Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Wasteland: Living in It

Posted in Reviews on October 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

uncle acid and the deadbeats wasteland

Along with the stylistic innovation of their general aesthetic, the creepy harmonies and melodic centrality of guitar and vocals, raw fuzz of their tones, their information-age mystique earlier in their career and their classic-but-obscure sound overall, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ work has never been without a corresponding sense of nuance. As they move into album number five, Wasteland — released, as ever, by Rise Above Records — the fine sonic details of their work seem to come through the recording regardless of where an individual goes structurally. The flourish of keys in “Stranger Tonight,” the organ in the ultra-hooky “Bedouin” later in the record, the mellotron and faded-in-drums of the title-track, the VHS-style sampled intro to opener “I See Through You” that set up the arrival of further samples later in “No Return,” after the bell-chord-laden marching plod of that nine-minute track has receded into a long, fog-covered fadeout, and so on.

All of these things become part of the world created at the behest of guitarist/vocalist/ringleader Kevin R. Starrs, and brought to bear with the production of Geoff Neal at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, there’s a balance created between Uncle Acid‘s long established wash of filthy fuzz grit and the melodies that are no less central to who they are as a band. Recording in the same studio where The Beach Boys tracked Pet Sounds and The Doors did Strange Days is something of a direct departure from  2015’s The Night Creeper (review here), which Starrs recorded himself and was the barest-sounding offering since their 2010 debut, Vol. 1 (reissue review here), and they flourish in the grander setting while holding to the eerie, sneaking-around-the-corner vibe that’s always been prevalent and has only helped their influence spread as it has over the better part of the last decade. With eight tracks and 47 minutes, Wasteland is the shortest offering Uncle Acid have made 2011’s world-breaking Blood Lust (discussed here), as both 2013’s Mind Control (review here) and The Night Creeper topped 50 minutes, and in addition to that, there seems to be some shift in how the band are using that time.

Consider for a moment the circumstances of Wasteland‘s release. On a more general level, between Brexit and anti-immigration populism in their native UK and an ever-present sense of disheartening political chaos in Europe and the US — the band’s two central markets — could easily justify the title alone, but when it comes to the actual songs and the album’s arrival, it’s being released at the Desert Daze festival in Los Angeles, and long before any details about Uncle Acid‘s fifth LP were made public, tour dates in Europe and the UK were announced for late-2018/early-2019.

We had “the Wasteland tour” before we knew what Wasteland was. For an act of Uncle Acid‘s profile — and at this point it’s safe to call them one of underground heavy’s most essential bands in terms of influence and their general audience reach — that they’d have a well coordinated release isn’t a surprise, but it’s all the more worth noting because so much of the focus throughout Wasteland seems to be on playing live. Of course it’s a two-sided LP and it splits more or less evenly into half with four tracks on each side. Fine. But to take the totality of the tracklisting as a linear whole from “I See Through You” to the militaristic-snare-into-empty-wind (blowing, no doubt, over the titular wasteland) finish of “Exodus,” the entire album seems to be geared toward playing live. It feels like a live set.

It launches with two immediate, standout, catchy hard rockers in “I See Though You” — a firm reminder to the audience of who Uncle Acid are and what they do — and “Shockwave City,” which comes across as something Scorpions might’ve conjured as filtered through Starrs‘ secrets-in-the-basement ideology of sound with scorching guitar work and a tightness of structure and central riff that stands tall among their finest singles. Momentum is built and slashed as “No Return” takes hold with a quiet and tense but slower progression and unfolds its nodding roll over an extended stretch replete with wailing vocals and a wash they’ve not yet brought to bear. It’s telling that at about six and a half minutes in, “No Return” drops to atmospheria, a kind of residual drone taking hold as the samples arrive. This ostensibly isn’t the end of side A — unless I’m way off as regards the placement of the songs on the vinyl; possible — but it does bring to a close the first of three movements happening throughout Wasteland.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (Photo by Ester Segarra)

Think of it this way: two rockers up front, longer song, two more rockers, longer song, and the finale duo of “Bedouin” and “Exodus” to end out. Three tracks, three tracks, two tracks.

