Seedy Jeezus: Polaris Oblique Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

seedy jeezus photo barry c douglas

There’s no exact release date listed below for Seedy Jeezus‘ impending second album, Polaris Oblique, but I’d imagine it’ll be out before or around the time the Melbourne three-piece hit the road in Europe — with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed on bass no less — this coming July, and since “June” was the original timeframe floated for it, yeah, that makes sense. Either way, it’s coming and you can preorder it as of now from Lay Bare Reccordings which will handle the European release. It’ll also be out through Ripple Music distribution in the US and Blown Music in the band’s native Australia.

Of course, the vinyl’s limited and all that. Details follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

SEEDY JEEZUS POLARIS OBLIQUE

Seedy Jeezus – Polaris Oblique

In 2015 Seedy Jeezus released their 1st record on Lay Bare Recordings; in 2018 the 2nd record is ready to shatter your music spine. Called Polaris Oblique and on presale Monday 21st of May, 7am CET.

The band has evolved from the first album, but has retained their bite and bark. There are crazy jams and heavy riffs with a dose of 70’s influences that has always bubbled under in the bands sound since its formation. Many who followed the band since the first album will know where the band is at musically. There is a maturity in the band’s sound and songs. When they get mellow is an almost Floydian world you’re looking into and when they hit the heavy, you know it’s on. Strap yourself in and just wait….it’s coming

‘Polaris Oblique’ comes in a release of 500 pcs, of which 100 pcs are a DELUXE Version.
Each 100 pcs have a different color.

The European edition is LIMITED to 90 pcs. only and has its own unique color.
Exclusively available in Europe via Lay Bare Recordings.
– Gatefold
– Metallic Foil Artwork
– 150gr. vinyl
– Colored version

Click here for the pre-order:
?https://laybarerecordings.com/release/polaris-oblique-by-seedy-jeezus-lbr019

US & Canadian orders for the STANDARD version are advised to go here to save on shipping: http://heavyripples.bigcartel.com

Seedy Jeezus is:
Mark Sibson – Drums
Lex Waterreus – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Crick – Bass/Noises

http://www.seedyjeezus.com
https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/
https://laybarerecordings.com/
Ripple Music website
Blown Music website

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique album teaser

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Grifter Announce Breakup via Monty Python Reference

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Not too long ago I was thinking UK heavy rockers Grifter were about due for a new album. So much for that. Instead, the three-piece have decided to call it a day after a run that began in 2003. Their last release was 2016’s Gorilla vs. Grifter split (review here) via HeviSike Records, and their two prior full-lengths, 2014’s The Return of the Bearded Brethren (review here) and their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), were both issued through Ripple. I felt fortunate to see them at Desertfest London in 2012 and always found their songs had charm, whatever pop culture reference they happened to be making at the time.

As such, it’s only fitting they go out with Monty Python’s parrot sketch. They had a good run, left some songs in the can that, hey, maybe someone will press up at some point, and don’t seem to have any great amount of animosity toward each other, at least going by the below. They were kind enough to basically do their own exit interview. Here it is as they posted on the social medias:

grifter

Time Gentlemen please!

Without so much as a bang as a whimper we have to announce that Grifter is done. Like the proverbial Norwegian Blue it is no more, it has run up the curtain to join the choir invisible, it is an ex band.

The not at all F.A.Qs

What happened?

Nothing…literally! We played a couple of gigs in October with a view to jamming again…etc then…nothing, we literally stopped playing. You can cite a loss of interest, changing musical interests, other time/family commitments, running its course…but it just stopped happening. 14 years is plenty!

Will there be a farewell show?

Nope. We tried to break up 2 years ago and in rehearsing for a final show got sucked into carrying on. Once bitten twice shy as they say.

Will there be a final release?

There are songs recorded last year but the reality is probably no-one can be arsed to put them out so it’s highly unlikely.

Will there ever be a reunion?

Never say never but we’ve only just disbanded and we didn’t do that with a plan to get back together…and really, would anyone actually be interested anyway?

Can I still buy merch?

Yeah the store is still open for now as we have some vinyl and CDs still up for grabs.

Will there be any new music from any of the brethren?

It is already happening.

Who and what?

You will be told at the appropriate time…soon.

Will it sound like Grifter?

No. If the plan was to sound like Grifter, we wouldn’t have split up Grifter!

When will we hear the new band and when will they play ****** (insert town here)?

When the time is right

Grifter was:
Ollie – Vocals/Guitar
Phil – Bass
Foz – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/GRIFTERROCK/
https://grifterrock.bandcamp.com/
http://grifter.bigcartel.com/
http://www.grifterrock.co.uk/

Grifter, Gorilla vs. Grifter (2016)

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Chron Goblin to Enter Studio this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, yeah, I know bands say all kinds of things in press releases — ‘we’re from Mars and only breathe hash oil!’ — but I wonder if Chron Goblin actually went to Nepal. I know they really played Desertfest, so that’s true. It’s the kind of thing I’d like to ask them. So I will:

Hey, Chron Goblin! Did you guys really go to Nepal? If so, what for? Did you play? Band field trip? What’s the deal?

