Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Human Collapse: Choice to Arrival (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

los disidentes del sucio motel human collapse

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel’s ‘Departure’ from the new album, Human Collapse, out Sept 9 on Ripple Music.]

French heavy rockers Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel have been conceptually-focused since their outset, so it’s little surprise that their third full-length and Ripple Music debut, Human Collapse, would follow a similar course. What is surprising about the album is just how tight that focus has gotten when taken in consideration with the band’s songwriting. The Strasbourg-based five-piece of guitarist/vocalist Nico, bassist/vocalist Julien, guitarist Romain, keyboardist/vocalist Dany and drummer Greg began their tenure with 2011’s Soundtrack from the Motion Picture (review here), a charm-laced and uptempo run through the tropes of desert rock that stood itself out from an increasingly-crowded post-Truckfighters sphere of heavy rock by following a genuine plotline.

The inevitable follow-up, 2013’s Arcane, brought this to ideas and themes less directly related to desert rock itself, and the music followed suit, taking on a sharper edge — something that Human Collapse continues to push forward. To go with its ominous title, the band offers a lyrical journey of seemingly just one particular human — as opposed to it being the whole species collapsing; though I suppose one could stand in for the whole — from beginning to end, following a logical course of loss and redemption in song titles as the narrative seems to dictate the mood of the songs; “Community,” for instance, is a more melodic, welcoming post-rock sway after the semi-metallic tumult of “Border.” In light of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis, it’s impossible to ignore a social context in which Human Collapse arrives, but even apart from that, the level of dynamic that has developed in Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel‘s sound would be enough on its own to carry a weightier sense of impact than either of their prior LPs.

For anyone who has followed Ripple Music over the last several years, the West Coast imprint has emerged as one of the most reliable American purveyors of heavy. Already in 2016, they’ve issued new records from heavyweights Wo Fat, Foghound and Gozu and continued their ambitious The Second Coming of Heavy split series, so to say that Human Collapse is arguably the most forward-thinking album they’ve put out to-date should not be taken as rank hyperbole or a statement disregarding of the context in which Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel‘s latest arrives.

los disidentes del sucio motel (Photo by Bartosch Salmanski)

Rather, it’s an acknowledgement of the breadth that the band covers in these 10 tracks/56 minutes, which begin with “7PM Choice” and end with “5PM Arrival,” taking us as listeners through 22 hours of travelogue musical and lyrical, a journey that starts with grand crashes and progressive melodies and moves through driving moments early in “Decision” and “Departure” presented with a commercial-production-style crispness — which, in the tradition of European heavy rock, doesn’t necessarily draw away from the impact of the songs — and only growing broader as it moves past “Border” into later stretches like “Rebirth,” “Determination,” and at last, the eight-minute “5PM Arrival.” Moods vary across the span but the prevailing impression is somewhat brooding, and the band works well with that, finding room in their multifaceted songs for vocal harmonies and resounding hooks, clever arrangements of guitar and keys, and in an earlier cut like “Trip,” clear evidence of how far their craft has come in the last half-decade delivered via efficient, progressive, still-straightforward heavy rock and roll, the screams in the second half setting up fluidity into the more lumbering “Border” that typifies the flow enacted across the entire album.

Perhaps most impressive of all is how easily Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel make it sound to blend songs that are individually catchy and that stand on their own — “Departure,” “Border,” “Community,” the thick-chugging “Determination” — with an overarching linear concept. One wouldn’t want to speculate as to which came first, the music or the concept, but either way, it’s no small feat for a group to compile material that would work so smoothly on both levels. As Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel wind up pushing through “5PM Arrival” into the melodic apex of the album, it’s no small arrival whatsoever, and it would also seem to mark their own arrival as a band working under their own impulses rather than feeding off the influence of others — at least to such a degree as to make the material distinguished in its sound.

This blend of progressive storytelling and heavy-riffed roots may continue to define them, it may not, I don’t know, but with Human Collapse, Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel would seem to realize the vision that they set out with more than five years ago, while also refining their songwriting to its most potent, resonant degree. It plays smartly to its strengths in multi-layer vocal arrangements and interweaving of guitar/key textures with big, nodding rhythms, but what it accomplishes with these elements is not to be overlooked.

