I assume the drummer position in Weedeater will once again be filled by Travis Owen (Whores), who took on the role for the trio’s short tour around Maryland Deathfest a couple weeks ago replacing founding member Keith “Keko” Kirkum, as well of course as for the fest itself, though I guess you never know. Maybe they found a permanent replacement. Maybe it’s him. One way to find out would be to show up at the gig, I suppose.
So it goes. As volatile as their on-stage persona can be, Weedeater had a better run with their original lineup than most. Joining them throughout the summer dates below are ASG, whose new record Blood Drive has apparently been met with a welcome reception, and Lo-Pan, who are currently on the road with Torche.
Here’s the latest from the PR wire:
WEEDEATER AND ASG ANNOUNCE U.S. TOUR
ASG’S BLOOD DRIVE MARKS N.C. BAND’S HIGHEST DEBUT
Weedeater and ASG have announced a four-week tour across the United States, kicking off on June 27 in Savannah, Ga. at The Jinx.
The tour comes as ASG celebrate their highest charting and most critically acclaimed album to date, the breakthrough release Blood Drive. The twelve-song collection landed at #15 on Billboard’s Heat Seeker chart and also had impressive debuts on the trade magazine’s Hard Music (#32) and Indie (#67) charts. The album is streaming via Bandcamp at asgnation.bandcamp.com.
Weedeater & ASG presented by Brooklyn Vegan and Invisible Oranges June 27 Savannah, GA The Jinx June 28 Atlanta, GA The Earl June 30 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks July 1 Houston, TX Fitzgeralds July 2 San Antonio, TX Korova July 3 Austin, TX Red 7 July 4 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves (Free Show) July 5 Norman, OK The Opolis July 7 Tempe, AZ Pub Rock July 9 San Diego, CA Soda Bar July 10 Los Angeles, CA The Whiskey July 11 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst July 12 Oakland, CA Oakland Opera House July 13 Portland, OR Ash St. Saloon July 14 Seattle, WA The Highline
ASG only July 16 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge July 17 Lawrence, KS The Replay Lounge July 18 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory July 19 Nashville, TN Springwater July 20 Asheville, NC Broadway
Weedeater July 16 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl July 18 Calgary, AB The Palamino July 20 Edmonton, AB The Pawn Shop July 23 Winnipeg, MB Windsor Hotel July 24 Fargo, NC The Aquarium July 25 Great Falls, MT Machinery Row July 27 Missoula, MT Farmageddon Festival July 30 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
Weedeater & Lo Pan August 1 Chicago, IL Ultra Lounge August 3 Nashville, TN Exit/In August 4 Johnson City, TN Hideaway August 6 Asheville, NC Broadways August 7 Charlotte, NC Chop Shop August 8 Richmond, VA Strange Matter August 9 Raleigh, NC The Maywood August 10 Wilmington, NC Soapbox
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2012 by JJ Koczan
It’s good to celebrate the milestones in life, and to honor their announced signing to Relapse Records today, Idaho duo Wolvserpent have made their Perigaeademo available as a free download. Back in the day, that used to be called “sharing the love,” but in the case of Wolvserpent‘s bleak aural dreariness, we’ll probably have to come up with another name for it. Feel free to get creative while you peruse the PR wire info below and listen to the Bandcamp stream of the demo:
Wolvserpent Sign to Relapse Records
Relapse Records is extremely proud to announce the signing of Boise, Idaho’s mysterious occult duo WOLVSERPENT. Formed in 2010, WOLVSERPENT consist of Blake Green (guitar, vocals, keys) and Brittany McConnell (drums, percussion, violin) playing a masterful mix of apocalyptic doom, avant-orchestral drone and blackened, sepulchral ambience. The duo will enter the studio to record their sophomore full-length entitled PERIGAEA, a four song 80 minute opus, this November with producer/engineer Mell Dettmer (SUNN 0))), BORIS, ASVA, EARTH) in Seattle and in Idaho at in their home studio.
After a two year writing period, WOLVSERPENT first recorded the PERIGAEA 2012 demo (pronounced “pear-a-guy-a”) in Dec ’11-January 2012. Choosing initially not to release it….but to hold onto it for another 9 months and re-write it, they are now offering it as a free stream atBandcamp and download via their official sitehere. The upcoming full-length version of PERIGAEA will be an entirely different manifestation of the ideas heard on the demo.
WOLVSERPENT commented on the recent signing and new material:
“We are very pleased to be working with Relapse Records on this upcoming album. We are excited to join forces and foster the potential of our best work to date.
