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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Ten East Announce Skyline Pressure Due Oct. 14; Preorders and Track Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hard to mess with this one. Born out of a kind of screwy Yawning Man live set in 2014 where members of Automatic Sam wound up sitting in with Gary Arce and Bill Stinson, Ten East‘s first album in eight years, Skyline Pressure, will be out Oct. 14 on Small Stone. The project has always had a revolving-door lineup, and what bassist Erik Harbers and guitarist Pieter Holkenborg bring to it is well worth capturing in a studio setting. You kind of need the context to really understand how it all came about, though. Fortunately, the PR wire is happy to provide precisely that, in the form of a bio I wrote for the album.

Ten East also have opening track “Daisy Cutter” streaming in its 13-minute entirety, which you can find below, and I think you’ll agree it gives a substantial glimpse at what the record is going for. Preorders are up now.

Dig it:

ten-east-skyline-pressure

TEN EAST: Experimental/Jam Rock Project Featuring Members Of Yawning Man And Automatic Sam To Release Skyline Pressure Via Small Stone; New Track Posted

Look, sometimes these things just happen. Desert legends and Dutch heavy rockers sometimes get together on stage and it turns out better than anyone could’ve possibly imagined. It was exacly that when guitarist/desert rock progenitor Gary Arce and drummer Bill Stinson of Yawning Man wound up playing with bassist Erik Harbers and guitarist Pieter Holkenborg of Automatic Sam at the Mañana Mañana Fest (which Harbers and Holkenborg also organize) in the Netherlands in 2014. You can see videos of it on YouTube.

Although the impromptu foursome had never played together before, the chemistry was there. The fluidity was there. As they jammed in and around Yawning Man songs, it was clear the union had a breadth that was only beginning to be explored. Two years later, Arce, Stinson, Harbers, and Holkenborg have come together again, this time as a new incarnation of Arce’s TEN EAST project. They proudly present their album, Skyline Pressure, through Small Stone as the next stage of their collaboration.

TEN EAST was last heard from in with 2008’s The Robot’s Guide To Freedom, which was their second offering behind 2006’s Extraterrestrial Highway. Between the two records, Arce’s co-conspirators have included the likes of Bryan Giles (Red Fang), Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Fireball Ministry), Mario Lalli (Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson), Greg Ginn (Black Flag), and Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fu Manchu). Harbers and Holkenborg earn their place in this illustrious company across the entire span of Skyline Pressure, from the sandy reaches of “Planet Blues” to the peaceful roll of the title-track, to the subdued sprawl of the fourteen-minute “Sonars And Myths.”

The album was recorded by Harper Hug at Thunder Underground and also features guitarist Nico Morcillo of French experimentalists Hifiklub on select tracks (“Planet Blues,” “Tangled Forest,” “Stalactite Dip”), but for anyone familiar with Arce’s pioneering work in Yawning Man, his mark on Skyline Pressure is unmistakable. The stuff of tonal archetype. And while it started out as one of those things that just happened, the album has captured that spirit of improvisation and natural chemistry that emanated from the stage at Mañana Mañana Fest, and brought it to a lasting document that’s all the more special for the spontaneity that lies at its heart.

Skyline Pressure will see release via Small Stone on October 14th, 2016 on CD, digital and limited edition vinyl. For preorders and to sample opening track “Daisy Cutter” point your browser to THIS LOCATION.

Skyline Pressure Track Listing:
1. Daisy Cutter
2. Eye Soar
3. Historical Graffiti
4. Planet Blues
5. Skyline Pressure
6. Sonars And Myths
7. Stalactite Dip
8. Tangled Forest

TEN EAST is an experimental/jam rock project based in the Palm Desert and Los Angeles area of the United States. The musicians involved share a common respect for improvised jamming mixed with years of playing and listening to all types of rock, psychedelic, Latin, jazz, blues, surf, and punk music. The end result is an intense, cohesive wall of sound of heavy, dark, instrumental blues, with psychedelic and surf overtones.

The name “Ten East” comes from the highway which leads from the heart of Los Angeles towards the desert cities. The music is an expression of feelings that overcome oneself as they travel the two hours’ time down the length of highway, leaving behind the bustling metropolis and suburban sprawl in the wake of the mesa, mountains, and distant windmills.

