The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 17

Posted in Radio on June 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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So because I suck at naming themed episodes, this episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio was ‘Some of the Best of 2019 So Far.’ Yeah, I know, way to commit. Whatever. You get the point. We’re six months deep into the year if you can wrap your head around it, and it’s a good time to check in and see where we’re at.

One thing that stood out to me in making the playlist is that it’s been an exceedingly good half-year for doom. New records from Saint Vitus, Candlemass and Lord Vicar would be enough of their own, then you toss in stuff like Obsidian Sea and Demon Head, among others and it’s kind of incredible. Kings Destroy’s “Dead Before” is high on the list of the best songs I’ve heard this year, so I wanted to include that for sure, and there was room to space out a bit with Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree. I also really dug the Sigils record, and kind of felt like I didn’t write enough about it, so that’s in there too.

The bottom line, of course, is there was more than I could fit in one episode, and there are enough tracks that feel conspicuous in their absence for me to not put together a second episode working on the same theme. So I think I’ll probably do that next time. Can I get away with playing The Claypool Lennon Delirium on Gimme Radio? I don’t know, but it might be fun to try.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 06.07.19

Uffe Lorenzen Angakkoq Triprapport 0:04:08
Kings Destroy Dead Before Fantasma Nera 0:04:25
Green Lung May Queen Woodland Rites 0:06:41
BREAK
Spidergawd All and Everything Spidergawd V 0:06:12
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard Katyusha Yn Ol I Annwn 0:13:23
Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree Grandmother Grandmother 0:10:58
Sigils Samhain You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves 0:09:39
Thunderbird Divine Bummer Bridge Magnasonic 0:05:34
BREAK
Candlemass Under the Ocean The Door to Doom 0:06:15
Saint Vitus 12 Years in the Tomb Saint Vitus 0:05:23
Demon Head Strange Eggs Hellfire Ocean Void 0:07:01
Obsidian Sea A Shore Without a Sea Strangers 0:08:49
Lord Vicar Levitation The Black Powder 0:04:57
BREAK
Lo-Pan A Thousand Miles Subtle 0:04:06
Valley of the Sun Dim Vision Old Gods 0:03:55
Yatra Snakes in the Temple Death Ritual 0:06:41

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Friday at 1PM Eastern, with replays every Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next show is June 21. Thanks for listening if you do.

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Thunderbird Divine: Magnasonic Vinyl Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Thunderbird Divine (Photo by Dante Torrieri)

A few reasons for posting this one. First and foremost is that Thunderbird Divine‘s debut album, Magnasonic (review here), is awesome, and I’m happy for a chance to revisit it while I put this post together. Second is I like the thought of Adam Scott‘s cover art on an LP sleeve. It would seem to have been made for just that purpose. Third, it gives me a chance to say how much I’m looking forward to seeing the Philly four-piece this Spring when they play New England Stoner and Doom Fest in Connecticut, because hell’s bells, that’ll be a good time.

I’m the kind of guy who keeps a running list all the time of the year’s best first albums and the year’s best albums more generally. It’s early yet into 2019, but Thunderbird Divine are on both lists.

Info for the vinyl comes from the PR wire:

Thunderbird Divine Magnasonic

Philly’s THUNDERBIRD DIVINE’s Album ‘MAGNASONIC’ Set for Limited-Edition Vinyl Pressing via Interstellar Smoke Records; Pre-order Starts February 21st!

The Poland-based Interstellar Smoke Records is set to release Philadelphia’s Thunderbird Divine’s debut, ‘Magnasonic’ on limited-edition vinyl pressing.

“I have few bands with whom I want to cooperate, and I make a list of these bands,” says Jacek Trepko, president of Poland’s Interstellar Smoke Records. “From this list of bands, I choose the ones I would like to release first. This decision is taken by listening a material several times in a loop. I look at the graphics of cover to have an idea how the physical edition should look. In this particular case, I liked the album cover, the music content fit my label profile and the music material was the best of the rest of the bands.”

