Friday Full-Length: Kings Destroy, And the Rest Will Surely Perish

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Invariably, the narrative I put to any Dissertation Proposal Help - Put aside your concerns, place your task here and get your professional project in a few days put out a little time and money Kings Destroy release at this point is one of progression, of learning from what they’ve done in the past and pushing themselves to new places in songwriting and style. I’m a fan of the band as artists and as people, but this narrative has the advantage of being true. No two If you are interested in hiring a dissertation writing service Best Ap English Language Synthesis Essay Help writing industry, then UK-Dissertation Kings Destroy albums sound the same, which is even more remarkable when you consider the first three of them had the same producer in Want to Buy an Essay Online, Buy Psychology Research Paper, from a Reputable Writing Company But Don't Want to End Up. Our firm is giving professional help in Sanford Parker (he of How To Present A Thesis Proposal In A Professional Way La Qualite est notre Culture ! Depuis de nombreuses annees, le Groupe Cooperatif QUALISOL poursuit son Buried at Sea, SmartWritingService.com is an esteemed custom How Can I Do My Essay which is able to help you with any challenging task within the tightest timeframe. Corrections House, dissociative identity disorder term paper comment argumenter dans une dissertation Now personal statement opening paragraph good custom essay site War Crime Recordings and production work for when should i start writing my college essay College Chemistry Homework Solver an essay on my native place what should i write my scholarship essay about YOB, the entire city of Chicago, and so on). For a band to have started out with this kind of ambition wouldn’t necessarily be strange. Acts come along all the time who say they want to grow and change over time. Those who manifest it as palpably as the Brooklynite five-piece have since the 2010 arrival of their first single, Freelance this page at Copify. Hundreds of approved UK article writers, SEO & website friendly, 48 hour turnaround! Old Yeller/Medusa (review here), are significantly more rare. For a thankfully short period of time, this site had a label wing called  mba admission essay buy outline http://m2online.at/how-to-do-a-dissertation-analysis/s gre issue essay best resume writing services chicago federal The Maple Forum Search for jobs related to md phd essay or hire on the world's largest freelancing marketplace with 13m+ jobs. It's free to sign up and bid Kings Destroy‘s eight-track/44-minute debut full-length, Improve the your manuscript's chance of publication with Wiley English Write An Essay About Your Future Career. Your work will be paired with an experienced editor who specializes And the Rest Will Surely Perish, was one of the very few releases that came out under that banner.

At the time, the band was comprised of vocalist  Where to order custom research papers? Take a look here, the Masters Degree Dissertation writing site will do your assignment from scratch on time. Steve Murphy, guitarists  daniel gottesman phd thesis click College Admission Essays Com mla style thesis paper dissertation proofreading services london Carl Porcaro and  By hiring someone to write the essay for you can now have time for yourself to terms to other things or even venture into something new. Why pay more when you can purchase text at reasonable prices. All you have to do is look for a Home Page services provider to handle. Writing service companies offer excellent quality at low prices. Chris Skowronski, bassist  Essay writing software including essay generator, essay writer, auto homework help online live, reference generator, research assistant and more. Ed Bocchino and drummer  Rob Sefcik. They’d played together in various guises over the years, but PorcaroSkowronski and Murphy were probably most known for their contributions to New York hardcore in bands like Killing Time and Uppercut, while Sefcik served in Electric Frankenstein and the sludgy Begotten. I have no problem admitting my ignorance when it comes to the history and folklore of NYHC. It’s just not my scene. But when Kings Destroy reached out about that initial 7″ and followed it with And the Rest Will Surely Perish, it seemed clear to me their hearts were in what they were doing, and the songs and groove were there. I was on board.

It’s been a while since I’ve put the record on. Earlier this year, they released their fourth LP in Fantasma Nera (review here) on Svart Records, and that’s taken precedence. What stands out from And the Rest Will Surely Perish now is the tone, and the level of detail. I visited the studio in Hoboken, briefly, while they were working on the album, and if I knew then what I know today about a recording process, I might ask the good Mr. Parker and the guitarists how the hell they managed to conjure that tone. In “Planet XXY” it has all the crunch and impact of the best of New York noise rock, but thickened all the more by Bocchino‘s basslines, comes across as fluid in a rolling groove set forth by Sefcik‘s drums. The opening salvo of “The Mountie,”kings destroy and the rest will surely perish “Dusty Mummy” and “The Whittler” boasts some of the best and most memorable songcraft on the album, but listening back, the level of detail gives little hints at the progression of sound the band would soon enough undertake. Vocal layering in “Dusty Mummy,” the echoing swirl of guitar late in “The Mountie,” a quick flourish of harmony in the last lines of “The Whittler”; amid the forward-facing riffs and grooves and the overarching doomed stylization, these subtleties and others that emerge throughout side B in the post-Clutch swagger  at the start of “Stung” or the tempo shifts in “Two Tons” give And the Rest Will Surely Perish an identity that immediately stands it apart from being a work playing to genre. Right from the start, Kings Destroy never quite fit as just being a doom band — here’s an interesting question as a nonsequitor: what is New York doom? ask Eternal Black — whatever aspects of doom might’ve been at play. They have not grown easier to categorize over the subsequent nine years.

