Fuzz Fest 4 Set for June 1-3 with Lo-Pan, BoneHawk, Child Bite, Cruthu and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

From June 1 through June 3, the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will play host to Fuzz Fest 4. It’s a massive all-day-three-day event with 11 bands playing each night over the course of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and it features names like Child BiteLo-PanBoneHawkThe Amino Acids, Wild SavagesLavamothCruthuWizard Union and many others. I’ll admit that I don’t know everyone listed below, but from those I do and the glances I’ve made, it seems like a diverse bill that’s as wide-ranging as it is packed. Sometimes it’s nice to go, set up shop in a venue for three days, and let a whole shitload of new music come your way. I guess that’s my motivation in posting the lineup here. Been a while since I did that kind of thing.

Full roster of acts follows here, in case you’d like to do some homework:

fuzz-fest-4-poster

FUZZ FEST 4, GONNA DO IT SOME MORE!

Now in its fourth year, Fuzz Fest returns to the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan to bring the people of the mitten state the high energy Rock N Roll they crave and deserve.
Headliners for this year’s installment are Child Bite on Thursday June 1, S.N.A.F.U. on Friday June 2nd, and the Amino Acids on Saturday June 3rd.

Jukebox Productions presents
FUZZ FEST 4!
June 1-3 at the Blind Pig!
3 nights, 2 stages, 33 bands, 11 bands each night.
$10 advanced tickets, $12 day of, Three day pass $20!

Lights by The Overhead Army.
Sponsored this year by VG Kids, ARBCO Records, Life in Michigan, and the Music & Arts Guild

THURSDAY JUNE 1
Child Bite
Human Skull
JUNGLEFOWL
Wild Savages
Bubak
minihorse
Duende
The Jackpine Snag
Warhorses
Visitors
The Gruesome Twosome

FRIDAY JUNE 2
S.N.A.F.U.
BoneHawk
Lo-Pan
Wizard Union
Stone Ritual
The Lucid Furs
Cruthu
Red Stone Souls
Rotokiller
Lavamoth
HELLGHiLLiES

SATURDAY JUNE 3
The Amino Acids
Caveman & Bam Bam Detroit
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor
Disinformants
Scissor Now
Skin Lies
Wiccans
Shells
Seritas
Steve Harvey Oswald

Day 1 – http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=7391915&pl=blindpig&dispatch=loadSelectionData

Day 2 – http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=7391925&pl=blindpig&dispatch=loadSelectionData

Day 3 – http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=7391935&pl=blindpig&dispatch=loadSelectionData

3 Day pass – http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=7391945&pl=blindpig&dispatch=loadSelectionData

https://www.facebook.com/events/1565187043497449/
https://www.facebook.com/fuzzfestmichigan/
http://www.blindpigmusic.com/

Junglefowl, Live at Fuzz Fest 3, June 11, 2016

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Quarterly Review: Holy Sons, WEEED, Mala Suerte, Eternal Black, Were-Jaguars, Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Black Tremor, Aave, Derelics, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-quarterly-review-fall-2015

Day one down, four more days to go. I forget each time how different it is writing shorter reviews as opposed to the usual longer ones, but kind of refreshing to bust through something, force myself to say what needs to be said as efficiently as possible and move on. Reminds me of working in print, with word counts and such. Only so much room on the page. Not something that usually comes up around these parts, but I guess it’s good to keep that muscle from complete atrophy. Though taking that line of thought to its natural conclusion, I have no idea why. Anyway, feeling good, ready to take on another 10 records, so let’s roll.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Holy Sons, Fall of Man

