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).
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
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 Tapein 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.
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 Demontape (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
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 Conjuringbrings 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 Conjuringhighlights 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 Conjuringwas 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.
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 Chupacabraand “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 Conjuringbalances 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.
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 IIon 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.
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
On each side of the splatter pink 12″ vinyl edition of Funeral Horse‘s second offering, Sinister Rites ofthe Master, appears one of the above phrases, etched in past the music. Side A has “I am perplexed,” and side B, “Who is the 13th doctor?,” and neither of them come with much by way of context. The former were the final words of Aleister Crowley and the latter phrase is either a Doctor Who reference or I don’t know what. Either or both would seem a decent match for the seven songs and two sides of Sinister Rites of the Master, which follows Funeral Horse‘s summer 2013 tape debut, Savage Audio Demon(review here). A liner included with the record, which is limited to 333 copies pressed by Artificial Head Records, also has a microfiction from drummer Chris Larmour that takes place in the lost city of Carcosa, as seen in Lovecraft and Ambrose Bierce and most recently the HBO drama True Detective, so there’s clearly a dedication to atmosphere and a complete album package being about more than just the music, though their songwriting has progressed audibly since the debut.
Fortunately, that progression hasn’t come at the expense of the raw vibe of the songs’ production. The vinyl has a different mix from the digital version of Sinister Rites of the Master and an even more garage-minded style, but either way you go, there’s a clarity to some of the ideas that sounded formative last time out, the three-piece of Larmour, guitarist/vocalist Paul Bearer – who also donates a mean harmonica solo to round out “Communist’s Blues” at the end of side A — and bassist Jason Argonaut now mischievously jumping from one side to another around the line between punk and heavier rock. The bass tone is warm, vocals mostly distorted, and the drums creative but largely straightforward, so there is a punkish vibe throughout, but while “Amputate the Hands of Thieves” has a definite insistence in its rhythm, it’s thicker, and the fact that Funeral Horse close with what they’ve billed online as a “slight revision” of Rush‘s “Working Man” speaks to other influences at play.
One could say the same of side B in general, though. The three songs on the first half of Sinister Rites of the Master– “Until the Last Nation Falls,” “Amputate the Hands of Thieves” and “Communist’s Blues” — work around a similar stylistic basis of garage stoner movement, the latter pulling back somewhat in tempo, but still in the same vein, while the four cuts that follow the flip — “Executioner of Kings,” “I Hear the Devil Calling Me,” “Stoned and Furious” and the aforementioned Rush cover “Working Man” — change up the approach. This in itself is a classic form — if you’re going to get weird, do it on side B — but where the earlier cuts take inspiration from the likes of John Milton and Kang Chol-Hwan, “Stoned and Furious” is said to be “inspired by true events.” A bit of humor never hurts as a reminder that it’s all supposed to be a good time, and in this way, the digital and vinyl editions of the album feed into each other; you can listen to one and read about the other. “Stoned and Furious” is sonically consistent, however, and the biggest stylistic turn comes with the relatively brief “I Hear the Devil Calling Me,” which brings in Sarah Hirsch of Houston’s Jealous Creatures for a guest vocal over swamp harmonica and strummed guitar.
Well placed and a genuine surprise on the first listen, “I Hear the Devil Calling Me” feels somewhat like an outro, which would make “Stoned and Furious” and “Working Man” bonus tracks for the album, but both sides of Sinister Rites of the Masterwork in terms of their flow, so I’m not about to argue (with myself) over adherence to a theme. The wailing leads of “Stoned and Furious” do well to call back the tom runs at the start of “Executioner of Kings” that act as the bed for a full-sounding wall of riff, and “Working Man” gets reinvented as an early Pentagram demo, blown-out vocals and all. I don’t know who the 13th doctor is, but what Funeral Horse do on their second full-length release is to show that while they keep things loose and natural sounding, they’re still working on a conscious progression of their sound. Sinister Rites of the Master is likely to be a sleeper vinyl, but it departs entirely from the stereotypical post-Pantera Texan burl and is so gleefully stoned in parts that one can’t help but wonder how they hold it together as long as they do. They’ve taking away some of the dronier sounds they presented their first time out, but spend their time well nonetheless.
