The Atomic Bitchwax, Lo-Pan & The Dirty Streets Announce Coast-to-Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

A couple months ago, while out on a run with The Obsessed and Karma to BurnTone Deaf is killing it with the package tours this year — bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik of The Atomic Bitchwax sustained an injury to his arm that forced the band to cancel about half the dates. Sierra filled in, but still kind of a bummer for the stalwart NJ trio, whose 2015 Tee Pee Records album, Gravitron (review here), was among the year’s finest.

No doubt they’d get back out, and this time they’ll be headlining a coast-to-coast stint with Ohio’s Lo-Pan and Memphis blues rockers The Dirty Streets. For Lo-Pan, it will mark the four-piece’s first tour with new guitarist Chris Thompson, who was just announced as having joined the band earlier this week. They’re on the tour from Aug. 19 through Aug. 27 only, it looks like, so presumably the next night will serve as their stop at Psycho Las Vegas. The Dirty Streets, on the other hand, have an off-night as the Bitchwax and Lo-Pan roll into Tucson on Aug. 27, so I guess that’s when they’ll be playing the Vegas megafestival.

In any case, glad to see The Atomic Bitchwax heading off again and continuing to keep excellent company. Dates were posted by the band:

the atomic bitchwax lo pan dirty streets tour-700

USA!!
Arm is healed up so let’s try this again!!

THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (ALL DATES)
W/ LO PAN (8/19-9/27) and THE DIRTY STREETS (8/19-9/10 excluding 8/27)
08/19/2016 Charlotte NC The Milestone w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/20/2016 Hattiesburg MS The Tavern w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/21/2016 New Orleans LA Siberia w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/22/2016 San Antonio TX Limelight w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/23/2016 Houston TX White Oak Music Hall w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/24/2016 Austin TX Grizzly Hall w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/25/2016 Ft Worth TX Rail Club w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/26/2016 Albuquerque NM Ned’s Bar w/ Lo-Pan, The Dirty Streets
08/27/2016 Tucson AZ Flycatcher w/ Lo-Pan
08/28/2016 San Diego CA Soda Bar w/ The Dirty Streets
08/29/2016 Los Angeles CA Viper Room w/ The Dirty Streets
08/30/2016 San Francisco CA Elbo Room w/ The Dirty Streets
08/31/2016 Portland OR Dante’s w/ The Dirty Streets
09/01/2016 Vancouver BC Biltmore w/ The Dirty Streets
09/02/2016 Seattle WA El Corazon w/ The Dirty Streets
09/03/2016 Bellingham WA Shakedown w/ The Dirty Streets
09/06/2016 Minneapolis MN Grumpy’s w/ The Dirty Streets
09/07/2016 Chicago IL Double Door w/ The Dirty Streets
09/08/2016 Cleveland OH Grog Shop w/ The Dirty Streets
09/09/2016 Philadelphia PA Kung Fu Necktie w/ The Dirty Streets
09/10/2016 Brooklyn NY Black Bear w/ The Dirty Streets

https://www.facebook.com/The-Atomic-Bitchwax-86002001659/
https://www.facebook.com/lopandemic/
https://www.facebook.com/thedirtystreets
http://tonedeaftouring.com/

The Atomic Bitchwax, Live in Toulouse, France

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Lo-Pan Welcome New Guitarist Chris Thompson

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been under two months since Ohio heavy rockers Lo-Pan announced the departure of guitarist Adrian Zambrano, who was added to the band late in 2014 following the release of their fourth album, Colossus (review here), via Small Stone. They’ve now posted word that Chris Thompson has joined in Zambrano‘s stead, and though they’ve said they’re already writing new songs, they’re still playing it close to the chest on the status of the tracks they recorded when Zambrano was still in the group, among them the absolutely stellar “Pathfinder,” which they brought to stages earlier this year on their tour with Bongzilla (review here).

