Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Today, Denver’s Electric Funeral Fest 2017 reveals Acid King will headline and the likes of Sourvein, Slow Season, Goya, Electric Citizen, Destroyer of Light, The Well, Cloud Catcher, Oryx and many more will appear. Limited early tickets — there seem to be 40 — are on sale as of right this second.
One headliner is still TBA, but even so, it’s a remarkably ambitious return for Electric Funeral Fest, which had its first showing in 2016. Put on by DUST Presents, it finds hometown representation through The Munsens, Love Gang, Oryx, and Cloud Catcher, likely among others, and reaches far and wide in filling out an impressive roster of acts. To be perfectly blunt about it, it looks fucking awesome.
The fest was kind enough to let me host this initial lineup announcement, and below, organizer Shaun Goodwin gives some background on the area where it will take place across two venues and the vibe they’re shooting for with Electric Funeral Fest 2017.
Electric Funeral Fest 2017 – Friday June 16th & Saturday June 17th
Location: Denver, CO @ Hi Dive & 3 Kings Tavern
Tickets:www.electricfuneralfest.eventbrite.com – There will be 40 early bird discounted 2-day passes available at $49 – After those are sold, presale 2-day passes are $59 – 1 day passes are $32
Electric Funeral will once again be happening in the South Broadway district of Denver. Anyone that is familiar with Denver knows that S. Broadway is one of the greatest neighborhoods this city has to offer. In our second year of this event, we have added a second stage at Hi Dive. Hi Dive is across the street from 3 Kings Tavern and easily one of the greatest places to party in Denver.
There is also no shortage of other great bars and restaurants in the area for attendees to visit if they need a break from head-banging. Although both stages are indoors, this will feel like just as much of an outdoor event as people go back and forth between the two venues that will run simultaneously through both evenings. Hey hey, my my, rock n’ roll sure ain’t fuckin’ dying in Denver!
Friday June 16 Headliner: TBA Support: Sourvein, Slow Season, Goya, R.I.P., The Well, Glitter Wizard, Monarch, Muscle Beach, The Munsens, Communion, Lords of Beacon House, Greenbeard, Oryx, Smokey Mirror, High on the Mountain
Saturday June 17 Headliner: Acid King Support: Electric Citizen, The Heavy Eyes, Destroyer of Light, Crypt Trip, Cloud Catcher, Love Gang, Barrows, Great Electric Quest, Red Wizard, Banquet, Ocelot (performing as Feather Stone), Jagged Mouth, Pueblo Escobar, Urn
Flier art by Christina Hunt Flier layout by Keith Dreissen
Posted in Features on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Looks like it’s going to be another busy 12 months ahead. It’s been a busy better-part-of-a-month already, so that stands to reason, but you should know that of the several years now that I’ve done these ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ posts, this is the biggest one yet, with over 150 upcoming releases that — one hopes — will be out between today and the end of 2017.
Actually, at last count, the list tops 180. Do I really expect you to listen to all of them? Nope. Will I? Well, it would be nice. But what I’ve done is gone through and highlighted 35 picks and then built lists off that in order of likelihood of arrival. You’ll note the categories are ‘Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates,’ ‘Definitely Could Happen’ and ‘Would be Awfully Nice.’
Beyond that last one, anything else just seems like speculation — one might as well go “new Sabbath this year!” with zero info backing it up. The idea here is that no matter where a given band is placed, there has been some talk of a new release. In some cases, it’s been years, but I think they’re still worth keeping in mind.
Another caveat: You can expect additions to this list over the next week — probably album titles, band names people (fingers crossed) suggest in the comments, and so on — so it will grow. It always does. The idea is to build as complete a document as possible, not to get it all nailed down immediately, so please, if you have something to contribute and you’re able to do so in a non-prickish, “You didn’t include Band X and therefore don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me,” kind of way, please contribute.
Other than that, I think it’s pretty straightforward what’s going on here and I’ll explain the category parameters as we go, so by all means, let’s jump in.
— Tomorrow’s Dream 2017 —
1. Abrahma, TBA
Late last year, Paris heavy progressives Abrahma announced a new lineup and third full-length in progress. No reason to think it won’t come to fruition, and a follow-up to 2015’s Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here) is an easy pick to look forward to. Even with the shift in personnel, it seems likely the band will continue their creative development, driven as they are by founding guitarist Seb Bismuth.
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
If 2017 ended today, Sleeping Through the War would be my Album of the Year. Of course, there’s a lot of year to go, but for now, Nashville’s All Them Witches have set the standard with their second album for New West Records behind 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here) and fourth overall outing. They’ve got videos up so far for “3-5-7” (posted here) and “Bruce Lee” (posted here). Both are most definitely worth your time. Out Feb. 24. Full review should be later this week.
3. Alunah, Solennial
Seems like UK forest riffers Alunah are on this list every year. Wishful thinking on my part. Nonetheless, their fourth LP and Svart Records debut, Solennial, is out March 17, and if the tease they gave already with the clip for “Fire of Thornborough Henge” (posted here) is anything to go from, its Chris Fielding-produced expanses might just be Alunah‘s most immersive yet.
