Quarterly Review: Electric Octopus, Crypt Trip, Love Gang & Smokey Mirror, Heavy Feather, Faith in Jane, The Mound Builders, Terras Paralelas, The Black Heart Death Cult, Roadog & Orbiter, Hhoogg

Posted in Reviews on March 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day four of the six-dayer. Head’s a little reeling, but I’m not sure any more so than, say, last week at this time. I’d be more specific about that, but oddly enough, I don’t hook my brain up to medical scanners while doing reviews. Seems like an oversight on my part, now that I think about it. Ten years later and still learning something new! How about that internet, huh?

Since I don’t think I’ve said it in a couple days, I’ll remind you that the hope here is you find something you dig. There’s a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so that should at least make skimming through it fun if you go that route. Either way, thanks for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Electric Octopus, Smile

Electric Octopus Smile

It’s been about two months since Need help with your papers? Buy http://lojen.ru/?essay-writers-net-sys-indexs on any subjects written by top experts! High-quality help available at an affordable price. Electric Octopus posted Wondering Who Would How To Do Your Homework Every Day? Here is the answer! by Online Programming Tutor. Have planned some important things to do, this weekend? Smile, so they’re about due for their next release. So, quick! Before this 82-minute collection of insta-chill jams is out of date, there’s still time to consider it their latest offering. Working as the four-piece of We are glad to introduce you the can i do my homework at barnes and nobles! We understand the trust you are placing in us, so your paper will match the highest grade level! Tyrell Black and dissertation appel de cochin introduction should include - Quality and affordable paper to make easier your education Professionally written and custom academic Dale Hughes — both of whom share bass and guitar duties — drummer Many Students have a query,who can do my assignment for answer to your query Best Resume Writing Services Nj For Teachers To Do Your Assignment Online Guy Hetherington and synthesist Our PhD research http://cheapessaywritings24.com/write-essays-for-money-uk/ can help you complete your work fast and according to all the requirements. Get a custom research proposal for PhD. Stevie Lennox, the Belfast improv jammers rightfully commence with the 25-minute longest track (immediate points) “Abberation” (sic), which evolves and devolves along its course and winds up turning from a percussive jam to a guitar-led build up that still stays gloriously mellow even as it works its way out. You can almost hear the band moving from instrument to instrument, and that’s the point. The much shorter “Spiral,” “Dinner at Sea, for One” and closer “Mouseangelo” bring in a welcome bit of funk, “Moth Dust” explores minimalist reaches of guitar and ambient drumming, and “Hyperloop” digs into fuzz-soaked swirl before cleaning up its act in the last couple minutes. These cats j-a-m. May they do so into perpetuity.

Electric Octopus on Thee Facebooks

Electric Octopus on Bandcamp

 

Crypt Trip, Haze County

crypt trip haze county

Onto the best-albums-of-2019 list go San Marcos, Texas, trio in a persuasive essay develop your argument Recommended Site best resume writing services for educators guide technology good or bad essay Crypt Trip, who, sonically speaking, are way more Beto O’Rourke than Ted Cruz. The three-piece have way-way-upped the production value and general breadth from their 2018 see here now Singapore from the proficient writers of Singapore Assignment Help. We have a team of excellent and knowledgeable writers who know how to Heavy Psych Sounds debut, blog - Opt for the service, and our experienced scholars will do your assignment excellently Dissertations, essays & academic papers of Rootstock, and the clarity of purpose more than suits them as they touch on ’70s country jams and hard boogie and find a new melodic vocal confidence that speaks to guitarist write a paper for me resume writing services memphis tn how to write the perfect college application essay essay writer service free Ryan Lee as a burgeoning frontman as well as the shredder panning channels in “To Be Whole.” Fortunately, he’s backed by bassist Composition Help Introductions For Narrative Essays for all industries and experience levels. Start with a free CV review from one of our professional CV writers, for an interview winning CV. Sam Bryant and drummer i need help with my persuasive essay. Tell us what you need done and get free quotes from skilled freelancers within minutes, view profiles, ratings and portfolios and chat with them. Cameron Martin in the endeavor, and as ever, it’s the rhythm section that gives the “power trio” its power. Centerpiece “Free Rain” is a highlight, but so is the pedal steel of intro “Forward” and the later “Pastures” that precedes six-minute closer “Gotta Get Away,” which makes its transport by means of a hypnotic drum solo from Wondering who will help to college application essay pay for harvard on time? Use our professional online writing service offers to ensure excellent grades and complete Martin. Mark it a win and go to the show. That’s all you can do.  Professional assignment writing help from an Australian service with a team of qualified writers, editors and researchers. Get the best Recycling Business Plan now! Haze County is a blueprint for America’s answer to Europe’s classic heavy rock movement.

