With the Dead Self-Titled Debut LP Due Oct. 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

with the dead (Photo by Ester Segarra)

Well, I mean, sure, former Ramesses and Electric Wizard bassist and drummer Tim Bagshaw and Mark Greening could get together with ex-Cathedral frontman Lee Dorrian in a new trio. I mean, they could. And it would probably be fucking awesome. And I guess that’s more or less the situation we’re staring at when it comes to the impending self-titled debut from With the Dead, which does in fact draw together the above-mentioned entities toward who the hell knows what malevolent ends. Snippets have started to come out — an album teaser is below, and there’s a radio rip of another song around the interwebs — but I’m gonna wait until I get the full thing to dive in. Some prefer a quick death. I’d rather not see the truck that hits me coming.

The PR wire has news:

with the dead logo

WITH THE DEAD To Release Self-Titled Debut October 16th on Rise Above Records

Supergroup is such an erroneous term – images of bored playboys pissing on their legacy spring to mind – but the members of WITH THE DEAD have a history of creating criminally good records as long as your arm. They’ve all served hard time in the subterranean worlds of Doom and the heaviest forms of Metal and have now reconvened to surpass previous projects. They’re back – and this time the aim is to maim.

WITH THE DEAD were formed by the founding rhythm section of occultist Doom overloads Electric Wizard: guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening, a pair once notorious for the sheer brute heaviness of their bowel-shaking sound and early extra-curricular activities that involved excess, injury and low-level criminality (arrests for the theft of a crucifix from a church roof and drunkenly robbing an off-licence to name but two). Both have also played together in Ramesses.

Completing the triangle is frontman Lee Dorrian, co-founder of Doom pioneers Cathedral, former frontman with grindcore legends Napalm Death and owner of Rise Above Records, the UK’s finest independent purveyors of all sounds heavy and underground, whose stable of bands include Ghost, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Witchcraft. Having been in business since 1988, Rise Above is also one of the most enduring.

Existing doom-heads will already know that the longstanding relationship between Rise Above and Electric Wizard is one that was fractious and fraught. Much mud has been slung between band, label and former members in recent years, but the WITH THE DEAD trio are of the opinion that big words meant little – it’s the action that truly counts. And as the fire that is Electric Wizard peters out, WITH THE DEAD burn with eyebrow-singeing intensity. WITH THE DEAD are heavy. No – scratch that. WITH THE DEAD are heavy.H.E.A.V.Y!!! They are a band with teeth and talons.

Like the product of some sort of alchemical alignment or a diabolical modern demon summoned by a whispered incantatory spell, WITH THE DEAD formed on All Hallow’s Eve 2014. They worked quickly and the result is a six-track, self-titled debut broadside that draws on the members’ rich musical legacy but without ever taking a backward step. Rising like a fecund creature from the fetid bogs of old England, With The Dead is a malevolent beast that lurches and staggers, flattening everything in its path. Guitars moil and curdle, bubbling up through the loam like black tar, while existing fans will surely welcome the return of Dorrian’s distinctly hateful vocals. The album was recorded at Orgone Studios in High Barnet, London, with producer/engineer Jaime Gomez Arellano in late March/early April 2015, With The Dead’s vocals were then added in two very short evening sessions in April and May 2015.

With The Dead Track Listing:
1. Crown of Burning Stars
2. The Cross
3. Nephthys`
4. Living With The Dead
5. I Am The Virus
6. Screams From My Own Grave

Lee Dorrian – vocals
Tim Bagshaw – guitar / bass
Mark Greening – drums

For More Info Visit:

With the Dead, With the Dead album preview

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Friday Full-Length: The Undisputed Truth, The Undisputed Truth

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Undisputed Truth, The Undisputed Truth (1971)

I have yet to ever put on the 1971 self-titled debut from The Undisputed Truth and not immediately scour the commercial zones of the internet looking for a copy on CD. To the best of my knowledge, no official pressing of it exists on the format, but one can always hope and things like “the best of my knowledge” often pan out the other way. Still, I’ve never had any luck tracking it down. The vinyl, originally released on Motown subsidiary Gordy Records, is available readily enough, and if I ran into a copy in a shop I’d probably pick it up just on principle, but it’s yet to come to that. Listening back to it again now, that might just have to change.

