Destroyer of Light to Release Generational Warfare EP March 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

destroyer of light

Austin doomers Destroyer of Light have never been shy about getting a little weird to one degree or another, so to find them taking on a track from The Cure isn’t necessarily out of character by any means. Still, they certainly change the context of the song and give it a sense of heft to go with its sinister lyrics. I’m not going to lay claim to ever being a fan of The Cure — no doubt I’m a loss that continues to burn in Robert Smith‘s belly to this day — but I get the appeal, and Destroyer of Light‘s take on “Lullaby” is a fair interpretation of the darkness one can find in their otherwise harmless-seeming melodies.

While we’re talking about Destroyer of Light not being shy, it’s worth noting that the EP on which “Lullaby” appears, Generational Warfare, is being released on March 27 through Heavy Friends in an edition of 100 copies to coincide with an April tour that will bring the four-piece to the Eastern Seaboard supporting not only the new two-songer, but 2019’s excellent Mors Aeterna (review here) as well. They’ll do shows in the South with Order of the Owl and hit Grim Reefer Fest in Baltimore on the stretch, and no doubt run out of 7″s long before the shows are done.

Announcement came down the PR wire. Preorders are on Bandcamp:

destroyer of light generational warfare

DESTROYER OF LIGHT: New EP and April Tour Announced

Generational Warfare EP is released 27th March on Heavy Friends Records

The EP will be released on ultra-limited edition 7” vinyl (only 100 copies available) and can be pre-ordered HERE: https://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/album/generational-warfare

Formed in 2012 in Austin, Texas, harbingers of doom Destroyer of Light are no idlers. Within a year of forming the heavy-as-hell/louder-than-war quartet released their self-titled EP and in doing so kick started what would become an ongoing DIY endeavour; driven by huge riffs, hallowed tales and endless road journeys.

This March the band return with a brand-new two-track EP entitled Generational Warfare, which is ferried deep into the breach by a commanding cover of one of The Cure’s most celebrated songs, ‘Lullaby’:

“For years, I’ve wanted to cover a The Cure song,” explains guitarist/vocalist, Steve Colca. “Not only am I huge fan, but I always thought that they had some songs that could easily be constructed into a doom song. I think a lot of people don’t realize how heavy the Cure’s music is, especially if you’ve seen or heard them live. We all agreed that ‘Lullaby’ was the perfect choice. The lyrics are super dark and when we started working on it, it just fell into place.”

Complemented by ‘These Walls…’ a song written and recorded during sessions for last year’s impressive Mors Aeterna album on Argonauta Records, Destroyer of Light’s Generational Warfare EP is released on 27th March 2020 on Heavy Friends Records. The band also embark on a month-long tour this April and will play a number of dates alongside Atlanta riff-men, Order of the Owl. (For the full list of dates see below.)

APRIL TOUR DATES:
3/4 – Rudyard’s – Houston, TX
4/4 – Freetown Boom Boom Room – Lafayette, LA
5/4 – TBA – New Orleans, LA
7/4 – Blue Note* – Tampa, FL
8/4 – Las Rosas* – Miami, FL
9/4 – Will’s Pub* – Orlando, FL
10/4 – The Jinx* – Savannah, GA
11/4 – The Atlantic* – Gainesville, FL
12/4 – Archtype* – Jacksonville, FL
14/4 – 529* – Atlanta, GA
15/4 – The Odditorium – Asheville, NC
16/4 – Slim’s – Raleigh, NC
17/4 – Wonderland – Richmond, VA
18/4 – Ritual Bar & Venue (GRIM REEFER FEST) – Baltimore, MD
19/4 – Gold Sounds – New York, NY
20/4 – O’Briens – Boston, MA
21/4 – Dusk – Providence, RI
22/4 – Tubby’s – Kingsland, NY
23/4 – Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY
24/4 – Gooski’s – Pittsburgh, PA
25/4 – Black Circle Brewery – Indianapolis, IN
26/4 – Mag Bar – Louisville, KY
27/4 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
28/4 – Whittier Bar – Tulsa, OK
*w. Order of the Owl

DESTROYER OF LIGHT:
Steve Colca – Guitar/Vocals
Nick Coffman– Bass
Keegan Kjeldsen – Guitar
Penny Turner – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight/
http://www.instagram.com/destroyeroflightofficial/
http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/heavyfriendsbooking/
https://www.instagram.com/heavyfriendsrecords/
https://heavyfriendsrecords.bigcartel.com/

Destroyer of Light, Generational Warfare EP (2020)

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Stone Machine Electric Revisit Origins on New 7″ Single out March 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It’ll be a decade later this year since Stone Machine Electric first came to my attention with their debut demo, Awash in Feedback (review here), and going back to that release now, it seems oddly prescient toward the band they’d become. I don’t just mean in the two-piece’s penchant for playing weirdo jammy nuance and heavy crunch off each other in fluid-until-it’s-meant-to-be-jarring fashion as the demo did and they’re still wont to do, but in establishing the sonic bond between William “Dub” Irvin on guitar and Mark Kitchens on drums. With vocals from both or neither, periodic keys from Irvin and an ongoing creative development that’s taken place over the course of four full-lengths — the latest of them, Darkness Dimensions Disillusion (review here), came out last year on Sludgelord Records — the duo have built a dynamic that is entirely their own even among the jammier sphere of heavy rock and psychedelia and even among their many Texan cohorts.

