VINYL WEEK: 35007, Especially for You, 35007 and Liquid

Posted in On Wax on September 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

During their time together, it was said that Netherlands-based progressive heavy rockers 35007 were “a state of mind.” That’s fair. A lot of bands have slogans. Looking back on their catalog now, nearly a decade after the 2005 release of their final album, Phase V (discussed here), their discography seems less a state of mind than a world to be explored. Germany’s Stickman Records, which was the band’s label home for most of their tenure, has continued to foster that exploration since 35007‘s dissolution, both in making their studio outings available to those bold enough to find it and in fostering other European heavy prog acts like Motorpsycho, whose legend and catalog seems to grow each year. In a grand gesture of reverence, Stickman has recently reissued three of 35007‘s albums on vinyl: 1994’s Especially for You debut, 1997’s sophomore long-player 35007, and 2002’s Liquid.

Each release is different, and it’s important to remember that we’re spanning eight years of the band, different lineups, a developing approach, but what unites all three is the bleeding-out passion with which the reissues are executed. Not just time, effort and money put into them, but love. It’s evident in the gatefolds of 35007 and Especially for You, or in the way the color of the vinyl matches the album artwork for all three — black and red on Especially for You, white on 35007 and blue on Liquid. These are 180g treasures for a group who, if they’d come along a decade later than they did, would still probably be considered among the forebears of modern European heavy psychedelia. In presentation and in the sound of each of these, the spirit of honoring the band is obvious and palpable, and while that might intimidate the novice or someone less familiar with 35007‘s work, the music itself is so consuming that one can’t help get immersed, first time listener or not.

A quick breakdown:

Especially for You (1994)

35007 especially for you

Their earliest work. Especially for You only barely represents the ground 35007 would cover and break in their time together. There are flashes of the progressive fluidity their heavy psychedelia would later accomplish on the late instrumental “Water,” which appears here on side C, leaving the second half of he second record to “Slide,” but much of 35007‘s first outing got its personality from its crunching riffs, and while they’d gain a reputation afterward as an instrumental unit, songs here are often distinguished by vocals, and that begins on opener “Zandbak,” which takes an early stoner rock nod and build off it with keys and samples in an nascent showing of experimentalism. The subsequent “Basiculo ad Cunnum” is more indicative of the atmospherics and blend of Krautrock texturing, tonal heft and patience that would develop in their sound, but it too has a younger intensity to it, 35007 figuring out their where their place is even as they come do define it, keyboards factoring in heavily throughout, even as side B’s “Bad Altitude” starts out all riff and swagger en route to one of the LP’s most satisfying blissouts.

Space funk joins heavy rock impulses on the later “U:mu:m’nu:” and “Cosmic Messenger,” hinting at some of the territory 35007‘s countrymen in Astrosoniq would cover in the years to come, and “Slide” closes Especially for You with prog-metal chugging — it was 1994, so Tool‘s Undertow might’ve been a factor in the rhythm and vocal shouts — and a kitchen-sink finale of noise, swirl and sampling. If anything’s a giveaway of the 20 years that have passed since its initial release, it’s the production, since the adventurousness and will toward progression at its heart is still very much evident in what they accomplish. It’s a hard record to dig into without thinking of what 35007 did afterwards, but that doesn’t makes the space-rocking “The Elephant Song” any less enjoyable as the centerpiece of side B, its wanderings both engaging and righteously trippy, buried-deep semi-spoken vocals calling throaty shots atop a deep swirl of lead guitar echo. There are bands out there today, more than a few, who are trying to sound like this and haven’t yet caught up to what 35007 did their first time out two decades ago. That sounds like hyperbole, but it’s also true.

35007 (1997)

35007 into the void we travelled

It would be difficult to mess with the low-end fuzz that underscores the breathing tension of 35007 opener “Herd,” and you won’t hear me try. I’ll again compare it to Astrosoniq‘s propensity for opening to a chorus, but it’s really just the tip of the weird futuristic submarine racing apparatus when it comes to 35007‘s second album, also known as Into the Void We Travelled. Issued three years after their debut as their first outing on Stickman, it’s immediately more cohesive stylistically, a bruiser riff in “Soul Machine” finding accompaniment in the keys and psychedelic undercurrents, the two sides playing off each other rather than competing as they sometimes seem to be on Especially for You. Of course, the ambient vibe isn’t absent either, as “Short Sharp Left,” which rounds out side A takes hold with a swaggering, almost Western, guitar line and drum stomp only after a stretch of ambience that picks up directly from “Soul Machine,” making it impossible to tell on the LP where one ends and the other starts. A lot of what 35007 accomplishes on this album is laid out in the first of its four sides, but the thrill of the journey and hearing where the band takes its now-more-solidified approach — be it the plus-sized riffing of “Big Bore” on side B or the subsequent Zeppelin-in-space acoustics of “Vein” — shouldn’t be discounted either.

“Undo” explodes to start out side B prior to the farther-out method expansion of “Big Bore” and “Vein,” but it’s side C and D that seem in hindsight to show where 35007 were really headed, and among these albums, the divide between the two halves of the self-titled is most stark. Songs like “Herd” and “Soul Machine” and “Big Bore” have an experimental or proggy edge to them, no doubt about it, but with “66” and “Powertruth” on side C and “Locker” and “Zero 21″ bled together on side D, the band shifts first into organ-laced ’70s weirdness before moving into head-down prog chug and keyboard interplay on “Powertruth” — listening right after Especially for You, the song seems in direct conversation with parts of “Slide,” but it’s ultimately more straightforward — building to a rushing head before being carried out by its frenetic keyboard line. Similar impulses drive “Locker” and “Zero 21″ — a flair for capturing the “let’s try this” moment — but the closing duo come across most as the moment where 35007 found their niche in a psychetronic (now almost entirely) instrumental blend of heaviness and atmospherics, starting so quiet and patiently evolving the movement over the two songs to the record’s blood-stirring apex. This was a crucial transitional phase in the band, and in terms of harnessing where they were coming from and where they were headed, it brings together the best of both worlds.

Liquid (2002)

35007 LIQUID

Preceded by a 1999 Stickman reissue of Especially for You and 2001’s Sea of Tranquility EP, the 2002 Liquid full-length is as aptly-named as an album can get. Of the three new vinyl releases it’s the only one that fits on a single LP — it is a full 20 minutes shorter than the self-titled and has a printed record sleeve instead of a gatefold — but the expanses 35007 cover across its four tracks more than answers for any “Hey, where’d the rest go?” type questioning that might arise. Liquid is arguably 35007‘s most essential release. Phase V would expand on these ideas and concepts and delve further into ambience, but Liquid was the lightbulb moment in the narrative of band, certainly as pertains to these three outings and overall as well. The tonal warmth in the bass on “Tsunami” or the smoothness of the production, the patience in its completely instrumental transitions and the flow between one song and the next and within songs as well as parts shift into others, it’s fluid, lush heavy psych that’s neither one more than the other in an impeccable and beautiful balance. It made space rock new again, and unlike Especially for You and 35007, it was also clearly intended to be a vinyl release, its four component tracks breaking evenly into two halves and feeding into each other with an audible break between sides A and B.