The Undisputed Truth came together at the behest of producer Norman Whitfield. Whitfield — who had by then already worked with greats like Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye and would go on to produce records for Rose Royce and Rare Earth, among others — stands among the figures most singularly responsible for the development of psychedelic soul music, and if you listen to records like The TemptationsPuzzle People (1969) and Psychedelic Shack (1970) next to The Undisputed Truth, his stamp isn’t hard to discern. In fact, many of the songs on The Undisputed Truth‘s first album had been previously recorded by The Temptations, including the somewhat brooding hit “Smiling Faces Sometimes” and “We’ve Got a Way Out Love,” but as their take on “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” proves with its blistering fuzz-guitar jam that at least in my opinion well surpasses the original, The Undisputed Truth were not at all lacking in their ability to bring an individual edge to otherwise familiar material. In addition, the hard-hitting “Ain’t No Sun Since You’ve Been Gone” pushes the border between soul balladeering and proto-heavy psychedelic rock, and their version of The 5th Dimension‘s signature piece “Age of Aquarius” provides a suitable vehicle for demonstrating the nuanced vocal arrangement that distinguished psych-soul and much of Whitfield‘s production work.

They would continue to sort of stand in The Temptations‘ shadow in later-’71’s sophomore outing, Face to Face with the Truth, taking on “You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth,” but the righteousness that The Undisputed Truth stamp out early on the self-titled in “You Got the Love I Need” and “Save My Love for a Rainy Day” was no fluke, and later works like 1975’s Cosmic Truth and the following year’s Method to the Madness would find the group — whose lineup by then had shifted considerably — taking on an Afro-futuristic aesthetic very much in the post-Parliament vein, marked out by big, white Afro wigs, metallic silver facepaint, and costuming. Their final album, Smokin’, was released in 1979.

I’m not sure what version of the album the player above uses, but it seems to cap with a remix of “Smiling Faces Sometimes” rather than Bob Dylan‘s “Like a Rolling Stone,” which appears on the vinyl, but so be it. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Kind of a quiet end to the week. My office, which usually has five people in it, is down to two, one of which is me. I’ve just about finished everything I wanted/needed to do this week, though I might actually jump ahead to Monday’s work just for the hell of it, and save myself the trouble amid the inevitable post-weekend blues. I don’t know. We’ll see what the next couple hours bring.

Headed to CT for the weekend, as has become the habit, and I have some good friends coming north for a couple days, so while I’ll miss Neurosis and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth in Boston — the Roadburn announcement that Neurosis will headline in 2016 took some of the sting of that out; hopefully BotSC get added as well — I’m very much looking forward to the next few days anyhow.

I mentioned a while back that I had a “very cool project” in the works. Things are progressing. I’ll say more when the time is right.

On Monday, Kings Destroy come north with Weedeater and play The Sinclair with Gozu. I’ll admit to being more than a little bummed I didn’t get to do this tour with them, after going out twice with Pentagram last year, but hopefully I’ll at least catch the show up here and enjoy that. I’ve been pretty down on shows in general lately, to be honest, but Darsombra play next week as well, and they’re always a good time.

Hoping to put together a Faces of Bayon album stream for Tuesday as well, and Tuesday I’m interviewing Kevin Starrs from Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (hopefully; one never knows when a call won’t come), so if that happens, I’ll have that posted sometime soon.

Look out for Ecsatic Vision and Wight reviews too, and I’m sure there there will be enough going on one way or another that I’ll feel completely overwhelmed by it all, so yeah, should be good.

