Stinking Lizaveta Announce East Coast & Midwest Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Stinking Lizaveta (Photo by Dante Torrieri)

Philadelphia’s Stinking Lizaveta head out at the end of this month on a round of touring in the Midwest and along the Eastern Seaboard supporting last year’s Journey to the Underworld (review here) on Translation Loss. They remain a one-of-a-kind outfit in underground music, adherent to style not nearly so much as to substance, and able to leap tall genres in a single bound. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them live, but their chemistry is born of a history that spans more than two decades, and simply put, they’re the kind of band who, if you can see them, you should see them. Not just because they take jazz and make it heavy, and not just because they take heavy and make it jazz, but because they take all of it and make it their own.

Go see Stinking Lizaveta.

Here’s where to do so in the coming weeks, courtesy of the PR wire:

stinking lizaveta tour poster

Stinking Lizaveta Announce Fall Tour Dates

Philadelphia instrumental heavy rock doom-jazz trio Stinking Lizaveta announce a fall tour beginning on November 30th in Lancaster, PA. For fourteen days, the trio will deliver experimental fusion in support of their 2017 mind-melting and critically acclaimed Translation Loss Records release, Journey To The Underworld.

From Lancaster, PA to Lafayette, LA, Paul Webb (Clearlight,/Mystical Crew Of Clearlight, Mountain Of Wizard will join Stinking Lizaveta on second guitar.

A list of tour dates can be found below.

For over 20 years, Stinking Lizaveta have released multiple critically acclaimed albums and shared the stage with national headlining bands such as Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Fugazi, Weedeater and more. They have held the reins as rock pioneers and have built a worldwide cult following for their legendary and unrelenting sound.

Late Fall US Tour
11/30/2018 Lancaster, PA, Lizard Lounge
12/02/2018 Philadelphia, PA, Mothership
12/03/2018 Richmond, VA, Strange Matter
12/04/2018 Chapel Hill, NC, Local 506
12/05/2018 Athens, GA, Caledonia
12/06/2018 Knoxville, TN, Pilot Light
12/07/2018 Chattanooga, TN, Ziggy’s
12/08/2018 New Orleans, LA, Portside Lounge
12/09/2018 Lafayette, LA, Freetown Boom Boom Room
12/10/2018 Austin, TX, Lost Well
12/12/2018 Kansas City, MO, Minibar
12/13/2018 Lombard, IL, Brauerhaus
12/14/2018 Iowa City, IA, Gabes
12/16/2018 Pittsburgh, PA, Spirit
12/17/2018 Brooklyn, NY, Saint Vitus

Stinking Lizaveta are:
Yanni Papadopoulos – Guitar
Alexi Papadopoulos – Upright electric bass
Cheshire Agusta – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Stinking-Lizaveta-175571942466657/
http://www.stinkinglizaveta.com/
https://stinkinglizaveta.bandcamp.com
http://www.translationloss.com/
http://translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TranslationLossRecords/

Stinking Lizaveta, Journey to the Underworld (2017)

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Jarboe Announces The Cut of the Warrior Due Dec. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

jarboe

As to just how many decades ahead of her time Jarboe remains, science is still unclear. A new study published in the journal Physics postulates that in fact her work doesn’t emanate from this timeline at all, and is rather an import from another dimension. Certainly there are arguments to be made in favor of such theories, but the inarguable fact of her massive catalog speaks to more localized cosmic origins. Her work is, however, consistently unique unto itself, and she’ll add to the aforementioned discography next month by issuing The Cut of the Warrior via Translation Loss. Comprised of four songs and three remixes — a certain amount of manipulation in the material is to be expected, no? — it’s the first Jarboe outing since… last year, when she released the 4CD Artbox, which easily lived up to its title.

We go now live to the PR wire at the portal between universes:

jarboe the cut of the warrior

Jarboe announces “The Cut of the Warrior”

Translation Loss Records
December 14, 2018

Jarboe offers a spiritually enlightened work titled “The Cut of the Warrior”. Four gorgeous compositions that pull inspiration from Jarboe’s kinship to buddhism are meticulously crafted and presented. The album is armed with three alternative mixes/collaborations with Byla (featuring members of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), End Christian and Kris Force (Amber Asylum) while being housed in a stunning layout by Dehn Sora.

“The Cut of the Warrior refers to the practice of Chöd by illustrating repeated attempts to cut through the ego”, explains Jarboe. “The Chöd practitioner seeks to tap the power of fear through activities such as rituals set in graveyards and visualizations of offering their bodies in a tantric feast in order to put their understanding of emptiness to the ultimate test.”

“The Cut of the Warrior” will be released on December 14, 2018.

