Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t mind telling you I’m looking forward to this one. My reasoning is two-fold: First, Ruby the Hatchet‘s 2015 sophomore album, Valley of the Snake (review here) — also their label debut on Tee Pee Records — was a gem. Memorable songwriting, crisp performances, a get-in-get-out sense of craft that still had room for atmosphere and setting a mood. Would be silly to not anticipate the follow-up. Second, though, is that in seeing Ruby the Hatchet this past summer at the first night of the Maryland Doom Fest (review here), every bit of their set showed them as not only realizing the level of accomplishment they’ve hit as a band, but being ready also to take another step forward. This impending third record, presumably, would be that step.
Spring 2017? Sign me up.
Ruby the Hatchet are on tour with Earthless starting tonight in Chicago. Dates and more info follow off the PR wire:
RUBY THE HATCHET Completes Work on New Album
Philadelphia Heavy Psych Outfit Conjures Spellbinding Space Rock on Long-awaited Third LP
Philly heavy psych quintet RUBY THE HATCHET has completed work on its highly anticipated new album. The bewitching rock troop featuring vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur, recorded the album in an 1800’s era estate deep in the Pennsylvania woods with engineers Joe Boldizar (Retro City Studios) and Zach Goldstein (Kawari Sound). The as-yet-untitled album is slated for a spring 2017 release via Tee Pee Records. The upcoming full-length follows the band’s celebrated sophomore LP, Valley of the Snake.
“Setting up shop and recording ourselves in an 1800’s era estate has been a pleasure and a labor,” comments Taylor. “We built the studio in house from the ground up – mostly Sean (organ), with help from our friends at Kawari Sound and Retro City Studios. From homemade preamps to third floor room mics hidden in echo chambers, the tones on this album are truly vintage. Putting ourselves into seclusion provided a process that influenced the album’s sound, allowing us to create our own pocket of deep space rock inside of a time warp where everything else stopped – politics, personal shit, the day-to-day worries that tarnish the soul…all gone. This album is like nothing we have ever made before.”
More details on RUBY THE HATCHET’s upcoming album will be released soon. The band will launch a U.S. tour alongside labelmates Earthless on December 2 in Chicago, IL. Fans can expect to hear a taste of the band’s new material on the two week trek, which runs through December 17 in Detroit, MI. The tour wraps up two years of heavy touring by the band in support of Valley Of The Snake, which saw RUBY THE HATCHET hit the road with Black Mountain, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and The Sword.
RUBY THE HATCHET tour dates: * All shows with EARTHLESS December 2 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle December 3 St Louis, MO The Firebird December 4 Norman, OK OPOLIS December 6 Dallas, TX Club Dada December 7 Austin, TX Barracuda December 8 Houston, TX Rudyard’s Pub December 9 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon December 10 Atlanta, GA The EARL December 11 Raleigh, NC Barcade December 12 Richmond, VA Strange Matter December 13 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom December 14 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus December 15 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe December 16 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop December 17 Detroit, MI El Club
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m not going to attempt to hide my affection for Heavy Temple‘s debut album, Chassit (review here), and I think it would be silly to try. There was a reason I asked them to open the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer this past August in Brooklyn, and it’s because I believe in their blend of hard-hitting tone, songwriting and rolling groove, and the force with which they delivered all of them from the Saint Vitus Bar stage that day was vindicating in the extreme. Three years from now, you’re gonna wish you’d been there to see it. If you weren’t. They did pull a pretty good early crowd.
This is just a quick update to let you know that if you haven’t gotten a copy of Chassit or have an aversion to tapes, respected purveyor Ván Records — which also released Heavy Temple‘s 2014 self-titled debut EP (review here) — will have a CD version out Jan. 27, 2017. Only question I have now is whether to count it as one of 2016’s best debuts or one of 2017’s. Either way, you know damn well it’s on the list, which’ll be posted here next month.
Till then, this from the PR wire:
Heavy Temple – ‘Chassit’ Update
Chassit will now be released on January 27th via Van Records and Tridroid Records. The CD version of Chassit will be released via Van Records and the cassette will be released via Tridroid Records.
Heavy psych/doom band HEAVY TEMPLE are pleased to announce that they will release their new EP Chassit on January 27th 2017. The EP will initially be available on cassette and digital formats via Tridroid Records and will CD will be available via Van Records.
