Ape Machine Tour Dates Start March 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

As they’re prone to do, Portland, Oregon’s Ape Machine are gearing up to head out on a run of Spring tour dates, and as previously announced, they’ll be hooking up with Boston heavy rockers Gozu along the way. Well, before that happens, the four-piece will head out from the Pacific Northwest into Montana starting on March 31 to sneak in a quick six dates ahead of time. Part of the motivation for doing so might be to get as much stage experience with drummer Steve Hanford (also Poison Idea) before they and he together record the new and awaited Ape Machine long-player, which has been given the foreboding title Skull Under Boot, following the longer West Coast stretch.

Kind of curious to hear how that album plays out, given the title and Hanford‘s pedigree, though now that I look at the PR wire info below, I’m not 100 percent he’ll be playing on the record or if he’s in permanently as their drummer in addition to producing the record. One assumes we’ll hear more as they hit the studio next month, but take a look for yourself and see what you think:

The northwest riffmeisters, Ape Machine, will put the rubber to the asphalt in a can of sweat (aka the tour van) this April, embarking on a western US tour that includes dates with Boston’s Metal Blade affiliated rockers, Gozu. Changing up the lineup on this tour, Ape Machine will include Steve Hanford – AKA Thee Slayer Hippy (Poison Idea) – on drums. Steve will also be producing the band’s upcoming LP, Skull Under Boot, scheduled for recording immediately following the tour.

The name APE MACHINE is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker for the Portland heavy-hitting quartet as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment. A true four-piece, the group has been called “a rock and roll band with a finger on the pulse of the 70’s and their asses firmly in the present” and “real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation” that delivers “true guts and glory rock and roll”.

Be sure to catch the exciting new lineups, sweat and vibrations of Ape Machine and Gozu as the bands shred the western territories.

Ape Machine:
Friday March 31st – Kalispell, MT – Old School Records
Saturday April 1st – Billings, MT – Railyard
Sunday April 2nd – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
Monday April 3rd – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note Lounge
Wednesday April 5th – Austin, TX – Lost Well
Thursday April 6th – Dallas, TX – Three Links

Ape Machine & Gozu:
Friday April 7th – Houston, TX – Rudyard’s
Saturday April 8th – San Antonio, TX – Faust Tavern
Sunday April 9th – Corpus Christi, TX – Black Monk Tavern
Monday April 10th – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
Tuesday April 11th – Las Vegas, NV – Backstage Bar and Billiards
Wednesday April 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room
Thursday April 13th – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
Friday April 14th – Santa Cruz, CA – Blue Lagoon
Saturday April 15th – Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge
Sunday April 16th – San Francisco, CA – Elbo Room
Monday April 17th – Fresno, CA – TBA
Tuesday April 18th – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theater
Wednesday April 19th – Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
Thursday April 20th – Portland, OR – Kenton Club
Friday April 21st – Seattle, WA – Funhouse
Saturday April 22nd – Bremerton, WA – Manette Saloon

http://apemachine.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apemachinemusic
https://twitter.com/apemachine
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm
www.ripple-music.com

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Young Hunter to Begin Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m a big fan of consistency. When Portland, Oregon-based atmospheric heavy rockers Young Hunter announced in May 2015 they were beginning to record what would become their 2016 self-titled full-length (review here), they posted a couple pictures to go with of sights from around the rehearsal space. As they make ready to follow-up the self-titled, we get a look at the actual tapes they’ll use as a part of that process… along with some incense, a woven blanket, and so on. Ambience on all levels. Consistency of approach. These are good things.

Young Hunter‘s Young Hunter was a significant leap in intent from where they were previously, whether it was the seething 2013 EP, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain (review here) or the raw 2012 debut, Stone Tools (discussed here). They’ve willfully undertaken a deeply progressive sound and clearly put in efforts to challenge their own conventions of songcraft — that’s not to mention founding guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Blake uprooting the project from the Southwestern desert to the Pacific Northwest and completely revamping the lineup — so while I won’t conjecture as to what they’ve come up with this time around, I don’t think Young Hunter would be hitting the studio if they didn’t feel the material put them ahead of where they were two years ago.

I’m eager to hear the results.

They’ve got live dates next week en route to the studio. Here’s their post:

young hunter tape reels

Young Hunter – New Album

Almost one year ago, we put out our album “Young Hunter.” Next week we embark on a journey to go record our next album at Louder Studios with Tim Green in Grass Valley, CA. These two wheels will become the physical body of our new lil baby beast. On our way down, we will play a few shows with some killer bands in Northern California. Send good vibes, we have an Armageddon to subvert.

