Dûrga Announce European Tour Dates; New Video Posted

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

DURGA

Spanish progressive heavy post-rockers Dûrga are set to embark on a European tour supporting their 2018 outing, De Lira Ire. The three-piece took the title because, well, delirium, and it somewhat suits the pervasively atmospheric approach they take on the record while still keeping a weighted sense of presence amid all that ambient stretchout. The tour follows a string of dates they did over the course of Fall 2018 and into 2019, as the show they played Jan. 4 at Wurlitzer Ballroom in Madrid was captured on film — or, you know, pixels — and from that footage was assembled an official live video for “Amentia” that you can see below. Pretty dark, but still looks like it was a good show.

The dates and info came courtesy of Wombat Booking via the PR wire:

durga european tour

Dûrga is a young post-rock power-trio from the city of Valencia, Spain. Their influences are bands like Russian Circles, Caspian, Toundra, If These Trees Could Talk among others, but with their own personality.

The band members are Santi, Carlos and David, three friends that in January 2016 started to play together with one only object: make the music they love. Their creations translate the listener in different landscapes thanks to their atmospheric passages with quiet and melodic rhythms: natural spaces that burst sharply with their defensive instinct, unrestrained anger, distortion and fast patterns.

If you come across Dûrga you will find a tense calm: a pleasant journey through beautiful landscapes, but always with that inquietude of the one feeling the storm approaching.

Dûrga starts in April their second European tour that will take them to countries like France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland or Andorra plus two shows in Spain. The band will present their last release “De Lira Ire”, an acclaimed work that received lots of positive reviews.

Tourdates
15/03/19 Sarria Esmorga Fest
*13-4: Satélite T, Bilbao
*14-4: TBA, Paris (FR)
*15-4: Music City, Antwerpen (BE)
*16-4: Le Garage, Liège (BE)
*17-4: Nordpol, Dortmund (DE)
*18-4: Grabenhalle, St Gallen (CH)
*19-4: Le Farmer, Lyon (FR)
*20-4: Black Sheep, Montpellier (FR)
*21-4: Rockòdrom, Andorra la Vella (AND)
*22-4: L’Astilla, l’Hospitalet de Llobregat

The project has been constantly growing from the beginning. In four months they released their first video-single “Vent”, recording three months later their first LP “Venjança” in Westline Studios (Toundra, Viva Belgrado) with Juan Blas, mastered in the emblematic Ultramarins Costa Brava.

After several Spanish tours and a European one, the band won the “Sona la Dipu” contest, which allow them to take part in festivals like Primavera Sound or Low Festival, a Spanish tour supporting the indie act Niños Mutantes and another one through Mexico and the SXSW in Austin (Texas), besides the edition of their second album “De Lira Ire”. This album was recorded in the winter of 2018 between Sadman Studios (Toundra, Jardin de la Croix) in Madrid and LR Studios in Valencia, mastered once again in Ultramarinos Costa Brava by Victor Garcia.

With all these activity in less than three years, the band is ready to keep growing and to show their powerful live show in as many places as possible.

Dûrga is:
David (Drums)
Carlos (Bass)
Santi (Guitar)

https://www.facebook.com/wearedurga/
https://www.instagram.com/wearedurga/
https://wearedurga.bandcamp.com/

Dûrga, “Amentia” Live at Wurlitzer Ballroom (official video)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Red Eye, Tales From the Days of Yore

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

red eye tales from the days of yore

[Click play above to stream Red Eye’s Tales from the Days of Yore in its entirety. Album is out Feb. 22 on Alone Records.]

Spanish four-piece Red Eye give some credit to the history and natural environs of their home in Antequera, Spain, in helping them conjure their sound, and that may well be true. What the consideration of the karsts — limestone formations jutting from the earth; you would see one and say, “oh so that’s what those things are called!” — and centuries of culture don’t necessarily account for is the skillful hand with which the double-guitar outfit blend influences from modern and classic doom together to create the amalgam of their Alone Records debut album, Tales from the Days of Yore. It is a substantial work even when not considering its 51-minute runtime across just six tracks, but with largesse of tone tying it together and a songwriting modus that draws at any moment from Pallbearer on “Azathoth” or Pentagram on “BHC” or Sleep on opener “Encounter,” Red Eye — the lineup of guitarist/vocalists Pablo Terol and Antonio Campos, bassist Antonio Muriel and drummer Ángel Arcas — dig into epic vibes on “Hall of the Slain,” engage a psychedelic sludge on “Yagé” and plod out in mammoth style on closer “Waves” before the semi-hidden track “Halcyon Rhythms” closes out with folkish acoustics and flute.

