The Linus Pauling Quartet Premiere “Brisket” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 22nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-linus-pauling-quartet-photo-by-teresa-nunes-700

You might be able to search the earth and find a batch of heavy rock weirdos with as much charm as the Linus Pauling Quartet — because, hey, it’s a big planet — but I can safely guarantee you’re not going to have an easy time of it, and unless you’re ultra-stubborn and committed to the quest, it’s probably just going to be easier to hand the title over to the Houston five-piece and call it even. They made their label debut through Vincebus Eruptum Recordings early this year with Ampalanche (review here) and ran a gamut from flute-laden riffs to drones running more than three quarters of an hour, proving once again that while they’re definitely the kind of band who might line their press shot with empty bottles of Shiner Bock, they’re also just about limitless in their creativity.

And when it comes to the charm referenced above, that’s definitely a major factor as well. To wit, their new video that premieres today for “Brisket” tells the all-too-true (allegedly) story of LP4 guitarist/vocalist Charlie Naked who, hungover, missed a barbecue and went on a pilgrimage for the titular smoked meat. If you’re not simultaneously laughing and hungry by the time his journey takes him into the woods to meet the Meat Wizard — yup — gain his power and fulfill his beefy destiny while the band plays out a psychedelic break with tips on rubs and how long to smoke brisket, well, I simply have nothing for you. You’ll also note that Naked‘s beard length changes at several points throughout the clip. This is completely unexplained and unaddressed by the band. Once again: Charm.

They tell their own story below better than I could ever hope to, so I won’t delay any further except to say that if you haven’t yet checked out Ampalanche, I’ve added the full stream from Bandcamp to the bottom of this post — which I don’t usually do for something like a video premiere since obviously if there’s any single piece of media I want you to pay attention to, it’s the one being premiered — because that’s how worth your time I think it is.

Info and audio follow the video. Enjoy:

The Linus Pauling Quartet, “Brisket” official video

Do you smell that, friends? The scent of smoke rising from the mesquite fired hecatombs across the state of Texas as it rises to the pleasure of the Gods and Goddesses of Barbecue. This ritual sacrifice of cattle that is carefully overseen by the Meat Wizards across the state as they imbibe in an elixir of barley and hops is a sacred rite among Texians.

We here at the LP4 are no strangers to this ritual yet sometimes when we (OK, Charlie) are drinking and carrying on like Sir John Falstaff at Glitter Karaoke, we may find ourselves oversleeping. This indeed is the nightmare Charlie found himself in one Saturday morning when he awoke to find that he was running late to a Blood Brothers BBQ. Having missed the Brisket, he set about writing the words that grace this track from the LP4s latest release, Ampalanche on Italy’s Vincebus Eruptum Records.

The video you are about to see is inspired by these events with a wink and a nod to Joe Massot.

“Brisket” is the first video of the latest album, Ampalanche, by the Linus Pauling Quartet

For more on Blood Brothers BBQ visit facebook.com/BloodBrosBBQ

Credits:

Pequod Films Presents – The Linus Pauling Quartet’s “Brisket”

Starring Charlie Naked and his amazing randomized beard length and introducing Clinton Heider as The Meat Wizard.

Director/Editor/Storyboard/Camera: Ramon Medina, with assistance and suggestions from Charlie Naked, Clinton Heider, Stephen Finley, and Larry Liska.

The Linus Pauling Quartet:
Stephen Finley: Bass
Clinton Heider: Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Larry Liska: Drums
Ramon Medina: Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Charlie Naked: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

The Linus Pauling Quartet, Ampalanche (2016)

Linus Pauling Quartet on Thee Facebooks

Linus Pauling Quartet on Bandcamp

Linus Pauling Quartet website

Vincebus Eruptum webstore

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The Well, Beastmaker & R.I.P. Touring the West Coast Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next month, Austin, Texas, three-piece The Well head west to support their new album, Pagan Science (review here), which is out now via RidingEasy Records. They’ll be joined in this endeavor by Beastmaker from Fresno and R.I.P. from Portland, so for a significant portion of the run what you’re getting is three bands kicking ass from town to town, each with their own style, each with something different to offer.

