Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth: Path Cut through Mountains

Posted in Reviews on March 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

brothers-of-the-sonic-cloth-self-titled

There’s little room left for argument after all the air’s been pushed from your lungs. Six years after issuing their initial demo (review here) and subsequent split 10″ with Mico de Noche (review here), Brothers of the Sonic Cloth at long last make their full-length debut with a self-titled release on Neurot Recordings, and whatever weight is brought to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth via guitarist/vocalist Tad Doyle‘s pedigree for having fronted underrated Seattle heavy rockers TAD or work engineering at his own Witch Ape Studio, where this album was also recorded (Billy Anderson mixed), rest assured that’s still less heft than the tones on crushers like “Empires of Dust” and the churning, 11-minute “La Mano Poderosa.” Together with bassist Peggy “Pegadeth” Tully (also his wife) and drummer Dave French (also of The Annunaki), Tad leads the charge through seven rounds of atmospheric post-sludge, the record’s 44 minutes no less concerned with ambience and mood than with gritting their teeth and bashing the listener over the head with waves of tectonic nod. It is a massive, unforgiving impression that the album leaves behind, rife with churning tension, a volume-as-ritual sense of purpose and an impact that becomes undeniable by the time “I Am” shifts into the drum-led, Neurosis-style tribalism of “The Immutable Path,” but there’s also breadth to it, and even its repetitions have a reason behind them. French‘s drums alternate between doomed marching and driving propulsion, but the hitting is consistently hard, and that seems to be true just about across the board. Even in quiet stretches, like the beginnings of “Unnamed” or “I Am” or the piano-led “Outro,” which closes, there is a tense, clenched feel that never quite lets the listener be fully at ease.

It goes without saying, but that’s obviously the point. The intensity of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is not happenstance. It’s pervasive, and it begins with the very start of the album, on opener “Lava,” where what might otherwise have been an intro riff expands into a three-minute song topped with growled verses and crashing at full turn-this-up-now righteousness. A turn to a jagged riff sits well on some half-time drums and vocal call and response make the track an outlier compared to what follows — the next four cuts comprise the meat of the album and they’re all nearly or more than twice as long — but it’s as honest an introduction as one could ask. The only thing missing from it is the grueling and slow, and “Empires of Dust” quickly (also slowly) remedies the issue. Its first three minutes are devoted to far-back gutturalism and dirge riffing, and even after things open from there, setting up a back and forth that plays out again over “Empires of Dust”‘s 7:51 resulting in a morose but creative and semi-melodic doom, the vibe remains pummeling. Tad gurgles out lyrics obscured by the distortion surrounding and echoes of noise end out, leading to the spacious guitar line that starts “Unnamed” on a more subdued, peaceful note, as if all that swirling malevolence was just a dream. It wasn’t. In tone and vocal delivery, the quicker thrust of “Unnamed” reminds somewhat of the last Amebix as each syllable of each line seems spit out, but the churn behind is more in league with Through Silver in Blood‘s brand of chaotic atmospherics, and after five and a half minutes, the song moves into a different cycle entirely, chugging its way toward an apex met by vocals that prove the most melodic on the album. They jump back to the churn with less than a minute to go — an effective bookend — and the 11-minute “La Mano Poderosa,” a version of which also appeared on the demo, introduces its roll with the guitar, its central progression a theme from which it deviates only twice along its march, once for an angular break in the middle, and again for a bigger finish on which French once again pulls back on the drums to let the guitar and bass sound as huge as possible.

brothers-of-the-sonic-cloth-(Photo-by-Invisible-Hour)

In its length and position, “La Mano Poderosa” is the centerpiece, but the following “I Am,” which was also a demo cut, is a more dynamic listen, following a build structure that starts quiet and brooding, makes its way toward its peak in the middle and, with a stop and scream just past 5:10 to signal arrival, rides out its groove for the remaining three minutes. To look at the waveform, there are clear indicators of increasing density, and the sound is no less marked out, but the flow crafted over the course of “I Am” makes it a highlight, and in some respects its the apex of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, since neither “The Immutable Path,” on which Doyle joins John O’Connell on drums and layers a quiet vocal on top with droning ambience behind, nor the piano-led “Outro” approach the same kind of heft, though certainly each of the last two tracks has an atmospheric resonance of its own. That might be true even more of the two-minute “Outro,” which with just piano echoing has a disjointed feel that holds firm to its melody even as it begins to fade out to end the record. My understanding is “The Immutable Path” and “Outro” are both bonus tracks for the CD/DL editions of the album, but they have a function in the overarching mood of what comes before them anyway. No doubt part of the reason Brothers of the Sonic Cloth have garnered such a response is Tad Doyle‘s legacy and this self-titled being his first studio release since Hog Molly‘s lone outing in 2000, but this trio does nothing if they don’t set themselves apart from that legacy, and the spirit that pervades this material isn’t backward-looking in any way. That said, with six years between the demo and the album, I wouldn’t try to hazard a guess at when a follow-up might be in the beginning stages, let alone completed, but Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is an outing that does well standing on its own and its scope and sheer ferocity speak to a vibrant creativity at work.