Flip the band’s name upside down and it spells “Loose,” but I’m not sure they were ever tighter or more coherent than they are here, building with keys and riffs and effects as “Crystalline” morphs gradually out of “Tsunami” to jam its way forward and back again into its own mix, a strong current of synth remaining with volume swells to set a wave pattern from which the guitars, bass and drums burst in for the final stretch, their cold disappearance after the climax seeming to cut short a track that’s already reached toward eight minutes long. On side B, the shorter “Evaporate” recalls some of the progressive metal riffing of 35007‘s earlier days, but like the band’s approach overall, it is more clearheaded about what it wants to accomplish, toying with back-and-forth tension release in what might’ve been a verse and a chorus five years prior but here serve as a means to a more complex end, giving way somewhere in a wash of keyboards to closer “Voyage Automatique” as bass plays the pivotal role of anchoring the proceedings, not weighing them down necessarily, but making sure there’s solid ground somewhere beneath all the open space. Gradually, “Voyage Automatique” builds to a head in a patient linear execution, and Liquid ends with a fading keyboard line that seems to still be exploring, reaching further out from where the band decided to vacate the jam, leaving it and the listener alike to process the data uncovered by all this exploration.

From their beginning, 35007 was a progressive heavy rock act with an individualized take. The fact that they were then able to realize their potential and push themselves further into their own sound made them truly distinct among what was happening in heavy music at the time, and while they’re not around now to continue that journey — members can be found in Monomyth and Neon Twin — reissues like these show just how special their work was. Due reverence, through and through.

Recommended.

35007, Liquid (2002)

35007’s website

Stickman Records

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On the Radar: The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues

Posted in On the Radar on September 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the sun the moon and the witch's blues

There are probably a couple distinct jams within the 18-minute span of the eponymous track on Swedish duo The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues‘ self-titled debut EP, in terms of the songwriting. By that I mean  although the Örebro duo of Robin Hirse (ex-Asteroid) and Jonas Ljungkvist get pretty deep in an immersive flow, it still sounds like more happened in the track than they hit record and went to town on an improv heavy psych exploration. Individual movements they may be, still better to get lost in the whole. The beginning unfolds with echoing Morricone guitar, and unfolds a slow heavy rock groove, and they proceed through numerous shifts and movements that piece together well but have some breaks between them as well. What individual titles might be, I don’t know, but with the results Hirse and Ljungkvist get across the sprawl in “The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues,” which fleshes out with organ before the vocals kick in right around the five-minute mark, I’m not about to argue.

Hirse‘s voice will sound familiar to those who heard him with Asteroid, who released their second and apparently final full-length in 2010’s II (review here), and to a degree, one might consider the new, cumbersomely-monikered two-piece an outgrowth from that album’s jam-minded heavy rock sensibility, but the feel on The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues represents a discernible stylistic shift as well, and not just in the the sun the moon and the witch's blues self titledoccasional Westernism. The vibe here is bluesier, the build looser. Hirse and Ljungqvist credit Tobias Eriksson, Joakim Kohlscheen and Jimmi Kohlscheen as “helping” with the EP and don’t get more specific than that, but they’re definitely working toward a full-band aesthetic one way or another, rather than the minimalism that duos can sometimes purposefully convey. Even as “The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues” pushes through its heavier apex and into foot-stomp-and-hand-clap revival, vocals layered for a near-gospel effect, this is true in the space the song creates, and as the song is led into its final phase groove by the guitar, one gets a sense of a unit clicking pedals on to make the machine go.

I was a nerd for Hirse‘s prior outfit even unto their swansong 7″ (review here), and The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues present enough of a turn sonically to clearly be on their own path, but neither is the development of Hirse‘s craft scrapped entirely or burned to the ground in favor of starting completely over. What the EP sounds like, when you get right to it, is a vinyl side, and after listening through more than a couple times in the days since its Sept. 6 release, I’d like to find out what’s on side B. The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues are reportedly heading back into the studio in short order, so it might not be all that long before we get there. Right on.

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues, Self-titled EP (2014)

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues on Thee Facebooks

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues on Bandcamp

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Bloodnstuff Sign to Fuzzorama Records; Announce EU Tour with Fu Manchu

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

bloodnstuff

Twin Cities duo Bloodnstuff have released their self-titled debut album digitally through Fuzzorama Records, the increasingly active imprint helmed by members of the always-active trio Truckfighters. I’m not sure when the album was first issued, or if it was self-released at all — they have a video for “Oh You Pretty Failures” that dates back to 2012 — but in listening to Bloodnstuff it’s easy enough to discern why the label picked up the band, whether it’s the swaggering stomp of the eponymous “Bloodnstuff” or the waltzing “The Cow People.” There’s a touch of fuzz to the tone of guitarist/vocalist Ed Holmberg, but the two-piece have a jagged side as well that drummer Dylan Gouert does well in emphasizing on the start-stop “One Day Roses,” which seems to tie together duo minimalism with Torche-style sludge pop.

Bloodnstuff will tour Europe beginning later this month with none other than Fu Manchu. Dates and info follow, care of the PR wire:

bloodnstuff fu manchu tour

BLOODNSTUFF – NEW SIGNING TO FUZZORAMA!

DIRECTSUPPORT FOR FU MANCHU IN EU!

The high energy rock-duo from Minneapolis, MN, is the newest addition to the “fuzzfamily”! For being a two piece this group really sounds like a massive wall of fuzz and great melodies! In September and October they will also tour together with Fu Manchu in Europe!

Bloodnstuff is a high energy dynamic rock duo from Minneapolis, MN. Ed Holmberg and Dylan Gouert have been playing in various local groups for over decade. In 2010, Bloodnstuff
was formed. The group did not appear publicly until the summer of 2011. After an onslaught of shows, hype started to grow and the group’s live performances kept audiences coming. At the end of 2011, Bloodnstuff was voted “best rock band of 2011″ in the Minneapolis City Pages. In April of 2012, they independently released a long awaited full-length album, titled “Bloodnstuff”.

Ed and Dylan spent the next year opening for national acts as they came through town. In April 2013, Bloodnstuff went on a US tour as direct support for
Fu Manchu. Shortly after, they did a 5 show tour opening up for Alice in Chains, on their “The Devil put Dinosaurs Here” tour. Since then, Bloodnstuff has been writing and opening for such bands as Bush, Deerhoof, Japandroids, Royal Blood, Truckfighters, 400 Blows, Cloud Nothings, and more. You can also find Bloodnstuff music in Vans, Oakley, and Ford Racing videos. As of now, the band has signed with Fuzzorama Records and you can see Bloodnstuff open for Fu Manchu’s upcoming 2014 European tour.

