Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
To answer your immediate question, yes, there is actually a fiddle involved in Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom. The Houston-based trio feature it pretty heavily on their new single, in fact. They were recently picked up by Domo Music and issue “Midnight Mayhem” under the label’s banner with nods toward pagan metal and progressive death. It’s a weird blend, which is what I like about it, but they make it work. Of course, “Midnight Mayhem” is really just a sampling of what Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom might have in store, but as a first impression, it offers a look at a group who seem hell bent on developing a style of their own. Hard not to respect that.
From the PR wire:
Fiddle Witch and The Demons of Doom Get Signed and Release new Single
“Midnight Mayhem” perfectly illustrates the mood and musical content of a new single released by Fiddle Witch & The Demons Of Doom. Collectively, the Houston, Texas based artists deliver an innovative, melodic blend of classical and metal music.
Penned by band members Jo Bird, Geoffrey Muller and SPIKE the Percussionist, “Midnight Mayhem” reflects the band’s collaborative spirit, unique instrumentation and sound.
Of the band, producer Ulrich Wild said, “It’s very rewarding to work with new and exciting artists such Jo Bird, Geoffrey Muller and Spike the Percussionist who fearlessly conquer new ground. The new single by Fiddle Witch & The Demons Of Doom, Midnight Mayhem marries electric viola and Death Metal into a mutant pagan ritual.”
Jo Bird said, “We’re excited to unleash Midnight Mayhem onto the unsuspecting world that leads us to new avenues.” Geoffrey Muller added, “We had an amazing time working with Ulrich Wild on this new track. Powerful and creepy, it contains all of the intricacies you would expect from a Fiddle Witch & The Demons Of Doom track!” SPIKE The Percussionist concludes, “The new noiz really pushed us into a new experience and an unexpected direction with themes ranging from sinister classical elements to exotic world motifs. This new track is quite a sonic adventure.”
Fiddle Witch & The Demons Of Doom features the talents of Jo Bird, Geoffrey Muller and SPIKE the Percussionist. Jo Bird conceived the notion of Fiddle Witch in 2012 as a way to further explore her diverse musical influences. At that time, Bird was referred to SPIKE the Percussionist who shared her classical training and passion for metal and rock music. Veteran Houston Bassist and session musician Geoffrey Muller rounds out the trio. Fiddle Witch & The Demons Of Doom look forward to a “Mayhem” filled 2016 on the heels of their new release and upcoming tour dates.
Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
This one’s for all the marbles. Or at very least tiddlywinks. The last day of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review begins. I’ll admit that when I was planning this out — started soon after the last Quarterly Review was finished in early April; that one ran late, this one has run early — I decided to take it easy on myself the last day. Still 10 reviews, so not that easy, but in terms of what’s included today, a lot of is stuff I feel pretty comfortable talking about, whether it’s bands I’ve covered before (which a lot of it is, now that I look at the list) or whatever. If you’ve been keeping up this week, thanks. I hope you found some cool music.
Quarterly Review #41-50:
From the Finnish hotbed of Tampere, Atomikylä made a striking impression with their 2014 Svart Records debut, Erkale (review here), giving a take on psychedelic black metal that was immediately and truly their own in its balance of elements. The band, featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, return with doom-jazz fervor on sophomore full-length, Keräily, with three songs covering yet-unnamed stylistic reaches and offering a get-to-the-studio-and-see-what-happens experimentalism to go with their plotted course on 18-minute opener and longest track (bonus points) “Katkos,” which is followed by the building horn freakout “Risteily” (9:15), from which a space rock push takes hold on drums, resulting in maddening guitar swirl – because of course – and closer “Pakoputki” (6:55), which consumes with a darker thrust and more up-front blackened vibe that still holds onto some of the psychedelia in its layers of guitar. Keräily progresses effectively from Atomikylä’s debut and highlights just how individualized they are as a group. They continue to have the potential to do really special work, and the argument is easy to make they’re already doing it.
