Sunder, Sunder: Lucid Dreams (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sunder sunder

[Note: Press play above to hear Sunder’s Sunder in full. It’s out tomorrow, Oct. 30, on Tee Pee and Crusher Records. Preorders are available from Tee Pee, at iTunes or on Amazon.]

Don’t call it a reboot. More like a do-over, maybe. The story goes like this: Early in 2014, a band from Lyon, France, called The Socks released their self-titled debut (review here) on Small Stone Records. Good album. Very much in the post-Kadavar/Graveyard retro-boogie vein, but ably executed, particularly for a young band on their first LP. About a year and a half later, that same band — identical lineup: guitarist/vocalist Julien Méret, drummer Jessy Ensenat, bassist Vincent Melay and organist/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud — reemerge as Sunder, and take a second shot at a self-titled debut, this time through Tee Pee and Crusher Records.

Near as I can tell, the major jump is in Baud swapping out a guitar for keys, but one of the most striking aspects of Sunder‘s first album is that it really is far enough away from what these guys were doing as The Socks to justify being a different band. Songs like the fortified opening salvo of “Deadly Flower,” “Daughter of the Snows” and “Cursed Wolf” — which were also included on Sunder‘s demo (review here) earlier this year — give the listener an immediately fuller sense of breadth, incorporating elements culled from earlier psychedelic and garage rock, less directly indebted to one band or another than to an aesthetic itself that, while undeniably drawn from these decades-old tenets, sounds refreshing for the nuance and melody with which Sunder carry it. If this is a do-over, they’re doing it right.

As with their prior incarnation, Sunder‘s debut arrives with remarkably little pretense. Its nine tracks comprise a thoroughly manageable 33:43, and from the beginning organ line and fuzz of “Deadly Flower” (video premiere here), the foursome maintain an efficient balance of resonant hooks, open vibe and pervasive groove. Nothing’s overcooked, but the material feels thought through and vocal arrangements tap Beatles-style harmonies without falling into a post-Uncle Acid trap, and while “Daughter of the Snows” has some of that Graveyardian swing, Sunder bring more than enough of their own personality to make the shuffle fit with the surrounding material, “Cursed Wolf” playing back and forth on the throttle early before shifting into a sun-caked midsection fuzz jam that seems like it’s going to be a departure point for a build but winds up trailing back to the verse and chorus to close — just a little break from reality, then. A welcome one at that.

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“Wings of the Sun” is complementary in its trippy spirit and vocal harmonies, natural sounding but still leaving space for Ensenat‘s drums to thud out an easily-followed beat or for Baud‘s organ to bolster the overarching lysergic nostalgia, which presents a mood much more 1966 than 1971, leaning well over the cusp of the psychedelic era as though — not to harp on it — trying to capture a moment between Rubber Soul and Revolver, plus the organ and minus the cynicism that would later inform what became heavy rock. Sunder‘s Sunder has several legitimately gorgeous stretches, and “Wings of the Sun” is one of them.

Centerpiece “Bleeding Trees” follows and is perhaps even more of an accomplishment, since not only does it bask in the same warmth as the song before it, but it pushes that warmth to a weightier purpose. A darker turn in the verse, shoutier in its bridge, more direct in its choral fullness, “Bleeding Trees” brings out Mellotron backing for a high-point guitar solo and is still done in under four minutes, setting a quick return to the sun with “Eye Catcher,” an A-side in the making that freaks out on fuzz in its first half and goes buzzsaw in its second, all while keeping a fast pace and holding firm to the energy Sunder have shown throughout.

Méret presides over the subsequent “Thunder and Storm” with crisp frontman presence, though the backing he receives from the layered keys and Ensenat‘s what-did-the-drum-do-to-deserve-such-a-beating snare is not to be understated. These quick bursts in “Eye Catcher” and “Thunder and Storm” help propel Sunder‘s second half, but also add to the complexity of the first, expanding the album’s opening progression by showing the band aren’t necessarily beholden to one tack or another. The dynamic is emphasized in the slowdown of  the love-lorn “Don’t Leave it Behind,” an open crash, choice key line and balance in the high and low end showing just how deep in the mix Sunder can do while Méret — if I’m not mistaken — turns the vocals backwards from within the swirl. Closing out, the swaggering roll of “Lucid Dreams” is as close as they come to the five-minute mark at 4:51 and a legitimately earned victory lap through another memorable chorus.

