Oppressive, claustrophobic and unremittingly dark, I’d say the new video for “An Altar or a Grave” from Portland-via-Providence ultra-doomers The Body makes a fitting complement to the song itself. Their new album, Christs, Redeemers, is available now for pre-order through Thrill Jockey — it’s due out Oct. 15 — and while I won’t pretend to have any grasp of exactly what the hell is happening in the clip, directed by Richard Rankin, the visual of drowning as part of some terrifying ritual likewise makes sense with the audio on hand.
The Body have announced a US tour for October into November that starts the same day the record is out. Dates for that and the Christs, Redeemers pre-order link follow the video below, courtesy of the ever-vigilant PR wire:
The Body, “An Altar or a Grave” official video
The Body Announces US Tour & Shares Haunting Video
Watch the murky, disturbing video for The Body’s “An Altar or A Grave” now
The Body announces fall US tour dates
Christs, Redeemers is out October, 15th on Thrill Jockey
The Body have shared a characteristically macabre video for “An Altar or A Grave” from their upcoming Thrill Jockey debut, Christs, Redeemers, which is out October 15th. Earlier today Invisible Oranges premiered the video, which was directed by long-time collaborator Richard Rankin. Through blurry underwater footage, disturbing and morbid images float in and out of focus until the situation becomes devastatingly clear in the video’s final moments. “An Altar or A Grave” prominently features Providence’s Assembly of Light Choir, who provide morose vocal incantations over the duo’s merciless plod.
The Body will be bringing their message of misanthropy and horror to a town near you as they embark on a comprehensive US tour this fall, including a special Halloween show at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn and a hometown Portland show November 23rd with Neurosis, Tragedy, and Atriarch. More dates will be announced soon.
The Body on Tour: Oct. 15th – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside Oct. 16th – Arcata, CA – Mex n’ Wow Oct. 17th – Portland, OR – The Know Oct. 19th – Seattle, WA – The Highline Oct. 23rd – Minneapolis, MN – Hexagon w/ False Oct. 24th – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle w/ Oozing Wound Oct. 25th – Milwaukee, WI – Riverwest Free Space Oct. 26th – Columbus, OH – The Summit Oct. 27th – Pittsburgh, PA – The Shop Oct 29th – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie w/ Pissgrave, Krieg, Drums Like Machine Guns Oct. 30th – Providence, RI – Machines With Magnets Oct. 31st – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Nov. 3rd – New Orleans, LA – The Mushroom Nov. 4th – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon Nov. 5th – Little Rock, AR – Whitewater Tavern Nov. 10th – Phoenix, AZ – Wall St. Nov. 12th – San Diego, CA – The Soda Bar w/ Author and Punisher, Diamond Lakes Nov. 13th – Santa Monica, CA – Almost Heaven Nov. 23rd – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater w/ Neurosis, Tragedy, Atriarch
Wrekmeister Harmonies aka JR Robinson will make his debut on Thrill Jockey next month. The Chicago experimentalist’s latest outing, You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me, finds him paired with a host of luminaries from in and around his native city’s fertile underground, including among others Sanford Parker, Bruce Lamont and Leviathan‘s Wrest. A new video was released today in advance of the album, featuring an 11-minute segment of the 40-minute whole, and even as a fraction of the thing, it’s vicious.
Set to time-lapse shots of artist Simon Fowler at work, “You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me” proves hypnotic on multiple levels. Stop what you’re doing and be immersed. Video and PR wire info follow, including info on a show June 22 shortly after the album’s release:
WREKMEISTER HARMONIES ANNOUNCES YOU’VE ALWAYS MEANT SO MUCH TO ME, OUT JUNE 11th ON THRILL JOCKEY
WREKMEISTER HARMONIES WILL PERFORM THE ALBUM IN ITS ENTIRETY AT THE BOHEMIAN NATIONAL CEMETERY OF CHICAGO
JR Robinson has been writing and recording music as Wrekmeister Harmonies in various incarnations since 2006. His Thrill Jockey debut, You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me will be released on June 11th. You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me is an album length composition spread over two sides of vinyl, featuring some of Chicago’s most infamous minds in the metal and experimental worlds, including Sanford Parker (Twilight, Nachtmystium), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Jef Whitehead aka Wrest (Leviathan), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit), Jaime Fennelly (Mind Over Mirrors), Fred Lonberg-Holm, and more. The album art was drawn by Simon Fowler, who as also worked with Sunn O)), Boris, Earth, and Wolves in the Throne Room. The piece was premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago last year.
