He Whose Ox is Gored Premiere “Buried Twice” from new Rumors 7″

Posted in audiObelisk on October 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

he whose ox is gored

There are three tracks included on He Whose Ox is Gored‘s forthcoming Rumors 7″ (out Oct. 28 on Bleeding Light Records), and of them, “Buried Twice” is the shortest at 2:45. I was given my choice of any of the three for streaming, and while normally my impulse in that kind of situation is to go with the longest cut possible — in this case that would be the B-side, “Rumors,” at 5:18 — for the Seattle four-piece, I think “Buried Twice” is a crisp summary of the intensity that’s so central to their sound and their ability to balance that with a still-focused songwriting that ignores neither structure nor atmosphere. In picking one of the three, “Buried Twice” couldn’t help but stand out for how well all that is crammed into less than three minutes and how memorable the song is for passing in what’s essentially a flash.

he whose ox is gored rumorsComprised of Lisa Mungo on synths/vocals guitarist/vocalist Brian McClelland, bassist/vocalist Mike Sparks and drummer John O’Connell, the band released their Nightshade EP earlier this year — it was also compiled with 2010’s OP AMPS II: Into the Ether on a tape by Breathe Plastic Records — as the latest in a slew of short releases, and their drive toward efficiency is no less prevalent on Rumors. With Mungo out front on vocals, they run a line of melody through what in other contexts would be fuzzed-out noise rock, but the emphasis there should be on “run.” “Void Assault,” “Buried Twice” and “Rumors” keep a steady sense of movement through them, not only making the material exciting, but giving it a sense of unpredictability as well. “Buried Twice” might catch you off guard, but let it. That only makes the effect more satisfying.

Five-hundred copies of the vinyl will be pressed by Bleeding Light. The band have a bunch of West Coast dates lined up starting right after the release, and you’ll find them after the player below, along with some more info from the PR wire:

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HE WHOSE OX IS GORED and Bleeding Light Records have joined forces to release the Seattle doom alchemists’ upcoming new 7″. Entitled Rumors, the three-song EP will see a digital release October 28, 2014, with a limited 500-strong vinyl pressing to follow. HWOIG have built a dedicated fanbase through DIY acumen and the irresistible pull of their heavy, fuzz-drenched, progressive-minded and thoroughly intriguing take on proggy rockin’ doom, all bolstered by Lisa Mungo’s powerful, windswept pipes.

The band will be hitting the road immediately after, tooling down the West Coast. They’ll arrive back home in Seattle at the Sunset Tavern on 11/16 to end it all in blaze of glory and prepare their imminent full-length for eventual release. There’s no rest for the wicked…

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED WEST COAST TOUR
10/30 Portland, OR @ Club 21 w/ Sioux & Towers
10/31 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge w/ Eyehategod, Today is the Day, Power Trip, Iron Reagan & Plague Widow
11/1 Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull w/ Dimesland, Cormorant & Barren Altar
11/2 LA, CA @ Complex w/ QunQ, Facial & Half Goon
11/3 Las Vegas, NV @ The Dive w/ Uzala & Demon Lung
11/4 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/ Uzala, Cardinal Wyrm & Sorxe
11/5 Tucson, AZ @ Flycatcher
11/6 San Diego, CA @ Merrow w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast
11/7 Lancaster, CA @ Lancaster Moose Lodge w/ Child Brides, Sona, Litaoa & Cactus 1994
11/8 San Francisco, CA @ El Rio w/ Worship
11/9 Reno, NV @ Holland Project w/ Sisters Doom
11/16 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern

He Whose Ox is Gored on Thee Facebooks

He Whose Ox is Gored on Bandcamp

Bleeding Light Records

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: The Melvins, Slow Season, Beak, GravelRoad and The Lords of Beacon House

Posted in Radio on October 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

Yeah, it’s been a couple weeks since I added records to The Obelisk Radio playlist, mostly because these posts are a pain to set up, but once again, I’ve been keeping track of stuff to go up and this time around we’ve got 24 new albums joining the ranks. Some of it is stuff recently covered — 35007, Ice Dragon, Truckfighters — and some has yet to be — Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork — but as ever, it’s a lot of good stuff, so if you get the chance to hit up the playlist and updates page, you should find plenty there for your perusal, in addition to the running tab of the playlist, which from where I sit puts the whole stream in a different league of enjoyable. Hope you agree.

A lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Oct. 3, 2014:

The Melvins, Hold it In

the melvins hold it in

Sometimes I have to wonder how it is that for a band who are so off the wall and experimental one can still basically approach any Melvins record no matter who’s involved in making it and have a decent idea of what to expect. Yeah, guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo and drummer Dale Crover have hooked up with JD Pinkus and Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, and yeah, “You Can Make Me Wait” sounds like it would play over alternate universe credits to The Breakfast Club, but a lot of Hold it In (released by Ipecac) — “Bride of Crankenstein,” “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad,” “Sesame Street Meat,” “Nine Yards” — is pretty much in the Melvins wheelhouse. It’s in moments like the jangly “Eyes on You,” trucker rocking “Piss Pisstoferson,” spacious seven-minute jammer “The Bunk Up” and sprawling noise finish “House of Gasoline” that Hold it In really distinguishes itself, but there are stretches even in those where the Melvins just continue to sound like the Melvins. I know they’ve got a fanbase that will eagerly snap up everything they do, and after 30 years of busting their collective ass on tour and in the studio without major commercial success, I’ll far from begrudge them their following, it just seems like for as much praise is heaped in the direction of every new Melvins release, there’s not nearly as much genuinely new ground being broken as time goes on and that even the gleefully weird territory Hold it In covers is starting to feel an awful lot like a comfort zone. The Melvins on Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.

Slow Season, Mountain

slow season mountains

Whichever of Cali four-piece Slow Season‘s parents introduced them to Led Zeppelin, thanks. The Visalia outfit will release their second album, Mountains, this November on RidingEasy Records, following-up a 2012 self-titled, and by way of advance notice, the thing’s a ripper, echoing out Plant-style vocals and Bonham stomp with an underlying skater-rock groove that fits well with the label’s output in bands like The WellElectric Citizen, and so on. Of course, there’s more than that at play — second cut “Synanon” reminds of some of The Flying Eyes‘ heavy psych rollout — but from the oohing and ahhing that cap “Damo’s Days” to the bombast that comes to the fore in “Wasted Years,” Zeppelin are a central influence, bolstered throughout by touches of early Soundgarden and forays into mega-swagger for “King City” and acoustic psychedelia in “Apparition.” Mountains‘ bread and butter, though, is the meaty riffer fare of “Shake” and closer “The Defector,” the sheer arrogance of which impresses, let alone the fluidity of the riff or the obvious aesthetic drive of the production. Slow Season on Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.

