APF Records Announces Showcase Lineup with 13 Bands

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

apf records amp logo

UK sludgedealer APF Records has announced the lineup for its second label showcase in Manchester, and well, it’s got almost everybody. It’s 13 of the 16 active bands on the roster, piled onto a single bill. Do you have any idea how hard that must be to make happen? The coordination involved? Imagine trying to plan lunch with a specific friend. You have to find a day, a time, a place that works. Now imagine doing what with upwards of 50 friends. It’s not just planning a party and saying “be here at this time.” There’s so much involved in making it happen, it’s a pretty clear indication of a mission at play. Kudos to APF for making it happen at all, let alone once.

The label has a busy 2019 planned to follow what was a busy 2018, and that’s fair enough. I myself have been enjoying the new Mastiff record, which will be out soon, and I’m dying to hear something new from the timely Tronald, though there’s been no confirmation of one in the works. Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed, and it seems like there’s plenty to come in the meantime as APF continues to provide the UK’s fervent and varied sludge scene the home it deserves.

Showcase announcement and links follow from the PR wire::

APF Records Showcase 2019

APF RECORDS SHOWCASE ALL-DAYER

Manchester, UK – 2nd February 2019

13 APF Records bands play a special one-off gig

APF Records is hosting a special one-off gig at The Bread Shed in Manchester UK on 2nd February, featuring all 13 of its current active signed bands playing across two stages.

Founded by Andrew Field in March 2017 APF Records has released albums, EPs and singles by Under, Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, The Wizards Of Delight, Tronald, The Hyena Kill, RedEye Revival, Ba’al, BongCauldron, Nomad, Desert Storm, Battalions and Barbarian Hermit during its first 18 months.

The label already has releases lined up for 2019 by Widows, Pist and Possessor as well as further releases from the bands mentioned above.

Due to the logistical challenges of getting so many APF bands in one place at once this is likely to be the last time so many of the APF Records roster will play in one place on one day. Thus advance tickets have been moving fast and the event (at the 400-capacity Bread Shed venue) is predicted to be a sell-out.

Doors open at 2pm with the first band performing at 2.30pm. The event will finish 9 hours later when BongCauldron headline the main stage.

Appearing at the APF Records Showcase:

Battalions
Barbarian Hermit
BongCauldron
Diesel King
Mastiff
Nomad
Pist
RedEye Revival
The Hyena Kill
Trevor’s Head
Tronald
Under
Widows

APF Records and Stonebaked Promotions presents: The APF Records Showcase All-Dayer
Venue: The Bread Shed, Manchester UK
Date: 2nd February 2018
Doors Open: 2pm
Tickets: £12.50 adv / £20 otd

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/162465091142797/
Ticket link: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/430503

https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://twitter.com/apf_records
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

BongCauldron, Tyke (2018)

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End of the World Festival 2018 Set for July 7 with Gurt, Chubby Thunderous, Trevor’s Head & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The ultra-populated UK heavy underground celebrates its own next month with the second installment of the End of the World Festival. An all-dayer-type event set for July 7, it boasts a lineup featuring the likes of Gurt, Monolithian and Sergeant Thunderhoof, as well as Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, whose debut album should be along any minute now and thereby not nearly soon enough. Even apart from its most noteworthy names, the bill is pretty massive, so if you happen to be sailing into Plymouth early next month, maybe you drop anchor for a bit and spend an afternoon and an evening getting tore up listening to riffl

You could do much, much worse. Dig what the PR wire:

end of the world festival 2018

End of the World 2018

15 BANDS, TWO VENUES, ONE DAY, 10 HOURS OF BACK TO BACK RIFF

End of the World festival is back in 2018; a small stoner/doom/psych/metal festival in the South West of the UK. Run by bands for a passion and love of Doom. Two venues, and some of the best underground doom (and subgenres) that the UK has to offer!!! This is as grassroots as possible, being our second event and building on the success of 2017!

