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

Tags: , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Graveyard Begin Recording Process for New Album Due in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Swedish classic heavy rock forerunners Graveyard have begun recording their fifth album for a 2018 release through Nuclear Blast. Yet untitled, the LP is currently being tracked at Park Studios in Stockholm and will serve as the follow-up to 2015’s Innocence and Decadence (review here). Spring tour dates are expected to accompany or perhaps precede the album release, as the revamped Örebro four-piece have already been confirmed to headline next year at Desertfest in London and Berlin in early May.

Since their sudden announced split in Sept. 2016 and subsequent return this past January with a new drummer, speculation has been rampant as to what the next Graveyard album might hold in store. The band’s increasing movement into soulful melancholy has been resonant over their last two outings especially, but with an inevitable change in dynamic and perhaps a new surge of energy as a result, the potential exists to either consciously or not revive the boogie stylings of their massively influential early works. Upbeat or down, new Graveyard is something to look forward to, for sure.

Just off the PR wire:

graveyard

GRAVEYARD – Enter Studio To Record New Album

Classic rockers GRAVEYARD have entered Park Studios in Stockholm to record their yet untitled album that is scheduled for release late spring/early summer in 2018. The album is produced by Chips Kiesbye (THE HELLACOPTERS, MICHAEL MONROE, THE NOMADS) and engineered by Stefan Boman (BURT BACHARACH, ALICE COOPER, DEF LEPPARD & KENT to name a few).

After a week of recording the band have got the following words of wisdom to say about the upcoming album and the ongoing process: “It’s great to be back in the studio and laying down the basic tracks have been nothing but sheer joy. This time around we’ve got more than enough songs to fill up an album and as always the really fun and thrilling part will be to see how the recording will treat each song from rehearsals to finished mix. With that said the obvious goal is to continue our walk down GRAVEYARD’s left hand album path with yet another album filled with all killers and no fillers. We’re up for a promising start here in the studio and we can’t wait to let all of you be the judge of how you think we did. All for now back to recording.”

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

Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video

Tags: , , ,

Asteroid Premiere Official Video for “Til’ Dawn”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

asteroid

It was a marked bummer earlier this year when Swedish fuzz rockers Asteroid announced in June that the reignition that had led them to produce their most-welcome third album, III (review here), for Fuzzorama Records in 2016 was essentially cutting short in order to return to an immediate hiatus. Health issues were mentioned and that’s about the last that’s been heard from the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Robin Hirse, bassist/vocalist Johannes Nilsson, and drummer Jimmi Kolscheen, the latter of whom had joined the band in place of Elvis Campbell after the LP recording. Particularly as the full-length offered a newly energized sound and still managed to keep the organic warmth of the Örebro natives’ prior two outings, 2010’s II (review here) and 2007’s self-titled debut (discussed here), it was sad to see them call it quits for some yet-TBD amount of time just when they seemed to have so much momentum on their side heading into the Fall festival season.

So it goes. One can — apparently — sit and lament all day. One can also check out the band’s new video for the track “Til’ Dawn” from III as a refresher of just how righteous that outing was and still very much is. Of course, since they’re not really together at the moment, Asteroid themselves don’t actually appear in the clip, but the band and Fuzzorama partnered with Minneapolis-based production company Know Idea Productions, who also previously created the video for Truckfighters‘ “Calm Before the Storm” (posted here) that proved controversial when it came out that the narrative was based on a true story and hit a little close to home in Sweden. I don’t know if the plotline of “Til’ Dawn” is similarly ‘ripped from the headlines,’ but its nighttime chase atmosphere and fluid slow motion shots resonate with the song itself and lend an emotional depth to the aural proceedings, which seems pretty much like the ideal.

Also noteworthy just how recognizable the cinematography of “Til’ Dawn” was after “Calm Before the Storm.” Even before I looked it up to confirm, I said to myself, “I bet these are the same people who did that Truckfighters video. Sure enough. So kudos on that.

The hope of course is that at some point Asteroid decide to pick back up and continue to move forward in supporting and eventually pushing beyond III. I’ve got no timeline on when or if that might happen, but a new video isn’t nothing and I’m happy to host the premiere of “Til’ Dawn” below, again, as a refresher for anyone for whom it might’ve been a minute since the last time they put on III. To be perfectly honest, it was enough to get me to play not only that record, but then to go back and grab II and the self-titled as well for a runthrough. I’ve kind of made an afternoon of it, and no complaints.