They would bring in players off and on to handle bass alongside the guitar and drums, but none stuck, and I think eventually the band decided that they didn’t need a third. Time has only proven them correct on the issue.

Dub and Kitchens mark 10 years since the first time they played live as Stone Machine Electric by revisiting two of the cuts that originally appeared on Awash in Feedback. With “Walking Among the Blind” and “Mushroom Cloud,” the band take an opportunity to show how far they’ve come even as they recast some of their earliest work. But the most important factor to remember about Stone Machine Electric is that they’re never really at rest. Not just in the sense of working on new material or doing shows or whatever, but creatively and developmentally speaking. One hopes that, perhaps in another decade, they might reinterpret these tracks again, if only to make the point again of the ongoing journey they’ve undertaken together.

No audio yet — it’s two songs and more than a month away; hold your horses — but you can and should stream the most recent album under the release info below.

To the PR wire:

Stone Machine Electric Stone Machine Electric

Stone Machine Electric – Stone Machine Electric – 27 March 2020

It’s no secret that Texas does a good line in the psychedelic stoner trend, and one of the state’s finest exports are Stone Machine Electric. Coming off the back of their Sludgelord Records-backed fourth full-length in April 2019, the duo have wasted no time in plying their self-styled “doom jazz” both within and across state borders, with luminaries such as fellow Texans Wo Fat, Jucifer and Mothership, and a whole host of festivals.

In commemoration of the band’s first ever performance ten whole years ago, Mark Kitchens and Dub Irvin have selected two of the first tracks they ever wrote – take from their original demo Awash in Feedback – to be collated into a 7”, allowing vinyl enthusiasts to experience (or wax lyrical over) the crunch n’ thump of Stone Machine Electric’s wheels.

When the dark and woozy riffs slide in, there’s nowhere else they could be from than the Lone Star State. “Mushroom Cloud” has an instantly infectious rhythm going for it, aided by Kitchens smooth vocals and a swirl of freak-out jamming effects that give a perfect mental picture of their scorching live shows. “Walking Among the Blind”, meanwhile, is a more somber, grittier affair with a wailing blues-inspired solo over the dirty grooves.

Tracklisting:
1. Walking Among the Blind
2: Mushroom Cloud

Stone Machine Electric are:
Dub – Guitar/Vocals
Kitchens – Drums/Vocals/Keyboard

https://www.facebook.com/StoneMachineElectric/
https://www.instagram.com/stonemachineelectric/
http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/
http://www.stonemachineelectric.net/

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Friday Full-Length: Wo Fat, The Black Code

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

 

Heavy rock and roll’s history — and that of rock more generally — is replete with vehicular infatuation. From Chuck Berry‘s “No Particular Place to Go” to Deep Purple‘s “Highway Star” to Nebula‘s “Down the Highway,” it is a thread that unites subgenres around notions of self-direction, freedom and, of course, movement. In the hands of Dallas three-piece Wo Fat, the idea of the “highway” became “Lost Highway,” with a darker, swampier spin on the trope befitting the album it led off, 2012’s The Black Code (review here; LP review here). The first of two offerings they’d make through Small Stone Records, it followed just a year behind 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), which if I’m not mistaken gave Wo Fat the distinction of being one of if not the first American band to release through Nasoni Records — if they weren’t actually first, it’s still very select company to be in — and continued momentum built from the success of their 2009 sophomore outing, Psychedelonaut (review here; discussed here). That album solidified elements present on 2006’s nascent The Gathering Dark and established the penchant for hooks and bluesy and well-fuzzed tone of guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, and furthered a penchant for jammier vibes between Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter that would continue through all their subsequent work to-date.

What makes The Black Code‘s five-track/46-minute stretch a landmark in Wo Fat‘s catalog, however, is a combination of three factors. I’ll bullet-point them to make everyone’s life easier:

  • The songs.
  • The evolution.
  • The timing.

