Destroyer of Light Announce Month-Long US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

destroyer of light

Austin horror rockers Destroyer of Light have no shortage of work ahead of them in slogging their way coast to coast on what they’ve dubbed the “Howlin’ Across America” tour. The ghoulish death-sludge purveyors hit the West Coast over the summer, but that couldn’t really compare to the month they’ll spend on the road starting Oct. 13 in support of their second record, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, which came out earlier in the year on Heavy Friends Records.

They’ll make a stop at the Southwest Terror Fest on Oct. 17, and short of Boston and a few cities in the northern part of the Midwest, hits just about everywhere else, so if they’re hitting your town it might be worth showing up and buying some merch, to keep ‘em flying, as the WWII posters used to say.

Info culled from the PR wire:

destroyer of light howlin across america tour

Destroyer of Light Announces Howlin’ Across America Tour ’14

Austin Doom Band To Spend A Month On The Road

Following a successful summer run on the West Coast, doom metal alchemists Destroyer of Light are set to undertake another tour in support of its Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP. Dubbed the Howlin’ Across America Tour ’14, the band will spend a month on the road and visit 32 cities. The Heavy Friends Records-sponsored tour starts in their home town Austin, Texas and reaches out to nearly every region in the United States.

On October 17, Destroyer of Light travels to The District Tavern in Tucson, Arizona where they will play Southwest Terror Fest. Goatsnake, Sunn 0))), Neurosis, Pelican and Author & Punisher are a few of the bands billed to play the four-day festival.

The band comments: “We are super excited about this tour and hitting some new cities that we haven’t played before. Also, this is the biggest tour that we have done; so, it is a very exciting feeling to go out and accomplish this.”

Howlin Across America Tour ’14
10/13-Austin, TX @ The Grand
10/14-Midland, TX @ Blue Max
10/15-El Paso, TX @Grynde Bar
10/17-Tucson, AZ @ The District Tavern Southwest Terror Fest
10/20-Alburquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
10/21-OKC/Tulsa, OK @TBA
10/22-Bryant, AR @ M.F. Metal
10/23-St. Louis, MO @ FOAM Coffe & Bar
10/24-Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge
10/25-Kalamazo, MI @ Satellite Records
10/26-Columbus, OH @ Carabar
10/27-Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project
10/28-Buffalo, NY @ The Lair
10/29-Brooklyn, NY @ The Grand Victory
10/30-Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
10/31-Shepardtown, WV @ Stonewall’s Pub
11/01-Richmond, VA @ 25Watt
11/02- Chapel Hill, NC @ The Cave Tavern
11/03-Johnston City, TN @ The Hideaway
11/04-Nashville, TN @TBA
11/05-Columbia, SC @ Foxfield Bar & Grill
11-06/Jacksonville, FL @ The Burro Bar
11/07-Longwood, FL @Hoodies Saloon
11/08-Pensacola, FL @ The Handlebar
11-09-Atlanta/Savannah/Athens @ TBA
11/10-Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
11/11-Jackson, MS @ OI Tavern/George St.
11.12-New Orleans, LA @ The Beatnik
11/13-Texarkana, AR @ The Silver Dollar
11/14-Fort Worth, TX @ The Grotto
11/15-Houston, TX @ Rudyards
11/16-Austin ,TX @ The Lost Well

Erik Bredthauer created a Tales From the Crypt style animated video for the single “Forbidden Zombi Ritual” taken from Destroyer of Light’s Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP. Go HERE to watch the video.

http://destroyeroflight.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/destroyeroflight
https://twitter.com/DoLAustinDoom
http://www.reverbnation.com/destroyeroflight

Destroyer of Light, “Forbidden Zombi Ritual” official video

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The Well Premiere “Refuge” from Debut LP Samsara; Out Tomorrow on RidingEasy Records

Posted in audiObelisk on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the well (Photo by Andy Ray Lemon)

Heavy psych trio The Well make their full-length debut tomorrow on RidingEasy Records with Samsara, a beast of an album rife with rhythmic swing, deep tonal buzz and a balance between classic ’70s worship and more devilish tendencies. The Austin, Texas, three-piece issue the LP as the follow-up to 2013’s First Trip EP and a preceding 2012 7″ titled Seven (review here) that served notice of their interest in malevolent psych pop and heavier rocking swing. There are certainly plenty of both on Samsara, which comprises seven tracks of garage-inflected languid roll — some Witch and Uncle Acid on “Trespass,” and centerpiece “Lucifer Sam” seems to reimagine Ghost‘s propensity for catchy Satanics as a late ’60s Halloween party — but finds its distinctive presence in the dirtied-up elder metal guitar work of Ian Graham, who also shares vocal duties with bassist Lisa Alley, and in the nod punctuated by drummer Jason Sullivan.

They make no bones about where they’re coming from. Classic influences yielding results that I wouldn’t necessarily call retro, but definitely have one ideological foot in the past. The eight-minute riff-roll of “Eternal Well” losesthe well samsara none of the rest of Samsara‘s propensity for strong hooks for its extra runtime, and where a cut like “1,000 Lies” pauses around its middle for a quieter atmospheric stretch, even at its thickest-toned and most raucous, the album keeps a sense of mood at the fore, opener “Mortal Bones” setting a tone of catchy songcraft that broadcasts its structural simplicity in order to sneak in tonal intricacies in the guitar and bass and in the vocal arrangements, The Well working smoothly to make their output sound much easier than it is while providing satisfying fodder for repeat listens. That’s true throughout, but it’s on “Refuge” that the various sides of Samsara‘s personality most come together, and it’s for that reason I’m so glad to be able to host the premiere of that track today.