Credits and links follow. Please enjoy:

Asteroid, “Til’ Dawn” official video premiere

The official music video for the Asteroid song “Til’ Dawn” on Fuzzorama Records.

Written & Directed by: Aiden Kangas
Produced by: Kalaia Bouley
Cinematography by: Tony Perkins
Edited by: Joshua Harris Braun & Aiden Kangas
Color Grading: Tony Perkins
Starring: Joshua Harris Braun & Holly Peterson

Know Idea Productions website

Asteroid on Thee Facebooks

Asteroid on Twitter

Asteroid website

Fuzzorama Records webstore

Fuzzorama Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Truckfighters Announce October Tour Dates

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

After traipsing and stomping their way around the US earlier this Spring for a two-leg tour, Sweden’s chief fuzz exports Truckfighters are set to do what they do best this October — come back for another round. With a companion West Coast stint to be announced, the Örebro natives his North American shores starting Oct. 6 in gorgeous Montreal as they continue to support the living crap out of 2016’s V (review here), which also marked the first licensing collaboration between their label, Fuzzorama Records, and Century Media.

Speaking of, one can’t help but wonder how much scouting for Fuzzorama‘s lineup in involved in Truckfighters taking on Midwestern duo Telekinetic Yeti as direct support for the Tone Deaf-presented run. The Iowan two-piece’s Abominable (review here) debut album was rich enough in tone that it would seem to position the band as an excellent fit for Fuzzorama if Truckfighters bassist/vocalist Oskar Cedermalm and guitarist  Niklas Källgren decided to bring them aboard. Either way, seems like a great opportunity for Telekinetic Yeti to reach an audience that should be well favorable to their thickened beardo riffery. I hope they play their asses off and do really well. That album continues to rule.

The PR wire brings dates and promises more to come:

truckfighters oct tour

TRUCKFIGHTERS Announce North American Tour Dates in October with Support From Telekinetic Yeti

Lauded as “the best band that’s ever existed” by Queens of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Sweden’s fuzz rock charmers TRUCKFIGHTERS are excited to announce a series of headlining dates later this fall across North America. Previously the band has been seen featured as one of the headlining acts of Psycho Fest 2015 and have performed over 700 shows throughout the world.

In continued support of their latest album, “V”, the trio will kick off their upcoming tour on October 6 in Montreal, Quebec – with support provided by stoner doom duo Telekinetic Yeti – until they land in Washington, D.C. on October 16. Full dates can be found in the above admat or listed below. Tickets are on sale now at www.truckfighters.com. Stay tuned for a further announcement with West Coast dates in the coming weeks!

Guitarist Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren stated: “It was so freakin’ fuzzy awesome last time around so we decided to go back to North America as soon as it was humanly possible – NOW! You demand we obey!”

TRUCKFIGHTER N. American Tour Dates
10/6 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #
10/7 Quebec City, QC – L’Anti #
10/8 Ottawa, ON – Mavericks #
10/9 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #
10/10 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/11 Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Funhouse #
10/12 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups #
10/13 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter #
10/14 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory #
10/15 Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge #
10/16 Washington, D.C. – Black Cat #
# with Telekinetic Yeti

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

Truckfighters, Live in Glendale, CA, March 16, 2017

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Harvestman, Beastmaker, Endless Boogie, Troubled Horse, Come to Grief, Holy Rivals, Mountain God, Dr. Space, Dirty Grave, Summoned by Giants

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

Bonus round! I don’t know if you’re stoked on having a sixth Quarterly Review day, but I sure am. Basically this is me doing myself favors. In terms of what’s being covered and how I’m covering it, today might be the high point for me personally of the entire Summer 2017 Quarterly Review. Some of this stuff I’m more behind on than others, but it’s all releases that I’ve wanted desperately to write about that I haven’t been able to make happen so far and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be able to do so at last. It’s a load off my mind in the best way possible, and as this is the final day of the Quarterly Review, before I dig in I’ll just say one more time thank you for reading and I hope you found something in the past week that really speaks to you, because that’s what makes it all worthwhile in the first place. One more go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Harvestman, Music for Megaliths