Tridroid Recordsl owner Christine Kelly commented about the signing “Tridroid Records is proud to bring Chassit into the physical realm. I was floored by their first EP and drove to Philly to see them play live 2 years ago. The performance was so enthralling that I’ve gone on to see them 3 more times, each performance better than the last. They’re a Heavy Temple in the truest sense, massive both sonically and psychically.”
Heavy Temple formed at the end of 2012 with High Priestess Nighthawk on bass and vocals and presently features Siren Tempestas on drums and Archbishop Barghest on guitar.
The band will also be playing some shows throughout the next few months. All dates can be found below:
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Philly heavy psych fuzzblasters Green Meteor are currently looking for a home for their five-song debut album, Consumed by a Dying Sun. To herald its arrival, they’ve posted a rough version of the gleefully blown-out “Acute Emerald Elevation,” which I think is just fancy verbiage for getting high and which opens the record. One will find it preaching lysergics to the converted in a manner that should serve Green Meteor‘s spaciousness well as they hit the road next month for what I’m pretty sure is the first time, running part-way down the Eastern Seaboard and back up just in time to round out with a gig alongside none other than Hawkwind at Philadelphia’s rightly-esteemed Kung Fu Necktie.
Not a bad show to open by any means, and as they’ll also share stages with Virginian weirdos Buck Gooter and Nate Hall of U.S. Christmas, among others, they seem intent on making the trip worthwhile all the way through. May it be the first of many.
Also they’re willing to play your house on Nov. 11 if it’s between Asheville and Wilmington, North Carolina. Just saying.
Info, dates and audio follow:
Green Meteor tour in a few weeks.
Climb aboard the mothership with us!
We have no show on Friday 11/11 and will be in travel distance between Asheville and Wilmington, NC. Anyone wanna have a ridiculous house party and have us play? Hit us up.
Green Meteor live: 11/09 – Harrisonburg VA @ Golden Pony w/ Buck Gooter, etc 11/10 – Asheville NC @ The Odditorium w/ Nate Hall, etc 11/11 – South Carolina 11/12 – Wilmington NC @ Reggies 42nd st Tavern w/ City of Medicine, etc 11/13 – Richmond VA w/ US Bastards 11/14 – Baltimore MD @ The Ottobar 11/16 – Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ HAWKWIND
GREEN METEOR IS… Leta: Celestial Summonings & 6th Level Sonic Complexities Amy: Explorations of the 6 Degrees of Freedom Tony: Anti-Gravitational Percussive Reverberations Through Time Space Continuum Algar: Anti-Cosmic Astral Verses & Journeys into the 4th Dimension
Posted in Reviews on October 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ll admit I’m a little surprised at the shape this Quarterly Review has taken. As I begin to look back on the year in terms of what records have been talked about over the span, I find it’s been particularly geared toward debut albums, both in and out of wrap-ups like this one. There’s less of that this time around, but what’s happened is some stuff that doesn’t fall into that category — releases like the first two here, for example — are getting covered here to allow space for the others. Let’s face it, nobody gives a shit what I have to say about Russian Circles anyhow, so whatever, but I’m happy to have this as a vehicle for discussing records I still think are worth discussing — the first two releases here, again for example — rather than letting them fall through the cracks with the glut of new bands coming along. Of course things evolve as you go on, but I wish I’d figured it out sooner. Let’s dive in.
Quarterly Review #31-40:
Russian Circles, Guidance
From the warm wash of guitar that begins “Asa” onward, and no matter how weighted, percussive and/or chug-fueled Russian Circles get from there, the Chicago trio seem to be offering solace on their latest outing, Guidance. Recorded by Kurt Ballou and released through Sargent House, the seven-track offering crosses heavy post-rock soundscapes given marked thickness and distinct intensity on “Vorel,” but the record as a whole never quite loses the serenity in “Asa” or the later “Overboard,” crushing as the subsequent “Calla” gets, and though the spaces they cast in closer “Lisboa” are wide and intimidating, their control of them is utterly complete. Six albums in, Russian Circles are simply masters of what they do. There’s really no other way to put it. They remain forward thinking in terms of investigating new ideas in their sound, but their core approach is set in the fluidity of these songs and they revise their aesthetic with a similar, natural patience to that with which they execute their material.