The question there, of course, is where were the folkish acoustics and flute hiding for the rest of the album, but there it’s important to remember Tales from the Days of Yore is Red Eye‘s first album, and while their accomplishments throughout are significant, this may just be the beginning of a larger progression. Maybe next time, more flutes and acoustics. In the interim, it’s not like the preceding stretches of Tales from the Days of Yore are lacking anything for fullness of sound. “Encounter” serves notice early as the opener and longest track (immediate points) by beginning with a fading-in swell of distortion-drenched guitar, and it’s a full minute before the drums join. Soon enough, the drudge is underway, and Red Eye cast their lot in a nodding rhythm and focus around that central riff, one guitar dropping to feedback before the throaty first verse begins. The immediate touchstone is earlier Sleep, but in its second half, the rumble fades from “Encounter” and quiet guitars intertwine for a stretch to build back up to a full-blown solo and last riff-out, so immediately, Red Eye refuse to be beholden to one single impulse in songwriting. That only continues to serve them well throughout the rest of what follows.

Both Terol and Campos would seem to contribute vocals to the verses of “BHC” — the acronym standing for “Black Horse Carriage” — and the shift in approach from the opener is palpable even as the tempo remains on the slower end and a lumbering groove continues to hold sway. Some of the underlying swing in the chorus seems to tip a hat to Elephant Tree‘s sense of melody, but just before the midpoint again, “BHC” drops to atmospherics. Backward guitar, other noise and general drift take the fore until the bass — or very low guitar — picks back up to introduce the solo-topped section that closes out. One might expect them to return to the hook, which is arguably the strongest on the album, but instead they crash into a fadeout ahead of “Azathoth,” a more active stomp and (single) melodic vocal echoing out over the likewise mournful riffing until, indeed, a midpoint break brings them down to a subdued stretch of mood-setting. This time, subtle tom hits hold the tension and when they return, it’s not to a solo, but huge riffing and compressed-sounding semi-spoken vocal declarations — the righteousness palpable — but sweeping guitar leads the way out nonetheless, the three first tracks diverse in their approach but united in structure.

red eye

Time for a change, and “Hall of the Slain” is it. A faster tempo, a more prevalent Sabbathian swing and a catchy chorus make the early going of “Hall of the Slain” a jolt of energy well placed to continue to expand the band’s horizons, and they change the structure as well, going quiet in the first half quickly to tease a longer break to come. It’s a minute difference, but a difference all the same, and the contrast it sets up with the impressive tonal plunder on the other end isn’t to be understated. Vocals become chanting incantations in the midsection and the quiet stint — could use some flute, maybe? — heralds the return to the song’s central instrumental figure. There are no more vocals, but the repetition in the second half of “Hall of the Slain” works well to set up “Yagé” which starts off with airy psychedelic guitar and gradually makes its way forward for the first three minutes-plus, the patient linear build ably making the turn to full-tonality sound organic. While they’ve incorporated different influences all along, “Yagé” is as far into alternate structuring as Red Eye have thus far gone on Tales from the Days of Yore, and the shift suits them, a last verse ending with a shout and faster riffing taking hold momentarily as a solo seems to call back to the song’s beginning in an effective bookend.

That leaves “Waves” as the finale, and there’s no way it’s anything but. At about five and a half minutes, it’s a somewhat scaled-down summary of what Red Eye have done throughout, bringing together various ideas and loud/quiet tradeoffs, but the level of plod is upped in such a way that it couldn’t be anything but the conclusion, and very likely the band knew that even as they were writing it. It crashes to a somewhat unceremonious end, but “Halcyon Days” takes hold shortly thereafter, carrying the next several minutes with classic prog flair in a flute-led jam met with percussion and strummed guitar, ending with some conversation and laughing. For a band who already has room in their songs for such things, it would seem only natural to combine this apparent underlying influence with the heft they otherwise bring forth — hard to pull off live in the studio, but not impossible — but again, Tales from the Days of Yore is a debut album, and among its crucial functions is to set up avenues for future growth on the part of the band. It does that and more, providing a deep-running listening experience that shows Red Eye as thoughtful in their use of structure and pace as well as schooled in the style in which they’re establishing their roots for future development.

Red Eye on Thee Facebooks

Red Eye on Instagram

Alone Records on Thee Facebooks

Alone Records on Bandcamp

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Doctor Sax Premieres “Sille” Video; Ellis EP out Feb. 11

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doctor sax

So, it would seem Txus Dr. Sax, aka Doctor Sax, aka the vocalist of Arenna, is a big reader. Awesome. The world could probably use a couple more of them. Across three full-lengths under the moniker of Dr. Sax (or with “Doctor” spelled out; either seems cool), the good doctor has explored a world of literature from William S. Burroughs and Charles Baudelaire to Roberto Bolaño and, Rimbaud and Aldus Huxley. I might recommend he hit up some Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut, but beyond that, it’s hard to argue with the canon. It becomes particularly relevant to his new EP, Ellis, because up to now, all of his songs have been titled for authors’ last names: “Poe,” and “Wilde,” and “Arbulú” and so on. Ellis, which is the first Doctor Sax EP, would seem to depart from that approach.

