Review & Full EP Stream: Named by the Sun, Deathcap

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

named by the sun deathcap

[Click play above to stream Named by the Sun’s Deathcap EP in full. It out April 7 on Superhot Records and available now to preorder.]

“Band begets band” is a familiar enough story. A given group is going for a while and something happens or doesn’t happen to drive them apart, then some of the members from that band want to embark on a new project together. For London’s Named by the Sun, their immediate lineage finds them stemmed from defunct progressive heavy rockers Landskap, whose final album, III (review here), was issued in 2016. Landskap drummer Pat Casey joins George Pan on guitar in the new band, and with Chris West — also a Landskap alum, currently of Glanville, formerly of Stubb, Groan, and Trippy Wicked, etc. — on bass and engineering duties and Graham Brown on drums, the new outfit seems to have come together rather quickly to offer the initial 18-minute collection of three songs, which runs in order from shortest to longest and in true EP tradition feels intended to give just a sampling of where the band might ultimately be headed.

And in that, it succeeds easily, with “Dogfight,” “Solar Gain” and “The Mountain and the Moon” seeing some continuity from Landskap in terms of the overall thoughtfulness of their construction but veering out into their own territory with the dual-guitar harmonies, sans-keyboard approach, and so on. These aren’t ultimately make-or-break differences between Named by the Sun and three-quarters of its membership’s former outlet, but if there’s one thing that’s crucial to stress about Deathcap, it’s that it really does just feel like the beginnings of a new exploration. That is to say, the band sound like they’re just coming to life, and I wouldn’t expect that any issue or aesthetic point raised in these three songs is necessarily final. They will, one hopes, continue to grow from here.

Which is another familiar enough story, right? Band records a couple tracks to see what they’ve got and puts it out as a limited-type release to gain some traction and momentum going into their next offering, whatever it might be? The distinguishing factor Named by the Sun, then, needs to be the material itself. They’re a new band, sure, but the familiarity of the players with each other — Brown notwithstanding; I don’t any of the other three played in his other group, The Sound Machine, though I could be wrong on that — brings that distinction, and from the easy-riding pace set in “Dogfight,” which is quick to show off the harmonies between Pan and Casey before launching into a first solo that might otherwise take the place of a sung verse, through the more classically proggy interweavings of “The Mountain and the Moon,” their work remains a central driving force.

named by the sun

That said, as a fan of West‘s work across a swath of bands, I’m glad to hear him make an impression in the mix along with the two guitars, settling into the rhythm with Brown‘s creative drumming and fostering a groove of significant sway. There’s just a touch of NWOBHM in some of the harmonized guitar, but the vibe is more classically heavy rock than metal, which is something accomplished largely through tempo, and with a big rock finish, “Dogfight” rounds out sounding like hardly a battle at all. Rather, they’d be hard-pressed to sound less adversarial. Perhaps “Complete Agreement” wasn’t as exciting a title option. Nonetheless, that’s way more the vibe here than something so aggressive as either animals or airplanes clashing, and rather than work in contrast, the elements of “Dogfight” line up fluidly as an introduction that leads the way into the fade-up fuzz-lead scorch of “Solar Gain,” which with what might a slide guitar lead over its first riff has a swaggering classic rock feel.

The beginning of the track hints at a level of spaciousness that “Dogfight” steered away from, but the song ultimately nestles into a swing leading to its midsection, where the bass takes the fore to transition into a section of acoustic-guitar. Drums holding tension beneath, the foursome build by adding some electric back into the mix before shifting back into the central riff of the song and pushing “Solar Gain” forward into its payoff at about the five-minute mark before they return once more to the main figure to close out. At about seven and a half minutes, it has plenty of time to make the most from its turn from al laid back opening into more active push. In the fine tradition of instrumentalists like Karma to Burn — a methodological comparison more than a sonic one; there are, after all, two guitars here — Named by the Sun shift nimbly between riff to riff, and there does seem to be some space where vocals could fit if the band wanted them to, including after the halfway point when, not so dissimilar from “Solar Gain” before it, “The Mountain and the Moon” shifts to more soothing guitar and opens to a flowing electric solo and jam, dedicating its longer runtime to a worthy cause to be sure.

