Carlton Melton UK Tour Starts This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

carlton melton

If you live or will happen to find yourself in the UK sometime in the next week, you might just have a good excuse here to freak the fuck out. Carlton Melton, San Franciscan lysergic experimentalists if ever there were any, are headed over this week to begin a tour in London that will take them up into Scotland and loop back down to finish in Leeds after an eight-show stretch supporting their new album, Mind Minerals (review here), which came out Feb. 2 via Agitated Music. So that’s the good news.

What’s the bad news? Nothing. There is no bad news this time. Isn’t that nice?

Carlton Melton had a couple of shows previously booked for Belgium and the Netherlands that I’ve included below just in case they’re still on, though the press release this time was only about the UK run. Better safe than sorry, but if you’re thinking about heading to Antwerp or Nijmegen, you might want to check those are actually still a go. Fair warning.

From the PR wire:

carlton melton tour poster

CARLTON MELTON UK TOUR DATES

CARLTON MELTON are bringing their futurescape soundtrack to the UK….

20/02 – London – The Shacklewell Arms
21/02 – Todmorden – Golden Lyon
22/02 – Glasgow – Nice n Sleazy
23/02 – Manchester – Soup Kitchen
24/02 – Brighton – Hope & Ruin
25/02 – Salisbury – The Winchester Gate
26/02 – Northwich – The Salty Dog
27/02 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers

Previously announced live dates:
28/02 BE Antwerp – Het Bos
03/03 NL Nijmegen – Doornroosje

New album “Mind Minerals” out now on Agitated Records

Searing guitar piercing the drone with relentless power, the core trio of Carlton Melton; Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman (guitar/synth), have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post-rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift , this is unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California.. 5 decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple.. .there would have been no helter skelter if the desert Hippies had locked onto these vibes, plug in, turn on, tune out..float free.. Carlton Melton can provide your own aural microdose to reset your Mind / Psyche!!

http://www.carltonmeltonmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Carlton-Melton-band-page-142609689122268/
https://www.facebook.com/AGITATEDRECORDS/
http://agitatedrecords.com/

Carlton Melton, “The Lighthouse”

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Six Organs of Admittance Post “Things as They Are” Video; Iberian Tour this Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2017/03/08/six-organs-of-admittance-adoration-song-video/

To be honest with you, a new Six Organs of Admittance video is well cool buy me because it gives me an excuse to revisit the 2017 album, Burning the Threshold (review here) and the track “Things as They Are” begins the record as paired with the subsequent “Adoration Song” (video posted here), so all the better a place to begin to dig in. And as Ben Chasny prepares to take Six Organs on the road in Portugal before returning to the US Southwest in Spring, it’s also a chance to stop and take stock of just how things are. To wit:

As I write this, it’s just after 7AM Eastern time. I don’t know if it’s Daylight time or the other one at this point and I don’t suppose it matters. I’ve been up since a little after 1AM. I keep falling asleep while to get the posts done. Like right in the middle of that sentence, I nodded off again, and my eyes are already closed once again. I haven’t slept well lately and apparently that’s enough to make me feel like I’m totally off my nut. Hey, wake up. Wake up. The drums just kicked in on “Taken by Ascent.” Wake up.

That, the laundry in progress downstairs the coffee in the pot, The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan upstairs. That’s things how they are. Tons of work to do no time to do it. A string of ‘w’ that spans line after line because it’s where my hand went to dead weigh. I don’t get paid to do this. I probably never will. But I love it and I can’t stop. That’s how things are. Maybe I should get a standing desk.

If you recognize the style of the video here, with the slow motion and artsy black and white shots and all that, Elisa Ambrogio directed the “Adoration Song.” Consistency is a good thing, even for a project as amorphous as this one. Enjoy the video below:

Six Organs of Admittance, “Things as They Are” official video

Anytime is a good time to release a Six Organs of Admittance video, album release cycles be damned. Burning the Threshold brings a wealth of Six Organs-styled lightness into one of his sweetest musical meditations yet and that should be reminded every day.

The residual grace and allure radiates out from the video for “Things As They Are” a song examining the life of poet Wallace Stevens. In 2017, Ben composed music for a theatrical work about Stevens’ life that debuted on stage in Cleveland.

Directed by Elisa Ambrogio, the empathetic waves generated by this song resonate throughout her keen visuals, giving a new dimension to the music of Six Organs of Admittance. Watch the video below and gaze over the newest tour date offerings from Professor Chasny, with European tour dates beginning in Portugal this February.