Earlier today Stereogum premiered a time-lapse music video of Fowler drawing a variation on the incredibly intricate album artwork (which can be found below), which slowly reveals itself as a lone iceberg rising out of the sea. This is the first video of this kind that Simon has made. The audio is excerpted from the b-side of the album. The drawing and the music grow in tandem: as the ice structure begins to take shape, distorted guitars rise from a bed of anxious electronic drone until pounding drums and inhuman howls signal a shift to crushing doom.
Wrekmeister Harmonies will be performing You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me in its entirety on June 22nd at the Bohemian National Cemetery of Chicago, where Robinson will be joined by the musicians that perform on the record. The Numero Group’s Rob Sevier will be DJing between acts, and Acteurs will open. The event will take place near the Mausoleum at the south-east corner of Pulaski and Bryn Mawr. Doors will open at 7 p.m., one hour after sunset.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
If you’re coming from San Francisco, I guess a stopover for a show in Brooklyn prior to launching your European tour in Prague doesn’t seem that unreasonable. That’s the plan for the four-piece Golden Void, who will hit Union Pool with Pontiak on April 6. That’s a hell of a show (there are several hell-of-a-shows happening that night) and for anyone who heard the band’s self-titled debut last year (review here), not one to be left off the calendar. Here’s the news and Golden Void‘s Euro dates in full. They’ll end that tour playing Roadburn‘s Afterburner on April 21.
The PR wire puts it like this:
Golden Void & Pontiak play Union Pool April 6th
San Francisco heavy psychers Golden Void, which feature Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless & Howlin’ Rain and Camilla Saufley-Mitchell of Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, will be making their New York debut at Union Pool April 6th. Their debut album, which was called, “a heady, rich brew, buoyed by roaring hammond, loose drumming and some blazing solo epiphanies” by Terrorizer, was released by Thrill Jockey to acclaim throughout the rock and metal communities last November. They have a new 7″ with two exclusive songs slated for Record Store Day 2013. Check out “The Curve” and their version of “1983” by Jimi Hendrix below. Following this rare East Coast performance the group will be heading to Europe to perform at the famed Roadburn Festival.
Pontiak are the Virginia based Carney brothers, who make expansive psych rock populated with irresistible, stoned riffs. Their last album, Echo Ono, was called, “the peak of their career to date… raw, spontaneous, and unfettered power and release that simultaneously addresses the visceral and refined” by Prefix. Known for the mix of beauty and power that comes from the extreme volume at which they play live, Pontiak are an experience not to be missed.