holy sons fall of man

It would be hard to overstate the smoothness with which Emil Amos, who serves integral creative and percussive roles in both Grails and Om, brings different styles together on Fall of Man, his second album for Thrill Jockey under the Holy Sons solo moniker and upwards of his 11th overall. An overriding melancholy vibe suits dark, progressive pop elements on the opener “Mercenary World,” Amos at the fore playing all instruments and still vocalizing like a singer-songwriter, while the later wash of “Being Possessed is Easy” takes on ‘90s indie fragility and turns what was purposeful minimalism into an expanse of melody and “Discipline” creeps out lyrically while forming experimentalist soundscapes around a steady line of acoustic guitar. Joined by bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem on “Aged Wine” – the only other players to appear anywhere on Fall of ManAmos leads the trio through soaring leads and heavier crashing to give the album a crescendo worthy of its scope, which while astounding on deeper inspection presents itself with simple, classic humility.

Holy Sons on Thee Facebooks

Holy Sons at Thrill Jockey

WEEED, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath

WEEED-Our-Guru-Brings-us-to-the-Black-Master-Sabbath

From the opening drone-groan throat-singing of the 14-minute “Dogma Dissolver,” it seems like not-quite-Seattle trio Weeed are making a run for the title “Most Stoned of the Stoner” with their second full-length, Our Guru Leads us to the Black Master Sabbath. They earn that extra ‘e.’ A double-LP on Illuminasty Records, the album is a 54-minute trip into low tone and deep-running vibe, spaced way out, and well at home whether jamming heavy and hypnotized on “Rainbow Amplifier Worship” – a highlight bassline – or nestling into an ambient stretch like “Bullfrog” preceding. Mostly instrumental, Weeed hit their most active in “Enuma Elish” and then chill and strip back to acoustics and sax (yup) for the Eastern-flavored “Caravan Spliff,” bringing back the throat-singing in the process. How else to finish such a work than with the 15-minute “Nature’s Green Magic,” a 15-minute push along a single build that goes from minimal, pastoral acoustics to nod-on-this megastoner riffing? Weeed might be going for the gold, but they end up in the green, and somehow one imagines they’ll be alright with that. They get super-ultra-bonus points for sounding like Kyuss not even a little.

WEEED on Thee Facebooks

WEEED on Bandcamp

Mala Suerte, Rituals of Self Destruction

mala suerte rituals of self destruction

Formed in 1999 and having made their full-length debut a decade later with The Shadow Tradition (review here), last heard from in a 2012 split with Boise’s Uzala (review here), Austin, Texas, doomly five-piece Mala Suerte return with the 10-track Rituals of Self Destruction, which moves past its four-minute intro into chugging The Obsessed-style trad doom with a touch of Southern heavy à la Crowbar and a generally metallic spirit in cuts like “Utopic Delusions” that gets expanded on later cuts like the swirling, crawling almost Cathedral-ish “Labyrinth of Solitude.” Comprised of forward-mixed vocalist Gary Rosas, guitarists David Guerrero and Vincent Pina, bassist Mike Reed and drummer Chris Chapa (now John Petri), Mala Suerte sound as rueful as ever across the album’s span, rounding out with the hardcore sludge of “Successful Failure” and “The Recluse,” which builds from slow, brooding chug to a more riotous finish. It’s been a while, but it’s good to have them back.

Mala Suerte on Thee Facebooks

Mala Suerte on Bandcamp

Eternal Black, Eternal Black

eternal black eternal black

Guitarist/vocalist Ken Wohlrob leads Brooklyn’s Eternal Black through the riffy doom of their debut self-titled three-track EP. Unpretentious in the style’s tradition, the trio is anchored by Hal Miller’s bass and pushed forward by the drums of Joe “The Prince of Long Island” Wood (also of Borgo Pass), the rolling groove of Sabbathian opener “Obsidian Sky” setting the tone for straightforward, few-frills darkness, and Eternal Black follow it up with the workingman’s doom of “The Dead Die Hard” and “Armageddon’s Embrace,” the former started out with an extra lead layer before it unfurls the EP/demo’s most satisfying crawl, and the latter a little more swinging, but still Iommic metal at its core, Wohlrob’s gruff vocal and Wino-style riff backed by Miller’s deep-mixed rumble as Wood goes to the cowbell/woodblock (it’s one or the other) during the guitar solo. Even if Joe Wood wasn’t one of the best human beings I’d ever met, it would still be pretty easy to dig what these cats are doing, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye for how they follow this first installment.