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “La Mano Poderosa”

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth on Thee Facebooks

Witch Ape Studio

Neurot Recordings

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Primitive Man, Sandrider + Kinski, Hiram-Maxim, Obrero and Elbrus

Posted in Radio on February 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

I know it’s not the usual custom to do Radio adds on Mondays, but what the hell, it’s not exactly like there are rules one way or another, and my desktop has hit eight rows deep of folders with albums in them, so whatever day it might be, it’s time to clear out as much of it as possible. A full 22 records join The Obelisk Radio playlist today. Some of it is very strange, some of it pretty straightforward, but one way or another, I think it all makes the stream better and more diverse, and that’s what it’s all about. For the full list of everything added, check out the Playlist and Updates page.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 16, 2015:

Primitive Man, Home is Where the Hatred Is

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

After their destructive 2013 Relapse Records debut, Scorn (review here), Primitive Man‘s reputation for brutality precedes them. The Denver trio’s new EP, Home is Where the Hatred Is, is only likely to further that reputation, its four tracks alternating between grueling, unrepentantly slow-lumbering, ungodly-toned extremity and fits of grinding megaviolence. The release is arranged longest to shortest so that opener “Loathe” (11:03) is sure to weed out the weaker constitutions en route to the ensuing crushers “Downfall” (8:43) and “Bag Man” (7:09). The closer, “A Marriage with Nothingness” (4:17) is a collage of noise and fedback threat topped with a sample of a woman either in ecstasy or agony — in context it’s kind of hard to tell — but the message is plain either way. One might think of that cut as an answer to Primitive Man‘s 2013 P//M Noise Tape, which also explored droning forms between covers of PortisheadBlack Sabbath and Crowbar. Perhaps most foreboding of all is how smoothly Primitive Man shift between the facets of their increasingly diverse sound, since it speaks to a progression in progress in terms of bringing the various elements together. A beast is one thing, but a thinking beast seems all the more ominous. They may be in the process of outgrowing their name, but a savage force remains at the heart of their bludgeoning. Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

Sandrider and Kinski, Sandrider + Kinski Split

sandrider kinski split

With geography in common in their Seattle base of operation, Sandrider and Kinski present their Sandrider + Kinski split on Good to Die Records with three new songs from the former, including a cover of Jane’s Addiction‘s “Mountain Song,” and two from the latter, working in instrumental, textured heavy psychedelic forms that complement Sandrider‘s bombastic approach as heard on their two full-lengths to date, 2013’s Godhead (review here) and 2011’s self-titled debut (review here). Both “Beyond in Touch with My Feminine Side” (8:42) and “The Narcotic Comforts of the Status Quo” (5:17) flesh out open spaces, rich in tone and flowing movement, with the closer more of a riffy, space-rock feel while “Beyond in Touch with My Feminine Side” is more exploratory, fading out at its end is the jam sort of deconstructs below lead guitar. As for Sandrider‘s “Rain” (4:47) and “Glaive” (4:40), for anyone who’s heard the rolling punk heaviness of their albums, it should be enough to say they sound like Sandrider – upbeat and catchy and furious and kinetic — and while I’m not sure anyone ever needed to hear a Jane’s Addiction song ever again (ever.), they take what was probably the band’s best riff and re-suit it to their own purposes, which if you’re going to do it at least is the right way to go about it. Sandrider on Thee Facebooks, Kinski on Thee Facebooks, Good to Die Records.

