Dunsmuir Self-Titled Debut Due July 22; New 7″ out this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

dunsmuir

Dunsmuir‘s pedigree reads like other bands’ lists of influences. With members drawn from the ranks of Black Sabbath, Clutch, Fu Manchu and The Company Band, the four-piece’s existence was announced back in January. Since then, they’ve gone on to release three limited 7″ singles, with a fourth and final one out this week ahead of a July 22 issue date through Hall of Records for the band’s self-titled full-length debut. They’re apparently pressing 1,000 copies, selling them with a signed poster and leaving it at that. No word on whether this is an ongoing, occasional project or what. Probably best to get through putting the album out first before thinking about future plans.

Noteworthy that guitarist Dave Bone, bassist Brad Davis and vocalist Neil Fallon all make some mention either directly or indirectly of working with a metallic influence. Drummer Vinny Appice calls it “heavy rock that rocks,” as well, but having not heard the full outing, it adds intrigue to how that plays out across the tracklisting.

From the PR wire:

dunsmuir dunsmuir

DUNSMUIR FEATURING MEMBERS OF CLUTCH, BLACK SABBATH, FU MANCHU AND THE COMPANY BAND TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM 7/22/16

Dunsmuir, the new project featuring CLUTCH singer Neil Fallon, former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice, Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis, and The Company Band guitarist Dave Bone are set to release their self-titled debut album July 22nd via Hall Of Records. Presales will begin July 8th and will be released digitally exclusively on iTunes. The LP will have a limited pressing of 1,000 copies and will include a signed lithograph poster of the album cover. The LP will be available exclusively at: http://www.indiemerch.com/Dunsmuir/. The first single at radio will be “Our Only Master”.

Dunsmuir has released three 7” vinyl singles to date. The fourth and final 7” is slated for release June 15th with a very limited run of only 500 pieces and WILL NOT be re-pressed. It will be available exclusively at http://www.indiemerch.com/Dunsmuir/.

When asked about the album, Appice explains “This album is pure simple heavy ROCK that ROCKS!”

“This record is an intense collaboration of four minds all set on “destroy”. says Bone. “It’s been a few years in the making and now ready to erupt. Raw and in your face, we hope you like it hot!”

“Dunsmuir has given us the opportunity to explore some of our favorite heavy metal influences” adds Davis. “We strove to create something I hope will inspire a lot of head banging all over the world.”

Fallon adds “We turned out some serious metal on this record and it shreds. The concept behind the lyrics is comprised of 10 tales from the survivors of a shipwreck. What had been intended as a scientific expedition, quickly deteriorates into a struggle to survive both the natural and supernatural world.”

Dunsmuir Track Listing
1. Hung On the Rocks
2. Our Only Master
3. The Bats (Are Hungry Tonight)
4. What Manner of Bliss?
5. Deceiver
6. …And Madness
7. Orb of Empire
8. Church of the Tooth
9. The Gate
10. Crawling Chaos!

DUNSMUIR
Brad Davis (Fu Manchu)
Vinny Appice (Dio / Black Sabbath / Heaven & Hell)
Dave Bone (The Company Band)
Neil Fallon (Clutch)

https://www.facebook.com/DunsmuirBand/
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http://dunsmuirband.com/
http://www.indiemerch.com/Dunsmuir/

Dunsmuir, “Our Only Master”

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Live Review: The Company Band, Lionize and Black Cowgirl in Philly, 07.26.12

Posted in Reviews on July 30th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

The forecast was ominous, and I don’t mean a little. Listening to the news on the radio on my way southbound on the Turnpike to see The Company Band, Lionize and Black Cowgirl in Philly, it sounded like that movie The Day After Tomorrow when all the storms come together in a rousing bout of disaster porn. Sure, the sun was out, but whatever the hell a “derecho” storm was, it was headed our way. I guess people in this region have gotten used to the threats of your standard El Ninos and Noreasters, so corporate media has to come up with something else to scare my mom with. Fuckers.

It did storm, but by the time it started I was well secure within the walls of Underground Arts, a new venue in a mostly empty but highway-convenient section of Philadelphia that I wouldn’t be surprised to see gentrify within the next couple years — I immediately started looking at spaces to open a bar, and there were several (have I mentioned how much I fucking love Philly?). The place was cool enough, kind of reminded me of Santos Party House in NYC with two large columns on either side of the stage and a professional setup, P.A. and lighting rig. The lights were LCDs or some such like that, which was fascinating. Turns out it’s the future after all.

