Posted in On Wax on December 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
The Inconclusive Portrait is Swedish four-piece Molior Superum‘s first offering since their 2012 full-length debut, Into the Sun (review here), and it shows the Gothenburg-based unit in a somewhat different light. Released on 7″ vinyl by H42 Records – 340 copies; 140 on black vinyl, 100 green, 50 gold exclusive to the label, and 50 die-hards on clear-purple vinyl with different art — it’s just two songs, or even two parts of one title-track, but it’s both fuller in its tone and more modern than the long-player, and the shift in style is audible. The lineup of guitarist/vocalist Carl Isaksson,guitarist Oskar Öberg, bassist/vocalist Lars Sandström and drummer/vocalist Jens Fuglede hasn’t changed, and they still bear some sonic resemblance to the UK’s Stubb, but where that band’s second album found them searching for a more natural, psychedelic meditation, Molior Superum have turned expectation on its head and opted for a more straightforward feel, less boogie (which is different from none at all), more direct dynamic between the two guitars and a thrust of groove that gives their hooks an urgency that serves the short release well.
Both sides of The Inconclusive Portrait – simply “Part 1″ and “Part 2″ on back of the 7″ sleeve — begin at a rush. Vocalist Joakim Segerfelt Steby of Brutus guests on “Part 1,” which is the shorter of the two, announcing its stylistic turn immediately in a modern-sounding crash and fuzz push that moves quick into the first verse. Understand, Molior Superum are still indebted to the heavy ’70s for a lot of their methods and influence, but it’s a more current feel that permeates the single than did the album. If you want to relate it to other Swedish bands, it’s more Greenleaf than Graveyard, and it works for Molior Superum, whose energy bleeds through the recording as plain to hear as the riffs themselves. Steby‘s contributions mesh smoothly, and a current of backing organ (or something thereabouts) fleshes out the chorus of “Part 1″ almost in a call and response to the vocals amid the fury of chugging. At just over five minutes, “Part 2″ would seem to have room for the band to flesh out some, but instead, they keep the high-impact spirit of “Part 1″ pulsing through for the duration with no real letup either in vibe or volume. “Part 2″ isn’t a direct continuation of “Part 1″ from what I can tell, but if Molior Superum were to play one into the next live, I’m sure it would sound close enough to make sense, as it does when one listens to the single digitally, without having to flip the record.
There’s something brash about “Part 2″ that makes it stand out. Its central riff is hook enough, and they put it to work, but there’s an intensity to it that feels even more prevalent than on “Part 1,” a guitar solo kicking in late before a return to the chorus, and the whole band taking what in another context, perhaps slower, would almost certainly be vintage swing and setting it to kick-in-the-teeth pace. As it is, it distinguishes Molior Superum from a still-growing league of ’70s worshipers and is a credit to the recording job by Micke Nilsson (ex-Bonafide) at Music a Matic for helping to foster this level of performance. A lot can happen to a band in two years, and I wouldn’t necessarily have expected Molior Superum to make the turn they do here, or to pull it off so well, but I think it makes them stronger, and perhaps most importantly, it builds intrigue for what they might do next. It’s a quick, eight-minute release, but says a lot about the band’s hopefully ongoing development.
Molior Superum, The Inconclusive Portrait 7″ (2014)
Posted in Radio on December 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I try to do these every week. I’d like to, ideally, but it seems to be more like when folders and zip files clog up my desktop enough to really get on my nerves. Fair enough. A full 20 records joined the playlist today, including a couple wintry classics from Anathema that either were overlooked by me or wrongly left out, plus the new Witch Mountain album, and some other recently-reviewed and otherwise-written-about stuff. It’s actually a pretty killer list. If you’re into it, or if you want to see what else has been added lately or what was played today, check out the Playlist and Updates Page. I spend an embarrassing amount of time there. Here are a few more reasons why.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for Dec. 5, 2014:
Burning Saviours, Unholy Tales from the North
The unheralded heroes of Sweden’s retro heavy movement return with their first full-length since 2007. Their fifth outing overall, Burning Saviours‘ Unholy Tales from the North follows a series of four singles released between 2012 and 2013 (recently compiled by I Hate Records and released under the title Boken Om Förbannelsen) and finds the Örebro four-piece reveling in ’70s-style doom once more, albeit with a rawer and less directly ’70s-style production. That is, it’s not as directly fuzzed as their self-titled debut was nine years ago, when it was pretty much them and Witchcraft digging on classic Pentagram alone, but still presented in the same spirit, a strong opening trio of “They Will Rise Tonight,” “And the Wolves Cried Out” and “Your Love Hurts Like Fire” creating a lasting impression somewhere between early metal (think Rocka Rolla-era Priest) and the heavy rock that preceded it. Two Swedish-language tracks, “Ondskan” and “Lyktgubben,” end each side, and at 28 minutes, it’s a quick runthrough, but shows easily that Burning Saviours – since 2010 the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Mikael Monks, lead guitarist Jonas Hartikainen, bassist Fredrik Evertsson and drummer Martin Wijkström — remain vital in their approach, cuts like “Inside My Mind” and “The Sons of the North” exploring metal’s roots effectively and organically while crafting something new, if familiar, from them. Burning Saviours on Thee Facebooks, at Transubstans Records.