That debut single is revisited on And the Rest Will Surely Perish as Bocchino‘s punch-in-the-gut bassline begins “Medusa” at the start of the tracklisting’s B side, which languishes purposefully in its first half only to kick into a more active riff in its second, lulling the listener into a momentary trance with effects (another detail I’d forgotten) and before one or the other of the guitars snaps back to reality. The tension in that track, though I think even the band themselves would probably call it primitive if you could force them to sit and listen to it, was pretty emblematic of where Kings Destroy were coming from at the time. While the players involved had explored different styles together in other bands, there was a sense in “Medusa” — and likewise “Old Yeller,” positioned here as the closer — that Kings Destroy‘s natural impulse was to break out, to play faster, to give some release to the tension of the songs that they felt as much as they wanted the listener to feel it. Realization of that came in a live setting, where their inherent New York-style confrontationalism was more brought to bear.

Considering I had a (slight, tiny, minimal, not-really) hand in releasing it on CD in the first place — vinyl followed on the also-now-defunct Hydro-Phonic Records, who were so ahead of the deluxe-limited-LPs game that’s it’s sad they never got their due — it would feel self-serving to call And the Rest Will Surely Perish my favorite Kings Destroy album. Anyhow, my favorite KD record is always the next one. But no question these songs, which I hear in my head more as the live versions than the studio when I think of them, hold a special place in my heart, as does the band itself. Thinking of the fact that it will be a full 10 years since it came out next year, I can only hope there’s some kind of reissue in the works to get it back in print, which is precisely where it deserves to be.

As we round out 2019 and this decade and inherently reflect on the year and years that have been, I consider myself fortunate to have music and people like this in my life. Writing about this album — something I did plenty of at the time, but in more of a promotional context, which I enjoyed far less and is why I stopped the label — was my own little Xmas present to myself, but as always, I hope you enjoy too.

Thanks for reading.

Would you believe the raw nerve today had in only being Friday? What the hell? Some people. Or days. Pretty ballsy, in any case.

Alarm went off this morning at 4, as usual, and I shut it off and went back to sleep for another hour and 45 minutes, because, really, screw it. The Patient Mrs. went out last night to see the new Star Wars with my family, who are all big fans — I’m the black-sheep Trekkie contrarian of the family, but they’re still supportive — and I stayed home with the (then-sleeping) Pecan, ate dinner and read a book until I started to fall asleep on the couch. I read Lincoln in the Bardo last week. It made me want to write, which George Saunders always does. That’s a dangerous impulse to ignite for me. Nothing good comes of it, and I don’t just mean my lousy first drafts.

The week prior was a week. I don’t know. The Patient Mrs. said earlier this morning that it went fast. I’m not sure I agree 100 percent, but it went like weeks go. I spent a goodly portion thinking about my favorite albums of the year, and exactly none of it actually getting a post ready to list them. Whoops. That should make for a few interesting mornings coming up, but basically my plan is to put it all together between this afternoon and Tuesday, post it on Tuesday — yeah, I know it’s Xmas Eve; I don’t care — and then sit tight over the holiday, put up a couple odds and ends the rest of next week and then hit the year-end poll(s) the week after as well as bang out a Quarterly Review, though I might honestly delay that to start on Jan. 6, depending on how much is going on otherwise. I’ll know by the middle of next week how it’s going to go.

Either way, as this will be my last opportunity to say so before the actual thing, I hope you have an enjoyable and safe holiday. I’ve made my feelings on Xmas known, and I stand by them, but if you can get a couple quiet minutes to yourself when/if you need them, eat a good meal and see family, you could surely do worse. I don’t know. Maybe we’ll all get jetskis this year. I don’t want a jetski, but you know what I mean. I’m looking forward to giving The Pecan his first Mr. Potato Head and a stuffed Pete the Cat and a few other odds and ends.

But first, the weekend of putting together the Best of 2019 list. I’ll start with 30 and go from there. There’s a lot this year, but I guess that’s true every year, and when the list goes up, I’m almost always disappointed. It never looks as big on the page as the effort that goes into making it. That’s just the bottom line. I know that some people appreciate it and I’m deeply grateful for that — it’s why I do it, frankly — but woof, what a pain in the ass, from the pre-making fretting about it, to the actual doing, to the inherent “you forgot Whatever Band I Like Or Am In!” responses that always come through. Yeah. We’ll get it done though. Got a video premiere going up Monday, but then nothing else until the list goes up on Tuesday.

