Big Kizz to Release Debut EP Eye on You June 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

big kizz

Former members of Graveyard and Witchcraft come together in Big Kizz, a new trio who’ll release their debut EP, Eye on You, June 9 via Tee Pee Records. Since the split last year and subsequent reformation of Graveyard earlier in 2017, the central question is what would become of now-former drummer Axel Sjöberg. He joins former Witchcraft and current Spiders member John Hoyles (here on bass) as well vocalist/guitarist Pontus Westerman, also of garage rockers Lady Banana. It should come as no surprise that Tee Pee would pick them up. If you’ll recall, it was the same label that issued the debut Graveyard album a decade ago.

No audio has surfaced yet, but it seems like Big Kizz are on a much different wavelength than either Sjöberg‘s or Hoyles‘ former outfits. I guess we’ll find out in June.

This just came in off the PR wire:

big kizz eye on you

BIG KIZZ (ex-Graveyard, Witchcraft) to Release Debut EP, ‘Eye on You’, June 9

Scandinavian Power Rock Trio Signs with Tee Pee Records

BIG KIZZ is the red hot new rock band featuring drummer Axel Sjöberg (ex-Graveyard), guitarist John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft) on bass and vocalist / guitarist Pontus Westerman from Swedish garage outfit Lady Banana. The classic power trio, who plays good time Rock ‘n’ Roll energized with elements of power pop and punk, has signed to NYC indie Tee Pee Records and will release its debut EP, Eye on You, on June 9.

BIG KIZZ’s bad-as-hell debut features the swinging originals “Eye on You” and “Baby Boy” and a rousing remake of the Roky Erickson ripper “White Faces”. The 3-song release is but a precursor to BIG KIZZ’s full-length debut, tentatively slated for release this fall.

Pre-order “Eye on You” at THIS location.

“I’ve been doing this too long to quit rocking now,” Sjöberg comments. “When I turn a page and wonder what to do in life, I go to country lyrics and in this case Willie Nelson: “The life I love is makin’ music with my friends, and I can’t wait the get on the road again.” So that’s just what I did; I made music with my friends. We’re taking it to Norway first and then we’ll just see where it takes us after that. That’s the beauty of it: music is fucking magic. I hope you feel it too.”

Live premier!

May 3th Oslo – Revolver
May 4th Kristiansand – Vaktbua – Odderøya
May 5th Bergen – Hulen
May 6th Sandnes – Tribute

https://www.facebook.com/bigbigkizz/
https://www.instagram.com/bigkizz4you/
https://teepeerecords.com/products/big-kizz-eye-on-you-7
facebook.com/teepeerecords

Tags: , , , , ,

Death Alley Part Ways with Bassist Dennis Duijnhouwer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Bummer news out of Amsterdam in that hard-driving motorpsych rockers Death Alley have announced a separation with bassist Dennis Duijnhouwer. The four-piece, who took part in last year’s The Obelisk All-Dayer (video here) in Brooklyn, recently released Live at Roadburn (review here) on Tee Pee and Suburban Records as the follow-up to their 2015 debut, Black Magick Boogieland (review here), capturing their 2016 “Death Alley and Friends” set (review here) at the venerable Netherlands-based festival. As of this post, Duijnhouwer, who was previously in cosmic doomers Mühr, has yet to comment one way or the other on the split, but anyone fortunate enough to have seen them at either of the above events, at Psycho Las Vegas or the litany of tour dates they’ve done in Europe and the US can tell you he was a significant presence on stage for the band.

In the Thee Facebooks post below, vocalist Douwe Truijens, guitarist Oeds Beydals and drummer Uno “Velcrow” Bruniusson make it official. Death Alley had shows this past weekend that were canceled and have more dates coming up throughout this month the fate of which is as yet unknown. They also recently announced a European tour this fall supporting German retro forerunners Kadavar. All live dates are included here, but I would assume plans are tentative at this point. That is, keep an eye out for more word on what’s actually happening and when.

