There hasn’t been an update to Premonition 13‘s Thee Facebooks page since last July, and even that was about Wino doing the South of Mainstream festival with The Obsessed, so with their last release as a contribution to a Volcom split with Radio Moscow and Earthless (featured here), and the band having ended their European tour playing as a trio, I think it’s probably safe to assume they won’t be following up their 2011 debut LP, 13 (review here) anytime soon. So it goes.
Aside from having been the first Wino Wednesday post, Premonition 13 had something unique to offer from among Wino‘s many projects — namely, the jam. It didn’t really come across on 13, because after so many years of doing so I don’t think Wino can help but turn a jam into a song, but particularly seeing the double-guitar four-piece live, the character of the project revealed itself most of all in the spontaneous interplay between Wino and fellow guitarist Jim Karow. Wino‘s played with few enough other six-stringers over the course of his career, and whatever else the band may have done, they jammed the hell out of those riffs. That was, as they themselves stated, the foundation of the band.
But the album 13was still very much an album in its construction; a collection of songs put together in such a way as to create an overall arc or full-length flow. Though it moved away from the basic jams that served as its starting point, there were still plenty of memorable moments on it, whether it was the single “La Hechicera de la Jeringa” or Karow taking on the frontman role for the classically hooky “Modern Man.” As always, groove and tonal warmth abounded, and though Premonition 13 will likely remain a short-lived experiment in the longer run of Wino‘s career, they did touch on something distinct within that vast catalog.
Here’s the album in full. Have a great Wino Wednesday:
This week we take a break from exploring the deep past like we’ve done the last couple Wino Wednesdays to focus on something brand new. The below jam, taken from the Volcom Entertainment page on SoundCloud, was recorded when Premonition 13 was in the studio making their debut (and possibly only; though one hopes not) full-length, 13. Dubbed “Noche Oscura,” it comes from a new Volcom split 12″ between Premonition 13, Radio Moscow and Earthless. Good company to keep.
Really, it’s kind of two smaller jams they put together to make one longer piece, but if it was played as it appears below (you can see the fadeout and return in the wave form) I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised, as watching Premonition 13 on stage last year in Brooklyn, it seemed their jamming dynamic was well honed, and actually the core of the band, however much those jams might have been distilled into the structured songs that appeared on the album. Nothing against that process, there’s a lot of killer music made that way — including that record — but what you get with “Noche Oscura” is the unrefined core of what Premonition 13 was/is, and it’s worth it alone for the wistful drama that plays out between Wino and fellow six-stringer Jim Karow‘s guitars in the second half of the song.
They also lock in a right-on heavy groove, and 30 weeks of Wino Wednesday later, I haven’t refused a heavy groove yet. Certainly don’t intend to start now. For more on the split, which is limited to 1,500 copies, check out Volcom‘s store, and in the meantime, here’s “Noche Oscura.”
The crux of the idea behind Premonition 13 and what separates it from the slew of other Scott “Wino” Weinrich projects — especially on stage, as I myself saw at the Saint Vitus bar in Brooklyn not so long ago — is the interplay between Wino and fellow guitarist/vocalist Jim Karow. On the band’s debut full-length, 13, Karow‘s solos and vocals added much to the personality of the group and the record as a whole, however overshadowed he might have been by Weinrich‘s legacy and profile. More than that, on stage, those two jammed. I mean, they went for it, and thinking back on that show, that’s what I remember most.
This week’s Wino Wednesday clip, however, finds Premonition 13 at the abrupt end of their European tour as a three-piece with just Wino on guitar. Karow reportedly had to split back to the US on the double — and not knowing the situation there, I won’t speculate except to say I hope everything’s alright and that the group can get out again as a full band at some point if not sooner than later — and though a couple shows were canceled, they went through with Berlin, where they shared the stage with Fuzz Manta, Voodooshock and Burn Pilot at Cassiopeia on Dec. 6, 2011.
Some intrepid soul (presumably YouTube user jomawe74, whose account the clip was uploaded by) filmed the songs “Hard to Say” and “Deranged Rock ‘n’ Roller” with just Wino on guitar and vocals, and since the single guitar gives a rawer feel than those who saw Premonition 13 in its full incarnation on this tour might expect, I thought it might be cool to make a Wino Wednesday of it. Special thanks to Billy Brett who brought my attention to the following:
Posted in Reviews on November 18th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
From what I understand, Brooklyn‘s Saint Vitus bar is significantly less convenient for those who actually live in the city, but for me it’s just great. It may not be built on top of a subway station, but I know how to get to Greenpoint with my eyes closed (though maybe I keep them open anyway when I’m in the Queens-Midtown Tunnel), and I’ve yet to see a show there that wasn’t worth the effort of driving in.