Track Listing:
1. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo
2. GodGoddess
3. Feast
4. Karuna
5. Karuna (Byla mix)
6. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo (End Christian mix)
7. GodGoddess reprise (Kris Force mix)

Album credits:
Written, performed, recorded by Jarboe
Mastered by Kris Force

Album layout by Dehn Sora
Video by Monto Mccleery

https://www.thelivingjarboe.com
https://www.facebook.com/TheLivingJarboe
http://translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/

Jarboe, “Ode to V”

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Darsombra Announce West Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

darsombra

I’ll in no way claim to keep up with posts on everything Darsombra do. How could I? They spend more time on the road than the entire rosters of some labels. To wit, they just wrapped a run through Southeast Asia — because of course they did — and head out in less than two weeks on their next stint, this one through the American Midwest and West Coast. I don’t know if that counts as a homecoming or not, since ostensibly they’re from Baltimore, but I guess they’ll at least have enough time to do some laundry and put gas in their van before they head out again. They just keep going. It’s astounding.

They’re still supporting 2016’s two-song LP, Polyvision (review here), but I think even more than that, they’re just supporting the idea of open creativity itself and trying to put that in front of as many people as possible. They’ll hit everyone sooner or later.

For now, here’s where they’re headed next:

darsombra US tour

Hello America!

We still have a few shows in Indonesia before we come home. Then in a couple of weeks we hit the road again. This time we’re touring the U.S. and coming to some places that we haven’t been to in a few years!

Oct 12 – Pittsburgh PA @ Black Forge
Oct 13 – Dayton OH @ Blind Bob’s
Oct 14 – Indianapolis IN @ Melody Inn
Oct 15 – Bloomington IN @ Blockhouse
Oct 16 – Peoria IL @ Peoria Pizza Works
Oct 17 – Rock Island IL @ Rock Island Supper Club
Oct 18 – Lincoln NE @ 2SMOO
Oct 19 – Laramie WY @ The Great Untamed
Oct 20 – Denver CO @ Seventh Circle Music Collective
Oct 21 – Colorado Springs CO @ Triple Nickel
Oct 26 – Flagstaff AZ @ Flagstaff Brewing Company
Oct 27 – Prescott AZ @ Mousetrap
Nov 1 – Arcata CA @ Richards’ Goat Tavern
Nov 2 – San Francisco CA @ Space Bar Headquarters
Nov 3 – Pomona CA @ 57 Underground
Nov 6 – Tucson AZ @ Galactic Center
Nov 7 – Bisbee AZ @ The Quarry Bisbee
Nov 9 – Albuquerque NM @ Sister Bar
Nov 10 – Amarillo TX @ 806
Nov 12 – Dallas TX @ RBC
Nov 13 – Oklahoma City OK @ The Root
Nov 14 – Kansas City MO @ Record Bar
Nov 15 – Topeka KS @ The Boobie Trap Bar
Nov 16 – Lawrence KS @ Replay Lounge
Nov 17 – Louisville KY @ house show
Nov 18 – Morgantown WV @ 123 Pleasant

http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TranslationLossRecords/
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/
translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/

Darsombra, Live in Indonesia, Sept. 18, 2018

Darsombra, Polyvisions (2016)

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A Storm of Light to Release Anthroscene Oct. 5; Post New Song “Slow Motion Apocalypse”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

a storm of light

New York’s A Storm of Light have set an Oct. 5 release date for their first album in a half-decade, Anthroscene. You would not necessarily call it a hopeful sound they’ve conjured on their fifth outing, and among the battery of influences that project-spearhead/vocalist/guitarist/etc.-ist/graphic-designer-extraordinaire Josh Graham namechecks in his comments below, I can definitely hear Killing Joke in opener “Prime Time,” the lyrics to which are a meditation on the self-as-celebrity social media climate and hypersaturation of the information climate in which we reside. Second cut “Blackout” asks the question in as plain language as possible: “What the fuck is wrong with us?” They’re streaming “Slow Motion Apocalypse” now, which is a fair-enough summary of the perspective as regards social commentary.

Personally, I’d say we were screwed from the moment it was decided “all men created equal” was a limited standard, but hindsight’s 20/20 and multiculturalism is still a nice idea. In the meantime, we’ll grit and grind and chip our teeth as nationalism pulls off its hey-we’re-definitely-not-fascist mask and the boots of empire trod the skulls of those who sewed them together while we all bathe in incel jizz go deaf from the volume of their shouts of blind hatred formerly disguised as pride for something they have no right to feel prideful for the first place and wait for the next flood or wildfire or both to wipe the slate clean for the next round of fucking scumbags. Make a joyful noise, assholes.

But yeah, the album. You kind of lose me quoting a dude who got outed for jacking off under his desk and who was neither that smart nor that funny to start with, but I’ll hardly disagree shit feels dire, so the point stands. If you need me, I’ll be watching PBS Newshour and crying awake in the middle of the night for no reason. No reason at all.

