He Whose Ox is Gored Announce New Album The Camel, the Lion, the Child

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

he whose ox is gored (Photo by Reno Tripiano)

Hell yeah, new He Whose Ox is Gored. Sign me up. The Seattle four-piece will issue The Camel, the Lion, the Child — because sometimes you have a thing for cumbersome titles and you run with it — on Oct. 9 through Bleeding Light Records. Their prior 7″, Rumors (review here), was one of my favorite short releases of 2014, so yeah, their debut long-player after a slew of other EPs and singles and whatnots sounds like an easy pick to be worth checking out.

To herald its arrival, they’ll tour with Mutoid Man on the West Coast, as the PR wire informs:

he whose ox is gored the camel the lion the child

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED: Eclectic Doomgaze Ensemble To Unleash The Camel, The Lion, The Child This Fall Via Bleeding Light Records; Tour With Mutoid Man To Commence Next Month

Seattle’s HE WHOSE OX IS GORED has been raising the brows of the underground masses with their eclectic, oft trance-inducing fusion of doom, prog rock, post hardcore and psychedelic shoegaze since their inception in 2009. Following the release of their critically-adored, Bleeding Light Records-issued Rumors 7″ last year, the band will undrape their highly-anticipated full-length debut this Fall.

Titled The Camel, The Lion, The Child, the eight-track, near hour-long sound exhibition was tracked at Red Room and Ex Ex Audio in Seattle by Robert Cheek (Serial Hawk, Noise-A-Tron etc.) with additional recording taking place at Avast Studios with Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, etc). Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon etc.) handled mixing duties and frequent collaborator, Blake Bickel, mastered the album at Dynamic Sound Service.

Both sonically and conceptually engrossing, with The Camel, The Lion, The Child HE WHOSE OX IS GORED — Brian McClelland (guitar, vocals), Lisa Mungo (synths, keyboards, vocals), Mike Sparks (bass) and John O’Connell (drums) – transcend musical boundaries with their meticulous yet organically-executed amalgam of technical guitar compositions and atmospheric synth over a pummeling rhythm section manifesting a uniquely cinematic soundscape that paints a world ready to thrash and burn.

Elaborates McClelland of the band’s latest output: “The Camel, The Lion, The Child is a cup that runs over. From the writing process and through the studio, we made it a point to make the record that we wanted. The songs grow and breathe with their own lives and personalities, and unfold with layers that surprise us to this day. The excellent engineering and mixing of Robert Cheek and Matt Bayles raised the bar, and pushed us to make the best record we could. Now, we share it with you.”

The Camel, The Lion, The Child Track Listing:
1. Oathbreaker
2. Omega
3. Crusade
4. Zelatype
5. Alpha
6. Magazina
7. Cairo
8. Weighted By Guilt, Crushed Into A Diamond

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED will wage their sonic alchemy upon unsuspecting ears next month on a short bout of live dates sharing the stage with rock and roll juggernaut, Mutoid Man. Set to commence on August 22nd, the band will traverse seven cities (five with Mutoid Man) with additional live excursions in their plotting stages.

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED:
8/22/2015 Barboza – Seattle, WA w/ Mutoid Man
8/23/2015 Venue Nightclub – Vancouver, BC w/ Mutoid Man
8/24/2015 Hawthorne Theater Lounge – Portland, OR w/ Mutoid Man
8/25/2015 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
8/26/2015 Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA w/ Mutoid Man
8/27/2015 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA w/ Mutoid Man
8/29/2015 The Boreal – Eugene, OR

Tuned low and turned up, HE WHOSE OX IS GORED released their debut EP, Op Amps, in 2009 on their own Void Assault label. Featuring heavy guitars and atmospheric synth-centric soundscapes, the band managed to bend genres into a formidable crossover composite. In 2010, the obscure unit unleashed their Tad Doyle (TAD, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth)-produced follow-up, Op Amps II: Into The Ethers. Through multiple tours and personnel shifts, the band continued to refine their sound and entered Seattle’s Red Room Studios with Chris Common. The resulting Nightshade EP was three tracks of crushing doomgaze, built on texture and aggression.

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED’s The Camel, The Lion, The Child will be released digitally and on limited edition vinyl (500 double gatefold LP ) via Bleeding Light Records on October 9th, 2015 with Breathe Plastic Records (Netherlands) releasing a limited edition tape version of the production. Teaser tracks and preorders to be announced in the coming weeks.

http://www.facebook.com/hewhoseoxisgoredseattle
http://www.facebook.com/bleedinglightrecords
http://www.bleedinglightrecords.bigcartel.com

He Whose Ox is Gored, Rumors 7″ (2014)

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Snail West Coast Tour Starts July 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

snail

I’ll have much more about Snail‘s fourth album, Feral, as we get closer to the Sept. 25 release date, but by way of an early heads up, it’s killer. The tones, the vibe, it all takes the steps the band made with 2012’s Terminus (review here) and matches them in force with the memorable songwriting and thick-toned rolling psychedelia of 2009’s return, Blood (review here), the effect both crushingly heavy and airborne all at once. Their first album as a trio since their 1993 self-titled debut (reissue review here), Feral marks the beginning of a new era for the West Coast outfit, and it’s only fitting they should get out and tour a bit to mark the occasion.

