Great Electric Quest Announce “Red White ‘n’ Brew” Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

great electric quest

Next month, San Diego NWOBHM-infused heavy rockers Great Alcoholic Electric Quest will make appearances in Indianapolis at Doomed and Stoned Fest and in Arlington, TX, at the Obelisk-presented Heavy Mash 2018 (info here). That’s on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13, respectively, and if you’re thinking why not make a tour of it, clearly the band had the same idea. They’ll kickoff what’s been dubbed the ‘Red White ‘n’ Brew’ tour — because beer — on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas and make their way around the southern US and Midwest en route to closing out in Tempe, Arizona, on Oct. 15.

It’s not their first run in support of this year’s Chapter II: Of Earth (review here), as they were on the road before it came out on Totem Cat Records, but it is reportedly the first tour they’ll actually have copies at their merch table, so maybe you go, maybe you buy a record. Everybody has a drink and a good time and uses a fancy app to get a ride home. Joy abounds.

The band sent over the following announcement and the poster as follows:

great electric quest red white n brew tour final poster

Currently, science has determined, without flaw, the most impressive spectacle in our solar system is the live performance of GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST. Four bangers from California who are a full on cyclone of rock n roll destruction. It’s an all out slugfest between man and heavy metal. A display of showmanship that will captivate the eye an ignite the senses, but the invitation is not open forever. Mortal bros were not constructed to rage so hard.

Terrestrial livers were not designed to filter such god-like rations of alcohol. When GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST storms into town on their 2018 RED WHITE & BREW TOUR, it might be for the last fucking time ever! Eventually these dudes are just gonna drop dead on stage from excessive shredding! They will collapse like a black hole under the intense pressure from their own riffage! In the aftermath, the American flag will blow vigilantly in the winds of chaos and baby bald eagles will descend from the heavens to drink stale beer as they feast on the carcasses of our fallen heroes. The slate will be wiped clean and the cycle will start again. Shit is about to go down.

Watching videos on Youtube won’t cut it. Catch GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST.

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST – Red White ‘n’ Brew tour:
09/27 Las Vegas NV The Bunkhouse Saloon
09/28 El Paso TX Joey’s Bad Company Bar
09/29 San Angelo TX The Deadhorse
09/30 Corpus Christi TX Black Monk Tavern
10/01 Houston TX Spruce Goose: Social Flyers Club
10/02 Lafayette LA The Freetown Boom Boom Room
10/03 Birmingham AL The Nick
10/04 Memphis TN Growler’s
10/05 Louisville KY Mag Bar
10/06 Indianapolis IN Indiana City Brewing Co. *Doomed and Stoned Fest*
10/07 Kansas City MO The Riot Room
10/08 Witchita KS The Elbow Room
10/09 Oklahoma City OK Blue Note
10/11 San Antonio TX The Mix
10/12 Austin TX The Lost Well
10/13 Arlington TX Division Brewery *Heavy Mash Fest*
10/15 Tempe AZ Yucca Tap Room

Words by: Brian Hasley (Riff Relevant)

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST is
Tyler “T-Sweat” Dingvell – Vocals
Buddy Donner – Guitar
Daniel “MuchoDrums” Velasco – Drums
Jared Bliss – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/electricquest/
https://electricquest.bandcamp.com/
http://greatelectricquest.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/totemcatrecords/
totemcatrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://totemcatrecords.bandcamp.com/

Great Electric Quest, Red White ‘n’ Brew tour promo

Great Electric Quest, Chapter II (2018)

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Earthless to Release From the West Live Album

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

Presenting the biggest no-brainer of your day. On Sept. 28, Silver Current Records will issue the vinyl edition of a new live album from Earthless titled From the West. Nuclear Blast will follow-up with the CD and digital version on Oct. 19. The set was recorded in March as Earthless set to work heralding their already-a-landmark 2018 full-length, Black Heaven (review here), and as you can see in the tour dates below, that work continues. It’s pretty much been the theme of Earthless‘ year, much to the benefit of humanity in general.

