The Obelisk Radio Adds: High Brian, Arduini/Balich, Audion, Grey Gallows, Smoke Mountain

Posted in Radio on June 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

If you’re a regular denizen of The Obelisk Radio, you’ve probably already guessed by the massively expanded playlist that we’re back on the main server at this point. It’s been months on the backup, and while anyone is still reading, let me just say out loud how much I owe to the hard work Slevin has put into the back end of making this thing happen. From a huge file-recovery operation to yesterday turning the thing back on after I moved a bunch of files and screwed it up yet again, the dude is just unbelievable. Seriously. This site is coming up on nine years old, and Slevin has made it happen every step of the way from a technical standpoint. I am in awe of his prowess and generosity of spirit.

So now that we’re back up and running at full capacity, the only thing to do is to keep building it going forward. And here we are.

The Obelisk Radio adds for June 13, 2017:

High Brian, Hi Brain

high-brian-hi-brain

Though they start out with the post-Queens of the Stone Age shuffle of “Liquid Sweet,” the crux of Austrian rockers High Brian‘s playfully titled debut long-player, Hi Brain, lies in classic psychedelia, unafraid to directly make a Beatles reference or two in “Aquanautic Smoke” or name a track after Jefferson Airplane‘s Surrealistic Pillow. That song, “Surrealistic Pillow,” turns out to be one of Hi Brain‘s catchiest, but hooks about throughout the nodding “All but Certainty” and the later, Stubb-style raucousness of the pair “The Conversion” and “Blood Money” as well, while centerpiece “All the Other Faces” and the aforementioned “Aquanautic Smoke” engage effects-laden drift and poised fluidity, resulting in an overarching sense of within-genre aesthetic variety that moves easily throughout the vinyl-ready 44-minute offering. They close with the molten roll of “Time,” their longest cut at 5:52 and a bolder melodic take, as if to signal a potential direction of their growth on their way out. There are plenty of encouraging signs before they get there, certainly, but hey, one more never hurt. An impressive introduction to a project that one hopes continues to develop and expand its approach.

High Brian website

Stone Free Records website

Mountain Range Creative Factory

 

Arduini/Balich, Dawn of Ages

ARDUINI BALICH DAWN OF AGES

Words like “powerhouse” are invented for releases like Arduini/Balich‘s Dawn of Ages. The Cruz del Sur release brings together Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini (who also produced) and Argus vocalist Brian “Butch” Balich, and while I’ll confess that on first listen I went right to their cover of Sabbath‘s “After All (The Dead)” — fucking righteous; and there aren’t a lot of people I’d trust to take on that song or anything from the Dio era — extended pieces like “Beyond the Barricade” (17:27) and “The Wraith” (13:44) offer listeners a deep push into a heavy metal that’s progressive, powerful and doomed all at the same time, executed with a clarity and a purpose that shimmers with class and just the right balance of patience and aggression. Rest easy, traveler, for you are in the hands of masters. Rounded out by drummer Chris Judge, Arduini/Balich is what happens when heavy metal goes right, and from the doomly unfolding of opener “The Fallen” through the 2LP’s three concluding covers of Beau Brummels‘ “Wolf of Velvet Fortune,” Uriah Heep‘s “Sunrise” and the already noted Dehumanizer highlight, there isn’t one moment where they relinquish their hold on either their craft or their audience’s attention. It’s the kind of outing that might cause a last-minute revision to best-of-the-year-so-far list, to say the least of it. Not to be greedy, but I’ll take a follow-up as soon as possible. Thanks.

