DoctoR DooM Announce Debut Full-Length This Seed We Have Sown; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

doctor doom

Following an earlier-2015 7″ release, a live outing and their 2012 DoomO EP (review here), French heavy rollers approach their first full-length, This Seed We Have Sown, with the classics in mind. As the new song “Relax, You’re Dead,” which you can stream below, can attest, the four-piece bask in ’70s traditionalism and organic tonality, and they’ve been well lauded for it since STB Records picked up DoomO for a vinyl pressing in 2013.

Accordingly, This Seed We Have Sown will see issue through both STB and Ripple Music over the course of the next two months, to be available no doubt in a variety of editions and on a variety of formats, the two labels having partnered to share releases between vinyl and CD. The exact numbers to come — as in “limited to X” — I’m not sure, but however many they make, don’t expect them to last.

More to come, I’m sure, but for now, off to the PR wire:

doctor doom this seed we have sown

DoctoR DooM announce new album This Seed We Have Sown | Stream and share new song ‘Relax, You’re Dead’

Formed in the French town of Ariège in the Midi-Pyrénées by guitarists Jean-Laurent Pasquet and Jérémie Delattre, since their formation in 2011 DoctoR DooM have blazed an impressive underground trail for followers of new, authentically crafted hard rock, metal and progressive blues.

Having come together out of a shared appreciation for forgotten 60s and 70s music, it didn’t take long for the duo to find kindred spirits in drummer Michel Marcq and bass player Sébastien Boutin Blomfield as they sought to pull together the rhythm section required to knock out a monumentally heavy live set. Initially performing covers of Coven, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple, out of the riffs and drum rolls of old grew new, original numbers that would later surface fully formed on their 2012 debut DoomO EP on STB Records.

Inspired by the recent wave of Scandinavian stoner/rock bands such as Graveyard, Witchcraft and Spiders, throughout 2013 and 2014 DoctoR DooM took part in a series of high profile festival appearances including Spain’s Riff Ritual Fest, Doom Over Karalis in Sardinia and Germany’s much-celebrated DesertFest before taking to the studio at the end of last year to record their very first LP.

This Seed We Have Sown by DoctoR DooM will be released worldwide on 24th July 2015 on Ripple Music, with a limited vinyl released on STB Records out toward the end of June.

DoctoR DooM:
Jean-Laurent Pasquet (Vocal, Guitar)
Jérémie Delattre (Guitar)
Sébastien Boutin Blomfield (Bass, Keys)
Michel Marcq (Drums)

https://www.facebook.com/doctordoom09
http://doctordoom.bandcamp.com/

DoctoR DooM, “Relax, You’re Dead”

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Sixty Watt Shaman Announce Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

A genuine bummer. Sixty Watt Shaman were working against a considerable geographic spread, with members in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, but for a while there it looked like they were going to be able to pull it off. They were slated to appear at the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest and later this month at subsequent shows alongside Karma to Burn and drummer Chuck Dukehart‘s other band, Foghound, but of course the real loss here is the promise of new material which was said to be in the works over the last several months, first as an EP, then as a full-length, now as nothing. Tabula Rasa, which was to be the title of their fourth album, was due this winter on Ripple Music.

So it goes. Glad I got to see them at The Eye of the Stoned Goat last year and glad I bought a shirt while shirts were available for the buying. Hopefully sooner or later they pick it back up, but it looks like they’ll be keeping busy in Serpents of Secrecy and King Giant, Foghound, etc., so these dudes will still be around.

Here’s the announcement:

sixtty watt shaman

Hey guys, we didn’t know what to expect when we first started this group many years ago. And then again when we regrouped a little over a year ago with just the idea to have fun and go play a few shows.

We have had a blast doing it, and the response from you guys has been awesome! We are extremely thankful for all the opportunities to play on some pretty great heavy music fests and on shows with so many amazing bands!

At this time, due to scheduling conflicts, family commitments, and not being able to commit as much time as is needed to keep going as a full time group again, we are going to be taking a hiatus.

Unfortunately that means we won’t be working on new music or playing the few upcoming shows that we had on the books, and we regretfully apologize for that.

We will be taking some time off as Sixty Watt Shaman, and no one knows what lies ahead in the foreseeable future.

We would like to thank each and every one of you all so much for all of your overwhelming support through the years, it really means the world to us!

