High Reeper Announce Self-Titled LP Details; Preorders Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

high reeper

March 16 will serve as the official issue date for High Reeper‘s self-titled debut album through Heavy Psych Sounds. Initially self-released, the nine-track High Reeper (review here) has been given new cover art and preorders are available as of today for those who like to be ahead of the game. March is a while out yet, so there’s still no audio made public from the outing — it was up on Bandcamp for the initial release, of course, but has been removed in advance of this new incarnation — but you can pretty much expect that will come soon, and I’ll be interested to see if High Reeper end up touring at home or abroad, what with Heavy Psych Sounds‘ booking arm so often active and whatnot.

Album details from the PR wire:

high reeper high reeper

Philly stoner rockers HIGH REEPER unveil details for debut album “High Reeper” on Heavy Psych Sounds!

Philly-based stoner rockers HIGH REEPER have announced the release of their self-titled debut album on March 16th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

HIGH REEPER’s self titled debut is an unapologetic punch in the face for fans of early ‘70s proto-metal. The sound and smell of leather, weed, boozing, gambling and death permeate the record from start to finish. Nine tracks that run from uptempo straight-ahead rock, to slowed down, heavy, early doom. With a rhythm section throwing down grooves that are deeper than the darkest abyss and guitars big enough to put a hole in your chest, the record’s final hits just as hard as its opening track. Vocals soar above guitars with laser-like precision, while delivering a direct hit to your soul. Produced, engineered and mixed by bass player Shane Trimble at TTR studios in Philadelphia as well as his home studio Delwood sound in Delaware, the sound is laced with old school elements while still maintaining the focus of a modern-sounding release. Recorded in the fall of 2017, “High Reeper” is meant to be played loud and to be played often!

HIGH REEPER debut album “High Reeper”
Out March 16th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Presale start December 8th here

TRACKLIST :
1. Die Slow
2. Chrome Hammer
3. Soul Taker
4. High Reeper
5. Reeper Deadly Reeper
6. Weed & Speed
7. Double Down And Let It Ride
8. Black Leather (Chose Us)
9. Friend Of Death

High Reeper is:
Pat Daly
Zach Thomas
Andrew Price
Napz Mosley
Shane Trimble

https://www.facebook.com/HIGHREEPER/
https://highreeper.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

High Reeper, “Soul Taker” live at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia

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High Reeper Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Debut Album out Early 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Philly’s High Reeper have signed to Heavy Psych Sounds and will release their debut full-length through the Italian imprint early next year. Since the tracks have been pulled down from Bandcamp and YouTube since the record was reviewed here a couple months back, I’m going to assume the debut in question is the same self-titled offering the band had put out themselves earlier this year, which was marked out by cuts like “Friend of Death,” “Weed and Speed” and “Soul Taker,” a live version of which you can watch at the bottom of this post. I don’t have confirmation that it’s the same record and not something else entirely, so don’t go quoting me on that, but it makes sense in terms of timing and on the general principle of those songs having kicked ass that Heavy Psych Sounds would step in to put them out.

The PR wire doesn’t really go into much detail on the subject, but here’s what I’ve got to work from:

high reeper

Philadelphia stoner rockers HIGH REEPER to release debut album through Heavy Psych Sounds next year!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is stoked to announce the signing of Philly-based stoner doom rockers HIGH REEPER, for the release of their debut album in the beginning of 2018 on the label.

Formed in 2016, HIGH REEPER is made up of Zach Thomas, Napz Mosley, Andrew Price, Pat Daly and Shane Trimble. Originally started as a studio band, it rapidly became apparent that these songs were meant to be heard live and loud. The band made their debut in the Philly stoner rock scene in early 2017 with success, which was followed up by the recording of their self-titled debut in May.

With a sound deeply rooted in modern stoner rock, while still giving a nod to the earliest Sabbath records, HIGH REEPER’s first offering is driven by pounding rhythms, thick guitars and soaring, screeching vocals. Running from uptempo straightforward rock to slowed-down, heavy, early doom, with a rhythm section throwing down grooves that are deeper than the darkest abyss and guitars big enough to put a hole in your chest, HIGH REEPER is meant to be played loud and on repeat!

