Up in Smoke 2017 Adds Troubled Horse; Lineup Complete

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

With the inclusion of Sweden’s Troubled Horse, the lineup for Up in Smoke 2017 is finished. A total of 21 bands will play the two-day festival in Pratteln, Switzerland, as part of a busy Fall festival season across Europe, and Troubled Horse join the likes of GraveyardSaint VitusBrant BjorkOrange GoblinLowrider, Church of Misery, Toner LowStoned JesusBeastmaker, Ufomammut and Radio Moscow — among others, obviously — as they step out to support their sophomore outing, Revolution on Repeat (review here), released earlier this year by the venerable Rise Above Records.

Info on how the lineup is split over the two days is due out any second now (will probably go live about two minutes after this post, which is my usual luck with such things), but here’s the announcement for Troubled Horse as posted by the fest:

up in smoke 2017 troubled horse

Happy summer to all of you “Up in Smokers” !!!

Before leaving the office for a small August break, we are happy to announce today one more great band for our event. Troubled Horse, the swedish Pioneers of Heavy-Garage-Rock are joining the UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7. With this last name, our line up is now complete.

The daily split of bands and the daytickets will be announced this Thursday at 6 pm /18 H.

Due to the fact that we plan improvements on the stages,the outdoor area, the line up and the general higher costs every year for staff, infrastructure, etc. we hope for your understanding that the ticket price for the 2 day pass will raise a bit from August 10 th on. So if you don´t have your 2 Days Pass yet, take your chance and grab it now for the still reduced price.

More information also for the much demanded “sleep over” situation is coming along with the posting of the day split of the bands/day tickets on thursday. Our outstanding line up will now feature 21 bands on 2 days. The bands are playing on 2 big stages ( indoor and outdoor) with no overlapping set times.

Presales for UP in SMOKE 2017 are very good, the last year edition was sold out, so don´t hesitate any longer to get your ticket and go Up In Smoke with us.
The 2 Days Passes are available here:

http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=130

https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1306
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7
https://www.facebook.com/events/466424317082118/
https://www.upinsmoke.de/

Troubled Horse, “Track 7”

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Up in Smoke 2017: Lowrider, Church of Misery, My Home on Trees, Jack Slamer & The Necromancers Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Up in Smoke 2017 continues to make a compelling case for travel plans by adding the likes of LowriderChurch of MiseryMy Home on TreesJack Slamer and The Necromancers to its was-already-formidable bill featuring GraveyardSaint VitusBrant BjorkOrange GoblinToner LowStoned JesusBeastmaker, on and on. Seriously, I don’t even know why I feel like I need to write an intro for this post. Just look at the list of names in the poster. Isn’t that really all you need to know about the entire thing? What more is there to say? If you can get there, get there. Duh.

Honestly, just look at this thing. Can you believe this shit happens like every weekend in Europe this Fall, going from country to country, badass lineup to badass lineup? It’s wild. Fucking Lowrider are showing up.

Check it out and be jealous:

up in smoke 2017 poster

Here we go! We are thrilled to add 5 more bands to this year’s UP in SMOKE indoor festival in Z7 line-up!

Lowrider (Exclusive CH show)
Church of Misery Official (Exclusive CH show)
MY HOME ON TREES
Jack Slamer
The Necromancers

This 5th edition of the festival features now 20 bands!

Get your tickets on https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets as soon as you can (they are selling fast) or share this post (public) to try to win another 2-day pass (probably the last for this year)!

IMPORTANT: the daily split of bands, the daytickets and the address to reserve your sleep-over/breakfast will be announced on August 1. Stay Tuned!

Located Pratteln, in Switzerland’s best rock venue, Z7 Konzertfabrik, only a few kilometres from the German and French borders, Up In Smoke is an indoor festival for fans of Heavy Rock – Doom – Psych – Stoner… easily reachable by plane via the Euro-Airport (Basel/Muhouse) or by public transportations (train, bus) via Basel Main Station. There are plenty of affordable Hotels and Hostels located in Basel and for “budget savers” we are also offering to sleep over + breakfast (Coffee and bread rolls) in the venue for a small fee!