If there’s any reason I note places where vocals might fit, it’s not necessarily because I think the band needs a singer — they don’t — but only to underscore the point made earlier, which is that Named by the Sun don’t at all seem settled on what kind of reach and breadth they’ll ultimately have stylistically. What makes this exciting instead of disconcerting is the quality of the foundation they’ve laid in Deathcap, the chemistry and balance at work between the four of them, and the clarity and confidence with which they bring their intentions to life in the studio. One hopes that wherever they do end up heading in terms of style and songwriting, these factors remain consistent throughout their work, and they continue to push themselves creatively as they’ve so obviously done in establishing this group and this material. That one might drift mentally toward such future considerations is only further evidence of Deathcap having done its job as their debut EP — offering a sample of direction and craft that entices the listener to want to investigate more.

Named by the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Named by the Sun on Bandcamp

Superhot Records website

Superhot Records on Thee Facebooks

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Named by the Sun Announce Debut EP Deathcap; Premiere “Dogfight”

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

named by the sun

The debut release from London’s Named by the Sun is comprised of three songs and will be out April 27. It’s been given the title Deathcap, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s a poisonous fungi found throughout Europe. Could it be that the four-piece — which is made up of former members of Landskap and The Sound Movement, among others — are trying to tell us something about the nature of their sound. That there’s something sinister lurking on the underside of that shroomy exterior?

Maybe. It’s worth noting, though, that the exterior isn’t all that shroomy. Mostly what it is — and you can hear this in the dual guitars of the five-minute “Dogfight,” which is premiering at the bottom of this post — is cohesive. Progressive. Well aware of the born-from-metal-but-not-necessarily-metal-itself atmosphere it wants to project. With the tracks presented in order from shortest to longest, Named by the Sun get a bit more time to stretch out in “Solar Gain” (6:01) and “The Mountain and the Moon” (7:29), but even in the pastoral midsection of the centerpiece cut or the second half of “The Mountain and the Moon” (presumably the “Moon” part) which takes hold at 4:11 with Floyd-gone-blues exploratory sensation building, they’re never out of control. They may be instrumental, but they’re not happenstance jams at all.

And dig that last fadeout. If ever there was a sign of “more to come.” Speaking of, I’ll have more on Named by the Sun prior to the release — right now the stream is set for April 24; feel free to repeat the date to yourself so you don’t forget (that’s a joke that maybe two people in the universe will understand) — so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, the PR wire brings art, info, and the premiere of “Dogfight” for you to enjoy.

So please, enjoy:

Named by the Sun Deathcap

Named by the Sun announce their debut EP ‘Deathcap’ will be released April 27th, 2018 via Superhot Records.

From the ashes of London’s Landskap comes Named by the Sun. Blending heavy blues and psychedelic stoner rock the band’s first recording is Deathcap, a 3 song instrumental EP featuring artwork by collage artist Dead Galaxy. The EP will be released on all digital platforms and has a limited edition release on digipak CD.

Hitting the jam room immediately after the break up of their previous band, George Pan (Landskap, Father Sun) on guitar, Pat Casey (Landskap, Damnas) on guitar and Chris West (Landskap, Glanville) on bass found a drummer in the form of Graham Brown (The Sound Movement). During the transition Casey switched from drums to guitar and the addition of that second guitar has led to something of a theme to the EP; harmonies and solos, both of which feature heavily throughout the 3 songs. Deathcap is far from just a guitar skills showcase though with songwriting, mood and structure as important as the more flashy elements. The songs ebb and flow with heavier passages balanced by lighter movements.

Deathcap will be available on all digital services from April 27th 2018 and the band are currently taking pre-orders via their Bandcamp for downloads and limited edition CDs.

Tracklisting:
1. Dogfight.
2. Solar Gain.
3. The Mountain and the Moon.

Named by the Sun are:
George Pan: Guitar
Pat Casey: Guitar
Chris West: Bass
Graham Brown: Drums

https://namedbythesun.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/namedbythesun
http://www.superhotrecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/superhotrecords

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Friday Full-Length: Stubb, Stubb

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It was brought to my attention this week that it’s been six years since Stubb‘s self-titled debut (review here) made its way to public ears via Superhot Records. Not an insurmountable amount of time; that is, it’s not like I don’t remember 2012, whereas other than war and being drunk and broke, 2005 is total mystery — but long enough to be a surprise when considering a release and its ultimate impact. With touring in and beyond the borders of their native UK scene — which six years ago was still also just getting going in comparison to bring one of the world’s most flourishing and rife with creative deep-divers — the London trio quickly put themselves at the forefront of a wave of fuzz riffs still just taking shape. Of course, having a fishing supply catalog’s worth of hooks didn’t hurt their cause, but I don’t think Stubb, which at the time was the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Jack Dickinson, bassist/vocalist Peter Holland and drummer Chris West (the latter two culled from Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight), were looking to change the world. Not every group wants to, you know, but especially in terms of being the right record in the right place at the right time, Stubb‘s Stubb landed at a moment of generational shift in UK heavy rock.

