Truckfighters Premiere “Dig You Down” from Return of the Fuzzsplit

Posted in audiObelisk on September 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

truckfighters

It’s worth noting that of all the bands Truckfighters have brought into the fold of their label, Fuzzorama Records – from Dexter Jones Circus Orchestra, to Asteroid, to Valley of the Sun – Austrian four-piece Witchrider are the first with whom the Örebro fuzzlords have actually teamed up for a release. Dubbed The Return of the Fuzzsplit with the heading of Truckfighters vs. Witchrider, the new 12″ is available now from Fuzzorama and hearkens back to the very first release on the imprint, “fuzz CD001,” 2003’s Fuzzsplit of the Century between Truckfigthers vs. Firestone.

That split (review here) marked a transition point for Truckfighters, since it would be the last thing bassist Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm would release with his former band (i.e. Firestone) and, as noted, the first Truckfighters outing through their own label. 11 years later, the fuzzsplit’s return finds Truckfighters in a much different situation. Four albums out, including this year’s Universe (review here), a documentary in their honor, truckfighters vs witchrider the return of the fuzzsplitand more tours and photos of them jumping up and down than I think even they could be bothered to count at this point, Truckfighters are among the foremost purveyors of fuzz the world over. They’ve busted their collective ass and a few drummers along the way to get there — the role is currently filled by Axel “Enzo” Larsson alongside Cedermalm on bass/vocals and guitarist Niklas “Dango” Källgren — but especially live, they’re undeniable. Their slogan at this point has become “Quite Possibly the Best Band in the World,” and they play like it every night out.

Whether they’re reviving the Fuzzsplit in order to introduce Witchrider to their built-in, increasing, and loyal fanbase or just to have something to take with them on their upcoming European tour together, the endorsement speaks volumes and provides yet another example of Truckfighters‘ unwavering work ethic. The three-piece’s contribution to The Return of the Fuzzsplit is called “Dig You Down,” and I have the pleasure of premiering the audio of the track for your streaming pleasure. They’ve also got a brand new video for the song that you can find snuck in down below the dates for the impending run, which begins Oct. 10 at DesertFest Belgium and unfolds from there for the rest of the month until Truckfighters hit the UK in November.

Dig, and enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

truckfighters euro tour

We will once again bring our friends in White Miles and the new Fuzzorama Records signing Witchrider!
Check out these bands if you have not already!

Please share to make sure your friends do not miss out.
You will find ticket links at http://www.truckfighters.com/dates-2/

Complete list of dates:
Sep 18 Close Up Båten, Stockholm, Sweden
Sep 20 Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Germany
Oct 10 Trix (Desertfest) Antwerp, Belgium
Oct 13 Tivoli Utrecht, Netherlands
Oct 14 Effenaar Eindhoven, Netherlands
Oct 15 Die Pumpe Kiel, Germany
Oct 16 Kleine Freiheit Osnabruck, Germany
Oct 17 FZW Dortmund, Germany
Oct 18 Conne Island Leipzig, Germany
Oct 19 Kantine Augsburg, Germany
Oct 21 Keller Klub Stuttgart, Germany
Oct 22 ZOOM Frankfurt Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Oct 23 Bei Chez Heinz Hannover, Germany
Oct 24 Kulturzentrum Lagerhaus Bremen, Germany
Oct 25 Minoga Poznan, Poland
Oct 26 Hydrozagadka Warsaw, Poland
Oct 28 Club 007 Prague, Czech Republic
Oct 29 Szene Vienna, Austria
Oct 30 Conrad Sohm Dornbirn, Austria
Oct 31 Bad Bonn Dudingen, Switzerland
Nov 01 Kiff Aarau, Switzerland
Nov 10 Brudenell Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 11 Sound Control Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 12 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nov 13 The Basement Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nov 14 O2 Academy Islington London, United Kingdom
Nov 15 Hard Rock Hell Pwllheli, United Kingdom
Nov 16 Oobleck Birmingham, United Kingdom

Truckfighters, “Dig You Down” official video

Truckfighters on Thee Facebooks

Truckfighters vs. Witchrider at Fuzzorama Records

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On the Radar: The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues

Posted in On the Radar on September 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the sun the moon and the witch's blues

There are probably a couple distinct jams within the 18-minute span of the eponymous track on Swedish duo The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues‘ self-titled debut EP, in terms of the songwriting. By that I mean  although the Örebro duo of Robin Hirse (ex-Asteroid) and Jonas Ljungkvist get pretty deep in an immersive flow, it still sounds like more happened in the track than they hit record and went to town on an improv heavy psych exploration. Individual movements they may be, still better to get lost in the whole. The beginning unfolds with echoing Morricone guitar, and unfolds a slow heavy rock groove, and they proceed through numerous shifts and movements that piece together well but have some breaks between them as well. What individual titles might be, I don’t know, but with the results Hirse and Ljungkvist get across the sprawl in “The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues,” which fleshes out with organ before the vocals kick in right around the five-minute mark, I’m not about to argue.