The debut album, which was initially released in January on CD by Salt of the Earth Records, will bear Interstellar Smoke Records’ imprint for 300 copies. These 300 pressings will be made available in three different vinyl colors (transparent purple, transparent yellow, and black), each color limited to 100 copies. A different poster and sticker will be included in each color run.

“This is a pretty cool thing,” says Erik Caplan, guitarist/vocalist of Thunderbird Divine. “There’s really no other way to say it. Jacek got in touch with us because he heard the record, loved it and wanted to be involved. That’s an extremely vindicating feeling–to have someone you’ve never met want to work with you based on the strength of your work. We’re excited.”

Pre-orders will begin February 21, 2019, from Interstellar Smoke Records at https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

– 100pcs black with poster A2
– 100pcs transparent yellow with poster A2
– 100pcs transparent purple with poster A2

All three editions come with insert and band stickers.
Each edition is unique and comes with a different A2 poster.

This debut album is a 30-plus-minute exploration of riffs and psychedelia, featuring custom art design by the band’s bassist, Adam Scott. “The inspiration for Magnasonic’s artwork stems from classic optical and psychedelic line art,” Scott explains. “It then evolved to the stargate space exploration of graphic symbolism, which we feel reflects the music’s loud vibrance.”

https://www.facebook.com/thunderbirddivine
https://www.instagram.com/thunderbird_divine/
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

Thunderbird Divine, Magnasonic (2019)

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New England Stoner and Doom Fest II: More Lineup Announcements; Pre-Party Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

new england stoner doom festival 2019 art

It’s time to talk about the real potential of the New England Stoner and Doom Fest. No, I don’t mean the lineup. That’s awesome. You know it and I know it. I’m talking about the acronym. That’s always huge for a festival. How is it abbreviated? Think MDDF or SHoD or any of the DFs spread around the universe. These things matter.

I’ve seen NESDF tossed around for New England Stoner and Doom Fest, and that’s cool, but it’s missing the opportunity. You could have a festival abbreviated NES! Who the hell wouldn’t buy that t-shirt? I hereby cast my vote in the imaginary referendum on festival abbreviations for New England Stoner and Doom Fest to henceforth and forthwith and withhence be known as NES fest. Second the motion?

There’s reportedly one more band to be added and reportedly several in the running for that slot, so this might not be the final update before May 3-5 gets here and NES fest kicks off (see me using the acronym already?), and the lineup for a pre-party at 33 Golden St. in New London has been announced as well, which will be headlined by Fox 45, so, you know, more of a good thing and all that.

The full lineup as has been revealed follows. Note the Wretch reunion. NES fest!

New England Stoner & Doom Fest II

The New England Stoner and Doom Festival will make its return in 2019 on May 3,4, and 5 at Altones in Jewett City, CT.

Earthride
Brimstone Coven
Wretch
Kings Destroy
+1 TBA
Foghound
Pale Divine
Vessel of Light
Spiral Grave
Solace
Black Road
Curse the Son
Shadow Witch
Hell Camino
Clamfight
Eternal Black
Thunderbird Divine
Stonecutters
When the Deadbolt Breaks
Mourn the Light
Entierro
Bone Church
Buzzard Canyon
The Age of Truth
Void King
Horseburner
Scuzzy Yeti
Witchkiss
Cortez
Benthic Realm
Faith in Jane
Conclave
Set Fire
3 Parts Dead
Insano Vision
Old Earth Analog
Pinto Graham
The Stone Eye
Sentinel Hell

Pre-party @ 33 Golden St.:
Fox 45
VRSA
Dark Ritual
Owl Maker
Feed the Beast

www.newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/events/1613285008788252/
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

Wretch, Bastards Born (2017)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 07

Posted in Radio on January 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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I wanted to get a little weird. You know, the last episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio was some of the best tracks from 2018, but in addition to some new stuff, some 2019 stuff — cuts from Skraeckoedlan and Thunderbird Divine — I wanted to make sure I included some songs that people might’ve missed in 2018. In fact, with Melody Fields early on in the playlist, that was a record I missed completely until I put up one or the other of the year-end lists and someone pointed it out to me on Thee Facebooks. It’s an awesome record. On the show, I mistakenly said it was released through World in Sound. The LP was on Kommun 2 and the CD was on Sound Effect. Credit where it’s due, because that record rules.