Maybe they’ll be kind enough to answer in the comments, or maybe they’re too busy getting ready to head out for a string of shows this week alongside Cancer Bats, Black Mastiff and Iron Eyes ahead of entering the studio this summer to record the follow-up to 2015’s Backwater (review here). Either way, a trip to Nepal sounds pretty badass.

The Alberta natives also played the Calgary 420 Fest this past April with Anciients, Cowpuncher, the aforementioned Black Mastiff and a whole bunch of others, so they’ve been keeping busy.

They sent the latest news down the PR wire:

chron goblin

CHRON GOBLIN TO ENTER STUDIO SUMMER 2018

Chron Goblin booked to record fourth studio album at OCL Studios

Emerging from the dank swamplands of their last album, Backwater (2015 Ripple Music), the acidic blues rock foursome known as Chron Goblin is poised to enter the next chapter of their destiny.

Readily absorbing those warm solar rays and the truths it illuminates, the four friends have achieved some significant milestones over the past 12 months. From scaling the mountain ranges of Nepal to closing out Britain’s Desertfest with a bang, the enlightenment Chron Goblin’s members have received has not always been that which they were seeking, but that element of uncertainty is what makes life’s little twists all the more sweet.

Taking that sense of gratitude and humility first to heart and secondly into the studio, Chron Goblin has generated a fresh crop of potent material based on their greatest triumphs and misadventures. The two facets of existence go hand in hand, not unlike the hard-charging rhythms and cathartic vocals that have come to define the band, along with spot-on percussion, intoxicating swirls of psychedelic stringwork and earworm spawning lyrics that’ll keep you coming back for round after round. Vocalist and lyricist Josh Sandulak describes the album as “an amalgamation and reflection of all the experiences and growth we’ve had as a band and it’s a celebration of that journey.”

Stay tuned for more green-gold nuggets from the hardcore quartet with a penchant for creating arm-out-the-window rock anthems. Chron Goblin will be entering OCL Studios this summer to collaborate with Josh Rob Gwilliam, whose production and engineering skills has led to platinum records and Juno Awards. An incendiary new release is sure to follow.

Upcoming Tour Dates w/ Cancer Bats
May 16 Calgary Dickens
May 17 Red Deer Bo’s
May 18 Edmonton Starlite Room

https://www.facebook.com/ChronGoblin/
https://www.instagram.com/chrongoblin/
https://twitter.com/ChronGoblin
http://www.chrongoblin.com/
https://chrongoblin.bandcamp.com/

Chron Goblin, Backwater (2015)

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Fire Down Below Release Hymn of the Cosmic Man June 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Belgian heavy rockers Fire Down Below have set a June 8 release for their new album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man. Their new video for the track “Saviour of Man” finds them basking in influences from the likes of Kyuss and 1000mods in following-up 2017’s Viper Vixen Goddess Saint, and even if their theme takes them to outer space as the PR wire notes below and the video reaffirms, their riffs and grooves still sound awfully sandy to my ears.

The Ghent four-piece have a couple dates booked around the LP release and some other shows in the months coming up, and you’ll find that info below, once again, courtesy of the PR wire, which also sent the cover art for Hymn of the Cosmic Man, which I’m not posting because cartoon tits depress the shit out of me.

Info follows; video at the bottom:

fire down below

FIRE DOWN BELOW: Belgian fuzz rock quartet to release Hymn of the Cosmic Man | New video for ‘Saviour Of Man’ premiered

Hymn of the Cosmic Man by Fire Down Below is released worldwide on 8th June via Ripple Music

This June will see the official worldwide release of Hymn of the Cosmic Man, the brand-new studio album from Belgian progressive rock quartet, Fire Down Below.

Following on from last year’s hugely successful rerelease of Viper Vixen Goddess Saint, the Ghent-based foursome are back with yet another exceptional melee of fuzzed-out stoner rock, heavy psych and grunge on Ripple Music, home to some of the finest acts in recent years to emerge from the underground.

On Hymn of the Cosmic Man, Fire Down Below trade the hot desert winds of their debut for the cold desolation of outer space. With a storyline that pitches a single soul against an unnamed threat to mankind, the band express fear, hope, defeat, surrender and courage across seven tracks, making for one truly compelling journey.

“We had this background story that guided us in the songwriting process,” explains bassist Bert Wynsberghe. “Yet we left it somewhat vague so that it wouldn’t limit us and we could still pursue ideas that were more ‘out there’. That really worked for us, we got to explore new sonic territories and we’re excited to see what reactions we might get.”

As a glowing endorsement and belief in their sheer quality, Fire Down Below’s second full-length not only plants a flag into the earth’s crust, it endeavours to propel the band into orbit. Never ones to mess with a winning combination, after the critical acclaim of their debut, Fire Down Below teamed up again with Tim De Gieter at Much Luv Studio in Belgium for recording and mixing, with Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland on mastering duties.

“We were happy to be able to work with Tim again. We’d raised the bar for ourselves for the new album and we were thrilled to see that he had done the same thing for his studio work. And then of course we’re super excited that Ripple Music is releasing this album. To be part of a family with bands such as Wo Fat and Mothership is just beyond anything we had ever considered possible.”