BLOODNSTUFF LIVE (as direct support to Fu Manchu):
SEPT 24 London o2 Islington Academy, UK
SEPT 25 Sheffield Corporation, UK
SEPT 26 Brighton Concorde 2, UK
SEPT 27 Lille La Peniche, FRA
SEPT 28 Osnabruck Rosenhof, GERMANY
SEPT 30 Wiesbaden Alter Schlachthof, GERMANY
OCT 1 Karlsruhe Karlsruhe Substage, GERMANY
OCT 2 Lausanne Le Romandie, SWITZERLAND
OCT 3 Pratteln Up In Smoke Festival, SWITZERLAND
OCT 4 Romagnano Sesia Romagnano Sesia Arena, ITALY
OCT 6 Vienna Flex, AUSTRIA
OCT 7 Warsaw Proxima, POLEN
OCT 8 Erfurt HSD Gewerkschaftshaus, GERMANY
OCT 9 Luxembourg Den Atelier, LUXEMBOURG
OCT 11 Deventer Burger Weeshuis, NETHERLANDS
OCT 12 Antwerp Desertfest, BELGIUM
OCT 13 Copenhagen Pumpehuset, DENMARK
OCT 14 Stockholm Kagelbanan, SWEDEN
OCT 15 Oslo Vulkan Arena, NORWAY
OCT 17 Helsinki Nosturi, FINLAND

www.facebook.com/bloodnstuff
twitter.com/bloodnstuff
www.fuzzoramarecords.com
www.fuzzoramastore.com/en/
fuzzoramarecords1.bandcamp.com/album/bloodnstuff-bloodnstuff

Bloodnstuff, Bloodnstuff (2014)

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Old Testament Premiere “Summer Grass” from Self-Titled Debut LP

Posted in audiObelisk on September 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

old testament

Tomorrow, Sept. 9, marks the release date of Old Testament‘s self-titled debut on Xemu Records. The (relatively) new project is spearheaded by Jason Simon of Dead Meadow and retains a bit of his signature shoegazing psychedelic meander, but meets that swath of influence head on with touches of classic blues, languid Americana rollout and organ-laced ’60s psych. Songs are lush sonically but humble in their intent, and Simon‘s drawl works well as an alternate-reality Hank Williams on the rambling “Movin’ On,” as well as on the Earth-gone-fuzz drone rock of “Trip Light.”

Instrumentation and atmosphere vary widely throughout Old Testament‘s Old Testament, as Simon and his band — which here includes Nate Ryan, formerly of The Black Angels, as well as Oak Munson, Jessica Senteno, Ryan Rapsys, toy with countryold testament cover twang on “Dallas” and raga explorations on the penultimate “Now as in Ancient Times,” but in addition to Simon‘s voice tying the material together, there’s a unifying thread of joy deep within the slow-moving material, and while the songs aren’t always happy or boisterous, the album maintains a signature American optimism that carries through even in the train-ride blues of “Josephine” or the blown-out gospel folk of closer “Time to Rest.”

“Summer Grass,” which I have the pleasure of premiering today, pulls some of the diverse vibes of the album together nicely into a cohesive, twanging but still psychedelic fluidity. The interplay of organ, guitar and what sounds an awful lot like accordion gives a melodic foundation moved forward by drums and spacious enough for the vocals to breathe out engaging and unpretentious verses. It doesn’t sum up everything Old Testament has to offer, but it’s a good place to start.

Please enjoy. PR wire info follows the player below:

OLD TESTAMENT (FEATURING JASON SIMON OF DEAD MEADOW) TO RELEASE SELF-TITLED DEBUT SEPTEMBER 9th VIA XEMU RECORDS

Xemu Records has announced a September 9th release for the self-titled debut album from Old Testament (cover artwork appears above). The Los Angeles based outfit is helmed by Jason Simon (guitarist/vocalist/songwriter for Dead Meadow) and is intended to be an on-going project to add to his work with Dead Meadow.

On the group’s debut album, Old Testament have tapped into a strain of psychedelic imbued Americana. Droning backwoods ballads and haunting blues are possessed of warbling guitars, harmonium, singing drums, blown out harmonica, and Simon’s distinctive vocal styling. It’s a musical stretch of dusty highway that resides somewhere between Fred Neil’s Raga inspired improvisations and Robert Johnson’s haunted Mississippi Delta.

Simon says “I originally started working on these songs as solo material a few years back. I was inspired by the loose and weird quality of Dylan and The Band’s Basement Tapes. I gathered some friends together in my house and we tried to capture the vibe of traditional American songs… a lot of these traditional songs remind me of the strange stories found in The Old Testament. Stories of the bizarre and fantastical, dealing with love, murder and divine vengeance.” Over Time the material tapped into something else as Simon relates: “The songs took their own course as more droning, psychedelic and even eastern elements began to filter their way through.”

The members that appear on this album include Oak Munson, Jessica Senteno, Ryan Rapsys, and Nate Ryan (ex.The Black Angels). Old Testament has been active as a live band over the past year playing throughout California with only a self-released 7” available at shows. Following the release of the full-length on September 9th, the group intends to announce new shows.

Old Testament on Thee Facebooks

Old Testament on Bandcamp

Xemu Records

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Skånska Mord to Release Self-Titled EP on Transubstans Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

skanska mord

Two years after their righteous sophomore effort, Paths to Charon (review here), Swedish double-guitar five-piece Skånska Mord return, this time on Transubstans Records, with a new and self-titled EP. The Örkelljunga outfit made their debut in 2010 with The Last Supper (review here) and have continued since then to refine a straightforward approach blending ’70s and ’90s heavy rock impulses, specifically nodding at Soundgarden en route to a style of riffing somewhere between Abramis Brama and earlier Mustasch. The second album particularly had songwriting on its side, so with three original tracks (plus one cover), it seems reasonable to expect the progression to continue on the new EP.

Recorded in April, Skånska Mord‘s Skånska Mord will be out Nov. 3 through Transubstans and will feature Janne Schaffer on a cover of his own “Black Salad,” which I think counts as breaking down a fourth wall of one sort or another, but will have to consult the rulebook to be sure.

Either way, the PR wire had this to say about it:

If you missed out on SKÅNSKA MORD’s earlier releases – you can’t let this one slip thru your fingers. This is their first release on Transubstans, a 4 track EP released on black / solid white 12” vinyl. Recorded at Lemon Recording Studios with engineer Martin Ekelund, this EP is the brilliant follow-up to their two critically acclaimed albums “The Last Supper” (2010) and “Paths To Charon” (2012).

Once again, SKÅNSKA MORD proves the winning concept of blending one of the strongest voices in Swedish rock history together with the dynamic, blues, psychedelic and hard-riffing tunes that practically steams 70’s groove.

From the opening track “Illusion” to the fantastic cover of JANNE SCHAFFER’s “Black Salad” (with a guest appearance by JANNE SCHAFFER himself), you will for sure get your dose of the “pick me up” SKÅNSKA MORD always deliver.

https://www.facebook.com/skanskamord
http://www.transubstans.com/

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Wedge to Release Self-Titled Debut on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The track “’61 SG” from German classic heavy rock power trio Wedge starts out with pretty standard guitar-as-girl lyrics, and it’s not until it gets to the two-line chorus that the band really shows just how tongue-in-cheek the spirit of the song is. I won’t spoil the punchline, but it’s a good one and the ’70s-worship boogie that accompanies is no less enjoyable. Wedge will release their self-titled debut in November through Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds, joining an expanding roster helmed and curated by Gabriele Fiori of Roman fuzz rockers Black Rainbows.