The timing is noteworthy because Lo-Pan, who it seems are never off the road for long, are confirmed to play Psycho Las Vegas next month. I don’t know how much of a factor that has been for their making a decision on a quick turnaround, but it’s a chance to be part of arguably the best heavy-festival lineup that’s ever been put together in the US, and I think if you were going to find a guitarist in time for any gig, that would probably be the one. I doubt Lo-Pan would hire a guitarist who isn’t at this point, but if Thompson is up for touring, it seems likely the four-piece will announce more dates in the weeks or months to come for before the end of the year and likely into 2017, when a new album — whenever it’s recorded and whoever might be playing on it — would be released.

That’s all speculation, of course. And speculation on top of speculation.

In any case, good luck to Thompson — who also plays in Sleepers Awake and shares his last name with bassist Scott Thompson; I thought perhaps there was some relation, but the band confirmed not — and of course to the rest of Lo-Pan as well, the lineup rounded out by drummer Jesse Bartz and vocalist Jeff Martin. Hope to see the new incarnation soon.

Here’s there announcement and the ceremonial photo:

lo-pan

Please help us welcome our new guitarist Chris Thompson. Chris is a very talented guy and we are lucky to have him. Lo-Pan is back in action and we are already working on new material. Lots of good stuff coming soon including a new release and, as always, more tour dates. Stay tuned.

https://www.facebook.com/lopandemic
https://twitter.com/LoPandemic614
https://www.facebook.com/BrujasdelSol
http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/colossus

Lo-Pan, Colossus (2014)

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Them Bulls Release Self-Titled Debut Aug. 26; Stream Opening Track

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 12th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

them-bulls

Italian newcomer desert-minded rockers Them Bulls have made the opening track of their self-titled debut album available to stream. The record lands Aug. 26 via Small Stone, and finds the band following up their first EP, the awesomely-titled Space Cadillacs, as they dig in deep to classic Queens of the Stone Age vibes while also finding their own place within a classic heavy rock songwriting modus. They formed in 2014, so have worked quickly toward their first long-player, but the hooks hold up and should pique the interest of those ingrained in the rock of sprawling sands.

I don’t think I wrote this bio from scratch, but I definitely edited it. Dig:

them bulls them bulls

Them Bulls – Them Bulls

Having already shared stages with labelmates in Abrahma and Lo-Pan, as well as Turbonegro, Nick Oliveri and many others, Italian heavy rockers Them Bulls will release their debut full length, Them Bulls, on Small Stone Records later this Summer.

In just over two years since forming early in 2014, Them Bulls have refined their approach to their unique desert-style fuzz of their initial EP called Space Cadillacs, and have now brought their game to a new level entirely. Executed with melodic precision but a loose feel, the songs like “Pot Gun” and “Bandana, Carlos” nod at the poppy bounce of peak-era Queens of the Stone Age, while “Too Much Hot” offers an attitude all the band’s own and “We Must Live Up” drives the point home with rare emphasis for a band who are still so relatively new.

Marking the debut with the band of second guitarist/backing vocalist Francesco Maria Pasi alongside founding vocalist/ guitarist Daniele Pollio, drummer Giampaolo Farnedi (Mondo Generator, Brant Bjork and the Bros.) and bassist Paolo Baldini, Them Bulls was recorded and mixed by Mattia Dallara at Deposito Zero Studio in April and mastered by Mathias Schneeberger. Them Bulls will be hitting many a stage in support of this release.