At six and a half minutes, it’s the longest on the album but for “Eternal Well,” beginning slow with a creeper of a riff that soon gives way to the speedier push of its verse and chorus, a break at the halfway point signaling a change to some of Samsara‘s finest rhythmic sway, Sullivan stomping out a line that Graham and Alley seem to revel in, the former taking a fuzzed-out solo as the jam continues and “Refuge” gradually dissolves. After five minutes in, a final crash would seem to bring things to an end, but what follows is an arrangement of vocals between the guitarist and the bassist that makes the song even more of a standout and emphasizes the subtle shifts that The Well are so able to pull off on their fluid, remarkably cohesive debut record. You can see the part in the waveform below, so don’t cut out early.

And please, enjoy:

The Well‘s Samsara was produced by Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins) and engineered by Chico Jones at Ohm Recording Studio in Austin. RidingEasy Records releases the album tomorrow, Sept. 23, on CD and vinyl. More info at the links.

The Well on Thee Facebooks

The Well on Twitter

Samsara at RidingEasy’s webstore

RidingEasy Records

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Mothership II Album Details Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Mothership‘s new album is a scorcher, plain and simple. The Texas natives made waves with their self-titled debut, which got picked up by Ripple for a re-release, but Mothership II is a different beast altogether, and one that trounces its predecessor easily. I’ll have more on the record as we get closer to its newly-announced November release, again through Ripple Music, but for now, take this as notice that the album is one worth looking forward to, and particularly if you dug the first one, something that’s going to make a late addition to your best of the year list.

Details and tracks and art, just off the PR wire:

MOTHERSHIP Reveal Details of Sophomore Album, Mothership II

Ripple Music and Dallas, Texas-based riffers Mothership are excited to finally reveal the details of Mothership’s highly anticipated second release, Mothership II. After months of playing their new tunes to sweaty, ecstatic masses both in Europe and on across the United States, the trio is excited for fans to finally hear the album in its entirety. For the album art, the band chose good friend and incredibly talented artist Zach “EZ” Nelson (Instagram – @ezwheelin) to hand draw his version of the galactic Valkyrie who also appeared in another form on the cover of the band’s debut album. For the album’s engineering, Mothership returned to Kent Stump of Wo Fat, who also lent his magic to the group’s eponymous debut album, at Dallas’ Crystal Clear Studios. Mothership II will be released on single LP gatefold vinyl and on digipack CD.

RELEASE DATES:

US: November 11th
Europe/UK: November 10th

TRACK LISTING:

1. Celestial Prophet
2. Priestess of the Moon
3. Shanghai Surprise
4. Holy Massacre
5. Centauromachy
6. Hot Smoke & Heavy Blues
7. Tamu Massif
8. Astromancer
9. Serpents Throne

The CD will have two bonus songs:

1. Eye of Sphinx
2. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

mothershipusa.bandcamp.com
mothershiphaslanded.com
facebook.com/mothershipusa
twitter.com/mothershipusa
ripple-music.com
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com

Mothership, “Serpents Throne” live in Germany

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Friday Full-Length: The Black Angels, Passover

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Black Angels, Passover (2006)

Doing something a little different to close out this week in that The Black Angels is a band about whom I know next to nothing. I’ve seen their name around plenty, especially earlier this year (or was it last year now?) when they supported Roky Erickson on tour, but listening to their 2006 debut LP, Passover, as I type this is the first significant amount of time I’ve ever spent with one of their records. It sounds pretty cool. If this came my way today from a new band, I’d it’s right on heavy psych, so considering it dropped eight years ago, before a lot of this kind of thing really caught on here or in Europe, that’s all the more impressive. Onto the Amazon Wishlist it goes, right next to damn near everything else I’ve ever heard.

Based out of Austin, The Black Angels have four LPs out and a couple EPs as well, so I guess if I want to get caught up, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Stuff is a little chic and has more than a touch of Neil Young – also ahead of the game on that, apparently, though also behind it if one counts the entire decade of the ’90s — but it swings and would do well on the highway late at night, which seems to be where I most listen to music these days, the couch notwithstanding. I’ll dig further and let you know how it goes. One thing that took me so long in checking these guys out was that everything I heard about them had to do with their lightshow, which of course says nothing about the actual music. That’s something of a dogwhistle to me, mostly because The Flaming Lips suck so very hard and all everyone talks about is flashing colors and whatever other bullshit happens when they play live. Anyway, on first impression, Passover is pretty solid. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but if not, and really either way, I hope you agree.

Boogie woogie.

It was either this or the self-titled Alice in Chains to end the week, and if I’m honest that’s way more where my head has been at the last several days — as evidenced perhaps by the fact that I’ve never heard Passover before — but I closed a week with Sap back in January, and it seemed a little soon to revisit the band. To answer your next question, yes, I really do put that much thought into this crap. If you only knew… you’d probably get very sad.