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Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel website

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel on Bandcamp

Album preorder from Ripple Music BigCartel store

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BoneHawk Announce West Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

bonehawk-700

Michigan heavy rockers BoneHawk have announced their first tour of the West Coast, set to start July 15 in Chicago as they make their way out and toward Portland, Oregon, before swinging south and back around to finish curiously far away from where they started, in Nashville, Tennessee. They go supporting two new offerings, a Thin Lizzy tribute vinyl and a split with Sweden’s Kingnomad recently released as part of Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy series (review pending). They’re keeping good company along the way in Ripple compatriots Blackwülf and the run includes a stop at Summer Spell IV in San Bernadino, where they’ll join The Great Electric Quest, Red Wizard, Desert Suns and others.

Dates and info came down the PR wire:

bonehawk-tour-poster

BoneHawk – West Coast Shows, New Split LP & More!

It is our most devious pleasure to announce Kalamazoo, Michigan’s BoneHawk will be hitting the hot pavement for their first ever, extensive West Coast tour (from July 15-July 30)! This coming on the heels of Hornacious Wax’ release of their “Southbound – a Tribute To Thin Lizzy” 7” EP and Ripple Music’s “The Second Coming of Heavy – Volume III” split LP with Sweden’s Kingnomad.

BoneHawk released their “Albino Rhino” album on vinyl only on Hornacious Wax Records in October 2014 to much acclaim, selling out 2 pressings quickly. The record is on its third pressing of wax and saw worldwide issue on compact disc on Ripple Music in April of this year, garnering new listeners in the process. But the band has toured extensively as of yet (responsibilities can be a bummer sometimes, right?!)…until now! And we’re glad to announce they’re bringing their high energy, fuzzed out, guitar harmony soaked live show to the West Coast this July!

“We’re super stoked that we were able to sell so many copies of ‘Albino Rhino’ on our own,” guitarist Chad Houts said. “But it’s been almost 2 years since we released it, so we’re even more stoked by the ‘Second Coming’ split LP (on Ripple Music) and the Thin Lizzy tribute – both of which have led us to get off our asses and out on the road!”

“We plan on getting out of Michigan a whole lot more through the rest of this year and into next year,” guitarist/vocalist Matt Helt added. “Touring has been a long time coming for us, and we hope to have a new record out next Spring and more touring to go with it.”

The band will have plenty of wax with them on tour (probably most of it in their ears, so speak loudly)! Please follow along with them on all social media, if you’re so inclined (listed below for your convenience).

Behold BoneHawk’s July 2016 West Coast tour:

-Friday, July 15 @ the Township in Chicago, IL w/Bionic Caveman and Thee Arthur Layne
-Saturday, July 16 @ Lefty’s in Des Moines, IA w/Office & Sundog
-Sunday, July 17 @ Cowboy Saloon in Laramie, WY w/Bondurant
-Wednesday, July 20 @ the Liquor Store in Portland, OR w/Pseudoboss & Old Kingdom
-Thursday, July 21 @ the Hemlock in San Francisco, CA w/Blackwulf & the Living
-Friday, July 22 @ the Tower Bar in San Diego, CA w/Archons, Loom & Beira
-Saturday, July 23 @ Summer Spell IV @ the Office Saloon in San Bernardino, CA w/ Red Wizard, the Great Electric Quest, Desert Suns & many more
-Monday, July 25 @ Strangers in El Centro, CA
-Tuesday, July 26 @ Yucca’s in Phoenix, AZ
-Wednesday, July 27 @ Depot O’Bar in Lubbock, TX
-Thursday, July 28 @ Hi-Tone’s in San Antonio, TX w/Lawman & the Bolos
-Friday, July 29 @ the Grotto in Fort Worth, TX w/Southern Train Gypsy
-Saturday, July 30 @ the Young Avenue Deli in Memphis, TN w/Stone Rangers (members of Heavy Eyes) & Native Blood

https://www.facebook.com/bonehawkkzoo/
https://www.instagram.com/bonehawk_band/
https://twitter.com/bonehawkmusic
http://bonehawk.bandcamp.com
http://bonehawk.bigcartel.com

BoneHawk & Kingnomad, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Three (2016)

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Zed Post “Save You from Yourself” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

zed

San Jose heavy rockers Zed have announced an Aug. 26 release date for their third full-length, Trouble in Eden. Also their debut on Ripple Music, it follows 2013’s Desperation Blues and with the first audio from the record arriving in a lyric video for “Save You from Yourself,” one can already hear how much it flies in the face of the current conception of West Coast riffing, geared so often as the region is toward laid back vibes and analog fetishization. Nothing against that, and true, Zed have a break in “Save You from Yourself” that’s a little more mellow, but the overarching impression of the track is far more aggressive and in-your-face than one might expect from a phrase like “San Jose heavy rockers” that opened this paragraph. To my ears, they sound almost like an East Coast band.