Likewise, “it rules” was also a running theme. Black Helium was a standout from that 100-album Quarterly Review that I did in December, and being able to stand out among 99 other releases certainly seems worth highlighting to me. I was digging the Horehound record as I was getting ready to review it, and Skraeckoedlan I’m also getting ready to cover (maybe later this week?), while Faith in Jane I haven’t had the chance to review yet but those guys are great. Also from the Quarterly Review was Child, Space Coke and Carpet, while Goblinsmoker belong to the UK’s ever-growing swath of bands with silly names and a destructive bent. And then at the end I wanted to space out like I used to do with the podcasts — just have it hit a point and go far out and not come back. Jam into the reaches. Plus it gave me an excuse to talk about Øresund Space Collective’s AR/VR artwork for Kybalion, which it awesome in its own right.

The odd-track-out I suppose is Witchcraft, but I talk about that on the show. It’s kind of a new-classic in my mind and something I wanted to focus on this episode. We’re moving into a new year and Witchcraft’s self-titled came out 15 years ago. I think the only reason it’s not already considered classic heavy is because it’s still so relevant, it hasn’t even allowed for that kind of distance yet. But make no mistake, that’s a classic album.

Anyway, considering I had to record the voice breaks on my phone because my internet was so craptastic at the time that I couldn’t go directly into Gimme’s back end software like I’m supposed to, I thought the show came out pretty well. If you listened, I hope you agree. And if you missed it, I hope you can catch the replay.

Here’s the playlist:

The Obelisk Show Ep. 07 – 01.06.19

Greenbeard Kill to Love Yourself Onward, Pillager
Skraeckoedlan Kung Mammut Eorþe
BREAK
Melody Fields Trädgränsen Melody Fields
Faith in Jane Mountain Lore Countryside
Horehound Sloth Holocene
Foot Sweet Stuff Buffalo
Child The Other Song I
BREAK
Witchcraft No Angel or Demon Witchcraft
Black Helium Summer Spells Primitive Fuck
Space Coke Kali Ma L’Appel du Vide
Rifflord The Other Side 7 Cremation Ground/Meditation
Goblinsmoker Toad King Toad King
Thunderbird Divine Qualified Magnasonic
BREAK
Øresund Space Collective Smooth Future Kybalion
Carpet Selene About Rooms and Elephants
Deep Space Destructors Floating Visions from the Void

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Tuesday at 9AM. Next show is Jan. 20. Thanks for listening if you do.

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Thunderbird Divine, Magnasonic: Proof of Qualification

Posted in Reviews on January 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Thunderbird Divine Magnasonic

Anything goes so long as it grooves. Such would seem to be the prevailing ethos on Thunderbird Divine‘s debut album, Magnasonic. The four-song/30-minute full-length arrives via Salt of the Earth Records only about a year and a half after the band’s formation, which speaks to both the experience of the players involved and the urgency of their creation. A four-piece culled from members of Philly stalwarts-until-they-weren’t Wizard Eye, who made a strong self-titled debut (review here) in 2015 before calling it quits, and Skeleton Hands, whose debut, Deadlines was issued in 2014. The story goes that Skeleton Hands bassist Adam Scott, guitarist Flynn Lawrence and drummer Mike Stuart lost their frontman, just as Wizard Eye‘s guitarist/vocalist Erik Caplan suddenly had a bunch of free time on his hands with that band’s dissolution, and the new group was formed, named for a track on Wizard Eye‘s record.