Soldat Hans, Dress Rehearsal
Swiss newcomers Soldat Hans seem to be embarking on an admirably ambitious journey with their self-released debut, Dress Rehearsal, the title of which hints at their thinking of it as a demo, but for which the extended four tracks included serve to craft a sense of ambience that marks it unmistakably as a full-length. Engrossing in its atmosphere, patient in its construction and impeccably conceived, Dress Rehearsal plays out lengthy builds fluidly and takes listeners from minimalist drone and slow unfolding to massive, feedback-caked sludge, and then back again, sounding natural in the process and brilliant for both its pummel and restraint. None of the four cuts — “Meine Liebste; Sie zerbricht sich” (15:21), “Esthère (im bronzefarbenen Licht)” (13:34), “Zikueth! Zikueth!” (18:25) and “Liefdesgrot” (15:08) — really departs from a bleak, moody feel, but there are shifts throughout, as “Esthère (im bronzefarbenen Licht)” moves from the linearity of the opener to brooding post-rock and jazzy exploration before hitting its own wash of viciousness. To have a band take such control of their sound on their first outing is remarkable, and the longest and farthest ranging of the tracks, “Zikueth! Zikueth!” provides Soldat Hans their shining moment, theatrical but not overdone, melodic early and raging late, hypnotic in the middle, as classic as it is avant garde. They close out with another maddening payoff in “Liefdesgrot,” and while in the future I’d be interested to hear them take on structures as wide-ranging as what they bring sonically to Dress Rehearsal, if this is just practice, I can’t wait for the show to start. Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
If you were to go by their sound alone, I don’t think there’s any way you could come out of hearing burly five-piece Olde‘s Hypaethral Records debut long-player, I, and not imagine they were from Virginia. In fact, they come from Toronto, but the aggro Southern metal they purvey on the album’s eight bruising tracks would be right at home in the heart of sludgeland, full as it is of steady rolls — Sons of Otis drummer Ryan Aubin provides trailmarking thud — the from-the-chest growling from Doug McLarty and lumbering riffs, songs like “Heart Attack” and “Changelings” in the tracklist’s midsection readily crossing the line between sludge and doom, all mudhole stomp, metallic affiliation and violent groove. There’s atmosphere at work, but it comes out through the aggression portrayed, and ultimately, I has about as all the ambience of having your teeth kicked in. And yes, that counts the variation on the theme in the closing “Perimeter Walk,” the more echoing guitar, farther back vocals, and so on. With a crisp production behind it, Olde‘s debut knows precisely the kind of beatdown it wants to deliver and sets about its task with brutal efficiency. Olde on Thee Facebooks, Hypaethral Records on Bandcamp.