Funeral Horse, Sinister Rites of the Master (2014)
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Austin sludge rockers Destroyer of Light are heading west beginning June 13. The riff-crunching Texan four-piece released their sophomore outing, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, earlier this year on vinyl through Heavy Friends Records, and previously toured in the Southeast this past April in support of the album. Neither that tour nor this one heads very far north, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the second half of 2014 held more to come from the band, who skillfully blend elements of doom, sludge, thrash and stoner shuffle into a dark-sounding brew of semi-psychedelic potency.
Dates and info come courtesy of the PR wire:
DESTROYER OF LIGHT announce summer U.S. tour
Austin-based doom band DESTROYER OF LIGHT has announced a U.S. tour spanning from Texas to the West Coast in June.
Destroyer of Light formed in Austin, Texas the beginning of 2012. Each member coming from different bands wanted create slow, heavy, riff-induced music and wield it toward the masses. Gathering influences from a variety of different styles, each member brings their flavor to the table, and the music speaks for itself. Destroyer of Light is a 4-piece band consisting of Steve Colca on guitars/vocals, Keegan Kjeldsen on lead guitar, Jeff Klein on bass, and Kelly “Penny” Turner on drums. As of now, their second EP, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 has been released both digitally and on vinyl through Heavy Friends Records. May the power of the riff compel you!
Dates are as follows (TBA dates to be updated next week):
June 13th – Austin, Tx @ Holy Mountain June 14th – Midland, TX @ VFW Hall June 15th – Las Cruces, NM @ The Trainyard June 16th – Albuquerque, NM @ TBA June 17th – Tuscon, AZ @ The Rock June 18th – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room June 19th – Spring Valley, CA @ The Bancroft June 20th – LA @ TBA June 21st – San Bernadino, CA – Black Flame Collective June 22nd – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern June 23rd – Oakland, CA @ Eli’s Mile High Club June 24th – Fresno, CA @ TBA June 25th – Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyanne Saloon June 26th – SLC @ The Shred Shed June 27th – Colorado Springs, CO @ TBA June 28th – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive June 29th – Haysville, KS @ KC’s Too June 30th – Texarkana, TX @ Silver Dollar July 1st – Dallas, TX/Fort Worth, TX @ TBA
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you’ve got a calendar, you might want to mark June 17 for the release of Wo Fat‘s new album, The Conjuring, or failing that, get your preorder ready to roll. However you go about it, the point is the fifth record from the Dallas fuzz explorers is one you don’t want to let slide. The artwork, release date and bio I wrote were already premiered here a little while back, but a reminder from the PR wire never hurt anybody, and in addition to the preorder link, this one also comes with confirmation of Wo Fat‘s European tour alongside Mothership, whose new album was just recorded with Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump at the band’s own Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas.
That tour includes a stop at the Freak Valley festival, which looks awesome:
WO FAT: Dallas Psychedelic Haze-Bringers To Unveil The Conjuring Next Month Via Small Stone; European Takeover Announced
You can wade through as many WO FAT press quotes about being “Texas-sized” as you want or see how many top-whatever lists the band has made since the Dallas trio began raging in 2003, but none of that is going to be the same as staring down their swampadelic fuzz groove for yourself. If you want to know the monster, shake its hand.
Next month, WO FAT will release The Conjuring, their fifth full-length and second via the volume perpetrators at Small Stone. Much like their last two works — 2012’s The Black Code and 2011’s Noche del Chupacabra – The Conjuring is a heavy-riff/heavy-jam blast of a time, the sort of record that turns the vaguely interested into converts and makes the corners on squares look even sharper.
Guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer/backing vocalist Michael Walter are jazz-combo tight and their roll is easy and natural, much like Fu Manchu, but far bigger and in the case of The Conjuring, far darker. There’s been a creature lurking in the woods since WO FAT’s 2006 debut, The Gathering Dark. Their second album, 2009’s Psychedelonaut, pulled back on the threat some to lighten the mood, but whether it’s the motor-driven rush of “Read The Omens” or the you’re-already-lost-in-it riff-exploration of seventeen-minute closer “Dreamwalker,” The Conjuring is indeed a backwoods ritual. Bluesmen have sold their souls for less.
Veterans of Roadburn, slated for Freak Valley 2014 and self-sufficient with Stump handling the recording at his own Crystal Clear Sound on their home turf, WO FAT pushes their jams farther than they’ve ever gone before on these five tracks. Topped off with a mastering job from Nolan Brett at Stump’s studio and an otherworldly cover courtesy of Alexander Von Wieding, the beast that WO FAT’s tectonic riffage calls to earth has never seemed more real or more alive than it does on The Conjuring.
The Conjuring Track Listing: 1. The Conjuring 2. Read The Omens 3. Pale Rider From The Ice 4. Beggar’s Bargain 5. Dreamwalker
The Conjuring will drop via Small Stone on June 17th, 2014 on CD, vinyl, and digitally. Preceding the release, WO FAT will take their smoky stoner rituals overseas on a twelve-date trek. The games begin on May 27th in London. From there, the band will spread their jams through France, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Spain, including an appearance at the illustrious Freak Valley Festival sharing the stage with Truckfighters, Blues Pill, Solstafir, Mothership and more!
Preorder The Conjuring today atTHIS LOCATIONwhere you can also sample fourth track, “Beggar’s Bargain.”
WO-FAT Live 2014: 5/27/2014 The Black Heart – London, UK 5/28/2014 Le Glazart – Paris, FR 5/29/2014 Little Devil – Tilburg, NL 5/30/2014 Freak Valley Festival 2014 – Netphen, DE 5/31/2014 Jagerklause – Berlin, DE 6/01/2014 Fonobar – Waraw, POL 6/02/2014 Chemiefabrik – Dresden, DE 6/03/2014 Chemiefabrik – Munich, DE 6/04/2014 Kinski – Zurich, SW 6/05/2014 Le Volume – Nice, FR 6/06/2014 Rocksound – Barcelona, ESP 6/07/2014 Peyote Fest – Madrid, ESP
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Boozy Texan rockers Scorpion Child are getting ready to follow their recent European tour with a run across the eastern half of North America that’ll go from the end of May into June, hitting major markets along the way with company from Crobot. Both bands have in common that they’ve opened for Clutch, so at least you know they’ve been to school, and Scorpion Child also took part in that monstrous five-band bill last year with Kadavar, Mothership, Gypsyhawk and Wilson. For Scorpion Child, who’ve hardly let their livers recover since making their self-titled debut on Nuclear Blast last year, this next stint will begin at the Rocklahoma festival on May 24, from which they’ll swing back south into Texas before looping up the East Coast.
It’s a considerable undertaking from the road-dog-in-the-making four-piece, and the PR wire has the details below:
SCORPION CHILD ANNOUNCE HEADLINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Ready to blaze back into North America with appearances at this year’s Rocklahoma & River City Rock festivals after their all-out assault through Europe, kick-ass hard rockers SCORPION CHILD from Austin, Texas will launch a headlining tour this spring with Pennsylvania’s space rockers CROBOT supporting. The trek will start off on May 26th in Dallas, Texas, includes two shows in Canada, and ends in Nashville, Tennessee on June 8th.
Checking in from Berlin, Germany, SCORPION CHILD vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black shares the following about their return home:
“We are enraptured to set out on our blitzkrieg U.S. tour of the Right Coast, Midwest, and Canada next month along with CROBOT. Do not miss this hard package!”