Following their 2014 RidingEasy Records debut, …Lurar ut dig på prärien (discussed here) – which, presumably met with some pronunciation trouble outside the band’s native Sweden – Salem’s Pot return with Pronounce This!, further refining their blend of psychedelic swirl, odd vibes and garage doom riffing. They remain heavily indoctrinated into the post-Uncle Acid school of buzz and groove, and aren’t afraid to scum it up on “Tranny Takes a Trip” or the slower-shifting first half of “Coal Mind,” but the second portion of that song and “So Gone, so Dead” take a more classically progressive bent that is both refreshing and a significant expansion on what Salem’s Pot have accomplished thus far into their tenure. Still weird, and one doubts that’ll change anytime soon – nor does it need to – but as Pronounce This! plays out, Salem’s Pot demonstrate an open-mindedness that seems to have been underlying their work all along and bring it forward in engaging fashion.
International House of Mancakes – yup – is the follow-up to Bridesmaid’s 2013 long-player, Breakfast at Riffany’s, and like that album, it finds the Columbus, Ohio, instrumentalists with a penchant for inserting dudes’ names into well-known titles – see “Hungry Like Nick Wolf” and “Ronnin’ with the Devil” – but it also expands the lineup to the two-bass/two-drum four-piece of Scott Hyatt and Bob Brinkman (both bass) and Cory Barnt and Boehm (both drums). Topped off with KISS-meets-Village People art from W. Ralph Walters, there are shortages neither of snark nor low end, but buried underneath is a progressive songwriting sensibility that doesn’t come across as overly metal on cuts like “Ricky Thump” and doesn’t sacrifice impact or heft for the sake of self-indulgence. Opening with its longest track (immediate points) in “It’s Alectric (Boogie Woogie Woogie),” International House of Mancakes unfolds a heavy rock push that, while obviously driven in part by its sense of humor, earns serious consideration in these tracks for those willing to actually listen.
Too thick in its tones to be a completely vintage-style work, the sleazy vibes of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s Keep it Greasy! (on Rise Above) are otherwise loyal to circa-1971 boogie and attitude, and whether it’s the rewind moment on opener “U Got Wot I Need” or proto-metallic bass thrust of the “Hawkline Monster” or the brash post-Lemmy push of “Tired ‘n’ Wired,” the album is a celebration of a moment when rock isn’t about being any of those things or anything else, but about having a good time, letting off some steam from a shit job or whatever it is, and trying your damnedest to get laid. Radio samples throughout tie the songs together, but even that carries an analog feel – because radio – and the good Admiral are clearly well versed in the fine art of kicking ass. Familiar in all the right ways with more than enough personality to make that just another part of the charm.
The invitation to completely immerse comes quickly on the 13-minute “Delusion Sound,” which opens Landing’s Third Sight (on El Paraiso), and from there, the Connecticut four-piece sway along a beautiful and melodic drift, easing their way along a full-sounding progression filled out with airy guitar and backing drones, moved forward patiently by its drum march and topped with echoed half-whispers. It’s a flat-out gorgeous initial impression to make, and the instrumental “Third Site” and “Facing South” follow it with a tinge of the experimentalism for which Landing are more known, the former led by guitar and the latter led by cinematic keyboard. To bookend, the 14-minute “Morning Sun” builds as it progresses and draws the various sides together while creating a rising soundscape of its own, every bit earning its name as the vocals emerge in the second half, part of a created wash that is nothing short of beautiful. One could say the same of Third Sight as a whole.
While they’ve spent the last few years kicking around the deeper recesses of Brooklyn’s heavy underground, Reign of Zaius mark their debut release with the 26-minute Planet Of… EP, bringing together seven tracks that show what their time and buildup of material has wrought. Opener “Hate Parade” reminds of earliest Kings Destroy, but on the whole, Reign of Zaius are rawer and more metal at their core, the five-piece delving into shuffle on “Out of Get Mine” and showing an affinity for classic horror in both “They Live” – which starts with a sample of Roddy Piper being all out of bubblegum – and “Farewell to Arms,” previously issued as a single in homage to Evil Dead. The charm of a “Dueling Banjos” reference at the start of “Deliver Me” leads to one of the catchier hooks on Planet Of…, and the shorter “Power Hitter” closes with a bass-heavy paean to smoking out that digs into punkish summation of where Reign of Zaius are coming from generally as they continue to be a band up for having a good time without taking themselves too seriously.