High Reeper is:
Pat Daly
Zach Thomas
Andrew Price
Napz Mosley
Shane Trimble

https://www.facebook.com/HIGHREEPER/
https://highreeper.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

High Reeper, “Soul Taker” live at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia

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The Obelisk Presents: Benthic Realm, Clamfight & More, Dec. 2 in Worcester, MA

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on October 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to present some killer shows of late — seriously, check it out — but when it’s friends playing a gig, that’s all the more special to me. This one? Yeah, it’s a no-brainer. Good show. You should go. But the truth is that in addition to appreciating what Benthic Realm and Clamfight do as artists, I know these people. They’re good people. Isn’t life that much better when you can be sure the people you’re supporting aren’t assholes?

The gig has been dubbed the “Mid Atlantic Invasion” — because regionalism — and pits two Massachusetts acts of significant pedigree in Benthic Realm (members of Second Grave and Conclave) and Z/28 (members of Mourne and Grief against Clamfight from Philly and Pennsylvania’s Brain Candle. With Clamfight signed to Argonauta as of this Summer and the release of their new album, III, impending for early 2018, and Benthic Realm having brought in Conclave drummer Dan Blomquist since putting out their self-titled demo (review here) this Spring, it should be a significant battle indeed, and by that I mean way less a battle than bands from different areas getting together and putting on a really good show for those fortunate enough to witness it.

To that end, let me add that Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester is, in the now-four-years that I’ve lived in Massachusetts, hands down the best place I’ve found to see a show, and that along with MT Booking, I’m happy to have this site associated with goings on in that space once again. Great sound, cool vibe, good lighting, comfortable space, and burgers downstairs. They’ll even make you coffee if you ask nicely, though they won’t necessarily be happy about it.

Below, Clamfight drummer Andy Martin offers a bit of comment on the gig, and the preliminaries follow. It’s eight bucks. What the hell more could you possibly ask?

benthic-realm-clamfight-show

Andy Martin on the “Mid Atlantic Invasion”:

Allow me to peel back the curtain on how I book most Clamfight shows: Can we make it to work on Monday and is there someone there I want to hug? Whether we think it’ll be a good show is like a distant fourth.

Luckily, Woostah fulfills all of those criterion.

It’s close, and we’ve (finally) got a record to flog, so that takes care of criteria one, and two, it’s home base for a lot of our favorite people.

From our brothers in Conclave, to Faces of Bayon, and our Boston homies who often make the trip out, Massachusetts and particularly Worcester have been really good to us so we are stoked to return, laden with riffs and hugs. Personally, I’m really looking forward to jamming with Benthic Realm for the first time too, and all the more now that they’ve snagged one of my favorite people on Earth, Dan Blomquist as their drummer.

As an added bonus we’ve got Philly shredders Braincandle with us in Worcester and the night before in Brooklyn, so it’s going to be a solid weekend of riffs and shenanigans, and well worth the pain we’ll all be in come Monday.

The Obelisk and MT Booking Present::
A night of Mid Atlantic meets Massachusetts Metal!

Ralph’s Rock Diner
148 Grove St., Worcester, MA
Saturday December 2, 2017
Doors @ 9PM
$8 At the door
21+ With valid I.D.

Benthic Realm (ex-Second Grave/Conclave)
https://benthicrealm.bandcamp.com/

Clamfight (Traveling from NJ/PA)
https://clamfight.bandcamp.com/

Brain Candle (Traveling from PA)
https://braincandlemusic.bandcamp.com/

Z/28 (ex-Grief/Mourne)
https://nobodyridesforfree.bandcamp.com/

Thee Facebooks event page

Benthic Realm on Thee Facebooks

Clamfight on Thee Facebooks

Brain Candle on Thee Facebooks

Z/28 on Thee Facebooks

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Clamfight Set Jan. 19 Release Date for III; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

clamfight

Impartiality be damned, I frickin’ love these dudes. I’ve known Clamfight for well over a decade now, and unlike seafood, they only get better with age. Yeah, I’ve heard III. I heard it while they were still recording. It rules. And if you miss it, it’s your own damn fault. I’ve been posting about how much ass Clamfight kick pretty much since this site started, and if you haven’t caught on by now, I don’t think I can really be held responsible at this point. Shit, I helped put out their last album, so what the hell do you want from me? A written invitation? Should I send you a telegram reminding you Clamfight are badass? Well, consider this post that personal notice. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Directly. It’s the internet, I can do that. I got your info from Equifax.

