Friday Full-Length: YOB, The Unreal Never Lived

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

YOB, The Unreal Never Lived (2005)

If there’s another word for The Unreal Never Lived beyond ‘masterpiece,’ I don’t know what it is. From its opening rumble and softly-spoken delivery of the title in “Quantum Mystic” through the final ultra-plodding drums and throat-singing of the 21-minute “The Mental Tyrant,” YOB‘s fourth album is nothing short of a treasure, and it stands among records like Neurosis‘ genre-defining A Sun that Never Sets and Earth‘s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method as one of the most pivotal heavy releases of the 2000s. Issued in ’05, it comprised four tracks — “Quantum Mystic,” “Grasping Air,” “Kosmos” and “The Mental Tyrant” — and within the context of YOB‘s prior output across 2002’s Elaborations of Carbon, 2003’s mega-essential Catharsis and 2004’s The Illusion of Motion, it was the realization that the band had been pushing toward all along: A sound both spacious and crushing, looking inward thematically as it sought wisdom from outside, unremittingly heavy and still somehow psychedelic in its overall affect. If Catharsis was the moment when YOB came into their own sonically — and I’ll gladly argue it was, despite the potential their debut showed before it — then The Unreal Never Lived was when they showed just how expansive that definition of “their own” could be.

It’s worth noting that, for several years, it was also their swansong. The last YOB record. The Eugene, Oregon, trio of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Isamu Sato and drummer Travis Foster toured sparingly to support The Unreal Never Lived. I recall they came east once to play Manhattan at a basement club called The Pyramid. It got to be 2AM and they still hadn’t gone on, and The Patient Mrs. had to be to work in five hours so we left. Then the band broke up. It was — and I say this without irony or exaggeration — a significant source of resentment in my relationship with my wife. Because I was never going to get to see YOB! They’d just put out their best record, hit the East Coast once and disbanded (it didn’t happen in that quick succession, but still). I saw Scheidt‘s post-YOB project, Middian, in Brooklyn, and that was cool, but that band too was short-lived. Of course, YOB was reactivated with ScheidtFoster and bassist Aaron Rieseberg, and would go on to release 2009’s The Great Cessation (review here), 2011’s Atma (review here) and 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here) — each outdoing the one before it, expanding on the blueprint that The Illusion of Motion and The Unreal Never Lived set forth, and each one my pick for album of the year in its year of release — and I’d get to see them multiple times over, including playing The Unreal Never Lived in full at Roadburn 2012 (review here), so all was forgiven. But those years I spent thinking I’d never get to witness the space-doom mastery of “Kosmos” live? Not easy. I’m not even joking.

For all that time, the disc never left my trusty CD wallet. It’s still there, though these days I’m probably more inclined to play it off my phone, where the digital version has also taken up permanent residence. As with the best of albums, it has not dulled with age but only grown more worthy of reverence in light of the developments in sound it’s led to and the influence it’s had on other acts, which is broad in scope and far-reaching in number. As YOB have progressed, they’ve kept playing with and expanding some of the forms that were presented as solidified for the first time throughout The Unreal Never Lived — the quiet opening of “The Mental Tyrant,” its shift into chaotic noise and the furious gallop of its apex, the unmitigated thrust of “Quantum Mystic,” the roll and crash of “Grasping Air,” etc. — so it seems fair to me to think of the album as a landmark even in a catalog of landmarks. If they had stayed broken up, if they’d never done anything else, it would’ve still be enough to forge a legacy. Fortunately, that legacy has only continued to grow over their subsequent three albums.

This and The Illusion of Motion were recently reissued on vinyl through Holy Mountain Printing. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Well, tomorrow’s the day. The first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (there is actually zero excuse if you haven’t bought a ticket yet), with Mars Red SkyDeath AlleySnailKings DestroyEYEFuneral HorseKing Buffalo and Heavy Temple, plus Walter Roadburn and DJ Adzo for the aftershow. I don’t mind telling you I’m nervous as hell.

Advance ticket sales have been good — thank you if you’ve been a part of that — but still. It’s such a massive lineup, with so many variables. I hope everyone shows up. I hope the crowd has a good time, everybody’s chill, everybody gets into the spirit of the day, and so on. I just want it to be fun. Real, actual fun.