N CA shows:
3/23 – Santa Rosa- The Funk Den w/ Lord Mountain and The Drought Cult
3/24 – San Francisco- The Knockout w/ Slough Feg and Ails
3/25 – Nevada City- Cooper’s Ale Works w/ ÆQUOREA, Pinnacles and Find Yourself

https://www.facebook.com/Young-Hunter-127424170682508/
https://younghunter.bandcamp.com/

Young Hunter, Young Hunter (2016)

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Megaton Leviathan Update on Lineup and New Album Progress

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The numbers don’t lie, but it sure feels like longer than three years since the last time Portland drone-psych ritualizers Megaton Leviathan released an album. Led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew James Costa Reuscher, who founded the band a decade ago as a solo-project, Megaton Leviathan go into their next offering as a full-on troupe — a six-piece outfit — who no doubt will be driven to realize and expand on the wash that has typified the project’s deep-running and richly textured work since the outset. Do I have any prediction what their next record might sound like? None whatsoever. Do I dare to hazard a guess? Not on your life.

What I do find particularly encouraging about Megaton Leviathan expanding their lineup, however, is that it would seem to signal things are going to get weirder, and I don’t see any possible way that could hurt them. I wouldn’t rush it, but I’m looking forward to this one for sure, whenever it might arrive.

From the PR wire:

megaton leviathan

Megaton Leviathan Announce Lineup Additions, Studio Album in Progress

In the three years since Megaton Leviathan released their last album, 2014’s critically acclaimed “Past 21,” Andrew James Costa Reuscher and Mort Subite have been diligently creating new material to meet and exceed Megaton’s reputation for fusing disparate elements into new, borderline narcotic compositions.

To help facilitate this goal, several new members have been drafted in both studio and live capacities, including ex Lord Dying drummer Jonathan Reid, vocalist and concert violinist Andrea Morgan, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Travis Hathaway, and bassist Trejen. This new, diversely talented cast has already inspired unexpected creative reward in the studio, and will no doubt entrance live audiences worldwide as Megaton Leviathan take to the road once again to support their presently incubating goliath later this year.

Since 2007 Megaton Leviathan have been concocting an increasingly discriminating solution of heavy rock, psychedelia, shoegaze and more, one distinctive album at a time. Originally a solo project consisting of little more than multi-instrumentalist Andrew James Costa Reuscher and a strong desire to create, various impermanent collaborators would augment this lineup for several years, including drummer Matt Brim and bassist Chris Beug, whose orchestral influence would permanently transfigure Megaton’s sound. Varying permutations of these players would propel the band through its first two full length releases and several US tours.

In the aftermath of a lineup overhaul in 2014, producer/multi-instrumentalist Mort Subite signed on to mix the band’s third full length, Past 21. Proving vital to the new direction and creative core of the band, Subite remained and he and Costa Reuscher successfully navigated several independent tours in support of the then new material.

In the wake of Past 21, an even further evolved Megaton Leviathan has washed up on uncharted shores. Swathing deeper into territories unknown, and gaining refugees from the storm, Costa Reuscher and Subite have assembled a crew of talented and creative minds eager to push the boundaries of drone, rock, psychedelia, post punk and beyond. Past 21 saw Megaton Leviathan experimenting with the likes of kraut-rock, darkwave, and even orchestral themes. The impending full length will continue these flirtations as a full on romance, met with even stranger partners in the ever expanding theater of the real.

Megaton Leviathan is:
Andrew James Costa- Guitars, bass,Vocals, Synthesizers, effects, sound loops.
Mort Subite- Live Sound , Engineer, Misc / 2014 current synth,sound engineer, vocals, guitar
Trejen -Bass 2017-
Jon Reid drums – 2017
Travis Hathaway rhythm guitar/ acoustic guitar
Andrea Morgan – Violin, Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/Megaton-Leviathan-185853803548/
https://megatonleviathan.bandcamp.com

Megaton Leviathan, “Past 21”

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Doomstress and Disenchanter Announce ‘How the West was Doomed’ Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face facts: There shouldn’t be a single date on this tour that’s TBA. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I’m not saying it’s a vast conspiracy or anything, but for real, Denver, Boise, San Francisco, San Diego, Tucson, etc., where are you on this one? Disenchanter and Doomstress hitting the road together? Between bands in the TBA geography and club promoters with nights to fill, it should be an absolute no-brainer for heavy rock heads. The call makes itself. Get on it if you’re not already on it.

Shit, you guys need a show in Massachusetts? Come on up, we’ll figure something out. Worst case, you play my house and I’ll make everyone a delicious low-carb dinner and milkshakes afterward. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly on the routing for a West Coast run, but a gig’s a gig. Let me know. Offer’s on the table.

Take a look at the dates below, and if you can help out the bands, it’s as easy as the paragraph above makes it sound. You can probably even let them fend for themselves as regards dinner, if that’s how it absolutely has to be:

doomstress-disenchanter-tour

DOOMSTRESS & DISENCHANTER – How the West was Doomed

This April, DHU Records labelemates: DOOMSTRESS (Houston, TX) & DISENCHANTER (Portland, OR) join up to tour the western US on the “How the West was Doomed Tour”.