Golden Void Upcoming Tour Dates – 2013 Apr 06, 2013 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool Apr 08, 2013 Prague, Czech Republic Klub 007 Apr 09, 2013 Berlin, Germany Jagerklause Apr 10, 2013 Dresden, Germany Ostpol Apr 11, 2013 Linz, Austria Kapu Apr 12, 2013 Innsbruck, Austria PMK Apr 13, 2013 Milan, Italy Lo fi Club Apr 16, 2013 Lyon, France Le Sonic Apr 17, 2013 Paris, France Point Ephemere Apr 18, 2013 Antwerp, Belgium Trix Apr 19, 2013 Leige, Belgium Inside Out Apr 20, 2013 Siegen, Germany Vortex Apr 21, 2013 Tilburg, Netherlands 013 venue (Roadburn Festival)
Posted in Reviews on February 5th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
The Baltimorean outfit make no direct claims about their fifth album being narrative in its structure, but there can be little question that Arbouretum’s Coming out of the Fog ends in a different place than it began. In a concise but peaceful 39-plus minutes, the four-piece move from “The Long Night” to the closing title-track, “Coming out of the Fog,” which contrasts the darker push of the opener with a soothing melody and soft strum from founding guitarist/vocalist Dave Heumann. With “All at Once, the Turning Weather” positioned near the album’s center, the metaphors may be mixed, but the hopeful movement is nonetheless conveyed over the course of the eight analog-recorded tracks. The Arbouretum lineup that also brought forth 2011’s excellent The Gathering – Heumann, bassist Corey Allender, drummer Brian Carey and Matthew Pierce on keys and extra percussion – has returned and that album’s lush tendency for creative genre defiance has been retained as well, Arbouretum working with patience and grace to walk a line between heavy psychedelia, doom, folk and indie rock(s), and while the album flows easily and naturally, there is a definite structure to Coming out of the Fog as well, each side ending with a quieter piece, be it “Oceans Don’t Sing” or the aforementioned title-track. Something else Arbouretum’s latest shares with its predecessor is a strong launch point – “The White Bird” was one of The Gathering’s high points, and “The Long Night” has an immediate appeal here as well, residing on the heavier end of the band’s sound without unveiling the full tonal crunch that will make itself known on “The Promise” still to come. Heumann begins solo on guitar and introduces the first two lines of the verse vocally before Allender’s bass and Carey’s drums join in. A not-overbearing hook persists in both the verse and the chorus, and Pierce makes his presence felt playing off the guitar in a bluesy solo section as the rhythm section holds fast to the established groove before shifting on a stop back into a final verse, where they end rather than reviving the chorus for a last runthrough – more a testament to the weight of that progression than an oversight – there’s nothing on Coming out of the Fog that feels like a misstep when it comes to songwriting.
Or, for that matter, performance. Heumann gives the music plenty of space to breathe, but when singing, he’s very much at the fore vocally and shows no hesitation in carrying the band when appropriate. On second track “Renouncer,” a dug-in distorted riff is complemented by the vocal line following it, but with the heavier “The Promise,” Heumann is all the more up front in his delivery, and where’s “Renouncer”’s chorus has a gentle bounce, “The Promise” announces its arrival with sharp snare hits from Carey and an insistent, thick rhythm bolstered by Pierce’s added percussion. At no point on Coming out of the Fog are Arbouretum trying to be heavy for heaviness’ sake, instead using aural heft as a tool in their varied arsenal to evoke a specific feeling or add to the overarching atmosphere of the album. Such is the case on “The Promise,” which meets Heumann’s solo with a layer of surprisingly abrasive feedback noise that comes on with two minutes left in the song and remains for the duration of the instrumental jam remaining even as the rest of the music fades out, working to setup the transition into “Oceans Don’t Sing.” A contrast in sound winds up making the flow between the two tracks work, as the side A finale, even at the peak of its build, is given more toward Americana twang, filled out by a pedal steel guitar. At 3:24, when the song opens wider, Pierce’s piano adds to the breadth, and Heumann’s vocal doesn’t quitesoar, but is masterful nonetheless in keeping the fragility of earlier in the track. A pair of heavy rockers in “All at Once, the Turning Weather” and “World Split Open” start out side B, the former stretching Arbouretum’s sonic naturalism into psychedelics late into its run while the latter affirms the earthier fuzz of “Renouncer” while setting it to a more active rhythm. Both are exceedingly engaging, especially for listeners from the fuzzier end of the musical spectrum, rife with tonal warmth and a maintained balance of influence that still finds Arbouretum sounding like no one so much as themselves. Take your pick for which is the high point of the album; it could just as easily be any cut on Coming out of the Fog, depending on your mood when you hear it.