Crypt Trip on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Love Gang & Smokey Mirror, Split Double EP

smokey mirror love gang split double ep

A bit of The latest Tweets from http://www.ds3gboc.com/forum/member/590-oohlala (@writer_hire): "Judge orders Mississippi school district to desegregate, 62 years after Brown v. Board of # Tull as Love Gang‘s flute-inclusive opener “Can’t Seem to Win” skirts the line of the proggier end of ’70s worship. The Denver outfit and Dallas’ Smokey Mirror both present three tracks on Glory or Death RecordsSplit Double EP, and Love Gang back the leadoff with “Break Free” and “Lonely Man,” reveling in wall-o’-fuzz chicanery and organ-laced push between them, making their already unpredictable style less predictable, while Smokey Mirror kick off side B in particularly righteous fashion via the nine-minute “Sword and Scepter,” which steps forth to take ultra-Sabbathian ownership of the release even as the filthy tone of “Sucio y Desprolijo” and the loose-swinging Amplified Heat-style megashuffle of “A Thousand Days in the Desert” follow. Two bands in the process of finding their sound coming together to serve notice of ass-kickery present and future. If you can complain about that, you’re wrong.

Love Gang on Thee Facebooks

Smokey Mirror on Thee Facebooks

Glory or Death Records BigCartel store

 

Heavy Feather, Débris & Rubble

Heavy Feather Debris & Rubble

Very much a solid first album, Heavy Feather‘s 11-song Débris & Rubble lands at a run via The Sign Records and finds the Stockholm-based classic heavy blues rockers comporting with modern Euro retroism in grand fashion. At 41 minutes, it’s a little long for a classic-style LP if one measures by the eight-track/38-minute standard, but the four-piece fill that time with a varied take that basks in sing-along-ready hooks like those of post-intro opener “Where Did We Go,” the Rolling Stones-style strutter “Waited All My Life,” and the later “I Spend My Money Wrong,” which features not the first interplay of harmonica and lead guitar amid its insistent groove. Elsewhere, more mellow cuts like “Dreams,” or the slide-infused “Tell Me Your Tale” and the closing duo of the Zeppelinian “Please Don’t Leave” and the melancholy finisher “Whispering Things” assure Débris & Rubble never stays in one place too long, though one could say the same of the softshoe-ready boogie in “Hey There Mama” as well. On the one hand, they’re figuring it out. On the other, they’re figuring it out.

Heavy Feather on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Bandcamp

 

Faith in Jane, Countryside

Faith in Jane Countryside

Five full-lengths deep into a tenure spanning a decade thus far, Faith in Jane have officially entered the running to be one of the best kept secrets of Maryland heavy. Their late-2018 live-recorded studio offering, Countryside, clocks in at just under an hour of organic tonality and performance, bringing a sharp presentation to the chemistry that’s taken hold among the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Dan Mize, bassist Brendan Winston and drummer Alex Llewellyn, with Mize taking extended solos on the Wino model throughout early cuts “All is All” and “Mountain Lore” while the trio adds Appalachian grunge push to the Chesapeake’s flowing groove while building “Blues for Owsley” from acoustic strum to scorching cacophonous wash and rolling out the 9:48 “Hippy Nihilism” like the masters of the form they’re becoming. It’s not a minor undertaking in terms of runtime, but for those in on what these cats have been up to all the while, hard to imagine Countryside is seen as anything other than hospitable.

Faith in Jane on Thee Facebooks

Faith in Jane on Bandcamp

 

The Mound Builders, The Mound Builders

The Mound Builders The Mound Builders

Lafayette, Indiana’s The Mound Builders last year offered a redux of their 2014 album, Wabash War Machine (review here), but that was their last proper full-length. Their self-titled arrives as eight bruiser slabs of weighted sludge/groove metal, launching with its longest track (immediate points) in the 7:30 “Torchbearer,” before shifting into the outright screams-forward pummel of “Hair of the Dogma” and the likewise dry-throated “Separated from Youth.” By the time they get to the hardcore-punk-via-sludge of “Acid Slugs,” it’s not a little heavy. It’s a lot heavy. And it stays that way through the thrashing “Star City Massacre” and “Regolith,” hitting the brakes on “Broken Pillars” only to slam headfirst into closer “Vanished Frontier.” Five years later and they’re still way pissed off. So be it. The four-formerly-five-piece were never really all that gone, but they still seem to have packed an extended absence’s worth of aggro into their self-titled LP.

The Mound Builders on Thee Facebooks

Failure Records and Tapes

 

Terras Paralelas, Entre Dois Mundos

TERRAS PARALELAS ENTRE DOIS MUNDOS

It’s a fluid balance between heavy rock and progressive metal Terras Paralelas make in the six inclusions on their debut full-length, Entre Dois Mundos. The Brazilian instrumentalist trio keep a foundation of metallic kickdrumming beneath “Do Abismo ao Triunfo,” and even the chugging in “Espirais e Labirintos” calls to mind some background in harder-hitting fare, but it’s set against a will toward semi-psychedelic exploration, making the giving the album a sense of refusing to play exclusively to one impulse. This proves a strength in the lengthier pieces that follow “Infinito Cósmico” and “Do Abismo ao Triunfo” at the outset, and as Terras Paralelas move from the mellower “Bom Presságio” and “Espirais e Labirintos” into the more spaciously post-rocking “Nossa Jornada Interior” and the nine-minute-plus prog-out title-track that closes by summarizing as much as pushing further outward, one is left wondering why such distinctions might matter in the first place. Kudos to the band for making them not.