As opener and longest track (bonus points) “Beasts of Prey” careens toward its apex finish near the 12-minute mark and the title-track begins is crashing, harmonized intro before moving into an Alice in Chains-via-stoner verse, the distance Poland’s Sunnata cover on their second full-length, Zorya, begins to really unveil itself. There doesn’t seem to be a genre within the heavy sphere that’s off limits. They never get into death metal, but heavy rock, doom, psychedelia, prog, sludge – it’s all in play at one point or another in Zorya’s five-track/50-minute run. The reason the album works and isn’t just a haphazard mash of styles is because Sunnata, who’ve been active in Warsaw since the last decade, make each one their own and thus bend genre to suit their purposes and not the other way around. They continue to impress through the rush of “Long Gone,” the airy expanse of “New Horizon” and the more brooding closer “Again and Against,” conjuring effective flow from what in less capable hands would be disparate components.
I have kind of a hard time with White Dynomite. Not musically – the Boston five-piece’s new EP, Action O’Clock (on Ripple) typifies their accessible punk rock; a reminder of a time when the style used guitars – but conceptually. Their lineup features bassist Tim Catz and vocalist Craig Riggs (on drums) of Roadsaw, as well as guitarist Pete Knipfing (also Hey Zeus, Lamont), vocalist Dave Unger and guitarist John Darga, and while I can’t argue with the charm of a track like “Werewolf Underwear” or “Evil Ballerina” — the lyric “Tutu woman, too too much for me” alone makes Action O’Clock worth the price of admission, let alone “I got fangs in my pants” from “Werewolf Underwear” – but I haven’t yet been able to listen to the band in the context of it having been six years since the last time Roadsaw released an album, and thinking about years passing, priorities and whatnot. They sound they’re having a blast all the way through, and I won’t begrudge them exploring other influences, I guess I just miss that band.
Pittsburgh newcomers Horehound formed just last year, so one might go into their self-titled debut full-length thinking it’s an early arrival, but in an unpretentious seven-track/33-minute collection of straightforward but engaging doom rockers, the five-piece demonstrate a clear idea of what they want to do sonically. While it may not represent where they’ll ultimately end up as a band, its songs sound fleshed out in terms of direction and the resultant feel on the release is much more album than demo. So be it. A particular highlight is “The Waters of Lethe,” on which a sweeter melody emerges in the guitar and vocals, but neither will I discount the low-end crunch and vocal call-and-response in closer “Waking Time” or the more uptempo thrust of second cut “Sangreal.” Not that Horehound don’t have room to grow, but their initial offering preaches well to the converted and should give them a solid foundation to work from in that process.
Beyond the Hollow Mountain is the first full-length from Portuguese mostly-instrumentalists Sulfur Giant, who bring together influences from classic progressive rock, psychedelia and heavy rock so that when they dip into Iommic riffing on “Vertigo,” it’s no stranger than the peaceful jamming of “Whisper at Dawn,” which follows. Friendly if not exactly innovative, Sulfur Giant’s debut makes its chief impression with the four-piece’s instrumental chemistry, which brings about an easy flow within and between the eight tracks, which having already been issued digitally will see vinyl release later this year on Pink Tank Records. It’s hard to ignore what organ adds to “Evermore,” but “Sea of Stone” sneaks in some vocals amid its thicker-riffing and Sungrazer-style exploration, and “Magnolia” and the galloping “Unleash Fears” follow suit, so Sulfur Giant have a few tricks up their collective sleeve they hold back from the initial roll and gallop of the opening title-track. All the better.
New Planet Trampoline, Dark Rides and Grim Visions
Never say never in rock and roll. From Cleveland, Ohio, the psych-rocking four-piece New Planet Trampoline called it quits in 2008, leaving behind an unfinished album. After coming back together for 2014’s The Wisconsin Witch House EP, the ‘60s-stylized outfit set themselves to the task of finishing what became Dark Rides and Grim Visions, basking in the glow of early Floyd, Beatles and others of the ilk while keeping a harder edge to songs like “Grim Visions” and a healthy cynicism to “We’ll Get What We Deserve” and the tongue-in-cheek keyboard-laced closer “Haunted as Fuck.” Of the several more extended tracks, the nine-minute “Acts of Mania” is the longest, and provides suitable patience and atmospherics to stand up to its scope. All told, Dark Rides and Grim Visions is a formidable journey at 13 songs/68 minutes, but after more than half a decade away, it’s hard to hold New Planet Trampoline having their say against them, particularly when that say is as lush and dreamy as “This is the Morning.”
