Six Dumb Questions with Rev. Jim Forrester of Foghound & Serpents of Secrecy

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on December 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

rev jim photo shane gardner

This one has been a while in the making. It was a genuine shock this past summer when bassist Rev. Jim Forrester was suddenly beset with a barrage of life-threatening medical issues. Keeping tabs on updates via social media became a tense undertaking. A crowdfunding was set up. Benefit shows were announced and held. Forrester‘s recovery from what he details as being a near-death experience and the worst pain he’s ever felt is ongoing, as one might expect, but there was no question that the East Coast heavy underground and especially that of the Maryland/Chesapeake region rallied to his side when called upon to do so. A scene taking care of one of its own is a beautiful thing.

Forrester cut his teeth in the late 1990s as a member of heavy Southern rockers Sixty Watt Shaman and has been involved in numerous projects across a range of styles ever since. Sixty Watt issued three full-lengths during their time, the last of which was 2002’s Reason to Live, and when they were done, Forrester went on to form Angels of Meth and participate in other bands. His arrival in Foghound re-partners him with ex-Sixty Watt Shaman drummer Chuck Dukehart, and the two also play together in the assembled group Serpents of Secrecy, whose debut single, Uncoiled, was released earlier this year on Salt of the Earth Records ahead of a full-length debut reportedly to come in 2018.

Between life updates, band updates, Sixty Watt Shaman‘s aborted reunion, and so on, there was an awful lot to talk about, so I won’t delay further, except to thank Rev. Jim for being so open and candid about what he went through and is still going through. Anyone who’s ever seen him play on stage can attest to the sense of attack he brings to his instrument, and it’s clear that is an ethic and drive for intensity is something he lives by on multiple levels.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

rev jim photo bob plank

Six Dumb Questions with Rev. Jim Forrester

For anyone who hasn’t kept up on your situation, take us through the medical issues you’ve been dealing with. What the hell happened? How did it all start? Where are you at now? What’s your next step and, most importantly, how are you feeling day-to-day?

During and post illness, my wife Tina and Todd Ingram (King Giant, Serpents of Secrecy) started the #RallyforRev page on FB to keep everyone updated on my progress or lack thereof, as I was in no shape to communicate with the outside world during my hospitalizations and subsequent recovery. When I was able, looking back on things and generally being a very private person outside of “music and art land,” I began to feel uncomfortably overexposed and completely exhausted with explaining the situation, as well as constantly talking about myself. I needed a long break from me. Shortly after I fell ill, some tragedies befell two of the most important people in my life as well, Todd lost his mother after a short illness, and Tina lost her little brother. I felt that it was in no way appropriate to talk about “me” and my bullshit, when two people I loved dearly were experiencing so much personal pain and trauma. 2017 was a motherfucker.

So, what happened? Over Memorial Day weekend, the Sunday to be exact, I awoke from a dead sleep to the most abhorrent abdominal pain I’ve ever experienced. I think I may have a clue as to what being disemboweled feels like now. Tina rushed me to one hospital, and then I was transferred to another. I had a blood clot in my portal vein (liver) that was cutting off blood flow to my liver, pancreas, intestines, and various extremities. Basically I was dying and damn close to going into organ failure. Blood thinners saved my ass, but also caused esophageal varices to burst, resulting in me puking up half my blood supply, intubation, and a three-day medically induced coma in which I almost checked out a few times as well. Around week three, I underwent a “Tips” procedure, a stent placed in my portal vein, and a new blood flow passage was created in my liver to alleviate the blockage (it had been there for years apparently, and was so rock solid; they couldn’t drill the damn thing out). I was released and returned home on a continued blood thinner treatment plan. Three days later I awoke to what I thought was a heart attack. Returned to the hospital to find a pulmonary embolism, and a grouping of blood clots behind my right knee. Another week in the hospital, and back home with increased blood thinners (self administered stomach injections, very metal). Played the Maryland Doomfest III three days later with Serpents of Secrecy. Before any of these events occurred, I had been experiencing some pretty intense weakness and pain in my right hip. I had chalked it up to hard living/performing, and overcompensation for a torn ACL in my right knee. No dice. MRI revealed that the blockages had caused blood flow restriction to my hip joint, so I was walking around and performing on a dead, decrepit hip, still am.