LIVE DATES:
22/2/18 at Salao Brazil in Coimbra, Portugal
24/2/18 at GNRation in Braga, Portugal
25/2/18 at GNRation in Braga, Portugal*
26/2/18 at Teatro Maria Matos in Lisbon, Portugal*
27/2/18 at Teatro Maria Matos in Lisbon, Portugal
282//18 at Sola X in Seville, Spain
1/3/18 at Moby Dick in Madrid, Spain
3/3/18 at Teatro das Figuras in Faro, Portugal
26/4/18 at Sister in Albuquerque, NM %
27/4/18 at Valley Bar in Phoenix, AZ
284//18 at 191 Toole in Tuscon, AZ
9/618 at Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA

*Hexadic System Workshop
% w/ OM
^w/ Bonnie Prince Billy

Six Organs of Admittance website

Six Organs of Admittance on Twitter

Six Organs of Admittance at Drag City

Drag City webstore

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Wooden Shjips to Release V May 25; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

WOODEN SHJIPS

This is one of those releases where I could say absolutely anything and it wouldn’t matter. Seriously, how high do you think the stakes are for my opinion about the next Wooden Shjips record? Pretty god damn low. As in, nil. This band gets covered by major corporate print outlets — the paper of record, and so on — and hey, I know my place. I might get a promo download, or worse, a stream, and I have no doubt that V, which is out May 25 via Thrill Jockey will be good enough to make me want to buy it, like everything else the San Francisco band has ever done, and I won’t have the money to do so and it will just be a bummer so I’ll either not actually listen or put it in the Quarterly Review so I can link back to something later when I drool about how good the band is when they announce tour dates or put up a new video or whatever it might be. It’s like my version of the “album cycle.”

But yeah, I could pretty much say anything about this record and no one will give a shit. Best of the year. Worst of the year. Doesn’t matter. The stakes couldn’t be lower if this was an episode of Voyager and Harry Kim was getting kidnapped on the holideck.

With that happy thought, here’s the PR wire:

WOODEN SHJIPS v

Wooden Shjips Announce New Album V.

Hear Expansive Lead Single “Staring At The Sun”

Album Out May 25th

West Coast psychedelic quartet Wooden Shjips will release V., their fifth album, May 25th on Thrill Jockey. Inspired by the tumult of the modern world, and the desire to offer a contrasting vision of peace, the band has created a record that filters their trademark hypnotic grooves through an optimistic lens, resulting in music that is bright and vital.

The band has shared the album’s first single “Staring At The Sun,” a track that clocks in at almost 8 minutes and was written by guitarist and singer Ripley Johnson as he watched wildfires ravage the Pacific Northwest during the summer of 2017. V. follows their acclaimed 2013 album Back To Land.

Pre-order V. from Thrill Jockey: thrilljockey.com/products/v-wooden-shjips

Wooden Shjips – V.
(May 25th, Thrill Jockey)
1. Eclipse
2. In The Fall
3. Red Line
4. Already Gone
5. Staring At The Sun
6. Golden Flower
7. Ride On

Wooden Shjips, long-time leaders of the contemporary psychedelic movement, expand their sound with V. The quartet of Omar Ahsanuddin, Dusty Jermier, Nash Whalen and Ripley Johnson augment their already rich sound with laid back, classic summer songs. The songs were written during the summer of 2017 by singer and guitarist Ripley Johnson as an antidote to the pervasive anxiety both political and natural. As Ripley tells it, “We had huge forest fires just outside of Portland and there was intense haze and layers of ash in the city. I was sitting on my porch every evening, watching ash fall down like snow, the sky looking like it was on fire. It was an apocalyptic feeling. Summer in Portland is usually really chill and beautiful, and we were working on a ‘summer record,’ but the outside world kept intruding on my headspace.” V., a graphic representation of the Peace sign, seemed apt to an album focused on the power of peace, beauty and resistance. The music is a balm against the noise and negativity.

The first single “Staring At The Sun” is a nearly 8 minute laid back, slowly building narrative, whose lyrics tell of a gentle push and pull between the desire for sun and escape and the tug of anxiety, with peaceful resistance winning the day and guiding the tone. The restless traveler Johnson gives us a few of his signature traveling songs such as “Eclipse,” and “Red Line,” both showcases for the stellar rhythm section of Omar Ahsanuddin and Dusty Jermier. Their unparalleled sense of groove and restraint leaves ample room for Nash Whalen’s keyboard flourishes. There is movement and urgency in these tracks without aggression, a rolling foundation of rhythm over which Johnson’s voice floats and elongated melodic guitar lines soar.