How does this work? After the last concert of the day, we ask everybody to step out of the venue for a few minutes. During that time, the venue and toilets are cleaned and the floor covered with a plastic sheet. (people have to bring their sleeping bags and air mattresses)

https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1306
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7
https://www.facebook.com/events/466424317082118/
https://www.upinsmoke.de/

Lowrider, Ode to Io Deluxe Edition (2017)

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Sons of Morpheus Premiere Live-in-Studio Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sons of morpheus

Swiss heavy rockers Sons of Morpheus are currently on a tour of the Iberian Peninsula, running through Portugal and Spain for the rest of this week as they support the March 2017 Deepdive Records issue of their second album, Nemesis. You might recall back in early 2015, the Basel-based trio did a video premiere here for a Snakehill Productions-filmed clip of three songs performed live in a single take (posted here). Well, as they hit the road for the new record, they’re back with a new three-song presentation, bringing one-take live versions of “Cage,” “Riding the Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” from Studio Stübio in Lucerne and showing off what the last couple years have brought them in terms of forward growth.

That’s no small amount, as it happens. All three cuts come from Nemesis and between them, the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Manuel Bissig, bassist Lukas Kurmann and drummer Rudy Kink demonstrate pointed riff-led structures blended with a heavy psychedelic flow. To wit, the departure in the midsection of “Cage,” ironically enough, finds them more or less completely uncaged and free to explore the aural spaces around them. Likewise, “Riding the Wave” finds itself on either side of driving forward propulsion and blown-out spacey noise and “Amanita Muscaria” drifts into laid-back flow topped with spoken vocals before opening into a solo-topped roll that serves as a suitable closer here and provides a highlight on Nemesis as well. Each song tops six minutes and has a distinctive personality, but as you can see in the clip, Sons of Morpheus have no trouble tying it all together with fluidity in a live setting, even live-in-studio.

Sons of Morpheus were recently confirmed to take part in Up in Smoke 2017 (info here) this October in Pratteln, where they’ll perform alongside GraveyardOrange GoblinWindhandRadio Moscow and many more. That live date, the remaining shows for the current tour, and others can be found under the three-song video, which you’ll find below, followed by credits and other info as well.

Hope you enjoy:

Sons of Morpheus, “Cage,” “Riding the Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” live at Studio Stübio

“One-Take” live recording by Switzerland based SONS OF MORPHEUS performing “Cage”, “Riding The Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” live.

Recorded Feb. 2017 in Luzern, Switzerland @ Studio Stübio by Stübi. Video and editing by Snakehill Productions, Switzerland: snakehillproductions@gmx.ch.

All songs and lyrics written by Sons of Morpheus, SUISA. © & ? 2017 Sons of Morpheus & deepdive records. Published by deepdive publishing. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproducing, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

Sons of Morpheus live:
Jun 21 Daba Daba Donostia, Spain
Jun 22 Forum Celticum Culleredo, Spain
Jun 23 Cave Avenida Viana Do Castelo, Portugal
Jun 24 Stairway Club Cascais, Portugal
Jun 25 El Zagal Aldeamayor De San Martín, Spain
Jul 15 L’Unique Foodtruck Basel, Switzerland
Oct 07 Z7 Konzertfabrik at Up in Smoke 2017 Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 13 Schüxenhaus Ins, Switzerland

Sons of Morpheus are:
Manuel Bissig – Guitars and Vocals
Lukas Kurmann – Bass
Rudy Kink – Drums

Sons of Morpheus website

Sons of Morpheus on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Morpheus on Bandcamp

Snakehill Productions on YouTube

Snakehill Productions on Thee Facebooks

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Ephedra Premiere Video for “Coco Mango Soup”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ephedra

Swiss instrumentalists Ephedra released their second album, the quizzically-titled Can’-Ka No Rey — it’s from The Dark Tower — earlier this year via Argonauta Records, and as their new video premiering today shows, one of their aims with the record is to evoke an emotionally resonant form of heavy post-rock. They never quite go for Isis-style push in “Coco Mango Soup,” the track in question, but they’re not ultimately far off from some of the varied ground covered by the likes of Russian Circles, including the metallic undertone one finds in the late use of double-kick in this track.