4. Arbouretum, TBA
I asked the Baltimore folk fuzzers a while back on Thee Facebooks if they had a new record coming in 2017 and they said yes, so that’s what I’m going on here. The last Arbouretum album was 2013’s Coming out of the Fog (review here), and even with frontman Dave Heumann‘s 2015 solo outing, Here in the Deep (review here), factored in, you’d have to say they’re due. Keep an eye on Thrill Jockey for word and I’ll do the same.
5. Atavismo, Inerte
This is another one that already has a spot reserved for it on my Best-of-2017 year-end list. Spanish heavy psych rockers Atavismo up the progressive bliss level with their second full-length, Inerte, without losing the depth of style that made 2014’s Desintegración (review here) so utterly glorious. It probably won’t have the biggest marketing budget of 2017, but if you let Atavismo fly under your radar, you are 100 percent missing out on something special.
6. Bison Machine, TBA
In addition to the video for new track “Cloak and Bones” that premiered here, when Michigan raucousness-purveyors Bison Machine put out the dates for their fall 2016 tour, they included further hints of new material in progress. As much as I dug their earlier-2016 split with SLO and Wild Savages (review here) and 2015’s Hoarfrost (review here), that’s more than enough for me to include them on this list. Killer next-gen heavy rock.
7. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, TBA
News of a follow-up to Brothers of the Sonic Cloth‘s 2015 Neurot Recordings self-titled debut (review here) came through in October, and it remains some of the best news I’ve heard about 2017 doings. Took them a while to get the first record out, so we’ll see what happens, but it kind of feels like looking forward to a comet about to smash into the planet and cause a mass extinction, and by that I mean awesome. Can’t get here soon enough.
8. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kosmic Dust
Okay, so maybe I jumped the gun and did a super-early review of Denver trio Cloud Catcher‘s second long-player and Totem Cat Records debut, Trails of Kosmic Dust, but hell, no regrets. Some albums require an early-warning system. Their 2015 debut, Enlightened Beyond Existence (discussed here), was a gem as well, but this is a band in the process of upping their game on every level, and the songwriting and momentum they hone isn’t to be missed.
9. Colour Haze, TBA
I’ve gotten some details on the upcoming full-length from Colour Haze. They do not include a title, artwork, audio, song titles or general direction. Less details, I guess, than word that the CD version of this answer to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) is set to come out next month, as ever, on Elektrohasch. That puts it out in time for Colour Haze‘s upcoming tour with My Sleeping Karma (announced here). Fingers crossed it happens. Colour Haze are perpetual top-albums candidates in my book.
10. Corrosion of Conformity, TBA
Signed to Nuclear Blast after being rejoined by guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, North Carolina’s C.O.C. have been in the studio since last year. The lineup of Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin on drums is the stuff of legend and last worked together on 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, so no question this reunion makes for one of 2017’s most anticipated heavy rock records. They nailed the nostalgia factor on tour. Can they now add to their legacy?
11. Elder, TBA
I was incredibly fortunate about a month ago to visit progressive heavy rockers Elder at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA, during the recording process for their upcoming fourth album. I heard a couple of the tracks, and of course it was all raw form, but the movement forward from 2015’s Lore (review here) was palpable. That LP (on Stickman) brought them to a wider audience, and I expect no less from this one as well, since the farther out Elder go sound-wise, the deeper the level of connection with their listeners they seem to engage.
12. Electric Wizard, TBA
Could happen, could not happen. That’s how it goes. Announced for last Halloween. That date came and went. Word of trouble building their own studio surfaced somewhere along the line. That was the last I heard. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up tomorrow, if it showed up in 2018, or if the band broke up and never put it out. They’re Electric Wizard. Anything’s possible.
13. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues
Out Jan. 28 on Napalm, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) is the first-ever acoustic album from former Kyuss frontman John Garcia, also of Unida, the reunited Slo Burn, Hermano, Vista Chino, Zun, etc. — basically the voice of desert rock. He does a couple Kyuss classics for good measure, but shines as well on the new/original tracks, and while it’s a piece for fans more than newcomers — that is, it helps if you know the original version of “Green Machine” — his presence remains as powerful as ever despite this new context.
14. Goya, Harvester of Bongloads
Riffs, dude. Goya seem to have them to spare. The Arizona-based wizard doomers have set a pretty prolific clip for themselves at this point, with at least two short releases out in 2016, one a 7″ of Nirvana covers (review here), and the The Enemy EP (review here). Set for a March 3 release through their own Opoponax Records imprint, Harvester of Bongloads continues the march into the abyss that 2015’s Obelisk (review here) and 2013’s 777 set in motion, finding the band coming more into their own as well. Creative growth — and bongloads! The best of both worlds.
15. Ides of Gemini, TBA
Ides of Gemini are set to record their yet-untitled third album with Sanford Parker early this year, and it will also mark their debut on Rise Above Records upon its release. They’ve also got a new lineup around vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist J. Bennett, so as they look to move forward from 2014’s Old World New Wave (review here), one can’t help but wonder what to expect, but to be honest, not knowing is part of the appeal, especially from a band who so readily specialize in the ethereal.