Tour dates are:
05/24/14 Rocklahoma Festival – Pryor, OK 05/25/14 River City Rock Fest – San Antonio, TX 05/26/14 Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX 05/27/14 The Station – Lafayette, LA 05/28/14 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 05/29/14 The Hive – Charleston, SC 05/30/14 Metro – Baltimore, MD 05/31/14 North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA 06/01/14 Studio at Webster – New York, NY 06/02/14 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA 06/03/14 Il Motore – Montreal, QC – CANADA 06/04/14 Coda – Toronto, ON – CANADA 06/05/14 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL 06/06/14 Buster’s – Lexington, KY 06/07/14 Fubar – St. Louis, MO 06/08/14 The End – Nashville, TN
Described by Aryn Jonathan Black as “a sonic landscape of a 24-hour period” and joining the elite ranks of rock’s present day flag bearers such as Graveyard, The Sword, Wolfmother, and Rival Sons, SCORPION CHILD‘s self-titled debut album was produced and arranged by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Answer, Jet, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) using analog technology.
Scorpion Child debuted at #26 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart & at #99 on the Hard Music Album chart the week following its June 2013 release. Shortly after the announcement that the band would headline Rockstar Mayhem’s Sumerian Stage last summer, their single “Polygon Of Eyes” was selected as the iTunes “Single of the Week.”
SCORPION CHILD has toured with CLUTCH and KADAVAR, showcased multiple years at the SXSW Music Festival, and performed on the Shiprocked Cruise in January. This will be their second appearance at Rocklahoma.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Should you happen to be feeling lucky, Bilocation Records and Switchblade Jesus are giving away one of the three test pressings for the band’s self-titled full-length (review here), which would make a nifty pickup for some fortunate heavy rocker. Apparently the test pressings worked as well, since the label went ahead and pressed Switchblade Jesus‘ album in varying editions of colored 180g vinyl and has made them available for preorder now, hand-numbered gatefold style.
The CD version of the album, which was self-released last year, has sold out quickly enough, and it wouldn’t be much of a shock if the LP followed suit upon its release next month.
Details and links come courtesy of the PR wire:
SWITCHBLADE JESUS – Switchblade Jesus LP
Hailing from the land of oil and tar Switchblade Jesus is a 5 piece equivalent of a heard of elephants slamming into a brick wall. Jamming together since 2010 they had a killer ride so far – playing live nearly every week they were forged to a unbreakable live unit. They played a shitload of shows with great bands – just to name a few: Kylesa, Orange Goblin, The Sword, Wo Fat, Egypt, Baroness.
Asked what the fans can expect of the band, the guys state: “Loud alcohol fueled heaviness laced with fuzz and slight hallucinations of tube amps piercing your mind.” That is a word!
- 100x transparent green vinyl (EXCLUSIVE MAILORDER version incl. A3 poster & silkscreened card signed by the band) – 200x spooky clear/black marbled vinyl – 100x black vinyl – all high-quality heavy 180g vinyl pressed in Germany – matte laquered 300gsm gatefold cover – handnumbered
A1. Into Nothing 2:19 A2. Bastard Son 5:31 A3. The Wolves 3:45 A4. Sick Mouth 4:52 B1. Equinox 3:15 B2. Renegade Riders 4:38 B3. Copperhead 4:49 B4. Oblivion 6:26
Posted in audiObelisk on March 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Once, a very, very long time ago — okay, it was last December — thoroughly-synthed doom rockers From Beyond traveled from their native Houston to a much different land, Los Angeles. There, they met head to head in riffy combat with North Carolina’s ASG. Alright, so maybe it was less “riffy combat” and more of a Scion Rock Show, but either way, it happened. The date was Dec. 4, the show was free with an RSVP, and to continue their Rock Show series of releases that’s already resulted in the pairings of Fu Manchu/Moab and The Dirty Streets/Indian Handcrafts, Scion A/V is set to issue a split between ASG and FromBeyond, and I’m happy to be able to present the latter’s “The Fall to Earth” as a streaming debut to mark the occasion.