Posted in Reviews on January 16th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ve had an itch to catch Baltimore’s Arbouretum live really since I caught wind of their 2011 album, The Gathering (which I didn’t review here because I didn’t think it would fit; I’ve since stopped caring), but especially since hearing about their sharing the stage with Om in their hometown the same weekend I was there and not being able to make that gig. Hearing their new record, Coming Out of the Fog, which is due out Jan. 22 on Thrill Jockey, only added to the urgency, and when I heard they were sharing a two-band bill with long-running alt country pioneers Freakwater at The Bell House on a Tuesday night, the decision basically made itself.
The ride in was easy enough. I’d stayed at the office late to split on time to get there for a 9PM start and miss most of the tunnel traffic, and when I got to The Bell House, I paid the door charge and was somewhat surprised to find rows of foldout chairs set up in front of the stage. I was taken aback, since last time I was there was to see YOB in May 2012, but I grabbed a seat up front and proceeded to make an activity of waiting the 10 or so minutes for the band to come out. It was mildly awkward and I felt a bit like the curtain behind Brian Carey‘s drums was going to rise and we were all going to be treated to a live The Creation of Adam à la Arrested Development (“Where is god?” “There is no god!” etc.), but no, in another couple minutes, Arbouretum emerged from the side door and the show began.
This being my first time watching them play and a big part of my attraction being their tonal warmth, I was particularly interested to see what kind of amps guitarist/vocalist David Heumann was playing through. It would be just as easy to imagine full stacks from some obscure fuzz factory, or even Dead Meadow-style Orange combos, given the sonic richness and fullness that pervades from Heumann and bassist Corey Allender, though the reality was far more understated. Heumann ran two small Egnater half-stacks arranged separately (it was a bit of linguistic near-irony when one of them started smoking mid-set; I couldn’t get “ignitor” out of my head), and while the striking visual aspect wound up working in the opposite direction from what I’d figured, his tone was unmistakable, and the band quickly went to work straddling and crossing the lines between heavy psychedelia, folk, indie and doom, as few other than them seem to be able to do.
My familiarity is really with the last couple albums (I was kind of hoping they’d have any of the first three on their merch table and I’d be able to get caught up, but no dice), but I recognized a goodly portion of the material they played, the memorable “Oceans Don’t Sing” standing out from Coming Out of the Fogalong with “Renouncer” and “The Promise.” The three cuts from the new album ran in order as they do on the record behind set opener “Mohammed’s Hex and Bounty” from 2007’s Rites of Uncovering. It seemed a curious choice to me to start off with — one would expect something more recent, and, if they’re playing tracks two, three and four from the new one, then “The Long Night,” which leads off Coming Out of the Fog, wouldn’t have been out of place — but it very quickly became apparent they knew what they were doing.
The lightly rolling groove of “Renouncer” and more lumbering fuzz of “The Promise” — on which Matthew Pierce turned from his Rhodes to add percussion and complement Carey – were an excellent setup for the instrumental build of “Oceans Don’t Sing,” which also proved a highlight for showcasing Heumann‘s voice, like an earthier David Bowie gone west. The setlist was probably tailored to the show, that is, playing with Freakweather, Arbouretum probably weren’t looking to blast out eardrums — though before they got going, Heumann warned that parts would be pretty loud and they were — but the flashes of heavy that came through the songs seemed to be met with appreciated from where I was sitting. Catchy almost in spite of itself with the vocals following the guitar line in a bouncing melody, “Renouncer” rumbled a subtle threat in Allender‘s bassline, and “The Promise” paid that off with a noisy finish and a solo that Heumann didn’t seem to want to let go.