That’s not a small change after three records, but unless “Sille” and its companion “Llise” — bothdoctor sax ellis anagrams of the EP’s title — are figures in literature I’ve never heard of, which is certainly possible, the EP looks to be Doctor Sax branching in a new direction. That notion further manifests in the arrangement of “Sille” itself, as Doctor Sax — who works with producers Koldo and Jabolo Sagastume as he did for 2016’s Vol. III —  explores a marked depth of arrangement involving cello and viola, percussion, harmonica and sundry effects around the foundation of acoustic guitar and vocals, taking the folk-style approach he’s brought to past material and expanding it outward in terms of atmosphere across the nearly-nine-minute song. “Llise,” at just under seven minutes, is somewhat more grounded and solo-feeling, but even that turns to looped guitar to develop a musical conversation with itself, its largely instrumental progression building as it moves forward to some vocals and tambourine late in the track.

In the video for “Sille” below, you can see Doctor Sax himself recording that part. It ends in laughter, which is fair enough. The whole clip seems to have been shot as the “Sille” and “Llise” were put together in the studio, and it captures the spirit of creativity at the heart of the material. It’s hard to gauge ultimately whether Ellis represents a new modus for Doctor Sax overall or is a kind of experimentalist one-off left-turn — the answer may indeed be at your local library — but there’s no denying the soul put into “Sille” and watching it unfold in the studio setting in the video below, the joy of its making is palpable.

Ellis is out Feb. 11 on Spinda Records, Cosmic Tentacles and Olarizu Records.

Hope you dig it:

Doctor Sax, “Sille” official video premiere

The EP is the fourth album by Arenna’s singer Doctor Sax:
‘Mantras Of The Rainy Night” (2012)
‘Vol. II’ (2014)
‘Vol. III’ (2016)
‘Ellis’ (2019)
Release date: 11th February 2019 (Spinda Records, Cosmic Tentacles and Olarizu Records)
Pre-order now available at https://drsax.bandcamp.com

Doctor Sax is:
Doctor Sax: Vocals and guitar
Guille: Percussion
Imanol Mtz. Hervias: Viola
David Sagastume: Cello and handclaps
Koldo Sagastume: Handclaps

Dr. Sax on Bandcamp

Cosmic Tentacles on Bandcamp

Spinda Records website

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Thermic Boogie Premiere “Ocean”; Fracture EP out Feb. 6

Posted in audiObelisk on January 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

thermic boogie

Barcelona-based progressive noisemakers Thermic Boogie will release their new EP, Fracture, on Feb. 6. That’s a digital arrival date, and one can’t help but wonder if part of the reason they’re putting the songs out first into the interweb-ether is because the 12″ vinyl edition is being done in partnership with no fewer than six independent record labels. Six! That’s a conglomerate! It’s hard enough to coordinate one band and one label, let alone one band and five. But hey, that’s part of the adventure, and Fracture — so titled no doubt to convey its intentions toward audience expectation — is nothing if not an adventure. Comprised of three tracks — “Coup de Grâce,” “Grey Gardens” and “Ocean” — the EP runs a blunt 18 minutes that largely takes the noise rock elements that factored into the band’s early 2016 debut album, Vastness and Matter (review here), and ups the aggression level while adding vocals to their once-instrumental arsenal.

That’s a significant change both on paper and in the reality of listening to what guitarist Albert Martínez-López and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo bring to the material in terms of character. Handled by Gautier-Lorenzo, the vocals are shouts and occasionally harsher takes that add to the aggressive feel of the songs, and while Martínez-López still puts a bit of space in his solo late into the opener, the focus has notably shifted to a crush ‘n’ crunch mentality driven forward with marked precision. Again, this side was there when Thermic Boogie did the album, but as the sharp-edged riffing of “Grey Gardens” takes hold, the two-piece sound like Akimbo or other acolytes of US West Coast noise rock, a biting wah worked into the thrust alongside dips into extremity and ferocious percussiveness and chug. thermic boogie fracture“Ocean” follows the pattern laid out by the first two, but with more sway in the rhythm and nuance to Martínez-López‘s winding guitar, calling to mind earliest Mastodon with a punker mindset, the line between metal and rock and noise and punk blurring until it disappears or, to give another image, bring stomped into oblivion.

All the while — vocals. I won’t pretend to know what’s behind the shift in approach or whether Thermic Boogie are testing the waters for future exploration along the same lines or just trying something for a one-off release, but what they’re doing here works, and especially as the longer two tracks at 7:19 and 6:53, respectively, “Coup de Grâce” and “Ocean” demonstrate that plainly. While “Grey Gardens,” which is just over four minutes, is more intense, and that is a purpose unto itself, “Ocean” in particular shows a noteworthy move into noise as more than just an assault of volume, melody creeping into the guitar in a way that holds promise moving forward. And if Fracture does anything, it’s that. Again, it’s under 20 minutes long — shorter, indeed, than was the track “Quadratonic Magnitude” from the LP — but even more than its brevity, it’s the turn of approach that makes its run more of a sprint than a slog.