Hirse‘s voice will sound familiar to those who heard him with Asteroid, who released their second and apparently final full-length in 2010’s II (review here), and to a degree, one might consider the new, cumbersomely-monikered two-piece an outgrowth from that album’s jam-minded heavy rock sensibility, but the feel on The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues represents a discernible stylistic shift as well, and not just in the the sun the moon and the witch's blues self titledoccasional Westernism. The vibe here is bluesier, the build looser. Hirse and Ljungqvist credit Tobias Eriksson, Joakim Kohlscheen and Jimmi Kohlscheen as “helping” with the EP and don’t get more specific than that, but they’re definitely working toward a full-band aesthetic one way or another, rather than the minimalism that duos can sometimes purposefully convey. Even as “The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues” pushes through its heavier apex and into foot-stomp-and-hand-clap revival, vocals layered for a near-gospel effect, this is true in the space the song creates, and as the song is led into its final phase groove by the guitar, one gets a sense of a unit clicking pedals on to make the machine go.

I was a nerd for Hirse‘s prior outfit even unto their swansong 7″ (review here), and The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues present enough of a turn sonically to clearly be on their own path, but neither is the development of Hirse‘s craft scrapped entirely or burned to the ground in favor of starting completely over. What the EP sounds like, when you get right to it, is a vinyl side, and after listening through more than a couple times in the days since its Sept. 6 release, I’d like to find out what’s on side B. The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues are reportedly heading back into the studio in short order, so it might not be all that long before we get there. Right on.

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues, Self-titled EP (2014)

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues on Thee Facebooks

The Sun, the Moon and the Witch’s Blues on Bandcamp

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Pike Add New Guitarist to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The 2012 outing from Swedish trio, PikeTo Cross the Great Divide, was a varied and atmospheric work of post-metal, successfully avoiding the we’re-gonna-lie-about-what-we-do-in-order-to-trick-you-into-thinking-it’s-not-a-boring-Isis-ripoff methodology of countrymen Cult of Luna by virtue of working in faster tempo shifts and being generally unpretentious about a metallized influence across the album’s five mostly-extended tracks. Call it a High on Fire influence on the grammatically intriguing opener “Rituale Romanum” (is that a ritual of the Romans or to them?) if you want — the band is called Pike, for crying out loud — but there turned out to be much more to the band than one side or the other, and much to the album’s benefit.

They released To Cross the Great Divide as a gatefold digipak CD, nodding at vinyl without taking on the debatably needless expense of actually putting out the record on that format, and while they, like all post-metallers, had their requisite “Stones from the Sky” moment in the aforementioned opening cut, they at least used it as a fleshing out point for further expansion of their sound. Brothers Alex and Alvin Risberg recently welcomed new guitarist Ludwig Lovén to the fold and sent along the following announcement, which also hints at new material in progress:

pike

We would like to officially welcome Ludvig Lovén as our new guitarist!

We are very excited about the future of Pike and where we are heading with this new line-up.

We are currently in the process of rehearsing some of our old material, as well as writing new stuff that will undoubtedly rip your face off.

We have also extended our reach to include the social media platform Instagram. So if you’re into that type of thing, follow us at @pikemusic

Pike:
Ludvig Lovén – Guitar
Alex Risberg – Bass/Vocals
Alvin Risberg – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/PikeSweden
http://pike.bandcamp.com/
http://instagram.com/pikemusic
http://pikesweden.bigcartel.com/

Pike, To Cross the Great Divide (2012)

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Skånska Mord to Release Self-Titled EP on Transubstans Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

skanska mord

Two years after their righteous sophomore effort, Paths to Charon (review here), Swedish double-guitar five-piece Skånska Mord return, this time on Transubstans Records, with a new and self-titled EP. The Örkelljunga outfit made their debut in 2010 with The Last Supper (review here) and have continued since then to refine a straightforward approach blending ’70s and ’90s heavy rock impulses, specifically nodding at Soundgarden en route to a style of riffing somewhere between Abramis Brama and earlier Mustasch. The second album particularly had songwriting on its side, so with three original tracks (plus one cover), it seems reasonable to expect the progression to continue on the new EP.

Recorded in April, Skånska Mord‘s Skånska Mord will be out Nov. 3 through Transubstans and will feature Janne Schaffer on a cover of his own “Black Salad,” which I think counts as breaking down a fourth wall of one sort or another, but will have to consult the rulebook to be sure.

Either way, the PR wire had this to say about it:

If you missed out on SKÅNSKA MORD’s earlier releases – you can’t let this one slip thru your fingers. This is their first release on Transubstans, a 4 track EP released on black / solid white 12” vinyl. Recorded at Lemon Recording Studios with engineer Martin Ekelund, this EP is the brilliant follow-up to their two critically acclaimed albums “The Last Supper” (2010) and “Paths To Charon” (2012).

Once again, SKÅNSKA MORD proves the winning concept of blending one of the strongest voices in Swedish rock history together with the dynamic, blues, psychedelic and hard-riffing tunes that practically steams 70’s groove.