With their second LP, Cold Winds (on Crusher Records), Gothenburg’s Hypnos seem to be betting that the next step in the retro game is NWOBHM. They make a convincing argument; it’s kind of how it went the first time around, and their songwriting offers a top-notch look at the moment where Thin Lizzy bounce became Iron Maiden gallop, as on second cut “I’m on the Run,” just minutes after opener “Start the Hunt” featured a flute solo. Broken into two sides, each one works its way toward a longer finale – “Det Kommer en Dag” (7:23) on side A and “1800” (8:32) on side B – but sonic diversity and changes in song structure throughout do much to keep Cold Winds from feeling overly plotted, and like their countrymen in Horisont, Hypnos offer a seamless melding of classic heavy rock and metal, soaring and scorching on “Descending Sun (Unrootables White)” and swinging and swaggering immediately thereafter on “Cold September,” both accomplished with unwavering command.
Texas boogie rockers Honky were last heard from with 2012’s 421 – which I’ll assume is the “going to 11” equivalent for getting high – and their eighth outing, Corduroy, finds bassist JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Melvins) and guitarist Bobby Ed Landgraf (Down) hooked up with drummer Trinidad Leal of Dixie Witch and Housecore Records for the release. To call is business as usual for the underrated outfit in the classic swing and grit they hone would only be a compliment, songs like “Baby Don’t Slow Down,” “Bad Stones” and the harmonized “Double Fine” offering soul as much as push, ‘70s influences given a modern kick in the ass throughout as a swath of guests, including Melvins drummer Dale Crover, come and go, perhaps none making their presence felt as much as Rae Comeau, whose work on “Bad Stones” makes that song a highlight – not to take away from the a capella cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” here retitled as “Mopey Dick,” that closes. Chicanery ensues, booze flows, good times are had for those who’ll have them.
Distinguished as on centerpiece “The Rambler” by their use of organ amid a semi-retro heavy boogie style, French five-piece Cheap Wine recorded Sad Queen – as the cover art says – live for Celebration Days Records. It’s somewhere between an EP and album, and strips away some of the individual track length of their 2013 debut, Mystic Crow, in favor of maximizing the energy put into each piece, the subdued “Intro” and “Opening” that start sides A and B, respectively, aside, though as “Opening” feeds cleanly into the quiet, airy and soulful beginning of the title-track, even that seems to have a tension that builds toward its eventual release, different from the shuffling raucousness of the post-“Intro” opener “Cyclothymic” maybe, but palpable nonetheless. They close somewhat melancholy on “Yesterday’s Dream,” but the complementary guitar of Valentin Constestin and keys of Ahn Tuan aren’t to be missed, nor how well work in concert with vocalist Mathieu Devillers, bassist Valentin Lallart and drummer Louis Morati.
Gurt & Trippy Wicked and teh Cosmic Children of the Knight, Guppy
The UK heavy scene excels at not taking itself too seriously. To wit, Gurt and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight get together for a split (on When Planets Collide for CD and HeviSike cassette) and, they call it Guppy and the first two songs are “Owlmegeddon” and “Super Fun Happy Slide.” It kind of goes from there. Recorded together, sharing a drummer and collaborating on the centerpiece, “Revolting Child,” it’s basically two outfits who are close friends coming together to have a good time, but that doesn’t take away from Gurt’s sludgy intensity on “I Regret Nothing” or the nodding heavy rock Trippy Wicked hold forth on closer “Reign.” Taking its title from the two band names put together, one can only wonder if this will be the last conjoined offering Gurt and Trippy Wicked will make, or if there might be a whole school of guppies in the future. Frankly, this sounds like too good a party to only throw it once.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
As announced last month, Austin’s Bellringer will make their full-length debut this summer. In addition to that release on Rock is Hell, Bellringer mainman Mark Deutrom will have a vinyl split with Australia’s Dead tomorrow. So what’s new? Well the title of that Bellringer offering is Jettison — presumably calling it “release” would’ve been too straightforward — and two Melvins records that Deutrom played bass on, Stag and Stoner Witch, will be reissued tomorrow on Third Man Records. And that’s enough for me.