Contrast was a big part of what made it all work. Arbouretum balanced heaviness and sweetness of melody and tone and ranged dynamically in terms of pace and volume. Rites of Uncoveringopener “Signposts and Instruments” followed “Oceans Don’t Sing” with a similar if less countrified linearity and the subsequent “St. Anthony’s Fire” provided the most raucous stretch of the set. Longer than everything else and seeming to range even further than the studio version (which appears as part of a 2012 split with Hush Arbors called Aureola), “St. Anthony’s Fire” gave way to a legitimately huge-sounding jam led by Heumann‘s guitar, which broke into an extended heavy solo, periods of shred offset only by the crunch elicited when the guitar, percussion and bass came together with Carey‘s thudding drums. Maybe it was the fact that I was sitting right in front of it, but Heumann’s lead was particularly impressive, sounding soulful and even a little funky as it moved along in a world seemingly of its own.
Little doubt that’s what Heumann was thinking of when he warned earlier they’d get loud, and the band lived up to the warning. The crowd at The Bell House had been filtering in throughout their whole set, but there were enough people in the room by the time Arbouretum got around to “St. Anthony’s Fire” to give a genuine response, and it was a cool moment to witness, cheers coming up after Heumann finished that solo. I had been hoping for “The Long Night” or even “The White Bird” from The Gathering, which still gets stuck in my head on the regular, as a closer, but they finished with the title-track to Coming Out of theFog. It rounds out the album as well and might have been somewhat faster live owing to the sheer momentum they built during “St. Anthony’s Fire,” but they made it work anyway, despite what looked like some technical difficulty in Allender‘s backing vocals.
Given that it was still early when they finished, I thought maybe I’d stick around for a bit and catch at least some of Freakwater, even just for myself if not to write about it later, but the temptation of being able to go to a show in Brooklyn and still get back to Jersey before midnight won out. I waited for the band to emerge so I could buy a copy of Coming Out of the Fogand then headed out, the freezing rain that would turn to snow overnight just starting to fall as I crossed the street to my car.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
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Eternal Tapestry announces A World Out of Time , due out November 13th!
Portland-based purveyors of epic psychedelic rock Eternal Tapestry return for their second full-length of 2012. Following Dawn In 2 Dimensions, a vinyl-only collection of tracks that emphasized the power of their live performances, and Night Gallery, a collaborative album with Sun Araw, the band retreated to the Tapestry Space to record A World Out of Time, their most cohesive album yet. More info on the record is below. The band will be playing Thrill Jockey’s 20th Anniversary shows in Portland Nov. 9th and San Francisco Dec. 13th, and will also be performing live at the Roadburn Festival in Holland April of 2013.
Tracklist: 1. When I Was In Your Mind 2. Planetoid 127 3. Alone Against Tomorrow 4. The Weird Stone 5. Apocalypse Troll 6. When Gravity Fails 7. The Currents of Space 8. Sand Into Rain
A World Out of Time, Portland quintet Eternal Tapestry’s second full-length of 2012, is a new kind of album for the band. As opposed to previous efforts, which were culled from many hours of recordings, it was recorded as a whole. The resulting record, while not restricted to the four minute song, has the focus and the flow that only music conceived as a narrative can. Taking inspiration from groups like Faust and Algarnas Tradgard, the album unfolds as a collage, the most salient elements of their sound sewn into a seamless patchwork. In the process, the group has constructed an incredibly dynamic album, juxtaposing expansive improvised sections with their most deliberate material yet.
The album opens with “When I Was In Your Mind,” which evolves from an eerie duel e-bow plateau into an epic burner. As the band reaches its boiling point, splinters of organ melody emerge, signaling the transition into the otherworldly “Planetoid 127.” The ongoing influence of classic sci-fi is apparent, while field recordings of rain seem to reference a more naturalist past, as if our technologically enhanced world is the dystopian future we always feared would come to pass. The album closes with the tranquil lament of “Sand Into Rain,” a psych-folk song bringing to mind early Fairport Convention or Pentangle. Although vocals have been used by Eternal Tapestry in the past, this marks the first occasion where the voice and lyrics are the focal point of a defined song. As the last notes sound, we are left with the feeling that we have just woken from a strange and complex dream.