Already, the band has garnered some truly remarkable comparisons with bands like Truckfighters, Red Fang and Soundgarden, and now with Hymn of the Cosmic Man, from the swelling, space swallowing opening of ‘Red Giant’ and ‘Ignition/Space Cruiser’, to the spectacularly progressive closer ‘Adrift In A Sea Of Stars’, we will at last see them step up, take flight and traverse the universe powered by hard rock, stellar riffs and their own, breathtaking volition.

Hymn of the Cosmic Man by Fire Down Below is released worldwide on 8th June via Ripple Music

Pre-order now at www.ripple-music.com

FIRE DOWN BELOW:
Bert Wynsberghe – Bass
Jeroen Van Troyen – Guitar and Vocals
Kevin Gernaey – Guitar
Sam Nuytens – Drums

LIVE DATES:
15 June – Album Release Show (Venue TBC) – Ghent, Belgium
16 June – Album Release Show (Venue TBC) – Bruges, Belgium
6 July – JH ‘t Slot – Wortel, Belgium
1 September – Café Gonzo – Ninove, Belgium

TRACKLISTING:
1. Red Giant
2. Ignition / Space Cruiser
3. Saviour of Man
4. The Cosmic Pilgrim
5. Nebula
6. Ascension
7. Adrift In A Sea Of Stars

https://www.facebook.com/firedownbelow/
https://firedownbelow.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/firedownbelowband/
https://twitter.com/Fire_Down_Below
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Fire Down Below, “Saviour of Man” official video

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Ape Machine, Salem’s Bend and High Priestess to Embark on ‘The Great Northern Expedition’

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I remain a sucker for any number of things: Heavy riffs. Dark roast coffee. Cruelty-free baby duck races. Star Trek anything. Also belonging on that list is a well-named tour, and yeah, if you’re headed into Canada, calling your run ‘The Great Northern Expedition’ makes some sense to me. Ripple Music labelmates Ape Machine, Salem’s Bend and High Priestess will head out on this stint together come next month, and all three are pushing new material one way or another. Ape Machine have a new record coming this Fall. Salem’s Bend tentatively in the winter, and High Priestess‘ self-titled will be out next month, just a week before they hit the road. Golly, you’d almost think these things were coordinated ahead of time.

Details for the shows came down the PR wire and looked an awful lot like this:

ape machine salems bend high priestess tour poster

Ripple Music tour w Ape Machine, Salem’s Bend, High Priestess

The Great Northern Expedition – So named is the psychedelic, stoner-doom and rock n’ roll tour that will be tramping up the West Coast, through Canada and back through the western states, leaving a trail of good vibes and heavy harmonic frequencies in its wake. Ape Machine, Salem’s Bend and High Priestess will bring their tasty sonic goodness to all the aforementioned territories as messengers of the ever-growing Ripple Music collective.

Ape Machine’s new prog-infused LP, Darker Seas, is slated for a Ripple Music September release. Los Angeles based doom trio, High Priestess, will be powering out tunes from their self-titled Ripple release which drops May 18th. Salem’s Bend released their Ripple debut back in 2016 and it has steadily picked up steam and recognition as “the sort of rock and roll statement that comes from a time forgot but wants to push to a bold new future.” The band also is putting the finishing touches on a follow up and hopes for a late 2018 release. All three groups are well known for their searing, energy filled live performances. Dates and Cities below!

Salem’s Bend with High Priestess
Fri May 25 – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside
Sat May 26 – Grants Pass, OR – The Haul
Sun May 27 – TBA

Ape Machine, Salem’s Bend and High Priestess
Mon May 28 – Portland, OR – Tonic Lounge
Tue May 29 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse * (w Slow Season)
Wed May 30 – Vancouver, BC – Astoria * (w Slow Season)
Thu May 31 – Calgary AB – Palomino
Fri June 1 – Edmonton AB – Temple
Sat June 2 – Vantopia Festival
Sun June 3 – Siksika AB – Siksika Community Centre
Mon June 4 – Kalispell, MT – Old School Records

High Priestess
Tue June 5 – Spokane, WA – Observatory
Wed June 6 – Boise, ID – Shredder
Thu June 7 – Reno, NV – Shea’s Tavern
Fri June 8 – TBA

https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Ape Machine, Coalition of the Unwilling (2015)

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Quarterly Review: All Them Witches, Anthroprophh, Orphan Gears, The Watchers, Grajo, Mythic Sunship, Empress, Monads, Nest, Redneck Spaceship

Posted in Reviews on April 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Well, we’ve reached the end of the week if not the end of the Quarterly Review itself. That’s right: after hemming and hawing all week and going back and forth in my silly little brain, I’ve decided to extend this edition to a sixth day, which will be Monday. That means 60 reviews in six days, not 50 in five. Honestly, I could probably keep going for three or four more beyond that if I had the time or inclination, and I may get there someday, but I’m definitely not there now.

