Friday Full-Length: Dozer, In the Tail of a Comet

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Dozer, In the Tail of a Comet (2000)

One might look at In the Tail of a Comet, the pivotal first LP from Sweden’s Dozer, as the closing chapter in a larger movement within heavy rock. Released by Frank Kozik‘s Man’s Ruin Records in 2000 following the band’s initial series of splits with Demon Cleaner and Unida, the album followed landmark debuts like Acid King‘s Busse Woods and NatasDelmar, both issued by the same label in 1999, as well as the first Queens of the Stone Age and Alabama Thunderpussy (both 1998). Granted debuts from Orange Goblin (1997), Colour Haze (1995) and Electric Wizard (1995) also preceded, but in the post-Kyuss surge of heavy rock, by the time 2001 came around, this league of bands would be past first records and onto the work of developing what became a golden age of riffs. Dozer were a huge part of that process in Europe, and In the Tail of a Comet was the beginning point of a stylistic progression that got more charged over the years that followed.

The roots of that are audible in a song like “Cupola” and elsewhere, but the overarching vibe of In the Tail of a Comet is pure desert-style fuzz, very much in the vein of later Kyuss and the style that Man’s Ruin helped foster through releasing works from Suplecs, the Desert Sessions and some of the aforementioned. What really distinguished Dozer from the outset — and what would continue to distinguish them as guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Nordin, guitarist Tommi Holappa (also principal songwriter in Greenleaf), bassist Johan Rockner and then-drummer Erik Bäckwall moved forward — was the songwriting. From opener “Supersoul” through “Lightyears Ahead,” “Speeder,” “Riding the Machine,” “Captain Spaceheart” and so on, Dozer‘s debut stood them out whether they were galloping through “Cupola” or swinging through the crashes of “Grand Dragon,” and where many at this point seemed to be getting their bearings, Dozer burst out of the gate with a collection of songs that helped shape European heavy rock and still ripples out its influence today.

I’ve had arguments back and forth about the merits of In the Tail of a Comet vs. Dozer‘s second album, 2001’s Madre de Dios or their 2003 third LP, Call it Conspiracy (discussed here), but the truth as I see it is they never stopped pushing forward in any of their releases, whether it was those or 2005’s Through the Eyes of Heathens and 2008’s Beyond Colossal (both on Small Stone), the latter of which stands as their most recent outing. Picking favorites is fun, but as their sound became more complex, Dozer never lost the core of craftsmanship that one can hear writ large over In the Tail of a Comet, and that would seem to make the entire body of work all the more admirable.

They’ve played shows sporadically for the last few years and hit the 20-year mark this year, and I keep my fingers crossed they’ll get a new LP out at some point. With Holappa concentrating on Greenleaf as a full-time band — they recently secured a US booking agent — that seems less likely in the near-term, but one can hope at some point they follow-up Beyond Colossal, because as anyone who heard that album can tell you, they still sounded like a band with more to say.

I did an interview this morning with Tom Geddes in the UK for The Desertfest Podcast that will be posted sooner or later from them. It was a Skype kind of deal, just Tom and I doing a lot of back and forth on how we got into music, some bits about writing, the book, the All-Dayer and so on. Mostly I think we talked about bands, but I love talking about bands, and especially with someone as knowledgeable as Tom, that’s all the more a pleasure. I’ll let you know when the podcast with the interview goes live. Not that you need to hear me run my mouth, but you know.

Also some interesting job news that I’ll talk more about next week, but that’s eaten up a lot of my consciousness for the last day or so. We’ll see how things shake out over this coming holiday weekend. Sorry to be vague, there are just some ducks to get in a row.

Thanks again to everybody who has ordered a copy of the book so far. The post office lost an entire box of signed copies — there were like 60 in it, minimum — so I’ll have more going out this weekend and will be following up on the lost ones to either find them or have more printed with the insurance money from the shipping. I was pissed either way. Still am, for all the good it does me.

Next week: I’ll be posting on Monday, even though it’s a holiday in the US. Plenty of international stuff to write about. Look for a review of Hijo de la Tormenta, followed by one Tuesday for the Earthless/Harsh Toke split, which is out now. Valley of the Sun and Stars that Move are the next two reviews on the list after that, but the plan for this week completely changed as we got into Wednesday and Thursday, so who the hell knows what might actually happen. Not gonna worry about it today. Point is, there will be rock and roll.