The place seems like a decent compromise between being completely inconvenient on one side or the other between those who live in the city and those who don’t, is what I’m saying. They need to invest in a grown-up lighting rig for the stage in back, but other than that, it seems to be developing into a cool spot and I hope it continues to do so. By the time I got over to Manhattan Ave. last night, I was champing at the bit to get to the venue. Somehow I’d gotten it in my head that it was an early show. It wasn’t.
I was there maybe 20 minutes ahead of the start of Mount Olympus‘ set, which wasn’t bad, considering the bar was already starting to fill up. This being just two days after watching Fu Manchu pack out Santos Party House in Manhattan, it was duly encouraging to see a crowd at Saint Vitus, but I guess I’m still not used to people being at these shows. It’s cool and all, and I’m glad more and more are coming out, but it catches me off guard every time. I always expect the place — wherever it might be — to be empty.
But as Mount Olympus got going, they had plenty of audience to high-five, and high-five they did. Guitarist/vocalist Michael Guggino, who helmed the band with a kind of Josh Homme-ian casualness, came down from the stage at several points to engage the crowd. The music varied from punkish tempos to stonerly riffs, and in their last song, Guggino and fellow six-stringer Dickie Spectacular hit up a classic metal solo duel that was a bit cheeky but still more on the side of charming than obnoxious. My inner 14 year old thought it was epic in the same way he wanted to go play Dragon Warrior. I can’t keep that kid interested in anything these days.
Among set regulars “Medusa,” “The Mountie” and “Old Yeller,” Kings Destroy also played three newer songs that apparently they also recently cut as a demo (which they’re in the process of finishing) for their next album. I’d heard “The Toe” a few times already, and it was starting to get familiar, which is always cool, but the set-opener “Dice” and the penultimate “He Who Hath No Name” — which also apparently has the working titles “Decrepit Old White Woman” and “Skullduggery of Tricks” — were totally new to me.
Obviously seeing them once in a live setting is no basis for an ultimate judgment one way or the other, but it seems like the band is starting to branch out, be a little more brazen in what they’re doing. Steve Murphy‘s vocals are more confident and farther-ranging, and particularly “He Who Hath No Name” (or whatever it winds up being called; hard to beat “Decrepit Old White Woman”) was more complex musically and in terms of mood. They’re growing and learning what works best for them and how they can development. It’s exciting to watch. As Murphy took his turn coming down from the stage, guitarist Chris Skowronski sang along to “Old Yeller” from the stage — and that seems like a small thing, but you’ll never see it among bands unless the players have a real appreciation for what each other are doing.
It was the last night of the tour for The Gates of Slumber and Premonition 13, and the former took the stage in workman-like fashion. Over the course of their last couple albums and as they’ve spent more time on the road, touring life seems to have lost some of its novelty for Karl Simon and company, but he, bassist Jason McCash and drummer J. Clyde Paradis still got plenty into what they were doing. The setlist was derived almost entirely from their latest album, The Wretch, which is nothing to complain about.
Songs like “To the Rack with Them” and “The Scovrge ov Drvnkenness” were high points, but the unabashed doom misery of “Day of Farewell” made the set. They may have become the road dogs of American trad doom — seeing them now as opposed to a couple years back is much more like watching a professional band play one in a series of shows — but there’s no denying the potency of the material. Compared even to when they rolled through earlier this year with Orange Goblin, the energy was down, but The Gates of Slumber impressed nonetheless. By the time they finished, the room was full, and it would only get more so for Premonition 13.
Having it on good authority that the hot sauces Premonition 13 were selling at their merch table were delicious, I tried to buy the plum one (there were plum, peach and habanero options), but they were out and I picked up a full copy of the CD instead to go with the promo I’d received to review back when the record came out. The songs from that disc were memorable at the time and proved all the more recognizable as the band got going, starting off with dual e-bow guitar introductions from Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Jim Karow.