Arduini/Balich on Thee Facebooks

Cruz del Sur Music website

 

Audión, La Historia de Abraham

audion-la-historia-de-abraham

If the driving Motörhead-onic thrust of the title-track to Audión‘s La Historia de Abraham rings familiar, it might be because the rhythm section of the Buenos Aires trio consists of bassist Gonzalo Villagra (also vocals) and drummer Walter Broide (also backing vocals), both formerly of Los Natas. Honestly, that pedigree would probably be enough for me to get on board with the 10-track/49-minute self-released full-length, but then you get into the roll and drift of the subsequent “Llegaron Sordos” and the fluid cascade of “Colmillo Blanco,” and guitarist Dizzy Espeche makes his presence felt tonally and vocally throughout to add a new personality to whatever familiar aspects might persist. “Lesbotrans” dives into a ’70s-style swing and the blown-out “Diablo vs. Dios” follows it with the age-old question of what might happen if The Who went garage punk, but there’s flourish of psychedelia on the interlude “Para Rosita” before “El Carancho” and “Queruzalem” round out with some of La Historia de Abraham‘s weightiest impacts. I think it’s fair to say Audión have some tinge of Los Natas‘ style to them, but their first outing shows them working toward building something new from that as well, and that makes their arrival all the more welcome.

Audion on Thee Facebooks

Audion on Bandcamp

 

Grey Gallows, Underlord

grey-gallows-underlord

Not that it isn’t plenty malevolent on its surface, but there’s an even more extreme threat lurking beneath “Underlord,” the nine-minute opener, titular and longest track (immediate points) on the debut full-length from Phoenix, Arizona’s Grey Gallows. It doesn’t take long for that sense of extremity to manifest in a blackened sensibility that pervades both in the riffs of a song like “Belladonna” — the middle cut of the five included — or the overarching spaciousness that finds its way into the grime-coated “West of Hell,” which follows. With a depth of guitar worthy of filling one’s lungs, “West of Hell” churns in a manner faster and somewhat sludgier than the alternately nodding and atmospheric “Priestess” showed the Opoponax Records outing to be earlier, six-stringers Joe Distic and Cat weaving noted lines and crunch riffs around each other for seven densely grooved minutes amid low-end push from bassist Lee, adaptable and creative drumming from Shane and Zue Byrd‘s vocals, which hit in form no less distorted in the back half of “Priestess” than they are punker drawled in closer “Buzzard Dust.” Nasty. Nasty, nasty, nasty. That’s basically what the math works out to on the 35-minute outing, but it’s worth noting that even on their first album, Grey Gallows demonstrate a ready willingness to balance various stylistic impulses off each other in such a way that’s only going to make their sound richer as they proceed. Richer, and even nastier. So be it.

Grey Gallows on Thee Facebooks

Opoponax Records webstore

 

Smoke Mountain, Smoke Mountain

smoke-mountain-smoke-mountain

The first EP from this Floridian three-piece does precisely what it’s supposed to do: introduces a newcomer band with three unpretentious tracks of dirt-fuzz riffing. The immediate vibe of opener “Demon” is early Acid King as the vocals follow the riff in classic stonery fashion, but the three songs get longer as they go and “Violent Night” proves immediately more spacious en route to the eponymous march of “Smoke Mountain.” What would probably be called a demo in a prior age, Smoke Mountain‘s Smoke Mountain makes its primary impression tonally but shows potential in its songwriting as well, and as a quick sampling of what the band are getting up to in their first stages, there’s little more one could reasonably ask of it, particularly as “Smoke Mountain” hammers home its chorus in a balance of clean vocal melody and absolutely filthy guitar, bass and drum crash. That duality, should they maintain it as they move forward into whatever might come next, can only serve them well. One to keep an eye on.

Smoke Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Smoke Mountain on Bandcamp

 

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Review & Full Album Stream: Petyr, Petyr

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

petyr petyr

[Click play above to stream Petyr’s Petyr in full. Album is out this Friday, June 9, via Outer Battery Records with preorders up here.]

While the band’s ties to the world of professional skateboarding are largely unignorable — nor do I think they particularly want them to be ignored — it’s even more in the conveying of the tenets of West Coast heavy psych that San Diego’s Petyr make their introductory impression. The self-titled debut from the four-piece shuffles frenetically forth via Outer Battery Records, which also has skating ties and has delivered outings from ArcticOff!Soggy and Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket, and aside from the band being led by guitarist/vocalist Riley Hawk — son of skate legend Tony — who features alongside fellow guitarist Holland Redd, bassist Luke Devigny and drummer Nick McDonnell, their sonic affinity ties them to groups like Radio MoscowJoySacri MontiHarsh Toke and of course Earthless.