Speaking of, The Obelisk Radio broke a new record for listeners-at-one-time today. Thank you if you were a part of that or if you’ve ever checked it out. The Dozer record is done so I’m listening right now and it just went from Beast in the Field to Witch. Seriously some of the best money I’ve ever spent, putting this together. Tell your friends.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. If you’re celebrating Memorial Day, I hope that celebration doesn’t involve unthinking jingoism — that is, not just remembering why we send our children to die in war, but to whose benefit — and I hope at very least after thinking about that, you’re still able to enjoy the day off. Me? I’m splitting out of the office early and headed to the beach, because you’re god damned right I am.

Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Earth Ship, High Fighter & Mammoth Storm Announce July Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Berlin’s Earth Ship are touring on a new album released by Napalm. Hamburg’s High Fighter are touring on a new album released by Svart. Mammoth Storm are supporting their late-2015 release, also on Napalm. Safe to say this upcoming run for the three bands through Germany, the Netherlands and France will be time well spent in terms of getting the word out. And doubtless that’s the whole idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if any or all of these bands had further plans to announce for the summer leading into the fall as well — all seem ripe to take part in any number of coming Euro fests, especially with new or still-relatively-new LPs — but I guess we’ll see what shakes out as we get there.

Just by way of a heads up, I’ve got a video premiere from High Fighter coming tomorrow morning. Scars and Crosses is a beast.

Until then:

earth-ship-high-fighter-mammoth-storm-summer-tour

EARTH SHIP, HIGH FIGHTER & MAMMOTH STORM: On tour this summer!

In support of their upcoming and hotly anticipated releases, EARTH SHIP have teamed up with HIGH FIGHTER and MAMMOTH STORM for an album release summer tour, kicking off in July!

Hailing from Germany’s capitol Berlin, on their upcoming new album ‘Hollowed’ which is set to be released June 24th on Napalm Records, once again EARTH SHIP celebrate the power of riffs in all shapes and sizes. They’re not just delivering a finest sludge record, but it has been also written to be made for eternity in doom and beyond. Watch out when EARTH SHIP is going to perform their walls of tunes live!

With HIGH FIGHTER on the bill, a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs fuelled by beer and the mighty weedian riffs is already guaranteed, as these guys and girl offer something special to the Sludge, Blues and Stoner Scene! After their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows over Europe including UK dates, festivals, gigs and tours with bands such as Ahab, Mammoth Storm, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, The Midnight Ghost Train & many more, HIGH FIGHTER will release their first & full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ by June 10th 2016 with Svart Records.

But who would mess with a MAMMOTH STORM. These Swedish label mates of EARTH SHIP have already made their name and left a stamp in the worldwide doom scene! With their latest and highly acclaimed release ‘Fornjot’ (November 2015, Napalm Records), MAMMOTH STORM toured with bands such the likes of AHAB and already gained lots of praise from fans and press all over the world of doom and heaviest riffs.

Catch this exciting doom & sludge steamroller live, this summer!

EARTH SHIP, HIGH FIGHTER & MAMMOTH STORM
22.07.: Kiel, DE – Kieler Schaubude
23.07.: Naaldwijk / Den Haag, NL – De Flatertheek
24.07.: Le Havre, FR – Mac Daid’s
25.07.: Nantes, FR – Le Ferrailleur
26.07.: Köln, DE – Underground
27.07.: Weinheim, DE – Cafe Central
28.07.: Berlin, DE – Badehaus Szimpla
29.07.: Erfurt, DE – From Hell
30.07.: Hamburg, DE – Fundbureau

www.facebook.com/wearetheearthship
www.facebook.com/highfighter
www.facebook.com/mammothstorm

High Fighter, Scars and Crosses album trailer

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monolord Announce US Tour with Beastmaker and Sweat Lodge; New 10″ out Aug. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Swedish megaplodders Monolord will return to US shores in August/September on a coast-to-coast tour supported by Beastmaker and Sweat Lodge. The rather significant round of tour dates will come complemented by a new two-song 10″ EP that will be the prolific Gothenburg trio’s first studio work since 2015’s second LP, Vænir (review here), which like its predecessor, was released by RidingEasy Records to formidable acclaim. This isn’t Monolord‘s first US run — they came through last year with Windhand — but it’s their first time headlining, and it’s an extensive way to arrive at that pivotal threshold.