End Of The World is a celebration of the best of the UK’s stoner and doom underground, focussing especially on the South-West but showcasing talent from all over the country. The first installment in 2017 saw big players like Elephant Tree, Morass of Molasses and Grifter take the stage, and this year the lineup is completed by heavyweights such as Gurt, Monolithian and Sergeant Thunderhoof.

First Band at 2pm
Music until Midnight
Two venues on Mutley Plain, Plymouth, numerous food shops on the street, carparking nearby.

The event takes place between The Underground and The Junction in Plymouth on 07.07.18.

The bands playing are:

Gurt
Monolithian
Sergeant Thunderhoof
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters
Cybernetic Witch Cult
Morass Of Molasses
Voodoo blood
Thuum
Gévaudan
Trevor’s Head
Silverchild
Witch Tripper
Sail
Six Sins till Sunday
Battle Ready Bear

Tickets can be found on the site here: www.endoftheworldfestival.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1973611246245218/
https://www.facebook.com/endoftheworldfestivalUK/

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, “Mother Chub” official video

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Live Review: Colour Haze, Trevor’s Head and The Brothers Keg in London, 05.22.18

Posted in Reviews on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

colour haze (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Colour Haze are my that band. You know that band. There’s some resonance there that goes deeper than the average listening experience. I have a couple that bands – YOB, Neurosis, etc. – but in my 15 years of following the Munich trio’s work – which makes me Johnny Comelately when set against the fact that their first album, Chopping Machine (discussed here), came out 23 years ago – I’ve only seen them three times prior. One was Roadburn 2009 (discussed here), another Desertfest London 2013 (review here), and to go way back, Emissions from the Monolith in 2006, which to-date remains the only show they’ve ever played on US soil. I’ve said so before, but that was a moment that genuinely changed my life.

So it was my last night in London before flying back to the US Eastern Seaboard and facing the reality check of bills, stacks of mail – my mail log was on my stolen laptop; whoops – laundry, grocery shopping, and so on, so you’re god damned right I was going to see Colour Haze as they happened to be in town on a tour that brought them to midsize club The Garage for what would be the first non-fest set of theirs I’d ever seen. On my way to the show, I was thinking of what it might bring, for what the room would be like, what the gig would be like, how many people would be there, all that stuff mixed into an anxiety and excitement that lasted pretty much until I walked in the door and saw The Brothers Keg on stage opening the three-band bill.

With Tom Fyfe on drums — also of StubbThe Brothers Keg made their debut with a demo (discussed here) late last year and played material from that and then some, proffering a blend of heavy, desert rock, shouty sludge and psychedelia that someday, probably years from now, some clever critic is going to dub the “London sound.”

It speaks to Kyuss and Iron Monkey alike, but definitely came of age with some grunge influence, and isn’t unaware of the UK’s massive psychedelic legacy either. At least The Brothers Keg weren’t. They had some bearings to straighten out in terms of overall direction, but as with the demo, their potential was writ large in their live set and they made an excellent opener for the night, tying in some elements that each of the next two acts would share.

Trevor’s Head also had some of that “London sound” to them, but it was more of an undercurrent to an overarching layer of prog-metal weirdness. Fronted by guitarist Roger Atkins they played material from their new album on APF Records, Soma Holiday (review here) and a few older songs from 2016’s Tricolossus. Obviously familiar to the crowd, who sang along as the band rolled through, Trevor’s Head‘s three-vocalist approach allowed them to bring the same variety to their live performance as they brought to the record, and three mics on stage meant that at any given point, any one of Atkins, bassist Aaron Strachan and drummer Matt Ainsworth might be breaking the balls of the others. Elephant Tree had a bit of that going too the other night, albeit with one fewer mic. Call it another London thing. Dudes being dudes and whatnot.

They’re an interesting band, though. All three have significant stage presence in the making, and they play with three discernible personalities, with Atkins the frontman despite being in a level line at the front of the stage with the others, Strachan lost in the world of his five-string, and Ainsworth amiably busting chops between songs while seated behind his kit. Again, they knew people in the crowd, but I think even as others started to show up ahead of Colour HazeTrevor’s Head represented the coterie of Desertscene — who booked this gig and also runs Desertfest London — with sonic purpose and a bit of the tongue-in-cheek persona that helps define who these groups are.