Kind of a mystery just where the time goes on Sydney rockers Transcendent Sea’s self-released 50-minute first album, Ballads of Drowning Men. Sure, straightforward cuts like “Over Easy” and “Mind Queen” are easily enough accounted for with their post-Orange Goblin burl and boozy, guttural delivery from vocalist Sean Bowden, but as the four-piece of Bowden, guitarist Mathew J. Allen, bassist Andrew Auglys and drummer Mark Mills get into the more extended “Throw Me a Line,” “Blood of a Lion” and closer “Way of the Wolf” – all over 10 minutes each – their moves become harder to track. They keep the hooks and the verses, but it’s not like they’re just tacking jams onto otherwise structured tracks, and even when “Way of the Wolf” goes wandering, Bowden keeps it grounded, and that effect is prevalent throughout in balancing Ballads of Drowning Men as a whole. It takes a few listens to get a handle on where Transcendent Sea are coming from in that regard, but their debut proves worth at least that minimal effort.
Brothers Rael and Ryan Andrews, both formerly of Lansing, Michigan, art rockers BerT, revive their heavy punk duo Red Teeth with the four-song Light Bender 7” on GTG Records. Both contribute vocals, and Ryan handles guitar and bass, while Rael is on drums and synth through the quick run of “Light Bender, Sound Bender,” “Tas Pappas,” “134mps” and “Elephant Graveyard,” the longest of which is the opener (immediate points) at 4:49. By the time they get down to “Elephant Graveyard,” one can hear some of the Melvinsian twist and crunch that often surfaced in BerT, but whether it’s the ‘90s-alt-vibes-meet-drum-madness of “134mps” or the almost rockabilly riffing of “Tas Pappas,” Red Teeth – whose last release was eight years ago – have no trouble establishing personality in these songs. Approach with an open mind and the weirdness that persists will be more satisfying, as each track seems to have a context entirely of its own.
One can hear the kind of spacious darkness and through-the-skin cold of New England winters in this new split EP from Connecticut crushers Sea of Bones and grinding New Hampshire compatriots Ramlord from Broken Limbs Recordings. What the two share most of all is an atmosphere of existential destitution, but there’s an underlying sense of the extreme that also ties together Sea of Bones’ “Hopelessness and Decay” (10:36) and Ramlord’s “Incarceration of Clairvoyance (Part III)” (10:10), the latter of which continues a series Ramlord started back in 2012 on a split with Cara Neir. Both acts are very much in their element in their brutality. For Sea of Bones, this is the second release they’ve had out this year behind the improvised and digital-only “Silent Transmissions” 27-minute single, which of course was anything but, and for Ramlord, it’s their first split in two years, but finds their gritty, filthy sound well intact from where they last left it. Nothing to complain about here, unless peace of mind is your thing, because you certainly won’t find any of that.
Philadelphia-based five-piece Holy Smoke formed in the early hours of 2015, and the exclamatory Holy Smoke! It’s a Demo! three-track EP is their debut release. Opening with its longest cut (immediate points) in “Rinse and Repeat,” it finds them blending psychedelic and heavy rock elements and conjuring marked fluidity between them. As the title indicates, it’s a demo, and what one hears throughout is the first material Holy Smoke thought enough of to put to tape, but on “Rinse and Repeat” and the subsequent “Blue Dreams” and “The Firm,” they bring the two sides together well in a way it’s easy to hope they continue to do as they move onto whatever comes next, pulling off “The Firm” particularly with marked swing and a sense of confidence that undercuts the notion of their being their first time out. They have growing to do, and by no means would I consider them established in style, but there’s a spark in the songs that could absolutely catch fire.
[Click play above to stream ‘Key and Bone’ from Heavy Temple’s debut album, Chassit, out on tape Nov. 19 via Tridroid Records with preorders starting Oct. 3.]
Checking in at four tracks/28 minutes, I felt compelled to ask Heavy Temple whether their new release, Chassit, which is out in November on tape through Tridroid Records with other formats to follow, is a second EP or, in fact, their debut album. 28 minutes is short for a full-length — lest we forget that 30 years ago, Slayer pulled off Reign in Blood in that time — but part of the reason I thought I should ask was because of the flow the Philadelphia three-piece set up between their included tracks: “Key and Bone,” “Ursa Machina,” “Pink Glass” and “In the Court of the Bastard King.” The answer? An album, and I think that’s fair enough.