This just in, or out, or whatever. You know what I mean:

monolord us tour dates

Monolord announce U.S. headlining tour and forthcoming 10″ EP on RidingEasy Records

Swedish trio Monolord announce their first North American headlining tour and a new 2-song 10″ EP today, both coming in August. The band won many new fans last fall supporting Windhand and RidingEasy Records labelmates Danava, and now return to headline with support from Beastmaker (Rise Above Records) and Sweat Lodge (Brutal Panda). Tickets for all markets go on sale May 27th. Please see complete dates below.

Monolord’s forthcoming EP will be available August 5th on 10″ vinyl and download via RidingEasy Records.

8/5 Seattle, WA Barboza
8/6 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown
8/8 SF, CA The Chapel
8/9 LA, CA The Viper Room
8/11 SD, CA Soda Bar
8/12 Scottsdale, AZ The Rogue Bar
8/13 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
8/15 Dallas, TX The Rail Club
8/16 Austin, TX The Sidewinder
8/17 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
8/18 San Antonio, TX The Korova
8/19 NOLA Siberia
8/20 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
8/21 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge
8/22 Orlando, FL Will’s Pub
8/23 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
8/24 Richmond, VA The Broadberry
8/26 Baltimore, MD The Windup Space
8/27 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar
8/28 Philly, PA Voltage Lounge
8/30 Boston, MA Great Scott
9/1 Toronto, ON Coalition: T.O
9/2 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
9/3 Chicago, IL The Empty Bottle
9/4 Minneapolis, MN The Cabooze
9/5 Omaha, NE Lookout Lounge
9/6 Denver, CO Lost Lake
9/7 Salt Lake City, UT Metro Bar
9/8 Sacramento, CA Starlite Lounge
9/9 Portland, OR Ash Street Saloon
9/10 Vancouver, BC Astoria Hastings

https://www.facebook.com/monolordsweden/
twitter.com/MonolordSweden
https://monolord.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/

Monolord, Vænir (2015)

Tags: , , , , ,

Vokonis, Olde One Ascending: Clergy’s Magic Potion

Posted in Reviews on May 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

vokonis olde one ascending

It is a tenet of stylistic works — those in a given style or genre — that sooner or later someone will come along and realign the creative conversation back toward its roots. One could easily argue this is how doom itself came about, with bands seeing the heavy metal of their time, being dissatisfied, and choosing an approach more closely related to Black Sabbath. Swedish trio Vokonis, who make their debut with Olde One Ascending via Ozium Records, would seem to be interested in a similar adjusting of trajectory. Surrounded in a crowded Scandinavian market by boogie rock or blistering doom, guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson, bassist/backing vocalist Jonte Johansson and drummer Emil Larsson push in an different direction and one the thick grooving of which can be traced directly to Sleep.

With Ohlsson and Larsson having released a demo last year called Temple (review here) through Btnk Cllctv, the long-player doesn’t necessarily represent their first statement of intent in this regard, but its cohesion of purpose and message come through clearer than any demo could. Olde One Ascending — even the title seems to call for a return to old(e) ways — comprises six tracks/48 minutes of what by now should be considered classic stoner metal, a blend of Sabbathian doom, Sleepy heavy riffing and tales of epic battles, monsters, and is presented in thick, full sound with zero pretense. Vokonis know what they’re doing as they gallop into the midsection of “Acid Pilgrim,” as they space out at the start of “Olde One,” and as they shuffle their way through the end of “Hazmat, the Ashen Rider.”

