Mondo Drag Working on Fourth Album; Playing This Weekend

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

It’s an older picture below — I don’t think they’ve had time to fire up the lightshow for a new promo shot as yet, and fair enough — but the prospect of a new Mondo Drag record is a welcome one regardless. The SF-based prog weirdos — or is that weird proggos? — are currently writing material for what will be their fourth long-player and the follow-up to 2016’s very-much-right-on The Occultation of Light (review here), and they’ve announced the addition of Astra‘s Conor Riley on bass. They’ll play new songs this Saturday at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland, where they’ll share the stage with Blow and Glitter Wizard for what’s sure to be a righteous time.

They’ve done sporadic shows and stuff since 2017, but I have to wonder what was behind their “hiatus” in the first place. They seemed to have some pretty good momentum coming off touring for The Occultation of Light. Was it burnout from too much road time? Disillusion with the underground tour experience? Not enough weed candy? What’s the deal? Maybe when the time comes I’ll bother founding vocalist/keyboardist John Gamino and find out.

Until then, I’m glad to know there’s progress being made. Here’s what they had to say about it on thee social medias:

mondo drag

After a nearly two year hiatus, we have crawled out of our sonic cocoon and re-emerged onto this plane of existence for the next phase of our life cycle.

We are excited to announce that talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Conor Riley (Astra, Birth) has joined the ensemble as bassist. We’ve been holed up in our West Oakland studio for months working on material for our fourth album and we’ll be debuting some of it at our show this Saturday night at Eli’s Mile High Club.

Stay tuned for news on some upcoming US festival appearances!

Saturday, August 17

Glitter Wizard
Mondo Drag
Blow

Tickets: https://wizardmondoblow.eventbrite.com

Mondo Drag are:
John Gamino – Keyboards & Vocals
Nolan Girard – Guitar & Synthesizer
Jake Sheley – Guitar
Ventura Garcia – Drums
Conor Riley – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/mondodrag/
http://www.instagram.com/mondodrag
https://mondodrag.bandcamp.com/
https://www.mondodrag.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/

Mondo Drag, The Occultation of Light (2016)

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The Well Announce October East Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well

So am I crazy, or are The Well playing Tulsa, Oklahoma, two nights after they play in Helsinki, Finland? I mean, that’s not an impossible scenario, by any means — it’s enough time to travel from one place to the other — but as the Austin, Texas-based three-piece get ready to embark on a Fall tour supporting their earlier-2019 offering, Death and Consolation (review here), it’s barely enough time for them to get their luggage from the baggage claim. I know there’s a day in between there, but still, that’s pretty tight. All the more so if they’re flying into Austin to get their gear and then driving north to play that Tulsa gig. And then they’ve got like 20 shows in a row! Clearly not a band big on doing themselves favors.

But hey, if you weren’t soul-obliteratingly tired afterward, would it really be rock and roll?

(Yes.)

If none of the three of them is yet writing their book about being on the road, I can only consider that an oversight. Hey, The Well. If you wanna do a tour diary, hit me up. I’d run that shit in a heartbeat. Also, your record rules.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

the well poster

The Well announce new tour dates in support of new album Death and Consolation

Austin trio extend North American dates; first time in Puerto Rico

Austin trio The Well announce additional tour dates in support of their beloved new album, Death and Consolation (RidingEasy Records) today. The band has spent much of the year on tour, and here continue the trek through into November. Please see all dates below.

Death and Consolation is without a doubt a weighty album title. And, The Well is among the heaviest heavy psych bands in existence. So when we say that there’s even more darkness and intensity to the band’s third album than previous efforts, take heed. It’s a deep sea diving bell of enveloping heaviness and longing.

“This one is a little more personal,” says guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. “2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year. I wanted to call this Death and Consolation, because in life that’s a constant.”

