Galactic Cross Announce Self-Titled Debut LP Release Show for Jan. 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

galactic cross

I’m not actually sure how far back the roots of Galactic Cross stretch, but I could’ve sworn I saw somewhere on the social medias that their first live appearance was like 30 years in the making? If that’s the case, then I have no doubt it will have proven more than enough time to get a setlist together. The three-piece with none other than Dave Sherman (EarthrideWeed is Weed, etc.) on vocals and bass will make this live debut on Jan. 31, 2020, at Atlas Brew House in Washington, D.C., on what seems to be an evening of Frederick, Maryland, exports, with Mangog (featuring Bert Hall, Jr., of Revelation, and of an always masterful hat) and Spiral Grave, which is the new band from former members of Iron Man and Virginia’s Lord.

And though Spiral Grave‘s debut is also expected out sometime next year, it’s Galactic Cross for whom the show will serve as the release gig, as their self-titled debut long-player sees its vinyl issue, also awaited. I’m interested to hear it, as some of the studio clips have been intriguing to say the least.

Here’s the info from the event page:

galactic cross show poster.jp

Galactic Cross Vinyl Release Party

Friday, January 31, 2020 at Atlas Brew Works
2052 West Virginia Avenue North East, Washington, D.C.

Please come out and help celebrate Galactic Cross, as they release their debut, self titled album, and take the stage with friends, and local doom favorites Spiral Grave and Mangog.

Galactic Cross put their own blood, sweat, and tears into the making of this vinyl, and the proof can be heard in the finished product. Special thanks goes out to Brad Divens for mastering the material, and giving his special twist, that allowed it to be become the gem it transformed into.

Dave Davidson will be running sound for the event, and we hope to see you there.

Set Times:
Mangog – 8:00 – 8:45
Spiral Grave – 9:00 – 10:00
Galactic Cross – 10:15 – 11:45

https://www.facebook.com/MangogOfficial/

https://www.facebook.com/SpiralGrave/

https://www.facebook.com/galacticcross/

There will be a $10 cover at the door, and Galactic Cross will have vinyl, and logo tees onhand at the event.

Galactic Cross is:
Tony Saunders – Drums
Brian Virts – Guitar
Dave Sherman – Bass/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/events/2227404090890196/
https://www.facebook.com/galacticcross/

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Orsak:Oslo Announce German Tour Dates for December

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I don’t want to be Mr. Tellingtalesoutofschool, but I saw Orsak:Oslo briefly last month, I’ll happily unveil two factoids about the experience. First, they were awesome. I had to run back across the street and take pictures of the next band going on at Høstsabbat (review here), but I was sad to leave the bar they were playing as part of the fest’s local stage. Very cool stuff. Immediate vibe. Second factoid? There were four of them. I’ll admit, I don’t know much about the band — I want to and am in the process of learning more — but I recall it specifically because they were crammed onto a tiny stage and they barely fit. It was all the more a testament to their asskickery that they still locked in such a righteous vibe.

So yeah, I don’t know what the deal is lineup-wise, but if you happen to be in Germany next month, that’s where they’ll be, and posting about them again is an excuse for me to put up the stream of their 2019 for self-titled for anyone else who might just be getting caught up.

Here you go:

orsak oslo

Scandipsych Trio ORSAK:OSLO To Tour Germany in December!

Orsak:Oslo is a dark slow brew containing of psych, dystopian post-rock and trippy space blues. With their monolithic and melancholic instrumental pieces, this is music for the active listener.

After playing November 8th in Oslo @ Vaterland, the humble Scandipsych three piece finally heads over to Germany for the following live jams:

05.12. Hamburg @ MS Stubnitz
06.12. Naumburg @ The Black House
07.12. Bielefeld @ Cutie

A trio playing just 3 dates. This is cosmic!

Orsak:Oslo is a dark slow brew containing of psych, dystopian post-rock and trippy space blues. With their monolithic and melancholic instrumental pieces, this is music for the active listener.

Orsak:Oslo is a marriage between impulsive improv and thoughtful composition, later melodies and new harmonies are carefully woven in, layer by layer. With a reverence and underlying devotion to the aura and musical preconditions laid down from the start, the result is raw, unpolished and true.

Orsak:Oslo was founded by Christian from Gothenburg, Sweden and Øyvind from Olso, Norway. On the 1st of July 2014 they released their first EP Torggata Sway, named after the street where they had shared the flat. Soon after, they got a hold on Bjarne (keys then, now guitar). The final piece fit in 2016, when Peter joined on bass.