If you need me to tell you to pick up a live Earthless record, you’ve either already decided you’re not into Earthless — which is fair, nothing’s universal — or you’ve already placed your preorder and you’re just like, “Dude, shut up, I know.” Also fair. Either way, here’s the info for it, because one likes to stay informed:

earthless from the west

On the eve of the release of ‘Black Heaven,’ their debut for Nuclear Blast Records, Earthless turned in this incredible live performance in San Francisco on March 1st 2018, captured and released on vinyl by Silver Current Records on September 28th. (On CD & Digital by Nuclear Blast Records.)

Since their inception seventeen years ago Earthless has become an icon of 21st century heavy music and a cult unto themselves. They’ve toured across the world and rightfully become known as an unparalleled live experience.

On ‘From the West’ the bands signature high-volume drive and unbridled horsepower create an almost mantra-like repetition as a framework for infinite improvisation. That, and beer-can crushing, fist-pumping riffs and solos delivered by an unstoppable rhythm section.

‘From the West’ is a complete, hypnotic, psychedelic experience in a way that remains totally unique to the band’s virtuosic expression. A live album that captures Earthless at peak powers and a quintessential fan piece from one of the best live rock bands in the world.

Album tracks includes looser, rawer versions of ‘Black Heaven’ favorites, a nearly 20 minute version of their instrumental titan ‘Uluru Rock’ and a blazing cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Communication Breakdown.’

The jacket is a meticulous reproduction of the band’s favorite TMOQ Zeppelin bootleg.
Recorded March 1, 2018.
Recorded by Jon Hart.
Mixed and mastered by Tim Green.

Tracklist:
1. Black Heaven 10:50
2. Electric Flame 8:46
3. Gifted by the Wind 6:04
4. Uluru Rock 19:26
5. Volt Rush 1:47
6. Communication Breakdown 4:16
7. Acid Crusher 13:42

EARTHLESS live:
09/25/18 Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
09/26/18 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
09/27/18 Portland, OR – Dante’s
09/28/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/29/18 Salt Lake City, UT – CRUCIAL FEST
09/30/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/02/18 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
10/03/18 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/05/18 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina
10/06/18 Edmonton, AB – UP & DOWNTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
10/07/18 Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub
10/09/18 Victoria, BC – The Copper Owl
10/10/18 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/12/18 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
10/13/18 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
10/14/18 Desert Daze – DESERT DAZE

Earthless is:
Bass: Mike Eginton
Drums: Mario Rubalcaba
Guitar & Vocals: Isaiah Mitchell

https://www.facebook.com/earthlessrips
www.twitter.com/earthlessrips
www.instagram.com/earthlessrips
https://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa
https://twitter.com/nuclearblastusa
http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html
https://silvercurrent.bandcamp.com/
http://www.silvercurrentrecords.com/

Earthless, “Electric Flame”

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Earthless Post Full Set Live Video from Belgium

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

earthless (Photo by Atiba Jefferson)

A full set, professionally filmed, of Earthless playing live in Belgium earlier this year on their European tour supporting their Nuclear Blast debut, Black Heaven (review here)? It seems to me that Chromecast was made for such things. Like, specifically. Someone sat in their open office space in one of Google’s colorful bunkers and said, “Hey, I bet someday Earthless are gonna play a killer show and some internet dork without a smart tv is gonna want a way to watch it on a bigger screen than his laptop, which he calls The Silver Fox. Also, it’s six in the morning when this happens.” Points for specificity, Google Employee #X5-49647-J, as your legal name has been changed to be. I guess all that data mining and email keywording really pays off.