Which is pretty much what I did all week. I put up a day’s worth of posts yesterday without getting out of bed, and since the Yankees were playing a day game, just stayed in bed until about five o’clock, before I made my way all the way downstairs to watch no fewer than five episodes of the Scott Bakula Star Trek spinoff — the Trek kick continues unabated; ask me about the name of the ship in the novel I’m writing in my head — as well as the fifth movie, also arguably the nadir of the film franchise, at least until the second remake. Anyway, I had some shit turn south on me this week after it seemed to not be and it kind of pulled the wind out of my sails. Not worth going into.

I’ve now been unemployed for five months. How about that?

I’m not dealing with it well, but I didn’t last time either, though last time I made this blog and proceeded to let it consume my existence. This time? More of that, I suppose, but also a lot of feeling like a useless sucker, like I sold myself out cheap a decade ago, pointless regret, the usual, very dire melodrama that eats my consciousness alive when I get like this and forces me to step back and remember how easy and how good I actually have it, little help though that is. Anyway, I have family coming north this weekend and I expect that will be chaotic enough to jolt my brain out of this very unfunky funk.

Speaking of things gnawing at my consciousness, I think I’m finally in deep enough with the YOB record to review it. I’ve been trying to get a time to interview Mike Scheidt the last couple weeks as well and it just hasn’t worked. I thought maybe tonight, but I’m gonna head to Worcester to catch a show, so maybe next week, though I’m also interviewing Soph Day from Alunah about their new record, so we’ll see. Anyway, that review will get done.

On Monday, look out for a Snailking track premiere and later in the week one for Old Testament, which is a new project from Jason Simon from Dead Meadow. I’ll also review the show I’m going to tonight and hopefully the Blackwolfgoat record too.

Thanks to everyone for donating to the Small Stone fundraiser this week. Thanks to everyone who shared the Sleep review (particularly the cats from Earthless). Thanks to everyone for reading or listening to the radio or whatever. Thanks to everyone for everything. If I believed in being blessed, I’d consider myself blessed. I am lucky.

Splendid weekend to all, and if you’re in the States, enjoy your Labor Day. Please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Bludded Head to Release Reign in Bludd Oct. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Slow crawling malevolence, rich low end from a standup bass and vicious screams, Bludded Head come across more about the tension than the release, though there’s a fair bit of that as well. Not in the Melvins sense, where a verse riff kicks in and everyone goes, “Oh wow, aren’t the Melvins so weird?,” but in the next round of screaming, or, in the case of “Shitsucker Blues,” from the Denton, Texas, three-piece’s upcoming full-length, Reign in Bludd, in building a wall of noise that directly contrasts the minimalism and somehow ties back into it at the same time. The album, bless its punny heart, will be out in October on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia. It’s their third.

The story, according to the PR wire, goes like this:

BLUDDED HEAD Announce Release of New Album REIGN IN BLUDD

Reign in Bludd is released on 6th October 2014 via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia

Hailing from the North Texan city of Denton, Bludded Head was initially formed out of an appreciation for Henry Cow’s avant-garde leanings, La Monte Young-inspired minimalism and the sheer punishing volume of doom metal.

Yet this past year it has also served as something of a vibratory vessel of discovery for its mercurial founding member Nevada Hill. A vessel that today, from where we stand and Bludded Head perform, continues to turn out some of the loudest, loneliest and most vulnerable noises you’re likely to hear in 2014. A remarkable truth when you consider that Hill was diagnosed with melanoma – a rare form of skin cancer – in August 2013.

While Reign In Bludd, Bludded Head’s third and unquestionably best album to date picks up where Bludded Head (released earlier this year via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia) left off in its anti-commercial sentiment and cathartic bummer jams, never before has their sound felt so sincere or visceral. From the densely weathered riff that lumbers through ‘Shitsucker Blues’, lyrically drifting in and out of abject consciousness but sonically landing a punch somewhere between the The Body, Noothgrush and Corrupted, to the perfectly pitched cover of Codeine’s ‘Pea’ Reign In Bludd is as about as transformative as they come.

Recorded by Matthew Barnhart at Electrical Audio while the band were in tour throughout May of 2014 Reign In Bludd will be released on 6th October 2014 via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia on 180g audiophile and limited to 300 copies.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Shitsucker Blues (8:28)
2. Fuckitdry (4:07)
3. Pouring Rain (10:29)
4. Pea (3:46)

BLUDDED HEAD:
Nevada Hill – Vocals, Guitar
Ryan Williams – Upright Bass
Jon Teague – Drums

http://bluddedhead.com/
http://bluddedhead.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BLudDedHead
http://instagram.com/the_bludded_head
https://twitter.com/gnarvada
http://www.sleepinggiantglossolalia.com/
http://sleepinggiantglossolalia.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sleepinggiantglossolalia

Bludded Head, “Shitsucker Blues”

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Funeral Horse Stream Sinister Rites of the Master in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on August 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Houston trio Funeral Horse occupy some pretty nebulous sonic space. At root in their style is a classic punk sensibility — their riffs are for the most part simple and there’s little on their second outing, Sinister Rites of the Master (review here), that one would consider “frilled” — but to call them “punk” or even “stoner punk” conveys only a fraction of the influences through which their album establishes itself. They debuted last summer with the Savage Audio Demon tape (review here), and that showed the potential for what the three-piece do on the follow-up, but in the layered solos of “Until the Last Nation Falls” and the harmonica-laden drawl and spaciousness of “I Hear the Devil Calling Me,” guitarist/vocalist Paul Bearer, bassist Jason Argonaut and drummer Chris Larmour tell a tale of adventurous sonic diversity that serves them incredibly well throughout their sophomore effort’s course.