Despite a somewhat extended (for vinyl) runtime, Olde One Ascending divides neatly into two halves, each with three songs. Four of the six total inclusions run somewhere around eight minutes long, and the shorter tracks, “Acid Pilgrim” (6:56), which closes side A, and “Hazmat the Ashen Rider” (7:45), which closes side B, aren’t far off, but Vokonis use the space in their material well to pull off a number of different vibes, whether that comes through in the rolling nod as “Olde One,” which opens, lurches to life from its subdued, building intro with an immediately striking tonal impression from Ohlsson and Johansson as they riff out à la Sleep‘s “The Druid” en route to a shouted verse. As the newcomer in the band, Johansson stands up well to Ohlsson‘s thick guitar, punching through to the fore of the mix as Larsson indulges Hakius-style snare work beneath the dual vocals.

vokonis

Caveman shouts for choruses will become something of a theme as Vokonis make their way through “The Serpent’s Alive” and “Acid Pilgrim,” but the interweaving of solos and rhythm guitar and bass add further distinction to their processes, “The Serpent’s Alive” in particular tripping out on a more languid, Iommically layered guitar lead before its crash-heavy ending. “Acid Pilgrim” is the shortest cut on Olde One Ascending, but still has plenty of time to kill slumber, like the rays of the new red sun arising at its start and provide a more individual feel as it plays back and forth in between-line twists of riff before an “ough!” kicks into a few more thrashing measures — the aforementioned gallop — and a fuzzy solo takes hold underscored by more righteous bass. Vocals don’t return until the final slowdown, calling the titular Acid Pilgrim to come home as the first half of the record rumbles to its conclusion.

Riffy trauma holds sway for the bulk of side B as well, but it’s in the final three songs — “Shroomblade,” “King Vokonis Plague” and “Hazmat the Ashen Rider” — that the listener gets more of a sense of the world these songs are inhabiting, somewhere between medieval battles and the snow-covered, monster-laden ground of Olde One Ascending‘s cover art by Tessa Najjar. Past its midsection solo, also layered, “Shroomblade” finds Johansson taking the fore with Larsson as the guitar quits down for a classic stoner jam of marked funktitude. They soon enough shake the earth with their plod once more, but this is their first album, so one is always looking for clues as to where progression might lead.

The longest track at 8:54, “King Vokonis Plague” no doubt offers some clues in that regard as well through its fluid rhythm and departure from the solo-into-jam structure that the bulk of the record exhibits. Instead? The riffs, the hook, a bit of winding push, and a shorter solo, which leads them back to a closing verse so that the subdued first measure of “Hazmat the Ashen Rider” is duly contrasted in volume. Kicking in quickly, “Hazmat the Ashen Rider” has the advantage of being exceedingly catchy and something of a basic statement of mission/summary of what Vokonis accomplish on their first album, whether that’s in proffering heavy riffing, tripping out for a lead or upping the pace toward the end for a last-minute upbeat finale that ends cold. Through all of this, Vokonis reinforces their argument of what “heavy,” as a sonic concept, is all about, and they bring a sense of freshness and purity of intent to back them up that makes it difficult to find a counterpoint. Maybe it is time everybody just riffed out.

Vokonis, Olde One Ascending (2016)

Vokonis on Thee Facebooks

Vokonis on Bandcamp

Vokonis at Ozium Records

Tags: , , , , ,

The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Three out June 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ripple Music is keeping pace with its split series The Second Coming of Heavy. The second installment — or chapter, as it were — included cuts from Supervoid and Red Desert (review here), while the first paired Geezer and Borracho (review here). For the third, it’s Sweden’s Kingnomad and Michigan good-timers BoneHawk doing the honors, and the limited-run LP (300 copies) will be released June 24. I don’t know if Ripple‘s plan is one per year, two per year or “as often as we feel like,” but they’re working at a good clip to get through the series, which last I heard was going to have 10 installments, all of them already booked.

Info from the PR wire on The Second Coming of Heavy — Chapter Three follows, as well as tracks from Kingnomad (who I hadn’t heard before but sound awesome) and BoneHawk (less of a surprise, but still cool), which you can stream:

the second coming of heavy chapter iii kingnomad bonehawk

The return of Ripple Music’s The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III | New split album from BoneHawk and Kingnomad

The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III is released on vinyl on 24 June 2016

Already recognised as one of the world’s leading purveyors of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych, Ripple Music upped the ante in 2015 with the arrival of one of the year’s most ambitious projects, The Second Coming Of Heavy.

