Sacri Monti Confirm July 5 Release for Waiting Room for the Magic Hour; Title-Track Posted

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

SACRI MONTI

I’m sitting across the kitchen table from The Patient Mrs. just now and she’s telling me about some dude she’s acquainted with in some tertiary way who has a condition whereby he passes something like six kidney stones a month. That sounds fucking awful. What doesn’t sound awful is new Sacri Monti. That sounds like organ-laced West Coast heavy boogie groovy goodness. Much preferable.

The band’s second full-length for Tee Pee Records is called Waiting Room for the Magic Hour, as previously noted, and they’ll tour Europe soon after the July 5 release. We knew that too. But the song they’re streaming — the title-track — is enough to earn its own post, and with the re-confirmed album info and tracklisting, well, yeah, I’m more than happy to reiterate a few known factoids in service to the greater good of this stuff. Album preorders are up now from Tee Pee.

Therefore, dig:

sacri monti waiting room for the magic hour

Sacri Monti to Release Sophomore LP, ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’, July 5

California Heavy Psych Band Featuring Members of JOY, Monarch and Radio Moscow Expands Its Already Kaleidoscopic Sound on Electric New Album

San Diego psychedelic heavy rock champions Sacri Monti return with a vengeance on their sophomore LP ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’. Recorded at Audio Design (Earthless) with producer Jordan Andreen (Joy, Arctic), ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ sees Sacri Monti firing on all cylinders, somersaulting between the spontaneous and the musically calculated. Blues rock, prog rock, proto metal, fusion; it’s all masterfully represented, as brash as it is beautiful. ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ will see a July 5 release via Tee Pee Records.

On ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’, heaps of fuzzed vocals, waves of keyboards, boogie rhythms, and sick, spiraling leads merge with focus, energy and drive to send Sacri Monti soaring to a next level, riff-filled land. Proggy space rock jams erupt as melodies segue in and out, while vocals drift over the top, seemingly lost in the instrumental sea. Sacri Monti come fully charged and ready to party, adding a new twist on heavy psych while delivering the soundtrack to an endless summer with ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’.

A first listen to what ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ holds in store can be heard now as Sacri Monti has released the title track to the upcoming LP. Hear it now at this location.

Track listing:

1.) Waiting Room for the Magic Hour
2.) Fear and Fire
3.) Armistice
4.) Starlight
5.) Affirmation
6.) Gone from Grace
7.) Wading in Malcesine
8.) You Beautiful Demon

Pre-order ‘Waiting Room for the Magic Hour’ at this location.

16/07 UK Brighton Hope & Ruin
18/07 UK London The Black Heart
19/07 BE zottegem kaffee maboel/klsjr kllktv
20/07 DE Zentrum Zinsholz Eastfilly Fest
21/07 DE Munich Import Export
22/07 AT Wien Viper Room
25/07 ITA Lecco La Bottega d’estate c/o Lido di Casletta
26/07 ITA Sezzadio(Alessandria) Cascina Bellaria
27/07 ITA Moos in Passeier,Südtirol Crystal Mountain Festival
28/07 ITA Padova Curtarock
31/07 FRA Paris Supersonic
01/08 DE Köln MTC
02/08 DE Beelen Krach am Bach Open Air
04/08 DE Aschaffenburg – secret show
07/08 DE Berlin Zukunft
08/08 CZ Louny TBA
09/08 DE Sizendorf Void Festival
10/08 PT Moledo Sonic Blast Moledo Festival
11/08 FRA Picardie Celebration Days Festival

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, “Waiting Room for the Magic Hour”

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Sacri Monti Announce European Tour; Waiting Room for the Magic Hour out July 5

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

SACRI MONTI
San Diego bringers-of-vibe Sacri Monti announced their new album, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour a couple months ago and noted a July 5 release for it when they put up the cover art (below; it’s the one that doesn’t say “Euro Tour”), but I haven’t seen much advance hype up to this point. I’m sure as soon as I post this something will come out to make that statement totally irrelevant — that’s usually how my timing goes — but either way, with their taking part in the 2017 Burnout three-way split with Harsh Toke and JOY (review here), having played Roadburn as part of the San Diego Takeover last year, and having impressed with their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), I’d think there’d be some decent anticipation to tap into for the new one. I’m looking forward to it, I guess is the bottom line.