1. As Fangs In Stone
2. Bandana, Carlos
3. Devil’s Kiss
4. Pot Gun
5. Too Much Hot
6. Made Of Ghosts
7. Twisted Tongues
8. Through The Sun
9. We Must Live Up
10. Just Another Please

Them Bulls:
Daniele Pollio – Vocals/Guitars
Giampaolo Farnedi – Drums
Paolo Baldini – Bass
Francesco Maria Pasi – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/thembullsband/
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/them-bulls

Them Bulls, “As Fangs in Stone”

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Långfinger Release Crossyears Sept. 30; Stream New Track

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

langfinger (Photo by Bengt Persson)

If you’re feeling like you might be ready to boogie, then Långfinger are ready for you. Today, the Gothenburg trio announce that their third LP, Crossyears, will be released by none less than Small Stone Records on Sept. 30. From the swing and stomp of its title-track to the organ-laced grandeur of “Atlas,” the record brims with classic spirit, but casts off the stylistic restrictiveness of vintage production in favor of a full, vibrant sound, resulting in a mix that brings out the strengths of both without sacrificing the obvious chemistry the band has built over their time together. Also it rocks. Confidently.

The PR wire brings background and a first streaming track. Check it out:

langfinger crossyears

Långfinger – Crossyears

A kick-ass power trio is quite probably the perfect rock formation. If there aren’t that many trios around, that’s because it’s a hard thing to pull off: with just three people having to nail the rhythmic fusion of bass and drums, the wild colours of guitar and the soul-grabbing focus of the human voice, there can be no passengers aboard. Extraordinary chemistry is essential. Everyone has to be right on it, and locked in. Which is why lots of trios fail, or cop out and recruit extras.

Långfinger, from the fertile rock ‘n’ roll city of Gothenburg, are masters of the art. They’ve been playing together since they were in their early teens, and their imminent third album, called ‘Crossyears’, is both the thrilling culmination of their collective endeavour, and a rumination on it – on how Time has shaped them and brought them to this point.

Within its hard-hitting grooves, the interlocking of Långfinger’s three disparate characters – Kalle, the unflappable, precision axeman; Jesper, the athletic sticksman battering out physical revenge on his kit; and Victor, the intense, exploratory spirit, bridging thundering bass and howling exorcism – is a magical proposition.

Tracklisting:
1) Feather Beader
2) Say Jupiter
3) Fox Confessor
4) Crossyears
5) Atlas
6) Silver Blaze
7) Buffalo
8) Caesar’s Blues
9) Last Morning Light
10) Window in the Sky

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

https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/crossyears
https://www.facebook.com/Langfingerofficial/
http://langfinger.net/

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Guitarist Adrian Zambrano Leaves Lo-Pan

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ohio heavy rockers Lo-Pan have announced the departure of guitarist Adrian Zambrano from their lineup. Zambrano joined the Columbus-based four-piece late in 2014 to fill the role initially occupied by Brian Fristoe, and accompanied the band on their inaugural European tour last year as well as US dates earlier in 2016 with Black Cobra, Bongzilla and Kings Destroy (review here).

His leaving is a genuine surprise. Lo-Pan have most if not all of a new album recorded as a follow-up to their fourth outing, 2014’s Colossus (review here), and Zambrano‘s departure, which the band notes is amicable, leaves it to question what’s to become of those songs and those recordings of them in particular. Of course, the bigger and more immediate issue is who’s going to take over that spot in the band — riffs aren’t exactly a small part of what they do — but the future is yet uncertain or at least unannounced for what would have been and may still be his studio debut with Lo-Pan, now also a swansong for this incarnation of their lineup.

Zambrano, who also plays in Brujas del Sol, excelled in the guitarist position while he had it. I was fortunate enough to see Lo-Pan with him twice and both times he added a presence and energy alongside drummer Jesse Bartz, bassist Scott Thompson and vocalist Jeff Martin that only added to the force of their stage delivery. Should probably go without saying, but good luck to him and good luck to the band in finding somebody to handle guitar. When and if I hear more about their next release, I’ll let you know.