Have a great and safe weekend. Thanks for reading, and extra thanks to everyone who downloaded the podcast this week. Enjoy that The Undisputed Truth record, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Kaleidobolt Premiere “Mountain Man” from Self-Titled Debut; Out Aug. 14 on Pink Tank

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


Because their transitions are so fluid, it’s almost easy to miss the parts on the self-titled Pink Tank Records debut (out Aug. 14) from Helsinki trio Kaleidobolt where the band shifts from weighted stoner nod into a kind of classic shuffling prog-jazz fusion, SampoMarco and Valtteri careening as they make their way through album opener “Rocket to the Moon,” which, if we’re to judge by the noisy finish they give the song, does not result in an according-to-plan landing. For an outfit who got their start in 2014, Kaleidobolt‘s first offering bypasses the “getting our feet wet” vibe of many acts’ early work and while three albums from now they might go on to make it sound primitive, as it stands, songs like the aforementioned opener, the subsequent “Momentum” and “Liskodisko” impress not only with how smoothly their make turns between them, but within them as well, the three-piece showcasing jammers’ chemistry and a progressive sense of drive as “Momentum” moves from its initial insistent rhythm to a more open, airy section of guitar that lets the bass and drums hold the tension. Not a new method, but presented freshly and devoid of pretense in a manner that makes Kaleidobolt an even more engaging listen.

kaleidobolt kaleidoboltThe fluidity becomes the defining theme, musically. “Into the Crevice” starts off at a quiet run and winds its way around echoing vocal lines and trades back and forth with more full-on fuzz until an unexpected slowdown in the second half brings a doomier vibe that, gracefully, gets quick again toward the finish. This eases the transition to “Liskodisko,” which opens side B with call-and-response noodling between the lead guitar and drums, verses emerging and receding behind instrumental passages that, to call them a jam would be to rob them of their complexity. Kaleidobolt obviously thrive on catching listeners off guard, which is something a band can usually do once on a record, maybe twice, but the chops they showcase between them as “Liskodisko” moves toward its prog-grunge head hold much potential for further songwriting adventurousness. A band who can play the way these guys play sound like they’re going to be conscious of not getting bored or bogged down in a songwriting routine. Their debut certainly doesn’t, as the quiet, fading closing passage of “Liskodisko” gives way to the headswimming low-end fuzz of “Mountain Man.”

It’s the shortest track on Kaleidobolt‘s Kaleidobolt at 4:54, and perhaps also the most straightforward — or at least as close as they get. A riffy nod is met by fervent shouting as Kaleidobolt leave the proggy aspirations to the side for the time being and instead concentrate on tension and tonal push, the track making its way toward a fast but still weighted finish that hints at some underlying punker mischief and blinds with its leadwork and bizarro swirl in the meantime, the three-piece emerging at the end unscathed to shift into 9:52 closer, which has as many psychedelic underpinnings as it does those of heavy blues boogie rock, and in refusing to commit to either, it winds up distinguished from both while also hearkening back to the earlier progressive edge in its central bassline. As they have at several points, Kaleidobolt round out the instrumental finale with a touch of speedy chaos, but by the time you get there listening, it’s apparent just how in-control of their approach these cats are. Their debut might take a couple passes to sink in, but it’s a deceptively rich stylistic base from which Kaleidobolt operate, and they only seem interested in becoming more forward-thinking. Consider notice served.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Mountain Man” for streaming ahead of the Aug. 14 Pink Tank Records release. Please find it on the player below, followed by more about the band, album and accompanying tour, and enjoy:

Kaleidobolt is a power trio that came together in early 2014 in Helsinki. In the short time they’ve been together, they’ve gained the reputation of being one of the most exciting live bands in Finland. Their music is a dizzying maelstrom of progressive song structures, crushing riffs and loose psychedelic soundscapes, delivered with joy and ferociousness. Their first album was recorded in 2014 with an effort on delivering a production as truthful as possible to the live experience and it’s scheduled for release in summer 2015 by Pink Tank Records.

kaleidobolt tour dates

– 300 copies total
– 100 copies opaque purple incl. poster and download code (exclusive Pink Tank edition)
– 100 copies black incl. poster and download code (exclusive band edition)
– 100 copies white standard edition (wholesale)
– all on high quality vinyl made in Germany

– CD comes in a jewel case
– first 50 go out with an extra Kaleidobolt sticker

2. MOMENTUM 07:34
6. SHOWDOWN 09:51

Kaleidobolt on Thee Facebooks

Preorder Kaleidobolt at Pink Tank Records

Kaleidobolt on Bandcamp

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Sacri Monti, Sacri Monti: Slipping from the Day

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


[Please press play above to hear a full stream of Sacri Monti’s Sacri Monti, which is out July 24 on Tee Pee. Preorders are available here. Thanks to the label, PR and band for allowing me to host the album.]