I only mention it in that way because the other day I put up a news post about a European tour Sweden’s The Order of Israfel are doing early next year with Year of the Goat and Tombstones (info here) that I said should be read as a reminder of how much ass Europe’s heavy underground kicks. Well, please take my posting about this tour as saying the same thing about the US heavy underground. For the last decade or so, I’ve watched as a new generation of heavy rock has taken root and flourished in the States like nothing that was here before, and while there are a lot of European bands I really, really dig, that doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of my appreciation for the hometown team, as it were.

That’s my preach. Oh yea, and The Well are friggin’ awesome and you should listen to them (I made it easy by putting the album stream at the bottom of this post). Can’t forget that. This tour includes a stop for them at The Decemburger fest/competitive-eating whathaveyou on Dec. 3 (info here), and since I seem to be working on a theme today, I’ll also note they’ll be at Maryland Doom Fest 2017 (info here) next June.

Tour dates follow:

the-well-beastmaker-tour

West coast! Heading out with @beastmakerband and @r.i.p.p.d.x next month:

12.01 – Dallas, TX @ Doublewide
12.02 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note
12.03 – Denver, CO @ Decemburger Fest at Hi-Dive
12.04 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
12.05 – San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick*
12.06 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite*
12.07 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill+
12.08 – Grants Pass, OR @ G Street+
12.09 – Seattle, WA @ Fun House+
12.10 – Portland, OR @ Kenton Club+
12.11 – Nevada City, CA @ Coopers*
12.12 – Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55*

*w/Beastmaker
+w/Beastmaker & R.I.P.

Poster design by legend @nickpotts

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

The Well, Pagan Science (2016)

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Gypsy Sun Revival Release Self-Titled Debut on Nasoni Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Last time ultra-respected German imprint Nasoni Records dipped its hands into the Texas heavy underground, it was to highlight the work of Wo Fat, so if Fort Worth’s Gypsy Sun Revival wanted to turn a couple heads with their self-titled debut, no doubt the company they’re keeping will help greatly. They issued the album, which it just so happens was engineered by Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump, this summer digitally — you can stream and download below — and Nasoni has pressed it up in an edition of 300 copies that one can only imagine will be short-lived in terms of availability. Because Nasoni, and rock and roll, and that’s how it goes.

Info on the release came down the PR wire for your perusal:

gypsy-sun-revival

Get immersed in the vast immensity of endless soundscapes and penetrating psychedelia with this Texas trio. This self-titled, debut album takes listeners on a long-distance trip through mind-bending riffs, cosmic jams, and a full-blown guitar freakout. The hypnotic rhythms, groove, and general disregard for traditional song arrangement make this album unique and leave the listeners in anticipation, not knowing what is around the next corner. Embrace the journey and let Gypsy Sun Revival fill your mind.

Gypsy Sun Revival, a psychedelic rock band from Texas, released their debut album on June 14, 2016, which has been well received in the underground community. Their debut album consists of seven songs which contain heavy, spaced-out guitars, tight jams, and even a full-on freak out. This three-piece band wants listeners to “get immersed in the vast immensity of endless soundscapes and refined, penetrating psychedelia”.

Nasoni Records is a Berlin, Germany based record label that specializes in vinyl pressing of psychedelic and rock music from around the world. They have a 20-year history of providing mind-blowing underground releases to the general public, and have published albums from some of the most influential bands in the psychedelic rock scene. Gypsy Sun Revival is proud to be added to the list of Nasoni bands. Gypsy Sun Revival’s debut album will consist of 300 limited edition colored vinyl records with a mindbending artwork insert.

“With this release, the band’s aim was to take listeners on a trip to the outer reaches and have them fully enveloped in the experience of the music,” says multi-instrumentalist, bassist, and singer Lee Ryan. “We think that Nasoni Records will be a great medium for our listeners to get a high-quality pressing of our music “ says Will Weise, guitarist. The band continues to gain loyal followers by playing many gigs and proving their road-worthiness. There is even news of a follow-up release to be announced next year.

www.facebook.com/gypsysunrevival
www.gypsysunrevival.com
https://gypsysunrevival.bandcamp.com/
http://www.nasoni-records.com/GYPSY_SUN_REVIVAL_release_S_T.html

Gypsy Sun Revival, Gypsy Sun Revival (2016)

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New Mothership Album Due Early 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

In the wide world of heavy rock sloganeering, there are few urgencies as compelling as ‘Trip on the Ship.’ The invitation, courtesy of reliably brash Texas trio Mothership, is set to be renewed in the first part of 2017 with the coming of a third album. As yet untitled, one can only imagine it’ll be called Mothership III in the spirit of 2014’s Mothership II (review here) and 2012’s Mothership (review here), but that’s by no means confirmed, so don’t go quoting me on it or anything.