Maybe Thermic Boogie will move forward directly from here, or maybe they’ll do something completely different again the next time out. Maybe their next release will be space rock. Who knows? The important thing is Martínez-López and Gautier-Lorenzo have put themselves in a position to be more pointed in their delivery while leaving their audience guessing as to what they might do next. That’s a damn good place to be for a band, and if you’ve got any brains left unmelted after the slamming crash of “Coup de Grâce,” there’s a good chance they’ll be telling you to look forward to finding out where Thermic Boogie end up.

If nothing else, it’s easy to see why they’d want to get the release out as soon as possible. Look for the vinyl on Big Ground RecordsAloud MusicSolo Bongs RecordsWoooaaaaarghThe Brave Records and Violence in the Veins, and the digital release at the start of next month. In the meantime, I’m happy to host the premiere of “Ocean” on the player below, followed by more info about the EP.

Please enjoy:

The EP is going to be out soon on 12″ vinyl disc. There are 6 different labels cooperating for this edition:
– Big Ground Records (SP)
– Aloud Music (SP)
– Solo Bongs Records (SP)
– Woooaaaaargh (DE)
– The Brave Records (SP)
– Violence in the veins (SP)

# VINYL #
BGLP001, ALOUD027LP, SLBNGS420, WRG191, TBR30/04-18, VIO28

# CD #
BGCD004

Recorded in December 2017 in Sabadell (Barcelona)
Sound takes and mixes by Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo
Master audio by Victor Garcia (Ultramarinos)
Photography by Domingo Escidero
Graphic designs by Albert Martinez-Lopez

Thermic Boogie is:
Albert Martinez-Lopez – Kramer guitars and throats
Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo – Ludwig drums and throats

Thermic Boogie on Thee Facebooks

Thermic Boogie on Bandcamp

Big Ground Records webstore

Aloud Music webstore

Solo Bongs Records on Bandcamp

Wooaaargh webstore

The Brave Records webstore

Violence in the Veins on Bandcamp

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Red Eye Set Feb. 22 Release for Tales from the Days of Yore; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

red eye

Preorders are up now from Alone Records for the debut album from Spanish doom rockers Red EyeTales from the Days of Yore. The album has been given a Feb. 22 release through the long-running imprint, and the eight-minute “Hall of the Slain” is streaming now to give an initial impression of the patient blend of progressive doom and heavy rock they’re working with, a kind of semi-epic feel pervading the material that I’m interested to hear how it might play out across the full release. Cavernous drum echo does well to add a sense of space to the track, and that they don’t come across as rushed or unsure in the span of the piece bodes well, though, as does the underlying downer melody of the guitar.

In the place where I live, a “red eye” is made when an espresso shot — or two, or three if you’re absolutely insane/desperate — is poured into a regular cup of coffee. I take mine black and avail myself regularly, even at home with the Nespresso. So while I have an immediate association with the phrase beyond, you know, flying overnight, somehow I don’t think either is what Red Eye are going for. Call me crazy.

Album details from the PR wire, song stream at the bottom:

red eye tales from the days of yore

RED EYE debut album “Tales From The Days Of Yore”

Surrounded by the glorious and eerie karst formations of El Torcal and hosting one of the oldest and largest megalithic dolmens in Europe (Menga), the Southern Spanish city of Antequera (Malaga) is a magical region where our ancestors built up the basis of next cultures to come. No doubt the four young and talented piece outfit Red Eye got inspired by this land ?s mystique and the clear connection between man and Earth when starting their activities in 2016, reinterpreting the concept of proto and modern rock into something creative and genuine.

at Green Cross Studio. Tracks develop as something you can actually feel and maybe touch. From the nine-minutes opening statement “Encounter”, the psych doom passages of “BHC” or “Yagé”, to the final closing act “Waves”, a collection of crushing riffs and memorable solos will prove a delight to any diehard fan.

The band would say: “There is definitely something magic and primitive in our natural environment that influences our daily lives and we turn into the music we play. It would be foolish to deny it!”. A first advance track entitled “Hall Of The Slain” is available on Alone Records Bandcamp.

1. Encounter
2. BHC
3. Azathoth
4. Hall Of The Slain
5. Yagé
6. Waves

Tales From The Ways Of Yore will be issued on CD digisleeve and limited black vinyl next February 22nd. Official album teaser to be found on this Youtube link.

https://www.facebook.com/RedEyeOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/redeye_oficial/
https://www.facebook.com/alonerecords.spain/
https://alone-records.bandcamp.com

Red Eye, Tales from the Days of Yore (2019)

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Híbrido Stream I in Full; Out Monday on Spinda Records