Terras Paralelas on Thee Facebooks

Terras Paralelas on Bandcamp

 

The Black Heart Death Cult, The Black Heart Death Cult

the black heart death cult the black heart death cult

Though one wouldn’t accuse The Black Heart Death Cult of being the first cumbersomely-named psych-rocking band in the current wave originating in Melbourne, Australia, their self-titled debut is nonetheless a gorgeous shimmer of classic psychedelia, given tonal presence through guitar and bass, but conjuring an ethereal sensibility through the keys and far-back vocals like “She’s a Believer,” tapping alt-reality 1967 vibes there while fostering what I hear is called neo-psych but is really just kinda psych throughout the nodding meander of “Black Rainbow,” giving even the more weighted fuzz of “Aloha From Hell” and the distortion flood of “Davidian Dream Beam” a happier context. They cap with the marshmallowtron hallucinations of “We Love You” and thereby depart even the ground stepped on earlier in the sitar-laced “The Magic Lamp,” finding and losing and losing themselves in the drifting ether probably not to return until, you know, the next record. When it shows up, it will be greeted as a liberator.

The Black Heart Death Cult on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records webstore

 

Orbiter & Roadog, Split

orbiter roadog split

I’m pretty sure the Sami who plays drums in Orbiter is the same dude playing bass in Roadog, but I could easily be wrong about that. Either way, the two Finnish cohort units make a fitting complement to each other on their two-songer 7″ single, which presents Orbiter‘s six-minute “Anthropocene” with the hard-driving title-track of Roadog‘s 2018 full-length, Reinventing the Wheels. The two tracks have a certain amount in common, mostly in the use of fuzz and some underlying desert influence, but it’s what they do with that that makes all the difference between them. Orbiter‘s track is spacier and echoing, where “Reinventing the Wheels” lands more straightforward in its three minutes, its motoring riff filled out by some effects but essentially manifest in dead-ahead push and lyrics about a motorcycle. They don’t reinvent the wheel, as it happens, and neither do Orbiter, but neither seems to want to do so either, and both bands are very clearly having a blast, so I’m not inclined to argue. Good fun and not a second of pretense on either side.


Orbiter on Thee Facebooks

Roadog on Thee Facebooks

 

Hhoogg, Earthling, Go Home!

hhoogg Earthling Go Home

Space is the place where you’ll find Boston improvisationalists Hhoogg, who extend their fun penchant for adding double letters to the leadoff “Ccoossmmooss” of their exclamatory second self-released full-length, Earthling, Go Home!, which brings forth seven tracks in a vinyl-ready 37 minutes and uses that opener also as its longest track (immediate points) to set a molten tone to the proceedings while subsequent vibes in “Rustic Alien Living” and the later, bass-heavy “Recalled to the Pyramids” range from the Hendrixian to the funkadelicness he helped inspire. With a centerpiece in “Star Wizard, Headless and Awake,” a relatively straightforward three-minute noodler, the four-piece choose to cap with “Infinitely Gone,” which feels as much like a statement of purpose and an aesthetic designation as a descriptor for what’s contained within. In truth, it’s a little under six minutes gone, but jams like these tend to beg for repeat listens anyway. There’s some growing to do, but the melding of their essential chemistry is in progress, and that’s what matters most. The rest is exploration, and they sound well up for it.

Hhoogg on Thee Facebooks

Hhoogg on Bandcamp

 

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The Mound Builders Announce Jan. 18 Release for Self-Titled Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The Mound Builders

It’s been a while since The Mound Builders made their debut with Strangers in a Strange Land (review here). Like, that was apparently 2011. Of course, they’ve hardly been idle since then, playing shows and releasing splits and EPs like Wabash War Machine (review here) in 2014. Still, if they were going to release a second album — hey, some bands don’t — it was probably time to do that. Thus arrives the bombast of The Mound Builders by The Mound Builders, set for release in the New Year via Failure Records and Tapes. What hath time wrought upon the Lafeyette, Indiana, sludgesters? I won’t pretend to know, but I’ve got a zip file on my desktop that’s going to let me find out, and needless to say, I’ll keep you posted.

No public audio yet, but the trusty PR wire brings album art and info, so have at it:

The Mound Builders The Mound Builders

The Mound Builders – The Mound Builders

Broadly speaking, bands that fall under the umbrella term of riff-worshippers – encompassing stoner, doom, and sludge metal – can fall under one of two categories. The majority of bands are content to walk (high as a kite) through the hills and valleys of their forefathers. A few, however, endeavor to take the tools that these legendary acts left and create new landscapes. Thus, we discover The Mound Builders from Indiana. While the blood of High on Fire, Buzzov*en and Crowbar among others flows through their veins, the resultant mix on their sophomore self-titled resembles the freshest dirt dug up for construction.

