Here are 40+ New Releases to Look for in the Next Three Weeks

Posted in Features on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow, the next three weeks are absolutely stupid with new albums. Over-the-top, ridiculous. An immediately-go-broke amount of music. Nothing less than an onslaught. We’re under attack.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money — also far be it from me not to — but there’s some really killer stuff in here. As to why it’s all landing now? Some of it of course has to do with the timing of when it was recorded, bands hitting the studio in Spring before heading out on the road over the summer, but Fall releases also line up nicely for tours in October and November, heading into the holiday season, when the music industry basically shuts down. This is the last chance for releases to come out in 2017 and be considered for best-of-year lists.

I doubt the likes of Chelsea Wolfe or Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Kadavar would cop to that as a motivating factor, instead pointing to the timing of Fall touring and so on, but these things are rarely coincidental. You know how there aren’t any blockbusters in January but every movie feels like it’s trying to win an Oscar? Same kind of deal.

Nonetheless, 2017 is laying it on particularly thick these next couple weeks, and as you can see in the lists below, if you’ve got cash to spend, you can pretty much choose your rock and roll adventure. I’ll add to this as need be as well, so keep an eye for changes:

Sept. 22:

Alcest, Souveinirs d’un Autre Monde (10th Anniversary Edition)
Brant Bjork, Europe ’16
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spunthe-flying-eyes-burning-of-the-season
Epitaph, Claws
Faces of the Bog, Ego Death
The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season
Fvzz Popvli, Fvzz Dei
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers
Jarboe & Father Murphy, Jarboe & Father Murphy
Monarch, Never Forever
Nibiru, Qaal Babalon
Process of Guilt, Black Earth
Satyricon, Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Spelljammer, Inches from the Sun (Reissue)
Thonian Horde, Inconnu
Trash Titan, Welcome to the Banana Party
Ufomammut, 8
With the Dead, Love from With the Dead
Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

Sept. 29:

monolord rust
Cities of Mars, Temporal Rifts
Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy
A Devil’s Din, One Hallucination Under God
Disastroid, Missiles
Jim Healey, Just a Minute More (Sept. 26)
Idylls, The Barn
Kadavar, Rough Times
Lucifer’s Chalice, The Pact
Monolord, Rust
Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings
Scream of the Butterfly, Ignition
Tronald, Tronald (Sept. 30)
Unsane, Sterilize
Wucan, Reap the Storm

Oct. 6:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-storyElder Druid, Carmina Satanae
Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story
Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (Oct. 2)
Himmellegeme, Myth of Earth
House of Broken Promises, Twisted EP
O.R.B., Naturality
Primitive Man, Caustic
Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception
Spotlights, Seismic
Sumokem, The Guardian of Yosemite
Torso, Limbs
White Manna, Bleeding Eyes

Also:

Oct. 13: Enslaved, Firebreather, I Klatus, R.I.P., Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (reissue), Weird Owl, etc.

Oct. 20: Iron Monkey, Spectral Haze, Bell Witch, The Spacelords, etc.

Something I forgot?

Invariably, right? If you know of something not seen above that should be, then by all means, please leave a comment letting me know. My only ask is that you keep it civil and not call me a fucking idiot or anything like that. I write these posts very early in the day, and if something has been neglected, I assure you it’s not on purpose and I’m happy to correct any and all oversights.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping. Support local record stores.

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Review & Track Premiere: Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock

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

outsideinside-sniff-a-hot-rock

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Outsideinside’s ‘Pretty Things.’ Their album, Sniff a Hot Rock, is out Sept. 29 on Machine Age Records in the US and Sixteentimes Music in Europe.]

Outsideinside aren’t three seconds into opening track ‘Pretty Things’ before the handclaps have started, drummer Panfilo DiCenzo is on the bell of his ride cymbal and the boogie has begun that will continue in earnest through just about the entirety of their debut album, Sniff a Hot Rock. Only fair they should get down to business on the quick, since the Pittsburgh four-piece give themselves a pretty high standard to live up to in taking their moniker from one of the greatest and most pivotal heavy rock records of all time — Blue Cheer‘s 1968 sophomore LP — in addition to boasting guitarist/vocalist Dave Wheeler and bassist Jim Wilson in the lineup, both formerly of Tee Pee Records heavy classic rockers Carousel.

Released through Machine Age Records and Sixteentimes Music, the eight-track/35-minute LP dig into early AC/DC vibes on cuts like “Can’t Say Nothin'” and blend that raw sense of songcraft with echoing-solo psychedelic flourish — James Hart joined the band on guitar and backing vocals earlier in 2017, though I’m not sure if he actually features on the recording alongside Wheeler — but the core of Outsideinside‘s approach lies in the playin’-in-a-rock-and-roll-band attitude of hook-out-front pieces like the aforementioned leadoff “Pretty Things,” “Shot Me Down,” “Empty Room” and closer “Say Yeah,” and while the easy narrative might make it seem like Outsideinside are a brand new band formed in the wake of Carousel‘s untimely collapse, the truth is they’ve been kicking around Pittsburgh’s dinged-out bars since before The New York Times declared doing so was cool; having released a split in 2013 with Old Head in 2013 via Machine Age that featured the track “Misled,” which also appears here.

