Friday Full-Length: Karma to Burn, Karma to Burn

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Karma to Burn, Karma to Burn (1997)

They weren’t yet the band they wanted to be, and it’s important to acknowledge that at the outset. Seven years ago, when I spoke to now-former Roadrunner Records A&R head honcho Monte Conner about his label’s involvement with the makings of stoner rock in the late ’90s, Karma to Burn were bound to come up. In addition to having issued the Burn One Up: Music for Stoners compilation in 1997 which featured the West Virginian outfit alongside a very early appearance from Queens of the Stone Age (with a different singer), as well as The Heads, Gnu, Sleep, Blind Dog, Fu Manchu, Spiritual Beggars, Slaprocket and others, though they were of course known more as a metal label through releasing the likes of Type O Negative, Life of Agony, Fear Factory and Sepultura at the time, Roadrunner was the party responsible for bringing Karma to Burn‘s self-titled debut to public attention — part of a kind of under-the-underground involvement in what was then a burgeoning post-Kyuss movement of heavy rock. In the almost two decades since its release, and of course in light of all the instrumental work the band has done since, the narrative about the label forcing them to get a singer has become an essential piece of context. Here’s what Conner had to say in 2009:

“Basically, we saw Karma to Burn for the first time here in New York at a club called Brownies, myself and Howie Abrams, the guy who led the charge in signing the band. We saw them as an instrumental trio and were just absolutely floored at the power. You could listen to Karma to Burn even without vocals and it was still captivating, at least for one record. It might wear thin after a while, especially with songs called ‘Thirty-Nine,’ ‘Forty,’ ‘Forty-Two,’ it’s a little hard to keep track at that point.

But we did see Karma and we were absolutely floored and we thought, ‘God, if these guys get a singer there’s gonna be no stopping them!’ At the time we signed the band, the whole courtship process and signing the band, the band at that point did want to get a singer and agreed to get a singer, and it was only after frustration of not finding someone that I think the band realized, ‘Hey, maybe we’re better without a singer, we’re more unique this way, we don’t need a singer.’

At that point, they told us ‘No singer,’ and we were objecting because we signed them with the intention of getting a singer, and as I said, that was laid out from the beginning and when we signed them, they said, ‘Yes, we are going to get a singer.’ So they kind of changed the game on us, and they had already recorded the entire record prior to having a singer, figuring, ‘We’ll get the singer and he’ll just go in and lay down the tracks.’ Eventually, due to pressure from us, the band still couldn’t find a singer and had a local friend of theirs, Jason Jarosz, come in and put down vocals.

Not traditional vocals at all, but these really sinister, kind of strange — as you can hear on the record — kind of weird vocals, that we thought were cool, even though they were not typical vocals at all. It kind of gave the whole thing an eerie, avant garde feeling. So we accepted it, we were okay with it, but I think in the end, it really wasn’t the type of vocals we imagined. I think we were settling at that point, just because we wanted to get the record out.

The band went along with it to appease us, but in the end I don’t think they liked this guy’s vocals. They were very rebellious and were like, ‘Fuck this, we don’t want a singer,’ so they basically parted ways with this guy and decided to continue on as an instrumental band and at that point we weren’t interested in continuing, so we dropped them…” — Monte Conner (more here)

I think my favorite part about that entire quote is “They were very rebellious,” since it basically encapsulates the entire career of Karma to Burn and particularly their sole remaining founder, guitarist Will Mecum, whose perspective seems to have always been a middle finger in the face of anyone who’s going to say otherwise on just about any issue. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken about the band, who released the Mountain Czar EP (review here) and toured with The Obsessed this year without calling their sound “bullshit-free,” and indeed, I consider that to be their defining sonic feature.

They are and have for a long time been the straightest line to heavy rock and roll, and while records like 1999’s Wild Wonderful Purgatory and 2001’s Almost Heathen would provide the defining hours for their approach — Mecum along with bassist Rich Mullins and drummer Rob Oswald — the self-titled has always been by its very nature a standout from everything that followed it. Jarosz‘s vocals, quieter and less burly than what, say, Sixty Watt Shaman were doing at the time, had an attitude all their own, and while one might find some politically suspect lyrics in “Mt. Penetrator,” there’s an underlying sad blue-collar poetry in the lyrics that gets lost in a lot of modern Southern rock, which is more about the boozing, the womanizing, the party-as-escape. Karma to Burn‘s self-titled, which also introduced the band’s signature numbered instrumentals with “Eight,” “Thirteen” and “Six” after the landmark hook of opener “Ma Petite Mort,” undercut that impulse to a degree and came across as an emotionally richer and somewhat more honest offering because of it.