The most striking initial fact that jumps out on The Mound Builders is the fearless shift between tempos – instead of maintaining a reassuring tempo as many of their peers, they go from punk-inflected raging “Hair of the Dogma” to sludge metal swagger on “Separated From Youth”, stoner-thrash on “Star City Massacre” to vitriolic rough-and-tumble on closer “Vanished Frontier” – the latter of which has a stand-out vocal performance. The occasional pedal-manipulated solo wails out of nowhere – expertly handled by Brian Boszor, while the low end sounds both crisp and punishing as Robert Strawsma and Jason “Dinger” Brookhart hammer out relentless rhythms. You can spend any number of spins only hazarding a guess at influences, but the final result is a band who have their sound dialed in and know exactly how to wield it for maximum effect.

Narrating over the trio is the maniacal Jim Voelz, whose shrieks recall the great Johnny Morrow, and his growls echo the pains of the various strands of history from which the band draw lyrical inspiration, whether ancient tales or more recent life in their native Midwest, the grand cosmos or down here on Planet Earth. “It’s gonna be a massacre”, Jim warns, before another solo power-slides into existence, and it’s not long before the song in question comes to a crashing close.

It’s been seven long years since their début full-length Strangers in a Strange Land, and The Mound Builders have made good use of that time in their craft. Their self-titled is a step up and a step closer to honing that perfect mixture between so many styles. For now, they’ll just keep building and playing.

The Mound Builders will be released on Jan 18 2019.

Tracklisting:
1. Torchbearer
2. Hair of the Dogma
3. Separated From Youth
4. Acid Slugs
5. Star City Massacre
6. Regolith
7. Broken Pillars
8. Vanished Frontier

The Mound Builders live:
11.3.18 – Melody Inn – Indianapolis, IN
11.9.18 – Hobart Art Theatre -Hobart, IN
11.10.18 – Fireside Inn- Detroit, MI
12.8.18 – North End Pub – Lafayette, IN

The Mound Builders are:
Brian Boszor – Guitar
Jason “Dinger” Brookhart – Drums
Ryan Strawsma – Bass
Jim Voelz – Vocals

http://www.facebook.com/themoundbuilders
https://twitter.com/themoundbuilder
https://www.instagram.com/themoundbuilders/
https://themoundbuilders.bandcamp.com/

The Mound Builders Split w/ Pale Horseman (2016)

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The Mound Builders Announce Trio of Upcoming Releases

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the mound builders

I’ve you’re thinking it’s been a while since the last time we heard from Indiana heavy rockers The Mound Builders, you’re right. Their last standalone offering was 2014’s Wabash War Machine (review here), though they also had a split with Pale Horseman out in 2016. Still, it’s been a minute. 2018 looks to be packed for the four-piece, however, as they’ll have three new releases on the docket.

The first is a reissue of Wabash War Machine that seems to include new art. Fair enough. The second is a split through Failure Records and Tapes with The Lurking Corpses, Hailshot and No Breaks.And the third is a to-be-recorded self-titled full-length that they band will hope to release later in the year. Details on that one are obviously pretty sparse — it doesn’t quite exist yet, you see — but it’s cool to know they’re at the point where they’re ready to get to work on it. Hopefully it’s out before 2018 is done.

They sent the news down the PR wire:

The Mound Builders plan 3 releases for 2018!

Lafayette, IN Sludge Rockers The Mound Builders plan 2 releases for 2018 leading up to a brand new full length for late Fall/early Winter.

The first release slated for April 21st (Record Store Day) will be a re-release of the now out of print EP Wabash War Machine. The re-issue features new art work by Clayton Jarvis of Abom design and will include The Mound Builders 2 newest songs Black Drink Ritual and Hashashin previously only available on the 12″ split with Pale Horseman. These songs were originally intended to be on Wabash War Machine but were abandoned due to lack of funding and time. Wabash War Machine 2.0 is how we intended to originally release it and we are excited to finally share this complete version with our fans!

The 2nd release, scheduled to drop Memorial Weekend (May 25th) will be the 3rd installment of Failure Records and Tapes 7″ series “Split Hits the Fans”. This 4 way split features a new, punk’d out version of our song Sun God as well as new music from Midwest favorites, The Lurking Corpses, Hailshot, and No Breaks. Pre-sales available now through the link below.

http://failurerecordstapes.bigcartel.com/product/the-mound-builders-hailshot-the-lurking-corpses-no-breaks

Finally we will be in the Studio late March to track our first full length release in 7 years! The Mound Builders self-title will feature 8 brand new songs of all original material and will be released on Failure Records and Tapes! We hope to complete mixing and mastering and pick up our show schedule in April to support and promote our plans!

http://themoundbuilders.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/themoundbuilders
https://twitter.com/themoundbuilder
http://themoundbuilders.com/SITE/

The Mound Builders, Wabash War Machine (2014)

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Last Licks 2014: Nate Hall, Nocturnal Poisoning, Snailking, Godmaker, Void Generator, The Mound Builders, Mother Kasabian, Deep Space Destructors, Underdogs and Human Services

Posted in Reviews on December 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Happy to report that I survived the first day of this project. Spirits are good and I look at the stack of discs (plus one book; we’ll get there) in front of me and feel relatively confident that by the time I’m through it, my cerebral cortex will still manage to function in the limited way it usually does. If yesterday’s installment is anything to go by, however, I’ll be well out of adjectives by then. What’s another word for “heavy?”