Given that, one might therefore expect some measure of continuity between the outfits — and there is, if you strain hard enough to hear it — but Thunderbird Divine surpasses both of its progenitor acts in scope and execution alike. Magnasonic‘s tracks are treated to a depth of arrangement and a fluidity of rhythm that are entirely their own, and while there’s some root in the sludge that infused the sound of both Wizard Eye and Skeleton Hands, the prevailing vibe is more rock-based, languid and cosmic, drawing a line in “Qualified” (premiered here), “‘Til Shiloh,” “Bummer Bridge” and “The Devil’s Hatband” to the ’90s era of post-grunge stoner-psych, as bands like Monster Magnet came into their own on the East Coast while Nebula smoked acid fire way out West. Thunderbird Divine have plenty of crunch to go with their roll, but an instinct toward adventurous arrangements of keys, theremin, vocals and who-the-hell-knows-what-else serves them well throughout and adds a level of unpredictability to their sound that fits remarkably well alongside their more straightforward aspects, and with a loose swing in Stuart‘s drums as the foundation, Magnasonic builds itself outward as a showcase not only of how far Thunderbird Divine have come in such a short time, but how much potential there is for them to continue to move forward.

It is no simple feat to blend the familiar with material so decidedly given to reach, but Thunderbird Divine find a niche for themselves and make their sound as organic as it is spacious. Whether it’s the drop to open weirdness in “Qualified,” or the move from the hard-hitting start of “‘Til Shiloh,” with its dual vocals both working in shouts, to a tripped-out build and scorching solo and weirdo echoes and more fist-raising cosmic triumph at the finish, or the ultra-swing of “Bummer Bridge” as the shortest cut at just over five minutes before “The Devil’s Hatband” nearly goes to 11 (minutes) in its linear stretch and massive finish, Magnasonic finds itself in these pockets of a universe of its own making, and though a human presence is maintained in straightforward songwriting elements — hooks, verses, those leads — the band slips with ease into otherworldly sounds that one imagines will only becomes more prevalent as they move forward. Or maybe one hopes that, at least, while listening to the drift at the outset of “The Devil’s Hatband” that leads to the woozy key-topped blues en route to a hypnotic roll that’s so smoothly done as to be emblematic of the hey-everybody-we’re-all-gonna-get-laid-back spirit throughout.

Thunderbird Divine (Photo by Dante Torrieri)

Even in that last burst, though, there are elements grounding Magnasonic, and that’s not to say the band are boring or overly straightforward — because they’re neither — just that they’re clearheaded about where they want their experimentation to take them. The course is set early in “Qualified” for far-funked-out and they go willingly toward that heavy spatial anomaly with gang vocals in tow, floating like a ribbon of star-stuff undulating through dimensions like, “hey, no big deal y’all.” And groove. It’s the kind of cool that always seemed so untouchable, out there of a level of its own, some secret happening in some secret place, except this time everyone’s invited and if you bring a figurative or literal kitchen sink along to bang on, they’ll probably let you jam. The start-stop organ on “Bummer Bridge,” giving it a Southern rock feel if we’re talking the southern end of the galaxy, helps capture that welcoming vibe, and then things take off with the theremin spitting freaky poison, and yeah, it’s a party. Quit your job and make it happen. Paint places you’ve never heard of. Invent shit. Transcend physical reality and become waves of distortion. Whatever you want to do, it’s all there.

