I’m going to be honest: I can’t even pretend to know what’s going to happen with Saint Vitus at this point. The legendary doomers are currently two nights deep into a European tour that will carry them to and through Hellfest in Clisson, France, later this month, and following the arrest in Norway last fall of vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich (he of Wino Wednesday fame), they’re touring as the four-piece of guitarist Dave Chandler, vocalist Scott Reagers, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez, which actually puts them as close to their original lineup as they can get after the 2010 passing of founding drummer Armando Acosta. Nonetheless, how permanent any of this is, with Reagers stepping in for Wino in the frontman role, what the band’s plans are and whether or not they’ll follow-up studio comeback, Lillie: F-65 (review here), which was released in 2012 on Season of Mist, I simply have no idea.
As a fan of the band, it’s exciting to have Reagers back singing for them much as it was exciting to have Wino singing for them when they first got back together in 2009. Their 1984 self-titled debut is a watershed moment in American doom — as pivotal, essential a release as anything the genre produced before or since — and to think of Reagers singing “Saint Vitus” and “White Magic/Black Magic” again makes it easy enough to get on board. Minus “The Psychopath,” that entire album was aired at Vitus‘ tour-kickoff on May 23 at Red 7 in Austin, Texas, as well as cuts from 1985’s sophomore outing, Hallow’s Victim and their 1995 post-Wino/post-Chritus Linderson/pre-Wino reunion with Reagers, Die Healing. 1995, incidentally, was the last time the band performed with Reagers up front. Two decades ago. Here’s the setlist as reported to the interwebs:
Dark World One Mind Zombie Hunger War is Our Destiny White Magic/Black Magic Trail of Pestilence White Stallions Burial at Sea Look Behind You Mystic Lady Saint Vitus Born too Late
Of those, only “Look Behind You” and “Born too Late” were originally vocalized in the studio by Wino, so Chandler and company have definitely shifted their focus, but as the clip below shows, Reagers is readily able to take on the anthem as well that has become so much a signature of Vitus and what they represent. If you’re one for bootlegs, there’s a killer version of Reagers singing “Born too Late” on Let the End Begin — one of the band’s several not-quite-official live albums — and here’s how he handles it nowadays:
Saint Vitus, “Born too Late” live in Austin, TX, May 23, 2015
SAINT VITUS European Tour 2015: June 1 Livorno, IT @ The Cage June 2 Bologna, IT @ Alchemia June 3 Giavera del Montello, IT @ Benicio Live June 4 Innsbruck, AT @ Weekender Club June 5 Wien, AT @ Rock in Vienna June 6 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar June 7 Beograd Stari Grad, RS @ Dom omladine Beograda June 8 Budapest, HU @ A38 June 9 Prague, CZ @ Modra Vopice June 10 Warsaw. PL @ Hydrozagadka June 12 Talinn, EE @ Rockclub Tapper June 13 Helsinki, FL @ Nosturi June 14 Tampere, FL @ Klubi June 16 Oslo, NO @ Blå June 17 Götebor, SE @ Truckstop Alaska June 18 København, DK @ Copenhell June 19 Deventer, NL @ BWH June 21 Clisson, FR @ Hellfest Open Air – The Valley
Posted in Reviews on June 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
For those who would be inclined to do so, there are really two ways to take on listening to Weedeater at this stage in their career. One can take a record like the 10-track/34-minute Goliathan, the fifth full-length of their 17-year tenure, first for Season of Mist and first with drummer Travis “T-Boogie” Owen, as a primer for the live experience. No doubt that’s where the hard-touring Wilmington, North Carolina, outfit has always made their primary impact both sonically and as a spectacle, guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd calmly oozing tone on one side of the and bassist/vocalist “Dixie” Dave Collins bugs out his eyes and lets loose both a wave of consuming low-end and a visceral rasp, stomping his foot, banging his head, pounding whiskey, and just maybe vomiting, all the while. One can listen to tracks like “Cain Enabler,” “Goliathan” and “Claw of the Sloth” and imagine the riots incited by the band, who’ve been on the road since long before anyone showed up to see them and have the presence to show for it, up to and including Owen‘s turned-sideways kit as part of the show. One can take Goliathan on that level and be stoked to see Weedeater the next time they roll through. I won’t argue against approaching the album that way. It works, it’s valid, and Steve Albini‘s production, as it did on 2011’s Jason… the Dragon (review here), rightly plays to the rawness of the band’s approach, obviously going for a “live” or at very least organic sound.