This dynamic throughout the album, apart from considerations of physical format, makes Wasteland seem all the more built to be played live. “Blood Runner” and “Stranger Tonight,” like “Shockwave City” before them, barely top four minutes, and as the former taps some surprising NWOBHM gallop, the latter seems to be composed as the quintessential Uncle Acid track, from its threat of violence in the lyrics — it’s noteworthy that Wasteland is unmistakably the band’s album that’s least about killing ladies; perhaps a sign of Starrs having an ear to the ground as to the moment — to the sweep of its hook that only seems to grow more infectious with multiple listens. These in turn lead to “Wasteland” itself, which is unmistakably a forward step in the creative growth of the band.

They’re not strangers to using acoustics or turns to mellower fare, but across its nearly eight minutes, “Wasteland” takes what songs like “13 Candles” and “Black Motorcade” have done in the past to offset more raucous material directly bridges the gap between the two sides. For a band who’ve always, always, been about songwriting, it’s a new level of achievement in that. From the swaying early verses, effectively arranged with the aforementioned mellotron and harmonized vocals, other keys, guitar, bass flourish, etc., to the build that takes hold with the arrival of the drums at the halfway point and moves into an absolute apex for the album as a whole, it’s as gorgeous it is covered in grime, and its relatively quick fade seems to cut short what could’ve easily been a longer section. No mystery how it got to be the title-track; it’s the whole point. “Bedouin” fades in even more quickly than “Wasteland” went out, and begins the last of the three salvos, which works to bring the other two together somewhat.

It’s shorter than the opener at 5:41, but “Bedouin” nonetheless makes its impact with a strutting chorus and the organ in its verses, as well as highlight lead guitar work that recalls “Shockwave City” earlier but is more tripped-out with effects in its ending. But it’s a rager, and as it gives way to the slower-swinging “Exodus” — residing that rhythmic pocket that so many in the garage doom set try to capture but can’t quite do in the same way that comes so naturally to Uncle Acid — there’s a palpable sense of an encore happening. The closer lands squarely between the shorter and longer cuts, but moreover, it has a sense of finality to it that speaks to the band’s ever-cinematic sphere of influences. That is to say, roll credits.

But, more to the occasion, it’s the grand finale of the live set that is Wasteland as a whole, and though there’s nothing lacking by the time it’s done, the fact that the two prior salvos are three songs and the last one is only two seems to tip-hat to the notion of leaving the audience wanting more. Hence the sudden cut at the end of “Exodus” itself and the shorter overall runtime. It works. The danger coming into Wasteland was whether or not Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats would be seen to have run their stylistic course. Could they make their sound do something new? They haven’t yet made their Sgt. Pepper — or, if they were after my own heart, their Rubber Soul — and they may not have interest in doing so, but what Wasteland does is to bring a refreshed vitality to their approach while willfully tightening the songcraft at the same time they push forward into new ground. There will be a lot that’s familiar to established listeners, but as always with Starrs‘ work, the deeper you dig, the more you find, and Wasteland more than earns such excavation. It’d be a show to remember.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Stranger Tonight”

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats website

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

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Iron Void Celebrate 20th Anniversary with November Tour

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

iron void photo by Katrina Kendrick

Two decades is not a short amount of time. 20 years ago, it was Nineteen-Hundred and Ninety-Eight. Western Civilization could still basically argue it had the potential to bring some good into the world. The Roaring ’90s. It was the time that the robots based The Matrix on. Right before the entire universe took a shit and everyone realized how awful everything is, then collapse resounded around the world and we’re still all dug into the repercussions of that, and so, you know, DOOM.

Enter Iron Void. Formed in 1998, and yeah, they’ve had some bumps and periods of inactivity along the way — they haven’t been slogging it out playing clubs on tour 150 shows a year for 20 years, and neither have you, and neither are they claiming otherwise — but the simple fact that after 20 years, guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Seale would feel strongly and passionately enough about the project to put out an album of the quality of the soon-to-land Exaclibur (review here) is admirable in and of itself. 20 fucking years, man. Think about what you were doing 20 years ago.

