge and mostly liquid shit. The Little Dog Dio doesn’t go in the house unless she’s sick, and if she’s sick, she has her spots. Corners. Someplace out of the way. It’s a shar pei thing — they’re very neat and orderly dogs. So when she can’t get outside, she goes in the basement. Last time it was on the carpet down there. This time, the painted particlebaord floor. Much easier cleanup, but still worried-I’d-run-out-of-paper-towels significant. By the time I was finished wiping down the floor and giving the dog a Pepto Bismol, it was well after 1AM, and yeah, no way I’m going to sleep after that.

Instead, I fired up The Patient Mrs.’ laptop and started this post. I shudder to think of the typos in the section above, especially as I got sleepier and sleepier as the post continued and 1AM became 2AM and so on. By three, I was back upstairs asleep, and by four up again. No dogshit this time, just awake. There was about a cup’s worth of coffee left in the pot and some iced tea, so there you go. It’s 20 to six at the moment and I’m making my way through the Burning Saviours album again for the hell of it.

At some point, The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan will come downstairs and the day will start in earnest. I’ll change his diaper while she gets ready for the day, brushes teeth, finds not-pajamas to put on, etc., then maybe breakfast and on from there. Yesterday during that process I ordered a new laptop, which I hope will be here next week. I’m very excited for that and also for buying a new camera. Think I’m going to upgrade there. I’ve had my eye on one on Craigslist that hopefully is still there when the transfer of funds goes through sometime this coming week. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the story is here.

I was going to put up a list of some of the things I lost on that laptop — writings, interviews, the playlist for when my son was born, and so on — but I think it’d just make me sad, so I’ll refrain. Especially when the response was so heartening there’s no need for that kind of thing.

That UK trip was an interesting time. Ups and downs, but definitely more of the former. Seeing Colour Haze on the last night in town, especially with The Patient Mrs., even though she was stressing out the whole time about leaving the baby with a stranger. I was like, “She’s from Cherry Hill, New Jersey! We’re practically paisan!” I’ve never been much for comforting the worried.

Still, well worth it for a glorious two-hour Colour Haze set that, again, was too short. And I was glad to see Elephant Tree earlier in the week as well, even though The Black Heart later on wouldn’t let the baby in the bar downstairs. Who doesn’t love a baby at the bar? That’s the stuff of life, man.

We’re back home now in buggy summertime Massachusetts, where I think pretty much we’re staying for today before packing up and heading south to CT for the long weekend. There’s stuff to take care of here, but then it’s back to CT, on to NJ, back up here again and back south, hopefully this time for a longer stay in NJ starting the second week of June. I mean like serious relocation, kind of testing the waters for what it would be like to move back to our ancestral homeland, my beloved Garden State. There’s a lot that needs to happen between point A and point B on that one, but I plan on having a few good family dinners over the summer, and that alone is worth looking forward to. I miss the shit out of my family.

But that’s getting ahead of myself and as we push toward 6AM, I can hear the baby crying upstairs, so I’m going to go check in on that and maybe give The Patient Mrs. a spell where she can go back to sleep unhindered by The Pecan. He’s seven months old today, has cut two teeth and is crawling up on his hands and knees as of this morning. Couldn’t do that yesterday. Can do it today.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thanks for reading. If you’re doing anything for Memorial Day, please be safe and don’t cop a DUI or anything. No casualties.

I’ll be posting on Monday, because that’s how I do, so if you get a second and want to check in, I’ll be here, as usual. Until then, please dig on the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Graveyard, Peace: And the Price of It

Posted in Reviews on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard peace

It has been a tumultuous few years for Swedish boogie kings Graveyard. In Sept. 2016, the four-piece announced their breakup. It followed the release of 2015’s fourth album, Innocence and Decadence (review here), which was more defined by its plays toward melancholy soul than anything the four-piece had done previously, and with an effective-immediately disbanding and string of cancelled tour dates, it sent shockwaves through the heavy underground in Europe and beyond, as Graveyard‘s influence had by that point already spread across borders to nearly a whole generation of retro and/or boogie-minded bands. It was a genuine surprise, and not the last.