Death and Consolation is available on LP, CD and download as of April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2019:
09/13 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room
10/10 – Helsinki, FI – Blow Up Festival
10/12 – Tulsa, OK – Mercury Lounge
10/13 – Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
10/14 – Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
10/15 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
10/16 – Chicago, IL – Live Wire
10/17 – Detroit, MI – Sanctuary
10/18 – Toronto, ON – Grand Gerrand
10/19 – Ottawa, ON – House of Targ
10/20 – Montreal, QC – Katacombs
10/21 – Winooski, VT – Monkey House
10/22 – Rochester, NY – Bug Bar
10/23 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus *
10/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Barbary *
10/25 – Baltimore, MD – The Depot
10/26 – Richmond, VA – Wonderland
10/27 – Raleigh, NC – Slim’s
10/28 – Atlanta, GA – 529
10/29 – Gainesville, FL – Hardback Cafe
10/30 – St Petersburg, FL – The Bends
11/01 – Puerto Rico – Club 77
11/02 – Jacksonville, FL – Justice Pub
11/09 – Austin, TX – Levitation Festival
* w/ Heavy Temple

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

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Blackwater Holylight Announce New Album Veils of Winter; Stream “Motorcycle”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

blackwater holylight

Oh, I was very much hoping that earlier this year when it was announced that Portland, Oregon’s Blackwater Holylight were in the process of recording a follow-up to their 2018 self-titled debut (review here) and then announced their big Fall tour with Monolord, that meant the album would be released concurrently. As it happens, that’s exactly what’s up for what’s been dubbed Veils of Winter and will be released Oct. 11 through RidingEasy Records. If you’re not looking forward to it yet, I’m just going to assume the first record got by you — hey, shit happens; still time to catch up — but seriously, if you don’t take the couple minutes to dig into “Motorcycle” below, you’re missing out.

The organ line, the vocal melodies, the kind of eerie guitar — it’s such a dead-on psychedelic vibe that’s classic in its root but has its identity on lockdown. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record, and I can’t wait to see them live. Seriously. Sometimes I feel bogged down by the sheer amount of stuff coming out, and then I get word about something like this and I’m a dorky fanboy all over again.

Nerd along with me and the PR wire:

blackwater holylight veils of winter

Blackwater Holylight – Veils of Winter

Portland, OR quintet Blackwater Holylight announce their forthcoming sophomore album Veils of Winter (RidingEasy Records) today, sharing the lead single. Hear and share the immediately classic hooks of “Motorcycle” via Bandcamp and YouTube.

Blackwater Holylight hit the road hard this Fall, supporting former RidingEasy label mates Monolord throughout the US in November, as well as Thou in September, plus a handful of hometown shows. Please see complete dates below.

Blackwater Holylight, as the name suggests, is all about contrasts. It’s a fluid convergence of sound that’s heavy, psychedelic, melodic, terrifying and beautiful all at once.

As a heavy band, their songs aren’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in waves that surface throughout the band’s meditative, entrancing songs. It’s a hypnotic sound, with orchestral structures that often build tension and intrigue before turning the song on its head — not by simply getting louder or heavier, nor by just layering elements. They expertly subvert the implied heaviness of a part, dissecting it and splaying the song’s guts out to seep across the sonic spectrum.

Now, having toured extensively following the band’s wildly-successful breakout self-titled debut in 2018, Blackwater Holylight has honed their sound and identity to a powerfully captivating beast. Their live set is all about the slow build, seeming to combine the melodic tension of early Sonic Youthcrossed with the laconic fever-dream blues of the first Black Sabbath album and wiry experimentation of post-punk and krautrock.

The lineup on this album is Allison (Sunny) Faris (bass/vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths), with new guitarist Mikayla Mayhew and drummer Eliese Dorsay fleshing out their sound in exciting ways.