My impression was much the same earlier this year when I was fortunate enough to watch Zed play at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta 2016 (review here) in Tucson, Arizona. They had a lot of new material in the set from the then-unannounced Trouble in Eden, and as the PR wire alludes below, they blend heavy-riffed impulses with angrier tendencies, be it noise rock or oldschool metal blended into their still-weighted groove. “Save You from Yourself” has a marked hook that only becomes more of a focal point on repeat listens, and the lyric video blends performance and landscape footage highlighting desert atmospheres that fit as well as anything I could come up with, certainly, even if they’re not necessarily representative of everything Zed have on offer — until the motorcycles show up. Then they’ve pretty much got it covered.

More to come on the album as we get closer to the release. For now, the “Save You from Yourself” clip follows here, with the aforementioned PR wire copy below in blue:

Zed, “Save You from Yourself” lyric video

The Valley of the Riff is well inhabited and plentiful in its offerings and the beauty of its vast sprawl is that there is room for many. Making their presence well-known with heavy footprints and sonically indelible marks are San Jose-based Earth shakers ZED. A sound based on core principles of the blues, heaviness, groove, and feel this San Francisco Bay Area quartet is the genuine article, Ladies & Gentlemen. The sound is as organic as it is raw.

No bell bottoms, wizard sleeves, or hip huggers for this crew. It’s a barrage of head-bobbing, air-guitaring, hip-shaking, blues-driven rock as delivered by the bastards of rock & roll. With equal appeal to the fuzz-box mercenaries, stoner-rockers safety meeting in a ’74 Chevy van, and horns-thrusting metalheads pressed against the stage, this band refuses to conform or brandish a manufactured label.

Showing the maturity and confidence to explore the full gamut of their influences and what inspires them internally, ZED is set to offer their third full-length album “Trouble In Eden” with an August 26th release date on Ripple Music. “Trouble In Eden” is a literal collection of blood, sweat, and tears crafted together with raw, personal, relative lyrical content. Tales touching on religious-fueled tragedy, societal reflection, struggles with mental anguish, loss, and perseverance, this album is one for all to relate to. Drop the needle, push play, crank the knob, push the volume high and prepare to be intoxicated by the potion ZED is offering.

Trouble In Eden will be officially released on 26th August through Ripple Music.

Zed on Thee Facebooks

Zed website

Ripple Music website

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Foghound, The World Unseen: Message in the Sky (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

foghound the world unseen

[Click play above to stream Foghound’s The World Unseen in full. Album is out Friday on Ripple Music.]

Originally set for a Spring release, The World Unseen is the second full-length from Baltimorean four-piece Foghound after 2013’s Quick, Dirty and High (review here). It’s also their first offering through Ripple Music, and like a lot of productions in which Mike Dean has a hand — he produced here along with Frank “The Punisher” Marchand and the band itself — one can hear some C.O.C. in a song like “Serpentine,” but in the context of the record as a whole, that becomes only one element at the band’s disposal.

Shades of fellow Marylanders Clutch, of a roughed-up Fu Manchu and of Alabama Thunderpussy‘s Southern edge show up, but primarily what’s happening in The World Unseen is Foghound are establishing their own style with those influences as a foundation. They do Baltimore proud in that, and over the course of its 10 tracks/43 minutes, the album offers a force of delivery well beyond that of the debut. The sound is tighter, the performances crisper, and the production sharper. Not that Quick, Dirty and High didn’t have its hard-hitting side, but The World Unseen sees each member of Foghound turning in the same direction and heading forward at breakneck speed, and the result is strong, clearheaded heavy rock and roll like “Message in the Sky” or “Rockin’ and Rollin’,” songs executed with no pretense of wanting to do anything more than kick ass and have a good time doing it.