Beak, Let Time Begin

beak let time begin

Not to be confused with Beak>, who are a different band entirely, post-metal four-piece Beak are based in Chicago and Let Time Begin (released by Someoddpilot Records) is their chugging, growling, atmospherically ranging debut full-length. Chicago has proven a hotbed for the genre, and Beak seem well aware of the tenets, trading off crushing riffs for atmospheric post-rock airiness, the lineup of Chris Eichenseer, Jason Goldberg, Andy Bosnak and Jon Slusher taking an Isis influence to unexpected synthy weirdness on “The Breath of Universe” — a vocoder early bringing to mind some of Cynic‘s post-reunion proggism — after the lumbering of “Light Outside.” Longer songs like “Into the Light” and “Carry a Fire” flow well, incorporating some blackened guitar squibblies and echoing screams between them, and the penultimate “Over the Shelter, the Morning” moves from abrasive feedback to contemplative ambience ahead of “Fiery They Rose,” which meters out weighty pummel but ultimately caps Let Time Begin on a subdued note that’s both satisfying and emblematic of a burgeoning will toward individuality. Beak on Thee Facebooks, Someoddpilot Records.

GravelRoad, El Scuerpo

gravelroad el scuerpo

Seattle blues rockers GravelRoad get the vibe just right on “Waiting for Nothing,” which opens their fifth album, El Scuerpo (Knick Knack Records), rocking out quiet, unpostured blues to lead the way into the record’s varied takes, from the boogie-woogie shuffle of “40 Miles” to the psychedelic fluidity of “Green Grass,” straight-up heavy rock of “DD Amin,” languid roll of “Asteroid” and upbeat finish of “Flesh and Bone,” which is among the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about cannibalism. My chief issue with some of their past work has been a tendency toward disjointedness and a modern blues production style that hones in on clarity and the brightness of the guitar and gives up some of the malevolence of the low end — something more related to my own perspective listening than the actual mission of the band — but El Scuerpo flows well and a mix by Jack “Yes, That Jack Endino” Endino treats eight-minute heavy jam rocker “Asteroid” with its due reverence, and the more I hear it, the more I want to hear it. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks, Knick Knack Records.

Lords of Beacon House, Lords of Beacon House

Los Angeles heavy rockers Lords of Beacon House serve notice of their arrival this fall via a three-song EP on Homhomhom that takes loose, Graveyard-style ’70s worship and adds a touch of Western flair in the snare march of “Seven Days” and Sabbathian string pull on “Cool Water Blues.” The EP (they call it an album, it’s really more of a demo, but whatever you want to call it) runs shortest to longest, and opener “Distant Thunder” is the most straightforward of the bunch accordingly, but even in its 8-track chug, Lords of Beacon House showcase natural tones and a penchant for writing strong hooks that continues right through until the last repeat of the line “I asked for water/She gave me gasoline” in “Cool Water Blues,” which rounds out with familiar if welcome nod. They’re a new band and so far as I can tell, this self-titled is the first audio they’ve made public, but they seem to have a handle on what they want to do, and that’s never a bad place to start working from. More to come, I’m sure, and thanks to Bill Goodman for steering me their way. Lords of Beacon House on Thee Facebooks, Homhomhom.

As noted, this is just a fraction of the stuff that joined the playlist today, so if you get a second, check out the rest at The Obelisk Radio updates and playlist page.

Thanks for reading and listening.
 

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Sign to Neurot Recordings

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

brothers of the sonic cloth

Well, we knew Brothers of the Sonic Cloth were going to end up somewhere. The Tad Doyle-fronted trio had finished mixing their album back in June and their long-awaited debut long-player was closer than ever, but as I understood it, part of the delay in actually getting the record out stemmed from finding a label through which to release it. Neurot handling the release goes in the if-you-gave-me-three-guesses-I’d-have-probably-gotten-it file, but that doesn’t make the news any more welcome, particularly since it means we’re actually that much closer to hearing the record.

That album, incidentally, is set for an early 2015 release. Not sure about the exact date, but the label makes it official below with some comment from Steve Von Till:

brothers of the sonic cloth logo

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Sign to Neurot Recordings and Plan Long-Awaited Debut Full Length Release in Early Spring 2015

Keeping up a long-held tradition of bringing forth some of the heaviest music from the darkness of the Pacific NW, Seattle’s Tad Doyle (formerly of TAD, Hog Molly), delivers his strongest songwriting and playing with his newest band Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. This powerful trio of musicians, with Tad on guitar/vocals, veteran bass player Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Annunaki) shall release their long-awaited debut LP in early 2015 on Neurot Recordings. Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth bring together the collective and extensive rock histories and the experience of the three members in the worlds of punk, hard rock and metal.

Steve Von Till says of the signing: “All of us at Neurot Recordings are so incredibly fired up about having the opportunity to be a part of this release. For me personally, Tad has been responsible for some of my favorite guitar driven noise of our generation not to mention the fact that it is an absolute pleasure to be working together with such great human beings. Witness the return of Tad with Brothers of the Sonic Cloth! “

We shall be revealing more album details over the coming months, as well as audio samples from the album. Stay tuned for more news soon…

Find Brothers of The Sonic Cloth on:
Facebook - facebook.com/pages/Brothers-of-the-Sonic-Cloth
Twitter - @TadDoyle_Tad
neurotrecordings.com

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “I Am”

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Earth, Primitive and Deadly: There is a Darkness

Posted in Reviews on September 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

earth primitive and deadly

The headline for Earth‘s 10th album, Primitive and Deadly, will always be that it was the one where they brought back vocals. It’s inevitable. That was the story of the record even before anyone heard it. And not even just that there were vocals at all — Earth‘s last with them was 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons – but that they were bringing in guests to perform: Mark Lanegan of Screaming TreesQueens of the Stone Age and The Mark Lanegan Band fame and Rabi Shabeen Qazi of psych rockers Rose Windows. This turnabout in methodology is made much more than novelty by the execution of the songs themselves, but even if one hasn’t heard them, interest is bound to be piqued. In fact, there’s much more to Primitive and Deadly (released, as ever, by Southern Lord) than the human voice. While sections of it are flat-out beautiful in their lush, tonally rich sprawl, guitarist/founder Dylan Carlson leading the way through the six tracks with his trademark slow rolling drone rock riffs as bassist Bill Herzog rumbles in time to Adrienne Davies‘ drums, it’s also Earth‘s heaviest offering in over 15 years and certainly since they made their return with 2005’s landmark Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method. That record has been the foundation point for their progression throughout the last decade, subsequent outings like 2008’s The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, 2010’s reinterpretation of their earliest work, A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction (review here), and the 2011/2012 improv two-parter, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (review here) and II (review here), and on a certain level it is for Primitive and Deadly as well, but as the title seems to hint, there’s a wiping-the-slate happening across these six extended tracks/49 minutes that leans back to something rudimentary in Earth‘s sound. That’s not to say the album lacks ambience, just that the ambience feels like it’s punching you in the face — relatively speaking.

