Video Premiere: Beard of Bees, “General Butt Naked” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

beard of bees

Admittedly, it was a while ago, so if you don’t remember or had chalked it up to the ol’ sometimes-things-fall-through, no worries, but when this year’s Ceremony of Sludge was announced back in January, it was noted that I’d be premiering a series of videos captured there at Club 21 in Portland, Oregon, over the course of the two-day event. Well, the fest happened March 7 and 8, and sure enough, it was filmed, and last night, I was sent the first of what I hope will be many clips to come from that weekend.

The band in question is Beard of Bees, a Salem, OR, guitar/drum two-piece who kicked off the first night of the festival. They shared the stage with TsepeschSerial Hawk and Lamprey, and playing to an already crowded room, they evoked ’90s noise pummel and brandished thick, mostly instrumental grooves of considerable threat. It’s my first time hearing the band, which is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Russell Brown and drummer Nick Plaff – going by their Thee Facebooks address, they were at some point a trio and Bob left — but the tension in their buildups and the locked-in chugging of the ensuing payoffs makes for a satisfyingly heavy roll that has me empathizing with those in the crowd raising their beer cans in appreciation.

As for the song itself, it’s called “General Butt Naked,” and the clip was filmed by Cole Boggess, Justin Anderson, Justin Brown (Russell‘s brother and one of Lamprey‘s two bassists) and Eli Duke, and edited by Boggess. Beard of Bees don’t seem to have anything recorded or released as yet — they first got together in 2011 — so if you go looking and find some other band with the name, don’t be confused, but as an introduction, I think the live clip works well to make a favorable impression, and if nothing else, looks like the kickoff to a hell of an evening.

Enjoy:

Beard of Bees, “General Butt Naked” Live at Ceremony of Sludge, Portland, OR, March 7, 2014

Beard of Bees on Thee Facebooks

Ceremony of Sludge

Tags: , , , ,

Ogre Announce Weekender Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

While it looks like Ogre won’t be appearing at next weekend’s Vultures of Volume fest in Delaware as was originally slated, the illusive Maine-based doom rocking trio will still be out and about in the Northeast. Shows for a weekender they’re calling the “Trilogy of Terror” are booked in Philly, Connecticut and New Hampshire, and they’re playing with some excellent local support, including Heavy Temple and Cactus Hag. No doubt the good times will abound as they say goodbye to summer and continue to support their 2014 release, The Last Neanderthal (review here), their first album since getting back together after initially calling it quits half a decade ago.

That album is a worthy cause to support, and the notice the band sent down the PR wire is right when it urges you to catch them if you can. Ogre don’t really tour at this point, and who knows how long it’ll be before they next set foot back into civilization from their home in the northern wilds.

Or, as they put it:

ogre kung fu necktie

Portland, Maine doomsters OGRE are closing out the summer with three out-of-town gigs over the Labor Day weekend. The “Trilogy of Terror”, as the band has dubbed the trip, begins on Thursday, August 28th with the band’s first ever show in Philadelphia, performing at Kung Fu Necktie with local support from Heavy Temple and Skeleton Hands. Then, they will head up the coast for a Friday, August 29th show in New Haven, CT at Three Sheets with VRSA and Mind Over Master. The road-trip ends on Saturday, August 30th at Sonny’s in Dover, NH. Opening that show will be Cactus Hag and Black Norse.

OGRE is not sure when they’ll be hitting the road again, so try to catch them at these gigs if you can. For more info about the shows and to see drummer Will Broadbent’s killer gig flyers, check out the band’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rockogre

OGRE’s most recent CD, The Last Neanderthal, was released by Italy’s Minotauro Records in March 2014 and is still available at numerous on-line retailers and through the Minotauro website (www.minotaurorecords.com).

https://www.facebook.com/rockogre
http://www.minotaurorecords.com

Ogre, “Nine Princes in Amber” Lego video

Tags: , , ,

Witch Mountain, Mobile of Angels: Shapes and Truths

Posted in Reviews on August 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

witch mountain mobile of angels

Certainly the announcement that vocalist Uta Plotkin will leave Witch Mountain following their Fall US tour with Nik Turner’s Hawkwind places Mobile of Angels, the band’s fourth album overall and third with Plotkin fronting, into a different context. If nothing else, it lets lyrics longing for escape in “Psycho Animundi” and “Can’t Settle” — lines like “Living in filth and dirt in rooms less colorful and cheerful than the cages in which we put animals in a zoo” from the former and the richly, beautifully crooned “Oh, it’s time to go” in the back half chorus of the latter — be read in ways opposed to how they otherwise might. Witch Mountain‘s music has never been particularly upbeat, but the blues in Plotkin‘s voice seem to have a focal point here and if it’s a change that needed to happen, then the only really unfortunate part about it is that it comes as the four-piece of Plotkin, guitarist Rob Wrong, drummer Nate Carson and bassist Charles Thomas (also of Blackwitch Pudding and the latest in a succession of bass players) reach their highest creative watermark to date. Released by Profound Lore in North America and Svart in Europe, Mobile of Angels follows two strong outings in 2012′s Cauldron of the Wild (review here) and 2011′s South of Salem (review here) — their debut, Come the Mountain (discussed here) having been released in 2001 on Rage of Achilles before an extended hiatus — but it is leaner than Cauldron and more developed than Salem, the band’s considerable road-time paying dividends in the tightness of performance and the ground they’re able and willing to cover stylistically. Production by Billy Anderson never hurts either, but what’s most striking about Mobile of Angels isn’t how the five songs sound so much as where they go.

The lurching chug in Wrong‘s riffs is a signature element in Witch Mountain‘s approach, and as the opener, “Psycho Animundi” dives immediately into an affirmation of it. Cauldron of the Wild‘s “The Ballad of Lanky Rae” was similarly direct, but the bluesier atmosphere of that track is contrasted by “Psycho Animundi”‘s purely doomed stomp, underscored by the slow march in Carson‘s drumming. At nearly nine minutes, it’s second only to centerpiece “Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn),” and fittingly immersive, but there’s still a right-down-to-business feel, and the vocals start less than a minute into the track, beginning a tradeoff of verses and guitar solos that carries the central chug through a duration that feels less extended than it is. Plotkin‘s voice is given to soaring, and it does so liberally here, finding contrast in secret-weapon growls in the metallic midsection of “Can’t Settle,” the second half of which stands as an early apex of the record, perhaps rivaled by the guitar nods to YOB‘s “Catharsis” in closer “The Shape Truth Takes,” but a moment unto itself for the vocal harmonies at play in any case. That one would even be tempted to hyperbolize and call it Plotkin‘s best performance in Witch Mountain should be enough to emphasize the point. The 10-minute “Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)” follows, executing a few quiet/loud tradeoffs en route to Mobile of Angels‘ most patient build, the full band in complete command of their movement as soulful backing vocals guide the way through the early stretches and the guitar, bass and drums begin their push toward a peak that arrives after seven minutes in, Wrong taking the fore for one of the album’s best solos — he also works in layers — and giving way to a morose final verse before a more open, ethereal ending shifts into the otherworldly title-track, relatively quick at 3:30, but hypnotic thanks to organ scratch and an interweaving of spoken and sung incantations.