They’ll hit the road starting July 30 with company along the way from SasquatchThe Freeks and Virginia’s Akris, so if you happen to be on the West Coast, keep an eye out. Info follows as seen on the PR wire, along with the album preorder link and paragraph of their new bio that I wrote this past weekend, way overdue as it was:

snail feral tour

With the challenge of a “first new album” — 2012’s Terminus — behind them, Snail set to work on Feral, their fourth full-length and first for Small Stone. Taking the varied approach of Terminus to new degrees of psychedelia and sonic heft, songs like “Smoke the Deathless” and “Thou Art That” epitomize the weighted melodic appeal of the band, while closer “Come Home” steps forward in its brazen emotionalism. Topped off with mind-bending artwork by Seldon Hunt, Feral is their best work to date, demonstrates the progressive capacity of the once-again trio of Johnson, Lynch and Dodson, and shows that Blood and Terminus may have just been the start of the wildness to come.

Snail will be slowly and deliberately crushing the West Coast with tourmates Akris and The Freeks in late July/early August 2015. See dates below:

July 30 – Tower Bar, San Diego, CA with Sasquatch and Desert Suns
July 31 – Cafe Nela, Los Angeles, CA with The Freeks and The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic
August 1 – Cellar Door, Visalia, CA with The Freeks
August 2 – The Golden Bull, Oakland, CA with Blackwulf, Forgotten Gods, Lowcaster
August 4 – Starlite Lounge, Sacramento, CA with Akris and Amarok
August 6 – Ash Street Saloon, Portland, OR with Akris and Night of Elegance
August 7 – The Astoria Pub, Vancouver, BC with Akris, Mendozza and Bog
August 9 – The Highline, Seattle, WA with Akris and Dura Madre

https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/feral
https://www.facebook.com/snailhq
http://www.snailhq.com/
http://www.mysteriousmammal.com/

Snail, “Building a Haunted House”

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Giza Premiere “Cenotaph” from Migration

Posted in audiObelisk on July 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

giza

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the quiet opening of “Cenotaph” — or better yet, do. Go ahead and let the dreamy drift of the first 40 seconds or so carry you along at a comfortable pace, minimal, contemplative, maybe just a little foreboding. All the better to let the slam into full weight tonality that follows catch you off balance, Seattle trio Giza launching their third outing, Migration, softly enough but soon giving way to a lumbering groove drawn in part from the post-Neurosis school, but given just a touch of YOB-style kosmiche, the lead line that emerges in the midsection calling to mind some of the fellow Pacific Northwesterners’ mystical ways.

It’s a steady diet of rumble that Migration feeds the listener, the subsequent “Hashteroid” fleshing out trades between airy acoustics and further crushing atmospheric sludge, a chug underlying a dense mix of layers that almost fools you into thinking it’s done before finally deconstructing itself in a momentary freneticism of giza migrationguitar that nods at some of Russian Circles‘ payoffs while retaining its own identity as well, drummer Justin Rodda stepping forward from Richard Burkett‘s guitar and Steve Becker‘s bass to finish the track with a vicious flurry of snare. Impressively, “Strawberry Caviar” changes methods, building up from a hypnotic, soft guitar line to a more ambient wash, feedback only helping to set the mood.

That feedback ends “Strawberry Caviar” cold to make way for the opening bells of 13-minute closer “March of the High Priests,” which is the only non-instrumental piece of the four included on the 32-minute full-length. Vocalist Irene Barber tops the building rollout and instead of ultimately fading behind the wall of riffing that Giza construct, as one might expect, remains for the duration, giving the song a spacious presence somewhere between Ides of Gemini and Pallbearer, but again, not wholly indebted to anyone over the concoction of their own making from the various stylistic ingredients, huge-sounding crashes finishing out by giving way to a last, sustained rumble cut short. Clearly, Giza‘s work here is done.

Giza release Migration on Aug. 1 as the follow-up to last year’s I am the Ocean, I am the Sea, and I’m pleased today to be able to host the premiere of “Cenotaph” for your streaming pleasure. Please find it on the player below, and enjoy:

GIZA’s newest effort finds the band in its most creative/heavy/mild-melting/amp-worshiping effort to date. It’s also the bands first foray into added musicians. “Migration” boasts two guest appearances by Bryce Shoemaker (Bronze Fawn, Jules, Vermillion) on guitar on “Hashteroid” and Irene Barber on vocals (Dust Moth, XVIII Individual Eyes) on “March of the High Priests.”