That’s true immediately on opener “Torn by the Fox of the Crescent Moon,” which crashes into its chugging central riff with a jarring immediacy. Primitive and Deadly is clearly structured for a 2LP, with two shorter songs on sides A and C and one longer song on sides B and D, but anywhere you go and from whatever angle you might want to approach it, the sound is much bigger than one might be used to from EarthHerzog is a deep-toned bassist and the production — the album was recorded at various points with Mathias SchneebergerDave Catching (who assisted) and Randall Dunn (who also mixed and contributed Moog) — brings out a rawness in their sound that their most recent output seems to have pulled away from. If these songs are Earth hitting reset, they’re not by any means forgetting the lessons they’ve learned over the last 10 years, and their sound is as evocative and atmospheric as ever, even if given a more pointed direction with the inclusion of vocals, the first of which arrive from Lanegan on the revivalist themed “There is a Serpent Coming.” His gravelly voice is perfect for Pentecostal forebodings, and there are a couple awkward syllabic turns, but there’s no denying the pairing works. Lanegan is given two songs, side A’s “There is a Serpent Coming” and side C’s “Rooks across the Gate,” which as tracks two and five lead the way into and out of the meat of the album, and Qazi is given one, side B’s 11-minute “From the Zodiacal Light,” but it’s her cut that turns out to be the highlight of both the vocalized half (cleverly spread out through the tracklisting) and of Primitive and Deadly as a whole. Her voice fits the material more smoothly, and she rides the groove of the song — as quintessential Earth as Earth get — in such a way that as the listener, being carried along by it is inevitable. That’s not to mention the resonance of Qazi‘s voice itself, somewhere between breathy and masterful. Hers is the prevailing impression of the album, and she reminds us that the only element missing from Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light – which Carlson positioned as Earth‘s homage to classic psych-folk — was the human otherworldliness.

earth

Late in “From the Zodiacal Light,” Carlson swirls out a psychedelic lead that presages some of what’s to come with side C’s “Even Hell Has its Heroes,” a slightly more gradual start to the second LP’s opener than appeared on the first. Two guest guitarists appear on Primitive and DeadlyBrett Netson and Jodie Cox. I don’t know which of them it might be having a blues jam over the 9:43 “Even Hell Has its Heroes,” and frankly, if you told me it was both I’d probably believe you as there are a number of different tones layered in particularly as the song approaches its midsection, but it’s as close to classic heavy rock as Earth has ever come. The slow progression maintained by DaviesHerzog and Carlson might be a dirge were it not for the extra guitar — a languid march is punctuated by well-mixed bell hits — but as it stands, “Even Hell Has its Heroes” is more glorious than mournful. It is complemented on side C by Lanegan‘s second appearance, “Rooks across the Gates,” a more subdued roller on which he offers a traditional sort of ballad storytelling amid rising tides of guitar and the steady rhythm. He appears for two verses to recount the tale and is gone again, an echo disappearing into a singularly hypnotic moment in the second half with undulating waves of amp noise rumbling out the conclusion on a fade. It seems by the time they get there that there can’t possibly be much for closer “Badgers Bane” to say that Earth haven’t already expressed at one point or another, but in addition to complementing “From the Zodiacal Light” on guitar, the closer also seems to be most tying Primitive and Deadly to Earth‘s modus of this past, productive decade, unfurling its 12:28 runtime patiently as always and continuing to find room to experiment as a long fadeout past the four-minute mark leads to an ambient midsection of vague echoes grounded only by Davies‘ drum march until the song eventually makes a return, shortly after seven minutes in, and carries through past the nine-minute mark, at which point the final chord is sustained into a section of noise and straight droning that closes out. In the final minutes, Earth demonstrate that not only are they willing at this point to most directly engage with their audience — i.e. by adding vocals — but also to continue to push their material well beyond the point of accessibility. It’s ultimately the blend of both that makes “Badgers Bane” such a fitting wrap for Primitive and Deadly, since it underscores the unceasing creative impulse at the heart of what Earth has done. Their influence has spread far and wide from their Seattle roots, but Earth have never stopped progressing or pushing themselves, and even more than who’s singing on what tracks, that’s what stands out about their 10th full-length.

Earth, “From the Zodiacal Light”

Earth on Thee Facebooks

Primitive and Deadly at Southern Lord

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Dream Team: Five Guest Singers for the Follow-Up to Earth’s Primitive and Deadly

Posted in Features on August 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

earth

Right now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait, what? These people are going to be on Earth‘s next record?” I don’t know. I doubt it. This is a wishlist. It goes like this:

Earth release their new album, Primitive and Deadly, Sept. 2 on Southern Lord Recordings (preorders are here). I’ll have a review up in the next week or two, but if you’ve ever listened to the massively-influential Seattle mainstays, you know they’ve been instrumental for the bulk of their run to date. For the first time, the new album brings in guest vocalists — the venerable Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees, etc.) and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) — on a few choice selections. The results, as you’d expect and as you’ve probably heard by now, are stellar.

I had the record on just now and was daydreaming about what a new avenue Earth – founding guitarist Dylan Carlson, longtime drummer Adrienne Davies and bassist Bill Herzog – have opened for themselves. Of course, if time has proved anything, it’s that Earth work best following their own creative whims and drives, but it wasn’t long before I had a handful of voices I thought would work really well if they wanted to continue pursuing a partially vocalized approach.