There’s only one way to find out. These will be reviews 11-20 of the total 50. I don’t know if they say the first 10 are the hardest or the last, but I’ll be in the thick of it when this is posted and while I’m sure I probably could turn back and catch minimal if any flack for it — one “Hey wha happen?” on Thee Facebooks seems likely penance — better to just keep going. Another stack awaits tomorrow, after all.

Thanks in advance to anyone reading:

Nate Hall, Electric Vacuum Roar

nate hall electric vacuum roar

Electric Vacuum Roar is one of two Nate Hall physical releases from this fall. The U.S. Christmas frontman and solo performer also has a few digital odds and ends and Fear of Falling, on which he partners with a rhythm section. Released by Heart and Crossbone Records and Domestic Genocide, Electric Vacuum Roar is closer to a solo affair. Hall is joined by Caustic Resin’s Brett Netson on guitar/bass on two extended tracks: “Dance of the Prophet” (16:46) and “Long Howling Decline/People Fall Down” (11:57). The second part of the latter is a reinterpretation of a Caustic Resin song, though here it is droned out and put through a portal of drumless and inward-looking psychedelia, turned into the finale of a communicative and intimate affair. Amp noise and effects swirl around “Dance of the Prophet,” and it’s easy to get lost in it, but Hall maintains a steady presence of obscure vocals and the result is what tribal might be if tribes were comprised of one person.

Nate Hall on Thee Facebooks

Heart and Crossbone Records

Nocturnal Poisoning, Doomgrass

nocturnal poisoning doomgrass

I’ve never tried to break up a one-man band, but I can’t imagine Scott Conner – who helped pave the way for US black metal under the moniker Malefic in Xasthur – has had an easy time of it since he put that band to bed in 2010. Nocturnal Poisoning, whose Doomgass arrives via The End Records, is an entirely different beast. Centered around layers folkish acoustic guitar, cleanly produced backed by occasional bass and tambourine, Doomgrass is still depressive at its core – Robert N. contributes guest vocals, almost gothic in style, to songs like “Starstruck by Garbage” and “Illusion of Worth” – but if the name is a portmanteau of doom and bluegrass, it fits the style. If anything ties Nocturnal Poisoning to Xasthur aside from Conner’s involvement, it’s a focus on atmosphere, but the two ultimately have little in common otherwise, and Nocturnal Poisoning’s exploratory feel is refreshingly individualized and leaves one wondering if Conner will be able to resist the full-band-sound impulse going forward.

Nocturnal Poisoning on Thee Facebooks

Doomgrass at The End Records

Snailking, Storm

snailking storm

Though they’re decidedly post-metal in their influences – Neurosis, YOB, obviously Ufomammut for whose record they are named – Sweden’s Snailking keep to heavy rock tones on their Consouling Sounds debut full-length, Storm, and that greatly bolsters the album’s personality. Even as they lumber, the riffs of 11-minute opener “To Wander” are fuzzed-out, and that remains true throughout the five mostly-extended cuts the trio of drummer Olle Svahn, bassist Frans Levin and guitarist/vocalist Pontus Ottosson present on their first record, which follows the 2012 demo, Samsara (review here). Centerpiece “Slithering” is the shortest and most churning of the bunch at 6:32, but the particularly YOBian “Requiem” underscores another value greatly working in Storm’s favor – the patience with which Snailking present the ambience of their pieces. That will serve them well as they continue to distinguish themselves from their forebears, but for now, Storm makes a welcome opening salvo from the three-piece highlighting both their potential and how far they’ve come already since the release of their demo.

Snailking on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds

Godmaker, Godmaker

godmaker godmaker

The self-titled debut from thoroughly-bearded Brooklynite four-piece Godmaker arrives via Aqualamb as an art-book and download, a full 96 pages of designs, lyrics to the four included tracks of the vinyl-ready 32-minute long-player, live shots from a variety of sources, bizarre geometry and odd etchings feeding the atmosphere of the songs themselves, somewhere between sludge, thrash and aggressive noise with scream-topped moments of doom like “Shallow Points.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalists Pete Ross and Chris Strait, bassist Andrew Archey and drummer Jon Lane, Godmaker fluidly shifts between the various styles at work in their sound, whether it’s the explosion at the end of “Shallow Points” or that beginning the rush of opener “Megalith,” and while their self-titled is a dense listen, with the surprising post-hardcore take of “Desk Murder” and the check-out-this-badass-riff-now-we’re-going-to-smash-your-face-with-it 11-minute metallic closer “Faded Glory,” it efficiently satisfies. More so after a couple listens front to back. If Godmaker were breaking your bones, it would be a clean break, and yes, that’s a compliment to their attack.

