Friday Full-Length: The Atomic Bitchwax, The Atomic Bitchwax

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The Atomic Bitchwax, The Atomic Bitchwax (1999)

I think it’s high time the ’90s era of heavy rock — the original run of stoner rock, that is — started to get tagged with the term classic. It’s been 20 years or more for most of it, after all. Think of bands like Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Acid King, Fu Manchu, Nebula, and so on, and to that list I would most definitely add New Jersey trio The Atomic Bitchwax. The band formed in 1993 but it would be six years before their self-titled debut came out on Tee Pee/MIA Records. It was kind of a side-project at first. Bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik was at the time a member of Godspeed, who were signed to Atlantic during the same era that saw Core and a few others picked up in the wake of Monster Magnet‘s burgeoning wider success, and they made a run touring with Black Sabbath and appearing on the first Nativity in Black tribute to Sabbath with Bruce Dickinson sitting in on vocals. When Godspeed split, it was basically into The Atomic Bitchwax and Solace. Kosnik, guitarist Ed Mundell, also then of Monster Magnet, and drummer Keith Ackerman, who also played in and would later rejoin Solace for a stretch, set to work on their first record, and they came out with a scorcher.

The Atomic Bitchwax‘s The Atomic Bitchwax runs a deceptive 11 songs and 53 minutes. It’s deceptive because they trade back and forth between instrumentals like the opening “Stork Theme” — which also seems to nod at Sabbath with a beginning noise that reminds of “After Forever” — and “Crazed Fandango” and “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home,” “The Last of the V8 Interceptors” and 10-minute closer “The Formula” and hook-laden tracks like “Birth to the Earth,” “Hey Alright,” “Hope You Die,” “Gettin’ Old” and “Shit Kicker,” as well as their cover of Core‘s “Kiss the Sun,” which would be a staple in live sets for years to come. The two modes of working are interspersed throughout the tracklisting — they might most come together on the bluesier, throttled-back “Gettin’ Old” — and that helps the trio of Kosnik, Mundell and Ackerman keep the listener off-balance as they build a working momentum from front to back across the release. That, coupled with what has become a signature style of winding riffs, a decent amount of speed in their tempos, a couple samples at the start of “Last of the V8 Interceptors” and “Shit Kicker,” and the extra percussion in “Crazed Fandango” earlier, all give the record a sense of variety that, especially on first listen, can be hard to keep up with. The Atomic Bitchwax has for the most part been a band that dares its audience to hold their pace. On the self-titled, that true in terms of style as well as tempo.

Stoner band being stoner in the era of stoner? Yeah, maybe. But to my ears what makes The Atomic Bitchwax a classic album is the fact that the band are so tight and so loose at the same time. the atomic bitchwaxThat The Atomic Bitchwax could conjure the sharp, head-spinning turns of “Stork Theme” and still be fuzzed-out and have an overarching groove in the process. Or that they could be so locked in on “Hope You Die” with Kosnik‘s bass comes forward in the hook and still toss out the lyric “Total. Freedom.,” and have it sound utterly natural. It’s not effortless, but it’s not intended to be. They remain the kind of band who should have someone walking through the crowd collecting tips while they play — “Hey folks, these guys are working hard up there” — but for the frenetic changes in “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home” and the MC5-worthy gallop of “Shit Kicker,” nothing The Atomic Bitchwax do on their first full-length takes precedent over the song itself. Even the instrumentals each have a personality of their own. Hell, “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home” is the centerpiece. Those tracks are crucial the mission of the record overall, right down to the touch of psychedelia worked into the midsection of “The Formula” at the end of the album. They not only highlight the prowess of the band technically, but complement the songwriting of “Birth to the Earth” and “Hey Alright,” etc., making the band a richer listening experience the whole way through, giving flashes of punk immediacy here and there, but ultimately ending up with an unquestionable place in heavy rock and roll.

That a record could be so laid back as it punches you in the face. That’s The Atomic Bitchwax. Still, almost 20 years later.