witch mountain

A subdued finale, maybe, but “The Shape Truth Takes” is glorious in its melancholy. Plotkin seems to be playing off Debbie Harry‘s unrealistic range, and the quieter instrumentation behind her gives a perfect showcase in the song’s initial moments, the lead-in from “Mobile of Angels” opening fluidly to the peaceful noodling of the guitar, Witch Mountain proving just as capable of conveying weight in emotionality as in their tones, Plotkin‘s swirling layers recalling “Can’t Settle” as ThomasCarson and Wrong weave their way through a forward but deceptive progression, finding an explosive point after the three-minute mark, at which point “The Shape Truth Takes” opens to a fuller but still not overblown breadth. Regret? Sadness? It’s hard to know what’s in there without reading too much in, but it’s not bitter in the way “Psycho Animundi” is. Maybe it’s just a moment of resignation that gets swept up in Wrong‘s solo before five minutes in, the album’s final crescendo coming in the solo/vocal trade much like that of “Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn),” but leading to a relatively quick outro and final chug of the guitar, as though it’s looking to hold onto the song even as it’s already passed. Witch Mountain, which was founded by Wrong and Carson in the late ’90s, has said the band will continue without Plotkin, but there can be little doubt they’ll have their work cut out for them in assembling a new dynamic after the utter mastery they show on Mobile of Angels. That’s not to say it can’t be done, only that it will take time. When one considers the efforts put in by the band on tour and over the two records leading to this one, Mobile of Angels looks all the more like a high point reached, the culmination of the years since Witch Mountain came back together and the arrival at what they’ve been pursuing all along. If subsequent outings show that’s not the case — i.e., if that pursuit continues off in a different direction — then all the better, but no question Mobile of Angels marks the end of something special for Witch Mountain and is bittersweet for American doom. All is fleeting.

Witch Mountain, “Psycho Animundi”

Witch Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records

Svart Records

Tags: , , , , , ,

Live Review: We’re all Gonna Die, Murcielago and Blackwolfgoat in Portland, ME, 08.09.14

Posted in Reviews on August 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I kept a steady pace rolling up the Maine Turnpike (aka I-95 but they charge you for it; I’d bitch, but NJ does the same thing), not looking to get pulled over both because it would involve talking to cops and because my car’s not registered, but with the sunset on my left, the rising supermoon on my right and big, old growth pines on both sides of the road, it would’ve been hard to complain had anyone been around to listen. Last time I was in Portland, it was also for a show at Geno’s Rock ClubOgre‘s CD release, back in March (review here) — and though I had a hard time picking out familiar landmarks without a foot of snow on the ground, I eventually found my way to the same spot for the third of We’re all Gonna Die‘s three Summer 2014 reunion shows, with locals Murcielago rounding out the bill and support from MA’s Tigerman Woah and Maple Forum alum Blackwolfgoat.

The latter opened, going on around 9:30, with Darryl Shepard (Milligram, The Scimitar, etc.) starting out his Blackwolfgoat set with some new material from the forthcoming Small Stone release, Drone Maintenance. It’s his third LP under the Blackwolfgoat moniker — The Obelisk’s in-house label released the first CD pressing of the second one, Dronolith — and the most accomplished, Shepard beginning to veer toward a songwriting impulse to match the project’s progressive drone soundscaping. I was pleased to hear Dronolith opener “Building Buildings” in the mix, distinct for its layers of rhythm and melody, and it made an interesting lead-in for “Cyclopean Utopia,” the only Blackwolfgoat song to-date with vocals, for which Shepard got on mic and let loose a succession of ambient screams.

His time cut somewhat short when the strap on his guitar broke, but I guess part of the fun of having an outfit like Blackwolfgoat is that when something like that happens, you can roll with it. Still screaming over his loops and feedback, Shepard strummed the guitar a few times with his shoe before kneeling down to twiddle knobs on his pedal board. That wash of feedback continued even as he began to pack up his gear, but eventually the amp got shut off. “Cyclopean Utopia” was about half-done, but that strap was all-the-way done, and that seemed to win out. It was about as disparate a lead-in for Tigerman Woah as one could ask, the Lynn, Massachusetts, four-piece offering standup bass, banjo ukulele and rockabilly-ish revelry of a much more riotous and beery sort.

I live on the South Shore of Massachusetts, under Boston. On the other side of the city is the North Shore. I haven’t been up there much in the year that I’ve lived in the state, so I can’t necessarily speak to the geography of the place, but what I’ve seen has been way more Upper-Middle-Class-mall and way less a setting befitting the Appalachian mountain punk that Tigerman Woah proffered, but I’ll give it to those dudes for both selling it well and every now and again going on a tear of gang vocals and guitar solos that were likewise duly infectious. Plus who knows what lurks in those old foothills. They weren’t really my thing — and they were definitely the odd band out on the bill — but Tigerman Woah kept me glued to my spot on the floor at Geno’s with their twanging party vibe, gravely vocals and enviable beards.

After two prior shows, in Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire, it wasn’t such a surprise to find We’re all Gonna Die pushing through their set with workmanlike fluidity, but what stuck out to me most from watching them for the first time in I don’t know how many years was how dead-on they came across. Sometimes when a group plays for the first time in a while — I think in the Boston trio’s case, it’s been five years — they’re both rusty and overexcited. Material gets rushed. For guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey, bassist Jesse Sherman and drummer Scott Healey, it was more like seeing a band who’d been doing shows all year. They were plainly glad to be there, but they played like pros. The slow parts stayed slow, the fast parts were crisp in their pummel, and Healey‘s voice — a powerful instrument, forcefully wielded — was on point throughout and one could only stand in awe as solo after solo was thoroughly nailed. Something in me doubts this will be their last show.

Rounding out the night, Murcielago would keep that theme going, as the highlight of their set was a sudden turn that had guitarists Matt Robbins and Ian Ross (see also: Roadsaw) duking it out “Dueling Banjos”-style as they went back and forth, solo for solo. It was my first time seeing the band and they’ve only released a couple recorded tracks as downloads, so the bulk of their material was new to me, but came across steady in riff-heavy form, bassist/vocalist Neil Collins handling most of the singing with Robbins backing while drummer Brian Chaloux held it down smooth behind. Even during the aforementioned solo tradeoffs — which got a laugh as well at one point when Robbins flipped Ross off following a particularly impressive showing – Collins and Chaloux kept a central groove going as a bed, and Murcielago not only returned to that song’s chorus, but finished their set with another cut after.

That was about one in the morning, and I had two and a half hours of road time ahead, so I made my way out of Geno’s on the quick and back down the still unfamiliar Congress St. to my car, the Maine Turnpike lit blue by the near-full moon and save for a few swerving cars, empty with the well-worn evening.