The Zofingen four-piece, comprised of guitarists Andy Brunner and Roman Hüsler, bassist Kilian Tellenbach and drummer Tomi Roth, made their self-titled debut in 2013. Elsewhere on Can’-Ka No Rey, they build on the first record’s heavy rocking sonic ideology in cuts like “Mother Stone” and the shuffling-‘n’-strumming “Moonshiner,” which comes paired with closer “Southern Love.” These songs are pretty far removed in personality from “Coco Mango Soup” or a song like “Metamorphosis Calypso,” which precedes it, but I have a hard time holding the fact that they show multiple faces sound-wise against a band, particularly when they seem to shift fluidly from one side to another as Can’-Ka No Rey plays out. Still, it makes for a striking front-to-back.

We see the band in the video below playing as silhouettes — dimly lit in the heavy post-rock tradition — as a coinciding sad-lady narrative plays out wordlessly as penned apparently by Brunner, who also directed and produced. You should probably note that I’ve watched the clip a couple times through now and at no point have I seen anyone prepare or consume any soup, of the coco-mango or any other variety. Might call that a missed opportunity, but otherwise it pretty much rocks.

Hope you enjoy:

Ephedra, “Coco Mango Soup” official video

Official music video for ‘COCO MANGO SOUP’ by Ephedra off the new album Can’-Ka No Rey.

Director: Andy Brunner
Script: Andy Brunner
Production Company: www.mrandy.ch
Producer: Andy Brunner
Camera: Jonas Schneider
Light: Michael Hugi
Actresses: Samantha Brunner / Amélie Tellenbach

Ephedra is a stoner rock band from zofingen (switzerland). The sound they describe as “river rock”. Low tuned guitars, a generally bassy setup, driving beats on the drums with a very small pinch of metal. The band has no singer.

Ephedra are:
Roman Hüsler (Guitar)
Andy Brunner (Guitar)
Kilian Tellenbach (Bass)
Tomi Roth (Drums)

Ephedra on Thee Facebooks

Ephedra on Instagram

Ephedra on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Up in Smoke 2017 Adds Saint Vitus, Brant Bjork, Stoned Jesus, Beastmaker, Toner Low, Kaleidobolt and Usnea

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

up-in-smoke-2017-banner

I was fortunate enough to see Toner Low once in my life, and though it sounds greedy to even think I’d like to do so again, yeah, that would be pretty frickin’ awesome. At least that’s how it went last time around. Theirs is just one of the considerable names added to the Swiss-based Up in Smoke 2017 festival in this update, and one finds the Netherlands trio in the company of desert legend Brant Bjork, doom legends Saint Vitus, and YouTube legends Stoned Jesus, as well as Beastmaker — one assumes they’re soon to announce a full European tour for this fall — Usnea and Finland’s Kaleidobolt. All told it’s seven new bands for Up in Smoke 2017, which wasn’t exactly hurting before, with the likes of Orange Goblin and Graveyard, Ufommamut, Windhand and so on.

Bottom line? Awesome bill. Here’s the latest:

up-in-smoke-2017-poster

Up In Smoke 2017 – 7 New Bands : Brant Bjork (with Special Guest Sean Wheeler), Saint Vitus, Stoned Jesus & more added to the bill!

We are thrilled to announce 7 new bands confirmed for Up In Smoke 2017! BRANT BJORK (coming with Special Guest Sean Wheeler), SAINT VITUS, STONED JESUS, TONER LOW, BEASTMAKER, USNEA & KALEIDOBOLT! Our 5th edition will feature at least 20 bands on two stages with no overlapping set times, to guarantee you two days of Volume Worshipping!

BRANT BJORK (USA)
SAINT VITUS (USA)
STONED JESUS (UKR)
TONER LOW (NL)
BEASTMAKER (USA)
USNEA (USA)
KALEIDOBOLT (FIN)

Located Pratteln, in Switzerland’s best rock venue, Z7 Konzertfabrik, only a few kilometres from the German and French borders, Up In Smoke is an indoor festival for fans of Heavy Rock – Doom – Psych – Stoner… easily reachable by plane via the Euro-Airport (Basel/Muhouse) or by public transportations (train, bus) via Basel Main Station. There are plenty of affordable Hotels and Hostels located in Basel and for “budget savers” we are also offering to sleep over + breakfast (Coffee and bread rolls) in the venue for a small fee!