“The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” says Faris. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” She continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

Veils of Winter opens with fuzzed-drenched, drop-tuned bass and baritone guitar leading a dirge riff on “Seeping Secrets.” Faris’ lilting and funereal vocals drop in, adding to the mournful atmosphere until a short turnaround progression hints at changes to come, as Faris and Hopkins harmonize eerily and the tune suddenly turns into a krautrock charge. “Motorcycle” kicks off deceptively with a heavy grunge riff building up for about 40-seconds before the song abruptly shifts gears into a synth-led post-punk harmony, sounding something like Lush meets Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. “Death Realms” is perhaps the poppiest track, based around soaring shoegaze guitars and interwoven light vocal harmonies. Soft piano notes, occasional woozy whammy bar dives and a driving tom-tom beat solidify its hooks. “Spiders” is a creepy-crawly guitar riff and counterpoint keys, while “Moonlit” explores prog-structures with a shredding guitar solo crescendo. The penultimate track, “Lullaby” is exactly that, a lulling, expansive tune exemplifying Blackwater Holylight’s genre smashing sound as it subtly moves across a vast sonic landscape atop a hypnotic 6/8 beat and repetitive 3-note motif. Throughout the album, their songs shirk traditional verse-chorus-verse structure in favor of fluid, serpentine compositions that move with commanding grace.

Veils of Winter will be available on LP, CD and download on October 11th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at www.ridingeasyrecs.com.

Artist: Blackwater Holylight
Album: Veils of Winter
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: October 11th, 2019
01. Seeping Secrets
02. Motorcycle
03. Spiders
04. The Protector
05. Daylight
06. Death Realms
07. Lullaby
08. Moonlit

BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT LIVE 2019:
08/09 Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge – Planned Parenthood benefit
08/24 Portland, OR @ Star Theater w/ Kadavar, Danava
09/23 Tallahassee, FL @ The Bark #
09/24 Tampa, FL @ The Blue Note #
09/26 Miami, FL @ Las Rosa’s #
09/27 Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub #
09/28 Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic #
09/29 Pensacola, FL @ Chizuco #
10/24 Portland, OR @ Star Theater – Album release show
11/05 San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick *
11/06 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress *
11/07 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister *
11/09 Austin, TX @ Barracuda – Levitation Fest – RidingEasy Stage
11/10 Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room *
11/11 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks *
11/12 Atlanta, GA @ 529 *
11/13 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight *
11/14 Richmond, VA @ Camel *
11/15 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery *
11/16 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church *
11/17 New York, NY @ Saint Vitus *
11/20 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s *
11/21 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing *
11/22 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar *
11/23 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck *
11/25 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater *
11/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom *
# w/ Thou
* w/ Monolord

https://www.facebook.com/blackwaterholylight/
instagram.com/blackwaterholylight
blackwaterholylight.bandcamp.com
ridingeasyrecs.com

Blackwater Holylight, “Motorcycle”

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Holy Serpent Announce New Album Endless & European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

holy serpent

Perhaps Holy Serpent said it best when on 2016’s Temples (review here) in 2016 they closed out with the 11-minute “Sativan Harvest,” and by “said it” I definitely mean “riffed it.” Still, there’s more work to be done on the part of the Melbourne four-piece, who’ve set themselves a high standard (pun SO intended) between that outing and their 2015 self-titled (review here), and their third album, Endless, will be out Oct. 4 on RidingEasy Records. They’ll spend the better part of the prior month touring in Europe thanks to a helping hand from Heavy Psych Sounds‘ booking wing — a formalized alliance between the US-based RidingEasy and Italian Heavy Psych Sounds would be nothing to sneeze at if it became a more regular occurrence; this isn’t the first time they’ve crossed paths, certainly — and one imagines they’ll either be selling copies of the new record or just generally promoting the crap out of it leading up to the release. US tour after? That’d be awfully nice.

The band’s announcement via social media and the tour dates follow:

holy serpent tour

*** HOLY SERPENT – ‘ENDLESS’ EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***

We’re finally making our way over to Europe this September.

Something we’ve all collectively been waiting for ever since we picked up instruments.

We’re doing a hard slog of 25 shows in a row that might just kill us, or make us really fkn strong.. Also BONUS NEWS – our 3rd album titled ‘ENDLESS’ will be out on RidingEasy Records on October 4th, 2019.

Thanks to HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS for booking this tour, we’re all super psyched and also a bit nervous.. Cheers to our bro Dan in RidingEasy Records for taking a chance on a bunch of dudes from down under!

Thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way, brought a record, come to a show or even hit like on a post. It’s amazing to know that we got people watching us all over the world.

Peace and Love and Marijuana.. Holy Serpent.