And quite a 20 years it’s (nearly) been. The KosnikMundellAckerman lineup would follow the self-titled with II the next year, also on Tee Pee, and then have the Spit Blood EP on MeteorCity in 2002 before dissolving. Kosnik and Ackerman pressed forward by recruiting Core guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan for the 2005 album, 3 (discussed here), and thereby embarking on a new era of the band. The Jack Endino-produced EP Boxriff followed — proud to say I did the liner notes for it — coupled with a live set recorded in Seattle, and after losing Ackerman on drums, Kosnik and Ryan welcomed Bob Pantella, also of Monster Magnet, on drums for 2008’s TAB4 (aka T4B), issued first by MeteorCity and then by Tee Pee, which The Atomic Bitchwax rejoined and on whose roster they remain. 2011 brought the all-instrumental, single-song LP, The Local Fuzz (review here), and with that out of their system and a resurgence as a touring act, 2015’s Gravitron (review here) and 2017’s Force Field (review here) marked not only a period of productivity, but a maturity of approach that somewhat ironically dipped back to the modus of their earliest work but made it tighter and even sharper in the delivery.

Speaking of irony, for a band that was so long considered a side-project because of Mundell‘s involvement in both groups — he of course relocated to the West Coast earlier this decade and embarked on The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic — the last several years have found Kosnik playing bass in Monster Magnet in the rhythm section with Pantella. I don’t think anyone’s calling them a side-project at this point though. Classic, maybe. I certainly think so.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

We put the Little Dog Dio down on Monday. The pain from her bone cancer was becoming less and less manageable by the hour. We ended up giving her a percocet Monday morning and she ate nine string cheeses and some chicken after that and she got up to greet The Patient Mrs. when she and the baby got back from running an errand, but she was still clearly in agony, despite also being stoned out of her gourd.

I miss her. So much. I keep looking for her. Thinking about her in her places. The spots that were hers in the house. I’ve been telling Dio stories all week on Facebook. I have so many but I’ll probably do one more tomorrow and leave it there. It’s been hard.

We had a vet come and do it at the house. They do that now, apparently. I’ve had dogs my whole life and been a participant in two euthanasias prior to this one. Dio was different. Special. She woofed at the door when the vet came. She was healthy but for the cancer eating away at her. I figure we got robbed of at least two good years with her. I’d happily shave that time off my own lifespan if I could make a trade to get her back.

I brought her bed from the upstairs bedroom down to the kitchen and laid a sheet on it for her to be on while the vet administered the drugs. High dose of opiates, something else to knock her out, then the pink shit. Always the pink shit. The Patient Mrs. and I sat with her and cried — I’d spent the last four hours just petting her and telling her I loved her — and we were with her through the end. The vet was about to deliver the pink shit and I asked her to let me do it. She did. I did it. Me.

But you want to know the truth? The confession? I wouldn’t have done it on my own. The Patient Mrs. and I had talked it out and we both knew it was time, but even an hour before the vet came I was saying maybe we should call it off. And if she’d said okay, I would have. I wouldn’t have gone through with it. I’d have been selfish and kept my poor sweet Dio in pain just to have a couple more days with her. A little more time. I’m a terrible person.

I cried and cried and cried. When it was finally done, I wrapped her in the sheet and carried her out to the vet’s van, where a bag was waiting. She’ll be cremated and we’ll get her ashes back in the mail next week. I want to be buried with them when I go.

The rest of the last five days has been a blur of grief and baby feedings. I said goodnight to her pillow before I went to bed last night.

I have notes ready for next week front to back but I’m going to keep it to myself. It’s a cool week, busy, but I just don’t have it in me to run through it. Also, by way of a heads up, the next Quarterly Review begins Oct. 8. Nobody cares. I know.

If you get the chance though, I have a show debuting on www.gimmeradio.com this Sunday at 5PM Eastern. Prime time! It’s called “The Obelisk Show” and I host it and talk awkwardly about records and this and that. The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan both make a cameo. It turned out to be a lot of fun to put together and I promise it’s not sad. It’s free to sign up and there’s no subscription or anything, so if you get to check it out, I’d appreciate it. Here’s a poster they made.

jj gimme radio

That says it all, I guess. I’m just happy they spelled my name right. We’ll see if they let me do a second episode.