How does this work? After the last concert of the day, we ask everybody to step out of the venue for a few minutes. During that time, the venue and toilets are cleaned and the floor covered with a plastic sheet. (people have to bring their sleeping bags and air mattresses)

https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1306
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7
https://www.facebook.com/events/466424317082118/
https://www.upinsmoke.de/

Brant Bjork, Live at Desert Generator 2017

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Closet Disco Queen Stream Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

closet-disco-queen

Swiss instrumentalist duo Closet Disco Queen release their new EP, Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums, this Friday, April 7. Out through Crazysane Records, Unquiet Records and Division Records all at once, it’s the second offering from the guitar/drum two-piece of Jonathan Nido and Luc Hess behind their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and in addition to the multitude of labels, it comes accompanied by a multitude of live dates the band will play across Europe, including a slot among the enviable lineup of Desertfest London 2017.

Nido and Hess‘ progressive pedigree has been well noted in the past — their affiliations with The Ocean, among others — and that continues to be a factor throughout the three songs of Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums as well, though the band seem to want to cloak it in a “we’re just here to have a good time” kind of vibe. Nothing against that, and indeed, “Ninjaune” (6:37), “El Moustachito” (3:57) and “Délicieux” (6:14) are a good time, but while their moniker and titles come across as tongue-in-cheek, there’s much more to Closet Disco Queen‘s presentation than tossoffs or screwing around. From the ambient opening of “Ninjaune” to the graceful linear build that ensues, the EP sets in motion an album-style flow that’s nothing if not purposeful.

Of course, it’s only about 17 minutes long, so Hess and Nido don’t have quite the same amount of roomcloset-disco-queen-sexy-audio-deviance-for-punk-bums to stretch out as they did on the prior full-length, but with flourish of keys/effects and driving payoff rhythms, they make the most of what they’ve got. Beginning with “Ninjaune,” which is the longest track in addition to the opener (immediate points), they set up a subtly patient, still duly stylized motion of turns and winds, rhythmically tight and gradually increasing in volume as it goes until after about four minutes in, they arrive at a start-stop progression that hints at just how far they’re willing to push this time out. Somewhat more raucous from the start, “El Moustachito” picks up from there and might be from whence the notion of “punk” in the EP title comes, but while the movement is more forward-directed, it by no means comes through as oversimplified or lacking in breadth.

Rather, it’s just shorter and more up front in its groove. Less direct than, say, Karma to Burn, but more direct than either “Ninjaune” or the subsequent “Délicieux,” though the closer has its thrust as well, toying somewhat with the linearity of the leadoff track but ultimately working toward something else structurally. One hesitates to call it “verse/chorus” when there aren’t vocals to provide either, but there’s definitely a hook, and Closet Disco Queen make their way fluidly toward a rousing finish marked out by Hess‘ crash and a suitably bouncing riff from Nido that seems to come to a head just as they get to the last minute of the song, only to stop and revive itself on a faster course, ending cold but with maximum energy.

Is that “sexy audio deviance?” Is it “for punk bums?” I don’t know. It seems like well structured semi-progressive heavy instrumental rock to me, and I kind of think Closet Disco Queen are underselling how much they put into their craft. But that works out to be part of the charm of the release — not necessarily a humility, but the fact that Nido and Hess have clearly made such an effort with this material and that they’re still willing to present it in a way that highlights the raw enjoyment aspect of both the creation and the listening experience. One expects they’ll keep moving forward in terms of sound, but so long as they can remember to have this kind of fun, Closet Disco Queen should only become more distinct as a part of that process.

Please enjoy a full stream of Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums below, followed by some words from Nido about the EP and hints of future changes to come, as well as Closet Disco Queen‘s upcoming tour dates.

Goes like this:

Jona Nido on Sexy Audio Deviance for Punk Bums:

All three songs from the new EP have been written in the last six months up to a year. That means before recording them, we have played them live a good hundred times. When we recorded the debut album, we had two days to write 75 percent of the songs and record them in live conditions. If you listen to the songs live the way we play them now, there is only few to do with the atmosphere you’ll find on the album.