* Album art by Ryan Frederiksen

“Migration” Track List:
1. Cenotaph
2. Hashteroid
3. Strawberry Caviar
4. March Of The High Priests

US live appearances coming soon.

Giza on Bandcamp

Giza on Thee Facebooks

Giza on Twitter

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Giza to Release Migration Aug. 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

giza

Seattle instrumental trio Giza will issue their third album, Migration, at the start of next month. Quite a title. I can’t help but wonder if the three-piece were thinking purposely of Buried at Sea when they chose the name or if the Chicago outfit’s 2003 offering of the same name — one of the heaviest records ever released, flat out — was unknown to them, but either way, they’ve set a significant standard for themselves. It’s not quite like calling it Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but you know what I mean.

With production by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon, etc.), Migration will be out Aug. 1. The PR wire brings art and details:

giza migration

GIZA Announces New Album “Migration” Out August 1st

Upcoming LP Produced by Matt Bayles, Special Guest Vocals by Irene Barber of Dust Moth and More

GIZA was formed in early 2012 by Richard Burkett, Steve Becker, and Trent McIntyre, with the idea of creating immensely heavy instrumental music. The first record, “Future Ruins”, was recorded/mixed by Matt Bayles and released not long after their formation in 2012, with high praise in the Doom/Sludge scene. Following the departure of their first drummer, Trent McIntyre, and the acquisition of their current drummer, Justin Rodda, a second record (also recorded/mixed by Matt Bayles) was released in April of 2014, entitled, “I Am The Ocean, I Am The Sea.” The record was a significant mechanism in the evolution of the group. While not a departure from “Future Ruins”, “I am the Ocean, I am the Sea” showed steady progress towards a more psychedelic amalgam rather than a pure metallic trudging. “I am the Ocean, I am the Sea” can be thought of as the stepping stone to their third release “Migration”, again recorded/mixed by Matt Bayles.

GIZA’s newest effort finds the band in it’s most creative/heavy/mild-melting/amp-worshiping effort to date. It’s also the bands first foray into added musicians. “Migration” boasts two guest appearances by Bryce Shoemaker (Bronze Fawn, Jules, Vermillion) on guitar on “Hashteroid” and Irene Barber on vocals (Dust Moth, XVIII Individual Eyes) on “March of the High Priests.”

* Album art by Ryan Frederiksen

“Migration” Track List:
1. Cenotaph
2. Hashteroid
3. Strawberry Caviar
4. March Of The High Priests

US live appearances coming soon.

For more information, visit:
Facebook.com/GIZAMUSIC
http://giza.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/gizamusic

Giza, I am the Ocean, I am the Sea (2014)

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 15 of 2015 So Far

Posted in Features on July 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

top 15 of 2015 so far the-rhinoceros-albrecht-durer

If 2015 ended tomorrow, I think you’d still have to say it was a pretty good year for heavy rock. Doom veered into a swath extremes — its own subgenres emerging almost one by one in a growing splinter that nonetheless continues to draw water from its roots — while the neo-stoner ignition of the West Coast continued its boom of new acts proffering classic groove. The East reveled in a progressive vision just waiting to be picked up by others, and in Europe, the ’70s traditionalist movement spread ever wider, essentially defining a modern sound in organic sounding, sometimes-vintage elements. Whether you’re going for crushing, oppressive barbarism or cosmos-bound blissouts, it is, in short, a good time to be alive.

Of course, 2015 doesn’t end tomorrow, and there’s still a whole lot of year to come. About half, as it happens. So, as has been the tradition around here for the last half-decade — and seems to be the tradition in a growing number of outlets; not taking credit or claiming to have invented anything, just noting a proliferation — it’s time to count down the best records of the year so far. There have been more than a handful of gems, and since in December I’m planning on doing a top 30, we’ll mark half the year with a top 15. Seems only fair.

Please note that this isn’t purely a critical evaluation, but a personal list, and that what I’ve put on most is as crucial a factor in my ranking as how important I think a given record is. You know the drill by now. Let’s go:

15. Stoned Jesus, The Harvest

stoned jesus the harvest

Self-released. Reviewed Feb. 20.

Kiev three-piece Stoned Jesus have a varied stylistic history, and their third outing, The Harvest was ultimately a success in large part because of its complete refusal to be defined. Atop a foundation of quality songcraft, the trio proffered a sound that was not necessarily experimental in terms of anti-structure noise or effects onslaughts, but bold in each of its forays outward from its heavy rock underpinnings.

 

14. Freedom Hawk, Into Your Mind

freedom hawk into your mind

Released by Small Stone. Reviewed June 26.