The first one is probably the most straightforward. “Oh yeah we’re goin’ down the lost highway/Oh yeah there’s gonna be hell to pay” is as righteously catchy as it is righteously simple a hook, but it’s just the first of the bunch on The Black Code, and even the 12-minute “The Shard of Leng” has a chorus it drives home, let alone the album’s 10-minute title-track or closer “Sleep of the Black Lotus.” The centerpiece “Hurt at Gone” would seem to veer elsewhere structurally, but it makes a point to drive wo fat the black codehome repetitions of its title as well, and proves memorable for its use of slide guitar ahead of the Rhodes on “The Shard of Leng.” The songs all came together around an open-feeling sensibility, not necessarily meandering, but willing to flesh out with a natural patience and explore the territory around them with Stump‘s soloing leading the way. Noche del Chupacabra made a point of its swampiness on “Bayou Juju,” but The Black Code — if it didn’t come right out and say so — continued the theme fluidly.

Which brings up the second point. The reason it’s fair to call The Black Code a landmark isn’t just because it’s been influential in the years since it was released, but it was a critical moment in Wo Fat‘s development as a band. There was a lot that worked from the outset on The Gathering Dark, and that potential came forward on Psychedelonaut. Noche del Chupacabra stripped down some of the second album’s reach and put the focus on the combination of craft and jams. The Black Code ultimately succeeded because it — just a year later — took the lessons of all Wo Fat‘s prior LPs and put them to use in a span of songs that brought together in a way that made the record equal parts immersive and memorable. It was a culmination of everything Wo Fat had accomplished to that point, and those accomplishments had already been significant. In short, it was the moment where Wo Fat “figured it out” as regards the band they wanted to be and what they wanted to do with their music. It pushed them past their influences and onto ground more thoroughly their own.

And the timing for that couldn’t have been better. Consider the spread of mobile social media, the advent of YouTube Channel proliferation of music, Bandcamp, Spotify and so on. I don’t think StumpWalter and Wilson were sitting at a Wo Fat board meeting planning out their digital strategy as to how to get the most out of the solo-into-oblivion methodology at play on “Sleep of the Black Lotus,” but no question that word spread of Wo Fat‘s excellence in a space that, even a few years before, didn’t exist in the same way, and that that had an impact on how they were received, particularly by a new generation of fans. They hit their stride, as it were, and the music-on-social-media infrastructure was there to let them reap the benefits. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Wo Fat went to Europe for the first time supporting The Black Code, playing Roadburn 2013 (review here) in the Netherlands and a slew of other dates besides.

In 2013, Wo Fat also released their split with EgyptCyclopean Riffs (review here), and that momentum would continue to carry them through 2014’s The Conjuring (review here), a more than worthy follow-up to The Black Code. A limited 7″ split with The Re-Stoned arrived in 2015 ahead of their Ripple Music debut, Midnight Cometh (review here), in 2016. In 2017, Ripple took the 2015 live album, Live Juju at Freak Valley (review here), and with additional tracks, offered it as Live Juju at Freak Valley… and Beyond! on CD and LP, but 2020 will make it four years since their last proper studio offering, which is the longest stretch of their career to-date. They went to Australia in 2019 though and they’re set to play Monolith on the Mesa this year and other gigs, so they’ve been plenty busy one way or the other. Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a new record sometime before December.

I’ll admit it felt almost too easy to close out the week with The Black Code, but in thinking about why, it’s because the record so damn relevant. It doesn’t seem nearly as close to eight years old as it is, and given the impact it’s had on the structure of Wo Fat‘s work since — I would expect a new album to bring something of a shift in that, but I’ll save that speculation for another time — the recent discussion here of the best albums of the 2010s, and the ongoing spread of their influence more generally, it speaks as its own best argument. Maybe I’ll shut up finally and just let it do that.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading.

I lost The Pecan’s hat yesterday evening. Actually my hat, but he has taken it for his own and I have another of the same one, so whatever. Yes, we have matching winter hats. It is a white knit hat that my wife’s grandmother, Helen, first made for me well over 15 years ago. At some point, I came into the second one, and that was the one that didn’t make it out of Stop & Shop at Rt. 10 & 202 last night. Not a tragedy — it’s not like I lost the kid, right? — but an object of marked sentimental value to me and a genuine bummer. I called the grocery store and asked them to keep an eye out. The poor customer service woman thought I was insane. I spared her the full explanation of the hat’s origin.

My sister went twice and looked in the parking lot for it. She also went in and talked to customer service. Her husband went on his way to work this morning too. And The Pecan and I were out this morning early as well. I looked in the parking lot as the sun was coming up and then looked again in the back of the car by his seat and it was there under the floor. It had been there apparently the whole time. Real human relief. Exhale.

Last night, after he went to bed, I also accidentally broke my Chemex carafe that I use to make coffee. I had poured water in the coffee maker (8 cups, same as ever) and was shaking out the excess in the sink and the glass caught the faucet and broke. Again, could’ve been worse. Not a big mess of glass to clean up on the floor, and not the actual, much more expensive, coffee maker broken. But after the day I’d already had running solo point on Pecan duty as The Patient Mrs. is away on a work trip — dude was pissed to have a no-mommy day — and after the thing with the hat, it was clearly time to cut my losses, have dessert and get in bed.