Each song shimmers with a distinctly Wooden Shjips sound, a relaxed summer vibe. This was a conscious choice, an atmospheric goal that influenced nearly every detail: the tones, the delay types and reverbs used, as well as the synthesizer elements that color the songs. The basics were recorded by Jason Powers at Types Foundry Studio in Portland. The guitars and vocals were largely recorded in Ripley Johnson’s comfortable home studio. The album was mixed by Cooper Crain (Cave, Circuit Des Yeux) who the band has formed close bonds with on tour. The instructions were simple “We told Cooper to keep it really fat but to feel free to play around with the other elements, make a nice headphone mix with a lot of movement,” said Ripley, “I wanted it to be floaty because that’s kind of where my headspace was at the time.”

The band’s members collectively share a love of classic rock from the Velvet Underground to Neil Young, as well as more overt love of the San Francisco scene of the 60’s. This commonality in their formative musical years binds them even as they live in different cities. V. finds Wooden Shjips embracing the emotions behind those sounds; peaceful defiance and opposition, while creating a sound and counter narrative to today’s hostilities that is wholly their own. Wooden Shjips has with V. created the most concise, laid back songs of their career. Their music is a balm of sorts, a respite from the insanity that, through its regenerative abilities, empowers continued, calm resistance. A reminder of the simple power of peace and beauty. Wooden Shjips, through V., have demonstrated the power of beauty and the power in creating it even while experiencing overwhelming dread. It is the perfect summer album, brimming with optimism and a peaceful energy, aptly timed for release at the height of spring.

https://www.facebook.com/woodenshjips/
https://twitter.com/woodenshjips
http://www.woodenshjips.com/
http://www.thrilljockey.com/artists/wooden-shjips

Wooden Shjips, “Staring at the Sun”

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Turn Me on Dead Man Touring Europe in February

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

San Franpsychsco weirdos Turn Me on Dead Man head abroad in February to support their latest outing, Heavymetal Mothership (review here), which came out just a couple months back as though beamed in from a time warp via Heavy Psych Sounds. That same imprint is behind the booking for the tour and has the swath of dates in Italy to prove it, but it’s hard to imagine that wherever the band goes they won’t be greeted as liberators of mind and spirit.

Of course, they’re early for Spring or Summer fests, but one never knows — they could be testing the ground for follow-up run this Fall, and well, there’s fests then too, and in the meantime, a run to herald the album’s arrival is pretty awesome on its own. I wouldn’t mind seeing Torino this time of year, at least.

The PR wire has all the details:

turn me on dead man euro tour

TURN ME ON DEAD MAN – EUROPEAN TOUR 2018 !!!

TMODM are a heavydelic space rock band from San Francisco. Turn Me On Dead Man combines Heavy Metal and Psychedelia to forge a music that is both transcending and unforgettable. The songwriting plunges listeners into the heavydelic landscapes of 60’s experimentalism and 70’s bombast, creating a disc that is enthralling, imaginative, hugely entertaining, and incredibly hard rocking!

The group have been creating their unique brand of lysergic-soaked rock since their inception in 2000, gigging extensively throughout the San Francisco bay area and garnering praise from all over their home turf and the country, spurred on by heavy rotation at the influential WFMU station in New Jersey. Alternative Tentacles founder Jello Biafra was suitably impressed by the band’s spaced-out, glammed-up, turned-up brand of audio mayhem enough to re-release their first epic record, “God Bless the Electric Freak” on A.T.!

Live, Turn Me On Dead Man is a spectacle of epic proportions; a visceral sonic boom that spans the spectrum from the meanest, most gorgeous anthems of rock to the exotic ragas of modern psych, creating an explosive and diverse stage performance as energetic as it is uncommon. Simply put, Turn Me On Dead Man plays Heavy Crush Bliss Rock breaking the sound barrier on their own private Lear Jet headed straight to HELL!