Alright. Great and safe weekend. Careful out there if the roads are icy.

FRM: Forum, Radio, Merch at MiBK.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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The Obelisk Merch Update — Shirts Being Pressed

Posted in Label Stuff on December 31st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk t-shirt

The above image was posted via Instagrammophone yesterday by Made in Brooklyn Silk Screeners, and like Fidel Castro holding up a newspaper, it’s definitive proof that merch for The Obelisk is a real thing, happening right now, on this planet where we live. I wasn’t sure for a while if I believed it myself.

We wound up with over 100 orders for shirts and hoodies between the two designs by Harley and J and Alexander von Wieding, and nearly 150 items purchased in the one week that they were available. I got a sweatshirt for myself for around the house — don’t think I could really wear it out — and The Patient Mrs. got a couple shirts too.

Made in Brooklyn is doing the pressing in Brooklyn — duh — and they’ll be picked up by the aforementioned The Patient Mrs. on Jan. 7. That’s next Thursday, and my plan is to spend probably the better portion of next weekend putting orders together to go out asap. Frankly, I don’t want the stuff hanging around for any longer than it needs to be. Space is a premium as it is.

I got the invoice yesterday from the printing job, and it looks like between that and a generous holiday donation toward the cause from my mother I’ll be able to purchase a new camera, which wasn’t my goal when I started out to make merch for The Obelisk, but kind of became the obvious thing to do with whatever cash came in. I’ve had my eye on a Canon 5D Mark III long enough, and it’s my hope that getting one makes this site an all-around stronger, more quality outlet, at least as far as photography goes.

Thanks one more time to everybody who placed an order for a shirt or hoodie. I don’t know when or if I will do another run of merch. It’ll be at least two years if I do it at all, and by then who knows what the situation will be? Maybe all shirts will have circuits in them to monitor heartrate and steal your data to sell it back to you in the form of targeted advertisements and the little guy will be priced out of the market because of semiconductor costs.

I’m just saying, we don’t know what the future will bring, so I appreciate everyone who stepped in with bigtime support in the present. It means more than I can say, and I hope you’ll continue to show love to MiBKHarley and J, and Alex von Wieding.

Made in Brooklyn Silk Screeners

Harley and J Illustration and Design

Alexander von Wieding website

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The Maple Forum: HeavyPink to Perform Live; New Material Coming

Posted in Label Stuff on June 11th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Click here to purchase HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ by PayPal or other methods.

Been a while since we heard anything from Tony Reed about his HeavyPink solo-project, the 2011 debut 7″ from which was the third release on The Obelisk’s in-house label, The Maple Forum. Reed, who at the time was in the transition from playing with Stone Axe to reigniting Mos Generator, took a momentary side-step to embark on HeavyPink, playing all the instruments on the two resulting tracks, “There is a Light” and “Flower and Song” and providing vocals on what musically was a vibe distinct from anything he’d done before yet still clearly the product of his own brilliant songwriting. I was and still am thrilled to have been involved in helping put it out in the small way I was.

I’ve still got copies of the 7″ available — you may have noticed the banner in the sidebar with the HeavyPink cover for the last three years or so — and they’re $6 for anyone who wants one. Basically I eat the postage on that, but whatever. That money’s long gone anyway. Breaking even is the dream of madmen. If you want one, go for it.

The other night, Reed posted some news that he’s put together a live band for HeavyPink, which also happens to include Stone Axe bassist Mike DuPont, and proved it with the picture above. Here’s what he had to say:

Up until last night HeavyPink was completely a studio project for me. I brought in Bo Mcconaghie (guitar), Reno Dave (Drums) and Mike Dupont (bass) to take this to the stage. I will continue to write and record songs on my own in a studio invironment but the live band will also be writing together at the same time and the albums will be a mix of both creative processes.

No word on when this new collaborative band might get to putting out a record, and I’m quite certain that when they do, Reed will either release it himself or hook up with any one of the myriad labels he’s allied with before — though I reserve the right to revive it at any point The Maple Forum is more or less defunct and frankly they could do better — but as someone who was a fan of the project when it was just Reed working on it and someone who’s a fan of his work in general, I’m definitely interested to hear what comes out of HeavyPink as a full band, and hopefully one of these days I’ll get to see them live.

Here’s “Flower and Song,” if you’d like a refresher of how cool this 7″ was:

HeavyPink, “Flower and Song”

HeavyPink on Thee Facebooks

The Maple Forum webstore

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The Maple Forum: 21 Copies of Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier Left; Tour and Writing News

Posted in Label Stuff on March 25th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

21 3 Copies Left.


Shipping Location



Once again, if you’ve managed to pick up a copy of Clamfight‘s new CD, I Versus the Glacier, either using the Paypal button above or through the Maple Forum BigCartel store, you have my sincere thanks as well as that of the band.