Debut album? Hell’s bells. Yeah, it is. And a short one at that, though I wouldn’t ask more of Magnasonic than it gives. It should be of particular note out there among all that ether just how much it’s evident Thunderbird Divine are pushing themselves toward these broad ends. Caplan‘s vocals are cleaner and more soulful than they’ve ever been, and he, and ScottLawrence and Stuart step into these songs with an immediate command of their direction and intent that speaks to their prior experience and works somewhat in contrast to Thunderbird Divine as a “new” band, even if it is a new collaboration between the trio and Caplan. But thinking of it as their debut, yes, there is more to do. More to explore. More reaches to discover, more groove, more hooks, more shred, more nuance to be had, and the fine-edged sonic details of Magnasonic seem as much a herald of future manifestations of the let’s-try-this impulse as they are righteous in the now. One listens to Magnasonic and looks forward to what Thunderbird Divine might become even as they establish themselves in a present moment.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the off-album tracks. To introduce Magnasonic and the band as a whole, three pieces — “Quaalude Thunder” (posted here), “Madras Blue” (posted here) and “Djinn au Jus” (posted here) — were issued in videos as a precursor to the album, to introduce its general mood and vibe. There’s a fair amount of sonic variety between them, and between them and Magnasonic itself, which is more cohesive, but one has to wonder if Thunderbird Divine will work to bring those different sides together over time, and if their next outing might have more of those one-off experiments included on it, maybe as interludes between the tracks, or pieces of more structured songs themselves. Maybe Thunderbird Divine will go that way and maybe they won’t, but what’s important is that their work on Magnasonic sets them up to become essentially anything they want to be. If they want to solidify around more of a heavy rock mindset, those roots are here, and if they want to float off into lysergic oblivion, that’s here too. What one hopes though is that they commit to neither end of their spectrum and continue to grow on all fronts while maintaining the strengths of craft they demonstrate in these songs. Because those are significant and not to be ignored.

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Thunderbird Divine Premiere “Qualified”; Magnasonic Preorders Available

Posted in audiObelisk on December 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Thunderbird Divine (Photo by Dante Torrieri)

Philadelphia’s Thunderbird Divine make a much-anticipated debut on Jan. 11 with Magnasonic through Salt of the Earth Records. All along the way since the band came into being in 2017, they’ve released material in drips and drabs, a rehearsal clip here, a video there. Songs like “Quaalude Thunder” (posted here), “Madras Blue” (posted here) and “Djinn au Jus” (posted here) have made their way to public ears and eyes, but every cut that’s come out so far has one thing in common: it’s not on the record. Less than a month to go before the release date and Thunderbird Divine haven’t put so much as a riff out there for mass consumption that features on Magnasonic.

You know where this is going.

Enter “Qualified.” The seven-point-five-minute opener of Magnasonic in all its funk-riffed, swaggering, oh-wait-did-we-just-get-to-outer-space-and-was-that-Thunderbird Divine Magnasonica-piano-oh-okay-I-guess-the-riff-is-back-wow-that-was-awesome glory. A song that sets its rhythm early and holds its welcome late, “Qualified” boasts a hook begging for a barroom singalong as guitarist/vocalist/etc.-ist Erik Caplan (ex-Wizard Eye) leads the nod with Skeleton Hands veterans Adam Scott (bass), Flynn Lawrence (guitar, more etc.) and Mike Stuart (drums) further the take-your-favorite-muscle-car-and-stick-it-in-orbit vibe. Think new-classic stoner riffage — Monster Magnet shortly before the commercial boom — and you might have the right timeframe, but Thunderbird Divine are for sure telling the squares to get their hats regardless of the decade to which you want to draw parallels. And “Qualified” is one of four slabs on the half-hour stack, so, you know, more to come, chief.

I’ll get a proper, way-too-wordy-but-probably-less-hyphenated review up sometime after the New Year, but I’m honor’d to host the first Thunderbird Divine track to actually come from Magnasonic, which you’ll find on the player below, followed by a few words from Caplan and the preorder link to get your copy of the album.

Please enjoy:

Thunderbird Divine, “Qualified” official premiere

Erik Caplan on “Qualified”:

“Qualified” is the first song we wrote together. The repeated riff in the beginning and at the chorus is based on something I found compelling during my home practice sessions before I joined the band. When I showed it to the other guys, we agreed it could be the basis of something cool. That riff set the stage for the rest of the song.