***TURN ME ON DEAD MAN EUROPEAN TOUR 2018***
09.02.2018 IT Pescara-Scumm
10.02.2018 IT Castel Fidardo-On Stage
11.02.2018 IT Pastrengo-Fabemolle
12.02.2018 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
13.02.2018 IT Torino-Blah Blah
14.02.2018 DE Sruttgart-Goldmark
15.02.2018 CH Olten-Coq D’or
16.02.2018 AT Bludenz-Villa K
17.02.2018 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
18.02.2018 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
19.02.2018 DE Dresden-Ostpol
20.02.2018 DE Berlin-Jagerklause
21.02.2018 DE Weimar-Gerber3
22.02.2018 DE Leipzig-Black Label
23.02.2018 DE Mannheim-7Er
24.02.2018 DE-TBA

Turn Me on Dead Man:
Mykill ZIggy: Guitars, Vocals, Synthesizers, Bass, Phasers and Lasers
Nick Doom: Guitars and Music Theory
Christopher Melville Lyman: Drums, Percussion, and Vocals
Attis Ngo: Bass, Keyboards

https://www.facebook.com/TurnMeOnDeadManSF/
https://www.instagram.com/turn_me_on_dead_man/
https://tmodm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
www.heavypsychsounds.com

Turn Me on Dead Man, Heavymetal Mothership (2017)

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The Watchers Announce New Album Black Abyss out March 9; Teaser Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the watchers

You might recall San Francisco heavy rockers The Watchers hit the studio in early summer 2017, just prior to embarking on a tour that took them to the East Coast for the first time in order to appear at the Maryland Doom Fest. By the time they make their return appearance at that event for 2018, they’ll be doing so on the heels of that full-length debut. Mixed by Max Norman, whose discography extends well beyond having helmed Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, not that it necessarily needs to, and originally slated to release in Sept. 2017 — which seemed ambitious at the time — the album has been given the rather grim title Black Abyss and is set for a March 9 issue. A special celebratory gig is booked for March 31 to mark its arrival in Redwood City, California, with Swamphammer and Burn River Burn also taking part.

Before the release show hits, The Watchers, which features Tim Narducci and Cornbread from SpiralArms and White Witch Canyon, drummer Carter Kennedy from Orchid and guitarist Jeremy Epp from Black Gates, will also play alongside labelmates The Hazytones, War Cloud, Zed and Blackwülf at Ripplefest II at Thee Parkside in their hometown. One assumes they’ll break out the big guns in terms of new material for the showcase, and if you can make it out Feb 3, that seems like a hell of a way to spend an evening and get a preview of Black Abyss to come.

There aren’t any full tracks from the record posted yet, but the band put out a quickie teaser with a tasty bit of riffing that you can hear at the bottom of this post. Event page links, album cover and basic announcement follow here, dutifully cut and pasted from the social medias:

the watchers black abyss

Here’s to a Heavy 2018! Black Abyss March 9th 2018 – Mixed by the legendary Max Norman!

The Watchers live:
FEB 3 Ripplefest ll Thee Parkside San Francisco, CA w/ Blackwülf, War Cloud, The Hazytones, ZED

https://www.facebook.com/events/1637628336300054/

MAR 31 “Black Abyss” Record Release Show Club Fox Redwood City, CA w/ Swamphammer & Burn River Burn

https://www.facebook.com/events/175685246352911/

JUN 22 Maryland Doom Fest Cafe 611 & Guidos Speakeasy Frederick, MD

https://www.facebook.com/events/165208904035534/

The Watchers are:
Tim Narducci Vocals
Jeremy Epp Guitars
Cornbread Bass
Carter Kennedy Drums

www.facebook.com/bandofwatchers
https://www.facebook.com/Ripple-Music-369610860064/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
http://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/sabbath-highway

The Watchers, Black Abyss teaser

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Carlton Melton to Release Mind Minerals Feb. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

carlton melton

You ever run into a band who are so good you’re almost scared to listen to them because you know if you do you’re going to want to immediately own whatever it is you just put on? Like, you know you don’t really have the money to spend, but you’re going to hear whatever release it is and be like, “Well shit, now I need this.” That’s me and NorCal psych weirdos Carlton Melton. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a track from the band that didn’t make me feel like I should purchase their entire discography, and that this point, that would be no minor undertaking. Still, as pursuits go, noble.

Carlton Melton fucking rule, I guess is my point.

Their new album, Mind Minerals, is out Feb. 2 on Agitated Records, and onto the list of 2018’s most anticipated records it goes. If you need to ask why, see the paragraph immediately above.

Info and tour dates from the PR wire:

carlton melton mind minerals

Announcing CARLTON MELTON new album “Mind Minerals” on Agitated Records

Release date: 2nd February 2018

This will be Carlton Melton’s first full length release since 2015’s widely lauded “Out To Sea” double opus, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically enhanced riffmongering. Sure, there’s been some long EP releases since… Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone sike float on “Rememory”) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea), now its time to soak up… Mind Minerals.

