The Obsessed Premiere Acoustic Performance of “Freedom” Live at Gibson Guitar Studio

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the obsessed (Photo_by_Susie_Constantino)

You have to love the casual nature with which The Obsessed founding guitarist/vocalist and singular US doom figurehead Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich drops the factoid that he wrote this song when he was 12 years old and was, ‘fixing to be incarcerated for being a little bit out of control.’ If there was ever any doubt as to the direct lineage between the blues and doom, let it be dispelled once and for all.

“Freedom” indeed goes a ways back. In addition to earlier demos, it appeared as the opener of side B on The Obsessed‘s self-titled debut, originally released in 1990 and reissued last year in getting-its-due deluxe form via Relapse Records, which also in 2017 stood behind the band’s first new studio outing in the form of Sacred (review here), which highlighted a short-lived version of the Wino-fronted trio with Brian Costantino on drums (he’s still there) and Earthride/Spirit Caravan‘s Dave Sherman on bass — since replaced by Reid Raley of Rwake. In the video below, it’s Costantino banging on a percussive box while Weinrich plays “Freedom” on an acoustic, filmed live at Gibson Guitar Studio as part of a series of clips that have been unveiled. Of course, the man himself is no stranger to unplugged performance, as one might recall he made his solo debut back in 2010 with the hey-this-could-really-use-a-follow-up Adrift (review here) and has collaborated with Conny OchsScott Kelly and others in that modus.

The Obsessed just got off a stint alongside Clutch and The Devin Townsend Project as part of the former’s annual holiday tour, and will no doubt be on the road again in short order throughout 2018. Wino still does periodic acoustic shows as well, and if you can catch one, I’d highly recommend it. You just might get a little bit of story before he launches into a song like “Freedom,” and sometimes that’s all the more fun.

PR wire info follows the video premiere below.

Please enjoy:

The Obsessed, “Freedom” Live at Gibson Guitar Studio

Originally released in 1990 and out-of-print for almost two decades, the now-iconic debut album from THE OBSESSED comes completely remastered with previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the highly-sought after four-track Concrete Cancer demo (1984), expanded artwork, never-before-seen photos, and extended liner notes from frontman Scott “Wino” Weinrich. This is a true piece of doom history! The deluxe 2xCD version of the record includes a bonus disc containing the Concrete Cancer demo as well as a full live set from 1985 in Washington, D.C.. The Concrete Cancer demo is also available separately as a limited-edition LP.

The Obsessed is available on 2xCD, LP, 2xLP, and digital formats via Relapse Records. Physical bundles and digital orders are available via Relapse Records HERE and streaming services at THIS LOCATION.

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The Obsessed to Reissue Self-Titled Debut Nov. 17; Tour Starts Sept. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you were wondering how The Obsessed were going to follow-up the earlier-2017 release of their comeback LP, Sacred (review here), now we know. The Wino-fronted verifiable doom legends will go back to the start (or the sort-of-start, anyway) and reissue their 1990 self-titled debut via Relapse, complete with their 1985 Concrete Cancer demo and a boatload of live tracks. Right on.

Already own the record? Fair enough. Me too. And I’ll admit, I was kind of like, “Well yeah, that makes sense, cool I guess, been out of print for a while, etc.” and a little meh on the notion — until I actually listened to the version of “The Way She Fly” that you’ll find down at the bottom of this post. It sounds fucking great. I don’t know who handled the remastering process, but clearly it’s somebody with a love for the work. Really, give it a shot. Not like it’s long or anything.

The Obsessed launch a massive headlining tour on Sept. 27 and will be out again in December with Clutch and The Devin Townsend Project. Dates and all other info came down the PR wire:

the obsessed self-titled

THE OBSESSED Announces Reissue Of Legendary Self-Titled Debut Album + Concrete Cancer Demo

Originally released in 1990 and out-of-print for almost two decades, the now legendary debut album from doom godfathers THE OBSESSED will once again see the light of day in multiple deluxe formats. Now completely remastered with previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the highly sought-after Concrete Cancer demo, expanded artwork, never-before-seen photos, and extended liner notes from frontman Scott “Wino” Weinrich, this is the definitive edition of THE OBSESSED’s self-titled debut, a true piece of doom history!

Weinrich comments: “This record defines the passion, the pureness, and vibrancy of youth, and the fierce love, loyalty, and dedication to this music. I am happy and proud it lives once again! Thanks to all who believe, Wino.”

