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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Ruby the Hatchet Post “Planetary Space Child” Video; Playing Psycho Las Vegas and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ruby-the-hatchet-Photo-Mike-Petzinger

Call me crazy, but am I wrong in thinking that at some point at least one of the sci-fi movies featured in Ruby the Hatchet‘s new video for the title-track of their third album, Planetary Space Child, was on Mystery Science Theater 3000? Aside from being a blatant take on the Star Wars opening scene, that ship underbelly at the beginning of the clip is awfully familiar. Is it Space Mutiny? Or maybe Starcrash from the new season? I can’t say for sure, and apparently there was an endless supply of budget science fiction in the wake of A New Hope in 1977, so I’m sure it could be from any number of films. Probably a few of them used the same ship models anyway.

Whether or not Tom Servo ever ripped on the visuals, what matters is the song “Planetary Space Child” itself. Aside from the righteous, righteous, righteous righteousness of the title, the cut from the album that shares its name — and how would one ever dare to call a record anything else given the opportunity to call it Planetary Space Child? — stands as a demonstration of the kind of breadth Ruby the Hatchet are exploring as they follow-up and expand the cosmic aspects of their sound from even where they were on 2015’s Valley of the Snake (review here) while also emphasizing a natural core of performance true to the live feel the Philly natives bring to their gigs.

Later this month, Ruby the Hatchet will take the stage at Psycho Las Vegas, and if the energy they carry into the Nevada desert is anything like that which they brought to their set this past April at Roadburn 2017 (review here), then those who are fortunate enough to be there to see them will be glad they were. Planetary Space Child, meanwhile, lands on Aug. 25 — it’ll be here before you know it — and the band will also play other shows around the fest. You can find all the info, dates, links, etc., under the video below, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Ruby the Hatchet, “Planetary Space Child” official video

Philadelphia psych rock quintet RUBY THE HATCHET will release its new album, Planetary Space Child, on August 25 via Tee Pee Records. The record showcases richly layered songs that unite heavy, doomy psychedelia with acid rock, proto-prog and melodic, hypnotic songcraft. The far-out title-track clip was created by Jordan Vance (Inter Arma, Windhand) for 3grit.com.

“We didn’t realize ‘Planetary Space Child’ was going to be the title track for the album, but it ended up being the perfect summation,” says vocalist Jillian Taylor. “Lyrically, this song is a perspective play from ancient kings to sci-fi space beings. Create. Destroy. Repeat. It’s an imaginative play on the cyclical nature of humanity, and the music rides the theme; don’t I know you from another world?”

On August 17, RUBY THE HATCHET will perform alongside Mastodon, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, SLEEP and more as one of the featured acts at the 2017 Psycho Las Vegas Festival, set for August 18-20. For more details, visit this location.

RUBY THE HATCHET tour dates:
August 14 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room
August 15 Denver, CO Streets Of London Pub
August 16 Salt Lake City, UT Metro Music Hall
August 17 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel (* As part of Psycho Las Vegas Festival)
August 20 Albuquerque, NM Sister
August 22 Saint Louis, MO Fubar
September 9 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s

RUBY THE HATCHET features vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur. Find the band online at RubytheHatchet.com.

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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Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

Olde on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

Deaf Radio on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

Saturndust on Thee Facebooks

Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

Birnam Wood on Thee Facebooks

Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

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Clamfight Sign to Argonauta Records; Announce New Album III

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Before the end of 2017, Clamfight will release their aptly-titled third album, III, via Argonauta Records. I’ve made no secret over the years of my love for this band. They’re personal friends and as such I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the news that they’ve inked the deal with Argonauta. I’ve heard the new record and it’s a huge step forward for them in terms of overall maturity and the complexity of their songwriting, which has grown in leaps since their 2010 debut, Volume I (review here).

It’s been over four years since the four-piece offered their second long-player, I vs. the Glacier (discussed here), through what was then this site’s in-house label, The Maple Forum, which they followed later that year with the two-song CDR single Block Ship/Bathosphere. They’ve been recording III intermittently since 2015 at Gradwell House in my beloved Garden State, and while I acknowledge my own bias, the results are worth the wait. If you missed it, their last outing was the Contaminated Tones limited live tape Thank You Delaware (review here).

This is reportedly one in a series of announcements from Argonauta coming soon — the next one never seems too far off — so stay tuned for further word from both the band and the label, but in the meantime, all the best to Clamfight and to the imprint on their partnership going forward into and through the release of III. More to come.