Here’s what I know:

death alley roadburn 2016 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

As many of you may have noticed over the past few days, we have parted ways with Dennis on bass guitar. It is with much regret that it had to come to this situation, but it has become clear that a continuation would be particularly unhealthy for all involved, including the band as a whole. The challenges and pressures that come with being a band have to be borne by the group and all its individual members in order for it to function. Severe and persistent differences in dealing with those challenges and pressures, and differences in ideas of what should be done lead to stagnation. It is with undeniable gratitude for what we have achieved over the past years that we acknowledge we can’t continue with Dennis.

Although we know that many hearts (and some hearts in particular, including ours) are broken by this, and that every individual may react in his or her own way, we count on your support to pull through this.

Oeds
Douwe
Uno

P.s.: For the time being, we will keep you informed through our Facebook page only, since we don’t have control over our Instagram account.

Death Alley live:
Apr 07 OCCII Amsterdam, Netherlands
Apr 08 The Other Side Live Peer, Belgium
Apr 16 Bar Live / Le 301 Roubaix, France
Apr 17 La Scène Michelet Nantes, France
Apr 19 VOID Bordeaux, France
Apr 20 Bonberenea Tolosa, Spain
Apr 21 Funhouse Music Bar Madrid, Spain
Apr 22 Riff Ritual Fest Barcelona, Spain
Apr 24 Cluricaume Poitiers, France
Apr 27 Burgerweeshuis Deventer, Netherlands
Apr 27 De Schuit Katwijk Aan Zee, Netherlands
Apr 28 The Underworld Camden London, United Kingdom
Apr 29 Merleyn Nijmegen, Netherlands
Apr 30 Astra Kulturhaus Berlin, Germany
Jun 24 Pedro Pico Pop Raalte, Netherlands
Jul 07 MadNes Festival Nes, Netherlands
Jul 08 Dijkpop festival Medemblik, The Netherlands
Jul 21 Welcome to the Village Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Jul 23 Haltpop Assendelft, Netherlands
Aug 04 Krach am Bach Beelen, Germany
Aug 18 Nirwana Tuinfeest Lierop, Netherlands

Death Alley with Kadavar:
12.10. D Essen Zeche Carl
13.10. D Hamburg Markthalle
14.10. D Leipzig Conne island
15.10. B Antwerp Desert Fest
17.10. F Strasbourg La Laiterie Club
18.10. F Paris Le Trabendo
19.10. F Rennes L’Ubu
20.10. F Bordeaux La Krakatoa
21.10. E Madrid But
22.10. E Barcelona Bikini
24.10. F Lyon Feyzin
25.10. CH Monthey Pont Rouge
26.10. CH Aarau Kiff
27.10. D Munich Backstage
28.10. A Vienna Flex
29.10. A Graz PPC
30.10. HR Zagreb Mocvara
01.11. H Budapest A38
02.11. PL Warsaw Progresja
03.11. PL Krakow Kwadrat
04.11. CZ Prague Nová Chmelnice
05.11. D Nuremberg Hirsch
07.11. NL Amsterdam Paradiso Noord
08.11. D Hanover Capitol
09.11. DK Copenhagen Pumpehuset
10.11. S Stockholm Debaser
11.11. N Oslo Bla
12.11. S Gothenburg Pustervik
13.11. NL Deventer Burgerweeshuis
15.11. D Cologne Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
16.11. D Wiesbaden Schlachthof
17.11. D Stuttgart LKA Longhorn
18.11. D Berlin Columbiahalle

http://deathalleyband.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/deathalleyband
http://deathalley.bigcartel.com/
http://teepeerecords.com/

Tags: , , ,

Comet Control Post “Dig out Your Head” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

comet-control-Photo-by-Melissa-Boraski-and-Jennifer-Keith

Hell yes. That’s about the level of insight I’ve got when it comes to there being a new video from Toronto’s Comet Control. Suffice it to say, I’m on board with whatever the heavy psych rocking four-piece want to do to promote last year’s excellent Center of the Maze (review here), which was and remains a joyful and resounding wash of melody, fuzz and breadth. If that happens to be a tour where they come play my basement, well that would be awesome. If it’s a new video for album opener “Dig out Your Head,” that’s cool too. I won’t complain about that. I can always watch it in my basement, I guess, if I’m so committed to the locale.