Lo-Pan are currently slated to play Psycho Las Vegas in August. Here’s the statement from the band:

lo-pan

Our guitarist Adrian Zambrano has decided he needs to walk away from Lo-Pan at this time to focus on some other important parts of life. We would like to emphasize that this is an amicable split and we wish him all the best. We are currently on the hunt for a new guitarist and we hope to see you all again as soon as possible. Stay tuned for announcements and new music.

https://www.facebook.com/lopandemic/
http://lopandemic.com/

Lo-Pan, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, April 1, 2016

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Throttlerod, Turncoat: Winning at Winning (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

throttlerod turncoat

[Throttlerod release Turncoat on June 24 via Small Stone. Click play above for an exclusive track premiere.]

After a certain point, a band’s new album becomes a believe-it-when-you-see-it prospect. Throttlerod, seven years and one social media revolution removed from the release of their last full-length, 2009’s Pig Charmer (review here), were past that point. Still, they haven’t been completely inactive over that span, playing periodic shows near founding guitarist/vocalist Matt Whitehead‘s home-base in Richmond, Virginia, and apparently crafting enough material so that their fourth outing, Turncoat, clocks in at a considerable 55 minutes with 12 tracks. It’s long. CD long, in a vinyl time, but as ever for these cats, the songwriting holds up. Small Stone Records — which was also behind Pig Charmer, 2006’s Nail, the 2004 Starve the Dead EP and 2003’s Hell and High Water (their 2000 debut, Eastbound and Down, was on Underdogma) — is once again handling the release.

While that’s business as usual for ThrottlerodTurncoat still makes for a departure from their past methods in that instead of working with Andrew Schneider, who helmed all the outings listed above, the three-piece of Whitehead, bassist Jeremy Plaugher (who makes his first appearance here; Schneider also played on Pig Charmer) and drummer Kevin White enlisted J. Robbins to act as producer/engineer at his Magpie Cage Studio. Like a lot of bands, Throttlerod have been through lineup changes and this and that, but swapping producers after 15 years is huge, and Robbins — known for his work with ClutchThe SwordMurder by Death, among many others, as well as for playing in Jawbox and other projects — makes a mark on this material in a way distinct from anything Throttlerod have done before.

Distinct, but not outlandishly removed from Pig Charmer. That in itself is something of a change as compared to, say, the sonic jump they made between Hell and High Water and Nail, which, with less than half the time between Pig Charmer and Turncoat, found Throttlerod revamping their sound from Southern heavy rock to angular noise drawing on influence from early and mid-’90s dissonance. Pig Charmer continued that thread, and Turncoat follows suit to an extent, but as opener “Bait Shop” shows in its chorus, the push comes with a heightened sense of melody as well. Whitehead‘s vocals, layered, are less shouted than sung, and as the two in the one-two punch, “Lazy Susan” answers in kind to “Bait Shop,” Throttlerod seem at least on some level to be reconciling their latter day approach with their beginnings, either consciously or not.

throttlerod

Granted, that melody comes off more post-grunge than Southern-inflected, but as they slow the roll on the early parts of the more brooding “Never was a Farmer,” those elements are easy enough to read into the proceedings, even if the context is different these years later. Rhythmic insistence comes back to the fore on “Lima,” with White propelling a middle-paced push as Whitehead squibbles out on guitar late, his vocals buried under the wall of his and Plaugher‘s tones. The title-track follows accompanied by “You Kicked My Ass at Losing,” and both songs tap into the more grunge-laden approach, the latter more raucously and of course with the best title on the record, which the chorus well earns, capping the first half of the record with a sudden stop and quick-fade cymbal ring-out. They have a long way to go, but Throttlerod are working efficiently and effectively, and for a band who’s been more or less absent for the last seven years, there’s little rust to be heard in this material.

Guitar scorches at the beginning of “Gainer,” an angular beginning opening to a more manageable verse and chorus en route to a finish that recalls once-labelmates Puny Human and that band’s frontman, Jim Starace, in whose memory Turncoat is dedicated and presumably not titled after. The subsequent “Every Giant,” “Cops and Robbers” and “Breadwinner” mostly tap into moods that the record showed earlier, but each has something about it to make one understand how it wound up in the final tracklisting, whether it’s the handclaps in “Breadwinner,” the what-if-Weezer-got-really-pissed-off aggro build in “Every Giant” or the frantic, jazzy bassline in the verse of “Cops and Robbers,” which brings to mind the melodic take on classic noise rock of Black Black Black without sounding directly akin.