SoCal five-piece Sacri Monti traffic in liquefied kosmiche bliss. The natural word to follow that is “exclusively,” but that’s not quite true in this case, as it would indicate a single-mindedness that neither they nor their self-titled six-track/43-minute Tee Pee Records full-length debut actually possess, the album instead working in a natural-flowing, bright toned spectrum of guitar-driven, organ-laced classic heavy psych, six-stringers Brenden Dellar (also vocals) and Dylan Donavon, Evan Wenskay (organ, synth, Echoplex), bassist Anthony Meier (also of Radio Moscow) and drummer Thomas Dibenedetto (also of JOY) touching on progressive ideas and methods without going full-on krautrock noodle or losing their sense of groove, which remains paramount through the initial shuffle of “Staggered in Lies” and the harder-hitting swing of “Glowing Grey” in the 14-minute one-two punch that leads off.

The established track record of their rhythm section should speak for itself, but it’s worth pointing out that as is the case in the best of heavy psych scenarios, it’s the drums and the bass anchoring the bulk of this material, the especially memorable “Slipping from the Day” seeming that much dreamier because of the solid foundation from which it spreads itself out. Dellar, Donavon and Wenskay enact an immersive swirl on “Staggered in Lies” and vibe remains prevalent throughout the cuts that follow, Sacri Monti‘s Sacri Monti kaleidoscoping through a wash of fuzzy distortion that seems to revel in the chaos of its own making.

Improv seems to play pretty heavily into the band’s methodology, so it’s not really such a surprise that “Slipping from the Day,” “Glowing Grey” and “Sitting around in a Restless Dream” would differ from the versions included on Sacri Monti‘s Demo 2014, released on tape by Under the Gun Records. “Slipping from the Day,” formerly a 12-minute jam, is here trimmed down to six and a half, and it proves a highlight toward the middle of the record, soaked in wah and centered around the repeated line, “Hold on, you’re really slipping from the day,” and variations thereupon. The psychedelic fervor Sacri Monti conjure isn’t to be understated, and it really is an album-long vibe, but far from monochromatic, “Sitting around in a Restless Dream” takes ’70s biker riffing and launches it into a stratosphere of swirling boogie, Dellar‘s voice echoing out as Wenskay seems to manipulate the Echoplex for further looped intricacy — just in case things weren’t freaked out enough.

sacri monti (Photo by Dana Trippe)

At just over five minutes, “Sitting around in a Restless Dream” is the shortest of the six cuts, but it packs plenty of space into that time and one has the feeling that on any given night Sacri Monti happen to play it, it might range much further. The subsequent “Ancient Seas and Majesties” brings a turn that pushes the guitar forward, finding a middle ground between the otherworldly mastery of “Slipping from the Day” and the earthier “Staggered in Lies,” the organ seeming to follow the vocals as much as it sets matches step with the bass and drums and adds to the melody proffered by the guitar. In short, it’s everywhere, and it works much to the advantage of the song and the album as a whole.

If you thought by the time you got there that Sacri Monti had no more tricks up their collective sleeve, the languid, bluesy initialization of “Sacri Monti” serves as a swift correction, unfolding gracefully over the course of its first two-plus minutes with a building wave of keys and guitars, the latter introducing the next movement’s riff at 2:40 into the total 12-minute run. It’s mostly instrumental, which is fitting since the band have toyed with structures throughout, but when the vocals do arrive in the second half of the song one can’t help but be reminded of some of Hypnos 69‘s proggy triumphs, and Sacri Monti seem to be working form a similar base of influences in their finale.

As the song comes to its head — hypnosis long since enacted on the listener — and spends its last minute or so wrapping up, one can’t help but hope that the fivesome continue to explore that side of their sound, and begin to mold energy as readily as they do volume, resulting in a shift of atmospherics no less molten than the overarching affect of their debut. As it stands, Sacri Monti is an exciting opening salvo from an act whose promise feels written into each of its jams, and whose balance between songcraft and improvisation serves as an immediately distinguishing factor amid an increasingly crowded Southern Californian heavy psych scene.