And as landings go, it was an ace. Driven by songwriting, post-Hendrixian guitar fuzz and the dual vocals of Dickinson and Holland, even side B cuts like “Hard Hearted Woman” and “Crying River” proved memorable, and with “Road” and “Scale the Mountain” to serve s an immaculate one-two punch at the outset, there was just no letup from Stubb in this incarnation and with these songs. They took what I think even they would tell you were well-trodden methods and made them their own. On their first long-player, especially, this was a feat, but to have it happen at the same time as such a slew of other acts were coming together, Desertfest London was beginning to take hold, a scene developing at venues like The Unicorn and The Black Heart in Camden, and so on, made Stubb‘s eight tracks seem like all the more of an achievement, whether it’s the blues-rock finale of “Galloping Horses” or the purposeful opening that “The Road” gives: purposeful and effecient as it is, but still lighthearted and clearly enjoying itself. Stubb‘s Stubb hit a balance of structure and looseness of vibe that’s not only rare for debuts, but outright impossible for many bands who lean by their nature too much to one side or the other. Stubb knew what was up right from the start, and with Dickinson at the fore vocally to deliver those hooks, they came out of the gate with something special to offer even in comparison to their many compatriots emerging around the same time. Stubb stood out.

I’ll give credit there to West and to Holland as well. Though one and subsequently the other would eventually part ways with Dickinson‘s company, one only has to hear Holland take the fore in the chorus of “Scale the Mountain” to realize how special the dynamic between the guitarist and the bassist truly was, and with West‘s snare bringing punctuation to the shuffle of “Flame” and setting the uptempo clip for the verses and transitions of “Hard Hearted Woman,” in style and impact he’s no less purposefully looking to the style of heavy ’70s riff rock than Holland or Dickinson, as the jam at the end of that song further demonstrates on its way to the cool blues melancholy of the penultimate “Crying River,” a duet between Dickinson and guest vocalist Malin Dahlgren of Swedish folk duo Polly Tones. Even there, West plays it subtle but effective, giving the melody the room to properly shine as opposed to a “Road,” where the building of forward momentum was so utterly pivotal to the success of the song. So much fuzz. So much groove. So many landmark-feeling choruses. And yet none of it is overdone. Even the initial bluster of seven-minute closer “Galloping Horses” evens itself out to a right-on, baked-just-right balance of structure and fluidity.

In April 2012, I was fortunate enough to see this lineup on stage in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (review here), and it confirmed just how remarkable a dynamic the trio had between them. Following the album, that would show itself one last time on the ultra-catchy Under a Spell 7″ (review here), after which West was replaced by drummer Tom Fyfe. Stubb‘s second full-length, 2014’s Cry of the Ocean (review here) served as a different kind of triumph as it engaged not just rock traditionalism, but also that of soul and funk to a greater degree than its predecessor while still holding to much of the tonal warmth of the debut. The subsequent The Theory of Light and Matter (review here) split with Mos Generator — whose spearhead Tony Reed had been involved in mixing/mastering Stubb releases all along — again brought more change, showing a jammier face on songs like “Witch’s Kiss” that would continue to expand on last year’s conceptual Burning Moon (review here) single-song EP, Dickinson and Fyfe having replaced Holland with bassist/vocalist Tom Hobson in the meantime.

That latest 24-minute single was delivered with the stated intention of being the first part of a series of three EPs working in similar theme and form. Not really enough time has passed for one to reasonably expect the next anytime soon, but if it showed up in the earlier going of 2018 sometime, you certainly wouldn’t find me complaining as though Dickinson has taken Stubb in a much different direction than when they started out, they continue to offer multi-tiered engagement and an expanding creative breadth. At this point, if they said they were going to do a third record in the next year or so, I wouldn’t even be able to guess what it might sound like. That’s a feeling I very much enjoy.

