Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 Lineup Complete & Pre-Party Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

esbjerg fuzztival 2020 banner

The final two acts announced for Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 are The Goners, the new Salem’s Pot offshoot, and Captain Caravan. From Sweden and Norway, respectively, they’ll head to Denmark in early May to play the two-day festival, which will also be preceded the day before by a free pre-party, at which Australia’s Khan and Sweden’s Stew will accompany a screening of the heavy rock documentary Such Hawks, Such Hounds, which, somewhat oddly, I’ve never seen, aside from the bonus scene with Wino talking about his pepper garden and knowing that Sleep‘s telling of the story of Dopesmoker in the film essentially helped revive their career. But yeah, never seen it. Go figure. I hear good things.

Speaking of good things, the lineup for Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 in its full-packed-with-band-itude can be seen on the posters below (click to enlarge and then click to shrink again), and the fest put out word that it’s still a go as of now despite current restrictions on travel and some such. Whether there will be any changes ultimately of course depends on the ongoing pandemic, but what the hell doesn’t at this point.

Here’s what they had to say about all of it:

We are thrilled to announce THE GONERS at Fuzztival ’20!

A new fuzz’n’roll band from Sweden with their debut album out in March on the famous RidingEasy Records, Fuzztival is looking to be the band’s first festival appearance. At least we think so! You will probably recognise the unique vocals from the famous Salem’s Pot as well as the approach to songwriting, and we can’t wait to see this band in action!

The temperature are rising in Norway, and we’re positive it’s largely because of the scorching desert riffs of CAPTAIN CARAVAN!

Signed to Cursed Tongue these desert rockers are sure to satiate your thirst for the riff!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more badass, we go right ahead and do a free pre-party the day before — just because we think you deserve it! Adding Khan and STEW to play as well as screening ‘Such Hawks Such Hounds’ during the day! We’ll have plenty of our Fuzz IPAs on tab as well as a selection of other beer!

Are you psyched yet?!

We just wanted to reach out once more to assure everyone: Fuzztival is going ahead as scheduled!

While the next 4 weeks are going to suck for so many bands, fests, and events, right now we have nothing that should indicate that Fuzztival would have to be cancelled.

We get why you ask us, and we get why you’re nervous. We are reaching out to say: Please don’t hesitate buying a ticket. While the pandemic is bad enough, not selling tickets would be so much worse for a small DIY fest as ours.

Stay safe & wash your hands. That apply in general as well. /Thomas & Bo

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.fuzztival.com

Huset Esbjerg
May 8+9 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/2277251089027506/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

The Goners, “World of Decay”

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Review & Full Album Stream: Stew, People

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stew people

[Click play above to stream Stew’s People in its entirety. Album is out tomorrow on Ripple Music. Preorder here.]

Dig into the speed-shuffle vibes and overlaid bluesy overtones of sub-three-minute centerpiece “Play the Fool” and all questions about what Stew are up to should be summarily put to bed. There are few name brands as reliable these days as Swedish Boogie Rock, and while the country and the greater European underground has seen no shortage thereof over the course of this decade, the heavy ’10s round out in strong fashion with Stew‘s Ripple Music-delivered debut album, People. They tip the balance to one side or another in terms of mood and tempo, as one would hope, over the course of the 11-tracker — really 10 and the 32-second “Intro” that starts off — but what makes the crisp 37-minute offering so distinct is the momentum that carries the Lindesberg three-piece through and in particular how much guitarist Nicklas Jansson is responsible for that.

Of course, guitar leading the way through what’s essentially a riff-driven style of heavy rock isn’t so much a surprise as it is a tenet of the genre — and indeed, Stew‘s work will be readily familiar in its ’70s-worship purposes to the converted — but even with that in consideration, the way Jansson interacts musically with bassist/vocalist Markus Åsland and drummer Nicklas Dahlgren proves fascinating and is something that stands the band out among their many bluesy peers. Solos and lead lines periodically step forward to do the work of riffs, as in side B’s “Sweet and True” or the earlier title-track, with its subtly winding progression during the verse and nigh-on-hypnotic jam in its second half (the song, by the way, is under four minutes long, so take “jam” relative to that), and that gives Stew an all the more dynamic sound as they move through more straightforward fare like “Newborn” at a comfortable mid-paced sleek, dropping hooks as they go as trailmarkers for those making their way through an album that still somehow feels light on flourish.