This morning, before I even found the hat, I woke up to a message from a record label whose work I respect telling me that an artist whose work I very much respect has a yet-unannounced new album, and did I want to write the album bio for it. I said yes, and it’s a quick turnaround, so I’ll have to write it tomorrow, but I’m listening to the album now (it’s not Wo Fat, though that’d be cool too), and it’s really good, so all the better. It’s something to look forward to writing about tomorrow, and as it happens, getting blindsided by a new album and then looking forward to writing about it is among my very favorite things in the universe. Right up there with roasted garlic and hot showers.

That was a welcome start to the day, and I haven’t bought a new coffee carafe yet as of this writing — I got a cup at the Panera drive-thru, which was at very least better than Dunkin’ or Starbucks in the realm of “loosely acceptable in a pinch” — but obviously that’s on the agenda. I’m also making pesto this afternoon with kale and hazelnuts and my own roasted garlic that I’ll eat tonight with cauliflower and leftover chicken for dinner. Need to get parm reg at the grocery store when I buy the carafe.

I have a doctor’s appointment at 12:30 — it’s 10:30 now — to do a follow-up ultrasound I guess because they’re worried I might throw a clot after the surgery I had a week ago on my leg and they want to make sure everything’s kosher. Whatever. My father threw a clot in his leg a while back; didn’t kill him. Dude’s heartier than me, but if I dropped dead, well, at least I found that hat and got to hear one more good record that I was looking forward to writing about.

If I did though, I’d miss Ode to Doom next Wednesday in Manhattan, and that’d be a bummer. Apparently it’s Joe Wood from Eternal Black’s birthday. Dude is more than a prince. He’s a king. Seriously one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. If you ever have the opportunity to know him, take it. It will make your life better.

One would expect his birthday would draw a good crowd, even for a weeknight in January.

Tomorrow’s plans include a drive to Connecticut so that The Pecan can visit with The Patient Mrs.’ family and I can continue on to Rhode Island to purchase chicken from the Buffoni Poultry Farm in Johnston. I will get at least 40 pounds of chicken, no bullshit. I was thinking about getting 30 pounds of thighs if I can. It’s almost the start of the semester, so basically we’re stocking up for the next few months ahead of The Patient Mrs.’ break ending, and it’s not like I want to make a three-hour drive for chicken every week. So yeah, I’ll be buying in bulk.

No one in New Jersey runs a free-range, preferably organic, farm that does their processing on-site and sells boneless thighs. These are very exacting standards, and I’ve yet to find anyone who meets them. Plus the chicken from the place in RI is better than anything I’ve had here, and I’ve been through a few farms at this point.

I could go on, but this post is already beyond manageable. Guess I feel like writing. Bodes well for the weekend if I can keep it up. Always plenty of work to do.

Real quick — next week: Premieres for Red Mesa (video), Grey Skies Fallen (track), Yuri Gagarin (video), and another video I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about ahead of time but that’s slated for next Friday. Also the Ode to Doom review will be up Thursday.

So good stuff to come.

Please, great and safe weekend, and thanks again for reading.

FRM: Forum, Radio, Merch at MiBK.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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The Well Return to Europe & UK in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The only question with The Well is whether they’re more undervalued or taken for granted. “Oh, The Well are popping back over to Europe to tour again? Ho-hum.” Yes, the Austin, Texas, trio are pretty well traveled, no less so to support this year’s righteous Death and Consolation (review here), but just because they’re out there now doesn’t mean they always will be. And hey, I get it, life gets in the way sometimes and you can’t make it to every show. It’s like the story of my existence right now. But if you can’t at least show respect for a band who put in the kind of work that results in a list of impending tour dates like the below — with just nine days between finishing one run in Salzburg, Austria, and starting the next in El Paso, Texas, then what the hell are you pretending to care about anything for? If that doesn’t matter to you, what does?

Songs and performance, you say? Style and substance, you say? Well fucking The Well have that too. Record and their latest video are at the bottom of the post. Take some time and really listen. Shit is awesome. How people aren’t all over The Well‘s collective junk, I just don’t know.

That’s my piece. I’ve said it.

To the PR wire:

the well

The Well announce winter tour dates in North America, EU and UK supporting new album Death and Consolation

Austin trio The Well announce yet another round of North American, EU and UK tour dates in support of their critically acclaimed new album Death and Consolation (RidingEasy Records.) The band has spent much of the year on tour, and now continue the trek into 2020, sharing some US dates with label mates Zig-Zags and R.I.P. These will be The Well’s first ever tour in the UK, having only played London’s DesertFest in 2019, and fans’ first opportunity to see the band performing songs from the new album. Please see all dates below.