Mind Minerals finds Carlton Melton in fine fettle, all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley on September 3rd and 4th 2016 (except ‘untimely’ – recorded at the Dome by Brian McDougall), the studio setting suits them — a logical progression from a weekend’s recording out at the Dome.
Under Manly’s watchful ear/eye, Carlton Melton have created a futurescape soundtrack.., a “3001 Space Oddyssey”. The drums are more pounding and direct than before, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand to propel you through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling your horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull you into some out of body experience whilst and orchestrated calamitous scree pulls you back…. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. It demands full immersion…

Searing guitar piercing the drone with relentless power, the core trio of Carlton Melton; Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman (guitar/synth), have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post-rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift , this is unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California.. 5 decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple.. .there would have been no helter skelter if the desert Hippies had locked onto these vibes, plug in, turn on, tune out..float free.. Carlton Melton can provide your own aural microdose to reset your Mind / Psyche!!

Andy Duvall plays juno synth on ‘the lighthouse’

Special guests:
Phil Manley – juno synth on ‘snow moon’ and ‘sea legs’ / Guitar on ‘eternal returns’ and ‘psychoticedelicosis’.
John McBain – guitar on ‘electrified sky’ and ‘way back when’ / synth/mellotron/guitar on ‘atmospheric river’.

All songs mastered by John Mcbain at JPM mastering.
Cover artwork is “Walls” (2013) by Andy Vogt

Tracklist
1. Untimely
2. Electrified Sky
3. The Lighthouse
4. Eternal Returns
5. Snow Moon
6. A Basketful Of Trumpets
7. Sea Legs
8. Way Back When
9. Climbing The Ladder
10. Atmospheric River
11. Psychoticedelicosis

Carlton Melton will BE TOURING next year! Confirmed dates below:
08/02 NL Groningen – Vera
09/02 DE Wurzburg – Immerhim
10/02 DE Berlin – Noise Testament
11/02 DE Oldenburg – MTS
12/02 DE Bamberg – Pizzini
14/02 AT Wien – kramladen
15/02 ITA Treviso – AltroQuando
16/02 ITA Torino – Magazzino Sul Po
17/02 ITA Fidenza (Parma) – Arci Taun
19/02 FRA Paris – Instant Chavires
20/02 UK London – The Shacklewell Arms
21/02 UK Todmorden – Golden Lyon
22/02 UK Glasgow – Nice n Sleazy
23/02 UK Manchester – Soup Kitchen
24/02 UK Brighton – Hope &Ruin
25/02 UK Salisbury – The Winchester Gate
26/02 UK Northwich – The Salty Dog
27/02 UK Leeds – Wharf Chambers
28/02 BE Antwerp – Het Bos
03/03 NL Nijmegen – Doornroosje

*More dates to be announced*

http://www.carltonmeltonmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Carlton-Melton-band-page-142609689122268/
https://www.facebook.com/AGITATEDRECORDS/
http://agitatedrecords.com/

Carlton Melton, Out to Sea (2015)

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Friday Full-Length: Acid King, III

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Acid King, III (2005)

And you’re welcome.

There are few joys in heavy rock as unfettered as a Lori S. riff. Some guitarists gallop. Some careen. Some cut steep angles. Some nod. And sometimes a Lori riff can sound like it’s being thrown down a flight of stairs in how it seems to tumble out of the speakers, but her perfect blend of tempo, timing, groove, construction, spaciousness, tone and the cyclical nature of her style gives her work in San Francisco’s Acid King an unparalleled molten feel. I won’t take anything away from her echoing vocals, Joey Osbourne‘s roll-ready drumming or what a succession of bassists from Peter Lucas to Dan Southwick to Brian Hill to Guy Pinhas to Rafa Martinez to Mark Lamb have brought to the group in terms of low end, but it is now and has always been the riffs that define Acid King, even dating back to their raw 1994 self-titled EP and 1995 debut album, Zoroaster.

That record would serve as the foundation on which in 1999 the band built a temple and named it Busse Woods (discussed here and here), which — as I seem to say every time I mention it at all — is one of the very best stoner rock albums of all time. It would be six years before the trio, which was then comprised of Lori, Pinhas (also known for his work in Goatsnake and The Obsessed) and Osbourne, issued a proper follow-up. No doubt the dissolution of Frank Kozik‘s by-now legendary imprint Man’s Ruin Records, which released Busse Woods and the subsequent 2001 split EP with Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, played into the delay, but in 2004, Small Stone Records reissued Busse Woods and in 2005, stepped in to offer III — Acid King‘s much-awaited and aptly-titled third full-length.