Now, less than 5 years after Torggata Sway, Orsak:Oslo has released 9 digital EPs. 6 of these tracks have been now compiled by German label Kapitän Platte as a sort of a best of – compilation.

www.orsakoslo.com
www.facebook.com/orsakoslo
https://orsakoslo.bandcamp.com
http://kapitaen-platte.de
https://kapitaenplatte.bandcamp.com/

Orsak:Oslo, Orsak:Oslo (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: Valkyrie, Valkyrie

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Valkyrie came up around the same time as a kind of underground next-generation local boom in the Virginia/Maryland scene. Bands like Ol’ ScratchVOG (with whom Valkyrie released a split in 2005), Admiral BrowningLord, and a host of others seemed to solidify if not simultaneously then at least concurrently, and though their sounds varied from extreme sludge and thrash to instrumental progressive heavy rock to Valkyrie‘s earthy take on neo-classic dual guitar-ism, there was the sort of camaraderie between them that can only emerge when it’s a group of bands who’ve played shows basically for each other. That entire scene was and remains undervalued, and though most of those bands are gone and/or morphed into other acts like FoehammerSpiral GraveEarthling, the last incarnation of Akris, etc., and Valkyrie were put on the proverbial backburner for years following their second album, Man of Two Visions (discussed here), being picked up by MeteorCity in 2010 after its initial release in 2008 on Noble Origins (Kreation Records also put it out on vinyl in 2009), the quality of their 2006 self-titled still remains in its unpretentious melodies, proto-progressive groove and the weighted tones of its brotherly team of guitarist/vocalists, Jake and Pete Adams.

It’s arguable that among their cohort, Valkyrie had the most potential. Their sound was different from everyone else’s, and as heavy rock consciousness was filled with two-guitar antics and fleet rhythmic turns thanks to the ascent of MastodonValkyrie came across as not-uninformed of that, but able to be a tie between that style, heavy Southern rock, the classic doom of Pentagram, and even a touch of Spirit Caravan — whose drummer Gary Isom, would join them at some point around the second record. They were an immediate standout, in other words, and the material on Valkyrie‘s Valkyrie — released by Twin Earth after that VOG split and a couple of demos — was much the same, with Jake and Pete effectively trading vocals atop winding riffs and a welcoming sense of overarching groove to the bass of Nick Crabill and Nic McInturff‘s drumming. At eight tracks and 40 minutes, the release feels prescient of the vinyl boom to come, and though it’s fair to call its Chris Kozlowski production organic, it’s still rich enough to properly convey the surge of energy with the solo in finale “Lost in the Darkness,” which is perhaps the most singularly Wino-derived moment as it moves back into its The Obsessed-style central riff heading toward the midpoint of the song.

valkyrie self titledOf course, that’s hardly the first uptempo kick on Valkyrie. Beginning with “Withered Tree” at the outset, the four-piece construct a heavy rolling fluidity that allows for as much nuance as is warranted without taking away from impact at the most basic level. Witness the stop and subsequent intertwining of guitars in the second half of the opener. There’s a gracefulness to the execution of that build that undercuts the idea of the self-titled being the band’s first record — no doubt the fact that the guitarists were brothers helped — and as they moved through the hazier riffs of “Sunlight Shines” and the full-on thrust of pace that emerges there, it becomes clear just how central to the proceedings the musical conversation between the Adams brothers truly is. Not to take away from Crabill or McInturff in the rhythm section — though both would be gone by the time the follow-up came along — but Valkyrie were always a guitar-minded outfit, and they earned that through their stage presence and technique alike, tapping into epic heavy rock elements on “Endless Crusade” ahead of the acoustic interlude “Wolf Hollow” and the push into the second half of the tracklisting via “Secrets of the Mind.”

The hooky fuzz there seems to straighten out some of the more winding aspects of earlier cuts, but in truth it’s no less complex than anything before, and much the same applies to “Heralds of the Dawn,” which follows. Perhaps most of all the songs on Valkyrie feels made for the stage. Ready to dominate at Krug’s Place in Frederick or some other Chesapeake-region outlet on a bill maybe with Earthride and cheap beer spilled as much on the floor as down the gullets of patrons who somehow are drunk anyway. On such a guitar-centric record, it might be Jake Adams‘ best vocal performance, and it successfully blends the progressive and proto-metal aspects of the earlier songs with a fuller-sounding distorted roll all the while executing an efficient structure. If you want an example of the potential at root in their sound, that’s where you go. They follow it with longest cut “Eternally There,” which brings in Internal Void‘s Kelly Carmichael for a guest solo — I love the thought at the Adams brothers listened to anything on this record and were like, “You know, I think this could use another guitar”; it’s like the most guitarist thought ever — and prefaces the galloping last build in “Lost in the Darkness” with its own energetic thrust.