It’s no small thing for a band to stop what they’re doing, look around them, decide they want to be somewhere else sonically, and then actually make that change happen. Not only to do it, but to do it without changing a lineup. Sunder‘s first LP is a standout release for the context in which it arrives, but it’s the songwriting and the potential the band shows in their arrangements that make it one of 2015’s strongest debuts, as brazen as it is completely realized. One hopes in listening to it that MéretBaudMelay and Ensenat have found the place they’ll call home in terms of style, because what they’re doing across these tracks suits them well and seems to be ripe for any number of avenues for future progression.

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Sunder at Tee Pee Records

Sunder at Crusher Records

Preorder at Amazon

Preorder on iTunes

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Quarterly Review: Horsehunter, Church, Corpse Light, Sunder, T-Tops, The Space Merchants, Etiolated, Blown Out, Les Discrets, Beast Modulus

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk summer quarterly review

Day one down and feeling good so far. Day two continues the thread of mixing more known quantities with bands either self-releasing or putting out demos, etc., and I like that. More than last time around — last quarter, if you want to use the business-y sounding language for it — I tried to really get a balance across this batch of reviews, posted yesterday and coming up over the next couple days. We’ll see how it works out when it’s over. It remains a ton of stuff, and I hope you dig it. Day two starts right now.

Quarterly review #11-20:

Horsehunter, Caged in Flesh

horsehunter caged in flesh

Pushing their way to the fore of Melbourne’s heavy surge, double-guitar four-piece Horsehunter proffer oppressive tonal crush on the four tracks of their 2LP Magnetic Eye Records debut, Caged in Flesh. The story goes that, unsatisfied the initial recordings weren’t heavy enough, the band – guitarists Michael Harutyanyan (also vocals) and Dan McDonald, bassist/vocalist Himi Stringer and drummer Nick Cron – went back into the studio and redid the entire thing. Mission accomplished. By the time 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Stoned to Death” is done, lungs are suitably deflated, spines are cracked, skulls cleaved, and so on. They’re hardly the only ones in the world to conjure formidable tonal heft, but it’s the deft changes in vocals – clean here, shouts there, more abrasive at the start of the title-track – and the sense of atmosphere in the three-minute penultimate interlude that really distinguish Horsehunter, as well as how smoothly that atmosphere integrates with the pummel in the second half of closer “Witchery,” attention to detail and awareness of the need for more than just sonic weight boding well for future progression.

Horsehunter on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Church, Unanswered Hymns

church unanswered hymns

A staggeringly heavy debut full-length from Sacramento, CA, five-piece Church, Unanswered Hymns was initially released digitally by the band and quickly picked up for a cassette issue by Transylvanian Tapes and forthcoming LP through Battleground Records. One gets the sense listening to the three extended tracks – 19-minute opener “Dawning” being the longest of the bunch (immediate points) – that those won’t be the last versions to come. Psychedelic doom blends seamlessly with vicious sludge extremity, creating a morass engulfing in its tones, spacious in its breadth and unrepentantly heavy, making it one of 2015’s best debut releases, hands down, and a glorious revelry in bleak tectonics that challenges the listener to match its level of melancholy without giving into an impulse for post-Pallbearer emotive theatrics. As thrilling as they are plodding, expect the echoes of “Dawning,” “Stargazer” and “Offering” to resonate for some time to come, and should Church show any predilection for touring in the next couple years, they have the potential to make a genuine impact on American doom. Yes, I mean it.

Church on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes

Battleground Records

Corpse Light, Without Form

corpse light without form

Recorded in a day and released by Grimoire Records, the four-track Without Form is slated as the debut from Baltimore atmospheric doomers Corpse Light, but the band have had tracks come out in drips and drabs since getting their start as Ophidian in mid-2012, even if this is their first proper release. Either way, “The Fool” sets up an immediate and grim ambience, the churning lurch from guitarists Keiran Holmes and Don Selner and bassist Aurora Raiten set to roll by Lawrence Grimes (The Osedax) and given earthy aggression by the vocals of Jim Webb. “Lying in State” fleshes out these morose aggro vibes, but it’s with the drop-everything-and-kill peak of the subsequent “R Complex” that Corpse Light hit their angriest mark. If Without Form was just about that, it would be the highlight, but the album’s 29 minutes have more to offer than pissed off tonally-weighted post-hardcore, as closer “Kenophobia”’s clever turns and deceptive forward momentum demonstrate, though a touch of that kind of thing never hurts either.