16. Kind, TBA
Three-fourths of Kind feature elsewhere on this list. Bassist Tom Corino plays in Rozamov. Drummer Matt Couto is in Elder. Vocalist Craig Riggs is in Roadsaw. And for what it’s worth, guitarist Darryl Shepherd has a new band coming together called Test Meat. How likely does that make Kind to release a second LP in 2017? I don’t know, but their 2015 Ripple Music debut, Rocket Science (review here), deserves a follow-up, and I know they’ve demoed some new songs. If it happens, great. If it’s 2018, at least these dudes will be plenty busy besides.
17. Lo-Pan, In Tensions
Yes, Lo-Pan‘s In Tensions (review here) has already been released — CD/LP with an artbook on Aqualamb. It’s out. Limited numbers. You can get it now. Why include it on a list of most anticipated releases? Because that’s how strongly I feel about your need to hear it. The fruit of a shortlived lineup with guitarist Adrian Zambrano, it distinguishes itself from everything they’ve done before in style while still keeping to the core righteousness that one hopes the Ohio outfit will continue to carry forward. It’s more than a stopgap between albums. Listen to it.
18. The Midnight Ghost Train, TBA
It seems to have been a rough ride for hard-boogie specialists The Midnight Ghost Train since their 2015 Napalm debut and third album overall, Cold was the Ground (review here). They’ve never taken it easy on the road or in terms of physicality on stage, and between injuries and who knows what else, their intensity at this point veers toward the directly confrontational. Nonetheless, they’ve been writing for album number four, may or may not have started the recording process, and I expect that confrontationalism to suit them well in their new material.
19. Monster Magnet, TBA
I have it on decent authority that NJ heavy psych innovators Monster Magnet were in the studio this past autumn. I’ve seen no concrete word of a new album in progress from Dave Wyndorf and company, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to until it was time to start hyping the release, but after their two redux releases, 2015’s Cobras and Fire (review here) and 2014’s Milking the Stars (review here), their range feels broader than ever and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
20. Mothership, High Strangeness
A pivotal moment for Mothership arrives with High Strangeness, and the heavy-touring, heavy-riffing Texas power trio seem to know it. Their third record on Ripple Music pushes into new avenues of expression and keeps the energy of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but thus far into their career, it’s been about their potential and what they might accomplish going forward. 2017 might be the year for Mothership to declare a definitive place in the sphere of American heavy rock.
21. The Obsessed, Sacred
On Halloween 2016, founding The Obsessed guitarist/vocalist and doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich announced a new lineup for the band, with his former The Hidden Hand bandmate Bruce Falkinburg on bass/vocals, Sara Seraphim on guitar and Brian Costantino continuing on drums. A genuine surprise. Their first album since 1994, Sacred (due on Relapse) was tracked as the trio of Weinrich, Costantino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman, but clearly they’ve moved into a new era already. Wouldn’t even guess what the future holds, but hopefully Sacred still comes out.
22. Orange Goblin, TBA
When it was announced that London’s Orange Goblin were picked up by Spinefarm as part of that label’s acquisition of Candlelight Records last Spring, the subheadline from the PR wire was “Working on Ninth Studio Album.” I haven’t heard much since then, but even as 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) pushed them deeper into metallic territory than ever before, their songs retained the character that’s made the band the institution they are. Always look forward to new Orange Goblin.
23. Pallbearer, Heartless
Doomers, this is your whole year right here. I haven’t heard Pallbearer‘s third album, Heartless (out March 24 on Profound Lore), but I have to think even those who haven’t yet been won over by the Arkansas four-piece’s emotive, deep-running style have to be curious about what they’ve come up with this time around. I know I am. These guys have been making a mark on the genre since their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here), and there’s little doubt Heartless will continue that thread upon its arrival.
24. Radio Moscow, TBA
Fact: Radio Moscow stand among the best classic heavy rock live acts in the US. They’re the kind of band you can watch upwards of 15 gigs in a row — I’ve done it — and find them putting on a better show night after night, in defiance of science, logic and sobriety. Word of their signing to Century Media came just this past week and brought with it confirmation of a follow-up to 2014’s stellar Magical Dirt (review here), and for me to say hell yes, I’m absolutely on board, seems like the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Can’t wait.
25. Roadsaw, TBA
Nearly six full years later, it’s only fair to call Boston scene godfathers Roadsaw due for a follow-up to their 2011 self-titled (review here). Granted, members have been busy in Kind, White Dynomite, and other projects, but still. Their upcoming outing finds them on Ripple Music after years under the banner of Small Stone Records, and though I haven’t seen a solid release date yet, my understanding is they hit Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA, this past fall to track it, so seems likely for sooner or later. Sooner, preferably.
26. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
Speaking of albums by Boston bands a while in the making, This Mortal Road (out March 3 on Battleground Records and Dullest Records) is the debut full-length from Boston atmospheric extremists Rozamov. Haven’t heard it yet, but I got a taste of some of the material when I visited the band at New Alliance Audio in Aug. 2015, and the bleak expanses of what I heard seem primed to turn heads. I’m a fan of these guys, but in addition, they’ve found a niche for themselves sound-wise and I’m curious to hear how they bring it to fruition.