They end, as noted, by riding off at top speed into the sunset, which is a fair enough way to go out and certainly earned by the prior proceedings. I’ve always thought of Man of Two Visions as a superior record in that it took a lot of what Valkyrie established as their sound and pushed it forward, opened up the production some and further integrated the natural vibe into the songwriting, but going back and revisiting the self-titled is a refresher of how strong this band was at the outset. No mystery as to “what happened” to them. Jake Adams started a family and in 2008 Pete joined Baroness, where he’d remain until 2017. He currently plays in Samhain and Razors in the Night. In the meantime, Valkyrie released a third LP, Shadows (review here), through Relapse in 2015 and have done periodic shows and fest appearances to support it, remaining underrated all the while.

That release came as a surprise but was certainly welcome, and whatever, whenever Valkyrie do next, if anything, it’ll be much the same. They may not have gotten in the last 15-plus years the recognition they’ve deserved, but the sonic conversation happening between the Adamses remains something special and any outlet it finds is worth hearing.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

The Pecan turns two today. Toddlerian. Human Hurricane. “Daddy is not for kicking.” “We don’t bite.” “We don’t hit.” “If you hit me again, I’m leaving. Okay, good night. I love you. See you in the morning.”

Two years ago, I watched as, after, what, 38? hours of labor they pulled him out of my wife’s belly in an emergency C-section. Her guts, blue, on a table that I wasn’t supposed to see but saw anyway before they stuffed them back into her and closed her up with all the barbarity of human medicine at its most basic. The kind of thing the future will judge us for, provided, you know, a future.

While we’re here: Sorry about that, Pecan.

But anyway, Duder is two. And awake. And probably with a dirty diaper from the sound of him, so yeah, I better head upstairs and get the day started. It’s 6AM. Yesterday, his nap got cut short by like an hour I think because my wife and I used the bathroom one after the other and the sound of the running water was enough to wake him — he has a white noise machine but turns it off after we leave him and it plugs in so we can’t move it out of his reach; it’s a whole fucking complicated thing — and he was miserable, but eventually I gave him some of the wheat crackers he likes and he chilled out. But that was my afternoon, pretty much. I got to finish the posts for today, this one aside, and read half a section of a chapter of the Star Trek book I’m working through, and that was it. Back to daddy-time.

I’d say something about pretending to have a real life, but I think probably the proper thing to do is consider daddy-time as real life. There are arguments to be made on either side of that, I guess, and various cruel narratives that play out in my head on any given day as I watch the minutes slowly tick by until I can sit with The Patient Mrs., have dinner, watch the end of News Hour or more Trek and maybe chat for a minute over dessert before I complete the futz ritual — prepare coffee for the morning, etc. — pop half a container of sugar-free Rolaids and go to bed somewhere around 8-8:30, depending on how miserably tired I am. Real life. Maybe I’ll go back to bed this morning.

Yeah.

This post is long enough anyway. I’m gonna go grab him, change him, deliver him to my wife for morning nursing, saying happy birthday and properly doting in special you’re-gonna-have-ice-cream-today fashion, then crash out for a little bit. I’ll put up another post first though, because if I don’t, I won’t sleep. It’s like that.

How about those Astros though, huh?

Next week? I don’t know. It’s Halloween, but I don’t much care except it means the holidays are encroaching and I frickin’ hate the holidays. I think I’m going to put up a poll though for the best albums of the decade next week and that should be fun. I’m interested to see what people pick. And with my plans for 2020 in Sweden having fallen through, I’ve floated an Obelisk All-Dayer in Brazil in July 2021 maybe. That’s a ways off, but we’ll see. Would be fun.

Oh and there’ll be premieres and reviews and other stuff. It’s all in my notes, which frankly I’m too tired to look at at just this moment.

Have a great and safe weekend. Rock and roll and all that. We’re having a big party for The Pecan tomorrow with family and a few close friends. If you’re in the neighborhood, we’d love to have you come by. Email me for the address. We’ll have a bouncy house, so bring the kids. I’m completely serious.

