Slow Season Premiere “Wasted Years” Video; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 31st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

slow season

Visalia, California, four-piece Slow Season made their debut on RidingEasy Records late last year with their second album, Mountains (review here), and they’ve been hitting it ever since. Earlier this month, they were out with labelmates The Well and made a stop at SXSW, and in April they’ll be playing with Joy for Record Store Day before launching a US tour in May that starts with Grizzly Fest — held at the Fresno Grizzlies minor league stadium — alongside Fuzz, and a slot the next day at Psycho California with PentagramSleep and about a million others. Not a bad way to launch a tour, and they’ll play with the likes of Mothership, BlackoutZedGoyaHot Lunch and Sons of Huns on the road as well, so it’s not like it’s a letdown after the first two nights either.

There’s a reason I start with touring, and it’s because on tour is also where Slow Season filmed their new video for the song “Wasted Years” from Mountains. You’ll see banners for The Grotto in Fort Worth and The Lost Well in Austin as the four-piece of Hayden Doyel (bass), Daniel Rice (vocals/guitar), Cody Tarbell (drums) and David Kent (guitar) switch between one show and another the song, suitably enough, remaining the same all the while. The clip has a humble, DIY vibe — no computer graphics, no fancy production other than some snappy editing — but it fits with the natural vibe of the track itself, with its catchy but not beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-chorus hook and steady, welcoming roll. As vibes go, Slow Season‘s is an easy one to dig into, organic but unpretentious, and mindful of songwriting even more than aesthetic.

They were recently in the studio again, though I’m not sure to what end, but if I hear of a new release I’ll let you know. In the meantime, enjoy the clip for “Wasted Years” below, followed by the dates for Slow Season‘s upcoming tour:

Slow Season, “Wasted Years” official video

slow-season-tour-poster

**STARS & BARS TOUR 2015**
5/16 – Grizzly Fest, Fresno w/ FUZZ
5/17 – Psycho CA, Santa Ana w/ Om, Sleep, Pentagram, Earthless, Pallbearer, BANG!, Radio Moscow, and more!
5/18 – Sweet Springs, Los Osos •¥
5/19 – Blue Lagoon, Santa Cruz •¥
5/20 – El Rio, San Francisco w/ Hot Lunch •
5/21 – Rock Bar, w/ Zed •¥
5/22 – The Know, Portland w/ Sons of Huns •
5/23 – Christo’s, Salem w/ Sons of Huns •
5/25 – Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City w/ Red Telephone
5/26 – Three Kings Tavern, Denver w/ Cloud Catcher
5/27 – Foam, Kansas City
5/28 – The Scene, St. Louis +
5/29 – Cobra Lounge, Chicago +*
5/30 – Louie’s, Kalamazoo +*
5/31 – TBA, Columbus ¥
6/1 – TBA, Nashville ¥
6/2 – TBA, Birmingham ¥
6/3 – TBA, Memphis ¥
6/4 – The Blue Note, OKC ¥
6/5 – Double Wide, Dallas ¥
6/6 – The Lost Well, Austin ¥
6/8 – TBA, Santa Fe
6/9 – TBA, Phoenix w/ Goya
6/10 – Brick by Brick w/ Great Electric Quest, Red Wizard, LOOM
•w/ Blackout
+w/ Dead Feathers
*w/ Bone Hawk
¥ w/ Mothership

Slow Season on Thee Facebooks

Slow Season’s website

Slow Season at RidingEasy Records

RidingEasy Records

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Slow Season Premiere “Endless Mountain” from New Album Mountains

Posted in audiObelisk on October 15th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

slow season

Short of slicing a piece of tree trunk and putting that on your turntable, vinyl is widely regarded as about as natural-sounding as you can get. We’ve seen a lot of analog worship over the last several years as a result, fed into by a movement of ’70s-minded retroists, and while Slow Season definitely have some of those elements at play, what’s more striking about their RidingEasy Records debut and second album overall, Mountains (review here), is the spaciousness of the recording. Particularly as the record was put together without digital means, without hand-picking their reverb from a thousands-long list of plugins, the breadth of their mix lives up to the aspiration of the LP’s title — something large, immobile, and seemingly removed from time.