From the opening track “Illusion” to the fantastic cover of JANNE SCHAFFER’s “Black Salad” (with a guest appearance by JANNE SCHAFFER himself), you will for sure get your dose of the “pick me up” SKÅNSKA MORD always deliver.

https://www.facebook.com/skanskamord
http://www.transubstans.com/

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Snailking Stream “Slithering” from New LP Storm

Posted in audiObelisk on September 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

snailking

Swedish trio Snailking will release their new album, Storm, Sept. 15 through Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. It is their second offering behind a well-received 2012 demo/LP, Samsara (review here), and greatly widens the scope from that offering, holding onto some of the cosmic doom sensibility showed then but adding an almost Godfleshy timekeeping stomp to the drums of Karl Jonas Wijk on songs like “Premonitions” and burying guitarist Pontus Ottosson‘s vocals deep within his and bassist Frans Levin‘s collective glug of tone so that he seems to be shouting like he’s trapped underneath his own band’s cacophony.

Three of the five tracks on Storm top 10 minutes long, including the opening duo of “To Wonder” (11:03) and “Premonitions” (10:57), so it’s clear Snailking are still going for an expansive sound. As one might expect, they owe a bit of a debt to their namesake Ufomammut, from whose 2004 landmark LP they take their name, but more than on Samsara, Snailking establish themselves on Storm as a progressive unit engaged in their own evolutionary process. The onslaught of “To Wonder” and “Premonitions” isn’t to be understated — it is a doomed psychedelia to which they’re committed, even in the quiet reaches of the second cut — but the shorter “Slithering” (6:32) introduces a post-metallic feel to the well-bearded three-piece’s lumbering groove, less indebted to YOB than was snailking stormtheir last time out, but still showcasing a touch of that churning in its riffs.

Primarily, what Snailking do well on Storm is create a sense of the space in which the album unfolds, and in terms of individual pieces, it’s almost inevitable they’d do it best on “Requiem,” the longest song here at 16:57. In the YOB tradition, it begins with minimal, slow-weaving effects-laden guitar and gradually unveils its full push over the first several minutes, a slow rollout of doomed gravity that will encompass the remainder of the runtime. Hypnotic for its repetition, but crushing, its distinction comes through low, atmospherically mixed growls, screams and shouts, as much black metal as Neurosis, that serve to remind the listener that somewhere in this morass of chest-vibrating low end there is in fact a human presence. If you’re not too quickly swallowed by “Requiem” and can keep your consciousness about you, it is a stirring highlight for Storm and a moment where Snailking‘s plod is most their own.

The closer, “Void” (8:00), holds to some of this same mentality, beginning quiet and ambient before moving into a dense sonic pummel, but as Snailking finish out, Ottosson leaves out vocals and substitutes an extended, drawn-out solo instead, lending the finale a dirge-type feel, less thunderous than “Requiem” before it but all the more mournful in a European doom tradition. That lead holds firm as the other elements crash to a finish, and it as a couple seconds of feedback stumble Storm to its end, they serve as a reminder of how early into the band’s development they actually are — with the confidence of their delivery and the wide ranging feel both sides of the album present, it’s easy to forget. If this is just the beginning, then even better, since as much as Storm works to create its own space, so too do Snailking set themselves up to be that space’s sole inhabitants, working toward an individual approach that one hopes they’ll continue to forge going forward.

I have the pleasure of hosting a stream of “Slithering” today for the record. Please find it on the player below and enjoy:

Snailking‘s Storm will be out Sept. 15 on Consouling Sounds and is available now to preorder in colored vinyl (black, blue and clear; 100 copies), black vinyl (200 copies) and CD. More info at the links.

Snailking on Thee Facebooks

Preorder Storm at Consouling Sounds

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On Wax: Dean Allen Foyd, Sunshine Song 7″

Posted in On Wax on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

dean allen foyd sunshine song

Add up all the various limited editions — 50 on purple vinyl, 50 green, 100 purple/gold marble, 120 black, 30 gold/black marble — and Swedish psych traditionalists Dean Allen Foyd‘s new single on H42 Records is still pretty limited with just 350 copies pressed. Some versions are exclusive to different mailorders, and the Australian edition (the gold/black marble) has tweaked cover art, but at the heart of Sunshine Song b/w Devil’s Path are the two songs themselves, and from whatever color platter they might emanate, they find the Stockholm four-piece proffering a charming blend of garage-pop-rock boogie and heavy psychedelic dean allen foyd sunshine songflourish. Comprised here of guitarist/vocalist Francis Rencoret, bassist Fredrik Cronsten, drummer/vocalist Wille Alin and organist/vocalist Erik “Errka” Petersson, as well as guest spots on guitar and a string quartet, Dean Allen Foyd seem most geared to the beginning moments of the psychedelic era — the heavy that was pre-heavy; more Beefheart than Leaf Hound — and it’s an aesthetic they convey naturally, having honed their craft across two full-lengths to date, 2012’s The Sounds Can be So Cruel and 2013’s Road to Atlas, both on Crusher Records.