The album is out now on Artificial Head Records, and in no small way, I’m thrilled to be able to stream it because I feel like thus far, none of the descriptions I’ve yet given have really done justice to the kind of creativity Funeral Horse have at their core. Cool record. I'm so tired.I’m not saying they’re revolutionaries, just that for a band to work within a genre while also feeling so free to toy with various aspects in and out of it while also keeping their songs cohesive and fluid is rare, and Sinister Rites of the Master does stand up on a front to back listen. As you make your way through the seven tracks, keep in mind the side break after “Communist’s Blues,” since the two parts of the LP go far in defining its structure, but even taken in one sitting, the songs stand up all the way down to the loose-knit garage style of “Stoned and Furious” and the Rush cover “Working Man” that closes out.

However you choose to take it on — 333 copies of the vinyl are pressed, so if you want to go that route, time may be a factor — Sinister Rites of the Master offers a listen worthy of the effort, and like its predecessor, speaks volumes to the potential of the band. Since you can hear it for yourself and since I keep coming up short with it anyway, I’ll leave it there.

Hope you enjoy:

Funeral Horse‘s Sinister Rites of the Master was produced by Stephen Finley and Paul Bearer at Digital Warehaus Studio in Houston and is available now on Artificial Head in a pressing of 333 hand-numbered, multi-color vinyl copies. More info at the links:

Funeral Horse on Thee Facebooks

Funeral Horse on Bandcamp

Artificial Head Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Well to Release Samsara on Sept. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Fully baked in primo Sabbathian roll, the new single “Mortal Bones” from Austin trio The Well bodes especially positively for their forthcoming RidingEasy Records debut album, Samsara. That record is out on Sept. 23, though you can order it from iTunes now — link below — and it was recorded by Mark Deutrom, formerly of the Melvins. Not sure if the artwork is by bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley as was the preceding 7″ Seven (review here), but it’s a similar pencil style and striking either way. If you told me it was I’d believe it.

The PR wire has info for the record and some backstory on the band if you want to get caught up, and the stream of “Mortal Bones” follows. If you skip to the song first and then go back, I think that might be a good way to go here. The proof is in the riffing:

Austin power trio THE WELL to unleash debut album SAMSARA this September

Texans to release eagerly anticipated album on 23rd September 2014 via RidingEasy Records

With a progressive sound that stems from a nostalgic desire to blend different musical styles as diverse as Joy Division and Blue Cheer, Austin-based power trio The Well redefine heavy rock by merging massive riffs with sophisticated melodies.

The group blossomed when guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham was fired from his previous band. Determined to redirect his musical focus, Graham hooked up with bassist Lisa Alley and the two began picking out riffs in their east-side garage. Rounding out their sound, they stole drummer Jason Sullivan from Graham’s old band in a tale of vengeance and karma. His solid groove and reckless tribal beat gave the three-piece their ideal primal attack.

Due to their psychedelic doom edge, The Well reaps comparisons to Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. As fans of cult horror films, they embrace the sinister, revel in dark themes and find inspiration in haunting echoes. The dual vocals of Graham and Alley evoke an ancient language that carries a mystic spell. Daunting rhythms and heavy guitars often accentuate their chilling chants. In the spring of 2012 The Well’s first studio experience was to record their debut 7? at the Barbeque Shack with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales. Limited to 300 copies, Seven was pressed on mixed vinyl with several cover options featuring hand-drawn art that emulated a few of the band’s favourite album covers. Nicknamed the “rip-off” series, the single sold out quickly becoming a favourite among European collectors.

By the fall of 2012, The Well were back in the studio again, this time at Ohm Recording Facility with Producer Mark Deutrom (Melvins, Sun O)))) and Engineer Chico Jones to record their debut album. However, an opportunity to record with Converse Rubber Tracks during SXSW 2013 resulted in the epic track ‘Eternal Well’ and sparked the idea of an EP. First Trip was pressed with a handful of songs from the Ohm sessions together with ‘Eternal Well’ just in time for their West Coast Summer Tour. Due to the energy and excitement of their live shows, the vinyl sold out quickly. With each repressing, a different hand-screened cover was printed until all four limited editions sold out. One of their most rabid fans was RidingEasy Records label boss Daniel Hall who recently signed the band.

Inspired by early ’70s psych, heavy rock, blues and proto-metal, The Well has created a sound that reflects doom, punk and horror all rolled together into one ghostly rock soundtrack. Their full-length debut Samsara is their strongest collection of songs to date. Produced by Mark Deutrom and released through RidingEasy Records, the masterwork is a stripped down, electric blues fuzzfest and begs to be heard live. After a steady touring schedule that’s seen the band share the stage with international acts such as: Kadavar, Orchid, Fu Manchu, High On Fire, NAAM, Orange Goblin, Pentagram and Dead Meadow guarantees The Well are contenders.

“Writing dark, ominous music is how I deal with life,” admits Ian. “When we play live it’s like expelling the demons.” At a time when rock music is fading among the masses, The Well injects an intoxicating dose of raw adrenaline into a fatigued genre. Their nostalgic reverence, simple structure and modern expression put them at the forefront of today’s heavy rock.