Maybe don’t tell that to the band. In 2012, they’d revisit this material and release it completely instrumental as Slight Reprise, a fitting swansong for the then-reformed Mecum/Mullins/Oswald lineup. Mecum has continued to carry the band forward, working now with a strong European focus and the rhythm section of bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine. Their last full-length was 2014’s Arch Stanton (review here) — Clutter was not yet in the lineup — but they’ve been reborn as a touring act. This fall, they made the rounds in Europe and played Desertfest in Athens as well as Keep it Low, and having been fortunate enough to see them this summer at Maryland Doom Fest (review here), I can attest to the drive and push they emit from a stage being as middle-finger as ever.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

How was your week? Mine went by in a blur of corporately-tinged workflow process acronyms — letters that meant nothing to me until a few months ago (and some that still don’t). Made me think maybe I should come up with important-sounding abbreviations for what I do here. “Why did you get up at 5AM?” “I had a big RWM to get through,” where all RWM means is “review-writing in the morning.” Or, more appropriately, “I had to finish the FFL.” Friday Full-Length.

You get the idea.

However, since I don’t really talk about the site with anyone, it would pretty much be an inside joke with myself, and that seems kind of sad in this context.

Before I forget — THANK YOU to everyone who has submitted their best-of 2016 list so far to the Year-End Poll. If you haven’t yet, please do. As of right now, the tally stands at 370 submissions. I hope by the end of the weekend to pass 388, which was last year’s total for the entire month of December. Not bad for being less than half the time. I am humbled and deeply grateful.

You might’ve noticed the Album Covers that Kicked Ass in 2016 list didn’t go up this week. I had crazytimes at the office and though the piece about that Comet Control track being my favorite song of the year turned out to be a doozy in its own right, it required much less time on the back end than tracking down and laying out different art jpegs would. I’ll get to work on it this weekend — I also have some fest writeups to do — and have it up on Monday, disaster pending.

Speaking of “subject to change,” here’s the rest of what’s in the ol’ notes for next week:

Mon.: Art list (who knew?) and new video from Sun Blood Stories. Don’t miss either of them.
Tue.: News on the SonicBlast Moledo fest and new recordings from Australia’s Merchant, an album stream from Elbrus and video from Crippled Black Phoenix. Don’t miss any of that either.
Wed.: Track premiere from Indian metallers Rudra.
Thu.: Review of the new Sgt. Sunshine.
Fri.: Review of the new T.G. Olson.

We get kind of tentative there toward the end of the week, and I’m basically doing myself favors at this point in terms of picking what I want to write about. Anytime you see me covering something from T.G. Olson or his main outfit, Across Tundras, you can pretty much guess that I’m doing so in order to maximize enjoyment of the day. Not that I don’t dig writing about most of what I write about — no point to the site otherwise — but as you know if you’ve already made out your top 20 and turned it in for the Year-End Poll, these things are relative.

Hey, have a great weekend, alright? Please do that.

Largely at the insistence of The Patient Mrs., I went ahead and took Monday off from work (will make sure to put up my “OOO”). She rather correctly asserted that I needed a three-day weekend. No argument, I just don’t get paid for the time I don’t work, so it’s money out of my pocket to stay home. Still, money ain’t everything and sometimes those hours are worth their weight in gold. So I’ll be around. In my pajamas. Sitting on ass. Hopefully playing Final Fantasy. And writing. And that’s my plan.

Whatever you’re up to, please be safe and have a great time. Thanks for reading this long-ass post if you have, and we’ll see you back here Monday. In the meantime, please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

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Molasses Barge Complete Work on Debut Full-Length

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Pittsburgh-based traditional doom metallers Molasses Barge have finished putting together their debut full-length. The band first got together circa 2008, so it’s safe to say it’s been a while in the making, but as members have been involved in other outfits like Argus and Monolith Wielder in the interim, I suppose some delay is to be expected. And if you’re wondering, yes, the Argus connection is frontman Brian “Butch” Balich, also formerly of Penance — though if you skipped to the bottom of this post and just checked out the streaming track “Emerging Void” from the impending, self-titled offering, you wouldn’t even have to ask, because you’d immediately recognize his soaring vibrato.