Wedge – comprised of vocalist/guitarist Kiryk, drummer The Holg and bassist/key specialist David — formed earlier this year, so I guess you could say they’re off to a solid start. They’ve already done a few festivals, and in the days and months to come, they’re set to share the stage with Seven that SpellsHeatBelzebongAqua Nebula Oscillator and fellow Berlin natives Kadavar, who seem to be a key influence under which Wedge are working.

Always up for a good time, Heavy Psych Sounds announced the news earlier, heralding the arrival of vintage grooves in limited vinyl editions, which, you know, is kind of how it goes these days. Dig the video too, if you’ve got a minute to watch:

wedge

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records is Proud to announce the signing of

***WEDGE***

for their upcoming selftitled LP out in November in Vinyl and Digipak.

The vinyl will be released in ltd ed in 150 copies in clear blue, and white.

The band was formed in early 2014 by Kiryk (vocals & guitar), The Holg (drums) & David (bass, organ & electric piano), three dedicated musicians and party pals from Berlin, Germany.

They play a Vintage-Retro Rock n’ Roll inspired by bands as The Who, Cream, Groundhogs, Cactus, MC5 and recent Kadavar and Wolfmother.

www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.WedgeBand.com
www.facebook.com/WedgeBand

Wedge, “’61 SG” official video

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Wolf Blood Stream “Witch” from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on August 26th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wolf blood

The bell of the ride counts out a measure and soon enough the guitar starts in on “Witch,” the opening track from Wolf Blood‘s self-titled debut. Right away, something just seems bent. It’s like the sound is contorted somehow. It’s an otherworldly sensation and it continues throughout the Duluth, Minnesota, four-piece’s six-track offering, which follows through with a loosely cultish approach but is more geared toward general darkness and tonal space than trying to win you over to Team Lucifer. Driven by the riffs of guitarists Mike Messina and Mindy Johnson (the latter also vocals), “Witch” is the slowest of Wolf Blood‘s tracks until its complementary 12-minute closer “Procession of the Witch,” and it also provides one of the album’s signature hooks, so while it may not represent the High on Fire thrashy sensibility of “Exile,” MessinaJohnson, bassist Brian Wells and drummer/vocalist Jake Paulsrude are definitely putting their best foot forward, and they’re swinging it hard right at their audience.

Grooves and big riffs abound, but that’s nothing new to the converted, and where Wolf Blood really distinguish themselves is in the oddity of their aggression. Blending clean vocals, spoken parts and screams, they play off both metallic and heavy rock styles and craft something fluid and malevolent from them. There’s a sense of theatricality in side A finale “Dancing on Your Grave,” where much of the album’s second half seems to be more about pummel, but there’s an emerging personality at work across the board, and Wolf Blood emerge after “Procession of the Witch” unscathed by their own strangeness, having tread hard on a couple fine lines between subgenres. Ultimately, Wolf Blood is as satisfying for its brashness as it is for its density of groove.

The band released it earlier this year on two separate, sold-out tape pressings and the whole record is available to stream on the band’s Bandcamp in that original form, but Burning World Records and Outer Battery Records will have a vinyl out in October remixed and remastered by James Plotkin, and you can hear the new version of “Witch” on the player below. Please enjoy:

Wolf Blood‘s Wolf Blood is out in October through Burning World Records (EU preorder here) and Outer Battery Records (US preorder here). The band will tour beginning on Sept. 25 in support of the vinyl.

Wolf Blood Midwest Fall Tour Dates:
9/25- Duluth, MN @ The Red Star
9/26- Eau Claire, WI @ House of Rock
9/27- Dubuque, IA @ Eronel
9/28- TBA
9/29- Iowa City, IA @ TBA
9/30- Madison, WI @ The Wisco
10/1- Madison, WI @ Dragonfly Lounge
10/2- Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
10/3- Chicago, IL @ TBA
10/4- St. Louis, MO @ TBA
10/5- Colombia, MO @ TBA
10/6- Kansas City, MO @ Vandals
10/7- Lawrence, KS @ TBA
10/8- Des moine, IA @ Vaudville Mews
10/9- Minneapolis, MN @ House show

Wolf Blood on Thee Facebooks

Wolf Blood on Bandcamp

Wolf Blood at Burning World Records

Wolf Blood at Outer Battery Records

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Wolf Blood to Release Self-Titled Debut on Burning World Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chaotic acid rockers Wolf Blood will issue their self-titled debut on Oct. 1 through Burning World Records. The Minnesota four-piece released the album earlier this year and have nearly sold through both of the tape runs they pressed, and the Burning World vinyl will be available to preorder starting Aug. 27, complete with new artwork that, well, is pretty badass.

That’s below, as well as the Bandcamp stream of the album, info and Midwestern tour dates, since it seems Wolf Blood will hit the road starting late next month and are still solidifying some of the dates for the tour. If you’ve got a place that needs loud in one of the cities below, hit the band up and pay them for playing, because that’s the right fucking thing to do.

Goes a little something like this:

Wolf Blood Debut Album Coming out October 1st, 2014 on Burning World (U.K.)/Road Burn (U.S.) Records.

Pre-order available August 27th at www.burningworldrecords.com.

Wolf Blood’s Midwest tour runs from Sept 25-Oct 11th.

Burning World Records is extremely proud to add another high quality act to the roster. After signing bands like Monomyth, Conan, Slomatics, Nihill and Altar Of Plagues (to name but a few) we can announce that WOLF BLOOD from Minnesota will join our label with their debut album this fall. The 4-piece band has the songs, the power and the riffs, like Windhand and Goatsnake before them.

After selling out the entire first cassette-pressing of their debut album in less than a week, WOLF BLOOD is set to release the vinyl version of the self-titled monster in October 1st 2014.

Formed in a dank basement during the infamous 2012 Duluth, Minnesota flood, guitarist Mike Messina and drummer Jake Paulsrude (Dad’s Acid) started writing psycho-sludge experiments that sounded too stoned to be metal, and too baneful to be indie-rock. They recruited renown hard-core guitar sorceress Mindy Johnson (The Keep Aways) and magi-roots bassist Brian Wells to flesh-out their menacing sound.

This seven-song recording opens with the haunting single Witch. From there…you’re on your own for the next 35 feral, blood stained minutes.