Ten East is:
Gary Arce: guitars
Pieter Holkenborg: guitars
Erik Harbers: bass
Bill Stinson: drums
Nico Morcillo: guitars

https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/skyline-pressure
https://www.facebook.com/teneast
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords

Ten East, “Daisy Cutter”

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Captain Crimson to Release Remind Oct. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Heads up on a good record. The third from Swedish outfit Captain Crimson, Remind, is also their first for Small Stone and it’ll be out on Oct. 14. You don’t really need to know much more than that at this point, though the PR wire certainly has more to offer in the bio I wrote, and with the lyric video for “Bells from the Underground,” you can get a sense of how these guys have really outgrown the influences in their moniker to come into their own sound this time. The album plays out a lot like that. Memorable songs, quality performance, light on frills but heavy on quality. Will be worth your time, easily.

Preorders are up now through Small Stone‘s Bandcamp. Dig it:

captain-crimson-remind

CAPTAIN CRIMSON: Swedish Blues Rockers To Release Third Full-Length, Remind, Via Small Stone; “Bells From The Underground” Lyric Video Posted

The Swedish hotbed of Örebro has already produced the likes of Truckfighters, Graveyard, Witchcraft, and Blues Pills. Prepare to add CAPTAIN CRIMSON to this exceptional tradition.

Forged in 2010 by vocalist Stefan Lillhager, formerly of Blowback, CAPTAIN CRIMSON draws inspiration from the classic sounds of The Groundhogs, Blue Cheer, Jethro Tull, Cactus, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, meeting heavy boogie head-on with a modern swagger that has carried over to their latest and third album, Remind – their first for Small Stone Records. Remind follows their 2012 debut, Dancing Madly Backwards, which led them onto their first tour that Fall. Emerging with the lineup of Lillhager, bassist/backing vocalist Chris David (ReinXeed), guitarist Andreas Eriksson, and drummer/organist Mikael Läth, CAPTAIN CRIMSON earned rave reviews for their blues riffing and killer hooks, and they did what any band worth their salt would: They kept touring.

Their second offering, 2014’s Ageless Time, aligned them to Moving Air Music and Nasoni Records and once again put them on the road. On the LP, they showcased a multifaceted songwriting process, benefiting from the contributions of each player working together to bolster the strengths of the whole, and with a stopgap jam session in Stockholm captured on a 2015 digital EP (fittingly titled A Chaotic Jam Session In Stockholm), they make their way into Remind having fully realized their vision of modern classic rock.

Make no mistake: CAPTAIN CRIMSON’s latest is nothing less than a testament to the timeless power of groove, of memorable choruses that take you back to when you felt such things deep in your soul, and indeed offer a reminder that you still can and that you still do. It is the kind of rock and roll that speaks to the essence of the form, and we think that when all is said and done, it’s one of the best records ever to arrive with a Small Stone logo on it.

Remind will be released on October 14th, 2016 on CD, digitally and limited edition vinyl. Preorder your copy today at THIS LOCATION where you can also sample opening track “Ghost Town.”

Remind Full-Length
1. Ghost Town
2. Bells From The Underground
3. Love Street
4. Black Rose
5. Money
6. Drifting
7. Remind
8. Let Her Go
9. Alone
10. Senseless Mind

http://www.captaincrimson.com
http://www.facebook.com/CaptainCrimsonSwe
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords

Captain Crimson, “Bells from the Underground” lyric video

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Lo-Pan Tour with The Atomic Bitchwax and Dirty Streets Launches Tomorrow Night

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

lo-pan

Just over a month after announcing the addition of guitarist Chris Thompson to their lineup in place of Adrian Zambrano, Ohio heavy rockers Lo-Pan will head out on an inaugural tour with the new lineup. I’ve already seen video of them performing at this year’s Blackout Cookout in Kent, OH, where they’re a regular fixture, and the feel was right on. I’d expect them to get even tighter by the time this run is over, and a particularly noteworthy stop-off at Psycho Las Vegas should make for a pretty solid first-tour highlight for Thompson. “Welcome aboard, by the way, we’re playing with Alice Cooper this weekend.” Not too shabby.