They were previously announced for SonicBlast Moledo 2019 and Krach am Bach, but they’ve got a full round of tour dates up now that you can check out below, and it includes a bunch of other fests as well and club shows. They’ll be at The Black Heart in London. That place is always a good time.

Looks like a good run. Dig it:

Behold our European your dates for the Summer

16/07 UK Brighton Hope & Ruin
18/07 UK London The Black Heart
19/07 BE zottegem kaffee maboel/klsjr kllktv
20/07 DE Zentrum Zinsholz Eastfilly Fest
21/07 DE Munich Import Export
22/07 AT Wien Viper Room
25/07 ITA Lecco La Bottega d’estate c/o Lido di Casletta
26/07 ITA Sezzadio(Alessandria) Cascina Bellaria
27/07 ITA Moos in Passeier,Südtirol Crystal Mountain Festival
28/07 ITA Padova Curtarock
31/07 FRA Paris Supersonic
01/08 DE Köln MTC
02/08 DE Beelen Krach am Bach Open Air
04/08 DE Aschaffenburg – secret show
07/08 DE Berlin Zukunft
08/08 CZ Louny TBA
09/08 DE Sizendorf Void Festival
10/08 PT Moledo Sonic Blast Moledo Festival
11/08 FRA Picardie Celebration Days Festival

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, “Sleeping for Years”

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Radio Moscow Announce Summer European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

radio moscow

San Diego classic heavy rockers Radio Moscow were in Europe this past week to make stops at the Bordeaux Psych Fest and a few other shows surrounding it. Neat. Well, while they were there, they went ahead and announced a longer European trip, set for this June/July, which is set to include HellfestBlack Deer Fest in Kent, UK, Resurrection Fest, a secret show in Italy — I’m gonna guess we know what that is — and more. Not too bad either.

Before they go, they’ll appear in May as headliners for Planet Desert Rock Weekend in Vegas and for a slot at Stoned and Dusted out somewhere in the Cali desert, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there are other shows in that mix as well, because that’s basically how Radio Moscow do. When they’re going, they go.

The three-piece released their latest album, New Beginnings (review here), late in 2017 as their label debut on Century Media and toured before and after, like you do. I don’t know what their plans are for the rest of 2018, but it’s easy enough to imagine them back out on the road after this as well. Fall in South America maybe? Somebody call Abraxas.

Sound of Liberation had the Euro dates:

radio moscow tour

Radio Moscow EUROPEAN TOUR SUMMER 2019!

While Radio Moscow are currently on the road in France, Spain & Portugal, we are thrilled to announce more European shows for them in June!

Check out the dates below:

11.06.19 – Leipzig | UT Connewitz (DE)
12.06.19 – Salzburg | Rockhouse (AT)
13.06.19 – Budapest | A38 (HU)
14.06.19 – Graz | PPC (AT)
15.06.19 – Milano | Cronache Marziane Festival (IT)
16.06.19 – Torino | Blah Blah (IT)
18.06.19 – Secret Show (IT)
19.06.19 – Geneva | L’Usine (CH) *with monkey3
21.06.19 – Clisson | Hellfest (FR)
22.06.19 – Schmitten | Schmittner Open Air (CH)
23.06.19 – Tunbridge Wells | Black Deer Festival (UK)
25.06.19 – Leffinge | De Zwerver (BE)
26.06.19 – Cologne | Helios 37 (DE)
27.06.19 – Groningen | Vera (NL)
28.06.19 – Stuttgart | Keller Club (DE)
29.06.19 – Riegsee | Raut Oak Festival (DE)
30.06.19 – Innsbruck | PMK (AT)
01.07.19 – Vienna | Arena (AT)
03.07.19 – Berlin | Lido (DE)
04.07.19 – Wiesbaden| Schlachthof (DE)
05.07.19 – Viveiro | Resurrection Festival (ES)

More info: www.soundofliberation.com/radio-moscow

Radio Moscow line-up
Parker Griggs (vocals, guitar)
Anthony Meier (bass)
Paul Marrone (drums)

http://radiomoscow.net/
www.facebook.com/radiomoscowband
www.instagram.com/radiomoscowband

