The Soulbreaker Company Premiere “Arrhythmia” Video; Sewed with Light out Nov. 30

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the soulbreaker company 2018

Basque Country progressive heavy rockers The Soulbreaker Company release their sixth LP, Sewed with Light, Nov. 30 on Underground Legends Records. It is their first outing through the label after serving as a longtime staple act for Alone Records, but regardless of who’s putting it out, the band’s sound remains unmistakably their own. In their more than 13 years together, the band has been through a number of lineup changes and have undertaken a persistent sonic evolution, and as the latest manifestation of that, the 11-track/48-minute Sewed with Light brings an overarching pastoral feel to still-weighted grooves and tones. With vocalist Jony Moreno out front surrounded by his fellow founders in guitarists Asier Fernandez (also vocals) and Dani Triñanes, melody runs central throughout the proceedings while Javi Free makes an impression on synth in “Together” and piano in “You Guess but You Don’t Understand,” and the drums of Andoni Ortiz and bass of Illan Arribas tie together a vision of progressive heavy informed by the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin that nonetheless seeks to repeat the work of neither of them. Beginning with its longest track (immediate points) in the seven-minute “Inner Dark,” Sewed with Light offers a balance between a rich, textured sound and a graceful live execution that’s emblematic of their sonic maturity but still exciting to hear.

Acoustics, fuzzed electrics, a variety of keys and malleable vocals all come together to create the tapestry evoked in the material, which is peaceful even at its heaviest moments the soulbreaker company sewed with lightand has precious little time for needless aggression. Even as “The Word, the Blade” picks up into its chorus, the feel remains easy and accessible, and as they cap with the electronics-and-drone piece “In the Beginning,” the vibe remains more experimentalist than angry. Though it’s relatively short at 2:57, “Arrhythmia” represents Sewed with Light well. Preceded by the keyboard/Mellotron-laced “Avoid the Crash,” it’s more uptempo than some of what surrounds, but set as the penultimate inclusion on the tracklist, it’s obviously meant as a last-minute kick to get listeners on board for the far-out closer that follows. Like the best of the classics from which they take influence, The Soulbreaker Company are able to distill a grand or epic feel down into a song that’s tight in its structure and doesn’t need to hit the 10-minute mark to make its impression emotionally. Centerpiece “Persephone” brings together Free‘s spacey synth and the lead guitars in a one-into-the-next trade of solos and still has room in its five minutes for a memorable hook and an engaging melody. With the early prog-out of the quick “I am the Void” and the breadth of the subsequent “The End of the Day” and “Together,” there’s much for listeners to dig into, but whether one sits and parses through every move, shift in tone and groove, every part change and chorus, or if one simply goes along for the ride, The Soulbreaker Company offer an enticing invite to take its component songs on and live with them for a while. Some records you hear and that’s it. Sewed with Light feels more like a multi-sensory experience.

I’m thrilled today to host the premiere of the video for “Arrhythmia” with my thanks to Underground Legends for letting me do so. You’ll find it on the player below, followed by some info and links as always.

Please enjoy:

The Soulbreaker Company, “Arrhythmia” official video premiere

THE SOULBREAKER COMPANY’s official video for Arrhythmia from the album “Sewed With Light” available on November 30th.

Written and Directed by Elba Berganzo

The Soulbreaker Company is:
Jony Moreno: vox
Asier Fernandez: Guitars, vox
Andoni Ortiz: Drums
Illan Arribas: Bass
Dani Triñanes: Guitars
Javi Free: Synths, Piano, organ

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The Soulbreaker Company Announce New Album La Lucha

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

La Lucha is LP number five from Spanish prog-psych explorers The Soulbreaker Company, and it’s out Sept. 23 on Alone Records. They have the new song “The Kid out of this Land” streaming now from the album, and its synth-laden scope and somewhat foreboding riff are telling particularly in light of the fact that it closes the album. An easy-rolling groove emerges behind a manic guitar solo as it moves toward the halfway point of its 7:28 run, but the prevailing spirit is languid and open, and it would seem that time has loosened the band up somewhat, at least in this context. How it might work out on the rest of the record is of course still unknown.

Preorders are up now from the label, at the store link below. The PR wire had this to say about it:

the soulbreaker company la lucha

THE SOULBREAKER COMPANY “LA LUCHA” CD | LP

Fifth album by the Spanish psych rock band The Soulbreaker Company, recorded at Toy Box Studios in Bristol by Stef Hambrook, mixed at Louder Studios in California by Tim Green (Melvins, Six Organs Of Admittance, Comets On Fire…) and mastered by Noel Summerville (Napalm Death, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats).

The band states: “it reflects all the influences that have marked our history as a band, from heavy to pop, fuzz and psycho with a heavy sound that also shines on clean tunes. Writing and recording was a calm and relaxed process so we had the time to think which tracks to include. We believe it is our most sincere and unpretentious album”.

La Lucha will be released on jewelcase CD and single Gatefold LP, limited to 300 copies on black vinyl and 200 copies on crystal clear colour.

The closing track of the album is entitled “The Kid Out Of This Land” and you can check it on YouTube.

Official release date is set for September 23rd.

https://www.facebook.com/thesoulbreakercompany/
https://www.facebook.com/alonerecords.spain/
http://www.thestonecirclestore.com/

The Soulbreaker Company, “The Kid out of this Land”

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Buried Treasure Stands Alone (Records)

Posted in Buried Treasure on February 18th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Back in December, I placed an order at the Alone Records online distro. They were (and still are) offering a list of CDs, from which you, the loyal customer, could pick 10 for 59.90 Euro. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, so I hit it up and made my list — who doesn’t love making lists of records they want to buy? — and filled the shopping cart. 10 albums from the list, no problem. Even with the exchange rate and shipping, I made out about right.