Death and Consolation is available on LP, CD and download as of April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2020:
01/22 – Milan, IT @ Ligera
01/23 – Bologna, IT @ Freakout
01/24 – Turin, IT @ Ziggy
01/26 – Lille, FR @ La Bulle Cafe
01/27 – Tours, FR @ Le Canadian Cafe
01/28 – Nantes, FR @ La Scene Michelet
01/29 – Bordeaux, FR @ Les Voutes
01/30 – Dijon, FR @ Peniche Cancale
01/31 – Rennes, FR @ Le Melies
02/01 – Paris, FR @ Espace B
02/03 – Brighton, UK @ Hope & Ruin
02/04 – Milton Keyes, UK @ The Craufurd Arms
02/05 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
02/07 – London, UK @ Black Heart
02/08 – Bree, BE @ Ragnarok
02/09 – Berlin, DE @ Zukunft am Ostkreuz
02/10 – Salzburg, AT @ Rockhouse

02/19 – El Paso, TX @ Monarch
02/20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
02/21 – San Diego, CA @ Til Two Club *
02/22 – Oceanside, CA @ The Pourhouse *
02/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Permanent Records Roadhouse *
02/25 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout
02/26 – Nevada City, CA @ The Brick
02/27 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark +
02/28 – Seattle, WA @ Substation +
02/29 – Vancouver, BC @ TBA +
03/02 – Kalispell, MT @ Old School Records
03/03 – Missoula, MT @ TBA
03/04 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
03/05 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
03/06 – Denver, CO @ Streets of London
03/07 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
* w/ Zig-Zags
+ w/ R.I.P.

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
https://www.instagram.com/thewellband/
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/

The Well, “Raven” official video

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019)

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Wooden Earth Premiere New Single “Fangs”

Posted in audiObelisk on December 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

wooden earth

Dallas, Texas, heavy rockers Wooden Earth are gearing up to release their new digital single ‘Fangs’ next Friday, but if you’re feeling fancy — and I know you are — you can stream the track on the Bandcamp player below. Recorded as the duo of guitarist Devin Moreno and drummer/vocalist Griffin Thomas, it is the follow-up to the band’s 2018 debut EP, Waves of Smoke, and finds them working along similar principles of putting their priorities in line as being groove, heft and a tight-knit execution of songwriting. The EP dug into some bluesy vibes, and though “Fangs” keeps the boogie and the periodic use of vocal layering/harmonies, it’s also somewhat more progressive feeling. Or at very least creatively willful.

Thomas and Moreno have been together as Wooden Earth for two years, and in that time they’ve had three bass players come and go as they’ve tried to assemble a touring lineup. Some you win, some you lose, but if “Fangs” is their way of testing out life as a duo, a lack of low end doesn’t seem Wooden Earth Fangsto be holding them up at all. Rather, in three and a half minutes, “Fangs” turns from upping the tempo on some Sleep-style riffing to play up a shuffle to paying that off with an Elder-esque turn of melody and drive in the second half of the song. All the while, it’s quick, and it moves. There’s an organ featured in there, unless it’s cleverly layered guitar effects — always possible — and though structurally it’s not such an outlandish turn from Waves of Smoke before it, in that melody and in Thomas‘ pulled-back-on-the-burl vocal approach, one can hear the sound of the band beginning to take shape. It’s nothing but encouraging.

They’ve been hither and yon around Texas for the last couple years, but especially if they decide post-“Fangs” to make it work live as a duo, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they started getting out beyond Lone Star borders and doing more tours. I don’t know what their plans are ultimately, but a debut album is an inevitability of the path they’re on, and “Fangs” only portrays them as more ready for that task than they were even a year ago.

If you’re in the Dallas area (and aren’t we all, really?), they’ll be at The Blue Light on Jan. 10 with kingpins Mothership as well as Bull by the Horn and Holy Death Trio. Got that event page right here: https://www.facebook.com/events/435447817399515/.

They offer some short comment below and there’s more from the PR wire, but of course the reason we’re all here is the song itself, so that’s right under these lines for your consumption. You’re almost there. Just keep going.

Good.

Enjoy:

Wooden Earth on “Fangs”:

We’re happy to be releasing our new song FANGS! The song is about conquering your reality with a blood thirst to survive. Pushing forward and building something great. Being optimistic when the world is at its darkest.

Dallas Texas WOODEN EARTH will release their new single “Fangs” on December 13th 2019.