I’m hearing murmurings of a Clamfight release show in NY in January that I’m very much thinking I might need to travel to be at, but I’ll keep you posted on that once I get any details. In the meantime, Argonauta Records, which signed the four-piece this past summer, has preorders for III available now and has posted the album’s art and tracklisting, as well as a teaser video that shows off some of the harsh and melodic aspects alike of what they’re doing at this point. It’s a minute long and the band only needs about half that time to completely kick your ass.

In all seriousness, these guys are truly special to me and I consider myself fortunate to have watched as closely as I have as they’ve become a truly special band as well. Get yourself informed:

clamfight iii

U.S. Sludgers Clamfight reveal cover artwork and track-list of their highly anticipated new album “III”.

Influenced in equal parts by their dads’ vinyl, that sketchy older kid from woodshop class’ thrash and hardcore tapes as well as touchstone heavy bands like Sleep, Clutch, Neurosis, eyehategod and Mastodon, the band has plied its unique brand of suburban working slob metal up and down the East Coast of the United States since 2005.

CLAMFIGHT “III” will be released in CD/DD by Argonauta Records and available from January 19th, 2018. Preorders run here: http://hyperurl.co/ClamfightIII

A first teaser from the album is available here: https://youtu.be/ZCPkaIZ9T2Y.

TRACK-LISTING:
1. Whale Road
2. Selkie
3. Echoes in Stone
4. Eynhallow
5. History of the Earls of Orkney

www.facebook.com/Clamfight
https://twitter.com/clamfight
https://www.instagram.com/clamfight/
https://clamfight.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/argonautarecords
http://hyperurl.co/ClamfightIII

Clamfight, III album teaser

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Review & Full Album Premiere: The Age of Truth, Threshold

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the age of truth threshold

[Click play above to stream The Age of Truth’s Threshold in its entirety. Album is out Nov. 1 via Kozmik Artifactz.]

Philadelphia heavy rockers The Age of Truth make their full-length debut via Kozmik Artifactz with the eight-track Threshold. They are a four-piece comprised of guitarist Michael DiDonato, standalone vocalist Kevin McNamara, bassist/vocalist William Miller and drummer Adam LauverEric Fisher played on the album, which was recorded and mixed by Joseph Boldizar at Retro City Studios in Philly — and all of these details become crucially important to the record itself when one actually digs in for a listen. This is because The Age of Truth so quickly establish a range of influence that veers well outside the City of Brotherly Love. Songs like “Supernatural Salesman,” the verses of eight-minute side B opener “Caroline” and “Oceanbones” find the singer very much out front on vocal duties as the backing progressions bring to mind Clutch, but Maryland isn’t so far from Eastern Pennsylvania if we’re thinking of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the bulk of Threshold gives a far more European impression.

Enough so particularly in the performance and production around the vocals that one might be tempted to look at their lineup and wonder if there’s any way McNamara could be interpreted as a Swedish name. From the moment the frontman begins to top the semi-prog chug of DiDonato‘s thick, layered guitar in opener “Host (Demon in Me),” and certainly in subsequent cuts like “Come back a God,” “Holding Hands Like Thieves” the soaring chorus of “Caroline” and the winding closer of a title-track, McNamara‘s performance has enough gut-tightened lung push push to recall the likes of Janne “JB” Christoffersson during his time in Spiritual Beggars, John Hermansen‘s work on The Awesome Machine‘s underrated Soul of a Thousand Years, or even the classic presence that Magnus Ekwall brings to The Quill.