End of January, I started to get nervous that perhaps my local post office had either lost or decided “fuck it” and tossed the package, because it still hadn’t come. Of course, I’ve had dealings with Alone before for the site (and before that as well), so the thought that the label was pulling a fast one never entered my mind. Sure enough, it turned out just to be delays. Weather delays, laziness delays, who the hell knows. The box showed up at my house, postmarked from way back when. Knowing that I’d gotten the last copies of a few of the items contained therein, I was glad to see it.

Here’s what I got, presented alphabetically in the spirit of last week’s Buried Treasure:

Abramis Brama, När Tystnaden Lagt Sig…
Duster 69, Ride the Silver Horses
Lucifer Was, Blues from Hellah
Mangrove, Endless Skies
Mississippi Sludge, Biscuits and Slavery
Negative Reaction, Everything You Need for Galactic Battle Adventures
Ridge, A Countrydelic and Fuzzed Experience in a Colombian Supremo
The Soulbreaker Company, The Pink Alchemist
Sunnshine, No More Forever
Warchetype, Goat Goddess Supremacy

Only the Warchetype and the Soulbreaker Company discs are actually on Alone Records proper, and I bought them because I reviewed (here and here) and enjoyed albums from both bands in the past couple months. There were a couple names I remember from a while ago — Mississippi Sludge, Ridge, Duster 69 — that I figured I’d get just for the hell of it. The Ridge was cool in a Fu Manchu vein, the Mississippi Sludge didn’t match the awesomeness of its cover at all, and Duster 69 was heaviest perhaps in its accent, so I guess that batch kind of had its ups and downs.

The Negative Reaction I’ve owned for years. I’m pretty sure the version I have I bought from the band the first time I saw them at the New Jersey Metalfest in 2003, but it’s in a slimline, and I hadn’t heard it in a while, so I thought a full copy would be a good way to revisit. And man, I had forgotten, but that album is killer. The riffs, Ken-E Bones‘ screaming, the samples, the timing of it, everything just works. Definitely under-mentioned when it comes to the high points of abrasive sludge. They still play a lot of these songs live, and for good reason.

Mangrove‘s album was more generic than I remembered from reviewing it back in 2009. I think I had it mixed up in my mind with either Tekhton or The Deep Blue on The Church Within, but either way, Endless Skies wasn’t helped at all by the fact that I listened to it right after the Abramis Brama, which was essentially a better version of the same kind of post-Soundgarden classic rock ideas. But then, Abramis Brama are one of the best bands in Sweden at that kind of thing, so I probably shouldn’t hold it against their countrymen in Mangrove for not measuring up. Just about nobody does.

So there’s a couple I’ll probably put away and a few I’ll revisit again — Lucifer Was‘ prog strangeness, the Negative Reaction, Warchetype, Abramis Brama, etc. — but on the whole it’s a bunch of music that I hadn’t heard before that I’ve heard now, so no matter what, I came out of it on the plus side. And seriously, if you haven’t dug into Warchetype, you should look them up in the immediate. Goat Goddess Supremacy more than lives up to its name.

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The Soulbreaker Company, Itaca: Careful with That Psych

Posted in Reviews on November 24th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Whereas much of the movement in the last several years of heavy psychedelic rock has been toward the more freeform, jamming style of bands like Earthless and Naam, the VitoriaGasteiz collective The Soulbreaker Company from the north of Spain present an incredibly tight-wound vision of what space-leaning psych can be on their second Alone Records full-length, Itaca. The six-piece (plus guests) band run through a wide array of sonic motifs, from the jazzy synth-prog of opener “It’s Dirt,” to the Doors-y feel of the ending movement of “Sandstorm,” always maintaining control, always sounding full. Never a hair out of place, so to speak. It’s an accomplishment mostly in the complexity of the song arrangements – I know of plenty two-piece bands who can’t get to the point of togetherness The Soulbreaker Company have with up to eight or nine people on a single track.

Part of that credit has to go to Chris Fielding, who produced Itaca at Foel Studios in Wales (Obiat, Conan, Porcupine Tree) along with the band. The sounds here are crisp but not unnatural, and there’s a remarkable balance between the separation in the instruments and their meshing. The already-noted opener earns kudos not only for its creative breadth, but for being the longest cut on Itaca at 9:38 (I’m almost always a sucker for a band who opens with their longest song instead of tacking it at the end), and cuts like “Oh! Warsaw,” the catchy “Sow the Roses” and the later, piano- and horn-driven “Take a Seat on the Moon” only reinforce the album’s primary statement, that The Soulbreaker Company are a band for whom the limits are few and far between. They have the will (and the personnel) to take listeners on a genuine journey, and the more of Itaca I dig into, the farther-ranging I’m finding it to be. While the classic rock approach of vocalist/guitarist Jony Moreno (backed occasionally by Layla Seville and/or Joanne Deacon) does a lot of the tying together of the different-sounding tracks, there’s also a tonal consistency to the material on Itaca that serves to heighten the drama of the songs while it helps the flow one to the next. Fans of Hypnos 69 will swoon over the guitar work of Daniel Triñanes and Asier Fernandez on “Colours of the Fire” and the sax-playing of Kike Guzman (who might want to think about adopting a nom de guerre) on “It’s Dirt” and “No Way Back Home,” on which the Hammond of Oscar Gil also provides an album highlight.

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