Should you have a name to add, please feel free to leave a comment. Here’s who I came up with:

1. Ann Wilson

ann wilson

Okay, so maybe I’m breaking out the big guns right way, but how badass would Ann Fucking Wilson sound on an Earth track? Then and now, her voice is so powerful, moving and I just think she’d nail any part given to her and bring the spaciousness in Earth‘s signature drone-rock approach to an operatic level. I know she’s done most of her work in more traditional structures — Heart could be pretty out there, but still — but you can’t tell me she wouldn’t absolutely kill it in collaboration with her fellow Seattle-ites. Plus you might convince her to break out some flute, and that’s a bonus.

2. Marianne Faithfull

marianne faithfull

I admit this one’s kind of a reach, but one-time Rolling Stones collaborator Marianne Faithfull shares one thing in common with Earth‘s sound, and it’s a lasting resonance. Faithfull‘s voice can be so uplifting or so, so sad, and either side that she brought to Earth, it would work. It really would. It sounds really crazy, but I’m telling you straight up, it would absolutely work and be amazing, and you’d call me up or text me or whatever and like, “Dude, you were right, this is killer,” and then we’d get together and high-five about it, which would also be awesome.

3. Mark Lanegan

mark lanegan

But wait, doesn’t Mark Lanegan already sing on Primitive and Deadly? Yeah, he does. It’s fucking great. They should do it again sometime.

4. Sera Timms

Ms. Timms. (Photo by Michelle Pullman)
The former Black Math Horseman and current Ides of Gemini vocalist seems to carry an ethereal sensibility with her wherever she goes. Certainly that was the case on Field of the Host (review here), the 2013 debut outing from her solo-project Black Mare, and I’d say it holds up on Ides of Gemini‘s new one, Old World/New Wave (review here) as well. Timms does a lot of fascinating work with echoing effects and layering, and has a lot of experience in open structures and droning sounds, so even aside from the otherworldly folkishness of her approach, she seems like a natural fit.

5. Dylan Carlson

dylan carlson
Stay with me on this. Yeah, he sang on 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons, but after almost 20 years of going the other way, Earth have switched it up and decided to incorporate singers. As the founder of the band, doesn’t Dylan Carlson deserve a say? I think he’s more than earned it, and I don’t even care if he doesn’t want to sing. Let him do a spoken word retelling of his grocery list, it doesn’t matter. It just seems to me that if this is something Earth are going to pursue for any amount of time going forward, it’s as worthwhile for them to look inward as outward in challenging themselves.

Earth‘s Primitive and Deadly is out Sept. 2 on Southern Lord, and they’ll begin a US tour with King Dude two days later (dates here). More info at the links.

Earth on Thee Facebooks

Primitive and Deadly preorders at Southern Lord

Southern Lord Recordings

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The Melvins to Release Hold it In this October; Tour Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

And in other news, the Melvins continue to release Melvins albums. But wait, there’s a twist! They’ve traded out the Big Business cats for Paul Leary and JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers (the latter also of Honky), dropping from two drummers to one — no problem there, Dale Crover can hold his own — but going to two, maybe three, guitars along the way. Oh, those wacky Melvins. You never know quite what’s coming next. It’s a wonder they manage to so consistently sound like the Melvins.

Buzz Osborne is currently on tour supporting his 2014 solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists (review here), but it’s never long before the next Melvins whathaveyou is on the way, and Hold it In is set for an October release through Ipecac. Of course, the PR wire has tour dates corresponding as well.

Here they go:

THE MELVINS RELEASE HOLD IT IN ON OCT. 14 VIA IPECAC RECORDINGS

U.S. TOUR KICKS OFF OCT. 15

The Melvins return with Hold It In, their first studio album as a quartet since 2010’s The Bride Screams Murder, on Oct. 14.

Joining Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover for the 12-song outing are Butthole Surfers’ guitar player Paul Leary and bass player JD Pinkus. Hold It In was recorded in both Los Angeles and Austin earlier this year.

“Hold It In is a refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of fact and bullsh*t,” said Osborne. “Paul is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard and Pinkus has an outside the box type of approach to both guitar and bass that you just have to let it ride. I can’t believe this actually happened. I’m thrilled.”

“It’s very rare you get a chance to work with three folks from the ‘Break A Wish’ foundation, all at the same time,” said Pinkus. “I believe they’ll remember their experience with me forever (or until they finally all lose their fight with S.I.D.S).”

The Melvins kick off a round of U.S. tour dates on Oct. 15 in Sacramento at Assembly, which also includes a performance at this year’s Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. Osborne, Crover and Pinkus will be the touring roster for this run of dates.

Tour dates:
October 15 Sacramento, CA Assembly
October 17 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo House of Music
October 18 Seattle, WA The Showbox
October 19 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
October 21 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
October 22 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brewing
October 23 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
October 24 San Diego, CA The Casbah
October 25 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom
October 26 Albuquerque, NM The Launchpad
October 28 Dallas, TX Trees
October 29 Austin, TX Mohawk
October 30 Houston, TX Warehouse Live – Studio
October 31 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Fest
November 1 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
November 2 Gainesville, FL The Wooly
November 3 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit’s
November 4 Orlando, FL The Social
November 5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
November 6 Tampa, FL Orpheum Theater
November 8 Atlanta, GA The Loft at Center Stage
November 9 Birmingham, AL Zydeco

Tickets are on sale this Friday, Aug. 1 at 10 am local time.

Osborne is currently touring in support of his debut acoustic album, This Machine Kills Artists, performing shows this week in Tucson (July 30 at Club Congress) and Palm Springs (July 31 at Pappy & Harriet’s) before heading to Australia and Europe for an additional six weeks of dates. Crover temporarily joins OFF! for the band’s August tour.

www.facebook.com/melvinsarmy
www.twitter.com/melvinsdotcom

Buzz Osborne, Live in Nashville, TN, March 18, 2014

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He Whose Ox is Gored Announce West Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Following a deluxe-style 10″ release through Caffe Vita Records, Seattle bombast rockers He Whose Ox is Gored have issued their 2014 Nightshade two-song EP on tape via Breathe Plastic Records. There are, as they put it, 20 copies available in the US out of a total 100 pressed, so if you want one, it’s probably a good idea to place the order soon.

With however many they’ve got left by the time Aug. 5 rolls around, He Whose Ox is Gored will hit the road to support both the vinyl and the tape, playing with an assortment of badasses along the way, including Black Mare, who also had a tape out on Breathe Plastic last year.