Radio Moscow, “Driftin'” official video

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Pharlee Announce Self-Titled Debut out April 5 on Tee Pee

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pharlee pharlee

Pharlee have members of Joy and Harsh Toke and Arctic and probably eight or 15 other bands like it’s no big deal. At least for someone observing from the other side of the continent, that would seem to be how it goes in San Diego these days. And bless their organ-soaked, frantically rocking hearts, Pharlee stand at the ready to unveil their self-titled debut next month via the ready outlet for such things, Tee Pee Records, which has fostered and stood behind the development of that scene since picking up Earthless way back when and brings Pharlee into the fold that not only includes Joy and Harsh Toke, but also Sacri Monti and Volcano as well. What’s really kind of astonishing about it — about that scene in San Diego — is that the bands sometimes have common threads, but they almost down to each group still manage to bring something different to the mix, whether it’s Harsh Toke‘s outward-directed jams or Pharlee‘s forward, all-go boogie on their 2018 single “Burn,” which you can stream at the bottom of this post.

April 5 is the release date. Preorders are up now if that’s your thing. Here’s info from the PR wire:

pharlee pharlee

San Diego Heavy Psych Band Pharlee to Release Self-Titled Debut April 5

Electric Rock Group Featuring Members of Arctic, Harsh Toke, JOY, Sacri Monti and Volcano Set to Drop High Voltage Debut

Pharlee is a heavy-riff-ridin’ machine. The California rock group was forged in the middle of the white-hot psychedelic jam scene in San Diego by members of Harsh Toke, Sacri Monti, Arctic and Joy. Propelled by the powerfully emotional voice and fiery wail of blues-rock banshee Macarena Rivera, Pharlee calls its energetic sound “psychedelic speed rock”. The band will release its debut LP, ‘Pharlee’, on April 5 via Tee Pee Records (Ruby the Hatchet, Witch).

Hard-blues rockers Pharlee are loud, unabashed and one of San Diego’s best kept secrets! Confident, commanding and highly influenced by diverse acts such as Judas Priest, Betty Davis, Deep Purple and Motörhead, Pharlee’s sound is equal parts soul-scorching, boogie-woogie bar rock and shadowy psych urgency. In addition to the sensational, soulful vocals of Rivera, Pharlee features familiar faces to fans of the Cali psych scene including guitarist Justin “Figgy” Figueroa (Harsh Toke, Arctic), bassist Dylan Donavan (Sacri Monti), Zach Oakley (Joy, Volcano) who swaps his guitar for drums, and Garrett Lekas (Operation Mindblow) on keys. Pharlee was first exposed to the world in 2018, featured as part of a special live showcase dubbed “The San Diego Takeover” at the Netherlands’ popular Roadburn Festival. Locally, the band has shared California stages with pals in Earthless, Petyr and more.

Captured on tape at Audio Design Studios in San Diego, by engineer Jordan Andreen (Earthless, Rocket From The Crypt), Pharlee’s debut LP is a dynamic and cracking hard rock album and a first-hand account of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the making of this head-turning new band. Alongside the album’s five formidable tracks, ‘Pharlee’ features a killer cover of the Freddie King blues classic “Going Down”.

Track listing:

1.) Ethereal Woman
2.) Creeping
3.) Darkest Hour
4.) Warning
5.) Going Down (Freddie King cover)
6.) Sunward

Pre-order ‘Pharlee’ at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/pharleee/
https://www.instagram.com/pharlee_/
https://pharlee.bandcamp.com/releases
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Pharlee, “Burn”

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Nebula Drag Post “We All Want to Know” Video; New Album Ready for Release

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

NEBULA DRAG

I don’t know anything about anything — pretty much ever — but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that part of the delay in Nebula Drag releasing their next album despite it being done and all that is down to the fact that they’re looking for a label to release it. Now, I’ll say it again: I don’t know that. That’s speculation on my part. But it seems to me that if the San Diego three-piece — who’ll support YOB and Monolord in their hometown at Brick by Brick this coming April (event page here) — wanted to, they could probably just put the record out themselves. Just throw it out there and see how it shakes out. Clearly, they’re setting up a bit of more forward-looking promotion. And reasonably so, by the way. Following up on 2017’s Always Dying EP (review here), they give a more than solid showing in the new song “We all Want to Know” for which, as it happens, they have a new video playing below.