“Sunshine Song” is a fittingly classic A-side, both in its construction and its sound. It moves and grooves over a solid rhythmic foundation bolstered by added percussion and tosses out hooks in its verse and chorus given all the more flair via tambourine and the freakout waiting to surface. Dean Allen Foyd never go full-force into the jam, but neither would I call them restrained on “Sunshine Song.” They keep a 1967/1968-style pop sensibility to the first half of the single, if one meatier in its tonality, but still come across less stylistically retro than, say, Germany’s Vibravoid, for whom color-tinted glasses and striped pants seem to be a religion. Nothing against that, and it’s worth noting that Dean Allen Foyd and H42 released Sunshine Song to coincide with thesunshine song dean allen foyd anniversary of Syd Barrett‘s death, but there’s still something inescapably modern about their approach, and all the more on “Devil’s Path,” which even as it seems to be nodding at The Doobie Brothers‘ “Long Train Running” does so with guitar tone thicker than one finds from most “vintage”-minded acts, classic though the handclap timekeeping and direction of the song itself might be, leads swelling and receding in the background of the chorus before taking the fore about halfway through underscored by a bassline worthy of being higher in the mix than it is.

Both sides of Sunshine Song seem to be working in a building structure, but the apex of “Devil’s Path” comes across clearer than “Sunshine Song” itself, though a fadeout and the constraint of the format invariably cut short what was a continuing progression. I’d be interested to hear the longer dean allen foyd sunshine songversion of the track if there is one, but even as it is here, “Devil’s Path” satisfies both as a complement to “Sunshine Song” and on its own merits. Totaling about nine minutes, Sunshine Song is an unpretentious jaunt into the roots of psychedelic rock that keeps just an edge of modern heaviness to remind listeners to what age it actually belongs. With its foldout artwork sleeve and quick runthrough, if it’s to be your first experience with the band, it should prove an engaging one that speaks to spacious places without getting lost in them.

Dean Allen Foyd, “Sunshine Song”

Dean Allen Foyd on Thee Facebooks

Sunshine Song at H42 Records

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My Brother the Wind Post Album Trailer

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

my brother the wind

Yes. Yes. More of this. Less of not this. Swedish improv psych explorers My Brother the Wind will issue their third album in October via Free Electric Sound. The cumbersomely-titled offering, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, has just been given a video trailer, and I put it on to check it out and not one minute had passed before I was immersed. Hypnotized. The gorgeous, lush wash of tones had me in their grips to the point that, by the time its two minutes were played out, I forgot I wasn’t listening to a full album and that was all I was going to get.

Kind of a bummer about that last part, but the trailer really makes me look forward to what the album might hold when it hits in October, which I guess is the whole point. Fair enough. The PR wire brings info and of course the video itself:

MY BROTHER THE WIND: Expansive Album Trailer For New LP By Swedish Cosmic Rock Instrumentalists Released

Sweden’s instrumental cosmic rock quartet, MY BROTHER THE WIND, will release their third full-length album this October, the opus harnessing forty-five minutes of the band’s entirely improvised, instrumental psychedelic rock, entitled Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One. Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day, the band used six and twelve string acoustic and electric guitars, mellotron, flute, bass, drums, congas and more to complete the task. The album was captured in full analog on 2″ tape courtesy of a 16 track Ampex from 1969 at Drop Out Analogue, in the snowy wilderness of Åmål, Sweden, with engineering duties handled by Love Tholin, who used vintage flangers, plate reverbs and tape echoes to achieve the LP’s unrestrained sound and exceptionally organic tones, after which it was mixed by Tholin and the band, and mastered by Hans Fredriksson.

A trailer for Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One has been released, featuring an array of photos documenting the album’s creation as well as the band performing both on stage as well as outdoors, an in-depth look at the LP’s awesome artwork, and the first audio sample to be leaked from the album.

MY BROTHER THE WIND is a fully improvisational cosmic rock collective consisting of members of widely known Swedish progressive rock acts Makajodama, Magnolia, Animal Daydream and Anekdoten, their output an inviting sound for fans of Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, Ash Ra Temple, Gong and Pink Floyd, Free Electric Sound — the instrumental music division of The Laser’s Edge — will release Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One worldwide on October 14th. Stand by for further transmissions including preorders for the CD and deluxe LP versions as well as additional audio from the album in the coming days.

https://www.facebook.com/mybrotherthewind
https://soundcloud.com/my-brother-the-wind
http://www.lasersedgegroup.com/labels/free-electric-sound
https://www.facebook.com/TheLasersEdge
https://twitter.com/thelasersedge

My Brother the Wind, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One album trailer

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Mother of God Announce UK Tour with Molior Superum

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Swedish heavy rockers Mother of God are hitting the UK for a few inaugural dates next month alongside countrymen Molior Superum and Britain’s own Baron Greenback. The three shows, presented by Snuff Lane and Monster Rock Booking, will be to support Mother of God‘s latest EP, Black Ocean, on H42 Records, and 2013’s Small Stone debut, Anthropos, thought the four-piece are reportedly already at work on their next outing as well, so should you happen to be in Bristol, Manchester or Oxford in September, seems likely you’ll be treated to some new material.

If you’re into it, and yeah, you’re probably into it, the PR wire’s got diggable info for your eyeball digestion below:

Snuff Lane Promotions has partnered with ‘Monster Rock Bookings’ to deliver Mother of God in their debut tour of the United Kingdom. Supporting these Swedish rockers are fellow labelmates Molior Superum, making their first appearance in the United Kingdom and both touring in support of their new EP’s.