It has consistently taken me a while to get a hold on what Freedom Hawk are up to. The steady elements in their sound are held to so firmly that on the first couple listens, it seems to just be more of the same. But the more one digs in, the more there is to be found, and with Into Your Mind, the Virginia Beach trio overcome losing a member to create their most progressive outing to date, flourishes of psychedelia melding easily with their signature style of sunshiny riffing.

 

13. My Sleeping Karma, Moksha

my sleeping karma moksha

Released by Napalm Records. Reviewed May 12.

Five albums deep, Germany’s My Sleeping Karma are an act unto themselves. Their progress has been natural, fueled by a clear, varied sense of exploratory will, and the results on this year’s Moksha were nothing short of stunning. Branching out their arrangements might not be new to them, but the inclusion of horns, drones, percussion, etc., amid the central guitar, bass, keys and drums lent an almost orchestral feel to the flow between the tracks, and one can only hope they continue on their current path, because it is unquestionably the right one.

 

12. Death Alley, Black Magick Boogieland

death alley black magick boogieland

Released by Tee Pee Records. Reviewed June 8.

So much potential, so much vitality at the heart of this debut from Death Alley. The Amsterdam-based four-piece (interview here) stormed out of the gate with a ripper of a debut, and just when you seemed to have it all figured out, they hit the ignition on a 12-minute full-impulse space rock thrust, a guest vocal appearance from Farida Lemouchi (a former bandmate of Death Alley guitarist Oeds Beydals in The Devil’s Blood) adding both mystique and emotional resonance to what was already a stunning track. With all the riotousness preceding, Black Magick Boogieland readily lived up to its righteous title.

 

11. Mondo Drag, Mondo Drag

mondo drag self titled

Released on RidingEasy Records and Kozmik Artifactz. Reviewed Jan. 8.

Midwestern-turned-West-Coast heavy psych rockers Mondo Drag may have taken their time in releasing their self-titled sophomore outing, which followed their 2010 debut, New Rituals (review here), and was recorded in 2012, but it’s easy to imagine that’s because they wanted the circumstances to be as special as the album itself, recorded with a fleeting five-piece lineup that included the one-time rhythm section of Radio Moscow who wound up leaving to further their then-nascent project, Blues Pills. Even without that lineup shift as a factor, the late ’60s vibe Mondo Drag brought out across the release proved eminently listenable and has held up on repeat visits.

 

10. Cigale, Cigale

cigale self-titled

Self-released. Reviewed May 4.

A gorgeous, shimmering and melodically resonant debut from the Dutch four-piece Cigale, their self-titled gracefully maintained tonal presence and warmth while also enacting a psychedelic sprawl and grooving serenity that acted like the landscape in which the songs took place. It was a rich, bright vibe, and an utter joy to behold, tracks like “Harvest Begun,” “Feel the Heat” and “Eyes Wide Shut” proving as memorable as they were inviting. Having two former members of the much-missed fuzz rock outfit Sungrazer may have initially turned some heads in their direction, but Cigale‘s first album proved they’re an outfit with their own personality, their own development to undertake, and already much to offer.

 

9. The Machine, Offblast!

the machine offblast

Released by Elektrohasch Schallplatten. Reviewed May 28.

The awaited return of The Machine brought the band’s fifth album and a further-refined sense of maturity in their processes, as well as intrigue as to where they might be headed, two dual modes of open-ended jamming and more structured songwriting playing off each other in the extended “Chrysalis (J.A.M.)” and “Come to Light” and the more verse/chorus stylizations of “Dry End” and “Off Course.” To be perfectly honest, I doubt The Machine will ultimately pick one side over another, since if Offblast! proved anything it’s that they can easily handle either or both, but as they continue to grow, it’s encouraging to have their style establish itself as so multi-faceted.

 

8. The Atomic Bitchwax, Gravitron

the atomic bitchwax gravitron

Released by Tee Pee Records. Reviewed April 20.

First time I pressed play on Gravitron was a real “oh shit!” moment. The last release from NJ stalwarts The Atomic Bitchwax was 2011’s The Local Fuzz (review here), a single-song full-length instrumental riff onslaught that had its charm but was inherently divorced from the appeal of the band’s songwriting. Not only does Gravitron re-factor that in with songs like “Roseland,” “It’s Alright,” “Coming in Hot” and “Ice Age Hey Baby,” among others, but it hits with kick-in-the-ass production force and an all-out heaviness that 2008’s TAB4 showed the three-piece steering directly away from. Just a killer record. Utterly void of pretense. No bullshit. No need to rely on anything more than chemistry, and with the Bitchwax, that’s plenty.

 

7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

brothers of the sonic cloth self titled

Released by Neurot Recordings. Reviewed March 3.