Accordingly, much of this material, while energetically performed in a clear move to bring out a live-sounding vibe — and effectively done, whether it’s the fuzzy/bluesy turns of “Can’t Say Nothin'” or the forward crotchal thrust of “Say Yeah” — would also seem to have the benefit of having been worked on for a while. Where it ultimately triumphs, however, is in not being overwritten as a result of that, but instead pared down to its most basic and classic-sounding elements. As he was in Carousel, Wheeler is a key presence in Outsideinside. He takes forward position early and does not relinquish for the duration, adopting the role of self-effacing storyteller on “Shot Me Down” with an underlying, winking swagger that makes even lines like, “She said ‘Keep on walkin’ son that don’t impress me none’/And she shot me down,” in the first chorus come across in good humor. Likewise, the subsequent “Empty Room” is what it sounds like: a tale of playing to small, unappreciative crowds. This lyrical perspective adds charm to the rhythmic strut that’s so much at the center of Outsideinside‘s writing, from the start-stop of “Pretty Things” to the brazen solo that takes charge of the second half of instrumental “Eating Bread” before “Ten Years” and “Say Yeah” cap side B, and Sniff a Hot Rock benefits greatly from that added sense of personality.

outsideinside

In conjunction with the tightness of the Cactus-style creeping bassline in “Misled” and the writing overall, Wheeler‘s frontman presence becomes a part of a subtle efficiency and professionalism that Outsideinside are in no rush to advertise — truth is doing so would take away from both the grandness and the funkness of their aesthetic — but which underscores the whole of Sniff a Hot Rock just the same. It might be their first record, in other words, but dudes know what they’re doing. They signal it early and often, and some of the record’s greatest success lies in balancing that with the outright fun of their boogie as it shines through on the shuffling “Empty Room,” Wilson‘s choice bass work on “Can’t Say Nothin'” and the brash finish in the one-two punch of “Ten Years” and “Say Yeah.”

As they shift from side A’s catchy landmarks in “Pretty Thing,” “Shot Me Down,” “Empty Room” and “Misled” into the more dug-in rhythm of “Can’t Say Nothin'” and “Eating Bread,” Outsideinside continue to proffer good-times vibes in classic form, their sound organic in presentation as well as structure without necessarily being overly vintage in its production. Heavy ’10s more than heavy ’70s, though of course the roots of the one lie in the other. Still, it’s worth highlighting that while the material they bring to bear throughout Sniff a Hot Rock feels as though it’s had the benefit of being worked on, hammered out, and brought to its most essential aspects, there’s a freshness at the core of Outsideinside that still speaks to this as being their first album. The difference is it’s natural without being haphazard where many others might be, and if that comes from Wheeler and Wilson‘s past work together in Carousel or from Outsideinside simply playing shows and recording for a few years before settling into the studio to track this material, so be it.

One way or the other, the end result is a palpable, two-sided, full-LP flow that signals the arrival of Outsideinside perhaps in picking up a bit where Carousel left off, but also establishing their own course in modernizing classic boogie rock with a vitality of their own and a level of songwriting that’s already plenty sure of itself even if “Shot Me Down” or “Empty Room” might tell you otherwise. It’s no coincidence they end with “Say Yeah.” The closer is a direct address to their audience and finds Wheeler as bandleader calling out for an audience interaction in a way that one very much imagines could end a live set as well, building in the finish as he encourages the “crowd” (i.e. the listener) to say yeah. Obviously in the context of the record itself, should one choose to respond, it’s not like he’s going to hear it, but if you’ve got the song on and you find you’re tempted to do so, it’s certainly understandable.

Outsideinside on Thee Facebooks

Machine Age Records website

Sixteentimes Music website

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South County Fest 2017 Set for May 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Four bands, a ton of groove and what seems to be a pretty laid back vibe if the pitch is anything to go by, it’s hard not to get behind the concept of an event like South County Fest 2017. You could quibble about whether four bands makes a fest if you want. Me? Considering who’s involved, I’ll take it. King Buffalo sharing a bill with The Golden Grass would be enough motivation, let alone bringing in ex-Carousel dudes in Outsideinside and importing a bit of Marylander surf in The Flying Faders. That’s right — two alliterative groups on the same bill! Think of the grammar-nerd/rocker-dude crossover appeal.

With this year’s fest, South County Brewing marks its sixth anniversary. JR Heaps, the founder of the company and head brewer, was kind enough to talk a bit about putting the lineup together and the creativity driving relationship between beer and music. You’ll find his words under the fest info — keep in mind the show’s got an early start — below.

Also this badass poster:

south county fest 2017 poster

South County Fest 2017 (6th Anniversary Bash)

Saturday, May 20 at 4 PM – 9 PM
South County Brewing Co.
104 Mill St, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania 17321

To think that we have been making beer for 6 years now is surreal. Come celebrate with us! We have an amazing lineup for this year’s event. $5 Cover at the door (BANDS START AT 4 PM). We will have food vendors and a new beer release (16oz cans).