These comparisons are compliments not made lightly when it comes to what McNamara adds to the 44-minute album, which tops 50 minutes when the bonus track “Honeypot” is factored in, but the band is by no means only about this one element. Rather, the varied impressions of the songs are bolstered through a clearly diverse writing process — one suspects but has no confirmation of multiple contributors — and given further depth still by being drawn together through the fullness of the production and an edge of noise rock that seems to infiltrate the sound no matter where The Age of Truth are ultimately headed. It’s not just about intensity of delivery, either. True, “Come Back a God” wants nothing for energy behind its densely-packed fuzz tones and blown-out hook — one of several landmarks throughout Threshold — but even in the more laid back “Holding Hands Like Thieves,” the blues-driven “Caroline” or the rolling burl of “Honeypot,” where DiDonato‘s tone seems to singularly shout out toward The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote-era Scott “Wino” Weinrich, there’s an almost intangible aspect to The Age of Truth that draws from punk-based roots.

the age of truth photo useless rebel

The production around Miller‘s low end and the crispness of Lauver‘s drumming are big factors as well. One can hear it in “Supernatural Salesman” as much as the initial thrust of “Host (Demon in Me),” which launches Threshold in medias res and ties together with the finale title-track in underscoring a further complementary enrichment of the band’s sound: the previously-alluded-to progressive underpinning. They’re not engaging anything technically showy or anything like that but neither are their arrangements or progressions unthinking, and that’s shown in the two longer tracks — “Host (Demon in Me)” is 7:42, second only to “Caroline” at 8:11 — as the opener breaks into an open midsection before delivering its parenthetical title line as it builds toward its second-half apex and ends in feedback, and likewise, as “Caroline” moves from its blues to boogie shuffle, there’s an echoing space set in motion by DiDonato‘s dual-layer solo that, as it leads into the final slowdown, brims with enough complexity and purpose to resonate as progressive fare.

A further degree of nuance shows itself as “Threshold” seems to directly answer the spirit of “Host (Demon in Me)” in unfolding its own guitar-led movement, more patient and less aggressive in its charge than the opener, but still rich in its presentation and how it ties together sundry pieces of the record that bears its name. McNamara seems to underscore the representative point by referencing the band’s moniker in the chorus even as he draws upon another previously unheard influence, topping the last bit of shove with a series of repeated “Come on!”s that one half expects to be followed by an invitation to go “Space Trucking.” Sadly (maybe), that invite doesn’t come, but “Honeypot” as a bonus cut does offer a more classic feel to its roll that stands it out somewhat from the bulk of Threshold, though in its comfortable mid-paced fluidity, one finds again an impression drawn from European fare in terms of the vocals.

This may be a source of novelty or intrigue when it comes to early listens of Threshold, but between the record’s art drawing from the theme of the alleged C.I.A. murder of Frank Olson (a scientist experimenting with biological agents who was also dosed with LSD without his knowledge as part of the MK-Ultra project) and the fact that the band’s range is nonetheless presented as a cohesive and well-developed sonic persona of their own rather than simply a series of pieces sourced elsewhere, their debut hits with a marked impact that more than earns multiple revisits. Indeed, “Holding Hands Like Thieves” and “Oceanbones,” which might seem easily digested or overshadowed by compatriot tracks in some way, stand themselves out further on going back through Threshold again, and ultimately do much to tie together the flow that emerges throughout this impressive and thoughtful-but-not-overcooked debut. That The Age of Truth would strike such a rare balance their first time out of course speaks to the forward potential for what they might go on to accomplish craft-wise, but that shouldn’t be considered in place of the achievements they’ve already made in this material, which are significant.

The Age of Truth on Thee Facebooks

The Age of Truth on Twitter

The Age of Truth on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz on Twitter

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Hound Premiere “Suitable for Framing”; Born Under 76 out Oct. 20

Posted in audiObelisk on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hound