Eternal Black on Thee Facebooks

Eternal Black on Bandcamp

Were-Jaguars, II

were-jaguars ii

Austin, Texas-based trio Were-Jaguars have already issued a follow-up EP to their earlier-2015 second album, II, but from its opening and longest track “Between the Armies” (immediate points), the three-piece dig into weirdo psych vibes and dense tones across their latest full-length, released through respected Russian purveyor R.A.I.G. Not at all a minor undertaking at 13 tracks, 68 minutes, it gets into garage ritualism in “Let My Breath be the Air” and unfolds immediate doomadelia on “Bishop Kills Enchanter,” but if you need confirmation that Were-Jaguars – the three-piece of Chad Rauschenberg, James Adkisson and Rick McConnell – aren’t just screwing around in these songs and lucking into a righteous result, let it come on the later “Lost Soul,” which melds a flowing instrumental roll to a host of spiritual and pseudo-spiritual samples, loses itself completely, and then returns at the end to finish cohesive, engagingly complex and sure in the knowledge that all has gone to plan. Figuring out what that plan is can be a challenge at times, but it’s there.

Were-Jaguars on Thee Facebooks

R.A.I.G.

Vinnum Sabbathi & Bar de Monjas, Fuzzonaut Split

vinnum-sabbathi-and-bar-de-monjas-fuzzonaut

The Fuzzonaut split between Mexico’s Vinnum Sabbathi and Bar de Monjas takes its name from the closing track, provided by the latter act, but it serves as a fitting title for the work as a whole as well. Vinnum Sabbathi launch the six-track offering with “HEX I: The Mastery of Space,” a slow-rolling instrumental topped by samples pulled from rocket launches, and after the 1:45 droning interlude “Intermission (Fluctuations),” they melt their way into the companion “HEX II: Foundation Pioneers,” doomier in its chug, but similarly-minded overall in intent, with the warm bass, copious samples, and planet-sized riffing. Though their portion is shorter overall, Bar de Monjas answer back with relatively upbeat push in “Hot Rail,” winding up in stoner rock janga-janga before stomping their way into “The Ripper,” cowbelling there as part of an impressively percussed spin and capping with “Fuzzonaut” itself, a shroomy 7:45 creeper with big-riff bursts that rises and recedes effectively, ending with a long residual hum.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Bar de Monjas on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzonaut on Bandcamp

Black Tremor, Impending

black tremor impending

An immediate touchstone for the droning pastoral drear that Saskatoon three-piece Black Tremor elicit on their four-song debut EP, Impending, is Earth’s HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but the newcomer trio distinguish themselves immediately with an approach that replaces guitar with violin, so that not only can Black Tremor tie into these atmospheres, they can do so in a way that speak to country roots in a way their forebears didn’t at the time date. Bassist Alex Deighton, violinist Amanda Bestvater and drummer Brennan Rutherford have only just begun the work of developing their sound, but already nine-minute opener “The Church” and its buzzing follow-up “Rise” prove evocative and come across as more than exercises in ambience. “Markhor” hits with an even heavier roll and an almost Melvinsy undertone, while the title-track makes its way through horse-trod mud to emerge at the end not only clean but positively bouncing. It’s still pretty dark, but they’ve given themselves a vast Canadian Midwestern expanse to explore.