Right now, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth are my band to beat for Debut of the Year, and I’m quite frankly not sure how anyone is going to be able to do it, so if list time comes in Dec. and you see Tad Doyle‘s trio marked out as such, know that it’s been that way in my head for some time. The three-piece of Doyle, bassist Peggy “Pegadeth” Tully and drummer Dave French arrived with a roar, and even when their self-titled let up sonically, the atmosphere remained viscerally heavy. Six years having passed since the release of their first demo (review here), I wasn’t sure there was ever going to be an album, but then to have Brothers of the Sonic Cloth show up and enact such thorough demolition only made it more impressive.

 

6. High on Fire, Luminiferous

high on fire luminiferous

Released by eOne Heavy. Reviewed June 15.

It can’t possibly be a surprise to have Luminiferous show up somewhere on this list. The seventh long-player by High on Fire had all the rage and bombast in “Slave the Hive” and “The Black Plot” that have become the band’s hallmarks over their 17 years together, but branched out progressively as well in songs like “The Cave” and “The Falconist,” the latter of which was brazenly catchy and about as emotionally direct as the band has ever gotten, their general modus being — and in that song too, just to a lesser extent — a metaphor-laced lyrical approach. That song was a triumph and so was the album as a whole; the second collaboration with producer Kurt Ballou building on the rampaging victories of 2012’s De Vermis Mysteriis (review here) while also showing growth on the part of one of modern metal’s most pivotal bands.

 

5. Kings Destroy, Kings Destroy

kings destroy self titled

Released by War Crime Recordings. Reviewed April 15.

Hitting more or less concurrent with a vinyl release of their prior album, 2013’s A Time of Hunting (review here), Kings Destroy‘s Kings Destroy is not at all coincidentally titled. Over the course of now three full-lengths, the New York five-piece — about whom I feign no impartiality, let it be noted — have distinguished themselves with a sound neither noise, nor doom, nor heavy rock, but drawing on elements of all three when it suits their purposes with chemistry built from years of being in bands together of various stripes and in various genres. What stands the self-titled out from their past work, in part, is that it is the closest they’ve yet come to capturing their live sound in the studio, and accordingly, it’s a volatile kind of heavy that bends aesthetic to its will rather than capitulating to expectations of any sort. I don’t think they’re done growing by any stretch, but Kings Destroy feels like an arrival front-to-back.

 

4. Colour Haze, To the Highest Gods We Know

colour haze to the highest gods we know

Released by Elektrohasch Schallplatten. Reviewed Jan. 6.

This one was almost a sneak-attack. German heavy psych forerunners Colour Haze released To the Highest Gods We Know, their 11th full-length, in Dec. 2014 on CD (the vinyl was in 2015, which is what we’re counting in this instance), with very, very little fanfare of any sort. There was a track premiere here that came shortly after the album was announced, but I think it was officially out less than a month after its existence was made public, which for a band of Colour Haze‘s stature and influence was surprising. Less devoted to grandeur than 2012’s 2CD She Said (review here), it nonetheless pushed the band’s sound forward and found them experimenting in their studio, particularly on the string-quartet-inclusive finale title-track, which offset jams like “Überall” and the laid back highlight “Call” with a rhythmic oddness that was somehow still Colour Haze‘s own. I couldn’t help but wonder where it was leading, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t masterful in its own right.

 

3. Goatsnake, Black Age Blues

goatsnake black age blues

Released by Southern Lord Recordings. Reviewed May 19.

Goatsnake didn’t have it easy going into their third album. It had been 15 years since their sophomore outing, Flower of Disease, 11 since their last EP, and five since they first started playing shows again. Expectations? Through the roof. Among heavy rock heads, a new Goatsnake was like seeing the mountaintop. I mean, a big fucking deal and then some. Then the record hits, and there’s just about no way it can live up to the anticipation, but god damn if Goatsnake not only finally put out a third album, but one that was better than I think anyone could’ve hoped for. Hearing Pete Stahl with however many backup singers he had on “Another River to Cross” et. al. was like finding an animal in its native habitat, and between his soul, Greg Anderson‘s riffs, bassist Scott Renner‘s low end rumble and drummer Greg Rogers‘ roll, Black Age Blues won almost immediately and then spent the rest of its 47 minutes throwing itself a victory party. “Elevated Man,” “House of the Moon,” “Jimi’s Gone,” “Grandpa Jones,” almost on a per-track basis, Goatsnake added to the reasons they’ve been so heralded despite a decade-plus’ absence from the studio.

 

2. Elder, Lore

elder lore

Released by Armageddon Shop and Stickman Records. Reviewed Feb. 19.