As an early collaboration, we were still feeling each other out as a band during the writing process, and, in particular, it was the first opportunity for Flynn (Lawrence, guitar) and I to figure out how our guitar sounds would mesh. Since neither of us had worked with another guitarist in a long time, it fortuitously happened that our styles were complementary. Flynn is an extremely accurate, concise player with a passion for riffs and a somewhat metallic tone, whereas I’m basically a fuzzy, guitar-soloing mess, so we don’t step on each other’s toes. You can hear him nailing down some massive chord sounds while I play a wonky fuzz melody in various parts of the song. Mike (Stuart, drums) and Adam (Scott, bass) have a very natural interplay after having played together for several years.

The basic structure came together fairly quickly, but, as with most collaborations, the devil was in the details, especially when it came to recording. We were ambitious. For example, the psychedelic section in the middle is usually a theremin and bass-feedback freakout in the live arena, but we wanted to do something with more class and refinement on the studio recording. We layered electric sitar, piano, theremin, water drum and other oddities on top of the usual band arrangement. We wanted it loose and trippy, but not random and sloppy, with interesting layers of sound to bear repeated plays and reveal more of itself to the listener each time.

The entire song was given that level of attention, with synth drones and percussion throughout. It’s truly a testament to the skills of Ted (Richardson, engineer, TedAudio) and Charles (Newman, mixing engineer, Cottage Sounds Unlimited) for cleanly tracking and mixing so many layers of sound together in such a cohesive way.

Vocally, this is a departure from my past efforts in that I used a clearer sound with less grime. It was different and a little daunting, but I was ready to try something new, so I just went for it. It’s a pretty clean take – the main vocal is single-tracked to keep it sounding natural. You’ll hear some lovely backing vocals from Brittany Marie (Mike’s partner) and Avy (my ex-wife) in the pre-chorus, with equally lovely gang vocals from our Mike, Andy Martin (Clamfight) and Kermit Lyman III (Sheena and Thee Nosebleeds) on the choruses.

The lyrical concept comes from Jamaican street slang. This kind of slang is ever-changing, and there was a recent time where folks referred to anything bad-ass or really excellent as “qualified.” It could apply to anything from mangoes to movies to beautiful women, and I thought it was an evocative way to write our own version of something like ZZ Top’s “Nationwide.” I would never claim to be as cool as the little band from Texas, but we did our thing with it. I’m proud of the result.

Philly’s psychedelic space hippy enclave, Thunderbird Divine, has set an official domestic release date of January 11, 2019 for its debut album, Magnasonic, with Salt of the Earth Records (https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/). The offering, a 30-plus-minute exploration of riffs and psychedelia, features custom art design by the band’s bassist, Adam Scott.

Produced by the band and recorded at both Ted Richardson at TedAudio in Philadelphia (www.facebook.com/TedAudio) and Charles Newman (who also mixed the album) at Cottage Sounds Unlimited in Brooklyn (https://www.facebook.com/cottagesounds/), Magnasonic shows the quartet, which coalesced in March of 2017, is not willing to be pigeonholed as a strictly stoner/doom rock band. Featuring Scott on bass and guitars, Flynn Lawrence on guitars and additional instrumentation, Mike Stuart on drums and percussion and Erik Caplan on guitars and various instruments,Thunderbird Divine went for an unexpectedly broad tonal variety with Magnasonic.

Preorder at: https://saltoftheearthrecords.com/product/295609

Thunderbird Divine on Thee Facebooks

Thunderbird Divine on Instagram

Salt of the Earth Records on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records website

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Thunderbird Divine Post “Djinn au Jus” Video; Magnasonic Due Jan. 11

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Thunderbird Divine (Photo by Dante Torrieri)

I don’t know what the hype is ultimately going to be like for Thunderbird Divine when it comes to their debut album, Magnasonic, but I do know that the record resides in its own niche of psych-informed classic stoner and sludge rock, and I do know that there’s more going on with it the more one listens. It’s been on my list of most anticipated albums pretty much since the band announced they’d gotten together last year as formed by members of Philly-based outfits Skeleton Hands and Wizard Eye. Now that we’re at the point of preorders going up Dec. 7 ahead of the Jan. 11 release, I find I’m all the more curious to know what the response will be.