As for the immediate future, Rev Jim, Chuckrock and T.I. will be continuing on as SERPENTS OF SECRECY, the project they started before the Sixty Watt reunion was even a thought.

This page will remain active, and we look forward to sharing our other projects and music with all you guys real soon!

Cheers!

https://www.facebook.com/SixtyWattShaman
http://twitter.com/sixtywattshaman
http://sixtywattshaman.com/

Sixty Watt Shaman, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Dec. 28, 2014

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Mothership and The Dirty Streets Spring Tour Starts Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mothership

Like they do, Dallas trio Mothership are once more headed out on tour. They’re continuing to support last year’s Mothership II (review here), which came out last fall on Ripple Music, and for what’s been dubbed the “Spring Odyssey Tour,” they’re partnered up with underrated Memphis blues jammers The Dirty Streets. The tour will carry Mothership to their appearance at Psycho California alongside SleepPentagramKylesa and many, many others (info here) and cover a decent swath of the West Coast and the Midwest, including Chicago, St. Paul, Boise, Denver, and so on.

Shows start one week from today. Here’s the official tour announcement off the PR wire:

mothership the dirty streets tour

Mothership announce Spring Odyssey Tour with The Dirty Streets across the USA this May

After a storming 2014 following the rerelease of their momentous second album through Ripple Music and European debut at The Freak Valley Festival, supersonic/intergalactic Dallas band Mothership return for what promises to be another busy year for the hard rocking Texan trio.

This May, brothers Kyle and Kelly Juett along with Judge Smith take to the road to recreate live their steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden inspired metal; southern Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top swagger, and deathly Sabbathian rock. A concoction that for some might prove too heavy to handle on record, those brave enough to bear witness to the full Mothership experience will soon discover exactly what it means to party hard.

Since 2013 the band has travelled non-stop to play live across the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe; taking to festival stages, nightclubs, and under the sun at whatever motorcycle parties they could find. They are for all intents and purposes a heavy rock juggernaut that has only just begun to tear a hole in the cosmos. And guess what? They have no plans of slowing down for anyone.

For the full list of dates on Mothership’s Spring Odyssey Tour with Memphis band The Dirty Streets see below.

1st May – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
2nd May – Dubuque, IA – Vintage Torque Festival*
3rd May – Milwaukee, WI – Metal Grill
4th May – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
5th May – St. Paul, MN – Big V’s Saloon
6th May – Kansas City, MO – The Scene
7th May – Denver, CO – Moon Room
9th May – Boise, ID – Crazy Horse
10th May – Vancouver, BC – Hindenburg*
11th May – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
13th May – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub
15th May – South Lake Tahoe, CA – Whiskey Dicks
17th May – Orange County, CA – Psycho California*
*Mothership Only

Mothership is Kelley Juett (guitars/vocals), Kyle Juett (bass/vocals) and Judge Smith (drums).

http://www.mothershiphaslanded.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mothershipusa
https://twitter.com/mothershipusa
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Mothership, Mothership II (2014)

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Switchblade Jesus to Reissue Self-Titled Debut on Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

switchblade jesus

Corpus Christi, Texas, five-piece Switchblade Jesus have inked a deal to reissue their 2013 self-titled debut, which also saw a 2014 vinyl release on Bilocation (review here), on Ripple Music. The album landed with nothing short of a smash upon its initial arrival, and has continued to build an audience in the two years since — momentum that Ripple, who seem to be snapping up more bands each passing week, will no doubt help move forward. As it seems like the association between band and label will be ongoing, that is, not just for this reissue, it would be hard to find a more suitable home for Switchblade Jesus than where they’ve landed.

They’re on the road now with Fuzz Evil, having played El Paso last night on a quick four-date tour of Texas (one of few states one can legitimately “tour” within; see also California), and the date for the reissue is May 12, as told by the PR wire:

switchblade jesus switchblade jesus

Ripple Music to reissue debut album from Switchblade Jesus | Share new video for ‘Oblivion’

Switchblade Jesus will be released on 12th May 2015

In the latest of a long line of formidable signings this year, LA-based record label Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the addition of Texan band Switchblade Jesus to their roster, and the official rerelease of their acclaimed 2014 self-titled debut this May.

Formed in 2010 in the land of oil and tar, the Corpus Christi outfit consisting of Peter Quarnstrom (vocals), Eric Calvert (lead guitar/vocals), Billy Guerra (guitar), Jason Beers (bass) and Jon Elizondo (drums) may be hard drinking operators of heavy rock and roll, but they are also well versed in the ways of the desert.

