Captain Crimson Post Video for “Love Street”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

captain-crimson

It’s hard to convey without actually listening to it just quite how wholesome the sound of Captain Crimson winds up being. The four-piece from the familiar terrain of Örebro, Sweden, issued their third album, Remind (review here), last month on Small Stone, and their new clip for “Love Street,” which finds them rocking out basically warehouse-style amid rhythmic editing that seems to ride the track’s easygoing groove, underscores the point well. Their sound is both familiar and their own, their hook is unassuming, and the lyric, about taking “a ride down Love Street” — which let’s just assume is an actual place being written about — is sweet enough to have come from 1956.

Of course, Captain Crimson wouldn’t be the first Swedish band to indulge nostalgia, but that’s not really what’s happening on Remind, or at very least not in what’s become the expected manner of vintage gear and ’70s-style boogie. I think some elements of that would be largely unavoidable at this point coming from where they are and in the age they are, but Captain Crimson‘s modernity is pervasive in their production and while the songwriting beneath relies on time-tested structures in the straightforward changes between verses and choruses, the ideal toward audience engagement in a get-down-to-business-and-do-it-right kind of way speaks to the lack of time to waste. Frankly, there’s nothing more modern than that.

So they hit on their blend throughout the record, and it might come across as confused aesthetically were it not for the cohesiveness of their approach to it and the current of songwriting, both of which find emphasis in “Love Street.” All the better then they should have a video for it, and one that also gets to the point of what it’s all about: the good things that can happen when the right combination of people and ideas come together.

More info from the PR wire follows the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Captain Crimson, “Love Street” official video

Last month, Swedish blues rock collective CAPTAIN CRIMSON released their delightfully riff-laden Remind full-length via Small Stone. A genuine testament to the timeless power of groove and of memorable choruses that take you back to when you felt such things deep in your soul, CAPTAIN CRIMSON manifest the kind of rock and roll that speaks to the essence of the form.

In commemoration of its release comes the visual companion to Remind super boogie, road rager “Love Street.” “‘Love Street’ is the third track on our new record, Remind,” the band reflects of the tune. “It was the last track that got written and it’s also the shortest one on the record. But it shows off everything that CAPTAIN CRIMSON is all about! It’s got a heavy blues rock feeling with a groovy rhythm section, big chorus, a ripping guitar solo and bluesy vocals. In the video we try to capture the raw live feeling we had when we recorded the album and how much fun we have while playing together as CAPTAIN CRIMSON.”

Remind is out now on CD, digitally, and limited edition vinyl formats. Orders are available at THIS LOCATION where you can also stream the record in full. Additionally, you can sample the band’s video for “Bells From The Underground” RIGHT HERE.

Captain Crimson on Thee Facebooks

Captain Crimson website

Remind at Small Stone Records Bandcamp

Small Stone Records website

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Members of The Brought Low and Kings Destroy Team up for The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas Tribute to MC5

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

The tribute show is an essential part of the rock and roll Halloween experience — bands essentially dressing up as other bands, if only in sound — and kudos to the guys from NYC trio The Brought Low for teaming up with Carl Porcaro from Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel‘s Nat Murray (of course The Brought Low have their own connections to that outfit as well) for hooking up a gig and not just doing a set of Misfits songs like probably hundreds of other acts along the Eastern Seaboard will be doing that weekend. On Oct. 28, performing as The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas, the five-piece will hit The Gutter in Williamsburg to pay due homage to the MC5. Maybe not the kind of thing I’d always post about, but given the personnel involved and the thought of how killer a time this one would actually be to attend, you’ll get no argument out of me.

And I gotta be honest with you, I could use another The Brought Low album. It’s been a surprisingly long six years since their Third Record (review here) came out in 2010 on Small Stone, and as early as 2012, there was discussion of a fourth, but nothing has yet materialized. Would be awfully nice, is all I’m saying.

While I go back and put on their last one again, here’s the highly exclamatory show info for The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas this Friday:

the-rama-lama-fa-fa-fas-poster

The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas – MC5 Tribute @ Gutter

The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas is The Brought Low and Carl from Kings Destroy on second guitar and Nat Murray from Sweet Diesel on lead vocals doing MC5 covers. We have a show at The Gutter in Brooklyn Friday, October 28th. Here’s the info:

Friday, October 28
The Gutter Bowling and Fine Brews
200 N 14th St, Brooklyn, New York 11249

Brothers and sisters!!!!!!!
It’s time to see a sea of hands!!!!!!
It’s time to kick up some noise!!!!!!
It’s time to get down with it this Halloween weekend and I want to know…
Are you ready to testify?!!!!!!
Are you ready to testify?!!!!!!