While you wait with bated breath for that to start, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Hold your loved ones close, have fun, and please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

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ST 37 Premiere “War Fever” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

st 37 (Photo by John Foxworth)

Every now and then a band comes along to remind that if you’re looking for it to make sense, sometimes you’re the one with the problem. Granted, Austin’s ST 37 are past the 30-year mark in offering said reminder, so I don’t necessarily know if “comes along” is the right phrase so much as “was already there,” but you get the point.

With an amalgam of freaked-out noisy punk and even more freaked-out psychedelic freakouts, improv-style and otherwise — there’s time for a little bit of everything in the 14-minute “KBDP,” nestled into side C of the 2LP as it is, let alone anything else in the record’s total 12 tracks/79 minutes — the vibe swings way, way open quickly as the jangly “War Fever” fuzz-grooves its way into a wash with a swath of voices and a deceptively playful bouncing rhythm, some sax, and echoing noise, eerie whispers and pretty much whatever else you want to hear in it. From there, it’s headfirst into the swirling made-up-on-the-spot “Shaper of Worlds” and the massive, organ-led eight-minute linear build of the Elegant Doormats cover “Grey Area,” before another cover, this one of The Vast Majority‘s “Hollywood Cemetery,” adds early-punk fervor to the proceedings.

The grounding effect of that cover, plenty swirling though it is, isn’t to be understated. It’s a kind of structural variety throughout ST 37 that speaks to the narrative circumstance of the album’s making, with recordings begun in 2015 and finished last year after a month-long tour with Japanese weirdo-legends Acid Mothers Temple. Not that ST 37 were exactly hurting for doing-whatever-the-hell-they-want anyway, but there’s an inspired spark behind the drifting rhythm and soaking wet overlaid lead guitar on “Shadesty,” as well as the manic laughter peppered into the later “Rooster Feather Paycheck,” and the tension of the repetitions in “Boss” that give way to the sleepy nine-minute improv “Inward, Please” speak to a will to throw the listener off-course that makes ST 37 both a challenge and an enjoyable listening experience.

In its makeup as well as its runtime, in the horror-surf harmonica of “Snootle y Choobs,” in the maybe-everything’s-backwards “Vengeance of Faces” and the space-consuming resolve of closer “Informed by Death,” there’s a refusal on the part of ST 37 to compromise with itself, and that gives it both an overarching sincerity of expression and a sheen of hypercool that’s an immediate weedout for lighter-weight heads. Real deal noise. You can try not to pass out, but I’m not entirely sure that isn’t the whole idea anyway.

ST 37 came out in late July on Super Secret Records, and I’ve got the privilege of hosting a premiere for the video of “War Fever,” which makes its statement pretty plain in the grainy news footage from a variety of military conflicts — so many to choose from! Interspersed with some live footage of the band in its final minute — you can see founding bassist Scott Telles in the midst of all that churning fluidity — it’s a fitting-enough representation for the track, though as noted above, that’s only the beginning of what the album soon unfurls.

PR wire info follows the clip below. Please enjoy:

ST 37, “War Fever” official video premiere

Super Secret Records proudly presents the new ST 37 double album (following up last year’s 12″ split with Acid Mothers Temple on our subsidiary label Self Sabotage Records).

After playing 30 shows in 31 days all over the US and Canada with Acid Mothers Temple in 2015, ST 37 felt an immediate need to decamp for Ohm Studios to capture some shit-hot lightning in a bottle with Chico Jones at the helm in an attempt to translate the incredible energy that was exchanged between these two psychedelic juggernauts as they battled their way across North America. It seemed as if the Japanese sonic wizards and the Texas space rockers were rubbing off on each other: AMT guitarist Makoto Kawabata guested live several times with ST 37 on the Twin Peaks cover “Just You” and the bands made immediate plans to issue a TP-themed split 12″ 45 with AMT’s version of “Sycamore Trees” (Self Sabotage Records SS-08); AMT bassist Atsushi Tsuyama found himself channeling ST 37 bassist Scott Telles’s lyrics onstage at the Mercury Lounge in Mahattan; and Telles suddenly started adopting Mitsuru Tabata’s idiosyncratic vocal style.