A couple more pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,

Uta Plotkin Announces Departure from Witch Mountain

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Bit of a blindside here but I guess that kind of thing can’t be helped. On the eve of Witch Mountain releasing Mobile of Angels, their third album since coming back in 2011 with South of Salem (review here), vocalist Uta Plotkin has announced her intention to leave the band following their upcoming fall US tour with Nik Turner’s Hawkwind and HederslebenPlotkin, whose bluesy singing style and powerful delivery has greatly helped the Portland outfit further their doomly cause these last three years, will leave a significant void in the front of the stage, though Witch Mountain have stated their intention to continue anyway, guitarist Rob Wrong and drummer Nate Carson having started the band together in the late ’90s and released the full-length Come the Mountain in 2001 before a 10-year break.

I’m loath to pilfer news from anyone — and feel inclined to acknowledge the irony that the story broke via Revolver, whose “the hottest chicks in metal” undermines the legitimacy of singers like Plotkin and other players more or less every time it’s published — but this is a big story and worth spreading, considering that any change of frontperson is bound to have a sizable impact on the personality and style of Witch Mountain as a whole. It will be interesting to see what and who they come back with, but as they rightly point out, Witch Mountain was a band before Plotkin, so it’s not unreasonable to think it can be a band after. If anyone at Revolver is pissed at the cut and paste, I apologize, but at least I gave credit and linked back to the original story.

Obviously, best of luck to Plotkin on her next endeavor, whatever that may be, and to Witch Mountain for the reconstruction process. Text from Revolver, plus the tour dates:

Frontwoman Uta Plotkin to Leave Witch Mountain after Release of New Album, ‘Mobile of Angels’

Witch Mountain’s upcoming fourth album, ‘Mobile of Angels,’ and their summer shows with Nik Turner’s Hawkwind will be their last record and tour, respectively, with lead singer Uta Plotkin. The new album will be unleashed by Profound Lore Records in North America September 30, and via Svart Records in Europe and beyond. ‘Mobile of Angels’ was produced by producer Billy Anderson, tracked and mixed in Type Foundry studios Portland, OR.

“It’s been a rewarding experience being in Witch Mountain,” says Plotkin, who joined the group in 2009. “I’ve met many wonderful people and helped make a lot of great music but after three albums I feel it’s time for me to move on to new projects, musical and otherwise. My creative spirit has always been a restless one. I hope our fans continue to enjoy our music and support Witch Mountain in its future incarnations.”

“We love and support Uta in whatever direction her life takes her,” the remaining members of Witch Mountain comment. “Our collaboration with her over the last five years, three albums, and hundreds of shows has been a privilege. But the band existed long before we met her and will continue into the future. Somewhere in this wide world is a voice with the talent and ambition to help Witch Mountain continue to improve as we have with each new release and passing year. Someone (male or female) will eventually send us a demo that brings us to tears. Until then, we remain focused on our final tour with Uta, and promoting our brand new album. Thanks to all for your support.”

If you want to catch Uta Plotkin with Witch Mountain on stage, please mark your calendar because this is your last chance:

NIK TURNER’S HAWKWIND + WITCH MOUNTAIN + HEDERSLEBEN
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2014

Tue 8/26 – Oakland, CA – Uptown
Wed 8/27 – Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room
Thu 8/28 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
Fri 8/29 – Tucson, AZ – Hotel Congress
Sat 8/30 – Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad
Mon 9/01 – Austin, TX – Red 7
Tue 9/02 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
Wed 9/03 – Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
Thu 9/04 – Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone Cafe
Fri 9/05 – Lafayette, GA – Meltasia Fest
Sat 9/06 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Fest*
Sun 9/07 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
Mon 9/08 – Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
Tue 9/09 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
Wed 9/10 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater
Thu 9/11 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Fri 9/12 – Boston, MA – Middle East
Sun 9/14 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore
Mon 9/15 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison
Tue 9/16 – Rochester, NY – Bug Jar
Wed 9/17 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
Thu 9/18 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
Fri 9/19 – Rock Island, IL – RIBCO
Sat 9/20 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club*
Sun 9/21 – Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club
Mon 9/22 – Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret*
Tue 9/23 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
Wed 9/24 – Calgary, AB – Palomino
Fri 9/26 – Vancouver, BC – Venue (early evening show)
Sat 9/27 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
Sun 9/28 – Portland, OR – Star Theater

*no Hedersleben

https://www.facebook.com/witchmountain
http://witchmountain.bandcamp.com/
https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

Tags: , , , , , ,

Stream Blackwitch Pudding’s Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on August 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It won’t be too long into opener “Night of the Blackwitch” from Portland gurgle-doomers Blackwitch Pudding‘s new EP, Covered in Pudding Vol. 1, before something starts to ring awfully familiar. The be-robbed trio present four tracks on their latest self-released outing, each derived from a classic rock staple. In the case of “Night of the Blackwitch,” it’s Roky Erickson‘s “Night of the Vampire,” and Blackwitch Pudding tear into it and make it dank nasty: a stoned-out, tonal-overload gruel, grandiose only in its burn and lurch. The method soon becomes a running theme.

Their 2013 full-length debut, Taste the Pudding (review here), proffered similar extremity and weedian charm, but Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 wins out easily in terms of cleverness. To take Rush‘s “Working Man” and turn it into “Toke’n Man,” adjusting the lyrics accordingly, gleefully knuckledrags on sacred ground, and as KISS‘ “God of Thunder” becomes “Gods of Grungus,” I’m ready to declare the idiocy brilliant. Space Wizard (guitar), Lizard Wizard (bass) and Wizard Wizard (drums) channel a doomed-out, pot-addled Weird Al across these four tracks, and while each song obviously owes its debt to the original, there’s no question that the lunacy ensuing is their own.

When it comes to 10-minute closer “Bong Hits and Lust,” I’m almost hesitant to give away what classic song it uses for a foundation. If you can get it from the title, more power to you, but I had to hear it before recognizing, and I think that only made it more enjoyable, so I won’t spoil it. The band, speaking as a unified whole, were kind enough to take time away from their potions and spells and whatever it is a wizard does these days — hedge funds? — to give a track-by-track account that subtly hints at the origins of Covered in Pudding Vol. 1‘s four components, and if nothing else, it’s a great read.

The EP officially releases Aug. 12. I hope this isn’t the last time they do this, and that Vol. 2 isn’t far off. Enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Blackwitch Pudding, Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 track-by-track

“Night of the Blackwitch”

We wrote this song about our cosmic witch-mother, the Blackwitch. She has a wicked way with pudding. She birthed us from pudding, raised us in the pudding and taught us how to spread the pudding. We figured she could use a theme song for when she’s having a good old broom-grinding get down. With a, ahem, Roky set of vocals this song spreads itself over your audio palate with long, smooth strokes of heavy psychedelia.

“Toke’n Man”

This song is about your everyday, blue-collared herbalist. Just as every man must be the king of his own castle, he must also strive to be the man who tokes the most. We wizards live this to the core; there truly is a toke’n man in all of us. There is no need to rush into this one — it is slow, heavy and triumphant. This rocket ship of a stoner anthem will blast you into outer space.