Snuff Lane are also delighted to be adding Bristol’s very own hard-hitting Baron Greenback to the tour, whose debut album is due for release in the forthcoming weeks.

The tour starts on Saturday 20th September, with exclusive and unique acoustic performances at the debut “Music Is the Healer” charity event. Taking place at The Cavern Club, Bristol, this event will be in support of national charity Nordoff Robbins – who provide music therapy services for thousands of people across the country.

All proceeds from “Music Is the Healer” will go directly to the charities involved.

Also announced is Swedish psychedelic stoner rockers Kamchatka’s debut UK headlining event at The Black Heart, London on Friday 19th September.

Mother of God + Molior Superum + Baron Greenback – UK September Tour
Saturday 20th September – The Cavern Club, Bristol (Day & Evening)
Sunday 21st September – Gullivers NQ, Manchester
Monday 22nd September – The Cellar, Oxford

Events: http://tiny.cc/5i12jx
Tickets: http://tiny.cc/fx6cjx
Early Bird Tickets available until 25th August, at an exceedingly cheap £6.00.

https://www.facebook.com/MOGmusic
http://www.motherofgod.se/

Mother of God, Anthropos (2013)

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Kamchatka Announce Exclusive UK Show on Sept. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Headlining in the UK for the first time, Swedish trio Kamchatka have announced a show Sept. 19 at The Black Heart in Camden Town, London, on Sept. 19. The three-piece released their fifth album, The Search Goes On, earlier this year on Despotz Records and boast the formidable presence of Per Wiberg in their ranks. Their last stop off in the UK was at the 2012 Download festival, and their resume also boasts an opening slot for Clutch, whose drummer Jean-Paul Gaster is a former collaborator.

I’ll grant that Camden is a long ways away for me to be plugging a show, but I’ve been to that venue as a part of Desertfest and met the people who run it and found them to be exceedingly welcoming, and the room upstairs where bands play is badass. I can think of an infinite number of less pleasant ways to spend an evening, so yeah, it’s not the most geographically central place for me to note a gig happening, but I think the circumstance warrants the mention.

From the PR wire:

Kamchatka – UK Exclusive Event

Snuff Lane Promotions has team up with Chaos Theory Music to proudly present – Exclusive Kamchatka UK Headlining event. (Only UK performance of the year).

Despite fans demanding more shows since their performance at 2012’s download festival, as well as having been spotted supporting the likes of Clutch, we’re flabbergasted that this is Kamchatka’s debut UK Headlining event.

In support of their new album ‘The Search Goes On’, the band has recently recruited the addition of Per Wiberg (Ex-Opeth, Spiritual Beggars…) – we’re certain that this is a must see event and request fans to attend to be a part of Stoner Rock history Tickets are due to go live today; with an unmissable line-up still to be announced, including another Swedish act for special guest support.

We would greatly appreciate any articles you’d announce in relation to our event, so please do request any additional information or press material to support.

Event: Kamchatka – UK Exclusive
Date: Friday 19th September
Venue: The Black Heart, London
Tickets: £10.00 (Advance)
Support: TBA.

https://www.facebook.com/events/433089766833008/
https://www.facebook.com/Kamchatkaofficial/
http://kamchatka.se/

Kamchatka, “Tango Decadence” official video

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Duuude, Tapes! Dozer, Universe 75 Demo

Posted in Buried Treasure, Duuude, Tapes! on July 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

A band’s early days are often a mishmash of releases, songs cobbled together from rehearsal recordings and put out as demos with live tracks from shows or different sessions. A few songs are copied for friends one week, and the next a demo is professionally pressed under the same title. That’s just part of promoting a new band. You try and get as much out there as possible. As such, when I opened the mail and found this surprise copy of Dozer‘s 1998 demo, Universe 75 – the tape gifted to me unexpectedly by Lansing, MI’s Postman Dan, who’s come up around these parts a few times over the years and will again before the next week is out — it wasn’t a shock to discover that its tracklisting differed from what’s largely been settled on as being Universe 75.

I know the story behind this tape, know that Dozer guitarist Tommi Holappa sent it to Dan when Dozer were putting out their early material, that it came with an orange flyer that had Han Solo on it firing a blaster the laser of which was the Dozer logo, and if you can’t trust Postman Dan, you can’t trust nobody, so its authenticity is without question as far as I’m concerned. I damn near wept when I opened the package and found it.
What’s commonly regarded as Universe 75 has six tracks, and this tape — dubbed onto a Maxell 100-minute blank cassette, though of course it reaches nowhere near that mark time-wise — has four. “Supersoul,” which opens, is the only song shared between the two. It and “Captain Spaceheart” – written in the liner here as “Captain Space Heart” — also appeared on Dozer‘s 2000 full-length debut, In the Tail of a Comet, while “Centerline” and “Tanglefoot” showed up later in 1998 on the first of the two Dozer vs. Demon Cleaner split releases.