Today, nonetheless, is the calm before the storm. Yesterday evening, The Patient Mrs. picked up Walter Roadburn at the airport. I know Mars Red Sky made it over, and Death Alley as well. Snail are on the East Coast and Funeral Horse flew out yesterday from Texas. Everything’s coming together, and I’ve taken the day off from work to go to the beach in Connecticut, might do some record shopping, hit the farmers’ market and relax ahead of making the trip to Brooklyn tomorrow morning in time for a noon load-in. Like I say, I’m nervous, but also stoked.

I hope you can make it to the show, but even if not, I hope you have a great and safe weekend whatever you’re up to. I’ll be posting pics on the social medias over the weekend I’m sure, so keep an eye out, but will check back in on Monday with an update on how it all went down. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk All-Dayer

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Eight Bells Announce New Lineup and Pacific Northwest Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

So, blackened experimentalists Eight Bells currently list their lineup as consisting of guitarist/vocalist/founder Melynda Jackson, bassist Dan Barone and bassist/vocalist/synthesist Melynda Marie Amann. Something tells me the Portland-based outfit might not be done announcing lineup changes considering there isn’t a drummer mentioned anywhere in there. Rae Amitay played on the band’s second album, Landless (review here), which came out earlier this year on Battleground Records, but I guess it’s entirely possible they’ll get someone else for the role if she’s not still in it.

The PR wire brings the latest update and a couple dates Eight Bells will do with SubRosa in the Pacific Northwest:

eight bells poster

EIGHT BELLS: Experimental Doom Unit Announces Updated Lineup; November Shows With SubRosa Confirmed

Experimental doom unit EIGHT BELLS — featuring within their eclectic ranks guitarist/vocalist Melynda Jackson, formerly of SubArachnoid Space, the San Francisco psych rockers whose final album, released in 2009 on Crucial Blast, is the origin of the EIGHT BELLS name — is pleased to welcome bassist/SubArachnoid Space alumni Dan Barone and Melynda Amann of Portland’s Jamais Jamais to the fold.

Comments Jackson of the band’s new recruits: “I am super excited for this upcoming next chapter. I am thrilled to be playing again after five or so years with Dan Barone. He played a writing role as well as bass on the final SubArachnoid Space album, and I feel lucky to have reunited with him. Melynda — yes we have the same name spelled the same way — honors me by joining. She will be adding some keyboard and of course her amazing voice. To have our first performance in Portland be with our friends in SubRosa is amazing, and we can’t wait to travel with them, even if it is short but sweet!”

The trio-turned-quartet will play their first shows together this Fall supporting SubRosa with additional live appearances in the plotting stages.

EIGHT BELLS:
11/16/2016 Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR w/ SubRosa, Jamais Jamais
11/17/2016 Cobalt – Vancouver BC w/ SubRosa
11/18/2016 Highline – Seattle, WA w/ SubRosa

EIGHT BELLS released their sophomore full-length, Landless, via Battleground Records earlier this year.

EIGHT BELLS was forged in 2010 by Melynda Jackson (SubArachnoid Space) and began as a songwriting collaboration with jazz-trained six-string bassist Haley Westeiner and drummer Chris Van Huffel. Based in Portland, Oregon, EIGHT BELLS explores dark sonic realms with a blackened dissonance combined with ethereal and haunting female vocals.

http://www.eightbellsband.com
http://www.facebook.com/eightbellsband
http://www.eightbells.bandcamp.com
http://www.twitter.com/eightbellsband
http://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com
http://www.twitter.com/battlegroundrnr

Eight Bells, Landless (2016)

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Red Fang Announce First US Tour for New Album Only Ghosts

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

red fang

The reason I say it’s Red Fang‘s first tour in the US for their new album Only Ghosts is because we know damn well it won’t be the last. Forerunners of Portland’s heavy rock scene and having already had a significant influence on the development thereof, Red Fang will issue Only Ghosts on Oct. 14 via Relapse Records, and while they were already booked to head overseas with Torche when the record was announced and the first track streamed, it seems the two groups will partner for a US run a few weeks after the European one is finished. Whores will also join in on the fun for the US dates, which bring the band right up to the holidays.

Doubtless they’ll be back on the road in 2017 — the future! — so keep an eye out in the next couple months for more to come. A corresponding Spring run doesn’t seem unlikely, though we also know that’s when a lot of US acts go abroad to take advantage of festival season. Either way, the cycle is just starting, as much as it ever stopped.