“Gods of Grungus”

Back in ’63 — 1663, that is — we used to party pretty hard. The age of witchcraft was upon us and we had just been busted stealing weed from our pops (the devil). He’s a pretty cool guy so he let us keep it and told us to “thunder on like gods of the night.” This song is a documented recording of a real wizard party. When you listen to this song we command you to party along because you know somewhere we are partying with you.

“Bong Hits and Lust”

It must have been around 1581, and we were somewhere near Trier in West Germany, having a good time getting down with some frisky witches doing some excellent black sorcery. Sooner or later this douchebag Archbishop Johann von Schöneburg and his army of priests showed up and ordered all the witches dead. We were pretty hammered, and by the time we woke up a few years later, over 300 perfectly radical witch-babes had been slayed. Needless to say, we took it pretty hard, and over the course of the next couple hundred years created this epic tribute to the bongs and broads and Bob Dylan of the middle ages.

Blackwitch Pudding on Thee Facebooks

Blackwitch Pudding on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,

Megaton Leviathan Ready Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell for Release on Seventh Rule

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you didn’t hear Megaton Leviathan‘s Water Wealth Hell on Earth (review here) when it was released in 2011, you’re probably going to want to stop reading this sentence immediately and get to whatever outlet will allow you to put it in your ears the fastest. An all-consuming wash of psych-doom experimentation that called forth black metal’s buzz but expanded the scope beyond genre confines. There were times throughout that album where it was simply too much to take, but wow, what a sound.

Band spearhead Andrew James Costa Reuscher has had a few limited releases out since then, and there was first discussion of an allegiance with Seventh Rule — now also based in Portland, OR — back in late 2012, but not much word has come out of a new album since. Enter Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell as the first Megaton Leviathan full-length in three years and mark me down as on-fucking-board. As you can see in the live clip below, the drone wash is in full effect, and Megaton Leviathan offer all the ritual with none of the “cult” silliness of many of their contemporaries. Much as they have any.

Past 21: Beyond the Arctic Cell is out Sept. 9:

MEGATON LEVIATHAN: Psychedelic Doom Masters Release Sophomore Full-Length Via Seventh Rule Next Month; Summer Live Performances Confirmed

The only constant is change. Standing in stark contrast to the droning, gorgeous slabs of psychedelic and atmospherically infused doom that comprise the aural output of MEGATON LEVIATHAN, the band itself has been in a constant state of flux since its inception in 2007. By the end of 2012, despite the official announcement of a new album, not only that album, but the fate of the entire project itself were positioned beneath a very precariously dangled sword. Circumstance and internal conflict nearly saw the band’s next major release a specter with no corporeal form. However, after a redoubling of effort, a reshuffling of the deck and some inevitable missteps along the way, MEGATON LEVIATHAN’s second full length album, Past 21: Beyond The Arctic Cell, has emerged from the chaos of its birth pangs, prepared to thoroughly swath a blazing path through the dense forest of the modern musical landscape.

Mixed by Mort Subite (V.I.I.R.L., Alfheimr, Benighted in Sodom live), MEGATON LEVIATHAN’s newest resident thaumaturgist, Past 21 is a near lethal dose of solemn audio narcotic, shifting the listener somewhere outside the realm of space-time for the duration of its dissociative transduction from speakers to brain. Glacial, yet burning with divine fire, Past 21′s spell is simultaneously whispered in a hallowed chapel, and torn from a throat rent by the gnashing of teeth.

Past 21: Beyond The Arctic Cell Track Listing:
1. Past 21
2. The Foolish Man
3. Arctic Cell
4. Here Come The Tears

In April of 2014, MEGATON founder and lone original member, Andrew James Costa Reuscher and Subite took Past 21 on the road for a first round of West Coast dates as a one man show/performance piece, featuring heavy visual elements, Reuscher the unifying human component, and Subite as the hidden hand, mixing live audio. MEGATON LEVIATHAN later tapped V.I.I.R.L. drummer Markus Covello to join the onstage lineup. With Reuscher handling vocal and guitar operations, and Subite continuing his live audio duties, this revamped, three-man cast will form the core of the MEGATON LEVIATHAN live experience for the duration of the forthcoming West Coast dates surrounding Deadfest in Oakland where the band will perform alongside the likes of Ephemeros, Connoisseur, Augurs and more. See confirmed dates below.

MEGATON LEVIATHAN Live 2014:
8/09/2014 Megaton House (cassette release show) – Portland, OR
8/14/2014 Ink Annex – Eureka, CA
8/15/2014 Dead Fest – Oakland, CA
8/16/2014 Rock Shop – San Jose, CA
8/17/2014 Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA
8/24/2014 Hive Portland, OR * LP Release Show
8/30/2014 TBA – Bozeman, MT
8/31/2014 Black Sparrow Tattoo Club – Billings, MT
9/02/2014 TBA
9/03/2014 Quarters – Milwaukee, WI
9/04/2014 Ghost House – Bloomington, IN
9/05/2014 5th Quarter Lounge – Indianapolis, IN
9/06/2014 TBA
9/07/2014 Acheron – Brooklyn, NY
9/08/2014 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
9/09/2014 The Crown – Baltimore, MD
9/10/2014 Static Age – Asheville, NC
9/12/2014 Springwater – Nashville, TN
9/14/2014 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
9/15/2014 TBA – Austin, TX
9/16/2014 TBA – Dallas, TX
9/18/2014 Bar Bar – Denver, CO

Past 21: Beyond The Arctic Cell will be released via Seventh Rule Recordings on September 9th, 2014. Further info including track teasers to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

http://megatonleviathan.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Megaton-Leviathan/185853803548
http://www.seventhrule.com
http://instagram.com/seventhrule
http://seventhrulerec.tumblr.com/
http://twitter.com/seventhrule

Megaton Leviathan, Live at First Church of the Buzzard, April 19, 2014

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Radio Adds: Sleep, Red Fang, Deamon’s Child, The Jackpine Snag, Cruthu

Posted in Radio on July 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I guess this is the part where I complain about lack of time, blah blah blah. Last week was a mess, it’s true, as were the last couple days, but what it comes down to is I do what I can when I can. That’s been my policy all along. A couple of these discs – CruthuDeamon’s Child — are my own rips as well from discs that were sent in, and as ever, there’s more that went up than just what is listed here. So one way or another, activity abounds. I need to find out how close I am to filling the three terabytes of the hard drive used for the server, but until then, the additions will continue unabated. It’s good to keep busy.

