Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Time does strange things. It’s 2014. Floor, Sleep, Spirit Caravan and most of Kyuss are back together. Black Sabbath won a Grammy. The whole fucking world is upside down, the underground is over(ground), and all these things that seemed impossible to see are right in front of us. And yet we still use the combustion engine. Go figure.
I got sidetracked. Floor. The point is Floor are touring again, and the key difference is they’ll have a new album out — Oblation, which will be their first in a decade. Season of Mist will have the collection in the public’s greedy mitts come April 29, and wouldn’t you know the tour starts the day after? One would almost swear these things were coordinated ahead of time.
So says the PR wire:
FLOOR announce North American tour
Cult underground rock outfit FLOOR (Steve Brooks (also of TORCHE)- Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) have announced a North American tour this spring. The Noisey/Vice sponsored tour starts on April 30th in Miami, FL, and will see FLOOR travel throughout the month of April, before ending on May 1 in Atlanta, GA. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.
FLOOR will be touring in support of their forthcoming album, ‘Oblation’. ‘Oblation’ will be released via Season of Mist on April 29 in North America (April 25 worldwide). ‘Oblation’ can be pre-ordered in various formatshere.
‘Oblation’ track list: 1. Oblation 2. Rocinante 3. Trick Scene 4. Find Away 5. The Key 6. New Man 7. Sister Sophia 8. The Quill 9. Love Comes Crushing 10. War Party 11. Homegoings and Transitions 12. Sign of Aeth 13. Raised to a Star 14. Forever Still
The Florida-based trio was originally formed by Brooks and Vialon in 1992, and issued singles on respected underground labels like No Idea, Bovine, Rhetoric and more. The band’s wildly influential self-titled album was recently inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame.
FLOOR Tour Dates 4/30 Miami, FL @ Churchills 5/2 Gainesville, FL @ The Wooley 5/3 Charlotte, NC @ The Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall 5/4 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel 5/5 Brooklyn @ Saint Vitus 5/6 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary 5/7 Boston, MA @ Great Scott 5/8 Buffalo, NY @ The Tralf 5/9 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose 5/10 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme 5/11 Chicago, IL @ Double Door 5/13 Denver, CO @ Moon Room 5/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe 5/16 Portland, OR @ Branx 5/17 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey 5/19 San Franciso, CA @ Elbo Room 5/24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite 5/25 Fullerton, OC @ SlideBar 5/26 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room 5/27 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad 5/29 Austin, TX @ Red 7 5/30 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada 5/31 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree 6/1 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Posted in Questionnaire on February 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
In many ways, Dave Chandler and Saint Vitus are inseparable. You cannot have one without the other. Since founding the band as Tyrant in 1979, Chandler has been Vitus‘ principle songwriter and lyricist, presiding over some of American doom’s most essential works in albums like 1984′s Saint Vitus, 1986′s Born too Lateand 1990′s V on SST and Hellhound Records. When Vitus were once again laid to rest after a 2003 reunion, Chandler formed Debris Inc. with Trouble‘s Ron Holzner on bass and a host of drummers, including Henry Vasquez, who’d later replace Armando Acosta in Vitus after they got together again in 2009 for a reunion that has, to date, stuck, resulting in tours around the world and their first studio outing since 1995′s Die Healing, the 2012 Season of Mist release Lillie: F-65(review here), a tour de force of Vitus‘ trademark no-frills, no-letup doom that only served to demonstrate how many others in their wake have taken their influence but not managed to capture the same vibe — that’s not to say “magic” — that makes Saint Vitus wholly distinct in their approach.
In 2012, Vitus officially released the limited Marbles in the Moshpit, a former bootleg live album on vinyl, and they’ve worked with Scion A/V on two releases, 2012′s LiveEP and a split single with The Casualties. A stage presence like none other, Chandler lives in New Orleans and reportedly has songs in progress for a follow-up to Lillie: F-65. As anyone who’s ever read his lyrics knows, he’s a master of word economy, and that’s as true as ever in his answers to The Obelisk Questionnaire.
The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dave Chandler
How did you come to do what you do?
I learned how to play music very young in grade school and it eventually progressed to rock and roll.
Describe your first musical memory.
Playing the coronet, small trumpet, in the grade school band.
Describe your best musical memory to date.
That would have to be when we headlined the second stage at Hellfest in 2009.
When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?
When we stuck to our guns and played what we wanted during what we called “the punk rock wars” within the first two years when we were signed with SST. Eventually we gained the respect of the people that didn’t like us because we refused change.
Where do you feel artistic progression leads?
That depends on oneself, but in can lead to a betterment of what you create.
How do you define success?
If you are happy with what you are doing, regardless of what it is, and you are happy with your life… you are successful.
What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
Dead bodies on the street.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.
Our next album.
Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?
The legalization of marijuana throughout the United States.
Is it too soon? It doesn’t feel too soon. It’s been over a year and a half since Saint Vitus released their comeback long-player Lillie: F-65 (review here) through Season of Mist, adding studio work to the live reunion that began on stage at Roadburn 2009. The four-piece — guitarist Dave Chandler, vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez — recorded the album with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed while on a West Coast tour, and though to have put it to tape and mixed over the course of just a few days seems awfully quick, it was actually the longest the band, who began as Tyrant in 1979 and for whom Lillie: F-65 would serve as their eighth album and first in 17 years, had ever spent in the studio.