More complex vocal arrangements also help bring out more of Foghound‘s sonic identity, drummer Chuck Dukehart and guitarist Bob Sipes splitting the bulk of the lead duties while also backing each other complemented by guitarist Dee Settar. Bassist Jim Forrester rounds out the lineup this time around, making a considerable impression under the guitar fuzz of “Truth Revealed,” and fitting well in Foghound alongside his former Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate Dukehart, who belts out his vocals with similar a physicality to how he hits his drums — a full-body process. The record starts off innocently enough with the roll of “Above the Wake,” one of three songs to hit five minutes with the later “Truth Revealed” and closer “Never Return,” but builds intensity as it moves toward each of its choruses, its loose groove tightening amid a flurry of guitar leads and rhythmic push.

foghound (Photo by Rock and Roll Socialite)

The next two songs, “Message in the Sky” and “Serpentine,” help define a large portion of The World Unseen‘s personality, moving fast, making an impact and wasting zero time. Efficient, catchy and on the beat, they’re paired well together for the hooks they proffer, but all the more so because the more swinging “Serpentine” also provides a more flowing transfer into “On a Roll,” which has a nod straight off The Action is Go and a lyric about blasting off into space, just in case the classic stoner rock vibe wasn’t apparent enough. It was, but the song is almost maddeningly well written, and also the shortest at just over three minutes, so it’s not like it’s overstaying its welcome. “Give up the Ghost” recalls Down in its sung/spoken vocals and its style of riff, but by the time it arrives, Foghound have already established themselves as able to draw these things together to suit their own purposes, and they do likewise to close side A.

A more fervent thrust resumes with “Rockin’ and Rollin’,” which seems like as much a mission statement as anything else, another track that wastes no time getting to its point and offering another driving verse and memorable hook, put to good use, but “Truth Revealed” provides counterbalance with a more laid back groove, highlighting the tone in Sipes and Settar‘s guitars as a blown-out vocal tops as atmospheric accompaniment. They pick up the tempo for the last measure or two, but the prevailing feel is still less insistent, and the spacier instrumental “Bridge of Stonebows” follows up on that and pushes it further with subdued guitar, punctuating drum thud and rumbling bass that speaks to something foreboding but bittersweet, a solo in the second half a standout moment for its fluidity amid the build behind it. The side B interlude doesn’t so much derail the considerable momentum the band has built up to that point, but it does broaden and shift the overarching feel of the album, giving the return to a more straightforward approach on “Street Machine” a different context than it would have coming out of, say, “Truth Revealed” or one of the other tracks.

So be it. “Street Machine” remains catchy in the spirit of “On a Roll” and leads to “Never Return,” which makes a fitting enough finale but one can only hope isn’t prophetic in some way about the band itself. Its chugging riff, mid-paced push and larger sense of space come with lyrical escapism, but for what it’s worth, Foghound don’t sound like a group looking to make their end. Quite the opposite. They sound hungry, and when they return, it’ll be one to watch for, because while The World Unseen makes its primary impression in the quality of its songwriting and the tightness of its performances, it also showcases the real potential at heart in Foghound as they continue to develop. As a second full-length and a debut for this lineup, it marks an arrival for sure — almost for Ripple Music as much as the band itself — but it also feels like another step in a larger process of growth still to play out.

Foghound on Thee Facebooks

Foghound on Bandcamp

Foghound website

Ripple Music

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The Watchers Premiere “Today” Video; Sign to Ripple Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the watchers

Bay Area heavy rockers The Watchers have signed to Ripple Music for the Oct. 21 release of their Sabbath Highway debut EP. Today the band premieres a new video for the track, well, “Today,” that serves notice of the ass-kicking ethic to come on this release and hopefully going forward as well. Founded by members of SpiralArms and Orchid, they’re a four-piece who wear their love of fuzz on their sleeve à la Valley of the Sun if “Today” is anything to go by, and the hook they proffer in the track is made all the more classic-feeling by the Evel Knievel footage they’ve chosen to accompany it. If you feel like maybe you can get down, that would be advisable.

Sabbath Highway — presumably named for the stretch of road upon which The Watchers are burning asphalt in their four-seater riff-fueled fuzzcycle — is the absolute first release from the band, which is comprised of vocalist Tim Narducci and bassist Cornbread (both formerly of SpiralArms), guitarist Jeremy Epp and drummer Carter Kennedy (Orchid). No surprise that seasoned players would have an idea of what they want to do with their sound, but as they demonstrate with “Today,” their love of heavy rock spans about four decades’ worth of influence, from then to now, and they’re looking to make their mark as a unit starting with these five tracks.

More to come on The Watchers, but you can find the clip for “Today” below.