The other way to listen to Goliathan, however, is as the most forward-thinking album Weedeater have ever done. Yes, there’s a lot about it that remains intact from their past work. Collins still loves his puns, as “Battered and Fried,” “Cain Enabler” and the epilogue “Benaddiction” remind — the latter an answer to the introduction “Processional,” playing off the band’s Southern and/or Baptist roots — but there’s more going on than that and the expectation-meeting quota of swing (even with Owen in place of Keith Kirkum, this element remains) and vicious extremity of sludge. The opener and closer, for example. “Procession” leads the way into Goliathan with quiet keyboards and duly evangelical flourish of lap steel guitar, Collins adding a semi-spoken grunt of a verse to the mix, and while the progression itself, if it was transposed to full-blast guitar, bass and drums, would be right in Weedeater‘s familiar domain, the opener’s turn of arrangement sets up Goliathan‘s more adventurous approach. Jason… the Dragon had these turns as well, and much to its benefit, but Goliathan uses them more efficiently, and that goes for “Procession,” the spacey guitar minimalism of “Benaddiction,” “Battered and Fried”‘s swampy banjo twang. Even the penultimate “Reprise,” in revisiting the title-track’s steady roll, shows Weedeater with more of a clear head for songwriting and a full-album presentation than they’re often given credit for having, and add to that the speedy punkish weirdness of a song like “Bully,” of which the verses seem to be little more than taunts, and Goliathan becomes an even more nuanced experience.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of bludgeoning as well, nor that said bludgeoning isn’t as righteous as any Weedeater have presented before. The vocals on “Cain Enabler” are near-painful to the ear for the permanent damage one imagines they might’ve caused Collins‘ vocal cords, and as the longest track at 5:25, “Claw of the Sloth” seethes and writhes with a brutality all the more prevalent for how readily the band seems to wield it, and whether it’s a more upbeat progression like that one, a mid-paced stomper like “Joseph (All Talk)” or the densely toned lurch of “Goliathan” itself, the central vibe of rural strangeness and otherworldly threat remain — monsters covered in mud, no help for miles. Collins, Shepherd and Owen capture many of the aspects of Weedeater‘s sound that has made them the pivotal act within underground heavy they’ve become, but it also goes further than that and pushes not only beyond their earlier albums like their 2001 …And Justice for Y’All debut, 2002’s Sixteen Tonsor their 2007 breakthrough, God Luck and Good Speed, but beyond what they accomplished on Jason… the Dragon as well. Perhaps most impressively of all, Goliathan reminds that when it comes to it, Weedeater are going to do whatever they want to do, as they did before their reputation came to precede them and as they no doubt would even if it didn’t. The record’s uncompromising nature just happens to find multiple modes of expression, and in that, the band deliver a work that, on whatever level one might want to take it on, proves worth the effort to do so.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
If you listen to these podcasts on the regular, you might notice this one is a little different than other recent editions have been. I was all set to start it off at a raging clip as per usual and then that Bison Machine track stood out to me with that warm bassline and I just decided that was the way to go, start off languid with that and My Sleeping Karma and ease into the rawer and meaner stuff from there. There are a couple jarring moments here and there, but that’s kind of the idea too, and I think overall across the board it flows well across the two hours, the second of which builds across All Them Witches’ jams and Ichabod’s sludge rock right into the atmospheric doom extremity of Bell Witch. Three songs in about 55 minutes. Awesome.