Hiram-Maxim, Hiram-Maxim

hiram-maxim hiram-maxim

Ultimately, Hiram-Maxim‘s self-titled Aqualamb debut reads more like an experiment in the deconstruction of sound than an album in the traditional sense, and perhaps I use the word “reads” because it’s a book. As has become Aqualamb‘s modus, the four-track release comes as a 100-page artbook and a download that contains its nonetheless-vinyl-ready darkened forms, whether it’s the brooding “One” (11:47) with backing drones and open guitars or the preceding “Can’t Stop” (11:55) with its rising current of abrasive, almost grating noise that gradually consumes whatever song was there to start with. It is a dark atmosphere, and the opener, “Visceral”  (7:14), is well titled, but the pervading vibe is more exploratory than theatrical; like the listener, the Cleveland four-piece are feeling their way through these deep reaches, and when they come around to the apex of closer “Worship” (6:25), the resolution they seem to find is frantic and desolate in turn. In another universe, one might call it punk rock. Here, it is gleefully and thoroughly fucked. Hiram-Maxim on Thee Facebooks, Aqualamb.

Obrero, The Infinite Corridors of Time

Obrero The Infinite Corridors of Time

The Infinite Corridors of Time, the second long-player from Stockholm old-schoolers Obrero should — contrary to their logo — appeal to fans of Hour of 13 and Argus and others who’ve made preservation of classic metal their mission, skirting the fine line between doomly Sabbath worship and proto-NWOBHM stylized forwardness of purpose. The double-guitar five-piece show some penchant for ’70s heavy rock on cuts like “Oneironaut” (6:20) and “The Axial Age” (5:40) but by and large their purposes are more metallic, meshing AC/DC and Judas Priest impulses into the keyboard-laden “Manchester Morgue” (5:01) or “Phobos and Deimos” (5:42), which stands out for its hook and successful blend alike. At eight tracks/52 minutes, The Infinite Corridors of Time is no minor undertaking — there is no song under five minutes long — but their use of keys allows Obrero to work in various moods, and for those seeking purity in their metal, the Swedish outfit offer glimpses without being wholly derivative of what’s come before. Obrero on Thee Facebooks, To the Death Records.

Elbrus, Far Away and into Space Pt. 2

Elbrus Far Away and into Space Pt. 2

If you feel like you missed out on Far Away and into Space Pt. 1, don’t worry about it. Melbourne, Australia, four-piece Elbrus are actually starting out with Pt. 2, and it’s their debut single, an 11-minute psychedelic push of heavy blues rock, stoner rollout and organ-blessed jamming. I’m not sure it’s safe yet to call what’s happening in Melbourne right now a “heavy blues revival” as acts like Elbrus and Child delve into such sonic territory — if only because with bands like Horsehunter and Hotel Wrecking City Traders out there, the city’s take on heavy isn’t so easily categorized — but one rarely recognizes such things until beaten over the head by them. Either way, “Far Away and into Space Pt. 2″ gracefully looses a molten flow over its 11:06 stretch, vocalist/organist Ollie Bradley-Smith unafraid to cut through the natural-sounding, weighted tones of guitarist Ringo Camilleri and bassist Mafi Watson while Tom Todorovic‘s drums smooth the way between volume and tempo changes and add cymbal-crash swing to both. It’s a smooth-grooved nod, and aside from making me curious to hear the first installment of “Far Away and into Space,” it makes me wonder what Elbrus might next encounter as that journey unfolds. Elbrus on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

One more time, this is not even a quarter of what’s been added today. There’s also stuff from Black Rainbows, Felipe Arcazas, Headless Kross, Warhorse, Twingiant and others, so please make sure you hit up the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page to see the full list.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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Terminal Fuzz Terror Stream “Megalodon” from Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain

Posted in audiObelisk on February 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

terminal-fuzz-terror

Named for its 17-minute closing track, Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain is the debut full-length from Seattle experimental heavy rockers Terminal Fuzz Terror, set to release limited-style on Robotic Empire March 3. It is an off-the-wall freakout beast that hearkens to multiple eras — ’60s psych meandering, ’70s riffing, ’90s purposeful weirdness, etc. — and in so doing is invariably of the modern moment: what navelgazing might be if you did it into other people’s bellybuttons; a broken mirror showing different angles of an already fractured reality. Plus it grooves!