Crashing and full-sounding, “I Know a Ship” offers one last landmark hook before closer and longest cut (at 6:29) “The Guard” finishes out with what starts as a more atmospheric take and then moves into chugging starts and stops — I’m tempted to call them Tool-esque, but to be fair, let’s make it pre-up-their-own-ass-Tool — that nonetheless drive as White does laps around his toms toward the finish of the record. Ultimately it’s hard to know how much of an effect Robbins‘ production might’ve had in bringing forward the melodic side of Throttlerod‘s approach — it’s not like there’s a version of the record tracked by someone else to do a side-by-side — but one way or another, the band have come back after seven years and made a record that is a definitive step forward from where they were their last time out. It might take a listen or two to sink in, but Throttlerod‘s Turncoat is one that only grows richer from there.

Throttlerod on Thee Facebooks

Turncoat preorders

Small Stone Records

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It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting: Pillars in the Void (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 25th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

its not night its space our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

[It’s Not Night: It’s Space release Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting on June 24 via Small Stone. Click play above to stream an exclusive premiere from the album.]

Cumbersome in its title and awaited in its arrival, Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting is the second full-length and Small Stone Records label debut from New Paltz, New York, heavy psych instrumentalists It’s Not Night: It’s Space. The guitar-bass-drums trio issued their first full-length, Bowing Not Knowing to What (review here), in 2012, and were picked up by Small Stone the next year, and since then it seems to have been a process of letting the band’s slow-motion space rock congeal to a point where it’s able to be processed by human minds, which is apparently where we are now. Beaming in from cosmic depths with six tracks — an intro and five cuts between seven and nine minutes a pop — Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting offers sonic immersion and atmospheric scope in kind with a patient, hypnotic front-to-back flow that adds rich tonality to what guitarist Kevin Halcott, bassist Tommy Guerrero and drummer Michael Lutomski accomplished their first time out.

Parts may have been born of improvisations, but the finished product doesn’t feel like a collection of jams. Rather, a series of interconnected pieces correctly positioned to guide the listener through this aural expanse. Spiritualism, contemplation, philosophy, space itself — all of this seems to be in play for It’s Not Night: It’s Space, as the samples in three-minute opener “Nada Brahma” demonstrate and cuts like “Across the Luster of the Desert into the Polychrome Hills” and “Starry Wisdom” answer back. The material is dynamic, particularly so the build in “Pillars of the Void,” but the key is in the motion of the record as a whole, and It’s Not Night: It’s Space succeed in holding their course while showing varied sides of their approach.

They have some help in that regard from Rick Birmingham, who recorded and mixed and who adds fiddle to “The Beard of Macroprosopus” and closer “The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden,” but though the expanse they conjure throughout feels wider than something a trio might be able to craft, mostly it’s HalcottGuerrero and Lutomski here. Should probably go without saying that effects have a considerable role to play in Halcott‘s approach, but ultimately the album is as rhythmically hypnotic as it is otherworldly of vibe. “Nada Brahma” fades in on voices that sound like chanting mantras to ease the way into the expanded consciousness that follows. An acoustic guitar line, bass, percussion and swirl give an immediate impression like the kind of ritual Om might enact, but the samples and emergent lead electric guitar assure It’s Not Night: It’s Space maintain their own direction from the outset. They’ll continue to do so as “The Beard of Macroprosopus” takes hold with a kosmiche push that grows more and more resonant before it pays off in echoing, winding guitar the tension its early moments have built.