Corpse Light on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Sunder, Demo

sunder demo

Heavy psych four-piece Sunder will make their debut this summer through Tee Pee and Crusher Records with a 7” for “Cursed Wolf,” so consider this notice of the tracks on their not-for-public-consumption demo a heads up on things to come. Their “Deadly Flower” was streamed here this past April, and the band’s previous incarnation, The Socks, released their self-titled debut (review here) on Small Stone in 2014, but with songs like the key-laced stomper “Bleeding Trees,” the ‘70s rusher “Against the Grain,” and the Uncle Acid-style swinging “Daughter of the Snows,” the Lyon, France, outfit continue to refine a style drawing together different vibes of the psychedelic era. “Deadly Flower” was also distinguished by its key work, and as for “Cursed Wolf” itself, the melody reminds of proto-psych Beatles singles (thinking “Rain” specifically), but the groove still holds firm to a sense of weight that’s thoroughly modern, and by that I mean it sounds like 1972. Keep an eye out.

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

T-Tops, T-Tops

t-tops t-tops

Granted not everyone is going to make this immediate association, but when I first saw the moniker T-Tops, I couldn’t help think of like C-grade generic stonerisms, songs about beer and pretending to be from the South and all that. If you experienced something similar in seeing the name, rest easy. The Pittsburgh trio of guitarist/vocalist Pat Waters (ex-The Fitt, Wormrigg), bassist Jason Orr (Wormrigg) and drummer Jason Jouver (ex-Don Caballero) are down with far more sinister punk and noise on their self-titled, self-released debut full-length, riding, shooting straight and speaking truth on cuts like “Wipe Down” and the catchy “Pretty on a Girl” after the tense sampling of “A Certain Cordial Exhilaration” turns over the power-push to “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’.” “Ralphie” is probably an inside-joke if not a Christmas Story reference, but point is these guys are way less about-to-sing-about-muscle-cars than the name implies and their tight, crisp rhythmic turns come accompanied by vicious tonal force and an utter lack of bullshit, which is a scenario far preferable to that which one might otherwise expect.

T-Tops on Thee Facebooks

T-Tops on Bandcamp

The Space Merchants, The Space Merchants

the space merchants the space merchants

Issued by Aqulamb in the imprint’s standard 100-page art book/download format, the self-titled debut from fellow Brooklynites The Space Merchants seeks to draw a line between psychedelic rock and country. And not pretend country like people with a Johnny Cash fetish because he covered that Nine Inch Nails song one time – actual, bright, pastoral, classic country. Call the results psychtwang and applaud the effort, which works oddly well in a thoroughly vintage context to come across on “Mainline the Sun” like something from a lost ‘60s variety show. Parts of “One Cut Like the Moon” and the later fuzz of “One Thousand Years of Boredom” give away their modernity, but The Space Merchants’ push toward a stylistic niche suits them well, and the intertwined vocal arrangements from guitarist Michael Guggino, bassist Aileen Brophy and keyboardist Ani MonteleoneCarter Logan drums to round out the four-piece – add to the rich, welcoming feel that remains prevalent even as the eight-minute “Where’s the Rest of Life” slips into wah-soaked noise to finish out.

The Space Merchants on Thee Facebooks

Aqualamb on Bandcamp

Etiolated, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies

etoliated grey limbs grey skies

The undercurrent of black metal coursing beneath the surface of Etiolated’s debut full-length, Grey Limbs, Grey Skies, eventually comes to the surface in 10-minute opener “Internal Abyss” and 16-minute eponymous closer, which bookends, but in part it’s the tension of waiting for those rampaging surges that keeps one hooked to the Armus Productions release. Guttural death growls echo up from dense tonal reaches, and tempo shifts, whether in those longer tracks or three-minute lumbering slice “Futility” are fluid, the North Carolina five-piece executing a slow-grinding chug in centerpiece “Exsanguinate,” which seems like a murk without end until the 1:47 “For Your Hell” kicks into a speedier, more blackened rush, guest vocalist Ryan McCarthy joining guitarist/vocalists James Storelli and Walls, bassist Cody Rogers and drummer Elliot Thompson in furthering the already prevalent sense of extremism before “Etiolated,” after a surprisingly peaceful if brooding midsection, plods the album to a close. To say “not for the faint of heart” would be putting it lightly, but if I had a vest and if Etiolated had patches, the two parties would definitely meet up at some point in the near future.