A few months later, in Jan. 2017, they pulled the rug out from their own breakup by getting back together, and for another shocker, announced that guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson, guitarist Jonathan Ramm and still relatively recently returned bassist Truls Mörck had parted ways with drummer Axel Sjöberg (now of Big Kizz), and replaced him with Oskar Bergenheim, who makes his first appearance on the band’s fifth long-player, Peace (on Nuclear Blast). It was no minor change. This wasn’t just a band swapping out one expendable drummer or another. Anyone who ever saw Graveyard live could tell you Sjöberg was a major part of their sound and stage presence both, and as a founder of the band, he’d been there over the years as the inimitable chemistry developed between them. Whatever Peace — its title perhaps aspirational given all the madness of the few years prior — would have to offer, it was going to be a new Graveyard standing behind its delivery. And so it is.

Or at very least it’s one that sounds refreshed in their purpose and like they’re shaking off the rust they never quite let gather on them considering the touring they did to make up for lost time after Bergenheim joined. No doubt that helped them reestablish the dynamic that’s so prevalent instrumentally throughout the 10 tracks/43 minutes of Peace, which as ever is driven by Nilsson‘s gravely and sometimes bluesy vocals — especially well done on organ-laced closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” — and as the record begins with the full-on thrust of “It Ain’t Over Yet,” the message comes through clear and the band’s energy proves infectious. Part of a spectrum-spanning opening salvo with the more midpaced “Cold Love” and the subdued, Mörck-fronted “See the Day” behind it, “It Ain’t Over Yet” is just the first of several all-out rushes that one wouldn’t have expected from Graveyard three years ago.

The hooks and the songcraft are still there, and when “Please Don’t” kicks in after the quiet end of “See the Day,” it’s Bergenheim driving the movement that Nilsson tops with a bluesy ballad of coming to the city and trying to survive. In its swing and vibrancy, “Please Don’t” is essential Graveyard, and it builds toward an exciting finish with keys backing the guitars of Ramm and Nilsson as it races to its finish and the swirling, semi-garage start of “The Fox,” the shortest inclusion on Peace  at a brisk 2:45 and a carrying a sans-frills hook that likely finishes side A  and leads to the longer “Walk On” at the start of the tracklist’s second half, which is longer and shifts from one of the album’s most memorable choruses into a wide open section of echoes that set the bed for a build into the last run through the hook and a finish that finds the instruments cutting out as Nilsson recites, “It’s time to walk on” one more time, far, far off the mic.

graveyard

“Walk On” would stand as a video-worthy single, and but one might say the same of the quieter “Del Manic,” which follows. Catchy and memorable for its repetitions of the line “It’s just like staring at the sun” and its might-just-be-a-waltz rhythm, it shifts past its midpoint into a momentary swell of lower end tone, but recedes back to Nilsson‘s croon before trading back again before the next hook, “Don’t you need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?/Don’t need a little more to feel it?/Don’t you feel a little like you need it?” sets up a swirl-backed solo and a final drop back to bluesy guitar that fades into the more uptempo start of “Bird of Paradise,” which brings Mörck back to the frontman position, his voice vaguely recalling Thin Lizzy if in rawer fashion. His presence alongside Nilsson on vocals is more than just a change-things-up tactic — he genuinely brings something different to the material he tops, and it gives Graveyard even more breadth to their sound.

That shows itself as “Bird of Paradise” gives way to the semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” which may or may not ultimately be based thematically on everything the band’s been through to get to this album release, but has a feeling of culmination to it anyway and moves fluidly through a kind of build before closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” takes hold quietly at first but ultimately with the unfurling of a blues-locomotive rhythm that turns near the midpoint to dual-guitar stomp backed by Bergenheim‘s kick. That quickly sets the foundation for an increasingly chaotic-sounding crescendo which recedes past the four-minute mark — the keys remaining prevalent alongside softly noodled and strummed guitar — and just when near-silence hits at about 4:50, they kick back in and give “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” a full revival for Peace‘s final apex, ending by cutting off cold and giving way to a kind of manipulated and echoing moan that also is shortly to disappear.

Peace will likely not be hailed as one of Graveyard‘s most innovative releases. The days of their landmark 2007 self-titled debut, 2011’s Hisingen Blues (review here) and 2012’s Lights Out (review here) are gone and despite having a signature sound, the band show little interest in repeating themselves from record to record, instead offering something different each time out within the sphere of their aesthetic and songwriting. But while it’s not revolutionary, the album should still be welcomed by fans, both for the fact that it marks Graveyard‘s return — something that, if only for months, didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon — and for the reassurance it provides that despite the high highs and the low lows they’ve had since Innocence and Decadence, they remain strong, certain of who they are, and masters of the form of heavy boogie and blues rock. They’re as essential on Peace as they’ve been all along, and reestablishing that place seems to have been part of the idea anyhow.