But hey, there have been a couple comments left along the way, so thanks for that. I appreciate you taking the time to read if you have. Here’s the last for the week and we’ll pick back up on Monday.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

All Them Witches, Lost and Found EP

all them witches lost and found ep

If Nashville four-piece All Them Witches put together the free-download Lost and Found EP simply as a means of getting their take on the folk song “Hares on the Mountain” out there, it was worth it. In the hands of vocalist/bassist Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod, Rhodes specialist/violinist Allan Van Cleave and drummer Robby Staebler, the traditional tune becomes a wide open dronescape, bristling and vague like memory itself. It’s beautiful and a little confusing in just the right way, and it comes accompanied on the short release by the Fleetwood Mac cover “Before the Beginning,” an even-more-subdued take on “Call Me Star” from 2015’s New West Records debut, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), and a dub redux of “Open Passageways” – called, of course, “Dub Passageways” – from the same album. Might be a stopgap between full-lengths, but still, at 18 minutes, it’d make a more than worthy 10” release if they were looking for something new for the merch table.

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

 

Anthroprophh, Omegaville

anthroprophh omegaville

Next time you feel like, “Hey man, I’m so freaked out and weird and wow man whatever blah blah,” just take a second to remember you live in a dimension where dudes from The Heads have side-projects. Paul Allen and Anthroprophh – his trio with Gareth Turner and Jesse Webb, otherwise known as the duo Big Naturals – are a freaked out freakout’s freakout. The stuff of psychedelic mania. And that’s only on the first disc of the 2CD Omegavlle (Rocket Recordings). By the time they get around to the three-song second disc and dig into extended trips like “Omegaille/THOTHB” (14:48) and the subsequent finale, “Journey out of Omegaville and into the…” (20:57), they’re so far gone into noise and captured, manipulated audio that who the hell knows where we’ve ended up? At 88 minutes, the limits of manageability are long left behind, but to get some of the Velvet Underground-in-space vibes of “Maschine” in trade for undertaking the undertaking it’s well worth letting go of the rigidity of things like time, place, etc.

Anthroprophh on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Orphan Gears, Rat Race

orphan gears rat race

I’m pretty sure Orphan Gears used the Super Mario Bros. font for their logo on the cover of their latest EP, Rat Race, and for that, they should be saluted. The gritty-riffing semi-punker London four-piece offer five tracks and 20 minutes of workaday, boozy grooves, blowing off steam after putting in a shift at this or that crappy job. They are null as regards pretense, and ask little more of their audience than perhaps a beer from the stage or whatever else might be on the menu that night. They share initials, but unlike much of the London underground, they share little ultimately with Orange Goblin in terms of style, despite the shuffle of “Tough Luck, BJ” or the harmonica at the end of “Bitch-Slapped Blues,” and by the time they get to the classic strut of the title-track, they seem to be dug into AC/DC-style groove in the verse while blending in modern heavy rock impulses around it. They clearly save their best for last.

Orphan Gears on Thee Facebooks

Orphan Gears on Bandcamp

 

The Watchers, Black Abyss

the watchers black abyss

An immediately cogent, professional debut full-length is about what you’d expect from The Watchers, the San Francisco four-piece with members of SpiralArms, Orchid and Black Gates in their ranks, particularly after their prior EP, Sabbath Highway (review here), but that doesn’t stop the songwriting from impressing across the eight-song long-player, Black Abyss (on Ripple Music). The band’s presentation is crisp and pro-shop all the way through, from the soloing on “Oklahoma Black Magic” to the keyboard-laced TonyMartin-era-Sabbathism-meets-tambourine of “Suffer Fool” later on, and with the opening salvo of the title-track and “Alien Lust” right behind it, The Watchers set a quick expectation for hooks and a high standard of delivery that, thankfully, they show no hesitation in living up to for the duration, the chug-and-roll finale “Seven Tenets” satisfies in mood and efficiency, departing into airy guitar meditation and making its way back for a suitably rocking sendoff. Dudes know what they’re doing, where they’re headed and how they want to get there. All the listener needs to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Watchers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Grajo, Slowgod II

grajo slowgod ii

A sequel to their 2015 full-length, Slowgod II (on Underground Legends Records, Spinda Records and DHU Records), sees Córdoba-based four-piece Grajo dug into a deep-toned psychedelic doom. There are flashes of Eastern influence on “Malmuerta,” with frontwoman Liz crooning over the minor-key guitar noodling of Josef, the forward motion in Félix’s drums and the heft of Pistolo’s bass. That dynamic works across Slowgod II, from opener and longest track (immediate points) “Altares” through its closing eight-minute counterpart “Malstrom,” which moves from early crunch through spacious volume swells in its middle only to regain composure and offer a heavy post-rock payoff that, somehow, still isn’t that atmospherically removed from the swinging “Horror and Pleasure” right before it or the similarly speedier “Queen Cobra” that follows “Altares” at the outset. Definitely one for the converted, Grajo deliver tones thick enough to stand on and engaging melodicism without falling into any real traps of sonic redundancy, varying their pace effectively and conjuring consuming plod on “ER” while still holding to that notion of breadth that seems to unite all their material here.