I said at the time and I still feel like what the album did best was capture the spirit of Vitus‘ classic Wino-fronted material. It was simple, but in being simple, that much easier to screw up. Chandler‘s guitar tone sounds dead-on to what he delivers live on “Let Them Fall” and “The Bleeding Ground,” and there’s no studio trickery or excess to it. At 34 minutes, Vitus are as aesthetically lean and efficient as they always were, and while it would’ve been a surprise on multiple levels had they emerged from the studio with some overblown, multi-layered prog opera, that they didn’t only served to reaffirm how much they, as a long-running act, still had to offer in terms of progression and staying true to what works within their sound. Lillie: F-65 has little room for screwing around — even the Wino-penned guitar interlude “Vertigo” is brief, and I’ll argue all day that “Withdrawal” is as necessary a finish as an album can have, even though it’s basically just feedback — and spends its time instead handing down visceral judgments, plodding riffs and the sense of unease that made Vitus distinguished from their peers during their initial run and continues to stand them out today.
It would be easy to go on, to talk about Chandler‘s lyrics and Wino‘s vocals, Adams‘ basslines in “The Bleeding Ground,” or Vasquez stepping in to fill the role of original drummer Armando Acosta, or my hopes for a new album if not in 2014 then early next year, but at this point, Lillie: F-65 has been around long enough to speak for itself. Probably better to do that than ramble.
“Maybe I’ll just head back/To West Virginia, by god…”
I’m not going to say that Weedeater are a band I put on all the time. They’re not. If I’m sitting down to a nice dinner with The Patient Mrs. after a long day, and we’re having cheese and crackers or something like that, she’s got a glass of wine, maybe I’m nursing the end of an iced tea or whatever it is, I’m not likely to be like, “Hey baby, time for some Dixie Dave.” My mother, bless her heart, used to tell me when I said fuck too much in school that there’s a time and place for everything. Ultimately, and after much reprimand, I realized she was correct.
And to that, I will say there are corresponding times when nothing else butWeedeater will do. I know that Buzzov*en and Eyehategod were there before them in the South and Grief and Negative Reaction too in the North — to say nothing of Bongzilla or any such Western predecessor contingent — but they captured something right from the start on 2001′s …And Justice for Y’allthat I don’t think any of those other acts managed to nail in quite the same way. It’s not even about having an angry attitude, which of course plenty of sludge has. It’s about just sound like you absolutely do not give a fuck about anything or anyone. Stoned nihilism put to warped tape.
This was one of those times when nothing else would do but Weedeater, and as it happens, they’re kicking off a tour in a couple days on the West Coast with Black Cobra and they’re slated to reissue their four to-date LPs through new label Season of Mist in advance of a fifth later in the year. One to watch for, I guess. Their last outing, 2011′s Jason… the Dragon (review here), was a hoot.
As always, I hope you enjoy.
I was all set to sit here and type out some blues song woe is me shit. Lousy week, front to back. And I don’t know if it’s the Weedeater or what, but seriously, fuck it. I don’t have the energy for that shit anyway and what would it accomplish? Bum someone out who’s maybe enjoying some good tunes? Fuck that. I hope you had a great week, and I hope you hear the Weedeater and fucking groove out and it’s a good time.
Tonight ended strong at least. Got back a bit ago from seeing Gozu debut their new lineup. An interesting venture they’ve undertaken, adding a second lead guitar. The show was good, and hell, it’s probably still going on. I split a little while after they finished to come back here and start this. Leaving a show to go home and write about music. There’s probably not a lot of people who would understand that one. That’s how it went.
Monday I’ll review that, and I’ll hit up Weedpecker and Insider next week as well for album reviews. Also Monday I hope to have up my list of albums to watch for in 2014. My hope is to start writing over the weekend. So far I’m over 30, so yeah, I guess it’s gonna be a pretty large undertaking. I think maybe I’ll leave lists alone for a while after that, though they seem to be pretty popular. Fucking even the New York Times does that shit now. Capturing a moment, I guess. I’ve never been much for the moment.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Have fun, kick ass, and we’ll see you back here Monday for more good times.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Oh California, you already have my envy for more than just the climate in the southern part of your state and your rampant availability of hoverboards, must you take Weedeater too? After a quickie warm-up show in Georgia on Jan. 14, North Carolinian sludge experts Weedeater are headed west for a run of shows in CA, running from Sacramento south to San Diego and then back up a bit to finish in Los Angeles. The tour comes on the heels of a digital reissue of the band’s catalog through Season of Mist ahead of physical pressings and reportedly a new album in 2014.
The PR wire sent along the following info, and you’ll notice that Travis Owens, who’d come in on drums to replace Keith Kirkum, isn’t listed in the lineup with “Dixie” Dave Collins and Dave Sheperd. Not sure if that means he’s out of the band, and if so, not sure who’s playing on the tour, but I’d be interested to find out.
Here’s the latest:
WEEDEATER Announce West Coast Tour Dates
Legendary sludge outfit WEEDEATER (“Dixie” Dave Collins – Bass, Vocals; Dave Sheperd – Guitar, Vocals) have announced a January West Coast tour. The trek, which starts on January14th in Atlanta, will see the band playing a string of shows in select territories before ending in LA on the 26th. A full list of confirmed dates can be found below.
The North Carolina-based band is writing new material for their first Season of Mist recording, slated for a release in 2014.
WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.