We’re in the home stretch — a scant 21 copies remain in my possession and they’re going at a steady pace. If you’ve been on the fence, it’s a get-it-now-or-regret-it-later kind of deal. The Maple Forum doesn’t do second runs. It’s in the charter. Okay, there isn’t a charter, but seriously, the discs are moving, so thank you for that and they won’t be around for much longer. I guess that’s the point.

If you’re in Philly this coming weekend, as I know I’ll be, catch them Saturday, March 30 at Kung Fu Necktie with Borracho, Been Obscene and Supervoid. Friday, they’re at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD, with Ichabod, War Injun, Beelzefuzz and Hollow Leg, and the band has sent along word of more shows to come, including confirmation that they’re looking to hit the West Coast this summer and news about new material in progress!

Anyone can bring you a Clamfight update with show news. Here’s one from drummer/vocalist Andy Martin that has a unicorn:

Forgive me for the bullet points folks, but I’m bashing this out on a borrowed laptop in a hotel somewhere deep in the wilds of Pennslytucky, and time is of the essence…

Shows:

  • We’ve got two great shows this weekend, we’re at Cafe 611 in Fredrick Maryland with Ichabod, War Injun, Beelzefuzz, and Hollow Leg on Friday the 29th, and we’ll be hooking up with Supervoid, Been Obscene, and Borracho at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly on Saturday, March 30.
  • April 6th we’re atThe Depot in York PA with Crobot, Kingsnake, and Witch Hazel.
  • April 25th we’re back at Kung Fu Necktie with Holly Hunt, Sunburster, and the mighty Shroud Eater, in a show that’s sure to start our great southern weekender off with aching heads and rumbly tummies.
  • April 26th-29th with our bosom chums/band-I-am-also-in, Heavy Temple, we’ll be rampaging through the southeast. Friday the 26th sees us both at the Oasis in Charleston, South Carolina, with Compel, Greenseer and possibly one more TBA, Saturday will likely see us in Virginia (details still getting ironed out on that one), and Sunday the 29th we’ll be wrapping it up with the Akris at Lallo’s in Knoxville Maryland.
  • The other massive (for us anyway) show news is that we will be slipping the surly bonds of the east coast this summer. We can’t say when or with who but trust us, Clamfight will be heading west this summer.

The final bit of big news is that we are actively writing the next record. We’ve demoed about 25 minutes of material and have rolled out one new song, “Block Ship” live. Obviously things are very premature at the moment but we’re aiming to be in the studio by next winter. Saying much more would almost feel like cursing a process that’s been going really, really well for us, so we’ll just say this, we aim to be studio bound not long after hitting Richmond, Virginia, for Stoner Hands of Doom XIII this November.

Speaking of SHOD and “Block Ship,” we’ll be heading back to Gradwell House as soon as our schedules allow to record both “Block Ship” and a reworked version of a tune that shall remain nameless (for the time being) from our first record for our special SHOD-only split with Wizard Eye and Allthing.

Finally we’d just like to say one last thanks to Thump Box, Brain Candle, The Workhorse 3, Black Hand, and the many, many friends who came out to see us in Delaware last week. Delaware’s somehow always been incredibly cool to us and due to our show/my digging schedule last week’s show may have been our last in Delaware till the fall. Fear not first staters… We shall return.

Buy Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier

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Maple Forum: 37 Copies of Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier Left; Band Issues Show Update

Posted in Label Stuff on February 13th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

37 21 Copies Left.


Shipping Location



Thanks to everyone who ordered a copy of Clamfight‘s I Versus the Glacier, either by clicking the Paypal button above or hitting The Maple Forum‘s Official BigCartel Store. I’ve been floored by the response to the record and couldn’t be more psyched to have so many people in agreement about its badassery. As of this post, I’ve got 37 copies of the record left, and I don’t expect them to last.

Clamfight have been busting their collective hump to get word out about the album, taking ass and kicking names along the way, and as anyone lucky enough to witness their assault this weekend at The Eye of the Stoned Goat 2 in Delaware can tell you, the dudes are firing on all cylinders at this point. More shows are in the works — I’ve heard rumors of touring outside the Eastern Seaboard over the summer, though nothing’s confirmed yet — and they’re currently writing new material as well ahead of their appearance at this year’s Stoner Hands of Doom, set to take place in Richmond, Virginia, Nov. 7-10.

Oft-shirtless frontdrummer/drunk-hugger Andy Martin has issued an update on the band’s multi-pronged doings that we should all tremble to behold. So, uh, do that:

This last Saturday we played the “Eyes of the Stoned Goat 2” fest in Delaware. It was an incredible show and we shared the bill with a lot of good friends from Philly and Delaware such as Thee Nosebleeds, Heavy Temple (a band I’m also in), Skeleton Hands, Blackhand, Wasted Theory, Wizard Eye, and some of Maryland doom’s heaviest hitters, Beelzefuzz, Iron Man, and PA’s Pale Divine.