Molasses Barge recorded with Jason Jouver, who also helmed Monolith Wielder‘s debut, which was released on Argonauta Records. The band are currently looking for a label to put the album out, and between what I’m hearing on “Emerging Void,” the involvement of Chris Kozlowski (The Obsessed, Earthride, etc.), and the stuff on the band’s two past releases, the 2011 Jewels EP on Innervenus Records and their 2012 demo, I have a hard time believing they won’t get somebody on board in 2017. Seems like easy pickin’, frankly.

The following basic info was sent over with the track:

We recorded it with Jason Jouver at +/- Studio in Pittsburgh. It was mixed by Jason and Chris Kozlowski, and later mastered by Koz at his studio, Polar Bear Lair, in Middletown, MD. All that was over parts of 2015 and 2016. Jason is the same engineer who recorded Monolith Wielder. Other notables include Don Cabellero and Lady Beast. Koz has worked with everyone from Melvins to Pentagram, Earthride, Spirit Caravan, Internal Void and so on.

We’ve been around since 2008, but have only released two ep’s previously. Butch is also the singer for Argus. Amy is now in Monolith Wielder with me [Justin].

Molasses Barge:
Brian “Butch” Balich – Vocals
Amy Bianco – Bass
Dave Fresch – Guitar
Justin Gizzi – Guitar
Wayne Massey – Drums

Molasses Barge, “Emerging Void”

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Kooba Tercu Post “Batman” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


Sometimes life is weird. Like the parts of it when you listen to the noise-jazz psychedelic wash of Athenian outfit Kooba Tercu. Those are definitely some strange times. The band, who may or may not represent themselves in the entirety of a single character — referenced below as the disaffected Johnny Tercu — released their self-titled debut album last year in a vinyl edition of 250 LPs, and operated immediately in a wide swath of sonic influences, from jagged indie to worldly percussive tendencies and well beyond into a number of approaches to psychedelia. I’m not sure all of it was completely under control, but neither am I sure it was supposed to be.

What Kooba Tercu made most plain in their debut — a track from which was featured in a podcast here — was that there’s very little that’s off the table, rhythmically, melodically or otherwise in their arrangements. Yet to listen to the skronk bounce of opener “Ukunta” or the later punker blast of “Spit Bucket,” the album doesn’t sound overbaked or overthought. Part of that might stem from the band recording (mostly) live, but as one watches the vague imagery take cohesive form much like the song itself in their new video for “Batman,” I think it makes an eerie kind of sense within the context they establish. And by that I basically mean it makes no sense but the problem is expecting that it would. Free your mind. Then hit play.

Then, if you’re so inclined, you can hit up Kooba Tercu‘s Bandcamp (linked below), where the album is currently a name-your-price download. Don’t expect “Batman,” which is mostly instrumental, to speak for the entirety of the record, because it won’t, but it does encapsulate some of the anti-genre mentality, and the blown-out fuzz that comes to dominate later in the track is worth the price of admission on its own. What, if anything, it has to do with the DC Comics character, I haven’t a clue, but if you’ve heard them before or if you haven’t, I hope you dig it.

Have at you:

Kooba Tercu, “Batman” official video

Johnny Tercu and his crew spend time in a moist, rat & cockroach infested basement playing something loud and heavy. He ventures pointlessly into nothingness with the same sense of no future as most people in Athens these days.

After endless hours of jamming, Kooba Tercu has distilled the ideas developed over a couple of years in ten songs resulting in something that sounds incredibly familiar but maybe not quite like anything you’ve heard before.

Recorded live. And then overdubs.