On the debut album we had no idea how we wanted to sound and went with the flow. Now after all these tours we both know what we like for this band and how we want it to sound on record as well as on stage. It was a long but very constructive process. We also narrowed our sound towards a more straightforward heavy rock. I also think that this is maybe the end of an era for this band. I’m not sure how many more songs we’ll be able to write as a two-piece and not repeat ourselves…

PREORDER-LINK: http://smarturl.it/CDQ

CLOSET DISCO QUEEN live:
Apr 04 MS-Loretta Celle, Germany
Apr 07 Zorrock La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland
Apr 08 Chez Marie Lovens, Switzerland
Apr 14 Port-Franc Sion, Switzerland
Apr 20 Kon-Tiki Zurich, Switzerland
Apr 21 Le Cirque Electrique Paris, France
Apr 22 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Apr 25 La Machine Nancy, France
Apr 26 PDZ Besancon, France
Apr 27 MAC DAID’S Le Havre, France
Apr 28 DesertFest (The Dev, free entry) London, United Kingdom
May 18 Trendkill Music Store Vitrolles, France
May 19 Raymond Bar Clermont-Ferrand, France
May 20 L’Hexagone Bourges, France
May 27 Brasserie BFM Saignelégier, Switzerland
Jun 07 L’Amalgamme Yverdon, Switzerland
Jun 16 Festineuch Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Closet Disco Queen is:
Jona Nido – guitar
Luc Hess – drums

Closet Disco Queen on Thee Facebooks

Division Records on Thee Facebooks

Division Records website

Crazysane Records on Thee Facebooks

Crazysane Records website

Unquiet Records on Thee Facebooks

Unquiet Records website

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Quarterly Review: Grails, Expo Seventy, Coltsblood, Rhino, Cruthu, Spacetrucker, Black Habit, Stone Angels, The Black Willows, Lamagaia

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-Charles-Meryon-Labside-Notre-Dame-1854

Arrival. Welcome to the final day of The Obelisk’s Spring 2017 Quarterly Review. After today, I clean off my desktop and start over with a mind toward the next round, which in my head I’ve already scheduled for late June. You know, at the end of the next quarter. I do try to make these things make sense on some level. Anyway, before we get to the last 10 albums, let me please reiterate my thanks to you for reading and say once again that I hope you’ve found something this week that really speaks to you, as I know I have and continue to today. We finish the Quarterly Review out strong to be sure, so even if you’re thinking you’re done and you’ve had enough, you might be surprised by the time you’re through the below.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Grails, Chalice Hymnal

grails chalice hymnal

Even if one counts the 2013 collection culled from GrailsBlack Tar Prophecies ongoing series of short releases that showed up via Temporary Residence, it’s been a long while since their last proper outing. Deep Politics (review here) was issued in 2011, but it seems the intervening time and members’ participation in other projects – among them Om and Holy Sons in the case of Emil Amos – disappear for Grails on Chalice Hymnal, which speaks directly to its predecessor in sequel pieces like “Deeper Politics,” “Deep Snow II” and “Thorns II,” taking the prog-via-TangerineDream cinematics of Deep Politics to vibrant and continually experimental places on the surprisingly vocalized “Empty Chamber,” the soundscaping “Rebecca” and the imaginative, evocative jazz homage “After the Funeral,” the album’s 10-minute closer. Hearing the John Carpenter keyboard line underpinning “Pelham,” I’m not sure I’d call Chalice Hymnal limitless in its aesthetic – Grails have definitive intentions here, as they always have – but they continue to reside in a space of their own making, and one that has yet to stop expanding its reach.

Grails on Thee Facebooks

Grails at Temporary Residence Ltd.

 

Expo Seventy, America Here and Now Sessions

expo seventy america here and now sessions

Yes. Yes. This. With extended two tracks – “First Movement” (22:17) and “Second Movement” (27:04) – unfolding one massive longform immersion that drones pastoral, delves into hypnotic bliss and fills the soul in that way that only raw exploration can, the America Here and Now Sessions from Kansas City (by way of the moon) outfit Expo Seventy is an utter joy to experience. Purposeful and patient in its execution, graceful in the instrumental chemistry – even with a second drummer sitting in amid the core trio led by guitarist Justin Wright – the album well fits the deep matte tones and nostalgic feel of its accompanying artwork, and is fluid in its movement from drone to push especially on “Second Movement,” which sandwiches a resonant cacophony around soundscapes that spread as far as the mind of the listener is willing to let them. Whether you want to sit and parse the execution over every its every subtle motion and waveform or put it on and go into full-brain-shutdown, America Here and Now Sessions delivers. Flat out. It delivers.