Anyhoozle, if you wanna pretend like you have better things to do for the next 65 minutes, that’s on you. Seems to me the thing to do is grab yourself a snack and/or a tasty beverage of whatever sort and let guitarist/vocalist Isaiah Mitchell, bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba — who was wearing the same Sonic Rendezvous shirt when he sat in with Volcano at Roadburn later in April — hold sway for as long as they please. If you’ve seen the band before, the argument for full viewing is easy: it’s Earthless. If not, you’re likely to find an entirely new appreciation for the classic power trio dynamic between them. Because Earthless are nothing if they’re not a classic power trio, stylistically and at this point in terms of their impact on heavy rock and roll in general.

In the wake of Black Heaven, there’s been a lot of wax poetry in the critique around them. Well enough earned, to be sure. Who the hell doesn’t want to swim in the 65-minute ocean of sonic righteousness that is this set? Such as it is, though, their “formula” for success is as simple as it is rare: They’re great players who are great together.

That is, if you put Eginton, Rubalcaba or Mitchell in any other band, they’re good enough that you’d probably say, “holy shit, this guy is killer” about whatever they were doing in said band. Fine. But there’s a whole other level of Earthless that’s not at all about them as individuals, but a single collective unit. It’s how they feed off each other while they’re playing, about the conversation that’s happening between them instrumentally. That chemistry and that dynamic takes more than just basic talent to happen. And it’s the reason why there’s only one Earthless, no matter how many other acts try to make it otherwise.

They’re on tour now in Europe and will be back in the States after. Dates are below, courtesy of the PR wire:

Enjoy the video:

Earthless, Live at de Kreun, April 3, 2018

In the lead up to their fall European tour, San Diego based EARTHLESS have released pro shot live footage of their show at De Kreun in Kortrijk, Belgium from April this year.

The heavy psych power trio will be returning to both the UK and mainland Europe for a run of twelve shows in support of their latest mind bending offering Black Heaven which was released earlier this year. Commencing Sunday 29th July in Birmingham, UK at the Hare & Hounds, the upcoming venture includes a number of European festival appearances, select dates with US doomsayers Pallbearer and Sweden’s finest classic rockers Graveyard, and to top it all off will also see Philly’s trippiest Ruby The Hatchet joining the ride for a number of dates including all UK shows.

Cosmic Europe 2018 – Mission 2.0
August
Thursday 2nd – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso (w/ Ruby The Hatchet)
Friday 3rd – Beelen, DE – Krach am Bach Festival
Saturday 4th – Waldhausen im Strudengau, AT – Lake On Fire Festival *SOLD OUT*
Monday 6th – Primosten, CR – SuperUho Festival
Wednesday 8th – Budapest, HUN – A38 (w/ Pallbearer)
Friday 10th – Siegen, DE – Vortex Club
Saturday 11th – Moledo, PT – SonicBlast Moledo Festival
Tuesday 14th – Bagnes, CH – Palp Festival (w/ Graveyard)
Wednesday 15th – Winterhur, CH – Gaswerk (w/ Pallbearer)

EARTHLESS
09/25/18 Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
09/26/18 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
09/27/18 Portland, OR – Dante’s
09/28/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/29/18 Salt Lake City, UT – CRUCIAL FEST
09/30/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/02/18 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
10/03/18 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/05/18 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina
10/06/18 Edmonton, AB – UP & DOWNTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
10/07/18 Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub
10/09/18 Victoria, BC – The Copper Owl
10/10/18 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/12/18 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
10/13/18 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
10/14/18 Desert Daze – DESERT DAZE

Black Heaven was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, Calif. with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal) handling production.It marked a shift for the band, with four of the six songs featuring vocals whereas earlier albums only occasionally had vocals.