From the PR wire:

red fang us dates

RED FANG Announce US Tour With Torche; Music Featured on PBR Can Crusher Pinball Machine

In addition to their recently-announced UK/EU dates this coming fall, Portland hard rockers RED FANG have announced a new US tour with labelmates Torche set to kick off this November. The trek will see the bands touring from coast to coast in support of their signature brands of stoner metal for a full month. Noise rockers Whores will also support; tickets will be on sale this Friday at 10 AM PST. Check out a full itinerary of dates below.

After three years of vigorously touring the world, RED FANG, the beer-loving Portland-based rock band re-emerge with their greatest and latest full-length album, Only Ghosts. Produced by the legendary Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure, Slipknot, and many more) and mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins), Only Ghosts consists of 10 new tracks of the band’s signature, high-impact, hook-filled, hard rock. RED FANG prove once again they are top-notch songwriters who have mastered the heavy anthem without taking themselves too seriously. Only Ghosts is a rock album of incredible magnitude that demands to be played at maximum volume!

Only Ghosts is set for release this October 14 on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com here, and digital pre-orders can be found at the band’s Bandcamp page at this location.

RED FANG Live:
Aug 4 Copenhagen, DK Jr Vega
Aug 5 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air
Aug 6 Utrecht, NL Tivoli Pandora
Aug 7 Lokeren, BE Lokerse Feesten

Aug 17 Tacoma, WA Jazzbones
Aug 18 Walla Walla, WA Main Street Studios
Aug 19 Missoula, MT The Palace Lounge
Aug 21 Spokane, WA All Age Rage @ The Viking
Sept 22 Portland, OR Northwest Hesh Fest

**All Dates from Nov 18 – Dec 16 with Torche and Whores***
Nov 18 San Francisco, CA Slims
Nov 19 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
Nov 20 Los Angeles, CA Terragram Ballroom
Nov 22 San Diego, CA Casbah
Nov 23 Phoenix, AZ Rebel Lounge
Nov 25 Austin, TX Mohawk
Nov 26 Dallas, TX Three Links
Nov 27 Houston, TX Warehouse Studio
Nov 29 Atlanta, GA Masquerade (Hell)
Nov 30 Durham, NC Motorco
Dec 1 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
Dec 2 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
Dec 4 Boston, MA The Sinclair
Dec 5 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Dec 7 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Lounge
Dec 8 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
Dec 9 Detroit, MI El Club
Dec 10 Chicago, IL Metro
Dec 11 Bloomington, IL Castle Theater
Dec 13 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
Dec 14 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
Dec 15 Boise, ID Nuerolox
Dec 16 Seattle, WA Showbox

***All Dates with Torche***
Sept 26 Brighton, UK Concorde 2
Sept 27 London, UK Koko
Sept 28 Bristol, UK Bierkeller
Sept 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Stylus
Sept 30 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2
Oct 2 Birmingham, UK Institute2
Oct 3 Glasgow, UK Garage
Oct 4 Newcastle, UK Riverside
Oct 5 Southampton, UK Engine Rooms
Oct 7 Athens, Greece Desert Fest
Oct 9 Paris, FR Trabendo
Oct 10 Munich, DE Strom
Oct 11 Vienna, AT Szene Wien
Oct 12 Berlin, DE Huxleys
Oct 13 Cologne, DE Essigfabrik
Oct 14 Antwerp, BE Desertfest
Oct 15 Leipzig, DE Conne Island
Oct 16 Hamburg, DE Markthalle
Oct 18 Odense, DK Posten
Oct 19 Oslo, NO John Dee
Oct 20 Stockholm, SE Debaser Medis
Oct 21 Malmo, SE KB
Oct 22 Munster, DE Skater’s Place
Oct 23 Karlsruhe, DE Substage
Oct 24 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg (OZ)

The band has also premiered the first in a multi-part series of behind-the-scenes webisodes documenting their studio sessions for Only Ghosts. The clip, which can be seen here or below, focuses on John Sherman and the drum tracks for the new album.

Additionally, RED FANG’s music and likeness are featured on Pabst Blue Ribbon’s new pinball machine, the Can Crusher, which was unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con. The machine, developed in partnership with Stern Pinball, Inc., features a retro game design with art by Dirty Donny.