Since the release of their Ván Records self-titled EP (review here) in 2014 — the same year they formed — bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk has changed the band’s configuration entirely, and while bringing aboard drummer Siren Tempestas and guitarist Archbishop Barghest no doubt has affected the overall sound, lineup alone simply can’t account for the cohesion of aesthetic that has emerged in what they do. There’s legitimate growth here, and as Heavy Temple cast off some of the trappings of cult rock over time — others hold firm — what they’re finding is an individual presence and style between harder-edged fuzz, classic stoner swing, and more ethereal impulses. Principally though, their material hits with a firm sense of purpose on Chassit in a way that Heavy Temple had not yet found.
That’s not to trivialize the contributions of Tempestas — who rolls out a monster groove on “Ursa Machina” and is the foundation of the aforementioned swing, played with admirable vitality — or the tone of Barghest, which becomes a defining element here from the start of “Key and Bone” onward, rather to say that in the context of the first release, Chassit shows growth from Heavy Temple as a whole and not just because it’s different players making up the band.
It’s well worth noting that over the last couple years I’ve become a fan of their work, so that’s the perspective from which I’m writing — I invited them to play The Obelisk All-Dayer this past August because of that — but as much as the first EP turned heads in their direction, Chassit seems primed to take that a step further, and considering it as their debut full-length, the progression it establishes as already being in progress is both exciting for its future prospects and in its current execution, the shorter, catchier, punchier “Key and Bone” with its riotous thrust setting up the longer cuts that follow in “Ursa Machina,” a more patient push with stops culled from classic blues but hammered in feedback and spacious, leading to a fuzzed-out, you-are-here moment of arrival in the last two minutes, fluid and righteously heavy and full in its sound without any sense of being tentative about where it’s headed.
Confident. Assured. Powerful. These aren’t things one would necessarily expect from a band making their debut, or even one putting together a second EP to demonstrate their wares — and depending on what Heavy Temple does next, Chassit might indeed wind up being their second EP — but by the time they’re two verses into “Key and Bone,” it’s clear they’ve thrown the subgenre rulebook out the window and worked to become their own band.
This shift in approach only continues to suit them as “Ursa Machina” bleeds into the start of “Pink Glass.” As both tracks top eight minutes, they make up a significant portion of Chassit‘s total runtime, and it’s probably fair to call them the “meat” of the record, which is all the better for the blend of hooks and atmosphere they convey. Similar to the cut before, “Pink Glass” saves its largesse for the second half, but its beginning is perfectly paced in not rushing but still upbeat, with a catchy bounce in its chorus that sets up the latter portion, to which the transition begins at around the 3:30 mark as they work their way out of the last chorus.
Bass takes over complemented by sparse guitar, and for the next three and a half minutes, Heavy Temple show a quiet, patient side they haven’t yet displayed as they subtly build their way toward “Pink Glass”‘ explosive finish, an apex groove that builds its tempo smoothly as it arises and pays off the album as a whole as much as the song itself. Vocals return and soar in an ending chorus further marked out by an added layer of lead guitar — just a second or two of flash, but skillfully arranged — before the whole thing collapses into feedback and the start-stop beginning of “In the Court of the Bastard King.” Somewhat shorter at 6:03, the closer also pushes pretty far out, but in a different way, playing between an overarching thrust and hard-funk shuffle as it moves through its verses and layered chorus before departing the stomp in which it winds up via transitional tom work toward an ending wash of psychedelic noise.
There’s no coming all the way back this time, and having done so to such satisfying effect only one song prior, that makes the structure of “In the Court of the Bastard King” that much more engaging in how it ends the record. The underlying rhythm holds as the guitar freaks itself out and they do turn around to the central progression of the track in the last second or two, but by then the context has changed considerably, which is a further testament to their craft.
Part of the excitement of any impressive debut — or any impressive album at all, really — is imagining where the band’s creative growth might lead them in the years to come. To say as a fan already of their work that Heavy Temple exhibit significant potential to become something special on Chassit feels like underselling it, because to my ears, that moment is already happening here. Nonetheless, while they’ve set a high standard with these songs, I hear nothing in them to make me think Heavy Temple won’t keep growing and pushing forward from the elements presented here, and that their multifaceted but sonically consistent style will do anything other than continue to flourish. Here’s hoping.