Tour begins April 4th w/Doomstress in Colorado Springs, CO before being joined by up Disenchanter.

Doomstress & Disenchanter – “How the West was Doomed Tour”
4/4 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Triple Nickel (Doomstress only)
4/5 tba
4/6 Seattle, WA @ Darrell’s
4/7 Portland, OR @ Kenton Club (Doomstress only)
4/8 Eugene, OR @ The Boreal
4/9 tba
4/10 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite
4/11 tba
4/12 Los Angeles, CA @ The Complex (w/Old Blood)
4/13 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar (w/Demon Lung)
4/14 Flagstagff, AZ @ Green Room
4/15 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
4/16 tba

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis (bass & vox)
Brandon Johnson (gtr/backing vox)
Tomasz Scull (drums)

Disenchanter is:
Sabine Stangenberg – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Joey DeMartini – Bass

www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
www.facebook.com/DisenchanterPDX
www.disenchanter.bandcamp.com
www.disenchanter.bigcartel.com
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com
www.facebook.com/DHURecords

Doomstress, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (2016)

Disenchanter, Strange Creations (2015)

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Last Giant Announce Memory of the World Due April 4

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

There was an abiding crispness to Heavy Habitat (review here), the 2015 debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Last Giant, who feature in their ranks RFK Heise, formerly of System and Station, and on an initial sampling, the follow-up, Memory of the World, seems to operate in a similar vein. Not gonna complain there. They’ll head out on tour supporting the second long-player shortly after it arrives in April, so they’re continuing to keep busy on that level as well, after running through several West Coast stints for the debut.

Like the first record, Memory of the World will see release through Little One Ate the Big One Records. I’ll hope to have more on it as we get closer to the release, including those tour dates, but for now here’s some background on the album from the PR wire:

last-giant-memory-of-the-world

New LAST GIANT album out 4/4/17

The new album by Portland, OR’s LAST GIANT titled “Memory of the World” out April 4th, 2017 on Little One Ate the Big One Records.

On the heels of Last Giant’s 2015 debut record Heavy Habitat, a hard-hitting opus chalked full of bone rumbling rock, comes Memory Of The World, an inwardly drawn collection of 11 tracks. The album transcends the nuanced 70’s rock sound with its progressive rock embellishments and Last Giant continues to obliterate the pretty confines of everyday rock in this sophomore release.

Last Giant features former members of System and Station (1998-2013) and moves forward where S&S left off with their bigger then life indie rock sound. “Memory of the World” was co produced and recorded by Larry Crane (Tape Op) in Portland at Jackpot! studios and mixed by Paul Malinowski (The Life and Times, Shiner) at Massive Studios in Kansas City, MO.

Last Giant has an album release on April 8th at the World Famous Kenton Club in Portland, OR followed by a west coast tour April 12th-24th.

www.lastgiantband.com
www.lastgiant.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/lastgiant
https://soundcloud.com/last-giant
https://www.youtube.com/c/Lastgiantband1

Last Giant, “Captain My Captain” official video

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Red Fang Announce March Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

red fang

Not at all surprised to find Portland, Oregon, heavy rock forerunners Red Fang heading out to support last year’s Only Ghosts (review here), and hey, March is as good a time as any. It just seems kind of surprising to me that as the band head out yet again on a US run — they pretty much head out everywhere, all the time — the list is shorter than I’m used to seeing from them. About two weeks on the road instead of a month. Can’t help but wonder if more dates are to come, perhaps including stops at SXSW not announced yet for this or than contractual reason? Or if they’re shortly headed abroad for other appearances. I don’t know anything, of course, I’m just wondering what’s the impetus behind what, on a Red Fangular scale, is a quickie run.

Sorry. Not my intention to ask a question and leave it sitting there, but I actually don’t know. If you do, kindly fill my ignorant ass in. Thanks in advance, and cool for the cities that get to see Red Fang this time out. Maybe they missed Petaluma on the last tour or something. Right on.

From the PR wire:

red fang tour

RED FANG Announce US Tour Dates

Portland rockers Red Fang have announced a new round of U.S. headlining tour dates in support of their recently released album, Only Ghosts. Big Jesus will provide opening support on select dates. All confirmed tour dates below.

RED FANG Tour Dates:
All dates Mar 03 to 11 with Big Jesus

Mar 03 Sacramento, CA Goldfield
Mar 04 Petaluma, CA Mystic Theatre
Mar 05 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst Atrium
Mar 06 Santa Barbara, CA Velvet Jones
Mar 08 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
Mar 10 Fort Collins, CO The Aggie
Mar 11 Colorado Springs, CO The Black Sheep
Mar 13 Billings, MT Pub Station*
Mar 15 Spokane, WA The Pin*
* No Big Jesus

The Portland–based rock band worked with producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive-In, The Cure, Slipknot) and mixer Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Melvins) on the 10-song album.