I’ve been jumping through medical specialist hoops ever since to get hip replacement surgery, most likely occurring this February. How this all happened has some solid answers and some mystery still lingering. I had liver issues back in 2012 that I had worked through, I thought pretty successfully, but life and stress (my own issues with depression, the death of a very close friend, the Sixty Watt Shaman debacle I’ll get into at some point in the future, etc.) saw me backslide a bit personally. It’s no secret I previously was a drink and drug enthusiast (no hard drugs for years now I will note) as cliche as it is, and I managed to do some significant damage to myself over the years. At various points I’ve been a bit of a mess, and have a lot of regrets regarding that aspect of my time. That aside, I lived a pretty hard life for an extended spell, pushed myself physically in ways that have consequences, and some of that is a factor as well. There is also a genetic blood clotting disorder that runs in my family, but the jury is still out on that matter (testing), although it would explain a lot.

As things stand today, beyond my continued issue with my hip, I feel pretty damn good. Staying vigilant, and keeping up with my docs. The thinners are getting phased out, no pain killers, and a lot of my enzyme levels, etc. are normalized to livable standards if not 100 percent healthy. I’m six months completely sober, back to throwing down on stage and in the studio with Foghound and Serpents. If any positives can be derived, it all really strengthened my relationships with my wife and step-kids and my bandmates. My family. My passions and obsession with art and music remains and has surpassed full tilt crazy again. It reinvigorated me as far as writing and creating is concerned. I’m overwhelmingly thankful for the love, support, understanding, and solid kick in the ass when I need it, from the beautiful individuals I’ve been so fortunate to have in my life. We only have so much time, know what you’re fighting for.

In light of all that, tell me about getting on stage with Serpents of Secrecy at Maryland Doom Fest this year. What was that experience like for you? How was the response from the room, and how did you feel after the set?

I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a bit nervy. After going through all of that, I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to pull off a whole set, and perform to the level that I set for myself, but I pushed through. I wasn’t going to let my brothers in SoS (they wanted to cancel in light of everything, I refused), the fans that had waited four years to see that beast, or Mark Cruikshank and J.B. Matson down. I honor my commitments. Doomfest is always a big family reunion, with a lot of my favorite people in the world anyway, but it by far is one of my favorite sets. The love and support in the crowd was amazing, and I think at various points most of us got choked up. Afterwards… pure adrenaline and joy. For a brief few hours I felt like myself again.

The Serpents of Secrecy single is a long-time coming for sure. Tell me about the development of that band from its beginnings, where you guys are at now and what the plans are going forward. How has the response been to the first recordings so far?

The Serpents of Secrecy story has more twists and turns than the goddamn Grizzly (King’s Dominion reference), and would take more space to explain fully that I’m sure this article entails. I’ll make it as brief as possible. Back in 2012, Scott Harrington (313 Management, Salt of the Earth Records) and I had developed a really strong friendship. When I was taking a break from the world up in the mountains near Morgantown, WV, he and I were in regular contact. Scott had been a huge Sixty Watt Shaman fan, and was really bummed that I wasn’t actively playing or performing at the time (my last group, Angels of Meth in Cincinnati, had run its course and I was aimlessly floating for a few). If anyone knows Scott, he is a true idea man, and unbeknownst to me, as we were in contact, he was up to some shenanigans.

Long story short, he helped pull together a really interesting cast of characters for a project. Todd Ingram – guitar (King Giant), Chuck Dukehart – drums (Sixty Watt Shaman, The Expotentials, Foghound), Johnny Throckmorton – vocals (Alabama Thunderpussy), Aaron Lewis – guitar (When the Deadbolt Breaks), and myself on bass. We convened in Baltimore and jammed a few times, really hit it off, but as I mentioned previously, I fell ill for awhile. We tried to sustain at least the idea of that lineup for awhile during the following year or so, but due to distance, time, and obligations it ended up not working out. Todd and I continued writing together, and spent the better part of a year trading riffs back and forth, or just writing complete songs and editing together. We also got together to jam independently when time allowed. The chemistry and material was pretty undeniable, so we muscled through and kept the idea alive (with Greg Hudson from D.C.’s Tone on drums briefly, until Chuck returned to the fold).

During this time period, Scott had received some inquiries regarding Sixty Watt Shaman performing at Desertfest. With incredible hesitation, Chuck and I agreed to entertain the idea, and spoke to our former vocalist, moderated by Scott. With a lot of concessions made on our part, and the best of intentions at play, Todd came in on guitar, as our original guitarist Joe Selby apparently wanted nothing to do with the idea. Hence the Sixty Watt Shaman reunion: a kickoff set at Chuck‘s Moving the Earth Fest, appearances at Desertfest London and Berlin, two Feast of Krampus shows with Wino, and my 40th birthday show in Baltimore. Todd, Chuck, and myself also had begun orchestrating a load of new and previous Serpents material, due to sparse SWS rehearsals, and were on a tear creatively so to speak.

