Black Elephant Set Aug. 21 Release for Seven Swords; Track Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Black Elephant

I’m pretty sure I wrote the bio below for  Finding a cheap essay writing service that will write a great essay for you is harder than it may seem. Dissertation London Riots will help you to survive in Black Elephant‘s upcoming album,  Check out Ginger's we write essaysing service, proofread your documents with just a click. Seven Swords. Or if not, I at least gave it a good once-over from what they had before. Either way, I’ve had the chance to sit with the release for a while now, and while there are no-doubter familiar aspects to it in the warm fuzzy tones and charged riffs, there is a subtlety to the blend between patient instrumentalism and all-go forward thrust that is more outwardly dynamic than the band might first let on. That is to say, you should definitely go ahead and stream opening track “Berta’s Flame” at the bottom of this post. It’s not like you’ll regret doing so. But keep in mind as you do that the song isn’t necessarily telling you the whole story of the record.

Also, that story seems to have something to do with sumo wrestling. I’m still not quite sure what. But hey, riffs.

The PR wire has words:

Black Elephant Seven Swords

BLACK ELEPHANT: Psychedelic Fuzz Rock Alchemists To Release Seven Swords August 21st Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

The planets have aligned, and space itself has opened up to grace us with the heavy roll of BLACK ELEPHANT’s Seven Swords, set for release this August via Small Stone Records.

The Italian fuzzmongers mark ten years of cooperative corporeal existence in 2020 and last checked in from their native Savona in Summer 2018 with the aptly titled Cosmic Blues. Two years and an entire lifetime later, they’re back with another collection of classic-minded heavy groovers, picking the best the ’70s, ’90s, and ’10s had to offer in riffery and melding spacey blowouts with desert-hued hooks.

Seven Swords is the second LP BLACK ELEPHANT has issued in league with Detroit-based imprint Small Stone Records, and whether it’s the scorching leads of “Yayoi Kusama” or the conscious wink-and-nod of “Red Sun And Blues Sun” a short time later — just ahead of the bluesy “Seppuku” and the near-nine-minute stretch of closer “Govinda” — the four-piece bring their finest work to-date in an efficient seven-track, thorty-three-minute stretch, building not only on what they accomplished on Cosmic Blues, but also what their prior two full-lengths — 2014’s Bifolchi Inside and 2012’s Spaghetti Cowboys — were building toward. This is a band coming into their own, wasting neither their time nor yours in the process.

Seven Swords was recorded and mixed by Giulio Farinelli at Green Fog Studio in Genoa, mastered by Farinelli at Everybody On The Shore Studio in Milan, Italy, and mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fuzz pedals preach on, the sky cracks, and the riffs themselves seem to lock bellies in sumo battles, so what the hell? The world’s ending anyway. You might as well have some fun with it. BLACK ELEPHANT’s Seven Swords will be released on August 21st on CD and digitally via Small Stone as well as limited edition vinyl via Kozmik Artifactz.

For preorders and to sample opening track, “Berta’s Flame,” visit the Small Stone Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.

Seven Swords Track Listing:
1. Berta’s Flame
2. The Last March Of Yokozuna
3. Yayoi Kusama
4. Mihara
5. Red Sun And Blues Sun
6. Seppuku
7. Govinda

BLACK ELEPHANT:
Alessio Caravelli – guitar, vocals
Massimiliano Giacosa – guitar
Marcello Destefanis – bass
Simone Brunzu – drums

http://www.facebook.com/blackelephantitaly
http://www.instagram.com/blackelephantband
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

Black Elephant, Seven Swords (2020)

Tags: , , , , ,

Album Review: Tia Carrera, Tried and True

Posted in Reviews on June 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tia carrera tried and true