Holy Grove, Live at Jooniors
Recorded at some point between then and now at Joonior Studios in Seattle, Washington — I’m guessing more toward “then” — the 2014 outing Live at Jooniors from Portland four-piece Holy Grove is only two songs, but even one would be enough to serve notice of their warm tonality and the bluesy vocals of Andrea Vidal, who pushes her voice to its reaches on “Holy Grove” and still manages to nail the emotional crux. Honestly, that would probably be enough to carry “Holy Grove” and the following “Nix” on its own — sold; I’m on board — but I won’t discount the fuzz in Trent Jacobs‘ guitar or bassist Gregg Emley‘s fills in “Nix,” or the seamless shift drummer Craig Bradford leads between subdued verses and the tense chorus of “Holy Grove.” As far as serving notice goes, Live at Jooniors does so and then some, and without sacrificing sound quality as so many underground live recordings do. Seems to me a 7″ release wouldn’t be out of order, but Holy Grove seem more intent on getting together their full-length debut, which if they can bring to the studio the vibe they create in just 13 minutes on stage, is going to be something to look out for indeed. Learn the name, because you’ll hear it again. Holy Grove on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Buenos Aires instrumental four-piece Persona formed in 2004/2005, but their newly-released self-titled appears to be their first LP, preceded by a 2012 EP. If the better part of the intermittent decade was spent jamming, it doesn’t seem to have hurt the band, who present nine plotted but flowing tracks that keep some loose sensibility to them while following a course of classic heavy and fuzz rock. The lineup of guitarist/bassists Lucas Podestá and Santiago Adano, guitarist Gustavo Hernández and drummer Esteban Podestá touch here and there on more metal tendencies, as on “Los Perros” and the brief “Cortina,” but that’s no more out of place than the proggy exploration of “Cuna de Fantasmas,” a King Crimson-style noodling underscored by subtly engaging snare work and giving way to a heavier push. The lead guitar on “Cazador” provides a particularly engaging moment of payoff for the album’s first half, but there’s enough variety throughout that Persona‘s Persona offers a range of satisfying moments. Still room for the band to develop their style, but they obviously have the will and chemistry to do so. Persona on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Dungaree, Climb out of the River
I’ll give it to Hungarian four-piece Dungaree based on their moniker alone. It’s simple, fun to say, and it evokes the rebelliousness of a bygone time. Their debut release, a three-song EP dubbed Climb out of the River, is likewise sharp-dressed, with a grunge-style production that pushes the dudely vocals of László Gergely to the fore ahead of Horváth T. Zoltán‘s guitar, Balogh Attila‘s bass and Dencs Dominik‘s drums to result in a sound that comes across to my American ears more akin to commercial hard rock than underground heavy, though in my experience the line in Europe and particularly Eastern Europe is both less distinct and less relevant. The tracks are short, straightforward, hard-hitting and catchy, with “Climb out of the River” a strong opening hook, “Dream Again” pushing into metallic guitar chugging in its breakneck chorus, and “Right Words” toying with a lounge boogie — snapping fingers and all — that assures the listener that although Dungaree have their sharp corners, they’re not about to take themselves too seriously either. Might not be for everyone, but shows a strong foundation of songwriting, and I wouldn’t ask any more of a first outing than that. Dungaree on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Six releases, and a pretty varied bunch at that. It’s still really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what went up to the server. I always like putting stuff on there — it’s like casting a fishing lure, except maybe without killing? I don’t know. More like tossing a fish in the ocean maybe and not knowing when it will swim by the boat again. Or maybe I just (re)watched Jaws recently and have aquatics on the brain.
Either way, we’ve passed the two-year mark since the stream went online and I’m very happy with how The Obelisk Radio has turned out. Special thanks to Slevin for all the work he’s put in over that time in helping me with hosting and making it go, and thank you as always for reading and listening.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you think the jump-up-and-down-and-run-in-circles fuzz of Truckfighters and the classic-minded heavy blues rock of Blues Pills don’t mix, the two Swedish acts have more in common than you might think, up to and including drummer André Kvarnström. Kvarnström was playing with Truckfighters after they parted ways with Oscar Johansson (who subsequently joined Witchcraft, just in case the scene didn’t seem incestuous enough yet), but has rotated into the lineup of Blues Pills following their split with Cory Berry, half-brother of Blues Pills bassist Zack Anderson and, like Anderson, an alum of Radio Moscow.
Got all that? Good. The takeaway is Blues Pills and Truckfighters are touring Europe together next March/April and they’ll be joined by Jex Thoth. They’re calling it the “Rock Revelation Tour” and the announcement goes like this:
Blues Pills – Truckfighters – Jex Thoth
ROCK REVELATIONS TOUR
BLUES PILLS are back! After their successful first big headline-tour in October 2014 with 11 sold out shows in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria, the band is going to come back for 13 shows. BLUES PILLS´ singer Elin Larsson comments: “We´re very happy to announce that we´re going to come back to Germany and Switzerland to play some new places that we couldn´t do on our last tour. We´re looking forward to meeting you all in March and April 2015. Love / BP´s”
Next to Blues Pills their fellow countrymen TRUCKFIGHTERS are confirmed as well as US Doom/Psych Rock sensation JEX THOTH.