Godmaker on Thee Facebooks

Aqualamb

Void Generator, Supersound

void generator supersound

Supersound is the first full-length from Italian heavy psych rockers Void Generator since 2010’s Phantom Hell and Soar Angelic (review here), and where that album held three extended pieces, the latest and third overall breaks into smaller pieces. Some of those are extended – opener “Behind My Door” is 8:09 and “Master of the Skies” tops nine minutes – but the bulk of Supersound’s seven tracks is shorter works somewhere between desert rock and classic psych, guitarist Gianmarco Iantaffi leading the four-piece with a  more subdued vocal approach than last time out, compressed even in the rowdier verses of “What are You Doin’” (written by Sandro Chiesa), on which the keys of Enrico Cosimi feature heavily and add to the sound too crisp to be totally retro but still vehemently organic. Bassist Sonia Caporossi (also acoustic guitar on penultimate interlude “Universal Winter”) and drummer Marco Cenci hold together the fluid grooves as Void Generator follows these varied impulses, and Supersound proves cohesive and no less broadly scoped than its predecessor.

Void Generator on Thee Facebooks

Phonosphera Records

The Mound Builders, Wabash War Machine

the mound builders wabash war machine

There’s a version of The Mound Builders’ 17-minute Wabash War Machine EP from Failure Records and Tapes that includes a comic book, but even the regular sleeve CD edition gives a glimpse at the Lafayette, Indiana, five-piece’s heavy Southern metal push. The middle two of the four inclusions, “Sport of Crows” and “Bar Room Queen,” surfaced earlier this year on a split tape with Bo Jackson 5 (review here), but opener “Wabash War Machine” and the sludged-up closer “The Mound” on which the guitars of Brian Boszor and “Ninja” Nate Malher phase between channels and vocalist Jim Voelz delivers his harshest performance to date, are brand new, albeit recorded at the same sessions in July 2013. “Wabash War Machine” highlights the band’s blend of southern metal and heavy groove, guitar intricacy and a gang-shout chorus meeting thick rollout from bassist Robert Ryan Strawsma and drummer Jason “Dinger” Brookhart, but it’s the finale that’s the EP’s most lasting impression, as pummeling as The Mound Builders have gotten to date.

The Mound Builders on Thee Facebooks

Failure Records and Tapes

Mother Kasabian, Mother Kasabian

mother kasabian mother kasabian

In Olof’s buzzsaw guitar tone, the thud of Karl’s drums and Gidon’s abiding vocal menace, “Strike of the Emperor” gives notice of some Celtic Frost influence, but that’s hardly the whole tale when it comes Stockholm trio Mother Kasabian’s self-titled, self-released debut EP, as “The Black Satanic Witch of Saturn” immediately calls to mind The Doors in its minimal, spacious verse and offsets this with a soulful classic heavy rock chorus en route to the seven-minute “Close of Kaddish,” which works in a similar pattern – hitting notes of Trouble-style doom in its crescendos – and offers Mother Kasabian’s widest ranging moment ahead of the swaggering closer “The Return of the Mighty King and His Cosmic Elephants.” Swinging drums and variety in Gidon’s The Crazy World of Arthur Brown-style approach give the EP a distinguished feel despite raw production and it being Mother Kasabian’s first outing, and with the psych touches in the finale and a generally unhinged vibe throughout, the trio showcase considerable potential at work.

Mother Kasabian on Thee Facebooks

Mother Kasabian on Bandcamp

Deep Space Destructors, III

deep space destructors iii

Active since 2011 and with two prior full-lengths – 2012’s I (review here) and 2013’s II (review here) – under their belt, Oulu, Finland, heavy psych trio Deep Space Destructors offer their definitive stylistic statement in the wash of III, a five-song/45-minute cosmic excursion with progressive krautrock edge (see “Spaceship Earth”) driven into heavier territory through dense fuzz in guitarist Petri Lassila’s tone and the chemistry between he, vocalist/bassist Jani Pitkänen and drummer Markus Pitkänen. Their extended but plotted jammy course finds culmination in the 15-minute penultimate cut “An Ode to Indifferent Universe,” – King Crimson and Floyd laced together by synth sounds – but the space-rock thrust of closer “Ikuinen Alku” highlights the multifaceted approach Deep Space Destructors have developed since their inception, consistently psychedelic but expansive. The sides gel effectively on “Cosmic Burial,” lending modern crash and tonal heft to classic ideals to craft something new from them in admirable form. As far out as they’ve gone, Deep Space Destructors still seem to be exploring new ground.