I also came on as Foghound‘s bassist in this time period, so Chuck and I were jamming nonstop. We began negotiations with Ripple Music to release a new SWS full-length, a bit hastily as history proved, and that’s where the thread really began unraveling. Taking the high road here, but after a lot of soul searching and hand wringing… Chuck, Todd and myself made what I still consider the best judgement call we could have, considering a lot of circumstances that are best left unsaid, and called an undetermined-in-length hiatus for SWS. After a barrage of legal threats and behavior I can best sum up as unstable from our previous bandmate, that hiatus evolved into us throwing in the towel on any hopes of reconciliation. For all intents and purposes that group is a memory, no matter how voraciously some would cling to glories past.

In turn, Chuck, Todd, and myself immediately entered the studio with J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, and whirlwind recorded the lion’s share of our three years of stockpiled material written up to that point, two songs of which — “Warbird’s Song” and “The Cheat” — appear on the Uncoiled single. Al “Yeti” Bones (The Mighty Nimbus) came on as vocalist for a period of time, but once again due to obligations, time, and distance (Canada) Al had to move on, although we truly appreciate his contributions and the awesome work ethic he brought to the table. Enter Mark Lorenzo (Zekiah). How he came into the story is a tale best left for him and Todd to explain, but I will say he was a breath of fresh air, one of the strongest, most talented vocalists I’ve ever worked with and a goddamn joy of a human being.

Steve Fisher (guitar, Borracho) will tell you we never told him he was in the band, he just kept showing up, lol, but he was the final piece to the puzzle that’s taken years to complete. We’ve already been through a lot together, and as with Foghound, it feels like family. As this band goes, we had hoped to have the full-length out by now, but it looks like we are wrapping up the album Ave Vindicta in Jan./Feb. 2018, and it’s up to Scott Harrington and Salt of the Earth Records to give us a release date. As soon as we know, so will you. The response to the Uncoiled single has been very positive so far. It seems to have accomplished our goal with the idea: Ggve everyone a taste, leave them hopefully wanting more. Apparently they want, lol. We are looking to play out as much as schedules allow, hitting the road some in 2018 and are already booked for the next installment of the Descendants of Crom Fest (Pittsburgh) in September. We’ve also started writing new material (along with the backlog of songs we couldn’t fit on this album) for the eventual follow-up to Ave Vindicta, and some other alchemy at play… but that’s another story.

From Sixty Watt Shaman to Foghound to Serpents of Secrecy, it seems like you and Chuck have a really special respect and relationship as a rhythm section. Tell me about that friendship and how working with him in different bands has changed over the years. What does it mean to you as a bassist to know Chuck’s back there behind the kit pounding away?

Chuck is my best friend in the world. He’s my brother. Damn near every important event that’s ever transpired in my life, he was there. If not personally, in spirit, or he was a call away. We’ve had our ups and downs, but brothers do. We’ve known each other since elementary school, picked up our instruments at the same time, started our first bands together. I suppose you could say our stories are completely entangled. He’s had my back when I never knew he did or I needed him to, that’s real friendship. We made a promise to each other a long time ago, that we weren’t going to let the small town we grew up in swallow us up, we were going to get out and do something with our goddamn lives. I think we held up that promise. At this point, through all the tours (starting in ’97), all the shows, the studios, writing so many songs together, we kind of function together with one brain as a rhythm section, “The Rhythm Section from Hell.” There is a complete feeling of freedom and comfort in the live scenario jamming with Chuck. Opens up some of the fun improv stuff we slip into the mix when we know each other’s arsenal backwards and forwards so well. Fun is the keyword. If it’s not, it’s not worth doing. We learned that one together too.

What’s Foghound up to at this point? Where are you at with the next album? Do you know yet when you’ll record or who will produce?

Foghound is wrapping up the third album right now actually. Last studio session with Frank “The Punisher” Marchand (The Obsessed, Sixty Watt Shaman, etc.) is the first weekend in January, I believe. Frank engineered, we produced. Then it’s mastering, artwork, turned into Ripple Music. No idea on a release date considering the volume of music Todd [Severin] and the label are putting out there, but it will be in 2018. There are some morsels on the horizon beforehand, some hints coming as to what this new material is shaping up to be, but I can’t really reveal any of that yet. I will say, the new tunes are going to surprise anyone with expectations of us putting out The World Unseen Part 2. We’ve already begun booking for next year with appearances at Maryland Doomfest 2018 and New England Stoner and Doom Fest scheduled. Anyone intrigued should stop by, we’ll be adding in a good portion of new material to give everyone a taste.

