420 Music & Arts Festival 2018: Sasquatch, Brant Bjork, Great Electric Quest, La Chinga, Dopethrone and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

My understanding there’s a whole lot more that goes on at Calgary’s 420 Music and Arts Festival than just bands playing, but golly, there sure are a lot of bands playing. I just hope someone keeps a running tally of what’s on the playlist for Brant Bjork‘s DJ set, because you know that dude is going to both out-funk and out-punk the entire room and I’d pretty much take each track as a recommendation for an album I needed to check out. Oh yeah, DopethroneSasquatchLa ChingaMendozza, and about 20-odd other bands playing are pretty cool too. Not taking anything away from that. Just saying someone needs to write that shit down for me.

The PR wire has all the info:

420 music and arts festival

CALGARY’S 420 MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2018 LINE-UP W/ DOPETHRONE, BRANT BJORK, SASQUATCH, LA CHINGA – TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Official Festival Poster Artwork by Mike Calhoun / Sketchy Intuitions, Austin, TX

Calgary, AB’s 420 Music & Arts Festival presented by METALHEADS UNITED announces their 2018 line-up for April 19th, 20th, and 21st featuring headliners Dopethrone, Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Vista Chino) (special guest DJ set on 420), Sasquatch and La Chinga along with over 20 other acts ranging from stoner rock/stoner metal, doom, psychedelic and heavy blues.

420 Music & Arts Festival 2018 Line-Up

Thursday April 19

Sasquatch (Los Angeles, CA)
Great Electric Quest (San Diego, CA)
Electric Owl (Calgary, AB)
Gin Lahey (members of Chron Goblin and Witchstone) (Calgary, AB)
RAW (Calgary, AB)
Set and Stoned (Calgary, AB)
Solid Brown (Calgary, AB)

Friday April 20

Brant Bjork (Palm Desert, CA) (DJ sets between bands, spinning rare vinyl and closing the festival night)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary, AB)
Mendozza (Vancouver, BC)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)
Chronobot (Sask)
Black Hell Oil (Saskatoon, SK)
The Mothercraft (Edmonton, AB)

Saturday April 21

Dopethrone (Montreal, QC)
Buzzard (Victoria, BC)
Orbital Express (Regina. SK)
The Electric Revival (Calgary, AB)
Chunkasaurus (Nanaimo, BC)
Heron (Vancouver, BC)
Ogimaa (Winnipeg, MB)
Haaze (Calgary, AB)
Pelican Death Squad (Calgary, AB)

Ticket Info:

Advance festival 3 day passes are now available for $69 CAD (plus applicable service charges) until April 1st then will increase to regular price of $89 (plus applicable service charges).

Limited quantities of individual day tickets will be available beginning March 1st.

Festival passes available online only at the festival store at the following link: http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/store-2/

Festival passes give fans entry to Distortion on April 19, 20 and 21 and additional 420 Music and Arts Festival Events to be announced at a later date.

Passes are not transferable between attendees during the event. Passes will be exchanged for wrist bands, which must be worn for entrance to the events.

All passes purchased online will be available for pick up at venue or shipped to choice of mailing address. Physical passes will be mailed out in early February. Any passes purchased for shipping by February 15th, are scheduled to arrive by March 1st. If you do not receive your passes by the listed date, please contact the festival at http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca/contact/. A shipping confirmation will be sent when passes are mailed.

All ticket sales are final. No refunds will be issued unless full festival cancellation. 420 Music & Arts Festival reserve the right to change the line up as required due to band scheduling and / or other circumstances beyond their control.

http://www.420musicandartsfestival.ca
http://www.facebook.com/420MusicAndArtsFestival
http://twitter.com/420FestivalYYC

Dopethrone, 1312 (2016)

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The Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

top-20-of-2017-year-end-poll-results

Happy New Year 2018! If you’re reading this, welcome to the future. Enjoy your flying car, free healthcare, universal income, matter replicators and life on that moon colony you moved to a couple years back — New Berlin, wasn’t it? Well, either way, I’m sure it’s lovely this season.