Etiolated on Thee Facebooks

Armus Productions on Bandcamp

Blown Out, Planetary Engineering

blown out planetary engineering

It has not taken long for the discography of UK psych jammers Blown Out to become a populated murky cosmos of its own. Planetary Engineering is released on Oaken Palace Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist Mike Vest (also Bong, etc.), bassist John-Michael Hedley (also Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) and drummer Matt Baty (also the head of Box Records) exploring two mesmeric and sprawling instrumentals – one per side – that bend and flourish and hypnotize in organically-concocted swirl. Side A’s “Transcending Deep Infinity” tops 20 minutes and shifts from its spacey build to a low key groove at about 7:30 in, pulsing forward once more amid head-turning repetition, deep echoes and longform nod, culminating in a two-minute fadeout that brings forward “Thousand Years in the Sunshine,” an immediate bass groove and interstellar swirl no less trance-inducing than its predecessor. Cyclical drum fills morph over time behind the guitar and bass, and Planetary Engineering seems to push continually further out until, of course, it disintegrates, presumably as it crosses the galactic barrier.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Oaken Palace Records on Bandcamp

Les Discrets, Live at Roadburn

les discrets live at roadburn

I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance at Het Patronaat in Tilburg when French post-black metallers Les Discrets took the stage at Roadburn 2013. As such, it’s with some trepidation I approach their Live at Roadburn recording on Prophecy Productions – the impression they made live wasn’t something I’d want potentially spoiled or brought to earth by a document proving it was just another set. With Neige of Alcest on bass with guitarist/vocalist Fursy Teyssier, Les Discrets proved to be something really special to those who, like me, were there to catch them, and the eight-track Live at Roadburn – fortunately – captures both the majestic lushness they brought with them and the underlying weight that seemed to add impact to the material. What might sound like post-production mixing on “L’Echappée” or the wash of “Chanson D’Automne” isn’t – it really was that beautiful and that perfectly balanced coming from the stage. A vastly underrated act and a document that reminds of how stellar they were without sullying the memory in the slightest.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions

Beast Modulus, Beast Modulus

beast-modulus-beast-modulus

Brooklynite foursome Beast Modulus seem to care less about meshing with ideas of genre than sticking them in a meatgrinder and seeing what comes out. To wit the riotous chugging of “Cowboy Caligula,” and the blackened thrust of “WaSaBi!” on their self-released, self-titled outing, which leads to dueling growls and screams on the tonally weighted post-hardcore “Fabulous,” and the appropriately mathy turns of the thrashing “Tyranny of Numbers.” Inventive in their stylizations and in where the six songs included on the release actually go – hint: they go to “heavy” – the lineup of vocalist Kurt Applegate, guitarist Owen Burley, bassist Jesse Adelson and drummer Jody Smith have some post-Dillinger Escape Plan vibe in the calculated chaos of “Kalashnikov,” but closer “Killing Champion” is too impatient to even be held by that, the prevailing manic angularity of Beast Modulus ultimately crafting its own identity from the physical assault the music seems intent on perpetrating upon the listener.

Beast Modulus on Thee Facebooks

Beast Modulus on Bandcamp

 

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Sunder Premiere Video for “Deadly Flower”; Sign to Tee Pee Records

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 23rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sunder

French four-piece Sunder have announced a newly-inked deal with Tee Pee Records and Crusher Records covering multiple continents for the release of their impending debut full-length. Well, kind of a debut full-length. The Lyon outfit released a self-titled debut (review here) early in 2014 under the moniker The Socks via Small Stone. Apparently the year subsequent has brought a few changes with it, among them the name. As Sunder, the band will release their first album this Fall, and as the new demo “Deadly Flower” shows, it’s a new beginning on multiple levels.