Serving as an ongoing showcase for some of the best and heaviest bands emerging from the underground, each instalment shines a light on those worthy of your attention. Consisting of one, 12” slab of multicoloured vinyl with full colour sleeves and inserts, the series is designed to be saved and treasured, like a fine anthology of books. So much so, when the albums are filed next to each other, the complete collection of aligned spines forms a mind-blowing image direct from the underground.

Following on from the series’ first instalment released last summer featuring Geezer and Borracho, and February’s Chapter II’s split between Supervoid and Red Desert, the latest chapter, released this June offers up new music from hard hitting Michigan quartet BoneHawk and Sweden’s Kingnomad.

The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter III will get an official vinyl release on 24th June 2016 and is limited to 300 copies in three alternative versions (100 of each) – The Resurrection Edition, The Risen OBI and The Ascension Edition.

https://bonehawk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bonehawkkzoo/
https://www.instagram.com/bonehawk_band/
https://www.facebook.com/kingnomadofficial/
https://kingnomad.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.instagram.com/kingnomadofficial/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Ripple-Music-369610860064/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

BoneHawk, “The Scout”

Kingnomad, “Lucifer is Dead”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Svvamp Sign to RidingEasy Records; Self-Titled Debut Due in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

RidingEasy Records has picked up Swedish trio Svvamp and will release their self-titled debut in the dead of summer this August. The Jönköping-based three-piece have unveiled the first audio to come from the album through their new label’s YouTube page in the form of the song “Burning Down” — which you can stream below — a sweet blues-groover sans pretense and classic in its style that somehow manages to skirt the issue of sounding like Graveyard, which at this point is an impressive feat for a new band out of Sweden. An encouraging sign for the rest of the outing, at the very least.

The PR wire brings more background:

svvamp

RidingEasy Records announce new signees SVVAMP, share first new track

Southern California label RidingEasy Records proudly announces the signing today of Swedish trio Svvamp to the roster. Hear and please share the first track from the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut, “Burning Down” via YouTube.

Swedish trio Svvamp is the real deal. Countless bands today strive to sound genuine — whether faking their way through a ProTools pastiche of carefully assembled takes, painstakingly tarnishing tracks to give them a “live feel” or simply copying the style of their favorite band. And, usually, their posturing is entirely transparent.

Every once in a while though, you find a band without self-conscious pretense that truly echoes the mood and vibe of an era when the rulebooks were burned with the draft cards and the act of playing rock’n’roll was simultaneously defiant and inherently casual. Svvamp is just that type of primordial beauty captured on a perfect 11-song debut.

Svvamp was created by three friends – Adam Johansson, Henrik Bjorklund and Erik Stahlgren – drawn together for the sake of jamming and a love of rock, folk and blues. Their resulting heavy psych sound is immediately gripping in its homespun feel and hints of Cream, Eric Bell-era Thin Lizzy, CCR and Crazy Horse.

“Our first recordings were made on a 4-channel cassette PortaPro (with microphones that we found lying around) and were really crude, recorded live to cassette,” the band explains. “We grew fond of that live feel and demo takes started to sound like finished songs. Over time, with almost everything made live in our rehearsal room, it became a full album.”

“Serpent in the Sky” kicks things off with a syncopated bluesy riff romp, while “Burning Down” echoes the stomping freeform feel of the New Yardbirds’ “How Many More Times.” Once things settle in to the laid back shuffle of “Free At Last”, Svvamp really finds its groove and lets loose like Axis: Bold As Love Jimi Hendrix. “Time” sounds almost like Ziggy Stardust era Bowie with a boogie swagger and cheeky vocals. “Set My Foot and Leave” sounds as earnest and unpretentious as The Faces (and at times like Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”, without all that shaggy, smug Rodness). Elsewhere, “Blue In the Face” slips into a heavy groove while “Oh, Girl” bashes out stop ‘n’ go riffs with the Marshall stack dramatics of Blue Cheer. Chiming mandolin and acoustic guitars lead the charming closing anthem, “Down By The River” (not the Neil Young song).