Speaking of enjoyment, I hope you enjoy the revisit to Stubb‘s self-titled. As much as the band has changed in personnel and concept since, and as much as the scene in which they dwell has done likewise, it remains an important and central document of a generational switch, as well as a kickass collection of awesome tunes.

Thanks for reading.

Crazy week. Not much sleep. Monday was nutritionist and therapy, plus I had the baby for a bit in the morning while The Patient Mrs. was out at a work meeting. Tuesday I had the baby all day while The Patient Mrs. was teaching, Wednesday was nutritionist and then baby in the evening while The Patient Mrs. taught a night class, yesterday was a doctor’s appointment an hour away — because as I’ve said multiple times, everything is an hour from where I live in Massachusetts — and that was between having the baby in the morning and again in the early evening, after which was a quick trip to the grocery store, dinner and chores before going to bed (dishes done, iced tea made, etc.), and today I’ve got the baby again for a couple hours this afternoon because The Patient Mrs. has to go to a meeting.

Add to that the fact that there wasn’t one day this week I slept later than 2:30AM, and yeah, it was a bit of an adventure. This morning I went back to bed for a little bit though, and I fell asleep for a while at the keyboard, so I don’t know if that counts or not because I’m not counting because the meds I’m on make me care less about that shit and to be perfectly honest with you, sleep is about the least of my concerns. Since I started this eating disorder treatment my body has gone into what’s known as “refeeding syndrome” and I’m retaining so much water that I literally look like I’m pregnant. Plus I have edema so bad in my feet and they’re so swollen and red that it hurts to stand on them. Good thing I don’t have crazy body issues and/or haven’t had to do much running around. Ha.

I’m eating well, though. And despite a stated risk of congestive heart failure (fingers crossed for adventure!), they tell me I’m getting healthy. Personally I don’t think anyone has a fucking clue what that means, myself certainly included. I just keep doing what I’m told because I love my wife. The end.

Next week is less busy on a personal/medical level — at least I hope — but there’s still plenty going on around here. The notes, subject to change, look like this:

Mon.: Green Lung EP stream.
Tue.: The second installment of the Nebula stream/interview series.
Wed. Naxatras review; High Reeper video premiere
Thu.: Fu Manchu review.
Fri.: Something in the works, but unconfirmed as yet.

So there you go. I’m continuing, even with the baby on my lap grabbing his foot in what is a marker of a next stage of brain development for him and fodder for sending pics to his grandmother for me, to fall asleep at the keyboard, so I think I’ll probably leave it there for the time being. I feel like there’s something else I wanted to say here but can’t get my brain around to whatever it was. You’ll get ’em next time, tiger.

As always, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please don’t forget to check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Groan Premiere “Witchfinder General Finder” from Highrospliffics EP

Posted in audiObelisk on March 19th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

groan

London heavy rock troublemakers Groan have always asked the hard questions. How black was our Sabbath? What happens when wizards sleep? Now they return with the answer to another query that has plagued doom since Vincent Price donned the mantle of Matthew Hopkins: Who do you call when you can’t find the Witchfinder General?

The answer was right there the whole time.

It won’t take more than one listen for the chorus of Groan‘s “Witchfinder General Finder” to get stuck in your head — if it even takes that — but don’t be surprised if you come back for another round anyway. The Superhot Records-affiliated unit, whose last release was 2013’s Ride the Snake EP (review here), will issue their new four-songer, Highrospliffics, next Monday, March 23, making it available as a free download via their Bandcamp. As a sampler of their chicanery-laced wares, “Witchfinder General Finder” underscores the point that’s been true of Groan since their 2010 debut, The Sleeping Wizard (review here), namely that it’s about the songwriting as much as the goofball ethic. The four cuts on Highrospliffics manage to be ridiculous and ridiculously catchy at the same time, the band’s remaining founders, bassist Leigh Jones and vocalist Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen, joined as ever by a lineup changed since their last outing, with drummer Zel Kaute returning and newcomer guitarist Lindsay Hamilton making a first appearance here.