Get your tickets at www.hardticket.eu for BLUES PILLS and their 2 very special guests on this tour.
TOURDATES 20.03.2015 DE – Erfurt, Stadtgarten 21.03.2015 DE – Berlin, Astra 22.03.2015 DE – Dresden, Tante Ju 23.03.2015 DE – München, Backstage 25.03.2015 CH – Geneve, Usine 26.03.2015 DE – Lindau, Club Vaudeville 27.03.2015 DE – Cologne, Kantine 28.03.2015 DE – Olsberg, Konzerthalle 30.03.2015 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage 31.03.2015 DE – Karlsruhe, Substage 01.04.2015 DE – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof 04.04.2015 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle 05.04.2015 CH – Zürich, Komplex
“Where’s Wino?” Well, it would seem he’s been deported. From Norway. Last night in Göteborg, Sweden, for what I believe might have been the first time in the band’s 35-year history, Saint Vitus performed their set as a three-piece. It was bassist Mark Adams, drummer Henry Vasquez and guitarist Dave Chandler on stage, and Chandler himself took up vocal duties, calling it, “the weirdest Saint Vitus show [the crowd] has ever fucking seen.” I don’t doubt it.
Martyn Millard of Orange Goblin, who are co-headlining the current Vitus tour in Europe, had posted a picture of the trio on Thee Facebooks but gave no comment as to the situation itself. I emailed Season of Mist this morning but hadn’t heard back, and then just a little bit ago, Vitus posted the following:
Saint Vitus would like to regretfully inform all of our European fans that our lead vocalist Wino was detained by the Norwegian police and immigrations officers for possession of illegal substances since Sunday November 9th. As of 4 pm yesterday evening (Nov. 11th) we were informed by his Norwegian defense attorney that he would more than likely be released that same day and be able to continue the remaining dates of our European tour. This morning we received notification that Wino was being deported today back to the U.S. with no hope to remain in Scandanavia or anywhere in the EU.
SAINT VITUS WILL CONTINUE THE REMAINING DATES OF THE TOUR!!!
Our sincere apologies to all of our fans, the promoters, booking agents and especially our Norwegian fans and promoter for the cancelled show. We will still deliver the HEAVY sound to all of our friends in Europe and it is our hope that everyone will understand our position to go forward with the remaining dates without Wino. David Chandler and Henry Vasquez along with a few surprise guests will take over vocal duties and this will be a rare opportunity to see Vitus with main songwriter David Chandler vocalizing his tormented tales of pain, heartache and DOOM. We hope to still see all of you on our remaining dates. FUCK THAT WEAK SHIT!!!!
So there you have it. Detained and deported back to the US, leaving the band to improvise who’s going to handle the vocals. I bet Orange Goblin‘s Ben Ward gets a turn if he wants one, and there’s bound to be someone in Germany — where the four remaining dates of the European tour will take place — who’s up for filling in for Wino. Booted out of the EU. That must have been one hell of an “illegal substance.” Like plutonium. As a testament to Vitus fucking the weak shit of their circumstances, here is Chandler, Adams and Vasquez doing an encore of “Born too Late” in Göteborg, for the first-ever Wino-less Wino Wednesday.
Saint Vitus, “Born too Late” Live in Gothenburg, Sweden, Nov. 11, 2014
With classic metal riffs and enviable moustaches, Swedish retro rockers Horisont have unveiled a new video for the A-side of their Rise Above single, “Break the Limit.” The clip basks in classic VHS-style graininess, reminding of something Motörhead or Scorpions might have had out, and that suits the song itself well, with its immediately memorable hook and 8-track-ready sensibility. Horisont are on tour in Europe now, and the 7″ for Break the Limit is available in a handful of different varieties with amazing not-Gimli cover art, all of which are sure to be gone by the time this post goes live. Because that’s how it goes, man. You snooze, you hope for a repress.