Way back in the Dark Ages, on Dec. 1, 2017, I put up The Obelisk’s annual Year-End Poll, looking for submissions from as many people as possible with their picks for what were the year’s best albums. The response was once again staggering. Over 400 lists came in — including my own, which I submitted yesterday — for a final tally of 419, and the amount of consensus that emerged from them was no less impressive.

We’ll get there in a second. First, a reminder about the point system. As ever, a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. So it doesn’t only matter that you included a record on your list — the raw votes are also tallied — but where it was included. That only seems fair in acknowledging how passionate people were about a given release.

You know the drill by now I’m sure, but it pays to be thorough. Below you’ll find both the weighted point tally and the raw votes results, followed by some quick honorable mentions, comment, etc. After the jump, you’ll find the complete list of everyone who submitted. If you’d like to check my math on anything, feel free. I’m by no means perfect when it comes to statistics or counting or any of that stuff involving those things that aren’t letters. Whatever they’re called.

Thanks to everyone who took part this year. Here are the lists:

Top 20 of 2017 — Weighted Results

elder reflections of a floating world adrian dexter

1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (888 points)
2. Monolord, Rust (397)
3. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War (346)
4. Pallbearer, Heartless (327)
5. Colour Haze, In Her Garden (284)
6. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand (256)
7. Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper (250)
8. The Obsessed, Sacred (248)
9. Sasquatch, Maneuvers (242)
10. Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard (237)
11. Kadavar, Rough Times (236)
12. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe (225)
13. Ufomammut, 8 (205)
14. DVNE, Asheran (198)
15. Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child (189)
16. Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (163)
17. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma (158)
18. Causa Sui, Vibraciones Doradas (155)
19. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable (150)
20. Motorpsycho, The Tower (149)

Honorable Mention:
Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle (144)
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings (134)
Dopelord, Children of the Haze (132)
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun (129)
Mutoid Man, War Moans (123)

No real surprise here, but with the fact that Elder’s Reflections of a Floating World topped 880 points and got more than twice as much as the next closest record, it’s hard to begrudge 2017 some measure of predictability. For what it’s worth, that’s an even stronger showing than their Lore LP got in 2015, and they took the lead on day one and did not relinquish it for the duration. Outside of them and Monolord, who held command of the number two spot for the entire month, there was some measure of parity, but it was clear where hearts and minds were situated in 2017, and certainly difficult to argue with the picks on the whole, regardless of where a given individual ranked one album or the other. Looking at that list of 20-plus, especially with the honorable mentions, I’d sign up for that year every time. It was a good one. Now then…

Top 20 of 2017 — Raw Votes

elder reflections of a floating world adrian dexter

1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (207 votes)
2. Monolord, Rust (110)
3. Pallbearer, Heartless (94)
4. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War (88)
5. Kadavar, Rough Times (77)
6. Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard (75)
7. Colour Haze, In Her Garden (74)
8. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand (72)
9. The Obsessed, Sacred (71)
10 Sasquatch, Maneuvers (70)
11. Ufomammut, 8 (67)
12. Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper (64)
13. Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child (60)
14. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe (59)
15. Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (54)
16. DVNE, Asheran (53)
17. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable (48)
18. Causa Sui, Vibraciones Doradas (47)
19. Radio Moscow, New Beginnings (45)
19. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma (45)
20. Dopelord, Children of the Haze (43)
20. Mothership, High Strangeness (43)

Honorable Mention:
Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle (40)
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun (37)
The Atomic Bitchwax, Force Field (34)
Beastmaker, Inside the Skull (34)
Motorpsycho, The Tower (33)
Mutoid Man, War Moans (32)

Even less surprising given the above. 207 people of the 419 who submitted lists included Elder somewhere on theirs. It’s pretty hard to get about 50 percent of anyone to agree on anything these days, so I consider that no minor feat. Again, Reflections of a Floating World earned its place, and it was a pretty astounding achievement for the band and the genre they’re working to remake in their own image. A couple minor shifts between the raw tallies and the weighted results as there always are, but again, the underlying point here is that 2017 was a pretty killer year all the way around and across a deep variety of styles, the quality of work being put forth by veterans and newcomers alike was nothing short of excellent.