Grajo on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

Mythic Sunship, Upheaval

mythic sunship upheaval

It just so happens this is exactly what the fuck I’m talking about. After releasing their Land Between Rivers (review here) LP through El Paraiso Records last year, the Copenhagen four-piece of Emil Thorenfeldt, Frederik Denning, Kasper Andersen and Rasmus “Cleaver” Christensen, collectively known as Mythic Sunship, return with four more slabs of exploratory bliss on Upheaval. Either completely or partially improvised, “Tectonic Beach” (12:42), “Aether Flux” (10:55), “Cosmic Rupture” (6:44) and “Into Oblivion” (13:56) flow together like the work of masters, and with shades of patient space rock at their core, the tracks are infused with life even beyond the spontaneity of their creation. Heavy jams. Heavy, spacy jams. Molten. Swirling. Badass. Even the shorter and more forward “Cosmic Rupture” is headed out of the atmosphere, and when they come around to the noisy payoff deep in “Into Oblivion,” it’s abundantly clear they’re not joking around when it comes to the title. You can get onboard with Mythic Sunship, or you can miss out. Bands like this separate the hip from the squares.

Mythic Sunship on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso Records webstore

 

Empress, Reminiscence

Empress reminiscence

Those who miss the days when Mastodon or Baroness howled their shouts into a landscape of crunching tonal largesse might do well to dig into what Vancouver, British Columbia’s Empress have to offer on their late-2017 debut EP, Reminiscence. The 27-minute five-tracker isn’t without its sense of melody – there’s plenty of room in eight-minute second cut “Immer” – but guitarist/vocalist Peter Sacco, bassist Brenden Gunn and drummer Chris Doyle make their primary impression via the impact of their material, and as they swap back and forth between shorter tracks and longer ones, a sense of structural playfulness results that moves through the bass openings of “Baptizer” (2:50) and “They Speak Like Trees” (9:27) into the ambient guitar finisher “Dawn,” and the feeling is that, like their stylistic forebears in at the time what was thought of as a new take on sludge metal, Empress will only grow more progressive as they move forward from this first outing. One hopes they hold firm to the tectonic weight they present here that so many others seem to have given up along the way.

Empress on Thee Facebooks

Empress on Bandcamp

 

Monads, IVIIV

monads iviiv

Released some six years after Monads’ 2011 debut, Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem, the Aesthetic Death Records-issued IVIIV was, according to the Belgian five-piece’s own accounting, in the works for most of that time in one way or another. One might say, therefore, that its creation does justice to the glacial pace of some of its slowest moments, the crawling death-doom extremity of pieces like “To a Bloodstained Shore,” or the lurch before the gallop takes hold in “Your Wounds Were My Temple.” At four songs and 50 minutes, IVIIV is indicative enough of the style, but Monads legitimately showcase a persona of their own in and out of those genre confines, the melancholic atmosphere and expanded arrangement elements (piano, etc.) of 15-minute closer “The Despair of an Aeon” creatively used if familiar, and the smoothness of the transitions in opener “Leviathan as My Lament” setting a tone of scope as well as downward emotional trajectory. Not sure I’d count on a quick turnaround for a follow-up, but if half a decade from now a new Monads record surfaces, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for.

Monads on Thee Facebooks

Aestehetic Death Records website

 

Nest, Metempsychosis

nest metempsychosis

Rolling from its untitled intro through its untitled outro through a barrage of charred-black, bludgeoning sludge extremity, the debut album from Lexington, Kentucky’s Nest, Metempsychosis (on Sludgelord Records), refers in its title to a transmigration of the soul, an inheritance almost as much as reincarnation. The band may be talking about themselves or they may be working on a theme throughout the record’s seven proper tracks, I don’t know, but if the idea is destruction and rebirth, they certainly sound more interested in the former. Songs like “Heretic” seethe and scour, while the lumbering and spacious closer “Life’s Grief,” capping with abrasive noise, would seem to be a mission statement in itself. Individual pieces like “Jewel of Iniquity” and the preceding atmosphere-into-mega-crush “Diving into the Entrails of Sheep” – of course the centerpiece of the tracklisting – are shorter unto themselves, but like everything else that surrounds, they feed into an overarching ambience of disgust and chaos.

Nest on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Redneck Spaceship, Grand Marshal Ape

redneck spaceship grand marshall ape

There are some issues as regards the balance of the mix pushing the vocals forward ahead of the guitar to work out, but Moscow’s Redneck Spaceship impress all the same with the intent and execution of their late-2017 self-released debut, Grand Marshal Ape. In riffs and songcraft, their influences stem from the classic days of stoner rock, but from opener “The Sands of Dakar” and the later “That Sounds Nuts,” one gets a vibe of underlying punk influence, while the twang in harmonized highlight “On the Roadside” and slide guitar of “Maverick” lends a Southern, bluesy swing that the penultimate “Enchained” answers back later ahead of the sample-laden psychedelic jam-out closer, “Antariksh,” which strikes as a far cry from the ultra-straightforward presentation earlier on “Empty Pockets,” but speaks to an immediate scope in Redneck Spaceship’s sound. One hopes they continue to meld elements as they progress beyond Grand Marshal Ape and bridge the gap between one side of their moniker and the other.