On the level of achievement alone, Elder‘s Lore will be the album of the year for many, and there are times (such as right now) when I listen to it and question whether or not it isn’t also my pick for that honor, but wherever it falls on whatever list, far more important is what the Massachusetts/Rhode Island/New York trio manage to accomplish across their third LP’s formidable five-track/59-minute span, songs like “Compendium” and “Deadweight” bridging a rarely approached gap between heavy and progressive rocks while maintaining a flow consistent with the psychedelic vibing of 2011’s Dead Roots Stirring (review here) but grown outward in another aesthetic direction and no sooner setting foot on the ground than seeming to master it in a flurry of blinding turns, sprawling soundscapes and clarity of mind that found perhaps its greatest expression in the centerpiece title-track, the 15-minute “Lore” itself, which I’ve no doubt will stand among if not atop the best songs of 2015 when the year is over and encapsulates the ambition and the corresponding breadth of Elder‘s songwriting, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, bassist Jack Donovan, and drummer Matt Couto rising as one of the East Coast’s most pivotal acts, with a sound completely their own.

 

1. Acid King, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

acid king middle of nowhere center of everywhere

Released by Svart Records. Reviewed March 19.

I use the word “molten” pretty regularly to describe an album or song that seems to just ooze its way out of the speakers or shift seamlessly between its songs, but Acid King set an entirely new standard for the term with Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere. Their first outing for Svart and their first release in a decade, its 55 minutes were a riff-rolling nirvana of lurching fuzz and tonal excellence, the guitar of Lori S. at the fore accompanied by Mark Lamb‘s bass and Joey Osbourne‘s drums, the swing of which propelled a highlight track like “Coming down from Outer Space” right back into it, while elsewhere on the record, “Silent Pictures,” “Red River” and “Infinite Skies” torched stoner conventions into a new space-biker rock, culminating in the heavy psych of “Center of Everywhere,” which seemed to emanate from the place it was describing, at once empty and full. More than just a welcome return after a long dearth of releases, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere found Acid King progressed even beyond where they were with 2005’s III, though more than anything else, what makes it my top pick for the year so far is the fact that I can’t seem to walk away from it for too long before going back, and ultimately, that’s what it all comes down to with his kind of thing. I’ve yet to find a standard to which these songs don’t live up.

Honorable Mention:

A few others worth noting. The Sun Blood Stories album (streamed here) continues to resonate. Also MonolordValkyrie, Lamp of the UniverseGarden of WormWo Fat‘s live record, The Midnight Ghost Train‘s Cold was the Ground and Ufomammut‘s Ecate. The Black Rainbows was a joy, as was Spidergawd‘s second LP, and while I still feel like I haven’t given it its due, the Sumac won many over and should get a mention. Steve Von Till‘s solo outing and the latest from Enslaved are worth seeking out as well for anyone who hasn’t heard them yet.

More to Come:

The year’s only half over, which is kind of a scary thought but true nonetheless. Watch out in the coming months for new stuff from BloodcowAll Them WitchesClutchGraveyardZunSacri Monti (if that one’s not already out), SnailUncle Acid, and Kind. The new Kadavar is a sure-fire top tenner, and between that, the potential for a new Neurosis album and stuff like Magnetic Eye Records‘ Electric Ladyland [Redux], there’s no way the book is written on the best of 2015.

So stay tuned.

And if I’ve still got your attention, thanks for reading.
 

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Terminal Fuzz Terror Post New Video for “Senseless Boogie”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

terminal fuzz terror (Photo by Chris Mighton)

Seattle four-piece Terminal Fuzz Terror pretty clearly have a thing for severe statements. The experimental heavy rockers made their full-length debut in March on Robotic Empire with Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain (not sure if it’s the one they’re talking about, but I hear Rainier is lovely), and that too had its sharpened edges, the Tad Doyle-recorded tracks quick to turn riffy convention on its head to suit punkishly defiant purposes. In their new video for “Senseless Boogie,” one again finds Terminal Fuzz Terror pushing toward the edge of abrasion for the sake of going against the norm.

It’s an admirable goal, but I’d hardly call the boogie senseless. The boogie is its own excuse for being.

Nonetheless, it’s a killer track and anyone trying to be a wrench in the apparently-ceaseless gears of genre tropes is cool by me. News of its arrival and the video itself follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

terminal fuzz terror senseless boogie

MOTOSONIC PSYCH-ROCKERS TERMINAL FUZZ TERROR RELEASE NEW VIDEO ONLINE

The video for “Senseless Boogie”, the newest single from Terminal Fuzz Terror’s Robotic Empre debut, Vol.0: In the Shadow of the Mountain, is now streaming online.

Combining live footage with esoteric drag racing carnage, the video for “Senseless Boogie” is just as chaotic, unhinged, and groovy as the music itself. The Video was filmed by Seattle Photographer/Director Chris Mighton and marks his first collaboration with the band.

ABOUT THE BAND: Terminal Fuzz Terror is a Seattle based Motosonic Rock band comprised of D. Rodriguez (guitar, vocals), D. Nelson (guitar, vocals), A. Crawshaw (drums) and J. Kleine (bass) who unleash a raw fury of rock n’ roll drifted through the filters of punk, psychedelia and blues on their vinyl debut, Vol. 0: In The Shadow Of The Mountain. Pummelling percussion and wailing riffs accompany a vocal delivery that channels an obliterated Jim Morrison at the height of religious revelry! The magnanimous 17-minute title track B-side closes the album with a long form, slow burning mind melter.