We don’t want to say much about the concept now. But we will say this: PERIGAEA is inspired by the four stages of existence and with that, the phases of humanity within the Earth and the greater Universe. PERIGAEA explores and reinforces our qualities and struggles as humans in this life. Our relationship with the Earth and our place as spiritual beings in what some believe is the final phase of this cycle. There are many names for it, one of those names is ‘Kali Yuga,’ the age of Kali, the dark age. The serpent that eats it’s own tail will once again devour itself and give to itself a new birth and a fresh start.”
This demo represents the early stages and younger concepts of PERIGAEA. We decided to set new standards for ourselves, working longer and investing more in our music, allowing the pieces to breathe and gain new life. Created from the strength and seeds of ideas past, this demo has served as the roots from which we have grown. We want to share this process of growth with our fans. We have taken Wolvserpent’s concepts to the stone and sharpened our vision.”
We’re more than halfway through 2012, and we’ve already seen great releases from the likes of Orange Goblin, Pallbearer, Conan, C.O.C., Saint Vitus and many others, but there’s still a long way to go. The forecast for the next five months? Busy.
In my eternal and inevitably doomed quest to keep up, I’ve compiled a list of 13 still-to-come releases not to miss before the year ends. Some of this information is confirmed — as confirmed as these things ever are, anyway — either by label or band announcements, and some of it is a little bit vaguer in terms of the actual dates, but all this stuff is slated to be out before 2013 hits. That was basically my only criteria for inclusion.
And of course before I start the list, you should know two things: The ordering is dubious, since it’s not like I can judge the quality of an album before I’ve heard it, just my anticipation, and that this is barely the beginning of everything that will be released before the end of 2012. The tip of the fastly-melting iceberg, as it were. If past is prologue, there’s a ton of shit I don’t even know about that (hopefully) you’ll clue me into in the comments.
Nonetheless, let’s have some fun:
1. Colour Haze, She Said(Sept./Oct.)
I know, I know, this one’s been a really, really long time coming. Like two years. Like so long that Colour Haze had to go back and remake the album because of some terrible technical thing that I don’t even know what happened but it doesn’t matter anymore. Notice came down yesterday from guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek that the recording is done and the long-awaited She Saidis on the way to be pressed on vinyl and CD. Got my fingers crossed for no more snags.
2. Enslaved, RIITIIR (Sept. 28)
The progressive Norwegian black metallers have put out 10 albums before it, and would you believe RIITIIRis the first Enslaved album that’s a palindrome? Kind of cheating to include it on this list, because I’ve heard it, but I’ve been through the record 10-plus times and I still feel like I just barely have a grasp on where they’re headed with it, so I think it’ll be really interesting to see what kind of response it gets upon release. Herbrand Larsen kills it all over these songs though, I will say that.
3. Mos Generator, Nomads(Oct. 23)
Hard for me not to be stoked on the prospect of the first new Mos Generator album since 2007, especially looking at that cover, which RippleMusic unveiled on Tuesday when it announced the Oct. 23 release date. It’s pretty grim looking, and even though Mos once put out a record called The Late Great Planet Earth, I’ve never thought of them as being particularly dark or doomed. I look forward to hearing what Tony Reed (Stone Axe, HeavyPink) has up his sleeve for this collection, and if he’s looking to slow down and doom out a bit here, that’s cool too. I’ll take it either way.
4. Ufomammut, Oro – Opus Alter(Sept.)
No, that’s not the cover of Oro – Opus Alter, the second half of Italian space doom grand masters Ufomammut‘s Oro collection — the first being Opus Primum (review here), which served as their Neurot Recordings debut earlier this year. That cover hasn’t been released yet, so I grabbed a promo pic to stand in. I’m really looking forward to this album, though I hope they don’t go the Earth, Angels of Darkness Demons of Lightroute and wind up with two records that, while really good, essentially serve the same purpose. I’ve got my hopes high they can outdo themselves once again.
5. Witchcraft, Legend(Sept. 21)
I guess after their success with Graveyard, Nuclear Blast decided to binge a bit on ’70s loyalist doom, signing Witchcraft and even more recently, Orchid. Can’t fault them that. It’s been half a decade since Witchcraft released The Alchemist and in their absence, doom has caught on in a big way to their methods. With a new lineup around him, will Magnus Pelander continue his divergence into classic progressive rock, or return to the Pentagram-style roots of Witchcraft‘s earliest work? Should be exciting to find out.