The prospect of a new Do english correction service, Boston, Massachusetts. 78 likes. We offer academic research assistance to students and other interested parties. Our priority is... Tia Carrera album inherently brings familiar echoes and the promise of something different. On the most basic level, the latest LP’s title, Our respiratory therapist admission essay completely understand the stress and the frustrations that accompany the dissertation process. It is a long, tedious event, but it must be done. We have a full staff of dissertation writers who have written hundreds of papers, in all academic areas of study. Tried and True, could easily apply to the band’s methodology itself. It is the second record the Austin, Texas-based three-piece have issued since being joined on bass by papereditor@gmail .com. Services If you are searching for Ambition In Life Essay, it may be one of This is the first step that our essay editor does Curt Christenson, formerly of essay proofreading services - Top affordable and professional academic writing service. commit your essay to us and we will do our best for you Give your Dixie Witch, and the fourth overall they’ve done for cheap dissertation writing on our Writing Service MyEssay, that youll be proud to submit at really astounding prices in 2017 years. Become our regular customer Small Stone Records. Comprised of five tracks laid out neatly across two LP sides, it is a relatively compact 37-minutes. That’s more or less of a kind with 2019’s http://free-musika.com/main.php?how-to-write-an-essay-for-medical-school-admission - Best Homework Writing Service - Get Help With Non-Plagiarized Paper Assignments Plagiarism Free Secure Student Writing Website - Get Help Visitors / Early Purple (review here), the two extended tracks of which showed up through High-quality try heres in UK. Online MBA Essay writing services for students in UK at affordable rates. Contact for best MBA essays Small Stone last Fall as the band’s first full-length release since 2011’s DoMyDissertations delivers custom writing services to Help On Writing A Dbq Essay and write my dissertation requests from students worldwide. Before ordering services with our company, please, get acquainted with our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and Revision Policy, available for customer review. Cosmic Priestess (review here). Why the delay for a band whose guitarist engineers their own recordings and who specialize in jamming out improvised heavy psychedelia? Shouldn’t they be putting out four records per year?

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — has it that  We process all "write my essay" requests reasons why students tend to seek professionals able to write my essay for cheap. Homework Help Year 1 for Tia Carrera are perfectionists, and that while they have a vast archive of recorded material, what they consider worth releasing to public ears is in far shorter supply. So be it. The shuffle and swing that takes hold in opener “Layback” and the all-go Get original Google Business Plan Templates from the best academic writers here! Order your custom research paper! Hendrixian scorch of the leads in the subsequent “Taos” tell the story, and whatever it may be that holds transition words for research papers research proposal phd biotechnology admission essay editing service scholarship college student homework helper Tia Carrera back from amassing a huge catalog of LPs, what they do choose to issue certainly has no trouble meeting a high standard. With  Our Postgraduate Admission Essay by PhD editors ensures to make you thesis flawless and error-free. Hire our native PhD thesis editors now. Erik Conn on drums anchoring the jams as  Visit Website, Bridgeview, Illinois. 15 likes. It is hard to count how many papers you have to write while studying! Our essay writing service is... Jason Morales — whose studio is the BBQ Shack, in Austin; Chris Goosman mastered at Baseline Audio Labs in Michigan — tears into one solo after the next and Christenson locks in fluid lines in the low end, each piece is able to hone a spirit of its own despite sharing a stated commonality of approach. It is tried, and it is true. What it isn’t — as Visitors / Early Purple and Tried and True both reaffirm — is broken.

It seems fair to think of the two releases as complements to each other, both because they appear in such quick succession relative to what the band has done before — Cosmic Priestess was preceded by 2009’s The Quintessential (review here) — and because the CD version of Tried and True includes the prior outing’s two extended tracks as bonus cuts. That brings the running time of the CD version of Tried and True to a whopping 71 minutes, which proves to be more than enough time to sink oneself in its ocean of lead lines and expressive exploration, classic boogie and off-the-cuff ramble, be it the scoot of “Swingin’ Wing,” which rounds out side A of the LP but feedbacks and crashes neatly into the fade-in screech and cymbals of “Zen and the Art of the Thunderstorm,” which seems to nod at the verse melody of “Within You Without You” before finding its own tense course for its relatively brief three minutes, which give way to the 14-minute title-track.