Earthless on Thee Facebooks

Earthless on Twitter

Earthless on Instagram

Earthless on Bandcamp

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Earthless at Nuclear Blast website

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Old Man Wizard Post “The Blind Prince” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

old man wizard

The story goes like this: Four years ago, San Diego weirdo-fantasy-proggers put out a video from their first album, Unfavorable (review here), for the track “The Bearded Fool.” Their second album, the even-more-weirdo-fantasy-prog Blame it all on Sorcery, came out earlier this year and is comprised of 10 tracks for a 42-minute voyage into lush arrangements and melodies led by the folkish vocals of guitarist Francis Roberts and backed by the inventive rhythms and creative play of bassist Andre Beller and drummer Kris Calabio, both of whom also contribute backing vocals. Classic-style harmonies abound on songs like “Never Leave” with a patience in their delivery that reminds of peak-era Opeth while still other tracks like “Innocent Hands” (video premiere here) delve into extreme metal riffing and near-blastbeats before chugging out a still-melodic verse and 10-minute closer “The Long-Nosed Wiseman” holds doomly tension in a keyboard-laced build toward a sweeping finish.

And despite covering this swath of stylistic ground, front to back, the album is one that flows together and makes sense both in terms of narrative and actual sound. So, great, right? But what the hell does that have to do with the video for “The Bearded Fool?”

Well, glad you (I) asked. The thing is, Old Man Wizard have a new video for “The Blind Prince” from Blame it all on Sorcery, and it’s a sequel to the “The Bearded Fool” video. A four-years-later foll0w-up. It has the same would-be VHS static at the bottom of the screen and everything, and it picks up to find our trio of heroes encountering the titular Blind Prince and doing battle with a gaggle of witches in the woods only to be trapped and, finally, to win not with swords and battle-axes, but with the power of — wait for it — a Flying V and a fuzz pedal. Duh.

Obviously there’s some winking happening in line with the homage to classic low-budget fantasy filmmaking, but it’s all in good fun. Some things to watch for: radical perspective shifts, a burrito, a wrestling mask, an actual wink — the list goes on. There’s plenty to watch for, and they also leave it open to yet another sequel. Could it be a trilogy in the works?

Fingers crossed:

Old Man Wizard, “The Blind Prince” official video

We are pleased to share with you our newest music video for “The Blind Prince”, a track from our latest album “Blame It All On Sorcery”.

Official music video for “The Blind Prince” by OLD MAN WIZARD

Directed by Jessie Rudolph
VFX and Editing by Jessie Rudolph
Backgrounds and sound design by Francis Roberts

CAST:
Villager – Teemu Kaiponen
The Blind Prince – Reece Miller
Francis – Francis Roberts
Andre – Andre Beller
Kris – Kris Calabio
Witch Leader – Becky Campbell

The Witches:
Michelle Pannell
Kyle Bob
Michelle Louden
Carlos Zamora
Alexander Simsay
Zachary Simsay

Enjoy, and we hope to see some of you out on the road! Again, our tour with Worshipper [is on now]. Here are the [remaining] dates:

Fri 7/27 – GRANTS PASS, OR – The Haul – $10ADV/ 21+
Sat 7/28 – PORTLAND, OR – Tonic Lounge – $7ADV / $10 DOS / 21+ *
Sun 7/29 – SEATTLE, WA – Funhouse – $10 ADV / $12 DOS / 21+
Tues 7/31 – BOISE, ID – The Shredder – $8 ADV / ALL AGES
Wed 8/1 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Club X
Thurs 8/2 – DENVER, CO – Streets of London Pub – $5 ADV / 21+
Fri 8/3 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Moonlight Lounge – $5 ADV / 21+
Sat 8/4 – TEMPE, AZ – Time Out Lounge – 21+

Old Man Wizard is:
Francis Roberts – Guitar, Vocals
Kris Calabio – Drums, Backing Vocals
Andre Beller – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Old Man Wizard, “The Bearded Fool” official video

Old Man Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Old Man Wizard on Instagram

Old Man Wizard on Twitter

Old Man Wizard on Bandcamp

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Hey, It’s Been a Couple Weeks, so Here’s Another Earthless Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

earthless

It’s been, you know, a little bit since the last time Earthless announced a tour in support of this year’s most righteous Black Heaven (review here), so yeah, they’re due. The West Coast kingpin three-piece will hit up their regional stopping ground beginning at the end of September and head toward the Desert Daze fest on Oct. 14. It’s one of several fests they’re playing on the efficient run, as they’ll also make stops at ever-tantalizing Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City and in Alberta at the Downtown Music Festival, which is one of several Canadian dates on what might legitimately be called a West Coast North American run. Also worth noting is the fact that they’ll be joined by the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show for the stint, so you can be guaranteed awesome visuals as well as seeing one of the US’ most powerful heavy rock acts at an inarguable height of their craft.