6. Wo Fat, The Black Code(Nov.)
After having the chance to hear some rough mixes of Texas fuzzers Wo Fat‘s Small Stone debut, The Black Code, I’m all the more stoked to encounter the finished product, and glad to see the band join the ranks of Lo-Pan, Freedom Hawk and Gozu in heralding the next wave of American fuzz. Wo Fat‘s 2011 third outing, Noche del Chupacabra (review here), greatly expanded the jammed feel in their approach, and I get the sense they’re just beginning to find where they want to end up within that balance.
7. Blood of the Sun, Burning on the Wings of Desire(Late 2012)
As if the glittering logo and booby-lady cover art weren’t enough to grab attention, Blood of the Sun‘s first album for Listenable Records (fourth overall) is sure to garner some extra notice because the band is led by drummer/vocalist Henry Vasquez, better known over the past couple years as the basher for Saint Vitus. Whatever pedigree the band has assumed through that, though, their modern take on classic ’70s heavy has a charm all its own and I can’t wait to hear how Burning on the Wings of Desire pushes that forward. Or backward. Whatever. Rock and roll.
8. Swans, The Seer(Aug. 28)
This one came in the mail last week and I’ve had the chance to make my way through it only once. It’s two discs — and not by a little — and as was the case with Swans‘ 2010 comebacker, My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky(review here), the far less cumbersomely titled The Seeris loaded with guest contributions. Even Jarboe shows up this time around, doing that breathy panting thing she does. Unnerving and challenging as ever, Swans continue to be a litmus for how far experimentalism can go. 3o years on, that’s pretty impressive in itself.
9. Swallow the Sun, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird(Sept. 4)
Apparently the Finnish melo-doom collective’s fifth album, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, came out earlier this year in Europe, but it’s finally getting an American release in September, and as I’ve always dug the band’s blend of death metal and mournful melodicism, I thought I’d include it here. Like Swans, I’ve heard the Swallow the Sun once through, and it seems to play up more of the quiet, weepy side of their sound, but I look forward to getting to know it better over the coming months.
10. My Sleeping Karma, Soma (Oct. 9)
Just signed to Napalm Records and tapped to open for labelmates Monster Magnet as they tour Europe performing Spine of Godin its entirety this fall, the German four-piece are set to follow-up 2010’s Tri(review here) with Soma. Details were sketchy, of course, until about five minutes after this post initially went up, then the worldwide release dates, cover art and tracklist were revealed, so I updated. Find all that info on the forum.
11.Eagle Twin, The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale(Aug. 28)
Way back in 2009 when I interviewed Eagle Twin guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley about the band’s Southern Lord debut, he said the band’s next outing would relate to snakes, and if the cover is anything to go by, that seems to have come to fruition on The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale, which is set to release at the end of next month. As the first album was kind of a mash of influences turned into cohesive and contemplative heavy drone, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store this time around.
12. Hooded Menace, Effigies of Evil(Sept. 11)
You know how sometimes you listen to a band and that band turns you on in their liner notes to a ton of other cool bands? I had that experience with Finnish extreme doomers Hooded Menace‘s 2010 second album, Never Cross the Dead (review here), except instead of bands it was hotties of ’70s horror cinema. Needless to say, I anxiously await the arrival of their third record and Relapse debut, Effigies of Evil. Someone needs to start a label and call it Hammer Productions just to sign this band.
13. Yawning Man, New Album (Soon)
Make no mistake. The prospect of a new Yawning Man album would arrive much higher on this list if I was more convinced it was going to come together in time for a 2012 release. As it is, Scrit on the forum has had a steady stream of updates since May about the record — the latest news being that it’s going to be a double album — and Scrit‘s in the know, so I’ll take his word. One thing we do know for sure is that the band in the picture above is not the current Yawning Man lineup. Alfredo Hernandez and Mario Lalli out, Greg Saenz and Billy Cordell in. Bummer about the tumult, but as long as it’s Gary Arce‘s ethereal guitar noodling, I’m hooked one way or another.
Since we closed with rampant speculation, let me not forget that somewhere out there is the looming specter of a new Neurosis album, which the sooner it gets here, the better. Perhaps also a new Clutch full-length, though I doubt that’ll materialize before 2013. And that’s a different list entirely.
Thanks for reading. Anything I forgot or anything you’d like to add to the list, leave a comment.
Last week, it was announced that Atlanta, Georgia’s heavy rocking upstarts Royal Thunder — who are so hard to pin to a single genre that one has to resort to vague phrases like “heavy rock upstarts” to describe them — were hitting the road in September alongside Pallbearer and Samothrace for a tour dubbed “Paths to Oblivion.” No other way to say it, these are three killer bands, riding at the top of their game — all of whom have released killer albums this year (Samothrace‘s is out shortly) — and this is the kind of tour that years from now you look back on and say, “I saw these bands when…”
Check out the dates on the poster below (click to enlarge):
To mark the occasion, Relapse Records — which put out Royal Thunder‘s second album, CVI, late in May — has offered up two free copies of that full-length for me to giveaway.