Thus: a band changed translates this newfound energy into a brand new double LP and CD, three years in the making from the initial basic tracks at Ohm through more sessions with Evan Kleinecke at 5th St. Studios to numerous efforts at various band members’ home studios. The new eponymously-titled record is in effect both current (new songs like War Fever, Boss and Shadesty) and timeless, as the band explores its roots with tracks like Houston punk chestnut Hollywood Cemetery and the old Elegant Doormats classic Grey Area.

ST 37 is available on 2xLP vinyl, CD and download on July 27th, 2018 via Super Secret Records.

Bobby Baker – guitars, synare
Bob Bechtol – electronics, tapes, backing vox
Lisa Cameron – drums, percussives, electronics
Joel Crutcher – guitars, lead vox on “Informed By Death”
SL Telles – bass, vox, drones
Matthew Turner – guitars, electronics, tapes
Chris “Sauce” Sorrentino – saxophone on “War Fever”
Michael Chamy – electronics on “Shaper of Worlds” and “Vengeance of Faces”
Kirk Laktas – piano on “Shadesty”
Walter Daniels – harmonica on ” Snootle y Choobs”

ST 37 on Thee Facebooks

ST 37 website

ST 37 at Super Secret Records webstore

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Yung Druid Premiere “Take Me to Your Dealer” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yung druid video

Whoever decided to put London four-piece Yung Druid in front of a green screen very clearly had the right idea. I’m going to guess that was the masterful decision of director Emily McDonald, and if so, kudos. Likewise to whichever involved party decided to include the candy flying saucers along with all the background footage and other low-budget effects thereof, and then not onto to have the jar, but to actually throw the candy at the band as they play, in alien masks. Also it’s shot on VHS. Also there’s a baby that gets zapped by alien lightning eyes and everyone has fun wearing colors that disappear on the green screen. Also they ride a pretend rocketship wrapped in tin foil and smoke a giant novelty joint. Also the song rules. It’s all kind of genius.

The track is called “Take Me to Your Dealer,” and it comes from Yung Druid‘s self-titledyung druid take me to your dealer debut album, which is set to release before the end of the year on Totem Cat Records. Recorded by Mark Jasper in East London, the sound and vibe are as hash-oiled as the video concept, and so the two couldn’t be more appropriate together. It’s a right-on riff for those who might dig on the likes of Witch or some of their rawer stoner acolytes, but the sense of personality, aural and visual, is a marked distinguishing factor. Yung Druid had a demo out in 2016 that in cuts like “Underneath the Aching Sky” and “Went into a Wooden Room” called to mind a somewhat psych-doomier take on earliest Groan with hints of Elephant Tree-style melody in the vocals of “Lung,” and while I don’t know if any of them or the Blind Melon-meets-first-album-Mars Red Sky esque melody of “Morning Come,” which capped the demo, will be included on the self-titled, their over-the-top leads, languid nods and spacious reach offer context for where “Take Me to Your Dealer” is coming from.

Accordingly, I’ve included the demo in an embed at the bottom of this post. “Take Me to Your Dealer” is six minutes long but has no problem holding the viewer/listener’s attention for the duration. For its intriguing take on familiar elements, the burgeoning charm of its execution, and for how well it portends the album to be released, I’m thrilled to be able to host the premiere of the video.

You’ll find more info under the player below. Yung Druid play The Bird’s Nest in Deptford tonight, Sept. 7, in the company of Morag TongTrevor’s Head and Dead Lettuce.

Please enjoy:

Yung Druid, “Take Me to Your Dealer” official video premiere

Yung Druid on “Take Me to Your Dealer”:

It’s a send-up but in a way that’s representative of the best parts of the Stoner genre in general… a holy quadrangle of pastiche, tribute, weed, and evolution. “Take Me To Your Dealer” is pretty indicative of the way we approach music in general. It’s loud, exploratory, rooted in what may or may not have actually happened, and good to crush beers to.

We started recording a year or so back in a converted shed in a semi-industrial part of East London. The initial sessions resulted in a handful of demos which later found their way onto the final cut. We returned a few months later and finished the job, turning up louder to compete with the sonic frequency of the African Evangelical church who had set up next door.