Before I turn you over to the massive swath of everybody’s lists, I just want to say thanks again to Slevin for being so instrumental in setting up the technical end of this poll. It’s amazing year after year to be able to basically at this point flip a switch and have it all set to go and there’s no way that would happen without Slevin working so hard behind the scenes to put the structure in place that holds this project, the entire site, together. Thanks dude.

And thank you for reading and contributing your favorites of 2017! This is the last of the 2017 Year-End coverage for The Obelisk. If you missed any of it, go here:

The Top 30 Albums of 2017

The Top 20 Short Releases of 2017

The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

2017 Song of the Year

12 of 2017’s Best Album Covers

One more time, thank you for reading. After the jump, please find the raw lists of everyone who took the time to turn one in. Enjoy:

Read more »

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audiObelisk Transmission 064

Posted in Podcasts on December 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

audiobelisk transmission 064

So this is something I’ve never done before. I’m not exactly what you’d call an early adopter when it comes to new technology, but this weekend I finally signed up for Spotify and decided to give a shot at putting together a year-end playlist through that rather than doing the standard podcast. Aside from a kind of ongoing latent concern about essentially giving away downloads of music that doesn’t belong to me via the old mp3 files — no one’s ever said anything and I always figured it was okay since songs were bundled together as one file — this just seemed more useful in allowing people to explore different artists, albums, etc. If you disagree, I’m sorry.

I can’t say I won’t ever go back to the other way, or that I’ll actively enjoy having a Spotify account enough to keep it, and so on, but it’s something new to try, so I’m giving it a shot. The playlist turned out to be nine hours and 12 minutes long, and once I got going, I couldn’t really resist making it 65 tracks, what with it being the 64th podcast and all. One to grow on.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening:

Track details:

• Artist, Track, Album, Runtime
• Elder, Sanctuary, Reflections of a Floating World, 00:11:13
• All Them Witches, Am I Going Up?, Sleeping Through the War, 00:05:33
• Lo-Pan, Pathfinder, In Tensions, 00:06:22
• MOON RATS, Heroic Dose, Highway Lord, 00:04:27
• Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, Medicine, Medicine, 00:06:38
• Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream, Lucifer’s Dream, 00:09:06
• Brume, Reckon, Rooster, 00:09:12
• Riff Fist, King Tide, King Tide, 00:11:20
• Monolord, Dear Lucifer, Rust, 00:08:41
• Hymn, Serpent, Perish, 00:07:32
• Vinnum Sabbathi, Gravity Waves, Gravity Works, 00:08:26
• Electric Wizard, Wicked Caresses, Wizard Bloody Wizard, 00:06:43
• Ruby the Hatchet, Symphony of the Night, Planetary Space Child, 00:07:08
• Telekinetic Yeti, Colossus, Abominable, 00:08:56
• Bong Wish, My Luv, Bong Wish, 00:02:31
• Radio Moscow, New Skin, New Beginnings, 00:03:02
• Cloud Catcher, Celestial Empress, Trails of Kozmic Dust, 00:05:41
• The Atomic Bitchwax, Humble Brag, Force Field, 00:02:52
• Sasquatch, Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather, Maneuvers, 00:06:27
• Kadavar, Die Baby Die, Rough Times, 00:04:18
• Cities of Mars, Children of the Red Sea, Temporal Rifts, 00:08:27
• Argus, You Are the Curse, From Fields of Fire, 00:06:23
• Comacozer, Hylonomus, Kalos Eidos Skopeo, 00:13:43
• Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe, One with the Universe, 00:15:02
• Orango, Heirs, The Mules of Nana, 00:04:46
• Siena Root, Tales of Independence, A Dream of Lasting Peace, 00:03:39
• Demon Head, Older Now, Thunder on the Fields, 00:04:17
• Sun Blood Stories, Great Destroyer, It Runs Around the Room with Us, 00:06:11
• Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma, Time Travel Dilemma, 00:10:07
• Arc of Ascent, Hexagram, Realms of the Metaphysical, 00:07:34
• Causa Sui, Seven Hills, Vibraciones Doradas, 00:07:24
• Alunah, Fire of Thornborough Henge, Solennial, 00:05:32
• Vokonis, Calling From The Core, The Sunken Djinn, 00:06:03
• Enslaved, Sacred Horse, E, 00:08:12
• Dvne, Edenfall, Asheran, 00:07:04
• The Midnight Ghost Train, Break My Love, Cypress Ave., 00:03:33
• The Obsessed, It’s Only Money, Sacred, 00:02:35
• Mothership, Crown of Lies, High Strangeness, 00:05:41
• Geezer, Red Hook, Psychoriffadelia, 00:06:02
• Uffe Lorenzen, Flippertøs, Galmandsværk, 00:02:46
• Youngblood Supercult, Master of None, The Great American Death Rattle, 00:04:01
• Beastmaker, Nature of the Damned, Inside the Skull, 00:03:26
• Pallbearer, I Saw the End, Heartless, 00:06:21
• Paradise Lost, Blood and Chaos, Medusa, 00:03:51
• Rozamov, Wind Scorpion, This Mortal Road, 00:08:49
• Eternal Black, Sea of Graves, Bleed the Days, 00:06:33
• Demon Eye, Politic Divine, Prophecies and Lies, 00:03:40
• Snowy Dunes, Ritual of Voices, Atlantis, 00:07:17
• The Devil and the Almighty Blues, Low, II, 00:08:49
• Abronia, Glass Butte Retribution, Obsidian Visions / Shadowed Lands, 00:06:09
• John Garcia, Kylie, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues, 00:04:58
• Tuna de Tierra, Raise of the Lights, Tuna de Tierra, 00:07:09
• Colour Haze, Lotus, In Her Garden, 00:07:05
• IAH, Stolas, IAH, 00:08:39
• Fungus Hill, Are You Dead, Creatures, 00:08:54
• Atavismo, El Sueño, Inerte, 00:11:18
• Tuber, Noman, Out of the Blue, 00:08:14
• Spidergawd, What You Have Become, Spidergawd IV, 00:03:44
• Puta Volcano, Bird, Harmony of Spheres, 00:05:07
• Ufomammut, Core, 8, 00:05:15
• Kings Destroy, None More, None More, 00:14:03
• PH, Looking Back at Mr. Peter Hayden, Eternal Hayden, 00:16:44
• Mt. Mountain, Dust, Dust, 00:17:15
• Electric Moon, Live Forever Now (You Will), Stardust Rituals, 00:22:41
• Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper, Mirror Reaper, 01:23:15

If you want to follow me on Spotify, apparently that’s something you can do here.

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The Obelisk Presents: Sasquatch & House of Broken Promises Nov. 2017 West Coast Tour

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on October 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Los Angeles heavy rock magnates Sasquatch released their fifth album, Maneuvers (review here), earlier this year. It was their first record not to be issued through Small Stone, and their first to feature Boston-based drummer Craig Riggs (also vocalist of Roadsaw) in the lineup with guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova, but even with these changes, Sasquatch not only retained but basked in the enduring righteousness of their songwriting. Working at Mad Oak Studios with producer/engineer Benny Grotto, their hooks in cuts like “Bringing Me Down,” “Anyway” and “Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather” as infectious as ever, if not more so.