Couldn’t be more stoked on that fact, as CVI‘s always-consistent but resoundingly amorphous sonic scope ties the band no more to Baroness than it does to Neurosis, no more to Mastodon than Fleetwood Mac, no more to Kylesa than Alice in Chains. Between sprawling nine-minute epics like “Shake and Shift” and “Blue,” aggressive bursts like that of the riffy “Whispering World,” the Americana atmospherics of the later “Minus” and the nigh-on-miraculous flow of all these elements which in less capable hands would be disparate and not in the slightest cohesive, it’s a perfect example of the genre-bending mindset that seems to be driving the next generation of US Heavy. Makes a good freebie, in other words.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. Make sure to fill out the email address in the form so I can get in touch with you if you win. I’ll pick winners next week and the albums will come from Relapse. If you want to say thanks, I’d recommend hitting up their Thee Facebooks.
Red Fang‘s building up an awful lot of pressure to keep making hilarious videos. “Hank is Dead” is their third in a row, and what starts with awkward junk-glances in the shower ends with a PBR-fueled (PBR being the thread that unites the to-date trilogy of Red Fang clips) rager/air guitar championship. Spandex is had, blood is spilled, invisible necks are licked — in short, Red Fang‘s specific brand chaos ensues, and as always, it looks like a blast to have put it all together.
Enjoy “Hank is Dead,” followed by some PR wire info and European tour dates:
Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang are premiering their new video today on YouTube for “Hank is Dead”, which is taken from their critically acclaimed release Murder the Mountains. Red Fang worked with director extraordinaire, Whitey McConnaughy on the video.
Drummer John Sherman spoke about the “Hank is Dead” video:
“Another great concept from the brilliant mind of Whitey McConnaughy. This one came together super quick with the help of some insane Portland locals and their sick air guitar skills. We basically just threw a big party and had a blast while a bunch of cameras ran. That is my shower Aaron and Bryan and Bobcat are in at the intro, btw. It still has a weird ring around it…”
Red Fang are currently on tour in Europe with Mastodon. The tour runs through Feb. 11 in London and includes Red Fang headline dates in addition to the shows with Mastodon.
Red Fang European tour with Mastodon 01/27 GER, Stuttgart Juha West* 01/28 SWI, Zurich Xtra 01/29 GER, Frankfurt Batschkapp 01/30 GER, Munich Backstage Halle 01/31 GER, Berlin C-Club 02/01 GER, Osnabruck Bastard Club* 02/02 GER, Cologne Essigfabrik 02/03 HOL, Tilburg 013 02/04 FRA, Le Havre Le Mate L’Eau* 02/05 ENG, Bristol Academy 02/06 ENG, Manchester Academy 02/07 SCO, Glasgow Barrowland 02/09 Norwich, UEA 02/10 ENG, Birmingham Institute 02/11 ENG, London Brixton Academy
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2011 by JJ Koczan
Kudos to North Carolinian heavy rockers ASG on living the stoner rock dream and getting picked up by Relapse. The acronymic outfit kicked a good deal of ass with Weedeater and Naam in NYCearlier this year, and though they haven’t had a record out in four years, their work on the road has obviously paid off. So well done.
Here’s the announcement, plus tour dates and new album details, off the PR wire:
Relapse Records is extremely proud to announce the signing of NorthCarolina’s finest psychedelic stoner punks, ASG! Impossible to pigeonhole, ASG has been wheelin’ and dealin’ in kickass rock ‘n’ roll since forming in 2001. The band has previously released four albums with including their most recent, critically acclaimed effort Win Us Over in 2007. ASG has gained a reputation for their wildly energetic live shows, and has found themselves on the road with heavy-hitters Motörhead, The Sword, CKY, FuManchu, Torche and TheDwarves among others.
ASG plan to enter the studio in February 2012 to record their highly anticipated Relapse debut with producer MattHyde (Slayer, Children of Bodom, Fu Manchu). More details will be announced shortly. Additionally, the band has confirmed a string of Southern US dates in January plus a special appearance at next year’s Hellfest in France. A complete list of tour dates are included below.
ASG guitarist/vocalist Jason Shi commented on the signing: “To be part of such a well respected music label like Relapse and to be included in their roster of bands both past and present is quite an honor for us. We plan to record our first release on Relapse in the winter of 2012 with MattHyde and are very excited for everyone to hear it! We are amping!”