WEEDEATER’s four full-lengths will see a digital re-release on Dec. 10 worldwide, and will be followed by the release of physical formats in 2014.
Regarding the signing, WEEDEATER said, “When we heard we would be working with Season of Mist we almost wrecked our pants. Can’t wait for y’all to check out this sh*t.”
For more WEEDEATER news and tour information, please visit the Season of Mist website, and the WEEDEATER website and Facebook page.
WEEDEATER Tour Dates 1/14 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl 1/16 Sacramento, CA @ Harlows 1/17 San Franciso, CA @ Thee Darkside 1/18 Oakland, CA @ Opera House 1/19 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst 1/20 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar 1/21 Fresno, CA @ Strummers 1/26 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
The fact that Saint Vitus are heading out in October to tour the East Coast with a couple dates in the Midwest as well is excellent enough. Frankly, I’m just glad these dudes got enough of a response from 2012′s triumphant return album, Lillie: F-65 (review here), that they still want to be a band at all, let alone one that hits the road multiple times a year, either in support of that record or otherwise. Mark it down again, Saint Vitus touring is fucking awesome.
That said, we already know they started writing new material back at the beginning of last month, and we know from past experience that when guitarist Dave Chandler works, he doesn’t waste any time putting things together. You can see where this is going. My question is whether or not Saint Vitus could possibly be road-testing new material for a possible 2014 follow-up to Lillie: F-65. I know that seems like a pretty quick turnaround, but records like Born too Late, Mournful Cries, Vand the recently-reissued C.O.D.all had two years from one to the next, so they’d be right on pace.
I’ll be keeping my doomed fingers crossed for a new song or two in the set while I mark the calendar and start nerding out at the chance to see Vitus again. Here are the dates:
SAINT VITUS October 2013 U.S. headlining tour dates
with PALLBEARER, ZOROASTER & THE HOOKERS https://www.facebook.com/saintvitusofficial Oct. 4 San Antonio TX @ Korova Oct. 5 Norman OK @ The Opolis Oct. 6 St Louis MO @ Firebird Oct. 7 Minneapolis MN @ 7th St Entry Oct. 8 Chicago IL @ Reggies Oct. 9 Grand Rapids @ Pyramid Scheme Oct. 10 Detroit MI @ Magic Stick Oct. 11 Cleveland OH @ Grog Shop Oct. 12 Pittsburgh PA @ Rex Theater Oct. 13 Baltimore MD @ Metro Gallery Oct. 14 Upstate NY @ Bogie’s Oct. 15 Boston MA @ Middle East Oct. 17 West Chester PA @ The Note Oct. 18 Brooklyn NY @ Europa Oct. 19 TBA Oct. 20 Springfield VA @ Empire Oct. 21 Richmond VA @ Strange Matter Oct. 22 Asheville NC @ The Orange Peel Oct. 23 Nashville TN @ Exit / In Oct. 24 Atlanta GA @ The EARL Oct. 25 New Orleans LA @ One Eyed Jacks
Saint Vitus, “The Waste of Time” Live at Sweden Rock 2012
Rife with a gleefully weird sense of progressive mania, the title-track of Norwegian five-piece Vulture Industries‘ new album, The Tower, works quickly to turn genres on their head. Their third full-length overall, The Tower marks theSeason of Mist debut for the band, whose affinity for the aurally strange should find resonance with fans of anyone from The Ocean to Enslaved to Diablo Swing Orchestra.
The immediate double-kick push that starts “The Tower” probably most resembles the middle of those three comparison points — Vulture Industries guitarist Øyvind Madsen did a stint on keys in Enslaved prior to their acquiring Herband Larsen, who also mixed The Tower– but thanks in no small part to the performance of vocalist Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen, there’s no trouble distinguishing between the two. While raging out lyrically against the evils inherent in the unceasing push toward commercialism, Nilsen literally lists rules of being a part of “The Tower”‘s dominion, e.g. “Rule #1: Each man is what he owns/Whether or not one truly exist is a question of having things.”
He never goes quite so far as to call for an uprising against our capitalist masters — it would be pointless anyway; the bad guys won a long time ago — but the spirit of the track remains rousing for the duration anyway, the fivesome of Nilsen, Madsen, guitarist Elvind Huse, bassist Kyrre Teigen and drummer Tor Helge Gjengedal offsetting some of the blackened thrust with neo-prog metal noodling before the insistence resumes with the memorable, intricate chorus. Resolution, such as it is, comes on dramatic and vicious in kind, “The Tower” culminating not with the destruction of the title structure itself, but with one’s losing their very humanity in succumbing to it. Somebody’s read Marx. Right on.
Today I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere of the art deco-themed lyric video for “The Tower.” As you can see in the PR wire info that follows, Vulture Industries will release The Toweron Oct. 1 in North America, Sept. 27 everywhere else, on Season of Mist, the album is available now for pre-order and the clip was designed by Fabien Laubry based around the cover art by Costin Chioreanu. I think you’ll agree the look meshes well with the song’s anarchist underpinnings:
Vulture Industries, “The Tower” lyric video
VULTURE INDUSTRIES’ debut, ‘The Tower’ is slated for release on October 1st in North America (September 27th rest of world). ‘The Tower’ was recorded at the Conclave & Earshot Studios in Bergen. The album was mixed by Herbrand Larsen (ENSLAVED) and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (OPETH, KATATONIA, DEVIN TOWNSEND, IHSAHN, ENSLAVED).