Until then, the PR wire makes it official:

clamfight

US Sludgers CLAMFIGHT signed to ARGONAUTA Records; new album out soon

Italian label ARGONAUTA Records is thrilled to announce to have inked a deal with U.S. sludgers CLAMFIGHT.

The members of Clamfight are four childhood friends turned grown-ass men who are almost as committed to big riffs as they are to each other.

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.

The band says: “We’re thrilled to be working with Argonauta for the upcoming release of III. We had a few options available to us however we kept going back to Argonauta because Gero seemed so genuine and honest to work with. We’re also pretty tight with the lads in Hollow Leg and they had nothing but great things to report regarding their experience with Argonauta. We’re excited about the potential that exists with this budding relationship and look forward to broadening our reach across the Atlantic and helping promote the other great bands on the Argonauta roster!”

Drummer/vocalist Andy Martin comments on the new album: “For us III is the logical progression of where ‘I Versus the Glacier’ left off. We took the formula of ‘Stealing the Ghost Horse’ and ran with it, with longer more dynamic songs. With ‘Glacier’ our purpose was Neanderthal pummeling but with ‘III’ we wanted to let the songs breathe and experiment with melody…before resuming the Neandrathal pummeling.

Having issued a debut album, Vol. I, in 2010, and a second album, I vs. the Glacier, in 2013 through The Maple Forum, the quartet is now poised to release its third full length, III, due later this year.

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

Clamfight, Block Ship / Bathosphere (2013)

Clamfight, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Feb. 7, 2015

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Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band Announce Dreaming in the Non-Dream Due Aug. 25

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

This is a good one. I’ve covered the last two records from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, last year’s The Rarity of Experience I (review here) and 2015’s Intensity Ghost (review here) — both released by No Quarter — and I honestly don’t feel like I gave either one of them due appreciation. The Philly-based experimental psych outfit have shown themselves to be genuinely adventurous on a sonic level, and that holds true on the four-track long-player Dreaming in the Non-Dream as well, which — don’t be fooled by the cover art — is filled to the brim with color.

Hopefully before Aug. 25 gets here and is gone I’ll have a chance to really dig into the album and show it the proper respect, but either way, take this as an early heads up to keep an eye out for it, because these guys are on a special kind of trip.

Okay, I said my piece. Here’s PR wire stuff:

chris-forsyth-solar-motel-band-dreaming-in-the-non-dream

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – Dreaming In The Non-Dream

Release date: Friday, August 25th 2017

New SMB record is out Aug 25. You can pre-order it from No Quarter and pick up an extra 30+ minutes of previously unheard live material on a limited edition pre-order only cassette with download. In addition to the UK Tour Aug 16-28, some Northeast US dates in Sept to be announced soon. Grab it:

http://noquarter.net/product/chris-forsyth-the-solar-motel-band-dreaming-in-the-non-dream-pre-order-bundle/

The idea that rock music ever pretended to promise ‘transcendence’ is ridiculous, or at least it seems so under present conditions. Leaving aside the obvious question even (‘transcendence’ of what?), the idea seems archaic, optimistic in a way that’s hard to access in the Trump/Brexit era. Chris Forsyth’s music is too kinetically aware, too intelligent, and frankly too goddamn punk to make any such outsized promises, but also nearly impossible to hear without considering the idea. Because as sure as Dreaming In The Non-Dream is subject to all the dread pressures that have contorted us all of late —it would be a drab mistake to call this a “political record,” but also straight-up lazy to miss its subtle cues— it offers… one won’t say a “way out,” exactly (hardly), but something along the lines of a way through. It’s a record that conveys ecstasy as surely as Pharoah Sanders does, or the Velvet Underground did.

In this respect, it’s hard to imagine who Forsyth’s contemporaries might be. But then it’s always been this way: the greats tend to feel a little out-of-plumb with their moment (only hindsight lets us see it otherwise), and Forsyth’s music has been sparring with some large forces from the beginning. He’s always united the homely with the astral, the abstract with the visceral in his Solar Motels and Intensity Ghosts. There’s something different about Dreaming In The Non-Dream, though. There’s a fresh economy involved here, a sense, strange as this is to say about a record with two songs longer than eleven minutes, of not a note wasted. Despite psychedelic leanings, Forsyth’s records have always trained toward concision — plenty of space, yet never slack— but these tunes erupt with startling swiftness, then spend the rest of their quick-burning lives teasing multiple moods and patterns out of relatively simple materials. “History & Science Fiction” pads in on the back of a slinky, almost shy, bass line, then —after a little blast of glassy percussion— hurls us about a mile into the air before arriving, startlingly, at a saxophone arrangement (!) that evokes early Roxy Music. The title track seems to gene-splice two of the great minimalist themes, Pere Ubu’s “Heart of Darkness” and Neu’s “Hallogallo,” into one surging, winding, pulsing ride: Music For Speeding Tickets. Even the pensive, aqueous “Two Minutes Love,” which sounds a bit like something Ry Cooder could’ve written for the Paris, Texas soundtrack troubled by ghosts both placid and deranged, does a lot —really, a lot— with barely more than a whisper.