Redneck Spaceship on Thee Facebooks

Redneck Spaceship on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: The Atlas Moth, Across Tundras, The Wizards of Delight, Against the Grain, Our Solar System, Dommengang, Boss Keloid, Holy Smoke, Sabel, Blackwater Prophet

Posted in Reviews on April 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

This is a crucial moment in any Quarterly Review. Today we hit the halfway point one way or the other. I still haven’t decided if this will be a 50- or 60-album edition; kind of playing it by ear, but either way, today’s a landmark in my mind in terms of how far to go vs. how far we’ve come. Uphill vs. downhill to some extent, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m either half-assing it from here on out or that I don’t enjoy the challenge of reviewing 10 records in a day, one after the next, for (at least) five days in a row. I’ve always been a glutton for a bit of self-flagellation. Ha.

Alright, let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

The Atlas Moth, Coma Noir

the atlas moth coma noir

If one still wants to consider Chicago’s The Atlas Moth post-metal after hearing Coma Noir, at least do them the courtesy of emphasizing the “metal” part of that equation. For their debut on Prosthetic Records and fourth full-length overall, the five-piece worked with producer Sanford Parker to solidify a progressive metal sound that, whether in the harsh and weighted impact of the opening title-track or the later interplay between guitarists Stavros Giannopoulos and David Kush on screams and cleaner vocals in “Furious Gold,” seems to take cues from groups like a less manic Strapping Young Lad and a less watered-down Mastodon more than Isis or Neurosis. With prominent synth from Andrew Ragin (also guitar), and the solid roll from the rhythm section of bassist Alex Klein and drummer Mike Miczek, the band brings revitalized edge to “The Streets of Bombay,” and even on the slower, more atmospheric closer “Chloroform,” they’ve never sounded more lethal. It suits them.

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Across Tundras, Tumbleweeds III

across tundras tumbleweeds iii

A collection of odds and ends from Across Tundras, the 10-track/52-minute Tumbleweeds III may or may not sate anyone hoping for a follow-up to 2013’s Electric Relics (review here), but it provides some curio fodder along the way to be sure, from raw opener “Final Breath over Venom Falls” to the acoustic-percussion jam “Bullet in the Butt” to the fuller roll of “Cold Ride” and later demos for “Spinning Through the Cosmic Dust,” “Hijo del Desierto,” “Stone Crazy Horse” and “The Stacked Plain,” which later became “Seasick Serenade” on Electric Relics, it’s at very least something for fans to dig into and a fascinating listen, as Across Tundras’ rambling sound is almost eerily suited to a home-recording vibe, as the “Stone Crazy Horse” demo, featuring vocalist Shannon Allie-Murphy along with frontman Tanner Olson, sounds all the more folksome as a result of its lack of production polish. Closing with Bob Dylan’s “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” then, could hardly be more appropriate. Still waiting for a proper long-player to surface, but happy at this point to take what comes.

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The Wizards of Delight, The Wizards of Delight

the wizards of delight the wizards of delight

Like a chicanery-laced dusty vinyl with a naked lady on the cover, The Wizards of Delight emerge from the London underground to solidly declare “We’ve got the rock ‘n’ rollz.” And yes, they spell it with a ‘z.’ The presence of frontman Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen will be familiar to anyone who ever even briefly encountered Groan – dude makes an impression, to be sure – and the four tracks he and the surrounding five-piece of guitarists/backing vocalists Dan Green’s Myth and Lenny Ray, bassist/backing vocalist Eponymous, organist/backing vocalist Henry and drummer Reece bring is both funky and classically heavy, “Gypsy” referencing Dio Sabbath in the first line while “Mountain Woman” brings a heavy ‘70s shuffle to answer the way-un-P.C. “Shogun Messiah,” which seems to be working under the thesis that because it sounds like it’s from 40 years ago, they can get away with it. I’ll give them that the track is, to an unfortunate degree, catchy. As to the rest, give me the groove of “We Got the Rock ‘n’ Rollz” any day. It’s been a while since anyone so brazenly interpreted Mk. II Deep Purple and actually pulled it off.

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APF Records website

 

Against the Grain, Cheated Death

against the grain cheated death

Hard-touring Detroit heavy rockers Against the Grain are known for speed, and rightly so. When they burst into high gear, as on “Sacrifice,” “No Sleep,” “Last Chance,” “Rolling Stone,” “Enough’s Not Enough,” and “Jaded and Faded” from their latest offering and Ripple Music debut, Cheated Death. The follow-up to 2015’s Road Warriors (review here) sees them no less infectious in their live energy, but it’s hard to ignore the more versatile approach that seems to be growing in their sound, from the classic rocking “Smoke” to the near-centerpiece “Devils and Angels” which ballads-out its boozy regrets before entering into an effective mid-paced build that rounds out in choice dual-soloing. Likewise, though they open at a good clip with the title-track, closer “Into the Light” finds a middle ground between thrust and groove. The truth is Against the Grain have never been just about speed, but they’ve never so directly benefited from a dynamic approach as they do on Cheated Death either.