Fancy that.

However the forthcoming, yet-untitled long-player release might shake out, let’s consider the blend of crunch riffing and melody in “We All Want to Know” a statement from Nebula Drag. I haven’t heard the rest of the record, but it’s not hard to imagine the trio of guitarist/vocalist Corey Quintana, bassist Garrett Gallagher and drummer Stephen Varns are signaling an intention in this track toward blending psychedelia and noise rock in a way that their past releases touched on but is made all the more manifest through a spacious, broad production. Again, I’m assuming an awful lot in this post, but listening to the verse and the way the solo carries through starting a bit before the four-minute mark of “We all Want to Know,” it seems to me like Nebula Drag set their collective sight on a bigger sound overall, and I would expect what will eventually surround this single track to build on that impression. I could be way off, but I don’t think so.

Perhaps most importantly, and true to the title of the song itself, I want to know. As we dig into the prospects of what 2019 will bring in terms of releases and all that kind of New Year stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised to find Nebula Drag making something of a splash with their next record. They seem aligned toward the purpose, and the scope they take on in “We All Want to Know” only makes that plain to the listener willing to hear it.

Dig into the video below, and enjoy:

Nebula Drag, “We All Want to Know” official video

Our new album is finished & slated for release in 2019! Even though the album has not dropped yet, we are releasing our new video for the song — “We All Want to Know” — which is ready to pierce your ear holes and poke your retinas!

Nebula Drag is:
Corey Quintana – Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Varns – Drums
Garrett Gallagher – Bass

Nebula Drag on Bandcamp

Nebula Drag on Instagram

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

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Red Wizard Premiere Videos for “Ogami” and “Crossroad to Hell”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

RED WIZARD

San Diego heavy rockers Red Wizard went relatively quiet after aligning with Ripple Music and STB Records for the bicoastal CD and LP release of their debut album, Cosmosis (review here), and the cause was a cancer scare in the band — which I mention because “fuck cancer” is a slogan to live by — but they announce a return to activity (and, more crucially, health) with the two-songer single Ogami / Crossroad to Hell. Both tracks work around the story of the samurai film series Lone Wolf and Cub, which starred Tomisaburô Wakayama as Ogami Itto as a ronin roaming around with a kid in tow across six movies from 1972-1974. Two years. Six movies. They apparently just banged them out.

Fair enough. Red Wizard — the five-piece of gruff vocalist Travis Baucum, guitarists Miles Von Ricketson (also vocals and uke) andred wizard ogami Casey Lamontagne, bassist David Wilburn and drummer Shane Kepler — bask in the tale of the stalwart warrior throughout “Ogami” and “Crossroad to Hell,” both of which top five minutes and take in the early ’70s B-movie-guitar-soundtrack vibe, though neither cut is devoid of a hook. “Ogami” is in the right position as a leadoff, and its break in the second half leading into the closing instrumental section is striking, but fluidly managed all the same, while “Crossroad to Hell” has a more swaggering vibe in its chorus and seems to take cues from classic metal and heavy rock in construction and descriptive lyrical balladry as well as the dual-guitar work. “Crossroad to Hell” is the more straightforward of the two, but it serves as a reminder of the variety Red Wizard bring to their craft while remaining consistent in theme and overarching tonal burl.

They say they’ve got songs in the can, and after basically a year away between 2017 and 2018, that’s easy enough to believe. A new full-length to follow-up Cosmosis would certainly be welcome, and if Ogami / Crossroad to Hell is at all indicative of their sonic intent going forward, there’s groove to come. Right on.

Both videos, as one might imagine, make use of film footage, and you can see them below, followed by a few words from the band announcing their arrival.

Dig:

Red Wizard, “Ogami” official video premiere

Red Wizard, “Crossroad to Hell” official video premiere

Greetings and Happy New Year from Red Wizard! Start your new year off right with some new Red Wizard tracks!

As many of you know, we were sidelined by health issues and family tragedy throughout 2017 and 2018. Our willpower and endurance was tested beyond any of our expectations and our future was changed and challenged as a band and as men.