RED FANG is:
John Sherman – Drums
Aaron Beam – Bass, Vocals
David Sullivan – Guitar
Maurice Bryan Giles – Guitar, Vocals

http://relapse.com/red-fang-only-ghosts/
https://redfang.bandcamp.com/album/only-ghosts
https://www.facebook.com/redfangband/
https://www.instagram.com/redfangband/
https://twitter.com/RedFang
http://www.redfang.net/

Red Fang, Only Ghosts In-Studio Episode 1 – Drums

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Red Fang Announce Oct. Release for Only Ghosts; Opening Track Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

red fang (photo by Whitey McConnaughy)

Forerunners of Portland’s heavy rock scene Red Fang have set an October 14 official release date for their new album, Only Ghosts, through Relapse Records. Their fourth long-player, Only Ghosts follows 2013’s Whales and Leeches (discussed here), and in addition to just being a new full-length from Red Fang — which would already make it noteworthy — the latest outing earns further distinction via the Ross Robinson production job, which one can hear in the opening track “Flies,” streaming now.

Red Fang, of course, will tour the living crap out of Only Ghosts, starting in Europe around the release and presumably covering the rest of the universe from there.

Just off the PR wire:

red fang only ghosts-700

RED FANG Announce New Ross Robinson-Produced Album ‘Only Ghosts,’ Share New Song + Pre-Orders

After three years of vigorously touring the world, RED FANG, the beer-loving Portland-based rock band whose new album was included in Rolling Stone’s list most anticipated 2016 releases, re-emerge with their greatest and latest full-length album, Only Ghosts. Produced by the legendary Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure, Slipknot, and many more) and mixed by Joe Baressi (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins), Only Ghosts consists of 10 new tracks of the band’s signature, high-impact, hook-filled, hard rock. RED FANG prove once again they are top-notch songwriters who have mastered the heavy anthem without taking themselves too seriously. Only Ghosts is a rock album of incredible magnitude that demands to be played at maximum volume!

Only Ghosts was recorded earlier this year at Robinson’s Venice, Calif. studio. In a recent Revolver Magazine interview, bass player Aaron Beam joked that the experience of working beachside was “pretty miserable,” later adding that working with Ross encouraged the band to take a different approach to recording. “He really digs into the meaning behind the songs so that when you’re recording, you’re doing it with conviction and purpose. It’s less about the little technical things. He’s more concerned with getting a performance and focusing on what you’re trying to give the world by making this music in the first place.” The band’s Bryan Giles and Aaron Beam also added,

Working with Ross and Joe [Baressi] on this record was a huge leap forward for us. The process was very challenging and rewarding, and I think we’re a better band for it. This album expresses exactly where we’re at. We’re super proud of it and can’t wait for people to hear it!

Only Ghosts is set for release this October 14 on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com here, and digital pre-orders can be found at the band’s Bandcamp page at this location.

Only Ghosts tracklisting:

1. Flies
2. Cut It Short
3. Flames
4. No Air
5. Shadows
6. Not For You
7. The Smell of the Sound
8. The Deep
9. I Am a Ghost
10. Living in Lye

The band will be heading overseas for festival appearances and a headlining tour with Torche in September/October – view a full itinerary below. North American tour dates will be announced soon.

RED FANG Live:
August 4 Copenhagen, Denmark Jr Vega
August 5 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air
August 6 Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli Pandora
August 7 Lokeren, Belgium Lokerse Feesten
September 22 Portland, OR Northwest Hesh Fest

* Dates below with Torche *
September 26 Brighton, UK Concorde 2
September 27 London, UK Koko
September 28 Bristol, UK Bierkeller
September 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Stylus
September 30 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy 2
October 2 Birmingham, UK Institute2
October 3 Glasgow, UK Garage
October 4 Newcastle, UK Riverside
October 5 Southampton, UK Engine Rooms
October 7 Athens, Greece Desert Fest
October 9 Paris, France Trabendo
October 10 Munich, Germany Strom
October 11 Vienna, Austria Szene Wien
October 12 Berlin, Germany Huxleys
October 13 Cologne, Germany Essigfabrik
October 15 Leipzig, Germany Conne Island
October 16 Hamburg, Germany Markethalle
October 18 Odense, Denmark Posten
October 19 Oslo, Norway John Dee
October 20 Stockholm, Sweden Debaser Medis
October 21 Malmo, Sweden KB
October 22 Munster, Germany Skater’s Place
October 23 Karlsruhe, Germany Substage
October 24 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg (OZ)

https://www.facebook.com/redfangband/
http://redfang.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/RedFang
http://www.redfang.net/
https://www.instagram.com/redfangband/
http://relapse.com/red-fang-only-ghosts/