III was a Spring release, and I remember it seemed pretty close behind the Busse Woods reissue, which may have contributed to the impression that despite the stretch between the two (which seemed long at the time; ha) that the newer album was still operating in the shadow of its predecessor. Nonetheless, with years of hindsight to provide a looking-back lens now, III is an absolute masterwork of riffly meditation. From the fading-in fuzz that begins “2 Wheel Nation” and the unmitigated nod that follows through the patient execution of the singularly righteous “Heavy Load,” “Bad Vision” — which is precisely what I had in mind with the “down a flight of stairs” comment in the first paragraph above — the 12-minute centerpiece “War of the Mind,” the quicker “Into the Ground,” the hook reset of “On to Everafter” and the highlight drum wizardry in finale “Sunshine and Sorrow,” one would be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend 46 minutes of listening time when it comes to groove immersion. Across the entire span, Acid King demonstrate plainly the sheer unfuckwithability of their craft and the utter injustice that their name isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Sleep and Black Sabbath for their pivotal contributions to the form.

Yes, I mean that.

One would be remiss not to note the collaboration between the three-piece and producer Billy Anderson as essential to their overall sound. Anderson, who worked with the band on Zoroaster and Busse Woods as well before helming III, captures the depth of tone and character in Lori‘s guitar and seems to put it in just the right balance with the corresponding bass and drums. The effectiveness on “2 Wheel Nation” is immediate once the song starts — it’s a groove that leaves no one behind as it takes to the road on some souped-up space chopper — and with “Heavy Load” following, the launch salvo for III is unmistakable in its preached message of tonal supremacy, but neither is it void of atmosphere. The repetitions are hypnotic, and shortly, “Bad Vision” snaps the listener back to at least a semi-consciousness state, but while one generally thinks of Acid King as being straightforward in their intentions and sonic impression-making, it’s worth pointing out just how much room is being created by Lori‘s riffs, by the crash of Osbourne‘s cymbals and the thud of his toms, and by the plummeting bass tone with which Pinhas anchors the marching procession. This is reinforced as “War of the Mind” gives III its most gorgeous sprawl, setting itself in an open landscape that seems to stretch like some Western highway populated at dawn by mission-bound hippies in some lysergic American daydream. Even as the lyrics call outright for freedom, the instrumental fluidity behind them seems to find it and bring it wonderfully, glaringly to life.

Is is possible for a band to be so widely hailed and still be underrated? III, which in addition to being concurrent to the reissue of the album before it also arrived at a just-pre-social-media moment of generational shift, would argue yes. Though they toured steadily between, brought together their first two outings in 2006 as their The Early Years compilation, and oversaw reissues of both III and Busse Woods in the interim, a decade passed before Acid King released their fourth long-player in 2015. Aligned to Svart Records and comprised of Lori, Osbourne and Lamb, the triumphantly chanting Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (review here) brimmed with classic Acid King method and personality. With production by Anderson as well as Toshi Kasai, it found the band at their most world-conjuring to-date and marked a surge of international touring and general activity that continues to this day as Lori has revamped Acid King‘s lineup to bring back Martinez (who’s spent years on the road at this point as the drummer for the raging Black Cobra) on bass and new drummer Bil Bowman, replacing Osbourne in the band for the first time and leaving herself as the sole remaining founding member.

The inevitable shift in dynamic there could potentially mean a significant change in Acid King‘s overall chemistry, but with the band having taken six years between Busse Woods and III and 10 between III and Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere, I’m not inclined to predict when their next LP will show up, what shape it will ultimately take, or who will be involved in its making. What matters is that as Acid King approach their 25th anniversary since getting together in 1993, they’ve perhaps never been so ripe for appreciation, and while their catalog over those years isn’t about to challenge Hawkwind in terms of its sheer numbers, each of their albums remains a landmark accomplishment at a level few bands could ever hope to reach.

As always, I hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Yeah, closing out with Acid King is pretty much me doing myself a favor. After a week of being literally shit on, I kind of feel like I earned it as much as I ever consider myself as having “earned” anything. Either way, I decided pretty early on this week that III would do the job and it’s been a pleasure to dig into it over the last few days, go a little deeper in listening than I sometimes do with this stuff. I woke up early this morning to come downstairs and get started. Alarm went off at 4AM. My idea of a good time.