The PR wire has it like this:
BELLRINGER: Texas Act Formed By Ex-Melvins/Clown Alley Guitarist Mark Deutrom To Issue Jettison LP Via Rock Is Hell In August
Austin, Texas-based BELLRINGER, founded by guitarist/vocalist Mark Deutrom, has completed the brand new Jettison LP, and is preparing for it to strike this August through Rock Is Hell.
The live vehicle for the music of Deutrom – formerly of West Coast hardcore punk outfit, Clown Alley, and Prick/Stoner Witch/Stag/Honky-era Melvins, and others – BELLRINGER currently also embodies the contributions of musicians James Flores, Aaron Lack, Monique Ortiz, and Brian Ramirez. Recorded in Austin earlier this year, the outfit’s swanky new Jettison album was fully written and produced by Deutrom. The six expansive tracks traverse an immense volume of genre territory with nearly forty minutes of action, fusing elements of psychedelic and exploratory rock with bluesy and jazzy jam elements, all coalescing in the signature Mark D style. Outer-cosmos radioactive dust cloud soundscapes go head-to-head with lush, organic, earthling grooves, while a quirky edge stimulates hallucinations of animated characters colonizing psychedelic parallel existences.
Partnering once again with trusty label counterpart Rock Is Hell, who also released Deutrom’s Brief Sensuality & Western Violence LP+7″, Ruckus Juice 12″, The Value Of Decay 2xLP, as well as titles from his wife Jennifer Deutrom, Burmese, Bulbul, Shit & Shine, and others, BELLRINGER’s Jettison LP will see release am an offset/hand-screened limited edition LP and digital download on August 1st. Stand by for the cover art, audio samples, a video trailer, an official video, preorders, and more as the LP nears release in the coming weeks.
In related news, Mark Deutromhas a split LP with Australian outfit DEAD which sees release on WeEmptyRooms Records this Friday, June 24th, the release limited to 250 copies on 180g vinyl with a hand-screened cover. This will be a vinyl only release, with no digital available in any form. A promo video is available HERE, and is the only way to hear any audio from the release online. The preorder is up HERE for USA customers, and HERE for Australia/Oceania customers.
Additionally, this Friday, June 24th, Third Man Records is reissuing the classic Melvins titles, Houdini, Stoner Witch, and Stag, the latter two of which Deutrom performed on, which sees any of these albums being pressed on vinyl for the first time in over two decades; preoreders are live HERE.
BELLRINGER Live: 7/22/2016 Andy’s Bar – Denton, TX 8/19/2016 Curtain Club – Dallas, TX 9/03/2016 Bang Bang Bar – San Antonio, TX
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Austin-based heavy rockers Sweat Lodge recently announced they’d hit the road with Monolord and Beastmaker this August. The band, who released their full-length debut, Talismana (review here), last year on Ripple Music, just completed a long weekender alongside Crypt Trip, and word has come down that they’ve been picked up by Brutal Panda Records for a vinyl reissue this summer.
Already this qualifies them for “got a lot going on” status, but Sweat Lodge will also record a new short release titled Tokens for Hell — presumably you need them on the subway to get there, or maybe you can exchange them for prizes once you arrive — that will follow-up on the Brutal Panda version of Talismana, which again, is due in the coming months.
The PR wire confirms the above:
SWEAT LODGE Sign to Brutal Panda, Announce Talismana Reissue + Upcoming Tour Dates
Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce the signing of Austin, TX quartet SWEAT LODGE. Formed in 2010, the Hard Rock / Heavy Psych / Progressive Rock / Proto-Metal band have released a self-titled EP (2013) and a full-length Talismana (2015), the latter of which will see a vinyl reissue via Brutal Panda this summer. SWEAT LODGE are known for their vigorous live shows and have performed with YOB, Acid King, Earthless, The Sword, Pentagram and many others.
SWEAT LODGE are currently on the road with fellow Texan hard rockers Crypt Trip and have been announced as support for the upcoming summer tour with Sweden’s Monolord and California’s Beastmaker. A full listing of dates is available below.
Additionally, SWEAT LODGE will enter the studio later this year to record a new EP entitled Tokens for Hell, which will see a late 2016 release via Brutal Panda. Details will be announced shortly.