The PR wire offers background and dates:

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED: Northwestern Doomgazers Plot West Coast Tour

Tuned down and turnt up, He Whose Ox is Gored has been blasting through the underground of Seattle since 2009. Combining technical guitar work and atmospheric synth over a pummeling rhythm section and doomed aggression, they create a uniquely cinematic soundscape that paints a world ready to thrash and burn. Bleeding Light Records will release the band’s upcoming Rumours EP digitally and on 7″ vinyl in a few months’ time. With an upcoming full-length brewing and a busy tour schedule this year, the OX’s dynamic doom is poised to take over. The Seattle quartet is comprised of Brian McClelland on guitar & vocals, Lisa Mungo on synths & vocals, Mike Sparks on bass & vocals, and drummer John O’Connell.

He Whose Ox is Gored is preparing to embark upon a series of West Coast live actions that will begin on August 5th in Portland and wrap up in Spokane. They’ll be sharing stages with the formidable likes of Chasma, Black Mare, Glaciers, and more, and will unveil new material from their myriad upcoming releases.

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED WEST COAST TOUR
8/5 Portland, OR @ East End w/ Muscle & Marrow and Chasma
8/6 San Francisco, CA @ SUBMission w/ Glaciers and Roland
8/7 Oakland, CA @ Eli’s w/ Hellbeard, Glaciers, and Druid
8/8 Los Angeles, CA @ Complex w/ Lightsystem, Glaare, and Black Mare
8/9 San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast and Bhorelord
8/10 Tuscon, AZ @ The District w/ Ocean Void
8/12 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar w/ Bath House and Icelous
8/13 Denver, CO @ Bar Bar w/ Abrams
8/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Shred Shed w/ Stoic
8/15 Boise, ID @ The Shredder w/ Obstructed by the Sun and Swamp Shrine
8/16 Missoula, MT @ TBA
8/17 Spokane, WA @ Mootsie’s w/ Losing Skin and Rot Monger

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He Whose Ox is Gored, Nightshade EP (2014)

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Earth Announce Fall US Tour Dates with King Dude

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ever ones for hand-delivering their groundbreaking drone, Earth have announced that they’ll follow their extensive upcoming European tour in support of their 10th album, Primitive and Deadly, with a corresponding jaunt across the US beginning Sept. 4, just two days after the record is set to release on Southern Lord. I’ll be interested to see who winds up on tour with the band, considering some of the varied personnel said to show up in the material, but if they come even moderately close to capturing the sound of “From the Zodiacal Light,” which you can hear below, it’ll be a win. Actually, it’ll probably be a win anyway. It’s fucking Earth. Some bands you just have to trust know what they’re doing.

The PR wire has dates for your calendar-marking enjoyment:

EARTH Confirms US Tour Dates In Conjunction With Release Of Primitive And Deadly LP

With the next phase of EARTH’s ongoing evolution coming closer to actuality, as their tenth studio LP, Primitive And Deadly, is set to see North American release on September 2nd, the group announces the next phase of international touring in support of the album, in the form of a month-long US tour.

With the band’s treks through Japan, Australia and New Zealand behind them, and their trek into Europe set to begin late this month, EARTH will bring their new material to American fans. From September 4th, commencing in their hometown of Seattle, the new venture will see the band winding counter-clockwise around the entire perimeter of the country through October 3rd, the last show taking place in Boise, Idaho. With twenty-five performances confirmed, additional shows are expected to be added in the coming days. Direct support for EARTH on the entire trek will be provided by dark folk act, King Dude.

With Primitive And Deadly, for the first time in their diverse career, EARTH’s founding guitarist Dylan Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies allow themselves to be a full-on rock band. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Primitive And Deadly also brings forth the band’s first vocal contributions since 1996’s Pentastar LP, and first in the band’s second incarnation, with guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows), who transform these thundering, organic songs into something approaching traditional pop structures. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California at Rancho de la Luna where EARTH recorded after hours of meditation on each track’s central theme. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves In The Throne Room, Eagle Twin). Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock.

Preorders for Primitive And Deadly will be available in the next few days. Stand by for further live and album news transmissions from the EARTH family.

EARTH Tour Dates:
European Tour:
7/31/2014 Off Festival – Katowicw, Poland
8/01/2014 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, Germany
8/02/2014 Lido – Berlin, Germany
8/04/2014 Super Uho Festival – Sibenik, Croatia
8/05/2014 Arena – Vienna, Austria
8/07/2014 Schlacthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
8/08/2014 Bogen F – Zurich, Switzerland
8/09/2014 Point Ephemere – Paris, France
8/10/2014 Zuiderpershuis – Antwerp, Belgium
8/11/2014 Tivoli – Utrecht, Netherlands
8/13/2014 Whelans – Dublin, Ireland
8/14/2014 CCA – Glasgow, UK
8/15/2014 Gorilla – Manchester, UK
8/16/2014 Jabberwocky Festival – London, UK

US Tour w/ King Dude:
9/04/2014 Crocodile – Seattle, WA
9/06/2014 Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
9/07/2014 Doug Fir – Portland, OR
9/08/2014 Midtown Barfly – Sacramento, CA
9/09/2014 Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
9/10/2014 Bottom Of The Hill – San Fransisco, CA
9/11/2014 Hollywood Forever Cemetary – Los Angeles, CA
9/12/2014 SD Music Thing Fest – San Diego, CA
9/13/2014 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
9/14/2014 Sister – Albequerque, NM
9/16/2014 Red 7 – Austin, TX
9/17/2014 Club Dada – Dallas, TX
9/18/2014 One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA
9/19/2014 Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA
9/20/2014 Kings Barcade – Raleigh, NC
9/21/2014 Rock N Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
9/23/2014 Great Scott – Allston, MA
9/24/2014 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
9/26/2014 Boot And Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
9/27/2014 Midpoint Music Fest – Cincinnati, OH
9/28/2014 Pygmalion, Music Fest – Urbana, IL
9/29/2014 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
9/30/2014 Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
10/01/2014 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
10/03/2014 Neurolux – Boise, ID

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Earth, “From the Zodiacal Light”

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Finish Mixing Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I think we’re still a ways off from getting a release date for the long-awaited debut from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, but that the mix has been finalized and the album has entered the mastering stage is news of progress, and I’ll take what I can get. The Tad Doyle-fronted outfit released their demo (review here) and a split with Mico de Noche (review here) in 2009, which just to save you the math, was five years ago.