Please enjoy:

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce the addition of Bay Area, Stoner/Doom Heavyweights, The Watchers, to their growing family! Hailing from the great San Francisco Bay Area. The Watchers are a gathering of international seasoned players, from some of the most massive heavy bands of the last decade. Tim Narducci: Vocals (SpiralArms, White Witch Canyon), Carter Kennedy:Drums (Orchid), Jeremy Epp: Guitar (Black Gates, Venting Machine), and Cornbread: Bass (SpiralArms, White Witch Canyon). The guys have come together to preach and worship all things heavy riff rock n roll with there music.

The Watchers have just joined forces with Ripple Music to release there very first offering the “Sabbath Highway” EP due out worldwide on October 21st 2016. With song titles, “Sabbath Highway”,”Today”,”Requiem”,”Call The Priest” and”Just A Needle.”

“We’re very ecstatic to be a part of the Ripple family!” says Tim Narducci. “We love their approach and the fact that they have true footing in the underground heavy rock, doom, metal scene. Todd and Pope’s passion for their bands and roster is contagious and beautiful. We see a great relationship ahead!”

The first video “Today” was put together by the band paying homage to the late great 70’s daredevil Evel Knievel. All hand picked footage by the band to guide the song along with its statement: No regrets, never look back, and live in the moment. This guitar line driven tune sprinkled with some Travers and Thin Lizzy influence, will draw you in and make you a believer….rock and roll ain’t going away…it’s alive and here to kick your ass.

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Quarterly Review: Atomikylä, Sunnata, White Dynomite, Horehound, Sulfur Giant, New Planet Trampoline, Hypnos, Honky, Cheap Wine, Gurt & Trippy Wicked

Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

This one’s for all the marbles. Or at very least tiddlywinks. The last day of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review begins. I’ll admit that when I was planning this out — started soon after the last Quarterly Review was finished in early April; that one ran late, this one has run early — I decided to take it easy on myself the last day. Still 10 reviews, so not that easy, but in terms of what’s included today, a lot of is stuff I feel pretty comfortable talking about, whether it’s bands I’ve covered before (which a lot of it is, now that I look at the list) or whatever. If you’ve been keeping up this week, thanks. I hope you found some cool music.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Atomikylä, Keräily

atomikyla Keraily

From the Finnish hotbed of Tampere, Atomikylä made a striking impression with their 2014 Svart Records debut, Erkale (review here), giving a take on psychedelic black metal that was immediately and truly their own in its balance of elements. The band, featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, return with doom-jazz fervor on sophomore full-length, Keräily, with three songs covering yet-unnamed stylistic reaches and offering a get-to-the-studio-and-see-what-happens experimentalism to go with their plotted course on 18-minute opener and longest track (bonus points) “Katkos,” which is followed by the building horn freakout “Risteily” (9:15), from which a space rock push takes hold on drums, resulting in maddening guitar swirl – because of course – and closer “Pakoputki” (6:55), which consumes with a darker thrust and more up-front blackened vibe that still holds onto some of the psychedelia in its layers of guitar. Keräily progresses effectively from Atomikylä’s debut and highlights just how individualized they are as a group. They continue to have the potential to do really special work, and the argument is easy to make they’re already doing it.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Sunnata, Zorya

sunnata zorya

As opener and longest track (bonus points) “Beasts of Prey” careens toward its apex finish near the 12-minute mark and the title-track begins is crashing, harmonized intro before moving into an Alice in Chains-via-stoner verse, the distance Poland’s Sunnata cover on their second full-length, Zorya, begins to really unveil itself. There doesn’t seem to be a genre within the heavy sphere that’s off limits. They never get into death metal, but heavy rock, doom, psychedelia, prog, sludge – it’s all in play at one point or another in Zorya’s five-track/50-minute run. The reason the album works and isn’t just a haphazard mash of styles is because Sunnata, who’ve been active in Warsaw since the last decade, make each one their own and thus bend genre to suit their purposes and not the other way around. They continue to impress through the rush of “Long Gone,” the airy expanse of “New Horizon” and the more brooding closer “Again and Against,” conjuring effective flow from what in less capable hands would be disparate components.