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Underdogs, Underdogs

underdogs underdogs

Released as a cooperative production between Garage Records and Go Down Records, Italian trio Underdogs’ second, self-titled LP pushes further along the straight-lined course of heavy rock their 2007 debut, Ready to Burn, and 2011’s Revolution Love (review here) charted. Songs like “Nothing but the Best” strip away the Queens of the Stone Age-style fuzz of past outings in favor of a cleaner tone and overall feel, and while that spirit shows up later on side B’s “Called Play” and the rumbling grunge of “My Favourite Game” (a cover of The Cardigans), the prevailing vibe speaks to European commercial viability with clear hooks and straightforward structures. Acoustic finale “The Closing Song” offers a last-minute shift in style, calling to mind UnderdogsDogs without Plugs digital release, but even in more barebones form, the songwriting remains the focus on this mature third offering from a three-piece who’ve clearly figured out the direction in which they want to head and have set about developing an audience-friendly sound.

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Go Down Records

Human Services, Animal Fires

human services animal fires

Since they issued their self-titled debut (review here) in 2012, Virginia’s Human Services have brought aboard Steve Kerchner of Lord, and he brings as much a sense of chaos to Animal Fires as one might expect in teaming with Jeff Liscombe, Sean Sanford, Don Piffalo and Billy Kurilko, though the 59-minute full-length isn’t without its structure. Longer songs pair with concise noise experiments throughout the first 10 of the total 13 tracks, and each is different, so that even as the gap between songs is bridged, the stylistic basis for Animal Fires is branched out. The result is that by the time “Onyedinci Yil Sürüsü” closes out the album proper before the 17-minute live inclusion “No Structures in the Eye of the Jungle” hits, Human Services have reimagined the modus of Godflesh as an extremity of organic noisemaking, Southern heavy and eerie progressivism. Shades of Neurosis show up in centerpiece “Rats of a Feather,” but they too are twisted to suit the band’s creative purposes, threatening and engagingly bleak.

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Duuude, Tapes! The Mound Builders & Bo Jackson 5, Split

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on May 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Easy to imagine the artwork meetings between the bands and Clayton Jarvis of Abom Designs involved the phrase, “Make it like in my nightmares” somewhere along the line. The four-eyed cat’s stare on the cover the new Failure Records and Tapes split cassette between Indiana-based acts Bo Jackson 5 and The Mound Builders makes sure the release is going to stay with you one way or another. There are only three songs on the thing, split up with The Mound Builders on side one and Bo Jackson 5 on side two (the included download reverses the order), and it’s done in a little over 17 minutes, but the liner is glossy, the art gorgeous if also horrendous, and both bands have enough time to make an impression.

In the case of Lafayette’s The Mound Builders, the double-guitar five-piece return with the same lineup from 2011’s Strangers in a Strange Land (review here) and show steady development of their Southern heavy rock sound. I still hear a good deal of Alabama Thunderpussy in their two inclusions, “Sport of Crows” and “Barroom Queen” — not a complaint — but the recording this time, particularly in Jason Brookhart‘s drums, is a little more metal, and that blends well with the thrashier gallop and the Down II-style turns of “Barroom Queen,” guitarists Nate Malher and Brian Boszor touching on “Stained Glass Cross” in the chorus while bassist Ryan Strawsma thickens the groove and vocalist Jim Voelz straddles the line between burly soul and a gruffer delivery. “Sport of Crows,” which appears first, has Strawsma more at the fore of the mix with a clean but resonant tone. It’s a little more aggressive than one might think of for riff rock, but that influence is there as it was on the full-length. Particularly in comparison to Bo Jackson 5, The Mound Builders come across as aiming for a steady, professional crispness in their sound, and that suits the material well.

There’s a few seconds’ delay for the side change, since Bo Jackson 5‘s “Bo Blacktop” is longer than “Sport of Crows ” and “Barroom Queen” together. The song, which follows their late-2013 full-length debut, checks in at just under nine minutes and has a much more homemade vibe almost immediately than did The Mound Builders. The Logansport duo of guitarist/vocalist Adam Gundrum and drummer Jason Perdue recorded live in what they’ve dubbed The Spacement, and “Bo Blacktop” sure enough sounds like a rehearsal. I like that, especially on a tape, so their noise rock riffing and jagged, semi-progressive punker edge works captured naturally, incongruous as it may be with what The Mound Builders are doing at the outset. Some memorable vocal lines from Gundrum hit before the riffs turn meaner, and “Bo Blacktop” drives hard toward what seems like an inevitable noisy finish. When it gets there, the cymbal wash from Perdue is almost abrasive, but the recording cuts off as if to underscore Bo Jackson 5‘s garage-punk fuckall, and as averse as I generally am to bands playing off celebrity names for their monikers — it’s a brand of irono-cynicism that will be a laughable mark of this decade in years to come; or maybe I should just lighten the fuck up — Gundrum and Perdue made me a fan by the time they were finished.

