Monolith on the Mesa Lineup Confirmed; Om, Dead Meadow, Wovenhand, The Obsessed, Cloud Catcher & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

monolith on the mesa banner

So, uh, you wanna go get weird in the desert for a weekend? Sure, we all do. And if you’re up for making it the trip of a lifetime, Monolith on the Mesa has a bunch of decked-out vintage trailers available for you to hide from the New Mexico sun while you wait for the show to start. From the pre-party to The Obsessed headlining the second day, the inaugural edition of Monolith on the Mesa looks like the stuff of pilgrimage dreams. Om and Dead Meadow? Wovenhand? Tia Carrera jamming in a brewery? Duel? It’s an obviously curated lineup very purposefully put together with the setting in mind, and whether it’s the indoor or outdoor stage, it’s easy to see where it has the potential to be an incredible time. I’ve gone on at some length about the growth of US festival culture over the course of this decade. Look no further if you need an example of the fruit that would seem to be bearing.

If you make it down, congratulations on your life. You pretty much win.

Lineup and ticket links as per the social medias:

monolith on the mesa poster

Monolith on the Mesa: A High Desert Rock & Art Experience

Join Us On May 16th, 17th, & 18th In Taos New Mexico At Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership For Monolith on the Mesa A High Desert Rock Experience Like Non Other! A Music Festival with Art Visuals & Installations from Local NM Artists. And Of Course Some Of The Worlds Finest Dark, Psych, Stoner, Doom & Heavy Rock from All Over the Globe and SW Region! Browse Our Website monolithonthemesa.com For VIP And check out our Vintage Trailer Packages!!

http://www.monolithonthemesa.com/vintage-trailer-experience/

Hold My Ticket Link:
Pre party Show* https://holdmyticket.com/event/329481
2 Day Pass Ticket * https://holdmyticket.com/event/329524
Day 1 Pass Ticket * https://holdmyticket.com/event/329477
Day 2 Pass Ticket * https://holdmyticket.com/event/329482

MotherShip Outside Stage: Featuring Visuals By Mad Alchemist Liquid Light Show * Day 1: OM * Dead Meadow * Wovenhand * True Widow * EYE * Green Druid * Spirit Mother** Day 2: The Obsessed * Pinkish Black * Castle * The Well * Crypt Trip * WEEED * Cloud Catcher * The Munsens

Taos Mesa Worshipper Inside Stage: Day 1: * Tia Carrera * Wino (Acoustic) * Lord Buffalo * Pharlee * SuperGiant * YOU * Via Vengence * Deep Cross** Day 2 Duel * Stone Deaf * In The Company Of Serpents * Pale Horse\Pale Rider * Communion * Oryx * Sorex * Dysphotic * Devil’s Throne

https://www.facebook.com/events/260645364631316/
https://www.facebook.com/monolithonthemesa
https://www.instagram.com/monolithonthemesa/
http://www.monolithonthemesa.com/

Dead Meadow, “Good Moanin'” live at Endless Daze Fest 2018

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Stone Deaf and Salem’s Bend Touring This Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

stone deaf

salem's bend

If these bands aren’t friends yet, one expects they will be by the time they’re done touring together this month. Stone Deaf from Colorado and Salem’s Bend from Los Angeles will hit the road together in about a week’s time, starting out with Stone Deaf doing a date in Vegas alongside Brant Bjork and Mezzoa before the tour picks up a few nights later in Reno and runs through California and back through the desert, finishing Oct. 20 in Tempe, Arizona. Both bands go with relatively new short releases behind them. For Stone Deaf, it’s the covers outing The Bobby Peru EP, with takes on 13th Floor Elevators and David Bowie, and Salem’s Bend have the live-recorded Cold Hand which was tracked while recording the video for the song of the same name.

It’s a relatively quick run, but looks like it’ll be a good time and a chance for both bands to stretch their legs before 2018 starts to wind down. I wouldn’t be surprised if either band had plans in the works for 2019 either for recording or shows or both.

In the meantime, the PR wire:

stone deaf salems bend tour

STONE DEAF/SALEM’S BEND TOUR

Ripple Music bands STONE DEAF and SALEM’S BEND are pleased to announce that they will be embarking on a tour of the United States West Coast next month.