27. Samsara Blues Experiment, TBA
It’s been a pleasure over the last couple months to watch a resurgence of Berlin heavy psych trio Samsara Blues Experiment take shape, first with the announcement of a fourth album in October, then with subsequent confirmations for Desertfest, Riff Ritual in Barcelona, and a South American tour. Reportedly due in Spring, which fits with the timing on shows, etc., the record will follow 2013’s righteous Waiting for the Flood (review here) and as much as I’m looking forward to hearing it, I’m kind of just glad to have these guys back.
28. Seedy Jeezus, TBA
Work finished earlier this month on Melbourne trio Seedy Jeezus‘ second full-length. As with their 2015 self-titled debut, the band brought Tony Reed of Mos Generator to Australia to produce, and after their blissed-out 2016 collaboration with Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, Tranquonauts (review here), it’s hard not to wonder what experimentalist tendencies might show in the trio’s style this time out, and likewise difficult not to anticipate what guitarist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Wattereus comes up with for the cover art.
29. Shroud Eater, Strike the Sun
Not to spoil the surprise, but Feb. 1 I’ll host a track premiere from Florida’s Shroud Eater that finds them working in a different context from everything we’ve heard from them to this point in their rightly-celebrated tenure. They also recently had a split out with Dead Hand, and their second long-player, Strike the Sun, will be their debut through STB Records. It’s been since 2011’s ThunderNoise (review here) that we last got a Shroud Eater album, so you bet your ass I’m dying to know what the last six years have wrought.
30. Sleep, TBA
If Sleep were any other band, they’d probably be in the “Would be Awfully Nice” category. But they’re Sleep, so even the thought of a new record is enough to put them here. The lords of all things coated in THC are reissuing their 2014 single, The Clarity (review here), on Southern Lord next month, but rumors have been swirling about a proper album, which of course would be their first since the now-legendary Dopesmoker. If it happens, it’ll automatically be a heavy underground landmark for 2017, but it’s one I’m going to have in my ears before I really believe it.
31. Stoned Jesus, TBA
Even as they tour playing their second album, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), to mark its fifth anniversary and continued impact, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus are forging ahead with a fourth record behind 2015’s The Harvest (review here). The capital-‘q’ Question is whether or not looking back at Seven Thunders Roar and engaging that big-riffing side of their sound will have an impact on the new material, and if so, how it will meld with the push of The Harvest. Won’t speculate, but look forward to finding out.
32. Stubb, TBA
Since reveling in the soul of 2015’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) on Ripple, London trio Stubb have swapped out bassists, and they were in Skyhammer Studio this month recording a single that may be an extended psychedelic jam. I’ll take that happily, but I’m even more intrigued at the prospect of a third LP and what guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe might have in store as the band moves forward on multiple levels. Might be 2017, might not.
33. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
It Runs around the Room with Us seems to find peace in its resonant experimentalist drones, loops, open, subdued spaces, but there’s always some underlying sense of foreboding to its drift, as if Boise’s Sun Blood Stories could anticipate the moment before it happened. Toward the end of the follow-up to 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), they execute the 90-second assault “Burn” and turn serenity to ash. Look for it in April and look for it again on my best of 2017 list in December.
34. Ufomammut, TBA
Any new offering from the Italian cosmic doom magnates is worth looking forward to, and while Ufomammut have left the 15-year mark behind, they’ve never stopped progressing in style and form. To wit, 2015’s Ecate (review here) was a stunner after 2012’s two-part LP, Oro (review here and review here), tightening the approach but assuring the vibe was no less expansive than ever. They started recording last summer, finished mixing in November, so I’m hoping for word of a release date soon.
35. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
Born out of Creedsmen Arise, whose 2015 demo, Temple (review here), offered formative thrills, Swedish trio Vokonis debuted with last year’s Olde One Ascending (review here) and proved there’s still life in post-Sleep riffing when it’s wielded properly. They signed to Ripple in November and confirmed the title of their sophomore effort as The Sunken Djinn, as well as a reissue for the first album, which will probably arrive first. I don’t know how that will affect the timing on this one, but keep an eye out anyway.
Gonna Happen and/or Likely Candidates
Obviously some of these are more likely than others. Some have solidified, announced release dates — Dopelord‘s out this month, Demon Head‘s out in April, etc. — and others come from social media posts of bands in studios and hints at upcoming releases and so on. A big tell is whether or not a band has an album title with their listing, but even some of those without have their new albums done, like Atala and Royal Thunder, so it’s not necessarily absolute.