In talking to The Gates of Slumber‘s McCash prior to his band’s set, he said that the two bands were sharing a van and that Wino and Karow just jammed all the time. He wasn’t criticizing. He was amazed. He said they had little battery-powered amps, and all they did was play guitar together. Well, watching Premonition 13 on stage, I believed it. Of all the players I’ve seen Wino work with in a live setting, he was the most comfortable and at ease with Karow by a mile. They were like two parallel lines standing on opposite sides of the stage. Of course, Wino has the legacy and pedigree behind him, but the simpatico there was palpable.
I don’t know who was playing bass (maybe someone can help me out on that?), but Karow, Wino and drummer Matthew Clark ran through a set of cuts from the 13 album and it wasn’t so much a surprise, but they killed. I snapped some pictures and then stood in back to watch them run through the start-stop stomp of “Clay Pigeons,” the classically moody “La Hechicera de la Jeringa” and the blistering “Hard to Say.” Seems redundant to make the point that it was awesome, but it was. Solos were tossed back and forth, and though it’s not the highest-profile project Wino has running currently — that would probably either be the supergroup Shrinebuilder or Saint Vitus, whose first album in 17 years is due in March — Premonition 13 proved that it has something unique to offer among the slew of other Weinrich-inclusive acts from over the years. Karow‘s lead vocal on the bluesy “Modern Man” made that abundantly clear.
The subdued “Senses” made for a surprising finish to the set, but sure enough, Premonition 13 weren’t really done. As the audience clamored for one more song, Wino explained from the stage that, since the band was born from jamming, they’d like to finish by just jamming out for a while. Karow started playing a riff and they did exactly that. People had begun to trickle out already, to the bar or beyond, but those who stayed were glad they did, and watching the wall of noise gradually build coming from Wino and Karow‘s Marshalls, I felt like I had a better sense of where the band was coming from than even from listening to their songs.
Premonition 13 begin a European tour this weekend, and if you’re in that part of the world (they’ll play with Trippy Wicked in London; not to be missed), consider the show recommended. With everything else Weinrich has coming up and the fact that the band seems to be driven more by his friendship with Karow than any real business concern, who knows when the chance to see them will come again? I don’t regret one bit taking advantage of the opportunity.
I wanted to stick around and talk to Wino, maybe nerd out a bit on the limited information I have as regards the Saint Vitus record and the Conny Ochs collaboration, but my well honed instincts on such matters told me that it was better to leave the poor man alone and keep my fanboy bullshit to myself, so I did that instead and drove back through Manhattan, waiting through about 45 minutes of Holland Tunnel traffic to get back to the valley and take out the recycling and the garbage — someone had conveniently placed a broken microwave on the kitchen floor in hopes that, one assumes, garbage fairies would come and remove it from there to outside in the trash can — at 2AM. Part of the sky was clear, but tiny flakes of snow were falling from what clouds there were, and I couldn’t help but wish for a blizzard, which as any meteorologist will tell you, is just doom dressed in white.
Extra pics after the jump. I know this was a long one, so thanks for reading.
There isn’t much live footage of Premonition 13 out there, because, unlike every other project Scott “Wino” Weinrich has ever been involved in, he hasn’t had the chance to tour the hell out of it yet. As the PR wire informed yesterday, though, that’s about to change, and Premonition 13 — which released its debut, 13, on Volcom earlier this year (review here) — have announced their first two runs of North American shows with Witch Mountain and The Gates of Slumber. Right on.
What’s most interesting about Premonition 13 in comparison to the slew of Wino‘s projects is the inclusion of guitarist Jim Karow, a friend of Weinrich‘s going back to the days of The Obsessed, for whom Karow‘s wife served as the first manager. What Karow brings to Premonition 13, though, is a sense of being a co-headliner. Where in Shrinebuilder, there’s the formidable likes of Al Cisneros and Scott Kelly to play off of, in the realm of “Wino bands,” it’s always been Wino up front. Now he’s playing off of Karow. The elements of Wino‘s playing and songwriting are there as they’re always going to be, but it’s different.