Of course there’s the crowdfunding campaign going on, but any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I just want to give another huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone for the words of love and support I received when I was ill, to the bands that played the benefit shows, to those that donated their time, hard work or financial assistance. You have no idea how much it meant, how much it’s appreciated, and how much it helped Tina and I get through such a difficult time. The only reason I can continue to do what I do is because of that, and not for a second is any of it taken for granted. I lived a lot of days looking in the mirror thinking I was a tremendous fuckup, and the friends, fans, and family that came to my side during one of the most horrible situations I’ve ever encountered, staring death in the goddamn face, telling me how much the work has meant to them, how much my efforts over the years made a difference, fueled me getting better, and keeps me fighting every day, and for that I am forever grateful. I am a very fortunate man to get to do what I do, surrounded by such amazing people. I love you all. Keep an eye out for new Arcane Recorporations creations, as well as Ave Vindicta by Serpents of Secrecy on Salt of the Earth Records, and the as-yet-untitled new Foghound record on Ripple Music out in 2018. Ave!

Serpents of Secrecy, Uncoiled – The Singles (2017)

Foghound, The World Unseen (2016)

Serpents of Secrecy on Thee Facebooks

Serpents of Secrecy on Bandcamp

Salt of the Earth Records website

Salt of the Earth Records website

Foghound on Thee Facebooks

Foghound on Bandcamp

Foghound website

Ripple Music

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Borracho Announce Riffography out Dec. 8; Premiere “Border Crossing”

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

borracho

By way of a confession, I wrote the liner notes over the summer for the forthcoming Riffography compilation from D.C.-based heavy riffers Borracho. I’ll hope to post them here sooner or later — the writing process involved a great, hour-long conversation with the guys from the band that went all the way back to their start and wound up looking ahead to their plans beyond their most recent long-player, last year’s excellent Atacama (review here), and it was a real thrill to get their perspective on their growth and the core relationship they share as friends and players and how the two interact to make them who they’ve become musically over time. I was honored to be asked to be a part of the project.

Point is, that while I’ve known about Riffography for a while, I’m still really glad to see it’s coming out. The release — through Ripple, out Dec. 8 — follows a timeline narrative of studio outtakes, 7″ off-album tracks and things like that to add to and flesh out the story of Borracho‘s growth as told by their proper LPs, and though it’s different recordings from different times throughout their years together, you get a sense of what’s been at their root all along and, of course, how they’ve grown around that.

Of course, some of the material on Riffography has been out there already for public consumption, but today, I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the previously unreleased “Border Crossing,” which was originally recorded to be part of Borracho‘s portion in Ripple‘s The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter One split release with Geezer but wound up not being included. Worth noting that H42 Records will also have a 7″ of “Border Crossing” out on Dec. 8, about which you can read more here.

You’ll find the song itself at the bottom of this post, after the following info on Riffography from the PR wire. Enjoy:

borracho riffography

BORRACHO: DC Heavyweights to Release New Album Next Month on Ripple Music

Riffography is released worldwide on 8th December 2017 on Ripple Music

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the worldwide release of Riffography, a brand-new compendium which pulls together an entire decade’s worth of blood, sweat and rare riffs from one of Washington, DC’s heaviest rock bands, Borracho.

Ten years on from when the trio first got together (and six from the release of the band’s debut album Splitting Sky in 2011), the story of Borracho is one of change, graft, survival, and ultimately, a groove-laden style that has secured them a place at the centre of the US underground stoner rock scene. Drawing on influences that span decades, they combine soaring musicality with subterranean propulsion, encompassing the hard-driven classic rock/metal of Black Sabbath and Mountain, stoner jams of Clutch and Fu Manchu and epic progressive sensibilities of Mastodon and High on Fire.

With Riffography however, what we have in essence is a retrospective companion piece that enriches both their history and discography; with rare cuts from 2013’s follow-up, Oculus, via their inclusion on Ripple Music’s The Second Coming of Heavy series, right the way up to the release of their third album, last year’s brilliant Atacama.

While you can listen to just about any of band’s albums one into the next, those albums alone rarely tell the whole story. In between these key releases, Borracho dropped half-dozen or so limited-edition vinyl singles and split sevens, amassed an enviable collection of unreleased tracks and recorded alternate takes of their own material, with a mind to satisfy fans and collectors around the globe.