Underground Arts had good beer on tap — the Stoudts Pils and Yards were the local contingent — and it was decently cheap as well, but with the weather and work Friday still to go, I wasn’t drinking. More the fool I. I’d been asked to come down early and take some promo shots of The Company Band, who were headlining as one show on a three-night tour that would subsequently hit Brooklyn and Washington D.C. That’s not something I’ve ever done before, but I figured if there’s going to be a first time, a band that has members of Clutch, Fireball Ministry and Fu Manchu can’t be a bad place to start. It went alright and I got some decent shots out of it. The guys — vocalist Neil Fallon, guitarists Jim Rota and Dave Bone, bassist Brad Davis and drummer Jess Margera — were all cordial, and as inexperienced as I was, it wasn’t the first time any of them had had their picture taken.

There was a while between the end of that process and the start of the actual show, which was opened by Lancaster, PA’s Black Cowgirl — no strangers to Margera, having played with his main outfit, CKY, in Philly last year — so I went in search of some Advil to help quiet down a headache I’d acquired on the drive down. All the sunshine. Ironic enough, considering the armageddon I was hearing about on the radio. I stumbled on and then into a Shell station and bought two of the little travel packs of two pills each. A short while later, Black Cowgirl hit the stage to play songs from the two EPs that they’ll release as one self-titled full-length collection on Bilocation Records this week. They had the CDs with them; vinyl is due in August.

A two-guitar four-piece, they were a band I’ve wanted to see for a while. Guitarist/vocalist Ben McGuire set up on stage right, his fellow six-stringer/singer Nate Rosenzweig way on the other side with drummer Mark Hanna and bassist Chris Casse in between. They were almost in a line — McGuire, Hanna, Casse and Rosenzweig — but the drummer was a little further back on stage and Casse out in front, and they looked ready to tour, excited to be there on the bill with the other two acts. Casse was more in the pocket than fronting the band, and McGuire was partially obscured by the giant column on his side, but the songs were tight and the band gave a solid impression to people in the crowd who, like me, hadn’t seen them play before.

To put a point on it, they looked ready to tour. You know how sometimes you see a local band play in their home territory and it just seems like they’re ready to get out? If Black Cowgirl isn’t there, they’re close. I don’t know the life circumstances of the members of the band, if they would permit larger-scale touring, but they seem to have learned what they need to know about opening shows like this one and they’re ready. Someone get Lo-Pan on the phone and tell them to book four or five weeks. I bet Black Cowgirl would come back absolutely lethal, and that their resulting confidence — McGuire seemed to hesitate to “front” the band, where his beard alone would’ve given him the ground to do so — would let them lay waste to any room they played. Still, good band, and well on their way. They threw in a couple moments of three-part vocals — Hanna joining McGuire and Rosenzweig — and it’s something I hope they continue to develop.

It was to be an early night. The Company Band were slated to be done by 10:40PM, which, yeah, might not feed into that whole “rock and roll all night” thing, but whatever, I’m not 17 years old anymore, I drove two hours to get to this show and I had to work in the morning, so I’ll take it anytime I can get it and let KISS‘ “Official Banking Partners” or whatever they have now worry about the all-nighters. Lionize went on shortly after Black Cowgirl finished up. They brought out the organ and soon got underway with their blend of whiteboy reggae and semi-heavy jamming rock.

Stylistically, they remain unaffiliated, and in terms of having seen them three or four times now as they’ve been for a while in Clutch‘s regular stable of openers and their having collaborated with Clutch guitarist Tim Sult, I remain ambivalent. The crowd at Underground Arts dug them, and I know a lot of people who do as well, but there were several instances during their time where I stood and asked myself, “Okay, what part of this doesn’t sound like Sublime?” They threw a few Clutch-esque riffs in, but ultimately left me cold and were standoffish on stage, like they wanted to bust out into hardcore punk but didn’t want to upset anyone by doing so. Come on, gentlemen. I know it’s an early night, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t disturb the peace a little. Some you win, some you lose.