As has been their method all along, Thunderbird Divine are giving a teaser for Magnasonic by unveiling a video clip for a song that’s not on the album. If you need an extra second to wrap your head around that — I do — feel free to take it. The latest one, “Djinn au Jus” taps into Snoop Dogg‘s similarly-titled single a from quarter-century ago while retaining its psychedelic flair worthy of the old sci-fi imagery that accompanies.

Album art and details came down the PR wire:

thunderbird divine magnasonic

THUNDERBIRD DIVINE release date!

Philly’s psychedelic space hippy enclave, Thunderbird Divine, has set an official domestic release date of January 11, 2019 for its debut album, Magnasonic, with Salt of the Earth Records (https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/). The offering, a 30-plus-minute exploration of riffs and psychedelia, features custom art design by the band’s bassist, Adam Scott.

“The inspiration for Magnasonic’s artwork stems from classic optical and psychedelic line art,” Scott explains. “It then evolved to the stargate space exploration of graphic symbolism, which we feel reflects the music’s loud vibrance.”

Connecticut-based Salt of the Earth Records, home to releases by Earthride, When the Deadbolt Breaks, Atala, Rifflord and more, is enthusiastic about this upcoming release.

“Everything about this album is beautiful, focused and original,” says Scott Harrington (Salt of the Earth Records). “From the instrumentation, songwriting, performances and recordings to the sacred geometry in the art direction, everything about Magnasonic speaks to the depth and talent of Thunderbird Divine. This will set the bar for bands to come.”

Produced by the band and recorded at both Ted Richardson at TedAudio in Philadelphia (www.facebook.com/TedAudio) and Charles Newman (who also mixed the album) at Cottage Sounds Unlimited in Brooklyn (https://www.facebook.com/cottagesounds/), Magnasonic shows the quartet, which coalesced in March of 2017, is not willing to be pigeonholed as a strictly stoner/doom rock band. Featuring Scott on bass and guitars, Flynn Lawrence on guitars and additional instrumentation, Mike Stuart on drums and percussion and Erik Caplan on guitars and various instruments,Thunderbird Divine went for an unexpectedly broad tonal variety with Magnasonic.

“A first record is often considered a band’s mission statement,” Caplan says. “We feel a lot of bands’ first releases set the tone for their careers as heavy, funky, trippy, fast or sludgey, and once they do that, any deviation from the initial sound can be perceived as false or a slacking in its rock responsibilities. We wanted come out of the gate with something diverse but representative. We wanted to leave ourselves with plenty of sonic options for the future.”

Layered with unlikely elements like marxophone, electric sitar, piano and a variety of synths, Thunderbird Divine is unlikely to be stylistically shackled in upcoming releases.

“This album pulls out a lot of stops and frees us from genre limitations,” says Stuart. “After this debut, our next record could be total Motorhead worship, and anyone who hears this one first should be able to hear how we got there. Not that we’ll necessarily do that, but it’s certainly an option.”

As with the band’s previous press releases, Thunderbird Divine once again offers listeners a non-album track with a promotional video. The band’s newest video track, “Djinn Au Jus,” is an unconventional pairing of early ’90s R&B with ’70s arena rock instrumental explorations. The self-recorded song was set to video by drummer/percussionist Stuart.

“The story continues here,” Stuart explains. “We’re moving forward; onward and upward. We’re setting the tone for Magnasonic with these short songs and videos.”

Advance orders for Magnasonic start December 7, 2018 at www.saltoftheearthrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/thunderbirddivine
https://www.instagram.com/thunderbird_divine/
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com

Thunderbird Divine, “Djinn au Jus” official video

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Thunderbird Divine Announce Debut Album Title Magnasonic; Post “Madras Blue” Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Tomorrow night, Philadelphia four-piece Thunderbird Divine take the stage at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan atop the bill for the latest installment of the Ode to Doom show series. The band is only just now announcing the title of their Salt of the Earth Records debut album will be Magnasonic and that it will be released in the coming months via Salt of the Earth Records. To lead the way into the record, Thunderbird Divine — who first made their presence known in Spring 2017 and confirmed the album being through Salt of the Earth earlier this year — have a new video.