The Socks were indebted heavily to the swing and swagger of ’70s-style blues rock that has gained a foothold throughout Europe in the wake of Graveyard and Kadavar. With the classic Mellotron of “Deadly Flower” and the organic vocal, guitar, bass and drum sounds that accompany, Sunder still have some of that going on, but the new track finds guitarist/vocalist Julien Méret, drummer Jessy Ensenat, bassist Vincent Melay and sunder logokey-specialist/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud digging deeper into the roots of psychedelic rock — more ’67 than ’72, if that makes any sense. Of course, it’s one track, and it’s a demo, so how indicative of the overall direction of the album it may or may not be remains to be seen over the next couple months, but it’s an immersive starting point, Sunder clearly benefiting from the lessons from their time as The Socks as they move forward in this new stage of their career.

To mark the occasion of their Tee Pee signing, I’m happy to be able to host the premiere of the “Deadly Flower” video. The clip itself is basically their logo with some tripped-out vocals, but I think you’ll find the jam worth losing yourself in anyway as an introduction to where they’re at now. More to come as we get closer to the album’s completion and subsequent release.

Official announcement follows the video below. Hope you enjoy:

Sunder, “Deadly Flower”

SUNDER Signs to Tee Pee Records

Forceful French Four-Piece (formerly The Socks) Fortifying First Full Length LP

French heavy psychedelic rock band SUNDER has signed to Tee Pee Records. Formerly known as The Socks, the group is known for its edgy, electric sound that draws from the heavier side of 1960’s / 70’s rock and swings with acid grooves. The group’s as-yet untitled debut will see a fall, 2015 release in North / South America and Australia via Tee Pee and in Europe and Japan via Crusher Records.

“It’s with great pleasure and pride to be part of two of the most amazing heavy/psych labels in the world,” said the band in a statement. “The Socks were of Lyon, France. Sunder is of the world and it is with the sounds of Sunder that the shores of the world will be plundered.”

In celebration, the band has released a tripped visual video for its new track, “Deadly Flower”.

SUNDER features Julien Méret (guitar / vocals) Jessy Ensenat (drums), Vincent Melay (bass) and Nicolas Baud (Farfisa, Mellotron, backing vocals).

Sunder on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

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The Socks, The Socks: Voice in the Mountain

Posted in Reviews on February 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

There are two ways to approach the self-titled debut from French four-piece The Socks. You can say, “Oh, it’s retro,” and immediately make your comparisons to Kadavar, to Graveyard, etc., and either write it off or dig in as you will based on your opinions on those bands and heavy ’70s devotees in general. Or you can listen to the thing. Life is short, and frankly, either is a valid-enough way to go, but I’ve found the latter to be the more satisfying route. There’s no taking away from the fact that songs like “Some Kind of Sorcery” and “The Last Dragon” have a strong earlier Graveyard influence, but “Next to the Light” goes right to the Sabbathian source to bounce vocalist Julien Méret‘s lead guitar off of “War Pigs,” and throughout the album, on that track, on “Gypsy Lady,” closer “The Last Dragon” and on “Holy Sons,” The Socks distinguish themselves through the keyboard work of rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud, who adds Mellotron and organ sounds to add melodic depth to the fluid rhythms of bassist Vincent Melay and drummer Jessy Ensenat. When they boogie — and they do — there’s plenty familiar about it, and if that were all The Socks had to offer, the album would be almost entirely redundant, but there are more than a few turns between parts, cuts in tempo or launches into speedy shuffle, that serve to showcase The Socks as a dynamic songwriting act in their own right.