At this point, Dozer was Holappa, guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, bassist Johan Rockner and drummer Erik Bäckwall, and these songs were recorded at the end of Jan. 1998 by Bengt Bäcke — here given the nickname “Action.” Of course, he’d come a long way by the time he was continuing to work with Holappa in Greenleaf and tracking that band’s albums, but even in ’98, Bäcke knew what he was doing. The sound of the tape is raw, and the bass is way, way high in the mix, but overall it’s clear enough to get a sense of the songs and where Dozer were coming from stylistically in some of their earliest days, Nordin sounding more directly indebted to Kyuss‘ John Garcia than he even would by the time In the Tail of a Comet was released, and the band seeming to work at full stonerly jamble on “Captain Space Heart” only to up the swing as “Tanglefoot” closes out.

As a longtime nerd for Dozer (obviously not as long as the Postman), I felt incredibly fortunate to hear these songs at all, let alone to be able to sit with them and think of them in context of the Borlänge four-piece’s pre-debut-LP progression. They were prolific as they solidified their sound, and over singles, EPs and splits with Demon Cleaner and Unida, they honed a reinvented — maybe “relocated” is the word? — take on what was then desert rock that of course would turn them into something different entirely over their years together, which hopefully aren’t done as they continue to play shows periodically. A snapshot of one of Sweden’s greatest contributions to heavy rock as a young band is something genuinely special, and I know I’ll cherish it in a cool, dry place for years to come and use it as fodder while I continue to campaign for a compilation of their pre-album material.

Dozer, “Centerline”

Dozer on Thee Facebooks

Dozer’s website

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Friday Full-Length: Dozer, Call it Conspiracy

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dozer, Call it Conspiracy (2002)

I think I’ve made my nerddom for Swedish heavy rockers Dozer plain over the years, but if not, let me just reinforce: The band fucking rules. From their early albums on Man’s Ruin, 2000’s In the Tail of a Comet and 2001’s Madre de Dios right on through the harder edged 2002 Molten Universe third outing, Call it Conspiracy, and their Small Stone era, which brought about 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008’s Beyond Colossal. All the splits, EPs, singles, etc., along the way, Dozer simply don’t have a bum release. There was no point at which they didn’t kick ass.

When it comes to Call it Conspiracy, I’ve always thought of it as the transitional moment for the band. Based as ever around the powerhouse riffs and full-speed charge of guitarist Tommi Holappa and Fredrik Nordin (the latter also vocals), Johan Rockner‘s bass and the driving thud of then-drummer Erik Bäckwall, Dozer‘s songwriting always made them a mandatory band, head and shoulders above most acts proffering heavy rock and roll then or now. But Call it Conspiracy stands out in their catalog as the bridge between the first two and the second two albums, moving away from the Kyuss loyalism of their beginnings and at the same time setting up the progression into bigger tones and a more generally bombastic sound on records four and five. It’s the center-point along that line — in output, not time; the first three Dozer albums were released in three years, the last two in twice that — and very much stands up to that stylistically. In that, it’s unlike anything else they’ve ever done. It was a leap from Madre de Dios for sure for arriving the next year, and when Through the Eyes of Heathens showed up three years later, Dozer had moved even further away from desert rock. Call it Conspiracy was a moment captured — like a snapshot of Dozer coming into their own as a band.

And while I already said it, I’ll reiterate that the songs themselves are unfuckwithable. The rush of “Rising,” the swagger of “Man Made Mountain,” the way “Crimson Highway” seems to invite a sing-along even when you’re hearing it for the first time. Dozer have been making periodic live appearances since last spring, and they released the Vultures EP (review here) last year, collecting unused tracks from the Through the Eyes of Heathens sessions, but as Holappa (Obelisk Questionnaire here) has been busy with Greenleaf – whose fifth album, Trails and Passes (review here), came out earlier this year — there’s been no word of a studio return from Dozer. Needless to say I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope you enjoy.

Up until today, I was doing really well with the rules I’d posted last week that I was trying to live by while The Patient Mrs. is in Athens. It’s 9:30PM and I haven’t left the house in two days. I knew that was gonna be a tough one when I wrote it, but was hoping I’d be able to keep up. Today and yesterday, neither the time nor the desire nor the need to go anywhere has been present. I might get in the car and drive around for 10 minutes when I’m done here, so at least I can say I did something, but otherwise, yeah. Been a lot of the couch, not a lot of not the couch. The little dog likes it.

Next week, reviews of Dunst and Grifter. It’ll probably take me two days (at least) to transcribe it, but I’m going to try to get the Lowrider interview up as well. Look out for another batch of Radio adds, and one way or another, some vinyl’s getting written about. I still need to hook up my stereo. You’d think that would’ve been a day one activity moving into the new place, but all the CDs are still packed away as well.