The show was a great time, Delaware’s always been kind to us, and it was ten hours of beers, buxotic babes, and hugging bearded dudes, and was a preview of the madness that will be SHOD. Thanks to Brendan Burns of SnakeCharmer Booking for making it happen, the guy should be commended for pulling that show off.

Speaking of SHOD madness—

We’ll be doing a split with Wizard Eye for SHOD. They’re an amazing Philly band and also happen to be some of our closest friends, and this split’s a celebration of how stoked we are to be playing such an incredible festival together. Not sure of the exact format yet (most likely CD), but the pressing will be limited to 100 copies, forever, and as of yet we don’t have any plans of making it available for download post SHOD, so it’s get it off us at SHOD or get it never.

It’ll be two songs from both bands, with a bridge tune in between featuring Erik Caplan of Wizard Eye and Sean from us on guitar, myself on drums, and since we didn’t want to pick between our own bass players, Elyse Mitchell of Heavy Temple on bass. Vocals will be handled by some unholy combination of Erik and I.

Upcoming Clamfight Shows:
03/15 Mojo Main, Newark, Delaware, with Thump Box, Braincandle, Workhorse 3, and Black Hand
03/29 Cafe 611, Fredrick, Maryland, with Ichabod, War Injun, the mighty Beelzefuzz and our brothers from Southern mothers, Hollow Leg
03/30 Kung Fu Necktie, Philly with Supervoid, Been Obscene, and Borracho
04/25 Kung Fu Necktie, Philly with Holly Hunt, Sunburster, and Shroud Eater

April 26 Begins a weekender with Heavy Temple in South Carolina that will end on the 28th in Fredrick, Maryland. Details on venues and other bands coming very soon.

Order Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier at The Maple Forum BigCartel Store

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Maple Forum: Clamfight’s I Versus the Glacier is Out Now!

Posted in Label Stuff on January 22nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

56 37 Copies Left.


Shipping Location



The day has arrived, and Clamfight‘s I Versus the Glacier is now officially available for purchase! HUGE thanks to everyone who put in preorders for the album. I’ve heard from a few already who are digging it and of course the reviews around the interwebs have been fantastic and much appreciated on this end.

I Versus the Glacier is the fifth release through The Obelisk’s in-house label, The Maple Forum, and it’s an album I feel really strongly about. I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing some kind of review-ish post on it, something basically just to talk about the songs (if you missed it, the band did a track-by-track and it was awesome), and though I won’t out of some misguided cloy at critical integrity, let me say that this is a record I’m proud to be a part of releasing, front to back. I believe in what Clamfight are doing, I have a tremendous amount of respect for them as artists, and I wouldn’t have offered to get involved if that wasn’t the case.

These guys are friends going back years, but the basic fact is I was a Clamfight fan even before I knew them, and I continue to be a fan to this day. I loved their last album and still do, but the songs on I Versus the Glacier put the band in a different league entirely, and it’s my sincere hope that when you get to hear the it, you agree.

As always with Maple Forum releases, this is a one-time pressing and once they’re gone, that’s it. I currently have 56 of my initial 100 copies left.

Orders can be placed for the album using the Paypal button above, or if it’s more your bag, you can head over to The Maple Forum‘s Official BigCartel store.

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The Maple Foum: Clamfight Issue Gig Update; Album Stream Coming Later this Week

Posted in Label Stuff on January 15th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

We’re one week away from the release date for Clamfight‘s I Versus the Glacier on The Maple Forum. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I doubted we’d ever get here, but this thing’s actually going to happen. Most of the preorders have gone out — the post office was giving me shit for the amount of international shipments, but I’ll chip away at them over the next couple days — and more have come in to go out, so I know I’m not the only one stoked on the album. The reviews have been great so far, the band has been kicking ass live, and everything seems to be going in the right direction for an awesome release. No complaints whatsoever on my end.

Last week, Clamfight joined the ranks of GozuOrder of the Owl, Lo-Pan, Admiral Browning, Weed is Weed and many others on the lineup for Stoner Hands of Doom XIII, set to take place in Richmond, Virginia, from Nov. 7-10 at Strange Matter. Much more on that to come (the fest is on Thee Facebooks here).

Between now and then, Clamfight have been booking weekenders like the workingman riffy bastards they are, and with the release coming next week, they’re once more heading out this coming weekend. Also keep an eye out later this week for a stream of I Versus the Glacier in its entirety via another site whose support is much appreciated. Drummer/vocalist/wiseacre Andy Martin issued the following update last night:

YOUR CLAMFIGHT UPDATE FOR 1/14/13: We’ll be at the El N Gee in New London CT w/ Blue Aside and When the Deadbolt Breaks this Friday, and at the Bug Jar with Baba Yaga and more at the Bug Jar in ROCKchester NY Saturday.