01/04 Savannah, GA The Jinx 01/05 Jacksonville, FL Brewster’s Pit 01/06 SatelliteBeach, FL The Sports Page 01/07 NewSmyrna, FL Beachside Tavern 01/11 Orlando, FL SIP Art Gallery 01/12 LakeWorth, FL Speakeasy Lounge 01/13 Vero, FL Filthy McNasty’s 01/14 Daytona, FL Frank’s Front Row 01/20 Wilmington, NC Soapbox (w/ Hail!Hornet, SSS) 01/21 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall (w/ Hail!Hornet, SSS) 06/15 Clisson, FranceHellfest 2012
Posted in Features on October 11th, 2011 by JJ Koczan
Of the various kinds of heavinesses they emit — sonic, emotional, temperamental, etc. — where Arkansas post-sludgers Rwake are heaviest of all is in atmosphere. There’s something about their new album, Rest, that, in its most biting moments, reaches down your throat to pull the air from your lungs. It’s not just oppressively loud. Even quiet stretches like the opening introduction “Souls of the Sky” enact a kind of hegemony for the threats they contain.
Rest is the fifth and most realized Rwake (pronounced “wake”) album. It follows four years behind the band’s Relapse Records debut, Voices of Omens, and, like that album, was produced by the careful ears of Sanford Parker. That’s important to note because, as Rwake has stepped beyond their past work in so many ways across Rest‘s six tracks, there are still some consistencies of sound that work greatly to their benefit, and Parker‘s production is undeniably a big part of that.
But then, “big” seems to be the word all around when it comes to Rwake. The guitars of Kiffin Rogers and Kris “Gravy” Graves alternate between piercing leads and riffs that seem to be made of block cement, broken through only by Jeff Morgan‘s ultra-adaptable drums, Reid Raley‘s rumble and the dual-vocal assault of Brittany Fugate‘s snarled screams and CT‘s shouts echoing over the abyss like cliffside incantations yelled to gathering clouds.
As the frontman, CT has shown marked growth in his vocals, moving beyond the screams of Voices of Omens and earlier records like 2004’s If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die and 2002’s Hell is a Door to the Sun (reissued earlier this year by Relapse) to more controlled and overall cleaner shouting. It’s not exactly melodic, and he’s still able to match Fugate for ferocity on cuts like “An Invisible Thread,” but there’s no question that in the four years between Voices of Omens and Rest, he came into his own as a singer and as a central figure in the band.
The album is 53 minutes long. My interview with CT was 55. We spoke before the band’s short tour at the end of last month about the strange and protracted process by which Rest was recorded and how it ultimately helped in undertaking the aforementioned maturation, the move to longer songs, their current position as regards touring and much more, and even had some time at the end to bring in how he — as the director of the sludge documentary Slow Southern Steel — views Rwake within the expansive creative milieu of the American south.
You’ll find the complete 6,200-word Q&A after the jump. Please enjoy.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2011 by JJ Koczan
Fearsome Oregonian foursome Red Fang have already toured this year with Saint Vitus and Crowbar as part of the Metalliance tour, and joined the ranks of the vastly more commercial Mayhem Festival, brought to you by an energy drink whose name I’m not going to mention because, fuck it, I’m not getting paid to. Their streak of high-profile runs is set to continue through the fall, it seems, as they’re booked for the month of November with reigning metal champs Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
So, uh, good for them. Here’s the dates off the PR wire:
Red Fang has just confirmed a Fall North American tour with Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan. The tour kicks off Nov. 1 in Los Angeles, CA, and runs through Dec. 1 in Lake Buena Vista, FL. A complete list of dates is below:
11/01 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern Theater 11/02 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades 11/03 San Francisco, CA The Warfield Theater 11/05 Portland, OR Roseland Theater 11/06 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO 11/07 Boise, ID Knitting Factory 11/08 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot 11/09 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre 11/11 Chicago, IL The Riviera Theatre 11/12 Milwaukee, WI The Rave Ballroom 11/13 St. Louis, MO Pop’s 11/14 Kansas City, MO The Beaumont 11/16 Detroit, MI The Fillmore 11/17 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room 11/19 New York, NY Terminal 5 11/20 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero 11/21 Boston, MA House of Blues 11/23 Montreal, QC Metropolis 11/25 Toronto, ON Kool Haus 11/26 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom 11/27 Washington, DC 9:30 Club 11/28 Norfolk, VA The NorVa 11/29 Asheville, NC Orange Peel 12/01 Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues
To coincide with the tour announcement Red Fang have released an exclusive B-side from Murder the Mountains titled “Black Hole” on their [Thee] Facebook[s] page.