Trying to find a new high-volume CD storage solution. I was looking at some radio station library racks online and I think something like that might be the way to go, but I have no idea where one acquires such a thing, let alone what it might cost. But yeah, I’m thinking it might just be time to buy a shelf that lets me store 18,000 CDs and then just fill it over the next however many years. In case you’re wondering, I’d probably take up a little more than a third of that now. I don’t know if you knew this, but in addition to the stuff I buy, I keep everything sent to me for this site. I don’t sell promos, or give them away, or anything like that. Every single CD that’s been sent to me, regardless of if it’s a CDR in a slimline or a sleeve or a full-art jewel case, gatefold digipak, whatever, it goes in the archive. I keep it all. Tapes and vinyl too. And not in some random pile either. It’s taken care of. Loved. I can’t nearly write about everything that comes in these days, but I hold onto everything. Even the press releases. Seriously. I’ve got files of them.

Got off on a tangent there. Anyway, I hope you dig the Dozer and that you’ll join me in my letter-writing campaign to Tommi Holappa to get the tracks from their first several singles released as an early works compilation à la Church of Misery. I was thinking about starting one of those White House petitions. Get Obama on the case.

Alright. I’m gonna go get in the car and wander aimlessly for a bit so I can say I did. Hope you have a tremendous and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Skraeckoedlan Unveil Teaser for Sophomore LP Gigantos

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Of course, when I was putting together that list of albums I’m looking forward to for the rest of 2014 yesterday, I hadn’t heard anything since the start of the year about the sophomore outing from Swedish rockers Skraeckoedlan, Gigantos, but that’s only all the more reason to highlight their putting out this teaser video for the record, which is set to release digitally in the fall. At very least, it’s one for the “go figure” file.

Anyone who recalls the youngsters’ 2011 Transubstans Records debut, Äppelträdet (review here), will now immediately why I was anticipating the arrival of Gigantos, since the four-piece just about seamlessly pulled Mastodon and Truckfighters influences into a catchy and richly melodic concoction of their own. It’s been a while at this point since Gigantos was announced — it was an anticipated album for 2014 back in January —  and while my concern at that time was how Skraeckoedlan might fare outside the confines of Studio Bombshelter, where they recorded the first full-length, as the 90 seconds of fresh audio in the teaser below seem to indicate, there’s been no drawback either in fuzzy tonal heft or prowess of melody.

I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a relief. Äppelträdet was a sleeper, but it was also one of my favorites in 2011, and this teaser gives me one more to look forward to before the end of the year. Skraeckoedlan also have some shows coming up over the course of July and August — some fest appearances — in their native Sweden, and you’ll find those dates below the video, in case you happen to find yourself in that part of the world.

Enjoy:

Skraeckoedlan, Gigantos album teaser

Skraeckoedlan Swedish live dates:

2014-07-09 Stockholm (SE), KGB
2014-07-11 Umeå (SE), Verket
2014-07-12 Skellefteå (SE), Trästockfestivalen
2014-07-25-26 Sala (SE), Salafestivalen
2014-08-14 Leksand (SE), Krökbacken festival

Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks

Skraeckoedlan’s website

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Troubled Horse Post Video for “Bring My Horses Home”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

…Like two weeks ago.

I usually like to think of myself as being pretty up to date on this kind of thing, but Troubled Horse‘s new video for “Bring My Horses Home” slipped through the cracks, I guess. Not sure why. Not like I’ve had a lot going on lately or anything like that.

Anyway, better late than never. You could probably say the same thing for the video itself, as it’s been two years since Troubled Horse‘s full-length debut, Step Inside (review here), was released on Rise Above Records. If I’m working behind the times (which I am, always), at least I’m not the only one, but actually, making a video — it was directed by Jonas Wahlstrand — so long after the album came out basically has the effect of reminding listeners of how badass that record was in the first place. Two years later, one might not reach for Step Inside with the same regularity as when it first hit, so along comes “Bring My Horses Home,” and wham, the “Whoa-oh-oh” chorus gets stuck in the head again like it never left.

Because god damn, this song is catchy. The Örebro band’s ties to Witchcraft‘s retro-rocking glory days notwithstanding, frontman Martin Heppich carries the chorus with perfect drunkard’s swagger, and as Troubled Horse are reportedly getting ready to unveil details of their second long-player, a reissue of their original 2010 single — which just happened to have “Bring My Horses Home” as its A-side — provides further occasion to revisit the track ahead of their next outing.

So it’s off to the woods, then. Filmed as a four-piece, though they’re are apparently five of them now if the photo above is anything to go by, “Bring My Horses Home” is dark and engaging and only leaves the question about where that organ sound is coming from so deep in the forest.

Enjoy:

Troubled Horse, “Bring My Horses Home” official video

Troubled Horse on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

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Goat to Release Second LP Commune via Sub Pop on Sept. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Swedish cult-psych overseers Goat have announced that their second album will be out Sept. 23 in North America on Sub Pop. Stranded Rekords gets the release a day later in Scandinavia and Rocket has it for the remaining portions of the earth the day before. The record arrives with much anticipation following Goat‘s widely-heralded 2012 debut, World Music (discussed here), and the reputation they’ve built for themselves around theatrical costumed performances. Commune, the new one, doesn’t have the advantage of blindsiding people like the first one did, but I think they’ve done pretty well indoctrinating their audience, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

The PR wire brings info and new music, asking no thanks in return:

Swedish collective GOAT share details on behalf of Commune, their second album

Commune will be available September 23rd via Sub Pop Records in North America, September 24th via Stranded Rekords in Scandinavia, and September 22nd via Rocket Recordings for the rest of the world.