Much to their credit, It’s Not Night: It’s Space avoid the trap of loud/quiet trades for the most part that seem to be so core in a lot of heavy psychedelia, and instead offer linear fluidity with movement of tempo and mood, and a depth of mix through layers of rhythm and lead guitar, effects and spacious drumming. Ending with more sampled chanting, “The Beard of Macroprosopus” echoes into the start of “Across the Luster of the Desert into Polychrome Hills,” for which it doesn’t seem like an accident that “desert” made it into the title. A patient fuzz unfolds in the bass beneath manipulated drone and a subtle build of guitar and drums. The central line that arrives past two minutes in seems born of a surf tradition — as is desert rock — and if the “Polychrome Hills” are being represented in Halcott‘s lead in the second half and the deeply satisfying roll that follows, I’d say they’re being done justice.

its not night its space

A cold end brings the guitar intro to “Starry Wisdom” — I’ll assume that’s where the A/B vinyl split is as well, but it’s the digital version I’m reviewing — which spends its first couple minutes in a post-rock stoner nod before opening to more driving territory, locked in in a fashion that a low of Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting has shown little interest in being, but still atmospheric on the whole. A big slowdown and blissout awaits in the second half, but the swing never departs entirely as Lutomski plays between crash and snare to ensure the rhythm holds together until the guitar is left to fade on its own into the start of the penultimate “Pillars in the Void,” the subdued opening of which is perhaps all the more effective for how little It’s Not Night: It’s Space have toyed with minimalism throughout.

True there’s still plenty going on as the track gets underway, but the central guitar figure and drum and basslines are more sparse than, for example, “Starry Wisdom” preceding, and the effect is to enact a linear payoff, then drop back to quiet before unfurling the highlight progression of the album as it moves toward and past the six-minute mark. No less immersive than anything before it, “Pillars in the Void”‘s concluding movement showcases a feel for songwriting and linguistic expression (still without lyrics or samples, mind you) that stands it out from its surroundings. One might think that would leave “Between the Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden” as an afterthought, but that winds up not at all the case, as It’s Not Night: It’s Space close out with a darker mood and straightforward but still trance-inducing groove, bass and echoing guitar giving an impression like Yawning Man by night early before moving into the Spaghetti West in the midsection and reintroducing Birmingham‘s fiddle as they gracefully build their way into the song and the record’s final push, ending noisy and sudden.

As the material comprises it feels worked over, hammered out, and shaped into what the band wants it to be, it makes sense that Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting might show up four years after It’s Not Night: It’s Space‘s debut, but as a front-to-back listen will attest, time comes to matter little once you dig into that wash and find yourself consumed by it. Fuller in its sound and more clearheaded in its purpose, the album shows definitive growth on the part of HalcottGuerrero and Lutomski, but manages to do so without sacrificing the exploratory feel that helps make it so engaging and meditative. Similar to the chanting that starts off, the record itself seems to be a mantra. Perhaps It’s Not Night: It’s Space have found wisdom in the stars.

It’s Not Night: It’s Space on Thee Facebooks

It’s Not Night: It’s Space on Bandcamp

Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting preorders

Small Stone Records on Thee Facebooks

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Friday Full-Length: Dixie Witch, Into the Sun

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dixie Witch, Into the Sun (2001)

I don’t think Texas heavy rock is what it is today without the groundwork that Austin’s Dixie Witch laid. I remember seeing them at Small Stone showcases at SXSW in the mid-’00s, and it was so clear whose town it was. When drummer/vocalist Trinidad Leal walked into Room 710, he owned the place. Nothing’s universal, of course, and Texas is huge, but do you get Mothership or Wo Fat without Dixie Witch paving the way? I don’t know. The trio of Leal, guitarist Clayton Mills and bassist Curt “CC” Christenson made their debut on John Perez of Solitude Aeturnus‘ vastly underrated Brainticket Records imprint, and would go on to sign to the aforementioned Small Stone by the time the follow-up, One Bird, Two Stones, arrived in 2003, reissuing Into the Sun that same year. Their songs of perservering through hard times and being on the road, blistering solos, thick grooves and Southern-without-caricature brand of rock would make them one of the quintessential Small Stone bands of their generation, kicking ass in the pre-social media age on songs that would become staples like the extended megagroover “Freewheel Rollin’,” “Into the Sun” itself and “Throwin’ Shapes.”