So yeah, this one’s been a while in the making, though Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (who are also my most comfortable t-shirt) have been playing shows most of that time and Doyle has also recorded other bands at his Studio Witch Ape, including the Lumbar project, in which he also took part with Aaron Edge and YOB‘s Mike Scheidt. Better delayed than never, and I have the feeling once the record — which was recorded by Billy Anderson – arrives, I won’t give a shit how long it’s been since the demo came out.

Still, the sooner the better. Their update:

Recording update: We have the final mixes for the record and we are extremely satisfied with the Billy Anderson mix treatments that we did at Everything Hz. Nine songs have been mixed.

Billy has been a excellent to work with and has added dimensions and sonic depths that only he could have brought to these songs. When a band talks about having a fourth member, (a mix engineer/recording engineer/soundman) that have contributed to the music in such a way that it brings out things in the mix and out of the songs that is greater than the sum of it’s parts, we know what that means.

We will be working with Billy in the future for our next recording. In the meantime, we can’t wait to find a home for these songs with a record label that understands us and is willing to back us to get this music to the people. Next up is analog mastering with Justin Weis at Trakworx!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brothers-of-the-Sonic-Cloth/63586406187
http://www.taddoyle.com/

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “I Am”

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Drcarlsonalbion, Gold: Once upon a Time in the West

Posted in Reviews on June 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It should stand to reason that any Dylan Carlson solo outing released under the banner of Drcarlsionalbion (also stylized in all-caps or all-lowercase) should have a certain amount of continuity with Earth, since as much as that band has become a rotating-member collaboration, Carlson‘s guitar remains the driving force of it. He’s done a few solo releases at this point, a Latitudes session in 2012 brought particularly resonant results (review here), but the latest, Gold, has the distinction of being Carlson‘s first soundtrack work. That in itself is a little surprising. One wonders if it’s something he’s particularly avoided doing over the years or just never got around to with Earth. As focused on atmosphere as Earth has been since returning from a multi-year hiatus with 2005’s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method – a landmark the influence of which continues to be felt nearly a decade later — to tap them for soundtrack work seems like a natural fit. Even working on his own, that proves to be the case with Carlson and Gold. The 24-piece offering serves as the score to a German western of the same name set and filmed in Canada, and Carlson sounds well in his element on these tracks, which vary from noodly snippets like the 18-second “Gold VIII” to full-song breadth like the closing “Gold XXIV,” which has enough of an end-credit feel at just under five minutes (it’s also the longest inclusion) to evoke a sense of finality even without the silence that follows. Through it all, Carlson‘s tone is very much his own, and clearly intent on portraying open spaces and an undercurrent of foreboding that never comes to outright terror, but lingers vague in the distance.

Watching the film and hearing Carlson‘s guitar complement footage of horses walking slowly through desolate woods, one can’t help but think of Jim Jarmusch‘s 1995 western, Dead Man, and Neil Young‘s guitar score for that, which had a similar echoing feel in places and which was a noted point of inspiration for Carlson with Earth‘s Hex album. Part of the appeal of Carlson‘s work over the years has been interpreting the feelings and emotions contained in what are usually very minimalist atmospheres, figuring out where the music wants to take you and then going to that place, and on that level, Gold taps into some of the similar big sky, wide-angle Americana that Hex did, though the spirit of this release is different because very often it jumps from one piece to the next before an ambience is fully set. That keeps Gold from really being able to be evaluated as a full-length album, but if you catch it in the right headspace, the vibe is open enough and consuming enough that you can get lost in Gold without really even realizing, the 44-minute span not a slog to wade through, but a well-honed dronescape comprised of individual glimpses. It is minimal — Carlson and his guitar. As Earth have expanded their sound in multiple directions over the last nine-plus (really almost 25) years around Carlson and drummer Adrienne Davies who joined in 2001, Drcarlsonalbion seems to be the place the guitarist retreats to in order to be alone with the frequencies he crafts. There are some other noises far back in the mix on “Gold V” and elsewhere, an obscure sense of someone hitting something with something else, an actual tom hit on “Gold XI,” but Gold has a lonesome sound and that’s clearly the intent from the beginning.

Read more »

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Earth to Release Primitive and Deadly in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

So you’ve got an Earth record with Mark Lanegan singing on it? Well fucking a. Yes, please. Sign me up.

Details of Earth‘s forthcoming long-player, Primitive and Deadly, come via the PR wire below. Southern Lord will have it out in September, and it seems like yet another fascinating turn in Earth‘s ongoing progression is in store.

More to come I’m sure:

EARTH Reveals Details Of Their Tenth Studio Recording, Primitive And Deadly

International Tour Dates Begin Next Week

EARTH’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume and feedbacking drone or, in the twin Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light set from 2011 and 2012, via a sparse unraveling take on folk.

With Primitive And Deadly, EARTH’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing an Ouroborean creative cycle, twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse second act, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.

On “Rooks Across the Gates,” a song stylistically the closest to the folk inspired modality of Angels Of Darkness, Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. “From the Zodiacal Light,” meanwhile, takes the late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence of The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour.

This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where EARTH recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).

Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock. The album will see worldwide release this September, with a final street date to be announced shortly.

Prior to the album’s release, Southern Lord shall be reissuing Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method and The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull on LP on June 24th in North America.

EARTH shall embark on a run of international tours beginning next week, including June and July dates across Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Europe, followed by another European tour in support of Primitive And Deadly, with much more in store.

EARTH Tour Dates:
6/04/2014 Conpass – Osaka, Japan
6/05/2014 Earthdom – Tokyo, Japan
6/06/2014 Fever – Tokyo, Japan
6/12/2014 Chicks Hotel – Dunedin, New Zealand
6/13/2014 Bodega – Wellington, New Zealand
6/14/2014 Kings Arms – Auckland, New Zealand
6/17/2014 Crowbar – Brisbane, Australia
6/18/2014 Rosemount Hotel – Perth, Australia
6/19/2014 Manning Bar – Sydney, Australia
6/20/2014 Dark Mofo Festival – Hobart, Australia
6/21/2014 Hi-Fi – Melbourne, Australia
7/31/2014 Off Festival – Katowicw, Poland
8/01/2014 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, Germany
8/02/2014 Lido – Berlin, Germany
8/04/2014 Super Uho Festival – Sibenik, Hungary
8/05/2014 Arena – Vienna, Austria
8/07/2014 Schlacthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
8/08/2014 Bogen F – Zurich, Switzerland
8/09/2014 Point Ephemere – Paris, France
8/10/2014 Zuiderpershuis – Antwerp, Belgium
8/11/2014 Tivoli – Utrecht, Netherlands
8/13/2014 Whelans – Dublin, Ireland
8/14/2014 CCA – Glasgow, UK
8/15/2014 Gorilla – Manchester, UK
8/16/2014 Jabberwocky Festival – London, UK