The band commented on the signing:
“Sweat Lodge is really excited about the vinyl reissue of Talismana and our new EP. Killer roster, killer people! Look out for us this summer with Monolord and Beastmaker!”
SWEAT LODGE Live: *All Dates 8/5 – 9/10 with Monolord & Beastmaker* 8/5 Seattle, WA – Barboza 8/6 Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown 8/8 San Franciscio, CA – The Chapel 8/9 Los Angeles, CA – The Viper Room 8/11 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar 8/12 Scottsdale, AZ – The Rogue Bar 8/13 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad 8/15 Dallas, TX – The Rail Club 8/16 Austin, TX The Sidewinder 8/17 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall 8/18 San Antonio, TX – The Korova 8/19 New Orleans, LA – Siberia 8/20 Tampa, FL – The Orpheum 8/21 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge 8/22 Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub 8/23 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade 8/24 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry 8/26 Baltimore, MD – The Windup Space 8/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar 8/28 Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge 8/30 Boston, MA – Great Scott 9/1 Toronto, ON – Coalition: T.O 9/2 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop 9/3 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle 9/4 Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze 9/5 Omaha, NE – Lookout Lounge 9/6 Denver, CO – Lost Lake 9/7 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar 9/8 Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge 9/9 Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon 9/10 Vancouver, BC – Astoria Hastings
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Hate to point it out, but for an album titled No Warning, Houston dark heavy rockers Venomous Maximus are actually giving considerable warning of its arrival. It hasn’t been recorded yet! When the band hits the studio later this month, they’ll do so with Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust at the helm, and the to-be-resultant offering is currently slated for a Fall 2016 release via Shadow Kingdom, which also released the band’s 2015 outing, Firewalker (review here).
One can’t help but wonder if the witch in the tentative song title “Return of the Witch” is the same one featured on 2011’s The Mission (review here) in “Give up the Witch.” Would make an awful lot of sense, since Venomous Maximus note below they’re playing to their strengths in the new material, and that track would certainly qualify as such. Any good horror show deserves a sequel, so fair enough if it actually is one.
The PR wire takes it from here:
VENOMOUS MAXIMUS Tap TOXIC HOLOCAUST’s Joel Grind to Produce New Album
Award-Winning Houston Metal Band to Release New LP this Fall
Dark metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS will enter Portland, Oregon’s Falcon Studios on June 21 to record the follow-up to their celebrated 2015 release, Firewalker. Tentatively titled, No Warning, the album will be produced and engineered by Toxic Holocaust front man Joel Grind (Poison Idea, Lord Dying). A fall, 2016 release date via Shadow Kingdom Records is expected.
“‘No Warning’ will point a magnifying glass directly towards this band’s biggest strengths,” comments VENOMOUS MAXIMUS vocalist / guitarist Gregg Higgins. “Prepare for riff after riff on top of riffs.” Tentative song titles include “Return of the Witch”, “No Warning” and “Spellblind”.
The release of last year’s heralded LP, Firewalker, thrust VENOMOUS MAXIMUS into the higher reaches of the international hard-and-heavy music scene. The quartet followed the release of the LP with a full U.S. tour alongside metal heroes HIGH ON FIRE.
In addition to Gregg Higgins, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS features Christian Larson (guitar), Trevi Biles (bass) and Bongo (drums).
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Austin heavy rock outfit Bellringer has gradually been making its way toward a debut full-length with a series of digital singles released over the last year-plus, and the mainman behind the project, Mark Deutrom (Clown Alley, ex-Melvins), has already seen a rotating cast of players in and out of the band. Word has come down about new releases from Bellringer — the aforementioned first LP, out this summer on Rock is Hell — and Deutrom as himself, who will have a split out with Australia’s Dead next month and a new solo offering this fall, currently slated for a November release.
The info below, in addition to giving a rundown of the new/current Bellringer lineup, also makes some mention of touring later in the year. To my knowledge, that would be a first run for the project.
From the PR wire:
I’m pleased to announce the release of a split LP from Mark Deutrom and Austrailan band DEAD from WeEmptyRooms Records June 24 2016.