Sunnata on Thee Facebooks

Sunnata on Bandcamp

White Dynomite, Action O’Clock

white dynomite action oclock

I have kind of a hard time with White Dynomite. Not musically – the Boston five-piece’s new EP, Action O’Clock (on Ripple) typifies their accessible punk rock; a reminder of a time when the style used guitars – but conceptually. Their lineup features bassist Tim Catz and vocalist Craig Riggs (on drums) of Roadsaw, as well as guitarist Pete Knipfing (also Hey Zeus, Lamont), vocalist Dave Unger and guitarist John Darga, and while I can’t argue with the charm of a track like “Werewolf Underwear” or “Evil Ballerina” — the lyric “Tutu woman, too too much for me” alone makes Action O’Clock worth the price of admission, let alone “I got fangs in my pants” from “Werewolf Underwear” – but I haven’t yet been able to listen to the band in the context of it having been six years since the last time Roadsaw released an album, and thinking about years passing, priorities and whatnot. They sound they’re having a blast all the way through, and I won’t begrudge them exploring other influences, I guess I just miss that band.

White Dynomite on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Horehound, Horehound

horehound horehound

Pittsburgh newcomers Horehound formed just last year, so one might go into their self-titled debut full-length thinking it’s an early arrival, but in an unpretentious seven-track/33-minute collection of straightforward but engaging doom rockers, the five-piece demonstrate a clear idea of what they want to do sonically. While it may not represent where they’ll ultimately end up as a band, its songs sound fleshed out in terms of direction and the resultant feel on the release is much more album than demo. So be it. A particular highlight is “The Waters of Lethe,” on which a sweeter melody emerges in the guitar and vocals, but neither will I discount the low-end crunch and vocal call-and-response in closer “Waking Time” or the more uptempo thrust of second cut “Sangreal.” Not that Horehound don’t have room to grow, but their initial offering preaches well to the converted and should give them a solid foundation to work from in that process.

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

Horehound on Bandcamp

Sulfur Giant, Beyond the Hollow Mountain

sulfur giant beyond the hollow mountain

Beyond the Hollow Mountain is the first full-length from Portuguese mostly-instrumentalists Sulfur Giant, who bring together influences from classic progressive rock, psychedelia and heavy rock so that when they dip into Iommic riffing on “Vertigo,” it’s no stranger than the peaceful jamming of “Whisper at Dawn,” which follows. Friendly if not exactly innovative, Sulfur Giant’s debut makes its chief impression with the four-piece’s instrumental chemistry, which brings about an easy flow within and between the eight tracks, which having already been issued digitally will see vinyl release later this year on Pink Tank Records. It’s hard to ignore what organ adds to “Evermore,” but “Sea of Stone” sneaks in some vocals amid its thicker-riffing and Sungrazer-style exploration, and “Magnolia” and the galloping “Unleash Fears” follow suit, so Sulfur Giant have a few tricks up their collective sleeve they hold back from the initial roll and gallop of the opening title-track. All the better.

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Pink Tank Records

New Planet Trampoline, Dark Rides and Grim Visions

new planet trampoline dark rides and grim visions

Never say never in rock and roll. From Cleveland, Ohio, the psych-rocking four-piece New Planet Trampoline called it quits in 2008, leaving behind an unfinished album. After coming back together for 2014’s The Wisconsin Witch House EP, the ‘60s-stylized outfit set themselves to the task of finishing what became Dark Rides and Grim Visions, basking in the glow of early Floyd, Beatles and others of the ilk while keeping a harder edge to songs like “Grim Visions” and a healthy cynicism to “We’ll Get What We Deserve” and the tongue-in-cheek keyboard-laced closer “Haunted as Fuck.” Of the several more extended tracks, the nine-minute “Acts of Mania” is the longest, and provides suitable patience and atmospherics to stand up to its scope. All told, Dark Rides and Grim Visions is a formidable journey at 13 songs/68 minutes, but after more than half a decade away, it’s hard to hold New Planet Trampoline having their say against them, particularly when that say is as lush and dreamy as “This is the Morning.”

New Planet Trampoline on Thee Facebooks

New Planet Trampoline on Bandcamp

Hypnos, Cold Winds

hypnos cold winds

With their second LP, Cold Winds (on Crusher Records), Gothenburg’s Hypnos seem to be betting that the next step in the retro game is NWOBHM. They make a convincing argument; it’s kind of how it went the first time around, and their songwriting offers a top-notch look at the moment where Thin Lizzy bounce became Iron Maiden gallop, as on second cut “I’m on the Run,” just minutes after opener “Start the Hunt” featured a flute solo. Broken into two sides, each one works its way toward a longer finale – “Det Kommer en Dag” (7:23) on side A and “1800” (8:32) on side B – but sonic diversity and changes in song structure throughout do much to keep Cold Winds from feeling overly plotted, and like their countrymen in Horisont, Hypnos offer a seamless melding of classic heavy rock and metal, soaring and scorching on “Descending Sun (Unrootables White)” and swinging and swaggering immediately thereafter on “Cold September,” both accomplished with unwavering command.