THE OBSESSED’s self-titled reissue is due out November 17th on 2xCD, LP, 2xLP, and digital formats via Relapse Records. Physical bundles and digital preorders are available via Relapse Records HERE and streaming services at THIS LOCATION.

THE OBSESSED will embark upon a US fall headlining tour beginning September 27th in Asheville, North Carolina and ending October 27th in Baltimore, Maryland. Direct support will be provided by Cobalt and Iron Tongue on select dates. Additionally, the band will join Clutch and Devin Townsend Project for a winter run of shows to close out the year. See all confirmed dates below.

The Obsessed (Reissue) Track Listing:
1. Tombstone Highway
2. The Way She Fly
3. Forever Midnight
4. Ground Out
5. Fear Child
6. Freedom
7. Red Disaster
8. Inner Turmoil
9. River of Soul
10. Concrete Cancer (1984 unreleased Concrete Cancer demo cassette)
11. Feelingz (1984 unreleased Concrete Cancer demo cassette)
12. Mental Kingdom (1984 unreleased Concrete Cancer demo cassette)
13. Hiding Masque (1984 unreleased Concrete Cancer demo cassette)
14. Ground Out – Feelingz (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
15. Concrete Cancer (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
16. No Blame (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
17. Mental Kingdom (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
18. Tombstone Highway (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
19. Iron and Stone (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
20. Rivers of Soul (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
21. Sittin on a Grave (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
22. Freedom (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)
23. Indestroy – Kill Ugly Naked (live at The Bayou 4-15-1985)

Concrete Cancer Demo Track Listing:
1. Concrete Cancer
2. Feelingz
3. Mental Kingdom
4. Hiding Masque

9/27/2017 Mothlight – Asheville, NC
9/28/2017 Clermont Lounge – Atlanta, GA
9/29/2017 Whitewater – Little Rock, AR
9/30/2017 Fubar – St. Louis, MO ^
10/01/2017 Hi Tone – Memphis, TN ^
10/02/2017 Lost Well – Austin, TX ^
10/03/2017 Lolas – Ft. Worth, TX ^
10/05/2017 Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
10/07/2017 Cal Jam – San Bernardino, CA
10/08/2017 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA *
10/09/2017 Old Nicks – Eugene, OR *
10/10/2017 Bossanova Ballroom – Portland, OR
10/12/2017 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA *
10/13/2017 The Pin – Spokane, WA *
10/16/2017 7th St. Entry – Minneapolis, MN *
10/17/2017 Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI *
10/18/2017 Barauerhaus – Lombard, IL *
10/19/2017 Woodward Theater – Cincinnati, OH *
10/20/2017 Trixies – Louisville, KY *
10/21/2017 Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA *
10/24/2017 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY *
10/25/2017 The Cafe at Parlor – Newport, RI *
10/26/2017 Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA *
10/27/2017 Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD *
^ w/ Iron Tongue
* w/ Cobalt

w/ Clutch, Devin Townsend Project:
11/29/2017 Cone Denim Entertainment – Greensboro, NC
12/01/2017 House Of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
12/02/2017 Revolution – St. Petersburg, FL
12/03/2017 Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL
12/05/2017 Backyard Stage @ St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
12/06/2017 Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
12/08/2017 Varsity Theater – Baton Rouge, LA
12/09/2017 The Aztec Theater – San Antonio, TX
12/10/2017 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
12/12/2017 Gillioz Theater – Springfield, MO
12/13/2017 Bourbon Theater – Lincoln, NE
12/15/2017 Limelight Eventplex – Peoria, IL
12/16/2017 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
12/27/2017 Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY
12/28/2017 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
12/29/2017 The National – Richmond, VA
12/30/2017 The International – Knoxville, TN
12/31/2017 Express Live – Columbus, OH

The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly”

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2013

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 21st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Last year, Maryland doom pioneers The Obsessed came back together for a gig at Roadburn 2012 (review here) and a steady stream of reunion slots has followed. They hit Hellfest last year in France, and in 2013, they’ve appeared at Power of the Riff in L.A., Maryland Deathfest and the Scion Rock Fest, as well as probably a few others I’m forgetting. Guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and drummer Greg Rogers have had to bring in Rwake bassist Reid Raley along the way to replace Guy Pinhas — most recently found performing with Victor Griffin’s In~Graved, and then not — but they’ve only done more and more shows.