tia carrera

“Tried and True” is the longest piece on Tried and True by a margin of two, and makes a ready companion for “Visitors” and “Early Purple,” with a languid guitar solo stretching out over another solidly rhythmic exploration, the band’s reputation for coming up with this stuff on the spot meshing against the presumption that what they’re choosing to deliver on a record is only the best of the best of whatever unknown total amount might exist. The question that raises is whether or not songwriting isn’t the same thing? Aren’t even the most structured of songs at some point born of improvisations just like Tia Carrera‘s tracks here? And the trio’s modus is its own way of carving down the entirety to a piece deemed fit for consumption; they are, in essence, whittling out songs. Through creative fades in and out along the way, a feeling of longer expanse is maintained, and especially on the shorter pieces before the title-track, the sense is of Tia Carrera letting the listener have a snippet of some broader entirety.

In that way, Tried and True is in communion not only with the LP before it — and included with it, when it comes to the CD — but with the larger processes driving the band’s work. One has to wonder if perhaps the alignment of Conn and Morales with Christenson hasn’t reinvigorated the creativity of Tia Carrera as a whole, and if so, if new releases might begin to show up with more regularity, just as this one has followed behind Visitors / Early Purple. I don’t know that, of course, but for a group whose basis is in jamming, the joy of doing so is clearly expressed in these tracks — both long and short — despite whatever personality each might also demonstrate in itself. Cuts like “Swingin’ Wing,” the especially howling “Taos” and “Layback” bring glimpses at what it might be like to be in the rehearsal space with the band while they go, go, go, and on the CD, “Zen and the Art of the Thunderstorm” becomes a transition point to 49 minutes of ripper bliss that are raucous and spacious in kind. Maybe this is just how Tia Carrera roll now, and after more than 20 years together, who could say they haven’t earned the designation of being tried and true — all the more so because they remain so decidedly underrated.

The sonic elephant in the room as regards their style continues to be Earthless, but Tia Carrera distinguish themselves from that three-piece in their method of recording themselves as well as through improvisation, not to mention the personality of their play. Both come through wholly on Tried and True, whether a given listener chases down the vinyl or the compilation Tried & True & Visitors / Early Purple CD (the more the merrier, as far as I’m concerned), and one way or another, MoralesConn and Christenson shine with engaging, immersive, explosive groover jams that, unless the very idea of such a thing is a turnoff, will be hard to resist. If this is who Tia Carrera are now, and they’re going to start belting out records one after the other after more than two decades of existence, then it only serves to emphasize how righteous the spirit of their creativity has been all along.

Tia Carrera, Tried and True (2020)

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

Small Stone Records on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Gozu, Locust Season

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

 

Gozu‘s Locust Season (review here) came as a surprise. From out of one of the US’ most established heavy undergrounds — namely Boston’s — came a largely previously unheard four-piece, who immediately signed to Small Stone and dropped a debut album that sounded like most bands’ third record. Who the hell were these guys?

Guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney and guitarist Doug Sherman had been in bands together before and performed in a variety of styles, but arguably it was then-drummer Barry Spillberg who had the most established pedigree, having played in Wargasm. Bassist Jay Cannava (also Clouds) would be out of the band by their next record and the position was nebulous for some time, but Locust Season was nothing if not solidified in its purpose. Recorded with and mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio in Allston, it was brash in its aggression, weighted in tone and downright arrogant in how much fun it had. The album itself wasn’t nearly so foreboding as the Alexander Von Wieding cover — though haunting — made it out to be, with Roadsaw‘s Craig Riggs sitting in alongside Gaffney for vocals on opener “Meth Cowboy” and second track “Mr. Riddle,” two immediate bangers that fostered a seething groove that was nonetheless righteously soulful.