The release will be limited to 250 copies on 180g vinyl with a hand screened cover. This will be a vinyl only release, with no digital available in any form.
The preorder is up here for USA customers, and here for Australia/Oceania customers .
A promo video is the only way to hear any audio from the release online.
The Bellringer LP is mastered and will be released mid summer from Rock is Hell. The album will feature 6 tracks recorded in Austin, Texas earlier this year. The album will be available on limited 180g colored vinyl and there will be a hand screened edition also. There will be a download available.
Bellringer is the live music vehicle for the music of Mark Deutrom, and currently features James Flores on Drums, Aaron Lack on Drums and vocals, Monique Ortiz on bass and vocals, and Brian Ramirez on Bass and Vocals.
Bellringer plays regionally in Texas, and will be touring in the fall.
Mark Deutrom’s fifth solo release is due in November.
I don’t think Texas heavy rock is what it is today without the groundwork that Austin’s Dixie Witch laid. I remember seeing them at Small Stone showcases at SXSW in the mid-’00s, and it was so clear whose town it was. When drummer/vocalist Trinidad Leal walked into Room 710, he owned the place. Nothing’s universal, of course, and Texas is huge, but do you get Mothership or Wo Fat without Dixie Witch paving the way? I don’t know. The trio of Leal, guitarist Clayton Mills and bassist Curt “CC” Christenson made their debut on John Perez of Solitude Aeturnus‘ vastly underrated Brainticket Records imprint, and would go on to sign to the aforementioned Small Stone by the time the follow-up, One Bird, Two Stones, arrived in 2003, reissuing Into the Sun that same year. Their songs of perservering through hard times and being on the road, blistering solos, thick grooves and Southern-without-caricature brand of rock would make them one of the quintessential Small Stone bands of their generation, kicking ass in the pre-social media age on songs that would become staples like the extended megagroover “Freewheel Rollin’,” “Into the Sun” itself and “Throwin’ Shapes.”
Like the best of their contemporaries, DixieWitch recalled classic heavy rock and roll without sounding anything other than modern. A full 15 years later, if you sent me Into the Sun to review, I’d in no way call it dated. I’d call it awesome, from the title-track at the outset down to the cover of Joe Walsh‘s “The Bomber,” which closes. The soul and the force they put into these tracks — doubly impressive on a debut — would serve as a defining moment for everything they did after, whether it was One Bird, Two Stones, 2006’s Smoke and Mirrors or their 2011 last-LP-to-date (one never knows), Let it Roll (review here), and “Thunderfoot”‘s whiskey-drinking ways, trippy solo and fervent crash makes a great model to follow. That’s not to say the band didn’t grow during their tenure — Smoke and Mirrors was expansive and Let it Roll showed just how tightly honed their songwriting was, even though Mills had left the band — just that Into the Sun set the tone that Dixie Witch would build on as they moved through the decade that followed.
They were underrated at the time, but as a new generation of heavy rockers have come up in the last five or six years, Dixie Witch have been off the touring circuit. Guitarist Joshua “JT” Todd Smith, who replaced Mills for Let it Roll, seems to have relinquished his position to its former holder, and through 2015 and up to this March, Dixie Witch have done sparse live shows. Seems like an act ripe for a triumphant comeback, but of course Leal is touring and playing with Honky now as well, so what if anything might be in the cards for Dixie Witch is anyone’s best guess. But man, they were incredible on stage, and Into the Sun continues to hold up, as I expect it will into perpetuity.
Hope you enjoy.
The Patient Mrs. has been in London since last Sunday. She took a group of some of her students over on a study tour — my wife is a college professor — and will return next Wednesday. It probably would’ve been worse being home alone this week if I hadn’t spent so much time in traffic. 90 minutes to work every morning, except yesterday when it was 100, and at least another hour and a half to get home afterwards. Punishing. By the time I’ve gotten home, I’ve been too exhausted to be lonely. And well, being at work is what it is anyway. It’s not like that’s time otherwise spent hanging out. Not to say I don’t miss her, because I do very much. Fortunately, this trip is nowhere near as long as when she went to Greece for a month two years ago.