Hypnos on Thee Facebooks

Hypnos at Crusher Records

Honky, Corduroy

honky corduroy

Texas boogie rockers Honky were last heard from with 2012’s 421 – which I’ll assume is the “going to 11” equivalent for getting high – and their eighth outing, Corduroy, finds bassist JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Melvins) and guitarist Bobby Ed Landgraf (Down) hooked up with drummer Trinidad Leal of Dixie Witch and Housecore Records for the release. To call is business as usual for the underrated outfit in the classic swing and grit they hone would only be a compliment, songs like “Baby Don’t Slow Down,” “Bad Stones” and the harmonized “Double Fine” offering soul as much as push, ‘70s influences given a modern kick in the ass throughout as a swath of guests, including Melvins drummer Dale Crover, come and go, perhaps none making their presence felt as much as Rae Comeau, whose work on “Bad Stones” makes that song a highlight – not to take away from the a capella cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” here retitled as “Mopey Dick,” that closes. Chicanery ensues, booze flows, good times are had for those who’ll have them.

Honky website

Housecore Records website

Cheap Wine, Sad Queen

cheap wine sad queen

Distinguished as on centerpiece “The Rambler” by their use of organ amid a semi-retro heavy boogie style, French five-piece Cheap Wine recorded Sad Queen – as the cover art says – live for Celebration Days Records. It’s somewhere between an EP and album, and strips away some of the individual track length of their 2013 debut, Mystic Crow, in favor of maximizing the energy put into each piece, the subdued “Intro” and “Opening” that start sides A and B, respectively, aside, though as “Opening” feeds cleanly into the quiet, airy and soulful beginning of the title-track, even that seems to have a tension that builds toward its eventual release, different from the shuffling raucousness of the post-“Intro” opener “Cyclothymic” maybe, but palpable nonetheless. They close somewhat melancholy on “Yesterday’s Dream,” but the complementary guitar of Valentin Constestin and keys of Ahn Tuan aren’t to be missed, nor how well work in concert with vocalist Mathieu Devillers, bassist Valentin Lallart and drummer Louis Morati.

Cheap Wine on Thee Facebooks

Celebration Days Records website

Gurt & Trippy Wicked and teh Cosmic Children of the Knight, Guppy

gurt trippy wicked guppy

The UK heavy scene excels at not taking itself too seriously. To wit, Gurt and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight get together for a split (on When Planets Collide for CD and HeviSike cassette) and, they call it Guppy and the first two songs are “Owlmegeddon” and “Super Fun Happy Slide.” It kind of goes from there. Recorded together, sharing a drummer and collaborating on the centerpiece, “Revolting Child,” it’s basically two outfits who are close friends coming together to have a good time, but that doesn’t take away from Gurt’s sludgy intensity on “I Regret Nothing” or the nodding heavy rock Trippy Wicked hold forth on closer “Reign.” Taking its title from the two band names put together, one can only wonder if this will be the last conjoined offering Gurt and Trippy Wicked will make, or if there might be a whole school of guppies in the future. Frankly, this sounds like too good a party to only throw it once.

Gurt on Thee Facebooks

Trippy Wicked on Thee Facebooks

When Planets Collide website

HeviSike Records

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Devil to Pay Reveal Art and Tracks for A Bend Through Space and Time

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

devil to pay

I’m pretty sure what the W. Ralph Walters cover art for the new Devil to Pay record is going for is an accurate historical depiction of humanity’s encounter with ancient aliens. No doubt A Bend Through Space and Time is exactly how it went down, or so the ancient astronaut theorists believe, a big-boobed alien blowing knowledge-smoke in the face of a caveman/Neanderthal-type who may or may not be the titular character for the song “Knuckledragger.” I’m getting pretty tired of supporting the objectification industrial complex when it comes to cartoon tits, I’ll be honest, but I like Devil to Pay, so you’ll find the cover art and the tracklisting for the album below. You might recall the band premiered their video for “Your Inner Lemmy” here back in February.