Some questions in life are really hard. You have to think before you answer. Those “a train leaves Chicago at the same time a train leaves New York” word problems? I still don’t know how to solve that shit. However, when I got the email from Heavy Talent asking if I wanted to have The Obelisk present Sasquatch‘s upcoming West Coast run with House of Broken Promises (fresh off the release of their new EP on Heavy Psych Sounds), I don’t even think I finished reading the sentence before I shot back “YES!” as my reply. Because it’s Sasquatch, dag nabbit, and in addition to having put out one of 2017’s best records, they’re pretty darn okay in general.

Still a couple dates to be filled in — so get on that if you can help — but Sasquatch start the tour Nov. 3 at the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest pre-party, where they’ll join Lo-PanBrant Bjork and Monster Magnet (info here) and pick up thereafter to kick ass with House of Broken Promises all the way up and down the coastline. As we say here on the other side of the country: Frickin’ awesome.

Also, speaking of — somebody needs to save me one of these posters. Check it out:

sasquatch house of broken promises tour

SASQUATCH NOV. 2017 WEST COAST TOUR
All Dates with House of Broken Promises except where indicated:
Nov 3 – Los Angeles, CA – Ozzfest Pre-Party * Sasquatch Only
Nov 4 – Las Vegas, NV – Dive Bar
Nov 5 – Flagstaff, AZ – The Green Room
Nov 6 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Metro Music Hall
Nov 7 – Lake Tahoe, NV – Rojo’s Tavern
Nov 8 – Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
Nov 9 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Nov 10 – Portland, OR – (TBA)
Nov 11 – Sacramento, CA – Cafe Colonial
Nov 12 – Bay Area (TBA)

Sasquatch, Maneuvers (2017)

Sasquatch on Thee Facebooks

Sasquatch on Twitter

Sasquatch website

Sasquatch on Bandcamp

Mad Oak Records website

Mad Oak Studios on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Talent website

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Monster Magnet, Brant Bjork, Sasquatch & Lo-Pan to Play Ozzfest Meets Knotfest Preshow

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

With the prior announcement that Orange Goblin would open the Main Stage as their only US appearance for 2017 and word that High on Fire, Kyng and Tombs would take part on the Second Stage, Ozzfest Meets Knotfest offers a bit of intrigue beyond the sheer commercial enterprise. The initial PR wire release called it “the biggest metal festival in North America ever,” which simply isn’t true either in scope or the audience it’s likely to bring in, but along with others like Psycho Las Vegas, it is emblematic that the growth of US fest culture doesn’t just mean eight or 12 bands getting on stage the same day. These are genuine events coming together and with underground heavy as a part of that — even a minor part, as with Ozzfest Meets Knotfest — I’m intrigued to find out what the next few years bring.

Today’s kickass news? It’s right there in the headline: Monster MagnetBrant BjorkSasquatch and Lo-Pan are playing a special free preshow for Ozzfest Meets Knotfest campers on Nov. 3 before the fest proper starts on Nov. 4. Forgive me for saying so, but as I see it, that’s a stronger lineup than either day of the fest itself offers on the Main Stage — much as I love Orange Goblin. But then, I’ve never been much for Eighteen Visions. In any case, good for Sasquatch and Lo-Pan particularly. I hope all parties involved kick ass and make a lot of money on t-shirt sales.

Just in from the PR wire:

ozzfest-meets-knotfest-kickoff-show

OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST

WEEKEND KICKS OFF WITH FREE FRIDAY PRE-EVENT CONCERT FOR ALL WEEKEND CAMPERS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 (OZZFEST) AND SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 (KNOTFEST) AT GLEN HELEN AMPHITHEATER AND FESTIVAL GROUNDS IN SAN BERNARDINO, CA

This year’s OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST–Saturday, November 4 (OZZFEST) and Sunday, November 5 (KNOTFEST) at Glen Helen Amphitheater And Festival Grounds in San Bernardino, CA–will once again kick off with a special campers only pre-event concert. The exclusive free Friday, November 3 camping kick-off concert will give campers early access to the campsite, allowing them time to prepare for a night of performances from Monster Magnet, Brant Bjork, Sasquatch, and Lo-Pan. VIP camping lines open at 4:00 PM, general camping load in begins at 5:00 PM. Doors to the Friday night camping kick-off party open at 7:00 PM with live music set to kick off at 8:00 PM.