Through their charismatic musicianship, VULTURE INDUSTRIES quickly earned the reputation of a formidable live act, characterized by the fusion of technical prowess with eccentric, manic performances by frontman Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen. “The Tower” explores dark musical vistas and lyrics within a unique mixture of progressive, experimental, extreme and even foreboding symphonic elements. With a wealth of creativity and the ability to shift gears smoothly in the blink of an eye, VULTURE INDUSTRIES bend, twist, and shape their songs into living entities embodying the width and breadth of human emotion. Comparisons to unique and trail-blazing artists such as FAITH NO MORE, DEVIN TOWNSEND, ENSLAVED and NICK CAVE, only act as starting points to this unique heavy rock band.
Posted in audiObelisk on July 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s something of a blip in the Saint Vitus catalog, but 1992′s C.O.D.is ignored only at the peril of the listener involved. After the departure of prior vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich to front the reformed incarnation of The Obsessed, Vitus guitarist Dave Chander, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta teamed with Christian “Chritus” Linderson. Linderson had fronted Count Raven on their first album, 1990′s Storm Warning, and came aboard with Vitus at a crucial moment in their career.
Vitus has released Vin 1990, an album that still counts high among the all-time classics of American doom. Teaming with Linderson was a risk from the start, but the two were labelmates on Hellhound Records, and looking at it objectively, the emotionality and ultra-doomed vibe the singer was able to capture has made C.O.D.easily the most underrated of Saint Vitus‘ albums. From the “Born too Late”-esque epic title-track to the moment when Chandler himself took the frontman role for “A Timeless Tale” to the reworking of “Hallow’s Victim” that closed out as “Hollow’s Victim (Exhumed),” C.O.D.is a strange but singular moment that contains some of the boldest forays of Vitus‘ career and some of the band’s most quintessential riffing.
By the time 1995 rolled around, Saint Vitus re-teamed with original singer Scott Reagers to issue Die Healing, which would remain their final studio outing until last year’s reunion triumph, Lillie: F-65. Linderson meanwhile fronted Terra Firma and can currently be found in Lord Vicar and Goatess, whose self-titled came out just a couple weeks ago (review here). Next month (Aug. 16 in Europe, Aug. 20 in North America), Season of Mist – the imprint that oversaw the release of the aforementioned 2012 outing — will reissue both C.O.D.and Die Healing. The two albums have long been out of print and not exactly easy to come by, so with these editions, a new generation of doomers gets to experience the sheer weirdness that ensued toward the end of Vitus‘ original run.
Check out the remastered version of “Children of Doom” on the player below, courtesy of Season of Mist:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
SAINT VITUS are now reissuing two long overlooked classics from their impressive catalogue: “C.O.D.” (1992) and “Die Healing” (1995). There can be no doubt: SAINT VITUS are the godfathers of American Doom Metal. And for “C.O.D.”, meaning “Children of Doom” as revealed by the same titled song on this album, the band teamed up with a Swedish Doom legend: singer Christian “Chritus” Linderson of COUNT RAVEN. This trio together with compatriots CANDLEMASS have created their own Doom empire in the north of Europe. SAINT VITUS and Linderson successfully combined their trademark qualities: The singer brought his emotional, despairing and gloomy vocals to bear, while SAINT VITUS added the cataclysmic and unmistakable guitar sound of co-founder Dave Chandler – full of reverbs, feedbacks, flanger and apocalyptic distortion leading to amazing and magical solos. The timing of these re-releases coincides with SAINT VITUS’ celebrated return to the metal world.
Sold out venues on their latest tours, performances at prestigious festivals all over Europe and a new masterpiece in their discography “Lillie: F-65″ (2012) have revived the career of the Americans. Seventeen years after their previous full-length “Die Healing” was released, these legends brought back their signature song writing style on “Lillie: F-65″. Doom adepts will delight in the honey slow dripping of notes and the sudden energetic outbursts, which are as painfully depressing as they are sweet. Formed in 1979, SAINT VITUS were largely influenced by BLACK SABBATH, whose song “Saint Vitus Dance” obviously inspired the moniker. Since debut album “Saint Vitus” (1984) these Americans have released six more full-lengths and two EPs that are summarily considered to be classics of their genre. Despite some hiatus and changes over the years SAINT VITUS remained as true icons of Doom. Now “C.O.D.” can be discovered anew with careful re-mastering and two bonus tracks!
Tracklisting 1. Intro 2. Children of Doom 3. Planet of Judgement 4. Shadow of a Skeleton 5. (I Am) The Screaming Banshee 6. Plague of Man 7. Imagination Man 8. Fear 9. Get Away 10. Bela 11. A Timeless Tale 12. Hallow’s Victim (Exhumed) 13. To Breed a Soldier (bonus track) 14. The Chameleon (bonus track)
Album line-up Dave Chandler: guitars, vocals on “A Timeless Tale” Christian “Chritus” Linderson: vocals Mark Adams: bass Armando Acosta (R.I.P. 2010): drums
Posted in Reviews on May 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Almost nothing is certain, and when it comes to doubly-drummed Georgian progressive sludgers Kylesa, even less than that. Yet when it comes to approaching their sixth full-length and second for Season of Mist, the 11-track Ultraviolet — or really any new Kylesa album — the one thing the listener can be sure of going into it is that it will be a step beyond its predecessor. At this point, I don’t think the band would release a record that wasn’t. Ultraviolet‘s predecessor was 2010′s Spiral Shadow (review here), which changed their course from jagged, crunching sludge to a more smoothed out and progressive sound — a shift that they’d built toward on 2009′s Static Tensions (review here) in some ways but come nowhere near materializing as completely — and one that, as ever, divided their fanbase into those who could get on board and those who couldn’t. This seems to happen on a nearly per-album basis with the Savannah natives.