It’s a sound very much centered in San Diego and one to which Petyr bring flourish of early metal and acid boogie alike to go with the heavy psychedelic crux of pieces like the rolling “Three to Five” or the earlier Captain Beyond-style proto-prog of “Stairway to Attic,” which follows eight-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Texas Igloo” and the 24-second strum of “Middle Room” in establishing a varied but ultimately molten and jam-vibing aesthetic that the album continues to build upon as it moves through its unpretentious, LP-ready eight-song/39-minute course. Whatever it might owe to modern skate culture, and however centered around that the record’s narrative might be, Petyr‘s Petyr offers just as much classic heavy infusion in highlight cuts like “Satori III,” the doomier-rolling “Kraft” and the Lucifer’s Friend-esque “Stairway to Attic” that the music stands on its own, as it invariably needs to do.

It’s not long into “Texas Igloo” before magmic, layered swirls of lead guitar take hold, and if Petyr are quick in signaling there’s a journey ahead, they’re clearly eager to get it underway, though it should be noted that it’s Devigny‘s bass that actually introduces the track, as it does the Flower Traveling Band-nodding “Satori III,” and “Old and Creepy” and “Kraft,” which follow. That’s half the tracklist and as one expects for this style, the rhythm section does significant work when it comes to holding together the structure of the songs as the guitars wander the cosmos surrounding. On “Texas Igloo,” vocals arrive amid fervent push coated in watery effects à la Witch, and they’ll play an important role in conveying the hook of “Stairway to Attic” and the creeper spirit of “Kraft,” but it’s in the instrumental thrust that the overarching impression of Petyr‘s Petyr is made, and if the record seems geared toward conveying anything about their personality at all, it’s that they are primarily a live band.

petyr petyr

That’s hard to say without ever having seen them on stage, obviously, but particularly in pairing “Texas Igloo” with “Middle Room” at the outset, Petyr seem to be telling their listeners right off the bat that they can and will go just about anywhere they want to, sound-wise, and while I don’t know how much of their lead work is improv — certainly in this form the songs have been structured, so don’t take that to mean they’re just off-the-cuff jamming on the recording — the tracks feel very much carved out of jams and Petyr come across as a band who’ve spent their time developing their chemistry on stage and in a rehearsal space with a mind toward playing out. The energy in pieces like “Stairway to Attic,” the Sabbathian midsection of “Old and Creepy” and the near-seven-minute closing bookend “Vambo/Buffalo Stampede” back that assertion, and one finds that even to the last verse of the finale, Petyr hold firm to this focus.

As a result, their self-titled succeeds in conveying this sort of B-plot narrative that coexists with their pro-skating gnarl: The band are at work developing a powerful live dynamic that even at its earlier stages as it might be here is well able to carry their audience along the rough-edged and sometimes angular path their material takes. Because the Pacific Coast and particularly Southern California have had such a glut the last several years of heavy psych bands — really, one wonders a bit how Outer Battery snapped up Petyr before Tee Pee Records could do so — it’s that much harder for Petyr to stand themselves out from the pack, but it’s important to keep in mind that what they’re delivering here is a launch for their evolution rather than the outcome of it. The start of a process, not the finish.