You might also notice the tracklist below has time stamps. Listed is the start time for each song, so if you get lost along the way, that should hopefully provide some point of reference. In case there was any doubt I pay attention to the stuff people say in comments to these podcast posts.
As always, hope you enjoy:
0:00:00 Bison Machine, “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” from Hoarfrost
0:07:12 My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” from Moksha
0:13:39 Weedeater, “Claw of the South” from Goliathan
0:19:00 Sinister Haze, “Betrayed by Time” from Betrayed by Time EP
0:24:15 Sun and Sail Club, “Dresden Fireball Freakout Flight” from The Great White Dope
0:26:11 Lasers from Atlantis, “Protectress” from Lasers from Atlantis
0:33:29 Arenna, “Drums for Sitting Bull” from Given to Emptiness
0:39:40 Mirror Queen, “Scaffolds of the Sky” from Scaffolds of the Sky
0:45:47 Les Discrets, “La Nuit Muette” from Live at Roadburn
0:51:02 Cigale, “Harvest Begun” from Cigale
0:54:49 Black Mare, “A Low Crimes” from Black Mare/Lycia Split
1:00:03 All Them Witches, “It Moved We Moved/Almost There/A Spider’s Gift” from A Sweet Release
1:24:09 Ichabod, “Squall” from Merrimack
1:33:39 Bell Witch, “Suffocation, a Burial I – Awoken (Breathing Teeth)” from Four Phantoms
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
A few more dates added to Icelandic genre-spanners Sólstafir‘s previously-announced North American tour with Ancient VVisdom. The Reykjavik four-piece, who also play two sets at Roadburn this week and who will appear at Wave Gotik Treffen and a host of other European fests over the course of the next several months, head out once more in support of 2014’s stunner full-length, Ótta (review here), which is a cause as worthy of support as any I can think of. And yeah, the place I live gets the shaft this time around, but it’s hardly the first time and hardly anything to hold against the band. So dig the tour dates off the PR wire and catch these dudes where and when you can.
The time is now:
SOLSTAFIR announce new North American tour dates
Enigmatic Icelandic rock band SOLSTAFIR have added new dates to their previously announced North American tour. The band are touring across the US and Canada, adding shows to Elko NV, Portland OR, and Mesa, AZ. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.
SÓLSTAFIR are different. Their unique blend of metal with beautiful melodies, psychedelic moments and a strong undercurrent of classic / hard rock comes as varied and at times appealingly bizarre as the landscapes of their native Iceland. Their fifth full-length “Ótta” is the logical continuation of the musical course this four-piece adopted on the highly acclaimed forerunner “Svartir Sandar” (2011). Expect the unexpected, such as seduction by subtle strings or a hypnotic banjo. None of this was apparent when SÓLSTAFIR released their album debut “Í Blóði og Anda”, which translates as ‘In Blood and Spirit’ in 2002. Instead of today’s Icelandic gravel throated siren chants, frontman Aðalbjörn Tryggvason spit forth vitriolic crust-like vocals and the ripping guitars were clearly black metal inspired.
Yet the band was as clearly identifiable back then as now and along their way with the next albums “Masterpiece of Bitterness” (2005) and “Köld” (2009) introducing new elements in a continuous evolution. SÓLSTAFIR’s music is as much the product of Arctic blizzards as of red hot volcanic magma, erupting geysers, lush green pastures, and salty waves. With “Ótta” the Icelanders touch something ancient and timeless, while defying easy categorisation. This album needs to be heard again and again to peel back layers of details, each different and yet always revealing the same: great songs – all of them.