Riffography was mastered for digital release by Tony Reed at Heavy Head Recording Company in Port Orchard, WA, and is officially released worldwide on 8th December via Ripple Music. The previously unreleased track ‘Border Crossing’ was recorded and mixed by Frank Marchand in 2014 as part of the Second Coming of Heavy sessions.

Cover illustration by Andrea Nakasato, Lima, Peru – www.facebook.com/andreanakasatoarte

Tracklisting:
1. Rectify
2. Circulos Concentricos
3. Mob Gathering
4. Short Ride (When It’s Over)
5. Stockpile
6. Know the Score
7. Know My Name
8. King’s Disease
9. Fight the Prophets
10. Superego
11. Shark Tank
12. Border Crossing
13. Animal Magnetism

Borracho is:
Steve Fisher – Guitar, Vocals
Tim Martin – Bass
Mario Trubiano – Drums

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

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Mos Generator Reissue Nomads LP via Stickman Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Like the ace in the hole of US heavy rock that they are, Washington trio Mos Generator are currently wrapping up a round of West Coast tour dates with legends-o’-fuzz Fu Manchu. Just last month, they announced their new album, Shadowlands, was in progress toward a 2018 release, and now Stickman Records has unveiled a reissue of 2012’s Nomads (review here), which if you think about it is where all this craziness got started in the first place.

When Mos Generator issued Nomads via a then-relatively-nascent Ripple Music, it was after several years of inactivity that found frontman Tony Reed directly exploring classic rock roots in Stone Axe. I don’t know who could’ve guessed at the time the furious rate of activity Nomads would kick off, but in addition to revamping the lineup and taking the show on the road as a complete touring act, Reed has overseen the release of two studio albums and more EPs, splits and singles than I can count, and turned Mos Generator into one of the West Coast’s most essential purveyors, all while also keeping up his studio work as producer/mixer/masterer of other people’s bands and sacrificing nothing of his own standard for top-crafted heavy rock and roll. To put it mildly, it’s been quite a half-decade.

I loved Nomads when it came out, and listening back to it via the Bandcamp player now for the first time in a while, turns out I still do. Stickman‘s LP reissue comes with a slew of digital bonus tracks. Info follows as culled from their store page:

MOS GENERATOR NOMADS REISSUE

Stickman Records – PSYCHOBABBLE 094 : Mos Generator – Nomads (re-release)

We’ve reissued Mos Generator’s classic album Nomads including a slew of bonus tracks for hardcore fans.

Mos Generator has been setting the standard in excellent rock music for the better part of the last twenty years, never letting trends or paradigm shifts get in the way. Tony Reed, guitarist and vocalist of the band, heads up the project as well as writing and producing the band‘s material. When the band released Nomads in 2012, their first record in 7 years, they had already established themselves as masters of their craft, not just able to write airtight songs but to do so with the same knack for originality as their famous progenitors.

The record‘s nine songs span a wide swath of classic rock territory, beginning with the heavy lumber of the space-themed “Cosmic Ark”, moving through mid-paced headbangers like the single “Lonely One Kenobi” and even giving a nod to the 80’s with a cover of Judas Priest’s “Solar Angels”. Reed has the natural conviction of a man with music in his DNA and the chops to back it up, but Nomads is a testament to the band’s pop sensibilities as much as their ability to rock. Once these riffs get in your head, they definitely won’t be leaving any time soon.

Stickman Records is re-releasing Nomads album on colored 180gr. vinyl including a download of the album, including 8 bonus tracks from the Nomads recording sessions. Long live rock n’ roll!

Tracklist:
Cosmic Ark
Lonely One Kenobi
Torches
Step Up
Solar Angels
For Your Blood
Can’t Get Where I Belong
Nomads
This is the Gift of Nature

Bonus material (included in digital download):
Step Up (7 Version)
Cosmic Ark (Demo)
Lonely One Kenobi (Demo)
Torches (Demo)
For Your Blood (Demo)
Can’t Get Where I Belong (Demo)
Lonely One Kenobi (Video Edit)

MOS GENERATOR supporting Fu Manchu*
11/17 Tacoma, WA the Valley
11/18 Bremerton, WA the Manette Saloon

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: Guitar and Mellotron
Jono Garrett: Drums
Sean Booth: Bass

https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
https://www.stickman-records.com/shop/mos-generator-nomads/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/

Mos Generator, Nomads (2012)

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Fuzz Evil and Switchblade Jesus Team up for The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Seven

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This news came in and I realized that somewhere in there I missed a chapter of Ripple Music‘s ongoing The Second Coming of Heavy series of splits. I’ve done my best to cover all of them — been late on almost every one, but still, I’ve gotten there eventually — but when I saw word that Chapter Seven was set to feature Fuzz Evil and Switchblade Jesus my joy at the prospect of some quality rock and roll was tempered by the question nagging at the back of my mind: Hey wait a second, what happened to Chapter Six?