I won’t endeavor to speculate on where they might go, but as much as “Texas Igloo” signals a journey for the listener, so too is it one for the band, and as they dig into the meat of side B with “Kraft” and “Three to Five,” Petyr seem to find a vibe more of their own, with a tinge of cultistry alongside their Echoplexing churn and a red-hot rhythmic fluidity that, much as they showed at the beginning with the quick gone-elsewhere excursion of “Middle Room,” maintains its refusal to be anywhere it doesn’t want to be. Modern acid rock answering the call of a classic head trip — one could hardly ask more of an interpretation of current West Coast heavy psych than that, and Petyr do well in blending the new and the old in their sound throughout “Satori III,” “Old and Creepy,” “Stairway to Attic” and “Vambo/Buffalo Stampede” in such a way as to position themselves for growth going forward. Their second LP will be a test of who they are as a band and as songwriters, who they want to be and how they want to get there, but as a first offering, Petyr‘s Petyr makes a compelling argument in its shred and its drawl for the potential of the band to distinguish themselves from within their crowded scene.

Petyr on Instagram

Outer Battery Records on Thee Facebooks

Petyr at Outer Battery Records

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Yagow Post Video for “Time to Get Rid of It”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

yagow

Grainy VHS sci-fi footage, rocket boosters at full thrust, shots of space in all its practical-effects vastness mixed in with astronauts in various stages of trial and experimentation? Yup, that sounds about right for the kind of trippery Yagow proffer in the five-minute “Time to Get Rid of It.” The song comes from the German trio’s upcoming self-titled debut (review here), which is out June 16 on Crazysane Records, and the found material that makes up the clip for “Time to Get Rid of It” coalesces fluidly around the molten, cosmos-gazing rhythm of the track itself, resulting in a multi-sensory package that’s easy to digest and seems only to lead the listener from chill to chill over the course of its relatively brief but hypnotic five minutes.

And that’s pretty much the story of the thing. One of the major strengths of Yagow‘s Yagow is the firm confidence with which it advises those who’d take it on to strap themselves in and get ready for the outward ride that is about to and in fact does ensue. That kind of command is pretty rare in groups with such a lysergic focus, but Yagow treat it almost as an afterthought, and as they move forward one will be interested to hear how the underlying shuffle of a track like “Time to Get Rid of It” and its crafted hook wind up being treated as a stage in the development of the band. That is to say, I look forward to finding out in the longer term how nascent Yagow is as an album and where the trio might go in terms of sound and aesthetic in following it up.

But they should probably release it first. Once again, June 16 is the date for that, so keep an eye out. And while you’ve got your eye out, you can dig into the “Time to Get Rid of It” video below.

Please enjoy:

Yagow, “Time to Get Rid of It” official video

Video by Daniel Fuchs & Manuel Wesely

YAGOW is a psych-space-rock trio based in Saarbruecken, Germany. Loud guitars, drones and ghost-like vocals build up other-wordly soundscapes reminiscent of 70s avantgarde acts and the shoegazing sounds of the past decades.

Pressing Info:
Limited to 300 copies on black 12″ vinyl
Screenprinted PVC overbag (kinegram effect)
Neon-printed LP cover

Yagow is:
Marc Schönwald: Drums, Percussion
Kai Peifer: Bass on ‘non-contractual’
Jan Werner: Vocals, Guitars, Drones
Axel Rothhaar: Bass

Yagow on Thee Facebooks

Yagow website

Yagow preorder at Crazysane Records

Crazysane Records on Thee Facebooks

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Naxatras Begin Recording New Album; Self-Titled Vinyl Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

naxatras

Winning news all around from Greek heavy psych rockers Naxatras, as they’ve begun the recording process for their third studio full-length as of yesterday and released their 2015 self-titled debut as a gatefold 2LP. Based in Thessaloniki, the three-piece of guitarist John Delias, bassist/vocalist John Vagenas and drummer Kostas Harizonis have been garnering acclaim from and beyond Europe’s underground since first issuing their debut two years ago thanks to languid jams like “Shiva’s Dance” and the classic-style fuzz drift of “Downer,” and it’s hard to imagine that by the time this post is live, the vinyl won’t be well on its way to sold out. They only pressed 500.