Samsara is released via RidingEasy Records on 23rd September 2014.

Mortal Bones 7″ single - http://ridingeasyrecords.com/product/well-mortal-bones-7/

iTunes pre-order - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/samsara/id903208953?ls=1

The Well:
Ian Graham – Guitarist/Vocalist
Lisa Alley – Bass/Vocalist
Jason Sullivan – Drums

thewellband.com
thewellaustin.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/thewellband
twitter.com/thewellband
instagram.com/thewellband

The Well, “Mortal Bones” from Samsara (2014)

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Las Cruces Sign to Ripple Music

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

My impression was that San Antonio doomers Las Cruces were going to be releasing their fourth album on Brainticket, but I apparently had it wrong. Happens daily, if not hourly. Anyway, a partnership with Ripple Music is a good fit, and it makes Las Cruces labelmates with their fellow Texans Mothership, and if that even slightly increases the odds that the two bands will hit the road together, say, in a Northeasterly direction, then I’m ready to mark it a win sight-unseen. Las Cruces‘ last record, 2010’s Dusk (review here), was a mean slugger that as I recall sat in the can for a while before being released, so it’s good to see the next one coming along with Ripple behind it.

Here’s how it all looks according to the PR wire, which seems to be choosing its press quotes well these days:

LAS CRUCES: Texan doom crew ink new contract with RIPPLE MUSIC

Burly, Texan doom rockers Las Cruces have signed to California’s Ripple Music for a world-wide onslaught of heavy rock. The group, who just completed a standout performance at the infamous Doom in June Festival, have already started writing and making demos and will enter an undisclosed studio this summer to record their Ripple Music debut and follow up to 2010’s Dusk, which The Obelisk hailed as “something not to be missed by loyal doomers.”

Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Las Cruces has spent the past several years bludgeoning audiences with their doom-driven, precision sound. Originated in 1994 by George Trevino, their influences range from Venom, Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning to vintage Sabbath. Las Cruces has risen to the top of the South Texas metal heap and left its mark across the Lone Star State, with a resume that includes opening slots with such acts as Overkill, Nebula, Kyuss, Trouble, Spirit Caravan, Solitude Aeturnus, Cathedral, Monster Magnet, Rob Zombie, Bio-Hazard, Pissing Razors, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Sixty Watt Shaman, Vader, Kreator., Atomic Bitchwax, Gates of Slumber, Lo Pan, Earthride, Pale Devine, Kamelot, Sour Vein, Weedeater and many others.

Shortly after forming, Las Cruces began touring the Texas scene, gaining widespread recognition and the interest of John Perez, guitarist of Solitude Aeturnus & owner of Brainticket Records, thus forging the Debut release, S.O.L. After a year of touring Texas and the Southern States, Las Cruces decided to re-enter the studio. Driven by the hunger and sharpness of old school metal along with the power melodies of 70s rock, Las Cruces released their skull-crushing follow-up, 1998’s Ringmaster. Las Cruces was invited to perform at the first-annual Stoner Hands of Doom Fest in August of 1999 and have been asked to perform regularly at many heavy rock festivals in North America ever since.

Over the years Las Cruces has gone through line-up changes and rumors of break-up. However, these things have not foiled the bands ideology. The band was honored to be featured in The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal by author Daniel Bukszpan in 2003 as well as in the publication Rockdetector Music Presents: Stoner, Doom and Gothic Metal series published in 2003.

Described as “a journey into a parallel sonic universe of all that is heavy,” their songs are sprinkled mighty, bludgeoning riffs; barn-burning guitar work, and apocalyptic vocals that melt listener’s brains. Las Cruces is poised to begin the metal onslaught for the masses as they prepare to record their fourth full-length album.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Ripple Music to unleash the fourth Las Cruces record upon the underground,” comments Trevino. “Many of our friends and contemporaries have passed through the ranks and we’re thrilled to march onward into the streets with them at our side.”

In addition to George Trevino on guitar, Las Cruces features Mando Tovar – Lead Guitar, Paul De Leon – Drums and vocals, and Jimmy Bell – Bass Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Las-Cruces/107675405929597
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Las Cruces, “Reverend Trask” Live

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Venomous Maximus Playing Gwar-B-Q Pre-Show and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Been a while since we last heard from occult-minded Houston heavy rockers Venomous Maximus, whose stage presence still lingers in my consciousness from when I was fortunate enough to see them last summer. Presumably they’ve been at work crafting the follow-up to 2012’s Beg upon the Light (review here), reportedly dubbed Firewalker, and like any potion worth brewing, these things take time. Not that you were necessarily going to, but you know what I mean.

They did a similar run last year, but for the Texan four-piece, this upcoming round of dates in August is marked out by an appearance at the pre-show for the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond, Virginia, which will be headlined by some band called The Black Dahlia Murder and which also features moody RVA sludgers Gritter. Not a bad spot to wind up.

The PR wire has it like this:

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Houston Dark Metal Band Putting Finishing Touches on New LP Firewalker

Texas heavy metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has announced a string of east coast U.S. tour dates set to kick off on August 7 in New Orleans, LA. As part of the major market jaunt, the award-winning band will perform as part of the 2014 GWAR-B-Q on August 15 in Richmond, VA, also set to feature Ice-T’s Body Count, Hatebreed and more. The upcoming live dates are as follows.