Salem’s Bend commented “We’re stoked to be hitting the road with Stone Deaf- these guys are rad, great tunes and great dudes! We’re also going to hit a couple spots we haven’t played yet this year so we’re excited for that too, reconnect with fans in places we haven’t been to for a while. See ya out on the road!”

Stone Deaf Bandcamp: https://stone-deaf.bandcamp.com/album/royal-burnout

Salem’s Bend bandcamp: https://salemsbend.com/album/salems-bend

Oct 11 – Las Vegas, NV – Count?s Vamp?d *
Oct 16 – Reno, NV – The Saint
Oct 17 – Sonora, CA – Winters Tavern
Oct 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Redwood Bar
Oct 19 – San Diego, CA – Tower Bar
Oct 20 – Tempe, AZ – Timeout Lounge
* Brant Bjork, Stone Deaf, Mezzoa

https://www.facebook.com/StoneDeafColorado/
https://twitter.com/stonedeafband
http://stone-deaf.com/

http://www.facebook.com/salemsbend
https://salemsbend.com/
http://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products

Stone Deaf, The Bobby Peru EP (2018)

Salem’s Bend, Cold Hand Live EP (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Worshipper, Dopethrone, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, Omen Stones, Capra, Universo Rojo, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Fire Down Below, Stone Deaf, Cracked Machine

Posted in Reviews on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

Well, we made it to the end of another Quarterly Review. One more batch and then it’s off to planning the next one for late September/early October. I hope you have found something this week that you’ve really dug. I have. A few, to be honest. Not everything is going to stick with every listener, of course, and that includes me, but for as much as putting this one together has been, there’s been some really good, year-end-list-type stuff included. At least as far as my own list goes. I sincerely hope you agree.

So let’s do this last one, then go sleep for a couple hours. Alright? Here we go:

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Worshipper, Mirage Daze

worshipper mirage daze

I don’t know if Worshipper knew they’d be embarking on their first West Coast tour in Summer 2018 when they hit Mad Oak Studios in Oct. 2016 to record the four cover tracks for their Mirage Daze EP on Tee Pee Records, but it certainly worked out in the Boston four-piece’s favor. Following-up their 2016 debut, Shadow Hymns (review here), Worshipper present four cover tracks in Uriah Heep’s “Easy Livin’,” The Oath’s “Night Child,” Pink Floyd’s “Julia Dream” and The Who’s “Heaven and Hell,” and while I’m a little sad that “Heaven and Hell” isn’t the Black Sabbath song, which I think they’d nail if they tried it, and I’m glad to have a studio version of their take on Floyd’s “Julia Dream,” which from the first time I saw them live was always a pleasure to watch live, I think the highlight of Mirage Daze might be “Night Child.” I never bought that The Oath record, and Worshipper’s take on its lead single is about the best argument I’ve seen for doing so. It may or may not be a stopgap issued to coincide with the tour, but Mirage Daze is a welcome arrival anyway. It’s a fan piece? Well, I’m a fan, so right on.

Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

Dopethrone, Transcanadian Anger

dopethrone transcanadian anger

Montreal scumsludgers Dopethrone return with Transcanadian Anger, an eight-track blister-fest of crunch riffing and misanthropic vibes. Delivered through Totem Cat Records, the 36-minute Weedeater-gone-bad-drugs sludge assault seems to invite superlatives front to back, even in the slamming instrumental “Killdozer” – a tribute to the band? – and the swinging penultimate cut “Kingbilly Kush.” Elsewhere, opener “Planet Meth,” “Snort Dagger,” “Tweak Jabber” and “Scuzzgasm” celebrate addiction and violence unto oneself and others, making a spectacle of decay set to voluminous sludge riffs and abrasive vocals. This is Dopethrone’s aesthetic territory, and they’ve done well over the last decade to make it their own. As they answer 2015’s full-length, Hochelaga (review here), and the next year’s 1312 EP with yet another filth-caked collection, they seem all the more in their own league of aural and narcotic self-punishment. They could be straightedge vegans for all I know, but they sure sound high as fuck, and I guess that’s the point. So, well done.