Åsland‘s performance on vocals as well is worth specific note, as the character he brings to a song like “Endless Journey,” finds him settled into a niche somewhere between Chris Cornell and Robert Plant as the track careens between volume changes. From the outset of post-“Into” opener “Right on Time,” through “People” and the slower turn of “Newborn” after the opening salvo is concluded, Åsland is in command of the proceedings vocally and he remains so for the duration. Between his presence and Jansson‘s standout guitar work, Stew hone the very classic-power-trio impression they would so much seem to be shooting for — and in righteous fashion, most especially for the spirited edge they bring to the style. That is, they’re playing to genre, no question, but they’re bringing a sense of who they are as artists to that. It can be heard in a track like “Fruits,” which delves into more spacious fare pushed forward by Dahlgren‘s drumming, the swing of which is a somewhat understated but ultra-necessary anchor for the proceedings as a whole, and it’s their burgeoning identity that helps them stave off stylistic redundancy.

stew

And it is burgeoning. One should know going in that Stew seem by no means to be a finished product on their first album, but what they do throughout People, all the way down to the birdsong-laced acoustic closer “Morning Again,” is to give an initial showcase from which to build as they move forward. They’re working to establish themselves within a crowded subset of heavy rock that has been largely abandoned by its foremost champions, and while they bring classic ideas to bear with a modern production style and clarity, their purposes remain fluid throughout in songwriting and their ability to shift between various vibes, from the smooth semi-psych melodies of “Goddess” and the mellow blues in the first half of “Afraid of Getting Nowhere” to the rock ‘n’ riot of “Play the Fool” and the earlier one-two punch in “Right on Time” and “People,” they’re only bolstered by the obvious strength that comes from such flexibility.

When it comes to getting on board, they make it easy. People isn’t about issuing challenges to its audience so much as bidding welcome, and of course the familiarity at play in their sound is a part of that. They’re using the more established aspects of their sound — their direct influence from modern takes on vintage heavy — as a way of connecting with a specific listener, who knows what they’re doing and appreciates it, but the whole thing would fall flat were it not for the songwriting and performance underlying. It’s easy enough — if potentially expensive — to fire up the right gear and roll out a bit of boogie here and there, but to do so while leaving behind memorable tracks marked by highlight interplay between the members of the band is something else and something worth celebrating. As People plays out across its tight 37-minute run, it’s no challenge to discern where the band are coming from, but especially in considering it as their debut LP, even that fact says something positive about how they’re able to bring their stylizations to bear in such an effective way.

I don’t necessarily think Stew are setting out to rewrite the script when it comes to how boogie jams happen, and frankly, they don’t need to be. The only real shame about People is that it’s coming out as the air is getting colder and the nights are getting longer, instead of the opposite. Maybe it’s perfect Australian summer album. It’s not so much that its centered around tonal warmth, but there is something wholesome and sincere about its bluesy execution that seems just made for the outdoors, for sunshine, for some small “festival” happening on a stage outside in a Swedish forest with good friends and copious coolers of beer, maybe. I’m sure a given listener can paint their own scenario, but inspiring that too stands as one of Stew‘s marked strengths. There are more than a few throughout People, and they all tend to bode well for the band’s future prospects.

Stew on Thee Facebooks

Stew on Instagram

Stew on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Stew Premiere “Endless Journey”; Debut Album People out Oct. 11

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stew

Ripple Music welcome Swedish trio Stew for the Oct. 11 release of the band’s debut album, People. The album follows a 2018 EP, Hot, and the announcement comes coupled with the unveiling of “Endless Journey,” which you can hear premiering at the bottom of this post. Its easy-rolling groove is palpable, as well as a post-Zeppelin approach to guitar strumming, vocal push and foundational rhythmic bombast in the drums. Still, “Endless Journey” is nothing if it’s not a heavy ’10s nodder, as the break to organ before the resurgence of its central riff demonstrates, the song not even over before the structure has imprinted itself on the mind of the listener. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but as teasers go, “Endless Journey” gets the job done easily when it comes to piquing interest, as of course I hope you’ll agree.

Stew recorded the album this past February in live fashion, and I think that energy comes through in “Endless Journey,” so I’ll expect no less from the entirety of People when it arrives. These cats seem to have a pretty solid grasp on a classic sound and how to make it work in a modern context. Take a couple minutes and hear for yourself.

Here’s the album announcement:

stew people

70’s blues rockers STEW unveil first single and details for upcoming album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Lindesberg’s hard blues trio STEW successfully surf the pioneering era of rock’n’roll with their debut album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Preorder here: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=stew+-+people

Markus Åsland’s hot and groovy vocals will lead your way to this promising debut album, which brilliantly explores the blues rock spectrum. Taking its cue from soul, psych and acid rock, and pretty much all the good vibes coming from that an unforgettable era that brought about what we now call cosmic rock. Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan may come to mind when listening to “People”, yet this is no surprise: STEW have brought back a maestria in modern blues that is utterly soulful and filled with irresistible hooks.

STEW comment: “Just like the first EP the whole album is recorded live except from vocals and solos. The recording of the album was finished in nine days at Studio Oktober, Karlskoga with engineer Jonas Ljungkvist. We wanted the album to be a classic rock sounding album like the ones from the 70’s that we love.”

STEW New album “People”
Out October 11th on Ripple Music

TRACK LISTING :
1. Intro
2. Right On Time
3. People
4. Newborn
5. Endless Journey
6. Play The Fool
7. Godless
8. Afraid Of Getting Nowhere
9. Sweet And True
10. Fruits
11. Morning Again

STEW are:
Markus Åsland – Bass & Vocals
Nicklas Jansson – Guitar
Nicklas Dahlgren – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band
https://stew1.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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