As regards The Company Band, it was a win. They marked the show as being their first in four years. I didn’t doubt it, but you’d never know it to watch them play. Each of the five members of the band have a distinct personality, but they gelled remarkably well. Fallon was out front, as you’d expect, and Bone — the only member of The Company Band whose name is not immediately followed by a parenthetical, à la Rota (Fireball Ministry) or Davis (Fu Manchu) — had stage left to himself. Responsible for all the band’s songwriting and taller by a head than everyone else up there except perhaps Margera, who was sitting behind the drums anyway, it just made sense.

“House of Capricorn,” the first cut off their new Pros and Cons EP (review here), made for an appropriate set opener, with its lyrics welcoming everyone and thanking them for their cooperation, etc. Like the venue itself, the band was thoroughly professional. It was clear in watching them that although Fallon is an undeniable presence at the front of the stage, it’s the songwriting driving the material. In the past, I’ve attributed this to Rota, who’s long showcased powerful pop structures in Fireball Ministry — whose last album was overproduced but not lacking in excellent choruses — there are elements culled from classic rock’s methods without aping what those bands actually did. Pros and Cons draws on earlier metal — Fallon called the quieter “El Dorado” a heavy metal ballad — but songs like “Hot Topic Woman” and “Who Else but Us?” from The Company Band‘s 2009 self-titled full-length sounded well within the sphere of what Fireball Ministry does musically at their best, despite the fact that they were penned by Bone.

With that album, the new EP and the 2007 Sign Here, Here, and Here EP that launched the project, The Company Band had no trouble filling an hour. All four tracks from that initial release made their way into the set and were highlights, particularly “Heartache and Misery.” As the lead guitar lines that make up the first part of the verse transitioned into the slower nodding riff, one could practically feel the air push from Rota and Bones‘ guitars and Davis‘ bass. Davis, however, made the newer “Loc Nar” a standout, and though obscured to many standing directly in front of the stage by the column on the side, he nonetheless made his presence felt by riding out in-pocket grooves on top of Margera‘s straightforward drumming.

That song and “Hot Topic Woman” were fun, as had been the earlier and absurdly catchy “Fortune’s a Mistress,” but the regular set rounded out with “El Dorado” and full-length opener “Zombie Barricades,” and the band left stage. There was no way they weren’t going to round out with “Company Man,” the first track off the first EP, but they started the encore after joking that bands do nothing but stare at each other when they wait to come back out with “Spellbinder,” and here several days later, that’s still the song I have stuck in my head. Rota joined Fallon on vocals (more of that please; their voices complement each other absurdly well) and left a sting that in no way felt like “side-project.” They hit “Company Man” quick after that, playing it so fast it was practically a punk song, and then the house lights came up. Show over.

Perhaps it had been the awesome power of heavy rock and roll that had thwarted the climate change apocalypse that had almost certainly assured the destruction of America’s northeastern quadrant, but it was raining and lightning-ing when I left Underground Arts. I’d told The Patient Mrs. on the phone earlier that if it was the end of the world, I’d come north in snow shoes like Dennis Quaid, but it didn’t come to that. I got in the car and got back on the Turnpike, soberly weaving around the cars who’d either given into the Thirsty Thursday impulse or bought into the Weather Channel’s propaganda machine and believed rain to be the new snow of roadway hazards. I’m not gonna tell you the world is or isn’t ending, just that even if it is, it’s not gonna go out like the people who fill time between the “Kars for Kids” commercials say it is.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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The Company Band, Pros and Cons EP: A Short Presentation with a Power Point

Posted in Reviews on July 12th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Now aligned to Clutch’s Weathermaker Music imprint, corporately themed supergroup The Company Band make their latest wager in the form of the five-track Pros and Cons EP. Like the band’s past works – 2009’s self-titled full-length (review here) and 2007’s introductory Sign Here, Here and Here EP – Pros and Cons was produced by Andrew Alekel, and to The Company Band’s credit, aside from replacing bassist Jason Diamond of MIA NYC rockers Puny Human, they’ve managed to hold together a very busy lineup for half a decade now. That lineup shakes down as follows:

Neil Fallon (Clutch): Vocals
Jim Rota (Fireball Ministry): Guitar
Dave Bone: Guitar
Brad Davis (Fu Manchu): Bass
Jess Margera (CKY): Drums