While we’re talking about expectation, I’d anticipate no less for Ultraviolet in the long run, but Kylesa have never had a problem picking up new fans along the way to fill the spots of those who couldn’t get past one period or another of their ongoing progression; they’ve maintained a reputation as a hard-touring band for years and rightly so. Rooted in the work of guitarists/vocalists Phillip Cope (also theremin and production) and Laura Pleasants, there are consistencies of sound to be heard between full-lengths, and sure enough between Spiral Shadow and Ultraviolet as well, but save for very few moments throughout the latest, the band would be all but unrecognizable to anyone who jumped from 2005′s To Walk a Middle Course or 2006′s Time Will Fuse its Worth right to it, and no doubt that’s the intent: Progress. Joined by drummers Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez and bassist Chase Rudeseal (the latter of whom may or may not have actually played on the recording), Pleasants and Cope have never failed to draw a distinct line from one outing to the next, and though it’s an outgrowth of elements from Spiral Shadow like the pop hook of “Don’t Look Back” or the dreamy ambience underlying “To Forget,” that’s no less true of Ultraviolet than it has ever been.
Single-word titles on five of the 11 cuts on the 39-minute album — namely opening trio “Exhale,” “Unspoken,” “Grounded,” and closing duo “Quicksand” and “Drifting” — would seem to hint at some stripped-down sensibility or simplicity of approach, but the fact is Kylesa have never been so melodically switched on or engaged. Cope and Pleasants trade vocal parts immediately and effectively on the insistently-riffed “Exhale,” chugging distortion creating a jabbing tension topped by call and response shouts before a swirl takes hold that the drums(s) underscore with a thud less frantic than it has been in the past, but still indicative of two players at work. I suppose on a structural level, Ultraviolet‘s opening salvo is somewhat simplified, but the atmosphere becomes more complex as “Unspoken” opens with subdued guitar and a wash of effects, Cope coming in as the song kicks off with a semi-spoken line that Pleasants — whose ascent as a vocalist continues unabated — answers back with layered melodies. The most memorable stretches of Ultraviolet are still to come, but the momentum “Unspoken” helps create and its prog-toned guitar solo in the second half act as a precursor to some of the album’s most intriguing moments, giving way to the familiar winding structure of “Grounded”‘s central riff, readily accessible to anyone who’s followed the post-Mastodon course of Southern US heavy metal, Pleasants handling the verse and Cope taking what probably would be the ensuing chorus if it was ever repeated. Instead, they build on the instrumental for a bit and round out with layers of Pleasants‘ vocals, ending with just her voice to set up the shift to the more thickly toned and aggressive “We’re Taking This.”
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Bringing with them the diverse bill of mystic doomers Blood Ceremony, cult psych heroes White Hills, and Atlanta-based instrumental spazzoids Lazer/Wulf, Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa are starting what will most likely be a lengthy tour cycle in support of their new album, Ultraviolet. Expected May 28 on Season of Mist, Ultraviolet is Kylesa‘s first record of new material since 2010′s Spiral Shadow, which saw them greatly expand their melodic reach and progressive sensibilities.
As much as I’ve been looking forward to hearing the LP, Kylesa have always been an excellent live act, so it’ll be great to catch the Ultraviolet songs in-person as well. The PR wire has info and the rather considerable list of dates:
KYLESA ANNOUNCE SPRING TOUR
ULTRAVIOLET PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW
Kylesa kick off their first North American tour in support of Ultraviolet (May 28, Season of Mist) on May 10 in Gainesville, Fla. at the High Dive.
“It’s been a while since we’ve done a headlining tour in the US or Canada,” explained singer/guitar player Laura Pleasants, referring to the near two-year gap since the Savannah band’s last run. “We are looking forward to doing a proper tour supporting Ultraviolet. It will be good to see friends and fans (old and new) and hit these once familiar landscapes again. “
Spin premiered “Quicksand,” a new song from the 11-track album, earlier this week (http://www.spin.com/articles/kylesa-quicksand-ultraviolet-stream) describing the song “joins the melodies of ‘90s shoegaze with the churn of modern sludge.” Ultraviolet pre-orders are available now via Season of Mist’s e-shop (http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/predefined-search/37879).