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

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Graveyard Post “The Fox” Video; Euro & UK Tour Dates Confirmed

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

The new Graveyard record has a couple barnburners on it, from the opener “It Ain’t Over Yet” to the penultimate semi-title-track “A Sign of Peace,” but as has been the case with their last several full-lengths, there’s more to the Swedish heavy rockers’ sound than just one approach. To wit, each half of the 10-song/43-minute LP gets a slower, moodier track, be it “See the Day” on side A or “Del Manic” on side B. Assuming the vinyl splits the tracklisting in half, that makes “The Fox” the finale on side A, and it draws a little bit from both sides. Where Graveyard‘s last video from Peace for “Please Don’t” (posted here), was a little more psychotic in its feel and a little more manic in the song itself, “The Fox” seems to be drawing from multiple sides.

I’m going to have an album review sometime in the coming weeks full of wax critique about what makes Graveyard such a special band and the serious risk they took in continuing on with new drummer Oskar Bergenheim after an initial hiatus, so I’ll save a lot of that kind of commentary for that, but for those looking forward to the arrival of Peace through Nuclear Blast on May 25, there’s much answered in this second video that the first one left to wonder about where the band was headed in terms of overall direction. The answer? They’re headed toward sounding like Graveyard Go figure.

Once again, the album is out May 25 on Nuclear Blast and Graveyard have newly confirmed tour dates in the UK and Europe for the Fall. All that whatnot follows via the PR wire. Dig it:

Graveyard, “The Fox” official video

Swedish classic rock connoisseurs GRAVEYARD are about to release their highly anticipated comeback album Peace, on May 25th through Nuclear Blast.

Today, the band releases another brand new song off their forthcoming record. Watch the music video for “The Fox” here.

Furthermore the band has announced the dates for their upcoming European and UK tours. See below.

Pre-order Peace in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeace
Pre-order the album digitally to receive “Please Don’t” instantly!
Pre-save the album now via Spotify: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeacePresave

Listen to “Please Don’t” in the NB Novelties Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/nuclearblastrecords/playlist/6aw9wiedFzzhJiI96DhNhw

The Nuclear Blast Mailorder Edition will feature the CD as well as a red 7″ vinyl single containing 2 exclusive and previously unreleased non-album tracks (‘Headache City’ & ‘Something Else’). Aside of that, the album will be available as digipak CD as well as on black, blue, yellow, beige, white and clear vinyl.

Peace – Track Listing:
01. It Ain’t Over Yet
02. Cold Love
03. See The Day
04. Please Don’t
05. Del Maniac
06. The Fox
07. Walk On
08. Bird Of Paradise
09. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)

GRAVEYARD live:
08.06. S Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock
15./16.06. S Norrköping – Metallsvenskan
17.06. F Brétigny-Sur-Orge – Download Festival
21. – 23.06. DK Copenhagen – Copenhell
14.07. NL Weert – Bospop
21.07. S Stockholm – Ullevi (w/ GUNS N’ ROSES)
28.07. S Öland – Borgholm Brinner
08. – 11.08. D Eschwege – Open Flair Festival
08. – 11.08. CZ Jarom?? – Brutal Assault
15.08. D Dinkelsbühl – Summer Breeze

Peace over Europe 2018
+ BOMBUS
20 sept Columbia Club / Berlin (D)
22 sept Täubchenthal / Leipzig (D)
23 sept Futurum / Prague (CZ)
25 sept Arena Wien / Wien (AT)
26 sept A38 / Budapest (HUN)
28 sept Zona Roveri / Bologna (IT)
29 sept Bloom / Mezzago (IT)
2 oct Technikum / München (D)
3 oct Zoom / Frankfurt (D)
4 oct Garage Kleiner Klubb / Saarbrücken (D)
5 oct Im Wizemann / Stuttgart (D)
6 oct Den Atelier / Luxembourg (LU)
10 oct Ancienne Belgique / Brussels (BE)
11 oct De Oosterpoort / Groningen (NL)
12 oct Melkweg Max / Amsterdam (NL)
13 oct Luxor / Cologne (D)