Dopethrone on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records webstore

 

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, BooCheeMish

the mystery of the bulgarian voices boocheemish

Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance would seem to be trying to solve The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, a choral group from Bulgaria who, seemingly until teaming with Gerrard for the Prophecy Productions release BooCheeMish was known by the French name Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Whatever you call them, their history dates back nearly seven decades and their harmonies are utterly timeless. BooCheeMish is comprised of gorgeous folk renditions for 45 minutes of world-building perfection. Percussion of various sorts provides backing and on pieces like “Rano Ranila” they speed through at a pace and arrangement that’s head-spinning, while the later “Zableyalo Agne” finds them joined by flute for a nigh-religious experience and the subsequent “Tropanitsa” has a bounce worthy of any good times one might to envision from its evocative pulse. One can’t help but feel a bit of the cultural voyeur in taking it on – as well as feeling totally outclassed in reviewing it – but these songs were clearly meant to be enjoyed, and as their ambassadors, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices genuinely serve a public best interest.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Omen Stones, Omen Stones

omen stones omen stones

Virginia duo Omen Stones have no online presence as yet. No songs streaming. No cheeky logos-on-photos social media posts that new bands do when they’re sitting on their hands waiting to get material out there. What they – and by “they,” I mean guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hamilton of Druglord and drummer Erik Larson of Backwoods Payback, The Might Could, Alabama Thunderpussy, etc. – have is a four-song self-titled EP collecting about 13 minutes of material in demo fashion, bringing forth the Southern-shuffle-gets-weird-then-explodes opener “Secrete” as a first impression of a deceptive approach. You think it’s all good and then you get punched. Go figure. “Secrete” is also the longest track (immediate points) at 4:06, and the forward charge and harsher vocal of “Fertile Blight” follows, catchy as it is mean, and more indicative of what’s to follow in the maddening tension of “Sympathy Scars” and the fuckall sludgepunk of “Purity Tones.” Immediately against-trend, Omen StonesOmen Stones is a bird of prey unto itself. Hopefully at some point soon they make it publicly available.

Druglord on Bandcamp

Erik Larson on Bandcamp

 

Capra, Unholy Gallows

Capra Unholy Gallows

Taking influence from hardcore punk, post-hardcore and sludge, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Capra seem to fit in a Midwestern style of semi-metallic aggression that has flourished in the wake of the likes of The National Acrobat and Coliseum. The foursome’s Unholy Gallows single follows their also-two-song self-titled 2016 EP, and finds Tyler Harper (also of the recently-defunct The Midnight Ghost Train), Jeremy Randazzo, Ben Paramore and Lee Hooper aligned in their purposes of riff-led bludgeoning. Unholy Gallows is two songs/six minutes long – not by any means an afternoon commitment in terms of listening – but its furies are unveiled in far less time than that, and both “Red Guillotine” and “Hot Lips” waste no time in doling out their beatings. A sense of heft stems from tonal thickness, but they make it move to a propulsive degree, and aside from a quick feedback intro to “Red Guillotine,” there’s no letup; even as “Hot Lips” slows the pace some initially, it maintains geared toward foreshadowing the next fist to fly.

Capra on Thee Facebooks

Capra on Bandcamp

 

Universo Rojo, Impermanencia

Universo Rojo Impermanencia

Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Into space. Universo Rojo’s excellent four-track debut album, Impermanencia, makes you want to speak slowly enough to feel the words vibrate out of your mouth. The Chilean four-piece offer lengthy, jam-based excursions that echo out their feel across vast reaches of effects, progressive rhythm and melody-making unfurling all the while beneath an overarching swirl of effects, guitars and synth running atop the mix like competing currents of water. Opener “¿A Dónde Ir?” (8:13) gives way to the flute-laden krautrockism of “Visión Planetaria de los Tiempos” (8:40) as vocalist/guitarist/clarinetist Ferro Vargas-Larraguibel, drummer Naim Chamás, bassist Cristóbal Montenegro and synthesis Francisco Arellano conjure such molten possibilities. Though it’s just 34 minutes, Impermanencia is nonetheless expansive, with the 9:36 “Cinco (La Quinta Dimensión)” finding a place between drift and psych-jazz undulations while closer “Inmaterialización del Sentimiento Cósmico” (7:32) lets out a full-impulse burst of energy that’s blinding if you know just where to look. Not to be missed.