Opener “Senseless Boogie” would seem to tell the whole tale, but in truth it’s only part of the story, and whether it’s the funtime freakout of “Zealousy” or the psych-punk thrust of centerpiece “Megalodon,” the four-piece of guitarist/vocalists D. Rodriguez and D. Nelson, bassist J. Kleine and drummer A. Crawshaw hone a chaotic swirl that feels like it could at any point fly off the handle entirely. Likewise the repeated echoing incantations of “Cycles,” which seems to call Satan not so much to spread misery and hellishness over terminal fuzz terror vol. 0 in the shadow of the mountainthe earth, but rather to crack a beer and mess around with effects pedals, and of course “In the Shadow of the Mountain,” the monolithic semi-title-track is a focal point — at just a little less than half the 36-minute runtime, there’s no way it wouldn’t be — but rather than get lost in their own grandiosity, Terminal Fuzz Terror turn plod into ritual before warping into one last high-speed wah-drenched jam, paying off what’s come before, sure, but also breathing life into a form of space rock that’s more than Hawkwind idolatry and flange overload.

If you feel like you can dig it, you’re probably right. “Megalodon” is available for streaming on the player below, and by way of a heads up, look out for near-immediate push, obscure garage-echo vocals and weirdo breaks, a biting tonal mania rife with unhinged churn that cleverly masks just how structured the song actually is. Terminal Fuzz Terror are hardly traditional in the verse/chorus sense, but there are themes to latch onto throughout Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain, and “Megalodon” works quickly to establish its own amid the cosmic reverb captured by Tad Doyle at his Studio Witch Ape and mastered by James Plotkin.

One more time, vinyl is out March 3 in finite quantities. Album info follows the player:

Terminal Fuzz Terror is a Seattle-based band comprised of D. Rodriguez (guitar, vocals), D. Nelson (guitar, vocals), A. Crawshaw (drums) and J. Kleine (bass). Drummer Crawshaw also runs the Seattle based screen printing monolith Broken Press, who printed the jacket for TFT’s hand assembled, limited release. Their vinyl debut, Vol 0: In The Shadow Of The Mountain, was recorded at Witch Ape Studio, engineered and mixed by Tad Doyle (TAD) and mastered by James Plotkin.

Limited to 300 copies and including a high-quality digital download, 50 special deluxe versions of the record will include an embroidered 4″ round patch and come packaged in a tote bag.

Vol 0: In The Shadow Of The Mountain is Terminal Fuzz Terror’s strongest work to date, and is available digitally to pre-order now, with vinyl available via Robotic Empire on March 3rd.

Preorder at Robotic Empire

Preorder on iTunes

Terminal Fuzz Terror on Thee Facebooks

Terminal Fuzz Terror on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: The Melvins, Lysol

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Melvins, Lysol (1992)

Would you believe I’ve never closed out a week with the Melvins? Granted, I’m not the hugest fan of the band in the world, but you’d think it would’ve happened one way or another at some point anyhow, two or three times over, just through the sheer process of elimination. After all, they’re the frickin’ Melvins. If heavy rock and roll has a given, a constant presence, a relentless influence under which it works, it’s theirs. Consider this post correcting an oversight on my part.

In picking one of their 250-or-thereabouts studio offerings to actually feature, I decided to not go the obvious route, which would’ve been 1993’s Stoner Witch, 1994’s Houdini or 1996’s Stag – the three landmark albums they released on Atlantic Records – but instead dig a little deeper. Not much deeper, admittedly. It’s not like I went for Colossus of Destiny or anything, but 1992’s Lysol, with its Flipper and Alice Cooper covers, its drawling riffing from a group who were just about to set the patterns they’d continue to follow for the next 20 years and counting, and its unmistakably off-the-rails songwriting, makes a good fit without necessarily being so totally obvious as to be a Melvins cliché. Or not as much of one anyway. Whatever. You know what I mean. Maybe I just felt like hearing them do “The Ballad of Dwight Fry” and Joe Preston‘s bass on “Sacrifice,” all the songs lumped together as one CD track, apparently for the hell of it because it was a relatively new format then and that was a thing people did as a reaction to track-by-track listening.

Anyhoo, there are way worse manners in which to dispose of half an hour. Boner Records, which originally released Lysol, oversaw a vinyl reissue that came out Jan. 20 that couples the album with 1991’s Eggnog – they have one for Ozma and Bullhead as well — so I guess this wound up being a topical choice without my even realizing it. Whatever your preferred format, hope you dig it and have a good time listening. That’s the whole idea.