I don’t have the promo for it in my email, which is kind of a bummer, but I’ll assume I did at one point or another or that it got lost in the transition between laptops from the one I called Ol’ Dusty to the one I use now, Big Red. In any case, if I can, I might try to sneak that Kayleth and Favequaid shared offering in at some point while also doing my best to cover Switchblade Jesus and Fuzz Evil, whose installment is set to arrive on Dec. 8, of course on Ripple.

The PR wire has it like this:

the second coming of heavy chapter 7

Switchblade Jesus / Fuzz Evil “Chapter 7: The Second Coming of Heavy” out on December 8 via Ripple Music

Ripple Music sets December 8th, 2017 as official release date for Switchblade Jesus / Fuzz Evil “Chapter 7: The Second Coming of Heavy” split!

Formed in 2014, Fuzz Evil is a chug-heavy 3 Piece that tames the fuzziest guitar and bass tones on the planet and wields them to blast a monolithic speaker-ripping fuzzapocaplyse for your ears and soul. Raw and dirty in “Stooges-like” fashion with soaring soulful vocals. Fuzz Evil released their first single, “Glitterbones” on a 7” split with the California trio Chiefs on Battleground records in 2014. In 2016 they followed up the single with a full self-titled debut release on Battleground records. In the past few year they have gone through a few line-up changes.. The current line-up is Orgo Martinez on drums, Wayne Rudell on guitar and vocals, and his brother Joey Rudell on bass and vocals.

From the depths of Texas, Switchblade Jesus returns with a heaviness and deep grooves that succeed their previous recordings. Mixing southwestern boogie, desert-worn blues, retro-metal assault and fierce rocking into a sound that screams Texas–at times sanguine and starkly beautiful, at others full of damn sexy groove and assaulting violence can only describe the music of Texan power rocking, fuzzed out stoner blues trio, Switchblade Jesus.

Consisting of Eric Calvert (Vox/Guitar) Jon Elizondo (Drums) and new comer Chris Black (bass) to the fold to create a new chapter in Switchblade Jesus, more Doom and Gloom but no lack of the groove that the Texan’s brought in the beginning.

https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
http://www.ripple-music.com

Kayleth & Favequaid, The Second Coming of Heavy Chapter Six (2017)

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Borracho to Release Border Crossing 7″ Dec. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

borracho

Look carefully into the PR wire info below and you’ll see that on Nov. 20, I’ll be hosting a premiere of the title cut from Borracho‘s new seven-incher, Border Crossing. Pretty nifty if you ask me. The D.C.-based trio have a well-established track record of delivering choice riffs and heavy grooves at no point, and you’d be silly to expect anything less from this new track, which comes accompanied by the Scorpions cover “Animal Magnetism” and will be out Dec. 8 through the esteemed imprints H42 Records and Ripple Music.

Yeah, it’s good news. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking it as an excuse to put on last year’s third full-length, Atacama (review here), and give that another visit just for the hell of it. Man, I dig this record. A lot. I thought Oculus (review here) did some really important work in establishing the group as a three-piece, but there’s so much character in Atacama‘s songs — it seems to really be the point when Borracho became the band they’ve wanted to be all along. I hope their next one pushes even further toward those ends, though I happen to know there’s some other stuff in the works before they get there.

For example, this:

borracho border crossing flyer

BORRACHO’S BORDER CROSSING NEW 7″-Vinyl COMING THIS DECEMBER

A SPECIAL LOW, HEAVY ANNOUNCEMENT

In Summer 2015 Mario came over to us with the idea releasing their both songs ‚Border Crossing‘ and ‚Animal Magnetism‘, a really astonishing Scorpions cover version, on a 7“-vinyl! Now 2 years later we teamed up with the magic Ripple Music and the project comes to an end, and we are happy to announce the baby is born early december 2017. Look Out the presale will start later this month!

Release Date: December 8th
Presale Start on: November 21th. 9 p.m German time
Exclusive Stream of ‘Crossing Border’ on The Obelisk: November 20th
The neon-yellow and the clear-blue and a special limited testpress edition (lim. 20) you can preorder from Nov. 21th (9 p.m German time) in our Shop. The clear-orange edition you can only get from Ripple Music.