Fucking gorgeous tour poster and the dates follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

earthless tour poster

EARTHLESS announces North American headlining tour

San Diego-based rock trio EARTHLESS, will headline a series of dates across North America this fall in support of the latest album, Black Heaven. Confirmed dates are as follows:

EARTHLESS
09/25/18 Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
09/26/18 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
09/27/18 Portland, OR – Dante’s
09/28/18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
09/29/18 Salt Lake City, UT – CRUCIAL FEST
09/30/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/02/18 Minneapolis, MN – Lee’s Liquor Lounge
10/03/18 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/05/18 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina
10/06/18 Edmonton, AB – UP & DOWNTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
10/07/18 Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub
10/09/18 Victoria, BC – The Copper Owl
10/10/18 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/12/18 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
10/13/18 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar
10/14/18 Desert Daze – DESERT DAZE

Previously announced UK/European tour:
29 July: Birmingham UK – Hare & Hounds Kings Heath %
30 July: Glasgow UK – The Classic Grand %
31 July: Leeds UK – Brudenell Social Club %
01 Aug: Brighton UK – The Haunt Brighton %
02 Aug: Amsterdam NL – Paradiso Amsterdam %
03 Aug: Beelen DE – Krach am Bach Festival
04 Aug: Waldhausen im Strudengau AT – Lake on Fire Festival
06 Aug: Primošten CR – SuperUho Festival
08 Aug: Budapest HR – A38 Hajó $
11 Aug: Moledo PT – SonicBlast Moledo
14 Aug: Bagnes CH – PALP festival Rocklette &
15 Aug: Winterthur CH – Gaswerk *

Black Heaven was recorded at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, Calif. with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal) handling production.It marked a shift for the band, with four of the six songs featuring vocals whereas earlier albums only occasionally had vocals.

“It wasn’t a premeditated thing to do a record with vocals,” said Rubalcaba. “On the older records, Mike was responsible for a lot of the riffs that would start these jams, but on this one Isaiah [Mitchell] really brought his own pizazz and flavor to it. I’d say that’s one of the major differences on this album: It has more of Isaiah’s input. He took a risk bringing these ideas to us, not knowing if we’d like them. But as with everything we’ve done in the past, it felt very organic and natural.”

Earthless is Mike Eginton (bass), Isaiah Mitchell (vocals/guitar) and Mario Rubalcaba (drums).

https://www.facebook.com/earthlessrips
www.twitter.com/earthlessrips
www.instagram.com/earthlessrips
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https://twitter.com/nuclearblastusa
http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

Earthless, “Volt Rush” official video

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Gorm Premiere New Single “Beyond Black Rainbow”

Posted in audiObelisk on July 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

gorm live at black cat

The in medias res Blackmore gallop and blend of steady organ lines and vocal harmonies on Gorm‘s debut single, Beyond Black Rainbow, mark the band as immediately progressive. And impressively, there’s the fact that the song’s root tracks — the guitar, bass, drums, organ — were done live. Gorm would hardly be the first act to go that route especially on a short release, but to do so as a new band, and do so with material of such marked complexity shows a bit more daring. Fair enough that they arrive fronted by Francis Roberts, also of Old Man Wizard and formerly of Dread Crew of Oddwood, whose voice and guitar tone will be recognizable at the outset to anyone who’s heard his work in either of those two projects. Gorm brings him together with synthesist/organist/vocalist Saki Chan, bassist Erich Beckmann and drummer/Gorm Beyond Black Rainbowvocalist Dylan Marks and seems to be geared toward a prog metal style informed by the likes of Opeth as much as by the persistent melodies of Ghost as by NWOBHM rhythm.