The album’s Blade Runner-reminiscent cover art — of course by Graham himself — and details came down the PR wire, along with the aforementioned track:

a storm of light anthroscene

STORM OF LIGHT ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF THEIR NEW ALBUM AND SHARE THE AUDIO FOR NEW ALBUM TRACK ‘SLOW MOTION APOCALYPSE’

PRE-ORDERS AT CONSOULING SOUNDS ARE NOW LIVE FOR CD & VINYL

A Storm of Light return with a new record. Five years after their last studio album (Nation To Flames, Southern Lord), Josh Graham and his companions Chris Common, Dan Hawkins and Domenic Seita have completed their fifth full length Anthroscene, to be released via Consouling Sounds (EU and UK), Translation Loss (US) and Daymare (JP) on 5th October.

Josh Graham explains the different mood on this record; “Anthroscene ignores genre and freely combines a lot our our early influences. Christian Death, The Cure, Discharge, Lard, Fugazi, Big Black, Ministry, Pailhead, Melvins, Pink Floyd, Killing Joke, NIN, Tool, etc. Where Nations to Flames was a very a focused sonic assault, this record has more time to breathe, yet still keeps the intensity intact. We allowed the songs to venture into new territory and push our personal boundaries. It’s heavy and intense, but always focuses on interwoven melodies, song structure and dynamic. Bringing Dan Hawkins (old friend and high school bandmate) on second guitar and keyboards, has further expanded the album’s palette”.

Lyrically the songs are an honest, brutal and emotional response to what is happening all around us: the disaster of American politics, racism, greed, climate change, climate change denial, nationalism, war, refugees, and how technology is actively changing us as human beings.

Josh continues… ”The current events happening across the planet right now are very overwhelming. It’s difficult not to feel very hopeless at times. This record is a big cathartic release… not offering much in the way of fixes, but serving more as a surreal document of our current times.“

With everyone being spread out across the US, the band worked separately and shared files online. From there Josh would put together modified ideas that bridged the different styles, getting a similar result to rehearsing in a room together: “This writing process is a good example of how technology is changing the way we work and interact with each other. In some ways it is great…this would have been almost impossible even ten years ago. In other ways it feels like human contact is being replaced by screen-contact. At times I feel like I am anchored to, and becoming one with the computer. Between music, my design work, composing, music videos, concert visuals, etc etc, it’s all in the computer. No escape. In the background is social media and streaming news, etc. Louis CK said something like — we watch all of these atrocities regularly on little streaming videos, and before that comes on, we see some mundane commercial, like it’s our penance for getting to watch all of this from the comforts of our home. This article was also an influence to some of the lyrics, along the same lines”.

TRACK LISTING:
1 Prime Time
2 Blackout
3 Short Term Feedback
4 Life Will Be Violent
5 Slow Motion Apocalypse
6 Dim
7 Laser Fire Forget
8 Rosebud

A STORM OF LIGHT LIVE WITH MONO
01/10 – UK Bristol, The Fleece
02/10 – UK Norwich, Arts Centre
03/10 – UK Glasgow, Classic Grand
04/10 – UK Newcastle, The Cluny
05/10 – UK Leeds, Left Bank
06/10 – BE Ghent, De Central
07/10 – NL Utrecht, Tivoli De Helling
08/10 – DE Bremen, Tower
09/10 – DE Dresden, Beatpol
10/10 – DE Wiesbaden, Schlacthof
11/10 – CH Aarau, Kiff
12/10 – FR Lyon, CCO
13/10 – ES Barcelona, AMFest
14/10 – FR Toulouse, Le Rex
15/10 – FR Bordeaux, Iboat
16/10 – FR Orleans, Astrolabe
17/10 – NL Heerlen, Nieuwe Nor
18/10 – DE Oberhausen, Drucklufthaus
19/10 – NL Leeuwarden, Into The Void
20/10 – GR Athens, Fuzz Club
22/10 – RU Moscow, Zil
23/10 – RU St. Petersburg, Zal

https://www.facebook.com/astormoflight
https://astormoflight.com/
https://astormoflightsl.bandcamp.com/
https://consouling.be/
https://www.translationloss.com/

A Storm of Light, “Slow Motion Apocalypse”

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Quarterly Review: Lucifer, Heilung, Amarok, T.G. Olson, Sun Dial, Lucid Grave, Domadora, Klandestin, Poor Little Things, Motorowl

Posted in Reviews on July 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know what’s disheartening? When someone goes ‘thanks dudes.’ You know, I share a review or something, the band reposts and goes ‘thanks to the crew at The Obelisk blah blah.’ What fucking crew? If I had a crew, I’d put up 10 reviews every single day of the year. “Crew.” Shit. I am the crew. In the description of this site, the very first thing it says is “One-man operation.” It’s a fucking solo-project. That’s the whole point of it. It’s like me looking at your bass and going, “Sweet guitar, thanks for the solos brah.” I’m happy people want to share links and this and that, but really? It’s been nine years. Give me a break.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Nobody gives a shit. Now I remember. Thanks for reading.