We are proud to tell you all that we are still here and Red Wizard will never die.

It’s going to be a very busy year for us. We plan to release an EP as well as full length album this year. We’ve been sitting on a ton of great material.

But until then, please enjoy this new single and B-side based on our favorite samurai series.

Cheers!

Red Wizard is;
Travis Baucum – Vocals/Percussion
Miles Von Ricketson – Guitars/Ukulele/Vocals
Casey Lamontagne – Guitars
David Wilburn – Bass
Shane Kepler – Drums

Red Wizard on Bandcamp

Red Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Red Wizard on Instagram

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Volcano Premiere “Naked Prey” Video; The Island Due Feb. 15

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

volcano naked prey

The first real inkling of what Volcano are all about came last year when the San Diego unit released a single track on their Bandcamp page. Already an album was said to be in the works, and soon after “10,000 Screamin’ Souls” (discussed here) showed up, the band was booked at Roadburn. It was, if I recall right, their second — maybe third? — show, in the 700-capacity Green Room, and EarthlessMario Rubalcaba sat in on percussion. Not too shabby. I was fortunate enough to be there to see it, and with Harsh Toke‘s Gabe Messer on keys and vocals as the madman bandleader and JOY guitarist Zach Oakley jamming through funked-out riffs and classic-style soloing backed by the rhythm section of bassist Billy Ellsworth (also Loom) and drummer Matt Oakley (brother to Zach), the band were immediately locked in to being free as all hell, obviously having a blast and inviting the crowd to do the same as they ran through songs like “Naked Prey,” “No Evil, Know Demon,” “10,000 Screamin’ Souls” and “The Island” melded Afrobeat grooves with the psychedelia and heavy rock that’s become such a staple of their hometown.

Given the association with JOY and Harsh Toke, and the fact that the music was awesome, it was no surprise to find out Volcano had signed to Tee Pee Records, which together with Kommune Records will handle thevolcano the island release of The Island, the band’s first album. Comprised of Messer, the Oakleys, Ellsworth, and Ake Arndt (Operation Mindblow) on percussion, the studio incarnation of Volcano would seem to be no less feral in their intent than the stage version was last April. Having since pulled down “10,000 Screamin’ Souls” as a single from their Bandcamp page, the band has made “Naked Prey” available as the first audio from The Island, and it’s my pleasure today to host the premiere of the song’s accompanying video.

The footage is kind of grainly, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is getting naked, but if running through a jungle surrounded on all sides by ocean with no clothes on is the vibe Volcano are going for, they’ve pretty much got it down. “Naked Prey” is first and foremost a party, a good time in the tradition of letting loose, breaking through stylistic barriers and exploring a range of sounds from a range of places. A bit of cultural appropriation? Oh, most definitely. The video moves in a different direction, though, tapping into a grainy tube-TV aesthetic that Zach, who directed and offers some comment under the clip below, relates directly to early ’70s German music television. Because obviously. And suitably enough, they’re thinking of “Naked Prey” as analogous to what the rest of The Island has to offer. I haven’t heard the full thing yet, but having been lucky enough to hear at least some of these songs live, I believe it.

The Island is out Feb. 15. If you have an ass, get ready to shake it.

Enjoy:

“Naked Prey” official video premiere

Zach Oakley on “Naked Prey”:

“Every song on this record was fun to write, record and produce so it was hard to pick a first single. I think we chose “Naked Prey” because it’s the first tune on the record and so why not have it act as Volcano’s first introduction to the world.

It’s the leadoff track on the record for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s a banger! The drum intro is syncopated and groovy and the rest of the band drop in all at once with a twin guitar and keys melody that foreshadow a lot of what you’ll hear during the rest of the album. We’re basically telling people that if they like the first 15 seconds of “Naked Prey”, then they’re gonna dig the rest of the album too!

Lyrically speaking it sets the tone for the record. We tell the story arch of “The Island” and it’s inhabitants over the course of the record. Each tune it’s own chapter. In this first chapter we learn about their ruthless gods and the relentless aggression of nature and it’s dark governing forces. It’s a theme that we explore throughout the record, and it starts with NAKED PREY! Let the chase begin!