Midwest Fall Tour Dates:
9/25- Duluth, MN @ The Red Star
9/26- Eau Claire, WI @ House of Rock
9/27- Dubuque, IA @ Eronel
9/28- TBA
9/29- Iowa City, IA @ TBA
9/30- Madison, WI @ The Wisco
10/1- Madison, WI @ Dragonfly Lounge
10/2- Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
10/3- Chicago, IL @ TBA
10/4- St. Louis, MO @ TBA
10/5- Colombia, MO @ TBA
10/6- Kansas City, MO @ Vandals
10/7- Lawrence, KS @ TBA
10/8- Des moine, IA @ Vaudville Mews
10/9- Minneapolis, MN @ House show

burningworldrecords.com
facebook.com/wbduluthmn
wolfblood666.bandcamp.com

Wolf Blood, Wolf Blood (2014)

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Friday Full-Length: Hawkwind, Hawkwind

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hawkwind, Hawkwind (1970)

Like most humans who’ve never actually been in the band — there are still five or 10 of us left; we get together on weekends — I am viciously underqualified to discuss the life and times of Hawkwind. I haven’t even seen the BBC documentary, though I have to wonder how more than four (I think it was three at the time) decades of space-rock pioneering could possibly be summarized in a single viewing anyway. In any case, all of Hawkwind‘s groundbreaking, all of their lysergic push, all the drugs, all the riffs, and their insurmountable discography — they continue to release albums; I interviewed Dave Brock a few years back about one of them — all began with their 1970 self-titled debut. If you’re looking for the launch point, this would be it.

At the time, Hawkwind was Brock on vocals/guitar/keys, Nik Turner — who’s touring this fall with his own incarnation of the band — on sax/vocals, guitarist/vocalist Huw Lloyd, bassist/vocalist John A. Harrison, synth/key specialist Michael “Dikmik” Davies and drummer Terry Ollis. I doubt any of them could’ve known the movement they were beginning or the litigation they’d eventually undertake when they recorded this album live with The Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor, but as they continued to refine their sound (and lineup) over the next five years, getting through the classic 1971 outing, In Search of Space, en route to albums like 1974’s Hall of the Mountain Grill 1975’s Warrior on the Edge of Time, it became apparent that what they were doing was more than just the standard psychedelic fare, and the rhythmic thrust that became their signature is still widely influential today, 40-plus years after the fact.

That thrust is hardly writ large over the self-titled, but as you can hear as the record plays out, Hawkwind were pretty much making it up as they went along, and of course the tradeoff for self-realization on the part of a band is a necessary narrowing of focus. Hawkwind, the album, is all the more varied for the fact that the band hadn’t really taken shape yet, and so it captures a moment that, in all their releases, studio, live and whatever else, would never come again.

I hope you enjoy.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to drive north to Portland, Maine, to see the last of the three slated We’re all Gonna Die reunion shows. They’re playing with Murcielago and Blackwolfgoat, so I’m expecting a good time and a late night both. I haven’t been to a show in more than a month, with the move and all, so I’m very much looking forward to getting out for a bit and hearing something loud. The plan is to review on Monday.

Also Monday, I may or may not have a Steak video premiere? I’m not sure what’s going on with the timing of that, or if I’m doing a premiere or it’s just coming out, or what the deal really is. I figure it’ll get sorted sooner or later and I’ll adjust accordingly. While I’m talking about nascent plans that may or may not fall through, I got offered a Funeral Horse album stream today that I’d very much like to do because that band rules that I was hoping to do Tuesday. Got my fingers crossed it comes together.

The party don’t stop either way, though. Tuesday night High on Fire play the Sinclair in Cambridge and I’ll be out for that, because if you’re gonna jump back in, do it like you mean it, and I’ll hope Wednesday to get a piece up on that. More Radio Adds to come, and hopefully a review of the Witch Mountain record, which is a little more bittersweet now that Uta Plotkin has announced it’ll be her last with the band. So it goes.

Of course there’s other stuff too, but I can’t possibly imagine what it might be because my mind is in full-on Hawkwind drift. We’ll just have to figure it out when we get there.

Please have an excellent, safe weekend. Eat ice cream and kick ass, because you can.

And don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Duuude, Tapes! Brownangus, Brownangus

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I last saw a cassingle sleeve. That which brings the self-titled EP from Minneapolis duo Brownangus is simple enough. It says “brown” on one face and “angus” on the other, and on the sides, the band’s name and the website for Major Destroyer Records, who release the tape in an edition of 100 copies. The cassette itself is raw-meat pink with brown letting and offers about 16 minutes of varied punishment, from blistering noise rock to caustic droning to assorted moments of sludgy grooving, the two-piece of bassist Craig Lee and drummer Blake Jette (both of whom take credit for vocals, though I don’t hear any on the tape) coming across with no shortage of blown-out fuckall. At times, Lee‘s tone and the wash of cymbals with which it arrives reminds of fellow Midwesterners Beast in the Field, and if the Twin Cities-dwellers were to take influence from the Detroit twosome, I don’t think anyone could blame them, but ultimately, Brownangus – whose name appears as two words on the tape itself and one just about everywhere else — are more rooted in punk, however much an affinity for chaos the two acts may share.

A beehive bass buzz starts side one of Brownangus‘ Brownangus. The tape presents two nameless tracks, the first longer than the second, each of which accounts for its side. Side one is immediate but finds room in its circa-10-minute screed for a droning break after an initial buildup and groove. Noise and bigger riffing emerges in a sudden kick on the other end, but Lee and Jette have never completely let go of the tension, so it’s not as if they’re coming completely out of nowhere. They retain an experimental feel as Jette keeps slower time and Lee delves into various effects for a deconstructing march that ends side one with a sample of an emergency broadcast. Side two begins with some abrasive feedback that leads into a rolling low-end groove, but soon enough downshifts into more downtempo terrain, gradually fading out altogether until a rumble signals a return to full-blast bludgeoning. Jette taps his sticks on the rims of his drums during an upbeat break, but Lee soon joins back in and the forward drive continues in punkish form with intermittent starts and stops for the remainder of the side, Brownangus never quite settling into one method or another, but showcasing an unabashed glee for playing with noise on their way. Another fadeout marks the end of the quick release, and Brownangus make their way out of their self-titled with relatively little fanfare considering the havoc wrought over these two sides.

While they keep it nasty for just about the entire duration and the tape’s all-at-once-per-side presentation lends itself more to listening altogether than parsing out each individual piece that comprises it, Brownangus does make a few deft turns, between its fury and drone and roll, and what comes across clearest of all is that Lee and Jette have an open creative process and are ready and willing to manipulate their own sound in order to make the noise they want, rather than sculpting their material to fit some genre ideal. Near as I can tell, the Major Destroyer cassette is their first physical release, and as such it showcases a duo of blistering potential. They don’t seem to here, but should they decide they want to, it’s easy to imagine them adding vocals to their approach down the line from whichever of them can scream the most viscerally, or better yet, both.