Svvamp will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download late August 2016 via RidingEasy Records.

www.ridingeasyrecords.com
facebook.com/SwampJKPG

Svvamp, “Burning Down”

Tags: , , , , ,

Spiritual Beggars Post “Hard Road” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

spiritual beggars

Not for nothing, but if Spiritual Beggars are looking to convey a sense of struggle, they probably shouldn’t look like they’re having such a good time doing it. The Swedish heavy rock mainstays have a newly-unveiled clip for “Hard Road” from their new album, Sunrise to Sundown, which is out now on InsideOut Music, and it features culled footage from live shows at what seems to be a variety of different venues around Europe. And — as one would expect — they’re kicking ass. And people are very into it. And more over, people are there! You want to show a hard road? Show Spiritual Beggars loading in their gear, sleeping on floors, driving or waiting around the other 23 hours a day to actually get on stage and kick that ass. “Hard Road” gives you the good part, not the slog.

Of course, the good part makes for a much better video, and if it’s one or the other, I’ll take it as is. As for the track itself, it’s every bit as catchy and full of organ-driven classic vibes as one would expect, and if there’s a bonus to all that stage footage, it’s the chance to watch Ludwig Witt (ex-Firebird) play on a drum cam as he swings through the track, propulsive and vital. He and the rest of Spiritual Beggars — guitarists Michael Amott (Carcass), keyboardist Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth), bassist Sharlee D’Angelo (ex-Mercyful Fate) and vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Firewind) — are of course on point throughout, and in that, “Hard Road” represents Sunrise to Sundown well, since that’s pretty much the case throughout. Not much of a surprise, maybe, but no less satisfying for how much this band manages to deliver in songwriting and performance.

The people in the video for “Hard Road” sure seem to be enjoying it.

Find the clip below, followed by the latest from the PR wire, and enjoy:

Spiritual Beggars, “Hard Road” official video

SPIRITUAL BEGGARS – Launch video clip for “Hard Road”; 7″ and more shows announced!

Swedish vintage style hard rock pioneers SPIRITUAL BEGGARS have just wrapped up a European tour in support of their recently released 9th studio album “Sunrise To Sundown” and are now debuting a video clip for the song “Hard Road”.

Filmed & edited by Dirk Behlau /www.thepixeleye.com and produced by Beastwood Films / www.beastwoodfilms.com, the clip consists of footage gathered on the band’s latest European tour and highlights the band’s vivid on stage character.

SPIRITUAL BEGGARS guitarist and main songwriter Michael Amott comments:
“We just completed a three week tour through Europe and it was a very cool experience. Lots of love from our supporters out there and so awesome to see the new songs off our “Sunrise To Sundown” album go down so well! We had videographer Dirk Behlau come out to a couple shows in Germany to hang out, drink beer with us and capture some of the on and off stage action on camera – the result is a new clip for the song “Hard Road”…Enjoy!”

Next up, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS have announced a rare hometown show in Halmstad, Sweden. They will also play this year’s Stoned From The Underground festival.

Here is an overview of the band’s upcoming shows:
SPIRITUAL BEGGARS – Live 2016:
07.07.2016 – Ballenstedt, Germany- Rock Harz Open Air
08.07.2016 – Oulu, Finland – Jalometalli Metal Music Festival
15.07.2016 – Erfurt, Germany – Stoned From The Underground Festival
22.07.2016 – Halmstad, Sweden – Kajskjulet

In other news, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS will release a strictly limited 7″ EP including the album’s bonus cover versions of Mountain and Ten Years After via Germany’s H42 Records on May 30th.

Check out Mountain’s “Thumbsucker” streaming here: https://h42records.bandcamp.com/album/thumbsucker-stoned-woman-h42-032

And pre-order the 7″ EP as of May 9th here: http://h42records.8merch.com/presale

Spiritual Beggars website

Spiritual Beggars on Thee Facebooks

Spiritual Beggars on Twitter

Spiritual Beggars on Instagram

Spiritual Beggars at InsideOut Music

Tags: , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Demon Cleaner, The Freeflight

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Demon Cleaner, The Freeflight (2000)