And while we’re here, please remember the numbers for these posts don’t mean anything. This isn’t a countdown. Or a countup. It’s just me keeping track of how much shit I’m reviewing. The answer is “a lot.”

Grump grump grump.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Lucifer, Lucifer II

lucifer lucifer ii

Recorded as the trio of vocalist Johanna Sardonis (ex-The Oath), guitarist Robin Tidebrink (Saturn) and guitarist/drummer Nicke Andersson (Death Breath, ex-Entombed, ex-The Hellacopters), Lucifer’s second album, Lucifer II (on Rise Above), follows three years after its numerical predecessor, Lucifer I (review here), and marks its personnel changes with a remarkable consistency of mission. Like Mercyful Fate gone disco, the formerly-Berlin/London-now-Stockholm group bring stage-ready atmospheres to songs like “Phoenix” and the riff-led “Before the Sun,” while unleashing a largesse of hooks in “Dreamer” and the boogie-pushing “Eyes in the Sky.” “Dancing with Mr. D” brings nod to a Rolling Stones cover, and “Before the Sun” reaffirms a heavy ‘70s root in their sound. I can’t help but wonder if the doomier “Faux Pharaoh” is a sequel to “Purple Pyramid,” but either way, its thicker, darker tonality is welcome ahead of the bonus track Scorpions cover “Evening Wind,” which again demonstrates the ease with which Lucifer make established sounds their own. That’s pretty much the message of the whole album. Lucifer are a big band. Lucifer II makes the case for their being a household name.

Lucifer on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records webstore

 

Heilung, Lifa

heilung lifa

Lifa is the audio taken from the live video that brought Denmark’s Heilung to prominence. Captured at Castlefest in The Netherlands in last year, the impression the expansive Viking folk group made was all the more powerful with elaborate costuming, bone percussive instruments, antlers, animal-skin drums, and so on. Their debut studio album, Ofnir, came out in 2015 and like LIFA has been issued by Season of Mist, but the attention to detail and A/V experience only adds to the hypnotic tension and experimentalist edge in the material. Does it work with just the audio? Yes. The 12-minute “In Maijan” and somehow-black-metal “Krigsgaldr” maintain their trance-out-of-history aspect, and the 75-minute set blends multi-tiered melodies and goblin-voiced declarations for an impression unlike even that which Wardruna bring to bear. Whether it’s the drones of “Fylgija Futhorck” or the chants and thuds of “Hakkerskaldyr,” LIFA is striking from front to back and a cohesive, visionary work that should be heard as well as seen. But definitely seen.

Heilung on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Amarok, Devoured

amarok devoured

Eight years after their founding, an EP and several splits, Chico, California, atmosludge extremists Amarok make their full-length debut with Devoured on Translation Loss. If it’s been a while in the making, it’s easy enough to understand why. The album is rife with brutalist and grueling sensibilities. Comprised of just four tracks, it runs upwards of 70 minutes and brings a visceral churn to each cut, not forgetting the importance of atmosphere along the way, but definitely focused on the aural bludgeoning they’re dealing out. Tempos, duh, are excruciating, and between the screams and growls of bassist Brandon Squyres (also Cold Blue Mountain) and guitarist Kenny Ruggles – the band completed by guitarist Nathan Collins and drummer Colby ByrneAmarok make their bid for Buried at Sea levels of heft and rumble their way across a desolate landscape of their own making. Eight years to conjure this kind of punishment? Yeah, that seems about right. See you in 2026.

Amarok on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records webstore

 

T.G. Olson, Ode to Lieutenant Henry

tg olson ode to lieutenant henry

Here’s a curious case: T.G. Olson, founding guitarist and vocalist of Across Tundras, is a prolific experimental singer-songwriter. His material ranges from psychedelic country to fuller-toned weirdo Americana and well beyond. He’s wildly prolific, and everything goes up on Bandcamp for a name-your-price download, mostly unannounced. It’s not there, then it is. Olson’s latest singe, Ode to Lieutenant Henry, was there, and now it’s gone. With the march of its title-track and a complementary cover of Townes van Zandt’s “Silver Ships of Andilar,” I can’t help but be curious as to where the tracks went and if they’ll be back, perhaps in some other form or as part of a different release. Both are plugged-in and coated in fuzzy tones, with Olson’s echoing vocals providing a human presence in the wide soundscape of his own making. The original is shorter than the cover, but both songs boast a signature sense of ramble that, frankly, is worth being out there. Hopefully they’re reposted at some point, either on their own as they initially were or otherwise.