Does the track come from the album? No. It doesn’t. Why not? I think because, at least in part, that would be predictable. You’d see that coming. A band who are about to put out their debut LP? Well of course they have a video, probably for the catchiest cut on the thing. Thunderbird Divine? Their video is for an off-album instrumental weirdo exploration piece called “Madras Blue,” because screw expectation. One can only hope the entire full-length is so willing to follow its own impulses.

And yeah, that means I haven’t heard it yet. Hopefully sooner than later. I watch my email like a hawk these days. Like the sleepiest motherfucking hawk you ever saw in your life.

But that’s a matter for a different discussion. Here’s the latest from Salt of the Earth, as well as the “Madras Blue” video, which is down at the bottom:

thunderbird divine in studio

Thunderbird Divine Reveals Debut Album Title “Magnasonic,” Releases Promotional Video for “Madras Blue”

Philly’s crew of psychedelic riffologists, Thunderbird Divine, has revealed the title of its first recording. Titled Magnasonic, meaning “great sounds” in Latin, the 30-plus-minute album will be released in both CD and digital download formats via Connecticut’s Salt of the Earth Records (https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/) in late Summer/early Fall.

“The rough mixes I’ve heard thus far are next-level,” says Scott Harrington, president of Salt of the Earth Records. “Nobody we know has a record like this. With Thunderbird Diviine’s Magnasonic, Salt of the Earth Records is going to have a landmark release. It’s heavy, it’s psychedelic, it’s layered… it’s really like nothing else out there right now.”

Produced by musician/songwriter LD Beghtol (Flare/Moth Wranglers/Magnetic Fields), the sounds on the upcoming release offer a different flavor from past projects made by this conglomeration of musicians. The quartet, which coalesced in March of 2017 from the remains of Wizard Eye (vocalist/guitarist Erik Caplan) and Skeleton Hands (drummer Mike Stuart, bassist Adam Scott and guitarist Flynn Lawrence), is open to experimentation.

“We all wanted to stretch out and try some different things with our first record,” Caplan says. “It’s not like we abandoned the idea of big riffs, but we went for some progressive moments and embraced the idea of embroidering the songs with textures you don’t tend to hear in heavy music. LD certainly encouraged and instigated this kind of behavior.”

For a band holding a straightforward stoner and riff-rock pedigree, the inclusion of varied textures like piano, sitar, pump organ, bouzouki, marxophone, mandolin, synths and choral voices may seem disparate, or, more damnably, weird for the sake of being weird.

“We were aware this album might be perceived as an attempt to do too much or cram a square peg into a round hole,” Caplan says. “I think the heart of this collection is a solid, heavy band playing good rock songs, and the additional instrumentation takes the music to a fully realized place with the textures the songs need to make them complete. When you’re a musician imagining a piano in one of your songs, for example, it makes sense to get that piano part into the recording of that song if at all possible. The recording will be around forever.”

In keeping with the band’s promise to offer fresh, non-album tracks with promotional videos, Thunderbird Divine’s newest video track, “Madras Blue,” is a trippy intergalactic foray into a realm of swirling electric sitars, pulsing beats and staggered drones. The self-recorded song was set to video by drummer/percussionist Stuart.

“The narrative here follows the story we set in motion with ‘Quaalude Thunder,'” Stuart explains. “There was an arrival in the first video. Now there’s a celebration of that arrival and a birth. We can’t wait to continue telling this tale.”

Check out Thunderbird Divine at New York’s Ode to Doom at Arlene’s Grocery July 18: https://www.facebook.com/events/138916263419072/

https://www.facebook.com/thunderbirddivine
https://www.instagram.com/thunderbird_divine/
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com

Thunderbird Divine, “Madras Blue” official video

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