*** HOLY SERPENT – ‘ENDLESS’ EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***
04.09.2019 IT Roma-Wishlist
05.09.2019 IT Torino-Blah Blah
06.09.2019 IT Parma-Splinter
07.09.2019 IT Alessandria-Cascina Bellaria
08.09.2019 IT Verona/Mantova tba
09.09.2019 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
10.09.2019 AT Wien-Venster99
11.09.2019 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
12.09.2019 DE Augsburg-City Club
13.09.2019 CH Olten-Coq D’Or
14.09.2019 CH Brunnen-Kult Turm
15.09.2019 FR Lille
16.09.2019 UK
17.09.2019 UK
18.09.2019 UK Bristol
19.09.2019 FR Paris-Le Cirque Eletrique
20.09.2019 CH Martigny-Le Caves Du Manoir
21.09.2019 DE Mannheim
22.09.2019 DE DE Frankfurt
23.09.2019 DE Koln-MTC
24.09.2019 DE Bielefeld-Potemkin
25.09.2019 DE Oldenburg-MTS Record
26.09.2019 DE Berlin-Toast Hawaii
27.09.2019 DE Siegen-Vortex
28.09.2019 CH Frauenfeld-Kaff

HOLY SERPENT is:
Scott Penberthy – Guitar/Vocals
Nick Donoughue – Guitar
Dave Bartlett – Bass
Lance Leembrugen – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/HolySerpentBand/
https://holyserpentband.bandcamp.com
http://ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

Holy Serpent, Temples (2016)

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DVNE Sign to RidingEasy Records; New Album Due Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

RidingEasy Records would likely have been on hand last August when Edinburgh’s DVNE made their debut US appearance on the main stage at Psycho Las Vegas (review here), and having seen that performance, it leaves little to wonder why the label might have snagged them for the release of the follow-up to 2017’s widely-lauded Asheran. I seem to recall hearing at some point that Psycho was managing the band as well, so the West Coast connection there and the fact that they’re playing the festival again this year kind of brings it all together. They’ll hit the studio sometime in the next couple months to record an album, and whether it makes it out before the end of 2019 or not, I have little doubt its arrival will be hotly anticipated.

They’re something of a standout in terms of style for RidingEasy as well, which I imagine will only help them as they go forward with the backing from the label. US tour next year? Doesn’t seem like an unreasonable ask following the album’s release.

The PR wire makes the signing official:

dvne

DVNE sign to RidingEasy Records, play Psycho Las Vegas

Edinburgh, Scotland band to release new album in 2019

Edinburgh, Scotland quintet DVNE have signed to L.A. purveyors of heavy, RidingEasy Records for worldwide release of future recordings.

The band also returns to the US this summer to perform at the hugely popular Psycho Las Vegas festival on August 17th.

DVNE (pronounced dune) is a 5 piece progressive rock/metal band from Edinburgh Scotland. Founded in 2013, the band was then called Dune in reference to Frank Herbert sci-fi masterpiece of the same name.

The band consists of Victor Vicart (guitar, vocals, keys), Dudley Tait (drums), Daniel Barter (guitar, vocals), Jack Kavanagh (bass) and Richard Matheson (keys).

To date, the band has released one studio album and two EPs. They emerged within the UK scene with their first EP Progenitor (2013), shortly followed by a second EP, Aurora Majesty (2014). At their releases, both EPs received very favourable receptions. Dvne quickly began to make a name for themselves in the UK and around Europe, with various tours over these territories and support shows of households names such as Eyehategod, Crowbar, Dragged Into Sunlight to name a few. The band’s sound at the time was already crossing over various music style including post-metal, progressive rock and sludge metal, but it is with their first full-length album Asheran that the band established further their unique blend of heavy music.

Released in August 2017, on double-disc vinyl, CD and digital, Asheran was overwhelmingly praised by the press. Since Asheran’s release, Dvne has toured all over the UK, Europe and North America and appeared at prestigious festivals such as Psycho Las Vegas, Desertfest London and Inferno Festival Norway to name a few.