Nothing personal, but if you can’t get behind this kind of stuff, I’m not sure I have much for you. The depths and reaches that Comet Control explore throughout Center of the Maze are not only gorgeous, but free. I’m not saying they don’t have a handle on their songcraft — they prove just the opposite across the record’s entire span, beginning with “Dig out Your Head” and ending with the 10-minute “Artificial Light,” which was my 2016 Song of the Year — just that in the process of guiding their material, they’re willing to go just about anywhere, and whether that becomes the bright-hued strum and march of “Silver Spade” or the trad-psych turns of “Golden Rule,” the results become a spectrum all their own, encompassing and welcoming in kind.

So yeah, new video? Great. Whatever y’all want to do. If it gives me another excuse to put on Center of the Maze again — as this post has — then I already consider it a win.

Credits follow the clip below. Please enjoy:

Comet Control, “Dig out Your Head” official video

Artist: Comet Control
Track: “Dig Out Your Head”
Album: Centre of the Maze (6/24)
Label: Tee Pee Records

Directed by Mashie Alam
Shot by Thomas Van Der Zaag
Edited by Jared MacIntyre
Art Curated by Kevin Vansteenkiste
Coloured by Sandy Rossignol

Comet Control on Thee Facebooks

Comet Control at Tee Pee Records

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, The Mystic Krewe of Clearlight

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight (2000)

Hard to believe nobody has stepped up to reissue the 2000 self-titled debut and only outing to-date from The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, and likewise that some true believer heading a festival at home or abroad hasn’t convinced guitarist Jimmy Bower to play a reunion show under the weighty banner. Because even 17 years later, listening to this record, it’s as much a party as it is a collection of songs. True tonally to peer outfits like Spirit Caravan, Corrosion of Conformity and maybe even Sixty Watt Shaman in some of its Southern elements, the differentiating factor with The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight was the jam, and while the band may or may not have been started as a side-project from Bower looking to continue to scratch a groovier itch coming off his initial run in Southern metal supergroup Down, bringing on board Eyehategod bandmate Joe LaCaze (drums, R.I.P. 2013), bassist Andy Sheppard, fellow guitarist Paul Webb and keyboardist Ross Karpelman — whose organ work proves so crucial throughout to songs like “Ride Out” and “Trapeze” — they immediately made themselves stand out by being even more of and about their place: New Orleans. To wit, album opener “Swamp Jam” — as apt a description of their style as you’re going to come across — starts at a parade.

Let’s just assume that’s Mardi Gras, because even if it isn’t, it kicks off an absolute blast of a time. The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight was prescient in its incorporation of classic ’70s influences, and the dynamic between Bower and his cohorts comes through all the more as an instrumental band, since the jams just flow openly without the need for a rigid verse/chorus structure, allowing “Swamp Jam” to trip out in its second half, Sheppard‘s bassline holding it together as Karpelman‘s keys drive a sort of miniaturized Purple-tinged Made in Japan exploration. The tone thusly set, the band only pushes deeper into good vibes and heavy grooves. “Electrode” is the shortest track at five minutes and winds its way into some boogie, hitting into starts and stops that would seem a direct precursor for the kinds of funk Clutch would be proffering six years later, and “Ride Out” follows by smoothing its initial thrust into a slow-motion nod, the guitars milking every riff cycle for all it’s worth ahead of the aforementioned “Trapeze” delving into direct key-and-guitar conversation — not to mention the welcome advent of some cowbell from LaCaze. Also one of the more extended tracks at 7:25 along with “Swamp Jam” at the outset and 10-minute closer “El Niño Brown” still to come, “Trapeze” emphasizes how much The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight thrived in a longer-form context, and while they dip back into more straight-ahead fare with “A Fool’s Outfit,” putting some space between “Trapeze” and the finale, by then the vibe is so spread out that they basically can go wherever they want. If you’ve ever in your life uttered the phrase, “It’s all good,” side B of The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight would be a good reason why. Or side A, for that matter.