And while Groan are probably due for a follow-up full-length to their second album, 2012’s metallized The Divine Right of Kings (review here) — to which the closer groan highrosplifficsof Highrospliffics, “Buried in Leather,” seems to hearken sonically and thematically — it’s hard to complain about any new installment offered. On Highrospliffics, “Witchfinder General Finder” is preceded by “Run out of Fucks,” a suitable starting point, six-minute, solo-ized doom groover with fervent stomp and, yes, a resonant hook, very much in the style that has become Groan‘s own over the last half-decade, making the over-the-top seem perfectly reasonable in some alternate universe of grandiose proclamations and accompanying soar-ready leads. “Witchfinder General Finder” itself is the most infectious of the included tracks, with an effective call and response in the chorus and an irresistible nod leading to its shredding solo, Hamilton making an immediately distinguished impression.

“March of the Druids” follows suit with its hook, but works in more of a build structure, pushing toward its final apex, raucous but not necessarily out of control. Both it and “Buried in Leather” are under four minutes long, working in a classic verse/chorus mode light on pretense and irony-free, but well aware of the laugh they’re having. Gang shouts back Mazzereth in “March of the Druids,” which is no less satisfying than “Witchfinder General Finder” tonally, and “Buried in Leather” kicks in with a rougher, sharper edge, its intro giving way to a motoring rush of a verse after about a minute as they thrust forward to the repeated final chorus, “When I die and they lay me to rest/Bury me in leather and a cut-off denim vest,” unabashed in its fist-pump righteousness and as inviting a heavy metal refrain for crowd participation as I’ve heard from Groan since “Gods of Fire” from The Divine Right of Kings. As ever, Groan are having a party. You can’t hope to stop it, you can’t hope to contain it. You might as well get on board.

The Highrospliffics EP was recorded by Slabdragger‘s Sam Thredder and is out on Monday. Check out “Witchfinder General Finder” on the player below, followed by the complex lineup history in all its twists and turns, and enjoy:

If you’re a stranger to the Spinal Tap-esque history of Groan, here it is: Groan were formed in 2010 and put a few demos online that rapidly caught the stoner/doom scene’s attention. They released their first album, The Sleeping Wizard, on Doomanoid Records that year. The band soon earned a reputation as an exciting, entertaining and completely ridiculous force live, with charismatic (and generally barefoot) lead singer Mazzereth acting as ringmaster general at gigs. Confused and amused fans soon grew to know this group as a party-doom band that is high and giggling, not a stoner rock band that is tuned-out and derivative.

In the nine months after the album was released, the band played live all over the country, smoked the GDP of a small African nation, wrote off a brand new Ferrari California, decorated their rehearsal room with gifts from hookers, and even split up and re-formed in a day. After a split EP with Finnish doomers Vinum Sabbatum in 2011, Groan‘s second album was released in 2012 by Dutch label Soulseller Records, The Divine Right of Kings, to great critical acclaim.

With new members Zel Kaute (Vodun, ex-Pettybone) and Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) joining on drums and guitar respectively, the band took a heavy metal sidestep with their five track EP, Ride the Snake, in late 2013. With yet another new lineup in 2014, Groan went back into the studio with founder members Mazzereth (vocals) and Leigh Jones (bass) joined by long-time drummer Zel Kaute and new guitarist Lindsay Hamilton. Across their five releases, Groan have proven their ability to write songs that marry catchy hooks with heavy riffs and plan to dominate 2015 with the release of Highrospliffics and the destruction of many live music venues.

GROAN IS:
Mazzereth – Vocals
Leigh Jones – Bass
Lindsay Hamilton – Guitar
Zel Kaute – Drums

Groan on Thee Facebooks

Groan on Twitter

Groan’s Bandcamp

Superhot Records on Bandcamp

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BongCauldron Touring UK with Nomad Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

bongcauldron

Leeds aggro sludgers BongCauldron, who made their debut with a blistering EP earlier this year on Superhot Records — speaking of things I should’ve reviewed a long time ago… — will hit the road next month alongside Nomad from Manchester in what’s sure to be a feedback-drenched, tube-blowing showcase of lumbering riffery. The stint is five shows, and the pair are playing with some cool other bands as well — nice to see the name Obiat again, as it’s been a minute — and both will be touring on relatively new material.

In the case of Nomad, who I’m just going to assume take their name from the planet-destroying malfunctioned probe from the original Star Trek, their The House is Dead EP came out in May. BongCauldron themselves have a new song called “Bigfoot Reigns” (what else?) that was released a few days ago and which you can hear below.