The way their songs play out here, they’d almost have a harder time not sounding like themselves, since so much of what they do is based around the forming chemistry of their lineup that one hopes will continue to grow the more time they spend on stage. How much that will happen owing to members’ obligations elsewhere, I don’t know, but if Sacri Monti‘s debut is an alert to the lysergic converted of a pursuit under way, it’s one that well earns any and all attention paid.

Preorder Sacri Monti

Sacri Monti on Thee Facebooks

Sacri Monti on Instagram

Tee Pee Records

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Friday Full-Length: Mars Red Sky, Mars Red Sky

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Mars Red Sky, Mars Red Sky (2011)

[Please note: For consistency’s sake, I’ve used a YouTube embed above. The album is also available on Bandcamp here.]

The 2011 self-titled debut from French heavy psych rockers Mars Red Sky has remained special to me for the last four years since it was released. Easily one of my top five albums of the last half-decade, its arrival with well-hewn tonal warmth, gorgeous melodies, easy-rolling grooves and memorable songwriting made it a perfect summer offering, and I’ve spent many nights since with it on during the warm weather, the hooks of “Strong Reflection” and “Curse” giving way to the spacious jam in “Falls,” guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast (also vocals on “Marble Sky”) and then-drummer Benoit Busser crafting a presence that would send ripples through the heavy rock underground. It’s also a particular standout for me, because it coincided so much with Hurricane Irene in 2011. In fact, the day I reviewed it — Aug. 29, 2011 — was the day after the storm hit the northeastern part of the US.

New Jersey had been slammed, the power and water was out, and The Patient Mrs. and I wound up at a packed-out Panera Bread to work for the afternoon. I brought the CD with me, its thick-stock digipak and silver lettering no less lush than the sonics contained within, and reviewed it there, post-storm chaos all around me in downed trees, a crowded mall parking lot, people shoving past each other to get lousy sandwiches and/or halfway decent coffee. “Way to Rome,” “Strong Reflection,” “Saddle Point,” the swinging “Marble Sky,” and the quiet closer “Up the Stairs” were my escape from that, and they’ve remained an escape ever since.

I have no problem saying that Mars Red Sky — now Pras, Kinast and drummer Matgaz — outdid their self-titled with their second album, 2014’s Stranded in Arcadia (review here), which was also their debut on Listenable Records, but that doesn’t make the debut any less of a landmark on its own level. I’ve heard rumblings about a new LP in the works for 2016 and that’s one I’ll very much look forward to, but in the meantime the trio continue to support the second offering, this very weekend playing festivals in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as a gig in their native France that, with the time difference between the US and Europe, is probably already winding down.

So be it. I could’ve dipped back and found something from the heavy ’70s to close out the week, or another older offering of one sort or another, but that Best Songs of the Last Five Years post had me thinking about Mars Red Sky‘s Mars Red Sky again, and with the beautiful weather around, it seemed high time for a revisit. I very much hope you enjoy.

Well, I made it. I’m back on the East Coast. I left the conference I was at in San Francisco for work yesterday afternoon and went to SFO airport, pretty much to sit around for a few hours, get most of today’s writing done (everything except this post) and essentially have a chance to be quiet and not have to socialize for a while, which, after the last couple days, was about as good as “sitting at the airport” gets. SFO, though, is very much in need of the revamping that is apparently in progress. Still, they had coffee, which was what I wanted. My flight was 10:50PM Pacific time, and I got in at 7:30AM Eastern. Bumpy ride. I did not sleep on the plane at all.

That was kind of a bummer in itself, but really I was too busy counting down the minutes until I landed and waiting for the aircraft to jolt and drop out of the sky, plunging us all to our fiery death, to get any substantial shuteye. I nodded off here and there, but snapped back to consciousness quickly each time.

The Patient Mrs. picked me up at Boston Logan — we came in swooping around Boston and its harbor in the morning sunlight, which was not unpleasant — and drove us both down to Connecticut, where we are for the weekend. I would’ve done a post to close out the trip, but it wasn’t really a music thing in the first place, and it seemed like if I wasn’t record shopping, it didn’t really matter what state I was in. Yesterday, I was in Cali. Today I’m in CT. I slept for about two hours this afternoon but I expect I will crash pretty hard tonight when the time comes.