I give you a testimonial….

The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas!!!!!!!!!!
A musical tribute to the MC5 with members of Breakdown, The Brought Low, Killing Time, Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel!!!!!!!

Join us at The Gutter Friday, October 28th to kick out the jams motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!

Flyer by Steve Louk.

https://www.facebook.com/events/686951801480997/
https://www.facebook.com/thebroughtlow/

MC5, “Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa”

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Abrahma Announce New Lineup; Third Album in Progress

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Parisian heavy progressive rockers Abrahma have a new lineup and a new record in the making under the working title In Time for the Last Rays of Light. Last we heard from the band, they had posted a cover of Nazareth‘s “Witchdoctor Woman” intended to be used as part of the Underdogma Records tribute compilation Go Down Fighting that has yet to materialize. Not to say it won’t; just hasn’t yet. Their last album, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here), came out in Spring 2015, and noting some personal setbacks, they’ve undergone this reworking around guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Sebastien Bismuth and guitarist Nicolas Heller, parting ways with brothers Guillaume Colin (bass) and Benjamin Colin (drums), and bringing in new bassist Guillaume Theoden and drummer Sacha Viken to move forward.

Moving forward, as it happens, is exactly what Abrahma did with Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird, the somewhat gruesome title doing little to convey the many textures on hand throughout, unless I suppose one counts the visceral nature of their origins — the album was nothing if not from the guts. It was a considerable leap from 2012’s Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (review here), and took a moodier approach overall while holding firm to the underlying current of songwriting that established such potential on the debut.

Stay tuned obviously for more updates from Abrahma and on In Time for the Last Rays of Light, or whatever it might finally wind up being called, as we shift into winter and ahead into 2017. These guys are always worth keeping tabs on.

Bismuth sent along the following brief word:

abrahma-new-lineup

Abrahma welcomes two new members, Guillaume Theoden on bass and Sacha Viken on drums. We wish lots of luck to the Colin brothers for their killer new project!!

We are currently working on the new album which will go deeper in the soundscape we started to explore on Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird.

www.abrahmamusic.net
www.facebook.com/ABRAHMAMUSIC
www.twitter.com/ABRAHMAMUSIC
www.smallstone.com

Abrahma, “Witchdoctor Woman” (Nazareth cover)

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Långfinger Premiere “Fox Confessor” Video; Crossyears LP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Langfinger (Photo by Bengt Persson)

Swedish power trio Långfinger released their third album, Crossyears, on Sept. 30. Their first for Small Stone Records, the record — which was first announced here — comes jammed with premium boogie and classic songcraft delivered with a new generation’s energy. One need look no further than the track “Fox Confessor” for clear demonstration of all of the above. The side A cut finds itself a comfortable pace and builds tension in its verse only to let loose in a righteous hooked backed up by spacious lead guitar. Then they turn around and do it all again. Another round for everybody.

That, incidentally, could also be said to be the theme of the video, though Långfinger push deeper into narrative than just playing a show and selling their amps (and dog) for alcohol after being stiffed by the club owner, actually going so far as to take revenge on the club owner themselves. Street justice! They wind up living the high life on a rooftop, praising high art and chipping golf balls into the urban setting below. You know, as one does. It’s about a four-minute clip to tell this story, and about a three-minute song underneath, so efficiency is a major factor here to be sure, but Långfinger don’t need any more time than they take in order to make an impression. Crossyears benefits across its span from their clarity of purpose as much as it does from their choice riffing and rhythmic fluidity.

Plus it’s a bass tone you just gotta hear.

The band was kind enough to offer some comment on the making of the video and the song, which you’ll find below. Crossyears is also streaming in full at Small Stone‘s Bandcamp, linked at the bottom of this post.

Please enjoy:

Långfinger, “Fox Confessor” official video

Långfinger on “Fox Confessor”:

“Fox Confessor” is the first collaboration between Långfinger and cinematographer Anders Bryngel. We were exploring the idea of working together for some years and with the new album looming, it was more appropriate than ever.

One day we devised a syndicate. We then determined that the effort should be focused on a narrative and as the storyline progressed we let it evolve naturally with the group’s dynamic. A spontaneous process driven by our collective efforts.

As for the actual song, which like many of our songs, established itself as an instrumental; was inspired by our favorite Krautrock bands from the late sixties. That was up until I spent some time in rural Argentina. The lyrics began as rough scribbles, and in the attempt to characterize the broad landscape, which seemed to encompass most of my days spent there, a sort of comic relief broke out into lyric.