harvestman-music-for-megaliths

A new Harvestman album, like a harvest itself, is an occasion. Distinct entirely from the solo output released by Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till under his own name, Harvestman’s guitar-led experimentalism and ritualized psychedelia don’t happen every day – the last album was 2009’s In a Dark Tongue (review here) – and with the resonance of “Oak Drone” and the layered, drummed and vocalized textures of “Levitation,” the new collection, Music for Megaliths (on Neurot, of course), lives up to the project’s high standards of the unexpected. Pulsations beneath opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Forest is Our Temple” offer some initial threat, but the electronic beat behind the howling notes of “Ring of Sentinels” and the Vangelis-esque centerpiece “Cromlech” find more soothing ground, and though “Sundown” seems to be speaking to Neurosis “Bleeding the Pigs” from 2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) in its atmosphere, the spoken word that tops closer “White Horse” provides a last-minute human connection before all is brought to a quick fadeout. If you told me Music for Megaliths was assembled over a period of years, I’d believe you given its breadth, but whether it was or not, Harvestman’s latest should provide a worthy feast for a long time to come.

Harvestman on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings webstore

 

Beastmaker, Inside the Skull

beastmaker-inside-the-skull

Los Angeles three-piece Beastmaker continue their ascent with their second album for Rise Above Records, the unflinchingly cohesive Inside the Skull. Like its predecessor, 2016’s Lusus Naturae (review here), the quick-turnaround sophomore outing executes a modern garage doom aesthetic and unfuckwithably tight songwriting, this time bringing 10 new tracks that reimagine classic vibes – witness the Witchcraft “No Angel or Demon”-style riff of opener “Evil One” (video posted here) – and touch on some of the same ground pioneered by Uncle Acid without actually sounding like that UK band or sounding like anyone for that matter so much as themselves. They make darkened highlights of “Now Howls the Beast,” “Of Gods Creation,” the crashing “Psychic Visions,” closer “Sick Sick Demon” and the preceding “Night Bird,” which offers some welcome departure into drift prior to the solo in its final minute – all impeccably crisp in structure despite a dirt-caked production – but resonant, memorable hooks abound, and the trio affirm the potential their debut showed and offer a quick step forward that one can only imagine will find them turning more heads toward their growing cult following. They’re still growing, but Inside the Skull is confirmation Beastmaker on a path to becoming something really special.

Beastmaker on Thee Facebooks

Beastmaker at Rise Above Records

 

Endless Boogie, Vibe Killer

endless-boogie-vibe-killer

One can’t help but think there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheekery at play in the inaccuracy of Endless Boogie titling their latest album Vibe Killer. The seven-track/51-minute No Quarter release follows 2013’s Long Island (review here) and is, of course, doing everything but killing the vibe, as the New York-based outfit proffer their nestled-in raw songs crafted out of and on top of improvised jams, the semi-spoken gutturalisms of guitarist Paul “Top Dollar” Major a defining element from the laid back opening title-track onward. Moody rock classicism persists through “High Drag, Hard Doin’” and the more active “Back in ’74,” but the true peak of Vibe Killer comes in the 11-minute “Jefferson Country,” which unfolds hypnotic drone experimentation that’s as willfully ungraceful as it winds up being flowing. Bottom line: dudes know what’s up. Endless Boogie’s languid roll is second to nobody and Vibe Killer is a vision of cool jazz reinvented to feel as much at home in rock clubs of the basement and of the chic see-and-be-seen variety. Very New York, in that, but not at all given to elitism. Everyone’s invited to dig, and dig they should.

Endless Boogie on Thee Facebooks

No Quarter Records webstore

 

Troubled Horse, Revolution on Repeat

troubled-horse-revolution-on-repeat

There were a few minutes there where one probably wouldn’t have been wrong to wonder if Örebro, Sweden’s Troubled Horse would have a follow-up at all to back 2012’s Step Inside (review here), but with Revolution on Repeat (out via Rise Above), the four-piece led by dynamic vocalist Martin Heppich prove among the most vital of the many heavy rock acts to emerge from their hometown, known for the likes of Witchcraft, Graveyard, Truckfighters and countless others. Heppich, lead guitarist Mikael Linder (also bass on the recording), guitarist Tom and drummer Jonas start with the boogie-fied opening salvo “Hurricane” (video premiere here) and “The Filthy Ones,” and run madcap through the memorable hooks of “Which Way to the Mob” and “Peasants” en route to the mid-paced “The Haunted” and into a second half marked by the semi-balladry of “Desperation” and “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” Soon, the standout chorus of “Track 7” (yup, that’s the title) and the penultimate funk of “Let Bastards Know” lead to a nine-minute epic finish in “Bleeding” – and all the while Troubled Horse hold firm to groove, momentum, poise, crisp production and songwriting as they tie varied landmarks together with an overarching sense of motion, Heppich’s charismatic soulfulness and deceptively subtle flourishes of arrangement to make an absolutely welcome return.