All familiar-enough ground for Roberts through Old Man Wizard, but “Beyond Black Rainbow” takes a more straightforward path, and the harmonies with Chan and Marks are a distinguishing factor, as well as the nigh-psychotic bass runs from Beckmann in the verse beneath the guitar. There’s some letup in the hook, but then it’s back to the kind of finger work that would make Steve Harris blush as the drums thrust the build into its next stage. Momentum carries into a solo section in the second half of the song, comfortable in what for many would be a sprint, and they cap with a big rock finish of cymbal wash, organ and guitar noise. It’s only one track, so you won’t find me guessing what an album from them might sound like, but if “Beyond Black Rainbow” is anything to go by, Gorm‘s putting craft first could work out toward an individuality of sound built from the combined experience of its membership.

You can read more about that under the player below — extra kudos to whoever on the planet decided to call their group Kirby’s Dream Band — and find more background at the links that follow.

Please enjoy “Beyond Black Rainbow”:

“Beyond Black Rainbow” is the debut single of Southern California rock band GORM, to be released on July 20, 2018.

The band is currently unsigned and plans to seek label support for their debut album.

Band statement: “We’re all very excited to release this track, because the session it was a part of was the first time any of us had done a live-in-studio recording. The minimal editing and overdubbing really helped capture the energy and togetherness of our live show, which we feel is our band’s strongest point.”

Gorm is a rock band based in Southern California consisting of Francis Roberts (Old Man Wizard, The Dread Crew of Oddwood, Leather Nun america, etc.), Dylan Marks (Beekeeper, Eukaryst, White Wizzard, etc.), Erich Beckmann (Grim Luck, Kirby’s Dream Band, Vic Viper, etc.), and Saki Chan.

Gorm’s live show is dynamic, bombastic, and glamorous, featuring captivating musicianship, imaginative stage clothes, high energy performance, and an organ.

Track Credits:
Guitar, Vocal – Francis Roberts
Synth, Organ, Vocal – Saki Chan
Bass Guitar – Erich Beckmann
Drums, Vocal – Dylan Marks

Recorded by Jordan Andreen and Adam Wollach at Audio Design
Produced by Gorm
Music & Lyrics by Francis Roberts
Mixed by Francis Roberts
Mastering by Erik Peabody – Viking Guitar Productions
Art by Saki Chan

Gorm on Thee Facebooks

Gorm on Instagram

Gorm on Bandcamp

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Worshipper and Old Man Wizard West Coast Tour Starts July 19

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

In just over a week’s time, Boston heavy rockers Worshipper will head west to join San Diego progressive weirdos Old Man Wizard on a tour of the West Coast. The stint begins July 19 and goes till Aug. 4 and finds both acts supporting new releases. For Old Man Wizard, it’s their second long-player, Blame it all on Sorcery, which they released in May, and for Worshipper, it’s a new covers EP, Mirage Daze, which they issued in June. Both offerings are streaming in their entirety at the bottom of this post, so, you know, dig in and make an afternoon of it. If you had other plans, they can wait.

Not to sidetrack or anything, but one of the things I’ve found most interesting/disconcerting since my laptop got ripped off in May has been rediscovering albums that were on my desktop waiting for review that disappeared with that computer. Both Old Man Wizard and Worshipper‘s new releases were right there in that bunch. Sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the situation turned out toward the positive with the new computer and camera and all, but yeah. Things like this are still kind of a bummer to find. “Why didn’t I write about that? Oh yeah…” and so on.

Don’t want to bring the room down so I’ll end by saying it’s awesome to see Worshipper make their way to the Pacific. They’re such outliers when it comes to East Coast heavy in that their approach, at least thus far, is heavy without necessarily the same kind of aggression one so often gets, especially in the Northeast. I’d think they’d be welcome out there where it’s a little more chill, generally speaking.