Not content to repeat their previous releases and always looking to push their sound forward DVNE are about to enter Chamber Studio in Edinburgh this summer to record their 2nd full-length concept album, planned for release on RidingEasy in late 2019.

DVNE LIVE:
08/17 Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas

https://www.facebook.com/DvneUK
https://www.instagram.com/dvne_uk/
https://songs-of-arrakis.bandcamp.com/
ridingeasyrecs.com

DVNE, Asheran (2017)

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Here Lies Man to Release No Ground to Walk Upon Aug. 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Here Lies Man are officially — I’m sure there was a ceremony somewhere, someplace — a better band than people know. The thing about that? People know they’re pretty good. But go ahead and dig into “Clad in Silver,” which is the lead track from their new mini-LP No Ground to Walk Upon, and tell me that’s not some of the coolest shit going. I mean, I know they’re not the only ones out there taking cues from Afrobeat, but after two full-lengths and a couple other odds and ends, some touring, etc., they’ve got it down. Listen to that fuzz. Those keys. That percussion. That drone head-trip freakout. It’s all right there. It’s so specific a sonic niche, and so much their own, that I have to wonder if part of why they’re underrated isn’t because of the complexity involved, but either way, you’ve got four minutes — if you’re reading this, face it, you do — so yeah, just listen to the track. It’s down there at the bottom.

No Ground to Walk Upon is out Aug. 16 through RidingEasy Records.

The PR wire makes it true:

here lies man no ground to walk upon

Here Lies Man announce new mini-album No Ground to Walk Upon, share first single

Los Angeles quartet Here Lies Man share the lead single from their forthcoming 7-song mini-album No Ground To Walk Upon today. Hear and share “Clad in Silver” via YouTube and Bandcamp.

Here Lies Man took the music world by storm in 2017 with their self-titled debut positing the intriguing hypothesis: What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?

Since that time, Here Lies Man has expanded and expounded upon their sound and ideas of heavy riff rock and psych within the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave. The L.A. based band comprised of Antibalas members have toured relentlessly over the past 2 years, while also releasing a second album, You Will Know Nothing and an EP, Animal Noises, both in 2018.

No Ground to Walk Upon is due worldwide in August 2019. It continues with an ongoing concept of HLM playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie, with each song being a scene. The lead single “Clad in Silver” is the soundtrack snippet of a journey to the imaginary place called home, which can never be arrived at. With every step, the character imagines getting closer, but it is a hallucination that fades in and out of perception.

“We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” explains founder and vocalist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia (who also plays guitar in Antibalas) of the band’s sound. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

No Ground To Walk Upon also includes an interesting conceptual mathematics to the entire proceedings, a theme begun on the prior album. “There are interludes between each song that are 2/3 to 3/4 of the tempo of the previous song,” Garcia says. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.”

Garcia and cofounder/drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) recorded the mini-album much like they did their previous releases, at their own L.A. studio on a Tascam 388 8-track tape machine. Additional layers were recorded with former Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod and other contributors in various other locations, all while the band continued its rigorous touring schedule.

Here Lies Man has already spent much of the past three years on tour, with dates supporting Antibalas, Earthless and Fu Manchu, as well as headlining treks through the EU & UK. The remaining months of 2019 and 2020 will see the band once again performing at numerous International festivals (including Austin’s Levitation Fest in November.)

No Ground to Walk Upon will be available on LP, CD and download on August 16th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records.

Tracklisting:
01. Clad in Silver
02. Swinging From Trees
03. Long Legs (Look Away)
04. Washing Bones
05. Get Ahold of Yourself
06. Iron Rattles
07. Man Falls Down

HERE LIES MAN LIVE 2019:
11/09 Austin, TX @ Levitation Fest 2019

hereliesman.com
facebook.com/hereliesman
hereliesman.bandcamp.com
ridingeasyrecs.com

Here Lies Man, “Clad in Silver”

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Acid King Announce Busse Woods 20th Anniversary Tour and Reissue

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

acid king

Fuck yes. Acid King. Playing Busse Woods. 20th anniversary. Reissue on RidingEasy Records. Fuzz. “Electric Machine.” The whole bit. What the hell is going to be better than that? Whatever else you had planned, can it. Get yourself to where you really need to be and nod yourself into oblivion. Seriously. This is going to be fucking incredible. Desert island record.