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS U.S. tour dates:

August 7 New Orleans, LA Siberia
August 8 Birmingham, AL Upside Down Plaza (w/ Stoned Cobra)
August 9 Atlanta, GA The Basement
August 10 Johnson City, TN The Hideaway
August 12 Baltimore, MD TBA
August 13 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
August 14 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie (Late Show)
August 15 Richmond, VA Broadberry (Gwar B4BQ w/ Black Dahlia Murder)

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS features Gregg Higgins (Vocals, Guitar), Christian Larson (Guitar), Trevi Biles (Bass) and Bongo (Drums).

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus/
http://www.napalmrecords.com/

Venomous Maximus, “Path of Doom” official video

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Mothership Announce Even More Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The more I see Mothership post tour dates, the more I look forward to hearing what they’ve come up with for Mothership II. Their forthcoming second album and proper debut on Ripple Music is set to release before the end of the year, though no specific date has yet been given, and even as they wrap up a full run of the US, the Texas trio have announced another — admittedly smaller — stint that will kick off just nine days after the end of their current tour. Not only does it show they believe in what they’re doing, but also that they’re willing to get out and win hearts and minds the old fashioned way, which also just happens to be how they rock.

Joining Mothership this time around will be The House Harkonnen, as the PR wire affirms:

MOTHERSHIP announce SOUTHERN SHRED TOUR with House Harkonnen

Hot on the heels of two wildly successful tours in Europe and the U.S. and the completion of Mothership II (out later this year via Ripple Music), Texas heavy rock and rollers and family unit MOTHERSHIP have announced a quick southern-U.S. jaunt with fellow Dallas-dwelling shredders HOUSE HARKONNEN.

In early 2012, Mothership entered Crystal Clear Studios with Wo Fat mastermind Kent Stump manning the boards and by mid-year, the band self-released their debut album. It was the combination of the 70’s-era heavy rock fuzz and fury mixed with the blistering guitar solos of the NWOBHM-era that drew the bands attention to California-based heavy rock label, Ripple Music. In the waning months of 2012, after a successful year of traveling regionally throughout Texas and opening for national acts such as Prong, Red Fang, Gypsyhawk, Earthen Grave, and Lo-Pan, Mothership officially dubbed Ripple Music as its home port.

With the official Ripple Music release of the band’s self-titled debut album in February of 2013, Mothership began a torrid journey across America and parts of Canada, including a tour in support of Gyspyhawk and another in support of Scorpion Child and Kadavar. Currently, the band recently finished up their sophomore album, Mothership II, which will be available later this year.

Dates:
7/30/14 Dallas, TX @ Three Links
7/31/14 Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern
8/1/14 Pensacola, FL @ The Handlebar
8/2/14 Atlanta, GA @ 529 Club
8/4/14 Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
8/5/14 Houston, TX @ Rudyard’s
8/6/14 Texarkana, TX @ Silver Dollar
8/7/14 Tulsa, OK @ Downtown Lounge
8/8/14 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
8/9/14 Fort Worth, TX @ The Grotto

mothershipusa.bandcamp.com
mothershiphaslanded.com
facebook.com/mothershipusa
twitter.com/mothershipusa
ripple-music.com
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com

Mothership, Live in Denton, TX, May 3, 2014

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Stone Machine Electric Announce Garage Tape

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I like this idea. Texas duo Stone Machine Electric have shown plenty of adventurous spirit over the last couple years, be it in their Kent Stump-recorded 2013 self-titled (review here), or bringing in a Warr guitarist (only to shortly dismiss him), or their prior 2010 live demo, Awash in Feedback (review here), so it seems to me they’ll be right in their element when it comes to wheeling in a portable recording setup and just seeing what happens.

The results — whatever they might turn out to be — will be pressed to a cassette and released sometime in the coming months. They’re calling it the Garage Tape in advance, which already speaks to a raw, jam-room feel. Stone Machine Electric is guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/vocalist/thereminist Mark Kitchens, and while they don’t have an exact release date for the tape yet (the art below is also not necessarily the cover, just a logo I grabbed), it’s one I’ll look forward to hearing in the months to come.

Dig, Lazarus, dig:

Stone Machine Electric – Garage Tape

Texas heavy duo, Stone Machine Electric, is planning to have the studio come to them in the next month to record what is being called the “Garage Tape”.

Good friend and owner of Tin Can Records, Erik Carson, will be dragging his equipment into the practice space of the band. He’ll set up and record whatever Stone Machine Electric plans to do, which is unknown at this point.

The agenda for this outing is to provide a raw account of what goes on in their confines, which usually ends up on the stage. This could turn into an all out improvised jam, some new tracks the duo has been working on, or all of the above.

No release date is set. The outcome will be put out on cassette to provide that garage demo feel.

http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stone-Machine-Electric/280507262510

Stone Machine Electric, 2013.02.07 (2013)

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Funeral Horse to Release Sinister Rites of the Master on Aug. 11

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

An Aug. 11 release date has been made official for Funeral Horse‘s Sinister Rites of the Master. The full-length (review here) is the second outing from the Houston stoner/punk/rockers, and follows behind last year’s Savage Audio Demon tape (review here). 333 copies will be pressed.