Expo Seventy on Thee Facebooks

Essence Music website

 

Coltsblood, Ascending into Shimmering Darkness

coltsblood ascending into shimmering darkness

After surviving the acquisition of Candlelight Records by Spinefarm, UK doom extremists Coltsblood return with their second album, Ascending into Shimmering Darkness, and follow-up 2014’s Into the Unfathomable Abyss (review here) with 54 minutes of concrete-thick atmospheric bleakness spread across five tracks. The headfuckery isn’t quite as unremitting as it was on the debut – a blend of airy and thick guitar in the intro of the opening title-cut (also the longest inclusion; immediate points) reminds of Pallbearer – but the three-piece thrive in this more-cohesive-overall context, and their lumbering miseries remain dark and triumphant in kind. A closing duo of “Ever Decreasing Circles” and “The Final Winter” also both top 12 and 13 minutes, respectively, but the shorter second track “Mortal Wound” brings blackened tendencies to the fore and centerpiece “The Legend of Abhartach” effectively leads the way from one side to the other. Still, the most complete victory here for bassist/vocalist John McNulty, guitarist Jemma McNulty and drummer Jay Plested might be “The Final Winter,” which melds its grueling, excruciatingly slow crash to overarching keyboard drama and becomes a work of cinematic depth as well as skull-crushing wretchedness. Such ambient growth fascinates and shows marked progression from their first offering, and even if the primary impression remains one from which no light escapes, don’t be fooled: Coltsblood are growing and are all the more dangerous for that.

Coltsblood on Thee Facebooks

Candlelight Records website

 

Rhino, The Law of Purity

rhino the law of purity

Once they get past the aptly-titled minute-long “Intro,” Rhino keep their foot heavy on the gas for the vast majority of The Law of Purity, their Argonauta Records debut album. The 10 included tracks veer into and out of pure desert rock loyalism – “Eat My Dust” comes across as particularly post-Kyuss, perhaps melded with some of the burl of C.O.C.’s “Shake Like You” – and the throttle of “Nuclear Space,” “Nine Months,” “A. & B. Brown” and “Cock of Dog” later on come to define the impression of straightforward push that puts the riffs forward even more than earlier inclusions like the post-“Intro” title-track or the more mid-paced “Bursting Out,” which hints at psychedelia without really ever fully diving into it. Capping with the roll of “I See the Monsters,” The Law of Purity reminds at times of earlier Astrosoniq – particularly in the vocals – but finds the Sicilian five-piece crafting solid heavy rock tunes that seem more concerned with having a couple beers and a good time than changing the world or remaking the genre. Nothing wrong with that.

Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

Cruthu, The Angle of Eternity

cruthu the angle of eternity

As it happens, I wrote the bio and release announcement for Cruthu’s debut album, The Angle of Eternity (posted here), and I count guitarist “Postman Dan” McCormick as a personal friend, so if you’re looking for impartiality as regards the self-released six-tracker, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for primo trad doom and classic metal vibes, the Michigan-based four-piece offer touches of progressive flourish amid the shuffle of opener “Bog of Kildare,” a grueling post-“Crystal Ball” nod in “From the Sea” and a bit of ‘70s proto-metallurgy in the closing title-track, which finds vocalist Ryan Evans at his most commanding while McCormick, bassist Erik Hemingsen (Scott Lehman appears as well) and drummer Matt Fry hold together the fluid and patient groove of weighted downer metal. The sense of Cruthu as an outfit schooled in the style is palpable through the creep of “Lady in the Lake” and the post-Trouble chug of “Séance,” but they’re beginning to cast their own identity from their influences – even the penultimate interlude “Separated from the Herd” is part of it – and the dividends of that process are immediate in these tracks.