Kooba Tercu on Thee Facebooks

Kooba Tercu on Bandcamp

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Moon Coven Release Self-Titled LP on Transubstans Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


So although the PR wire info below lists it as coming soon, it seems like Moon Coven‘s self-titled sophomore outing is actually available to order now — as in right now, today — through Transubstans Records. The Swedish psych outfit offered up their debut, Amanita Kingdom, in 2014, and seem to have posted the self-titled earlier this fall, at the start of November, for at least partial streaming. It’s streaming in full now, as well as available via name-your-price download on Bandcamp, but after checking out the roll of album-centerpiece “Haramukh High,” you may indeed find yourself craving the full experience. You won’t hear me argue against that impulse, at very least.

You can dig into the vibes of the full stream below and see where you’re at with it, but in my experience there are few around whose tastes are as reliable as Transubstans. When they get behind something, it’s almost never happenstance.

Goes like this:


Transubstans Records: OUT SOON: MOON COVEN – S/T

Almost three years after the critically acclaimed debut album, “Amanita Kingdom”, MOON COVEN returns! Stronger and heavier than ever. Expect a psychedelic journey to the unknown grounds of your brain while experiencing a healthy dose of the deadliest sludge out there. The band comes back with their self titled effort and it’s clear they’ve taken their ambient ambitions to a whole new level. Prepare to become dazed, prepare to be strung out. Prepare for MOON COVEN!!

01 Storm (listen)
02 Old Ground
03 Conspiracy
04 New Season
05 Haramukh High
06 Winter
07 The Third Eye
08 Ice Temple
09 White Sun

MOON COVEN is a five piece Heavy/Psychedelic/Rock band from Malmö/Stockholm, Sweden, with roots in Jönköping. Heavy distorted riffs meets harmoniously floating vocals that results in dreamy music with a hypnotic effect. MOON COVEN offers a paradoxical but satisfying musical landscape, it is massive and delicate at the same time.

Moon Coven is:

Moon Coven, Moon Coven (2016)

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Leafy, Leafy: Go Fuzz Go (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on December 5th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


[Click play above to stream Leafy’s self-titled debut in full. Album is out Dec. 9 on More Fuzz Records.]

Because they’re so effective when they lock into a forward drive like that in the chorus of second cut “Can You See Them,” it’s easy to lose sight of the largesse in atmosphere and the wall of fuzz that Norwegian heavy rockers Leafy bring to their More Fuzz Records self-titled debut. But that largesse is there and is a constant in tying the six-track/33-minute offering together, the band’s post-Truckfighters momentum-minded grooves propelled through by guitarist/backing vocalist Josh “Mr. Yoshi” Bisama, whose riffing is front and center throughout with support from bassist Enyeto Kotori (since replaced by Marcus “Marco el Róbalo” Billington), drummer Per “Señor Pedro” Arne Solvik and vocalist Ryan “Mr. Leafy” Matthew Moen, whose nicknames would seem to underscore the point of the Örebroan influence but don’t wholly lose themselves in a single-mindedness of approach.

Make no mistake, they’ve got heavy rock on their minds, and that’s the core of their execution. The six songs on Leafy bring forth high order, weighted, modern desert rock thrust with efficiency, but they also reach out as much as they hammer down. Particularly with Moen‘s burly, semi-bluesy vocal style, Leafy remind of London’s Steak, whose 2014 debut, Slab City, worked in similar function to bring a Kyuss-style desert symposium to fruition while casting their own persona through the interpretation. And as their first outing, Leafy give a sense of where they’re coming from in the Orange Goblin-esque alcoholic regret of “No Gnome” and the broader progression of extended closer “Felt Like Dying.”

One might get the sense that Leafy are preaching to the converted, and they may well be. Especially with Leafy being their first album, I don’t necessarily have an issue with that. It’s how genre tropes are developed and how audience habits are reinforced; how the substance of a style takes shape. Clearly the Kristiansand rockers are in the process of figuring out where they want to be within heavy rock, and in addition to forcing one’s hand in thinking of groups like Wo Fat1000mods, and a next-gen band like the aforementioned Steak as influential in league with more established groups like Orange Goblin, these tracks brim with a density of fuzz and thrust that one hears just as soon as opener “Wild Cherokee” kicks in from its quieter intro. Right away, Moen and Bisama work fluidly together on vocals, right away the audience is acknowledged — “we hope you will enjoy the show” — and right away guitar establishes itself as the engine that makes the band go.