The song titles of “Ótta” form a concept based on an old Icelandic system of time keeping similar to the monastic hours called “Eykt” (“eight”). The 24 hour day was divided into 8 parts of 3 hours each. The album starts at midnight, the beginning of “Lágnætti” (“low night”), continues through each Eyktir of the day and ends with “Náttmál” (“nighttime”) from 21:00 to 0:00. This form of time keeping is more open than the relentless ticking of modern times, where each second is made to count, which turns humanity into cocks of the corporate clockwork. Now SÓLSTAFIR give you the antidote. Just lean back, close your eyes, take your time and lose yourself in this masterpiece called “Ótta”!
SOLSTAFIR North American tour dates: 04/22 Brooklyn, NY @ The Shop 04/23 Montreal, QC @ L’ail’ze 04/24 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks 04/25 Toronto, ON @ Garrison 04/26 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar 04/27 Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st St Pub 04/28 Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups 04/29 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme 05/01 Minneapolis, MN @ Nether Bar 05/03 Chicago, IL @ Reggies 05/04 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room 05/05 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge 05/06 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe 5/07 Elko, NV @ Club Silver Dollar 05/08 Spokane, WA @ The Pin 05/09 Vancouver, BC @ The Astoria 05/10 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon 05/11 Portland OR @ Star Theater 05/12 San Francisco, CA @ Oakland Opera 05/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Los Globos 05/14 Mesa, AZ @ Club Red 05/15 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar 05/15 Fort Worth, TX @ Sons Of Hermann Hall 05/17 Austin, TX @ Red 7 05/18 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks 05/19 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl 05/20 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Great news that Iceland’s Sólstafir are returning to North America this Spring for a coast-to-coast tour. I mean, it’s not great news if you live in the often-shafted vicinity of Boston, which I do, but so it goes. I’d even have been stoked to have them come as far north as Providence, but alas, no dice. If you didn’t hear it, last year’s Ótta album (review here) was a gem, and probably worth traveling for, or, if you’re lucky enough, catching them at Roadburn. They’ll be joined on this run by Ancient Wisdom.
The PR wire something something blah blah blah god damn Massachusetts bites:
SOLSTAFIR announce North American tour
Enigmatic Icelandic rock band SOLSTAFIR have announced a headlining North American tour. The month-long tour kicks on April 22, and a full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below. SOLSTAFIR are touring in support of their critically-acclaimed new album, ‘Otta’.
SOLSTAFIR are also streaming their recent KEXP radio in-studio session here. The session sees the band performing material from their new album ‘Otta’, and was recorded during their previous US tour. SOLSTAFIR recently appeared on Icelandic national television’s Studio A program, performing two songs off ‘Otta’. Footage of the band playing Dagmál (at the 12:23 mark) and Rismál (at 32:40) can be found at the official Icelandic National Television’s Studio A website.
SOLSTAFIR 2015 North American tour 4/22 BROOKLYN, NY @ THE SHOP 4/23 MONTREAL, QC @ L’AIL’ZE 4/24 OTTAWA, ON @ MAVERICKS 4/25 TORONTO, ON @ GARRISON 4/26 ROCHESTER. NY @ BUG JAR 4/27 PITTSBURGH, PA @ 31st ST PUB 4/28 COLUMBUS, OH @ ACE OF CUPS 4/29 GRAND RAPIDS, MI @ PYRAMID SCHEME 4/30 MILWAUKEE, WI @ TBD 5/1 MINNEAPOLIS, MN @ NETHER BAR 5/3 CHICAGO, IL @ REGGIES 5/4/ KANSAS CITY, MO @ RIOT ROOM 5/5 DENVER, CO @ LARIMER 5/6 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ BAR DELUXE 5/8 SPOKANE, WA @ THE PIN 5/9 VANCOUVER BC @ RICKSHAW 5/10 SEATTLE, WA @ EL CORAZON 5/12 SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ OAKLAND OPERA 5/13 LOS ANGELES, CA @ LOS GLOBOS 5/14 SCOTTSDALE, AZ @ PUB ROCK LIVE 5/15 ALBUQUERQUE, NM @ SISTER 5/16 FORT WORTH, TX @ SONS OF HERMANN 5/17 AUSTIN, TX @ RED 7 5/18 NEW ORLEANS, LA @ ONE EYED JACKS 5/20 RICHMOND, VA @ STRANGE MATTER
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Some pretty surprising word from Season of Mist concerning an upcoming summer European tour for Saint Vitus brings the news that the hugely influential doom outfit will be joined by original vocalist Scott Reagers on the run, including their stop at Hellfest in France this June. I haven’t seen other dates for the tour, will post when I do, but the news of Reagers joining his fellow original members Dave Chandler (guitar) and Mark Adams (bass), as well as drummer Henry Vasquez, is striking in itself. His last recording with the band was 1995’s Die Healing, and even that was a reunion, Reagers having left the band after the release of their 1985 sophomore outing, Hallow’s Victim.