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Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Our Solar System, Origins

our solar system origins

Immediate kudos to Stockholm-based psychedelic progressive explorers Our Solar System – aka Vårt Solsystem – for opening their third full-length for Beyond Beyond is Beyond, the five-track/41-minute Origins, with the side-consuming 21-minute “Vulkanen.” One could hardly ask for more effective immersion in the band’s world of patiently unfurled, languid psychedelia, and with the accompaniment of “Babalon Rising,” the jazz-prog tracklist centerpiece “En Bit Av Det Tredje Klotet,” the birdsong-laced “Naturligt Samspel” and the semi-freaked-out melodic wash of “Monte Verita” on side B, a full, rich, and mind-expanding cosmos is engaged, free of restriction even as it remains thoroughly lysergic, and adherent to no structural will so much as the will to adventure into the unknown, to find out where one progression leads. As regards the long- and short-form material on Origins, it leads far, far out, and if you don’t come out the other side wanting to own everything the band has ever released, you’re decidedly in the wrong.

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Beyond Beyond is Beyond website

 

Dommengang, Love Jail

dommengang love jail

Once calling Brooklyn Home, Los Angeles trio Dommengang waste no time in getting down to the business of boogie on their second album for Thrill Jockey, Love Jail. Produced by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), the 10-track/50-minute long-player has all the room for organ/guitar mashups, righteous West Coast vibes and easy-flowing classic heavy rock one could hope for, and in the opening salvo of “Pastel City,” “Lovely Place” and “Lone Pine,” the three-piece of guitarist Dan “Sig” Wilson, bassist Brian Markham, and drummer Adam Bulgasem reaffirm mellow bluesiness as well on the title-track and dig into ‘90s-style alt bliss on the penultimate “Color out of Space.” There’s a welcoming air throughout that holds steady regardless of tempo, and in heavier moments like the second half of “I’m out Mine,” the band resonates with fuzz and noisy elements that bring just enough danger to the proceedings to keep the listener riveted. Classy, but not too classy, in other words.

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Thrill Jockey Records website

 

Boss Keloid, Melted on the Inch

boss keloid melted on the inch

It would seem that Wigan, UK, outfit Boss Keloid — newly signed to Holy Roar Records for the release of their third LP, Melted on the Inch – internalized a few crucial lessons from their sophomore outing, 2016’s Herb Your Enthusiasm (review here). At six tracks and 40 minutes, Melted on the Inch is about 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor. Its title isn’t a weed pun. Its cover art conveys a work of dimensionality, and most importantly, the album itself turns to be precisely that. Taking a significant step toward a more progressive sound, Boss Keloid maintain the heft of their prior outing but base it around material that, frankly, is more complex and dynamic. I won’t say that “Tarku Shavel” and “Lokannok” are without their elements of self-indulgence, but neither should they be for the five-piece to do justice to the multifaceted nature of their purpose. They still roar when they want to, but Boss Keloid strike with breadth on Melted on the Inch as well as sheer impact.

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Holy Roar Records website

 

Holy Smoke, Pipe Dream

holy smoke pipe dream

After forming in 2015, Philadelphia’s exclamatory Holy Smoke! issued their first three-track release, It’s a Demo! (review here) the next year and showed marked stylistic promise in cuts like “Rinse and Repeat” and “Blue Dreams.” Both of those tracks, as it happens, stand at the opening of the band’s latest EP, the five-song Pipe Dream, and reaffirm the potential in the group. The opener (also the longest track once again; immediate points) is a tale of workaday redundancy, the very sort of monotony that the rest of the offering seems to leave behind in favor of post-grunge heavy rock, marked by the wah-bass on finale “Asch Backwards” and the brooding sensibility of the prior “Golden Retriever,” which surges in its midsection like a lost Alice in Chains demo only to end quiet once again, a departure from the linearity of centerpiece “Missing the Mark” just before. Less psychedelic than their initial impression conveyed, they seem to have undertaken the work of crafting their own sonic niche in Philly’s increasingly crowded scene, and there’s nothing on Pipe Dream to make one think it’s not a realistic possibility they’ll get there.

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Sabel, Re-Generation

sabel re-generation

Sabel know what they want to be and then are that thing. Their third album, Re-Generation, arrives via Oak Island Records as six tracks of to-the-converted stonerism, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “In the Walls of Eryx,” the Swedish trio do little more than ask their listeners to smell the smoke emanating from their speaker cabinets (oddly sweet), and hone walls of fuzz that each seem to be bigger than the last. There are some elements of earliest Electric Wizard at play in “Atlantean” or the sneering “Voodoo Woman,” but belters like “Interstellar Minddweller” and “Green Priestess” stave off their sounding overly derivative, and though at the end of Re-Generation’s 42-minute run, one might feel as though they need a shower, the record itself proves well worth the dive into the muck. The band would seem to have carved their own descriptor with the title of their self-released 2015 LP, Hard Doom, and that’s as good as anything I could come up with, so let’s roll with it. They seem to.