The “Naked Prey” music video began as a complete joke. Just talking about filming ourselves for a video was too goofy to take seriously. But we set out with the attitude that if it turned out too silly to release then we’d simply ditch it and never tell anyone we tried! I had just filmed and edited a short film documenting a jam session that I had been a part of at a friend’s property in Campo, CA, a month or two earlier and it turned out cool. Nothing too complex or professional looking, but really neat and nostalgic and plenty psychedelic. I took that same approach to shooting and editing Volcano’s first music video.

We felt like keeping it simple since it was our first video. Very little plot line aside from Gabe speaking as an angry deity. It’s mostly shots of the members of the band playing the tune against a non-descript background. It puts the focus on us as a players. No frills. Just plenty of trippy edits and overlays and other tricks lifted straight from the editing playbook of the 60s-70s German Television show “The Beat Club.” Anyone that has seen the Birth Control, Black Sabbath or Rory Gallagher performances on that show will get a kick, or at least a giggle out of our new video! We hope everyone has as much fun watching it as we did making it!”

Volcano on Instagram

Volcano on Bandcamp

Kommune Records on Bandcamp

Tee Pee Records website

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Quarterly Review: Earthless, Satan’s Satyrs, Mantar, Child, T.G. Olson, Canyon, Circle of the Sun, Mythic Sunship, Svarta Stugan, Bast

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

quarterly-review

There isn’t enough coffee in the universe, but I’ve got mine and I’m ready to burn the living crap out of my tongue if that’s what it takes to get through. We’ve arrived at Day 4 of the Quarterly Review, and though we’re less than halfway to the 100-album goal set by some maniac sitting at his kitchen table with a now-burnt tongue, there’s been an awful lot of good stuff so far. More even than I thought going into it, and I slate this stuff.

That said, today’s list is pretty killer. A lot of these bands will be more familiar than maybe has been the case or will be on some of the other days of this Quarterly Review. It just kind of worked out that way as I was putting it together. But hey, a few bigger bands here, a few “debut EP” demos there. It’s all good fun.

So let’s go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Earthless, From the West

earthless from the west

Bonus points to whatever clever cat correctly decided that Earthless‘ 2018 studio album, Black Heaven (review here), needed a companion live record. With artwork mimicking a Led Zeppelin bootleg of the same name, From the West arrives through Silver Current and Nuclear Blast capturing the most powerful of power trios earlier this year in San Francisco, and it’s like the fire emoji came to life. With Mike Eginton‘s bass as the anchor and Mario Rubalcaba‘s drums as the driving force, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell starts ripping holes in the fabric of spacetime with “Black Heaven” and doesn’t stop until 64 minutes later as “Acid Crusher” dissolves into noise. Of course “Gifted by the Wind” from the latest LP is a highlight, and suitably enough, they cover Zeppelin‘s “Communication Breakdown,” but I’m not sure anything tops the extended take on “Uluru Rock” from 2013’s From the Ages (review here) — and yes, I mean that. Of course they pair it with the 1:48 surge of “Volt Rush,” because they’re Earthless, and brilliant is what they do. Every set they play should be recorded for posterity.

Earthless website

Silver Current Records on Bandcamp

Earthless at Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Satan’s Satyrs, The Lucky Ones

satans satyrs the lucky ones

Encased in cover art that begs the Spinal Tap question, “what’s wrong with being sexy?” and the response that Fran Drescher gave it, Virginia classic heavy rockers Satan’s Satyrs return with their fourth full-length, The Lucky Ones (on RidingEasy and Bad Omen), which also marks their first record as a four-piece with guitarist Nate Towle (Wicked Inquisition) joining the returning lineup of bassist/vocalist Clayton Burgess, guitarist Jared Nettnin and drummer Stephen Fairfield, who, between the fact that Burgess founded the band and played in Electric Wizard, and all the lead guitar antics from Nettnin and Towle, might be the unsung hero of the band. His performance is not lost in the recording by Windhand‘s Garrett Morris or Burgess‘ own hefty mix, and as one would expect, Satan’s Satyrs continue to deliver deceptively refined ’70s-heavy vibes caked in cult biker horror aesthetics. Some songs hit more than others, but Satan’s Satyrs‘ dust-kicking approach continues to win converts.