The Pecan continues to grow. Predictably, he’s become a baby of many names, among them “Rocketass” for his propensity to wait until I’ve got his diaper off to unleash fecal torrents. The Patient Mrs. and I gave him a bath last weekend in the kitchen sink and he also pissed on my Vitamix that I use to make the protein shakes that are now what I eat for dinner roughly six nights a week, so yeah. Took me a couple days to forgive that in theory, but the reality of the situation is I don’t even care anymore. He’s yet to produce anything that can’t be wiped off or put through the wash, etc.

I’m sure we’ll get there. I’m just saying we’re not there yet. In the meantime, lack of sleep? Diaper changing? Trying to get him to take a bottle? Whatever. These are good days. Fatigue is a small price to pay for that.

He’s three weeks old now, and The Patient Mrs. continues to be wonderful as a mother. Never a doubt she would be, but to actually see it manifest as reality is humbling and only further underscores how fortunate I am to exist in her presence, pretty much ever, let alone on the ongoing basis of our relationship, marriage and so on. Stupid lucky. The Pecan has been a little fussy the last couple days — Wonder Weeks says he’s on the verge of a sensory breakthrough, which should be fascinating — and she’s been running point all the way. I’ve cooked and cleaned and done that stuff, but to see her momming it up is fantastic. I love her so much I want to bash my brains in.

Next week is Thanksgiving here in the US — a holiday with a troubled historical foundation but probably my favorite in terms of how it brings loved ones together in a spirit of shared appreciation for each other. We’re getting together with my family and The Patient Mrs.’ family in Connecticut for dinner. I’m already anxious about being around that much food — hi, I have an eating disorder — but even if I end up bringing the blender and the protein powder south for the day, I think it’ll be a good time. I’m looking forward to it.

Not sure how it will affect the timing of posts, but here’s what’s in the notes for next week anyway, subject of course to change without notice:

Mon.: Snowy Dunes album review; Borracho announcement/track premiere.
Tue.: Low Orbit track premiere/review; Pillars video premiere.
Wed.: SubRosa Subdued track premiere. Fuck yes.
Thu.: Maybe a podcast? Don’t expect much, if anything.
Fri.: Maybe Frank Sabbath review. Depends where I’m at post-holiday.

There you have it, and there you have it.

I’ve started to put together the next Quarterly Review already for the end of next month/the beginning of January, as well as the best-of lists, so keep an eye out for all that stuff as we move into December, and we’ll have the best albums poll up as well come Dec. 1. Be ready. I want to make it the best one yet, and last year’s is going to be tough to top.

If you’re still reading, you’re great. Thank you.

Have an excellent, safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Turn Me on Dead Man, Heavymetal Mothership

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Turn-Me-on-Dead-Man-Heavymetal-Mothership

[Click play above to stream Turn Me on Dead Man’s Heavymetal Mothership in its entirety. Album is out Oct. 13 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Long associates of Jello Biafra‘s Alternative Tentacles imprint, space rocking outfit Turn Me on Dead Man make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds with Heavymetal Mothership, their fifth overall full-length. Their moniker of course is a reference to the backmasked Beatles message said to be in “Revolution No. 9” as a hidden clue to the alleged death of Paul McCartney, and sure enough there’s plenty of classically psychedelic elements to their sound, but for anyone who’s never encountered them before — one recalls their colorful debut, God Bless the Electric Freak, and is surprised to see it came out 12 years ago in 2005 — the title of the album actually does much more work in conveying the identity of its own sound, because while the San Francisco-based troupe have plenty of slippery trippery happening from launchpoint “Vimana” down through the 11-track/37-minute cosmic offering, there’s an underlying crunch to their fuzz and to their rhythms as well, and they never truly seem to let go of the notion of structure.

That’s hardly a drawback. Rather, “Vimana” sets a catchy tone on which cuts like the subsequent “Asteroid 9,” “Maharishi,” “Master Planet + Mother Star + Secret Moon” and the languid-drawling-into-thrash-galloping “White Slave/Black Master” only build, and elsewhere, it’s pieces like “Diamond Endless,” the effects-coated thrust of “Mind of Oz,” the watery and synth-laden centerpiece “Monolith 1971” and the purely space-driven closer “Room 237” that provide the corresponding freakout sensibility; a willingness to get weird, get weirder, and finally, get weirdest, that pits Turn Me on Dead Man in line for stellar alignment that finds their Heavymetal Mothership running at full warp speed, bearing four mark 20.