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. Vinyl edition comes housed in a silk screened jacket printed by drummer A. Crawshaw at Broken Press in Seattle, WA and is limited to 300 copies.

https://roboticempire.bandcamp.com/album/terminal-fuzz-terror-vol-0-in-the-shadow-of-the-mountain
https://terminalfuzzterror.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/terminalfuzzterror
https://www.facebook.com/roboticempire

Terminal Fuzz Terror, “Senseless Boogie” official video

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SunnO))) Release Series of Live Bootlegs

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I dig stuff like this. I’ve always been a fan of bootlegs, and that’s not quite what dronemasters SunnO))) are calling this raw, uncut, unmixed, unmastered, as-they-are series of live releases, but it works out to be the same anyway. They don’t seem to care about era, or recording quality, or anything of that sort and that’s just fucking awesome, particularly since you can listen to something before you shell out the $5 on Bandcamp to download. A lot of bands start out projects like this with good intentions and fall off after a while because it’s so much to keep up with. Hopefully by outsourcing the recording process to their fans, SunnO))) will be able to make it sustainable.

They’re heading to Europe in July to play a slurry of fests, and Southern Lord has some vinyl repressings out now, as the PR wire informs:

sunn (Photo by Pawel Parcheta)

SUNN O))) RELEASE LIVE ARCHIVES OF UNMIXED AND UNMASTERED TAPER & FAN RECORDINGS ON BANDCAMP, SUMMER TOUR SCHEDULE APPROACHING & VINYL REPRESSES AVAILABLE

It is a great pleasure to announce that the cathartic reverberations of SUNN O))) have been documented and can now be accessed via their live bandcamp page. Compiled of taper and fan recordings, spanning from their 2002 show at the Blackbird in Portland up to their recent headlining show at Temples Festival 2015, these documents are presented in their raw and unedited beauty.

SUNN O))) invite you to contribute to this sonic archive…

“SUNN O))) live archives. Unmixed, unmastered raw footage grabbed by underground tapers which we now present to you. We would like to invite you to also submit your own recordings of any of our concerts (even ones already posted) to this archive. If you have photos and visuals from the posted shows, please send them too.
Hail to our great fans!”

Having already announced a number of key festival appearances this summer, these offer an ample opportunity to add to this archive. Such appearances include the recently announced Le Guess Who? Festival whereby Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson will showcase their similar, adventurous musical inclinations with a very special four-day program titled SUNN O))) presents at Le Guess Who? Festival 2015. The program will include a performance by the legendary Annette Peacock, who will return to The Netherlands for the first time in over twenty tears. SUNN O)))’s full live listings can be found below:

SUNN O))) EUROPEAN LIVE SHOWS
17/07/2015 BE, Dour – Dour Festival
19/07/2015 FI, Joensuu – Ilosaarirock Festival
06/08/2015 CZ, Josefov – Brutal Assault festival
07/08/2015 PL, Katowice – OFF festival
09/08/2015 DE, Berlin – Heimathafen Neukolln
11/08/2015 RU, Moscow – PIPL (with Phurpa)
13/08/2015 NO, Oslo – Øya festival
14/08/2015 SE, Gothenburg – Way Out West
15/08/2015 DK, Copenhagen – Koncerthuset
16/08/2015 DE, Hamburg – Kampnagel
18/08/2015 UK, London – Southbank Centre, David Byrne’s Meltdown (with Phurpa)
19/11 – 22/11/2015 NE, Utrecht – Le Guess Who? Festival

Additionally, Southern Lord are repressing the following SUNN O))) titles; Black One in limited edition Clear vinyl,
øø Void in limited edition Green vinyl and SUNN O)))/Ulver, Terrestrials in Black vinyl. These are now available on the SUNN O))) store sunn.southernlord.com.

sunn-live.bandcamp.com
https://sunn.southernlord.com/
https://sunn.bandcamp.com/
www.southernlord.com

SunnO))), Live at Southwest Terror Fest, Oct. 19, 2014

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Weeed to Release Our Guru Brings us to the Black Master Sabbath on July 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

weeed (Photo by Fitz Ross Productions)

Vowel-happy psych rockers WEEED will make their debut on Illuminasty Records next month with the dogwhistle-titled Our Guru Brings us to the Black Master Sabbath. Or maybe that’s not even a dogwhistle. Might just be a regular whistle, since it seems to blare so loud and clear that they might as well have called it “Get Ready for Some Heavy Shit.” Theirs is at least a more creative title than that, and the album’s molten jams, if the newly-unveiled “Bullfrog” is any indicator, drive hard to live up to it, with a sense of exploratory psych earthier than one thinks of as space rock but still well into levitation and other expanded-consciousness trickery.