Forum, merch, radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

 

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Ryte Stream “Invaders”; Self-Titled Debut out Jan. 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ryte

Sure enough, we’ve been down this road a few times where Heavy Psych Sounds has unveiled a new signing and then, with preorders launched, gone ahead and posted a track with the album details. Yesterday was the day listed for Ryte when word of the pickup came through and lo, the PR wire delivered on the news with the art and indeed a track, in this case, the closer, “Invaders.” It’s nice to know what to expect, and the band had a demo of “Raging Mammoth” streaming as well, so with (some version of) the opener and the finished product of the ending out there, it’s possible for those inclined to do so to get a pretty decent idea of where they’re coming from on the record. I’ll take that.

You’ll find “Invaders” at the bottom of this post, and I’ll hope to have more to come ahead of the Jan. 17 release date as well, so maybe keep an eye out.

From the PR wire:

ryte ryte

Austrian psychedelic doom mongers RYTE deliver irresistible first single and debut album details on Heavy Psych Sounds Records!

Vienna-based psychedelic doom unit RYTE announce the release of their self-titled debut album ‘Ryte’ and unleash a trance-inducing first song right now.

“‘Invaders’ is the fourth, last and shortest track on the record. We intended to do something heavy ‘n psychedelic, so we created ‘Invaders’ which is basically about the fact that we are not the primary force in the universe. Inter-dimensional creatures from the deepest depths of another dimension, invading the minds of sleeping earthlings and forcing them into lucid dreaming. Dare to dig in!” comments the band

RYTE’s debut album is the result of an intense one-and-a-half-year writing process. The album consists of four long tracks, that pushes the boundaries of Psych rock as it is influenced by Doom, Prog Rock, Jazz and even World Music. The sound is dominated by down-tuned, sometimes doomy, sometimes epic twin guitars, dynamic and jazzy drums, distorted, playful bass lines and spacey Theremin landscapes. Drummer Hannes Ganeider recorded the LP at his own rehearsal space, while Michael Piller did the mixing and none other than the underground producer-legend Tim Green mastered the album at Louder Studios in California.

Debut album ‘Ryte’ will be available in the following formats:
– 20 Test Press vinyl
– 250 Ultra LTD Orange Transparent vinyl
– 350 LTD Clear Water Green vinyl
– Black vinyl
– CD and digital

RYTE Debut album “Ryte”
Out January 17th on Heavy Psych Sounds
PREORDER NOW: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

TRACK LISTING:
1. Raging Mammoth
2. Shaking Pyramid
3. Monolith
4. Invaders

RYTE is:
Lukas Götzenberger – Vocals/Bass
Hannes Ganeider: Drums, Percussions
Arik Stangl: Guitar/Vocals
Shardik: Guitar/Effects

https://www.facebook.com/rytejams/
https://www.instagram.com/rytejams/
https://rytejams.bandcamp.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

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Death Hawks, Death & Decay & Death Hawks: Dawning Suns

Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

death-hawks-death-and-decay

Two limited reissues bring out the beginnings of Finnish experimentalists Death Hawks and provide fresh context to the work the Tampere-based band has done since signing to Svart Records for 2015’s Sun Future Moon (review here). The band’s first two albums, Death and Decay and Death Hawks, were originally released in 2012 and 2013 through GAEA Records and have been out of print since, sought after by late-comers like yours truly who didn’t catch them the first time around. With 500 copies of pressed of each, Svart does the universe a solid in this instance and puts Death & Decay on a gold LP and Death Hawks in black and white — suited to their respective artwork — and allows for curious parties to discover more about the band’s roots. As it turns out, there’s plenty to learn.

For example, that the stylistic experimentation of 2019’s Psychic Harmony (review here) were by no means a new impulse, and indeed, central to the ethic of the band. You might say it’s the root of Death & Decay, though it’s manifested not in synth-driven progressive disco, but a psychedelic take on country blues, putting the guitar and vocals of Teemu Markkula front and center like an otherworldly John Lee Hooker on a cut like “Death Hawk on My Trail” or the rockabilly-style “Roamin’ Baby Blues,” taking its structure from the Robert Johnson school of proto-blues and adding a speedy snare for that riding-the-rails vibe — filtered, of course, through Finnish psychedelia. With 11 tracks unfolding from the mellow ramblin’-“Planet Caravan”-style understatement of opener “Blue Void” to the later Tom Waits-of-Alpha-Centauri severity of “Priest’s March,” amid fuzzier tones and subtle backing synth also provided by Markkula, Death & Decay is a formative tour de force.