In addition, beginning Tuesday, August 1 at 10:00 AM (PT) a $99 all in bundle two ticket, two day ticket price is available through Saturday, August 5 at 12:59 PM (PT) for the multi-stage, two-day weekend camping event that will include more than 40 acts.

The OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST line-up (as of August 1) is as follows:

OZZFEST
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4

MAIN STAGE
Ozzy Osbourne
Prophets of Rage
Deftones
Children of Bodom
Orange Goblin

SECOND STAGES
Kreator
Baroness
High on Fire
Iron Reagan
1349
Havok
Kyng
Tombs
Night Demon
Thrown Into Exile

NUCLEAR BLAST EXTREME STAGE
Possessed
Suffocation
Fallujah
Rings of Saturn

KNOTFEST
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5

MAIN STAGE
Rob Zombie
Marilyn Manson
Stone Sour
Eighteen Visions
Prayers

SECOND STAGES
Testament
Life of Agony
Black Dahlia Murder
Upon a Burning Body
Goatwhore
Death Angel
Code Orange
ONI
Stitched Up Heart
DED

NUCLEAR BLAST EXTREME STAGE
Repulsion
Exhumed
Warbringer
Ghoul

www.Ozzfest.com
www.facebook.com/ozzfestofficial
www.knotfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/KNOTFEST/

Lo-Pan, In Tensions (2017)

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Sasquatch, Maneuvers: The Twists and Turns

Posted in Reviews on June 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sasquatch-maneuvers

In the 13 years since they released their self-titled debut, Los Angeles heavy rockers Sasquatch have somewhat quietly — and somewhat loudly — become one of the foremost American delivery systems of straightforward, flawlessly composed heavy rock and roll. Their fifth full-length breaks with a three-record Roman numeral tradition established across 2014’s IV (review here), 2010’s III (review here) and 2006’s II (discussed here) — in being titled Maneuvers, and with a sort-of-self-release through Mad Oak Records where its four predecessors found issue through Small Stone as well as by being the first Sasquatch album to feature Roadsaw vocalist Craig Riggs on drums alongside guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova. Riggs also owns Mad Oak Studios in Allston, Massachusetts, where Maneuvers was recorded by producer Benny Grotto before being sent to Andrew Schneider in New York for mixing and Justin Weis in San Francisco to be mastered — if nothing else, the record has gotten around — and he steps into Sasquatch in place of Rick Ferrante, who still shares a writing credit on some of the album’s nine tracks.

And as ever for Sasquatch, the writing is the crucial element. I am very much a fan of the band and their output to-date, so if you need to, take my saying so with an appropriately-sized grain of salt, but as they have developed over the years into their own sound — Gibbs as attitude-laden vocalist, soloist and riffer, Casanova as anchor and a purveyor of high-class low-end complement and tonal richness– each Sasquatch offering since the first has been tied together through a near-unmatched-in-riff-rock quality of craftsmanship. And on Maneuvers, the thread continues in pieces like “More Than You’ll Ever Be,” the leadoff single and opener “Rational Woman” (premiered here), “Destroyer,” “Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” “Drown all the Evidence,” “Bringing Me Down,” “Anyway” and closer “Window Pain,” which if you’re paying attention, accounts for the whole record minus the penultimate interlude “Lude,” which at least goes to the effort of having a clever title.