Universo Rojo on Thee Facebooks

Universo Rojo on Bandcamp

 

Sergeant Thunderhoof, Terra Solus

sergeant thunderhoof terra solus

Kudos to Bath, UK, four-piece Sergeant Thunderhoof on starting off their sophomore long-player, Terra Solus, with the album’s longest track in “Another Plane.” And likewise for the blend of psychedelia and burl that unfolds. In taking on the follow-up to their 2015 debut, Ride of the Hoof, they offer eight cuts and 51 minutes of spacious riffing charged with just an undercurrent of English boozer burl, Elephant Tree and Steak meeting head on for a raucous session of who knows what. “B Oscillation” taps nod and particularly satisfying fuzzy warmth in its lead section, while even a would-be bruiser like the subsequent “Diesel Breath” has a trip-out included. There is time for such things as every track but the penultimate and relatively minimalist soundscaper “Half a Man” tops six minutes, but Sergeant Thunderhoof make a much richer impression overall than their moniker might lead one to believe, and close out in particularly resonant fashion with “Om Shaantih,” emphasizing the breadth and post-rock elements that help make Terra Solus so engaging from the outset.

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Bandcamp

 

Fire Down Below, Hymn of the Cosmic Man

fire down below hymn of the cosmic man

The adaptation of Kyuss’ “Thumb” riff for Fire Down Below’s “Ignition/Space Cruiser” after the “Red Giant” intro on their second album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (on Ripple), is nothing short of a clarion to the converted. The Belgian unit’s mission would seem to be to find that place on the horizon where the desert ground and space itself seem to meet and become one, and as side A closer “The Cosmic Pilgrim” turns from its initial crunch into more patient and drifting psych, they’d seem to get there. Atsmophere is certainly central to the record, as the aforementioned “Red Giant” and its side B counterpart “Nebula” demonstrate, never mind the other five tracks, and even as “Saviour of Man” runs through its janga-janga stoner-riffed hook there’s a flourish of effects to create a balance between the earthbound and the interstellar. Side B’s “Ascension” and especially 11-minute album-closer/highlight “Adrift in a Sea of Stars” seem to find the balance the four-piece is shooting for all along, and just before the nine-minute mark when the thick, fuzzed-out riff emerges from the jammy lead, the entire impetus for their journey seems to be laid bare. Well done.

Fire Down Below on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Stone Deaf, Royal Burnout

stone deaf royal burnout

Denver, Colorado’s Stone Deaf present a sans-frills desert rock vibe across the eight tightly structured tracks of their sophomore album, Royal Burnout (on Black Bow Records). Specifically, the compressed crunch in the guitar tone and some of the start-stop bounce riffing in cuts like “Room #240” and “Monochrome” seem to be drawn from the Songs for the Deaf methodology, and some of the vocals on opener “Spitshine” (video premiere here) remind of Queens of the Stone Age as well, but Stone Deaf – whose moniker, then, would be well sourced – have a deeper root in punk rock that underscores the “Go with the Flow” thrust of “Deathwish 62” as well as the chugging verses of “Boozy Spool” immediately preceding. It’s a sound that benefits greatly from the sharpness of its delivery and the craft Stone Deaf bring to it, and even when they seem to loosen up a bit on the midpaced pre-finale “That Lefty Request,” there’s a fervent sense of a plan unfolding. That plan would seem to be a success.

Stone Deaf on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cracked Machine, I, Cosmonaut

cracked machine i cosmonaut

Originally released last year, Cracked Machine’s debut, I, Cosmonaut, finds vinyl issue through PsyKA Records and earns it well with six tracks/45 minutes of mostly-instrumentalist and progressive space-psych. One assumes there’s a narrative thread at work across the span, as guitarist Bill Denton, bassist Chris Sutton, keyboardist/vocalist Clive Noyes and drummer Blazej Gradziel weave their way through “Twin Sons Rising” and “New Vostok” at the outset into the easy flow of “Baikonur Cosmodrome,” the harder-hitting title-track, the fuzzy declaration of “Svetlana” and the patiently executed 10-minute closer “Transorbital,” Denton’s guitar singing all the while. These places and, maybe, characters would seem to weave together to tell the story in impressions largely open to interpretation and correspondingly open in terms of their creativity, sounding spontaneous and maybe live-recorded if not entirely improvised, instead working to a plan for where each inclusion should go or end up. As Cracked Machine’s first album, it’s an ambitious work that does far more than get the band’s feet wet. It takes them out of the atmosphere and embarks on a journey beyond that one hopes is just beginning.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Cracked Machine at PsyKA Records webstore