Switchblade Jesus, the band’s devastating right hook of a debut was originally released on Kozmik Artifactz and instantly found listeners hearing notable nods to Kyuss, Orange Goblin and Clutch deep amid from the record’s weighty grooves and vintage stoner vibes. A crushing, loose and alcohol-fuelled fistfight between heavy fuzz and wild peyote hallucinations, tracks like ‘Bastard Son’ and ‘Renegade Riders’ showcase the band’s raw and unruly power… and then some.

The band also take to the road this month to play a number of dates across their home state of Texas with Arizonan three-piece Fuzz Evil (See dates below).

22nd April – Low Brow Palace – El Paso, TX
23rd April – The Mix – San Antonio, TX
24th April – The Lost Well – Austin, TX
25th April – Club Dada – Dallas, TX

Switchblade Jesus by Switchblade Jesus will be rereleased on 12th May 2015 through Ripple Music.

Track Listing:
1. Into Nothing (2:20)
2. Bastard Son (5:31)
3. The Wolves (3:45)
4. Sick Mouth (4:52)
5. Equinox (3:16)
6. Renegade Riders (4:39)
7. Copperhead (4:49)
8. Oblivion (6:27)

Release Date: 12th May 2015
Label: Ripple Music
Format: LP/CD/Download

https://www.facebook.com/SwitchbladeJesus
https://switchbladejesus.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/switchbladejesus
https://twitter.com/The_Switchblade

Switchblade Jesus, “Oblivion” official video

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Sixty Watt Shaman Sign to Ripple Music; Tabula Rasa Due in Winter

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Maryland-based rockers Sixty Watt Shaman put out three albums during their original tenure. Their 1998 debut, Ultra Electric, 200o’s Seed of Decades and 2002’s Reason to Live paint the band in hindsight as having been somewhat ahead of their time. What that might mean when they finish recording Tabula Rasa with J. Robbins and put it out on Ripple Music is anyone’s best guess, but it’s an album worth looking forward to anyway for heavy rock fans, the band’s reunion having begun at Desertfest and continuing through last year’s Stoned Goat fest in Massachusetts and the upcoming inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June, listed below with a couple other killer gigs, including King Giant‘s release show in May. Sixty Watt guitarist Todd Ingram also plays in King Giant and Sixty Watt drummer Chuck Dukehart III also plays in Foghound, so that should be quite a night.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

sixty watt shaman (Photo by JJ Koczan)

SIXTY WATT SHAMAN: Long-Running Desert Rock/Doom Unit Joins Ripple Music; Band To Enter Studio With J. Robbins + Live Assaults Announced

Long-running, Baltimore-based heavy desert rock/doom unit, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, are pleased to announce their official union with California rock powerhouse, Ripple Music, for the release of their forthcoming new full-length. Titled Tabula Rasa and slated for release this Winter, the record will be tracked by J. Robbins of Jawbox at Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, Maryland next month.

Comments the band: “We are honored, proud, and excited to release our fourth album, Tabula Rasa, with Ripple Music, and join the incredible roster of such a fan driven, artist supportive and creatively freeing label. With our new material we have wiped the slate clean, the past is the past. It’s darker and heavier than our previous efforts, with the energy and soul that made us who we were, and will always be. Brothers, climbing up and down that mountain. Toss genre tags around as you will, we’re SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, and we’re back.”

In the meantime, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN — vocalist/guitarist Daniel Soren, lead guitarist Todd Ingram (King Giant), bassist/backing vocalist Rev. Jim Forrester and drummer/backing vocalist Chuck Dukehart III — will bring their blues-laden swagger to the stage of the The Opera House next month in Sheperdstown, West Virginia with Karma To Burn and RHIN. The following evening, the band will rumble the Empire in Springfield, Virginia as part of King Giant’s record release show. In June, the band will quake pavement at The Maryland Doom Fest in Frederick, Maryland with additional onstage jam sessions to be announced soon.