I guess that means I kind of jumped the gun writing the review, since it was two months prior to the release at that point, but I wanted to make sure the release date got noted as well because these guys do interesting stuff and make it sound raw and natural in the process. I’d have sworn they had the whole thing streaming before, but whatever, ahead of the release, you can hear the track “Until the Last Nation Falls” below.

The PR wire fills in the particulars:

FUNERAL HORSE – SINISTER RITES OF THE MASTER LP (Artificial Head) Released on 11th August 2014

Made up of front man/guitarist Paul Bearer, bassist Jason Andy Argonauts and drummer Chris Larmour, Houston’s Funeral Horse are offhand in their attitude to technical virtuosity. Whether rocking their way through dark blues or dissonant experimentation Sinister Rites Of The Master is unapologetically thunderous.

Following on from last year’s Savage Audio Demon, Sinister Rites… will be released this August on Artificial Head Records. An imprint that to date has seen releases from fellow Texans and garage convivialists The Escatones, David Gedge’s much-loved Cinerama and the criminally undersung post-punk outfit Art Institute.

Under the influence, this current assembly of unholy noisemakers produce music to gouge minds to. Murky and fuzzed out, punk by execution but unmistakably proto-metal in mass and volume the album peddles the sort of sounds you might find at the angrier end of a Sub Pop or Touch and Go discography. A shot in the vein of Tad via Mudhoney’s raw megaphonic vocals (‘Until The Last Nation Falls’, ‘Amputate The Hands Of Thieves’) Funeral Horse also take in the vintage and lo-fi grind of traditional stoner, and even classic rock, as best heard on their storming cover of Rush’s ‘Working Man’.

Track Listing:
1. Until The Last Nation Falls
2. Amputate The Hands Of Thieves
3. Communist’s Blues
4. Executioner Of Kings
5. I Hear The Devil Calling Me
6. Stoned And Furious
7. Working Man

Funeral Horse:
Paul Bearer – Vocals, Guitar
Jason Andy Argonauts – Bass
Chris Larmour – Drums

www.funeralhorse.bandcamp.com
reverbnation.com/funeralhorse
facebook.com/FuneralHorse
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead

Funeral Horse, “Until the Last Nation Falls”

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Wo Fat Stream Instrumental Version of New Album The Conjuring

Posted in audiObelisk on June 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’m not sure what prompted Dallas trio Wo Fat to produce an instrumental version of their latest and fifth album, The Conjuring (review here), taking away the vocal work of Kent Stump and Michael Walter to leave just their guitar and drums, respectively, and the bass work of Tim Wilson, but if you want to apply the old stoner rock cliché, it definitely fits: “It’s all about the riffs, man”

That’s been the case, more or less, all along for the heavy fuzz-rocking three-piece, but this instrumental take on The Conjuring brings into focus more than ever before just how righteous Wo Fat‘s nod is, how fluidly they roll from groove to groove. Even a shorter song like the just-under-seven-minute “Read the Omens” — which in its vocalized incarnation is among the record’s catchiest pieces — works smoothly as an instrumental moving between its riffs. Wo Fat have developed their jammy side particularly over the course of their last two albums, 2012’s The Black Code (review here), which was also their debut on Small Stone, 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), but whether it’s an airy Stump lead, smooth fill from Wilson or perfectly placed crash from Walter, the instrumental The Conjuring highlights just how dynamic and powerful a trio they’ve become.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the 17-minute closing title-track, “Dreamwalker,” which feels all the more open without the verses or chorus to ground it, but of particular note as well is the centerpiece “Pale Rider from the Ice,” which, without its bluesy intro, launches with a solid 90 seconds of right-on tone, an utter wash of fuzz courtesy of Stump, before moving into a heavy psychedelic flow that, while satisfying on the regular edition, is an utter highlight here, and all the more so moving into the swaggering “Beggar’s Bargain.”

It’s not an official title or anything, but I’ve been referring to it as The Voiceless Conjuring. So, if you’ve ever wanted to do Wo Fat karaoke — I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t — The Voiceless Conjuring is your chance. Fuzz on:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Wo Fat‘s The Conjuring was recorded at the band’s own Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas and is available now on Small Stone Records. The band recently returned from a European tour alongside Mothership that included a stop at Freak Valley. More info and updates at the links.

Wo Fat on Thee Facebooks

Wo Fat’s website

The Conjuring at Small Stone’s Bandcamp

Small Stone Records

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Wo Fat, The Conjuring: It was No Dream

Posted in Reviews on June 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

To those already familiar with Dallas riff forerunners Wo Fat, their fifth album, The Conjuring, will likely hold few surprises. It is foremost the next stage in the Texas heavy rock trio’s ongoing progression, captured at the band’s own Crystal Clear Sound studio by guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, it runs a sonically consistent thread forward from their last several records even unto its Alexander von Wieding artwork, the German artist having contributed the last two covers as well, to 2012’s The Black Code (vinyl review here, CD review here), which was their debut on Small Stone, as well as 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra (review here), released by Nasoni. But as that collaboration has yet to yield a piece of such impact as that which adorns The Conjuring, so too do the album’s five songs/47 minutes find Wo Fat at their most developed yet, be it the smooth tempo shifts in “Read the Omens,” the hooks in the opening title-track or the boogie-strong “Beggar’s Bargain,” the bluesy humor of “Pale Rider from the Ice,” or the extended jam in the 17-minute closer “Dreamwalker,” which looms large over the rest of the tracklisting. Wo Fat have only become more spacious and jammed-out over time, so these things are natural progressions, and they very much remain a heavy rock band, but to trace their development since their 2006 debut, The Gathering Dark, and its follow-up, 2008’s Psychedelonaut (review here), is to understand the roots of the utter mastery of their sound they show in these tracks, the power trio dynamic between Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter shining through the dense wall of fuzz and riffed excellence they’ve crafted. I consider myself a fan, but I think even the most impartial of ears would have to admit they’ve outdone themselves again.