Troubled Horse on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Come to Grief, The Worst of Times

come-to-grief-the-worst-of-times

Sometimes you just have to toss up your hands and say, “Well, that’s some of the nastiest shit I’ve ever heard.” To step back and consider them at some distance, Come to Grief aren’t near the most abrasive band on the planet, but when you’re actually listening to their debut EP, The Worst of Times, that’s much harder to believe. Launching with “Killed by Life,” the four-tracker finds the Boston outfit led by former Grief guitarist Terry Savastano – here joined by drummer Chuck Conlon, bassist Justin Christian and vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Hebert – plodding out scream-topped filth that’s actually fuller-sounding than anything Grief did back in their day and all the more devastating for its thickness. The seven-minute “No Savior” is excruciating, and though shorter, “Futility of Humanity” and even the slightly-faster closer “Junklove” bring no letup whatsoever from the onslaught. Think accessible, then go the complete other way, then bludgeon yourself. It’s kind of like that. Absolute brutality delivered by expert and unkind hands.

Come to Grief on Thee Facebooks

Come to Grief on Bandcamp

 

Holy Rivals, Holy Rivals

holy rivals holy rivals

The question of whether noise rock and sludge can coexist is largely one of tempo and tone, and recently-signed-to-BlackseedRecords Pittsburgh trio Holy Rivals’ self-titled debut answers in forceful fashion. Amid more aggro punch of opener “Locked Inn” comes the crust-laden grunge of “Voices,” and whether they’re rolling out the more spacious “Sleep” or sprinting through the post-Bleach raw punkery of “Dead Ender” on their way to the more ambient and patient seven-minute finale “Into Dust,” guitarist/vocalist Jason Orr (also T-Tops), bassist Aaron Orr (whose tone features well on the closer) and drummer Matt Langille – whose adaptability is essential to the Helmet-style starts and stops of “Loathe” that emerge from the preceding roll of “Sleep” – Holy Rivals put a superficial harshness to use as a cover for what’s actually a diverse songwriting process. They’ll reportedly have a new record out in Fall 2017, so this 2016 self-release may soon be in hindsight, but in setting the foundation for growth, it offers exciting prospects caked in an abidingly raw presentation.

Holy Rivals on Thee Facebooks

Holy Rivals on Bandcamp

 

Mountain God, Bread Solstice

mountain god bread solstice

Around what would seem to be the core duo of guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi and bassist/keyboardist Nikhil Kamineni, Brooklyn psychedelic post-sludgers Mountain God have undergone numerous lineup shifts en route to and through the release of their debut album, Bread Solstice (on Artificial Head Records). To wit, drummer/vocalist Ryan Smith (also Thera Roya), who appears on the dark, unrelenting and abyss-crafting 40-minute six-tracker, has already been replaced by Gabriel Cruz, and there have been other changes in vocalist, keyboardist and drummer positions even since they offered their 2015 EP, Forest of the Lost (review here) to set the stage for this deeply-atmospheric, it’s-acid-rock-but-with-sulfuric-acid first long-player. In light of that tumult and the overarching commitment to abrasive noise Mountain God make in pieces like the 11-minute “Nazca Lines,” “Junglenaut” or even the brooding tension of airy instrumental “Unknown Ascent,” it’s all the more impressive that Bread Solstice is as cohesive in its cerebral horror as it is, constructing a harsh and churning vision of doom as something worthy of post-apocalyptic revelry. Far from easy listening, but of marked purpose. They should play exclusively in art galleries, no matter who winds up in the band.

Mountain God on Thee Facebooks

Artificial Head Records on Bandcamp

 

Dr. Space, Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1

dr-space-dr-spaces-alien-planet-trip-vol-1

Perhaps best known for his work in spearheading the improvisational Denmark-based Øresund Space Collective, modular synth wizard Scott “Dr. Space” Heller weirds out across four cuts on the solo release Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 1, which both underscores in its scope how essential he is to the aforementioned outfit and oozes beyond that group’s parameters into electronic beatmaking and waves of synthesizer drone. Pulling influence from classic progadelia, Heller unfurls longform tripping on 24-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “5 Dimensions of the Universe” and veers into and out of somewhat abrasive swirl on “Rising Sun on Mars” before landing in the more steady atmosphere of “In Search of Life on Io” and launching once more outward with the five-minute finale “Alien Improv 2.” Just how many alien planet trips the good doctor will be undertaking remains as yet a mystery, but the breadth of this first one makes it plain to the listener that Heller’s sonic universe is wide open and, seemingly, ever-expanding.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Space Rock Productions website