Those titles, though. It’s hard not to notice that “History & Science Fiction” might refer to the intersection we’re all standing at now, pinned by the consequences of the former and living, abruptly, within the latter; “Two Minutes Love” inverts Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” from 1984; as for the title track, well, that utilitarian “non-dream” could just as well be a euphemism for nightmare. But it’s “Have We Mistaken The Bottle For The Whiskey Inside?” that’s most explicit. Over a prowling, stabbing, Stones-ish backdrop —one that, naturally, will accelerate itself into something different— Forsyth sings about, well, transcendence: about “los(ing) my senses” and the suspension of self-judgment, about the gaps between ideation and execution, and, of course, between container and content. Perhaps the most canny thing about Forsyth’s music is how little explanation he’s willing to attach to it. Not out of coyness, or any need to gin up a little mystery: there just isn’t any need for it. When the whiskey’s this strong, who needs a bottle at all?
– Matthew Specktor

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band live:
Aug 17 Brecon Beacons National Park Brecon Beacons, UK
Aug 19 The Wightman Shrewsbury, UK
Aug 22 The Crescent York, UK
Aug 24 The Green Door Store Brighton, UK
Sep 22 Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia Liverpool, UK

Chris Forsyth: High Strings, Vocal
Peter Kerlin: Low Strings
Shawn Edward Hansen: Prophet 12, Wurlitzer, Alto Saxophone
Ray Kubian: Drums & Percussion
Jeff Zeigler: Sonics

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Forsyth/131555540199988
http://noquarter.net/

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, Dreaming in the Non-Dream (2017)

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The Cloth to Release New Album Going to Vomit July 4; Tour Dates Announced

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

the cloth

Like a rumble coming up from the floor from a show you didn’t know was happening in your basement, Philadelphia noise rockers The Cloth return on July 4 in true American spirit with the seven-track EP, Going to Vomit. If you can think of a better way to celebrate national heritage than blistering raw pummel like that of “Drowning Man” or the half-speed punk of “The Fig,” well, you’re probably thinking along the wrong lines to start with, so get on board. There’s still time, if you’re concerned about time. What were you gonna do? Fireworks? Come on.

The Cloth will support the new release by hitting the road alongside Cemetery Flowers. Dates and more info on the EP follow here, as sent down the PR wire:

the cloth tour

the Cloth – “Going to Vomit” – 7.4.2017 and Tour

Greetings, dear reader, from South Philadelphia. THE CLOTH is preparing to hit the road once again, this time in support of their 4th proper release, “GOING TO VOMIT.”

Since 2012 THE CLOTH has been bullheadedly writing, recording, touring, and booking locally for their national DIY family. “GOING TO VOMIT” continues THE CLOTH’s commitment to all things dissonantly catchy, weird and heavy. Lyrical content remains ever dismally resigned, themes ranging from the rejection of class constructs and materialism in western civilization, to the losing of friends and family to time or death, and of course the pent up rage against long-gone slumlords and former employers.

After 5 years THE CLOTH is showing no signs of stopping. “GOING TO VOMIT” comes out on the 4th of July, and the band will be on the road through July 9, with support from CEMETERY FLOWERS.