They had two splits out after the record, both in 2001. If you can get it, the Acid King split on Man’s Ruin is an absolute monster, both bands utterly on fire, and their let’s-cover-Skynyrd-and-we’ll-get-PepperKeenan-to-sing-on-it shared 7″ with The Obsessed on Southern Lord is as righteous as the concept sounds. But that’s it to-date, though a post just over a year ago on a seemingly official Thee Facebooks page read simply, “Riffs are being written….” and listed the band’s lineup as Bower on drums along with Aaron HillWebb and Kevin Bond (Superjoint, ex-Floodgate) on guitar, Sheppard on bass and Karpelman once again on keys, so who knows, maybe something will manifest. Particularly after revisiting the self-titled, you wouldn’t find me arguing. Let the parade begin again.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Next week is the Quarterly Review, and even as I’m signing off for today ahead of not posting tomorrow or Sunday, I’ve already begun and will be continuing to put it together as much as possible over the weekend. It’s 50 reviews this time, Monday to Friday. I could’ve added a sixth day again, but opted not to. Maybe next time. Probably not. For some reason, that extra 10 writeups made a really big difference in my head last time out.

There was supposed to be a Six Dumb Questions interview today with Doctor Cyclops along with a full-stream of their new album, but technical complications prevented it from coming together in time. So it goes. I’m sure as soon as this post goes live the embed code will come through. Because that’s pretty much how things happen these days. EDIT: Exactly what happened.

Anyhoo, that will be up Monday, in addition to the first day of the Quarterly Review, which is abbreviated in my notes as QR1. Here’s the rest of what’s on tap for the week to come, all subject to change as usual:

Mon.: QR1, Doctor Cyclops Six Dumb Questions, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard video.
Tue.: QR2, MotherSloth video premiere.
Wed.: QR3, The Whims of the Great Magnet Six Dumb Questions/song premiere, Devil to Pay video premiere/tour announcement.
Thu.: QR4, Here Lies Man track premiere.
Fri.: QR5, Lacertilia video premiere.

Pure. Fucking. Chaos. It’s gonna be a lot to put together, and I’m thinking about taking next Friday off work in no small part just to crash out after doing all of that nonsense — and of course news and whatever else on top of it — throughout the week, but yeah. That’s the plan. It’ll all work out as much as it’s going to, and if some stuff doesn’t, like that Doctor Cyclops thing today, there will be other stuff to step in and take the place of whatever falls out. So much music. No money in writing about any of it. No way to make a living off doing this.

Speaking of, you may notice the All That is Heavy sponsorship link is gone. Deal didn’t really work out to be that beneficial for either party, so we called it off. Just like that. If you managed to get 15 percent off an order, I hope you got some good stuff. Of course I still support Dan and his endeavors all the way and recommend ATiH for your heavy shopping needs happily.

What else? I don’t know. Roadburn’s coming. I’m basically counting the days until that happens, as one does.

Family coming north this weekend, which will be good. My sister and oldest nephew. Looking forward to seeing them both, getting up in the morning to work on Quarterly Review stuff, having good coffee and drinking it slowly, and generally chilling out, hopefully getting my head right and so on. Maybe watch some baseball. Weekend stuff. You know.

Whatever you’re up to, please have a great time and a safe time. Have fun, be careful out there and stay tuned for an absolute onslaught of music starting on Monday. It’s gonna be a marathon but it’s gonna be awesome.

Thanks for reading, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mirror Queen Premiere “Starliner”; New Album Due this Fall

Posted in audiObelisk on March 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mirror queen at the saint vitus bar

New York City heavy rockers Mirror Queen have a new single out ahead of a full-length currently being finalized for an October release on Tee Pee Records. Ever true to their city-dwelling roots, the band tracked the Starliner b/w Career of Evil 7″ in the midst of Times Square chaos, at Terminus Studios. It’s hard to imagine a more frenetic or overwhelming environment, but if that’s the setting in which “Starliner” takes place, one would hardly know it in listening to the track itself. As did their last album, 2015’s Scaffolds of the Sky (review here), the new track finds peace in a cohesive blend of progressive and classic heavy inspirations, filtering them through a modern production style — and yeah, just an edge of Manhattan crunch — to take full ownership of its sound. With a Blue Öyster Cult cover as the B-side that features formidable guest spots from Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass, Opeth, etc.) and Harald Fossberg, formerly of Turbonegro, they’d hardly be accused of not owning up to their influences, but neither are they beholden to them, the band emerging with an independent streak that is as much a conceptual part of who they are as it is crucial to their aesthetic.