Tour dates: April 19 Savannah, GA The Dollhouse (Free show) May 10 Gainesville, FL High Dive May 11 Orlando, FL Backbooth May 12 Miami, FL Churchhill’s May 13 Tampa, FL The Orpheum May 15 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s May 16 Houston, TX Walters May 17 Dallas, TX Trees May 18 Austin, TX Mohawk May 20 Albuquerque, NM Blackwater May 21 Denver, CO Marquis Theater May 22 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge May 24 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst May 25 San Francisco, CA Slim’s May 27 Portland, OR Star Theater May 28 Seattle, WA Chop Suey May 29 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl May 31 Calgary, AB Dickens June 1 Regina, SK The Exchange June 2 Winnipeg, MB The Pyramid June 3 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club June 4 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s Oasis June 5 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge June 6 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme June 7 St. Louis, MO The Firebird June 8 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups June 9 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies June 11 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace June 12 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s June 13 Montreal, QC Il Motore June 14 Brooklyn NY Northside Fest (Music Hall of Williamsburg) June 15 Albany, NY Bogie’s June 16 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs June 18 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts June 19 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel June 20 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall June 21 Atlanta, GA The Earl June 22 Savannah, GA The Jinx
Opening for Kylesa will be Blood Ceremony, White Hills and Lazer/Wulf. “I think the package will deliver the goods as well; a little mix in the stew for everyone who digs our sound,” commented Pleasants. Tickets are available next week.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Some news you expect. On the other hand, some news is that Floor have signed to Season of Mist and are putting out a new record. It’s a pretty big difference. I already knew I was looking forward to seeing them on Friday in Brooklyn, but hearing there’s a new record in the works. I mean, shit man. Floor. Kind of hard to fuck with that.
Season of Mist is proud to announce the signing of the widely-respected underground rock band FLOOR.
FLOOR (Steve Brooks – Guitar, Vocals, Anthony Vialon – Guitar, Henry Wilson – drums) recently reunited on the heels of their career retrospective ‘Below and Beyond’ boxset, and are preparing to enter the studio for an imminent release.
FLOOR was originally formed by Brooks and Vialon in 1992, and issued singles on respected underground punks labels like No Idea, Bovine, Rhetoric and more. The band released their wildly influential self-titled full-length album in 2002, before splitting. Brooks went on to form another critically-acclaimed band: TORCHE, while Wilson formed DOVE.
Additionally, the reactivated band will hit the road for short run of dates before they enter the studio. The run will begin on May 27th in Charlotte, NC and conclude on April 10th in Birmingham, AL. Support on all dates comes from Joe Preston’s THRONES. A full list of dates can be found below:
FLOOR tour dates Mar 27 Charlotte, NC – Tremont Music Hall Mar 28 Washington DC – Rock and Roll Hotel Mar 29 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Mar 30 Providence, RI – AS220 Mar 31 Allston, MA – Great Scott Apr 1 Philadelphia, PA – The Barbary Apr 3 Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre Apr 4 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups Apr 5 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop Apr 6 Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme Apr 7 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Apr 8 Chicago, IL – Subterranean Apr 10 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree Cafe
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
This one should be interesting. It’s been three years since Savannah, Georgia, metallers Kylesa released Spiral Shadow (review here), their first album for Season of Mist and easily their most progressive outing to date, pushing their intricate, dually-drummed arrangements further than ever while also showing periodic affinity for a strong pop chorus. What will Ultraviolet bring three years later? As I haven’t yet had a second to check out the new track “Unspoken” via the link below, I haven’t the foggiest, but with this as the first word that the album is coming May 28, I’m excited to find out.
One thing about Kylesa records though is that no two are ever the same. Not knowing what to expect only makes it more fun.
The PR wire takes it from here:
Kylesa is set to release Ultraviolet, one of the most anticipated hard rock releases of the year and the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album Spiral Shadow, on May 28 via Season of Mist (May 24 in Europe).
“Whereas Spiral Shadow was a warm album suggesting concepts of hope, Ultraviolet is a bit colder and darker,” explains songwriter/guitar player Laura Pleasants. “All of our studio albums have their own unique identity and we’ve always been a band who strives for something different than what current fads suggest. With Ultraviolet, we took a step inward and wrote music that we felt we had to write; this album centers around the multiple themes of loss and you can feel it in the music. Everyone goes through it during their lifetime and this record reflects that experience.”
The Savannah-based quintet recorded Ultraviolet at The Jam Room in Columbia, SC with the band’s guitar player/songwriter, and sought-after producer, Phillip Cope (Baroness, Black Tusk) once again overseeing production.
Kylesa released a rarities collection in November titled “From The Vaults, Vol. 1,” which featured unreleased, new and alternate versions of songs spanning the band’s catalogue as well as one new song titled “End Truth.” Cope and Pleasants spent over a year going through their archives preparing the release.
Kylesa will return to the road in May with more details forthcoming.
I don’t even know who to thank for this. Saint Vitus? Season of Mist? Tony Reed? Cthulhu? Everyone? Whoever it is, after a full night of self-abusive drinking (ongoing!) and despairing about my life situation and the wide array of terrible choices I’ve made in career, career and, well, career, to see something like this totally out of the blue doesn’t exactly make up for the tens of thousands of dollars I’ve lost by never getting a real job, but at least the name of this site is on the same jewel case as a Saint Fucking Vitus logo. I don’t know what size cookie I get for that, but I’m banking on it having both chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Posted in Reviews on September 26th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Even before it started, Sept. 25 was more than one occasion. Principally, my eighth wedding anniversary. It was also the day Saint Fucking Vitus hit the bar that bears their name in Brooklyn, with Weedeater and Sourvein supporting. Saint Vitus at the Saint Vitus. And in the intertwining of these two events, I’ll say it will serve for years as an example of the long list of reasons I’m glad I’m married to The Patient Mrs. that the one did not preclude experiencing the other. Three bands — any one of whom on a given night I’d be happy to see as a headliner — in probably the smallest space at least Weedeater and Vitus will play this year. It was something special.