SIXTY WATT SHAMAN:
5/29/2015 The Opera House – Sheperdstown, WV w/ Karma To Burn, RHIN
5/30/2015 Empire – Springfield, VA King Giant CD Release Party w/ Foghound
6/26/2015 The Maryland Doom Fest @ Club 611 – Frederick, MD

SIXTY WATT SHAMAN delivers a varied repertoire of hard hitting groove rock and ethereal psychedelic jams. The band’s influences vary from classic tube tones to heavy blues, southern groove, doom, and even the ghostly spirit of historic Americana and Appalachian bluegrass. With emotive impact as a center point in every song, from fully-amped hard hitters to the celestial space of acoustic tones, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN are true masters of all things heavy. With diverse musical influences and backgrounds, from punk, hardcore, and thrash metal to the distorted, fuzzed out, bands of the ’70s to dark, experimental sludge, crust and noise and bluegrass, outlaw country and American southern rock, SIXTY WATT SHAMAN has become a true amalgamation of stimuli making for an uniquely undeniable “Sixty Watt Sound.” Having spent the nearly two decades manifesting their own untouchable brew of creativity and power, this year SIXTY WATT SHAMAN are back to defy and erase categorical definitions and make their own brand of bad ass, American rock ‘n’ roll.

http://www.facebook.com/sixtywattshaman
http://twitter.com/sixtywattshaman
http://www.ripple-music.com

Sixty Watt Shaman, Live at St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Dec. 28, 2014

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Quarterly Review: Motherslug, Worshipper, Ape Machine, Churchburn, OMSQ, Unhold, The Heave-Ho, Crypt, Oceanwake, Lunar Electric

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

quarterly review

When I finished yesterday’s reviews, I felt suitably beat, but as ever, there was a bit of catharsis to it too. Today’s pile takes us all the way to the other end of the world and back again to my (relative) back yard, and then loops around one more time for good measure with a few stops in between. While I’m coherent enough to form sentences, you’ll pardon me if I get right to it.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Motherslug, Motherslug

motherslug motherslug

If the name Motherslug or the cover art look familiar, it’s because the Melbourne double-guitar five-piece initially released their self-titled EP late in 2012 (review here). This NoSlip Records release, however, takes the tracks from that, couples them with cuts from Motherslug’s subsequent outing, a 2014 two-tracker called Three Kings in Darkness, and remasters both for vinyl as one 39-minute full-length. There’s a bit of progression evident in the newer cuts, “Trippin’ on Evil” and “Three Kings in Darkness,” but the LP smartly arranges them so that each ends its respective side, led into by two songs from the self-titled, so the impression is more that Motherslug are expanding their riffy, Southern-style sludge rock sound – which is still true, it just initially happened over two releases – rather than they’re mixing and matching different recordings. By the time you get to either, however, Motherslug will have already bowled over you with rolling, thick sludge riffs that could just as easily have come from Maryland or Virginia as Australia.

Motherslug on Thee Facebooks

NoSlip Records

Worshipper, Black Corridor/High Above the Clouds

worshipper black corridor high above the clouds

Allston(e) newcomers Worshipper make an accomplished-sounding debut with Black Corridor/High above the Clouds, two self-released tracks that mark their first release as a band. The two-guitar four-piece balance classic metal riffs and doom tendencies with soaring-style clean vocals and fast-moving grooves, as much Candlemass as High on Fire. “Black Corridor” wows with its solo but more with its hook, guitarist John Brookhouse and bassist Bob Maloney sharing vocals while Alejandro Necochea adds guitar and Dave Jarvis draws it all together on drums, and “High above the Clouds” adds some choice early-Dio “Egypt”-ology to the mix. It’s a sense of grandeur that’s neither overblown nor mishandled by the winding track, which coupled with its predecessor demonstrates Worshipper’s firm grip on a style melding heavy rock and metal into a take of their own, and a progression beginning that seems to have a definite idea of where it wants to end up. One can’t help but look forward to finding out.

Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Worshipper on Bandcamp

Ape Machine, Live at Freak Valley

ape machine live at freak valley

Hard to think of a band from Portland, Oregon, these days as being underrated, but Ape Machine fit the bill all the same. The four-piece of vocalist Caleb Heinze, guitarist Ian Watts, bassist Brian True and drummer Damon de la Paz played Germany’s Freak Valley festival as part of a 2013 European tour in support of the then-recently-released Mangled by the Machine (review here), their third album and Ripple Music debut, and accordingly, most of what shows up on the 48-minute Live at Freak Valley comes from that record, later album cuts like the swaying “Strange are the People” and stomp-slide-fueled “Ruling with Intent” leading to a run through Mangled by the Machine’s first five tracks, in order, to close the set. With a cover of Deep Purple’s “Black Night” (something they also did on their second record) in tow with others from their first two records, Live at Freak Valley makes a solid intro to a group more people should know.