The power stayed on during the blizzard earlier this week, for which I’m thankful. You never really know when you’re in a new place until it either does or doesn’t happen, and I could probably buy 15 houses before I’d think to ask, “So hey, does every wind over five miles an hour knock out the electricity?” We had some good gusts to go with the circa-two-feet of snow that came down — a little more earlier today, and more to come on Monday just in case I missed my shot to put on sad-era Anathema or that brilliant Sólstafir record from last year; I didn’t — and still, the lights persisted. I’ll take that. If you have to be snowed in, having a working charger for the laptop helps.

My big news this week, in case you missed it: I’m going back to Roadburn in April, and this site is six years old. Thanks to you for reading, because that’s the only reason either happened.

I had wanted to review Black Moon Circle‘s Andromeda LP this afternoon, but after doing the Radio adds, I’m good and burnt out and the record deserves better than to have me search Dict.org for synonyms for the word “lysergic.” Should be able to pick up with that on Monday, and next week also look out for reviews of Killer Boogie and AbbotElder is next after that, but I’m not sure I’ll get there by next Friday. We’ll see how it goes. Also trying to set up a premiere of one sort or another for that Garden of Worm record that was reviewed today, because it hit me hard enough that I think it’s worth featuring again. I’ll keep you posted. A Lords of Beacon House video premiere is set for next Friday, too.

I also spoke to Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man yesterday and I’m going to try really, really hard to have that posted by the end of next week as those bands head over to Europe soon to tour and I don’t want to miss my chance. Currently seeking an intern to transcribe interviews if anyone’s in need of some college credit. Yes, I’m serious, and yes, you can work remotely.

The Patient Mrs. promised sushi takeout to celebrate the site’s anniversary, so I’ll be taking her up on that and clearing out my overtaxed sinuses with wasabi. Stoked.

Whatever you might be up to, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Eye of the Stoned Goat 5: Wounded Giant and Curse the Son Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

eye-of-the-stoned-goat-5-logo

Two more adds to Eye of the Stoned Goat 5 this afternoon, and they expand the festival’s reach just about as far as it can go and still be in the continental US. The fest, which is set for June 12 and 13 in Amityville, Long Island, has just announced that Seattle’s Wounded Giant will make their first appearance and that Connecticut’s Curse the Son will return for their second time to the Eye of the Stoned Goat‘s migratory stage after taking part in Eye of the Stoned Goat 4 last May in Worcester, Massachusetts (review here).

What the bands have in common — besides riffs — is an allegiance with New Jersey-based STB Records. The label oversaw a long-awaited vinyl issue of Curse the Son‘s spectacularly stoned 2012 outing, Psychache (review here), last year, and a second pressing is already in the works for Wounded Giant‘s newly-released-and-gone split with Goya (review here) through STB, which as ever is giving the heavy due treatment in an assortment of limited pressings and special editions.

Wounded Giant will so far be traveling the farthest to attend Eye of the Stoned Goat 5, the lineup of which also features East Coast acts like Lord FowlWhite DynomiteJohn Wilkes BoothWeed is WeedGozuKingsnake and It’s Not Night: It’s Space, but I wouldn’t be surprised if fest organizer Brendan Burns has a couple tricks up his sleeve still to come for the two-day event. We’ll see what comes, I guess.

Announcements came through thusly:

You people ready for some more heavy hitters..?

Of course you are…

It’s a honor to have with us on this years fest, the blistering monstrous sounds of Seattle Washington’s very own Wounded Giant!!! Also on board for their second ‘Stoned Goat is Connecticut’s own, and STB Records stalwarts Curse the Son!!!

https://www.facebook.com/TheEyeOfTheStonedGoat
https://www.facebook.com/cursetheson
http://cursetheson.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wounded-Giant/156290301123402
http://woundedgiant.bandcamp.com/

Wounded Giant, Lightning Medicine (2013)

Curse the Son, Psychache (2012)

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Preview Debut LP, Out Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

The self-titled debut from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, due out Feb. 17 on Neurot Recordings, is on the shortlist of albums that I’m most dying to hear for the early part of 2015. Six years after their demo and five after a split with Mico de Noche, the Tad Doyle-led three-piece will finally be issuing their first full-length, and if the preview audio that’s made its way out so far is any indicator, it’s going to be an intense experience. Can’t wait to hear how it all turned out.