Of course, Reagers‘ taking part in the tour — and it is, at least as of now, just listed as being for this one tour — comes after the arrest of current Vitus frontman Scott “Wino” Weinrich in Norway near the end of their fall 2014 35th anniversary tour, co-headlining with Orange Goblin. What Weinrich‘s legal status might be in Europe and whether or not he’s banned from performing there, I don’t know, but it would explain why Reagers is being brought in for the tour after about 20 years absent from the band.
More as I hear it, but for now, here’s the announcement from Season of Mist with some comment from Vitus themselves:
Saint Vitus have announced that vocalist Scott Reagers will be joining them on their 2015 summer dates in Europe. The band comments: “We will play a special set for the fans; one comprised mostly of Reagers’ pre and post era as SAINT VITUS’ singer. We hope that the Vitus family, fans and friends, are eager to revisit the Reagers sound for this brief tour and we especially thank you for your continued support!” The doom legend has already been confirmed for Hellfest Open Air Festival and more dates will follow in due time.
Posted in audiObelisk on February 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
French heavy rockers Soundcrawler will release their debut full-length, The Dead-End Host, on Feb. 20. Out through Klonosphere Records, it is an album underscored by a current of brooding progressive metal, not necessarily aggressive — unless one counts the ending of the penultimate “Infinite Genocide” — but tense and purposeful in its arrangements, both instrumental and vocal, and cohesive despite markedly varied influences. The Périgueux-based five-piece of vocalist Rémy Pocquet, guitarists Paul Parsat and Clément Reviriego, bassist Firouze Pirolley and drummer Robin Cauchois seem just as likely to draw on Soundgarden as Kyuss in setting a ’90s vibe, but there’s an awareness of modern heavy as well, as the Mars Red Sky-style wah of “A God to Feed” and generally fuzzy overtones of cuts like the opener “Raiders” and the plus-sized riffing of “Souls from the Trash” demonstrate.
What stands The Dead-End Host out is its primarily moody spirit and the atmospherics through which Soundcrawler attain it. The fivesome may be a relatively recent advent in terms of putting out records — this debut was preceded by a 2012 EP called The Sandcrawler that came together before the lineup was finalized — and their sound is thoroughly modern, but there’s something “old soul” about The Dead-End Host as well. It’s not upbeat songs about drinking and monsters, but it’s got moments where it could be. I’ll point to Pirolley‘s bass as a key factor in setting the ambience of “The Plastic Truth,” which I have the pleasure of hosting today for streaming. Starting the track with Cauchois‘ drums in what almost sounds like a noise rock rollout, it is a dense slab of tone, and even after the guitars and vocals join in, it remains a defining presence, its push of air never really abating throughout “The Plastic Truth”‘s five-minute course.
That course is complex, but ultimately accessible, and with its persistent melody, ebbs and flows, nod, break in the midsection and rebuild to a double-kick apex, it serves well to give an impression of what The Dead-End Host has to say and from where Soundcrawler are coming stylistically. I won’t say it’s a complete summary, but you’ll likely get the idea, and as a sample, it functions with efficiency coinciding to that of the band’s songwriting.