Ape Machine on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Churchburn, The Awaiting Coffins

churchburn the awaiting coffins

A compilation that draws from Churchburn’s 2013 self-titled and two tracks recorded late in 2013/early in 2014 – opener “Embers of Human Ash” and the subsequent “V” – The Awaiting Coffins revels in its extremity of doom and no-light-shall-pass atmospherics. The duo of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Dave Suzuki (ex-Vital Remains, among others) and Ray McCaffrey (ex-Sin of Angels) issue the CD/LP via Armageddon Shop, and while there are plenty of droning moments, acoustic interludes and stretches of depressive noise, the Rhode Island outfit is primarily brutal. Suzuki, joined on vocals for the first two cuts by guitarist Kevin Curley and bassist Mike Cardoso, leads a pummeling charge in “V” that’s more death than death-doom, but far be it from me to quibble. For “Come Forth the Swarm,” the Sin of Angels cover “Crown of Fallen Kings” and “Kneel upon Charred Remnants,” it’s just McCaffrey and Suzuki, and the dynamic is different and the recording rawer, but the bleak territory being explored has a similar root. Add on an unlisted cover of Celtic Frost’s “Return to the Eve,” and The Awaiting Coffins is even more of a sure thing.

Churchburn on Thee Facebooks

Armageddon Shop

OMSQ, Thrust/Parry

omsq thrust parry

Instrumental save for some samples, spoken proclamations and field recordings, Thrust/Parry was released by Belgian outfit OMSQ in limited numbers via Navalorama Records on CD to mark the occasion of a late-2014 UK tour, and it showcases an outfit of rare sonic adventurousness. Progressive, heavy structures unfold across three overarching movements in the 68-minute whole of the album, which at any moment makes shifts between dense riffs and crashing drums and exploratory washes of noise sound not only smooth but fitting, culminations like “North Sea” and 16-minute closer “4:48” as much about finishing a story as providing a sonic payoff, each cut serving not only the movement of which it’s component, but also the overarching flow of the record as whole. Stylistically wide open an unhindered by genre constraints, Thrust/Parry is a challenging listen that satisfies in proportion to how much one is willing to shift along with its changes in mood and style. Evocative throughout, it proves more than worth the effort.

OMSQ on Thee Facebooks

Navalorama Records

Unhold, Towering

unhold towering

Swiss five-piece Unhold trace their lineage back to an early-‘90s demo, but Towering (on Czar of Crickets) is their fourth album since their 2001 full-length debut, Walking Blackwards, and their first offering in seven years since Gold Cut in 2008. Something of an unexpected return from the Bern troupe, then, but not unwelcome, their Neurosis-influenced post-hardcore/post-metal finding renewed expression in the moody unfolding of “I Belong” or the tense bellow of the later, keyboard-infused “Hydra,” moments of triumph in ambient/crushing tradeoffs of “Voice Within” as guitarists Thomas Tschuor and Philipp Thöni step back and pianist Miriam Wolf takes lead vocals for a movement almost Alcest-like in its melodic course. Drummer Daniel Fischer and bassist Leo Matkovic are less a foundation than part of Towering’s nodding, modern-proggy whole, and it probably works better that way in smoothing out the various turns in extended pieces like the title-track or “Dawn,” which provides the apex of the album with the calmer “Ascending” and “Death Dying” as an epilogue.

Unhold on Thee Facebooks

Czar of Crickets

The Heave-Ho, Dead Reckoning

the heave-ho dead reckoning

Three words: Rock and roll. With Boston four-piece The Heave-Ho, it’s less about subgenre and more about paying homage to a classic ideal of straightforward expression. Dead Reckoning, the debut full-length from the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Pete Valle (ex-Quintaine Americana), bassist Keith “Barry” Schleicher (ex-Infernal Overdrive), drummer Dylan Wilson and lead guitarist Lawrence O’Toole, is eight songs (plus a closing radio edit, presumably for WEMF) of unpretentious rendition, steady in its delivery of grown-up-punker hooks and barroom rock such that, when Valle calls for “guitar!” prior to the solo in “Buffalo,” it’s entirely without irony or cynicism. Would be hard for “Thirsty Jesus” not to be a highlight on its title alone, but the lyrics also hold up. With a clean production style, centerpiece moment of clarity in “Afraid to Die,” and particularly riotous finish in “The Line,” Dead Reckoning has little use for stylistic nuance and a confident delivery across the board. Drunk as it is, it does not stumble.