The Obelisk Radio adds for July 31, 2014:

Sleep, “The Clarity”

To call the first new Sleep track since Dopesmoker an “event” would be underselling it. “The Clarity” arrives via the Adult Swim Singles Series not only as the Iommian legends’ first outing since that landmark release, but also their debut recording with drummer Jason Roeder and their first studio work since guitarist Matt Pike and bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros went on to destroy/expand minds in High on Fire and Om, respectively, for the last decade-plus. A near-10-minute stonerly sprawl finds Sleep‘s central methodology intact. Grown up some from what it was 20 years ago, expectedly, but loyal to what they were without trying to recapture a magic that’s gone with that time. Cisneros has taken some flack for not roughing up his vocals à la Sleep’s Holy Mountain, but from where I sit, his cadence and cleaner style only makes “The Clarity” more honest, and if lyrics like “Iommic life complete” and “The dealer is my refuge” are easier to understand, you won’t find me complaining. They jam out most of the song’s second half, and ultimately “The Clarity” collapses in a sudden cut, leaving you to wonder if it ever happened at all — until of course you go back to the start for another glorious hit. If this portends more to come, I’m even more excited about the prospect of new Sleep than I was before the single arrived. Sleep on Thee Facebooks, Adult Swim Singles.

Deamon’s Child, Deamon’s Child

Even before you get to the dolphin sample in “Delfine,” and the garage thrashiness of the subsequent “Alles Bio, Immer Bio,” German trio Deamon’s Child give some hints that there’s more to what they do than the standard heavy noise rock. Comprised of guitarist Sven “Missu” Missulis (aka John Reebo of Reebosound, also ex-Psychedelic Avengers), bassist/vocalist Ana Maija Muhi (who also contributed to Reebosound‘s 2010 outing, This is Reebosound) and drummer Tim Mohr (also WhiteBuzz), Deamon’s Child debuted last year with an engaging demo and follow it with a self-titled debut of increased complexity and a sound that’s varied without the pretense, culling together punk, grunge, heavy rock and noise to create songs that feel like they could turn in any direction at once. The production plays up the frayed edges, and Muhi‘s layered vocals on a chugger like “Lutscher!” sound all the more Melvins-esque. Deamon’s Child is loaded with surprises, but doesn’t feel any more haphazard than it’s meant to, and while it may take a couple listens to catch up to it, the songs are consistent in their invitation for repeat visits. Deamon’s Child on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Red Fang, TeamRock.com Presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red Fang

A free Red Fang acoustic EP — who’s going to argue with that? Not me, though the cumbersome and corporate-style title leaves something to be desired. Nonetheless, once you get through all the namebrandery, what you come out with are acoustic renditions from Red Fang of “Failure” from late 2013′s Whales and Leeches and “Malverde” and “Human Herd” from the preceding 2011 outing, Murder the Mountains (review here). Hearing guitarist Bryan Giles soften up his usually-rough vocal approach on “Malverde” is interesting, given how much of the album version of that track is about the impact of the thing, but “Failure” becomes a brooding plea rather than the threat it is at full thrust, and “Human Herd” a kind of meditation that makes for the highlight of the whole release. One tries not to read too much into what was clearly a one-off thing, but it would be cool to hear what an acoustic album track from Red Fang might sound like. Their songwriting clearly translates, and between Giles and bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam – let’s not forget guitarist David Sullivan or drummer John Sherman – they prove here they can pull it off sounding confident and comfortable. Kind of an unexpected turn from the chicanery-fueled rock we’re used to from Red Fang, but they’re as easy to dig as ever on (deep breath) TeamRock.com Presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red FangRed Fang on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

The Jackpine Snag, The Fire Tower EP

Tonally, Michigan’s The Jackpine Snag seem rooted in punk, but a strong undercurrent of the weirdo runs throughout the songs on their new EP, The Fire Tower, and whether it’s the shouting on “With Wings” or “The Missaukee Strut” or the motoring noise of closer “Gonna Wreck My Life,” the trio present an individualized approach to bruiser expression. The Fire Tower is their longest outing yet at seven songs following a four-track 2013 debut 7″, but they have no trouble changing up their take enough to hold interest, while also keeping the tracks themselves relatively lean and concise. Maybe what the EP does best is balance that efficiency with a loose, tossoff-punker vibe, but The Jackpine Snag – guitarist/vocalist Joe Hart, bassist Jason Roedel and drummer Todd Karinen – show a keen awareness of how far out they want to go and how oddball they want to get in their ragged, grungy craftsmanship. No doubt that will serve them well should they decide next to tackle a debut full-length. The Jackpine Snag on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Cruthu, Creation Demo

The debut release from Lansing, Michigan’s Cruthu, the Creation Demo culls together an initial three tracks that sound somewhat raw but hold significant stylistic promise, blending a heavy ’70s psych-blues mentality with drearier rock tendencies and analog worship. Frontwoman Teri Brown provides a soulful lift to “S.O.S.,” as guitarist Dan McCormick leads bassist Scott Lehman and drummer Matt Fry through a subtly doomed murk, but pushes into rawer, strained-throat vocalizing on “Walk with Me” that immediately stands the Creation Demo apart from much of what claims to have been recorded live in terms of sheer honesty. And to Cruthu‘s further credit, I don’t think the tracks were recorded live. Particularly in “Separated from the Herd” and “Walk with Me,” which closes, Cruthu find some room for instrumental exploration along with Brown‘s vocals, and the path they’re on suits them well as the demo plays out. I’d be interested to hear them branch out further instrumentally, get weird with some percussion or strings or psychedelics, but there’s time for such things, and they’re off to an evocative start. Cruthu on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Like I said, there’s a lot more that went up this week than is listed here. Check out The Obelisk Radio playlist/updates page for the complete list.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Video Premiere: Red Kunz Perform “Four Good Reasons” Live in Switzerland

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time that the bassists and drummers of Red Fang and Kunz (also ex-The Ocean) came together to perform in front of an audience as Red Kunz. Of course, their debut EP, Teeth, Hair and Skin, was tracked live, as we learned in the video premiere of the session two weeks ago, but this gig at Le Romandie in Lausanne, Switzerland, seems to be it for live shows for the time being, though the two component bands — Red Fang and Kunz — have several shows lined up for August, and I guess there’s a chance Red Kunz could get some stage time in there as well.

The song in the video is “Four Good Reasons,” third of the four tracks on Teeth, Hair and Skin, which is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. As you can see, Kunz‘s Louis Jucker and Red Fang‘s Aaron Beam share vocal duties while drummers Luc Hess and John Sherman tear up their drums behind. A catchy, upbeat heavy rock push ensues, interrupted only by a feedback-soaked, noisy bridge, and though the track is under four minutes long, its momentum is undeniable. And the crowd — which had never heard this or anything else Red Kunz played that night back in January — would seem to agree.

Teeth, Hair and Skin is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. Special thanks to both labels for letting me host this second premiere, and even more thanks to you for checking it out. The only reason I’m able to do things like this is because you take the time to listen/watch. It is hugely appreciated.

Enjoy:

Red Kunz, “Four Good Reasons” Live

Red Kunz is a project that gathers RED FANG (Aaron Beam and John Sherman) and KUNZ (Louis Jucker and Luc Hess – ex-THE OCEAN, COILGUNS).