I’m gonna need you to take my word for it on this one. Really. You don’t want to miss Heavy Temple as they kick off The Obelisk All-Dayer this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. You just don’t. They start the show at 2:30PM, and whether or not you caught onto their first, self-titled EP (review here), it doesn’t even matter because their new stuff blows it out of the water. Bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk — who needs real names, anyway? — has assembled a lineup of righteous compatriots and as a hard-fuzz power trio, they’re absolutely scalding on stage. Heavy nod, psych flourish, rhythmic density, memorable hooks and the occasional soaring moment that is absolutely bound to leave an impression.
Part of the reason I ask you to take my word for it is that the teaser below doesn’t actually give much of a taste of their upcoming next release, Chassit. The Philly three-piece will have a tape out via Tridroid by November, and presumably some more audio will precede before then, but the bit of noise and feedback proffered by Nighthawk, guitarist Arch Bishop Barghest and Siren Tempestas — who leads the march kicking into the track “Ursa” shortly hereafter — is the first audio to come from Heavy Temple since the self-titled and at very least it lets you know the kind of filthy tonality they’re getting down with these days. Way down.
Rest assured, there will be more to come on Chassit as we get closer to and through the release of the tape, but in the meantime, catch Heavy Temple this Saturday at The Obelisk All-Dayer with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and King Buffalo. If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, get them here.
[Click play above to stream ‘Burn Out’ from The Company Corvette’s Never Enough. Album is out Aug. 5 on The Company Records.]
The Company Corvette don’t quite reinvent themselves on their third album, but they wind up pretty close to it by the time they’re done. It was five years ago that the trio of bassist/vocalist Ross Pritchett, guitarist Alexei Korolev and drummer Peter Hurd released their second album, End of the Summers (review here), and at the risk of being honest, it didn’t do it for me. I had seen the band live by then and found them engaging enough, but the record didn’t have the same effect. For the seven-track/38-minute Never Enough, the three-piece hit Gradwell House in New Jersey to work with engineer/mixer Matt Weber, and the resulting material, from the farty bass wah on “Devilwitch” to the spaced-out multi-layered solos of the ultra-stonerized “Burn Out,” showcase a fully developed sonic persona.
At times abrasive, The Company Corvette almost bring to mind a thicker-grooving take on Acid Bath‘s underlying sludge fuckall, and whether they’re messing with faster tempos on “The Stuff” or dug into all-out “Snowblind” nod on opener “Foot in Mouth,” they keep a sense of attitude central to the proceedings, Pritchett‘s vocals moving into harsher territory but even when clean holding onto a (purposefully) dazed drawl, calling to mind Thurston Moore at the start of closer “Pigeon.” Released once again through the band’s own The Company Records, Never Enough realizes the potential their earlier work showed and brings it to life with a sense of grunged-up heft that becomes its defining element. They’re an act who has clearly put work into sounding like they couldn’t give a shit.
To look at it on the surface, I don’t suppose much has changed since End of the Summers. Sure, Never Enough is a little shorter at 38 minutes (as opposed to 42), but both records end with an extended track, The Company Corvette are still very much a riff-based band, and there’s a consistent sense of dark humor — one can see it in the willfully grotesque album cover by Drew Elliott as well — that runs a thread between both releases. The development, then, is deeper. It’s in the songwriting, in the presentation, in the production and in the attitude, and all of these things come together to make Never Enough stronger from the rolling start of “Foot in Mouth” onward. They seem to wink at early Electric Wizard in “Devilwitch,” but it’s very much a wink, and hard to know if it’s influence or cynical parody — a question that makes the listening experience even more satisfying.
Either way, that added sense of misanthropic stoner-sludge informs the perspective of the tracks around it, and enhances the tuned-in-dropped-out atmosphere of the record as a whole. Feedback helps, of course. “Sick” starts off with a solo layered over its central riff and is somewhat shorter but rawer and more upfront in its groove, Hurd‘s kick drum punctuating as the solid foundation of an almost hypnotic sway, that solo returning after what may or may not be the chorus as Pritchett delivers indecipherable lines about who knows what in a blown-out drawl that’s no less suited to the faster thrust of “Sick” than to the slowed-down plod of album-centerpiece “Stomach,” which follows in garage doom fashion and nods its way through one of Never Enough‘s most memorable hooks across a five-minute duration.