This week is also the U.N. General Assembly in Manhattan, and as I was anxiously waiting to depart and head to Brooklyn for the show, it was this foremost in my mind. All it takes is one diplomat deciding to go for a stroll down 34th St. and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel is pretty much inaccessible by car, so I made sure I had plenty of time to get to the Saint Vitus bar. Turned out I was early arriving, and at that point, things started to seem a little too easy. I’d made it there, made it there early, and I was about to watch Sourvein, Weedeater and Saint Vitus do a gig together about as far away from me as the keyboard on which I’m currently typing. I couldn’t help but look up to see if any pianos were about to fall on my head.
None did. And The Patient Mrs. was like, “you should go to this show,” and traffic was like, “you should go to this show,” and my brain was like, “dude I can’t fucking believe you’re going to this show,” and then I was at the show and then the show was happening and all threat of pianos was gone and everything that sucked was somewhere else and all the was was volume, riffs and fists in the air. Sourvein made a raucous opener, and the fact that since the last time I saw them vocalist T-Roy Medlin has surrounded himself with a new band — including former The Gates of Slumber drummer J. Clyde Paradis – only added to the sense of adventure.
Guitarist Joshua “JC” Fari – the band’s original bassist — donned a t-shirt with the logo for famed Manhattan venue the Limelight (the “rock ‘n’ roll church” as it once was) I guess to mark the evening, and bassist Todd Kiessling (Phobia/Dystopia) was of course locked in with Paradis on the band’s signature grooves. Hard to believe Sourvein will have existed in one form or another for 20 years in 2013, but if Medlin is the lone constant for all that time, he gave a good showing of why in Brooklyn. They weren’t through the opener for their set — the title-track to 2008′s Imperial BastardEP — before Medlin had jumped off the stage. Granted it was crowded up there, with Paradis’ drums set up in front of the kit Henry Vasquez would later use for Saint Vitus‘ set, but still, for having been the driving force in Sourvein for nigh on two full decades, Medlin‘s energy was commendable.
More to the point, their sludge was fucking vicious. It was fascinating to see Sourvein and Weedeater back to back because of how closely the bands are related. Not just by blood either — Medlin and Weedeater‘s “Dixie” Dave Collins are cousins — but in general ethic and punk rock fuckall, there’s a definite link. I can’t imagine either band is particularly fond of playing New York, but Sourvein hit hard with a closing duo of “Fangs” from last year’sBlack Fangs(review here) and “Dirty South” — their anthem — and split out in noisy fashion to a resounding reception from the growing crowd. It was early yet, just getting on 10PM, but the room was beginning to fill up.
I spent the vast majority of the night up front. Right up front, where someone of my size and stature really has no right to be. I didn’t want to miss taking pictures, yeah, but I didn’t want to miss the show, either, and I had memories of standing in the back bar as Pallbearer – the last too-big-for-the-room gig I saw at the Saint Vitus — doomed the living crap out of those in more immediate vicinity. So I stayed put in front of the stage, and as Weedeater got going by kicking into tracks from 2011′s Jason… the Dragon(review here) like “Hammerhandle,” “Mancoon” and “Turkey Warlock,” I was easily convinced I’d made the right choice.
Collins had a bottle of Evan Williams, drummer Keith “Keko” Kirkum and guitarist Dave Shepherd had PBR tallboys, so it was a party from the start. “Make noise,” was the bassist/vocalist’s urging to his bandmates before they started, and apparently they were listening. They kept the set mostly skewed to Jason… the Dragonand 2007′s God Luck and Good Speed, the volume giving no quarter behind him as Collins let loose his nastier-than-all rasp. Kicking his leg behind him, contorting to a wide array of faces, leaning on the wall and sitting on his amp case before getting up for another round, kneeling to play, drinking both from his bourbon and a bottle of what I could only assume was cough medicine taped to the side of his speaker cabinet — before they went on, he tried out two straws and clearly favored the longer — Collins was, as ever, a more entertaining frontman than the unfriendliness of Weedeater‘s music might initially have you believe. “I hope you fucking hate this song so much you cry from it,” he said at one point. To the best of my knowledge, nobody cried.
They wrapped with a full-lung toke off of “Weed Monkey” from God Luck and Good Speed, which was preceded by the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, “Gimme back My Bullets” that appeared on the same album. Someone clever soul in the crowd shouted “Play some Skynyrd!” when they finished, to which Collins — fully absorbed in a stage process I don’t think anyone but him really understands — replied with a quick “we already did,” as though the words were bullets bouncing off him. There are very few bands who could follow Weedeater and hope to stand a chance of not having been blown off the stage. For this too, it was lucky that Saint Vitus were up next.
If one can say such a thing about a doom legend, Vitus guitarist and principle songwriter Dave Chandler seemed positively tickled to be playing a venue with the same name as his band. Both he and vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich thanked the bar several times, Wino noting that it was a dream come true for the owners and the band both. After setting up their gear — subdued bassist Mark Adams drinking a Budweiser while his rig was assembled — they very quickly hit some feedback and launched into “Blessed Night” from this year’s Lillie: F-65(review here), the first song they wrote since embarking on this reunion in 2009.