PRE-ORDER (release date august 15th 2014) visit:

http://hummus-records.com/portfolio/red-kunz/

http://divisionrecords.bigcartel.com/product/red-kunz-red-fang-kunz-teeth-hair-skin-lp

The whole HUMMUS RECORDS catalog is available for free here: http://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com

Not sure whether RED KUNZ will be performing, but RED FANG and KUNZ will play the following shows together:

2014
Aug 1st — Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Aug 3rd — Le Grillen, Colmar, France
Aug 12th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 13th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 15th — Rock Altitude Festival, Le Locle, Suisse

Red Kunz on Thee Facebooks

Kunz website

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Hummus Records website

Division Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Red Fang Release Acoustic EP as Free Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I think maybe the corporate sponsors haven’t yet gotten the hang of naming releases. Yeah, I understand everybody’s gotta get their name and their brand in there, but at some point, someone should look at a title like TeamRock.com Presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red Fang and realize that maybe, just maybe, it’s a bit on the long side. I guess if the tradeoff is it’s free, then a long title is probably a small enough hill to climb.

That cumbersomely-titled release is available now to snag via Bandcamp, and Red Fang – who are about to head back to Europe, like, tomorrow — also have a new video in the works. They’ve set a pretty high standard in that regard, and it’s always fun to see what they’ve come up with. Just to throw everyone for a loop, they should do a deadpan band-in-warehouse performance clip. Totally boring, totally straightfaced. No one’ll see it coming.

On second thought, that’s a terrible idea.

The PR wire:

RED FANG: Release Free Acoustic EP; Shoot New Music Video

Band Launches UK/European Tour this Friday

In celebration of the band’s upcoming European Tour, Portland, OR’s huggable hard rock supervillains RED FANG have released a free acoustic EP via Metal Hammer, Bandcamp, Amazon MP3 and all streaming portals. The EP was recorded this past March in London as an Absolute Music Bunker session for TeamRock.com. The songs mark the first time the band recorded any acoustic interpretations of their material and the EP includes the original album versions of each track as well. A complete tracklisting is available below.

Additionally, the band recently shot a music video for their new song “The Meadows” from their Scion A/V 7” released in May. The video was directed by David Brodsky (Kylesa, Helmet, Municipal Waste) and will premiere shortly.

RED FANG are gearing up for another month long European tour including numerous festival appearances like Pukkelpop, Lowlands Festival and Reading and Leeds Festival. The shows kick off on July 25th at Rock Im Wald in Germany and end August 23rd at Leeds Festival in the UK. Upon their return, the group will be playing Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, WA alongside Elvis Costello, Wu-Tang Clan, The Replacements and many others.

RED FANG have been making waves with their latest album,Whales and Leeches, recently performing their single “Blood Like Cream” on The Late Show With David Letterman and releasing another one of their signature, hilarious music videos directed by longtime collaborator Whitey McConnaughy for the same song.

Red Fang Tour Dates
Jul 25 Neuensee GER Rock Im Wald
Jul 26 Lichtenvoorde NL Zwarte Cross Festival
Jul 27 Saarbrücken GER Garage
Jul 28 Milan IT Magnolia
Jul 29 Rome IT Traffic
Jul 31 Viveiro ESP Resurrection Festival
Aug 01 Nantes FR Le Ferrailleur – SOLD OUT
Aug 02 Albi FR Xtreme Fest
Aug 03 Colmar FR Grillen
Aug 05 Giessen GER MUK
Aug 06 Augsburg GER Kantine
Aug 07 Jaromer CZ Brutal Assault
Aug 08 Waldhausen AUT Lake On Fire
Aug 09 Chemnitz GER Rock Im Betonwerk
Aug 10 Saint Maurice de Gourdans FR Sylak Open Air
Aug 12 Martigny CH Les Caves du Manoir
Aug 13 Martigny CH Les Caves du Manoir
Aug 14 Pisa IT Musica W Festival
Aug 15 Le Locle CH Rock Altitude
Aug 16 Hasselt BEL Pukkelpop
Aug 17 Biddinghuizen NL Lowlands Festival
Aug 19 Osnabrück GER Bastard Club
Aug 20 Bochum GER Matrix
Aug 21 Charleville Mezieres FR Cabaret Vert
Aug 22 Reading, UK Reading Festival
Aug 23 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival
Aug 31 Seattle WA Bumbershoot Festival – Fisher Green Stage

http://redfang.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/redfangband
http://twitter.com/redfang

Red Fang, TeamRock.com Presents and Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red Fang (2014)

Tags: , , , ,

PREMIERE: Watch Red Kunz Record Teeth, Hair and Skin Debut LP Live

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

In January, bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam and drummer John Sherman of Portland, Oregon, heavy rock forerunners Red Fang flew to Switzerland after appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. There, they met up with drummer Luc Hess and bassist/baritone guitarist/vocalist Louis Jucker, also known as the duo Kunz and also the rhythm section of The Ocean, to record an album together. Thus emerged Red Kunz.

You can read below the day-by-day breakdown of how it happened over the course of the week, but what’s staggering about the results on their Division Records/Hummus Records debut LP, Teeth, Hair and Skin, is both how fresh the material sound and also how solid and tight Red Kunz are as a band. You’d figure Jucker and Hess would work well together, and Beam and Sherman likewise, but on Teeth, Hair and Skin it’s all four of them. It doesn’t sound like two bass/drum duos jamming out at the same time. It sounds like a four-piece band who’ve been playing together for years.

I think even they must’ve been surprised, since the instrumental tracks they recorded live that you can see in the video below wound up as the final takes for the album, with Beam and Jucker putting their vocals on afterwards. No argument though. With the performances they give here — you’ll note Beam is set up in front of Hess and Jucker in front of Sherman – Red Kunz managed to capture a spontaneity that works exceedingly well with the upbeat bounce of the five songs, “Transatlantic,” “The Beggar,” “Four Good Reasons,” “Prisms” and “Teeth, Hair and Skin,” while still getting a full and clear sound.

Teeth, Hair and Skin is out Aug. 15 through Hummus Records and Division Records. Much more info follows the clip below, including pre-order links, but for now, enjoy the making of Red Kunz‘s debut as it happened:

TEETH, HAIR & SKIN will be released on August 15th.

Red Kunz is a project that gathers RED FANG (Aaron Beam and John Sherman) and KUNZ (Louis Jucker and Luc Hess – ex-THE OCEAN, COILGUNS).

This was shot on wednesday january 15th. Although it was not meant to be, these are the final versions you can find on the record. Vocals were recorded the day after so this is completely instrumental.

Filmed and edited by Camille De Pietro & Nathan Jucker (Le Manoir)

PRE-ORDER (release date august 15th 2014) visit:

http://hummus-records.com/portfolio/red-kunz/

http://divisionrecords.bigcartel.com/product/red-kunz-red-fang-kunz-teeth-hair-skin-lp

The whole HUMMUS RECORDS catalog is available for free here: http://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com

Not sure whether RED KUNZ will be performing, but RED FANG and KUNZ will play the following shows together:

2014
Aug 1st — Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Aug 3rd — Le Grillen, Colmar, France
Aug 12th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 13th — Les Caves du Manoir, Martigny, Suisse
Aug 15th — Rock Altitude Festival, Le Locle, Suisse

Good records sometimes need to go that easy:

Saturday, January 11th 2014 : Aaron Beam and John Sherman “RED FANG” fly to Switzerland straight after the band’s performance at the famous Letterman Show in New York to meet Louis Jucker and Luc Hess “KUNZ” at the airport. The 4 guys drive to Lausanne, straight to the venue LE ROMANDIE, put their two bass amps and drums on stage, then go out for a beer in a funny local cover bands festival.