The Cloth live:
All dates with Cemetery Flowers (ex-Bubonic Bear / Kerosene)
7/4 Golden Pony, Harrisonburg, VA
7/5 The Hideaway, Johnson City, TN
7/6 Go Bar, Athens, GA
7/7 House Show, Durham, NC (msg for address)
7/8 Strange Matter, Richmond, VA
7/9 House Show, Philadelphia, PA (msg for address)

New EP was recorded in the winters of 2016 and 2017 with our good friends James and Dan at the Sex Dungeon, same folks who recorded our first tape “Number One.. Our session with them this past winter was the final session at their guerrilla warehouse studio. We will also have copies on tour of our previous two releases on Reptilian Records: “Number Two,” our 2014 4-song 7″, and “Touched,” our 2016 LP, as well as brand new “Going to Vomit” shirts / pins / stickers.

https://www.facebook.com/thecloth666/
https://thecloth.bandcamp.com/album/going-to-vomit
http://thecloth666.tumblr.com/videos

The Cloth, Going to Vomit (2017)

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God Root to Release Salt and Rot July 11

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

god root

There is a teaser clip below that you can watch for the forthcoming July 11 release, Salt and Rot, from Philadelphia post-sludge five-piece God Root, but truth be told, it’s a pretty light tease. Like you’re about halfway through the 55 seconds before it really starts to make noise and even then you don’t get much more than ambience. Entirely possible the dudes drone out across the whole record and that’s just how it goes, but somehow I’ve got my doubts after how it went down on their self-titled EP (discussed here) last year. Not to say they aren’t atmospheric, just that at some point they’re probably going to punch you in the face with volume.

However much of it they’re letting you hear beforehand, the album will be out digitally through an alliance with Horror Pain Gore Death, and the band have a limited number of self-made CDs to offer as well. Audio may be sparse, but there’s much info below, including preorder links and tour dates with Sunrot for August, all from the PR wire:

god-root-salt-and-rot

Philly sludge shamans GOD ROOT announce new album!

Philadelphia avant-garde sludge shamans GOD ROOT announce their second offering, Salt And Rot, due July 11th. Salt And Rot will be released digitally with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and limited, hand screen-printed compact discs will be available through the band.

“We hope this record helps people escape”, bassist/vocalist Ross Bradley explains about the creation of Salt And Rot. “That’s what we wrote it for and we paid a lot of attention to how it moves from track to track and what kind of journey it takes a listener on. Thematically the record deals with the frailty of human life and of ego and the dogmas we’ve tried to build for ourselves. It’s about facing one’s mortality and letting go of what you can’t control, destroying those oppressive forces trying to control and manipulate you and becoming self-reliant outside of these systems”.

Recorded throughout 2017 with Neil Cote and Richard Bukowski at Groundwork Sound in Somerville, NJ, GOD ROOT spared no expense to create their own brand of primitive and tribalistic sludge, and the doomed cinematic soundscapes found on Salt and Rot. GOD ROOT also welcomed friends and family into the studio to participate in their “Let Go” project. “We put a call out to our friends and family to contribute something they wanted to “Let go” of. We recorded their voices/read their writings. Some of these were personal stories and some were phrases or names that meant something to them. We processed them into our track “From Hounds to Silent Skies” in a way that maintains their respective privacy. It was really harrowing and humbling to have these people we love be as vulnerable and open and honest as they were” Bradley explains.

GOD ROOT will team up with New Jersey power sludge band SUNROT to embark on a tour in support of Salt And Rot, which begins on August 3rd in Brooklyn, NY. The tour will take them extensively throughout the east coast and midwest and then return to them Philadelphia, PA on August 19th.

Pre-order for Salt And Rot is available now.

ALBUM DETAILS
Release date: July 11, 2017
Album title: Salt and Rot
Format: Compact disc, digital
Label: Compact disc self-released, digital through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Track Listing:
1. Reclamation
2. From Hounds to Silent Skies
3. The Peak is Our Threshold
4. Conscious Disease

Recording and mixing: Neil Cote and Richard Bukowski at Groundwork Sound in Somerville, NJ
Mastering: Mike Cervantes at The Foxboro
Artwork: Illustration and layouts by Fred Grabosky at FTG Illustrations, additional art provided by Mary-Rose Runk
Promotional Photographs: Colour burst and live photos by Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging, all others by Raechel Welch at Raechel Welch Photography
Promotional Video by: God Root

PRE-ORDER
Physical Pre-order: https://godroot.bandcamp.com
Digital Pre-order: https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/salt-and-rot

GOD ROOT
Fred Grabosky- Drums/Vocals
Ross Bradley- Bass/Vocals
Joe Hughes- Guitar/Vocals
Keith Riecke- Guitar
Jordan Stiff- Guitar/Electronics