Hope the run goes well all around:

worshipper old man wizard tour

Worshipper & Old Man Wizard West Coast tour:

Thurs 7/19 – COSTA MESA, CA – Tiki Bar – $10ADV / 21+
Fri 7/20 – SAN DIEGO, CA – Til Two Club – $8ADV/$10DOS/ 21+
Sat 7/21 – OCEANSIDE, CA – Oceanside Sports Bar – 21+
Sun 7/22 – LOS ANGELES, CA – Five Star Bar – 21+
Tues 7/24 – SAN JOSE, CA – The Caravan Lounge – 21+
Wed 7/25 – SACRAMENTO, CA – Blue Lamp – $10ADV/ 21+
Thurs 7/26 – OAKLAND, CA – Golden Bull
Fri 7/27 – GRANTS PASS, OR – The Haul – $10ADV/ 21+
Sat 7/28 – PORTLAND, OR – Tonic Lounge – $7ADV / $10 DOS / 21+ *
Sun 7/29 – SEATTLE, WA – Funhouse – $10 ADV / $12 DOS / 21+
Tues 7/31 – BOISE, ID – The Shredder – $8 ADV / ALL AGES
Wed 8/1 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Club X
Thurs 8/2 – DENVER, CO – Streets of London Pub – $5 ADV / 21+
Fri 8/3 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Moonlight Lounge – $5 ADV / 21+
Sat 8/4 – TEMPE, AZ – Time Out Lounge – 21+

Old Man Wizard is:
Francis Roberts – Guitar, Vocals
Kris Calabio – Drums, Backing Vocals
Andre Beller – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Worshipper is:
Alejandro Necochea (guitar)
John Brookhouse (vocals / guitar)
Dave Jarvis (drums)
Bob Maloney (vocals, bass)

https://www.facebook.com/Old.Man.Wizard/
http://twitter.com/oldmanwizard
https://www.instagram.com/oldmanwizard/
http://oldmanwizard.com/

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://www.twitter.com/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

Worshipper, Mirage Daze (2018)

Old Man Wizard, Blame it all on Sorcery (2018)

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Great Electric Quest, Chapter II: Of Earth: Molten Rock

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Great Electric Quest Chapter II of Earth

Should you happen to be the banner-raising type, you’ll want to get your hoisting arm ready for Great Electric Quest‘s second album. Dubbed Chapter II: Of Earth and released as their first offering in alliance with Totem Cat Records, the seven-track/36-minute long-player follows on the heels of 2016’s well-regarded Chapter I (discussed here) and a 2017 split single with Lords of Beacon House (review here) on Glory or Death Records, and presents a clear-headed vision of classic metal as filtered through a modern West Coast approach to ’70s heavy rock. With production and mixing by Duel guitarist Jeff Henson, engineering by Dan Frick, and mastering by Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed, the San Diego-based four-piece continue to avoid the boogie-rock mindset of which their hometown seems to be the epicenter, and instead distinguish themselves through a harder thrust throughout songs like opener “Seeker of the Flame” and “Anubis” and “Wicked Hands,” ultimately having more in common with Ozzy or Dio solo records than Black Sabbath itself — and more with Judas Priest than any of them — however much groove might lie beneath.

Plenty does, incidentally. With drummer Daniel “MuchoDrums” Velasco making his debut with the band and bassist Jared Bliss — who lives up to his surname with the low-end performance on the bouncing penultimate rocker “The Madness” — underscoring the riffs of guitarist Buddy Donner and the prone-to-soaring vocals of Tyler “T-Sweat” DingvellChapter II: Of Earth is thick not just in its vibe, but in tone as well. And while it’s not necessarily surprising that the guitar would be leading the charge throughout much of the material, Donner acquits himself well both in the head-spinning shred, nodding verses and later gallop of “Wicked Hands” and in giving room to the accompanying Hammond organ on relatively patient closer “Heart of the Sun,” one of several moments where Great Electric Quest seems to be driving toward and reaching 1983’s headbanger ideal of “epic,” as evidenced by a continued focus on songwriting rather than the jammy exploration that, again, so typifies San Diego’s heavy underground at this point.