In some ways, “Burn Out” might be thought of as a continuation of some of the same impulses as “Stomach” for its tempo and general crunchiness, but in addition to being longer at 6:38, “Burn Out” also toys more with dynamics, playing back and forth with verses and jams throughout, Pritchett‘s bass playing more of a role in holding together the groove as Korolev spaces out the guitar, adding semi-psych flourish to the proceedings in a manner both classic and weedian. The solo section that comes apart over the bassline at the end and leads directly into the quicker-swinging “The Stuff” in particular is not to be missed. And “The Stuff” is well placed too as the penultimate cut. Between “Burn Out” and “Pigeon,” it’s the shortest track on the record and keeps momentum forward where it might otherwise be too easy to get lost — more evidence for how the band has grown since their last time out.
Breaking at its halfway point, it chugs out a slowdown that serves as a bed for Korolev‘s lead and finishes in feedback and fading hum to let the languid fluidity of “Pigeon” close Never Enough by essentially summarizing what has worked about the record all along, loose vibe, easy flow, for-the-converted groove and all. It’s not a flashy finish in the sense of some grandiose payoff for everything that’s come before it, but they ride out the last riff effectively (with soloing) and in that represent well the barebones, dudes-in-a-room feel conjured so effectively on the prior tracks. As to what The Company Corvette might do next, with five years between records and obviously a fair amount of progression done in that time, I wouldn’t speculate whether Never Enough is the start of a surge of activity or an intermittent check-in, but stylistic leap they’ve made in these tracks should not be understated.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Philly trio The Company Corvette are confirmed to take part in Psycho Las Vegas this August, and seemingly in conjunction with that, the band will release their third album, Never Enough, through their own The Company Records imprint on Aug. 5. The full-length was tracked at Gradwell House in NJ with Matt Weber and though they’ve already started writing for the follow-up — you might say they’re living up to the album’s title — the first audio from Never Enough has been posted in the form of the track “Devilwitch,” which you can stream below.
Copious info and background comes off the PR wire:
THE COMPANY CORVETTE: Philly Psychedelic Doom Trio To Release Third LP, Never Enough; Band Confirmed For Psycho Las Vegas
Philadelphia-based THE COMPANY CORVETTE has completed their third full-length recording, Never Enough, with the final details being put in place for an independent, late Summer release, in conjunction with the band’s performance at Psycho Las Vegas and more.
Remaining true to their heavy riff-laden, psychedelically inclined, occasionally laid back, mostly loud, stoner rock-gone-metal-and-back stylistics, THE COMPANY CORVETTE has been fine-tuning and intensifying their sound, reaching towards new levels of sonic honesty that they are drawn to. While the band likes to think of their two earlier releases as “glorified demos,” the new album is a huge step forward for the band in virtually every department.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE’s new LP, Never Enough contains seven songs recorded at Gradwell House Recording in New Jersey with Matt Weber at helm, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Sleep, Yob, Corrosion Of Conformity) in Oregon. The album features cover artwork by the excellent Drew Elliott (Sunn O)), Amorphis, Rwake, Necrophagia), which captures the imagery within the track Devilwitch and takes band’s visual presentation to new heights. Soon after the recording of Never Enough, Zach Price joined the co-founders, guitarist Alexei Korolev and bassist/vocalist Ross Pritchett taking over the drum duties. Once again releasing the album on their own, as with their prior two records, the trio is feeling super focused and prolific, already demoing a new batch of tunes and looking for opportunities to get out of town.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE will independently release Never Enough on cassette and digital on August 5th, to be followed by a vinyl pressing approximately a month after, all through their own imprint, The Company Records. Stand by for audio samples and more on the album to be issued in the coming weeks.
Never Enough Track Listing: 1. Foot In Mouth 2. Devilwitch 3. Sick 4. Stomach 5. Burn Out 6. The Stuff 7. Pigeon
The release of Never Enough is set in conjunction with THE COMPANY CORVETTE’s performance at Psycho Las Vegas 2016 with Alice Cooper, Electric Wizard, Blue Oyster Cult, Sleep, Boris, Converge, High On Fire, and tons more, the massive festival running from August 26th through 28th. Additional live actions from the band will be posted shortly.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE Live: 7/06/2016 The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY w/ La Otracina, Fox 45. 8/26-28/2016 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
The Company Corvette: Alexei Korolev – guitars Ross Pritchett – bass, vocals Peter Hurd – drums