Satan’s Satyrs on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

Bad Omen Records on Bandcamp

 

Mantar, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

mantar the modern art of setting ablaze

One generally thinks of Hamburg duo Mantar as having all the subtlety of a bone saw caught on video, and yet, in listening to “Seek + Forget” from their third album, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (on Nuclear Blast), there are some elements that seem to be reaching out on the part of the band. Guitarist Hanno‘s vocals are more enunciated and discernible, there is a short break from the all-out blackened-sludge-punk assault that’s been their trade since their start in 2012, and “Obey the Obscene” even has an organ. Still, the bulk of the 12-track/48-minute follow-up to 2016’s Ode to the Flame (review here) is given to extremity of purpose and execution, and in pieces like the churning “Anti Eternia” and the particularly-punked “Teeth of the Sea,” they work to refine their always-present threat of violence. Closer “The Funeral” brings back some of the quiet moodiness of intro “The Knowing” and underscores the point of sonic expansion. I hope next time they use a string section.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast website

 

Child, I

child i

It took me a few minutes to get to the heart of what my problem with Child‘s I EP is. Really, I was sitting and listening to “Age Has Left Me Behind” — the first of the three included tracks on the 20-ish-minute 12″ — and I had to ask myself, “Why is this annoying me?” The answer? Because it’s not an album. That’s it. It’s not enough. Kudos to the Melbourne, Australia, heavy blues trio on having that be the biggest concern with their latest release — it follows 2016’s righteously-grooved Blueside (review here) — and kudos to them as well for their cover of Spirit‘s “The Other Song,” but of course it’s the 10-minute jam “Going Down Swinging” on side B that’s the immersive highlight of I, as Child‘s balance of softshoe-boogie and expansive mellow-psych is second to none in their subgenre. It’s not an album, and that’s kind of sad, but as a tide-ya-over until the next long-player arrives, I still does the trick nice and easy. And not to get greedy, but I’d take a II (or would it be You?) whenever they get around to it.

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Kozmik Artifactz website

 

T.G. Olson, Wasatch Valley Lady & The Man from Table Mountain

tg olson wasatch valley lady and the man from table mountain

Across Tundras frontman T.G. Olson, who by now has well lapped that band’s output with his solo catalog, would seem to have sat down with his guitar sometime in the last week and put two songs to tape. The resulting 10-minute offering is Wasatch Valley Lady & The Man from Table Mountain, its component title-tracks stripping down some of the more elaborate arrangements he’s explored of late — his latest full-length, Riding Roughshod (review pending; it’s hard to keep up), came out in October — to expose the barebones construction at root in his Rocky Mountain country folk style. “Wasatch Valley Lady” and “The Man from Table Mountain” make an engaging couple, and while Olson has a host of videos on YouTube that are similarly just him and his acoustic, something about the audio-only recordings feel like a voice out of time reaching for human connection. The first seems to have a natural fade, and the second a more prominent rhythm showcased in harder strum, but both are sweet melodies evocative as ever of open landscapes and wistful experience.

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T.G. Olson/Across Tundras on Bandcamp

 

Canyon, Mk II

canyon mk ii

The Deep Purple-referential Mk II title of Canyon‘s second EP, also the follow-up to their 2017 debut LP, Radiant Light, refers to the lineup change that’s seen Dean Welsh move to drums so that he and guitarist Peter Stanko can welcome bassist/vocalist Fred Frederick to the fold. The three included songs, the hooky “Mine Your Heart,” expansively fuzzed “Morphine Dreams” and bouncing “Roam” make a hell of a first offering from the reconstituted trio, who capture classic heavy naturalism in a chemistry between players that’s mirrored in the songwriting itself. Canyon‘s 2016 self-titled debut EP (review here) held marked promise, and even after the full-length, that promise would seem to be coming to fruition here. Their tones and craft are both right on, and there’s still some gelling to do between the three of them, but they leave no doubt with Mk II that this incarnation of Canyon can get there. And, if they keep up like this, get there quickly.