mirror queen starlinerVery New York, in other words. And not necessarily the new New York either. Mirror Queen are a bit grittier than that. Tracing their lineage back to guitarist/vocalist Kenny Sehgal‘s former outfit, Kreisor, and further beyond that to that band’s predecessor, Aytobach Kreisor, the lineup of Mirror Queen may be regularly subject to some flux — “Starliner” marks the studio debut of former The Golden Grass bassist Morgan McDaniel on guitar alongside Sehgal, bassist James Corallo and drummer Jeremy O’Brien — the band’s purpose has remained steady even as their approach has progressed. Scaffolds of the Sky did not shy away from its proggier aspects, and the new outing being finished at Flux in the East Village will reportedly follow suit (including an extended take on “Starliner”), but Mirror Queen never seem to forget the necessity of an underlying structure to their songwriting, and as they eye up the prospects of East Coast and European tours for this summer and fall, respectively, that should only continue to serve them well on every stage they hit.

Sehgal credits Robin Trower and Swervedriver specifically when it comes to “Starliner,” and you can take a listen below and hear that come to fruition for yourself. With a limited edition mirror cover and an included patch, the Starliner b/w Career of Evil 7″ can be ordered direct from Tee Pee at the link at the bottom of this post.

Hope you enjoy:

Trower inspired A-side, Starliner, features new Mirror Queen guitarist Morgan McDaniel (ex-Golden Grass). The B-side, Blue Öyster Cult’s “Career of Evil”, also has musical contributions from keyboardist Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, Opeth) and Harald Fossberg (ex-Turbonegro). Premium mirror sleeve and pressed on black vinyl. Comes with embroidered sew-on Mirror Queen patch.

Mirror Queen on Thee Facebooks

Starliner b/w Career of Evil at Tee Pee Records webstore

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , ,

Death Alley, Live at Roadburn: Into the Supernatural

Posted in Reviews on March 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

death-alley-live-at-roadburn

Not going to attempt any impartiality when it comes to this release, and I’m starting to think anyone who does is approaching it wrong. Amsterdam-based Death Alley — somehow heading toward veteran status despite having only one record out in their 2015 Tee Pee Records debut, Black Magick Boogieland (review here) — aren’t trying to invoke impartiality. Just the opposite. The four-piece want to charge on a primal level and they want to charge outward from there into reaches unknown to player or listener alike. To be unaffected by that seems like an immediately incorrect starting point.

I was at the Green Room of the 013 Poppodium to see them perform the set last April (review here) that Astrosoniq drummer Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team captured and is seeing release as Live at Roadburn through Tee Pee and Suburban Records, and I watched as Death Alley — then the lineup of vocalist Douwe Truijens, guitarist/backing vocalist Oeds Beydals, bassist/backing vocalist Dennis Duijnhouwer and drummer Ming Boyer (the latter of whom has since left the band) — brought Ron van Herpen and Jevin de Groot onto the stage with them to share in the expanses they were creating. Also a member of Astrosoniqvan Herpen is a former bandmate of Beydals‘ in crucial cult rockers The Devil’s Blood, while de Groot was a member of the vastly underrated cosmic doom outfit Mühr alongside Duijnhouwer, so not at all strangers to each other. Friends. It was billed as Death Alley & Friends, and that’s exactly what it was in spirit as well as the plain reality of circumstance. By the time they got through the clarion set-opener “It’s On,” everyone in the room seemed to have been handed an invitation to be included in that as well. Death Alley and about 700 new and old friends.

Live at Roadburn only has four tracks — “It’s On,” “666666,” “Feeding the Lions” and “Supernatural Predator” — but it’s full-LP length at 45 minutes. The entirety of side B is dedicated to “Supernatural Predator,” which is drawn out from its already substantial 12-minute push on Black Magick Boogieland to a galaxial 22 minutes, a hypnotic and immersive jam taking hold that, having watched and heard it happen, hit like welcoming waves of soulful tone that seemed at once forward looking and an inherent homage to former The Devil’s Blood spearhead Selim Lemouchi, who took his own life in 2014 leaving a chasm in the Netherlands heavy underground. His sister and The Devil’s Blood vocalist, Farida Lemouchi, guests on the studio version of the track, but on Live at RoadburnDeath Alleyvan Herpen and de Groot sing her part as a full Hawkwindian chorus of “ahhs” to righteous effect, culminating a build that seems to have started with the motoring thrust of “It’s On” and continued into the mega-guitar vibes of “666666” and the more classically styled “Feeding the Lions.”