Some bio background follows “The Plastic Truth,” which you’ll find on the player below. Please enjoy:
Soundcrawler initially formed in 2011 as a two-piece project by vocalist Rémi Pocquet and guitarist Clément Revieriego. Influenced by the likes of Kyuss, Mastodon and Karma To Burn, the duo soon started working on their first studio effort, “The Sandcrawler” EP, which was released one year later, in July 2012.
In 2013, Soundcrawler expanded into a quintet with the addition of Robin Cauchois on drums, Firouze Pirolley on bass and Paul Parsat on guitar and were able to test their riff-centric heavy-rock before a live audience for the first time.
2015 will finally see the release of their first full-length album “The Dead-End Host”, a powerful collection of nine new songs filled with infectious riffs, groovy rhythms and dark, bluesy melodies that will surely impress fans of Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Truckfighters.
Posted in Radio on February 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I have continued to enjoy putting together these posts, and hopefully, whether you listen to The Obelisk Radio or you don’t, you get some use out of them. The fact is that it’s a pretty overwhelming amount of music being released these days — I feel like I’ve been behind all week, and for good reason — but it’s a good problem to have, and all you can really do is your best to keep up as much as you can. Accordingly, some of the stuff joining the playlist this week isn’t out yet, some is newly released and some of it has been out for a long time. Months are irrelevant. Riffs are timeless.
Let’s get to it.
The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 6, 2015:
UK heavy proggers Hark — also stylized in all-caps and with spaces between the letters — have all the noodly twists and turns one might expect in the shouty post-Mastodonic sphere of modern heavy, but what the trio do even better is use those turns toward building crescendos, so that songs like “Palendromeda,” the opener from their 2014 Season of Mist debut, Crystalline, isn’t just a mash of technical indulgence, but it actually moves somewhere too. Later cuts like “Sins on Sleeves” and “All Wretch and No Vomit” have some straightforward heavy rock to them as well —guitarist/vocalist/cover artist Jimbob Isaac used to play in Taint — but as one might expect, neither he nor bassist Nikolai Ribnikov (who seems to have since been replaced by Joe Harvatt, unless I have that backwards; things like who plays on what don’t matter in the age of digital promos) and drummer Simon Bonwick stay in one place too long. A guest appearance from Clutch‘s Neil Fallon on 10-minute closer “Clear Light of…” follows some particularly fervent tapping and presages another in Crystalline‘s series of crescendos, a long fade following topped by heady swirl that finishes out. Parts can be a bit much, but the full-on sprint that starts “Breathe and Run” and the weighty groove that follows make Hark‘s debut a solid fit for those seeking blinding fretwork that doesn’t necessarily sacrifice dynamic on the altar of technicality. HARK on Thee Facebooks, Season of Mist.
Born out of last year’s hot-shit-and-then-gone The Oath, London/Berlin four-piece Lucifer make their Rise Above debut with the Anubis/Morning Star 7″, vocalist Johanna Sadonis crooning out vaguely devilish incantations over The Wizards‘ riffs, Dino Gollnick‘s bass and Andrew Prestidge drums. The results on “Anubis” are probably the most Sabbathian bit of Sabbathery that’s come along since Orchid wandered along — the progression of “Anubis” is almost singularly indebted to “Snowblind.” “Morning Star” is likewise familiar, nestled somewhere between a theatrical take on ’80s proto-doom and ’70s cultistry and bolstered by the craft of Sadonis and former Cathedral guitarist Gary “Gaz” Jennigs. Hey, if it works, fair enough. One imagines that by the time the single arrives in April, word of Lucifer‘s coming will have spread far and wide, and if the single is meant to intrigue and pique interest ahead of a full-length to be issued later in 2015, I’ve no doubt it will do precisely that. Lucifer on Thee Facebooks, Rise Above Records.