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hibrido

Jan. 21 marks the release date of (review here), the debut album from Spanish psych-prog four-piece Híbrido. It’ll be out through Spinda Records and is aptly-named both in terms of being the band’s first release and for their being a hybrid of influences and ideas. The lineage is complicated, but Algeciras, where the band is based, has played host to a heavy rock and psych scene for decades spearheaded in no small part by Híbrido‘s members. Guitarist Jose Angel “Oceano” Galindo and bassist Jose “Pot” Moreno played together in a group called Viaje a 800, who released their final studio album, Coñac Oxigenado (review here), in 2012. Moreno would go on to form Atavismo with drummer Sandri Pow, who had also played in the space-rocking Mind!. If you haven’t heard them, Atavismo‘s releases to-date — 2018’s Valdeinfierno EP (review here), 2017’s Inerte (review here) and 2014’s Desintegración (review here) — are increasingly progressive gems that presage some of the ground MorenoPow and Galindo cover as well in Híbrido, working alongside Los Bradlys guitarist Zoa Rubio.

It’s a complicated family tree — and I’m by no means claiming that’s the entire narrative of it — but even if you were to go back and listen to Viaje a 800Los BradlysAtavismo or Mind!, that wouldn’t really give you a full picture of what’s happening with Híbrido, in no small part because that doesn’t seem to be an entirely settled issue. That players so familiar with each other could manage to turn around a record that sounds so much like a debut is an accomplishment in and of itself, but indeed, one of the great strengths of I is the promise it shows for future development, hibrido iand that’s in the harmonies of the Floydian apex of the 13-minute “Le Pilules Vertes” as well as the quick turns and the fuzzy hook of “Nada, Nadie,” which follows the previously-premiered opener “Pensando en un Eco de Instinto Interior” that unfolds such a sense of progressive tonal warmth in the guitar and bass and the fluidity of the drums pushing them along their plotted course. As side B comprises just “Les Pilules Vertes” and the accompanying 10-minute closer “Ente,” there’s a bit of a dual-personality for the record, but that too adds to the sense of their aesthetic being (perhaps willfully) unsettled.

The closer, even more than the shifts in sound between centerpiece “Escarlata” at the end of side A and what follows in the second half of the album, is most indicative of all of the breadth Híbrido are harnessing, and while everything before it might be seen as at least in line with what the members have done before — that is, has its own identity, but shares aspects in common with past work of the players involved — “Ente” takes a stark turn, changing from the dreamy clean vocals to a harsh, black metal-style rasp in its second half. To complement this, the track has a particularly progressive feel in its guitar work, moving from a tense forward push to nuanced classic-prog winding that remind of some of the math Opeth once did in combining elements of extreme metal and ’70s-style progressive rock. It’s a shocking moment on an otherwise peaceful I, and a surprise that leaves one curious as to just where Híbrido might go from there in terms of their sound. That’s one of the best impressions a band can make on a debut, to establish a foundation of quality craft and remain unpredictable, and I wouldn’t dare guess what another release — perhaps called II — might do to build on what brings to bear. Really. It happens at about 7:40. The first time I heard it my brain didn’t believe what my ears were telling it.

Although isn’t officially out until Monday, of course Spinda has it available to order now, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the album streaming in full. Yeah, I did the premiere for the opener before, but I think this is a special case where going deep and really hearing the record front-to-back is entirely warranted. I hope you agree and I hope you enjoy.

Vinyl release info follows.

Dig it:

Heavy Psych & Alternative Rock from Algeciras (Spain). Including members of Viaje a 800, Mind!, Atavismo, Medicina & Los Bradlys.

****OUT ON 21st JANUARY 2019****

Híbrido’s debut album ‘I’ is released on:
-Vinyl 12″ 150grs Classic Black Edition (218 copies worldwide)
-Vinyl 12″ 150grs La Novena Clear Limited Edition (110 copies worldwide)
-CD Jewel Case (330 copies worldwide)

All music by Híbrido.

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Trafalgar Estudios by Curro “Snortil” Úreba (El Palmar, October 2017).
Artwork by Antonio Ramírez (Mentes de Ácido).
Edited by Spinda Records.

Track-list:
SIDE A
1. Pensando En Un Eco De Instinto Interior
2. Nada, Nadie
3. Escarlata
SIDE B
4. Les Pilules Vertes
5. Ente

Híbrido on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records website

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Medicina Post “Histamina” Video; Album Preorders Start Jan. 4

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

medicina

Algeciras-based trio Medicina, which brings together drummer David Ruiz Donoso and bassist Jose “Pot” Moreno, both formerly of Viaje a 800, with Alberto Ruiz Gonzalez on guitar and vocals, will release their first album, Turboacido, through Mai Lei Bel on Feb. 22. Preorders for the 10-track/45-minute offerings start on Jan. 4, and to preview the LP’s arrival the band have put together a video for closing cut “Histamina,” which at 6:20 is also the longest inclusion on the record, blending influences from grunge, heavy rock and shoegazing post-rock with spacious flourish and the occasional bit of desert-minded riffing. Songs like “Sobredosis” and the side A finale “Pirotecnias” (premiered here) careen between garage stylizations and headier fare, the identity of the band cast as much in underground classics as in the forward-thinking progressivism underlying their superficially simplistic structures and moods alternately laid back and driving. Despite the lush feel of “Sensorial,” Turboacido does not seem to need to make its impression in a wash of effects, instead letting the consuming layers as they are eat away at the consciousness, medicina turboacidogradually escaping with brain matter and, I don’t know, maybe your eyeballs if they’re not too wrecked by the shimmer.