Like the best of their contemporaries, Dixie Witch recalled classic heavy rock and roll without sounding anything other than modern. A full 15 years later, if you sent me Into the Sun to review, I’d in no way call it dated. I’d call it awesome, from the title-track at the outset down to the cover of Joe Walsh‘s “The Bomber,” which closes. The soul and the force they put into these tracks — doubly impressive on a debut — would serve as a defining moment for everything they did after, whether it was One Bird, Two Stones, 2006’s Smoke and Mirrors or their 2011 last-LP-to-date (one never knows), Let it Roll (review here), and “Thunderfoot”‘s whiskey-drinking ways, trippy solo and fervent crash makes a great model to follow. That’s not to say the band didn’t grow during their tenure — Smoke and Mirrors was expansive and Let it Roll showed just how tightly honed their songwriting was, even though Mills had left the band — just that Into the Sun set the tone that Dixie Witch would build on as they moved through the decade that followed.

They were underrated at the time, but as a new generation of heavy rockers have come up in the last five or six years, Dixie Witch have been off the touring circuit. Guitarist Joshua “JT” Todd Smith, who replaced Mills for Let it Roll, seems to have relinquished his position to its former holder, and through 2015 and up to this March, Dixie Witch have done sparse live shows. Seems like an act ripe for a triumphant comeback, but of course Leal is touring and playing with Honky now as well, so what if anything might be in the cards for Dixie Witch is anyone’s best guess. But man, they were incredible on stage, and Into the Sun continues to hold up, as I expect it will into perpetuity.

Hope you enjoy.

The Patient Mrs. has been in London since last Sunday. She took a group of some of her students over on a study tour — my wife is a college professor — and will return next Wednesday. It probably would’ve been worse being home alone this week if I hadn’t spent so much time in traffic. 90 minutes to work every morning, except yesterday when it was 100, and at least another hour and a half to get home afterwards. Punishing. By the time I’ve gotten home, I’ve been too exhausted to be lonely. And well, being at work is what it is anyway. It’s not like that’s time otherwise spent hanging out. Not to say I don’t miss her, because I do very much. Fortunately, this trip is nowhere near as long as when she went to Greece for a month two years ago.

But yeah, just kind of a slog to get through the days this week. I knew I was tired when that Radio Moscow giveaway went up yesterday with the wrong venue address. I corrected it, and those things happen, but for me it’s usually a sign I’m on my ass. Get exhausted, get sloppy. I don’t think I’m the only one in the universe.

Good news is I’ve got a friend coming north to chill this weekend and I’ve got a day or two to get some errands done — air conditioners need to go in windows, dog food needs purchasing, some laundry, etc. — and the weather isn’t supposed to be shit here in the Commonwealth, so I should be vaguely restored by the time Monday comes back around and the bullshit parade begins anew. To offset that, I’ve got a pretty busy week in store.

Monday, I might have a Black Moon Circle track premiere from their new EP? Not sure yet, but I’m trying to work it out. Also a King Buffalo track stream. Tuesday a full stream of the new Farflung. Also going to try to fit in reviews for Electric CitizenEarthless/Harsh Toke and Hijo de la Tormenta, and there’s already a ton of news I’m behind on and a couple new videos to get up as well, so yeah, I expect a barrage. Anyone notice yesterday was seven posts? Today wound up being seven too. Wednesday was six. Not complaining, it’s just a lot to keep up with.

Sometimes as a result a venue that’s in Long Beach gets mixed up with the same venue in North Hollywood. It happens. Pretty sure no one notices but me anyway. Oh, and Albatross Overdrive. They noticed.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’m going to try to do the same and not throw out my back dealing with that AC. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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