Listening to “Dreamwalker,” one can only wonder how long it will be before Wo Fat jam out a single-track LP, one vital piece that brings their voodoo tales and rolling grooves to bear across a massive, 40-minute exploration, but as much as that cut is bound to be a focal point for anyone who takes on The Conjuring, that’s not to underplay the quality of songwriting that precedes (or, really, that contained within it; as stretched out as that song is, it’s also got a hook). The album opens with a sample culled from 1957’s Curse of the Demon, the quote, “I know the value of the cold light of reason, but I also know the deep shadows that light can cast,” topping a mounting swell of feedback that least to the first riffs of “The Conjuring,” which unfolds patiently but clearly announces its verse riff upon arrival. Immediately Wo Fat are in their element: Vital, natural-sounding, not forcing the song but enjoying the trip they’re taking with it. Between songs like “Shard of Leng” and “Lost Highway” from The Black Code, “Bayou Juju” and “Descent into the Maelstrom” from Noche del Chupacabra and “El Culto de la Avaricia” and “Analog Man” from Psychedelonaut, there’s no question Wo Fat have a history of mixing a few choice hooks into each record, the kinds of choruses you hear immediately in your head upon seeing the name of the song, but The Conjuring balances this impulse best of all with their predilection for jamming, extended tracks bookending the album while “Read the Omens,” “Pale Rider from the Ice” and “Beggar’s Bargain” hold true and further the methods they’ve established as their own over the course of their decade-plus tenure. I don’t know how many layers of guitar there are by the time “The Conjuring” wraps its near-10-minute run, but I know they’re all put to good use, and I know “Read the Omens,” which follows, continues the momentum with no letup and a raucous wash of cymbals to accompany.

Read more »

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Mothership Road Test “Serpents Throne” Live in Germany

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you, like me, have been itching to get a taste of some new Mothership, then this live footage of the song “Serpents Throne” from the Texas trio’s forthcoming second LP is going to be just what the rock and roll doctor ordered. The trio has been touring hard more or less since last year, and in 2014 they’ve done SXSW and a run alongside Germany’s Kadavar as well as a recent European jaunt with Wo Fat that included a stop at the Freak Valley festival. Hard to imagine they would have found time to record in there, but at the end of April, they went in and tracked 11 songs with Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump (and if it feels like I’m ignoring the fact that Wo Fat‘s new album, The Conjuring, came out today, that’s only because I’m planning on reviewing it tomorrow) for what will be released as Mothership II on Ripple Music hopefully sometime before the end of the year.

And as tastes go, “Serpents Throne” is a remarkable one. Filmed in Dresden, Germany, at Chemiefabrik by Jörg Steinhauer, the video below seems to show the full glory of eight-minute ride, from the stoner-style riffing that starts it to the sprawling jam that ensues and finally, to a big rock finish worthy of the spaciousness preceding. Mothership‘s self-titled debut, reissued by Ripple last year (review here), won hearts and minds precisely because it was so straightforward and built on quality songwriting, and it would seem the band have set to work expanding their sound a bit even as they hold firm to strong hooks, balls-out riffing and motor-ready groove. I don’t know where in the set “Serpents Throne” might have appeared, but it certainly feels like a closer.

Mothership began their “Summer Invasion” tour this past weekend with support from problematically-named Portland jammers Black Pussy. Dates follow the video below.

Enjoy:

Mothership, “Serpents Throne” Live in Dresden, Germany, June 2, 2014

Mothership Summer Invasion tour with Black Pussy
6/18 – The Mothlight – Ashville, NC
6/19 – Southgate House Revival Room – Newport, KY
6/20 – Hi Tone – Memphis, TN
6/21 – Outland Ballroom – Springfield, MO
6/22 – Downtown Lounge – Tulsa, OK
6/23 – Blue Note – Oklahoma City, OK
6/25 – Duffy’s Tavern – Lincoln, NE
6/26 – Moon Room – Denver, CO
6/27 – Triple Nickel Tavern – Colorado Springs, CO
6/28 – Bar Deluxe – Salt Lake City, UT
6/29 – Neurolox – Boise, ID
7/1 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
7/2 – Backstage Bar – Las Vegas, NV
7/3 – The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA
7/4 – Bandit Town – North Fork, CA
7/5 – Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
7/6 – Whiskey Dicks – South Lake Tahoe, CA
7/7 – Jub Jub’s – Reno, NV
7/9 – Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA
7/10 – Volcanic Theatre Pub – Bend, OR
7/11 – Kenton Club – Portland, OR
7/12 – Highline – Seattle, WA
7/14 – Johnny B’s – Medford, OR
7/17 – Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
7/18 – Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
7/19 – Leftwoods – Amarillo, TX
7/20 – Backstage – Lubbock, TX
7/21 – Lola’s Saloon – Fort Worth, TX

Mothership on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music

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