I said when I reviewed Mountains that Slow Season possess a strong current of Led Zeppelin fetishism, and that’s true slow season mountainsof the track “Endless Mountain” as much as the bulk of the rest of the album. You can hear it in the echoing harmonica and in Cody Tarbell‘s stomping, swinging approach to the drums, which lead the march alongside Hayden Doyel‘s bass and the guitars of David Kent and Daniel Rice, the latter of whom is also responsible for the vocals, somewhere between a rawer take on Graveyard and of course the early, riff-riding work of Robert Plant. As a demonstration of the movement and bounce that Slow Season enact over the course of Mountains, “Endless Mountain” is a prime example, the band easing into a swaggering shuffle that starts and stops in the verse and opens well in the chorus without losing its jammy sensibility.

Mountains will be out Nov. 11 on RidingEasy Records (preorder from the label here), and you can check out “Endless Mountain” on the YouTube player below, followed by more info on the release with some comment from Slow Season. Please enjoy:

Slow Season, “Endless Mountain”

SLOW SEASON to release new album via RIDINGEASY RECORDS on 11th November 2014

Press “play” on Slow Season’s second full-length album Mountains (RidingEasy Records), and you might just forget what era you’re in. It could very well be the sixties, seventies, or now. It almost doesn’t matter though because this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization.

The Central California quartet – Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) – scale new heights, while recognising where it all began.

“I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969,” grins Cody. “We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.”

In order to do so, the musicians holed up in Cody’s home studio, which actually doubles as his parents’ garage, and cut Mountain’s ten tracks throughout the course of early 2014. Hayden had just returned home from a short detour at college in Idaho before recognizing he belonged jamming with his brothers. Officially back in the fold, excitement to record proved pervasive. Moving when inspiration struck, they actually recorded the songs live on reel-to-reel tape. Eschewing the digital mindset of today and not even uttering the words “Pro Tools”, everything was caught on analog, giving the music a crackling kinetic energy.

“I like everything associated with reel-to-reel,” Cody goes on. “I love the sound. I like the mojo that comes along with it.”

“Working with the limitations of tape really pushed us to play our best,” adds Daniel. “You have to prioritize your ideas. You can’t layer too much on there. You also have to nail the takes. You don’t get to go back and cut paste. You have to feel it when you’re playing it. When everything comes together, it really shines because we’re all playing together on tape.”

They lock in during the album opener and first single, ‘Sixty-Eight’. It snaps into a bluesy riff and bombastic beat before Daniel lets out a soaring refrain and a screeching solo roars. “We wanted to nod back to Led Zeppelin,” the vocalist says. “We managed to get this really big sound in the garage. It’s very organic and natural. The subject matter is pretty gnarly, and I’d encourage everyone to take a close listen to the lyrics.”

That mystique carries over to the hazy ‘Synanon’, which details the exploits of a mountain cult nearby where the boys reside. Meanwhile, ‘Endless Mountain’ drives forward on robust guitars and propulsive drums. It also reflects the overarching theme inherent within the title.

“Mountains embody a few things,” explains Daniel. “They’re difficult, seemingly insurmountable, and bigger than us. They’re both foreboding and beautiful at the same time. I had been doing a lot of hiking and backpacking in the higher Sierra Nevada. It all fit together. We live right next to Sequoia National Park, and we go up there all the time. We connect with the idea of man versus nature.”

Slow Season first emerged in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Supported by shows throughout California and nationally, they began to garner palpable buzz. Now, Mountains kicks off their next chapter. However, they’ll continue to exist within an epoch of their own.

Daniel leaves off, “I want people to walk away knowing there’s integrity behind the music, the process, the words being sung, and the notes being played. We love what we do, and we hope that listeners do too.”