In the week’s leading up to Only Ghosts’ release, the Portland-based rock band also created a tremendously clever video about wronged comic book collectors seeking Predator-style vengeance (“Shadows”), and partnered with Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a tour only blend dubbed “The Deep” after the song of the same name and lent their music to Pabst Blue Ribbon’s retro pinball machine, The Can Crusher.

Only Ghosts is available now, as are physical bundles.

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

Red Fang, “Shadows” official video

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Sun Gods in Exile Announce 2017 Reunion Plans

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

Portland, Maine, heavy rockers Sun Gods in Exile will return to the stage in 2017. Last I heard from the classic-minded swagger-bearers was in 2013, when they hit the road alongside Small Stone labelmates Backwoods Payback, Supermachine and Lord Fowl for a quick run of the Northeast — four bands, four nights. Four years ago. Cool bill, all the same.

By that time, Sun Gods in Exile had two full-lengths out. They made their debut in 2009 with Black Light, White Lines (review here), followed it with 2012’s Thanks for the Silver (review here), and also took part in Ripple Music‘s Heavy Ripples Vol. 1 (review here) four-way split with Grifter, Stone Axe and Mighty High. The albums it’s probably fair to say were a couple years prescient in terms of how they updated ’70s vibes with modern production and songcraft, but Sun Gods in Exile always seemed to make an impact in terms of attitude as well, and they sounded like the kind of group who approached every show as a competition to kick as much ass on stage as possible.

Looks like they’ll get that opportunity again. The reunion plans are rather straightforward — play regional shows around New England and get to writing new material — but then, Sun Gods in Exile were never much for messing around. A lineup shift is still in the works, but guitarist Anthony D’Agostino sent confirmation this thing is happening, and he’d certainly know.

Here’s the latest:

sun gods in exile

Sun Gods in Exile reforming in 2017

Original Black Light White Lines lineup except new bass player to be announced soon.

After 4 years off due to family and career obligations we decided to start rolling out the rock again.

Sun Gods in Exile will be doing a handful of New England shows this spring and summer playing songs off the two Small Stone records, then plan to start writing new material to be released later in the year.

https://www.facebook.com/Sun-Gods-in-Exile-2017-411701842508372/
https://sungodsinexile1.bandcamp.com/
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/

Sun Gods in Exile, Black Light, White Lines (2009)

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Ceremony of Sludge VI Lineup Announced: Witch Mountain, Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra, Lamprey and Troll to Play

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

It’s been my pleasure to write about the Portland-based festival Ceremony of Sludge in various ways over the years, from posting lineup news as you see below to videos afterwards, to basically just being entranced by Portland’s commitment to supporting its own underground, wishing I could be there, blah blah blah. Lots of the latter, of course. This year’s lineup, for Ceremony of Sludge VI, feels even more special. Witch Mountain are arguably the biggest band to have played the fest, and they’ll headline a no-filler five-band single-night bill with veterans Disenchanter, a Lamprey reunion (!), newcomer doomers Troll, who released their self-titled debut back in October and are waiting to be picked up by this or that label in three, two, one, and Seattle duo Year of the Cobra.

Though they’re playing in the middle of the lineup, I mention Year of the Cobra last to highlight the fact that the two-piece showcase Ceremony of Sludge VI reaching outside the confines of Portland itself, something I can’t say definitively off the top of my head it’s never done before, but which is certainly rarer than not — one of five, in this case. Add to that the fact that the show is a benefit for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in Portland, and fuck yes, it’s worth supporting. If you happen to live in that corner of the world, attendance is absolutely a no-brainer.

Info follows:

ceremony of sludge vi

Ceremony of Sludge VI Comes to High Water Mark, Portland

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE VI: Benefit For Planned Parenthood and ACLU Of Oregon
MARCH 11th at High Water Mark | Portland, OR
$10 – $20 sliding scale

Portland Heavy Seen, Cravedog,Inc. and Soundcontrol PDX present Ceremony of Sludge VI, to be held March 11th at High Water Mark in Portland, Oregon. This year the annual heavy-music fest is donating 100% of proceeds to local branches of Planned Parenthood and The ACLU of Oregon. The show is 21+ and $10 – $20 (sliding scale) at the door.

Ceremony of Sludge VI lineup:

March 11th
Witch Mountain
Disenchanter
Year Of The Cobra
Lamprey
Troll

Limited edition show posters by Sarah Crosley and merch provided by Cravedog, Inc. will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going into the donation fund.

https://www.facebook.com/ceremonyofsludge
https://www.facebook.com/soundcontrolpdx
http://www.cravedog.com/

Witch Mountain, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Oct. 7, 2016

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