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Isaak Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

isaak

Italian heavy rockers Isaak will launch a European tour on Feb. 13 in support of their new full-length, Sermonize (review here). That record came out on vinyl through Heavy Psych Sounds back in November and has a CD due shortly (like this week) on Small Stone, and finds the four-piece nailing down thick heavy rock roll and a vibrant energy that has come to be their defining element. This will be, as I recall, their first Euro tour for the album, and they go having recently brought aboard Gabriele Carta as their new bassist.

If you haven’t heard it, the album was streamed in full here when it was reviewed, so I’ve got that player below if you’d like to dig in. Other info and tour dates follow from the PR wire and the social medias:

isaak european tour

***ISAAK*** Tropical Disease European Tour

Born from the ashes of Italian heavy rock four-piece Gandhi’s Gunn, it didn’t take long before ISAAK signed a worldwide deal on US label Small Stone Records, who reissued their ass-kicking debut “The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound” in June 2013. Inspired by the big ass riffages and raw energy of leading heavy rock outfits such as Clutch, Orange Goblin or Torche, ISAAK have the knack for assembling the heaviest-sounding licks with a rip-roaring attitude that can only make you raise a fist up in the air while rocking out in the pit.

With a freshly signed deal on Heavy Psych Sounds Records, ISAAK released their sophomore album “Sermonize” on vinyl this past November, which will be followed by a CD release on February 6th via Small Stone Records.

Ready to bring their Heavy Rockness all around Europe.

Isaak on Tour:
13.02.2016 IT Milan-LoFi
25.02.2016 CH Basel-Hirschneck
26.02.2016 DE Augsburg-Ballonfabrik
27.02.2016 DE Munster-Rare Guitar Shop
28.02.2016 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
29.02.2016 DE Mannheim-Mohawk
01.03.2016 DE Halle-Hafenstraße 7
02.03.2016 AU Innsbruck-PMK w/ Saviours
03.03.2016 AU Salzburg-Mark
04.03.2016 IT Bozen-Papperlap
05.03.2016 IT Trieste-Tetris
12.03.2016 IT Genova
27.05.2016 IT Sondrio-Fest

Artwork by: DARTWORKS – drawstroy

https://www.facebook.com/events/1489795247991273/
https://www.facebook.com/isaakband
https://www.instagram.com/isaakmusic/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

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Isaak, Sermonize: Going Beyond the Beard (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on December 7th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

isaak sermonize

[Note: Click play above to stream Isaak’s Sermonize in full. Album is out on vinyl Friday through Heavy Psych Sounds (pre-order here) and on CD Feb. 6, 2016, through Small Stone (pre-order here).]

With their second full-length under their current moniker, Genova-based heavy rockers Isaak hit their stride. Their earlier-2015 Heavy Psych Sounds split with Mos Generator gave advance notice of some significant growth in their sound since the 2012 release of their Small Stone debut, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (streamed here), but with Sermonize, they affirm more open stylizations and increased penchant for atmosphere, making the 12 included tracks a richer, more engaging listening experience. Remarkably, the band — vocalist Giacomo H. Boeddu, guitarist Francesco Raimondi, drummer/vocalist Andrea Tabbi de Bernardi and bassist Massimo Perasso (who since the recording has been replaced by Gabriele Carta) — accomplish this without giving up the driving sense of heft or momentum that served their last outing so well, and the collection of songs they bring forth is varied, indulging Torche-style major-keyism on “Soar” while doling aggro stomp on “Lucifer’s Road,” a cover of Italian outfit White Ash the central riff of which is worthy of focus.

That cover is one of two on Sermonize, the other being Kyuss‘ “Yeah,” which appears immediately before it on side B, and which, true to the original, is just someone saying the word “yeah.” Clearly Isaak haven’t lost the sense of humor that’s done right by them since they made their debut in 2010 as Gandhi’s Gunn with the album Thirtyeahs (discussed here), something the title of their intro, “Whore Horse” also affirms. Still, they’ve come a long, long way since that first record and since that name change, and most satisfying of all as regards Sermonize is how in command of their efforts Isaak prove themselves to be. There is a sense of purpose to each sonic shift they make throughout, and each shift serves to make the whole of the album stronger. It is the sound of their potential paying off.