Couple this essential facet of their approach with Grotto‘s as-expected full, clear and clean-but-not-overly-so production — still allowing for the punch of Casanova‘s bass in “Rational Woman” and a right-on fuzzy breadth swirling in the later, slower, key-inclusive “Drown all the Evidence” — and Maneuvers, as a title, could have any number of origins. The word itself, along with the fighter pilot featured on the cover art by Troy Goodrich, brings to mind a military context, going out on maneuvers, or trying to outflank one’s opponent. That could be a reference to the changes in and around the band itself — a convenient if unlikely narrative — the fact that they released the album with minimal fanfare ahead of a European tour, essentially outflanking their audience — also unlikely, but not impossible — or their use of “maneuvers” could simply refer to the practice of their songwriting itself, serving as another way of saying Maneuvers, the record, is Sasquatch making the moves they make, doing what they do.

Whether or not that’s where the name comes from, it’s true to how Maneuvers plays out. Sasquatch demonstrate clear, obvious mastery of their approach as “Rational Woman” kicks off at a high clip and the nod-groovy “More than You’ll Ever Be” follows with an extra dose of echo on Gibbs‘ vocals, leading into “Destroyer” (not a cover of The Atomic Bitchwax), the hook of which reinforces the push of an opening salvo from which it would be difficult to ask more than is given. It’s a first-third of the tracklist working to establish and build momentum that continues as “Bringing Me Down” expands the melodic context with some vocal harmonies (are those backing vocals by Riggs? layers from Gibbs? it’s hard to tell) in its second-half bridge to set up an all the more fluid transition into the organ-laced centerpiece “Drown all the Weather,” which along with the subsequent “Drown all the Evidence” and “Window Pain” brings in David Unger (a bandmate of Riggs‘ as singer of White Dynomite) to handle keys, only enhancing Sasquatch‘s long-embodied blend of the classic and modern in heavy rock.

sasquatch-Photo-by-Edko-Fuzz

“Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather” and “Drown all the Evidence” hit back-to-back and are the two longest cuts on Maneuvers at just under six and a half minutes each, and their pairing seems by no means to be an accident. Rather, after the raucous launch and the shift begun on “Bringing Me Down,” they stand out in the middle of the album as a point of essential listener immersion. The take and tone aren’t radically different from what Sasquatch have already brought to bear, but the keys make a difference to be sure, and where “Rational Woman” barely lets those hearing it catch their breath before shoving them into “More than You’ll Ever Be,” both of the longer tracks allow a more patient rollout to take hold amid the still-resonant hooks. Nothing more than a good band capable of working in different contexts doing just that and doing it well. The following “Anyway” almost seems to make an aside of the two/three songs before it, but brings Maneuvers back to a more grounded and straightforward position à la “More than You’ll Ever Be” or “Bringing Me Down” as they shift into the final movement in the last third.

While the total runtime stands at an utterly manageable 38 minutes (IV was 43, if you want to compare), this last set of three tracks, with the 17 seconds of “Lude” picking up after the quick fade of “Anyway” and leading into “Window Pain,” is the shortest and most deceptively efficient of them. And when it hits, “Window Pain,” naturally, serves to tie the various sides of Maneuvers together, bringing back Unger on keys and welcoming noted Boston improv specialist James Rohr (The Blue RibbonsThe Family Township) on B3 for additional flourish. It becomes somewhat curious that Sasquatch close on an energetic middle-ground — “Window Pain” is more emotional than it is a riot — but five records deep, they know the choices they’re making and one isn’t inclined to argue with either the execution of the finale, the depth of the arrangement or the manner in which it eases the listener to the silence that follows.

One might have said the same thing about the preceding album, but Maneuvers finds Sasquatch wholly mature and in unshaken command of their craft and style. They’ve been through some changes in the last couple years, perhaps, but what makes them who they are very much remains intact and pushes forward with characteristic boldness and the update of classic methods and structures that has made bridging generations of rock impulses sound so completely natural across their entire discography. Sasquatch are nothing short of a treasure in US heavy rock and roll, and their Maneuvers are sharp, refined and something special to behold. One of 2017’s best, easily.