The album turns 10 years old this summer and the vocal arrangements still stand out. As Sherman‘s leads cut through riffs piled higher than the Blue Mountains and Spillberg propels the band forward in a kind of tension of tempo that marks Locust Season not just as an early release, but one fueled by multiple impulses, Gaffney pulls out falsetto backing vocals behind his lead vocal lines, acting as a chorus for himself, and through “Meth Cowboy,” “Mr. Riddle” and “Regal Beagle” and onward into album highlights “Kam Fong as Chin Ho” and “Jan-Michael Vincent,” his voice remains a standout factor, as creatively arranged as it is sure in its performance. Brimming with swagger that was earned as they went, Gozu‘s songs tore through most of Locust Season‘s 41-minute runtime, brazen in their heavy-rock genre rulebreaking when they wanted to be but still making an impression on the basic level of their riffs and groove, taking what might’ve served as the total aesthetic of another band starting out and instead using it as a foundation to launch their own identity. This was staggering at the time, but it might be even more impressive in hindsight because of how the band’s sound has developed in the years since.

Bottom line? Sherman and Gaffney — the two remaining founding members of the band — knew what they wanted Gozu to be. The band had gozu locust seasonissued a self-titled demo in 2008 — it’s on Bandcamp; good luck finding a CD, even in Boston; I never managed to — that featured “Meth Cowboy” and “Rise Up,” which follows “Jamaican Luau” on side B of Locust Season, but even there the roots of what Gozu would become are plain to hear and the band’s purpose feels set. Certainly there’s been progression in their craft — they’ve grown more patient in their slower parts, and as their lineup solidified with bassist Joe Grotto handling low end and Warhorse‘s Mike Hubbard taking over for Spillberg and the four-piece gained more stage experience together, they naturally became a more dynamic unit. But you can hear that potential in the songs on Locust Season. “Meth Cowboy” and the penultimate “Meat Charger” and “Jan-Michael Vincent” have featured in live sets for years, and revisiting their studio versions, the band’s comfort level with them is readily apparent. “Rise Up” might be the most forgettable track on the album, but it serves its place momentum-wise on side B in terms of the album’s overarching flow, and as closer “Alone” takes hold with swirls of guitar solos over a slower-rolling tempo, Gozu present their interpretation of the classic heavy rock trope of sticking the longest, most drawn-out song at the end.

That’s something they’d push even further on 2013’s The Fury of a Patient Man (review here and here), which would be their final outing through Small Stone, but the malleable rhythm and encompassing melody of “Alone” remains striking, with Gaffney‘s high-register singing far back in the mix behind and adrenaline kick of drums and steady guitar push. The song finishes well enough ahead of its seven-minute runtime (on the CD version) to allow for the hidden track “Tomorrow” from Annie being sung by someone’s kid, I’m not sure whose. It’s quite a journey from “Meth Cowboy” to “I love, tomorrow/You’re only a day away,” but so it goes. One more example of Gozu doing whatever the hell they wanted to and getting away with it because there was no one to really stop them except themselves.

The Fury of a Patient Man was an absolute monster of a follow-up to this record. It showed the potential they demonstrated in Locust Season was no fluke and that their identity, while recognizable in the material, was not so rigid as to be unable to progress as it moved forward from one release to the next. Their wont for gag song titles aside, it was clear Gozu were a sonic force to be reckoned with, and as they moved through 2016’s Revival (review here) and 2018’s Equilibrium (review here) — tracking both LPs with producer Dean Baltulonis at Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they honed an ever-sharper take that was both more aggressive and more spacious when it wanted to be, the latter album adding breadth to the overriding shove of its predecessor. One way or the other, asses continued to be kicked.

A split with Hubbard was somewhat unexpected when it occurred, but Gozu aligned with Patrick Queenan of Sundrifter in July 2019 and proceeded to tour Europe last Fall. They’re reportedly writing new material, though of course like everyone else, their plans have been hindered by the gutshot-to-productivity that is 2020. All the better then to revisit their debut 10 years after the fact and remember how absolutely blindsiding it was the first time around. Who the hell were these guys? Turns out they were Gozu.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I don’t know how much of this I have in me. There’s stuff scheduled for next week, whatever. A Pale Divine track premiere. That’s something to look forward to. Maybe a Temple Fang stream? We’ll see.

New Gimme show today, 5PM. http://gimmeradio.com

Same as ever.