Info and links and such, off the PR wire:

sea bastard with bongcauldron

BONG CAULDRON – NOMAD UK TOUR

Leeds sludge trio BONG CAULDRON are joining forces with Manchester’s very own worshippers of the riff NOMAD for a 5 date tour of the UK this September.

Bong Cauldron are a 3 piece Doom/sludge band from Leeds. Their debut E.P. Us out now via Superhot Records and was met with critical acclaim. They have had the opportunity to play alongside such bands as, Corrosion of Conformity, Windhand and Desert Storm.

Nomad are a four piece sludge band from Manchester and have just released their debut E.P. “The House is Dead” Via When Planets Collide. Over the past year they have shared the stage with genre giants Church Of Misery, Bongripper and Conan amongst others.

The tour will see them bring their brand of depravity and chaos to the following cities.

September
10th The Fenton – Leeds (W/ OMSQ + Mausoleion)
11th Banshee labyrinth – Edinburgh (W/ Dune)
12th Scruffy Murphys – Birmingham (W/ General and Obiat)
13th Moonclub – Cardiff (W/ Sea Bastard + Hogslayer)
14th Maguire’s Pizza Bar – Liverpool (W/ Wort + Berserkowitz)

BongCauldron (Superhot records)
https://www.facebook.com/bongcauldron
http://superhotrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bongcauldron

Nomad
https://www.facebook.com/Nomaddoom
www.nomaddoom.bigcartel.com
www.nomaddoom.bandcamp.com

BongCauldron, “Bigfoot Reigns”

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Dr. Crazy Release Debut EP Demon Lady; Members of Mos Generator, Groan & Trippy Wicked Come Together in New Project

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

So you’re telling me that you’ve got an intercontinental heavy rock band with dudes culled from the ranks of GroanTrippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight and Mos Generator? Well, yeah, sign me up.

Thus arrives Demon Lady, the debut EP from Dr. CRAZY. The classic heavy-minded power trio have a simple enough mission in terms of their good-times style, but on their first four-track outing, listening to the boogie groove of “Powerzone” or the dopey, infectious hooks of “Burger and Fries” and “Dr. CRAZY,” it becomes clear that there’s really no getting away from their songwriting ability when it comes to these guys. The band puts Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed on drums (which is where he started) and drum recording, though he also donates a solo to the closing title-track, Chris West, formerly of Trippy Wicked, on guitar and bass and all other engineering, and Mazz from Groan on vocals (Groan‘s Leigh Jones also shows up on backing vocals).

The EP reads like the pulp-inspired art used for the cover, and there’s plenty of shenanigans to be had throughout, but the songs have the kind of apparent simplicity that’s actually much, much harder to come by than it sounds. It’s a name-your-price download just released today, so dig in:

New Band Announcement and EP – Dr CRAZY

Please say hello to Dr CRAZY, a brand new international heavy rock n roll band featuring Mazz (Groan) on vocals, Chris West (ex-Trippy Wicked) on guitar and bass, and Tony Reed (Mos Generator) on drums.

The band’s first EP Demon Lady gets a digital release through Superhot Records and is available with immediate effect from the band’s Bandcamp: http://drcrazyrocks.bandcamp.com.

Demon Lady serves up just over 14 minutes of straight up good time heavy rock and will appeal to fans of AC/DC, Dr Feelgood, Deep Purple and generally having a good time. The band commissioned Justin T Coons to paint the fantastic 70s pulp fiction inspired artwork based on the title track.

Live shows have not been ruled out but with one third of the band being based on a different continent to the others they won’t be happening soon. Dr CRAZY are currently working on demos for next EP which will be out as soon as it’s ready.

http://drcrazyrocks.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/DrCRAZYRocks

Dr. CRAZY, Demon Lady EP (2014)

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Groan Slice and Dice in New Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 7th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The heat is hot. Don’t look for it to make sense, and don’t look for the live footage in Groan‘s new video to necessarily be in sync with the song. I guess it’s more about the vibe, which, incidentally, comes by the slice. Like I said: Don’t look for it to make sense.

They may have vibe by the slice, but they’ve got charm in bulk, and even when he’s got it wagging at the crowd, Groan vocalist Mazzereth‘s tongue still seems somehow to be in-cheek, so yeah, I’ll post another Groan video. I’ve yet to regret doing so, and as this one brings hints of a future European tour for Spring 2014 and features one of the catchiest tracks on their late-2013 EP, Ride the Snake (review here), alongside footage snagged while on the road supporting that EP, the good time is infectious.