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Canyon on Bandcamp

 

Circle of the Sun, Jams of Inner Perception

Circle of the Sun Jams of Inner Perception

One man jams! Psych-jam seekers will recognize Daniel Sax as the drummer for Berlin-based trio Cosmic Fall. Circle of the Sun is a solo-project from Sax and Jams of Inner Perception collects six tracks for 39 minutes of adventuring on his own. Sax sets his own backbeat and layers bass and “effectsbass” for a full-lineup feel amid the instrumental creations, and those looking to be hypnotized by the space-rocking jams will be. Flat out. Sax is no stranger to jamming, and as one soaks in “Jamming in Paradise” or its nine-minute predecessor “Liquid Sand,” there’s little mistaking his intention. Curious timing that Circle of the Sun would take shape following a lineup change in Cosmic Fall — perhaps it was put together in the interim? — but whether Jams of Inner Perception is a one-off of the beginning of a new avenue for Sax, its turn to blues noodling on “Desert Sun,” thick-toned “Moongroove” and fuzzy roll on “Acid Dream” demonstrate there are plenty of outer realms still to explore.

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Circle of the Sun on Bandcamp

 

Mythic Sunship, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

Mythic Sunship Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

The simplest way to put it is that Mythic Sunship‘s Another Shape of Psychedelic Music lives up to the lofty ambitions of its title. The Danish band is comprised of guitarists Kasper Stougaard Andersen and Emil Thorenfeldt, bassist Rasmus ‘Cleaver’ Christensen, drummer Frederik Denning and saxophonist Søren Skov, and with Causa Sui‘s Jonas Munk — who also produced the album — sitting in on the extended “Backyard Voodoo” (17:41) and “Out There” (13:53) as well as overseeing the release through El Paraiso, the band indeed makes there way into the far out reaches where jazz and psychedelia meet. It’s not about pretentiously saying they’re doing something that’s never been done. You’ll note it’s “another shape” and not a “new shape” or the “shape to come.” But immersion happens quickly on opener “Resolution” (14:23), and even quicker cuts like “Last Exit,” “Way Ahead” and “Elevation” carry the compelling spirit of forward-thinking creativity through their dynamic course, and if Mythic Sunship aren’t the shape of psychedelic music to come, it’s in no small part because there are so few out there who could hope to match what they do.

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El Paraiso Records website

 

Svarta Stugan, Islands / Öar

svarta stugan islands oar

Islands / Öar — the second word being the Swedish translation of the first — is the 40-minute debut full-length from Gothenburg atmospheric heavy post-rock instrumentalists Svarta Stugan, who demonstrate in influence from Hex-era Earth on the opener “Islands III” but go on in subsequent tracks to pull together a sound distinct in its cinematic feel and moody execution. Five out of the seven component tracks are “Islands” pieces, which are presented out of order with “Islands IV” missing and “Islands Unknown” perhaps in its place, and the respective side A/B finales “Inner Space” and “Prospects Quatsi” standing apart. Both bring to bear a style ultimately consistent with the melancholy so rife throughout Islands / Öar as a whole, but they’re obviously intended as outliers, and so they seem to be. The LP release follows a couple shorter outings, issued over the past six-plus years, and it’s clear from the depths and range on display here in the build-to-crescendo of “Inner Space” alone that Svarta Stugan haven’t misspent their time in their progression to this point.

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Svarta Stugan on Bandcamp

 

Bast, Nanoångström

bast nanoangstrom

Largesse of scope and largesse of tone work in tandem on Bast‘s Nanoångström full-length on Black Bow, as they bring together aspects of post-metallic churn and more extreme metal methods to hone a style highly individualized, highly weighted and as much cosmic as it is crushing. Through six tracks and 57 minutes, the London trio (plus two guest spots from Chris Naughton of Winterfylleth) careen and crash and set an atmosphere of chaos without actually being chaotic, their progressive craft working to tie the songs together into a larger impression of the work as a consuming entirety. It’s the kind of record you pick up and still hear new things in by the time they put out their next one. Production from Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio only helps creates the heights and depths of their dynamic, and whether they’re rolling out the severity of closer “The Ghosts Which Haunt the Space Between the Stars” or laying out the soundscape of “The Beckoning Void,” Bast shape the tenets of genre to suit their needs rather than try to work within the barriers of any particular style. Nanoångström is all the more complex and satisfying for their efforts in that regard.

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