If Horisont‘s stage left guitarist looks familiar, it’s because it’s Tom Sutton, who took the place of Kristofer Möller this summer. Sutton is probably best known as the former boogie-bringer for Church of Misery, but also made a debut this year on Napalm with the new band The Order of Israfel. I guess you never know where he’ll show up next.
In case you’re looking to get down:
Horisont, “Break the Limit” official video
Directed, shot & edited by Magnus Delborg & Christian Hillén / B-TV Productions.
Swedish hard-rocking classic metallers return with Break the Limit, a stop-gap release between albums. Following the success of third album, Time Warriors, the titans do not hold back with this relentless, anthemic slab of full on heavy metal glory.
Backed with the synthesizer enhanced Yellow Blues, it’s a good indication of how far these guys have come and what a monstrous prosposition their fourth studio album is looking to be.
Track Listing 1. Break The Limit 2. Yellow Blues
Colours 100 x Crystal Clear 200 x White 200 x Trans. Green (200 of these should have gone direct to the band, we will have 25) 200 x Purple 500 x Black 200 x Red
See Horisont Live across Europe!
NOV 07 – AT, Neubichl, Baamhakke NOV 08 – DE, Lichtenfels, Paunchy Cats NOV 09 – SI, Nova Gorica, Mostovna NOV 10 – IT, Milan, Lo Fi Club NOV 11 – AT, Innsbruck, Weekender NOV 12 – CH, Winterthur, Gaswerk NOV 13 – FR, Paris, Glazart NOV 14 – UK, Pwhelli, Hard Rock Hell NOV 15 – UK, Glasgow, Classic Grand NOV 16 – UK, London, Underworld NOV 17 – UK, Manchester, Roadhouse NOV 18 – UK, Birmingham, Oobleck NOV 19 – BE, Gent, Decadance NOV 20 – DE, Dusseldorf, Pitcher NOV 21 – NL, Den Bosch, W 2 NOV 22 – DE, Kassel, Hellroom
On their third album, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, Swedish improv jammers My Brother the Wind present “Song of Innocence” as divided into two parts with a track break in between, the second piece emerging at a fairly upbeat clip — relative to some of the record’s more languid stretches, anyhow — from the first, no less a wash of echoes and tones, but moving more with a forward drum beat from Daniel Fridlund Brandt to propel the airy guitars of Nicklas Barker and Mathias Danielsson and match lockstep with Ronny Eriksson‘s bass. The transition is fluid — the whole album (review here) is like a river that carries you along its currents, some rough, some smooth — but there’s a clear break, and that’s true in the video as well.
The clip for “Song of Innocence” actually goes a long way toward explaining why the two pieces are broken up but given the same name. Footage for “Song of Innocence” was shot exactly as the material was being recorded, the version of “Song of Innoence” we hear My Brother the Wind tracking is the one that went to tape to wind up on Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, and though one jam comes to an end after about seven minutes in (we get a piece of what became “Prologue” as well at the start), the other picks right up without any real break in between. They’re two parts of the same moment captured on the recording, and thus, they’re presented together. It’s more honest to how the session actually took place, rather than name one part “Song of Innocence” and the other something else.
We get to see the room where My Brother the Wind – who also released a Live at Roadburn 2013 live record this year — made the album, their configuration all facing each other while they played, and get a sense of how they follow each other through the jams. And of course, there’s “Song of Innocence” itself, which with its lush and instrumental feel gives an excellent sense of what to expect from Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, driven by the chemistry between these players and the carefully woven interplay of the work they do.
“Song of Innocence” was Filmed by Eleni Liverakou Eriksson and Per Karlsson and edited by Patrik Roos. Please find the clip on the player below and enjoy:
My Brother the Wind, “Song of Innocence” official video
My Brother the Wind‘s Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One is out Oct. 14 on Free Electric Sound. Below, guitarists Nicklas Barker and Mathias Danielsson comment on the video:
Says Nicklas Barker:
“The video was recorded at the actual take of ‘Song of Innocence.’ We were happy that Eleni and Per were there during the recording and captured this for us very special song. As always, we record live onto an analog tape machine from 1969 with no overdubs and everything is improvised from scratch. The mixing was done the day after by us with some help from the great Love Tholin who is a big part of creating the sound of My Brother the Wind. I think it turned out great. Especially Mathias wonderful guitar solos and Daniel’s very unique drum playing. We are very happy with how the sound turned out on this one. The studio we record in is tricky since the sound in it differs from day to day. Probably because of all the vintage analog gear. The afternoon we recorded ‘Song of Innocence’ the tape machine, mixing console, tape echoes and plate reverbs were in perfect harmony.”