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

T.G. Olson/Across Tundras on Bandcamp

 

Sun Dial, Science Fiction

sun dial sci fi

If space is the place, Sun Dial feel right at home in it. The long-running UK psychedelic adventurers collect two decades’ worth of soundtrack material on Science Fiction, their new release for Sulatron Records. Made with interwoven keyboard lines and a propensity to periodically boogie on “Mind Machine,” “Airlock,” “Infra Red,” etc., the experimentalist aspect of Science Fiction is all the more remarkable considering the album is compiled from different sources. One supposes the overarching cosmos is probably what brings it together, but with the samples and synth of “Saturn Return” and the lower end space-bass of pre-bonus-track closer “Starwatchers” – that bonus track, by the way, is a 15-minute version of opener “Hangar 13” – and though the vast majority of the Science Fiction relies on synth and keys to make its impression, it’s still only fair to call the proceedings natural, as the root of each one seems to be exploration. It’s okay to experiment. Nobody’s getting hurt.

Sun Dial on Thee Facebooks

Sun Dial at Sulatron Records webstore

 

Lucid Grave, Demo 2018

lucid grave demo 2018

There are three songs on Lucid Grave’s first outing, the aptly-titled Demo 2018, and the first of them is also the longest (immediate points), “Star.” It presents a curious and hard to place interpretation of psychedelic sludge rock. It is raw as a demo worthy of its name should be, and finds vocalist Malene Pedersen (also Lewd Flesh) echoing out to near-indecipherable reaches atop the feedback-addled riffing. Quite an introduction, to say the least. The subsequent “Desert Boys” is more subdued at the start but gets furious at the end, vocals spanning channels in an apparent call and response atop increasingly intense instrumental thrust. And as for “Ride the Hyena?” If I didn’t know better – and rest assured, I don’t – I’d call it doom. I’m not sure what the hell the København five-piece are shooting for in terms of style, but I damn sure want to hear what they come up with next so I can find out. Consider me enticed. And accordingly, one can’t really accuse Demo 2018 of anything other than doing precisely what it’s supposed to do.

Lucid Grave on Thee Facebooks

Lucid Grace on Bandcamp

 

Domadora, Lacuna

domadora lacuna

Comprised of four-tracks of heavy psychedelic vibes led by the scorch-prone guitar of Belwil, Domadora’s third album, Lacuna, follows behind 2016’s The Violent Mystical Sukuma (discussed here) and taps quickly into a post-Earthless league of instrumentalism on opener “Lacuna Jam.” That should be taken as a compliment, especially as regards the bass and drums of Gui Omm and Karim Bouazza, respectively, who hold down uptempo grooves there and roll along with the more structured 14-minute cut “Genghis Khan” that follows. Each of the album’s two sides is comprised of a shorter track and a longer one, and there’s plenty of reach throughout, but more than expanse, even side B’s “Vacuum Density” and “Tierra Last Homage” are more about the chemistry between the band members – Angel Hidalgo Paterna rounds out on organ – than about crafting a landscape. Fortunately for anyone who’d take it on, the Parisian unit have plenty to offer when it comes to that chemistry.

Domadora on Thee Facebooks

Domadora on Bandcamp

 

Klandestin, Green Acid of Last Century

klandestin green acid of last century

That’s a big “fuck yes, thank you very much” for the debut album from Indonesian stoner metallers Klandestin. Green Acid of the Last Century arrives courtesy of Hellas Records and is THC-heavy enough that if they wanted to, they could probably add “Bong” to the band’s name and it would be well earned. Eight tracks, prime riffs, watery vocals, dense fuzz, stomp, plod, lumber, shuffle – it’s all right there in homegrown dosage, and for the converted, Green Acid of the Last Century is nothing short of a worship ceremony, for the band itself as well as for anyone taking it on. With the march of “Doomsday,” the unmitigated rollout of “Black Smoke,” and the swirling green aurora of “The Green Aurora,” Klandestin wear their holding-back-a-cough riffage as a badge of honor, and couldn’t be any less pretentious about it if they tried. From the hooded weedian on the cover art to the Sleepy nod of closer “Last Century,” Green Acid of Last Century telegraphs its intent front-to-back, and is all the more right on for it.

Klandestin on Thee Facebooks

Hellas Records on Bandcamp

 

Poor Little Things, Poor Little Things

poor little things poor little things

You get what you pay for with “Rock’n’Roller,” which leads off the self-titled debut EP from Bern, Switzerland-based Poor Little Things. Around the core duo of vocalist Tina Jackson and multi-instrumentalist Dave “Talon” Jackson (also of Australia’s Rollerball) on guitar, bass, synth and percussion is Talon’s The Marlboro Men bandmate Fernando Marlboro on drums, and together the band presents five tracks of remember-when-rock-rocked-style groove. Fueled by ‘70s accessibility and a mentality that seems to be saying it’s okay to play big rooms, like arenas, cuts like “Drive” seem prime for audience participation, and “Break Another Heart” gives a highlight performance from Tina while “About Love” showcases a more laid back take. They close with the 6:37 “Street Cheetah,” which struts appropriately, and end with a percussive finish on a fadeout repeating the title line. As a showcase of their style and songwriting chops, Poor Little Things shows significant promise, sure, but it’s also pretty much already got everything it needs for a full-length album.