Granted, I’m a pretty easy sell on Groan by now, but it’s good to know their mischief making will continue into 2014. What it might bring in terms of their sound, I don’t really know, but no matter where they’re headed, they always seem to be enjoying the crap out of it, which I guess is the whole point.

So have fun:

Groan, “Slice of that Vibe” official video

The UK’s premiere heavy metal boogie band Groan certainly pull all the stops when it comes to making hilarious videos and just about everything else. “Slice Of That Vibe,” the second video from Ride The Snake (streaming here), is no exception. Taken from live footage of their recent UK tour in support of the release of the EP, this video gives you a taste for the raucous, uninhibited, glam-stoner party that is a Groan show and the antics that go on behind the scenes.

Additionally, Groan are currently working on booking a spring 2014 European tour.

Groan on Thee Facebooks

Superhot Records

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Groan, Ride the Snake EP: By the Slice

Posted in Reviews on December 19th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

UK reefer metallers Groan don’t leave much room for ambivalence. With their new Superhot Records EP, Ride the Snake, as with their 2012 full-length, The Divine Right of Kings (review here), they demand declaration either of allegiance or antipathy over the course of five tracks, and if you haven’t climbed on board their debauched, medieval-themed fancy dress party boat yet, then chances are the chicanery on Ride the Snake cuts like “Women of Doom” and “Slice of that Vibe” isn’t going to win you over to their side. And if not, something tells me vocalist Andreas “Mazzereth” Maslen, bassist Leigh Jones, guitarists Mike Pilat and Jimmy Beedham and drummer Zel Kaute would keep doing what they’re doing anyway, since nothing seems to have slowed them down up to this point with tongue-in-cheek rockstar shenanigans, including a slew of lineup changes around Maslen and Jones, who are the sole founding members remaining from Groan‘s 2010 debut, The Sleeping Wizard (review here). That a band would shift members in their earlier going isn’t such a surprise — it happens more often than not — but Groan seem to have a steady turnover rate of people in and out on drums and guitar. Both Kaute and Beedham came in as replacements for Chris West, who first switched from drums to guitar and then left altogether — he serves as engineer on Ride the Snake, so take “altogether” for what it’s worth — and Pilat is also a recent-enough addition to not have played on The Divine Right of Kings. If Groan‘s intent with these songs was to feel out the dynamic of their new lineup (I’m not sure if Beedham was a member yet when they recorded, though it’s possible), then at very least they still sound like Groan. From the second Maslen opens his mouth on opener “Women of Doom” and tops the stoner groove with his higher-register bark, you would not likely mistake them for anyone else. No matter how you want to look at it, that works in their favor.

Maslen‘s seemingly indomitable persona is a big part of what gives Groan their identity at this point, and he’s front and center on Ride the Snake, a crotchal thrust timed to the riff-led “Women of Doom,” his voice high in a spacious mix. Though he makes an unlikely champion for the feminist cause in underground metal, and the chorus “Make room for the women of doom/Take heed or they’ll blow out your mind/Make room for the women of doom/Their beauty will smack you blind” a likewise unlikely anthem, it’s a catchy chorus, and one of several on the EP, as “Drug Lord” and “Slice of that Vibe” share a similar mindset, and even “Blessed is My Blade,” which leans less on its chorus, winds up in a memorable boogie as Pilat‘s leads and Maslen‘s vocals (with backing accompaniment) duke it out at the song’s apex. At times, Groan straddle the line of making you wonder whether or not they’re taking themselves seriously, and though they usually wind up on the “nope” side of that equation, eight-minute closer “Citadel of Chaos” is another such example of their toying with heavy metal grandiosity. Pilat, as a solo player, is a fair match with Maslen‘s over-the-top methods, and while he adds that appeal to “Drug Lord,” “Women of Doom” and “Slice of that Vibe” as well — those three being more verse/chorus in their construction — with “Citadel of Chaos,” it’s as much the guitars as the vocals stepping out front. Should Pilat remain in the band over a longer term, it could be interesting to hear how that dynamic develops over the course of writing for a full-length, but the roots of it are in these songs waiting to be explored, and with Jones and Kaute providing a solid rhythmic drive for that to play out, Groan as they are now could turn into an entirely different band than they were a year ago. Which, you know, they kind of already have.

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