London based, ‘70s inspired Stoner Rock band YUNG DRUID have unleashed their debut video clip for the track ‘Take Me To Your Dealer’; the first single from the band’s forthcoming self-titled LP, due for release via boutique Stoner/Doom label Totem Cat Records in late 2018. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Jasper at Soundsavers Studio, East London.

The retro inspired clip, shot on VHS by filmmaker Emily McDonald, is a psychedelic trip through space; cue alien transformations, flying babies, and a smattering of other ‘organic’ stimulus. To celebrate the release of the video, Yung Druid will be headlining the September edition of the Doom residency show at The Bird’s Nest in Deptford, alongside fellow UK riff merchants Trevor’s Head, Morag Tong and Dead Lettuce, on September 7.

Project: Yung Druid – Take Me To Your Dealer
Director: Emily McDonald
DOP: Joseph Gainsborough
Art Dept: Samantha Crossley
Editor: Emily McDonald
AFX: Kieran Gee-Finch

Yung Druid is:
Jack Oliver – Guitars and Vocals
Magnus Reid – Drums
Luke Waldock – Bass
Chris Reid – Guitars

Yung Druid on Thee Facebooks

Yung Druid on Bandcamp

Yung Druid on Soundcloud

Totem Cat Records on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records on Bandcamp

Totem Cat Records webstore

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Stone Titan Premiere “Whale Bone”; New EP Coming Soon

Posted in audiObelisk on September 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

stone titan

You’ve got two minutes, right? For the sake of feedback-drenched fuckall sludge? Of course you do. It’s easy to imagine the trio Stone Titan destroying any number of punk rock basements and/or houses in their native New Haven, the shocked faces of Yale freshmen looking on as they tear into a cut like “Whale Bones” from their forthcoming self-titled EP, which unloads a barrage of screams, riffs, noise and crash, and then is gone as quickly as it arrived. Dudes would be sure to blow a fuse, at very least, blinking out the inevitable Xmas lights strung up around the place to give it that you’re-definitely-at-a-house-show feel. I’ve had the privilege of running into Stone Titan a couple times over the years — once in Connecticut in 2011 (review here) and again in Massachusetts in 2014 (review here) and they were remarkably brash then. “Whale Bone” would seem to indicate that not much has changed in that regard. So be it.

Their new EP was tracked in MA by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios, and the punishment “Whale Bone” exudes is in every punkish bark and bite the brief track has on offer. I would imagine it’s not the only assault on the upcoming short release, but I haven’t heard the full thing to comment on it. In any case, Stone Titan‘s debut long-player, 2013’s Scratch ‘n’ Sniff, had its share of sans-frills barrages as well, but they were only a part of the overall scope of the outing, which also realized its mesmerizing tones and maddening sludge push in songs like “A Brief History of Overweight Men” and the pretty-much-says-it-all opener “I Wish I was Fucking Dead,” and 2015’s Moonshine followed suit. Stone Titan have been around for a while at this point — a decade as of this year — but their attack has only become more vicious for that, and “Whale Bone” poaches hard-hitting aural beatings with a purpose that underscores their collective experience.

The EP will be out… at some point. Whenever they get to it, I guess. The artwork is being finalized now, so extrapolate from there. In the meantime, you can stream the premiere of “Whale Bone” below and dig into its harsh and all-too-real aspects.

Please enjoy:

Stone Titan, “Whale Bone” official track premiere

This is “Whale Bone” from the new Stone Titan EP out Fall 2018

Limited to 50 pro pressed cassettes with digital downloads.

Stone Titan on Thee Facebooks

Stone Titan on Bandcamp

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Glanville and Galactic Superlords Announce Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

glanville

galactic superlords

Classic hard rock? Heavy heavy metal? Wherever you might think Glanville and Galactic Superlords respectively reside on the genre spectrum, I think it’s safe to assume the shows are going to be a good time. The Germany/UK and just-Germany-based five-pieces — that’s one crowded-ass van, if they’re sharing — head out together beginning Oct. 2 in Darmstadt and will seven shows throughout Germany, hitting Galactic Superlords‘ native Köln along the way.