“The Beast” touches on organ-laced ’70s folk while “Holy Water,” which immediately follows, starts with a wild bark and turns itself into a tent revival of psychedelic wash, while over on side B, “Death Has No Reprieve” weaves hypnotic background vocals into its deceptive depths, and the catchy “Dead Man” (probably a reference to the 1995 Jim Jarmusch film of the same name), foreshadows some of the melodic sweetness Markkula will bring to his vocal style on subsequent outings, letting closer “The Peace Maker” touch on Morricone — among other things — as a direct foreshadow for some of what the self-titled would do the next year. Ultimately, Death & Decay is broader in its sound than just tagging it “psych-blues” could hope to convey, but especially with Markkula‘s performance so much at the root of the material on guitar/vocals/keys/producer/composer/etc., the feeling throughout is less full-band-expanse and more solo-exploration, and that gives the 44-minute 11-tracker even more of a “starting out” vibe, as though the material were experiments that came together as songs as they were fleshed out. As sure as the band has been of what they’ve done since, it’s kind of refreshing to know this sense of adventure was what sparked their origin in the first place. Their will to push beyond and between stylistic confines is readily on display, and the songs are memorable and weird in kind, recognizable in themselves and in the nascent sprawl the band would go on to develop from the foundation they set.

death hawks death hawks

This, of course, was realized in the quick turnaround of Death Hawks, and though it’s a shameful cliché, I’ll note that it does not seem at all a coincidence that the second album is self-titled in terms of their laying claim to who they are as a group and their intentions going forward. Shorter at 35 minutes/seven tracks with a recurring theme in “Cain Go Home (2. Session)” on side A and “Cain Go Home (1. Session)” on side B — the Morricone influence returning in the whistle of both — the self-titled is immediately immersive in its psychedelic reach, with whispers and backing melodies and winding hypnotic guitar on six-minute opener “Night Children,” the title doing little in the end to convey the colorfulness of the tone there or in songs like “Blind Daughter of Death” and the string-and-organ-backed mellow meander of “Quiet Sun,” a not-all-who-wander-are-lost krautrock texture pervading the spirit of what sounds rooted in a live recording.

That, in turn, is answered by the flamenco strum of the “Cain Go Home (1. Session),” which is nothing if not based around conveying a feeling of motion, so a dynamic emerges across the self-titled that is broad while remaining unified not just by Markkula‘s continued melodicism, but through more of a full-band feel around him, with the centerpiece “Grim-Eyed Goat” and sax-inclusive nine-minute closer “Black Acid” ranging into the beyond of subdued-and-not space rock while holding firm to Death Hawks‘ identity as they establish it throughout. Like its predecessor, Death Hawks is very much about its mood and vibe, but it’s an essential step in coming off of the debut and does much to convey what became the overarching intent of the band at the time. True, that intent would shift by the time Sun Future Moon came around and continue to do so for Psychic Harmony earlier this year, but if anything, the first two Death Hawks LPs highlight the purposefulness behind that.

Because it’s not just about how there’s a leap in sound from one record to the next one — which it’s worth reiterating: the sophomore album followed just a year after the first — but about the creative ethic that’s behind making that leap in the first place. Death Hawks‘ open sensibility and forward drive is something that continues to push their material in exciting directions and down paths that others probably wouldn’t dare to tread even if they thought to do so. What Death & Decay and Death Hawks make plain is that this is a founding principle under which Death Hawks have operated for as long as they’ve been a band, and really since before they were a band as they are now. Perhaps more than anything else, these Svart represses make Death Hawks seem like an even less predictable group, with their origins in unexpected climes and an even broader palette than that for which I’d previously given them credit. I wasn’t about to predict what they’d do next anyhow, but I find myself less inclined than ever to speculate.

Death Hawks, “Dead Man” official video

Death Hawks, “Black Acid” official video

Death Hawks website

Death Hawks on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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Hot Breath Stream Self-Titled Debut EP in Full; Out Friday on The Sign Records

Posted in audiObelisk on October 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hot breath (Photo by Marcus Eriksson)

Swedish classic style heavy rockers Hot Breath will release their self-titled debut this coming Friday, Oct. 18, through The Sign Records. The conglomerate label has emerged as a home for retro-minded heavy (among other styles), from Hypnos and Heavy Feather to Märvel and MaidaVale, and in aligning with newcomer Göteborg four-piece Hot Breath, they continue the tradition of traditionalism, as well as specifically an association with Jennifer Israelsson and Jimi Karlsson. Both the vocalist and drummer of Hot Breath are former members of Honeymoon Disease, whose sophomore LP and apparent swansong, Part Human, Mostly Beast (discussed here), came out through the label in 2017, and the new outfit brings them together with Hypnos bassist Anton Frick Kallmin as well as guitarist Karl Edfeldt, whose other band, Grand, haven’t actually worked with The Sign (yet), but still, three out of four is a compelling enough statistic to tempt one to call Hot Breath a house band for their label. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and it only makes it more appropriate that as Hot Breath offer up the six tracks/21 minutes of Hot Breath just about a year after forming, they’re playing four dates over the next few weeks as part of The Sign Fest with labelmates in Skraeckoedlan, Vokonis, Children of the Sün, and more. Clearly a family affair.