Since their formation in 2017 the group has not only started to craft concept records starting with 2018’s Waves Of Smoke EP, but also written a yet-to-be-released comic book depicting the story behind the band. To become road dogs they have had to stay resilient, the core duo of drummer/vocalist Griffin Thomas and guitarist Devin Moreno have been through three bassists and are currently touring as a two-piece. Currently the band is preparing for a several week tour in early 2020 as well as the release of their debut album. This new record will see them building on the controlled chaos that is their sound and will build on of over a decade of playing together.

Wooden Earth is:
Griffin Thomas – Drums/Vocals
Devin Moreno – Guitar

Wooden Earth on Thee Facebooks

Wooden Earth on Instagram

Wooden Earth on Bandcamp

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Lord Buffalo Sign to Blues Funeral Recordings for Tohu Wa Bohu Release; Premiere Title-Track

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

LORD BUFFALO

Austin, Texas, heavy Americana psych/post-rockers (vague enough for you?) Lord Buffalo will release their sophomore album, Tohu Wa Bohu, through Blues Funeral Recordings sometime in the early going of 2020. Though the four-piece will likely draw immediate comparisons to Rochester, NY, trio King Buffalo, if only for the similarity of their monikers, the 40-minute eight-tracker shows a diversity of influence from All Them Witches brooding, bluesy moon-howling atmospherics in its early going on “Raziel” or “Halle Berry” to some of Young Hunter‘s sneaky guitar bounce and nuance in the title-track and flourish of piano and strings prefaced in “Dog Head” that finds realization across the final trio of “Kenosis,” the relatively brief “Heart of the Snake” and closer “Llano Estacado No. 2,” executed with a build and airy fluidity of presence that reminds of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds tripping on Wovenhand‘s often-severe point of view.

It is a heft of ambience as much as tone, but there’s no shortage of rhythmic impact as well, as even the lumber of “Dog Head” shows, vocals and violin sweeping up Lord Buffalo Tohu Wa Bohuin a melodic wash punctuated by a thick-sounding snare that brings its crescendo down and locks in the more immediate thump-on-a-can of “Tohu Wa Bohu” itself, the title-track manifesting the highway-at-night vibe that the single’s accompanying cover also portrays. Lord Buffalo are no less comfortable in stark reaches than they are in their moments of fuller arrangement, and “Tohu Wa Bohu” transitions from one to the other with a hypnotic flow that would seem to lead off the immersion of side B of the vinyl, which of course only runs deeper as the subsequent tracks play out, culminating in “Llano Estacado No. 2,” with its repetitive string line and post-apex plays toward abrasion on a long fade capping. The standout line of the record and certainly of the song itself belongs to the title-track’s “Come show me how to feel,” which is delivered with due implore, but at no point is Tohu Wa Bohu cloying. Its songs are patient and often beautifully constructed, and whatever elements exist that might invite comparisons to the work of others, they’re used in such a way as to hone a persona belonging to the album itself.

Those who want to take the drive will find “Tohu Wa Bohu” premiering below, followed by comment from Lord Buffalo, as well as Blues Funeral, and the signing and release announcement. It’s a lot to pack into one post, but I have faith you’re up for it.

Please enjoy:

Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Pruitt on “Tohu Wa Bohu”:

As a band, we get booked on all kinds of bills. We’re often the loud band on a quiet bill or the quietest band on a heavy bill, and we can do both. We like a lot of different music, but it’s all pretty dark, and that has been our guiding light.

“Tohu Wa Bohu” is the title-track from our new record, and it’s a good example of what we’re going for, starting tight and sparse and building into something large and wide open. We wanted to try to use the rhythmic elements as the drone. It’s this pulsing, repetitive wave of bass and drums that makes a bed for the guitar and violin and builds into a huge vocal chant.

Jadd Shickler of Blues Funeral Recordings on the signing:

Lord Buffalo is a departure from our more familiar stoner/doom output, but we have broad tastes and know our listeners do, too. We’ve been fans of bands like 16 Horsepower, Son Volt and Godspeed You! Black Emperor for decades, and Lord Buffalo’s atmospheric ghost-town Americana captivates us in much the same way that those bands do. We saw them at the inaugural Monolith on the Mesa festival, where they absolutely decimated on a bill alongside tons of traditionally heavy bands. We’ve got no doubt that they’ll land for fans of bands like Dead Meadow, WovenHand, and Calexico, and can’t wait to release their new record.

Album Release Info:

America’s vast ocean of rolling prairie, brutal in its rhythmic repetition and sameness, can be unsettling to take in. The plains force a communion with the open sky, the endless landscape turning one’s eye inward.

Lord Buffalo’s second LP, Tohu Wa Bohu, is just that: the outward gaze forced inward, where the unknowable lingers on the blurred horizon between land, sky and mind.

In the Torah, “tohu wa bohu” refers to the formless void; the shape of things before the act of creation.

In thinking about writing the album, Lord Buffalo wanted to embrace unformed space and resist the instinct to control the process.