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Blackwater Prophet, As I Watch it Freeze

blackwater prophet as i watch it freeze

Cheers to Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment for putting me onto Spokane, Washington’s Blackwater Prophet, who with the seven-track As I Watch it Freeze collect various tracks recorded between 2015 and 2017. Thus something of a compilation, the 40-minute outing wants nothing for overarching flow, “In My Passing Time” leading off with a mellow psych-blues spirit that only grows more classic-feeling through “House of Stone” and the gorgeously pastoral “The Swamp.” The band have two proper full-lengths out, and if they wanted to count As I Watch it Freeze as their third, I don’t think they’d find much argument, as centerpiece “Gold in the Palm” opens like a gateway leading to the increasingly resonant “Careworn Crow,” the fuzzy swing of “Eating the Sun” and finally, the title-track itself, which answers the acoustics of “The Swamp” earlier while adding flourish of volume-swelling and swirling electric guitar and late choral vocals that only make the proceedings seem all the more complete in their engagement.

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Foghound Set Summer Release for Awaken to Destroy

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Awaken to Destroy is the name of the new Foghound album, and I don’t think there’s anyone who could argue it’s not arriving at a pivotal moment for the band. Their 2016 sophomore full-length, The World Unseen (review here) — also their debut on Ripple Music — was a big step in a more aggressive direction from their 2013 debut, Quick, Dirty and High (review here), marking, among other things, the first appearance of drummer Chuck Dukehart‘s former Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate, Rev. Jim Forrester, as Foghound‘s bassist.

Tracked by Frank “The Punisher” Marchand — who also helmed some of the recording for The World Unseen along with Mike Dean of C.O.C. — Awaken to Destroy will of course mark the final appearance from Forrester as a member of Foghound, as he was tragically gunned down in Fells Point, Baltimore, last December, owing to what last I heard was still an unknown motive. Foghound and Ripple released the benefit single “Keep on Shoveling” (posted here) to help his family with expenses, and no doubt they’ll continue to honor him this year as we move toward the late-summer release of Awaken to Destroy  and the band takes the stage at the inaugural New England Stoner and Doom Fest on April 21 and at Maryland Doom Fest in June.

The PR wire brings the latest details:

foghound photo shane gardner

FOGHOUND FINISH RECORDING THEIR THIRD FULL-LENGTH ALBUM ‘AWAKEN TO DESTROY’; PREPARING FOR A LATE SUMMER 2018 RELEASE ON RIPPLE MUSIC.

Maryland Doom & Stoner Rock stalwarts Foghound have recently put the finishing touches on their third full-length offering, entitled “Awaken To Destroy”. Their new album is set for a September 2018 release via Ripple Music.

Work began on the album in November 2016, with producer Frank Marchand (The Obsessed / Borracho) at the helm. Numerous delays along the way sidelined production due to health issues, professional and personal commitments, and then the tragic murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester in December 2017, just days after completing recording of the basic tracking.

“After seeing Jim claw and fight his way back after a major health scare and being in a coma last summer, only to be senselessly taken away from us all in this way, it really hit everyone like a ton of bricks”, says drummer / vocalist Chuck Dukeheart.

“The outpouring of love and support from everyone, and especially our friends and family in the Maryland Doom scene, was overwhelming. We can’t thank everyone enough for helping us, Jim’s wife Tina, and family to get through this terrible time.”

Among the multiple benefit events and fundraisers for the family, Ripple Music released as a benefit single the new Foghound track “Keep On Shoveling” on January 1st, via Bandcamp as a “Name Your Price” download purchase.

Written with a theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, the song features a spoken word portion from Rev. Jim. The song has taken on a new meaning for the band after his untimely passing.

Another new track, “Return To Dragontooth”, will appear on an upcoming benefit compilation, due out from Salt Of the Earth Records.

Foghound emphasizes, “One thing that became apparent was that we all knew, and Jim said as much when he was laid up in the hospital last summer, was that he wouldn’t want us to stop. In his words – ‘We still have shit to do.'”

After taking time to regroup, this February saw Foghound back in the studio to wrap up tracking of vocals, guitars, and keyboards. They have finally been able to complete mixing to get it ready for release.

Along with wrapping up the album, the band got themselves back in their rehearsal space, and have recruited long time friend of the band, bassist Adam Heinzmann (Internal Void, Pentagram), into the fold.

The band stated, “It was a very heavy, emotional time for us, to be back in the jamroom without Jim, but Adam really stepped up in a big way. His enthusiasm, preparedness, and love for the music really helped us get back to why we all play music. We were able to have fun again.”

Foghound is set to return to the stage with notable upcoming appearances at the New England Stoner and Doom Fest at Altone’s in Jewett City, Connecticut on April 21st, and The Maryland Doom Fest at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland on June 23rd.

“We are looking forward to being a part of these stellar lineups and to play these new songs live. We can’t wait for this monster of an album to be unleashed at the end of the summer!”

Foghound (left to right in photo):

Chuck Dukeheart, III – Drums, Voals
Dee Settar – Guitar, Vocals
Bob Sipes – Guitar, Vocals
Adam Heinzmann – Bass

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https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/track/keep-on-shoveling-rev-jim-forrester-benefit
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Foghound, “Keep on Shoveling”

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