Either way, while I’m spending your money, you might want to look into:
36. Against the Grain
39. Attalla, Glacial Rule
40. Ayahuasca Dark Trip, II
42. Beaten Back to Pure
45. Buried Feather, Mind of the Swarm
46. The Clamps
47. Cold Stares
48. Coltsblood, Ascending into the Shimmering Darkness
49. Come to Grief, The Worst of Times EP
51. Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity
52. The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms
53. Dead Witches, Dead Witches
55. Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
56. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
57. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
58. Devil Electric
59. Doctor Cyclops, Local Dogs
60. Dool, Here Now There Then
61. Dopelord, Children of the Haze
62. Doublestone, Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn
63. Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls
64. Drive by Wire
65. Elbrus, Elbrus
66. Electric Age
67. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
68. Endless Floods, II
69. Five Horse Johnson
70. Forming the Void, Relic
71. Funeral Horse
73. Green Desert Water
75. Grifter / Suns of Thunder, Split
76. Hair of the Dog, This World Turns
77. Heavy Temple, Chassit
78. Here Lies Man, Here Lies Man
79. Hollow Leg, Murder EP
80. Holy Mount, The Drought
81. Hooded Menace
82. Horisont, About Time
83. Hymn, Perish
84. Lecherous Gaze
85. Magnet, Feel Your Fire
87. Merlin, The Wizard
89. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
90. Mirror Queen
91. Moonbow, War Bear
92. Mos Generator
93. The Moth
95. Mouth, Vortex
96. My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
99. PH, Eternal Hayden
100. Psychedelic Witchcraft, Magick Rites and Spells
101. Royal Thunder
102. Saturn, Beyond Spectra
103. Season of Arrows, Give it to the Mountain
104. Siena Root
105. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
106. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
108. The Sonic Dawn, Into the Long Night
110. Spidergawd, IV
112. Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld
113. Sula Bassana, Organ Accumulator
115. Sun Voyager, Sun Voyager
116. Sweat Lodge, Tokens for Hell EP
117. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
119. Troubled Horse, Revelation on Repeat
120. VA, Brown Acid The Third Trip
122. Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle
Definitely Could Happen
Maybe a recording process is upcoming (Gozu, Cities of Mars, YOB), or a band is looking for a label (The Flying Eyes), or they’ve said new stuff is in the works but the circumstances of an actual release aren’t known (Arc of Ascent, Dead Meadow, High on Fire), or I’ve just seen rumors of their hitting the studio (Freedom Hawk, La Chinga, Ruby the Hatchet). We’ve entered the realm of the entirely possible but not 100 percent.
So, you know, life.
123. The Age of Truth
124. Ape Machine
125. Arc of Ascent
126. At Devil Dirt
131. La Chinga
132. Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
133. Cities of Mars
134. Crypt Sermon
135. Dead Meadow
136. Death Alley (Studio LP)
137. Dee Calhoun
138. Destroyer of Light
140. Devil Worshipper
144. Electric Moon
145. Elephant Tree
147. The Flying Eyes
148. Freedom Hawk
150. The Great Electric Quest
151. Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
152. High on Fire
154. Insect Ark
155. In the Company of Serpents
156. Iron Monkey
157. Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus
158. The Judge
159. Killer Boogie
160. King Dead
161. The Kings of Frog Island
162. Lords of Beacon House, Recreational Sorcery
164. Mondo Drag
166. Mountain God
167. The Munsens
169. Never Got Caught
175. Purple Hill Witch
176. Ruby the Hatchet
178. Satan’s Satyrs
179. Serpents of Secrecy
181. Shooting Guns
182. Sleepy Sun
183. Slow Season
184. Snowy Dunes, Atlantis
185. Spectral Haze
186. The Sweet Heat
187. Switchblade Jesus
191. Zone Six
Would be Awfully Nice
This last category is basically as close as I’m willing to come to rampant speculation. Endless Boogie have hinted at new material, and Queens of the Stone Age have talked about hitting the studio for the last two years. There were rumors about Om, and though Kings Destroy just put out an EP, they have new songs as well, though I doubt we’ll hear them before the end of 2017. I’ll admit that Across Tundras, Fever Dog, Lord Fowl, Lowrider and Hour of 13 are just wishful thinking on my part. A boy can hope:
192. Across Tundras
194. Elephant Tree
195. Endless Boogie
196. Fever Dog
197. Fu Manchu
198. Halfway to Gone
199. Hour of 13
201. Kings Destroy
202. Lord Fowl
204. Masters of Reality
207. Queens of the Stone Age
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Whatever this year brings, I hope it’s been great so far for you and I hope it continues to be so as we proceed inexorably to 2018 and all the also-futuristic-sounding numbers thereafter. At least we know we’ll have plenty of good music to keep us company on that voyage.
As always, comments section is open if there’s anything I’ve left out. I’m happy to add, adjust, etc., as need be, so really, have at it, and thanks in advance.
[Stream ‘Miranda’ from Slow Season’s Westing by clicking play above. Album is out July 15 on RidingEasy Records.]