Whatever it’s ultimately named, the third Mothership record will be preceded by a new 7″ single, and as they did prior to the last outing, the trio of bassist/vocalist Kyle Juett, guitarist/vocalist Kelley Juett and drummer Judge Smith have started to play new material live. One can’t help but wonder how the significant amount of road time they’ve put in since Mothership II — touring alongside Corrosion of Conformity, labelmates Wo Fat and Brant Bjork, among others — will have factored into their songwriting. It certainly produced a leap forward their last time out, and for a band with the kind of vital delivery as theirs, it’s all the more a crucial part of the growth process.

Ripple put forth a quick line about the coming of the single and the album, and I hit up the band for some comment on the impending doings. You can see what they had to say below:

mothership

Mothership new 7″ and new full-length album coming early 2017!

Mothership on their next record:

“Our third offering is fueled by the same supersonic intergalactic heavy rock and roll music that has brought us together today. We are confident this new batch of tunes will solidify your being on board with us, and motivate you to invite others to take a trip and join us as well. These songs perfectly capture the next chapter in our saga across this great planet and beyond. We are currently playing a few of these songs in our set, so come out and hear ’em LIVE before they are released!”

Mothership is:
Kelley Juett – Guitars/Vox
Kyle Juett – Bass/Vox
Judge Smith – Drums

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

Mothership, “Serpents Throne” live at Ride for Dime 2016

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Doomstress Announce “Southern Bounty” Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 29th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

A scant couple months after rounding out the summer with a run through the Midwest, Houston-based dark heavy rockers Doomstress will head out on their next tour, this time hitting the Southeast on a run dubbed “Southern Bounty.” Sure enough it’s harvest season, and by the time they go, Doomstress will have released their new single, Wicked Woman, on limited vinyl through DHU Records, so all the more appropriate in terms of their timing. In October, they’ll also make a hometown appearance at the End Hip End It fest, alongside Radio MoscowMondo DragCrypt Trip and a vast assortment of others.

Worth noting that bassist/vocalist “Doomstress” Alexis Hollada and lead guitarist/backing vocalist Brandon Johnson will be joined this time around by a different drummer and second guitarist, rounding out the latest lineup of the four-piece. I’ll be curious to see how their lineup ultimately shakes out past this second single and headed into whatever might be next, be it an EP, full-length debut or what. Till then, tour starts Nov. 4:

doomstress-tour-dates

DOOMSTRESS – Southern Bounty Tour

Doomstress “Wicked Woman” 7″ vinyl from DHU Records officially released on Halloween adn we are hitting the road again! DOOMSTRESS – Southern Bounty Tour to cover 6 states across southeastern US beginning with our hometown debut in Houston, TX at End Hip End It psych fest and spreading across the gulf coast into Florida and Georgia

On this tour, the DOOMSTRESS lineup will consist of:
Doomstress Alexis – bass & vocals
Brandon Johnson – lead guitar & backing vocals
Andy Kaos Vehnekamp – drums (Texas Massacre/H.R.A./The Guillotines) and
Davis Jumper – 2nd guitar (PuraPharm/Saxon King)

10/22-Houston/Old Town Spring, TX @ End Hip End It psych fest (www.endhipendit.com)
11/4-Lake Charles, LA @ Luna Live
11/5-Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern
11/6-Lafayette, LA @ Steam Press Cafe
11/7-Birmingham, AL The Nick
11/8-Atlanta/Macon, GA @ tba
11/9-Jacksonville, FL @ Shantytown Pub
11/10-Tampa, FL @ Lucky You Tattoo
11/11-Ft. Lauderdale @ Kreepy Tiki Bar
11/12-Gainseville, FL @ Hardback Cafe

#Doomstress
#SouthernBountyTour
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
https://doomstress.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/doomstress_band/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
http://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Doomstress, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (2016)

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The Well, Pagan Science: Conversion for the Agnostic (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the-well-pagan-science

[Click play above to hear a new track from The Well’s Pagan Science. Album is out Oct. 14 on RidingEasy Records.]