Something of a lost classic of its era now, Demon Cleaner‘s 2000 debut, The Freeflight isn’t actually all that lost. Molten Universe, the label that put it out 16 years ago along with early releases by related Swedish acts Dozer and Greenleaf, still has copies available. So maybe not lost, but in the pantheon of the beginnings of Europe’s stoner rock boom of the late ’90s and early ’00s, Demon Cleaner deserve consideration alongside Dozer and Lowrider, among others, and their name is often left off that list. Part of that I think is owed to timing. If the early-Fu Manchu fuzz of “Head Honcho” or “Megawheel” dropped today, it would come accompanied by a video of somebody skateboarding in slow motion and would be hailed for its post-grunge authenticity of tone and live feel. Because it was 2000 — a time when discovering music on the internet was something done largely through surfing somebody’s Napster offerings or the odd message board — the process was different and not nearly so widespread, and unlike Lowrider, who had US distribution through MeteorCity, or Dozer, who kept putting out records, Demon Cleaner called it quits after 2002’s self-titled follow-up (also on Molten Universe), with members moving onto Stonewall Noise Orchestra and drummer Karl Daniel Lidén joining Dozer and Greenleaf before embarking on solo material and a successful career as an engineer — he did the latest Katatonia, for example — so there hasn’t been the same kind of sustained legacy for Demon Cleaner as some of their peers.

That, of course, does nothing to diminish the “Spit blood and gasoline/Chrome and steel/Megawheel” appeal of that track or the nodding roll of “Up in Smoke,” or the push of a song like “Mothertrucker,” in which one can hear the roots of a brand of fuzz rock that countrymen acts like Truckfighters would continue to progress years later. Tone is a huge part of the appeal, as closer “Heading Home” successfully emphasizes, but there’s a rawness in the vocals, a dryness, where so much of what came afterwards was and has been drenched in reverb. It gives the delivery of guitarist Daniel Söderholm — joined at this point by Lidén, guitarist Kimmo Holappa and bassist/vocalist Martin Stangefelt — a punkish feel that’s ultimately much truer to the bulk of what came out of the Californian desert scene, whether it was Kyuss or heavy rock compatriots like the aforementioned Fu Manchu. Listening back to The Freeflight now, one can hear the aesthetic of pre-retro European heavy rock taking shape, and while Demon Cleaner may always be noted for having issued a trio of early splits alongside Dozer before their records dropped, linking those two acts and that scene, their albums deliver something from which even Dozer was operating on a different wavelength, and while of their time, I think these tracks still hold up all these years later.

If you’re worried about investing the time in checking it out, The Freeflight has a long break after “Heading Home” before a hidden cut, so it’s not actually 55 minutes long. I guess it was the Lowrider news earlier today got me thinking about these guys, but either way, I hope you enjoy.

If you’re at Desertfest this weekend in either Berlin or London, I hope you have an absolute blast. I’ll admit to being more than a little jealous. Maybe next year I’ll get to Berlin finally or make a triumphant return to Camden Town. I’ll go anywhere that’ll have me, basically.

Rough week at work but who cares? Dragged down by bullshit. Hate letting it get to me. Hate that it does at all. The list goes on. Screw it. Got a couple days not to think about it, so I’m gonna hold tight to that.

Next week: Monday, track stream from Bright Curse and an in-studio report about the new Scissorfight being tracked at the new Mad Oak. Tuesday (right now), Crypt Sermon interview. Wednesday, track stream from Wo Fat. Thursday and Friday I don’t know yet, but probably something will come along, and there are also videos for Kadavar, Limestone Whale, Spiritual Beggars and Drive by Wire that have all dropped in like the last day, so a bit of a backlog there, but I’ll do my best to get on top of that as well. We’re getting into May already. Amazing how quick this year is going.

Before I go — much as I’m ever “gone,” what with writing on the weekends and all — I want to say thanks for the tremendous amount of support I’ve gotten for the book release, for the All-Dayer in August, and for this year’s Roadburn coverage. It’s all hugely appreciated. Because I work full-time in addition to doing this, I don’t always have the chance to be as communicative as I should, because quite literally the choice I make every day is to write or to do everything else and if it’s one or the other I’m writing every time, but please know that if you’ve reached out to me over the last few weeks, thank you. And if you haven’t and you’re reading this, thank you anyway.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,