The dug-in grunge of “Hermanas” and the indie-vibing opener before it “Infarto Juvenil” give a distinctly ’90s-inspired presentation, but the production itself isn’t dated and there’s not so much as sense of the band trying to recapture something long-since lost as interpreting their own take on that spirit. Some of the record’s most effective moments are in its mellower stretches, “Sobredosis” or the extra-bassy “Ensamble,” which though it puts the low end in the forward position mix-wise, uses that extra space for some post-rock expansion in the lead guitar. As the finale, “Histamina” follows the push ‘n’ wash of “Soluble” with whatever space rock might be if it was exploring the ocean instead of the outer reaches of the cosmos. Or maybe it’s just some watery planet in some far off star system? Either way, it brings together the intense thrust of motorik rhythmmaking with something still definitely gravitational, and by the end, shows itself to be winding off in a direction all its own. So it may be the case with the band (here’s hoping), but the nuance of their approach shouldn’t be lost as one calls out this influence or that. Make no mistake, the highlight of Turboacido is in how Medicina take these elements and own them outright.

“Histamina” was directed by Juanjo Crespo and goes wild on some footage that may or may not be in the public domain.

Please enjoy:

Medicina, “Histamina” official video

Second preview of our first lp turboacido, which will see the light on February 22, enjoy and share the “Histamina.” Video Realizado por Juanjo Crespo.

Medicina is a trio formed at the beginning by Alberto and David, veteran musicians of the local scene in South Spain (They’ve playing together since the early 90´s in several bands like Ballet Violencia, Xudor Barato, among others).

David Ruiz was the drummer in the well known stoner rock band Viaje a 800 (from 1996 to 2008), and also in Buenamuerte Trío (From 2010 to 2013); After multiple line-up changes, Jose “Pot” (Viaje a 800, Atavismo…) finally joins the band as bass player in 2018.

Band members:
Alberto Ruiz Gonzalez (Guitar and Vocals)
David Ruiz Donoso (Drums)
Jose “Pot” Moreno (Bass)

Medicina on Bandcamp

Medicina on Instagram

Medicina on Thee Facebooks

Mai Lei Bel on Bandcamp

Mai Lei Bel on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Surya Kris Peters, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Lair of the Minotaur, Sonic Wolves, Spacelord, Nauticus, Yuxa, Forktie, Ohhms, Blue Dream

Posted in Reviews on December 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I had a terrible thought yesterday: What if this one… went to 11? That is, what if, after 10 days of Quarterly Review ending today with a grand total of 100 records reviewed since last Monday, I did another batch of 10? Like a bonus round? Like I said, terrible thought.

Pretty sure it won’t happen. I’ve already got a review and a video premiere booked for next Monday, but I definitely had the thought. It was easy, of course, to fill out another 10 slots, and who knows, maybe this weekend for the first time ever I wind up with some extra time and energy on my hands? Could happen, right?

Again, I’m fairly certain it won’t. Let’s proceed with the assumption today’s the last day. Thank you for reading. I hope you have found something cool in all of this that has really hit home. I certainly have. We cap very much in last-but-not-least fashion, and if nothing’s resonated with you yet, don’t count yourself completely out. You might just get there after all. Thanks again.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Surya Kris Peters, Ego Therapy

Surya Kris Peters Ego Therapy

Those feeling technical will note the full title of the album is Surya Kris Peters’ Ego Therapy, but the point gets across either way. And even as Christian Peters — also guitarist/vocalist for Samsara Blues Experiment — acknowledges the inherent self-indulgence of the proverbial “solo-project” that his exploration of synth and classically progressive textures under the moniker of Surya Kris Peters has become, with Ego Therapy as his second full-length of 2018, he branches out in including drums from former Terraplane bandmate Jens Vogel. The 10-song/53-minute outing opens with its longest cut (immediate points) in the 15-minute “Angels in Bad Places,” a spaced-out and vibrant atmosphere more cohesive than psychedelia but still trippy as all hell, and moves through a bluesy key/guitar interplay in “Wizard’s Dream” following the dancey thriller soundtrack “Beyond the Sun” and into the Blade Runner-style grandeur of “Sleeping Willow” and the video game-esque “A Fading Spark” before bookending with the sci-fi “Atomic Clock” at the close. I don’t know how ultimately therapeutic Peters‘ solo offerings might be, but he only seems to grow bolder each time out, and that certainly applies here.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp

 