I was fortunate enough to talk to Colour Haze guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek for a bit before they went on, and he mentioned this was their 12th show in as many nights. The night before, they were in France. They’d already been to London once, as well as Porto, Madrid and up to Scotland, etc. That’s not an insignificant run for a band of 20 year olds, let alone a group of veterans who’ve influenced a generation of heavy psychedelic rockers and whose first album, Chopping Machine (discussed here), came out in 1995. And though this was my first time seeing them outside festival confines, I was not at all surprised to find they made a two-hour set seem far too short. They were amazing. I’m speaking literally. I stood there and was amazed.

Bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald might be the tightest rhythm section I’ve ever seen. It sounds like hyperbole, but I’m being honest. Their smooth shifts in meter, groove and progression were a joy to watch from the start of set-opener “She Said” through pre-encore set-closer “Transformation” — both taken from 2012’s She Said (review here) — and they played with such class both between themselves and in kind with Koglek and keyboardist/synthesist Jan Faszbender that as they made their way through the title-cut of 2006’s Tempel (discussed here), there was funk in their sound, as well as jazz and still enough rock to tie it all together. Merwald drove the linear builds forward as his kit faced sideways on the stage to put him head-on with Faszbender, and in classic fashion, as Rasthofer provided the foundation, it left Koglek‘s guitar free to wander. And it did. Gloriously.

And the tones. My god. The crowd — increasingly drunk, increasingly dancing — cheered from the first note Koglek played, and rightfully so. His and Rastofer‘s tones both are a guiding principle for Colour Haze, and standing in The Garage as the sound bounced off the back of the room and came around again at max volume, it was like swimming in warm water. Running “Skydancer” and “Skydance” from last year’s righteous In Her Garden (review here) together into one ahead of “Überall” from 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here), they built momentum and brought immersion to a level that I doubt I’d have been able to resist if I’d tried. “Aquamaria” had been an early representation, and along with the encore finale “Love,” it was remarkable what Faszbender — on tour for the first time with the band — brought to the arrangements of material new and old.

colour haze 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

In addition to bringing another melodic presence, the keys and synth fleshed out transitions between the songs and worked as much with Koglek as with Rasthofer. “House of Rushammon,” which first appeared on their lost 1998 second album, Seven (discussed here) and later showed up on their 2004 landmark self-titled (discussed here), led off the encore with “Love” behind it, and before they kicked into the latter, Koglek noted from the stage that in these times of increasing nationalism and everything going on in politics, it was something of which the world needed more. From that start, they executed a final swirling build that consumed the crowd to the point that people were jumping up and down in excitement, and one could only pull out one’s earplugs and give in. I won’t say I jumped, but it was one of several points in the set where I just closed my eyes and let go. At one point I turned to The Patient Mrs. — who had had a prior obligation earlier but showed up for the headliner like the proverbial boss she is — and told her I hadn’t felt so good in a year. It was true.

This trip, with its lows and highs, couldn’t have had a better finish. I have packing to do so I’ll keep this short, but between getting robbed and the subsequent support I received, the killer shows I saw, the little bit of record shopping I got to do yesterday (maybe more on that later), seeing good friends and embracing the magic that is British fish pie, I feel like seeing Colour Haze was exactly the kind of summary for how special this time has been. I’m lucky to have experienced it, and incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for reading.

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Trevor’s Head, Soma Holiday

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

trevors head Soma Holiday

[Click play above to stream Soma Holiday by Trevor’s Head in its entirety. Album is out today, April 30, on APF Records.]