Philly-based heavy rockers Hound have an Oct. 20 release show booked for their new album, Born Under 76, which is due out accordingly via SRA Records on CD and Let’s Pretend Records on vinyl. On whichever format one might choose to engage it, it’s the third Hound full-length behind 2015’s sleeper hit Out of Space (review here), and while hearing the crisp three-minute delivery of the hook and subtle organ inclusion in “Aqualamb,” one might be tempted to relate Hound to some vision of Monster Magnet channeled through Mos Generator‘s penchant for straightforwardness of craft, the greater impression of Born Under 76 overall stems from cuts like opener “Born Under a Blacklight,” “Death Lends a Hand,” “Best Wishes,” “Two Horns,” “Bad One” and closer “Any Day Now,” which strip down the presentation overall from the debut in favor of a more charging, punkish tack. These influences were certainly present on Out of Space as well, but in tone and rhythm, the balance brings them forward even more so that even as second track “Eyes in the Dark” nestles into a comfortable tempo, it does so tonally informed by punk rock traditionalism, and the returning three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Perry Shall, bassist Pat Hickey and drummer Chris Wilson (also Ted Leo and the Pharmacists), make the most of that just as much in the swagger of the Thin Lizzy-esque “Suitable for Framing” as in the later fuzz rollout of “That’s a Famous Feeling.”

An underscore of noise rock or heavier tone balanced against punker intent and some measure of classic heavy rock influence? Sounds like the wheelhouse of producer J. Robbins (ClutchJawbreakerMurder by DeathColiseum, etc.), hound born under 76who would seem to have been the perfect choice to helm Born Under 76 if the transition between “Two Horns” and “Bad One” and the momentum the record builds in general is anything to go by. The balance of sonic naturalism and impact across Hound‘s 12-track/40-minute run — whether it’s the lumbering swing of the penultimate “Welcome to the Land of Bad Magic” or the midtempo chorus-leaning of “Demon Eyes” setting up the thrust and channel-panning lead of “Best Wishes” in the album’s midsection — serves as one of the LP’s most effective assets, and it’s what allows that momentum to be maintained despite some rather striking shifts in approach on a per-track basis, as when the ultra-catchy “Aqualamb” and “Suitable for Framing” boogie and big-rock-finish their way into the oncoming train that is “Death Lends a Hand,” or when the later charge of “Welcome to the Land of Bad Magic” winds its way to a sudden stop before the piano-inclusive blues intro of “Any Day Now” sets up its own spring-loaded-snake-in-the-can-of-peanuts with the song’s final push. This, like what precedes, is a transition as fluid as it wants to be, and indeed it ends up being some of these contrasts that makes Born Under 76 such a fun listen. As the material is drawn together by the quality of its songwriting, Hound are free to explore a greater divide of influences and still maintain their hold on their audience’s attention.

That sense of command is fitting for a band on their third album, Hound having made their debut with 2014’s Out of Time, but as Born Under 76 steps away from the apparent thematic modus of record titles — out of the Out of…, if you will — so too does it seem to present the strongest case for the three-piece as being somewhat underrated as well. As Philadelphia has taken shape in recent years as a hotbed of heavy rock and psychedelia on the East Coast — bands like Ruby the HatchetEcstatic Vision, etc. — one can only wonder what it might take to bring Hound more to light in that emergent set, since they seem so much to be earning their place in these tracks.

Once again, Born Under 76 is out Oct. 20. Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Suitable for Framing” as a track premiere. You’ll find it below, followed by some words from Shall about the track and more background from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Perry Shall on “Suitable for Framing”:

“We recorded this record with J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage in Baltimore. It was such an honor to work with someone who we consider a legend and now a good friend. He knew how to find the perfect balance between the punk aspect of our music along with a big rock sound and somehow make it work in perfect harmony.”

When a thunderclap met a tornado, Hound was born in the Philly dark, bred off primal energy, and unleashed without warning. If 2015’s Out of Space orbited around murky prog textures and metal snarls, its forthcoming follow-up Born Under 76 gets soaked in the swamp between punk and hard rock. Whether that winning concoction is the sum of Hound’s ragtag parts – featuring Chris Wilson (Ted Leo and the Pharmacists) on drums, Perry Shall on guitar/vocals, and Pat Hickey on bass – or the LP’s dances with the devil, it’s obvious something burbles under the streets of Philadelphia. It’s sinister yet familiar, and bites with its own maniacal energy. But don’t worry – it’s delivered with a smile. Hound is back, and they’re armed with a dozen reasons to answer their howl. Maybe they’ll bring one out of you, too.