Not exactly small potatoes as regards pedigree, and though The Company Band has never toured – they’re doing a few East Coast shows in support of Pros and Cons – their recorded output has remained as consistent in quality as their lineup has stayed stable. Their process seems to be that every so often the musicians get together and rock out some new tracks and then Fallon either tops those songs in the studio with them, as was the case with the LP, or on his own, as is the case with the new EP. Rota, Bone, Davis and Margera recorded with Alekel out on the West Coast, and Fallon put his vocals to the instrumental tracks afterwards, the steady hands of Clutch familiar J. Robbins helming the recording. The result on these five songs is a few strong chorus, some excellent straightforward riffing, Davis’ always stellar bass, and an overall mixture of elements that’s distinct from each individual part while not necessarily separate in terms of genre. Heavy rock persists, is another way of putting it. Rota has long since proved his songwriting acumen in Fireball Ministry, and he’s got excellent collaborative accompaniment in the rest of The Company Band. Perhaps most importantly, as much as it’s been enjoyable to follow the project’s periodic installments since their 2007 first outing, the players’ enjoyment and respect for each other bleeds into everything they create, and that can be heard here from the opening strains of “House of Capricorn” to the fadeout of “El Dorado”’s catchy title line.

Fallon peppers the lyrics of “House of Capricorn” with the kind of tongue-in-cheek corporate-speak that has in no small part defined the course of the band since their inception. It’s almost an exit interview, or the kind of questionnaire one might get upon calling a “How’s my driving” number on the back of a track. The lines, “Welcome everybody to the House of Capricorn/Here’s a short presentation/Please enjoy your stay and thank you in advance for your kindness and participation,” serve as a verse in what I can only imagine is a perfect live set kickoff. A subtly righteous guitar lead is worked into the end, and with its pointedness of direction, “House of Capricorn” is every bit the strong opening statement, following “Zombie Barricades” from the self-titled and the course-setting “Company Man” from the first EP in that regard. The Company Band, it seems, know how to launch a release. Davis’ bass at the beginning of “Black Light Fever” double-times the guitar and commences to launch a profitable groove in the verse, which leads to a grower chorus, Fallon eventually answering himself in a revivalist mode bound to be familiar to anyone who’s gotten down with latter-day Clutch. Moments like that leave me wondering what would happen if Rota was charged with backup vocal duties, what he might be able to do to complement Fallon’s ultra-distinct, ultra-established methods, and how much potential there is there that’s yet been unexploited. Whatever methods they take to get there, The Company Band has never yet failed to produce top-grade choruses, and as the rest of Pros and Cons plays out, it quickly becomes evident that “House of Capricorn” and “Black Light Fever” are, figuratively as well as literally, just the start.

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The Company Band Interview with James A. Rota: Making a Killer Wager

Posted in Features on October 29th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Beers at the ready, gentlemen!The Company Band, the debut full-length from the supergroup of the same name, is an album of strong personalities. Whether it’s the prominent vocals of Clutch‘s Neil Fallon, the bass of Fu Manchu‘s Brad Davis, the guitars of Dave Bone and Fireball Ministry‘s James A. Rota or the drums of CKY‘s Jess Margera, there is little in the output that can’t be tracked back to one source or another within the band itself. “That sounds like Fireball,” or “Man, that’s a Clutch part,” etc.

The success of the album and the band as a whole, then, hinges on being able to combine these personalities into something wholly new. I’ve already reviewed the album, so I’ll spare the evaluations, but suffice it to say that The Company Band is an entity unique among its components.

In the phone interview Rota was kind enough to grant The Obelisk from his Los Angeles home, the guitarist discusses the makings of The Company Band and the album of the same name, touching on the future of Fireball Ministry and the current climate in general for musicians and artists looking to be heard. Thanks to Rota for his candor and to you for reading.