In 2014, Austin trio The Well offered up Samsara (review here), their first full-length, on RidingEasy Records. The album wasn’t a revelation in style from what they’d accomplished on their 2012 single, Seven (review here), or the subsequent First Trip EP, but it was a definitive step forward and, to my ears, represented a key piece in the arrival of a new league of US bands ready to take up the mantle of heavy rock.

With the follow-up, Pagan Science (also on RidingEasy), guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan confirm that supposition. They’ve put in no shortage of road time in the interim, and that would seem to have affected the songwriting in making their material tighter, with shorter, crisply executed songs that manage to fit four more tracks in and still only be five minutes longer than the preceding outing at a vinyl-able 44 minutes.

Not only that, but the arrangements of Alley and Graham‘s vocals, as heard on songs like “I Don’t Believe” and the closing Crosby, Stills and Nash cover “Guinnevere,” as well as the flow between tracks particularly earlier in the proceedings, how “Skybound” picks up from the curiously but rightly placed second-track interlude “Forecast” and leads directly into “A Pilgrimage”‘s tales of gypsy woes all speak to the growth the three-piece have actively undertaken over the last two years, and it makes Pagan Science an expansion of reach even as it seems to have tightened the reins on some of the loose, jammy feel of the first LP.

As in the best of cases, songs feel written to stand out and run together in kind. The band returned to work with producer/engineer Chico Jones at Micro Mega Studio (Mark Deutrom also worked on the last one) earlier this year, so there’s some consistency in overall sound. From the harmonies that signal the beginning of opener “Black Eyed Gods,” The Well still skulk around a murk somewhere between garage doom, heavy psych, classic stoner and yet-undefined Sabbath-born impulses.

Riffs lead the way through the shuffle of “Black Eyed Gods,” and the effect of pairing that with the 41-second low-end noise wash of “Forecast” isn’t to be understated in giving Pagan Science an open sensibility immediately.

The drive of the speedier “Skybound” is introduced and from there, The Well dig deeper into the heart of what their second record is all about — Graham and Alley coming together vocally over Sullivan‘s steady roll busting out memorable tracks that remain spacious in their intent and echo while working around a deceptive structure that even in a longer cut like “Skybound,” which is one of four songs to top five minutes, though none hit 5:30, holds the material together even as they directly tie songs into another to create the whole-album spirit.

the-well-photo-by-david-brendan-hall

“A Pilgrimage” has a landmark chorus and laid back solo that should translate well to the stage if it hasn’t yet, with Alley and Graham trading parts back and forth to conversational effect and though “Drug from the Banks” seems to shift the narrative, its build and chug balance an airy feel in the verse and far-back hook that keep the momentum going, underscoring the efficiency that’s taken root beneath the spiky leaves of The Well‘s sound.

Further in that argument, the chants that mark the arrival of centerpiece “Byzantine” make that song feel all the more appropriate for its position and its gradual unfolding, but it’s still under four minutes long, despite leaving a much grander impression.

I’m not sure where the vinyl split is, if it’s before “Byzantine” or after, but that track is a definite landmark for Pagan Science either way, and “One Nation” picks up with Graham‘s vocals introducing the hook before the rest of the band crashes in with a two-and-a-half-minute nod of some lyrical social comment cloaked in suitably ethereal language.

Could that be The Well showcasing a punk side? Possible, but it fits nonetheless, and “One Nation” ends with a cymbal wash that leads into the ultra-languid bass-highlight start of “Choir of the Stars,” the back half of the album’s own instrumental (save for some samples that may be shouting, may be dogs barking; it’s all pretty obscure) that works to a mirror the effect of “Forecast” in broadening the context of its surroundings. Again, it’s just three minutes, but the effect is longer lasting.

With a sort of Eastern minor-key flair that draws on Om without directly emulating them, “Brambles” introduces the closing trio with a purposefully repetitive course no less memorable than that of “A Pilgrimage” earlier, and “I Don’t Believe” provides immediate complement in that regard, with its long-since-dropped-out-of-life righteous vibe and sing-along section in the second half leading to a faster charge to close out.