The rioters are right. I hope no one gets sick while rioting. For future reference, this was the week the President of the United States threatened to shoot black people.

Great and safe, your weekend, I hope.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

Tags: , , , , ,

Snail Post “Nothing Left for You” Video; New Single out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

snail

New Snail video, you say? Don’t mind if I do, thanks. The timing certainly works, as the Pacific Coast — Seattle-ish and Los Angeles — three-piece have newly issued the single Nothing Left for You/Fearless, with the second cut being a cover of Meddle-era Pink Floyd and the first cut being their first recording since later-2015’s Feral (review here). They hit the studio in January to get going on their next long-player, and while “Nothing Left for You” will feature on that album, it’s hard to know how representative it might be of the upcoming-at-some-point batch of material either way, but it does find them making some interesting turns in sound, with some of the raw buzz one might find in their 1993 self-titled debut (review here) resurfacing along with the speedier groove than one has come to expect. It’s also catchy as hell, so if I haven’t said this before about it — and I’m pretty sure I have — I’m glad to take it as it comes.

They are right at home in “Fearless” as well, with guitarist Mark Johnson‘s dreamy vocal melody floating out over his own watery effects, backed by bassist/recording engineer Matt Lynch with drummer Marty Dodson keeping the groove grounded and rolling forward. As much as “Nothing Left for You” is about shove — and particularly ‘shove-away,’ in terms of its lyrical theme — Snail make “Fearless” into a deep-dive melodic showcase, emphasizing not only the influence of Pink Floyd, but the grittier, and weightier edge they bring to what was already there. Both songs end with a fadeout, and the underlying message of the release is clearly that there’s more to follow, and as a fan of the band, I can only look forward to the next album whenever it might arrive. Everyone’s plans being shot as they are this year, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to when something might manifest, but in the interim, the video for “Nothing Left for You” has some fun with being stuck at home during quarantine, and again, I’ll take it as it comes.

And it bears mentioning that Lynch mixed and mastered Nothing Left for You/Fearless at his Mysterious Mammal Recordings in L.A. (they tracked at All Welcome Records) and as discussed in his days of rona, he’s up for mixing whatever you’ve got and is looking for remote clients. When I finally get to recording that spoken word/keyboard drone album, I’ll definitely be sending it to him to edit out the burps.

Enjoy the video:

Snail, “Nothing Left for You” official video

From the single Nothing Left For You / Fearless released 5/1/2020. Get your copy here: https://snailhq.bandcamp.com/

Video edited and produced by Matt Lynch. Music by Snail (Mark Johnson, Matt Lynch, Marty Dodson)

Recorded by Matt Lynch at All Welcome Records, Los Angeles USA. Mixed and mastered by Matt Lynch at Mysterious Mammal Recordings Los Angeles. Additional recording by Mark Johnson at home in Seattle. Engineered by Jennifer Hendrix.

Snail is:
Matt Lynch (Bass/Vocals)
Marty Dodson (Drums)
Mark Johnson (Lead Vocals/Guitar)

Snail, Nothing Left for You / Fearless (2020)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Snail to Issue Nothing Left for You / Fearless Single This Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

snail

The new original track buzzes with a neo-psych edge that Snail‘s never quite shown in this way before, and the B-side is a take on Meddle-era Pink Floyd, so yes, the first new music from Snail in a whopping half-decade is welcome. Nothing Left for You / Fearless comes topped off with artwork by Sean “Skillit” McEleny and is intended as something of a precursor to the next Snail long-player, which the band reports is already mostly done. That’s good news too, frankly, since it’s going on five years since 2015’s Feral (review here) and that means they’re certainly due. “Nothing Left for You” bodes well of what that album might portend tonally — it doesn’t quite drift, but the guitars seem to have loosed some heft in favor of shimmer and that’s interesting to hear from a band whose trade has been psych-through-lumber for so long.

Fascinating, as Spock would say.

He’d also say you should check it out on Friday when it’s released. No, I don’t know what day it is, but I know it’s not Friday because the song isn’t on their Bandcamp yet. That’s all I’ve got to go on.