From the upbeat shuffle of opener “Y’Wanna” on down through the creepin’ blues bounce of “The Jackal” and the funk and classic psychedelia that shows up in “Miranda,” Visalia, California’s Slow Season make a strong case for the laid back, groove-minded next generation of West Coast heavy psych with Westing, which is not necessarily trying to be anthemic or representative of anything larger than itself — far less pretentious than that on the whole — but winds up that way anyhow. The four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Daniel Rice guitarist David Kent, bassist Hayden Doyel and drummer Cody Tarbell self-produced their third full-length behind 2014’s Mountains (review here) and a prior self-titled that RidingEasy reissued late last year, and that fact becomes important because while they still sound like a young band, that is they deliver their material with a sense of energy and purpose, Slow Season three albums deep are actually considerably seasoned, thanks in no small part to considerable time on the road alongside labelmates and others over the last two years.
As a result, Westing (also on RidingEasy) benefits from growth in basic presentation and versatility while pulling together its vinyl-ready eight-track/37-minute run, easily digestible for its hooks and flow but with depth of mix and performance ready for any listener looking to dig a little further on repeat listens. Over the course of its two sides, Slow Season show off different looks between vintage-derived boogie and heavy blues rock with more ethereal touches, but though they break out the organ on the penultimate “Manifest,” they never lose sight of the overarching mission of their songcraft and they never fail to engage the audience.
A big sticking point for Mountains was its clear Led Zeppelin influence, and Westing has some of that as well in songs like “Flag,” the guitar and spacious drums of “Saurekönig,” and closer “Rainmaker,” but it’s less direct than last time around, and as Slow Season have continued to grow — and actively forced themselves to grow by touring — they’ve arrived at a more individualized place, still at home in the earlier-Graveyard sphere of modern retroism, but in some crucial ways answering the question of what comes next for that sound, particularly in their affinity for bluesy tones and swing. Both feature mightily on “Y’Wanna,” which launches with a shuffle in medias res to immediately give a sense of movement.
There’s a sun-baked warmth in the chorus as well, and they open up to it fluidly, what sounds like a blend of acoustic and electric guitars intertwining amid multi-layer vocals and the solid rhythmic foundation of creative bass and drumming that will become a running theme as “Flag” takes hold like someone called in for boogie reinforcements. Laid back but not lazy, “Flag” typifies side A well in its rhythmic sway, catchy hook and steady flow, but the blues spirit underlying begins to deepen on “The Jackal” in the guitars, bass and drums, and Rice‘s vocals are more than up to the task set for them. He’ll have another highlight performance shortly as “Damascus” opens side B, but what Rice brings to the album overall isn’t to be ignored in helping capture the moods elicited from the songs, “The Jackal”‘s tension and roll seeming to be in conflict but finding resolution in a final verse and chorus after a quick break en route to the nod of “Saurekönig,” which as noted is one of the more Zeppelin-style cuts, but heads off on its own path to Kashmir nonetheless.
Thinking of it as a companion-piece to “Y’Wanna,” “Damascus” gets underway in not entirely dissimilar fashion, but the process “The Jackal” and “Saurekönig” started in expanding the palette continues as the instruments drop out of “Damascus” to let Rice bridge to the chorus on his own, weaving into and out of falsetto smoothly as the fuzzed-out groove surges back. Arguably the most memorable single track on Westing, “Damascus” is one of just two to reach the five-minute mark — the other is “Manifest,” still to come — and it uses that additional runtime to back its last chorus with a solo-led jam that winds and careens with some final vocal lines that thuds to a sudden stop and lets “Miranda” pick up on the beat, more led by Doyel‘s bass than anything thus far but still full in its arrangement.
The sunshine of the album’s first hook is recalled, but there’s a rush at the heart of “Miranda” as well, and that ensures there’s no sense of the band being repetitive. “Miranda” is raw songwriting at work, classic in its construction and the momentum it builds, ready to be pressed as a 45RPM and shipped to record shop storefront windows. As side A began to broaden with “The Jackal,” so too does side B with “Manifest,” but true to the form, “Manifest” pushes further, its subdued and melancholic feel made even more wistful by the organ and the guitar work. There’s a linear build happening, but until about four minutes into its total 5:57, it’s so subtle as to be almost overlooked. At that point the track takes flight, albeit momentarily, but the payoff effect is prevalent all the same, and the turn back to the chorus on just a couple quick crashes is the kind of thing that would trip up lesser bands.
Organ ends “Manifest,” which leaves the swinging, swaggering “Rainmaker” to finish out with one last boogie slide. The difference I suppose between it and “Flag” or “Y’Wanna” is the noisy movement near the end. They bring it back around to the central riff for the last measure, but for a while there Slow Season seem to really let go in a full freakout, and it shows that as far as Westing has gone up to that point, they can still go further. That might be the message of the record as a whole as well, but not at all to be ignored is how much Westing finds Slow Season making a direct contribution to West Coast heavy rock. In its vibe, natural chemistry and songwriting, that contribution is formidable.
Best wishes to West Coastly heavy rockers Slow Season, who begin this very evening the touring cycle for their upcoming third LP, Westing, due out July 8 on RidingEasy Records. Not at all the first tour for the four-piece, it’s a nonetheless ambitious coast-to-coast run, starting out by heading north to Seattle then looping back through the Midwest before a quick swing into the Northeast and back down through Texas to get them home. It’s a significant amount of road-time, all the more considering the record won’t officially be released until after it’s over, but though they still have a youthful vigor in their sound as the new streaming track “Y’Wanna,” which you can hear below, demonstrates, these guys are practically veterans at this point.