Red Fang, “Flies”

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Gozu and Holy Grove Announce European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Gozu go supporting their new album, Revival (review here) and Holy Grove go supporting their also-new self-titled debut (review here), but I feel like the part that really makes it isn’t just that they’re both going to Europe, but that they’re doing it together. The Boston and Portland, Oregon, acts will make an exceedingly complementary pairing, I think with a thread of soul influence running between them and each still pushing out heavy grooves, Holy Grove with a nod toward doomly roll, Gozu with an uptick in intensity particularly on some of their newer material. If I had the money and could get the time off, I’d ask to tag along, but turns out I’m broke and not that pleasant company to keep anyway, so maybe for the best I don’t make the trip.

In any case, the full run is presented by Heavy Psych Sounds, which also released Holy Grove‘s album — Gozu‘s is on Ripple Music — and I reached out to Gaff da Rula, aka Gozu guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, and Holy Grove vocalist Andrea Vidal, for quotes about the tour to go with the dates, and both were kind enough to oblige.

Have at you:

gozu holy grove tour

“I heard they wanted to schedule the World Cup around it but they were worried people would be too hopped up on the boogie,” says Gaffney. “God damn. Wanna thank Gabe from Heavy Psych Sounds for hooking it up and lathering the clubs because without that angel, none of this would have happened. Also thanks to Ripple for putting out the album. Taking two bands that love each other’s music and setting them on fire together, I don’t know about you, but I like it hot, perfect blend of heat and auditory cuddling, woooo! I feel like Rick Flair, baby!”

Offers Vidal: “As far as heading abroad, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have this opportunity to tour Europe with our brothers in Gozu and with the support of Heavy Psych Sounds. We’re really looking to forward to playing in places where much of our earliest support was from — and leaving it all on the stage night after night.”

Gozu & Holy Grove on tour:
28.09.2016 IT Rome
29.09.2016 IT Erba-Centrale Rock
30.09.2016 IT Ravenna-Bronson
01.10.2016 AT Feldkirch-Villa K
02.10.2016 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
03.10.2016 IT Trieste-Tetris
04.10.2016 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
05.10.2016 CH Basel-Terrorsamba
06.10.2016 DE Mannheim-7er Club
07.10.2016 DE Munster-Rare Guitar Shop
08.10.2016 BE Liege-La Zone
09.10.2016 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
10.10.2016 DE Koln-Lime
11.10.2016 DE Leipzieg
12.10.2016 DE Berlin-Urban Spree
13.10.2016 DE Stuttgard-KellerClub
14.10.2016 CH Olten-Coq D’or
15.10.2016 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/revival
https://www.facebook.com/holygroveband/
http://holygrove.bandcamp.com/album/holy-grove
http://www.ripple-music.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com

Holy Grove, Holy Grove (2016)

Gozu, Revival (2016)

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Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 Announces Lineup with Red Fang, Uncle Acid and Deafheaven Headlining

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last year, The Obelisk was proud to be among the presenters for the Northwest Hesh Fest, and it looks like Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 — set for Sept. 22-24 at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon — will be no different. I’ll have a ticket giveaway closer to the event, so keep an eye out for that, and the festival has just unveiled the lineup for each night, and it brings some formidable names.

Headliners are Red FangUncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and Deafheaven, which I think would probably be enough on their own to draw a three-night crowd, but they’re joined by American Sharks, native Portlanders Witch MountainDiesto and Danava, as well as The Blood RoyaleBanquet and Greenbeard.

American SharksGreenbeard and The Blood Royale hail from Austin, Texas, which makes sense as a complement to the Portland acts since American Icon, which puts together the festival, is based there as well. Of the non-headliner acts, that’s as far east as Northwest Hesh Fest 2016 looks, but in bringing aboard UK garage doom forerunners Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, it extends its reach internationally for the first time. That’s a hell of an opening salvo to the rest of the world.