death alley roadburn 2016 jj koczan photo

Though the name comes across like a toss-off because there were six players on stage — in shows they’ve done since with this expanded lineup, they’ve used the moniker Death Alley 6 — “666666” is a key moment in the set. I don’t know if the set as a whole has been edited to fit on a single platter; my sense is it has but I wouldn’t guess how. Nonetheless, “666666” is the point of departure from which Death Alley take flight for the rest of their time on stage. It happens at about three and a half minutes in when, over a Butlerian bassline, the guitars begin to soar toward a linear apex that pays off in lockstep harmonized runs nearly four minutes later for a gorgeous and cohesive effect. It must have been worked out ahead of time to some degree — I don’t play guitar, but improv harmonies don’t seem like the kind of thing that happen often — but the feeling of warmth and spontaneity conveyed in that jam is a defining moment for Live at Roadburn as a whole, however long and however grand the finale might be.

“Feeding the Lions” picks up from there with bass and drums setting a tense tone amid initial wah swirl from the guitar, and though the vibe stays spacey, Truijens reassumes the fore as vocalist and his charisma and classic frontman strut is no less a part of making the mid-paced piece a standout than the depth of the instrumental progression playing out behind him. By this point, Death Alley are in utter command of the room and their sound, and they hint just past the midpoint at some Floyd-style theatrical weirdness to come but hold to a sense of structure all the same and purposefully so for where they’re about to head on “Supernatural Predator.” A short guitar solo circa 5:40 makes me wish it went longer, but “Feeding the Lions” ends in a wash of cymbals and wah as Truijens thanks the crowd and van Herpen and de Groot and Duijnhouwer thanks Roadburn organizer Walter Hoeijmakers, and then the quiet intro of “Supernatural Predator” starts, its sleek intertwining of guitar and bass — willfully restrained in comparison to what follows — an immediate signifier of arrival for the group and everyone in the room.

Once it bursts out, “Supernatural Predator” makes a resounding argument for rock and roll as means of attaining spiritual freedom, and its extra time is triumphantly spent in its already-noted jam, which rounds out by first teasing a turn back to the song itself and then actually making one, so that as far out as Death Alley (and friends) have gone, they finish clear-headed and give the audience a sense of the complete experience. This not only underscores the value of their songwriting, but also of the maturity the band has been able to hone over just a few short years. As they move away from Black Magick Boogieland toward an inevitable sophomore full-length, Death Alley seem poised to establish themselves in a major way, and to make a definitive statement of who they are as a group. Live at Roadburn shows in its blend of forward rhythmic drive and cosmic psychedelia just how multifaceted that statement can potentially be, and highlights the reasons why Death Alley are one of the most exciting and affecting bands in the worldwide heavy underground. Not an impartial statement, but yes, I mean that.

Death Alley BigCartel store

Death Alley on Thee Facebooks

Death Alley website

Tee Pee Records website

Suburban Records website

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Black Math Horseman, Wyllt

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Black Math Horseman, Wyllt (2009)

In the eight years since its release, something of a cult loyalism has built up around the full-length debut from Los Angeles’ Black Math Horseman. Rightly so. Issued in April 2009 by Tee Pee Records, the 38-minute Wyllt (discussed here) is a rare kind of outing that seemed to at once demand full headphone immersion and a volume level in defiance of any and all medical recommendation. Resting ultimately between ambient, My Bloody Valentine via Isis post-metal and desert-psychedelic ritualizing, it was a work of such purpose and detail that if you center its six titles, they form a pyramid. To wit:

Tyrant
Deerslayer
A Barren Cause
Origin of Savagery
Torment of the Metals
Bird of all Faiths/Bell from Madrone