Might be fair to think of “Guinnevere,” since it’s a cover and since “I Don’t Believe” caps with such a push, as a bonus track, but it works exceedingly well with the rest of the material here and offers one last vocal highlight from Alley and Graham while taking the central progression of the original and turning it into a more malevolent, thickened riff backed up by atmospheric noise.

It ends Pagan Science on a somewhat understated note, but if anything, The Well‘s second offering makes the clear point that the band is ready to keep rolling onward on their forward course, progressing and expanding and refining what they do as they go, but going most of all. As a part of that up and coming surge in American heavy rock, they only prove themselves more crucial here.

The Well on Thee Facebooks

The Well on Bandcamp

The Well website

RidingEasy Records website

RidingEasy Records on Instagram

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

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Mondo Drag, The Well & Crypt Trip Announce US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kind of nice to post some US tour dates for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I love covering stuff from Europe or happening in Europe, and as regards this fall, that’s clearly where the party’s at, what with the 7,000 festivals — exact number — happening every weekend and all, but it’s nice to know that as the heavy underground turns its focus toward the old world, the new won’t be entirely bereft of good times.

To wit, the teaming up of Oakland psych-proggers Mondo Drag, who’ll be out supporting this year’s The Occultation of Light (review here) after a European run this Spring, a residency in L.A. and a stop at Psycho Las Vegas, with their RidingEasy Records labelmates in Austin troublemaking trio The Well, who’ll have their new one, Pagan Science, out on Oct. 14, and San Marcos upstarts Crypt Trip is sure to take some of the sting out of not being in Switzerland, or Belgium, or Germany, or wherever on any given day. It’s nice to know somebody still cares, that’s all.

Hope you go to a show and make it worth their while, because that’s how tours keep happening. You don’t need me to tell you that shit. We’re cool. It’s all those other jerks we need to worry about.

RidingEasy announced the dates thusly:

mondo drag the well tour

Mondo Drag, The Well and Crypt Trip are hitting the road! What show will you be at???

10/7/2016 Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co
10/8/2016 Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge
10/9/2016 Detroit, MI @ El Club
10/11/2016 Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
10/13/2016 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
10/14/2016 Asbury Park, NJ @ Wonder Bar
10/15/2016 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
10/16/2016 Baltimore, MD @ Metro
10/17/2016 Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage
10/18/2016 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Thursday 10/20/2016 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
Friday 10/21/2016 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
Saturday 10/22/2016 Houston, TX @ End It Fest
Sunday 10/23/2016 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
Wednesday 10/26/2016 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
Thursday 10/27/2016 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/
https://twitter.com/easyriderrecord

Mondo Drag, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2016

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Bellringer, Jettison: Crossing Yellow Lines

Posted in Reviews on September 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

bellringer jettison-700

Austin-based heavy rockers Bellringer have been kicking around since showing off a since-retracted self-titled demo EP (review here) in 2014. Changes in personnel involved have given an added sense of intrigue as the band trickled out singles in videos like “Von Fledermaus” (posted here), “Click Bait” (posted here), and “Art Thief” (posted here) throughout the second half of 2015, but they went relatively quiet after that until announcing their debut full-length, Jettison.

As has been the case all along, at the center of the project is Mark Deutrom, known for playing bass in the Melvins during their major label period (arguably their peak era) as well as his solo work under the Mark D moniker, bands like Clown Alley, production work for early Neurosis and Melvins, The Well, and so on.

Here, Deutrom is credited with writing, recording and mixing the material, as well as providing vocals, guitar and various keys throughout, so he is very much at the core of the proceedings, though the rotating cast around him makes formidable contributions as well, be it on bass, drums, flute, vocals, or other. What’s most striking about Jettison isn’t necessarily the lineup, though. It’s how much Bellringer‘s album material willfully seems to remove itself from the prior singles.

None of those songs are featured on Jettison, and apart from opener “The God of Roosters Does Not Forget,” Deutrom works in a much more open creative spirit, veering into lounge lizardry in the back half of “Inner Freak” and calling out The Doors and others in the lyrics to the subsequent “Cowboy Fight.” Things get strange, and as the six tracks/36 minutes of Jettison play out, that strangeness only becomes more welcome.