Super-groovy, as the kids might say, and the same applies to the EP itself, which in a song like “1,000 Miles” careens through speed-at-night winding late-’70s proto-metallic riffing, topped with the vocals of Israelsson (I wonder if she’s any relation hot breath hot breathto Truckfighters drummer Daniel Israelsson), whose melodies fit right in with the hard-corner turns in the guitar and the forward propulsion of the rhythm. Whether it’s the hooky “What You Reap” at the conclusion, the earlier “Maniac” or the build-up back at the start with “Still Not Dead,” Hot Breath bring an infectious sense of energy to their tracks, here and there tapping into some non-glam/non-NWOBHM ’80s worship but as likely to pull influence from Joe Walsh as Scorpions as Electric Citizen as Death Alley, the latter seeming specifically to inform “What You Reap” and “Slight Air” before it, wrapping up the quick offering with some of its most fervent and insistent thrust, though that’s not at all to take away from “Got it All,” which is no less brash when it comes right down to it, and boasts some choice backing vocals in the chorus, adding to the already so prevalent catchiness thereof.

If it needs to be said, songwriting is a feature throughout Hot Breath‘s Hot Breath, and though one has to factor in that they’re still basically a brand new band, it shouldn’t be a mystery as to why they seem to have their wits about them in terms of what they want to be doing. It’s because they do. And whether it’s Israelsson and Karlsson‘s prior experience together in Honeymoon Disease or everyone’s experience more generally heavy rock bands of various stripes, clearly the effect of it all is that Hot Breath hit the ground running on their first outing in terms of style and substance both, with tight, high-quality songcraft and an energetic, natural performance captured that serves these tracks well and gives the listener notice of more to come. I don’t know how long it’ll be before Hot Breath get around to a debut album, but if one takes the Hot Breath EP as an advance warning of that, the heads up is indeed all the more appreciable. The converted will have no trouble digging in, and even those less experienced with Sweden’s classic/boogie set will find plenty to grasp onto in the songwriting and delivery.

So, uh, have at it.

The full stream of Hot Breath‘s Hot Breath is available on the player below, followed by more background from the PR wire and live dates, including those at The Sign Fest in the coming weeks.

Please enjoy:

the sign fest

Hot Breath delivers a six track K.O that is set for release the 18th of October on The Sign Records. Blending that immortal sound of 70s classic rock with their own pure attitude, add a bit of all those influences that you like, and you get Hot Breath’s self titled debut. Guitar solos stand side-by-side with Jennifer Israelsson’s (previously seen fronting Honeymoon Disease) swagger-filled vocals and a brilliant rhythm section in Jimi Karlsson (also ex-Honeymoon Disease) and Anton Frick Kallmin (Hypnos). Every track is a hit of its own accord, and by the time “What You Reap” rolls around, it’s clear that Hot Breath provides the soundtrack to the last drink that never ends.

Recorded and mixed by Jamie Elton (ex-Amulet) in Gothenburg during the summer of 2019. Axel Söderberg (Horisont) helped out on keys on the recording. Mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes at Svenska Grammofon Studion. Artwork by Jimi Karlsson. Cover photo by Marcus Eriksson.

Formed in October 2018 (with members from Honeymoon Disease, Hypnos and Grand) the band wanted to mix their various pasts into one vibrating sound. With a common ground of heavy rock Hot Breath quickly took shape and turned into a wicked animal that will twist your hips.

The release will be available on CD in Digipack, 180g Vinyl and Digital formats. Hot Breath is touring and kicks off their first Swedish tour joining a four-date The Sign Fest throughout Sweden.