“Wild Cherokee” introduces many of the moves Leafy will make throughout, and certainly brings the listener into their tonal world, but if side A has a highlight, it’s “Can You See Them.” The second longest cut on Leafy at 6:20 it careens and shuffles at a faster clip and boasts a memorable dual-vocal interplay in its hook and a fullness of sound — credit to Kotori and Solvik for thickening and making it move, respectively — and is among the most striking impressions the record makes, even unto its big finish, which successfully conveys the this-is-something-you-should-watch-on-a-stage vibe that, for a group like Leafy, is probably just what they should be telling those checking out the album at this point. The subsequent “Puzzled Skin” reinforces the energy in “Can You See Them” and rounds out the intended side A with another push further distinguished by its quick solo in the back half.


And if there was any doubt that Leafy had vinyl symmetry in mind with the album’s structure, the subdued guitar intro of “No Gnome” should answer it handily. Missing only the count-in stick clicks from Solvik that began the opener, it seems to be in direct conversation with “Wild Cherokee” — it also happens to be the exact same length at 3:54, but it’s hard to imagine that’s not a coincidence; bands rarely write songs down to the second in my experience — though it builds more fluidly from that beginning and ultimately finds its own path, entering full tonal presence after about a minute in but moving back to a bluesier and more open feel for the next verse. Lyrically, it’s a booze story, and perhaps more than any of the other cuts, it’s a showcase for Moen‘s vocals, which can be harrowing for a singer the first time out. He approaches the task with apparent confidence over the softer proceedings behind him and that makes the song’s later payoff even more satisfying as it sets up the quiet finish of “No Gnome” and transitions into the drum/bass-led beginning of “Fallen Leaf.”

Maybe it’s an expected uptick in the dudely vibrancy from the track before it that takes its time getting going — a nascent patience in development — but it still ultimately works to revives the momentum of “Puzzled Skin” effectively, playing between chugging tension in its verse and a chorus release before a righteously crashing ending, and with the eight-minute “Felt Like Dying” closing out Leafy behind it, makes sense in its place. For its added length, the four-piece’s finishing move doesn’t ask much by way of indulgence on the part of the listener, instead rewarding those who’ve stuck it out with another highlight hook and a more open-feeling plotted jam in the back half that builds into the last chorus payoff and ends cold on guitar squibblies that seem to say the “show” to which listeners were being welcomed on “Wild Cherokee” is over.

Fair enough. In the end, Leafy‘s Leafy comes across less geared toward innovation than capturing the moment at which the band get their feet under them, sonically speaking. But it does capture that moment, absolutely, and considering Leafy have only been together for a year, it’s all the more an impressively cohesive collection that only benefits from the clearheadedness of its intent. That is to say, Leafy very obviously came into their first release with ideas about who they are as a band and what kind of ruckus they want to make. The task before them now is to grow from the solid foundation they’ve laid down in these tracks and to continue to refine the identity they convey through this material, and in that, to hopefully hold fast to this self-titled’s lack of pretense.

Leafy on Thee Facebooks

Leafy on Instagram

Leafy on Bandcamp

More Fuzz Records on Thee Facebooks

More Fuzz Records website

More Fuzz Records on Bandcamp

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Friday Full-Length: Raging Slab, Raging Slab

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Raging Slab, Raging Slab (1989)

If you’re the sort of person who likes a clean, clear narrative to your rock and roll history, you’ll probably want to avoid Raging Slab. An anomaly if ever there was one, here was a band based out of New York City playing Southern-style heavy boogie rock… who released their first album in 1987. And then signed to a major label! If you can make any sense of it or put it into any kind of discernible context, go for it. It’s almost like Raging Slab were sent back from the future to disrupt the timeline, is how out of place they were for their day and age. And yet, listening to their 1989 self-titled — released by RCA Records as the follow-up to ’87’s charmingly-dubbed Assmaster debut — one can hear flashes of the era in the semi-metallic “Shiny Mama” (on which Ray Gillen provides backing vocals) and in the post-Motörhead freight-train progression of “Get off My Jollies.” But at its core, Raging Slab is a work of ’70s loyalism that was as much ahead of its time as it was behind it. The band, founded by guitarists Greg Strzempka (also vocals and songwriting) and Elyse Steinman, here featured bassist Alec Morton, lead guitarist Mark Middleton and drummers Tony Scaglione (everything but “Get off My Jollies”) and Steve “Doc Killdrums” Wacholz (“Get off My Jollies”) — though credited in the liner and in the cover photography one finds Bob Pantella, who’d go on to join Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax, etc. — no doubt earned some sideways glances in the heyday of glam, but in hindsight, it’s just as easy to read their work as boldly defying both the mainstream and the underground of its day.