Says Mathias Danielsson:
“I wish that all of you could see what I experienced when recording this piece. Since the music is totally improvised we connect to each other on another plane. It’s hard to describe but I guess it’s almost astral. I have my eyes open but the sight isn’t the main sense I’m using while we’re playing, it’s the ears. But when concentrating so hard on what we create together I see wonderful colors and waves before my eyes. It’s almost like meditation. We connect to the core of the music and form it together with mindcraft. I’ve never before experienced it on this level with any band. Being unable to show you that, this video is the perfect visual to go with the music. This is the way it happened!”
Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Lush and instrumental for its duration, My Brother the Wind‘s third full-length, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One (released by Free Electric Sound/Laser’s Edge), rolls out of the speakers much easier than its title rolls off the tongue, though both title and the work itself satisfy rhythmically. The Swedish four-piece — they now seem to be a bass-less trio with Nicklas Barker (Anekdoten) and Mathias Danielsson (Makajodama) on electric/acoustic 12-strong guitar and Daniel Fridlund Brandt on drums, but Ronny Eriksson plays bass on the album — reportedly recorded live to two-inch tape on a vintage machine, and the passion they put in bleeds readily into the nine-song/45-minute outing, fleshed with liberal splashes of Mellotron courtesy of Barker to play up a ’70s prog feel in a piece like the 12-minute “Garden of Delights.” That’s hardly the only point at which those sensibilities emerge, but even more than that, the primary vibe here is one of gorgeous heavy psych exploration, the band adventuring and feeling their way through the material as they go.
On peaceful moments like the title-track, which arrives as the penultimate movement before “Epilogue” leads the way back to reality — accordingly, “Prologue” brings us in at the start — that exploration is positively serene, the 12-string complemented by spacious electric tones spreading out across vast reaches, but Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One offers more than drone and psychedelic experiments. Subtly pushed forward by Brandt‘s drums, pieces like “Into the Cosmic Halo” and even “Epilogue” enact classic space rock thrust, and even “Song of Innocence Part 1,” the first part of the journey after the backward atmospherics of “Prologue” introduce, has some cosmic feel amid its echoing solos. Its subsequent complement, “Song of Innocence Part 2,” swells to life on an even more active roll, waves of amp noise up front while drums and bass groove out behind, waiting for the guitars to catch up, which they do in a suitably glorious payoff, relatively brief but masterfully engaging, setting a momentum that continues well into “Garden of Delights,” a focal point for more than its length.
Because the songs flow so well one to the next, some directly bleeding, others giving a brief pause, and because later cuts like “Thomas Mera Gartz” — named in honor of the drummer for ’70s Swedish proggers Träd, Gräs och Stenar — and the title-track have a quieter take, it’s tempting to read some narrative into the shifts of Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, but with the material not being premeditated, I’m not sure that’s the intention so much as a signal it’s well arranged. In any case, the album offers an immersive, resonant listen, with tonal richness to spare and the presence of mind to keep a sense of motion even in its stillest parts and a balance of organic elements — Danielsson‘s recorder and Brandt‘s percussion on “Misty Mountainside,” the 12-string, etc. — amid a wash of effects and swirling psychedelia. This attention to sonic detail makes Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One more than just a collection of jams, and adds further purpose to the already worthy cause of My Brother the Wind‘s thoughtful musings, wandering and not at all lost.
My Brother the Wind, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One album trailer
Posted in audiObelisk on September 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 Fuzzsplitwith 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 returnfinds Truckfighters in a much different situation. Four albums out, including this year’s Universe (review here), a documentary in their honor, and 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!
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!
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
Posted in On the Radar on September 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 occasional 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)
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
The 2012 outing from Swedish trio, Pike, To 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:
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
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 Mordwill 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.
Posted in audiObelisk on September 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 their 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 Stormto 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 Stormworks 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.
Posted in On Wax on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 flourish. 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 Songto coincide with the 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 Songseem 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 version 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 Songis 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.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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.
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