Sunday 12th, They write 4 songs in the deserted venue and go to sleep.

Monday 13th, a whole crew of video makers, graphic designers and other creative minds set up its camp in the club’s backstage. Mission is to get the most work done within a week.

Tuesday 14th, Everyone is super pumped and party a little too hard.

Wednesday 15th, The band spends the day tracking songs, goes out for a walk, buys a small acoustic guitar in a pawn shop, comes back to the club, plays the tunes again in front of the crew’s cameras and decides to keep these takes as the final ones.

Thursday 16th, Aaron and Louis write vocal lines and lyrics in Jucker’s attic studio. John and Luc drink beers and eat pizzas.

Friday 17th, The whole town is gathered in a packed venue to see the new born RED KUNZ playing their first record : TEETH, HAIR AND SKIN, 20 minutes of raw bass riffing and double drums battles that somehow manage to sound like proper catchy songs. Fact is that they were all conceived and taped within a single and cool week of friendship, beers, and jams.

Red Kunz on Thee Facebooks

Kunz website

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Hummus Records website

Division Records website

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “The Troll” Live in Portland, OR, 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’m not gonna say I’m posting Saint Vitus‘ “The Troll” only because I feel like I haven’t left the house in two weeks, but I will allow that was the original impetus behind my selecting the song, which originally appeared on 1988′s Mournful Cries. The blinds pulled down, the window air conditioner blasting, my ass firmly planted on the couch for untold hours to come, I’m nothing if not consistent. Oh sure, I’ll emerge to take a bag of trash out, or to pour water from a pot when, say, the pipes under my kitchen sink start leaking water all over the floor this morning for no apparent reason, but having been unemployed for over three solid months and having been sans The Patient Mrs. for two weeks, I’ve more or less reverted to shut-in status. I try not to put the tv too loud so the neighbors won’t hear which baseball team I like. Their front door is about six inches from mine and people judge you for that shit.

So yeah, if the theme I want to work with is self-removal from human society, then “The Troll,” albeit exaggerated, fits that. As a complementary motivation for this clip in particular, which was filmed June 26, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, drummer Henry Vasquez absolutely kills it here. This was earlier into his tenure behind the kit for Vitus, and I remember seeing them in Brooklyn later in 2009 when he’d first joined and thinking he was playing some of the parts fast. He’s more settled in this video, but still has a killer swing in giving his ride cymbal a workout. There was no way he wasn’t going to come across loud, but of course Dave Chandler‘s guitar and Mark Adams‘ bass hold their own, and Wino gives an excellent retelling of the lyrics, to which, if I haven’t made it clear, I’m having an easy time relating these days.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, “The Troll” live in Portland, Oregon, June 26, 2010

Tags: , , , , ,

Witch Mountain, YOB, Mountain God and More Confirmed for First Annual Hoverfest

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Called to assembly by Hovercraft Amplifiers and Nanotear Booking, the first annual Hoverfest is set to unfold on Aug. 23, 2014. They’ve put together a maddeningly good lineup for their initial installment, culling together Oregon-based acts YOB, Witch Mountain, Holy Grove and Eight Bells, rounding out with New York ambient sludgers Mountain God and getting none other than Billy Anderson to run the sound for the night. Figure it’s gonna be a good time.

Naturally, Hovercraft will provide the backline, and company founder Nial McGaughey provides some insight below via the PR wire on what brought it all together:

HOVERFEST: First-Annual Portland Heavy-Music Festival Featuring YOB, WITCH MOUNTAIN & More Announced

On behalf of Hovercraft Amplifiers, we are thrilled to announce the first-annual Hoverfest, a festival of friends of and music created with Hovercraft amps, which will take place on August 23rd, 2014 in the blocked-off alleyway by Type Foundry Studios at 611 N. Tillamook St. in Portland, Oregon. Presales will be available in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here is some info on this incredible event. The event is being graciously hosted by Cravedog Media, booked by Nanotear, and the live music on the day of the show will be mixed by the legendary Billy Anderson. Presales will be available in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here is some info on this incredible event.

Initial Lineup (More TBA):
YOB
Witch Mountain
Holy Grove
Eight Bells
Mountain God

The Facebook event page can be found HERE.

More info on the inception of Hovercraft Amplifiers and Hoverfest:

As the world of heavy music continues to burst at the seams in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide, so does the need for the equipment to keep things loud. Nial McGaughey, local Portlander and engineering wizard, has been building custom, recycled tube amplifiers since 2010 under the name Hovercraft Amplifiers, a name which is becoming increasingly synonymous with the ear-crushing, chest-thudding sounds of Pacific Northwest heavyweights like YOB, Blackwitch Pudding, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, and many more.

After 13 years of playing in bands and building amplifiers for 65amps in Los Angeles, McGaughey returned to Portland to start a new life. The very first Hovercraft amp was built in his living room as he was going through a divorce. Once he figured out how to replicate the sound of highly sought-after, generally unobtainable vintage or custom tube-amps using recycled and sustainable materials, he kept tweaking the sound to improve it even further.

Once he was satisfied with the sound he had created with his own custom amplifer, he consigned it at Old Town Music. Within a couple of weeks he got a phone call that it had sold. That first customer was so satisfied with the amplifier that he started telling people how great it sounded—he loved how reasonably priced it was and the fact that it was made locally, from recycled parts. The demand became so high that Old Town Music requested that McGaughey bring more in to sell. From there, he opted to post some amps on Ebay, which began selling within five minutes of being listed. 500 amps and four years later, the shop space has been transformed into a pile of parts that reaches the garage rafters.

More recently, McGaughey’s self-described “oh shit” moment was when he was in the audience at Stumpfest, and all of the bands were using a backline of Hovercraft amplifiers and cabinets. It was then that he realized he had done something incredibly spectacular and special and wanted to give back to the bands that create such amazing music using the gear. The first annual Hoverfest is the perfect way to celebrate how far Hovercraft Amplifers has come and to reflect on the amazing support the business has gotten from the people who love what they do.

Links:
facebook.com/hoverfestpdx
facebook.com/events/1508809612663911
hovercraftamps.com
cravedog.com
nanotear.com
southerncrosspr.com
billyanderson.net

Witch Mountain, Live at the Underworld, Camden, UK, June 14, 2014

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blackwitch Pudding to Release Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 Tape EP in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Meanwhile, in the wizarding world of Blackwitch Pudding — otherwise known as Portland, Oregon — the mysterious hooded three-piece have set about assembling a new EP called Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 that they’ll release in limited numbers on tape just as summer hits its most excruciating. The three-piece impressed last year with their big ol’ tones on the full-length Taste the Pudding (vinyl review here), and I seriously doubt that they’ll get any less crust-caked for the cassette. Only 200 copies will be pressed, and it looks like it’s tape or digital or nothing, so if you dug Taste the Pudding or are looking to get introduced, they’ve got it all worked out as to how that might take place.

Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 – presumably the first in a series of pudding coverings — will be out on Aug. 12, and automatically wins for the song title “Bong Hits and Lust.” Some tracks just beg you to listen.

The PR wire has the cover art and details:

BLACKWITCH PUDDING unveil details of new EP, ‘Covered In Pudding Vol. 1′

It’s been nearly a year since the wizards of Blackwitch Pudding released their infamous debut LP, Taste the Pudding, and they have grown restless. Though one might question why, after 600 years of conjuring evil riffs, casting spells and wreaking supernatural havoc upon this planet that the trio has only created one full-length record, but the truth is, for centuries, pesky, silly mortals have been ripping them off and making the themes more palatable for straight-laced human consumption. So the robed wizards of doom have resurfaced again with a new EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, to prove once and for all that they were here first, that their riffs shall ring true, and that rock and roll should be about an average wizard’s favorite things: sex, drugs, witch-babes and filth.

Who are these mortals who nicked their tunes? You’ll have to hear Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, out August 12th both digitally and on 200 limited-edition, wizard-conjured cassettes, and figure it out for yourself.

Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 Tracklist:
1. Night Of The Blackwitch
2. Toke’n Man
3. Gods Of Grungus
4. Bong Hits And Lust

Paying Homage to the rotten filth from which they were born, Blackwitch Pudding are actually a band of three wizards. Legend has it they were raised from a stagnant, used puddle of ergot, left by the mysterious Blackwitch no less than 600 years ago. Trained in the dark arts of doom and witchery, these wizards wander the cosmos in search of nothing, for their path is a simple one: The riffs must be heavy and the smoke must be heavier.

Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 is the follow-up to Blackwitch Pudding’s Billy Anderson-mastered, self-released debut, Taste The Pudding. Released in August 2013, it was so heavy, catchy and bewitching that the riffs cast by this power trio of wizards left thousands spellbound.

The band, their records, their merch, their live shows and the entire experience of Blackwitch Pudding is a self-sustaining, self-produced operation. Great lengths have been taken to ensure that no part of the spectacle that is Blackwitch Pudding has been overlooked. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the lights and the crushing feeling you get in the pit of your stomach travel to every stage, forest, and cabin they play. Hand-crafted by a loyal cadre of dark-art comrades, everything that goes into the Blackwitch Pudding experience is tailored to send the listener, and even more so the concert goer, into an unforgettable celestial black hole of stoned-out doom.

The wizards of Blackwitch Pudding are:
Space Wizard – Guitar, Vocals
Lizard Wizard – Bass, Vocals
Wizard Wizard – Drums, Vocals

Links:
blackwitchpudding.com
blackwitchpudding.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/blackwitchpudding
twitter.com/blackwitchpuddn

Blackwitch Pudding, Taste the Pudding (2013)

Tags: , , , , ,

Rabbits to Release Untoward LP this Summer on Lamb Unlimited

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Already veterans of the rosters of Good to Die and Relapse Records, Portland, Oregon, three-piece weirdo rockers Rabbits have announced the release their forthcoming third album, Untoward, on Lamb Unlimited, an imprint helmed by No More RecordsAlan Schneider and Chris Spencer of Unsane.

The album’s called Untoward. It’s out this summer. Rabbits also had a cleverly-named comp of singles released at the end of last year that’s streaming below.

Okay:

RABBITS: Portland Outsider Trio Confirms Inbound Third LP Via Lamb Unlimited

Portland, Oregon’s most steadily producing noise metal tacticians, RABBITS, will release their third studio full-length this Summer via Lamb Unlimited, the label spawned of Chris Spencer of Unsane and Alan Schneider of No More Records.

Debauchery-fueled ruckus, intoxicating hangover nightmares, scathing audio beatings you can’t help but ask for repeat doses of, RABBITS does something brutally infectious with every pulsating moment of their seemingly haphazard but ultimately succinctly executed delivery. Formed in 2003 by three musicians with prior time spent in Angel Hair, The VSS, Hutch and assorted West Coast acts, the contorted tones of RABBITS immediately drew comparisons to Melvins, Karp, Jesus Lizard, Cows, Flipper, Butthole Surfers, Volcano Suns, Harvey Milk and others. Like auditory sandpaper, their grating noise-soaked sludge/rock grooves harshly wears down the listener with a demoralizing and punishing rhythmic attack, with all levels jacked to the max.

With nearly thirty minutes of all new material, RABBITS’s inbound third LP undertaking, Untoward, captures the snarling trio’s most back-alley, gutter dredging, ultimately sinister cavalcade of captivatingly negative hymns yet, the record exhaustingly tracked live to tape at Type Foundry, Portland in one day and mixed in two. The engineering duties on Untoward were tag-teamed by Jeremy Romagna, who recorded/mixed the band’s Lower Forms debut, their early 7″ releases, all the covers on the band’s recent SOS collection, in addition to records from Trees, Tecumseh, Wives and more, and Fester, who recorded the band’s Bites Rites sophomore LP and subsequent splits with Whores and Arabrot, and a long line of other notable acts including Nux Vomica, Usnea, Stoneburner and others, then mastered by Ryan Foster at Foster Mastering.

Lamb Unlimited will welcome RABBITS to their collective releasing Untoward on audiophile LP and digital download on August 12th. The track listing and cover artwork, which was hand-sewn by Anne Mersereau and photographed by James Rexroad, have been released.

Untoward Track Listing:
A1. Ever Mind
A2. Pack Up Your Shit
A3. So Fake It’s Real
A4. Reek and Ye Shall Find
B1. An Odd Coloration
B2. Like You A Lot

Amidst a slew of EPs, splits and other independent releases the band has produced since their 2003 inception, RABBITS’s debut LP, Lower Forms, was released via Relapse in 2011, which was followed only a year later with their Bites Rites LP via Good To Die Records. The band has also since revived Portland DIY label Eolian Empire, their cohorts who released multiple early RABBITS releases, and have since inundated the planet with a variety of potent releases from only Portland-based acts, including Prizehog, Towers, Diesto, Honduran, Dead, Drunk Dad and more. Amidst sporadic Western US touring in recent years, the band will forage throughout North America and Europe in support of Untoward. Stand by for further tour info, audio transmissions, a video for the track “So Fake It’s Real” and more on Untoward in the coming weeks.

http://rabbitusmaximus.com
https://www.facebook.com/RabbitusMaximus
http://rabbitusmaximus.bandcamp.com
http://lambunlimited.com
https://www.facebook.com/LambUnlimited

Rabbits, S.O.S. (Singles, Other Shit) (2013)

Tags: , , , , ,