On Monday, look out for a full-album stream of Sacri Monti‘s self-titled debut. It’s out next Friday, July 24, on Tee Pee and it’s killer, so that will be a blast. Then on Tuesday, another full-album stream, this one for Goya‘s new record, which just so happens to be called Obelisk and is coming out on STB Records Aug. 1. Wednesday will bring a track premiere from Kaleidobolt and Thursday one from Sweat Lodge, so there’s a lot of really cool stuff in the works. I’ll have reviews with those and one somewhere in there for T.G. Olson‘s vinyl of The Rough Embrace as well. I think I’ll try and get some Radio Adds done too, as it’s been a while, and somewhere in there I’ll have a ticket giveaway for Portland’s North West Hesh Fest, which I’m thrilled to be involved in sponsoring. But of course we’ll see how it all comes together. I’m already behind on news too, so that’s always a constant.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Wildlights Premiere “Lights Out” from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on July 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


North Carolina two-piece Wildlights will no doubt earn a comparison or two to their Season of Mist labelmates in Floor with tracks like “Hellfire Forever” and “Onward Upward” from their impending self-titled debut full-length, out Aug. 21 via the aforementioned, but neither is that the beginning and end of their sonic sphere. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jason Shi of ASG and ThunderlipsJohnny Collins on drums, the duo hit on a blend of upbeat vibes, resonant melodies and weighted groove that find a middle-ground between accessibility and weight. Shi‘s vocals are immediately identifiable for anyone who’s listened to ASG — and perhaps they’re an underappreciated distinguishing factor in that group as well — but the dynamic in Wildlights is on its own trip, shorter cuts like “Lights Out” and the airier-into-a-big-finish closer “Big Frontier” shooting for unabashed catchiness in their hooks, while “New Year Repeat” and the earlier “Snow Song” add arrangement flourishes via a quiet guitar line at the start and an organ (or organ-sounding) finish, respectively.

Worth mentioning plainly is the production of Matt Hyde (Monster Magnet, Slayer, etc.), whose crispness in the guitar and drums suits Wildlights‘ presentation remarkably well. wildlights wildlightsCuts throughout the 12-track/41-minute release are relatively short — “Hellfire Forever” is the longest at 4:33 — but for the kind of efficiency they’re looking to convey, it wouldn’t work if they weren’t, and while still vinyl-ready in its runtime, it’s not as though the album is lacking substance. As it is, small shifts like the tempo change of “Climb in the Throne” and the departure from the early rush of “Anchors” and “Rebel Smiles” that “Part of the Sea” brings with its winding riff feed into each other over the course of the front-to-back listen, and Wildlights proves to be more of a full-album experience than it at first seems, as memorable as individual tracks and parts can be over its span. At their root, Shi and Collins benefit from the songwriting experience both have and execute a record that seems barebones because its structures are so apparent and so much of the appeal but also has a considerable amount of atmosphere to go with, immersing the listener almost before they know what’s happened.

By way of evidence, I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere today for “Lights Out.” One of four cuts on WildlightsWildlights under three minutes long, it nonetheless engages with its heft, the tonal presence of Shi‘s guitar and the push of Collins‘ drums. Please find it on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire, and enjoy:

WILDLIGHTS’ brand of hard rock is truly timeless. Featuring ASG’s Jason Shi and THUNDERLIP!s’ Johnny Collins, their direct, honest sound draws equally from the driving, melodic, SoCal-spawned skate/desert rock and the heavy, blues-based sound of the South. Their self-titled, Matt Hyde (PORNO FOR PYROS, MONSTER MAGNET, FU MANCHU, SLAYER) produced album shines with stunning tracks like “Rebel Smiles”, “Anchors”, “Lights Out”, “Lions”, “Part of the Sea” and more. More than just a mere collection of tracks, WILDLIGHTS is a soundtrack to life that resonates hope.