Galactic Superlords go supporting their 2018 self-titled debut full-length, and Glanville head out on the heels of their debut EP, First Blood (review here), and the pairing couldn’t be more appropriate, since in addition to whatever sonic elements they might have in common, Glanville frontman René Hofmann (also of Wight) recorded the Galactic Superlords album. It’s nice to have friends, or so I hear.

To the PR wire:

glanville galactic superlords tour

GLANVILLE AND GALACTIC SUPERLORDS TEAM UP FOR TOUR THIS FALL!

A bit of Thin Lizzy, a bit of Iron Maiden, with hints of Dio. GLANVILLE sounds like Rob Halford wearing Dennis Hopper’s leather jacket in Easy Rider. An introduction of exciting things to come: After the critically acclaimed debut EP ‘First Blood’ released in May 2018, GLANVILLE have teamed up with the GALACTIC SUPERLORDS for a tour this Fall!

René Hofmann and Philipp Michel started playing music together as teenagers but at such a young age nobody knows what will happen the next day, much less in the far future. 13 years later Hofmann is a music producer in Darmstadt and Michel is an active touring guitar player and songwriter, still based in the Hessian hinterland. After all these years the two decide to start a new project together, a classic duo like Page and Plant. The search for the rest of the band GLANVILLE took more than a year, but finally a line-up of experienced musicians was completed: Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on bass, Thomas Hoffmann on drums, and Chris West on second guitar. After a quick and dirty pre-production the band met at a studio in Darmstadt, with most members never having played together and some even meeting each other for the first time. Everyone’s prepared and focused. Two days of rehearsals, two days of recording. Live, real and with passion for the music.
Catch GLANVILLE live and real on the following dates this Fall, with GALACTIC SUPERLORDS on the bill:

02.10.18 DE – Darmstadt – HoffART Theater
03.10.18 DE – Berlin – Toast Hawaii
04.10.18 DE – Hamburg – Bar227
05.10.18 DE – Leipzig – Black Label
06.10.18 DE – Pratteln – Up In Smoke
12.10.18 DE – Köln – Museum
13.10.18 DE – Heidelberg – Beatfabrik

“When meeting Superlords drummer Carsten for the first time, sharing a cigarette at Desertfest Berlin, I immediately noticed that both of us are slightly crazy in a very similar way. And of course we found out that our respective bands also had something in common – fucking heavy metal! Over the years, we have grown to be good friends, and both our bands have become great teams, but still, nobody has ever heard of either one. So we decided to organize a DIY tour under the name “Your New Favourite Metal Bands You’ve Never Heard Of.” We are really looking forward to deliver some serious heavy metal together, real rock music on real stages, without playbacks, modelling amps or macbooks.” – René Hofmann, vocalist of Glanville

Glanville is:
René Hofmann (vocals)
Philipp Michel (lead guitar)
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (bass)
Thomas Hoffmann (drums)
Chris West (rhythm guitar)

Galactic Superlords is:
Vocals: Katharina Heldt
Vocals/Guitars: Dennis Sennekamp
Guitars: Alex Miller
Bass: Christian Lantin
Drums: Carsten Krohn

https://www.facebook.com/SirGlanville/
https://glanville.bandcamp.com/
http://www.glanvilleofficial.com
https://fatandholy.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/galacticsuperlords/
https://galacticsuperlords.bandcamp.com/
http://superlords.com/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Glanville, First Blood EP (2018)

Galactic Superlords, Galactic Superlords (2018)

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Son of the Morning Post “Left Hand Path” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

son of the morning

The trick I finally learned to tell my left from my right was that your left hand is the one that makes the ‘L.’ The “Left Hand Path” has been a feature in heavy rock and metal for decades. Lest we forget it was the title of Entombed‘s first record 28 years ago, and of course, blah blah blah Anton LaVey, and the term goes much farther back in relation to black magic and, even deeper, to the breaking of societal taboos in India centuries ago. The Sanskrit word is “vamachara,” which, frankly, I can’t believe a band hasn’t taken for their moniker. That’s here or there, and certainly, Iowan cult rockers Sons of the Morning‘s name is Luciferian enough. Their self-titled debut album is out now on DHU Records, and their new video for the song “Left Hand Path” — the title of which is the reason for the whole non sequitur above; sorry about that — basks in its darkly ethereal visuals and features an assortment of actual left hands. Good to make sure the point gets across.