Live:
18 October, Skylten, Linköping, Sweden (The Sign Fest)
19 October, Slaktkyrkan, Stockholm, Sweden (The Sign Fest)
25/26 October – Skövde, Sweden, In Rock Festival
8 November – Musikens Hus, Göteborg, Sweden (The Sign Fest)
9 November – Plan B, Malmö, Sweden (The Sign Fest)

Hot Breath are:
Jennifer Israelsson – Vocals and Guitar
Karl Edfeldt – Guitar
Anton Frick Kallmin – Bass
Jimmy Karlsson – Drums

Hot Breath on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

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Sleeping Giant Sign to Copper Feast Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Always like good news, and a previously-independently-issued album getting picked up for a vinyl release is almost always that. Certainly so in the case of Aussie three-piece Sleeping Giant, who put out their self-titled full-length (review here) this summer have have been snagged by Copper Feast Records for an LP edition. Actually, to be more specific, a couple LP editions, as there will apparently be different regional variants. The label, founded last year with releases from HorsehunterSchool Disco, Pseudo Mind Hive and LowFlyingHawks under its belt, has also apparently relocated to Australia, so getting a band like Sleeping Giant on board may be a sign of a burgeoning regional focus. Certainly plenty of Oz heavy to go around. It’s like they grow on trees down there.

Preorders start at the end of the month for Sleeping Giant‘s Sleeping Giant, and I’m not sure when the release will actually be or what the band’s plans are for after, but in the interim, like I said at the outset, a vinyl version is good news for platterhounds of all stripes.

Of course, the record’s also streaming at the bottom of this post, because it’s the future and we can do that here:

sleeping giant

Copper Feast Records – Sleeping Giant

Sound the alarm…it’s announcement time!

I’m beyond excited to welcome the brilliant Sleeping Giant to the Copper Feast family. At the end of the month, we will be opening up pre-orders for the first and only vinyl pressings of the self-titled debut LP from these Melbourne/Bendigo based stoner metal riffheads.

‘Sleeping Giant’ will be our first release since my relocation to Australia, which means that this fantastic album will be available in both Australia and the UK/EU in two region exclusive variants (details to follow later).

Having been around for nearly 6 years now, formerly under the name Lowpoint, ‘Sleeping Giant’ is an absolutely, absolutely killer intro to the band and well worth the wait! Some of the most crushing moments in stoner rock this year alongside some gorgeously mellow soundscapes…Melbourne’s done it again.

Sleeping Giant is:
Steven Hammer – Guitars/Vocals
James Wright – Bass
Pali Emond-Glenn – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sleepinggiantband/
https://www.instagram.com/sleepinggiantband/
https://sleepinggiantband.bandcamp.com/
https://copperfeastrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CopperFeastRecords/

Sleeping Giant, Sleeping Giant (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: Bang, Bang

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

 

Of course, the 1972 self-titled outing from Philadelphia power trio Bang is one of any number of releases in its era living in a long shadow cast by Black Sabbath, but in listening to a tracks like “Come with Me” and “Our Home,” the three-piece may have been a couple years ahead of the reality masters at their own game in terms of sound. The overall affect of the eight-track/34-minute LP is raw in its sound even in its various reissue incarnations, but the tones of guitarist Frankie Gilcken and bassist Frank Ferrara are a little more Sabbath-circa-’75 than they are Sabbath-circa-’72, and Ferrara‘s vocals — with backing from Gilcken and lyrics by drummer Tony Diorio — are more malleable than even Ozzy at his ’74-’76 era peak as a singer. But the working class sensibility behind early heavy rock and what one might now consider proto-metal bled into Bang‘s riffs and even the mood of a wistful cut like “Last Will” — its hook, “Happy people make their way through the world every day/Saddened people they can’t seem to find their way across that rejected line” s standout chorus rightly leaned on — draws from it. Recorded after the then-shelved 1971 concept LP, Death of a Country, and released as their debut the same year as its follow-up, Mother/Bow to the King, Bang‘s Bang has long been considered the band’s defining statement and a landmark of the original era of underground heavy rock and roll.

Imagine it’s 1972 and you’re one of three kids from Philly just signed to Capitol Records and they send you down to Miami to record with producer Michael Sunday, who’s just a couple years off working with Blue Cheer on their 1969 self-titled, and engineer Carl Richardson, who’d just had a hand in CactusRestrictions the year before. True, their confidence might’ve been shaken by having their first recording shelved, but still. One shudders to think of the amount of cocaine and who the hell knows what else might’ve been consumed at Criteria Studios, but whether the answer there is “all of it,” “none” or somewhere in between, the fact remains that nothing gets in the way of the songs on Bang. Like the logo on the front cover that would in itself become iconic over the course of the decade since it first appeared, the tracks that comprise Bang stand the test of time because of their inherent structure and the vitality with which they’re presented by the band. Late-arriving singles “Questions” and “Redman” — which is a word that I’m not even comfortable typing, honestly — reinforce this notion at the end of side B, but one need look no further than the opening salvo of the riffy, strutting “Lions, Christians” and the swing-happy “The Queen” to figure it out: This is prime ’70s heavy that has in no small way helped shape the definition thereof. Whether it’s Diorio‘s fills on “The Queen” or Ferrara‘s out-for-a-walk bassline on the prior opener, Bang are not shy about their intent and neither should they be. In answering their label’s call for something more straightforward to be released as their first album, they went back and wrote nothing less than a handful of classics.