Among its endearing qualities, Naxatras‘ Naxatras basks in an ultra-natural tonality that would turn even the most loyalist of the vintage aficionados envious. From its 10-minute opener “I am the Beyonder” through the gently progressive roll of “Waves” and the push, blown-out drift, spoken preach and meandering guitar lines of “Ent,” which caps, the album cast aesthetic worries aside in favor of making its impression through immediate chemistry between its players, who recorded live, analog, no overdubs, in a single day. The vitality of performance became the self-titled’s signature, and it’s something that last year’s follow-up, II (review here), continued to develop along with their overall scope.

One can only hope the thread will continue for what may or may not be called III upon its arrival. I’ve yet to hear of a confirmed date for Naxatras‘ next release, but when and if I do, I’ll certainly let you know. In the meantime, plans seem to be in the works for a Fall 2017 European tour, since the band has been confirmed for the lineup of Keep it Low 2017 in Munich, Germany.

The following was culled together from a few different posts, but brings confirmation direct from the band:

naxatras self titled

They’re here!!!

Two years after the release of our first album, we finally present you its vinyl form!

Double-LP with an analog cutting from the original master tapes by Jesus I. Agnew at Magnetic Fidelity in a lovely gatefold cover by CHRIS RW!

The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2015. ATR Magnetic Master Tape in 1/4″ was used as the master tape, in a half-track stereo configuration.

Order here: https://naxatras.bandcamp.com/album/naxatras

21st of May we enter the studio to record our 3rd album.

Uber-hyped to play Keep It Low Festival 2017 this October among so many awesome bands!!

Rest of the European Autumn Tour will be announced really soon too, so stay tuned friends…

Naxatras is:
John Delias – Guitar
Kostas Harizanis – Drums
John Vagenas – Bass & Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/naxatras/
https://naxatras.bandcamp.com/

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Devil Electric Set Aug. 11 Release for Self-Titled Debut; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

devil electric

Melbourne, Australia, four-piece Devil Electric situate themselves somewhere between doom and more modern heavy blues in the first audio to come from their self-titled Kozmik Artifactz debut full-length, which is set to release this August as the follow-up to their 2016 EP, The Gods Below. With a creeper riff and some darker tonality, “Hypnotic” finishes the record in question, and though one wonders if it’s an outlier stylistically or a summary of the preceding proceedings — a closer could go either way, right? — there’s no denying the hook at play, and so the answer to that question might just be “both.” I haven’t heard the album yet, but that’d suit me just fine.

The PR wire brings album info and the new video, courtesy of the label:

devil electric self-titled

Devil Electric release new single “Hypnotica” & details of debut album!

Devil Electric are proud to announce a worldwide deal with German heavyweight label Kozmik Artifactz for the release of their debut self-titled album.

The 37 minute, 9-track debut will be available digitally and in three colourways on 180gm vinyl, with a release date of August 11.

The first single to be released and final track from the album is “Hypnotica” – watch the video clip below.

Available as CD & limited vinyl

Release Date: 11th August 2017

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high
performance vinyl at
Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured 180g vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. Monologue (Where You Once Walked)
2. Shadowman
3. Lady Velvet
4. Acidic Fire
5. Monolith
6. The Dove & The Serpent
7. The Sacred Machine
8. Lilith
9. Hypnotica

Fronted by the gracious & haunting female presence of Pierina O’Brien, Devil Electric are a riff-heavy 4-piece rock n’ roll band. Lead single Hypnotica is the final track from their debut record, a six and a half minute heavy-blues infused fuzzed-out jam thattransports the mind into the swelling, darker depths of rock n’ roll.

Since forming mid-2015 Devil Electric have supported Truckfighters (Sweden), The Sword (USA), Endless Boogie (USA), Kadavar (Ger) toured the east coast with The SIGIT (Indonesia) & played Cherry Rock Festival in AC/DC Lane. They signed with Kozmik Artifactz (Ger) following the success of their debut EP, The Gods Below, which saw an independent release over two 7” vinyl editions.