Lo-Pan will be out with The Atomic Bitchwax and Dirty Streets. I told you I’d post these dates again:

lo-pan-tour-poster

LO-PAN: Ohio Riff Wielders To Kick Off Tour With The Atomic Bitchwax This Week; Band To Appear At Psycho Las Vegas

Ohio riff wielders LO-PAN will take to the streets again for a short run of live dates later this week supporting The Atomic Bitchwax on a portion of their tour through August 27th. Additional support will be provided by Dirty Streets. Set to commence this Friday, August 19th in Charlotte, North Carolina, LO-PAN’s latest trek includes a performance at Psycho Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino alongside the likes of Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, Electric Wizard, Sleep and many others. It also marks the four-piece’s first tour with new guitarist Chris Thompson.

Comments drummer Jesse Bartz, “The train don’t stop! New guitarist Chris Thompson has us practicing some older stuff too. We will be playing a wide variety of material from our previous recordings as well as some new material. Really stoked to be able to tour with The Atomic Bitchwax and Dirty Streets. Both are top notch not to be missed rock bands. We cannot wait to see some of our favorite bands of all time at Psycho Vegas!”

LO-PAN w/ The Atomic Bitchwax, Dirty Streets:
8/19/2016 The Milestone – Charlotte, NC
8/20/2016 The Tavern – Hattiesburg, MS
8/21/2016 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
8/22/2016 Limelight – San Antonio, TX
8/23/2016 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
8/24/2016 Grizzly Hall – Austin, TX
8/25/2016 Rail Club – Ft. Worth, TX
8/26/2016 Ned’s Bar – Albuquerque, NM
8/27/2016 Flycatcher – Tucson, AZ
8/28/2016 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Vegas

LO-PAN continues to tour in support of their critically lauded Colossus full-length, released via Small Stone. Produced and engineered by Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Rosetta, East Of The Wall et al) at his own Translator Audio in Brooklyn, New York and named for an ancient statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun, Helios, the record continues to raise the eyebrows of fans and media globally.

http://www.lopandemic.com
http://www.facebook.com/lopandemic
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords

Lo-Pan, Colossus (2014)

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The Obelisk All-Dayer Countdown: Snail, “Smoke the Deathless” Video Premiere

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features, The Obelisk Presents on August 10th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

This past weekend, West Coast riff-rollers Snail got together for rehearsal before they come east to play The Obelisk All-Dayer, Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Nothing weird about that, right? Bands rehearse all the time.

Snail are spread out between Los Angeles and Seattle — and for those of you unfamiliar with American geography, that’s not a minor distance, even for being on the same coast. They don’t always get together to record, let alone practice, so to have the three of them in the same room performing material at all is something special, let alone their traveling across the country to play a gig.

The timing couldn’t have been better to have bassist/engineer Matt Lynch record some of their time together and put it in a video clip for “Smoke the Deathless.” Comprised of Lynch, guitarist/vocalist Mark Johnson and drummer Marty Dodson, Snail come to The Obelisk All-Dayer on the heels of their finest work to-date, 2015’s Feral (review here), which was released by Small Stone.

It’s the third album they’ve put out since 2009, but their fourth overall. Their debut came in 1993 and was followed by an EP and a 16-year disbanding. Even since coming back, they’ve toured only sparingly, so I cannot emphasize this enough — if you ever want to see these guys, take advantage of this opportunity. It may or may not ever come again, let alone on a bill shared with Mars Red SkyDeath AlleyKings DestroyEyeFuneral HorseKing Buffalo and Heavy Temple.

Thanks to Snail for making the trip to Brooklyn on Aug.20 to play The Obelisk All-Dayer and the trip to get in a rehearsal beforehand. You can check out the video from their session of “Smoke the Deathless” below in tripped-out style, then pick up your All-Dayer tickets at Ticketfly. Do that. Really.

Snail, “Smoke the Deathless” official video

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

Snail on Thee Facebooks

Saint Vitus Bar website

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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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