More to come as we get closer to September and the fest itself, but American Icon announced the lineup today and tickets are now on sale both for the individual nights — for which you can see the complete lineup breakdown below — and for a combined three-night pass. I won’t tell you what to do with your time, but this looks like an awful lot of fun:

NORTHWEST HESH FEST 2016

Sept 22-24 @ Dantes in Portland Oregon
RED FANG-UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS-DEAFHEAVEN
American Sharks-Witch Mountain-Danava
The Blood Royale-Diesto-Banquet-Greenbeard

9/22/16
Red Fang, American Sharks, Witch Mountain
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6780785&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

9/23/16
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Danava
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6776535&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

9/24/16
Deafheaven, The Blood Royale, Greenbeard, Diesto, Banquet
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6780605&pl=dante&dispatch=loadSelectionData

Northwest Hesh Fest Three-Day Pass

Northwest Hesh Fest event page

Northwest Hesh Fest on Thee Facebooks

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YOB and Black Cobra Announce Fall European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

I don’t recall hearing too many complaints when Oregon visionaries YOB and San Francisco demolition specialists Black Cobra hit the road together last fall in the US, and I don’t imagine they’ll come up against much resistance when they bring the show to Europe this September and October. YOB are still out supporting 2015’s album of the year, Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here), while Black Cobra head out under the banner of earlier-2016’s Imperium Simulacra (review here), for which they’ve already toured in the States alongside Bongzilla, Lo-Pan and Kings Destroy and which offers a broader take on their trademark tumult.

The tour will hit an impressive number of festivals, from Incubate to Smoke the Fuzz to Asymmetry to Up in Smoke to Desertfest Belgium, each one basically providing an anchor with club shows in between. Looks like it’ll be a great time.

YOB announced the tour thusly:

yob black cobra europe 2016

EU FALL TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: All current festival and show dates for our European tour this fall with black cobra are below.

Check back for more dates and ticket info, as we’ll be updating again soon!

11/09/2016 – Tilburg NL – Incubate Festival – September 2016
12/09/2016 – Dortmund DE – FZW
13/09/2016 – Aarhus DK – Radar
14/09/2016 – Gothenburg SE – Sticky Fingers // Göteborg
15/09/2016 – Oslo NO – BLÅ
16/09/2016 – Copenhagen DK – Pumpehuset
17/09/2016 – Athens GR – Smoke The Fuzz gigs Fest
19/09/2016 – Wiesbaden DE – Schlachthof Wiesbaden
20/09/2016 – Munich DE – Feierwerk
21/09/2016 – Berlin DE – Musik & Frieden
22/09/2016 – Wroclaw PL – Asymmetry Festival
23/09/2016 – Leipzig DE – UT Connewitz
24/09/2016 – Nurnberg DE – Z-Bau
25/09/2016 – Vienna AT – Chelsea
26/09/2016 – Ljubljana SL – Club Gromka
28/09/2016 – Zagreb HR – VintageIndustrial Bar
29/09/2016 – Linz AT – Stadtwerkstatt
30/09/2016 – Milan IT – Lo Fi Milano
01/10/2016 – Pratteln CH – UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7
02/10/2016 – Orleans FR – L’Astrolabe – Orléans
04/10/2016 – Belfort FR – La Poudrière – Belfort
05/10/2016 – Paris FR – GLAZART
06/10/2016 – Tourcoing FR – Le Grand Mix
07/10/2016 – Bristol UK – The Fleece Bristol
08/10/2016 – Glasgow UK – The Garage
09/10/2016 – Birmingham UK – The Rainbow Venues
10/10/2016 – Manchester UK – The Ruby Lounge
11/10/2016 – Dublin IRE – Whelan’s
13/10/2016 – London UK – Scala
14/10/2016 – Antwerp BE – DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2016
15/10/2016 – Hannover DE – CAFE GLOCKSEE

Design by FTG Illustrations

https://www.facebook.com/quantumyob/
https://www.facebook.com/blackcobramusic/

Black Cobra, “Chronosphere” Live in L.A., 11.20.15

YOB, “Marrow” Live in NYC, 11.07.15

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Ragged Barracudas & Pushy, Split LP: Free Range Boogie (Plus Track Premieres)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

ragged barracudas pushy split

[Click play above to stream Ragged Barracudas’ ‘Tables Turn’ and Pushy’s ‘Salem Man.’ Their split LP is out mid-July and available now to preorder.]