Cruthu on Thee Facebooks

Cruthu on Bandcamp

 

Spacetrucker, Launch Sequence

spacetrucker launch sequence

From the Kozik-style artwork of their cover to the blown-out vocals on opener “New Pubes” of guitarist Matt Owen, St. Louis three-piece Spacetrucker – how was there not already a band with this name? – make no bones about their intentions on their late-2016, 26-minute Launch Sequence seven-track EP. Owen, bassist Patrick Mulvaney and drummer Del Toro push into a realm of noise-infused stoner grunge loyal to the ‘90s execution of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop” in the stops of the instrumental “Giza” even as they thicken and dirty up their tonality beyond what Kyuss laid forth. The cowbell-inclusive “Science of Us” rests easily on Mulvaney’s tone and nods toward burl without going over the top, and cuts like “Old Flower,” the penultimate roller “Trenchfoot” and the closing post-Nirvana punker blast of “Ain’t Gonna be Me” reimagine a past in which the language of heavy rock was there to explain where grunge was coming from all along. Not looking to reinvent stylistic parameters in their image at this point, Spacetrucker is nonetheless the kind of band one might’ve run into at SXSW a decade and a half ago and been made a fan for life. As it stands, the charm is not at all lost.

Spacetrucker on Thee Facebooks

Spacetrucker on Bandcamp

 

Black Habit, Black Habit

black habit self titled

Clocking in at half an hour, the self-titled debut release from viola-infused Arizona two-piece Black Habit could probably qualify as an EP or an LP. I’m inclined to consider it the latter considering the depths vocalist/guitarist/bassist Trey Edwin and violist/drummer Emily Jean plunge in the five included tracks, starting with the longest of the bunch (immediate points) in the slow-moving “Escape into Infinity” before shifting the tempo upward for “Suffer and Succumb” and digging into deep-toned sludge marked out by consistently harsh vocals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Black Habit became more melodic or at least moved into cleaner shots over time, as the doomly centerpiece “South Beach” and more fuzz-rocking “Travel Across the Ocean” seem to want to head in that direction, but it’s hard to argue with the echoing rasp that accompanies the rumble and hairy tones of finale “Lust in the Dust,” as Black Habit’s Black Habit rounds out with an especially righteous nod. An intriguing, disaffected, and raw but potential-loaded opening salvo from a two-piece discovering where their sound might take them.

Black Habit on Thee Facebooks

Black Habit on Bandcamp

 

Stone Angels, Patterns in the Ashes

stone angels patterns in the ashes

Massive. Patterns in the Ashes is a malevolent, tectonic three-song EP following up on New Zealand trio Stone Angels’ 2011 debut, Within the Witch, as well as a few shorter live/demo offerings between, and it’s an absolute beast. Launching with the seven-minute instrumental “White Light, White Noise II” – indeed the sequel to a cut from the first album – it conjures a vicious nod and bleeds one song into the next to let “Signed in Blood” further unfold the grim atmospherics underscoring and enriching all that tonal heft. Sludge is the core style, but the Christchurch three-piece’s broader intentions come through with due volume on the grueling “Signed in Blood” and when “For the Glory of None” kicks in after its sample intro, the blasts and growls that it brings push the release to new levels of extremity entirely. As a bonus, the digital edition includes all three tracks put together as one longer, 21-minute piece, so the consuming flow between them can be experienced without any interruption, as it was seemingly meant to be.

Stone Angels on Thee Facebooks

Stone Angels on Bandcamp

 

Black Willows, Samsara

the black willows samsara

If Switzerland-based resonance rockers Black Willows had only released the final two tracks, “Jewel in the Lotus” and “Morning Star,” of their late-2016 second full-length, Samsara, one would still have to call it a complete album – and not just because those songs run 15 and 25 minutes long, respectively. Throughout those extended pieces and the four shorter cuts that appear before them, a palpable meditative sensibility emerges, and Black Willows follow-up the promise of 2013’s Haze (review here) by casting an even more immersive, deeper-toned vibe in the post-Om nod of “Sin” (8:08) and the more percussive complement, “Rise” (9:28), keeping a ritualized feel prevailing but not defining. From the lead-in title-track and the spacious psych trip-out of “Mountain” that gives way to the aforementioned extended closing duo, Black Willows find their key purpose in encompassing tonality and languid grooving. Nothing is overdone, nothing loses its patience, and when they get to the linear trajectory of “Morning Star,” the sense is they’re pushing as far out as far out will go. It’s a joy to follow them on that path.