Breathing and lush synth begins Soma Holiday by UK trio Trevor’s Head, and from the dug-in post-Kyuss thrust-into-richer-psychedelic-hypnosis of “Sleepstate” through the secret track about fucking chickens — way to take Alabama down a peg, guys — the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Roger Atkins, bassist/vocalist Aaron Strachan and drummer/vocalist/keyboardist/flutist Matt Ainsworth (all also contribute percussion) — I wouldn’t exactly call the record progressive front to back, but it has those tendencies and is definitely varied and thoughtful in its way, in addition to being most definitely the product of children of the 1990s.

Discernible influences tell the tale from the aforementioned Kyuss, to Orange Goblin on “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Better,” Tool and System of a Down on “Bomb,” and more mellow grunge in the verses of centerpiece “Clerical Error” that meet with quirky starts and stops maybe derived from Queens of the Stone Age or maybe just the result of meshing all the rest with a bit of the UK’s modern heavy boom. Swapping out vocalists adds to the sonic diversity as Trevor’s Head, for whom Soma Holiday marks their third album and debut on APF Records, but even punker cuts like “Billion $ Fart” and the 38-second “Writer’s Block” bear the hallmarks of a ’90s stylization, especially when paired next to the inventive basslines and proggy melody of “Ghost” in the case of the former or the riff-forward motion of the aforementioned “Clerical Error” in the case of the latter.

Ultimately though, if Soma Holiday is progressive at all amid the occasional fart joke and “Verbal Hygiene,” which seems to take a stance on political correctness one way or the other, it’s progressive in a metallic sense. Recorded at Foel Studios by Mike Bew, Gazz Rogers and Tom Wild (the latter of whom also mixed and mastered), the guitar tone of Atkins has more crunch than fuzz, which leaves room for Strachan‘s low end to shine throughout — as behind the guitar solo on “Verbal Hygiene,” just for one example — and as “Harvest Ritual” moves from Primus-style storytelling its quick intro into more straight-ahead desert sprinting, the thickness of the riffing remains a tie to both the punkish cuts and broader-reaching atmospheric pieces like “Ghost” just before and the acoustic, percussion-laced “Departed” later on, though admittedly that track is a standout either way in its surroundings near the end of the record, with “Boomeranxiety,” “Bomb” and closer “Welcome (The Unburdening)” behind it offering some of Soma Holiday‘s proggiest stretches, though again, those are more than a little undercut by that secret track.

trevor's head

“Boomeranxiety” asks the very British question, “Chips or crisps?” amid a suitably frenetic riff and drum progression and willfully weird vocal approach before turning into bass-led semi-ska bounce and finishing out with a return to its central riff, and “Bomb” references Slayer in the lyrics while building a memorable hook before a scream-laced bridge that turns to the post-Helmet start-stopping “Welcome (The Unburdening),” which ties together much of the album almost in spite of itself — that is, I don’t think it was written or placed in order to do so specifically, but there’s something about closing the album with “Welcome” and starting it with “Sleepstate” that seems to be purposefully backwards in a way Trevor’s Head might very much enjoy on a conceptual level.

A word of warning to those who’d take it on: Soma Holiday most definitely has its tongue-in-cheek moments, and some of those might lead one to think that even its more serious side is facetious on some level. I’m not sure in the end if it is or if the whole thing is one big joke to the band, but either way, that concern should be secondary to the actual scope Trevor’s Head bring to the album’s 53-minute span. There are jarring moments among all the changes, but these don’t feel like accidents either, and it seems more like AinsworthAtkins and Strachan want the listener to meet them on their own level rather than have the band make overtures to accessibility in order to engage as many people as possible.

That lack of compromise ends up being a strength, and as Soma Holiday is Trevor’s Head‘s second album as a three-piece behind 2016’s Tricolossus, it’s easy to hear in the growth from one record to the next that they’re in the process of becoming the band they want to be and have set about refining and expanding the parameters of their sound to make it happen. Not everyone’s going to get it. Not everyone’s going to want to get it. But for a select few, Soma Holiday is going to feel oddly like home in its attitude and style, and in accomplishing that, it would seem to meet precisely the band’s goals in its making.