Slow Season on Thee Facebooks

Slow Season’s website

Mountains preorder

RidingEasy Records

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: The Melvins, Slow Season, Beak, GravelRoad and The Lords of Beacon House

Posted in Radio on October 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

Yeah, it’s been a couple weeks since I added records to The Obelisk Radio playlist, mostly because these posts are a pain to set up, but once again, I’ve been keeping track of stuff to go up and this time around we’ve got 24 new albums joining the ranks. Some of it is stuff recently covered — 35007, Ice Dragon, Truckfighters — and some has yet to be — Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork — but as ever, it’s a lot of good stuff, so if you get the chance to hit up the playlist and updates page, you should find plenty there for your perusal, in addition to the running tab of the playlist, which from where I sit puts the whole stream in a different league of enjoyable. Hope you agree.

A lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Oct. 3, 2014:

The Melvins, Hold it In

the melvins hold it in

Sometimes I have to wonder how it is that for a band who are so off the wall and experimental one can still basically approach any Melvins record no matter who’s involved in making it and have a decent idea of what to expect. Yeah, guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo and drummer Dale Crover have hooked up with JD Pinkus and Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, and yeah, “You Can Make Me Wait” sounds like it would play over alternate universe credits to The Breakfast Club, but a lot of Hold it In (released by Ipecac) — “Bride of Crankenstein,” “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad,” “Sesame Street Meat,” “Nine Yards” — is pretty much in the Melvins wheelhouse. It’s in moments like the jangly “Eyes on You,” trucker rocking “Piss Pisstoferson,” spacious seven-minute jammer “The Bunk Up” and sprawling noise finish “House of Gasoline” that Hold it In really distinguishes itself, but there are stretches even in those where the Melvins just continue to sound like the Melvins. I know they’ve got a fanbase that will eagerly snap up everything they do, and after 30 years of busting their collective ass on tour and in the studio without major commercial success, I’ll far from begrudge them their following, it just seems like for as much praise is heaped in the direction of every new Melvins release, there’s not nearly as much genuinely new ground being broken as time goes on and that even the gleefully weird territory Hold it In covers is starting to feel an awful lot like a comfort zone. The Melvins on Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.

Slow Season, Mountain

slow season mountains

Whichever of Cali four-piece Slow Season‘s parents introduced them to Led Zeppelin, thanks. The Visalia outfit will release their second album, Mountains, this November on RidingEasy Records, following-up a 2012 self-titled, and by way of advance notice, the thing’s a ripper, echoing out Plant-style vocals and Bonham stomp with an underlying skater-rock groove that fits well with the label’s output in bands like The WellElectric Citizen, and so on. Of course, there’s more than that at play — second cut “Synanon” reminds of some of The Flying Eyes‘ heavy psych rollout — but from the oohing and ahhing that cap “Damo’s Days” to the bombast that comes to the fore in “Wasted Years,” Zeppelin are a central influence, bolstered throughout by touches of early Soundgarden and forays into mega-swagger for “King City” and acoustic psychedelia in “Apparition.” Mountains‘ bread and butter, though, is the meaty riffer fare of “Shake” and closer “The Defector,” the sheer arrogance of which impresses, let alone the fluidity of the riff or the obvious aesthetic drive of the production. Slow Season on Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.

Beak, Let Time Begin

beak let time begin

Not to be confused with Beak>, who are a different band entirely, post-metal four-piece Beak are based in Chicago and Let Time Begin (released by Someoddpilot Records) is their chugging, growling, atmospherically ranging debut full-length. Chicago has proven a hotbed for the genre, and Beak seem well aware of the tenets, trading off crushing riffs for atmospheric post-rock airiness, the lineup of Chris Eichenseer, Jason Goldberg, Andy Bosnak and Jon Slusher taking an Isis influence to unexpected synthy weirdness on “The Breath of Universe” — a vocoder early bringing to mind some of Cynic‘s post-reunion proggism — after the lumbering of “Light Outside.” Longer songs like “Into the Light” and “Carry a Fire” flow well, incorporating some blackened guitar squibblies and echoing screams between them, and the penultimate “Over the Shelter, the Morning” moves from abrasive feedback to contemplative ambience ahead of “Fiery They Rose,” which meters out weighty pummel but ultimately caps Let Time Begin on a subdued note that’s both satisfying and emblematic of a burgeoning will toward individuality. Beak on Thee Facebooks, Someoddpilot Records.