SELECTED EARTH DISCOGRAPHY:
Extra Capsular Extraction (Sub Pop) 1991*
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (Sub Pop) 1993
Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions (Sub Pop) 1995
Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) 1996
Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord) 2005
Hibernaculum (Southern Lord) 2007
Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull (Southern Lord) 2008
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) 2011
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (Southern Lord) 2012
Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord) 2014
*re-issued as A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction (Southern Lord) 2010

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Earth, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (2012)

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On Wax: Ancient Warlocks, Ancient Warlocks

Posted in On Wax on May 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If stoner rock was as uptight about authenticity as black metal, Ancient Warlocks might prove standard bearers for the “truest” form of the genre. The double-guitar Seattle foursome’s self-titled debut sold out its original pressing on Lay Bare Recordings, and my beloved Garden State’s own STB Records has stepped in to release another 300 copies. Of those, 75 are the “Die Hard Edition” with clear vinyl, gold inside and a “bone chip” splatter, another 100 come with the same kind of vinyl an an Obi strip with the Adam Burke warlock artwork that also appears vertically in the gatefold — fucking gorgeous — and the remaining 125 are the “Standard” edition has bone-colored vinyl with gold and black splatter. All come with a download. It’s a thing of beauty any way you want to go, and if you didn’t get the chance to check out Ancient WarlocksAncient Warlocks when it initially arrived, what makes for the first official US release is a perfect way to get caught up, the front and back cover art and the platter itself reversed in black and white from the European version.

The distinction is no less than the album deserves. Guitarists Darren Chase and Aaron Krause (the latter also vocals) don’t let you get one riff into opener “Into the Night” without laying out a fat, rolling, fuzzed-out groove, and that sets the course for the bulk of Ancient Warlocks‘ concise, well-constructed 34 minute runtime. Its eight songs divide evenly into side A and side B and sound like they were made to do so. “Into the Night” and the side B leadoff “Super Wizard” also served as the A and B sides for Ancient Warlocks‘ debut single (review here), so they’re leading with their most established jams and then expanding from there. Likewise, both “Lion Storm” on the first half and “White Dwarf” on the second make imperatives out of riffy nod, the latter pushed ahead at the album’s speediest clip by drummer Steve Jones, who also produced, and maintaining its thickness via Anthony “Oni” Timm‘s bass. Here and there they fluctuate in tempo or approach — third cut “Sweet’s too Slow” is almost singularly indebted to the 1998 Queens of the Stone Age self-titled debut — but the core of what Ancient Warlocks do is in unabashed construction of stoner rock. Its thick feel, weighted vibe and lyrics to songs like “Super Wizard” and the closer “Sorcerer’s Magician” hit every mark one might ask in an interpretation of the genre’s tenets.

Where Ancient Warlocks find their greatest success is in distinguishing themselves within that sphere. Their sound on their first full-length is the equivalent of showing up at Fort Knox, finding all the guards have gotten bored of the idea of gold and taking it all for themselves. In an age of specialization and per-band-subgenre intricacy, Ancient Warlocks do right by their material in keeping it simple, allowing the personality in Krause‘s vocals to flow through naturally without forcing something individualized to the sacrifice of memorable songs. “Cactus Wine” slows down classic Fu Manchu starts and stops in the verse and bridges a gap in its sway between that band and self-titled-era Clutch‘s storytelling, and by the time side A is done, Ancient Warlocks have well established themselves as expert practitioners of what, in an age of boozy, caricature masculinity, indie hype, pseudo-cult worship, etc., has become a lost art. Full fuzz alchemy. Yes, it absolutely has its moments of silliness — of course the “Super Wizard” is from outer space, duh — but the four-piece own those moments so completely and with such an utter lack of irony and pretense that the self-titled is all the more of a good time for their being there. Why wouldn’t “Killer’s Moon” boogie so hard? How could it not?

I had the fortune of seeing Ancient Warlocks in their hometown earlier this year (review here) and found them to be no less engaging on stage than on the record. No doubt they’ll grow and progress as a band with whatever they might take on next in following-up this album, but like the first Sasquatch record, or the first The Atomic Bitchwax, Ancient WarlocksAncient Warlocks hits all the right spots in just the right way to let you know these guys know what they’re doing and where they want to be sonically. With the added appeal of the STB version’s physical presentation — so far as I know there isn’t a CD version pressed to date — it’s a heavy rock record made to be enjoyed by those who share the band’s obvious love for riffs, heavy grooves, and fuzz you could get lost in for days. If you’d count yourself among that number, it’s one you won’t want to miss, and given how quickly the European pressing went without the band even setting foot on that continent, I wouldn’t expect these to last long either.

Ancient Warlocks, Ancient Warlocks (2013/2014)

Ancient Warlocks on Thee Facebooks

Ancient Warlocks on Bandcamp

STB Records store

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On Wax: Michael Wohl, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence 7″

Posted in On Wax on May 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though it comes with a download ticket to be redeemed at Knick Knack Records‘ webstore, Mystery Ship guitarist Michael Wohl‘s new single, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence, makes yet another compelling argument in the long settled debate of physical versus non-physical media. Once you’ve soaked in the early-20th-Century-looking fonts on the front and back covers, the prevailing impression the 7″ 45RPM two-songer makes is not of being a relic, but of being homemade. On the cover, you can feel the raised places where the ink of Adam Burke‘s art was screenprinted on, and while the recording itself is somewhat cleaner and less bedroom-folk than Wohl‘s Eight Pieces for Solo Guitar digital and tape release — having been recorded by Wohl and Gordon Raphael (Regina Spektor, The Strokes, Sky Cries Mary, etc.) — with a genuine sense of the room in which it was made or at very least the fancy-seeming microphone that picked up the resonance of Wohl‘s guitar, it also credits Jeff Powell of Memphis’ Ardent Studios for cutting the vinyl plate, so a human element is never far off.