Brownangus, Brownangus (2014)

Brownangus on Thee Facebooks

Major Destroyer Records on Bandcamp

Major Destroyer Records webstore

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Heavy Temple, Heavy Temple: Alpha and Omega

Posted in Reviews on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s a cavernous and mystical sound that Heavy Temple have conjured for their self-titled debut EP. After impressing with a single for “Unholy Communion” last year — that song is also presented third of the extended three cuts on Heavy Temple and is out as a cassingle via Sarlacc Productions — the Philadelphia outfit were picked up by Germany’s Ván Records for the vinyl and digipak CD issue of this more complete first outing, and it’s an endorsement of no small consequence, Ván having long since proved the mettle of its tastes via picking up cult-minded acts like Year of the Goat and The Devil’s BloodHeavy Temple – here a trio but now a duo with bassist/vocalist Elyse “High Priestess Nighthawk” Mitchell as the sole remaining founder — present a more laid back style of grooving than either of those two, but remain plenty heavy nonetheless across “Dirty Ghost” (8:17), “Legendary Conversations with Ants” (7:31) and the aforementioned “Unholy Communion” (13:15) and offer atmosphere to match the intermittent full-thrust tonal heft. They are, in fact, notably cohesive  in their approach, and particularly for their first time out, Heavy Temple seem to arrive with a firm notion of their intent, what they want to sound like and how they want to achieve it. Mitchell‘s voice is dynamic and her approach shifts smoothly between “Dirty Ghost” and “Legendary Conversations with Ants” before delivering its most powerful performance on the closer, and in guitarist Shawn “Rattlesnake” Rambles and drummer Andy “Bearadactyl” Martin (also of Maple Forum alums Clamfight), she had a formidable complement with which to establish the range heard in these songs.

About those songs: They are spacious, psychedelic, heavy and they manage to avoid much of the cult rock cliché while proving both immersive and memorable over the course of Heavy Temple‘s 29-minute span. Working together as a debut EP, they more than succeed in giving the band’s audience a sense of what Heavy Temple want to do moving forward, and whether it’s the quiet doom blues in “Legendary Conversations with Ants” that gives way to a slow-motion effects-drenched freakout led by Rambles‘ guitar or the jammy bliss that emerges at the end of “Unholy Communion,” they retain their hold of the proceedings and excellently showcase the potential for what the band might or might have become going forward. “Dirty Ghost” commences with an otherworldly volume swell — minimal, quiet — before gradually unfolding itself with Martin‘s drums and Mitchell‘s bass and vocals, and it’s not until well past the halfway point of its eight-minute run that it finally explodes into full-on psych-grunge heft, like if someone wanted to turn peak-era Soundgarden production into a religion. That patience becomes a central element as Heavy Temple plays out, and the trio are just as likely to ride out a loud part as a quiet one, not shying either from crafting a void or filling it with distortion. The malleability of Mitchell‘s voice between the sultry croon in the first minutes of “Dirty Ghost” and the rawer shouting at the apex of “Unholy Communion” — the EP flowing smoothly between the two; something else that bodes well for a full-length — is another major asset working in their favor, and the stoner-mass of “Legendary Conversations with Ants,” while apparently more worldly in its lyric than the title might have you believe, executes a subtle linear build that ends with some classic doom riffing that bleeds right into the start of “Unholy Communion,” the whole release tying together seamlessly.

The first couple minutes of “Unholy Communion” are dedicated to building up tension, but at about 2:50, the song opens up and begins a payoff that will carry it through its midpoint, where it breaks to minimal ambience to set the stage for the EP’s final build and ultimate heavy psych payoff, Rambles‘ soloing meshing with layers of effects swirl that still keep enough room in the mix to sound human-made, though by then all three sound completely engrossed in the stirring concoction, even as they emerge from it for the big-riff finish and last-second string epilogue. Whatever Heavy Temple do from here is bound to be vastly different. I don’t know whether Mitchell intends to form a new trio or keep the band as a two-piece — she’s currently joined by drummer Saint Columbidae – but in any case, the change from the guitar, bass/vocals and drums lineup here is sure to manifest itself in subsequent output, even if her songwriting remains at the core. With that in mind, Heavy Temple may or may not be telling of the band’s future, and one would wonder about releasing it at all but for the fact that when a label like Ván comes calling, you answer. If this EP is to be Heavy Temple‘s beginning point, it starts them with a tumult marked by material of striking quality. It’s a familiar enough story for bands working under a principle songwriter, and if that’s to be the tale of Heavy Temple, the hope is they can find consistency in the chaos. Taken on its own merits, however, Heavy Temple is among the best short releases I’ve heard so far this year, and if it can serve as even the most rudimentary standard of quality from which the band can expand their sound, then they’re going to be just fine. Point is, even just in Mitchell‘s performance there’s potential here and a lot of it. How she handles that and what she does with it the next time out will be a big tell in terms of Heavy Temple‘s longer-term prospects, and either way, it seems likely that their sophomore studio outing will be as much a debut as this one. A live release in the interim would go a long way in giving a look at where Heavy Temple are headed.

Heavy Temple, Heavy Temple (2014)

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Temple on Bandcamp

Ván Records

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Friday Full-Length: Torche, Torche

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

Torche, Torche (2005)

I remember when I got this album when it came out in 2005 — nine years ago now. It was the “former members of Floor” that caught my eye when Robotic Empire was getting ready to release it, but it was as soon as the hook of “Mentor” came on, I had my “holy shit” moment with Torche‘s Torche, and I guess a lot of other people did as well. Listening back to the album now, there’s so much more to it than that — the weird experimentalism of “Fuck Addict,” or the feedback-drenched “The Last Word” — things that Torche moved past on subsequent releases in their drive toward a cleaner, more daringly poppy sound, but that make this album’s threat seem all the more glaring. There was nothing like them when they started. This record could be so sweet sounding and still push past the limits of accessibility.

Of course, the context is different, hearing it now. Nearly a decade’s worth of hindsight, several follow-up LPs and a Floor reunion later, Torche‘s self-titled debut still comes across as brazen, but now it sounds more like a beginning point than the bold declaration it was. I haven’t heard much about Torche‘s impending full-length from Relapse, maybe you have the inside track, but something steered me toward this album today, and it wasn’t an impulse I was about to deny. Maybe Torche are a little too fresh, too recent in the consciousness, to start talking about classics, but in another nine or 10 years, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we come to see their debut in that light. My thinking was that maybe you hadn’t heard it in a while, and maybe you’d be as glad to revisit as I was.

Point being, I hope you enjoy.

Quick week, but aren’t they all. Nice to get three bigger reviews done this week and to take a little time and note how grateful I was to The Patient Mrs. for doing a bit of shopping on my behalf while in Greece. I also took some time to make a list of the shows I want to see this and next month and into October. There are five in August starting on the ninth in Portland, Maine, with We’re all Gonna DieBlackwolfgoat and Murcielago, and going on from there. Five this month, six next. I don’t know if I’ll actually make it to all of them, but it’ll be good to end this summer’s shut-in lifestyle as we move into fall, however much I end up getting out.

Tonight? Chinese delivery and looking to spend a cloudy evening watching baseball. Not much for Friday night excitement, but I kind of felt like I never woke up today — was up in the middle of the night for an hour-plus — and yeah, been in a haze ever since. I guess some thrills came in the form of my dinner, which arrived, cost me upwards of $40 with the delivery tip factored in, and was uncooked. I’ve lived in this area a year now and have yet to find a place that’s got anything more than barely acceptable takeout. Granted I don’t get it every week or anything, but I’m up to five or six different spots now and only one was worth going back to. Yelp is no assistance whatsofuckingever. All anyone ever talks about is the fucking “crab rangoons.” It’s god damn deep fried crab meat and cream cheese! Of course it’s fucking delicious! The highlight of the meal was when the dog sat and stayed at the door while I futzed with my cash to give the delivery guy. It was all downhill from there.