Devil Electric are:
Vocals – Pierina O’Brien
Guitar – Christos Athanasias
Bass/Vocals – Tom Hulse
Drums – Mark Van De Beek

https://www.facebook.com/devilelectric/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=986
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Devil Electric, “Hypnotica” official video

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Friday Full-Length: May Blitz, May Blitz

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

May Blitz, May Blitz (1970)

The story of May Blitz should be recognizable to anyone who’s ever immersed themselves in the history of any number of acts from their era. Or, I suppose, any era. Dudes from other bands got together in this band, put out a couple of records, called it quits and moved onto other projects. Up to and including the connections to Uriah Heep, it’s a pretty familiar tale, but what it doesn’t take into account is the quality of the two records May Blitz offered during their time together. Issued through Vertigo Records — see also Black Sabbath, Warhorse, Nucleus, Status Quo, Gentle Giant, the aforementioned Uriah Heep, Nazareth, etc., etc. — the first of them was a 1970 self-titled seven-tracker with terrible artwork that over the course of about 43 minutes managed to sum up the shift that was taking place between heavy blues groove and what would in the next several years take shape as British progressive rock. Elements of psychedelia remain in cuts like “Dreaming” and “Tomorrow May Come,” but even more than that or the post-Hendrix smolder of “Fire Queen,” what’s most abiding in May Blitz‘s May Blitz is the chill factor. Even when guitarist Jamie Black (also vocals) tears into the solo on “I Don’t Know,” the vibe is thick as molasses and the groove is so laid back that one can’t help but lazily nod along 47 years later.

May Blitz got together the year before the self-titled arrived, founded by bassist Terry Poole and drummer Keith Baker, both of whom had been playing in blues rockers Bakerloo. They’d be gone by the time the band recorded, with Black bringing in bassist Reid Hudson and drummer Tony Newman. As a rhythm section, they add formidable drama to the rushing freakout midsection of “Dreaming,” and are largely responsible for the comfortable pace at which the material is executed, though that’s not to take away from Black as a frontman either. Power trio? Power trio. Whether they’re dug into the ambience of “Dreaming,” marked out aside from that unhinged midsection by its acoustic strum, spacious drumming and harmonized vocals, or digging into the blown-out jam at the culmination of “Virgin Waters,” there’s little doubt the guitarist makes his presence known as one would have to expect.

In the bouncing centerpiece “Squeet,” the elements find perhaps their best balance, with Black noodling away on a repetitive figure as Hudson‘s bass rumbles out a particular tonal warmth and Newman makes his way around the kit and back to the crash cymbal prior to smoothing out on a who-the-hell-knows-what-they’re-talking-about hook that remains catchy nonetheless. Sandwiched by “Dreaming” and “Tomorrow May Come,” it’s a reminder how much of the appeal of this kind of band could rest in their not taking themselves too seriously, but neither is it void of progressive edge. Again, that was the moment at which May Blitz happened to arrive. The Deep Purples, Led Zeppelins and Black Sabbaths were taking over the terrain that had belonged to the Creams and Hendrix, and the parallel development of progressive rock from King CrimsonJethro Tull and countless others was very obviously a factor here as well. None of this happened in a vacuum, but few and far between are the records that seem to emphasize this creative conversation as fluidly as does May Blitz.

But still, the ultimate victory of the outing is that consistency of mood. As exploratory as it might get or as heavy as it goes, May Blitz doesn’t lose that relaxed character, perhaps until “Fire Queen” and the ending of “Virgin Waters,” but even then what May Blitz do remains informed by the context preceding. They’d release The 2nd of May in 1971 and be done by the end of that year, moving onto different projects and outfits and leaving these two records to languish in heavy ’70s obscurity, along with so many others on the collectors market. Like I said at the outset, it’s a pretty common narrative, but a pretty special record.

As ever, I hope you enjoy.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and in addition to taking what seems to be the standard three vials of blood for sundry vitamin and other tests, he gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant to help with the anxiety issues I’ve been having the last however long. I’ve been taking herbal supplements at the recommendation of someone on here, and that’s a thing on which to spend money, but I had a buddy come through with some Xanax last weekend and after a day or two of that I could tell a real difference. I’ve been on this anti-depressant before, which I think is basically how I wound up on it again, and we’ll see if it helps. It’s been rough of late.