In the clip we meet Son of the Morning vocalist Lady Helena head on as she leads the way through the track, which is one of eight featured on the full-length that came out earlier this month, and gradually the rest of the four-piece seems to be brought into her purview. Helena‘s work on organ also features heavily on the swinging, classically doomed cut, and guitarist Levi Mendes shows up later to join in on vocals, chapeau and all. It’s a pretty straightforward video, though well designed by Transpiritus, and its atmosphere is both colorful and over-the-top enough to be fun as well as to showcase the cultish leanings of the band. Being catchy never hurts either, and “Left Hand Path,” which was also on the band’s 2017 self-titled three-tracker EP (review here), is most certainly that.

If you feel like hangin’ a louie, you can check out the video below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Son of the Morning, “Left Hand Path” official video

Official music video for “Left Hand Path” by Son of the Morning
Video by Transpiritus

From the pale grey light of America’s Midwest, come Son of the Morning. An occult rock, doom band that interplays the whimsical with the diabolical. The four members of Son of the Morning form the inner-circle of creativity that call upon the forebearers of dark hard rock and heavy metal. However, all is not as it seems as odd-meter and syncopated arrangements dwell within the musical offerings.

To most, the band would be considered new, if it were not for the wealth of experience amongst its members. Combined, the quintet represents decades of musical accomplishment and exploration. The bond was forged in 2016 and most of the year was spent crafting the band’s signature sound. 2017 saw a year of festivals and shows along with the release of a self-titled debut extended play featuring 3 songs. The release was well received by fans and critics alike.

Son of the Morning:
Lady Helena – Vocals, Organ
Lee Allen – Electric Bass Guitar
H.W. Applewhite – Trap Kit
Levi Mendes – Electric Guitar

Son of the Morning, Son of the Morning (2018)

Son of the Morning on Thee Facebooks

Son of the Morning on Instagram

Son of the Morning on Bandcamp

DHU Records on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records on Instagram

DHU Records on Twitter

DHU Records on Bandcamp

DHU Records BigCartel store

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Northern Crown Announce Self-Titled Album out Oct. 12

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

northern crown

Floridian doomers Northern Crown made their debut with The Others two years ago and I was reading the press release below and trying to figure out why I never reviewed the record. It was the cover art that gave me a bummer vibe. Well, the art for their new one, which is self-titled, set for release on Oct. 12 and which features a cover of My Dying Bride‘s “Your River” from 1993’s classic Turn Loose the Swans, is a zeppelin flying over a dusty and scratched out landscape. I’m not going to read into it too hard beyond “blimps are fun,” and yes, that’s a personal choice I’m making.

They don’t have any audio out from the new full-length as yet, but October is a ways away — though not nearly as much of a ways as it feels like it should be in my feeble brain — so one assumes there’s some forthcoming. The blimp-y art and the tracklisting and other details have made their way out, though, and you’ll find them all below, courtesy of the PR wire:

northern crown northern crown

U.S. Doom Lords NORTHERN CROWN Releasing Self-Titled Sophomore Album October 12

U.S. Doom Lords NORTHERN CROWN will release their self-titled sophomore album on October 12. The band has sharpened the approach on the forthcoming full-length, combining more dirty rock organ and chunky guitar riffs with their trademark doom-isms. Following up on their debut album The Others, their self-titled sophomore release maintains the smoke and mirrors of the first EP In The Hands of The Betrayer but leans more in the direction of the first record and the band’s oldest rock influences – DIO, RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, and BLACK SABBATH.

NORTHERN CROWN handled mixing on their own again, but brought in the mastering talents of Tony Lindgren from Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios (Witchcraft, Enslaved, Amorphis) for the final touches. Artwork by prolific artist Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Death) captures the album’s winding atmosphere, rounding out the release.