There’s just nothing to argue with here. German trio Ragged Barracudas and Portland, Oregon’s Pushy team up for a split 12″ on Who Can You Trust? Records, four tracks apiece on two sides obviously divided by band, three originals and one cover each. Let the boogie ensue. It is neither act’s first time working with the label. Ragged Barracudas released a 7″ (review here) early in 2014 and took part in the latest installment of the imprint’s Sweet Times series of four-way split singles, Sweet Times Vol. 5. Pushy, meanwhile, featured on Sweet Times Vol. 4 last year, and as Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger doubles as the head of Who Can You Trust? and Pushy guitarist/vocalist Adam Burke has done artwork for label releases from Pastor and the aforementioned Sweet Times Vol. 4, it’s safe to assume nobody on one side is a stranger to the other.

Those connections come hand-in-hand with a similarity of sonic mindset, both acts embroiled in a modernization of ’70s impulses across the LP’s engaging 33-minute span. They share a lack of pretense in their methods and the circumstance that this 12″ platter is the most substantive release to-date from each of them, Pushy having offered up a digital-only demo in 2014 (review here) and a couple other odds and ends on Bandcamp in addition to the above-mentioned. Both acts sound formative, purposefully, but assured of what they’re trying to accomplish and how they want to get to the natural, classic atmosphere that ultimately unites them and makes the record flow between its two sides.

In the case of Ragged Barracudas, no doubt at least partial credit should go to Guy Tavares. Also the drummer/vocalist of Orange SunshineTavares holds the reins on Motorwolf Studios in Den Haag, the Netherlands, and Ragged Barracudas‘ output benefits greatly from the sweat-soaked rawness of the “Motorwolf sound” on their four songs, “Burning” (on which Tavares also contributes ghungroo bells), “Tables Turn,” “Walking on My Grave” (a Dead Moon cover) and “Conclusions.” With a strong sense of live performance and a down-to-business feel in the lightly blown-out vocals of Dräger, joined in the band by guitarist Janik Ruß and bassist Tom WeitenRagged Barracudas manage to keep a friendly edge to a successfully dangerous execution.

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Some of that might be pacing. “Burning” and “Walking on My Grave” both move at a pretty decent clip, but “Tables Turn” — a highlight of the release and the longest cut on it at six minutes flat — and “Conclusions” contrast with a more patient take. This direct back and forth, particularly over the condensed 17-minute runtime of the vinyl’s side A, sets up a flow that carries the listener along with the changes the band is making. I don’t know the circumstances of the recording exactly, but if it wasn’t completely live I’d guess it was at least mostly so, and whether it’s the almost-gothabilly ride cymbal on “Walking on My Grave” or the melancholic rumble of “Conclusions,” Ragged Barracudas show themselves as having a firm grip on their sound and a growing songwriting process that sounds ready for exploration on a debut full-length.

That’s something else they have in common with Pushy, who sound like the swing-fueled next step the Pacific Northwest has been waiting for since Portland arrived on the heavy rock map seven-plus years ago. They’re not the only band from what’s become a capitol of US heavy to take a bite out of the ’70s grooves of ZZ Top and James Gang, but they do it exceedingly well, whether it’s the start-stop bass groove from Neal Munson on “Zionara” or the sleaze in Burke‘s vocals on side-opener “In My Mouth.”

Blue Cheer are a major factor in that song, and not to its detriment, as BurkeMunson, guitarist Ron Wesley and drummer Travis Claw set themselves up for the funky turn that “I Need More Time” — a cover of The Meters — brings, twisting guitars leading the way into a resounding hook before twin-leads meet up for a scathingly bluesy apex that shifts back into the chorus to finish out. “Salem Man” follows with an admirably believable “rama-lam-bam-bam” worked into its lyrics, and as Pushy‘s tracks are arranged shortest to longest, as they make their move toward “Zionara” to finish out, they get correspondingly bolder, so that the final nod of “Zionara” is not only its own payoff but that also for the band’s entire portion, played out over a lean, deceptively-efficient 15 minutes.

Like I said at the outset, there’s just nothing to argue with here. In performance and songwriting, Ragged Barracudas and Pushy complement each other fluidly. It’s telling that the split’s cover artwork — presumably by Burke — is on what looks like reclaimed wood from an old barn, since both bands have an underlying element of the organic to their approach as well. In accord with that, their combined output sounds ready to stand the test of time.

Ragged Barracudas on Thee Facebooks

Ragged Barracudas on Bandcamp

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Pushy on Bandcamp

Ragged Barracudas & Pushy split preorder

Who Can You Trust? Records on Bandcamp

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