Since then, I’ve seen Vitus four times that I can think of off the top of my head — Roadburn ’09, Brooklyn, Metalliance and last night; I might be missing one — and I may just have run out of appropriate hyperbole to convey the experience. I’ll argue tooth and nail that Saint Vitus are the single most important doom act America has ever produced, but more than that, they’re stripped down in a way no one else can quite manage to be. Seeing them live, it’s way less of a mystery to see why Black Flag‘s Greg Ginn recruited them for SST Records all those years ago in their initial run: they were basically doing the same thing Black Flag were doing, only they ran their brand of punk through a heady filter of Sabbath.
The government unfortunately doesn’t have a medal to give Chandler‘s guitar tone — though it should — but the guitarist roughed it out anyway, and I held my position up front for the first half of the Saint Vitus @ Saint Vitus set, Vasquez crashing out blood and thunder under the classic heft of the riffs while Wino seethed out the proto-drone of “I Bleed Black” and belted the more raging “War is Our Destiny.” They played all of Lillie: F-65save for the acoustic interlude “Vertigo” and the feedbacker finale track “Withdrawal” — not that the set was at all lacking feedback — stacking them into the earlier portion of the show to finish up with the likes of “The Troll,” “Mystic Lady,” “Clear Windowpane,” “Saint Vitus,” and the inevitable closer, “Born too Late,” which Chandler – representing the old school even down to his EC F’N W t-shirt — shouted out to the crowd after Wino jokingly asked when the audience was born. “What? ’86?” he laughed, no doubt remembering that was the year the album Born too Latewas released.
By then, I had moved to the back, and I feel like it’s worth mentioning why I did so. There had been some moshing during Weedeater, and I stuck that out well enough — took a couple shots to the back that have me sore today, etc., but ultimately survived and found it well worth the effort to do so — but when Saint Vitus got started, and as they really dug into the meat of their set, it was almost overwhelming. Not the crowd, or the push toward the stage, but just the whole thing. I mean, they were. Right. There. Even in the photo pit at Irving Plaza, I hadn’t been that close. After being up there all night, I probably could’ve stuck it out — and when they played “Saint Vitus,” I kicked myself for not — but I guess the bottom line of it was I felt like I wasn’t worthy of what I was witnessing, and after snapping off a quick 850 photos (yes, that’s a lot), I took a couple steps back, eventually winding up over by the soundboard in the back on the lefthand side of the room. I’ve seen a lot of shows in that spot at this point, and as Vitus said their last thanks and jammed out a noisy end — Chandler taking a page out of Medlin‘s book and jumping off the stage to solo in the crowd for a while — I felt lucky to be there at all, lucky to be alive, and where I was standing became at best a tertiary concern.
In the review he posted last night on the forum, SabbathJeff began with the line “Whoa, what just happened?” I was pretty sure of my surroundings when the show was over, but I’ll be damned if everything — up to and including the traffic on the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel — didn’t look just a little extra awesome for what I’d just seen. I got back to the humble Rockaway River valley a little bit before 2AM, inhaled some late-night pasta, said goodnight to my wife and crashed in anticipation of a rough alarm this morning. And today hasn’t exactly been the most productive day I’ve ever had, but if you think I’m about to start bitching the day after seeing Saint Vitus so close up I thought Wino was going to punch me in the face, there’s a good chance you’ve missed the point.
An amazing night the likes of which are rare. Thanks to The Patient Mrs. for eight years of wedded understanding and acceptance, and to you for reading.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t know about you, but for me, the news that Savannah, Georgia, progressive sludgers Kylesa will release a new collection called From the Vaults Vol. 1 begs more questions than it answers. I mean, I didn’t know Kylesa had vaults. How many vaults do they have? Are they man-sized like Dick Cheney‘s was? What do they keep in them? Are they room temperature or refrigerated?
While we wait for the answers to those questions and one or two others, here’s this from the PR wire:
Kylesa Rarities Collection, From The Vaults, Vol. 1, Set For Nov. 20 Release Via Season Of Mist
Twelve-Song Release Features One New Song, Previously Unreleased And Alternate Versions Of Songs From Band’s Catalogue
Kylesa is set to release From The Vaults, Vol. 1, a twelve-song collection featuring unreleased, new and alternate versions of songs spanning their catalogue including one entirely new song (“End Truth“) as well as the band’s legendary cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” on Nov. 20 (Nov. 16 in Europe).
“This project has been a labor of love,” explained guitarist/singer/producer Phillip Cope. “We have spent over a year going through old songs, covers, etc. and collected those we felt went well together; remixing and finishing them up. We didn’t want to release something just thrown together so we put a lot of thought and time into it. I am really happy about how this came together. I think it is a good representation of Kylesa’s different styles from early on to present day.”
The Savannah-based band recently wrapped up a European tour, which included stops at the Wacken Open Air and Area 4 Festivals, and will enter the studio to begin work on a new album for 2013. Kylesa’s most recent release, 2010′s Spiral Shadow, was revered by fans and critics alike as a “record that trashes everything you might expect from the genre” (Pitchfork) and is “as sweaty as a south Georgia summer” (Spin). Singer/guitarist Laura Pleasants was recently featured on the cover of Decibel Magazine‘s inaugural Women in Metal issue.
From The Vaults, Vol. 1 track listing: 1. Intro ** 2. Inverse ** 3. 111 Degree Heat Index *** 4. Between Silence and Sound II *** 5. Paranoid Tempo ** 6. End Truth * 7. Bottom Line II *** 8. Wavering ** 9. Bass Salts ** 10. Drained ** 11. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun ** 12. Drum Jam **
* New ** Previously unreleased/limited availability *** Alternate Version