Reflecting the uncertainty of the dark times we exist in at the moment, Northern Crown tackles the difficult subject of how well we really know ourselves and how that shapes what we do and become. Echoing their previous releases’ indulgent 10-minute+ epics, the track, “The Desert and The Wind,” nods to the prog-heads, while the band also includes a glowing tribute to My Dying Bride with a full cover of “Your River.” The record also introduces a lineup change, with vocalist and guitarist Frank Serafine handling drums. Weaponlord’s mighty Leona Hayward returns on bass, backing Zachary Randall’s guitar alchemy and harsh vocals. Solos from Nightfall/Dark Hound lead shred-monster Evan Hensley punctuate the record.

Northern Crown will be available on CD and Digital Formats at https://doommet.al

Track List

1. I Am Your Slave
2. Merciless, They Let You Suffer
3. Forged from Nothing
4. Chasing the Sun
5. The Desert and the Wind
6. Righteous & Pure
7. By Demons Bidden
8. Your River

Northern Crown is:
Zachary Randall – Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Lead and Backing Vocals
Frank R. Serafine – Lead and Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar, Drums
Leona Hayward – Bass

Additional Performers:
Evan Hensley – Lead Guitar

https://doommet.al
facebook.com/NorthernCrownDoom/
https://twitter.com/NrthrnCrownDoom
https://music.northerncrownband.com/

Northern Crown, The Others (2016)

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Sonic Wolves to Release Self-Titled Album Sept. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sonic wolves

I’ve barely — barely — started to dig into Sonic Wolves‘ self-titled second album, which is being released next month through DHU Records and Future Noise Recordings in order to coincide with a round of European touring that includes a stop at Desertfest Belgium 2018, but from what I gather thus far, the sleek, smoked-out groove of “Heavy Light” alone is worth the price of admission, whatever that costs these days. Taken in combination with the brash rocker “Tide of Chaos” and the quick-nodder “Cheatin’ Death” that follows and the vibe only gets thicker. Again, I’m just hearing it all for the first time as I write this, but I’ll be digging in deeper hopefully as we get closer to the release. Like maybe a review kind of digging in. You know how it goes.

There’s no audio for the record out yet for public consumption, but I’m going to find out if there might be something I can do to change that. In the meantime, Sonic Wolves‘ 2016 debut, Before the End Comes, is streaming below, following some background from the PR wire.

Dig if you dig:

sonic wolves sonic wolves

Sonic Wolves are back with new album

Few things beat touring with a new album in tow- as will be the case for Sonic Wolves this fall. This upcoming EU tour and coinciding album release mark a return of the heavy-psych-dirt rockers, following the 2016 release of the “He Said” 7″, the “Before The End Comes” full length,as well as a 2017 EU tour with Belzebong (PL). The new album was recorded at Trai Studio in Milan, and was produced by Femore Prod. (they produced Ufomammut) in February 2018.

This album explores different psychedelic territory while maintaining heavy grooves. Steady riffs with a down-tuned mission to add their own blend of thundering drums, fuzz-laden bass and guitar and soaring vocals are what put “Sonic Wolves” a step beyond their last album. It will be released on D.H.U. Records (vinyl) and Future Noise Recordings (CD) on September 25th, 2018. Sonic Wolves is an Italian-American heavy rock’n’roll band, formed by drummer Vita (Ufomammut, Rogue State) and bassist/ singer Kayt Vigil (Rogue State, ex-Pentagram and The Hounds of Hasselvander, with members of Raven, Venom, Carcass). Jason Nealy (Bleeding Eyes, Inverted Matter) and Enrico “Ico” Aniasi (The Broken Finger) on guitars complete the line-up.

Tracklisting:
1. Stonefaced General
2. Ascension
3. Grim Reaper
4. Tide of Chaos
5. Cheatin’ Death
6. Red Temple
7. Heavy Light
8. You’ll Climb the Walls

https://www.facebook.com/SonicWolves/
https://sonicwolves.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sonic_wolves/
www.sonicwolves.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.facebook.com/Future-Noise-Recordings-141470275887035/

Sonic Wolves, Before the End Comes (2016)

Sonic Wolves, Sonic Wolves album trailer

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