Poor Little Things on Thee Facebooks

Poor Little Things on Bandcamp

 

Motorowl, Atlas

motorowl atlas

Every now and then you put on a record and it’s way better than you expect. Hello, Motorowl’s Atlas. The German troupe’s second for Century Media, it takes the classic stylizations of their 2016 debut, Om Generator, and pushes them outward into a vast sea of organ-laced progressive heavy, soaring in vocal melodies and still modern despite drawing from an array of decades past. The chug in “The Man Who Rules the World” would be metal for most bands, but on Atlas, it becomes part of a broader milieu, and sits easily next to the expansive title-track, as given to post-rocking airiness in the guitar as to synth-laden prog. That mixture of influences and aesthetics would be enough to give the five-piece an identity of their own, but Atlas is further characterized by Motorowl’s ambitious songwriting and benefits greatly from the melodic arrangements and the clear intention toward creative development at work here. Those who take on its seven-track/45-minute journey will find it dynamic, spacious and heavy in kind.

Motorowl on Thee Facebooks

Motorowl at Century Media website

 

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A Storm of Light Announce New Album Anthroscene

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Hard to believe it’s been five years since the last album from A Storm of Light came out. That record was Nations to Flames on Southern Lord and their new one, dubbed Anthroscene in a clever play on the you-are-here era of planetary extinction in which we currently live, will be out via Consouling Sounds in Europe and Translation Loss in the States this Fall as the band get ready to tour overseas with Mono. It’s a pretty significant run that starts in the UK and ends in Russia, but of course A Storm of Light will be up to the task. In addition to frontman Josh Graham‘s work on graphics for Neurosis, Soundgarden, and a host of others, they’ve always kept plenty busy on the road.

Info and dates follow from the PR wire:

a storm of light

A STORM OF LIGHT ARE BACK WITH A NEW ALBUM TO BE RELEASED IN TIME FOR LIVE DATES WITH MONO THIS OCTOBER

A Storm of Light return with news of a new record. Five years after their last studio album (Nation To Flames, Southern Lord), Josh Graham and his companions Chris Common, Dan Hawkins and Domenic Seita have been working on their fifth full length Anthroscene which shall be released via Consouling Sounds (EU and UK) and Translation Loss (US) this Autumn.

A Storm Of Light will be presenting their new album across Europe in October, performing alongside Mono – see the list of dates below.

A STORM OF LIGHT LIVE WITH MONO
01/10 – UK Bristol, The Fleece
02/10 – UK Norwich, Arts Centre
03/10 – UK Glasgow, Classic Grand
04/10 – UK Newcastle, The Cluny
05/10 – UK Leeds, Left Bank
06/10 – BE Ghent, De Central
07/10 – NL Utrecht, Tivoli De Helling
08/10 – DE Bremen, Tower
09/10 – DE Dresden, Beatpol
10/10 – DE Wiesbaden, Schlacthof
11/10 – CH Aarau, Kiff
12/10 – FR Lyon, CCO
13/10 – ES Barcelona, AMFest
14/10 – FR Toulouse, Le Rex
15/10 – FR Bordeaux, Iboat
16/10 – FR Orleans, Astrolabe
17/10 – NL Heerlen, Nieuwe Nor
18/10 – DE Oberhausen, Drucklufthaus
19/10 – NL Leeuwarden, Into The Void
20/10 – GR Athens, Fuzz Club
22/10 – RU Moscow, Zil
23/10 – RU St. Petersburg, Zal

https://www.facebook.com/astormoflight
https://astormoflight.com/
https://astormoflightsl.bandcamp.com/
https://consouling.be/
https://www.translationloss.com/

A Storm of Light, Nations to Flames (2013)

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Grayceon, IV: The Slow Burn

Posted in Reviews on May 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

grayceon iv

I have no problem admitting when I’m a fan of a band, and I’m a fan of San Francisco trio Grayceon. In 2011, the group led by cellist/vocalist Jackie Perez Gratz — once of the vastly underrated Amber Asylum, also a contributor to Neurosis, Agalloch, Om and I don’t know how many others — released their third full-length, All We Destroy (review here; discussed here), on Profound Lore, and seven years later, it’s a record I still break out for periodic listens at least a couple times a year. Thus the prospect of a new LP from Perez Gratz, guitarist Max Doyle and drummer Zack Farwell was one I approached with some trepidation.