Of course, with an approach so intimate, that most likely wouldn’t have been a concern anyway. Wohl sings in Mystery Ship as well, and listening to the original “Moonfeeder,” I can’t help but wonder when he might try his hand at troubadour-ing with his solo work as well, but thus far he’s resisted the temptation. Still, where Eight Pieces was a collection of experiments, these are well-conceived and plucked folk songs, the B-side derived on the fly with stated inspiration from Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Doc Watson. As he did last time out and as I hope he continues to do going forward, Wohl includes his own liner notes with the single, a brief notation on key — “Moonfeeder” is in D minor, “Song of Impermanence” in open D — and a little bit about each song. “Moonfeeder” is the shorter and more melancholic of the two, but even so, it retains some movement and an underlying sweetness of melody and rhythm, though while it starts out minimal and somewhat ominous, the bulk of the bounce arrives somewhere around the middle of “Song of Impermanence,” which begs for a soft blues delivery, sans feigned twang but given to storytelling.

Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence is a quick, picturesque release that does little to convey the stereotyped grit or rain-soaked depressiveness of Wohl‘s Seattle base of operation, but maybe escapism is part of the appeal in creating a work like this. If I have one regret as regards the single, it’s that there isn’t more to get lost in.

Michael Wohl, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence (2014)

Michael Wohl on Bandcamp

Knick Knack Records

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Buzz Osborne Announces Solo Tour; This Machine Kills Artists out June 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

True to form of his main outfit, the Melvins, guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne has announced that he’ll be supporting his forthcoming solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists — out June 3 on Ipecac — with an extensive, 38-show coast-to-coast, north-south-and-in-between tour. It’s an intimidating list of gigs, and it starts out May 17 at the Scion Rock Fest before launching in full on June 10. If he’s not a singer-songwriter yet, chances are he will be by the time this run is finished.

I defer to the PR wire:

THE MELVINS’ BUZZ OSBORNE ANNOUNCES EXTENSIVE THIS MACHINE KILLS ARTISTS SUMMER TOUR

THIS MACHINE KILLS ARTISTS SET FOR JUNE 3 RELEASE

Melvins’ front man Buzz Osborne has confirmed a seven-week U.S. tour, which kicks off June 10 at The Casbah in San Diego.

Osborne previously announced the release of his first solo, acoustic release, This Machine Kills Artists, which is set for a June 3 release via Ipecac Recordings. Rolling Stone recently premiered the song “Dark Brown Teeth”, describing the track as “doomy, ill-angled” and with the “Beefheartian edge his band is renown for.”

Osborne will document the solo outing through an ongoing travelogue on Noisey.com.

May 17 Pomona, CA Scion Rock Fest

June 10 San Diego, CA The Casbah
June 11 Echo Park, CA The Echo
June 12 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
June 13 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
June 14 Sacramento, CA Assembly
June 15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
June 17 Eugene, OR Wow Hall
June 18 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
June 20 Seattle, WA Neumo’s
June 21 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown
June 22 Spokane, WA The Hop
June 23 Missoula, MT The Palace
June 24 Billings, MT The Railyard
June 26 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
June 27 Minneapolis, MN Grumpy’s
June 28 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
June 30 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme

July 1 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
July 2 Detroit, MI Small’s
July 3 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 6 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
July 7 Portland, ME Portland City Music Hall
July 10 Allston, MA Brighton Music Hall
July 12 Hamden, CT The Ballroom at The Outerspace
July 13 New York, NY Santos Party House
July 14 Brooklyn, NY The Wick
July 15 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
July 17 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
July 18 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
July 20 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
July 22 Atlanta, GA The Basement
July 23 Birmingham, AL The Bottle Tree
July 25 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
July 26 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
July 27 Austin, TX Red 7
July 28 Sam Antonio, TX Limelight
July 30 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
July 31 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s

Tickets will be available this Friday, April 4.

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Buzz Osborne, “Dark Brown Teeth”

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On Wax: Mystery Ship, Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown 7″

Posted in On Wax on March 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you’ve got a mind to dig it, Mystery Ship don’t skimp on the vibe. Their straightforwardly-titled EP II (review here) was an attention-getter last year, and though it comes accompanied by Adam Burke artwork of a much different style (that sleeve is white, despite any shadow in the picture), the new, subsequent Knick Knack Records 7″ single, Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown, follows suit in continuing the development of Mystery Ship‘s retro grooving. There’s an awful lot of heavy ’70s loyalist rock and roll out there, but an awful lot less of it comes from the States, and on “Bridgeburner” and “Chinatown” — both of which are denoted on back of the record sleeve as being the A side — the Seattle four-piece make a solid argument for American contribution to the form of classic heavy rock.

Unpretentious and unaggressive, but still weighted in tone and forceful in their push, their take isn’t wholly unlike that of like-minded East Coasters The Golden Grass, though Mystery Ship have an inherently bluesier style and get down with some post-Graveyard shuffle, particularly here on “Bridgeburner,” which sets out on a warm bassline from Alex Hagenah (also vocals) that sets an organic tone for the entrance of guitarist Josh Kupferschmid, lead guitarist/vocalist Michael Wohl and drummer Travis Curry, none of whom disrupt it. Like both songs are listed as the A side, both also start with some in-studio mention of whether or not the tape is rolling, so that live feel is no accident as “Bridgeburner” moves from its strong hook into a Wohl led break that’s somewhat airy despite the tension held in Curry‘s toms. A boogie good for the soul, and not the last they have to offer.

Hagenah and Wohl trade who takes the lead vocal on “Bridgeburner” and the more swing-heavy blues of “Chinatown,” but neither song is wholly one or the other up front, and that works to the benefit of both and the distinction of one from its flipside. “Chinatown” only feels like it’s missing snaps to be complete in an alternate-universe lounge kind of way, but it makes due with its classy-in-spite-of-itself feel and offers a chorus somewhat more in the pocket than that of “Bridgeburner,” but making sly use of clean tones in the verse only to feed to dirtier leads later on, of course bookending with a last refrain, delivered more fervently.

They’re in and out in under eight minutes — unless it takes you 10 to get up and flip the record — and since both “Bridgeburner” and “Chinatown” were recorded in Jan. 2013, they more or may not show where Mystery Ship are now, more than a year later, but the quality of the songwriting makes Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown a significant-enough stopgap that it’s worth digging into. I’ll be interested to hear how Mystery Ship‘s penchant for variety plays out over the course of a debut full-length, and just how bluesy they’ll go when given the opportunity to really meander. Could a 10-minute psych/blues freakout be in the works? Got my fingers crossed.

Mystery Ship, Bridgeburner / Chinatown (2014)

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Mystery Ship on Bandcamp

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