Black Tremor on Thee Facebooks

Black Tremor on Bandcamp

Aave, There’s Nothing

aave there's nothing

A bright tonal bliss pervades There’s Nothing, the Rock Ridge Music debut long-player from Nashville all-lowercase psychedelic post-rockers aave. The band court indie progressivism across the album’s eight component tracks, but with just one song over four minutes long – closer “Turn Me Off” (4:30) – there’s little about it that feels overly indulgent or beyond the pale stylistically. That is to say that while aave set a sonic course for great distances, they get to where they’re going efficiently and don’t hang around too long in one place. That has its ups and downs in terms of vibe, but the resonant vocal melodies of “Nothing Here” – hard not to be reminded of Mars Red Sky’s sweet emotionality, but there are other comparisons one might make – the focus remains grounded in an accessibility that goes beyond getting lost in dreamy guitars. Aesthetically satisfying, they find an intense moment in the later thrust of “Blender,” but even that retains the overarching wistful sensibility of what’s come before and that unites the material throughout.

aave on Thee Facebooks

Rock Ridge Music

Derelics, Introducing

derelics introducing

Spacious, melodic and entrancingly heavy, Derelics’ debut EP, Introducing, indeed makes a formidable opening statement, and in a crowded London scene of post-Orange Goblin burl and Downy sludge, the trio set more progressive ambitions across “To Brunehilde,” “California” and “Ride the Fuckin’ Snake to Valhalla,” psych-funking up the centerpiece after the grooving largesse of the opener en route to the wider-spreading tones of the closer, guitarist/vocalist Reno cutting through his and bassist Nacim’s tones easily with higher-register vocals that push the limits of his range as he encourages one to “ride that fuckin’ snake,” before cutting out to let drummer Rich lead the charge with toms through a build-up bridge that returns to the echoing fullness conjured earlier, ending on a long-fading organ note. An encouraging first offering from the three-piece, and hopefully they continue develop along an original-sounding path as they move ahead. Already they seem to show a knack for melding atmospherics and songwriting toward the same ends.

Derelics on Thee Facebooks

Derelics on Bandcamp

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Desert Brain

sisters of your sunshine vapor desert brain

True to its krautrock-style cover art, Desert Brain, the third outing from Detroit’s Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, has an element of prog at work within its psychedelic unfolding. But that’s reasonable. With four years since their second release, Spectra Spirit (review here), and the inclusion of bassist/keyboardist Eric Oppitz and drummer Rick Sawoscinski with guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow, the dynamic in the band has legitimately shifted, even though Oppitz (who also did the aforementioned cover art) has recorded all three of their records. Still, they keep the proceedings fluid across the two vinyl sides, finding their inner garage on “Major Medicine” and tripping out easy on “What’s Your Cloud Nine, 37?” on side A before digging in with fuzz and push on side B’s “The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory” and stretching into ritual stomp on the title cut. All the while, they’re drenched in vibe and a flow that’s languid even as it’s running you over, and while some songs barely have a chorus, they implant themselves in the mind anyway, almost subliminally.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Thee Facebooks

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor on Bandcamp

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audiObelisk Transmission 049

Posted in Podcasts on June 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Not that it doesn’t have its super-heavy side as well, what with the High on Fire, the Church and here and there among the others, but this one got way psychedelic way quick. To be perfectly honest, that’s where my head has been at in terms of what I’ve been listening to: more swirl, less churn, more wah, less crunch. No shortage of tonal fuzz or presence here — I think you’ll dig the spaciousness in Brother/Ghost and the ultra-West Coast groove Sacri Monti make their own — it just trips out. And even Church has its psych flourish, which from where I sit only makes it more devastating.