Diesel King, Concrete Burial
If you’ve got a quota for burl, London sludge metallers Diesel King will likely meet it with their When Planets Collide debut long-player, Concrete Burial, an album that hands out grueling, ultra-dudely chugging like a beefed-up Crowbar, vocalist Mark O’Regan offering shouting and growling extremity bordering at times on death metal. Shit is heavy, and it lives up to the violent threat of its title on songs like the catchy “Inferis” and “Horror. Disgust.,” the latter of which actually manages to make the lumbering guitar tones of Geoff Foden and Aled Marc move, propelled by the metallic drumming of Bill Jacobs while bassist Will Wichanski adds to the already pummeling low end. The 80-second “Mask of the Leper” is straight-up grind, but don’t be fooled by shifts in tempo — Diesel King‘s bread and butter is in sludged-out chug-riffing and growled chestbeating, like a testosterone supplement you take via your ears. Diesel King on Thee Facebooks, When Planets Collide.
Planes of Satori, Planes of Satori
Made for vinyl and pressed in that manner by Who Can You Trust? Records as the follow-up to last year’s Son of a Gun 7″ (review here), Planes of Satori find easy sanctuary on uneasy ground, smoothing out jagged edges and uncautious twists on their self-titled debut full-length. Bassist Justin Pinkerton doubles as the drummer in Golden Void, but though Planes of Satori share a West Coast affinity for the golden age of krautrock, cuts like “Eyes,” “Gnostic Boogie” and “The Ballad of Queen Milo” are on a much different trip, psychedelic afrobeat rhythms unfolding their insistence under the echoed out vocals of Alejandro Magana while Raze Regal tears into jazzy solos and Chris Labreche somehow manages to make it swing. The airier, more rhythmically settled “KTZ” retains a progressive feel both in the underlying tension of its bassline and in the open, creative vibe through which it careens. Call it “manic peace,” but it works well for Planes of Satori on a cut like the earlier “If You Must Know,” which reimagines ’90s indie weirdness through a lens of what-if-it-wasn’t-so-cool-not-to-give-a-crap, and “Green Summer,” which follows a building course without tipping off its hand until you’re already wrapped up in Regal‘s live-sounding leads. The closing solo guitar echo of “The Snake and the Squirrel” speaks to yet-unexplored drone dynamics and further delving into psychedelia to come. Sign me up. I have the feeling that the more bizarre Planes of Satori get, the more satisfying the trip is going to be. Their debut already shows a pervasive adventurous spirit. Planes of Satori on Thee Facebooks, Who Can You Trust? Records.
Stonebride, Heavy Envelope
Late 2014’s Heavy Envelope is the third Stonebride record behind 2010’s Summon the Waves (review here) and their 2008 debut LP, Inner Seasons. Released by Setalight Records, it finds the Zagreb, Croatia, four-piece’s sound way solidified as compared to the psychedelic sprawl of the prior release, a ’90s-style rolling crunch riff to “Lay Low” following the distinctly Alice in Chainsian vocal melodies of “Lowest Supreme” and preceding the effectively replicated Queens of the Stone Age bounce of “Coloured Blue.” Some intervening solidification in the four years between the second and third albums might explain the shift in sound — the opposite could also be true — but drummer Steps and guitarist Tjesimir, bassist Alen and vocalist Sinisawork well within their newfound sphere, even finding room to branch out a bit on the more extended closing duo of “Sokushinbutsu” and “Venomous,” never quite hitting the same psyched-out feel of Heavy Envelope‘s predecessor, but definitely adding further individual sensibility to an engaging take on heavy rock. Stonebride seem ripe for a new beginning, and Heavy Envelope boasts precisely that kind of energy. Stonebride on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, Setalight Records.
For the complete list of what went up today and everything else that’s been added recently and everything played going back I don’t even remember how long at this point, be sure to check out The Obelisk Radio Updates and Playlist page. Hope you find something you dig and that you think is worth hearing.