Big guitar fades in to launch “Whore Horse,” joined soon by blown-out vocals. Compared to some of Sermonize‘s more straightforward fare, it’s an immediate removal from the comfort zone, and that’s pretty clearly the idea. At 1:41, the intro isn’t much shorter than most of the tracks, which are in the three-to-five minute range — the longest, “Soar,” is 5:30 — but as it moves into “The Peak,” the effect “Whore Horse” has isn’t to be understated in adding context and a feeling of not knowing what to expect to what in many other instances would be a simple desert rock riff. It isn’t here in part because of the production, which plays laid back stoner aspects off of the burl Isaak proffered their last time out, the treatment of Boeddu‘s vocals especially noteworthy for being perfectly balanced with the guitar, bass and drums and for the echo adding spaciousness to his gruff delivery.

isaak

The ensuing “Fountainhead” (lyric video here) offers one of Sermonize‘s strongest hooks and begins to reveal Isaak‘s method in terms of their building momentum across each of the album’s two sides. Both “Fountainhead” and “Almonds and Glasses,” which follows, are about four minutes long and quickly-paced, in league with the shorter “The Peak” in moving the listener through an opening salvo in good speed. At the same time, “Almonds and Glasses” also proves more patient, and is instrumental save for a couple of deep-mixed echoing vocal lines, so it marks a change of tactic as well. Call it a half-turn, with “Soar” as the other half. At 5:30, it’s a good deal longer than much of Torche‘s work, and it uses that extra time to let Isaak bring their own personality to a sludge-pop style, moving from a catchy sway into a fervent instrumental push near the end that they skillfully bring to an apex to close out side A with the highlight of the album so far.

“Showdown” must have been a contender to open Sermonize at some point. In addition to similarly-grooving snare punctuation, it shares a quick pace with “The Peak” and a relatively straightforward verse/chorus structure. Why they might’ve gone with one over the other, I don’t know — “The Peak” does work well coming out of “Whore Horse,” where “Showdown” begins almost in medias res — but it functions more than ably to launch side B, which then delves into its two covers in succession. “Yeah” is less than a second long (one can’t help but wonder if they had to pay royalties to Kyuss for its use), and it gives way to the explosive plod of White Ash‘s “Lucifer’s Road,” a cover that provides Isaak with an opportunity to dive head-first into riffy largesse. Unabashedly heavy and somewhat darker than much of Sermonize, it nonetheless fits with the original material around it, “Lesson No. 1” picking up from its raucous finish with a sort of return-to-earth desert rock vibe, choice verse groove and catchy hook, moving into semi-psychedelic swirl in the second half bridge, but making its way back to the chorus to finish out and move into “The Frown Reloaded,” which touches on some of the same ideas as “Soar,” but in a way that’s even more Isaak‘s own, adding more boogie to the upbeat rhythmic thrust.

It’s somewhat buried near the end of the album, but it shows there’s no dip in quality as the four-piece rush on toward the finish line. Maybe “rush” is the wrong word, since neither “The Phil’s Theorem” nor the closing title-track are in any hurry. “The Phil’s Theorem” is a mid-paced groover with standout guitar layering and a mega-chorus that one hopes will be ground for future development from the band riding its riff into hypnotic fadeout, and “Sermonize” itself is a quiet, well-arranged melodic finish, more sentimental and quietly resonant than the flurry of badass riffery preceding throughout much of Sermonize‘s span. Like the album as a whole, “Sermonize” is an encouraging finish, a last-minute show of dynamics that seems to dogwhistle to the listener that Isaak have even more to offer in terms of breadth than they put into these tracks, and if that’s the case, all the better, but the prospects for continued growth should not undercut the accomplishments Isaak make in these songs, which play to genre with an edge and presence all their own.

Isaak on Thee Facebooks

Isaak on Instagram

Preorder at Heavy Psych Sounds

Preorder at Small Stone Records

 

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Isaak’s Sermonize Due Dec. 11; “Fountainhead” Lyric Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

isaak

Not much has changed since the last time news came through about Isaak‘s new album, Sermonize, at least conceptually. The album is still coming out under the wire in 2015 on vinyl through Heavy Psych Sounds, and it will still be out on CD early next year through Small Stone. What’s changed is the release date for the LP version is now Dec. 11 and the Italian heavy-hitting four-piece have posted a lyric video for the track “Fountainhead” from the outing, which will be their third under the Isaak moniker following 2012’s The Longer the Beard, the Harder the Sound (streamed here).

Still, that’s enough of a difference to make me want to post about the record again. You’d almost think I was interested maybe in giving it an extra plug because, having listened to it, I’ve determined it’s pretty cool. Ramble on, conspiracy theorist. Either way, they get bonus points for covering Kyuss‘ “Yeah.”