The Heave-Ho on Thee Facebooks

The Heave-Ho at CDBaby

Crypt, Kvlt MMXIV

crypt kvlt mmxiv

Though Adelaide three-guitar six-piece Crypt title their debut release Kvlt MMXIV, it’s actually a Jan. 2015 release, a half-hour’s worth of stoner chicanery pressed up in a recycled-material digipak with a fold-out liner poster – the lyrics, yes, are written in a rune font – and the disc held in place by a piece of cork. The presentation of the songs themselves is no less off the wall, the lumbering “Green Butter” taking hold from the crust-raw opener “Siberian Exile” with unhinged low-end, drum stomp and some deceptively subtle airy guitar, and the weirdo blues howl of the following “These Last Days” only broadens the scope. Seems fair to say “expect the unexpected” since so much effort has been put into throwing off the frame of reference, but as the fuzz of “Idle Minds” and ambience into righteous groove of closer “Dead River” show, Crypt have more working in their favor than variety for its own sake, namely a fire in their delivery that burns away any slim chance this material had of sounding stale.

Crypt on Thee Facebooks

Crypt on Bandcamp

Oceanwake, Sunless

oceanwake sunless

Ferocious death-doom meets with melodic atmospheres on Oceanwake’s second album, Sunless – a title that’s not quite a full summary of what the Finnish five-piece have on offer throughout the four tracks/44 minutes. Opener “The Lay of an Oncoming Storm,” also the longest cut at 15:35 (immediate points), shifts back and forth between lumbering brutality and sparse guitar atmospherics, and while one waits for the inevitable clean vocals that would put Oceanwake in league with countrymen Swallow the Sun, they don’t come yet. Instead, the track explodes into crashes and screams. Ten-minute closer “Ephemeral” holds the most satisfying build, but between the two, “Parhelion” (9:09) and “Avanturine” (8:03) manage to remind of the particular melancholic beauty of death-doom – including some of those melodic vocals – and how resonant its contrast of light and dark can be when held together by an emotional core as resonant as that of Oceanwake. Sunless is gorgeous and devastating, and not necessarily alternating between the two.

Oceanwake on Thee Facebooks

ViciSolum Productions on Bandcamp

Lunar Electric, Lunar Electric

lunar-electric-lunar-electric

While one struggles not to be skeptical of any release in this day and age that opens with a “Radio Edit,” I won’t discount the quality of songwriting L.A.-based Lunar Electric display throughout their self-titled EP. Now a duo driven by guitarist/vocalist Dre DiMura, the band is highly-stylized but brims with a classic heavy rock swagger in “Bread and Circuses” (the aforementioned radio edit) and the subsequent “Moonlight,” a steady swing emerging in layers of heavy riffing and DiMura’s own croon, pushed ahead by the straightforward drumming of Kaleen Reading and the low-end heft of bassist Geena Spigarelli. They make a solid trio across “Moonlight” and “Sleepwaker,” which follows with its chugging break foreshadowing closer “Crossfire Child” (video premiere here) while building a tension of its own, though it seems unlikely that whatever Lunar Electric do next will have the same lineup because of geographic spread. Too bad. While young, and somewhat brooding, Lunar Electric nonetheless offer up a work of marked potential in their EP’s quick 17-minute span.

Dre DiMura’s website

Dre DiMura on Instagram

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Ape Machine to Release Live at Freak Valley May 26; West Coast Tour on Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ape machine

Underrated Portland heavy rockers Ape Machine kicked off a West Coast tour last night at the Star Theater in their hometown. The run will take them down through California and into Texas for South by Southwest and then back up to Seattle over the next couple weeks with stops in Arizona along the way. Kind of standard procedure for Ape Machine by this time, as they seem to bust out West Coast dates on the regular. They’re still supporting 2013’s right-on-the-money Mangled by the Machine (review here), but they’ll have a new live record, Live at Freak Valley, out through Ripple Music in May as well.

They’re also gearing up to record their next studio album, and are promising some new material on this tour, so if you happen to be in their path, it seems like solid reasoning to stay there. We turn to the PR wire for the particulars:

ape machine tour dates

Ape Machine to release Live At Freak Valley LP/DVD set via Ripple Music | US Tour Dates for March (Inc. SXSW appearance)

Ape Machine’s Live At Freak Valley (LP/DVD) to be released on 26th May 2015

Having recently toured the US and Europe in support of their latest full-length album Mangled By The Machine, Portland stoners Ape Machine are set to hit the road this month in support of their new Live LP/DVD combo release Live At Freak Valley on Ripple Music.