If you don’t recall and don’t feel like clicking, that video is also below. A Bend Through Space and Time is out Aug. 12 on Ripple Music. Art and info:

devil to pay a bend through space and time

DTP RELEASE ‘A BEND THROUGH SPACE AND TIME’ ALBUM ART & TRACK LIST

Today DEVIL TO PAY release album art and the track list for their upcoming release, “A Bend Through Space and Time”. Recorded in 2015 by Mike Bridavsky at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, “A Bend Through Space and Time” showcases the further development of DEVIL TO PAY’s songcraft and explorations in heavy, riff-oriented rock and roll. The album was preceded by the early release of a download and music video for the song “Your Inner Lemmy” in honor of the rock legend Lemmy Kilmister’s passing last December.

The cover art features an original painting by the amazing W. Ralph Walters.

“A Bend Through Space and Time” will be released worldwide August 12th on Ripple Music.

A BEND THROUGH SPACE AND TIME:
1. On and On (in your mind)
2. Don’t Give Away the World
3. Kobold in the Breadbasket
4. Laughingstock
5. the Meaning of Life
6. Recommended Daily Dosage
7. Knuckledragger
8. Kerfuffle
9. Your Inner Lemmy
10. the Demons Come Home to Roost

https://www.facebook.com/deviltopay
http://deviltopay.net/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/track/your-inner-lemmy

Devil to Pay, “Your Inner Lemmy”

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Sweat Lodge Sign to Brutal Panda Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Austin-based heavy rockers Sweat Lodge recently announced they’d hit the road with Monolord and Beastmaker this August. The band, who released their full-length debut, Talismana (review here), last year on Ripple Music, just completed a long weekender alongside Crypt Trip, and word has come down that they’ve been picked up by Brutal Panda Records for a vinyl reissue this summer.

Already this qualifies them for “got a lot going on” status, but Sweat Lodge will also record a new short release titled Tokens for Hell — presumably you need them on the subway to get there, or maybe you can exchange them for prizes once you arrive — that will follow-up on the Brutal Panda version of Talismana, which again, is due in the coming months.

The PR wire confirms the above:

sweat lodge

SWEAT LODGE Sign to Brutal Panda, Announce Talismana Reissue + Upcoming Tour Dates

Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce the signing of Austin, TX quartet SWEAT LODGE. Formed in 2010, the Hard Rock / Heavy Psych / Progressive Rock / Proto-Metal band have released a self-titled EP (2013) and a full-length Talismana (2015), the latter of which will see a vinyl reissue via Brutal Panda this summer. SWEAT LODGE are known for their vigorous live shows and have performed with YOB, Acid King, Earthless, The Sword, Pentagram and many others.

SWEAT LODGE are currently on the road with fellow Texan hard rockers Crypt Trip and have been announced as support for the upcoming summer tour with Sweden’s Monolord and California’s Beastmaker. A full listing of dates is available below.

Additionally, SWEAT LODGE will enter the studio later this year to record a new EP entitled Tokens for Hell, which will see a late 2016 release via Brutal Panda. Details will be announced shortly.

The band commented on the signing:

“Sweat Lodge is really excited about the vinyl reissue of Talismana and our new EP. Killer roster, killer people! Look out for us this summer with Monolord and Beastmaker!”

SWEAT LODGE Live:
*All Dates 8/5 – 9/10 with Monolord & Beastmaker*
8/5 Seattle, WA – Barboza
8/6 Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown
8/8 San Franciscio, CA – The Chapel
8/9 Los Angeles, CA – The Viper Room
8/11 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
8/12 Scottsdale, AZ – The Rogue Bar
8/13 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
8/15 Dallas, TX – The Rail Club
8/16 Austin, TX The Sidewinder
8/17 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
8/18 San Antonio, TX – The Korova
8/19 New Orleans, LA – Siberia
8/20 Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
8/21 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge
8/22 Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
8/23 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
8/24 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry
8/26 Baltimore, MD – The Windup Space
8/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar
8/28 Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge
8/30 Boston, MA – Great Scott
9/1 Toronto, ON – Coalition: T.O
9/2 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
9/3 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
9/4 Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze
9/5 Omaha, NE – Lookout Lounge
9/6 Denver, CO – Lost Lake
9/7 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar
9/8 Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge
9/9 Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon
9/10 Vancouver, BC – Astoria Hastings

https://www.facebook.com/Sweat-Lodge-124403460982785/
https://sweatlodgemusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sweat_lodge/
https://twitter.com/sweatlodgetx
https://www.facebook.com/BrutalPandaRecords/
https://twitter.com/brutalpanda
http://www.brutalpandarecords.com/

Sweat Lodge, Talismana (2015)

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