Trevor’s Head on Thee Facebooks

Trevor’s Head on Twitter

Trevor’s Head on Bandcamp

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

APF Records webstore

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Desertfest London 2018: Graveyard, Elder, Weedeater, Freedom Hawk, Zeke, Miss Lava, Mountains and Trevor’s Head Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Hey, look, don’t get me wrong. It was pretty impressive when Desertfest London 2018 came out of the gate in September and confirmed Monster Magnet, Eyehategod and Nebula in its first round of announcements. That was badass — no doubt about it. But it seems like with this next batch of acts confirmed, we’re starting to see more of the shape the festival will take. Weedeater will make a return that will no doubt be welcome, and likewise Graveyard have been confirmed as headliners, and Zeke will bring their inimitable speed rock to the proceedings as well.

Portugal’s Miss Lava hit the UK for the first time, Freedom Hawk head across the Atlantic from their Virginia home, Elder return as conquering heroes, and locals Mountains and Trevor’s Head give London a chance to get to know some of its own. If that already looks righteous to you, and it should, there’s a payment plan available. Might want to hit it up.

Here’s details from the PR wire:

desertfest london 2018 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON adds Graveyard and seven more bands to the 2018 lineup; tickets on sale now!

DESERTFEST LONDON are thrilled to reveal the next 8 acts for the 2018 edition of the festival, who will be joining the likes of MONSTER MAGNET, EYEHATEGOD, NEBULA & JEX THOTH to bring a battering ram of riffs down upon Camden next May.

If any band can claim responsibility for the surge of retro-infused, blues-stuffed rock n roll seeping through the underground over the past decade, it has to be GRAVEYARD. We are delighted to announce that following their brief hiatus, the band will make their long awaited UK return in the most deserving form – a headline set at Desertfest 2018. Rising to the top of the fertile Swedish (and indeed European) fuzz-drenched scene thanks to four immaculate albums, Graveyard quickly mastered their straight-down-the-middle rock foundation and built outwards. Effortlessly creating mind invading hooks just waiting to rattle around your brain for weeks and peppering them with doses of heavy psych, subdued moments and the soulful vocals of Joakim Nilsson, it isn’t hard to see why Graveyard are one of the best bands on the planet.

Goliathan sludge shovelers WEEDEATER, who are no strangers to the Desertfest, are finally returning to their spiritual home. Each time these stoner titans have played, the queues have been round the block. Their legendary status precedes them, and for good reason – as frontman Dave ‘Dixie’ Collins revels in stories to punters at the bar of shooting off his own big toe, they are a true DF family band and one of the most “please book them every year” acts in our remit. Weedeater are simply not to be missed this May – it’s going to be sweaty, loud and most importantly, smoky.

We’re pleased once again to be bringing ELDER back to London, hot on the heels of yet another mesmerising album in Reflections of a Floating World. There was no question that the trio had their work cut out in following-up 2015’s epic Lore. Evolving over the past five years, from one of heavy riffing’s most potential-filled practitioners to a progressive scope entirely of their own, each time they take the stage the crowd are undoubtedly blown away by their sheer musical talent.

Also on the bill are Seattle underground legends ZEKE, a band sandwiched somewhere between the rapid-fire, speed-guzzling lunacy of punk and the distinctly bourbon-scented outright abandon of heavy rock n’ roll. Zeke are finally upon our shores and we’re thrilled to announce they’ll be joining us in Camden next May.

We’ve also added the fuzz filled frenzy that is FREEDOM HAWK, Portugal’s stoner-grunge quartet MISS LAVA (making their first UK appearance), proggy Londoners MOUNTAINS and the chunky stoner riffs of TREVOR’S HEAD all lined up for the 2018 proceedings. This is just the tip of the iceberg – stay tuned for the next offering!

Desertfest London 2018
4th-6th May in Camden Town, London
3-day pass (£115) now on sale AT THIS LOCATION

Our special split payment plan is available until December 12th!
Pay half of your ticket now and the other half in January. Find more info HERE.

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Graveyard, “Too Much is Not Enough” official video

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