Hound release show:
10/20 – Philadelphia, PA – Space 1026 (Album release show w/ “Financial Guru” Greg Gethard, Dialer, Mary Houlihan, Alicia Camden, Michael Sneeringer)

Hound on Thee Facebooks

Hound on Bandcamp

Born Under 76 preorder at Let’s Pretend Records webstore

Let’s Pretend Records on Bandcamp

SRA Records on Thee Facebooks

SRA Records

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Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child: Oh, the Places You’ll Trip

Posted in Reviews on August 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ruby-the-hatchet-planetary-space-child

It’s been a steady creep enacted by Philadelphia’s Ruby the Hatchet into the greater and expanding consciousness of American heavy psychedelia. The organ-laced five-piece from the City of Brotherly Love debuted on respected purveyors Tee Pee Records in 2015 with Valley of the Snake (review here), their second album overall behind 2012’s subsequently reissued Ouroboros and 2014’s Eliminator EP, and Planetary Space Child is their third and most cosmically expansive outing yet.

There have been and continue to be consistent themes in the band’s work — the Adam Burke cover art, the prominent vocals of frontwoman Jillian Taylor, the forward rhythmic push from bassist Lake Muir (who’s come aboard since the last record) and drummer Owen Stewart, a feel somewhere between garage heavy, doom rock and classically stoned ’70s-ism — but the seven-track/41-minute Planetary Space Child from nearly every angle simply brings their approach to a new level, whether that’s the additional percussion and Sean Hur‘s keyboard flourish amid the consuming swirl of effect from guitarist Johnny “Scarps” Scarperia in “Pagan Ritual” or the immediate landmark that the hook in the opening title-track gives the band to build from, so that the later drift of centerpiece “The Fool” after the subtly metallized “Killer” and “Pagan Ritual” has a decided outward direction in which it’s moving. One might say the same of the album as a whole in relation to the band’s preceding material. It’s going farther out.

And make no mistake, it gets there, but with Taylor‘s carefully layered vocals, a depth of mix conjured by Hur and engineers Joe Boldizar of Retro City Studios and Zach Goldstein of Kawari Sound, that easily accommodates the spaciousness required by the blend of keys, guitar, bass and drums as well as the atmosphere of Taylor‘s vocals and those backing her in, say, the seven-minute roller “Symphony of the Night” (is that a Castlevania reference?), there’s never any sense of confusion in terms of Ruby the Hatchet‘s intent. Their command of the song is never relinquished, so that as the just-mentioned “Symphony of the Night” moves toward its speedier midsection via an uptick in organ drama, the listener has no trouble following the band through the shift in ambience. Of course, the righteousness of the gallop that ensues and the clear demonstration of dynamic on the part of the group as a whole don’t hurt either in that regard, but that’s nothing new for Ruby the Hatchet, and whether they’re actively engaging galaxial grandiosity on “Planetary Space Child” — just in case you were looking for the perfect phrase to spraypaint on the back of your van to go with that mountaintop wizard you just put on the side of it — or digging into the more proto-metallic “Killer,” which feels perhaps a bit born of their time on the road alongside Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and is just one of two songs under five minutes long in a mirror with the penultimate “Gemini,” the vibe they set in these early moments holds firm throughout.

ruby the hatchet

The album was reportedly recorded in an 1800s mansion out in the woods of Pennsylvania, and if nothing else, it’s easy to imagine the place had high ceilings, because while Stewart‘s snare has a decided grounding effect, his perfectly-balanced cymbals ring out like splashes complementing the turns in “Killer” and the momentum that boogie-fueled riff of “Pagan Ritual” thrusts toward, and there is a strong feeling of “room” throughout the proceedings as a whole. That can certainly happen in a cramped studio space as well, of course — age of technological wonders and all that — but if Ruby the Hatchet‘s choice of locale was motivated in part by setting a mood for themselves in addition to the audience, it would seem they made the right choice in that regard and the dividends can be heard as much in the unmitigated hookery of “Killer” and “Planetary Space Child” as well as in the Rocka Rolla chug of “Gemini” or the languid motion of “The Fool.”