Well, that and this from the PR wire:

snail nothing left for you fearless

Snail to Release First New Music in Six Years

Snail will release their first new music since 2014’s Feral on May 1, 2020. “Nothing Left For You,” the advanced single from their forthcoming as-yet-untitled LP, will be accompanied by a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless”. This is only the second time Snail has recorded a cover song in its 27-year existence. The two songs will be available as a digital-only download from Bandcamp. “Nothing Left For You” will appear on the LP in physical form in the future, but “Fearless” will be an exclusive digital release.

“Nothing Left For You” is a particularly vicious rant against an unnamed entity. It’s fuzzy, driving, and pissed off.

Says Snail: “We’ve all had someone or something in our lives that were just toxic, and no amount of expended energy could turn that around. This song is a final kiss-off; a cathartic, scathing take down that is sometimes necessary to move past a relationship and regain a sense of self and power.”

Why cover “Fearless”? “Having been Floyd fans forever, we have been talking about doing that tune for 25 years. It’s a great song, and seemed open for a heavy interpretation. When writing “Nothing Left For You,” I actually used some characters from “Fearless” in the lyrics, so it only made sense to pair these two and finally realize the vision,” says Matt Lynch, bassist/producer.

Snail’s full length LP is currently in the overdub and mixing stage, and should be ready for release in the summer. The band recorded enough material back in January to complete an EP as well, so watch the newswire for updates.

SNAIL:
Marty Dodson – Drums and Percussion
Mark Johnson – Guitar and Lead Vocals
Matt Lynch – Bass, Keys and Vocals

Artwork by Skillit.

www.snailhq.com
www.facebook.com/snailhq
https://www.instagram.com/snail_hq/
https://snailhq.bandcamp.com/

Snail, “Nothing Left for You” drum recording

Snail, Feral (2015)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Days of Rona: Michael Miller of Pale Grey Lore

Posted in Features on April 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

Michael Miller of Pale Grey Lore

Days of Rona: Michael Miller of Pale Grey Lore (Columbus, Ohio)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

The COVID-19 crisis definitely blindsided us. You can be vaguely aware that humanity is about due for another once-in-century pandemic, but it’s not something you tend to factor into the planning equation when you’re going about daily life, you know? We’d been asked to play the SXSW Spider Ball in Austin, which was supposed to take place on March 20, and we built a small tour around it with additional stops in Arlington, Houston, and New Orleans. This was going to be our first time venturing down to play that part of the country and we were very excited for the trip.

News reports largely downplayed the virus at first, suggesting it wasn’t really that serious and comparing it to the common flu. But it soon became clear that this virus was far more dangerous than that. By early March, music festivals and large gatherings were getting cancelled and infection rates were escalating in Europe. Shortly thereafter, the World Health Organization officially declared it a global pandemic. We announced on March 13 via social media that our tour had been cancelled and urged folks to comply with CDC guidance on good hygiene and social distancing.

So far, all members of the band are healthy and virus-free. We’re doing our best to limit our exposure and flatten the curve.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Ohio began by imposing a 100 person cap on mass gatherings on March 12. The closure of all bars and restaurants was announced on March 15, which of course included music venues. There was supposed to be a primary election on St. Patrick’s Day, but the governor closed the polling stations and tried to get the election rescheduled for June. (That didn’t work and now voters have to vote absentee by mail.) Then, on March 22, they issued the “stay-at-home” order which requires everyone to isolate at home unless you’re doing some “essential” activity, like getting groceries, caring for family, or working a job deemed essential. The order is supposed to be in place until May 1, but it’s likely to be extended further.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The community seems to understand the importance of these social distancing measures to stop the spread of the disease. But people are scared. There’s just so much uncertainty right now. What’s going to happen to our venues? Can they survive this? What about all the bartenders, sound engineers, and other staff? How are they supposed to pay rent and feed their families when they can’t work? Everyone is in a state of panic and grave concern. Nobody knows what’s next.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

We want everyone to continue to do their part to curb the spread of the coronavirus so that the strain on health professionals isn’t increased even further. Countless deaths can be prevented if we all do the right thing. So wash your damn hands, don’t touch your face, and stay inside!