The PR wire had this to say about it:

isaak sermonize

ISAAK: Genova’s badass rockers to unleash new LP “Sermonize” on Heavy Psych Sounds

If you like your rawk badass, heavy and hairy, then you’ll probably exult about the great return of Italy’s raddest stoner rockers ISAAK. With their second album to date, the Genova-based four piece is up to no good, so don’t expect to be treated cautiously: “Sermonize” is set to break down the front door this December 11.

“If you cross Genova’s narrow streets looking at people in the eyes, and reach the port and the sea, then you will understand our sound”. Leaning against their van ready for the next show, this is how ISAAK introduce theirselves in a few words. Just like their straight, powerful and uncompromising music.

Born from the ashes of Italian heavy rock four-piece Gandhi’s Gunn, it didn’t take long before ISAAK signed a worldwide deal on US label Small Stone Records, who reissued their ass-kicking debut “The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound” in June 2013. Inspired by the big ass riffages and raw energy of leading heavy rock outfits such as Clutch, Orange Goblin or Torche, ISAAK have the knack for assembling the heaviest-sounding licks with a rip-roaring attitude that can only make you raise a fist up in the air while rocking out in the pit.

With a freshly signed deal on Heavy Psych Sounds Records, ISAAK are set to release their sophomore album “Sermonize” for a vinyl release, followed by a CD release in the beginning of 2016 on Small Stone Records.

ISAAK – New album “Sermonize” – VINYL RELEASE ONLY
Out this November 27th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Pre-orders from November 13th at this location

TRACK LISTING:
1. Whore Horse
2. The Peak
3. Fountainhead
4. Almonds & Glasses
5. Soar
6. Showdown
7. Yeah (Kyuss)
8. Lucifer’s Roar (White Ash)
9. Lesson N.1
10. The Frown Reloaded
11. The Phil S. Theorem
12. Sermonize

ISAAK IS
Giacomo H Boeddu – Vocals
Andrea Tabbi De Bernardi – Drums & Vocals
Francesco Raimondi – Guitars
Gabriele Carta – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/isaakband
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Isaak, “Fountainhead” lyric video

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Isaak to Release Sermonize in Nov.

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

isaak

Italian heavy rockers Isaak will release their new album, Sermonize, in November. Their third outing overall, it will be issued in international collusion with Heavy Psych Sounds and Small Stone. The former, countryman imprint is set for the vinyl release, whereas the Detroit label will look to have a CD out come early 2016. The band mark it as their first release under the Isaak moniker, which is fair enough, though their 2012 sophomore outing, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (streamed here), also got issued as Isaak‘s Small Stone debut in 2013.

Either way, the art for the new one looks righteous, and the four-piece announced its arrival by unveiling that and the tracklisting. Isaak toured earlier this year in Spain and Portugal, and they’ll look to head out again come Feb. 2016. They also released a split with Mos Generator way back in January through Heavy Psych Sounds that I’ve pretty much been meaning to pick up since then. One of these days.

Album info follows:

isaak sermonize

Our new album SERMONIZE, the very first full length as Isaak, will be released later in November thanks to the amazing collaboration between the Italian HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records (for the vinyl release with a limited coloured version and a black one) and the american Small Stone Records (which will follow the CD release, expected in the very early 2016), a collaboration that will bring also several other tasty news!

Here below you can admire the cover painting by Richey Beckett (yes, THAT Richey Beckett! www.richeybeckett.com).

As always, our brother from another mother Luca SoloMacello contributed to this radness looking after the design layout.

Isaak will start an European Tour to promote Sermonize from February 2016.

There’s nothing more to say, this record will be your summer obsession even if we’re gonna release it in November, hands down!

ISAAK – SERMONIZE Official Tracklist
1 – Whore Horse
2 – The Peak
3 – Fountainhead
4 – Almonds & Glasses
5 – Soar
6 – Showdown
7 – Yeah (Kyuss)
8 – Lucifer’s Road (White Ash)
9 – Lesson n.1
10 – The Frown Reloaded
11 – The Phil’s Theorem
12 – Sermonize

Vinyl version :
Recorded and Mixed at Greenfog Genova by Mattia Cominotto
Mastered at JD Studio by Pino Santamaria

ARTWORK:
Cover Painting by Richey Beckett
Design/Layout by Luca SoloMacello

www.isaakband.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.smallstone.com
www.richeybeckett.com
www.cargocollective.com/solomacello

Isaak, Live at Riviera Summerfest 2015

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