It can be difficult when you feel an attachment to a record to accept a group’s “next one.” As I put on the Translation Loss-released IV — obviously named after the Goatsnake LP (that’s a joke) — and began to make my way through opener “Sliver Moon” at the outset of an eight-song/40-minute course that moves swiftly and gracefully between head-down thrash intensity spacious post-heavy and doomed march, my concerns were as much soothed away as they were set on fire. Seven years hence (though to be fair, they had the Pearl and the End of Days EP in 2013 as well), Grayceon has returned with an album that justified the expanse of time it took for it to arrive — a blazingly progressive offering of dare-you-to-keep-up complexity that changes tempos and methods while landing memorable hooks in “Scorpion,” “Let it Go,” “Slow Burn” the closer “Dreamers” while remaining atmospheric in both its moments of intensity and slower marches.

For Jackie Perez Gratz, it’s an utter triumph of performance almost immediately. “Sliver Moon” establishes her as the driver of much of the melody throughout, and she drives counterfigures off Doyle‘s chugging riffs and meets him to join forces on winding transitional lines in a way that makes IV seem absolutely woven. The percussion opening “By-the-Wind Sailors,” handled by Pearl and Pepper Gregory in addition to Farwell sets a tense bed for the sustained cello notes and plucked guitar notes, and with a scream as it approaches the midpoint, the song bursts into one of the album’s most extreme moments, with frenetic blasting from Farwell and likewise speedy guitar and cello to match.

The lines, “We’ve had our time/Time of our lives/We’ve had our time/You and I” sound in context as though they could apply as much to a personal relationship as to that between the human species and the planet on which we live, and the chorus sprints through again before Grayceon settle into a gallop and crash into a momentary respite before the thrashing resumes to close out and lead into the immediate start of “Scorpion,” which finds a middle ground in its early going between the two sides that “By-the-Wind Sailors” seemed to offer; the cello-led metallurgy and the sections more concerned with ambient breadth and melodic storytelling.

grayceon

Upon reaching the three-minute mark, the track stops and shifts into a doomly march that carries it outward with some shifts of cello and melody. Cello as the last remaining element gives way to the quiet open of “Let it Go,” which might serve as the standout track on IV with its likewise slower march, patient delivery and memorable chorus, screams directly contradicting melodic vocals in representation of an inner emotional struggle — “let go” vs. “don’t let go” — as it relates to love itself. A mournful cello line picks up after the final chorus and leads the way out to silence and the fast, intricate picking from Doyle that begins side B with the quick intro to “Slow Burn.”

It’s here and in songs like “Dreamers” still to come that Grayceon show how dynamic they can be, not only writing one kind of song or another, loud or quiet, claustrophobic or spacious, but in putting tempo contrasts smacked against each other in a single piece. “Slow Burn’ opens from its galloping start to a crashing stomp that’s one of the record’s most fervent, and a verse that sets the stage for a slower, richly melodic apex topped with the lines, “What if you knew what you know now?/What would I have said to change your mind?/What if you knew what you know now?/What do you have to say?” that repeats with slight changes in the words but is beautiful and sweeping and painful all at the same time, cutting to an immediate, companion-feeling run of toms to start “The Point of Me,” which exhibits a depressive hopefulness in its melodic verses, and in just over three minutes, puts forth a prog-metal chug of deceptive complexity that cuts to silence as a line of sweet guitar and soothing cello start the penultimate “Pink Rose,” the vocals begging “Please mama, take me home” with subtle background voices behind the sweet and sad forward melody; the most soothing moment on IV, if still somewhat emotionally desperate.

At 2:31 and marked by its lyrical repetition, “Pink Rose” is the shortest track on IV and it gives way to silence before the angular guitar line opens “Dreamers” punctuated by drums and cut through by the cello before the three come together to charge ahead into the first verse. It will get slower as it moves toward its finish, but the crescendo of “Dreamers” happens after a long-held vocal note and the line at 4:21 “we are dreamers,” that winds down at the end like a tape running out before the guitar lurches back in to lead the cello and drums through the the last double-kick march. This instrumental progression consumes the last two minutes of “Dreamers” and ends on a long fade but a not-at-all overdone sense of fanfare.

Certainly Grayceon could’ve put one last burst into IV, but by ending as they do — dug into a groove, all three players putting in clear physical effort but not overselling it — makes IV less about any single moment and more about the affecting listening experience of the album as a whole. “Dreamers” is no less successful in this than is the entirety of IV in conveying its emotional and aural range. Seven years after All We Destroy, which seemed to mourn an entire generation’s war, IV comes through as more personal, but whether they’re looking outward or inward, Grayceon‘s work remains both poised and deeply human. I’ll look forward hopefully to whatever they do next.