Note “Tyrant” at the top. This nuance of presentation — could be happenstance, but seems unlikely that it was, frankly — came alongside a sound that was at once in-genre and out of it, unremittingly the band’s own on a level generally unthinkable for a debut and distinguished at the outset by the vocals of bassist Sera Timms, who seems to arrive here with her echoing ethereality completely realized and ready to carry the melodies of “Tyrant,” the build of “A Barren Cause,” and the later spaciousness of “Torment of the Metals.” Perhaps even more than it was heavy — though it was, make no mistake — Wyllt was ahead of its time in the vastness of its soundscapes. This facet of the band’s songwriting, along with a production job by Scott Reeder (The ObsessedKyuss, etc.), gave Timms, guitarists Ian Barry and Bryan Tulao and drummer Sasha Popovic room to conjure tension-building minimalism into a churn that even these years later remains overwhelming in moments like when the seething comes to the fore “Bird of all Faiths/Bell from Madrone” propelled by Popovic‘s drums before once again receding behind sparse guitar and vague, ambient vocalizations, or when the chugging payoff of “Deerslayer” takes hold with its overarching nod and sway from the prior Red Sparowes-style exploration.

Wyllt is also a record that has benefited greatly from the context of the years since. When first released, it was a definite outlier for Tee Pee Records — also planet earth — and while it would be Black Math Horseman‘s only full-length before they disbanded, the work Timms has gone on to do in Ides of Gemini, her Black Mare solo-outfit and in guest spots for the likes of Mustard, Gas & RosesTombs and Zun — the desert ambient project of Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce on which Timms split lead-singer duties with John Garcia — have given a different light to just how much of an accomplishment these songs were in setting all of that in motion on an aesthetic level. True, neither Ides of Gemini nor Black Mare nor Zun are looking to cover the same ground as was Black Math Horseman — they’re individual bands with their own players and styles — but Timms‘ vocals are a defining element for all as they were on Wyllt, and understanding that is naturally something that has become easier as her discography has grown. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any development or progression on her part, as Zun‘s 2016 outing, Burial Sunrise (review here), and her work on Ides of Gemini‘s forthcoming Women LP immediately demonstrate otherwise, just that on a basic level of methodology, Wyllt can be seen as a direct precursor to what she’s done since.

And of course, the record’s not just about the singer. To hear the guitars of Barry and Tulao weaving around each other in the midsection of “Origin of Savagery” backed by Popovic‘s creative timekeeping and the out and out crushing riff that emerges to cap “Torment of the Metals,” one can’t help but wonder just what it was that went wrong in this band when they seemed to be so cohesive and aligned in their sonic intentions. As noted, Wyllt was the only thing Black Math Horseman released in their time together. It wouldn’t be long before the first Ides of Gemini EP surfaced, but as much as it was a standout at the time, and ahead of its time, Wyllt remains distinct in the resonant, affecting impression it leaves, in its fluid definition of heft, in its open sensibilities and in the unfulfilled potential it continues to represent for the band. Oh, what might have been.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I have spent much of the last three days quietly begging for this week to end. This morning I was up at 3AM in anticipation of precisely that happening. I probably could’ve gone back to sleep, but screw it. Coffee to be had, records to write about, etc. Hell, I’ve even got the World Baseball Classic streaming on my phone on mute on the table nearby my laptop as I sit on the couch and type this before work. China vs. Japan. Seems like a game that could have significant diplomatic repercussions for the Pacific Rim. Better to watch history unfold.

As of this sentence, Japan’s up 1-0, if you’re wondering. It’s early yet.

In a couple minutes, I’ll get up and pour myself my next coffee and enjoy that, and then in about an hour I’ll drive through the falling snow to get to work. We’re supposed to get a few inches here in Southern Massachusetts. More Tuesday, they’re saying. I don’t care. I just want to get to the office so I can start the day as a necessary step toward ending it, toward ending this week. I’m fucking done. Have been done since Monday.

Some cool stuff on the horizon that I don’t quite think I can talk about yet but will announce soon. Vague enough? Yeah, sorry about that. I’ll clarify when I can, but keep an eye out. By way of a hint, it involves travel.

And as a reminder, the next Quarterly Review starts on March 27. I’m locking in the last of the reviews now, probably over the course of this coming week, then I start grabbing artwork, links and setting up the back end. Shit takes a long time, but as ever, I’ll get it done. So far looking like 50 reviews. Last one, if you’ll recall, was 60. Doing regular rounds of Radio Adds has taken away some of the need for that, thankfully.