Lewis and the Strange Magics, The Ginger Sessions

lewis and the strange magics the ginger sessions

How are you not gonna love a release that starts with a song called “Sexadelic Galactic Voyage?” Barcelona vamp rockers Lewis and the Strange Magics embrace their inner funk on the 23-minute self-released EP, The Ginger Sessions, finding the place where their uptempo ’70s fusion meets oldschool The Meters-style rhythm, digging into the repetitions of “Candied Ginger” after the aforementioned instrumental opening burst and then holding the momentum through “Her Vintage Earrings.” Some departure happens on what might be side B of the 10″, with “The Shadow of Your Smile” turning toward pastoral psychedelia, still rhythmic thanks to some prominent wood block and xylophone sounds, but much calmer despite a consistency of wah and keys. “Suzy’s Room II” follows in fuzzy fashion, bridging the earlier cologne-soaked, chest-hair-out vibes with garage buzz and a heavier low end beneath the synthesized experimentation. Mellotron shows up and continues to hold sway in closer “Witch’s Brew,” playing the band outward along with layers of drifting guitar for about two and a half minutes of bluesy serenity that feel cut short, as does the release on the whole. One hopes they don’t lose that funky edge going into their next album.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Bandcamp

 

Lair of the Minotaur, Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Lair of the Minotaur Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Once upon the mid-aughts, Chicago’s Lair of the Minotaur roamed the land as the long-prophesied American answer to Entombed, as much classic, dirt-covered death metal as they were laden with heavy groove. Their tones filthy, their assault brutal all the while, war metal, ultimate destroyers. The whole nine. They released their last album, Evil Power (review here), in 2010. The two-songer Dragon Eagle of Chaos follows a 2013 single, and was released to mark the occasion of perhaps a return to some measure of greater activity. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but as both “Dragon Eagle of Chaos” and “Kunsult the Bones” affirm in about seven minutes between them, Lair of the Minotaur remain a wrecking ball made of raw meat when it comes to their sound. The madness that seemed to always underline their material at its most effective is present and accounted for in “Dragon Eagle of Chaos,” and the stripped-down production of the single actually helps its violent cause. Will they do another record? Could go either way, but if they decide to go that route, they clearly still have the evil power within.

Lair of the Minotaur website

Lair of the Minotaur on Bandcamp

 

Sonic Wolves, Sonic Wolves

sonic wolves sonic wolves

Eight tracks/34 minutes of smoothly-arranged and well-executed doom rock brought to bear with an abiding lack of pretense and a developing sense of songcraft and dynamic — there’s very little not to dig about Sonic Wolves‘ self-titled LP (on Future Noise and DHU), from the Sabbathian stretch of “Ascension” down through the bouncing low-key-psych-turns-to-full-on-wah-overdose-swirl in the penultimate “Heavy Light.” Along the way, bassist/vocalist Kayt Vigil (ex-Pentagram, etc.) — joined by guitarists Jason Nealy and Enrico “Ico” Aniasi and drummer Gianni “Vita” Vitarelli (also Ufomammut) — gallop through the traditional metal of “Red Temple” and ride a fuzzy roll in “Tide of Chaos,” leaving the uptempo shuffle of “You’ll Climb the Walls” to close out by tapping into a “Wicked World”-style vision of heavy blues that casts off many of the tropes of what’s become the subgenre in favor of a darker approach. If their self-titled is Sonic Wolves declaring who they are as a band after making their debut in 2016, the results are only encouraging.

Sonic Wolves on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

Future Noise Recordings webstore

 

Spacelord, Indecipher

Spacelord Indecipher

There is an immediate sensibility drawn from classic heavy rock to the vocals on Spacelord‘s second record, Indecipher, like Shannon Hoon fronting Led Zeppelin, maybe? Something like that, definitely drawn from a ’70s/’90s blend. Produced, mixed and mastered by guitarist Rich Root, with Chris Cappiello on bass, Kevin Flynn on drums and Ed Grabianowski on vocals, the four-piece’s sophomore LP is comprised of a neatly-constructed eight songs working around sci-fi themes on bruiser cuts like “Super Starship Adventure” and the particularly righteous “Zero Hour,” as opener and longest track (immediate points) “For the Unloved Ones” sets forth the classic vibe amid the first of the record’s impressive solos and resonant hooks. Something about it makes me want them to go completely over the top in terms of production their next time out — layers on layers on layers, etc. — but the kind of false start Grabianowski brings to the ultra-Zepped “New Machine” has a charm that I’m not sure it would be worth sacrificing.

Spacelord on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Nauticus, Disappear in Blue

Nauticus Disappear in Blue

Six years after the release of their second album, The Wait (review here), Finnish atmospheric progressive metallers Nauticus effect a return with the 78-minute Disappear in Blue, which following the relatively straightforward opening with “Magma” casts out a vast sprawl in accordance with its oceanic theme. Longer tracks like “Claimed by the Sea,” “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies,” “Arrival” and “Hieronymus” are complex and varied but united through a deep instrumental dynamic that’s brought to light even in the three-minute ambient post-rocker “Desolation,” which is something of an interlude between “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies” and the tense build of “Singularity.” Other ambient spaces “Jesus of Lübeck” and the later “Whale Bones” complement and add reach to the longer-form works, but it’s hardly as though Nauticus‘ material lacks character one way or the other. Overwhelming in its length, Disappear in Blue might take some time to wade through, but what a way to go.