Anyone who heard Valley of the Snake and paid even a modicum of attention to what the band was doing therein can tell you they want nothing for songcraft, but this too seems to have been refined in the last two years, and while of course “Symphony of the Night” and grand-finale closer “Lightning Comes Again” — which itself is just shy of the seven-minute line that “Symphony of the Night” so fluidly crosses — have their meandering aspects, there’s zero loss of purpose throughout. To wit, the rhythmic change at 2:14 into “Lightning Comes Again” is a masterpiece moment of transition, and the band utterly nails it, bringing the track to its next stage with unmistakable precision without sounding forced or losing the flow that has brought them so gracefully not only through the quiet opening of that song itself, but of the six prior. The band is signaling at that point that they’ve hit the summary moment for Planetary Space Child as a whole, and so they have. Before the next five-ish minutes are up, they’ll call back to the 8-track-ready circa-’73 idolatry of “Gemini” and “Killer,” the staging sensibility of the title-cut, the rhythmic churn of “Pagan Ritual” and even a bit of the horror-rock flourish of “Symphony of the Night,” with Scarperia finding room for a highlight guitar solo and Stewart marking the ending with a flurry of tom fills behind the assurance from Taylor that, “Lightning will come again.”

She makes it a believable proposition, to say the least, though if lightning is what the band caught in a bottle their last time out on Valley of the Snake, then it would seem it’s already returned. They bring the record to an end with no less a sure hand than they began it, and only bring emphasis to the point that especially if they hit the road again as hard for their third LP as they did for their second, it’s time to start considering Ruby the Hatchet among the top purveyors of heavy psych at least along the East Coast. Where so many other acts seem to get mired in the intensity of the region, the cold weather, the traffic, whatever it is, Ruby the Hatchet have plotted and made their escape from the Northeastern crush, and one can only hope that others will follow the path they’re blazing in these tracks. For its standout choruses, the unrestrained feeling of openness that unites them, the flow and richness of its presentation as a whole, front-to-back listening experience, Planetary Space Child is an absolute must and easily one of 2017’s finest offerings.

Ruby the Hatchet, “Planetary Space Child” official video

Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child (2017)

Ruby the Hatchet on Thee Facebooks

Ruby the Hatchet on Instagram

Ruby the Hatchet on Twitter

Ruby the Hatchet Tumblr

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

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Rosetta: New Album Utopioid out Sept. 1; Tour Starts Oct. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

rosetta

Philly’s self-sustaining DIY post-metallers Rosetta will hit the road on the West Coast and in the Midwest in October supporting their upcoming sixth album, Utopioid. The record, like 2015’s Quintessential Ephemera (review here) before it, will be issued as a name-your-price download through Rosetta‘s Bandcamp page, and the five-piece’s ongoing commitment to a lack of bullshit remains singularly admirable. They do things on their own terms, exclusively, or they don’t do them. I don’t care who you are or how you spend your days — and I’m not necessarily the hugest Rosetta fan in the world; nothing against them, but there are those out there who dig their stuff way more than I do — integrity like that is pretty goddamn rare.

So I guess that’s why I’m leaving the ticket-buy links in the list of tour dates below, where I’d usually take them out because they look shitty in posts and take up a ton of space. And I guess that’s why I’m including all three of Rosetta‘s studio update videos about the making of Utopioid. And that’s probably why, once the record is posted, I’m going to grab a download and give it at least a short review like the last one. Because respect. Profound, profound respect.

From the PR wire:

rosetta utopioid

ROSETTA ANNOUNCES FALL NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; NEW ALBUM, ‘UTOPIOID,’ OUT SEP 1ST

Philadelphia avant-metal band Rosetta will embark on a headline North American tour this fall in support of their forthcoming, 6th studio album, Utopioid, which is due out on September 1st. The band will be supported by Tucson sludge act North. Tickets are on sale now; dates are listed below.