Friday January 25th we’re at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly w/ It’s a King Thing and the Three Six Mafia (or somebody like that, I can’t remember). Feb. 9th it’s double duty for this guy with Heavy Temple, Clamfight, and literally everyone I know’s band at J.B. McGuiness in Delaware, then March 15th at Mojo Main in Delaware w/ Brain Candle and Blackhand, and finally March 29th w/ Hollow Leg, Beelzefuzz and more at Cafe 611 in Fredneck Maryland.

There are a literal fuck-ton more shows being put together as we speak, including at least two more weekenders, and since the Heavy Temple cats and I are enjoying each other’s company so much a potential mess of shows with them as well.

I’m going to be shirtless in public so much this spring that I should probably get my chest hair did.

I can’t share any of “I Versus the Glacier”….until later this week when you’ll be able to stream the whole muthafucka at a very, very special location. More to come….WATCH THIS SPACE!

Preorder Clamfight‘s I Versus the Glacier at the Maple Forum BigCartel store
.

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Clamfight Unveil Track-by-Track Look at I vs. the Glacier; Preorders Ready to Ship

Posted in Label Stuff on January 10th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

We’re almost there. Reviews have been coming in for Clamfight‘s I Versus the Glacier and all of the ones I’ve seen have been spectacular. As a fan of the band it makes me really excited to see good things happening for them and I hope the momentum continues right into the proper release of the album on The Maple Forum on Jan. 22, just 12 days from today.

As I promised, the preorders are ready to go out today. You can see in the stacks above — separated by international and domestic shipping destinations — that the discs and stickers are packed up and headed to the post office. I have to run out of work early today, so it might be in the morning they actually get mailed, but sooner rather than later, in any case. Of course, if you still want to preorder a copy, you can do so at The Maple Forum store. Is it still a preorder if it ships right away? Shh. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Because they’re awesome people and because they’ve made an awesome album that, if I haven’t yet mentioned it, I’m ultra-excited to finally get out to the public after over a year of discussing it, drummer/vocalist Andy Martin and lead guitarist Sean McKee have sent in a new track-by-track examination of I Versus the Glacier, complete with notations on the references they’re making, points of inspiration and stories about recording. It is an excellent read front to back.

To celebrate the release of the album, Clamfight have booked a couple gigs for next weekend that will take them north, and next month, they’ll also be taking part in the Eye of the Stoned Goat II festival alongside the likes of Pale Divine, Iron Man, Wasted Theory and a slew of others. I’ve included flyers for all the gigs below (click any to enlarge), and hope you get to check them out live in the near future.

Clamfight are Andy Martin and Sean McKee, guitarist Joel Harris and bassist Louis Koble. I Versus the Glacier was recorded by Steve Poponi at Gradwell House Recording and also features Erik Caplan of Wizard Eye on guitar and theremin.

Please enjoy:

1. The Eagle

Sean: This song is a natural opener, and it only makes sense that it’s our oldest song on the album. Most of it was done even before we recorded Volume I but we had some parts to work out, namely the chorus. I think the main riff was so simple, we were trying to come up with something more complex for the chorus. We tried it a few ways but nothing sounded natural. A lot of my ideas come to me when I’m nowhere near a guitar. I remember sitting at work thinking about this song, just running riffs through my head. I thought about taking it back a step to something simpler, mainly so I could remember it when I got home, and I thought it would sound bigger with those open E and D chords ringing. It worked, and I think it really creates a natural chorus, or as much of a chorus as we’re going to have.

Andy: One thing I do remember about the writing of “The Eagle” is that we essentially took what would have been the half-time crushing end riff and made it the whole song. This ended up being a guiding principle behind most of the songs on I Versus the Glacier. At one point early on, we essentially had two halves of two different records written, a handful of direct bruisers like “Eagle” and a few songs that fit more into the melodic “rock” side of the stoner thing we do. I remember sitting in Sean’s basement with two competing lists of songs written down and trying to find a way for them to make sense together. Once we realized they were never going to make a cohesive record, we had to make the call: either go direct and heavy or fuzzy and melodic. Since we have far too much fun being cavemen and trying to smash our equipment it was a no-brainer, and the rock songs were consigned to Riff Jail, probably for all eternity.

2. Sand Riders

Andy: Ahhhhh sweet Dune, is there anything more metal than songs about Dune? I’m sure Dune needs no introduction to the Obelisk crowd, so I’ll stick to the song. I’m a little fuzzy on the writing of this one but I feel like it came together pretty quickly. For me this song is all about two things: Sean‘s solo in the beginning which I love because it’s a very bluesy/’70s rock solo that he manages to work into a pretty driving metal tune and the end breakdown. It’s a stick/floor tom destroyer and I think [engineer] Steve Poponi‘s best work on this entire record… the end of this song kills live and Steve managed to capture that same intensity as well.