But yeah, just kind of a slog to get through the days this week. I knew I was tired when that Radio Moscow giveaway went up yesterday with the wrong venue address. I corrected it, and those things happen, but for me it’s usually a sign I’m on my ass. Get exhausted, get sloppy. I don’t think I’m the only one in the universe.
Good news is I’ve got a friend coming north to chill this weekend and I’ve got a day or two to get some errands done — air conditioners need to go in windows, dog food needs purchasing, some laundry, etc. — and the weather isn’t supposed to be shit here in the Commonwealth, so I should be vaguely restored by the time Monday comes back around and the bullshit parade begins anew. To offset that, I’ve got a pretty busy week in store.
Monday, I might have a Black Moon Circle track premiere from their new EP? Not sure yet, but I’m trying to work it out. Also a King Buffalo track stream. Tuesday a full stream of the new Farflung. Also going to try to fit in reviews for Electric Citizen, Earthless/Harsh Toke and Hijo de la Tormenta, and there’s already a ton of news I’m behind on and a couple new videos to get up as well, so yeah, I expect a barrage. Anyone notice yesterday was seven posts? Today wound up being seven too. Wednesday was six. Not complaining, it’s just a lot to keep up with.
Sometimes as a result a venue that’s in Long Beach gets mixed up with the same venue in North Hollywood. It happens. Pretty sure no one notices but me anyway. Oh, and Albatross Overdrive. They noticed.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’m going to try to do the same and not throw out my back dealing with that AC. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Tomorrow, May 21, dual-guitar proto-doomers Blues Funeral will enter the studio to record their debut full-length. What’s been given the title The Search will comprise six songs to be tracked at Lucky Run Studios in the four-piece’s native Houston, Texas, for a total runtime of 41 minutes, give or take. As for who’ll be at the helm, it’s Michael Mikulka, who owns Lucky Run and is known for engineering Kyuss‘ early LP Wretch. Though both would fall under the general umbrella of “heavy,” those legendary desert rockers shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a comparison point when it comes to Blues Funeral, who as the live clip for “Autumn Dream” below shows, owe much more of their approach to organ-laced classic doom, marked out by the combined vocals of guitarists Maurice Eggenschwiler and Jan Kimmel.
Kimmel also handles organ on the track, and the harmonies of voice and instrument in combination with the key work gives an impression not unlike Beelzefuzz, though obviously the processes behind it are different. Kimmel, Eggenschwiler and drummer Cory Cousins come out of the band Sanctus Bellum — Blues Funeral is rounded out by bassist Gabriel Katz — and the new project has some of that same underlying metallurgy, but it’s still clear that they’re working to establish their own sound as well.
No word on a release date yet for The Search, but you can find album art by David Paul Seymour and some comment that Eggenschwiler was kind enough to give on the upcoming studio time below. Blues Funeral will also open the Houston date for The Obsessed, The Atomic Bitchwax and Karma to Burn tour on June 9, and that info follows:
Maurice Eggenschwiler on recording:
“It’s crazy to think that we’ve already been playing together as a band for over a year. Though our music tastes are all fairly varied, we all share a mutual affinity for music from the ’60s and ’70s. Especially some of the music that really has a pronounced inclusion of Hammond organ. While we were playing together in Sanctus Bellum we’d always talked about a project that would allow us to bring in more of that shared influence, but never had the time to do it. When Sanctus needed to go on hiatus for a bit, we were finally given that opportunity and from November 2014 to date, we’ve had the chance to write and perform the six songs that are ultimately going to end up on this record… as well as a few others that we’re currently working on arranging and will unveil later. The album title, The Search, was taken in part from the first song that we arranged as a band and is also a bit of a nod to the idea that we’re searching to find that perfect blend of all our influences in this project. We’ve been thrilled to really push the boundaries of our songwriting with this project and are very excited to finally get the music out on a consumable format. We’re excited for what the future holds.”
Blues Funeral is: Jan Kimmel (El Janni) – Guitar, Nord, Vocals Maurice Eggenschwiler – Guitar, Vocals Cory Cousins – Drums Gabriel Katz – Bass
Blues Funeral live: June 9 Walter’s Downtown, Houston, Texas w/ The Obsessed, The Atomic Bitchwax & Karma to Burn