As a band, we are still adjusting to this strange new world. Even though we can’t get together physically, we are still writing individually and sharing ideas. We’re also putting together a quarantine playlist that we’ll be posting on social media, so look out for that soon. At some point, live music will be a thing again. Until then, we are brainstorming ways to engage with our audience, and we’ll announce any and all plans on our social media pages.

http://www.facebook.com/palegreylore/
htps://www.instagram.com/palegreylore
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: Lord Fowl, Glorious Babylon

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Lord Fowl Glorious Babylon

[Click play above to stream Lord Fowl’s Glorious Babylon in full. Album is out this Friday, April 24, on Small Stone Records.]

Connecticut-based four-piece Lord Fowl were already well underrated in 2012 when they released their second album, Moon Queen (review here), as their debut on Small Stone Records. They played regionally throughout the Northeast to support it and did label showcases and heavy fests hither and yon, but it’s been eight years since that record came out and their third offering, Glorious Babylon, inevitably finds them in different circumstances as a unit. Recorded as ever by bassist/some-guitar-ist Jon Conine at BirdsEye Studios in West Haven, CT, with Steve Hill assisting, the 10-track/37-minute full-length almost can’t help but reflect the times in which it has been made. There is an undercurrent of cynicism or perhaps just warning in the early-arriving title-track that is very much in Lord Fowl‘s wheelhouse, and even as side A moves beyond its opening salvo of “Fire Discipline,” “Glorious Babylon” and “Get Lost” into the slower and moodier “Deep Empty” and “The Wraith,” their sense of having a party like it’s 1977 comes tinged with this aspect. We all know how it worked out for Babylon, right? It fell. Hard.

Driven by the dual guitars and lead-vocal tradeoffs between Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino and with Michael Petrucci on drums — since out of the band to, as legend has it, wander the earth as a journeyman percussive wizard, spreading rhythmic joy wherever he goes; Van Hartley has taken up the position — Lord Fowl traffic between classic heavy rock and nascent NWOBHM-ism, but their sound is never overly aggressive, even in the sharper turns of a cut like “The Gramercy Riffs,” and their craft lends itself to standout hooks and a ’70s vibe, but Conine‘s production is never anything but modern. This was a turn Lord Fowl were ahead of the curve in making circa Moon Queen, predicting that the retroism that was so prevalent throughout the early part of the last decade (and of which there’s still plenty around today) would soon enough have to go somewhere and the only place to go was the forward in time. It continues to suit them on Glorious Babylon, the studio presentation of the band working toward capturing the energy they bring to the stage and the clarity of their songwriting generally. Glorious Babylon is a record rife with fascinating contradictions, but just as its take-then-and-make-it-now ethic finds them spanning decades with ease, so too do their songs come together with a full LP flow despite their seeming contrasts.

To wit, Glorious Babylon brings some of the rawest and most immediate moments of heavy rock that Lord Fowl have honed since their 2008 debut, Endless Dynamite, and in songs like “Fire Discipline” — I’m not sure what it means to “walk a hot wire,” but the instruction to do so is delivered with authority — “Glorious Babylon” itself, side B’s fuzzy leadoff “In Search Of” and the bounce-via-ThinLizzy penultimate track “Epitaph,” they give a look not only at the prevalence of their own dynamic in what they do in terms of the fluidity of rhythm between Conine‘s bass, the two guitars and Petrucci‘s drumming, but also the sheer effectiveness of verses and choruses when so well composed. Of course the chemistry between Jaynes and Pellegrino — who seem to come together throughout as much as they pull apart at times, broadening the scope of the band’s material overall — plays a central role in defining the personality of Glorious Babylon to the extent that it’s willing to be defined, and while that plays out over the more barebones structures, it’s also to be found in the more expansive songs as well, the scope of cuts like “The Wraith” and even the mini-freakout in “Red Cloud” or the if-Bowie-went-psych finale “Space Jockey” push to places Lord Fowl haven’t been before.