Sean: I can remember writing the main riff and instantly knowing we had a bruiser. The song came together very naturally, and we felt after the uptempo first half we had to pull it back but maintain the heaviness. The second half is a blast to play live and really crushes with Andy‘s thumping bass pedal. We can’t resist a good reprise.

3. The Shadowline

Sean: Lyric-wise, “The Shadowline” is one of Andy‘s most personal songs on the album. It’s also a song that went through a lot of changes from the time we first wrote the main riff. The opening phrase was always the same, however, we used to play the main riff with fast palm-muted downstrokes. We liked it at first, but it just started to lose its luster after a while and we felt like it needed to be nastier. I remember one day at work, after a practice session in which Andy and I hammered on the song for two hours with little progress, we were trading texts with ideas of how to play it. He said he wanted to try laying back on the drums while I sped up the riff, kind of like Led Zeppelin‘s “Black Dog.” I think I said it’s already fast as shit, how do you want me to speed it up? His reply was “gallup!” I thought he was crazy, but I ran over to Guitar Center at lunch and worked out the riff, and I loved it. Because of this exchange, I now have a guitar and small practice amp in my office so I can work stuff out immediately if I get an idea in my head.

4. I Versus the Glacier

Andy: In 1845, Sir John Franklin and 128 men set out for the Northwest Passage, none of them ever returned. I don’t set out with the idea that every Clamfight record needs a song about a shipwreck and cannibalism (see Vol. 1‘s “Ghosts I Have Known”) but it keeps shaking out that way. The Franklin expedition fascinates me for more than just the tabloid aspects of what happened to the crew, as a student of history I feel like it’s noteworthy because it’s one of those “nothing ever changes” moments that brings me a little comfort every time I fear our leaders are going to steer us into the ditch. A lot of the current work on the Franklin expedition’s fate points the finger at Franklin‘s men being underequipped and the British government’s hiring of the cheapest and quickest cannery to provision the expedition (some of the bodies of the dead have tested positive for botulism), playing a role in dooming these men, and governments taking the cheap way out at the expense of human life is something that resonates to this day.

Musically it’s a driving riff and a lot of fun live — the end doom-down may be responsible for spilling more of my blood than any part of any Clamfight song ever… and though we’ve yet to make it happen live (our fault not his) Erik Caplan from Wizard Eye swoops in to deliver some really chilling theremin work. Erik came by the studio and pulled this off in one take. He asked about the mood of the song and I said something vague along the lines of, “Give me something arctic and chilly sounding,” and he absolutely crushed it. The guy’s a miracle worker and we were lucky to have him on the record.

5. Age of Reptiles: Rhedosaurus

Andy: There’s songs on this record that are intensely personal and were born of the hardest time in my life… and then there’s “Age of Reptiles: Rhedosaurus,” which was born of a hangover, medicinal fried chicken, and Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi‘s Fire and Ice. I was loafing around one Saturday afternoon, knowing that I was due to record vocals on Monday night and true to form I didn’t have a single line written. I already had the title, minus the “Rhedosaurs” bit, and being a huge dinosaur nut (I count Charles R. Knight paintings and my dad’s Zeppelin records as probably my two most formative musical influences) I had a general theme. I tried, and failed thank god, to pull some real freshman English dinosaurs-as-a-metaphor-for-closing-factories shit, and when that wouldn’t work, I decided to take a break and watch a movie. Luckily for me that movie was Fire and Ice. Once I got to the part where the dinosaur pops out of the pond and rescues Princess Tit-tania or whatever her name is I knew I had my lyrics. It felt right, the bridge for “Age of Reptiles” is maybe the jiggliest, most ass-shaking riff we’ve ever written, so it made sense to write about the most boob-tastic dinosaur chase in cinema history instead of trying to be a budget ass Bruce Springsteen.

6. River of Ice

Andy: “River of Ice” is one of those rare Clamfight songs that basically wrote itself in the space of one practice. While on the train to Jersey, I’d finished Wallace Breem‘s amazing The Eagle in the Snow, a novel about the failed defense of the Rhein by a Roman Legion in the waning days of the Roman Empire. I’ve read enough historical fiction to know that a lot of it’s crap, the kind of thing you’re only reading for the beheadings and the pillaging but Eagle in the Snow is more or less literature (whatever that means beyond “I know it when I see it”) and the ending is devastating. It was a particularly bleak winter night and I got off the train stunned by what I had just read and staggered into practice where I began clawing away at the wardrums that begin the song and Sean caught the mood and laid our most somber riff over it.