Track List:
1. Anchors
2. Rebel Smiles
3. Part of the Sea
4. Snow Song
5. Hellfire Forever
6. Pictures
7. Onward Upward
8. Lights Out
9. New Year Repeat
10. Climb in the Throne
11. Lions
12. Big Frontier

Jason Shi (ASG)- Vocals, Guitars
Johnny Collins (Thunderlip) – Drums

Release Date: August 21st

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Preorder at Season of Mist

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You Know Who to Release Debut Album Oct. 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

you know who

Palm Desert-based trio You Know Who will release their self-titled debut album on Oct. 13 via Self Destructo Records. The band features members of John Garcia‘s touring band, as well as Hermano, Mondo Generator, Waxy, The Dwarves, Sort of Quartet, on and on. And perhaps in an effort to distinguish themselves from their rather considerable pedigree, they’ve unveiled the new song “Marshall Stacks and Alcohol” which, by the sound of the thing, also seems to be a look at the creative process itself.

The PR wire brings details and audio:

you know who you know who

You Know Who announce release date of LP; Debut track “Marshall Stacks and Alcohol”

Mike Pygmie: Guitar/Vocals, Dylan Brown: Bass, Greg Saenz: Drums

On October 13th, Self Destructo Records will release the debut album by You Know Who on five hundred pieces of all white vinyl that are packaged in hand numbered silk screened covers with design and illustration created by graphic artist Casey Howard. Recorded and mixed at Dead End Studios in Palm Desert, CA and mastered at What? Studios in Denver, CO, the album consists of eleven tracks of crushing crossover metal/punk that we feel is a throwback to the days of yore when skate punks would head out from West LA to a Discharge/Anthrax gig at the Reseda Country Club and slam dance themselves to sleep. Songs like “Save Me Jebus” are chock full fast paced riffage and drop of the dime time changes while “Marshall Stacks in Alcohol” is circle pit inducer in itself from start to finish and “Chinese Shoes” is a breakneck verbal/sonic assault against multinational corporations incorporates Jello Biafra worthy lyrical content and humor with D.R.I. speed.

The low desert area of Southern California is a breeding ground to some of underground music’s most well regarded and celebrated acts such as: Kyuss, Fatso Jetson, Unsound, Masters of Reality, Yawning Man and of course Queens Of The Stone Age. DIY generator parties, legendary venue Rhythm and Brews on Highway 111 in Indio, CA and The Desert Sessions recordings played a big part in the development of the scene and for having music audiences and players looking to the area for new artists/bands to emerge since then.

However, what sets desert natives You Know Who apart is that they’re not a Kyuss clone at all, they play fast, heavy and technical punk/metal, the polar opposite of what mainstream music press has coined the desert sound to be. You Know Who consists of Mike Pygmie, Dylan Brown and Greg Saenz who got together in 2009 after cutting their chops in such bands as Excel, Dwarves and Invitro. What best describes their sound is taking the technicality and complex time changes of Bl’ast, mix in the speed and tongue n’ cheek humor of Suicidal Tendencies and Mr. Bungle and the virtuoso musicianship from each guy that forges a sound as harsh as the desert heat on a summer afternoon. Trust us, these guys have chops!! Since they brought their music to audiences across most of California and have shared the stage along such bands as: Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, Kyuss Lives, The Freeks, Dwarves, Angry Samoans, John Garcia, Agent Orange, The Chuck Norris Experiment, Nick Oliveri & The Uncontrollable, Mondo Generator & Fatso Jetson.


Track listing:
1. Napoleon Blownapart
2.Save Me Jebus (w/John Garcia)
3. Marshall Stacks and Alcohol
4. Wastoid (w/Nick Oliveri)
5. Cobra Twist
6. Bahbudabah
7. Whoa Dude
8. Chinese Shoes
9. You Know What
10. Knuckle Buster
11. Recycler (w/Sean Wheeler)

Street Date:
October 13th, 2015



You Know Who, “Marshall Stacks and Alcohol”

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Friday Full-Length: Bloodrock, Bloodrock

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

Bloodrock, Bloodrock (1970)