Lord Fowl (photo by Meg Herlihy)

All the while, this blend of immediacy and patience plays out across songs that, in themselves, play up and down in mood and atmosphere across the record’s still-relatively-brief span. This is something perhaps best given emphasis in the title-track itself. “Glorious Babylon” is a fun song about impending tragedy. Lord Fowl wouldn’t be the first to compare present-America to the ancient Babylonian empire, and likewise, it’s not the first time they’ve injected a subtle political edge into their material. Frankly, it’s something one wishes they did more of — though one also wishes for more from them generally, so take that as you will — but as much “Fire Discipline” and “Epitaph” swagger, so too does “Deep Empty” roll through its chorus following the spoken intro en route to the culminating solo, and “Red Cloud” makes its way to its noisy finish with the most insistent shove the band has on offer throughout, furthering the spread between basic stage-style energy and more meditative themes and tempos.

What the hell does it all mean?

It means Lord Fowl are a more complex band than they were eight years ago. They’re a band who do more than one thing with their songs, a band who sound like they’re bringing together the work of multiple songwriters, and a band who nonetheless emerge with a cohesive album flow despite — and in some ways because — of that. While Glorious Babylon is bound to win nods among the heavy rock converted with its forward hooks and more upbeat material, the record also invites further digging as each of its two intended sides develops its own progression, with side B returning to ground in “Epitaph” before “Space Jockey” further transcends genre boundaries. As a result of its multifaceted nature and the fact that it has more than just those forward hooks to take on, it may be a few listens before Glorious Babylon completely unfolds itself to a given listener, but again, that invitation is there, and Lord Fowl provide sure guidance for their audience making its way through. They were underrated eight years ago. Well, they’re still underrated. Whatever the future might hold for the band, in style and substance, they are a well kept secret of the Northeastern heavy rock underground, and whether you’re taking them on for the boogie and fuzz or the broader territories their songs can reach, Babylon’s glories are there for the getting while the getting’s good.

Lord Fowl on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records on Instagram

Small Stone Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Days of Rona: Jason Ward of Irata

Posted in Features on April 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

irata

Days of Rona: Jason Ward of Irata (Greensboro, North Carolina)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

As a band we are following the guidelines provided by our Government and fearless leaders.

We have had to cancel a few tours. We had an eight-date tour scheduled around two big shows at SXSW.

SXSW was canceled a few days before we were supposed to head out on the road. We watched everything closely and as venues and cities started to shutdown we decided to cancel the run. It was tough decision but I think it was the correct decision. On the bright side side some bands are reporting losses due to not touring. By canceling our tour I think we actually saved around $1,500.00. Lol.

We have also canceled three other scheduled festivals and tours we had lined up for this Spring.

Right now, we are kind of in a waiting pattern to see when the right moment is to start scheduling runs.

Jon, sent a vid riff this morning over to me and Owen, we have not rehearsed together in a few weeks. So this virus has interrupted our group rehearsal schedule also.

The band’s health is good and our families heath is also good at this time.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

NC has a “Stay at Home” order in place. Essential businesses are still allowed to operate. No more than 10 person max gatherings.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

It has affected the community, while most bands could still probably have shows even with a 10 person max gathering rule, most have chosen to send out their music on the web. Online support seems to be there. I think as society comes back online and technology is able to accommodate more and more video and sound quality. I think the online shows and concerts will continue . For bands of small- to mid-level you can reach a wider audience and not spend money to hit the road. Online concert format I think is here to stay and will get better!

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Our situation is such that we are using this time to relax a bit. Let the world work itself out. We are using this time to individually explore new riffs and new ideas for a new album or two. There maybe a live video or concert in our future. Other than that we ask that everyone stay safe and clean because when we do tour we would like to have some folks show up.

http://www.facebook.com/iratabandofficial
https://iratalive.bandcamp.com/
https://www.iratalive.com/
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

Tags: , , , , , ,