Borracho is a three piece heavy rock band from Washington, DC. In the five years since releasing their 2011 debut Splitting Sky, they have become a staple of the Mid-Atlantic — and US — stoner rock scene. 2013’s follow up Oculus highlighted a band in metamorphosis, moving the band forward sonically with a leaner lineup, but continuing their emphasis on song construction and memorable melodies. With a substantial offering in Ripple Music’s 2015 inaugural Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One, the band showed their continued commitment to the almighty riff, and plenty of variety in their approach, even within only 22 minutes of scathing rock. In 2016 they released their third LP Atacama with our friends in Kozmik Artifactz.

https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://twitter.com/borracho_DC
https://www.instagram.com/borrachomusic/
http://www.borrachomusic.com/
http://borracho.bandcamp.com/
http://www.h42records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records
https://twitter.com/H42Records

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High Priestess Sign to Ripple Music; Debut Album Due in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’ve had the debut demo from Los Angeles trio High Priestess on my desktop for a bit now waiting to be reviewed, and I think it’ll get in the next Quarterly Review next month as we round out 2017 and look ahead for to things to come for the New Year, but it would seem the verdict is already in, one way or the other. The newcomer three-piece have signed to Ripple Music to issue their first long-player in next Spring. In doing so, they join other recent Ripple pickups like Hungarian bruisers Ozone Mama, Austin’s Witchcryer, and Montreal’s The Hazytones on a roster that seems to always be growing steadily while continuing to make an impact from release to release. I’ll get there on that review, but in the meantime, congrats and kudos to the band on already earning some of the best backing a new group could hope for at this point in American underground heavy.

The PR wire makes it official:

high priestess

High Priestess Sign to Ripple Music for World-wide Deal – Debut Album to Come May 2018

Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome Los Angeles-based heavy psych-doomsters, HIGH PRIESTESS, to their family of the best bands in the heavy underground.

High Priestess made their name throwing down lush harmonies over psychedelic crushing riffs and grooves. Consisting of Katie Gilchrest on guitar and vocals, Mariana Fiel on bass and vocals, and Megan Mullins on drums, High Priestess has created a sound that echoes both past and future incarnations of doom and psychedelia.

Formed in the spring of 2016, High Priestess have taken the heavy underground by storm. When Mariana Fiel placed an ad on Craigslist seeking like minds for a devastating project, Katie and Megan heeded the call, and they immediately started producing long, hypnotic jams that morphed into crafted songs with dynamic crescendos and soaring improvisational sections. The band’s self-released demo tapes, simply titled “Demo” shot to upper reaches through sheer word-of-mouth, high critical praise, and a passionate, growing fanbase.

“We are really excited to be working with Ripple,” says Katie. “We’re honored to be part of a roster of so many awesome bands. Todd and the gang are very supportive and make us feel like family.”

“We recorded our music DIY style in the hopes of reaching just a few people, and the response has exceeded our expectations. We can’t wait for a full release through the Ripple channels, and are thrilled at the opportunity to share our stories through our melodies, harmonies, heavy drums, and luscious fuzz.”

Tours, both domestic and abroad, are coming, designed to spread the gospel of thick fuzz and rhapsodic melody. Basically, there is no limit to the heights High Priestess can ascend.

Prepare to worship at their altar.

High Priestess is:
Katie Gilchrest – guitars, vocals, organ
Mariana Fiel – bass, vocals
Megan Mullins – drums, percussion

https://www.facebook.com/highpriestessmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/highpriestessmusic/
https://twitter.com/HighPriestessLA
https://highpriestessmusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

High Priestess, Demo (2017)

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Greenleaf, The Atomic Bitchwax & Steak Announce Dec. European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

True, the Fall festival season will pretty much be over by the time December rolls around, but that doesn’t mean that enviable package tours still can’t kick into gear all over the European continent. It never stops, folks. Just as they make ready to issue their new album, Force Field, via Tee Pee Records, my beloved Garden State’s own The Atomic Bitchwax will head abroad once more to team up with Swedish mainstays Greenleaf — who last I heard were planning a new record of their own for 2018, though it’s been a minute since I last harassed guitarist Tommi Holappa with a, “When’s your next album coming out?,” message on Thee Facebooks; should get on that — and London desert bruisers Steak for a 16-date run beginning Dec. 1.