 

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Stone Deaf Premiere “Spitshine” Video; Royal Burnout Due May 4

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

stone deaf photo Cody Isaman

Made up of a crisply-produced eight tracks of well-sourced heavy rock and roll, Stone Deaf‘s Royal Burnout is set to release on May 4 through Black Bow Records. The album, which is the Denver four-piece’s second behind a 2015 self-titled, is something of a departure for the label, which has to this point specialized in supporting the UK underground in its various forms of sludge, doom and heavy impulses, owned as it is by Conan guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis and affiliated as it often is with his Skyhammer Studio and the recordings done there by Chris Fielding.

Well, Stone Deaf didn’t record at Skyhammer. stone deaf royal burnoutThey tracked with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/drummer Dustin Chapin, who also mixed, mastered and had a hand in the design of the album along with bassist/vocalist Cody Isaman. And they don’t play sludge. They play essentially a high-desert version of low desert rock, taking a strong influence from the pop-heavy stylings of Queens of the Stone Age and perhaps imagining what they might’ve become if they’d kept working in the vein of their own debut, with songwriting crystal clear in its structure and intent and an edge of heft in their tones. And hooks. Hooks for days.

Royal Burnout, if it’s got anything, has got that. With Isaman and Chapin sharing vocal duties while Jarron French provides the bounce on drums and Scott Anderson adds further guitar and keys,there’s variety in the songs between a hand-clapper like the closing title-track and the start-stop turns of “Room #240” earlier. “Deathwish 62” crunches up classic desert-punker riffing while “Boozy Spool” engages a more urbane feel, touching on modern pop rock, but at the same time offering some of the album’s heaviest riffing.

There’s a balance to be struck between these various impulses, and Stone Deaf have command enough of their craft to find it. The leadoff cut, “Spitshine,” provides a decent summary of some of the punk and heavy rock vibes Royal Burnout works through, and I’m happy today to be able to premiere Dustin Chapin and Cody Isaman‘s video for it ahead of Royal Burnout‘s release next month. Please find the clip below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

And please enjoy:

Stone Deaf, “Spitshine” official video premiere

Stone Deaf on “Spitshine”:

“Spitshine,” the intro song to Royal Burnout, leads you into a musical freakshow. Like a rusted hardtop filled of strung out carnies and miscreants changing gears down a long desert road, and a roller coaster that guides you through the soundtrack of a fucked up circus. Showcasing fast paced rhythms and black and white melodies, it’s the first song of a tall, downwards spiraling slope, and that’s only the beginning of the show. Welcome to Royal Burnout.

Formed in late 2014 in New Castle, Colorado, STONE DEAF’s approach to music is a timeless fusion of melody and driving rhythms blending solid rock vibes, psychedelic elements, and sludgy low-end riffs. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2015 and has since spent their time fine-tuning their approach and honing their craft on stage while writing their next record, which now comes to life in Royal Burnout.

With eight new jams packed into a thirty-three-minute album, Royal Burnout was recorded produced, recorded, and mastered by Dustin Chapin at The Launch Complex, New Castle, Colorado, with photography by Marin Forcella and design by the band’s Dustin Chapin and Cody Isaman.

Royal Burnout will see release on CD and digital platforms through Black Bow Records on Friday, May 4th. STONE DEAF is booking shows in support of the album, with a short run through the Southwest being organized for mid-Summer. Stand by for audio samples, preorder info, tour dates, and more in the weeks ahead.

STONE DEAF Live:
5/11/2018 Mesa Theater – Grand Junction, CO
6/29/2018 5 Star Bar – Los Angeles, CA
7/01/2018 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ

Royal Burnout Track Listing:
1. Spitshine
2. Room #240
3. Buzzards
4. Monochrome
5. Boozy Spool
6. Deathwish 62
7. That Lefty Request
8. Royal Burnout

STONE DEAF:
Cody Isaman – bass, vocals
Scott Anderson – guitars, keys
Jarron French – drums
Dustin Chapin – guitar, vocals, keys, drums

Stone Deaf website

Stone Deaf on Bandcamp

Stone Deaf on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records website

Black Bow Records on Bandcamp

Black Bow Records on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records on Twitter

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