I was in high school. Probably stoned. Ha.

Anyway, Iron Void are celebrating 20 years with a show this week and a short tour alongside the also-high-grade-downer Serpent Venom and Famyne next month. I got Sealey to give some comment on the occasion and you can see that below, as well as the event links for the shows, because it’s the future and that’s how it goes now. You wouldn’t have gotten that 20 years ago.

Dig:

IRON VOID TOUR

Jonathan “Sealey” Seale on 20 years of Iron Void and the tour:

“We’re very much looking forward to touring the UK in November with our peers and longtime friends, Serpent Venom and Famyne, who are one of the finest new Doom bands in the UK scene today. I only wish we could have done more dates. Maybe we will in future, who knows? November 2018 is also a very special month and cause for celebration for Iron Void as it marks our 20th anniversary since the band formed in November 1998. We’ve had several lineup changes and obstacles to overcome over the years but all in all it’s been a blast with a lot of fond memories! I’d like to sincerely thank my bandmates, old and new, and all our loyal fans across the globe for making this incredible journey a reality, it wouldn’t have been possible without you, I love you all! Here’s to the next 20 years! DOOM ON!!”

Oct 13 Iron Void 20th Anniversary Show (1998 – 2018):
Black mass Wakefield, UK
https://www.facebook.com/events/1857902831184012/

Iron Void / Serpent Venom / Famyne UK Tour – November 2018

2 NOVEMBER – The Phoenix, Coventry
https://www.facebook.com/events/187309512064309/

3 NOVEMBER – The Black Heart, London
https://www.facebook.com/events/980671265433339/

4 NOVEMBER – The Old England, Bristol
https://www.facebook.com/events/425613231235352/

Iron Void is:
Jonathan ‘Sealey’ Seale – Bass/Vocals
Steve Wilson – Guitars/Vocals
Richard Maw – Drums

www.facebook.com/ironvoid
www.ironvoid.bandcamp.com
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Iron Void, Excalibur (2018)

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Cybernetic Witch Cult Announce October Tour; Troglodithic Trip Vinyl out Now

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

cybernetic witch cult

On Oct. 18, Cybernetic Witch Cult and Ritual King hit the road together for a UK run that includes stops in Bridgewater, Birmingham, London and Plymouth. They go with new material in hand from their recently-recorded third long-player, and they go as well with vinyl copies of their 2017 second album, Troglodithic Trip (discussed here), in tow following an August release. No word on when the third outing will be issued, let alone on what formats, but they’ll be playing new songs live and that’s always fun, not that these guys are hurting for being a good time anyway.

Because they’re not, you see.

Presumably whatever it’s called will be out in 2019. More to come when I hear it. Till then:

cybernetic witch cult tour

Cybernetic Witch Cult announce long awaited first vinyl release and October UK tour with Ritual King

Cornwall’s Spaced out Stoner/Sludge Trio, Cybernetic Witch Cult’s 2017 album ‘Trogolodithic Trip’ is finally available on Vinyl.

Featuring 6 tracks of fuzzed out grooving doom, Cybernetic Witch Cult have used this opportunity to rejuvenate some old fan favorites from the band’s early days, with an older, wiser Alex Wyld delivering fresh performances that bring the older tracks in line with the brand new material, and new drummer Lewis May tying things together with a cohesive approach to the newer tracks.

“When we tracked this record back in january, I felt like it was my job to take ownership of the parts, drum wise. It was an interesting exercise in terms of trying to make Troglodithic trip feel like an album we’d worked on together all at once. I think that we achieved that, but also think that this album paints a kind of road map for the band, where we’ve come from and where we’re going. For me that’s the most compelling thing about it”

New tracks ‘Cult of the Druid’ and ‘Sagittarius A*’ have become live mainstays and firm fan favorites, with equally popular music videos available.

Originally released on CD and Digital platforms in May ‘17, the self released album has been remastered for vinyl and is available on “12 gatefold, with updated liner notes and additional lyrics.