If you didn’t hear their prior record, Mountains (review here), the vibe was strong with it. The song below gives me high hopes for the new one to follow suit. Dates and audio:
Slow Season tour starts [this] week and doesn’t end until the last week of June! Who’s rolling out and where? *w/ @thedirtystreets
MAY 16M – Visalia, CA – Cellar Door 18W – Santa Cruz, CA – Blue Lagoon 19Th – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside 20F – Oakland, CA – Golden Bull 21S – Grants Pass, OR – G Street Bar & Grill 24T – Portland, OR – The Liquor Store Bar 25W – Seattle, WA – Funhouse 27F – Boise, ID – The Shredder 28S – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge 29Su – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive 30M – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge 31T – Chicago, IL – The Double Door June 1W – Indianapolis, IN – Bent Rail Brewery 2Th – Kent, OH – Stone Tavern 3F – Pittsburgh, PA – Gooski’s 4S – Rochester, NY – Bug Jar 5Su – Brooklyn, NY – Idio Gallery 6M – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie 7T – Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe 8W – Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club 9Th – Nashville, TN – FooBAR *10F – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone *11S – New Orleans, LA – PARTY! *12Su – Hattiesburg, MS – The Tavern *13M – Shreveport, LA – Bears *14T – Texarkana, TX – Arrow Bar *16Th – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note 17F – Denton, TX – Andy’s 18S – Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas 19Su – San Antonio, TX – The Mix 22W – Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Taproom 23Th – San Diego, CA – The Merrow 24F – LA, TBA
The title The Planet of Doom has been tossed around for the last eight months or so as artists Tim Granda and David Paul Seymour assembled the team that would bring their story to life. Today the real process of completing the animated film for its stated 2017 release date really begins, with the premiere of the first trailer and the launch tomorrow of a Kickstarter to help fund the remainder of the project.
One need only to look at the roster of bands — The Well, Goya, Mos Generator, Summoner, and so on — to know this is a project made with a strong love of music in mind. I’ve only seen the trailer, but it’s plain to see the inheritance from a landmark blend of heavy music and animation like 1981’s Heavy Metal, and the elements of fantasy, beard-clad motorcycle warriors, bizarre (and mostly unclothed) Amazonian-type tribes, and of course a fair heaping of monsters, not only bring these ideas to a new generation of fans, but push those boundaries further with the scope of the project itself.
That said, I could gush and go on and on about the admirable undertaking that is bringing so many artists and bands together for one special project, never mind the distribution at film festivals and three-band package tour (will be very interested to see who winds up on that) to come, but this isn’t a time for a review. You’re better off watching the trailer itself — you’ll notice the Mos Generator right away — getting the details and grabbing the Kickstarter link so that when they open it up tomorrow, Monday, April 11, for contributions, you’re ready to go.
Trailer and info follow, with thanks to Seymour and Granda for letting me host the premiere.
The Planet of Doom official trailer
Riff Lodge Animation has launched the full-length trailer and Kickstarter campaign for its highly anticipated animated tale of metal and art, “The Planet of Doom.”
The creative duo of Art Director/Writer David Paul Seymour and Director/Animator Tim Granda—the team behind the heavily buzzed-about music video for Conan’s “Throne of Fire” (watch it here)—now offer a full-length animated tale set to 14 of the heaviest new stoner-rock and doom-metal tunes this side of Valhalla.
“‘The Planet of Doom’ is very much in the spirit of music/animated films like ‘Heavy Metal’ and the works of Ralph Bakshi,” said Granda.
Added Seymour, “It’s a tribute to heavy music and the art that accompanies that type of music. With this film, we’re seeking to encapsulate the music and art community that Tim and I are a proud part of with one epic body of work. We are also naturally bringing in all sorts of fringe countercultures who’ve attached to this same community—bikers, skateboarders, comic book and sci-fi fantasy fans. It’s a really vibrant and diversified community and we’ve certainly brought in the right ambassadors to represent it properly.”
“The Planet of Doom” contains no spoken dialogue, opting instead to regale the revenge tale of hero Halvar through the lyrics of the film’s original music. The story unwinds across 14 song-chapters, each interpreted by a different artist-and-band team, including Orchid, Conan, Phillip Cope, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Slow Season and The Well, paired with artists like Skinner, Vance Kelly, Jason Cruz, Alexis Ziritt, Adam Burke, David Paul Seymour and legendary tattoo artist Forrest Cavacco.
The Bands Orchid Phillip Cope (Kylesa) Conan Mos Generator Wo Fat Slow Season Scorpion Child Summoner The Well Order of the Owl Mother Crone Destroyer of Light Goya Ironweed
The Artists Skinner David Paul Seymour Vance Kelly Jason Cruz Alexis Ziritt Adam Burke Maarten Donders Tony Papesh Scott Trerrotola Simon Berndt Burney Gorgeous George Brian Profilio Nicholas Coleman Tim Granda
Every fan of the project can now be a part of “The Helping Hands of Doom” fundraising campaign, which began last March when it raised more than $20,000 in support from company sponsorships. Through the film’s Kickstarter campaign, which launched today, fans can show their love by helping get this worthwhile film underway, while getting some prized goodies in the process—everything from an HHOD official shirt up to having yourself featured in the film as an animated “extra” and more! Fans and supporters can donate to the film atwww.theplanetofdoom.com.