A second, longer preview for the record has come out via the label, this one with some comment from Doyle on the album’s making and the philosophy behind it. Video follows the PR wire info below:

brothers of the sonic cloth

BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH: Seattle Doom Weavers Featuring Tad Doyle Reveal Second Video Teaser; Debut Full-Length To See Release Next Month

BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH is the sound of earthly decomposition and planetary demise; a slow, entrancing dance towards a looming apocalypse… thick, monolithic, deliberate and devouring. Fronted by Seattle’s legendary guitarist/vocalist Tad Doyle — formerly of TAD and Hog Molly — BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH is a trio of longtime rock soldiers that includes veteran bassist Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Anunnaki) and their forthcoming full-length debut maintains a long-held tradition of conjuring some of the heaviest music from the darkest depths of the Pacific Northwest.

Slated for release next month via Neurot Recordings, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth was captured at Robert Lang Studios and Doyle’s own Witch Ape Studio in Seattle, Washington and mixed by Billy Anderson (Sleep, High On Fire, Melvins et al). Thrusting forth five hauntingly heavy tracks, with two bonus hymns included on the CD edition, the offering serves as Doyle’s first recorded release in nearly fifteen years. BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH’s audio manifestations are welcomingly unfamiliar, splicing thick, jagged riffs through chilling post-punk drumming and hulking compositions that blow soulfully hot and desolately cold, sometimes within the confines of one track. Their longform pieces present the kind of mature ideas and expansive progressions that outpace the listener’s short-term memory leading them off the proverbial map; familiar landmarks like sludge, post-metal, rock all but disappeared over the horizon. Authentic and authoritative, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth is as much a persistent thudding body punch of sonic destructive force as it is a thoughtful statement of awareness and the inescapable raw condition of life.

In celebration of its imminent unveiling, today Neurot Recordings is pleased to bring listeners a taste of the heavy with a five-minute video teaser that finds Doyle giving an in-depth look at the impetus in creating BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH, the tracking process and the weighty themes that bind the record.

Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth will be released February 17th, 2015 via Neurot Recordings with further album clips to be released in the weeks to come.

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

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth album preview

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Curse of the North Post New Video “Sleep While You Can”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

curse of the north

Seattle heavy rock trio Curse of the North are gearing up to released their debut full-length, I, later this month. The self-produced, self-released, Kurt Ballou-mixed long-player will follow 2011’s Revelations EP, which was recorded by Matt Bayles, and to herald its arrival, the three-piece have put together a video for the track “Sleep While You Can” that features an impressive array of Marshall stacks, headbanging, up and downlighting and the band themselves rocking out right in the middle there. Can’t miss ‘em.

I haven’t heard the record yet, but “Sleep While You Can” has some touches of metal and hard rock in with its heavy riffing, giving the song a kind of clean feel, but kicks up some dirt in its midsection, so it’s worth the time to dig in. If it hits you right and you’d like to make it yours, Curse of the North have made “Sleep While You Can” available name-your-price-style on their Bandcamp page, the link to which follows the info that follows the video below. You know how this goes.

It goes like this:

Curse of the North, “Sleep While You Can” official video

“Sleep While You Can” is the first release off Seattle, WA band Curse of the North’s self produced LP “Curse of the North: I” mixed by Kurt Ballou(High on Fire, Skeletonwitch, Black Breath) at God City Studios.

Curse of the North is a no frills heavy band from Seattle, WA featuring members Christiaan Morris (Guitar/Vocals) Nick Cates (Bass, 3 inches of blood) and Burke Thomas (Drums, Duff McKagan’s Loaded). COTN will be releasing their first full length LP “Curse of the North: I” Spring 2015. The band self produced the album and it was mixed by Kurt Ballou (High on Fire, Black Breath, SkeletonWitch). Curse of the North released their first EP “Revelations” in summer 2011 which was produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch). COTN will be touring in support of “Curse of the North: I” throughout 2015.

Curse of the North on Thee Facebooks

“Sleep While You Can” Bandcamp download

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Goya & Wounded Giant, Split: No Place in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on December 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

goya wounded giant split

Phoenix duo Goya and Seattle’s Wounded Giant make fitting partners. Their new split 12″ on STB Records finds them distinct enough to be immediately distinguished one from the other, but still with enough in common in their proliferation of plus-sized riffery not to be mismatched. In the case of Goya, the split follows their late-2013 full-length debut, 777, and the preceding 2012 demo (review here), and the (now) duo of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Jeff Owens and drummer Nick Lose have already seen fit to issue a follow-up EP, released Dec. 9, called Satan’s Fire. Their inclusion is the 14-minute plodder “No Place in the Sky,” where Wounded Giant deliver two tracks, “The Room of the Torch” and “Dystheist,” totaling a minute less. The Seattle three-piece of bassist Dylan A. Rogers, guitarist/vocalist Bobby James and drummer Alex Bytnar put out their debut full-length, Lightning Medicine, last year and supported it with an appearance at this year’s Hoverfest in Portland, Oregon. All told, the split is a 27-minute showcase for two up-and-coming acts who by all accounts have their sounds together and who’ve been met with no shortage of “whoa no shit heavy riffs bro!”-type hyperbole. Fair enough.