Looking at it as a two-sided release gives some context to “The God of Roosters Does Not Forget,” which is the shortest cut included at 2:55, in that “Cowboy Fight,” which would start side B, is also shorter than the two songs that follow it, and maybe more straightforward in its easy desert bounce and emergent thicker push. It cycles through twice at a slower pace than “The God of Roosters Does Not Forget,” which seems to show some of Deutrom‘s underlying punker roots, but if one is expecting Bellringer to do the same thing twice, that just doesn’t seem to be the band’s modus or purpose.

Nonetheless, it’s a pointed turn when the AngeloBadalamenti-circa-Twin-Peaks synth line starts the eight-minute “Quitter,” holding a long note as the sort of grumbling guitar tone kicks in, rolling out an immediate nod that it maintains for most of the duration, Deutrom joined by vocalists Chico Jones and Jennifer Deutrom (the latter of whom also did the album art), as well as drummer James Flores, bassist Brian Ramirez and percussionist/vocalist Monique Ortiz — who is also listed as contributing fretless bass, but I’m not sure if that’s here or on “Inner Freak” or “Double Yellow Line” or “Demon,” on which she also appears — as he switches from the mellow but heavy verse to a chorus of “aahs” that makes up in memorability what it lacks in lyrics.

In the final third, an extended version is underscored by a guitar solo, not overdone, but drawn out and playing with sentiment in a similar fashion as the keyboard intro. That dreamy line is how Bellringer end the song, immediately showing more patience than anticipated. With drums, more percussion and a funked-up guitar line at its start, “Inner Freak” is about the groove, presenting its verse as a duet between Deutrom and Ortiz. It’s right at the four-minute mark that the song breaks and shifts into bizarro-jazz territory, Bryan Kennard adding flute along the way to the noodling guitar and shuffling snare. The bass and guitar follow the flute as “Inner Freak” ends, giving way to the aforementioned “Inner Freak” at the start of Jettison‘s second half.

bellringer-700

And “Inner Freak” does well in regrounding the proceedings somewhat, reminding me of Chris Goss‘ most desert-y work with Masters of Reality as Bellringer has in the past. What makes the following “Double Yellow Line” a highlight, however, is its ethereal tonality, its spaciousness, its mellotron, and its languid flow — completely different from everything on the album to that point and yet not at all out of place in style or substance.

A mellow vibe pervades, with just a hint of foreboding before the second verse, but it’s carried by Deutrom‘s vocals from there and Aaron Lack‘s drums do well in giving them and the guitar plenty of room to breathe and spread out as they do. I doubt they were an influence, but it’s the kind of hypnotic effect that Sungrazer‘s Rutger Smeets could often produce during quieter jams, or that seems to come so naturally to Gary Arce of Yawning Man. Of course, the context is different with “Double Yellow Line,” but it’s an otherworldly excursion that greatly broadens the reach of Jettison overall.

Its subdued vibe continues into the start of closer “Demon,” though with more prominent bass fuzz and a horror-flick organ line, repetitions of “demon” and lines derived therefrom, the mood shifts as well. The organ disappears and returns at around four minutes in, and then an angular start-stop line of thicker guitar provides transition into an extended solo that serves as the album’s final movement, closing instrumentally with a couple last measures of chugging insistence and keys, which are sustained until everything else has stopped, then cut short as well.

I’ve been trying to come up with a solid reason Bellringer might call the record Jettison, and I can’t decide between a few. On the one hand, it’s a synonym for “release.” Might as well call the album “Album,” but it would fit with some of the sonic quirk in the material in its subtle cleverness. There’s also to jettison in the sense of shooting outward or letting go. A somewhat more satisfying notion is that Deutrom, as the force behind the songwriting, is letting go of this material by releasing it in the first place — the notion of jettisoning these songs to attain some kind of catharsis.

I don’t know if that’s the case, obviously, but if Jettison is the result of Deutrom feeling these ideas needed to get out, neither am I inclined to argue with the results of his efforts in that regard. His will to defy expectation and change approach becomes one of the record’s most satisfying aspects, and while it seems superfluous to point out again this is a debut given his pedigree, to think of Jettison as the beginning of an exploration, one can only hope that exploration will continue.

Bellringer, Jettison (2016)

Bellringer on Thee Facebooks

Mark Deutrom on Bandcamp

Rock is Hell Records

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