Maybe it’s the heat of summer getting to me — that haze of humidity that settles over the Northeast each June and doesn’t leave until September — but whatever the case, strap in, because this one is a trip just about the whole way through. Once Ecstatic Vision take hold with their peculiar brand of bliss, it only keeps spreading wider until finally collapsing in on itself. I hope you dig some of the turns as it makes its way outward. I think it holds up well for something so molten:

First Hour:
0:00:00 The Heavy Eyes, “Somniloquy” from VA, Kozmik Artifactz Home of the Good Sounds Vol. 2
0:02:35 High on Fire, “Carcosa” from Luminiferous
0:09:46 Ecstatic Vision, “Don’t Kill the Vibe” from Sonic Praise
0:14:46 Brother/Ghost, “Freedom” from Buried
0:19:57 Merchant, “Seismic” from Seismic Digital Single
0:29:28 Make, “The Immortal” from The Golden Veil
0:36:29 Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, “Girl of a Thousand Voices” from Desert Brain
0:40:27 Glowsun, “Flower of Mist” from Beyond the Wall of Time
0:47:27 Mount Hush, “The Day She Stole the Sun” from Low and Behold!
0:55:05 Sacri Monti, “Slipping from the Day” from Sacri Monti

Second Hour:
1:01:22 Krautzone, “Spiritual Retreat Part 1” from Spiritual Retreat
1:24:05 Ohhms, “Dawn of the Swarm” from Cold
1:38:29 Church, “Dawning” from Unanswered Hymns

Total running time: 1:57:44

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 049

 

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Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain on June 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sisters of your sunshine vapor

Four years after the release of their memorable and engaging second record, Spectra Spirit (review here), Detroit psychedelic explorers Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will issue their third album, Desert Brain, on June 2 via Spain’s Mongolic Records. I don’t know much about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which I assume is what the band mean by “northern” when they talk about where they did the album, but my understanding is land is uncrowded and the night sky is beautiful, so yeah, I can see where maybe a psych-minded trio might adjourn there to record. How that translates to Desert Brain in terms of topography, I’m not sure, but I look forward to finding out.

Info follows along with the dates Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor will perform in Spain following the release. Dig it:

J100

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor to Release Desert Brain June 2nd on Mongolic Records

Long-Awaited Third Album from the Detroit Psych-Rock Band to Be Launched on the Eve of Their First European Tour

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor are set to release Desert Brain, their third fully selfrecorded album, on Spain’s Mongolic Records June 2nd. The album will be available digitally, on cd, and on translucent clear vinyl with aqua splatter. The album features all new, original artwork by Sisters’ bassist and keyboardist, Eric Oppitz, who has given Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor their signature visual style. The release is scheduled to coincide with the band’s European tour, which will take them through France, Spain, and Greece. While already having built up a strong following overseas, this will be the first opportunity for European fans to witness Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s intense live show.

The band’s reputation as gear-heads is fully apparent on Desert Brain, with its many layered guitar effects, swirling keyboards, distorted chimes, and ephemeral voices all captured in analog to ½-inch tape. As with 2009’s eponymous first album and 2011’s Spectra Spirit, all recording and mixing was handled by Oppitz. Lead singer and guitarist Sean Morrow, drummer Rick Sawoscinski, and Oppitz have delivered their most ambitious album yet, with its ten tracks seamlessly blending together leaving little time for the listener to catch their breath.

In 2014, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor packed up their recording equipment and locked themselves in an isolated cabin in Northern Michigan to lay the foundation tracks for what would become their third full-length album and first since 2011’s Spectra Spirit. The trip away from their own Space Camp Studios was born more out of necessity than a desire for a change of scenery — misfortune struck a month before recording was to begin when a particularly heavy rainstorm flooded Morrow’s basement and bands studio in thigh-deep water.

Morrow describes his goal with Desert Brain as to “create an experience full of highs and lows that take the listener on a journey, eventually leaving them emotionally spent but fulfilled.” The album is once again anchored by Sawoscinski’s massive drum sound, which gives the record an almost relentless heaviness. Added during the recording of Spectra Spirit, the presence of Oppitz’s organ have been expanded upon to produce an even greater sonic depth. Desert Brain is Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s most ambitious album to date.