Långfinger:
Kalle Lilja – Guitars & backing vocals
Victor Crusner – Bass, keys & lead vocals
Jesper Pihl – Drums & backing vocals

Långfinger on Thee Facebooks

Långfinger website

Crossyears at Small Stone Bandcamp

Small Stone on Thee Facebooks

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Captain Crimson, Remind: Fuel for Future Reminiscence (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

captain-crimson-remind

[Click play above to stream Captain Crimson’s Remind in full. Album is out Friday, Oct. 14, on Small Stone Records.]

Swedish four-piece Captain Crimson make their debut on Small Stone Records with their third album, Remind. It’s a record that begs the question of just what we’re being reminded. Comprised of 10 boogie-laden, grooving, swinging, catchy tracks, it follows just two years behind 2014’s Ageless Time (on Moving Air and Nasoni) and four behind the band’s 2012 Dancing Madly Backwards debut that found them paying so strongly to their namesakes in Captain Beyond and King Crimson.

Now working with the lineup of vocalist Stefan Lillhager (ex-Blowback), guitarist Andreas Eriksson, bassist Chris David and drummer/organist Mikael Läth, the Örebro natives have come unquestionably into their own throughout these tracks, moving well beyond the ‘70s worship for which their hometown is so known in favor of a full sound, marking a less dramatic shift than that of, say, Witchcraft, but mostly because Captain Crimson were less of a directly vintage mindset to start with. In any case, what they arrive with on Remind is a 42-minute collection of tightly written, smoothly executed cuts that seem to be vying with each other to occupy space in the listener’s consciousness.

Will it be “Black Rose” or “Let Her Go” stuck in someone’s head? I don’t know, but there’s a good chance that something here will hit a nerve among the converted, as Captain Crimson favor quality songcraft over the trappings of hyper-stylization, and so have no need of the latter as they make their way through, energetically and deftly using the momentum of one track to push through the next.

In the album’s ultimate affect, it feels ahead of the curve in such a way as to recall (which is not to say “remind”) of young-gun countrymen rockers and labelmates Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, who made their debut in 2011 and have followed a similar stylistic trajectory in taking what more vintage-minded outfits have been able to accomplish over the last decade-plus and carry it forward, blending with ’90s influences, yes, but coming across with something new from that mixture.

In the case of Captain Crimson, there are elements at play in early pieces like opener “Ghost Town” or “Bells from the Underground,” which immediately follows and is the longest inclusion at 5:29, that tie them further into the long legacy of quality Swedish heavy rock; most notably in what they’re able to do with the hooks of these songs and the ease of their transitions one might liken their work here to Greenleaf‘s earlier days, or specifically for “Bells from the Underground,” from some of what Astrosoniq had on offer with their last outing, Quadrant, at least on some superficial level, but neither does Remind lack its own personality.

The 10 tracks break evenly onto two neatly-structured vinyl sides, and though each song seeks to deliver an impact, and succeeds on one level or another, they tie together fluidly as well, as one can hear in the crisp jive of “Love Street,” on which Eriksson‘s guitar leads a strut bolstered by layered vocals in the chorus and punchy bass, and the subsequent “Black Rose,” which pulls back on some of the thrust initially to lock in a sleek, classically metallic groove, easily turns into an acoustic break, and emerges with newfound vigor to lead to the side A closer “Money.”

Captain Crimson

Bluesier licks permeate, backed by serene organ flourish, and a flowing jam ensues, more patient than any of the faces Captain Crimson have yet shown, and so a decent setup for some of side B’s expansion of the album’s overall scope. Of course, before they get there, it’s only fair to match “Money” with a barnburner, and “Drifting” opens Remind‘s second half in raucous form, effectively reestablishing the momentum of “Ghost Town” as side B begins to unfold.

There’s some twang underlying the title-track, which follows, but the focus remains on the chorus, cleanly realized with push coming from Läth‘s kick drum, a prominent but not ever really out of place element across the record. Stomp suits Captain Crimson, and “Let Her Go,” with its blues-inflected harmonica (a guest performance from Timo Tilli), backs that up, finding a comfortable pace that allows them to continue to spread out their sound from its foundation of craft and structure in subtle and intriguing ways that become clearer on repeat listens. Then there’s the more drastic change brought on by the penultimate “Alone.”