That gig, held at the Satellite, was From Beyond‘s first in L.A. and their first as a four-piece. When they put out their 2012 The Color out of Space EP (track stream here), they were a trio, but it was the lineup of Robert McCarthy (guitar/vocals/synth), David Grooman (guitar), Dick Beeman (drums/vocals) and Stephen Finley (bass, Moog Taurus) that landed in Silver Lake, and their Moogery and theatrical atmospherics obviously made an impression. “The Fall to Earth” makes the most of both of these, but that doesn’t take away from the crunching largesse of the rolling riff itself once it gets going. Shades of Electric Wizard give way to spaced-out vocal harmonies, creating a strong hook and a rare balance of emotional resonance, lyrical narrative and doomly engagement.
Structurally, “The Fall to Earth” is pretty simple, setting an ambient bed with its intro before launching into verse/chorus tradeoffs and finally marching out on its fuzzy central figure, but From Beyond remain cohesive in the atmosphere and make the track more than just a meandering freakout while also keeping a decidedly open feel. The Color out of Spacewas an impressive release from a band who knew where they wanted to be in terms of aesthetic, but we may have only seen the beginnings of From Beyond.
Please find “The Fall to Earth” on the player below, courtesy of Scion A/V, and please enjoy:
The ASG track is set to release March 25. Scion A/V announced yesterday that this year’s Scion Rock Fest will take place in Pomona, CA, on May 17. More info at the links.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last I heard of Austin trio The Well was their 2012 single, Seven(review here), which apparently means I have some catching up to do on their 2013 First TripEP, already in its third pressing. While I ponder whether or not that means it’s actually the third trip, the three-piece have inked a deal to release their full-length, Monomyth, through ascendant imprint EasyRider Records. They join an impressive and growing roster of acts, from Hornss and Salem’s Pot to Electric Citizen and Sons of Huns. Solid company to keep.
Here’s looking forward to the arrival of Monomyth (perhaps the band Monomyth can name their next album The Well). If you happen to be in Texas this week for SXSW, they’re playing several showcases. Details on that, the announcement of the signing, background on the band and the stream of First Tripfollow, should you like to familiarize:
THE WELL signs with EasyRider Records
The Well Signs with EasyRider Records, Catch them at SXSW this week!
EasyRider records is very excited to welcome Austin’s Hottest Export The Well to the EasyRider family. Their upcoming full length “MONOMYTH” will release in late summer of 2014! The Well is a 3 piece out of Austin TX, that captured my attention a few months ago. The sound is raw and big and extremely catchy. The are a hard working band from Austin that have come a long way and are excited to hit the road and support this beast of a record. They will be ALL over SXSW this week here are the dates and shows….
SXSW 3/12- RoadHouse Management/Nuclear Blast Official Showcase @ Red 7 3/13 – Unofficial Showcase Sons of Huns Orchid, Scorpion Child and Mothership. @ Wonderland. 3/14 – Texas Rock ‘n Roll Massacre – Sons of Huns Orchid, Scorpion Child and Mothership. @ Spider House Ballroom.
More About The Well - Austin based Power trio The Well formed in early 2011 lead by Guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. Seeking a sound that grew from his own nostalgic desire, Ian sought a return to the musical memory of his youth. He began crafting songs that emulated the classical heaviness of his childhood heroes. Riffs the size of mountains, distorted and cuttingly sharp—slow, patient, dominating and heavy. The kind of sound that smashed open the doors and let loose the darkness. To help him capture the tonality of the sound inside his head, he enlisted the talents of bassist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan.