Because my appointment was in the morning, I took the day off work, so after some copious errand-running with The Patient Mrs., the bulk of the afternoon was spent working side-by-side, which I like. She had grading to do, while I put together the posts for today and started in on Monday’s whatnottery as well. Sunday being Mothers Day, our schedules for the weekend are kind of wonky, going to Connecticut, coming back north early Monday morning to get me to work on time, etc. I don’t really like to do that — because who the hell likes to go anywhere at 6AM? — but, you know, moms.

Some good stuff coming up next week. At some point soon I’m going to be posting a travel guide for Psycho Las Vegas — basically how to do the festival on the cheap and survive the desert heat — and that should be fun, but I’m not sure when it will start. Anyway, keep an eye out. Here’s what’s in my notes, subject to change as usual:

Mon.: Steak review and full album stream, Cosmic Fall video premiere.
Tue.: Geezer review and full album stream.
Wed.: Six Dumb Questions with Telekinetic Yeti; The Cold Stares track premiere.
Thu.: Abronia review and full album stream.
Fri.: Siena Root review and track premiere.

I’m hearing now that the Steak stream might not happen, so that’s a definite maybe. If that doesn’t work out, I might just nix the review for the day and do a podcast or another Six Dumb Questions post instead. It’s been a while since I did a podcast and at this point I’ve got a backlog of SDQs waiting to go up, so one way or the other a day will happen. The Cosmic Fall video is cool, so I’m happy about hosting that, and the rest of the week is pretty locked in. UPDATE: It’s a podcast. It rules. Will be up Monday.

There’s more to say but I think I’ll leave it there. If you’re celebrating Mothers Day, I hope your mom is kicking ass, and in any case I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Shit is weird so be careful out there. Thanks for reading and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Petyr Announce Self-Titled Debut out June 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

petyr

Being about as far removed from Southern California as one can be and still reside in the contiguous states, I forget sometimes about just how much skate culture and music intersect out that way, and how natural that is that one would feed off the other. I guess it’s at least partially because I don’t skate and never really have. Yeah, that’s probably part of it. But either way, while The Shrine have waved the “skate rock” banner pretty hard during their tenure, a lot of what’s come out of that scene over the last however many years — from Earthless to Harsh Toke to Sacri Monti to Radio Moscow, etc. — doesn’t really strike me as skate-minded, even though something like half those dudes probably make their living that way.

I say this because the pro-skating link for Petyr, whose self-titled debut is out June 9 on Outer Battery Records and available to preorder now, is about as unavoidable as it gets. You’ll see what I mean as you read through the PR wire info below, but either way, skater or not, make sure you check out the track “Stairway to Attic” at the bottom of the post, what with the streaming the swirl and the boogie and all.

Here’s news:

petyr self titled

California Heavy Psych Band PETYR to Release Self-Titled Debut June 9

San Diego Rock Group Featuring Frontman Riley Hawk Readies Loaded Debut

PETYR is a psychedelic hard rock band fronted by guitarist and award-winning pro skater Riley Hawk, son of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. The San Diego quartet, hailed for its “sonic heaviness”, will release its debut full-length, Petyr, on June 9 via Outer Battery Records (Chelsea Wolfe, Dinosaur Jr., SLEEP).

Steeped in equal parts hard rock and skateboarding, PETYR draws influence from high-power godfathers such as Japanese psychedelic masters Flower Traveling Band, Black Sabbath (natch) and hometown psych scene kings Earthless. The eight track album was written over the course of countless jam sessions, capturing the spirit of cruising down the California highways and sea salt spattered coastline. The band’s debut contains searing songs, weighty in nature, that were shaped during live sets alongside peers and So-Cal neighbors such as Harsh Toke, Sacri Monti, JOY and The Shrine.

“Our sound is a product of where we grew up,” Hawk comments. “We skate and we jam, and each feeds off the energy of the other.”