PEACE over UK 2018
(support TBA)
30 nov Leadmill / Sheffield
1 dec The Key Club / Leeds
2 dec Rescue Rooms / Nottingham
3 dec G2 / Glasgow
5 dec Scala / London
6 dec Manchester Academy / Manchester
7 dec Birmingham 02 Academy 2 / Birmingham
8 Dec The Thekla / Bristol

Line-up:
Joakim Nilsson | vocals, guitars
Truls Mörck | bass
Oskar Bergenheim | drums
Jonatan Ramm | guitars

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

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Big Kizz Premiere Video for “Long Distance Call”; Music is Magic out May 18

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

big kizz

A lot of Big Kizz‘s Tee Pee Records debut LP, Music is Magic, is kind of a party. From the goofy recitations of the album’s name that serve as the 19-second intro/title-track to the hooked-laced surf-garage vibes of “I Want My Girl,” to the post-punk fuzz r-a-w-ness of “Lose My Love” and the ultra-Stooges incantations of “Gave up Tears Ago” and “High” (the latter more in the vein of the self-titled, so right on) and the noisy Bikini Kill cover “Rebel Girl,” there’s an underlying current of energy running through the material. Hell, even “I Hate R’n’R” — the lyrics for which are jaded brilliance — is uptempo. And while I won’t say it’s void of energy, because it’s not, there’s one exception to the rule; one standout cut that defies how the rest of its surroundings work on the 11-song/31-minute full-length. It’s the centerpiece and it’s called “Long Distance Call.”

Think of Music is Magic as a night of drinking in a crowded bar. It’s loud with music playing and the volume of conversations rising to match, and you’ve been downing whatever for however long. Then there’s that moment where everything seems to slow down around you. I’m not talking about the room-spinnies — that’s a whole different kind of night — but maybe you see someone or you hear somebody say even just a word thatbig kizz music is magic puts you in a different place from where you were 30 seconds ago. You stay there for a little bit, dwell on it for, again, however long, and then snap to consciousness, jump back into whatever your friends are talking about, and the night resumes the boozy course on which it was originally set. That’s what “Long Distance Call” is to Music is Magic. It’s that moment of clarity, realization, or maybe just quiet. Whatever it is, it’s there, then gone. There goes your heart again.

The bluesy vocal performance from guitarist Pontus Westman has to be specifically pointed out. If he couldn’t carry it, the song would fall completely flat, and it absolutely doesn’t. As much as the word around Big Kizz‘s 2017 debut EP, Eye on You (review here), had to do with the participation in Big Kizz of former Graveyard drummer Axel Sjöberg and John Hoyles of Spiders and formerly of Witchcraft — the latter of whom might be out of the band at this point and replaced by Johannes Conquist? it’s not exactly clear — it’s Westman who pulls “Long Distance Call” together, and over the course of the ultra-catchy “I Want My Girl,” the Örebro-meets-Detroit “Baby Boy” and the German-language closer “Legalt,” he proves to be a significant forward presence alongside his bandmates in the power trio.

I tend to say this when I think it applies, but if “Long Distance Call” is the first you’re hearing of Music is Magic be aware that its wistful melancholy and romantic hopelessness don’t speak for the album as a whole. In fact, if the point hasn’t been made yet, the song is basically one of a kind from Big Kizz thus far. All the more reason to dig it.

Music is Magic is out May 18 on Tee Pee Records and available now to preorder. The band has an awesome quote under the video below, so make sure you check that out and then hit up the links and so on.

Please enjoy:

Big Kizz, “Long Distance Call” official video premiere

Big Kizz on “Long Distance Call”:

For your sake, dear listener, we really hope you’ve been in love? At least once. That way, it’s much easier for you to relate this this heartbreaking ballad. The feeling we’re trying to evoke here is one which most of you are all to familiar with. Your beliefs about true love have become kind of jaded, even though you know yourself enough to know that you’re gonna fall helplessly in love again, when you get the right glare from across the room. You’re a sucker for love and you know it. And you also know that there’s a chance that one of the parties involved might fuck it up even though it seems promising. And you were just getting comfortable in your new apartment, you got buddies and have an easy life that you don’t really wanna fuck with too much. But it’s love that’s at stake here. And there’s also the issue of trusting someone else with something as fragile as your heart (for poetic reasons we assume that this is the location of your clusterfuck of emotions). But it’s love. Love has got a hold of you. You poor sucker. Enjoy the ride!