Desert Brain Track Listing
Side A
1. Seventh Scene
2. Major Medicine
3. What’s your cloud nine, 37?
4. Magic Mother’s Tongue / A Little Jaunt into the Light
Side B
1. Girl of a Thousand Voices
2. The Prettiest Sounds of Purgatory
3. Long Lovers Sun
4. Desert Brain
5. Like a Forest Runs
6. Highly Enchanting Eye

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor Spain shows:
9 Junio- Barcelona + RUNA
10 Junio- Madrid + My Expansive Awareness + Árida
11 Junio- Valencia (Mongolic Records Release Party)

https://www.facebook.com/SOYSV
www.sistersofyoursunshinevapor.com
www.mongolic-records.es

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, “Black Mind”

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Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Beast in the Field and More to Play Echo Fest 4 in Detroit

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Even if you told me it was just Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor playing with Beast in the Field and Electric Citizen, I’d still call it a hell of a gig, but Echo Fest 4 pushes genre lines in melding swirling psych with blistering noise and a lot more. The show is set to take place Nov. 16 in Detroit — Spindrift plays the pre-party on the 12th — and aside from the fact that there’s a band playing called Oblisk, it seems to be a cool assemblage of creative Midwestern acts. Dig the PR wire info below:


DETROIT PSYCH-ROCK BAND SISTERS OF YOUR SUNSHINE VAPOR ANNOUNCE THE 4thANNUAL ECHO FEST AT THE LOVING TOUCH IN FERNDALE, MI ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH, FEATURING 12 BANDS FROM DETROIT AND THE MIDWEST.

ECHO FEST IS AN 18-AND-UP SHOW FEATURING THE BEST OF THE MIDWEST’S PSYCHEDELIC SOUNDS September 26, 2013 — (Detroit, MI) — Detroit psych rock band Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor are very excited to announce their 4th annual ECHO Fest, to be held at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, MI on Saturday, November 16th at 6:00PM. Formed and curated by the band, ECHO Fest showcases Detroit’s and the Midwest’s burgeoning and varied psychedelic music scene, including psych rock, shoegaze, garage and more. Mixed with its trademark visuals and mood-filled lighting it has become an event that stands on its own. The night will be filled with swirling lights, fuzzed out guitars, and of course so much delay that time travel may become possible.

After three successful years at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit, ECHO Fest’s steadily growing popularity has required the organizers to move it to a more spacious venue. This has allowed us to not only include more bands but also to expand the overall vision. This year’s ECHO Fest will feature 12 bands on two stages from across the Midwest, half of which are from the Detroit area. Also, for the first time, ECHO Fest is an 18-and-over show. This year’s line-up includes ECHO Fest organizers Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Beast in the Field (Mt. Pleasant, MI), Electric Citizen (Cincinnati, OH), Heaven’s Gateway Drugs (Ft. Wayne, IN), Moss Folk (Milwaukee, WI), Oblisk (Detroit, MI),Haunted Leather (Grand Rapids, MI), and more.

ECHO Fest tickets are on-sale now for $8 through TicketWeb.com. Doors will open at 6PM and the first act will start at 7PM. To encourage folks to get there early, the first fifty audience members through the door will receive a screen printed ECHO Fest record bag full of swag from the bands and our sponsors, and The Loving Touch will be offering early drink specials.

ECHO Fest Pre-Party: Los Angeles spaghetti-western psych rock veterans Spindrift will be kicking off the festival with a pre-party at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit on Tuesday, November 12th at 9:00PM. They will be touring in support of their new album, Ghost of the West, available October 22nd on Tee Pee Records. They will be supported by local acts PALACES and Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment. This show is 21+ and admission is $7.

Sponsors: We are currently still accepting sponsorships. If there are any local businesses or organizations who would like to have their name attached to this event please let us know and we can work out the details.