Sean: My favorite part about recording “River of Ice” is that I got to play through Erik‘s rig. I knew I wanted a certain big type of sound to come in right after the first verse. I asked Erik to help me dial in the sound he uses on Wizard Eye‘s song “The Dying Earth.” He told me to grab his guitar and after he hit a few pedals he said “try that.” Oh man, it was perfect. It’s some type of combination of a phaser and custom fuzz pedal that, to this day, I still haven’t mastered myself. I wouldn’t want to copy it perfectly either, because he’s crafted such a unique tone that it deserves to stand alone.

7. Mountain

Sean: The main riff for “Mountain” was actually born of a jam session we had with Kris, the drummer from the band we had prior to Clamfight. We were practicing for a “reunion” show and started messing around with this crushing, slow, droney beat. We really had no intentions of writing any new material with Kris and it was too slow for his style anyway, but we knew there was something to it, so we recorded it to revisit at a later date. As anyone who writes music knows, some songs come together so naturally and easily and some really take time to construct. “Mountain” is definitely one of the latter, and as easily as that opening riff and the chorus were developed, we really struggled mightily finding where we were taking the rest of the song. Around this time, we were struggling with another song, “Indian Fire.” It had a really cool bridge, but had grown stale. Andy suggested using that bridge in “Mountain” and seeing where it led. The bridge fit so well it really was like the song was leading us to a natural ending rather than us taking it there. The last big riff just flowed out of the bridge.

Recording “Mountain” was a particular high point on this album because I got to directly collaborate with Erik. I felt like the song was the right vibe for him and the solo was long enough so we could each add enough flavor to it. We were able to jam on it once before entering the studio, which really helped me more than it did him. I think we have similar styles except Erik is more spontaneous, and he was able to improvise something in the studio where I had to have something pretty solid ahead of time. I love hearing the different guitar tones in the solo and the key change leading to those high notes makes me smile whenever I hear it. He also loaned me an awesome pedal to use for the leads over the bridge and helped me work out the harmonies. I’m honored we were able to put something like this together with Erik and I hope to do it again in the future.

8. The Green Gods of Yag

Sean: We don’t necessarily set out to write instrumentals, some songs just end up that way. We had three-quarters of “Green Gods” in the bag before we decided to make it an instrumental. It just had that feeling. We initially called it “Tower of the Elephant II” after “Tower of the Elephant” from Volume I, but that sounded too Metallica. Andy kept with the Robert E. Howard theme, though, and went with “The Green Gods of Yag.” We actually sat on the song for a while because we thought the “chorus” was too much like Black Sabbath‘s “Fairies Wear Boots.” We were going to change it, but we finally decided a little Sabbath influence is not necessarily a bad thing. We also pulled off a last minute change to the bridge just before we went into the studio because we felt it sounded too much like “Mountain.” I really like the change. It brings the tempo down just enough before we kick it in the balls again. I don’t really have a traditional solo, but I had a lot of fun in the studio layering the leads toward the end of the song. I remember telling Steve I had one more thing I wanted to try, and he gave me a look that I knew meant I had one shot at nailing it. I added the high scale ending with a long bend right before we come back around to the main riff. I asked him how it sounded and he replied, “Ridiculous.” Done!

9. Stealing the Ghost Horse

Sean: “Stealing the Ghost Horse” and “Age of Reptiles” were written one after the other. With these songs, two things became evident: we knew what direction we were going with the sound of this album, and we had our closer. “Ghost Horse” just flows into bigger riffs and I think it could really go on and on, which is why we chose to fade it out. It’s the type of song where Andy and I needed Louis and Joel to kind of reel us in, because we’d just keep adding riffs and play it forever. I don’t really remember how we composed the main riff, I just know it’s very fluid and a lot of fun to play. I love the big chorus and the galloping bridge really adds another dimension to the song. The solo was a bitch to compose. I worked on it for weeks until I had something I was happy with, and it’s still challenging to pull off live. I particularly enjoy the second half of the song, starting after the solo. I love the way it sounds with the guitars pounding away on a single note while Louis takes it away with an underlying progression. And then the riffs keep getting bigger, and Andy gets angrier, until we fade into the distance. I think perhaps we’ll have to start the next album with a “Ghost Horse” fade in… Damn, that’s good. I’m going to work on that right now.

Andy: A little ways back we were doing a run of shows with the mighty Rukut, and they were staying with us so the usual post show Euro-horror and Miller Hi-Life soaked shenanigans resulted. Cut to the foggy next morning and finding that one of us had written in huge letters on a legal pad “STEALING THE GHOST HORSE,” which a character in Amando De Ossororio‘s excellent Tombs of the Blind Dead actually does (an act repeated several times in the series, which always struck me as odd because I’m not sure if I saw a ghost horse I’d be tempted to abscond with it), and I knew I finally had a title and a theme for this massive song that we’d just written. Finally, the death metal bits at the end are my tribute to Hooded Menace, a band that I love, and one that also loves the Blind Dead movies.

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