Couple that with a production more modern than either of the aforementioned touchstones of the style, and the Lyon foursome seem to be headed somewhere else within the classic heavy framework. In both their speedier material — the rush of “Some Kind of Sorcery,” though met with an impressive slowdown in its middle third, is immediate and indicative of The Socks at their fastest here — and in the more languid grooves of songs like “Holy Sons,” on which Ensenat effectively propels the build with organic-sounding kick, the band is confident, well assured of where they want pieces to go. Structurally traditional, songs have their hooks, but don’t come across as being written solely to get stuck in the audience’s head. “Electric War” finds Méret and Baud working well together on vocals in what sounds like a dynamic that will continue to develop as The Socks progress, but catchy as that track’s chorus is, the more lasting impression is leaves comes from the stomp in its midsection and the ease with which the band plays one rhythm off the other. They’ve been a band for half a decade (if you’re interested in reading their bio, I wrote it), and a grip on time changes like theirs doesn’t develop without considerable stage time, but it still feels like early mastery of pitting slowdowns and speedups against each other — that is, something they brought to the table initially instead of something that evolved over the course of their two prior EPs, 2011’s Side A and 2012’s Bedrock, and the songwriting for the self-titled. Either way, it’s there, and it’s a big part of the album’s appeal.

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audiObelisk: The Socks Premiere “Gypsy Lady” from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on January 31st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

I guess if we’re talking about side B of French retro rockers The Socks‘ self-titled debut LP, then that would make “Gypsy Lady” a deep cut. The foursome from Lyon are getting ready to release their eponymous long-player on Small Stone on March 18, and where the prior-leaked “Some Kind of Sorcery” from the record showcased a vintage-minded boogie almost singularly indebted to Graveyard — at least for the part of it that wasn’t indebted (as we all are) to Sabbath — “Gypsy Lady” shows that’s not the only tool that The Socks have at their disposal, using organ to pepper a kind of stutter groove that’s as much Alice Cooper Band as it is modern heavy psychedelia.

Vocalist/guitarist Julien Méret solos fluidly over fellow six-stringer/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud‘s keyboard work as drummer Jessy Ensenat sets the march and bassist Vincent Melay runs around and through the riffs in heavy ’70s tradition. If “Gypsy Lady” has anything in common with “Some Kind of Sorcery” — other than being the same band on the same album, duh — it’s a righteous slowdown, this one arriving after two minutes into the track’s total five, marked out by insistent wah in the guitar and a classically doomed stomp in the rhythm section, giving way to a screaming lead and tense build back up to the original shuffle.

Add to this a potent hook and I’m not sure what else one could reasonably ask of The Socks that they’re not delivering. Elsewhere, their self-titled delves further into psychedelic influences, further broadening their creative spectrum, rounding out with the six-and-a-half-minute “The Last Dragon,” which sadly is not a cover of the theme from the 1985 Berry Gordy-produced film of the same name, but for now, “Gypsy Lady” should give enough of a sense ofThe Socks’ take on analog vibes and the organic way in which they present a nascent but already widening sonic perspective.

Please find “Gypsy Lady” on the player below, and enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

The SocksThe Socks is due out March 18 on CD and LP through Small Stone Records. The band are also set to play the Stone Rising festival in Lyon this April and are booking other dates for the Spring. More info at the following links.

The Socks on Thee Facebooks

The Socks website

The Socks at Small Stone’s Bandcamp

Small Stone Records

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The Socks Boogie Down in New Video for “Some Kind of Sorcery”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

What kind of sorcery is it? Well, I just don’t know, but it certainly likes to boogie. French retro-rocking four-piece The Socks will put out their self-titled album on Small Stone in March, but they’re already gearing up for the release with a new video for the song “Some Kind of Sorcery.”

If the song sounds familiar, that might be because it was posted here when the record went up for pre-order a few weeks back, and while the video doesn’t provide too many answers on which kind of sorcery it is in question — the kind that turns you into a newt, maybe, until you get better — the riff seems to be shedding some light of its own on the subject.

I’ll say it again because it bears repeating, you’re gonna hear a pretty strong Graveyard influence in the vocals and some of the shuffle, but watch for the slowdown in the middle of the song — coinciding with the driving-through-the-desert shot at 1:36 — and how fluidly they slip into and back out of the change in rhythm. Speaks volumes to the potential for the album.

Dig it:

The Socks, “Some Kind of Sorcery” official video

As we continue to gear up for The Socks Small Stone Records debut, we are very pleased to show off the band’s first video for the song “Some Kind Of Sorcery”, from their S/T album which will be hitting the streets on March 18th, 2014. The Socks will be touring Europe heavily in support of their new album and have just been confirmed on the Stone Rising Festival in Lyon, France in April of 2014 along side some quality acts like Radio Moscow, Blues Pills, Aqua Nebula Oscillator, Brutus and many more ! You will be hearing a whole lot from these guys for many months to come! In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the rawk.