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Bandcamp

 

Lamagaia, Lamagaia

lamagaia lamagaia

Anytime you’re at all ready to quit your job and explore the recesses of your mind via the ingestion of psychedelics, rituals and meditation, Sweden’s Lamagaia would seem to stand prepared to accompany. The Gothenburg four-piece offer two extended tracks of encouragement in that direction on their self-titled 12” (released through Cardinal Fuzz and Sunrise Ocean Bender), and both “Aurora” and “Paronama Vju” carry a heady spirit of kosmiche improvisation and classically progressive willfulness. They go, go, go. Far, far, far. Vocals echo out obscure but definitely there in post-The Heads fashion, but there’s Hawkwindian thrust in the fuzzed bass and drums driving the rhythm behind the howling guitar in “Aurora,” and that only sets up the peaceful stretch that the drones and expansive spaciousness of “Paronama Vju” finds across its 18:55 as all the more of an arrival. Immersive, hypnotic, all that stuff that means gloriously psychedelic, Lamagaia’s Lamagaia offers instrumental chemistry and range for anyone willing to follow along its resonant and ultra-flowing path. Count me in. I never liked working anyway.

Lamagaia website

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

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Up in Smoke 2017 First Announcements: Graveyard to Headline; Orange Goblin, Radio Moscow, Ufomammut, Windhand and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Up in Smoke 2017 has made its first lineup announcements for this October. It’s the fifth anniversary of the Swiss-based fest put together by Sound of Liberation, and they’re immediately giving it due ceremony by putting word out that the just-broke-up-oh-wait-they’re-back-together-again Graveyard will headline. Will they have a new record out? Who will play drums? These are questions still to be answered, but there are seven months between now and then, so fair to expect it’ll all be worked out in the interim.

Along with Graveyard, putting the formidable likes of Orange Goblin, Radio Moscow (who will have a new album out), Ufomammut (who just might as well), Windhand and their tourmates in Satan’s Satyrs, as well as Swiss acts Zatokrev and Sons of Morpheus on the bill certainly doesn’t hurt it any either. Eight bands in the first batch to be announced and I’m already looking forward to the second. We’re not even really into the Spring season yet and Fall is starting to rear its head.

Festus fugit, my friends.

From the PR wire:

up in smoke 2017 first poster

Up In Smoke 2017 – First 8 Bands confirmed: GRAVEYARD to Headline!

We are now finally ready to unveiled the official Up In Smoke 2017 poster, and the first bands confirmed for this outstanding 5th edition! Located as usual in Switzerland’s best rock venue, Z7 Konzertfabrik, only a few kilometres from the German and French borders, our festival will feature about 20 bands on two stages with no overlapping set times, to guarantee you two days of Volume Worshipping!

So mark October 6th & 7th in your calendar, and get your 2-pass as soon as you can here or here! Up In Smoke 2016 was sold out, so better be quick, and to help you make your decision, we are proud to give you the first 8 bands we have confirmed!

GRAVEYARD (SWE)
ORANGE GOBLIN (UK)
RADIO MOSCOW (USA)
UFOMAMMUT (I)
WINDHAND (USA)
SATAN’S SATYRS (USA)
ZATOKREV (CH)
SONS OF MORPHEUS (CH)

Up In Smoke is an indoor festival for fans of Heavy Rock – Doom – Psych – Stoner… easily reachable by plane via the Euro-Airport (Basel/Muhouse) or by public transportations (train, bus) via Basel Main Station. There are plenty of affordable Hotels and Hostels located in Basel and for “budget savers” we are also offering to sleep over + breakfast (Coffee and bread rolls) in the venue for a small fee!

How does this work? After the last concert of the day, we ask everybody to step out of the venue for a few minutes. During that time, the venue and toilets are cleaned and the floor covered with a plastic sheet. (people have to bring their sleeping bags and air mattresses)

https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1306
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7
https://www.facebook.com/events/466424317082118/
https://www.upinsmoke.de/

Graveyard, “The Apple and the Tree” official video

Orange Goblin, Live at Freak Valley 2016

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