To wit, the aforementioned glam. Imagine Raging Slab coming out the same year as Mötley Crüe‘s Dr. Feelgood. Sure, there was plenty of metal to be had — the NWOBHM had arguably crested some years earlier, but thrash had by then hit its stride as America’s major contribution to a heavy metal aesthetic. Doom festered in the likes of Saint VitusThe Obsessed, and Cathedral, but while Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top were still around, they were more Southern than heavy, and Raging Slab were more heavy than they were metal. And elsewhere in the underground, the likes of Earth, the Melvins and Nirvana were solidifying what would in a couple years break out internationally as grunge. Raging Slab didn’t fit there either. In a self-written 1996 bio, they called themselves, “TOO hard for country and western fans, TOO slow for thrash fans, TOO cerebral for hard rock fans and TOO rock and roll for alternative fans.” All true. The self-titled tells that story in cuts like “Geronimo” and “Bent for Silver,” which are too brazen in their hooks to be chic in an underground sense and too weighted to really be pop or country rock. Hell, to listen to opener “Don’t Dog Me,” it’s a cut that today would be right at home in the Ripple Music lineup. 27 years ago, I guess it wasn’t so easy to place.

However they wound up on a label like RCA, they did, and they’d go on to work with Rick Rubin‘s Def American/American Recordings on subsequent outings, Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert (1993) and Sing Monkey Sing! (1996), but in the meantime, a generational shift and the arrival of bands like Corrosion of Conformity — whose Deliverance came out five years after Raging Slab, in 1994 — working under a Southern heavy influence kept wider commercial success elusive, and Raging Slab faded for a time. The turn of the century found them returned to activity on Tee Pee Records with 2001’s The Dealer and the next year’s Pronounced Eat Shit, but apart from a compilation appearance here and there — they notably took on Grand Funk Railroad‘s “We’re an American Band” for Small Stone‘s first installment of Sucking the ’70s in 2002 — that would be their swansong. Strzempka found a home in Sweden’s Backdraft, and there were rumors of another Raging Slab resurgence and a new album as part of that, but a decade later, it’s yet to surface.

Never say never in rock and roll though. If you dig the self-titled, it was reissued in ’09 on Rock Candy Records, and Assmaster also saw a re-press in 2013 through Cherry Red with a bunch of bonus material, including the True Death EP from 1989.

Whether you know this one or not, I hope you enjoy.

Man, this week can’t fuck off fast enough to suit my tastes. Like here’s the week fucking off as fast as it possibly can and here’s me standing with a stopwatch shaking my head going, “Not even close, yo.”


Let’s be optimistic together. 2016’s almost over, and we don’t yet know what fresh, astounding lows the New Year will bring.

Hey, we got over 125 entries in the first day of the Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll. That legitimately ruled. Made my week, actually. I was nervous. If you contributed a list, thanks. If not yet, please do. Any help sharing the link is also greatly valued.

In the notes for next week:

Mon: Album stream for Leafy and a Year of the Goat video premiere.
Tue: Albinö Rhinö album stream and the new Lord Loud video.
Wed: A list of 10 album covers that kicked ass in 2016. Because art is fun and talking about it is a fun way to kick off list season.
Thu: A review of The Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter 4.
Fri: Track stream from a Denver band I’m not sure I’m allowed yet to name.

Gonna be a good one. This week should’ve been a good one too. The problem is me. I’m the problem.

It’s okay though. I’ve been down this road before. Gonna spend the next couple days drinking coffee leisurely, playing Final Fantasy XV and hanging out with Slevin, who’s coming north for a visit. It’ll be nice to see him. It always is.