The Socks at Small Stone’s Bandcamp

The Socks on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records

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The Socks Release First Track from Self-Titled Debut; Album Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 16th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

With a retro mindset, gorgeous Arrache-toi un Oeil artwork (you might recall the cover from Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s The Edge of an Era was similarly lush), and boogie and loosely social thematics imported from Scandinavia, Lyon rockers The Socks will make their self-titled debut on Small Stone in the New Year. The album is set for release on March 18 and available for preorder now through Small Stone‘s Bandcamp, where the track “Some Kind of Sorcery” also premiered today.

Probably the most distinct influence you’ll hear in “Some Kind of Sorcery” is Hisingen Blues-style Graveyard shuffle, but the four-piece band, who’ve put two EPs under their collective belt over the last two years since getting together in 2010, have a solid underpinning of less era-adherent heavy rock, and that comes out later into the track in a groovy slowdown and the ease with which they move from one side of their approach to another.

The band made a short, efficient statement to mark the occasion and reveal the cover art:

Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to unveil a first track from our upcoming album, here is “Some Kind Of Sorcery” !

http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/track/some-kind-of-sorcery

Thanks a lot to Arrache-toi un Oeil for the amazing artwork !

https://www.facebook.com/thesocks
http://thesocks.fr/

The Socks, “Some Kind of Sorcery”

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Small Stone Records Welcomes The Socks; Here’s a Bio I Wrote

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this week, Small Stone Records announced the latest in a string of European pickups: French four-piece The Socks, from Lyon. The Socks follow in a line of bands that includes their countrymen Abrahma and Mother of God, as well as Deville, Isaak and Asteroid as part of Small Stone‘s Euro expansion, and as it happens, they needed a bio. Well, I’ve done a couple in my day and with a bit of info to work from, I actually kind of like the process, so when I was asked, I was happy to oblige with one for The Socks.

They’re a band about whom I didn’t know much leading into it, but after checking out their two posted EPs — this year’s Bedrock (which you’ll find below courtesy of their Bandcamp) and Side A from 2011 — they seem like a solid addition to a rapidly growing roster. In case you’re not familiar, here’s the bio I wrote:

The Socks – Bio

Julien – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Jess – Drums & Percussions
Nico – Guitar, Keyboards & Vocals
Vincent – Bass

Some dudes just sound like they were born to do it, and listening to the classic heavy rock groove of The Socks, there can be no doubt it’s what they’re made for. They’re naturals. The double-guitar French foursome formed in Lyon in 2009 and started surprising audiences almost immediately, eventually settling down to pump out their debut EP the following year.

2010’s Side A was five songs well concentrated from a band still feeling out where they wanted to go. You had your Sabbath, your Zeppelin, and The Socks supported the release by playing with an array of national and international acts, busting out energetic, intense gigs while continuing to develop their style. The next two years drove the band to write darker songs, hit harder, become thicker, more powerful, more calculating and less frenetic.

The resulting 2012 EP, Bedrock, soon caught Small Stone Records’ eye, with strong instrumental performances from Jess (drums), Vincent (bass), Nico (guitar/keys/vocals) and Julien (vocals/guitar), the latter also serving as the frontman and delivering a guttural but memorable vocal performance throughout the tracks, psychedelic in some places and elsewhere delving into a neo-grunge moodiness that was a change from the first release. During Fall 2012, The Socks completed their first European tour, drawing on experience garnered from festivals and gigs alongside Karma to Burn, Red Fang, Truckfighters, Horisont, Mars Red Sky, Black Rainbows and many others with whom they share some elements while still maintaining a personality of their own.

Simply put, they were a hit. Small Stone picked up the band and is set to issue their first full-length in 2013, as the band continue to thrust themselves into Europe’s next generation of heavy rock and roll alongside acts like Abrahma, Deville, Asteroid, Isaak, Black Rainbows and Mother of God. Look for The Socks to continue their momentum into 2013 and beyond, in the studio and on the road, and expect nothing less than some of the finest riffs the continent has to offer. That’s how it goes when you deal with naturals.

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