Interview is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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The Company Band: Sound Investments

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Shitloads of cash...After issuing their IPO in the form of the recently-vinylized Sign Here, Here and Here EP (on CD through the band?s own Venture Capital Records in 2008), the five-piece supergroup The Company Band return with a change in lineup and general approach on their self-titled debut full-length. The Company Band, produced by Andrew Alekel (Foo Fighters) with additional tracking by J. Robbins (Clutch), is 10 tracks of straightforward pop songwriting that is tight and given an edge because of the players involved. And before this review goes any further, it?s probably best to list them:

Neil Fallon (Clutch): Vocals
James A. Rota
(Fireball Ministry): Guitar
Dave Bone
(The Company Band): Guitar
Brad Davis
(Fu Manchu): Bass
Jess Margera
(CKY): Drums

Davis is new to the band as a replacement for Jason Diamond of New York?s Puny Human, and he makes his presence felt throughout as a suitable accompaniment to Margera?s drumming ? though quite frankly neither of them is down for much fancytalk musically. The Company Band depart from the impression they gave on the four tracks of their prior EP by keeping the stoner level low, pushing the riff all the same but angling the style of the writing toward classic and southern rock with some meaty grooves thrown in the verses and choruses.

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The Company Band Full-Length Due in November

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Despite having downsized Puny Human bassist Jason Diamond since the release last year of their EP, Sign Here, Here and Here, and replaced him with Fu Manchu‘s Brad Davis, corporately-themed stoner supergroup The Company Band are pressing forward with a new release due out Nov. 10. Here’s the PR wire news:

The Company Band, featuring vocalist Neil Fallon, drummer Jess Margera, guitarists Jim Rota and Dave Bone with bassist Brad Davis, today confirm November 10 as the release date of their full length debut. The self-titled album was recorded in Los Angeles earlier this year and teamed the band with renowned producer/engineer Andrew Alekel (Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters). The band will release in advance to the album a special digital-only single featuring the album track ?It?s a Confusing World? with an exclusive cover of BTO?s ?Not Fragile.? The single will be available for download via various DSPs in early October.

?It was pretty awesome to get everyone into a studio together and make this record,? reveals Jess Margera of the Note the lack of Puny Human bassists in this picture.album?s recording process. ?I never thought it would happen given that everyone has insanely crazy touring schedules. But sure enough the results turned out amazing. It was a strange reality for me, personally, as I am a huge fan of Fireball Ministry, Clutch and Fu Manchu. So to be in a room playing drums with members of all those bands was kind of unbelievable.”

?It’s not very often that one gets to write and play music with people that they respect as well consider family,? says Jim Rota. ?This band is a dream come true.?

?Good times and great friends made this music that we are proud to bring you,? adds Dave Bone. ?So pick up your balls and load up your cannons for the 21 gun salute!?

Founded by Margera (CKY) with Rota (Fireball Ministry) and Dave Bone in 2006, The Company Band originally got together to jam among friends. Their initial recordings were laid down for the band?s 2008?s mini-album Sign Here, Here, and Here. It quickly sold through its limited pressing and has continued to be a popular digital seller via CDBaby.com and others since release. Restricted Release has now pressed it on a special 10-inch available now exclusively through the label?s Amazon store. The vinyl pressing features exclusive artwork and is hand-numbered; limited to 1000 copies.

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The Company Band Brand Extension: Sign Here for Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Awesome.The PR wire has it that riffy supergroup The Company Band, featuring Clutch‘s Neil Fallon and now Brad Davis of Fu Manchu replacing Jason Diamond of Puny Human on bass, are about to release their debut EP, Sign Here, Here, and Here on vinyl via Restricted Release (MySpace here). In case you’ve forgotten how mucht the EP ruled, it ruled quite a bit. Here’s the news:

Restricted Release proudly presents a special 10-inch vinyl pressing of The Company Band‘s mini-album Sign Here, Here, and Here. Set for release September 15, the pressing features format-exclusive artwork and is limited to 1000 hand-numbered units worldwide.

Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Andrew Alekel (Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion), Sign Here, Here, and Here was originally released as a digital-only recording early in 2008 (followed later by its physical digipak partner). It brings together five highly-regarded musicians with nothing but the love of jamming on their minds. Two live performances to date have highlighted their still short sonic union (early fans of the band surely hoping to see more; member schedules permitting).

Founded by Jess Margera (CKY) with James Rota (Fireball Ministry) and Dave Bone in 2006, The Company Band originally got together and recorded some instrumental tracks. Jason Diamond was approached to contribute bass tracks while friend Neil Fallon (Clutch) agreed to appear as a guest on one of the songs but quickly changed status to that of a full fledged member. Brad Davis (Fu Manchu) replaced Diamond earlier this year when the band laid down tracks for their full-length debut which is planned for release later this fall.

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