Sasquatch, Maneuvers (2017)

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SonicBlast Moledo 2017: Colour Haze, Acid King, Black Bombaim & Bar de Monjas Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sonicblast-moledo-2017-banner

If you had a two-band festival, and those two bands were Colour Haze and Acid King — and that’s it — no one else — I’d still call it an awesome time. Accordingly, kudos to SonicBlast Moledo 2017 for signing up both acts and setting my mind immediately adrift on a daydreaming course of Portuguese wonders that could be had. Of course, Colour Haze and Acid King aren’t the only bands playing — see also Elder, Sasquatch, The Machine, Monolord, Death Alley, Blaak Heat, Orange Goblin, Kadavar, and so on — but yeah, that’s a special couple days right there when you can get those groups together. “Kudos” is probably an understatement.

The PR wire has the latest:

sonicblast moledo 2017 colour haze

SonicBlast Moledo 2017 | Haze of acid in sight!

With the dates settled for August 11th and 12th, the seventh edition of SonicBlast Moledo closes the two-day lineup with Colour Haze, Acid King, Black Bombaim, Stone Dead, It Was the Elf, Ana Paris and Bar de Monjas !

They’ll be joining the previously confirmed Orange Goblin, Kadavar, Elder, Sasquatch, Kikagaku Moyo/?????, Dead Witches, Monolord, The Machine, Yuri Gagarin, The Well, Death Alley, Blaak Heat, Toxic Shock, Löbo, Vinnum Sabbathi and Holy Mushroom!

Now heading to its seventh edition, the festival located at the small beach village of Moledo, North of Portugal, includes two stages (the smaller one with a pool), free camping (to ticket holders) right by the beach and an amazing ambient for any heavy rock, psych, doom or stoner fan.

Colour Haze

With more than twenty years on the road, almost twenty studio records and a relentless will to keep going, it’s more than comprehensible that Colour Haze are easily considered one of the highest exponents within the European Psychedelic Stoner culture. On their course, they count with innumerable presences throughout all Europe and also on USA, although, they never had the chance to debut on Lusitanian territory. Following the release of their newest full-length album “In Her Garden”, the German trio embraces themselves to descend upon Portuguese lands for the first time ever in their career, received with all the enthusiasm for this seventh edition of SonicBlast Moledo.

Acid King

Formed by the charismatic Lori S. during the year of 1993, Acid King are, without any doubt, one of the classic acts of the Stoner Doom’s genre. Their intense and powerful sound, turn them into one of the most influential band within this musical circuit, only having passed through Portugal once. On 2017, they make their debut on Moledo and we can only wait for a triumphant presence.

Bar de Monjas

The Mexican / German duo Bar de Monjas promises a thunderous discharge of agitated rhythms, always heavy and filled with fuzz. On the road since 2010, they already count with one full-length studio record, two EP’s and an amazing split, released in collaboration with the already confirmed Vinnum Sabbathi.

Black Bombaim

After being obliged to cancel their presence at the last edition, Black Bombaim are ready to return to Moledo to spread their contagious psychotropic Rock.

We also receive the fresh Rock n Roll of Stone Dead, as well as the energetic Stoner Metal of It was the Elf and the return of Ana Parisw ith their characteristic Stoner Rock force.

Tickets Price:
2nd pre-sale : 42€ | From 01/03/17 to 30/06/17
3rd pre-sale : 48€ | From 01/07/17 to 31/07/17
4th pre-sale: 55€ | From 01/08/17 to the event’s final

https://sonicblastmoledo.bol.pt/
https://www.facebook.com/SonicBlast-Moledo-242619262427066/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1818493011695737/
https://sonicblastmoledo.wordpress.com/

Colour Haze, In Her Garden (2017)

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Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:

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Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

Drinks
• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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