To wit, the clip below for “Modern Man” from the 13 album with Karow on lead vocals. One of my favorite tunes from this record and I thought a great way to change it up this Wino Wednesday. Make sure to check out the tour dates under the player. Hope you dig:
Premonition 13 on tour:
10/04 Monterey, CA Jose’s Underground Lounge (w/Wino solo acoustic opening)
10/06 Seattle, WA El Corazon*
10/07 Bellingham, WA Shakedown*
10/08 Portland, OR Branx (Fall into Darkness Fest)*
10/09 Arcata, CAAlibi*
10/10 SanFrancisco, CA Elbo Room*
10/11 Los Angeles, CA Handbag Factory*
10/12 SanDiego, CA The Shakedown Bar*
11/04 Providence, RI AS220=
11/05 Newark, DE Mojo Main=
11/06 Baltimore, MD Sonar=
11/07 Richmond, VA Strange Matter (w/Wino solo acoustic opening)=
11/09 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall=
11/10 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn=
11/11 Nashville, TN The Muse=
11/12 Indianapolis, IN Melody Inn=
11/13 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge=
11/15 Pittsburgh, PA 31st St Pub=
11/17 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus=
* w/ Witch Mountain
= w/ The Gates of Slumber
Can’t help but think maybe it’s time I institute Wino Wednesday as a regular feature on this site. Any thoughts? Jeebus knows he’s got enough of a back catalog that I could post something different every week for a year, and by then, he’s bound to have put out two or three new albums, prolific as he is.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think. While you’re mulling it over, check out this new clip for the Premonition 13 track “La Hechicera de la Jeringa” from the band’s Volcom debut, 13:
Posted in audiObelisk on July 26th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Today, July 26, marks the release of Premonition 13‘s full-length Volcom debut, 13. The album finds legendary guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich pairing with guitarist/vocalist Jim Karow and filling the bassist role as well in the studio for what would be (and has been) a four-piece live. Together, Weinrich, Karow and drummer Matthew Clark forge a sound that’s at once in line with Weinrich‘s past work in his various trios — Wino, The Hidden Hand, Spirit Caravan — but a step away as well for the interplay between the two guitars and vocalists.
And it’s that interplay that’s at the core of Premonition 13‘s 13. I’ve already reviewed the album, so I’ll spare the longwinded opining, but suffice it to say that fans of Weinrich will be as much thrilled by what’s familiar about 13 as they will by what’s different about it. The record is raw and natural, but still has that essential core of classic doom riffing that has made Wino the influential figure he is, and the balance works.
Volcom was kind enough to give me permission to host the nine-minute album opener “B.E.A.U.T.Y.” for streaming, which you’ll find, followed by some info from the label, on the player below.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
The Premonition 13 debut album, 13, is now available for purchase in all formats (LP and CD orders come with an immediate digital download). The pre-orders for this album came in fast and heavy, so the limited edition orange LPs are close to being sold out. T-shirts are indeed sold out, but when you scroll to the bottom of the offers page you can view the bundles and individual items still available.
Posted in Reviews on May 26th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
If legendary doom guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich has proven anything over the course of his career, it’s that he’s a fan of the trio. Between The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand and his Wino solo outfit, there’s obviously something about the chemistry of three players on stage and in the studio that holds great appeal. It’s a classic formula, anyway, and Weinrich is essentially a classic player in a rock sense, and on the heels of his successful Adrift solo acoustic offering and with new albums from Saint Vitus and the supergroup Shrinebuilder still nebulous on the horizon, he unveils Premonition 13, his latest trio band. The twist here is that it’s a four-piece. On their self-titled 7” single, released earlier this year, Weinrich handed bass as well as guitar and vocals, and he does the same on the follow-up full-length, 13, which is also issued by Volcom. Former Meatjack bassist Brian Danilowski (also of the droning Darsombra) was playing with them for a while, but that seems to have dissipated, putting Weinrich in the rhythm section along with drummer Matthew Clark as well as dueling it out on guitar with Jim Karow, whose longtime friendship with Weinrich seems very much to be the impetus behind starting the band.
