Groan Premiere “Witchfinder General Finder” from Highrospliffics EP

Posted in audiObelisk on March 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

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 H.P. Taskmaster

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 H.P. Taskmaster

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 H.P. Taskmaster

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 H.P. Taskmaster

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.

Read more »

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Groan Release Ride the Snake EP; Touring this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve done a pretty lousy job in keeping the secret that I dig Groan. Though their lineup has seen some consistent shakeup over the last couple years and their sound has gone from fuzzed-out stoner idolatry to classic metal grandiosity, what’s remained at their core is a propensity for unabashed good times. That’s as true as ever on Ride the Snake, their latest EP and the follow-up to last year’s The Divine Right of Kings full-length (review here). I’ll have a review in the next couple weeks, but the EP is out today on Superhot Records and Groan will be supporting it on tour the next couple days (frontman Mazzereth is ready to go as you can see above), so it seemed only fair to mark the occasion, being a fan and all.

The PR wire has it like this:

Groan’s Ride The Snake EP is out now!

UK tour starts tomorrow!

Hope you’re all having a great week. Groan’s EP has officially been released on the Superhot Records Bandcamp page HERE and is available in digital download or CD. You’ll also find UK tour dates listed below.

After an incredible live show at London’s Desertfest 2013, the band returns with an all new lineup: founding members Mazzereth (vocals) and Leigh Jones (bass) are now joined by Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) and James Beedham on guitar with Zel Kaute (ex-Pettybone, Vodun) smashing the skins. The band self-produced, recorded and mixed a new five track EP named Ride the Snake with former drummer and guitarist Chris West that will be released on December 10th through Superhot Records, with a UK tour to follow that week, too.

UK TOUR DATES:
11th Dec – Manchester – Star & Garter w/ Ovvl, Ten Foot Wizard, Molly Bloom (Facebook Event)
12th Dec – London – The Windmill, Brixton w/ Sons of Merrick, XII Boar, Vodun (Facebook Event)
13th Dec – Birmingham – Scruffy Murphy’s w/ Iron Hearse, Mage (Facebook Event)
14th Dec – Edinburgh – Bannerman’s w/ Bacchus Baracus, Atragon, Isak (Facebook Event)

Links:
http://southerncrosspr.tumblr.com/groan
http:superhotrecords.bandcamp.com
http://groan.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/groanuk

Groan, Ride the Snake (2013)

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BongCauldron Reveal Self-Titled EP Artwork

Posted in Visual Evidence on November 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

If the going theme was supposed to be evisceration, then at least BongCauldron‘s brand of sludge stands up to it. The Leeds-based three-piece will make their self-titled debut with an EP on Superhot Records that’s expected to be out on Jan. 13, 2014, and today I have the pleasure of hosting the debut of the art for the release, which appears with a gleefully degenerate sensibility courtesy of artist Smyles (website here).

BongCauldron recently supported Windhand and Pilgrim in Manchester as those two acts made their way through the UK, and on Jan. 24, they’re slated to appear with Wolfshead and Desert Storm at their first show in London, playing The Black Heart in Camden Town.

More to come on these guys, but click on either image below to enlarge it for a hi res view in the meantime, and get some background on the band courtesy of the PR wire below:

BongCauldron, BongCauldron EP info

Since their formation in 2011, BongCauldron has developed a reputation on the local Leeds metal scene as a sleeping colossus. A beast that only ever truly awakens from its slumber when called upon to thrash out a cacophonous amalgamation of torturous sludge metal, old school thrash-pit discord and homegrown haze.

In full flow, the band is relentless. Having shaken gig-goers to the core in support of bands like Sunwølf, Windhand and Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of The Knight this past year their self-titled EP and first outing into the wilderness comes under the watchful eye of the St Albans based Superhot Records. In their quest to, “Bring you the best from all ends of the underground heavy music spectrum” the label is responsible for memorable releases by the aforementioned Trippy Wicked, as well as Groan, Vodun and Stubb.

BongCaludron packs in dirty, bass-heavy riffs and drums that build a punishing wall of noise around the doom metal and crust punk ingloriousness of bands like Iron Monkey and early Crowbar. Rolling out bluesy shifting slabs of guitar that lay waste to any hope of standing still. Gleaning abrasive sludge and choking fuzz from every note, beat and nod this is a collection of guttural and throat tearing songs that revel in the pleasure of good booze and better bongs.

BongCauldron is:
Corky – Bass, Vocals
Biscuit – Guitar, Vocals
Jay – Drums

Track listing:
1. Tree Wizard
2. Pissed Up
3. Vehemence
4. Gimp Rig
5. Gauze Rite

Label: Superhot Records
Formats: CD, Download
Web: www.superhotrecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/bongcauldron

BongCauldron, “Pissed Up” Superhot Session

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Groan Premiere Video for “Women of Doom”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 28th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Whoever you are and whatever you’re doing, chances are Groan are having a better time. The UK-based chicanery rockers are at it again on “Women of Doom,” the lead track from the forthcoming Ride the Snake EP, which is due out Dec. 10 on Superhot Records, pumping out a thick groove and ’80s metal gang shout hook and every bit living up to their stated “67% true doom” ethic. The clip itself follows a long-standing tradition from what’s evolved over the last couple years into a double-guitar five-piece — the photo above is already outdated; guitarist Chris West (who also recorded Ride the Snake) having been recently replaced by Jimmy Beedham — of snagging clips from cult ’70s horror flicks and putting them to songs. Video done.

And while I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of Elizabeth Taylor as a “woman of doom,” I’m no one to question Groan — vocalist Mazzereth, bassist Leigh Jones, guitarists Beedham and Mike Pilat and drummer Zel Kaute — on the subject, since they seem to have a clear idea what they’re going for. I doubt they’ll enter the canon of great feminist texts of our age with the chorus of, “Make room for the women of doom,” but given the context of what the band does, it’s encouraging to hear them continuing to have a good time amid all these Hammer Horror film pieces, for which I’m sure all the proper rights were secured. It must’ve been quite a legal process.

Keep an eye out for more on Groan‘s Ride the Snake EP as we get closer to the Dec. 10 release, but until then, “Women of Doom” gives a decent idea of where the band are headed coming off of their last full-length, The Divine Right of Kings (review here), which saw them depart their earlier, more stonerly fare in favor of the metal-rooted take they’re continuing to develop here.

Enjoy:

Groan, “Women of Doom” official video

Groan on Thee Facebooks

Superhot Records

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