WEEED are set to tour beginning the day after Our Guru Brings us to the Black Master Sabbath comes out, crossing the country and making their way back to their Bainbridge Island, Washington, home in support of the new record. Info, quotes for emphasis, tour dates and audio follow, snagged off the PR wire:

weeed our guru brings us to the black master sabbath

Weeed: Our Guru Brings Us to the Black Master Sabbath

Releasing 7/7/15 on Illuminasty Records

We are thrilled to e-troduce the 2xLP from WEEED, their first with Illuminasty, Our Guru Brings Us to the Black Master Sabbath, a dynamically heavy record—but one with plenty of head-space. Embraced and at times, frustratingly defined by fans of so-called ‘Psychedelic’ rock, and tie-dyed bucket hats—WEEED’s work stands out as defiantly benevolent, with their compelling blend of the avant-garde and hallucinogenic finesse.

Although originally raised in the damp backwoods of Bainbridge Island, Washington, WEEED has wasted no time in touring the last few years in their local region and along the west coast. The resulting embrace from fans has led the band to expand their itinerary with Our Guru…, this time around all of the U.S. (See full dates below). “The album is a climax in the synchronicity that brought each of our lives to this moment, together,” says drummer John Goodhue. “We see it as a logical progression and zenith of our communal and individual growth, as well as the convergence of our aged and recent musical influences.”

To define these songs’ wide sonic boundaries through ubiquitous touchstones such as Sleep , Weedeater, Boris or Electric Wizard would deny the band of its own sonic milieu. Our Guru…, exemplifies a band charting the human experience through various traditional Chinese compositions, Tuvan and Mongolian throat ensembles, krautrock, and desert blues. Try out their first single, “Bullfrog” and you’ll fly in at first lick.

2015 Guru Tour:
7/8 – Seattle,WA @ The Sunset w/Ancient River
7/9 – Tacoma, WA @ 733 w/Clocks and TBA
7/10 – Olympia, WA @ Guest House w/Heavy Petting, Sawtooth
7/11 – Portland, OR @ TBA w/TBA
7/12 – Arcata/Eureka, CA @ TBA w/TBA
7/13 – San Francisco, CA @ TBA w/TBA
7/14 – Oakland, CA @TBA w/TBA
7/15 – Santa Cruz, CA @TBA w/TBA
7/16 – Los Angeles, CA @Programme Skate/Sound w/TBA
7/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rockwood House w/Melanie Odelle and TBA
7/18 – San Diego, CA @ Ken Club w/Deep Sea Thunderbeast, Barrows
7/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/TBA
7/20 – Albuquerque, NM @ TBA w/TBA
7/21 – Austin, TX @ Beerland w/TBA
7/22 – Lafayette, LA @ Artmosphere w/Melanie Odelle
7/23 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa w/TBA
7/25 – Nashville, TN @ Queens Ave w/TBA
7/26 – Atlanta, GA @ TBA w/TBA
7/27 – Athens, GA @ TBA w/TBA
7/28 – Asheville, NC @ Tiger Mountain w/TBA
7/29 – Winston/Salem, NC @ The Garage w/Daddy Issues, Blizzard Babies
7/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBA w/TBA
7/31 – Kempton, PA @ House w/TBA
8/1 – Boston, MA @ Spare Room Sessions and The Banana Hammock
8/2 – NYC, NY @ Shea Stadium w/ TBA
8/3 – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor w/INNIS and Shana Falana
8/4 – Cleveland, OH @ TBA w/TBA
8/5 – Cincinnati, OH @ TBA w/TBA
8/6 – St Louis @ Foam Coffee & Beer w/Rip Rap and Sole Loan
8/7 – Chicago, IL @The Cobra Lounge w/ Killer Moon
8/8 – Chicago, IL @ Wally’s World w/TBA
8/9 – Milwaukee, WI @ TBA w/TBA
8/10 – Minneapolis, MN @ House w/TBA
8/11 – Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin w/TBA
8/12 – Kansas City, MO @ TBA w/TBA
8/13 – Denver, CO @ Lions Lair w/TBA
8/14 – Boulder, CO @ TBA w/TBA
8/15 – SLC, UT @ Diabolical Records w/TBA
8/16 – Boise, ID @ House w/Sloths
8/17 – Missoula, MT @ The VFW w/TBA
8/18 – Spokane, WA @ TBA w/TBA
8/19 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ dræmhouse
8/20 – Seattle,WA @ Blue Moon w/ dræmhouse
8/21 – Bainbridge Island,WA @ Mushroomson Airplane w/TBA

https://www.facebook.com/WEEEDBAND
https://www.facebook.com/events/703828376407229/
http://weeed.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/illuminastyrecords
https://instagram.com/illuminastywax/
http://www.illuminastyrecords.com/shop/

Weeed, “Bullfrog”

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