The reissue is out Aug. 30 with modified art and a new master, which is fine because it’s probably going to make it louder and that’ll be just great thank you kindly.

Is the show in your calendar yet? It should be. I just added it. Might have to trek down to Philly for two in a row… Hmm…

Looky looky:

Acid King busse woods tour poster

Acid King announce Busse Woods reissue on RidingEasy Records and 20th anniversary tour

San Francisco stoner-rock trio touring with support from Wizard Rifle and Warish

San Francisco trio Acid King announce the 20th Anniversary reissue of their 1999 sophomore album Busse Woods to be released on RidingEasy Records. The reissue is in conjunction with an extensive North American tour commemorating the landmark album. Please see dates below.

The tour features support from Wizard Rifle and RidingEasy label mates Warish.

Originally released via Frank Kozik’s groundbreaking Man’s Ruin Records in 1999, Busse Woods will be remastered, with updated artwork for release via RidingEasy Records.

Busse Woods will be available on LP, CD and download on August 30th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records.

ACID KING ‘BUSSE WOODS’ 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR 2019:
09/20 Portland, OR @ Star Theater – Hesh Fest *
09/21 Seattle, WA @ Highline *
09/23 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater *
09/24 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
09/25 Chicago, IL @ Reggies *
09/26 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle *
09/27 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *
09/28 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place *
09/29 Boston, MA @ Sonia *
09/30 New York, NY @ Knitting Factory *
10/01 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *
10/02 Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall *
10/03 Raleigh, NC @ Kings *
10/04 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight *
10/05 Atlanta, GA @ The 529 *
10/06 New Orleans, LA @ One Eye Jack’s *
10/07 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey *
10/09 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister *
10/10 Mesa, AZ @ Club Red *
10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite *
10/12 San Francisco, CA @ Chapel *

* w/ Wizard Rifle, Warish

Acid King is:
Lori S. – Guitar & Vocals
Rafa Martinez – Bass
Bil Bowman – Drums

www.facebook.com/AcidkingSF
https://www.instagram.com/acidkingrocks/
www.acidking.com
ridingeasyrecs.com
http://www.nanotear.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Nanotear/

Acid King, Busse Woods 20th anniversary tour video

Acid King, Busse Woods 2004 reissue

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Review & Video Premiere: The Well, Death and Consolation

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well death and consolation

The Well, “This is How the World Ends” official video premiere

[Click play above to stream the premiere of The Well’s video for “This is How the World Ends.” Their new album, Death and Consolation, is out today on RidingEasy Records and streaming in full below.]

Austin trio The Well have always worked with largely familiar elements — riffs, dual vocals, heavy rolling groove, garage-doom burnout and so on — but their third album, Death and Consolation, further demonstrates how they take what’s expected and twist it to suit darker purposes. It’s not just the title of the RidingEasy Records release that seems to be coping and consoling, and as the Austin, Texas, band — who spent a decent portion of the second half of 2018 touring Europe — nod through the nine-track/42-minute offering, their sound retains the raw grit they’ve had since before their debut album, Samsara (review here), came out in 2014. Death and Consolation is very much of a mind with Samsara and Pagan Science (review here), which followed it in 2016, thanks in no small part to guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan returning to work with producer/engineer Chico Jones, who has been involved in all three of their full-lengths — Jason Morales helmed their 2012 debut single, Seven (review here) — and whose relationship with the band would seem to be deep enough at this point to give them space both to revel in the bleary-eyed riffs and echoes of songs like “Act II” and the unrepentantly uptempo Dio-era Sabbathian bounce of centerpiece “Eyes of a God” just before it.