“We’re thrilled to play shows throughout the Western US and Canada this Fall, in support of our new album Utopioid. And we’re especially proud to be joined by our longtime friends in North, who we’ve had the pleasure to tour with several times over the years. Even beyond our brotherly kinship, they bring a level of inspired creativity to the stage night after night. For our part, we’re crafting a setlist pulling from the new album as well as many of our past releases, and look forward to connecting with old and new friends along the way. Can’t wait to see you out there.” – Rosetta

On their 6th studio album, Utopioid, Rosetta has unshackled themselves from past restraints and are further exploring their sound, pushing their music beyond the confines of what’s expected. The highly-anticipated album is a crushing hour long, intense journey that takes fans through a dynamic range of emotions while soaring to new creative heights.

“Composing Utopioid, we were wholly devoted to realizing the concept, disciplining ourselves to let the narrative shape all parts of the album — not just the lyrics, but everything down to the subtle ways rhythm or effects could alter the mood. We quickly let go of the imperative to write for live performance; although we will play many of these songs live, we felt freedom to explore the furthest reaches of our skills and imaginations.” – Eric Jernigan, guitar/vocals

“It’s the first album we’ve made where every single element, top to bottom, was created collaboratively — each of us has more of ourselves invested in this record than ever before.” – Matt Weed, guitar

Utopioid was engineered and mixed by Francisco Botero with assistance from Alexis Berthelot at Studio G, Brooklyn, NY, July-August 2017. The record was produced by Botero and Rosetta, mastered by Carl Saff with artwork by Jordan Butcher for Studio Workhorse.

Fans can purchase the digital record exclusively at BandCamp on September 1st. Studio updates, album art, track listing and tour dates are found below.

Utopioid Track List:
1. Amnion
2. Intrapartum
3. Neophyte Visionary
4. King Ivory Tower
5. 54543
6. Détente
7. Hypnagogic
8. Qohelet
9. Intramortem

Rosetta Tour Dates:
10/05/2017 Scottsdale AZ – Rogue http://ticketf.ly/2vubbIN
10/06/2017 San Diego CA – Soda Bar http://ticketf.ly/2f8z6Hu
10/07/2017 Los Angeles CA – Five Star http://bit.ly/2v1ThfT
10/09/2017 San Francisco CA – Brick and Mortar http://bit.ly/2v2kGyd
10/10/2017 Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp http://bit.ly/2vwB3ns
10/11/2017 Portland OR – Ash St Saloon http://bit.ly/2hrNj2S
10/12/2017 Seattle WA – TBA
10/13/2017 Vancouver BC – Pub 340 – http://ticketf.ly/2hvwrsk
10/16/2017 Edmonton AB – Brixx – http://ticketf.ly/2hosrd3
10/17/2017 Calgary AB – The Palomino http://bit.ly/2u8pt25
10/18/2017 Saskatoon SK – Amigos http://ticketf.ly/2fcOoew
10/19/2017 Regina SK – TBA
10/20/2017 Montana – TBA
10/21/2017 Boise ID – Shredder http://bit.ly/2u7WB6f
10/22/2017 Salt Lake City UT – Metro Music Hall http://ticketf.ly/2vr1wCP
10/23/2017 Denver CO – Globe Hall http://ticketf.ly/2vl2KzE
10/24/2017 Lawrence KS – Replay Lounge -Tickets Available at Door
10/25/2017 Ft Worth TX – Lolas http://ticketf.ly/2vkLbj9
10/26/2017 Austin TX – Lost Well – Tickets Available at Door
10/27/2017 Houston TX – Green Room http://bit.ly/RosettaWHL
10/28/2017 El Paso TX – Lowbrow Palace http://ticketf.ly/2u5TpI1
10/29/2017 Albuquerque NM – Sister http://bit.ly/2u1YPnI
10/30/2017 Tucson AZ – Flycatcher http://ticketf.ly/2u6bYjx

https://theanaesthete.bandcamp.com/
http://www.rosettaband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/rosettaband/
https://twitter.com/rosettaband
https://www.instagram.com/rosetta_band
https://www.youtube.com/user/rosettaband

Rosetta, Utopioid studio update 1

Rosetta, Utopioid studio update 2

Rosetta, Utopioid studio update 3

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