Big Kizz is:
drummer Axel Sjöberg (ex-Graveyard)
bassist John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft)
vocalist/guitarist Pontus Westman (Lady Banana)
bassist Johannes Cronquist

Big Kizz on Thee Facebooks

Big Kizz on Instagram

Big Kizz preorder at Tee Pee Records

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

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Graveyard Post “Please Don’t” Video; Peace out May 25

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

graveyard

I’m not saying I don’t dig the new Graveyard track. I’m not. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that for all the hullabaloo surrounding the May 25 release of the Swedish classic heavy rock forerunners’ new album, Peace, listening to “Please Don’t” doesn’t tell us all that much that we didn’t already know. Graveyard can write a hook. Joakim Nilsson is an awesome frontman with an ever-expanding range of melody and expression in his voice. The band rocks. These are all things that Graveyard fans know well. It’s part of the reason there are so many of them around.

So don’t think I’m trying to talk smack on Graveyard as they come back from the hiatus after their graveyard peace2015 album, Innocence and Decadence (review here), that led to guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson, guitarist Jonathan Ramm and bassist Truls Mörck parting ways with drummer Axel Sjöberg and bringing in Oskar Bergenheim to fill that role. Quite the opposite. Listen to that shuffle. Check out that boogie. That bluesy feel. It’s Graveyard alright. As many bands as have come along in the last decade trying to sound like that, nope. Graveyard still own it, vintage production or no.

But that brings us back to where we started. These are already established facts. Graveyard with a boogie track is awesome. It’s not, however, answering the question of whether Peace will follow in the melancholy soul footsteps of Innocence and Decadence, which had its boogie tracks too. It’s giving a solid first impression of Bergenheim on drums, to be sure, but it’s hardly answering the question of how the band’s personality will have invariably shifted with him behind the kit. It’s a full song, but it’s still also just a teaser for what’s invariably a more complete offering than one song could possibly convey.

So satisfying in some ways, leaving some questions in others. I guess that makes it an effective single…

Peace is out May 25 on Nuclear Blast. Album preorder link and more info follow here, courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Graveyard, “Please Don’t” official video

Swedish classic rock connoisseurs GRAVEYARD have released the official music video for the first single, “Please Don’t,” off their eagerly anticipated upcoming comeback album, Peace.

Commented the band: ”As you may know, we’ve been doing some traveling lately. In many ways and on many levels. The good thing is that we brought back a few things for you all. Here’s a first souvenir from the road to PEACE.”

The album is now available for pre-order in various formats. The Nuclear Blast Mailorder edition will feature the CD as well as a red 7″ vinyl containing 2 exclusive and previously unreleased non-album tracks (“Headache City” & “Something Else”). Aside of that the album will be available as digipack CD as well as on black, yellow, mint, beige and clear vinyl.

Peace will be released on May 25, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Secure your copy via this link: http://nblast.de/GraveyardPeace

Graveyard – Peace – Track List:
01. It Ain’t Over Yet
02. Cold Love
03. See The Day
04. Please Don’t
05. Del Maniac
06. The Fox
07. Walk On
08. Bird Of Paradise
09. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)

Line-Up:
Joakim Nilsson – vocals, guitar
Truls Mörck – bass
Oskar Bergenheim – drums
Jonatan Ramm – guitar

Graveyard on Thee Facebooks

Graveyard on Twitter

Graveyard on Instagram

Graveyard at Nuclear Blast

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Asteroid End Hiatus; Playing Høstsabbat in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Norway-based festival Høstsabbat will be held Oct. 5 and 6 and has been making lineup announcements on successive Fridays since January that apparently I’ve just completely whiffed on because I totally suck at this. In the meantime? The roster of acts looks fucking awesome. Electric Moon, Elephant Tree, Toner Low, Krokofant (about whom I know absolutely nothing but who win on name alone), Brutus, Taiga Woods — and now frickin’ Asteroid. To think I could’ve spent the last two months sweating this excellent frickin’ lineup as it came together. I feel like a dope.

I caught the Asteroid announcement because, well, I wouldn’t call it stalking exactly, but I get notifications when they put out an update on Thee Facebooks, and as they’ve been on hiatus since last summer, there hasn’t been much coming through. That’s changed now, clearly. In addition to Høstsabbat, they’ll play April 20 at Truckstop Alaska in Gothenburg with Weedeater and Nebula, so some pretty killer stuff all around.