bang bang

Go ahead and add the aforementioned quieter “Last Will” and the subsequent chug of “Come with Me” to that list as well, and really, when you factor in side B’s mega-hook in “Our Home” and the nodder riff of “Future Shock,” there isn’t a clunker in the bunch on the LP. “Future Shock” in particular emphasizes something Bang did exceptionally well even among their peers of the day in bringing together Gilcken, Ferrara and Diorio around a deceptively mid-paced groove. It would seem that, of the various lessons the three-piece took from Black Sabbath, that pace plays a role in dictating heaviness was not at all forgotten. “Questions” is more uptempo and thus makes a fitting single (it charted, so fair enough) and “Come with Me” would seem to be about as close to frenetic as Bang got, but though hardly subdued, “The Queen” maintains an overarching groove that’s still laid back despite being pushed along so fervently by the drums, and the same is true of the closer as well, and the brightness of the chorus melody there and in “Our Home” lends Bang a positive sensibility that even some of its moodier aspects in “Last Will” don’t undercut anymore than they mean to. It’s not as dynamic as some of the work they’d do later in their career, but Bang only thrives for the energy captured in a formative moment for the band.

Again, they’d follow it up with Mother/Bow to the King the same year — 1972 — and release Music on Capitol in 1973. That was it until 2000’s RTZ – Return to Zero and 2004’s The Maze, both self-released, but renewed interest came with reissues of their original work through Green Tree Records in Germany and eventually through Rise Above, which put out the Bullets box set in 2010 and gave Death of a Country its first official release in 2011. They’d tour with Pentagram in 2014, play the Psycho Las Vegas predecessor, Psycho California, in 2015 and do Roadburn in 2016 on a European run that got cut short when then-drummer Jake Leger abruptly went AWOL. They came back with the Franks and a new drummer to play Maryland Doom Fest in 2016 and 2017, roughly concurrent to Svart Records reissuing their back catalog, and though live activity has been sparse, last year, Ripple Music released a compilation, The Best of Bang, that of course highlights the songcraft that’s always been so essential to their righteousness.

I was fortunate enough to see Bang every night of their 2014 West Coast and East Coast tours as I was traveling with Kings Destroy, and I’ll say that as I listen to their self-titled now the versions I still hear in my head are coming from the band live, and that every time I saw them, without exception, including at Roadburn and Maryland Doom Fest, the absolute joy and appreciation for what they were doing and for the fact that, after two generations, they’d finally found the audience they’d long since deserved, was infectious. You could not watch them and not be happy for them. If that makes me less impartial about the album, so be it. I’ll take being a fan instead.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Up and down week. Most are. Shit is complicated. Money is complicated. It’s a lonely semester with The Patient Mrs. starting a new job and a schedule that has her gone a lot of the day on a lot of days, so it’s just The Pecan and I for a lot of the week. Plus this week I was recovering from the trip to Norway and yeah. It was just a lot. Any angle you want to take. A lot.

Next week, premieres for Hazemaze, Woodhawk, Hot Breath and Ogre, not necessarily in that order. Plus a review of the Death Hawks LP reissues which Svart was kind enough to send my way, and whatever else happens to come down the pike. That’s kind of how it goes these days. My calendar is pretty full through the end of the month as it is. Sometimes people are like, “hey can you do this thing tomorrow?” and I have to say no. Sorry folks. My brain’s melted as it is. Burnout is real.

I slept through my alarm I guess on Wednesday? Maybe Tuesday? It felt like the end of the fucking universe, whatever day it was. To lose that two-plus hours of writing before The Pecan gets up in the morning? Holy shit, that’s my whole day. That’s what keeps me sane, let alone on pace with stuff around here. The Patient Mrs. came through in the pinch and gave me extra time to work after she got home from teaching class, but without that, I’d have been properly fooked. A reminder of the fragility of the whole thing, I guess. Drop a piano on it and see what happens. Mostly to my mental state.

There’s more, but I’ve no inclination toward further navelgazing — well, I do, but I’ll deny it — and I want to get another post live before the kid wakes up and needs a diaper, breakfast, I need to shower, etc., so off I go. I wish you the greatest and safest of weekends. Have fun, do what you do. Forum, radio, new merch coming soon, old merch I think still available.

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