ECHO Fest 4
Where: The Loving Touch
22634 Woodward Ave
Ferndale, MI 48220
When: Saturday, November 16th, 2013. Doors at 6:00PM, Music at 7:00PM
How Much: $8 in advance, and at the door
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/567226530002906

ECHO Fest 4 Lineup:
Beast in the Field (Mt. Pleasant)
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor (Detroit)
Electric Citizen (Cincinnati, OH)
Heaven’s Gateway Drugs (Ft. Wayne, IN)
Moss Folk (Milwaukee, WI)
Wasabi Dream (Detroit)
Oblisk (Detroit)
Haunted Leather (Grand Rapids)
Brujas del Sol (Columbus, OH)
3FT (Detroit)
The Philter (Detroit)
VS TR S (ex FUR / Warhorses) (Detroit)

ECHO Fest Pre-Party
Where: PJ’s Lager House
1254 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
When: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013. Doors at 9:00PM, Music at 10:00PM
How Much: $7 at the door

ECHO Fest Pre-Party Lineup:
Spindrift (Los Angeles)
PALACES (Detroit)
Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment (Detroit)

Watch the ECHO Fest Facebook page or follow ECHO Fest on Twitter for details on special offers and other information.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Spectra Spirit (2011)

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Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Spectra Spirit: Riders on the Lion’s Roar

Posted in Reviews on December 8th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Some days it just feels like we’re all living in the echo of Dead Meadow’s ringing tones. The impression is reinforced by the full-yet-somehow-minimalist-sounding Detroit trio, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, whose fashion-worthy, restrained distortion blends the shoegaze wanderings of the aforementioned East Coast expats with some of The Doors’ storm-riding slinkiness (Baltimore‘s The Flying Eyes come to mind as compatriots in that regard). The album is Spectra Spirit, and it’s Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s second self-release behind a 2009 self-titled, comprised of nine varied tracks of tilt-your-head-back cave pop, open-spaced Americana and the kind of neo-psychedelic spirit fostered in Tee Pee sub-hipster bands like Quest for Fire and Weird Owl. Periodic hooks like “You go downtown to the hole in your brain” from the centerpiece “The Hole in Your Brain” serve as landmarks for would-be travelers, and though at this point the line between poser indie and American heavy psych is about as blurry as a hipstamatic press shot, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s warmth of tone and occasional shift into thickly-delivered bliss makes Spectra Spirit work on its own terms. Greatly aided by a natural-feeling production, the songs can’t help but flow smoothly in themselves and between each other, setting a vibe of grander exploration without ever really going full-on experimental or lapsing into more self-indulgence than is warranted by the style.

And “style” is a keyword when it comes to Spectra Spirit. As their European counterparts seem to be morphing into jam-based, lengthier compositions, American acts like Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor present a darker take. The later cut “Sweet Girl Insanity” is the longest on the album at 5:46 and has probably the most effective build of any of the songs here, with drummer/backing vocalist Rick Sawoscinski announcing the payoff with the loudest snare hits on the whole of Spectra Spirit and guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow clicking whichever of what I can only assume is a vast collection of pedals puts his tone into full-rock mode. By contrast, bassist/backing vocalist Eric Oppitz (who also handles organ when there’s organ to handle) stands out more in the song’s subdued beginning, cutting through the subtle swirl with an anchoring tone that not only keeps the rhythm, but enhances the atmosphere. Earlier, in the upbeat opening duo of “Untitled” and “Black Mind” – the latter which features Oppitz’s long-held organ notes – the bass occurs as part of a larger barrage of noise, and it’s absent from the acoustic-based “Howlers on the Roam,” but where it’s brought to the fore, Spectra Spirit is fuller and more effective for it. Morrow’s guitar leads most of the material, unsurprisingly, and his vocals are responsible for much of Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s chic feel. The Jim Morrison comparison has already been hinted at and is worth reiterating for Morrow’s delivery of “Howlers on the Roam” and the post-centerpiece “Did You Hear the Lion Roar, Mr. Wig,” the latter of which sets its late-night boozery and pill-popping against a backdrop of late ‘60s echoing and would fall utterly flat in its first half as the low point of the album were it not for Oppitz’s work on bass.

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