“The Planet of Doom” will screen at major music and film festival events, as well as on a cross-country package tour with three of the film bands once production is completed.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 3rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan
Well, this one’s a no-brainer. A free download from RidingEasy Records that previews two of the label’s upcoming releases while at the same time wrapping up some of the best 2015 had to offer. The label is calling it the Winter 2016 Mixtape, and what it rounds out to is 14 tracks that demonstrate how huge a role RidingEasy has played in setting the tone for heavy rock in the last year. The West Coast label has established one of the strongest rosters of acts in the US, persistently released quality offerings in quality formats, and developed an aesthetic that’s individualized and expanding in kind.
All the tracks listed below are mixed into one molten 74-minute file that you can stream and download below. And if you’re only rolling into it interested in the new stuff — hey, maybe you heard the rest — that’s right up front for immediate access:
Here is a smattering of tunes that came out in 2015 and will come out in the first part of 2016. Hand selected and mixed by DJ Bonghits.
1. Electric Citizen – “Evil” from the forthcoming album “Higher Time” out April 2016 2. Mondo Drag “Out of Sight” from the forthcoming album “The Occultation of Light” out Feb 2016 3. Slow Season “Day Glo Sunrise” from the album “Slow Season” 4. Salem’s Pot “The Vampire Strikes Back” (Full Version) 5, Zekes “Box” from Brown Acid “The First Trip” 6. Old Man’s Will “Got It” from the album “Hard Times Troubled Man” 7. Sons of Huns “Philosopher’s Stone” from the album “While Sleeping Stay Awake” 8. Spiral Shades “Frozen Fear” (Originally performed and written by Bedemon) 9. Holy Serpent “Shroom Doom” From the album Holy Serpent 10. Spelljammer “The Pathfinder” From the album “Ancient of Days” 11. Monolord “Cursing The One” From the Album Vænir 12. Blackout “Tannered” from the album “Blackout” 13. The Well “Crawling Mist” (McPullish Dub Mix) 14. The Picturebooks “Hail These Words” from the album “Imaginary Horse”
I’m sorry — note: I’m not actually sorry — but this tour is awesome. Electric Citizen, Mondo Drag and Slow Season headed out together? It’s like a missionary effort from RidingEasy Records, and should you happen to be in its path, which is to say if you don’t live in the Boston area, it seems like it would be worthwhile to show up and hear the preaching. Mondo Drag head out a couple nights before the tour-proper starts, and they’re supporting the right-on-ness of their self-titled LP (review here), released earlier this year on Kozmik Artifactz and subsequently picked up by RidingEasy, while Slow Season are out heralding their own debut for the label and Electric Citizen should be teasing their second offering ahead of a release either later this year or hopefully in the earlier portion of 2016.
Tour poster by Dirty Needle and dates follow, scoured from various Thee Facebooks sources:
Check out all the date for our US Tour next month! We’re kicking it off on July 4 and we’ve got dates with Medusa1975, JOY, Feral Ohms, Slow Season, Electric Citizen, Ruby the Hatchet, Blackout, and more!!!
Tour brought to you by RidingEasy Records & KR3W Denim
7/4 San Francisco, CA at Amnesia 7/5 Long Beach, CA at Alex’s Bar 7/7 Denver, CO at The Moon Room* 7/8 Kansas, MO at Riot Room* 7/9 Rock Island, IL at RIBCO* 7/10 Chicago, IL at Reggie’s Side Room^* 7/11 Detroit, MI at Loving Touch^* 7/12 Cleveland, OH at Grog Shop^* 7/13 Rochester, NY at Bug Jar^* 7/14 Pittsburgh, PA at Club Cafe^* 7/15 Columbus, OH at Ace Of Cups^* 7/17 Philadelphia, PA at Underground Arts Black Box^* 7/18 Brooklyn, NY at Saint Vitus^* 7/20 Richmond, VA at Strange Matter^* 7/22 Asheville, NC at Grey Eagle^* 7/23 Atlanta, GA at Masquerade Purgatory^* 7/24 Orlando, FL at BackBooth^* 7/26 New Orleans, LA at Siberia^* 7/28 Houston, TX at Rudyards^* 7/29 Austin, TX at Red 7^* 7/30 Dallas, TX at Club Dada^* 8/1 Tempe, AZ at Yucca Tap Room* 8/2 San Diego, CA at The Tower Bar* 8/3 Fullerton, CA at The Continental Room 8/7 Oakland, CA at Leo’s Music Club ^w/ Electric Citizen *w/ 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 Pentagram, Sleep and about a million others. Not a bad way to launch a tour, and they’ll play with the likes of Mothership, Blackout, Zed, Goya, Hot 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
**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