GOD ROOT live dates:
8/03 Brooklyn, NY
8/04 Providence, RI
8/05 Kingston, NY
8/06 Syracuse, NY
8/07 Ithaca, NY
8/08 Rochester, NY
8/09 Buffalo, NY
8/10 Cleveland, OH
8/11 Detroit, MI
8/12 Kalamazoo, MI
8/13 Milwaukee, WI
8/14 Chicago, IL
8/15 Indianapolis, IN
8/16 Lexington, KY
8/17 Pittsburgh, PA
8/18 Washington, DC
8/19 Philadelphia, PA
All dates with SUNROT

https://godroot.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/godrootband
https://www.instagram.com/godrootband

God Root, Salt and Rot teaser video

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Ruby the Hatchet Announce Planetary Space Child out Aug. 25

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

ruby-the-hatchet-Photo-Mike-Petzinger

I had the remarkably good fortune to see Ruby the Hatchet preview material off their forthcoming third album at day two of this year’s Roadburn festival in the Netherlands this past April. They killed it at Extase. Absolutely owned the room. Later that night, I saw the Philly natives sitting outside at a cafe in Weirdo Canyon, and decided to ask them what the names of the new songs they played were. One was “Pagan Ritual,” and another was “Planetary Space Child,” which would turn out to be the title-track of the new record. They told me the name of the album right then and there, but it didn’t seem fair to include that in the review. Nonetheless, my response when they said it was, “God damn I hope that’s true.”

Because, you know, as far as titles go, that’s pretty over the top in the best way possible.

Turns out it is true. Planetary Space Child will be issued by Tee Pee Records this August, right after Ruby the Hatchet appear at Psycho Las Vegas. No audio from the record yet, but the PR wire brings art and info:

ruby-the-hatchet-planetary-space-child

Ruby the Hatchet to Release New LP, ‘Planetary Space Child’, August 25

Philly Psych Band Rockets its Sound into Exploratory New Realms; Group Confirmed for Psycho Las Vegas Festival

Philadelphia psych rock quintet RUBY THE HATCHET will release its new album, Planetary Space Child, on August 25 via Tee Pee Records. Recorded in an 1800’s era estate deep in the Pennsylvania woods with engineers Joe Boldizar (Retro City Studios), Zach Goldstein (Kawari Sound), and the band’s own Sean Hur, the record is the product of several weeks of self-imposed isolation. Planetary Space Child showcases seven richly layered songs that unite heavy, doomy psychedelia with acid rock, proto-prog and melodic, hypnotic songcraft.

Taking advantage of the century-plus-old manor’s natural acoustics, inherent eeriness and custom-built control room, Planetary Space Child sees RUBY THE HATCHET elevate its sound to hallucinogenic new heights. Boasting a bouncy creepiness, weighty sonic palette and dark, lush layers of experimentation, the album’s bulk forges a hypnotic, head-nodding nirvana while electric vocalist Jillian Taylor spins haunting tales of dreams and death; her voice layered in hazy smoke that infuses the sound of the band with an otherworldly element.

“From content to creation, this album is like nowhere we’ve been before,” comments Taylor. “The last two years have been spent traveling, playing and pushing; both on the road and within ourselves. ‘Planetary Space Child’ is the culmination of that work.”

Planetary Space Child is the follow-up to RUBY THE HATCHET’s critically lauded sophomore LP, Valley of the Snake (Tee Pee Records, 2015), hailed by Verbicide as “a commanding display of hard rock.” Of their last LP, The Obelisk mused “If ‘right now’ has a sound somewhere within heavy or heavy psychedelic rock, it probably isn’t far off from what Philadelphia’s RUBY THE HATCHET conjure.” With Planetary Space Child, RUBY THE HATCHET has defined itself as more than current, toeing the line between past and present while pushing towards the outer reaches of its unique psych rock universe. Moving forward without compromise, it’s clear that RUBY THE HATCHET aren’t just staying present or looking ahead; they’re simply breaking away.

Track listing:
1.) Planetary Space Child
2.) Killer
3.) Pagan Ritual
4.) The Fool
5.) Symphony of the Night
6.) Gemini
7.) Lightning Comes Again

On August 17, RUBY THE HATCHET will perform alongside Mastodon, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, SLEEP and more as one of the featured acts at the 2017 Psycho Las Vegas Festival, set for August 18-20. For more details, visit this location.

RUBY THE HATCHET features vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur. Find the band online at RubytheHatchet.com.

https://www.facebook.com/rubythehatchet
https://www.instagram.com/rubythehatchet/
https://twitter.com/rubythehatchet
http://rubythehatchet.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords
teepeerecords.com/products

Ruby the Hatchet, “Tomorrow Never Comes” live at Roadburn 2017

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