Speaking of the Radio, I checked in yesterday with Slevin and he’s working on getting the full drive back up and running. I don’t know what happened to the operating system on the Raspberry Pi we use to host the drive with all the songs, but whatever it was apparently really did a number. Then, of course, I screwed up reinstalling the OS and had to start the whole process over, so the delay’s pretty much completely my fault. We’ll get there. New stuff has been added to the backup drive in the meantime, not that there was anything necessarily wrong with it all being Om, Sabbath and Candlemass. Nice to get some recent albums in there though, Kandodo McBain, All Them Witches and so on.

Fingers crossed that will be back online over the weekend, and as I’ve now acquired the aforementioned next cup of coffee — complete with the scoop of cinnamon protein powder that lets it serve as my breakfast — let’s run down the rest of what’s in store for next week. From the notes, subject to change:

Mon.: Radio Adds and a video premiere from Samavayo.
Tue.: Green Meteor review and track premiere, new Atavismo video.
Wed.: Devil’s Witches review and album stream, new Sergio Ch. video.
Thu.: Review of Death Alley’s live record, video premiere from Wight.
Fri.: Samsara Blues Experiment review and track premiere.

There’s more, of course, but that’s what I’m basing the week around, anyhow. In the meantime, you’ll pardon me if I consider a quiet weekend with The Patient Mrs. and the Little Dog Dio to be particularly well earned. I’ve got work to do in getting stuff ready for Monday, chasing down copy for the Roadburn ‘zine, the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch, and writing a bio for Melbourne cosmic sludgers Merchant, but that’s the kind of busy I enjoy being and at least it’s a couple days I don’t have to drive to Pawtucket.

I hope that whatever you’re up to, you have a great and safe time. Have fun, relax or don’t depending on what you’re looking for, and be sure to check back in on Monday because there’s a lot of awesome stuff to come.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Biblical to Release The City that Always Sleeps on Tee Pee Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

There ain’t much as reliable in this unreliable-ass universe as Tee Pee Records knowing their shit when it comes to picking up heavy psych bands. The long-running New York-based imprint has announced intentions toward releasing the second full-length from Toronto outfit Biblical, and a September release date has been set for The City that Always Sleeps, which follows behind 2014’s first full-length, Monsoon Season, as well as their prior 2011 self-titled EP (review here).

Goes without saying that’s a ways off, so there’s no audio yet or anything like that, but keep an ear out. It’s been a while since I saw their name kicking around, but it would seem Biblical were biding their time and they’re ready to roll out over the course of this summer and into the autumn leading up to the release. You’ll note as well the Comet Control connection. Never hurts.

Good stuff:

biblical-Photo-by-Nic-Poullot

BIBLICAL Signs with Tee Pee Records

Toronto Dark Psych Gang to Release New LP This September

Toronto heavy rock band BIBLICAL has signed with NYC independent label Tee Pee Records. The group will release its sophomore LP, The City That Always Sleeps, advanced as “a deep dive into sludgy psych rock that explores spaces, textures and tones beyond the outer limits”, this September.

“We’ve been fans of Tee Pee for ages,” says bassist / vocalist Nick Sewell. “The label has put out so many awesome records, it really is the perfect fit and we can’t wait to share our new LP. It’s got all things that you want in a BIBLICAL record: ‘Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.'”

Formed in 2010, BIBLICAL is a hard rock band with psych undertones that creates catchy, heavy songs that unfold rather surprisingly. In addition to Sewell, the quartet features in its ranks guitar / synth player Andrew Scott (both Scott and Sewell played with Death From Above drummer Sebastien Grainger in his Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains project), lead guitarist Matt Mclaren and drummer Jay Anderson (also of COMET CONTROL). Motivation for the band’s name is rooted in the “Ghostbusters” quote from Peter Venkman: “This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions!”

Before and since the 2014 release of its full-length debut, Monsoon Season, BIBLICAL has toured and / or rocked stages alongside DFA1979, Eagles of Death Metal, Fucked Up, Kyuss Lives! and Red Fang among many more.

https://www.facebook.com/BIBLICALBAND/
https://twitter.com/BIBLICALBAND
https://biblical.bandcamp.com/album/biblical
http://www.biblicalband.com/
teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://twitter.com/teepeerecords
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Biblical, “Monsoon Season” live in Ontario

Tags: , , , , ,