Next week, look out for streams from Joy and Blackwitch Pudding, reviews of Heavy Temple and Witch Mountain and hopefully I’ll get the John Garcia interview posted, which I actually filed away thinking it already went up when clearly it did not. Whoops. Little late on that one, but so it goes.

Alright, onward to my evening of awful raw meat greasy-flavor aftertaste and watching the off-brand peckerwood Yankees lose to the Red Sox. I hope you have an excellent and injury-free weekend.

Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Sleep, Red Fang, Deamon’s Child, The Jackpine Snag, Cruthu

Posted in Radio on July 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I guess this is the part where I complain about lack of time, blah blah blah. Last week was a mess, it’s true, as were the last couple days, but what it comes down to is I do what I can when I can. That’s been my policy all along. A couple of these discs — CruthuDeamon’s Child — are my own rips as well from discs that were sent in, and as ever, there’s more that went up than just what is listed here. So one way or another, activity abounds. I need to find out how close I am to filling the three terabytes of the hard drive used for the server, but until then, the additions will continue unabated. It’s good to keep busy.

The Obelisk Radio adds for July 31, 2014:

Sleep, “The Clarity”

To call the first new Sleep track since Dopesmoker an “event” would be underselling it. “The Clarity” arrives via the Adult Swim Singles Series not only as the Iommian legends’ first outing since that landmark release, but also their debut recording with drummer Jason Roeder and their first studio work since guitarist Matt Pike and bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros went on to destroy/expand minds in High on Fire and Om, respectively, for the last decade-plus. A near-10-minute stonerly sprawl finds Sleep‘s central methodology intact. Grown up some from what it was 20 years ago, expectedly, but loyal to what they were without trying to recapture a magic that’s gone with that time. Cisneros has taken some flack for not roughing up his vocals à la Sleep’s Holy Mountain, but from where I sit, his cadence and cleaner style only makes “The Clarity” more honest, and if lyrics like “Iommic life complete” and “The dealer is my refuge” are easier to understand, you won’t find me complaining. They jam out most of the song’s second half, and ultimately “The Clarity” collapses in a sudden cut, leaving you to wonder if it ever happened at all — until of course you go back to the start for another glorious hit. If this portends more to come, I’m even more excited about the prospect of new Sleep than I was before the single arrived. Sleep on Thee Facebooks, Adult Swim Singles.

Deamon’s Child, Deamon’s Child

Even before you get to the dolphin sample in “Delfine,” and the garage thrashiness of the subsequent “Alles Bio, Immer Bio,” German trio Deamon’s Child give some hints that there’s more to what they do than the standard heavy noise rock. Comprised of guitarist Sven “Missu” Missulis (aka John Reebo of Reebosound, also ex-Psychedelic Avengers), bassist/vocalist Ana Maija Muhi (who also contributed to Reebosound‘s 2010 outing, This is Reebosound) and drummer Tim Mohr (also WhiteBuzz), Deamon’s Child debuted last year with an engaging demo and follow it with a self-titled debut of increased complexity and a sound that’s varied without the pretense, culling together punk, grunge, heavy rock and noise to create songs that feel like they could turn in any direction at once. The production plays up the frayed edges, and Muhi‘s layered vocals on a chugger like “Lutscher!” sound all the more Melvins-esque. Deamon’s Child is loaded with surprises, but doesn’t feel any more haphazard than it’s meant to, and while it may take a couple listens to catch up to it, the songs are consistent in their invitation for repeat visits. Deamon’s Child on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Red Fang, TeamRock.com Presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red Fang

A free Red Fang acoustic EP — who’s going to argue with that? Not me, though the cumbersome and corporate-style title leaves something to be desired. Nonetheless, once you get through all the namebrandery, what you come out with are acoustic renditions from Red Fang of “Failure” from late 2013’s Whales and Leeches and “Malverde” and “Human Herd” from the preceding 2011 outing, Murder the Mountains (review here). Hearing guitarist Bryan Giles soften up his usually-rough vocal approach on “Malverde” is interesting, given how much of the album version of that track is about the impact of the thing, but “Failure” becomes a brooding plea rather than the threat it is at full thrust, and “Human Herd” a kind of meditation that makes for the highlight of the whole release. One tries not to read too much into what was clearly a one-off thing, but it would be cool to hear what an acoustic album track from Red Fang might sound like. Their songwriting clearly translates, and between Giles and bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam – let’s not forget guitarist David Sullivan or drummer John Sherman – they prove here they can pull it off sounding confident and comfortable. Kind of an unexpected turn from the chicanery-fueled rock we’re used to from Red Fang, but they’re as easy to dig as ever on (deep breath) TeamRock.com Presents an Absolute Music Bunker Session with Red FangRed Fang on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

The Jackpine Snag, The Fire Tower EP

Tonally, Michigan’s The Jackpine Snag seem rooted in punk, but a strong undercurrent of the weirdo runs throughout the songs on their new EP, The Fire Tower, and whether it’s the shouting on “With Wings” or “The Missaukee Strut” or the motoring noise of closer “Gonna Wreck My Life,” the trio present an individualized approach to bruiser expression. The Fire Tower is their longest outing yet at seven songs following a four-track 2013 debut 7″, but they have no trouble changing up their take enough to hold interest, while also keeping the tracks themselves relatively lean and concise. Maybe what the EP does best is balance that efficiency with a loose, tossoff-punker vibe, but The Jackpine Snag – guitarist/vocalist Joe Hart, bassist Jason Roedel and drummer Todd Karinen – show a keen awareness of how far out they want to go and how oddball they want to get in their ragged, grungy craftsmanship. No doubt that will serve them well should they decide next to tackle a debut full-length. The Jackpine Snag on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Cruthu, Creation Demo

The debut release from Lansing, Michigan’s Cruthu, the Creation Demo culls together an initial three tracks that sound somewhat raw but hold significant stylistic promise, blending a heavy ’70s psych-blues mentality with drearier rock tendencies and analog worship. Frontwoman Teri Brown provides a soulful lift to “S.O.S.,” as guitarist Dan McCormick leads bassist Scott Lehman and drummer Matt Fry through a subtly doomed murk, but pushes into rawer, strained-throat vocalizing on “Walk with Me” that immediately stands the Creation Demo apart from much of what claims to have been recorded live in terms of sheer honesty. And to Cruthu‘s further credit, I don’t think the tracks were recorded live. Particularly in “Separated from the Herd” and “Walk with Me,” which closes, Cruthu find some room for instrumental exploration along with Brown‘s vocals, and the path they’re on suits them well as the demo plays out. I’d be interested to hear them branch out further instrumentally, get weird with some percussion or strings or psychedelics, but there’s time for such things, and they’re off to an evocative start. Cruthu on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Like I said, there’s a lot more that went up this week than is listed here. Check out The Obelisk Radio playlist/updates page for the complete list.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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audiObelisk Transmission 038

Posted in Podcasts on July 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

As I’ve tried not to do since I started making podcasts again, I kept away from a consistent theme this time around, but I wanted to at least get a blend of bands you’ve probably heard and bands maybe you haven’t. Of course the new Sleep was a given, and new cuts from Electric Wizard and Karma to Burn felt like they needed to be there as well, so they are. But there are a few corresponding inclusions of stuff I’ve been digging that I haven’t had the chance to write about yet — looking at you, USA out of Vietnam, Lewis and the Strange Magics and Deamon’s Child — and while I’ve no doubt you’re already down with those and the rest of what’s included here because you’re on it like that, putting them in here seemed a good way to feature them for anyone not yet exposed who might be interested in checking them out.