The daring new release was filmed and recorded at the Freak Valley Festival in Germany last year; an event that has proven to be a veritable showcase and ‘Who’s Who’ in the brave new world of upcoming psychedelic and heavy stoner-rock bands. The set features Ape Machine’s blistering hour-long performance in front of a sold-out festival crowd and serves up proof that the band lives up to their reputation of captivating and commanding live audiences.

In addition to the upcoming Live at Freak Valley release, Ape Machine has released three critically acclaimed full-length albums, two recent releases of which – Mangled By The Machine and War To Head – were produced by Ikey Owens (Jack White, Mars Volta, Mastodon) who also contributed keyboards to both albums. Owens was slated to produce the band’s fourth full-length this summer before his untimely death this past October while on tour with Jack White. In Ikey Owens’s absence, the band plans to record their next full length this April with long-time friend Jacob Golden producing.

Last year also found Ape Machine touring extensively, sharing the stage with bands such as Motorhead, Helmet, Orange Goblin, Crobot plus many others. This March however the band kicks off their own West Coast tour, bringing their frenzied live show stateside on a trip through SXSW and beyond. (For the full list of dates see below.)

With their Live At Freak Valley release arriving on 26 May, this coming spring tour across the US, a new album in the pipeline and more planned for later in the year, 2015 promises to be busy year for one of the best new bands on the scene.

Tour Dates:
March 13 – Club 66 (Ashland, OR)
March 14 – Cafe Coda (Chico, CA)
March 15 – Audie’s (Fresno, CA)
March 16 – Slide Bar (Fullerton, CA)
March 17 – JR’s (Sierra Vista, AZ)
March 18 – Blue Max (Midland, TX)
March 19 – Eastdown Warehouse (Houston, TX)
March 20 – DIY Spot (Tyler, TX)
March 21 – SXSW Official Showcase on the Monster Energy Stage (Austin, TX)
March 21 – Fuzzed Out (Lola’s) (Ft. Worth, TX)
March 23 – Flycatcher (Tucson, AZ)
March 24 – Casbah (San Diego, CA)
March 25 – The Saloon (Encinitas, CA)
March 26 – El Rio (San Francisco, CA)
March 27 – Black Forest (Eugene, OR)
March 28 – The Mix – (Seattle, WA)

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Ape Machine, “Wear Me Out” from Live at Freak Valley (2015)

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In the Studio with Supervoid

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

supervoid

Later this year, Pittsburgh riff metallers Supervoid will release a split with Minneapolis four-piece Red Desert on Ripple Music as part of the label’s noble oh-my-god-there-are-too-many-bands-okay-fine-we’ll-just-put-out-stuff-from-everyone series of splits titled The Second Coming of Heavy. They recently tracked new material with Matt Very at Very Tight Recordings to include for their part and, diligent sirs that they are, video recorded what seems more or less like the entire experience. Or at least enough of it to edit it down and give everyone a little glimpse at what it was like in the studio.

Seems like a pretty laid back atmosphere, which always helps. If you’ve ever seen Supervoid‘s press shots, you know they’re not inclined to take themselves too seriously — though in my experience even the most heads-down-get-to-business session has a tendency to devolve into running gags, dick jokes, etc. — so it’s not much of a surprise they’d be having a good time while recording. Even better though is the fact that, as you hear the song being built in the beginning, one part at a time, the second half brings a (partial) reveal of the finished track along with a montage of its making. So you get a taste of the completed new music as well as a look at how it came together.

If I’m not mistaken, this will be Supervoid‘s first outing as a four-piece after quietly parting ways with guitarist Dave following 2013’s Filaments long-player (review here) and the subsequent 2014 digi-single, “Against Sunrise,” so I wouldn’t be surprised if some sonic changes are in store as they move from two guitars to one. Filaments is mostly sold-out, but there are a few limited-edition hand-made digipaks available at their Bandcamp, which will likely be gone by the time they make the trip to Long Island for the Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 fest in June. More info on that here.

Enjoy the clip:

Supervoid, Recording for Red Desert Split

Supervoid on Thee Facebooks

Supervoid on Bandcamp

Ripple Music

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