It was my first time hearing Bo Jackson 5, and they don’t have a lot in common with The Mound Builders, but sometimes it’s better to be surprised with something like this, and when I popped in the tape, part of the fun was not knowing what was coming. The split was a Record Store Day special, and limited to 100 copies, so I’m not sure how many are left or will be left to pick up from the label. The Mound Builders are already at work on their next outing, which will reportedly combine a new recording with a comic book, and Bo Jackson 5 recently opened for Supersuckers and will no doubt make a cowbell-laden return soon. I’ll keep an eye out.

The Mound Builders/Bo Jackson 5, Split Tape (2014)

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Failure Records and Tapes

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The Mound Builders to Release Split with Bo Jackson 5 for Record Store Day

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Ahead of a forthcoming EP release that will be pressed to CD and include a comic book to coincide with the tracks, Indiana heavy rocking five-piece The Mound Builders have announced a limited split with the cleverly-named Bo Jackson 5 (you see what they did there? They took a reference to a famous person and made two references out of it!) that will be released this weekend in honor of Record Store Day on tape through Failure Records and Tapes in a pressing of just 100 copies.

The striking cover art for the tape can be seen below, and while it festers into your consciousness to haunt your dreams, be sure to peruse the PR wire info that follows. The Mound Builders‘ last offering was 2011’s Strangers in a Strange Land (review here):

The Mound Builders and Bo Jackson 5 cassette tape split to be released on Record Store day!

After two and a half years The Mound Builders are set to release new material on Record Store Day, Saturday April 19th.

The new tunes were recorded over a 3 day period last July at Sonic Iguana Studios by Dan Precision (88 Finger Louie, Rise Against, Set Fire to Reason). 4 songs were completed of which 2, Sport of Crows and Barroom Queen, will be appearing on the split.

This limited edition tape (only 100 copies printed) is being released courtesy of Failure Records and Tapes. Anyone buying a tape will also receive a download card which will allow for a digital download of the songs. Only people buying the tape will have access to the digital download.

After the release of the tape The Mound Builders plan to release all for songs as an EP later this summer. The EP will first be available as a CD release accompanied by a comic book which will visually tell the story of each song on the CD!

Follow The Mound Builders on Facebook for more details on future releases!

https://www.facebook.com/themoundbuilders
http://themoundbuilders.bandcamp.com/

The Mound Builders, Strangers in a Strange Land (2011)

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The Mound Builders, Strangers in a Strange Land: One Rock at a Time

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

Aligned to a burgeoning Midwestern scene that in their home state of Indiana alone boasts heavy-hitting acts like Devil to Pay, ResinHit Records labelmates The Hedons, The Heavy Co., with whom they share past members, Bulletwolf, Goliathon and others, Lafayette double-guitar fivesome The Mound Builders mark their debut with 2011’s Strangers in a Strange Land. Their awareness of the genre in which they reside is evident in everything from the Kyuss-style riffing of “Hessians of Stone” to the post-Sleep lyrics of “Spacevan,” but perhaps the single most prevalent influence throughout the album’s nine tracks/37 minutes is Alabama Thunderpussy. Strangers in a Strange Land, as much as it basks in stoner rock’s many lyrical and stylistic conventions, has a more Southern bent to it than some of The Mound Builders’ Hoosier contemporaries, and vocalist Jim Voelz – despite the occasional scream – keeps a burly inflection in his approach bound to be recognizable to anyone experienced with ATP’s Johnny Throckmorton-fronted era. In part because of that band’s cohesiveness and scope, nothing The Mound Builders does feels especially out of place, but Strangers in a Strange Land ultimately suffers from a common affliction in its mix that holds back the listening experience.

I say it all the time. When it comes to mixing heavy rock records: Vocals down, bass up. Bassist Robert Ryan Strawsma is already competing for prevalence with the considerable lead guitar of Brian Boszor and “Ninja” Nate Malher’s rhythm playing, but where his tone should hold down the groove on the chugging later cut “White Horse,” the tone is too clean and too thin to really do so. Likewise, Voelz’s vocals are so forward as to dominate the songs where the instruments should, and like a lot of albums – especially a lot of first albums — Strangers in a Strange Land takes a metal mix and imposes it on heavy rock, whereas one of the key differences between the two is how they’re best presented mix-wise. The Mound Builders’ punk influence is done a disservice, but the tradeoff is the album is bound to find some more sympathy from a headbanger contingent, as the Orange Goblin-style gruffness of centerpiece “Ironhide” is given further sharpness, but I still can’t help but feel that the dueling lead lines that persist would be better met if they were also bolstered on the low end more thank they are. Couple that with a thin snare sound for drummer Jason “Dinger” Brookhart (not to be confused with former Black Pyramid guitarist Andy “Dinger” Beresky), and it becomes even clearer that the production of Strangers in a Strange Land doesn’t serve the songs as well as it could. Granted, if they recorded it in a tin can, I don’t think it would stop “Winding River” from kicking ass, but there’s a lot of The Mound Builders’ first record that doesn’t leave the impression it should, and it being a debut, it’s even more pivotal that the band learn what works and why for their next time out.

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