If Chapter II: Of Earth has anything in common with the output of Great Electric Quest‘s Sun Dog compatriots, it’s a party atmosphere. Their edge might be inherently more aggressive because of the metallic elements at play, but there’s still a good chance these dudes skate. In Donner‘s tone, in the smoothness of rhythm from Velasco and Bliss, and in Dingvell‘s gotta-hear-it Halfordian throat scorch early in “Anubis,” there’s still the sense that Great Electric Quest stand ready at a moment’s notice to throw down an inhuman(e) amount of hooch, smoke whatever’s handy and have a good time doing it. Then, you know, get up on stage and crush as they will. It doesn’t mean they don’t take what they’re doing seriously — they’ve put in enough time on the road since Chapter I that it’s clear their intentions are to melt brains with songcraft as much as any other method — just that in listening to Chapter II: Of Earth, its spirit isn’t at all staid as one finds with some traditional heavy metal.

Great Electric Quest

Put it this way: if riffs are beer, then Great Electric Quest is the craft movement. They’re not the ones sticking to the 500-year-old established tenets of purity. They’re the ones turning those rules on their head, getting a colorful-ass label — in this case, a righteous Adam Burke cover painting — and punching you in the face with hops. And the loosening of stylistic reins can be heard not just in the blurring of lines between rock and metal on “Seeker of the Flame” at the album’s outset — more Priest there — or in “Heart of the Sun” on the opposite end, but perhaps most especially in the two-part “Of Earth” saga itself, which, broken into the six-minute “Of Earth I” and the subsequent, eight-minute “Of Earth II,” presents more of a narrative and conceptual structure that not only carries through the stylistic meld and allows Velasco a snare-centered solo beginning in the first half of the first part, but brims with end-of-the-set vitality in a way that adds a sense of adventure to the record as its second and third tracks respectively.

To wit, “Of Earth I” picks up from that drum solo after hitting the four-minute mark and is led by the guitar to a Manowar-style over-the-top rock finish followed by a highlight solo from Donner that provides the transition into the more mid-paced intro to “Of Earth II.” Live, this must seem like a tour de force, and on the album, the impression isn’t all that different. The central tempo that emerges from “Of Earth II” is faster and its descending vocal melody a bit more severe, but the metallic fist-pumping is prevalent until just before six minutes in, when they turn to a quieter groove, layers of guitar working over the solid bass and drum progression as Dingvell holds over the energy in his delivery from earlier in the track, locking step with the guitar as the track enters its final measures with a last-second hook before a cymbal wash closes out, to be followed by “Anubis” — presumably on vinyl, this is where the side split happens — as though nothing ever happened. I won’t call it progressive because of the potential for misunderstanding where Great Electric Quest are coming from aesthetically, but the Chapter II: Of Earth two-parter title-cut is remarkably thoughtful in its execution.

Following, the one-two-three punch of “Anubis,” “Wicked Hands” and “The Madness” passes quickly, despite the variety of style between them, and warrants multiple listens as a section of its own before giving way to “Heart of the Sun,” which speaks to a similar mindset as “Of Earth I” and “Of Earth II” despite being on its own wavelength in terms of mood. From “Seeker of the Flame” onward, one of Great Electric Quest‘s greatest strengths is the front-to-back flow of Chapter II: Of Earth, which is something that their toying with different structures throughout helps immensely, but much like the care put into the mix in terms of giving the guitar, bass and drums standout moments while tasking Dingvell with establishing himself as a true classic metal frontman — he does — likewise attention seems to have been paid to each level of the presentation, from tones to the ordering of the tracklisting. Coupled with the deceptive nuance of the sound itself, all of these elements come together to make Chapter II: Of Earth both a satisfying listen and an important, willful step forward for Great Electric Quest. It’s growth they’ve actively made happen through touring and tightening their approach, and if this is the sound of that work paying off, then by all means, raise the banners high.

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