For those music and audiophile nuts, we have a limited run of the South County Fest 2017 18×24 posters that will be for sale on May 20th, art by Chris Pappas https://www.etsy.com/shop/BosWorkshop go follow him now! These will be on cardboard transport backers with its own cover plastic.

BANDS:

King Buffalo -Rochester, NY- Psychedelic / Heavy Blues / Stoner Rock
Outsideinside – (Ex- Carousel members) -Pittsburg, PA- Heavy Blues Rock
The Golden Grass – Brooklyn, NY- Groove / Psych // Blues / Stoner Rock
The Flying Faders -MD- Surf Rock

JR Heaps of South County Brewing on the South County Fest 2017 lineup:

What I try to do with these shows is celebrate what music and beer does for the soul. Music has always been healing and growth for me personally and I know I’m not the only one. After closing Second Order Sound (my recording studio) and committing to brewing, I have been able to live vicariously through the unbelievable talents that play at this fest. It a chance to reestablish community in such a “disposable” world. The lineups are admittedly self-indulgent and but are fairly specific to create a mood, progression and vibe. The same goes for our beer/band collaborations such as Black Cowgirl DIPA.

https://www.facebook.com/southcountybrewingco/
https://www.facebook.com/events/498260340563650/

Outsideinside, “Dreamless”

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Friday Full-Length: Blue Cheer, OutsideInside

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 13th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Blue Cheer, OutsideInside (1968)

What a glorious image it is to think of Blue Cheer taking the stage at some outdoor Summer of Love festival and knocking all the hippies on their ass. Of course, their 1967 debut, Vincebus Eruptum, enjoys permanent essential status as well, but the 1968 follow-up, OutsideInside, is more cohesive, and you can just hear that by the time the San Francisco three-piece got around to making it, they knew they were heavy. Put OutsideInside up against anything else 1968 had to offer and there’s very little, Hendrix included, that it doesn’t blow out of the water with its raw impact, channel-spanning solos, and the nascent groove that decades later became emblematic of what we now call stoner rock. If you haven’t heard it before and you doubt what I’m saying, listen twice before you tell me I’m full of shit.

Side B brings covers of The Rolling Stones and Albert King, both subjected to the weight and fuzz that Blue Cheer — the original lineup of bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Paul Whaley intact for the last time — brought to bear all across the album, and though the whole thing is done in little over half an hour, its impact continues to resonate today in heavy rock and metal of various stripes. More than its influence, however, the movement the trio manages to enact while still keeping a feel emblematic of the psychedelic era, which then was really just beginning to take hold, makes it necessary listening. The trio pull off rhythmic shifts that would blind lesser bands even today and do it all sounding so zoned out thatPeterson’s vocals hardly register as words on “Feathers from Your Tree.” It’s a landmark record, but it also rules.

There were rumors kicking around at some point last year or two years ago of a trio of former Blue Cheer members getting together to play under the moniker, but I’ve yet to see anything materialize, and without Peterson — who passed away in 2009 — there’s no way it could be the same. I was fortunate enough to see Blue Cheer a couple times around the release of their final album, 2007’s What Doesn’t Kill You, which included a redux of “Just a Little Bit” from OutsideInside, and they were still loud as hell, dug deep into heavy blues rock, Peterson playing through two 8×10 cabinets stacked sideways on top of each other. It was glorious, and while I knew what I was getting to some degree when I showed up, I was still knocked on my ass much the same way I expect the flower children were. Some power stands, undulled by time.

Crazy week. Madness. Had company here Sunday night into Monday, Wednesday night into yesterday, went to that Deville show last night, plus The Patient Mrs. and I are trying to buy a condo a couple towns over that’ll hopefully save us some money on our month-t0-month — what with being a single-income household for the time being — and as we’re in that you’re-just-basically-waiting-for-something-to-make-this-fall-apart stretch of time before closing, it’s been a bit frazzling. Oh yeah, I also did three interviews this week, with Peder Bergstand from Lowrider, Jon Davis from Conan, and this morning with Mike Dean from C.O.C., so yes, a little wild.

I’d like to get that Lowrider piece up next week. Peder had some cool stuff to say on making the video for Bob Balch of Fu Manchu‘s side-project, Sun and Sail Club, as well as getting Lowrider going again and their plans for putting together a new album. There’s a lot to go through to get a Q&A out of it, but I’m going to work hard to try to make that happen before next Friday. Also look for a review of the new Wo Fat record and a round of radio adds to make up for those I didn’t get the chance to do over the last couple days, and, in case I don’t already wind up with too much on my plate, a new podcast at some point. Too much good music floating around not to put one together sooner than later.

All that in mind, I’ll take my leave for the remainder of the evening ahead of waking up tomorrow morning and driving two hours into Connecticut (then back!) for family whathaveyou. I wish you a great and safe weekend and hope you’ll take the time to check out the forum and radio stream, as both kick ass mightily.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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