Karow also adds vocals to Weinrich’s trademark style, and the two offset each other well. In that regard, Premonition 13 has something in common sound-wise with The Hidden Hand, in which bassist Bruce Falkinburg also contributed both lead and background singing in a similar fashion to what occurs with Karow on 13. Still, there’s no question that Premonition 13 is its own unit, and that it’s the double-guitars that make it so. Longtime followers of Weinrich will recognize many of the elements at play immediately – the downtrodden riffing, dynamic shifts, fire-red solos and Wino’s half-snarled/half-crooned singing – but just as people have different personalities, so do bands, and with so much to compare it to, 13 still emerges as somewhat unique within the context of the vast Weinrich catalog. A thread of strong songwriting emerges throughout the nine component tracks, and the two-guitar factor allows more room for the music to breathe, as Premonition 13 shows with subtle psychedelic flourishes in passing moments like the intro to opener “B.E.A.U.T.Y.,” the centerpiece interlude “La Hechicera de la Jeringa (Prelude)” and closer “Peyote Road.” 13 begins with a fade-up of e-bow guitar, giving an ethereal hum for the first two of the song’s total nine minutes (it’s the longest on the album; bonus points in my mind for putting it at the start), before the riffing starts and Karow and Weinrich trade off vocals to excellent affect, following the undulating riff to make the song both engaging and memorable in a way that’s no less so for being what you’d expect.
There are a few genuine highlight cuts on 13 – third track “Clay Pigeons” and the later, infectious “Modern Man” on which Karow takes the lead vocal come to mind most readily – but it’s important to note that Premonition 13’s first LP, is very much that: An LP. It’s structured into sides, and the flow from one song to the next is smooth and easy. In a way, “B.E.A.U.T.Y.” is a microcosm of the album itself, it’s grand, open-string ending sounding huge with Clark’s capable but not flashy drumming behind. Followed by the shorter, more driving “Hard to Say,” the tempo gets a kick and a highlight solo is provided, if one more deeply mixed than it might be on an album that doesn’t have two guitars. There’s another strong chorus that the verse seems to be in a hurry to get to (though maybe that’s just the impatient riff), but “Clay Pigeons” overwhelms its lead-in both in terms of execution and complexity. Weinrich and Karow infuse the back end of the song with some of 13’s best guitar interplay, and the long fadeout sets up the quieter “Senses,” which closes Side A in semi-ballad fashion, with a quiet verse and heavier chorus structure that repeats twice and leads to a bridge and chorus ending that works well. Like a lot of 13, it’s been done before, but is still a boon to the converted.
Posted in Reviews on March 15th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Longtime fans of guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich will recognize his signature tone almost immediately on Switchouse/Crossthreaded, the debut 7” from his new project, Premonition 13 (released via Volcom Entertainment’s vinyl club in a limited edition green-record pressing of 1,000), but there’s something different going on too. Something strange. Spoiler alert: It’s another guitar. Though Premonition 13 remains, as of this release, a power trio with Weinrich adding bass to his guitar and singing duties, he’s joined in this new project by guitarist and longtime friend Jim Karow, who proves no slouch when it comes to keeping up with the blazing leads and huge-footed stomping grooves. The two tracks they present – “Switchouse” and “Crossthreaded,” oddly enough – find Weinrich well in his element songwriting-wise, and though it’s not the first time he’s worked with another guitarist, it is the first time he’s worked with a guitarist doing this. Where the supergroup Shrinebuilder, in which he shares six-string responsibility with Scott Kelly of Neurosis, draws from elements of its various members’ bands, Premonition 13 feels very much in the vein of Weinrich’s trio projects – Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, the Wino band – though perhaps more the former than the latter.
“Switchouse” begins immediately with a solo and moves quick into its verse. Judging by tone alone, I’d guess it’s Karow’s lead with Weinrich on the backing track, but I could be wrong, and before you know it, the song’s started anyway. The double-guitars don’t affect arrangement much, at least as compares to a record like the Wino band’s Punctuated Equilibrium – Weinrich’s prior release in the trio format, now over two years old – in that the song is rife with soloing in almost every bridge, which is how it should be, or at least what expectation dictates. Drummer Matthew Clark keeps a standard middle pace, not unreasonably fast, not overwhelmingly slow, but steady on his cymbals and snare. There isn’t any trickery going on stylistically, either. The song is more or less straightforward in its structure, verse/chorus, etc., and apart from some backing “ooh”s from Weinrich, there isn’t much to catch listeners off guard. That’s not to say the song is boring. Rather, it harkens at a similar kind of easy-riding atmosphere as Spirit Caravan’s landmark debut, Jug Fulla Sun, and blends it with a kind of “you’re going to get screwed over” social critique in the lyrics to result in a brew so distinctly Weinrich’s that I almost feel like I’m downplaying Karow’s involvement by not including him more in the description. If Premonition 13 is looking to make an opening statement with Switchouse/Crossthreaded, side A does so definitively.