GravelRoad, El Scuerpo

gravelroad el scuerpo

Seattle blues rockers GravelRoad get the vibe just right on “Waiting for Nothing,” which opens their fifth album, El Scuerpo (Knick Knack Records), rocking out quiet, unpostured blues to lead the way into the record’s varied takes, from the boogie-woogie shuffle of “40 Miles” to the psychedelic fluidity of “Green Grass,” straight-up heavy rock of “DD Amin,” languid roll of “Asteroid” and upbeat finish of “Flesh and Bone,” which is among the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about cannibalism. My chief issue with some of their past work has been a tendency toward disjointedness and a modern blues production style that hones in on clarity and the brightness of the guitar and gives up some of the malevolence of the low end — something more related to my own perspective listening than the actual mission of the band — but El Scuerpo flows well and a mix by Jack “Yes, That Jack Endino” Endino treats eight-minute heavy jam rocker “Asteroid” with its due reverence, and the more I hear it, the more I want to hear it. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks, Knick Knack Records.

Lords of Beacon House, Lords of Beacon House

Los Angeles heavy rockers Lords of Beacon House serve notice of their arrival this fall via a three-song EP on Homhomhom that takes loose, Graveyard-style ’70s worship and adds a touch of Western flair in the snare march of “Seven Days” and Sabbathian string pull on “Cool Water Blues.” The EP (they call it an album, it’s really more of a demo, but whatever you want to call it) runs shortest to longest, and opener “Distant Thunder” is the most straightforward of the bunch accordingly, but even in its 8-track chug, Lords of Beacon House showcase natural tones and a penchant for writing strong hooks that continues right through until the last repeat of the line “I asked for water/She gave me gasoline” in “Cool Water Blues,” which rounds out with familiar if welcome nod. They’re a new band and so far as I can tell, this self-titled is the first audio they’ve made public, but they seem to have a handle on what they want to do, and that’s never a bad place to start working from. More to come, I’m sure, and thanks to Bill Goodman for steering me their way. Lords of Beacon House on Thee Facebooks, Homhomhom.

As noted, this is just a fraction of the stuff that joined the playlist today, so if you get a second, check out the rest at The Obelisk Radio updates and playlist page.

Thanks for reading and listening.
 

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audiObelisk Transmission 040

Posted in Podcasts on September 26th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

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

This one’s beamed in from a universe of all good times. I don’t want to walk around tooting my own horn like I actually did anything, but you’ll pardon me if I say that once you get on board here, you might not want to jump back off. The flow is up and down, alternately drawn out and rushing, and right up to the last song which is a bit of a return to earth, the second hour is the most spaced out it’s ever been around these parts. I’m way into it. I hope you’re way into it.

Like last time, I tried to get a mix of excellent stuff upcoming with other recent items you might’ve missed. One of these days I’m gonna do another one of these where I talk, but this is straight-up track into track the whole way through and I think it moves really well that way. Please feel free to grab a download or hit the stream and dig in and enjoy.

First Hour:
The Melvins, “Sesame Street Meat” from Hold it In (2014)
Fever Dog, “One Thousand Centuries” from Second Wind (2014)
Lo-Pan, “Eastern Seas” from Colossus (2014)
Witchrider, “Black” from Unmountable Stairs (2014)
Alunah, “Awakening the Forest” from Awakening the Forest (2014)
Craang, “Magnolia” from To the Estimated Size of the Universe (2014)
Slow Season, “Shake” from Mountains (2014)
Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, “Guillotine” from The Shining One (2014)
The Proselyte, “Irish Goodbye” from Our Vessel’s in Need (2014)
Flood, “Lake Nyos” from Oak (2014)
Lord, “Golgotha” from Alive in Golgotha (2014)

Second Hour:
My Brother the Wind, “Garden of Delights” from Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One (2014)
Spidergawd, “Empty Rooms” from Spidergawd (2014)
The Myrrors, “Whirling Mountain Blues” from Solar Collector (2014)
Witch Mountain, “Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)” from Mobile of Angels (2014)

Total running time: 1:54:28

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 040

 

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