Given the increased frequency of appearances — from “none” to “some” — I can’t help but wonder if a studio return from The Obsessed might be in the works as well. I haven’t heard anything yes or no, or seen word public or private about it, so it’s pure speculation on my part, but given everything Wino‘s been through musically since the release of The Obsessed‘s 1994 outing, The Church Within, all the bands he’s been in, development he’s undergone as a player and as a songwriter, I can’t help but wonder what he might be able to bring to a new batch of The Obsessed material. Would it keep to the straightforward traditions of the self-titled, or touch on some of the more heavy rock-oriented vibes of Wino‘s work since in bands like Spirit Caravan, Premonition 13 and his own Wino trio.

The Obsessed has always had a singular vibe within the Wino pantheon, arguably the most doomed of the acts in which he’s played guitar (that is, everything other than Saint Vitus), but 20 years is a long time and who knows what a new record might bring with Rogers and Raley as the rhythm section taking part in the songwriting.

While I daydream on it, here’s The Obsessed on June 1, 2013 at the Scion Rock Fest in Memphis, Tennessee, breathing new life into “The Way She Fly,” the second track off the self-titled album. Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday.

The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2013

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, The Obsessed in Full

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Aside from being the album that gave us the tagline, “If it ain’t heavy, it ain’t shit,” which Wino put right on back for all to see, the self-titled debut from The Obsessed has wound up as one of the most pivotal releases from the man’s many-storied career. It was put to tape in 1985 with the lineup of Scott “Wino” Weinrich on guitar/vocals, bassist Mark Laue and drummer Ed Gulli, but not issued until some five years later in 1990. That same year, Saint Vitus released V, which would be their last album with Wino on vocals until 2012’s Lillie: F-65, and of course when The Obsessed released the follow-up to the self-titled, Lunar Womb, in 1991, it was with the formidable rhythm section of Scott Reeder on bass and Greg Rogers on drums.

That makes The Obsessed‘s The Obsessed something of a standout. Originally put out on Hellhound Records, it was reissued on Tolotta in 2000, a time when Wino had already moved on past the Obsessed reunion of the ’90s that resulted in Lunar Womb and 1994’s The Church Within and onto the trio Spirit Caravan, who released their first album, the classic Jug Fulla Sun, on Tolotta in 1999. It’s a long, winding history, but what it rounds out to is that The Obsessed‘s self-titled, even when it was new, wasn’t, and when it came out the second time around, it was already an artifact from a defunct band.

I know I’ve said in the past that I think The Obsessed could stand a reissue, but I think if you take a listen to it below, you’re probably likely to agree. The album isn’t flawless by any means, it has its moments of drag, but as well as kicking ass, it stands as a testament of the underappreciated nature of traditional doom as a whole. At very least, it’s worth putting on in celebration of another Wino Wednesday, and I hope you’ll do just that.


The Obsessed, The Obsessed (1990)

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Wino Wednesday: Self-Titled Era The Obsessed Live at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I don’t know exactly when this show was recorded, but judging from Wino‘s hair and the fact that they open with “Freedom,” I’d put it around 1990. “Self-titled era” is what I decided to go with — maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later, but somewhere in there — and I hope if I’m wrong or someone has a more specific date to put to it, they’ll please correct my ignorant ass. Either way, it’s a mostly full set, 28 minutes, of VHS-ready bootleg The Obsessed, and that’s awesome enough to justify it as a Wino Wednesday pick, details or no details.

The Obsessed‘s self-titled was re-released on CD in 2000 by Tolotta after its original 1990 issue through Hellhound, but it seems to be it’s overdue for one of those 180 gram-type LP deals, and with a sound so classic, perfect for one at that. Hell, at least put the CD out again, maybe Southern Lord could step up and handle it, or Roadburn, who put out the Live Music Hall Koln vinyl last year. Just appears to me to be an album worth another round of appreciation. This live clip, of its day in terms of grainy picture and compressed sound, nonetheless proves that. If it’s a museum piece, that’s a pretty heavy museum.

It’s been over 70 weeks that I’ve been doing Wino Wednesdays, and there have been a few times in that span (some laughably early) that I’ve thought to myself that I’m running out of things to post or that it’s getting boring. Then I stumble on something like this and it’s just a reminder of how much treasure there really is out there and just how impossible it is to even begin to get a handle on Wino‘s long and storied career. Someone should write a book about it. Him maybe. Or, you know, me. Ha. While I wait for that call to come in, here’s this.

Happy Wino Wednesday:

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