Almost snuck in before closer “Senseless Mind” reaffirms the decades-spanning stylistic meld, the acoustic-led alone offers Lillhager a showcase in which to shine and he does not disappoint. With vocals and guitar, Captain Crimson depart from the rest of the album toward a different level of emotional resonance, but the presentation is still clear, and there’s never any sense of control lost.

Maybe “Senseless Mind” is meant to work as a reaction to that, or maybe it’s just the drastic contrast between the final two songs, but the ending feels especially riotous by the time it’s over. Before that, like “Black Rose” earlier, it cuts to a quieter interlude, but when the four-piece slam into the final thrust, there’s little doubt the apex has been reached. Like the record as a whole, they telegraph their intentions there, but three albums in, I don’t think there’s anything one could call to question in their intentions.

They clearly know what they’re doing, in the construction of their material, in putting together a record, and in filtering out anything that doesn’t best serve the song at hand. That makes Remind a strong depiction of a group who’ve clearly hit their stride, and leaves one to suppose that perhaps the title is referring to how much of a force such a group can be when captured at their best.

Captain Crimson on Thee Facebooks

Captain Crimson website

Remind at Small Stone Records Bandcamp

Small Stone Records website

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La Chinga Post “Gone Gypsy” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

la-chinga-gone-gypsy

Hell-raising Vancouver heavy rockers La Chinga released their second album, Freewheelin’ (review here) earlier this year on Small Stone just in time to head abroad for a European tour. No doubt that was good times, since good times seem to be the band’s specialty — classic brash-duder songcraft given a modern booze-ready execution, unabashed in its affection for a drive-ready hook and an appeal to the songcraft sucker in all of us. Only fair they should take that show on the road, since that seems to be where it was made for in the first place.

You can see that ethic coming to life, plus a bit of other imagery, in their new video for “Gone Gypsy.” Something of a road-song in itself, “Gone Gypsy” speaks to the restlessness that lies beneath the drive to get out and do a show in a different city every night, and accordingly, the video is a party. Out in a field. With fire. And booze. And vans. And tiny motorcycles. Shirts optional. You get the picture. And I mean that, because as the song itself plays toward classic ideas and ideals, so too does the video — with its kind of inexplicable NSFW splash screen below — work off a well established lifestyle ethic. I don’t know how often La Chinga go party in fields, but they certainly look like they’re having a good time doing it here, and as noted, good times are the whole idea.

Enjoy:

La Chinga, “Gone Gypsy” official video

Vancouver-based riff rock unit LA CHINGA has just issued a new video from their Freewheelin’ full-length released earlier this year through Small Stone Records.

Offers the band on the video, “Three shaggy haired men lost in the valley on a Summer’s day are picked up by a roaming band of strange of Boogie van neer’do’wells and are taken to the secret backwoods compound where the booze, bikes, broads, and Rock begin to flow in ridiculous amounts! As the sun sets the heat begins to rise…and so does the electric riffage! And then the deranged mayhem ensues! Warning! Not for the faint of heart! Pregnant women! Small children! Those with a delicate condition are warned to not watch this high rollin’ low brow goin’ freak fest! The living word in the flesh is presented here on the silver screen! Righteous and loose! Free and easy! Three men unbound, unchained and the pulchritudinous women who love them! LA CHINGA! In ‘Gone Gypsy’.”

Recorded and produced by drummer Jay Solyom in his home studio with the tracks “K. I .W.” and “Right On” captured by Eric Neilson and mastered by Chris Goosman (Acid King, Dixie Witch, Solace, Sasquatch et al), the ten-track Freewheelin’ is available through Small Stone Recordings on CD, digitally and limited vinyl with orders available at THIS LOCATION.

Produced and directed by Brian Johnson of Stampede Breakfast Productions.

Carl Spackler: Bass, Vocals
Ben Yardley: Guitars, Vocals
Jason Solyom: Drums

La Chinga on Thee Facebooks

La Chinga at Small Stone Records

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Isaak Welcome New Drummer

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Italian heavy rockers Isaak took a major step forward late last year with their second album, Sermonize (review here). Released through Heavy Psych Sounds and Small Stone Records — two rousing endorsements to have — it found the band going well beyond the confines of 2012’s The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (streamed here) and toward a much more individual approach. After spending a decent portion of the last few years, the band has announced they’ve just swapped out drummers, and while one expects that will change their dynamic some going forward, I’d expect their growth will continue onto whatever it is they do next. Some momentum you just don’t stop.