I sincerely hope your week was better than mine and that your weekend is no less stellar. Be safe and have fun, and please make time to check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

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Ruínas de Sade Sign to South American Sludge

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Brazilian purveyors of longform sludgy largesse Ruínas de Sade first released their self-titled, half-hour-long EP back in March. Among the various accolades the three-track offering has received since that time is a snag from Swamp Metal Records and, now, one from South American Sludge Records to match it. Covered here many times over — seems like more than ever lately — South American Sludge is of course the Argentina-based imprint helmed by Sergio Chotsourian, formerly of Los Natas, currently of Ararat, Soldati, etc., that has worked tirelessly over the last couple years to live up to promoting the living crap out of that which its name represents, aligning itself to some of the best the continent’s underground has to offer.

Go ahead and add Ruínas de Sade to that list. I don’t know


Ruínas de Sade / south american sludge

With influences from bands like Stoned Jesus, Electric Wizard, Belzebong, Sleep, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, the band Ruínas de Sade (Ruins of Sade) comes to melt the brain of those who watch their performance and listens to the album. In march of 2016, the group released its first EP, the homonym “Ruínas de Sade” (Ruins of Sade), containing three long tracks, with a total duration of 30 minutes.

The reception of the record was great, getting over 15 reviews from places around the world like Greece, Spain, Mexico, Germany, among others. The launch of their debut got them a deal with the labels Swamp Metal Records from Georgia/USA and South American Sludge Records from Argentina.

Ruínas de Sade sounds slow, dense and heavy, something that hypnotizes the listener and makes them go into a trance with the riff repetition, low tuning and fuzz that resounds thunderously in your mind!

Ruínas de Sade is:
Hugo Grubert – Vocals
Vitor “Bob” Zen – Guitars
Paulo Machado – Bass/Synth
Gustavo Gamba – Drums

Ruínas de Sade, Ruínas de Sade (2016)

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Leafy Sign to More Fuzz Records; Self-Titled Debut out Dec. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Norwegian four-piece Leafy are pretty clearly keyed in on an oldschool stoner rock aesthetic, but the closest comparison point I can think of in listening to the streaming tracks “Can You See Them” and “Felt Like Dying” from their impending self-titled debut — the latter is the finale; no minor giveaway — is London’s Steak, who took similar influence from the desert on their first record and worked to make it their own through songcraft and various nuances. In the case of “Felt Like Dying” particularly, that comes through in Truckfighters-style fuzz (one assumes that Swedish troupe are also an influence on the “Mr.”-style nicknames) met with just a touch of grunge, but there are any number of lines to be drawn as the cycle of straightforward European heavy rock seems to be resetting itself through a new generation of acts.

Something to continue to watch for in the months (and years) to come. Meanwhile, Leafy‘s self-titled debut will be out Dec. 9 on More Fuzz Records. I put together the following from the label’s announcement and the band’s bio, if you’d like to be informed:


Leafy from Norway sign to More Fuzz Records

As you’ll be able to hear on the blog, they have a strong Northern Europe Stoner Rock sound that will hook you in instantly! Think burning fuzzy riffs with high Temperature Level ala early-Truckfighters or Dozer.

After several live performances on the southern Norwegian local scene, this hard hitting band quickly made a name for themselves and planted a seed. Leafy, fronted by Ryan Matthew Moen on vocals delivers unpolished Stoner Rock that takes you back to the original Nothern Europe style. With an array of pedals, guitarist Josh Bisama creates an atmospheric pressure while loudly leading over the groovy fuzz-laced bass, handled by Marcus Billington.

The musical energies combined from these four free-spirited individuals could not be arranged without the heavy rhythm section controlled by Per Arne Solvik. Inspired by observations, interactions and experiences, the lyrical aspect is often aimed at society, its inhabitants and a possible revival of the lost connection, delivered soulfully by the lead singer. Follow us on the journey, as we unfold the flower of life, from a single seed!

This is so cool, the family is getting bigger ;)

Mr. Fuzz

Releases December 9, 2016.

Leafy are :
Ryan “Mr. Leafy” Matthew Moen – Vocals
Josh ” Mr. Yoshi” Bisama – Guitars & Vocals
Per “Señor Pedro” Arne Solvik – Drums
Marcus “Marco el Róbalo” Billington – Bass
Enyeto Kotori – Bass (on the album)

Leafy, Leafy (2016)

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