And while we’re keeping to vaguely Star Trek-derived starship references (frankly, one is amazed no one has captained a U.S.S. Lennon, registration #NCC-1967, but that’s besides the point), it’s worth noting that Turn Me on Dead Man are fully crewed and then some. Around the core tableau of guitarist, vocalist, bassist, synthesist and noisemaker Mykill Ziggy Minucci, guitarist Nick Doom, drummer/percussionist/vocalist Christopher Melville Lyman and bassist Attis Ngo — the latter also credited with keys on ninth cut “Hologram Universe”; and who seems to be out of the band since Heavymetal Mothership was recorded in 2015, perhaps replaced by Jeff Vengeance — a range of guests are employed on vocals, percussion, keys, bouzouki, and so on. Perhaps it’s best just to cut and paste the full list, as it is extensive:

Chris “Dr.” Fantasy: synthesizers on “Room 237” and “White Slave Black Master”
Scott Reategui Richards: bass on “Master Planet”
Kati Williams: violin on “Forest Damask”
Aaron John Gregory: bouzouki on “Cosmo Nymph”
Steve “Robot Speak” Taormina: chaos and noise on “Room 237”
Jonsey Daysleeper: keys on “Floating In Zen,” “Diamond Endless,” and “Maharishi”
Lith Amenti: vocals on “Floating in Zen”
Mike Thompson: percussion on “Hologram Universe”
Kiyoko Stella: vocals on “Cosmo Nymph” and “Maharishi”

So in terms of personnel, it’s more than twice as many guest spots as actual full-time band members appearing throughout the album. Can only hope the Mothership has a nice lounge area with a vending machine. Perhaps even more crucially, what results from all this flux across the still-manageable span of the record’s two sides is a rife-with-spaciousness feeling of variety that makes almost each track have its own underlying persona. Songs like “Asteroid 9,” “White Slave Black Master” and “Forest Damask” tie into the central notion of sonic dualism hinted at in the title — more often than not, heavy metal and space rock or funk (with which a mothership might also be associated) are thought of as separate aesthetic entities — but even within these, there’s a diversity of approach that becomes utterly crucial to the overarching impression of the material. And whether it’s the taut, lead-topped thrust of bliss in the middle of “Maharishi” or the toms beneath the outward, semi-post-rocking reach of “Diamond Endless,” Turn Me on Dead Man successfully execute this sonic breadth while balancing experimentalism and accessibility such that they never seem to be lost in the wash they’re creating. At times — looking at you, “Hologram Universe” — this is a genuine accomplishment.

Something that Turn Me on Dead Man seem to turn to their advantage in this, however, is the fact that individual songs are short. “Hologram Universe?” Yeah, it’s got keys, effects-soaked guitar strum, slow-freakout vibes and all that. It’s also about 75 seconds long. “Mind of Oz” cuts itself open and bleeds catchy acid, but it’s done in 2:22, and though “Forest Damask” has a somewhat farther-gone spirit to it, and is a little darker in its atmosphere as the longest inclusion, its listener immersion is enacted and gone in 4:42. The early work of Nebula comes to mind as a touchstone when thinking of a group so skillfully balancing songwriting and lysergics, and Turn Me on Dead Man are willful in their intention to push deeper into uncharted sectors. Needless to say, stellar cartographers will be thrilled, but moreover — and this is the real point at which Heavymetal Mothership finds its ultimate triumph — there’s a flow between the songs such that, as they bounce from one idea and fade it into the next, bring in different players to build out the songs and find themselves in these unknown positions in the galaxy, they come across as no more disjointed than they mean to be.

Diversity of approach, rather, is one of Heavymetal Mothership‘s great strengths, and the songs the album contains become like psychedelic snippets showing the places one can travel at the speed of thought. Like their underrated labelmates in Farflung, or like some of what White Hills and younger-days Monster Magnet were able to conjure in their own halls of space-worship, Turn Me on Dead Man provide sure guidance the whole way through Heavymetal Mothership, and if one thinks of recently-floated post-Roddenberryan notions of astrophysics and biology as one, travel by spores, etc., then it’s all the more fitting that Heavymetal Mothership sounds shroomy as fuck. If you can get on board, you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Turn Me on Dead Man, “Forest Damask” official video

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