Commune is the follow-up to GOAT’s hypnotic 2012 debut, World Music, which received widespread acclaim and placed in many of that year’s top-ten lists. The mysterious, masked group continued to awe the world with their intense, ritualistic live shows, the “Dreambuilding” b/w “Stonegoat” 7″ (released in North America by Sub Pop in 2013), and the recent Live Ballroom Ritual double-album.

GOAT has scheduled a fall European tour in support Commune, which begins September 19th in Copenhagen, DK at Vega and ends October 3rd in London, UK at the Roundhouse. Please find a current list of tour dates below.

Commune is now available for preorder in North America via Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes and Amazon. While supplies last, customers who pre-order the LP version of Commune from megamart.subpop.com will receive the colored-vinyl “Loser Edition” of the album and a limited-edition, single-sided 7” with a non-album track.

Commune Tracklisting:
1. Talk to God
2. Words
3. The Light Within
4. To Travel the Path Unknown
5. Goatchild
6. Goatslaves
7. Hide From the Sun
8. Bondye
9. Gathering of Ancient Tribes

Tour Dates
Jul. 06 – Belfort, FR – Eurokeennes
Jul. 18 – Suffolk, UK – Latitude Festival
Jul. 20 – Ostrava, CZ – Colours of Ostrava
Aug. 03 – Stockholm, SE – Stockholm Music & Arts
Aug. 23 – Paredes de Coura, PT – Paredes de Coura Festival
Sep. 19 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
Sep. 20 – Tilburg, NL – Incubate
Sep. 21 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique
Sep. 23 – Berlin, DE – Postbahnhof
Sep. 24 – Munich, DE – Ampere
Sep. 25 – Paris, FR – Trabendo
Sep. 27 – Liverpool, UK – Liverpool Psych Festival
Sep. 28 – Glasgow, UK – SWG3
Sep. 29 – Newcastle, UK – Northumbria University
Oct. 01 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
Oct. 02 – Bristol, UK – Trinity Centre
Oct. 03 – London, UK – Roundhouse

http://www.goatsweden.blogspot.se/
https://www.facebook.com/goatsweden
https://www.subpop.com/
https://www.facebook.com/subpoprecords

Goat, “Hide from the Sun”

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Duuude, Tapes! Lightsabres, Demons

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on June 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It is deceptively hard to get a handle on where Luleå, Sweden, rockers Lightsabres are coming from. Their debut tape, pressed and then re-pressed in limited edition by 808 New York (mine is #50 of 80), is called Demons, and while it’s quick at about 17 minutes long, and blown out in the lo-fi sense, it’s not to be mistaken for a demo. Eight tracks are presented four on each side, both sides start with an intro piece — “Fangs” and “Teeth,” respectively — and there’s cohesion and flow enough in what Lightsabres do that even if they weren’t working with a label to release it (there’s also vinyl out on Hink Inc.), to call it a demo would be selling it short. From the psychedelic ambience they pull off in the intros and side two’s closing “Demons,” the distorted stonery of side one opener “Black Hash,” and the stripped down punkish sneer of its side two counterpart “Born to Die,” Lightsabres tie together disparate elements with natural-sounding ease and come out of the release with a highly individualized garage-grunge that makes the memorable songwriting of “Fly Like a Bird” seem like fortunate happenstance.

Maybe it is, I don’t know. Maybe the members of Lightsabres – evidently content to remain nameless — showed up, pressed record, and that’s what came out. Either way, the heavy-pop bounce of that track is something most bands would have to work at. It’s as accessible as they go and well placed at the end of side one, following the rawer push of “Eyez,” on which the vocals come across even rougher than “Black Hash.” An unexpected turn, but one they pull off with apparent ease, and side two’s more psychedelic vibing affirms that Lightsabres have a broad creative range to go along with the effectiveness of their presentation. Post-rock guitar wisps begin “Teeth” only to be joined by air-moving bass fuzz, and while “Born to Die” strips away some of the prettier, melodic aspects, its half-time drums and noisy lead wash later on can’t cover up a basic heavy rock feel. Perhaps the most punkish moment of Demons is the first half of the Ty Segall cover “Caesar,” which breaks just before the first of its two minutes into manipulated, floating notes moving backwards and forwards in hypnotic motion toward the closing title-track, which takes a more minimal, spacious approach and finds dual vocal layers coming together for a moment of crooning before flipping the whole thing backwards to maximize an experimental, anything’s-possible sense of uncertainty.

The edit on the tape of “Demons” is different than that on the digital version, and the download also has an extra track, “Red Light,” that serves as a centerpiece between the two sides, so if cassettes aren’t your thing, Lightsabres still have something to offer for your pay-what-you-will. There’s also reportedly a follow-up to Demons called Spitting Blood due out shortly, and the band seems to have some shared membership with psych rockers Tunga Moln, so expect to hear more from this promising outfit one way or another.

Lightsabres, Demons 

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

Lightsabres on Bandcamp

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