If that’s you, please enjoy. The second hour, as usual, is consumed by longer songs, but there are a few in the first hour as well (that Electric Wizard track is over 10 minutes, and the Sleep is close to it), but of the podcasts I’ve put together in the last few months, this one easily flows the best. It was pretty late as I was putting it together last night, so I had the headphones on and was working totally without distraction. I know it’s an unrealistic expectation to think anyone will be able to listen in that manner, but if you get the chance or if you don’t, I hope you have a good time.

First Hour:
Sleep, “The Clarity” from Adult Swim Singles Series (2014)
Electric Wizard, “I am Nothing” from Time to Die (2014)
Lewis and the Strange Magics, “Cloudy Grey Cube” from Demo (2014)
USA Out of Vietnam, “You are a Comet, You are on Fire” from Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes (2014)
Serpent Venom, “Lord of Life” from Of Things Seen and Unseen (2014)
Deamon’s Child, “Lutscher!” from Deamon’s Child (2014)
Rabbits, “Reek and Ye Shall Find” from Untoward (2014)
Karma to Burn, “Fifty Seven” from Arch Stanton (2014)
The Heavy Co., “One Big Drag” from Uno Dose (2014)

Second Hour:
Wolf Blood, “Dancing on Your Grave” from Wolf Blood (2014)
Frown, “Harpocrates Unborn” from The Greatest Gift to Give (2014)
Merlin, “Lucifer’s Revenge” from Christ Killer (2014)
Causa Sui, “Incipiency Suite” from Pewt’r Sessions 3 (2014)

Total running time: 1:57:27

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 038

 

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Death Penalty to Release Self-Titled Debut in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Today is the official release date for the debut seven-inch from Death Penalty, the new band featuring former Cathedral guitarist Gaz Jennings along with vocalist Michelle Nocon and drummer Frederik Cosemans, both formerly of Belgian doom outfit Serpentcult. Together with bassist Raf Meukens, also of death metallers Torturerama, Jennings and company issue Sign of Times through Rise Above in a varied pressing of 500 copies ahead of a self-titled debut which is set to release in September.

That album will mark Jennings‘ first full-length outing since Cathedral met their end, and given his unearthly pedigree of riffing, it’ll be interesting to hear what he brings to this new project. As you can hear below, the single bodes well.

Ever-vigilant, the PR wire has details on the album and more background on how the band came together

DEATH PENALTY (Featuring Gaz Jennings of Cathedral) to Release Self-Titled Debut on Rise Above Records September 16th in North America

Artwork and Track Listing Revealed

When all is said and done, the art of making people bang their heads comes down to one central component: the riff. The riff has been refined and redefined so many times over the last four decades that ownership of a guitar and half a brain should be all that’s required to at least have a decent stab at getting things right, and yet very few people seem capable of tapping into the true essence and ethos of what made Tony Iommi such an all-conquering pioneer and overlord of six-string power and glory. Over the last 25 years, discerning metal fans may have struggled to pinpoint any bona fide contemporary greats amongst the never-ending proliferation of also-rans and wannabes, but as chief composer and guitarist for UK doom metal legends Cathedral, Gaz Jennings has more than earned the mantle of the modern age’s most consistent and supremely talented Riffmaster General. A perennial unsung hero of the heavy underground, Gaz has already contributed a vast number of classic songs to the metallic canon, but when Cathedral finally called it a day in 2013 it looked as if another guitar hero was destined to disappear into the shadows. Gloriously, he has now returned with a brand new band, DEATH PENALTY, and an eponymous debut album that once again proves his absolute mastery of the form.

“When Cathedral split I didn’t have any intention of getting another band together,” Gaz admits. “I wanted to do a record, because Lee [Dorrian, Cathedral front man and Rise Above Records boss] has been saying for years that he’d give me a deal! But all my time was taken up writing stuff for Cathedral. I had a few bits and bobs lying around, so I started writing material a few years back and that’s where it all started. And now the album is ready to go.”

With such a formidable reputation to uphold, it was absolutely vital for Gaz to select the right musicians to work with in his new band. Enter vocalist Michelle Nocon and Fredrik ‘Cozy’ Cosemans, members of Belgian doom warriors Serpentcult; a band that Gaz greatly admires and fellow Rise Above alumni. Although resident in Belgium, Michelle and Cozy were simply the right people for the job and kindred spirits that Gaz suspected would be perfect for helping him to realize his new musical vision.

With the DEATH PENALTY line-up completed by the addition of another Belgian, bassist Raf Meukens, Gaz was now fully equipped to bring his new band into the spotlight. The first results emerged via a debut seven-inch single, Sign Of Times/Seven Flames, which showcased DEATH PENALTY’sfiery blend of old school heavy metal, subtle doom shades and Michelle Nocon’s extraordinary vocal talents. The real meat of the matter will be unveiled upon the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, a triumphant tour-de-force of pounding heaviness that brilliantly encapsulates everything that Gaz has brought to the table with Cathedral while veering off on a number of new and distinctly compelling tangents along the way. Fans of the NWOBHM era will find themselves instantly entranced by the likes of Howling At The Throne Of Decadence and Golden Tides, while diehard doom acolytes will be immediately reassured that Gaz’s ability to pen timeless riffs remains entirely undimmed, as demonstrated on the grandiose grit of Into The Ivory Frost and Children Of The Night.

The final piece of the puzzle slotted neatly into place when Gaz chose a name for the new band. Anyone that has followed the guitarist’s career over the years will recognise that DEATH PENALTY is the title of Witchfinder General’s classic 1982 debut album; a record that has long been an essential part of Gaz’s inspirational armoury. However, beyond paying homage to his childhood heroes, he freely confesses that the name was simply the first and only credible option and a telling alternative to the countless terrible band names currently doing the rounds.

Once DEATH PENALTY’s debut hits the shops (and the nebulous world of online retail, of course), it seems highly likely that everyone from Cathedral fans and old school diehards to new school doom and psych rock admirers will celebrate the arrival of another truly great heavy metal band for the modern age. Quite content to remain an underground concern, DEATH PENALTY are just beginning their journey into the outer limits of refined riff worship and Gaz Jennings’ hopes and expectations are every bit as humble and honest as long-time fans will expect.

Death Penalty Track Listing:
1. Grotesque Horizon
2. Howling at the Throne of Decadence
3. Eyes of the Heretic
4. Golden Tides
5. Into the Ivory Frost
6. Children of the Night
7. The One That Dwells
8. She is a Witch
9. Immortal by Your Hand
10. Written by the Insane

For More Info Visit:
http://www.riseaboverecords.com
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Death Penalty, “Sign of Times” (2014)

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