Track listing:

1.) Texas Igloo
2.) Middle Room
3.) Stairway to Attic
4.) Satori III
5.) Old and Creepy
6.) Kraft
7.) Three to Five
8.) Vambo / Buffalo Stampede

In addition to Riley Hawk, PETYR features Holland Redd (guitar), Nick McDonnell (drums) and Luke Devigny (bass).

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Hermitess Post “Blood Moon” Video; Debut Album out May 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hermitess-photo-Blair-Russell

Despite, or maybe because of, a steady dose of harp as a central element of the arrangements on Hermitess‘ forthcoming self-titled debut — out May 12, which is apparently this week; whither thou, 2017? — I hear a bit of Hexvessel‘s earth-worship in the deceptively not-minimalist aesthetic of the Calgary outfit. Begun as the solo-project of Jennifer Crighton (ex-Devonian Gardens) and fleshed out from there with a range of guest players and harmony-providers, Hermitess does indeed offer the sense of loneliness one might expect from the moniker, but as those who’ve separated themselves from society are often considered to be imbued with a special kind of ascetic wisdom, so too does Crighton‘s “isolation” come with a particular depth of melody.

I suppose an even easier comparison point — if we’re being lazy — would be the dark goth-folk atmospheres of Chelsea Wolfe, but again, Crighton brings a nuance to the nine-trackhermitess self titled album such that songs like “Obsidian Stairs,” “Black Lake” and “The Guest,” while grim in mood, lean more toward Angels of Light-style Americana in their foreboding than the kind of dystopian emotionalism one might expect. Still, when Hermitess shifts from acoustic fare into the hey-there’s-drums-and-distortion-here of “Hush,” the droning wash is clear in its impression. One would hardly hold sonic diversity against Crighton, though, as it makes Hermitess a stronger record on the whole, and as she closes out by pairing the string-laden “Tender” with the underlying growl of “Vampires,” the ambient scope is given further reinforcement in kind with the songwriting so essential to a release like this in the first place.

The video below for the track “Blood Moon” is fairly minimal in its own right, featuring a lone figure that’s presumably Crighton herself walking toward the camera, mask held up to her face, carrying a lantern, in the gray woods. It’s kind of a creeper, but so is the song, so I’ll take it, and if it’s your introduction to the album as it was mine, you should know that while it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole of Hermitess‘ Hermitess in terms of the surrounding instrumentation, the patience in its unfolding and lushness of its melody are very much themes around which the work is built.

PR wire info follows the clip. I hope you enjoy:

Hermitess, “Blood Moon” official video

Lead track from the forthcoming album by Hermitess

Concept & Performance: Jennifer Crighton
Camera & Direction: Tatiana Losev

The Hermitess is the solo project of songwriter and harpist Jennifer Crighton, who comes by way of various other musical incarnations, including The Consonant C and Devonian Gardens. Stripping back the performance to a harp and a circle of women’s voices, the Hermitess is an inquisitive, contrary, wounded, wise and ever dreaming incantation

As the name implies, this album came about at a remove from modern life. While isolated in a cabin in northern Michigan, Jennifer Crighton began to conceive of this character (Hermitess) and a set of songs that would feel at home in the wintry knee-deep snow drifts and creaking trees. Crighton’s electric harp stands at the centre of the project. It’s an instrument that’s often associated with both the traditional and the ethereal, and Crighton makes the most of that contrast. Delicate lines loop and tangle into an intricate latticework of rhythm and melody, while unfamiliar sounds and unplaceable textures enrich the arrangements, courtesy of the Audities Foundation’s incomparable collection of instruments and equipment.

Over this sonic foundation, Crighton sings in the voice of her adopted character, the words part story and part incantation. The lyrics question and caution the listener, walking the line between sweet dreams and nightmares—a feeling that’s only enhanced by the chorus of women’s voices drifting through the album like a soft wind cutting across a frozen landscape. It’s the a sound at once eerie and inviting, traced in magic and grounded in nature. It’s the voice of the Hermitess.

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