Nauticus on Thee Facebooks

Nauticus on Bandcamp

 

Yuxa, Yuxa

yuxa yuxa

As the greater part of anything related to post-metal invariably does, UK outfit Yuxa have their “Stones from the Sky” moment in “Founder in Light,” the opening cut from their self-titled debut EP, that most formative of progressions making itself known in modified form to suit the double-guitar four-piece’s intent with dramatic screams and shouts cutting through an ably-conjured surge of noisy adrenaline resolving in winding chug and crash en route to “Exiled Hand,” the seven-minute cut that follows and serves as centerpiece of the three-tracker. “Founder in Light,” “Exiled Hand” and nine-minute closer “Peer” are arranged shortest to longest, and the effect is to draw the listener in such that by the time the angular, purposeful lurch of the finale begins to unfold, Yuxa‘s rhythmic hypnosis is already well complete. Still, the straightforward arrangements of guitar, bass, drums and vocals give them a rawer edge than many synth- or sample-laden post-metallic cohorts, and that suits the atmospheric sludge with which they close out, harnessing chaos without giving themselves over to it. A quick sample of a creative development getting underway, though it’s telling as well that Yuxa ends with a sudden buzz of amp noise.

Yuxa on Thee Facebooks

Yuxa on Bandcamp

 

Forktie, EP

forktie forktie

The first EP release from Forktie — who stylize their moniker and titles all-lowercase: forktie — is untitled, but contains five tracks that tap into proto-emo post-hardcore and ’90s alt rock sensibilities, finding a place between heavy rock and grunge that allows for Aarone Victorine‘s bass to lead toward the hook of centerpiece “Decomposition Book” with a smooth presence that’s well complementary the vocals from guitarist Dom Mariano, their presence low in the mix only adding to the wistful feel of “Anywhere but Here” and “September Morning,” before the shorter “Spores” lets loose some more push from drummer Corey LeBlanc and closer “Ph.D. in Nothing” reinforces the underlying melancholy beneath the thicker exterior tones. It’s a new project, but Forktie have worked their way into a niche that suits their songwriting well, and given themselves a space to grow within their sound. Members experience in bands like UXO, Test Meat and textbookcopilot will serve them in that effort.

Forktie on Thee Facebooks

Forktie on Bandcamp

 

Ohhms, Exist

ohhms exist

As a fan generally of bands opening albums with the longest song included, I can get on board with UK heavy progressive metallers Ohhms opening Exist with the 22-minute “Subjects.” Immediate points and all that. Far more consequential, however, is the substance of that launch for the four-song/43-minute Holy Roar LP, which is the band’s fourth in four years. It’s a vast, broad and complex offering unto itself, consuming side A as vocalist Paul Waller embodies various entities, “I am wolf” (preceding a Duran Duran reference, perhaps inadvertent), “I am child,” and so on. Those proclamations are just the culmination of a progression that, frankly, is an album unto itself, let alone a side, and maybe should’ve been released as such, though the absolute post-metallic crush of “Shambles,” the seething of “Calves” and the heavy post-rock reach of “Lay Down Your Firearms” need no further justification than a simple listen provides, the last of them pummeling side B to a then-sudden stop. Ohhms are no strangers to longform work, and it suits them well enough to make one wonder if they couldn’t be headed toward a single-song LP in the near future.

Ohhms on Thee Facebooks

Holy Roar Records on Bandcamp

 

Blue Dream, Volume Blue

Blue Dream Volume Blue

Chicago four-piece Blue Dream issued their first LP, Volume Won, early in 2018 and follow with Volume Blue — as opposed to “two”; could ‘Volume Tree’ be in the works? ‘Volume Free?’ — which collects nine neo-psych-mit-der-funky-grooves cuts chic enough to be urbane but fuzzed out enough to make the freakouts more than just a come on. They open peaceful enough with “Delta,” before the hook of “9,000 lb. Machine” defines the course and cuts like “Thank You for Smoking” and the almost woefully catchy “She’s Hot” expand the parameters. I’ll take the dream-tone shimmer of “Kingsbury Goldmine” any day in a kind of self-aware reflection of British folk and/or the garage rock of “Shake the Shake,” but the dense roll of “Viper Venom” that immediately follows reimagines grunge as more than just an influence from three popular bands and something that could genuinely move forward from the perspective of a new generation. Hearing Blue Dream close out with the boogie of “The Glide,” one hopes they do precisely that, though I’d by no means limit them to one avenue of expression. They’re clearly able to harness multiple vibes here.

Blue Dream on Thee Facebooks

Blue Dream on Bandcamp

 

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