The tour is presented by Sound of Liberation — of course — and if you need me to tell you that it’s a killer mix of acts, you probably shouldn’t. There’s really no letup between the three of them. I’m not saying I’ve heard the new Bitchwax or anything, but word on the street is it’s an absolute supercharged monster, bringing to life the ethic of “Coming in Hot” that 2015’s Gravitron (review here) proffered. That’s the rumor. All the better for them to be on the road heralding new material. Greenleaf meanwhile head out once again supporting 2016’s ultra-righteous Rise Above the Meadow (review here), and Steak go on the heels of 2017’s Ripple Music debut, No God to Save (review here), which brought them to new levels of accomplishment in aesthetic and songwriting alike. Bottom line? You can’t miss with this one. If you’re in its path, consider yourself lucky.

Poster and dates follow, as seen on the social medias by Sound of Liberation:

greenleaf-the-atomic-bitchwax-steak-tour

Greenleaf – The Atomic Bitchwax – Steak – Hail the Hounds Tour 2017

We are proud to present the “HAIL THE HOUNDS” Tour 2017, with Greenleaf + The Atomic Bitchwax + Steak!!

01.12.17 – London | Underworld
02.12.17 – Brussels | Magasin 4
03.12.17 – Hamburg | Markthalle
04.12.17 – Cologne | Luxor
05.12.17 – Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
06.12.17 – Leipzig | Werk2
07.12.17 – Munich | Feierwerk
08.12.17 – Olten | Schuetzenhaus
09.12.17 – Linz | Posthof
10.12.17 – Vienna | Arena
11.12.17 – Stuttgart | Universum
12.12.17 – Saarbruecken | Garage
13.12.17 – Nijmegen | Doornroosje
14.12.17 – Paris | Glazart
15.12.17 – Dortmund | JunkYard
16.12.17 – Berlin | Bi Nuu

It’s gonna be hot in December

https://www.facebook.com/greenleafrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/
https://www.facebook.com/steakuk/
https://www.facebook.com/Soundofliberation/

Greenleaf, “Howl” lyric video

The Atomic Bitchwax, “Hope You Die” live in West Virginia, Sept. 12, 2017

Steak, “Living Like a Rat” official video

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Ozone Mama Sign to Ripple Music; New Single Available to Stream & Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ozone mama

Hungarian heavy rockers Ozone Mama will release their new album, Cosmos Calling in January via Ripple Music. As a precursor, the band is giving an early download away for an edit of the track “High Rise,” kind of as an introductory single, complete with its own cover art and a showcase of the classic vibes and the modern presentation thereof that would seem to make up the core of their approach. The hook is on point and the vibe likewise, so if nothing else they picked the right song to pique interest in the record, which, you know, is the whole idea behind singles in the first place. Or at least it was at one point, when rock and roll was a thing. Which it is now. Again. For the first time.

You know what? Let’s start over: Hey folks, here’s a band Ripple just signed. If you wanna give ’em a shot, they’ve got a new song up for free download now. Here’s some info from the PR wire to go with, so feel free to dig in.

There. Glad we made that work.

Enjoy:

ozone-mama-high-ride

Hungarian Rockers Ozone Mama Sign to Ripple Music, Announce New Album and Free Download Single

Ripple Music is proud to welcome Hungarian rockers, Ozone Mama, to it’s growing family of best heavy psych, stoner and doom bands on the planet.

Cranking out a bristling brand of high-octane rock n’ roll, Ozone Mama hails from Budapest with a vintage sound reminiscent of the 60’s or 70’s yet swaddled in a modern vibe. With their debut album (‘The Starship Has Landed’) they won a Phonogram Prize in 2012 . Their second release, ‘Freedom EP’, released in 2013 received major play across European, American and Canadian radio stations and their song ‘I Really Care’ was featured in Classic Rock Magazine. While their 2016 release “Sonic Glory” was awarded the Fonogram Prize in the category of “Hard Rock or Metal Album of the Year”

Comprised of Márton Székely (vocals), András Gábor (guitar, vocals), Gergely Dobos (bass guitar) and Gulyás Máté (drums), Ozone Mama has shared the stage with International headliners such as Monster Magnet (USA), Airbourne (AU), The Darkness (UK) or Kamchatka (SWE).

Now joining forces with industry leading heavy rock label, Ripple Music, the new album “Cosmos Calling” is due to hit the streets in January of 2018. As a prelude, Ripple is thrilled to release the special radio-edit version of the lead-off single, “High Ride” which is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Ripple Music Bandcamp page and CD single/downloads at Ozone Mama Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/ozonemamaband
https://twitter.com/OzoneMamaHUN
https://ozonemama.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

Ozona Mama, “High Ride”

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