The crucial relationship involved in Bloodrock‘s self-titled 1970 debut is that between the band and Terry Knight, who at the same time he helmed these tracks was the producer and manager for Grand Funk Railroad. That band’s self-titled had been issued in Jan. 1970 and wound up going Gold, and so when Knight approached Capitol Records with Bloodrock‘s Bloodrock, which came out that March, he had some clout behind him. The Fort Worth five-piece would make more of a splash with their second outing, later 1970’s Bloodrock 2 — which Knight also produced — but by then the first of a slew of lineup changes for the band had taken place, putting Rick Cobb on drums so Jim Rutledge could concentrate on lead vocals, and while that was a plenty worthy endeavor for Rutledge, I’ve always dug the vibe of the first album, the way “Fatback” rocks and swings around its backward guitar and early Rainbow-style vocals, the keyboard work throughout from Steve Hill, Eddie Grundy‘s bass and Lee Pickens‘ and Nick Taylor‘s bluesy riffing on “Wicked Truth” and the strange, key-driven turn that song takes, the multiple singers on “Double Cross” and how deep side B seems to roll with “Fantastic Piece of Architecture” and “Melvin Laid an Egg” at the end.

I think if you look at it and even go beyond the bands who are directly trying to mimic a ’70s sound in terms of their production or presentation, there are a lot of parallels between the boom of the early ’70s and now. Heavy rock and roll is certainly a less commercially viable property than it was at that point, but it seems like as rock was turning away from the psychdelia of the mid and late ’60s and toward something rawer in sound — what would gradually become metal, heavy rock and punk — there was a seemingly endless string of acts adopting the mode of expression, and substitute words like “private press” for “limited edition” and the situation isn’t really much different today. You could listen to brand new records every day for a year and still not hear everything that’s come out. It’ll thin out over time, but I think if the continued proliferation of ’70s rock shows anything, it’s that stuff like Bloodrock‘s Bloodrock never really goes away. Shit, look at Texas today. The state is huge and I still don’t think you can go five feet and not walk into a heavy band of one stripe or another. I like the thought of, 40 years from now, someone finding that stuff and being able to explore a world they didn’t really know about, or if they did, had only touched the surface. An awful lot of stuff has been dug up over the last decade or so, including Bloodrock, which was put out last year on vinyl by Kotay, but however much seems to come out, there always seems to be more underneath.

Not a hardship at all, especially when stuff like this record winds up experienced by and influencing another generation of heavy rock and rollers, even if it’s just influencing them to hunt down an original copy. A call to action. Ha. I hope you enjoy.

I’m traveling next week, going out to San Francisco for a conference for work. I know I’ll be able to do some record shopping while I’m out there — Amoeba Music and Aquarius Records, I’m comin’ for you — but not sure how much else. In any case, I’ll be in town from Monday night to Thursday night. If you’re around, hit me up and we’ll figure something out. I’d be happy to talk rock and roll over some iced tea or a nice caesar salad, all responsible-like.

I absolutely mean that, by the way.

A lovely bit of genius on my part: Traveling next week, I’ve lined up a premiere for every day Monday through Friday. Look out for new audio from Agusa, Yellowtooth, Wildlights and Pastor and a new video from Atavismo, because god damn it, if I sleep, I lose.

Don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I also joined Instagram last week and have been posting stuff there, if you’re into that kind of thing: https://instagram.com/hptaskmaster/

Still kind of figuring that one out.

Work is going well, if you’re wondering. It’s been an adventure to say the least, but I feel like I’m at the point where I’m starting to get settled in and but for the hour-plus it takes me to get to or from the office, I have no real complaints. The people here are nice and seem willing to kind of let me do my thing so long as the work is done, which as far as I’m concerned is the best-case scenario. I’m pretty lucky, all in all. Just got business cards today. They have my name as “J. J.,” but other than that, are fine. Somehow Massachusetts doesn’t really know what to make out of “JJ Koczan.” I should’ve told them to put H.P. Taskmaster on there. Ha.

Have a great and safe weekend. I’m heading down to Connecticut for the next couple of days, which is always a good time, and may or may not put together a new podcast while I’m down there. We’ll see how it all shakes out. In any case, thanks for reading, and please check out the forum and the radio stream, which has been absolutely killing it today.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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