 

Dirty Grave, So Fall and Crawl Away

dirty-grave-so-fall-and-crawl-away

Brazilian doomers Dirty Grave issue the three-song single/EP So Fall and Crawl Away (bonus points for the Alice in Chains reference) ahead of making their full-length debut reportedly any minute now with an album called Evil Desire. Comprised of two studio tracks in the eight-minute “The Black Cloud Comes” and the four-minute Howlin’ Wolf cover “Evil (Is Going On)” and with the live cut “Unholy Son – Live” as a kind of bonus track, it’s a sampling behind two similar short releases, 2014’s Vol. II and 2013’s Dirty Grave (which featured a studio version of “Unholy Son”), that sleeks through eerie doom loosely tinged with psychedelia and smoked-out vibing. “Evil (Is Going On)” is more uptempo, perhaps unsurprisingly, but is giving a likewise treatment all the same, its final solo shredding into oblivion with stoned abandon. “Unholy Son – Live” is rawer but still carries through its melody in the vocals amid a prevalent crash, and if it’s a portend of things to come on Evil Desire, then So Fall and Crawl Away serves as a warning worth heeding.

Dirty Grave on Thee Facebooks

Dirty Grave on Bandcamp

 

Summoned by Giants, Stone Wind

summoned-by-giants-stone-wind

If you have a convenient narrative for what West Coast heavy rock has become over the last decade, Summoned by Giants’ debut album, Stone Wind, is probably too aggressive on the whole to fit it neatly. Their cleaner parts, the rolling second cut “Diamond Head” and samples throughout have aspects of that post-Red Fang party vibe, but to listen to the rawness of the bass tone that starts “Return” or closer “I Hate it When You Breathe,” or even the slurring “come at me, bro”-style rant sampled at the seven-track/27-minute album’s launch, a will toward violence is never far off. Couple that with the thickened noise punk of “Saturn” and the Weedeater sludge of the penultimate “Dying Wish,” and Summoned by Giants – guitarist/vocalist Sean Delaney, guitarist Jordan Sattelmair, bassist/vocalist Patrick Moening and drummer Mel Burris – seem more interested in doling out punishment than kicking back, making a silly video and having a good time. Well, maybe they’re having a good time, but they’re doing so while kicking your ass.

Summoned by Giants on Thee Facebooks

Summoned by Giants on Bandcamp

 

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

Asteroid Announce Hiatus Citing Health Issues

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

Swedish fuzz rockers Asteroid have announced an indefinite hiatus effective immediately. Previously confirmed for slots at this summer’s Freak Valley and Lake on Fire festivals in Germany and Austria, respectively, the Örebro-based trio have canceled all future live dates and other plans citing longtime health issues that need to be addressed.

Last year, Asteroid marked a return from another lengthy stretch of inactivity with the release of III (review here) on Fuzzorama Records. Guitarist/vocalist Robin Hirse, bassist/vocalist Johannes Nilsson, then went on to introduce new drummer Jimmi Kolscheen in place of Elvis Campbell (who played on the record), and hit the road in Europe to support the album. Slots at Desertfest 2016 in London and Berlin found them welcomed as returning heroes of fuzzy riffing and it seemed their melodic, open, jammy sensibility was already beginning to have an influence on the European underground.

Given the overwhelmingly positive reception to III, it’s all the more a bummer to see them hit hard times, and of course on behalf of myself and this site I wish the members of Asteroid all the best, quick recovery, and that whatever help they need, they get so they can get back to making the richly toned and harmonized heavy rock and roll that has so much become their own over the last decade-plus. They promise in the announcement that follows here it won’t be six years like it was after 2010’s II (review here) before they release another album, and one certainly hopes that holds true as they go forward.

Here’s what they had to say:

asteroid

Dear Friends, fans and supporters,

it is with great sadness that we have to inform you that we’re forced to cancel all upcoming shows and future plans from now on. The reason for this decision are long time health issues that won’t allow us to keep on doing as initially planned for this year. We’re deeply sorry and once again want to thank you all for believing in us and your continued support!

This hiatus doesn’t mean we’re going to be dead for six years like the last time! We’re still feeling creative and have music in our hearts!

Love, Asteroid, Jimmi, Johannes and Robin

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

Tags: , , ,