With only some basic arrangements in place, they entered Good Danny’s studio in Lockhart, Texas. As the tape rolled, they aimed to catch moments of new creation, the spirit hovering over the surface of the deep.

The end result is an elusive animal, equally at home under yellow street lights and purple desert skies. Tohu Wa Bohu is a heavy/quiet record that plays across genres, taking cues equally from Morricone and Badalementi as Sabbath and Swans. In sum, its thirty-nine minutes play more as a continuous movement than a collection of songs, a ride through open plains and melancholic midwestern imagery under a storm-threatening sky.

Tohu Wa Bohu will be available worldwide on LP, CD, and digital via Blues Funeral Recordings in early 2020.

Lord Buffalo are:
G.J. Hellman
P.J. Patterson
Yamal Said
D.J. Pruitt

Lord Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Lord Buffalo on Instagram

Lord Buffalo on Bandcamp

Lord Buffalo website

Blues Funeral Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Blues Funeral Recordings website

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Austin Terror Fest Becomes Oblivion Access; Initial 2020 Lineup Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

As someone who spent roughly five minutes not-at-all-surviving in the corporate sector working in something loosely related to marketing, I’m sometimes interested in moves like this. Obviously it’s a play toward a wider appeal, right? More people will be interested in Oblivion Access than Austin Terror Fest, which sounds like an extreme metal festival exclusively. A name like Oblivion Access — taken from the 2015 album of Lil Ugly Mane, who’ll be part of the 2020 lineup — also opens up the possibility of tapping into the kind of modern American post-Coachella emergence of the “festival experience,” which sometimes extends to art and other stuff and sometimes just means that if you pay more you get more. “Oblivion” connotes danger and “Access” connotes exclusivity. You could sit a team down in a brightly lit open office space surrounded by MacBook Pros and they’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more suitable banner to fly.

Swans, Converge, Anna von Hausswolff, True Widow, Despise You and Primitive Man are confirmed so far, in addition to the aforementioned Lil Ugly Mane, and badges are available now.

Details follow via the PR wire:

oblivion access 2020 lineup

AUSTIN TERROR FEST ANNOUNCES REBRAND AS OBLIVION ACCESS MUSIC FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 2020 RETURN WITH INITIAL LINEUP REVEAL FEATURING SWANS, CONVERGE, LIL UGLY MANE, ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF, DESPISE YOU, TRUE WIDOW, & PRIMITIVE MAN

— FOURTH ANNUAL HEAVY METAL, EXTREME ROCK, & EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL RETURNS JUNE 5-7 TO MULTIPLE VENUES ACROSS DOWNTOWN AUSTIN, TEXAS —

— FESTIVAL BADGES ON SALE NOW WITH FULL LINEUP DROPPING IN JANUARY —

The founders of Austin Terror Fest are proud to announce the music festival has recently rebranded to become Oblivion Access. The heavy metal, extreme rock, and experimental music festival is set to return to the Red River Cultural District of Austin, Texas, on June 5-7. Additionally, the festival has revealed some of the first acts added to the 2020 lineup, with three-day badges on sale now for just $200 through the festival’s official Facebook event page.

Oblivion Access is an annual celebration of underground music and rock culture, which will take place across a three-day weekend from Friday, June 5 to Sunday, June 7, 2020. Each night of the festival, Oblivion Access will take over some of the most popular music venues in the renowned Red River Cultural District of downtown Austin—including returning fan-favorites like Barracuda and Empire Control Room & Garage, as well as a new location at Mohawk—to offer attendees performances from some of the most in-demand metal and experimental acts from across the globe.

The new name, Oblivion Access, is meant to serve as an homage to Lil Ugly Mane’s 2015 album of the same title. Still ringing true to the festival’s original identity, Oblivion Access will continue to provide fans with some of today’s most sought-after heavy metal, experimental, and punk rock music performances. The festival will also expand into new genres and sounds, continuing the transition that began during last year’s festival to make the event a more inclusive and encompassing celebration of both counterculture and experimental music.

In celebration of the festival’s new name, as well as its expansion to now include Mohawk, the festival team has decided to unveil several acts in this year’s lineup, including a very special headlining performance from Swans as the band reunites for the first time after going on hiatus in 2017. The oft-labeled “world’s loudest experimental rock band” just released their latest album, Leaving Meaning, and continue to be heralded as pioneers in the industrial rock scene.

The 2020 bill will also feature Boston-based hardcore punk band Converge; Lil Ugly Mane, a critically acclaimed rap project from the mind of Travis Miller, whose last album in 2015 is the namesake for the festival; and Swedish singer/songwriter Anna von Hausswolff, as she embarks on her first-ever tour across the US. Other notable acts include Los Angeles-based hardcore punk band Despise You, best known for their power-violence sound that combines extremely dissonant and fast metal; and Texas’ own doom rockers True Widow, hailing from nearby Dallas. Lastly, sludge metal trio and Oblivion Access’ artist-in-residence Primitive Man will be returning to perform several sets featuring never-before-played deep cuts.