As with opener “Sabbah,” which seems to take its cues from Kyuss/Vista Chino (thinking “Thumb” or “Dargona Dragona”) in terms of its riffy foundation, “Eyes of a God” acknowledges its influence and sees The Well internalize it to the point of making it theirs. It’s a cliché narrative to say a band’s third album is their moment of arrival, having set out ideas on the first record and corrected initial mistakes on the second — and honestly, in the case of The Well, their work has never needed much in terms of correction. Still, across its span, Death and Consolation shows the steady growth they’ve undertaken and the broader reach they’ve made their own as a result, right from the keyboard chorus in the apex of “Sabbah” to the tolling-for-thee bells that help cap the noisefest ending of closer “Endless Night.”

All along the way, The Well ask few indulgences and deliver a quality of craft indicative of the time they’ve spent hammering out their approach onstage. Their material is efficient while sounding languid, as early cuts like “Raven,” which makes its greater impression in full-push while still varying tempo en route to its Alley/Graham vocal congregation around an effective secondary hook, and the subsequent “Death Song” make plain. The latter rounds out an opening salvo on a record that, while obviously splitting into two sides for the vinyl release, nonetheless seems to work in sets of three. Its riff is more patiently delivered than anything in “Raven” was intended to be, and it builds on the buzz of “Sabbah” at the outset with an intermittent wash of crash from Sullivan that bolsters the Pentagram-style rhythm in the lyrics and righteously adds to the tension in the last verse.

the well

“Cup of Peace,” which follows, feels like the beginning of another movement, and as much as a lumbering intro sets the stage for a guitar dropout during the first part of its verse, Graham‘s voice encased in echo and baring cultish fangs amid the surrounding fuzz. Alley joins in later with a harmony line as the track shifts toward its crescendo solo, a highlight of Death and Consolation as a whole for its blend of technique and raw noise. Obscure, manipulated samples begin “Eyes of a God,” with the central riff kicking in at about the 40-second mark. That introduction makes what’s already the shortest cut at 3:41 seem even shorter, but doesn’t at all detract from its engaging spirit. Instead, it benefits from the sense of contrast, and its sampling helps set up the pulsations of “Act II,” which starts side B while also drawing the middle third of the album to its close — starting the second act in one interpretation of the tracklisting while ending it in another — with a resonant hook and a march that holds sway until the arrival of organ signals the start of the freakout in the second half; solo, thick boogie, crash, noise, threat, stop. The last line, “Forever you will be mine,” echoes out with a due feeling of conclusion.

Likewise, the quiet and slow drums that offer a bed to the bluesy vocals at the beginning of “Freedom Above” seem to be a reset or at least a return to ground. They leave it soon enough, with ambient noise behind Alley and Graham‘s vocals, the rumble of the former keeping one foot on earth even as the sensation of floating becomes ever more prevalent. There’s a subtle build at work, but even as heavy as it gets, it seems to hold back, much to its credit. It might be the best vocal performance The Well have ever had on a record, with Graham giving way to Alley at the end and the latter self-harmonizing to finish, serving as a transition into the penultimate “This is How the World Ends,” with jarring samples of chimpanzees and less-jarring speech leading directly into the verse, drenched in post-Electric Wizard sneer but, again, thoroughly its own. I won’t say it looks good for the world, but The Well at least give planet Earth a characteristic sendoff, the prevailing vibe of “we earned this apocalypse” coming through with due prejudice in its judgment.

The recognizable voice of Rod Serling caps, and “Endless Night” commences with an assault of low distortion from which the winding riff emerges. Together, the three members of The Well seem to be walking into the summation that “This is How the World Ends” laid forth. Sullivan provides the path and Graham and Alley‘s vocal melodies bring order to the chaos of their guitar and bass tones. The aforementioned ringing bells arrive early in the second half and are accompanied soon enough by the noiseiest of the guitar solos on Death and Consolation, which feels well earned and is the last piece to fade out at the end, drawing emphasis on The Well‘s ability to creep even as they entrance the listener. It would be a cliché to say they’ve arrived — they arrived half a decade ago — but Death and Consolation finds them completely in control of their sound when they want to be, and still able to harness an underlying chaos enough to be genuinely dangerous. The growth of arrangement and vocal interaction between Alley and Graham is easy evidence of their progression, but that’s only one of the many ways The Well have carved out their own place in the pantheon of heavy. Their identity is all over these songs like melted candle wax.

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

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