STB‘s endorsement is noteworthy in itself. The label has rightfully earned a reputation over the last two years for both its ear and the quality of its vinyl product. I don’t think they’ve put anything out that hasn’t been gone shortly thereafter, and releases from Ancient WarlocksGeezerCurse the Son and Druglord have put them on the map as a considerable presence in American underground heavy proffering a new wave of stoner rock in which it seems only right to count Goya and Wounded Giant as participants. The former are granted side A of the split, and they use their time wisely, “No Place in the Sky” building from a fade-in of feedback fuzz to a languid march that takes hold in full tone at 1:40. Their album and new EP are less so, but Goya‘s demo was almost singly indebted sonically to Electric Wizard, bringing a rawer feel to the Witchcult Today style, and “No Place in the Sky” works in a similar vein, its rhythmic swing and Owens‘ buried-under-a-wall-of-distortion echoing vocals both seem to be culled from Jus Oborn‘s book of spells. They’re hardly the only band out there at this point working under that influence, and they bring more to the presentation than many on “No Place in the Sky,” which lumbers through verse and chorus hooks en route to a bridge of Iommic layered soloing that very subtly hints at the level of construction at work in their sound. Their songwriting, likewise, finds a sense of accomplishment in returning after that jam to the verse and chorus — the lines “It doesn’t really matter/Nothing fucking matters” standing out — before jamming its way into oblivion and a finish of over a minute solid of sustained amp hum and feedback. Take that, ears.

goya wounded giant (Photo by Zack Bishop)

Classic metal is the first vibe Wounded Giant give off on “The Room of the Torch” (7:07), James‘ guitar riffing out a declaration reminiscent of Iron Maiden, but that’s really only part of the story. Half-time drums give the beginnings of Wounded Giant‘s first inclusion a nod of its own with a punchy bassline and an emergent, airy lead that adds to the languid feel. A slowdown before two minutes in marks the transition into a doomier verse — not quite as Wizardly as Goya, but that’s still a factor — with shouts echoing over downer riffs that pick up to a more upbeat thrust of a chorus. The back and forth plays out until shortly before five minutes in, Bytnar‘s kick, double-kick only seconds before, provides the shift to the faster progression serving as the apex of the track. Like Goya, they rein it back in to finish out, albeit more subtly with just a slowdown instrumental reference to the verse riff that gives way to fading feedback and start of “Dystheist” (6:08), which sounds like a crowd shout but is gone soon enough into neo-burly chugging and more restrained vocals, compressed and following the riff. A more open chorus arrives underscored by more double-kick and a metallic feel met head-on with heavy rock tonality, the flourish of the preceding cut stripped away in favor of a more forward attack, which Wounded Giant handle well. A rawer shout, almost a scream, finishes the chorus and that will be the endpoint of “Dystheist” as well on the second cycle through — the structure no less frill-less than the sound, capping the split in strong, commanding form.

As the goal of the release, already noted, is to highlight what Goya and Wounded Giant have going sonically and to keep their momentum in motion, I see no way in which the split doesn’t meet that target. Both Goya‘s track and Wounded Giant‘s tracks deliver heavy-hitting, solid genre-minded executions and, paired up, they offer each band’s quickly-massing audience to encounter the other, which, you know, is the whole idea. The temptation with splits is always to pit one act against the other, to determine a “winner” like they’re in competition. Fine. That’s a lot of fun, but truth be told, nobody here loses, and it doesn’t seem like Goya or Wounded Giant have any interest in duking it out so much as allying themselves to further their individual causes. Score one for riff diplomacy.

Goya & Wounded Giant, Split (2015)

Goya on Thee Facebooks

Goya on Bandcamp

Wounded Giant on Thee Facebooks

Wounded Giant on Bandcamp

STB Records on Bandcamp

STB Records store

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