Grayceon, IV (2018)

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Darsombra Summer Tour Starts this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

If you’re of the belief that sonic resonance can affect those who experience it on a spiritual level, or if you’re looking to be convinced of same, I can only recommend you open your mind as wide as it will open and then go see Darsombra, as the Baltimore duo stand among the best arguments I can think of in that regard. Further, there are few live acts I’ve had the pleasure of watching who so clearly revel in the process of what they’re creating on stage and presenting what they have created, and accordingly, it’s hard not to be swept up in that joy as it hits in swells and waves of drone and experimentalist guitar, keys, percussion, vocals, visuals, and so on. Simply put, it is something you should witness for yourself if you can.

And Darsombra, who tour almost incessantly and released their latest album last year in the form of the two-song Polyvision (review here) via Translation Loss Records, are not stingy when it comes to giving opportunities to do so. This week, they head out across the US and Canada on a month-plus run that will take them through the end of August, and no doubt the next tour is already in the works for when they get back. In the meantime, note the dates in the Pacific Northwest with Thrones (aka Joe Preston) and YOB‘s Mike Scheidt. Righteous company to keep.

Dates follow here, and really, if you can, go:

darsombra photo matt condon

Darsombra – Canada / U.S. summer tour 2017 • 7/5-8/31

Our tour for summer 2017 kicks off [this] week! Please check back closer to dates as changes may occur.

July 5 – Bethpage NY @ Mr. Berry’s w/ Ruckzuck, Claire Raby, Richard Arriaga
July 6 – Allston MA @ O’Brien’s w/ Planet of Adventure, The Modern Voice
July 7 – Manchester NH @ House Show w/ Green Bastard, Lunar Locust
July 8 – Portland ME @ Geno’s w/ All Night, Cadaverette, Apis Malfiore
July 10 – Halifax, NS @ Menz & Mollyz w/ Brett Waye, Hemineglect
July 11 – Moncton NB @ Plan B w/ Gemstonez, The Continuance, Våras
July 13 – Montreal QC @ Casa Del Popolo w/ Pachyderm, Eliza
July 14 – Ottawa ON @ The Record Centre w/ The Visit, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Heather Sita Black
July 15 – Toronto ON @ The Cavern
July 16 – Sudbury ON @ The Asylum
July 17 – Sault Ste. Marie ON @ New American w/ Pointless, Bizotic
July 19 – Thunder Bay ON @ The Apollo w/ Road Waves
July 20 – Winnipeg MB @ Handsome Daughter w/ Mahogany Frog, Scab Smoker
July 21 – Regina SK @ Cloud 9 w/ The League of One, Robot Hive
July 22 – Saskatoon SK @ Amigo’s w/ Hoopsnake, Black Thunder, The Switching Yard
July 23 – Edmonton AB @ Bohemia w/ Faith Crisis
July 27 – Calgary AB @ Nite Owl w/ Bridal Party
July 29 – Vancouver BC @ 333 Clark (Half Satan)
July 30 – Nanaimo BC @ White Room w/ Crotch, El Hombre Al Aqua
July 31 – Victoria BC @ Vinyl Envy w/ Scars & Scarves
Aug 3 – Olympia WA @ McCoy’s w/ Thrones, Teach Me Equals
Aug 4 – Seattle WA @ Highline w/ Thrones, Teach Me Equals, Noise-A-Tron
Aug 5 – Portland OR @ The Know w/ Thrones, Stöller, Mike Scheidt
Aug 6 – Salem OR @ Fifty Pub & Grub w/ Thrones, Mike Scheidt
Aug 9 – Eugene OR @ Old NIck’s w/ Mike Scheidt
Aug 10 – Bend OR @ Third St. Pub
Aug 11 – Boise ID @ The Shredder w/ Desert Graves, Brett Netson
Aug 12 – Missoula MT
Aug 17 – Bozeman MT @ Filling Station
Aug 19 – Rapid City SD @ Black Hills Vinyl
Aug 22 – Sioux Falls SD @ Total Drag
Aug 23 – Minneapolis MN @ Kitty Cat Club w/ Comets ov Cupid, Magnetic Ghost, RYKYGNYZYR
Aug 24 – Duluth MN @ Red Herring
Aug 25 – Marquette MI @ Women’s Federated Clubhouse w/ Terminal Orchestra, The God Eaters
Aug 26 – Milwaukee WI @ Circle A w/ The Old Northwest
Aug 27 – Chicago IL @ Subterreanean Downstairs w/ Andy Slater, Cascader, Byzmuti
Aug 29 – Detroit MI @ Trumbullplex
Aug 30 – Cleveland OH @ The Magalen w/ Blind Spring, Dead Peasant Insurance
Aug 31 – Pittsburgh PA @ Black Forge w/ Bear Skull, The Van Allen Belt
Sept 22 (rain date Sept 23) – Baltimore MD @ Leakin Park w/ Marian McLaughlin

https://www.facebook.com/events/251836911930646/
http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TranslationLossRecords/
https://translationlossrecords.bandcamp.com/
translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/

Darsombra, Polyvisions (2016)

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