The current music lineup is listed below, with the full lineup being revealed in January 2020:

OBLIVION ACCESS 2020 – INITIAL MUSIC LINEUP
Swans
Converge
Lil Ugly Mane
Anna von Hausswolff
Despise You
True Widow
Primitive Man

Three-day GA passes are on sale now for $200 through the festival’s official Facebook event page. Weekend GA passes guarantee access to all official festival shows at Barracuda, Empire Control Room & Garage, and Mohawk throughout the three-day festival weekend. These Weekend GA passes are in limited supply due to venue capacities, so those interested are encouraged to act fast. Single-show passes will also be made available for purchase online at a later time closer to the festival dates.

Oblivion Access (formerly Austin Terror Fest) was created in 2016 and continues to be independently produced by Austin-based entrepreneurs Dusty Brooks and Dorian Domi. Brooks and Domi are not only successful music talent bookers, but they are also metal enthusiasts who look to continue growing the new brand for years to come. Each year the event continues to grow, with last year’s festival hosting the largest number of attendees to date. The 2019 festival included 2,500 attendees and more than 30 music acts from Texas and around the globe, including Lighting Bolt, Pig Destroyer, Goatwhore, TR/ST, Alcest, Bongzilla, and more.

The official music lineup poster for Oblivion Access 2020 was designed and illustrated in collaboration with the talented Russ Goldston, an experienced calligrapher and digital artist based in Chicago. More of their work can be found on Instagram at @late.fate.

For more information, please visit the official Oblivion Access Facebook Event page and follow along on Instagram at @OblivionAccessFest for updates and special promotions. The Festival’s official hashtag is #OblivionAccess2020.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oblivion-access-2020-tickets-82569635001
https://www.facebook.com/events/417718199127009/
https://www.facebook.com/oblivionaccessfest/
https://www.instagram.com/oblivionaccessfest/

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Gary Lee Conner: The Microdot Gnome LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Listening to Gary Lee Conner‘s 2014 first solo long-player, The Microdot Gnome, I can’t help but think of Masters of Reality at their psychedelic best. The manifestation is different, and Conner — best known as former guitarist for Screaming Trees — is way more acid-drenched on the whole, but there’s a similar affinity and clear, genuine passion for pioneering ’60s psych that comes through the deeply melodic and exploratory material that makes it an unabashed sunshiny joy to take on, as heard in the McCartney bounce of “Stained Rainbow” and the organ so prominently featured on “Moonflower.” I’d covered Conner‘s 2011 single, Low Flying Bird/Strange Hades (review here), released under the moniker of Microdot Gnome, but I guess not managed to keep up. He also had two full-lengths out last year in Jan. 2018’s Ether Trippers and October’s Unicorn Curry, so I guess I’ve got some work to do there. Noted.

The Microdot Gnome will be issued on vinyl through Vincebus Eruptum Recordings on Jan. 15. They’re only pressing 300 copies and preorders are up now. I hate to spend your money (actually I love it.), but I think if you take a listen to the Bandcamp stream of the album at the bottom of this post, the audio itself is the most compelling argument to get your order in before they’re gone. That’s all I’ll say.

From the label:

gary lee conner the microdot gnome lp

GARY LEE CONNER “The Microdot Gnome”

Finally available to pre-order!!!

Only 300 copies will be published…

For the first time on vinyl (since now published only on digital and cassette) the long awaited SUPER-PSYCHEDELIC album by Gary Lee Conner!

THE MICRODOT GNOME

For the fans of Screaming Trees, but not only…believe me!

https://vincebuseruptum.bigcartel.com/product/gary-lee-conner-the-microdot-gnome-includes-association-fee

Issue date: 15th of January 2020

Limited edition vinyl (VELP028): 300 copies on purple vinyl The long awaited FIRST album by the SCREAMING TREES guitar player!
Recorded in 2010…long awaited vinyl release since it’s already been on digital and cassette.

Track-list:
A1 – Gardens of Time
A2 – Confessions of the White Rabbit (edit)
A3 – Stained Rainbow
A4 – Sadie’s Golden Mirror
A5 – Smokerings Are My Only Friends
A6 – Morning Glory Pincushion
B1 – Low Flying Bird
B2 – Julian Hades
B3 – Moonflower
B4 – Chester Apple
B5 – To Andromeda

http://www.facebook.com/garyleeconner
https://garyleeconner.bandcamp.com/
https://vincebuseruptum.bigcartel.com/
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it/

Gary Lee Conner, The Microdot Gnome (2014)

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