In the Spring of 2012 The Well began working with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales and recorded their debut 7? at the Barbeque Shack. By the fall, the band was back in the studio, this time at Ohm Recording Facility with Producer Mark Deutrom (The Melvins and Sun O)))) and Engineer Chico Jone working on a full length LP. The Well recorded with Converse Rubber Tracks during SXSW 2013, and put the resulting track, “Eternal Well” with a handful from the Ohm sessions together to form their EP entitled, “First Trip”.
The end of that year would see The Well performing alongside such acts as NAAM, Orange Goblin, Holy Grail, Lazerwulf and Dead Meadow. Sonic Vault Austin named The Well their 2013 Metal Band of the Year and the Austin Chronicle invited the band to be their showcased artist in their PaperCuts Series for February of 2014.
With ever growing press both locally and nationally, a 2014 SXSW Nuclear Blast showcase alongside the likes of Orchid and Kadavar, the band is ready for a busy year of touring and promoting their upcoming release.
Posted in Reviews on March 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Initially a 2013 self-release by the band on CD, the self-titled debut full-length from Corpus Christi, Texas-based heavy rockers Switchblade Jesus gets another look in 2014 thanks to a vinyl issue courtesy of Bilocation Records. The 35-minute album was greeted with a flurry of hyperbole upon its first arrival, so one expects an LP edition to be a welcome advent. The eight-track offering marks the last appearance in Switchblade Jesus of vocalist Pete Quarnstrom, his duties having since been taken over by guitarist Eric Calvert, joined in the now-four-piece by guitarist Billy Guerra, bassist Jason Beers and drummer Jon Elizondo, and finds the burly rockers engaged in comfortably-paced post-Pepper Keenan-era C.O.C. Southern-style heavy riffery, straightforward structures led by the guitars being underscored solidly by the rhythm section from “Bastard Son”‘s easy sway to the highlight closer “Oblivion,” which offers a more complex take. Much of what they have to offer throughout will be familiar in a songs-about-whiskey vein, shades of Clutch showing up on “The Wolves” while a Down influence seems to march hand in hand with a markedly unfortunate tinny snare sound on “Renegade Riders.” Quarnstrom, who vacated after a mini-tour in support of the album, mostly lets the riffs be his guide and is less “hey whoa mama yeah” than some I’ve heard in the I’m-a-bluesy-white-dude pastiche, but it winds up almost too easy to stick him in that category anyway, his approach aligning neatly with a staple trope within the current sphere of American heavy rock that one has been able to find in bands from all over the country, not just Texas or the South.
If that’s a sticking point for you, then Switchblade Jesus‘ Switchblade Jesusis going to take all the more exposure to find favor despite, though I wouldn’t say it’s incapable of doing so. Following the opening introduction “Into Nothing,” “Bastard Son” sets much of the tone for what’s to follow in aesthetic and pace, songs like “The Wolves” and “Sick Mouth” changing their pants, sonically speaking, but essentially moving on the same legs. There are touches of boogie to be had in “Sick Mouth,” and the tempo is somewhat quicker, but there’s an element of a comfort zone being established across the board here in booze-fueled riff rock that’s all well and good since they make it work, but also bound to be familiar to listeners who’ve encountered this kind of dudely groove before. I’m not inclined to rag on a relatively new band — formed in 2010 — for not having developed a complex stylistic take on their first outing; it just doesn’t seem fair. If Switchblade Jesus are setting themselves up for future creative development, then fine. I get some sense of that from “Oblivion,” but songs like “Equinox” and “Copperhead” show less of a tendency to shift atmosphere or mood, and Switchblade Jesuscomes off less varied for it. The acoustics on “Into Nothing” and the sort of cinematic soundscaping that accompanies lead one to expect a certain amount of ambience that the rest of the album seems to have no ambition to fulfill, instead burrowing into a well-worn brand of heavy rock that’s endearing enough to get them through the relatively brief 35 minutes of their debut, but will want more variety moving forward. If switching Calvert to a vocalist/guitarist role helps expand Switchblade Jesus‘ songwriting methodology, then it can only be a change for the better on the part of the band.