And needless to say, I’ve started “not stalking” Høstsabbat as well, so I’ll be keeping up with that as best as I’m able as they continue to reveal more groups playing this year’s fest.

Here’s their Asteroid announcement:

ASTEROID HOSTSABBAT 2018

On this crispy March Friday, we’re proud to announce a somewhat legendary band.

Out of Ørebro, Sweden, Asteroid has played an influential role together with their hometown allies in Truckfighters. Asteroid has delivered fuzzy and groovelicious tunes to a hungry audience for over fifteen years, combining hard rock with a psychedelic and bluesy sound as their imprint.

The band went on total hiatus in 2013, but are finally back in motion again. We couldn’t be happier, or hippier, to welcome them to Høstsabbat in October.

Asteroid speaks for itself, you better come watch them glaze our main stage Saturday October 6th…

https://www.facebook.com/Asteroidband/
http://www.fuzzoramastore.com/en/bands/asteroid/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1394090067384672/

Asteroid, “Til’ Dawn” official video

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Truckfighters Announce “Long, Long” Indefinite Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Bummer news out of Sweden in that Örebro-based fuzz forerunners Truckfighters have decided at least for now. The band, helmed by the core founding duo of Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm and Niklas “Dango” Källgren, have spent the last decade-plus touring Europe and beyond, acting as a pioneering act proving that indeed there’s an appetite in the North American market for European heavy rock. Their latest album, V (review here), was the first in a licensing alliance between their own Fuzzorama Records imprint and Century Media. It may well be their last.

Hard to say what the ultimate impact of Truckfighters‘ work will have been — Cedermalm and Källgren working with a succession of drummers including Oscar “Pezo” Johansson, who was featured in the 2012 band-doc Fuzzomentary (review here) and would go on to do a stint in Witchcraft  — because, frankly, it’s still shaking out. Truckfighers made their debut in 2005 with Gravity X (discussed here), and between that and their ultra-well-earned reputation for on-stage calisthenics as captured on the 2016 live album Live in London (review here), delivering flawless sets while headbanging, jumping up and down — Dango could get some air — and generally physically engaging with their audience and their music itself, their influence continues to spread not only throughout Sweden, but greater Europe and the US as well. A new generation of fuzz rockers might have come along one way the other, but there’s no question its shape would be much different without Truckfighters spending the better art of the last decade on the road so actively kicking ass.

Truckfighters‘s studio work also became increasingly progressive over their five albums, Gravity X and it 2007 follow-up, Phi, signaling just the beginning of a sonic expansion that would continue steadily through 2oo9’s excellent Mania (review here), 2014’s Universe (review here), and of course V itself, which earned the band some controversy surrounding their video for “Calm Before the Storm” (posted here). That notwithstanding, V had a generally melancholic vibe in some of its tracks that left one wondering how the band would meld that with their high-energy stage presentation. As I was fortunate enough to find out for myself late in 2016 on seeing the band play in Oslo, they simply did it and it worked. I guess having more than 10 years under your belt lets you do that kind of thing and pretty much anything else you want when you’re actually just a really good band.

They pushed their sound pretty far with V, but it’s still a bummer to lose Truckfighters even for what they’re calling a “long, long” indefinite hiatus. Never say never in rock and roll — one doesn’t even have to leave Örebro to find Graveyard as an example of a band-breakup that simply didn’t stick — but if they are done, they went out on their own terms having delivered top quality performances both in the studio and on stage, and achieved worldwide notoriety and influence as a result. Frankly, that’s more than most get, when it comes right down to it. Still, they’ll be missed.

All the best to Cedermalm and Källgren going forward. Here’s their announcement from the social medias:

truckfighters

Sad news for some, but totally necessary. Truckfighters is on a long, long hiatus. Might come back stronger than ever (that’s the only way) or not at all! We’ve been releasing many albums that we’re very proud of and the key is that we’ve always played because of the pure fun out of it. That’s the only thing that counts and in the end made us do what we did so good for so many years… We’re not that kind of band continuing doing something just because we make money out of it ;)

A big THANK YOU to all the amazing fans and people we’ve meet over the years, some more amazing that others but you all deserve a big hug.

Fuzz n’ out!

http://www.truckfighters.com
https://www.facebook.com/truckfighters
https://twitter.com/truckfighters
https://www.youtube.com/user/TruckfightersTV
http://www.centurymedia.com/

Truckfighters, Live in London

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