I got sent a shorter version of the statement below, but wanted to print the thing in full since I think it speaks well of how much this music means to the people who are making it, and I guess that’s really what it’s all about. So here you go:

isaak

Isaak line up Change

Loads of things have happened after that dinner in a Mexican restaurant, choosing the name ISAAK after “some” Margarita.

What is the reason of starting with this sentence? We are going to explain you in a while, but we believe a short introduction is doubtless needed. ISAAK wasn’t just a change of name from Gandhi’s Gunn. Isaak became (and continue being nowadays) a completely different band from that moment. After that dinner we turned the page on the past and we looked forward, we always did it musically and not only. Band has been always more important than the single members and this shared belief has often allowed us to go ahead despite difficulties.

Who has been part of this project is perfectly aware of what we’re talking about. This band survived the distance, the adaptation to changes, the thefts, the necessities of life of the single members. This band has survived to the fact that it was possible to rehearse only during weekends. This situations has lasted for YEARS and only when we managed to be there all together (we also managed to make a record this way!). These are sacrifices that each one of us has done with pleasure and that each one of us would blindly be willing to do it again, from the first to the last.

For those who don’t know , Andre (our drummer) has been living in a city that is nearly 4 hours far away from Genoa. During three years he held it on, giving priority to our band and giving up on many other things. He did it for real. He did his best for the band.

Today Andre leaves the band but he will be always part of this family. He has significantly contributed on this project, he believed in ISAAK and we have been witness of it. He has definitely helped us to make this dream come true.

A simple post on Facebook certainly cannot summarize all this. Andre passes the baton to another great genoese drummer a great friend who will join us on the Isaak path, is name is Davide Foccis! We’ll see you under the stage to give him an eager welcome to the family!

Giacomo H Boeddu – Vocals
Gabriele Carta – Bass
Davide Fox Foccis – Drums/Vocals
Francesco Raimondi – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/isaakband
https://www.instagram.com/isaakmusic/

Isaak, Sermonize (2015)

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Freedom Hawk Announce Northeast Tour; Add New Guitarist

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Virginian heavy rockers Freedom Hawk will head out on a tour of the Eastern Seaboard next month. Freedom Hawk head out in support of their 2015 offering, Into Your Mind (review here), their fourth album and second for Small Stone Records, and will kickoff with a D.C. gig alongside King Giant and Serpents of Secrecy. From there, they’ll be out with North Carolina’s Colossus, and this tour will also act as the inaugural run with new guitarist Brendan O’Neil, who recently joined on to make Freedom Hawk a reborn four-piece.

Have to wonder how that will change the dynamic of the band, particularly considering just how metal O’Neil‘s background seems to be, but even more, what that does for Into Your Mind, which was recorded as a trio, and how that material might change with the addition of a second guitar. Of course, Freedom Hawk were a four-piece previously, as heard on 2011’s Holding On (review here), so that would seem to make Into Your Mind even more of a standout in the band’s catalog. Interesting times.

They’re also dropping hints — as you can see below — for big announcements to come for 2017. I have a pretty good feeling what that might mean, but don’t want to hazard a guess and have it turn out wrong, which it almost invariably would. Needless to say, more to come when I hear it.

Till then, dig this:

freedom-hawk-tour-poster

Freedom Hawk Tour News

After being quite for a while after last years European tour, we have no worked in a new guitarist (Brendan O’Neil from the thrash band Pestilence Choir) to round us out as a 4 piece once again and have been busy writing new material. We have decided to take a pause from writing to get out on the road to do a very short tour run around the Northeast accompanied by our metal maniac mates in Colossus (Raleigh, NC). We have relatively exciting news (at least to us that is) coming up to announce… 2017 is looking bright.

Tour News:

Burn Sweet Booking and Small Stone Records presents:
Freedom Hawk – Into Your Mind – US Northeast Tour w/ Colossus
Oct 11 Washington DC @ DC 9 w/ King Giant, Serpents of Secrecy (DC debut show)* – https://www.facebook.com/events/327139544302114/
Oct 12 Pittsburgh PA @ Gooski’s – https://www.facebook.com/events/1152277241498688/
Oct 13 Pennsylvania PA @ The Fire
Oct 14 New York, NY @ Fat Baby
Oct 15 Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar w/ Foghound – https://www.facebook.com/events/565340517000833/
Oct 16 Richmond, VA @ Wonderland – https://www.facebook.com/events/1772594016344983/
*No Colossus

www.smallstone.com
www.freedomhawkband.com
www.itunes.com/freedomhawk

Freedom Hawk, Into Your Mind (2015)

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