Cybernetic Witch Cult have a UK headline tour planned for October in support of the new release, with support from the fantastic Manchester based heavy blues trio Ritual King.

As well as bringing their most recent album to vinyl, the band also spent october holed up at crows nest studio with Sam Thredder recording their follow up effort, and select tracks from this as yet untitled album will be showcased alongside the support for the new vinyl.

“We’re all very excited to take this tour out on the road. With the new line up solidified and the upcoming album in the bag, this is going to be the first tour where all eras of the band’s music will be on display, there’s songs we haven’t played in over a year, alongside songs we’ve never played on stage before. It’s going to be our most diverse and exciting show yet.”

Whether you’re completely new to Cybernetic Witch Cult or if you’ve been with them since the start, this tour is not to be missed.

The tour dates are as follows:
18/10 – Exeter – The Cavern
19/10 – Bridgwater – Cobblestones
20/10 – Newport – Le Pub
21/10 – Birmingham – Hammer & Anvil
22/10 – Portsmouth – Edge of the Wedge*
25/10 – Southampton – The Hobbit*
26/10 – Sailsbury – The Winchester Gate
27/10 – London – The Dev
31/10 – Newquay – Whiskers*
09/11 – Plymouth – The Junction*
(*CWC only)

You can order the Troglodithic Trip Remastered Gatefold Vinyl directly from Bandcamp. Alternatively, the original version is still available as a Digipack CD and Digital release, all from the link below. https://cyberneticwitchcult.bandcamp.com/album/troglodithic-trip

Cybernetic Witch Cult is:
Alex Wyld – Vocals, guitars
Kale Deane – Bass, vocals
Lewis May – Drums

www.cyberneticwitchcult.com
www.facebook.com/cyberneticwitchcult
https://cyberneticwitchcult.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/cyberwitchcult

Cybernetic Witch Cult, Troglodithic Trip (2017)

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Ungraven Announce Debut Album Due Spring 2019; New Solo-Project from Conan’s Jon Davis

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

Sonic extremity is hardly a new realm for guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis of UK pummelers Conan, but with Ungraven, he takes something of a different approach. In the streaming demo “Blackened Gates of Eternity,” Davis taps into industrial-style repetitions and rhythms, still keeping a presence on guitar, but using it to different ends than in its main outfit. It’s no coincidence he’s wearing a Nailbomb t-shirt in the promo photo, and one imagines having recently joined Max Cavalera onstage only furthers that affection — to be fair, Point Blank was badass — but it should be interesting to see just how far Davis pushes Ungraven away from what Conan do and where the new outfit’s impending debut full-length — set to release in Spring of next year — takes him in terms of sound.

You can hear the demo at the bottom of this post, thanks to the wonders of the internet. The PR wire had this to say about it:

ungraven

JON DAVIS ANNOUNCES UNGRAVEN

Jon Davis of legendary British doom metal band CONAN is pleased to announce his new solo project UNGRAVEN which showcases his love of 90’s metal.

In Jon’s own words “I am a huge fan of Fudge Tunnel, Ministry, Godflesh, Sepultura and Nailbomb. I fell in love with ‘For All Those Who Died’ by Bathory on Headbangers Ball and also the ‘Speed Kills’ comp. Since then I have referenced these bands in some of Conan’s material. With Ungraven I pay homage to the industrial sounds emanating from Birmingham in the 90s with a few other influences that I’ve been obsessing over for a while. It’s super heavy but sightly different from what I have done so far.”

UNGRAVEN’s debut album will be released in spring of 2019, but to celebrate the announcement, Davis has released the track “Blackened Gates of Eternity” on Bandcamp.

Listen to the song here: https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/album/demos

More information on UNGRAVEN will be coming soon.

https://www.facebook.com/ungraven
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/

Ungraven, “Blackened Gates of Eternity” demo

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Alunah Premiere Title-Track of New EP Amber & Gold; Limited Release Due Nov. 16

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

alunah

Having started playing shows together late last year, it only makes sense that UK doom rockers Alunah would want to test the breadth of their new lineup in the studio as well. Thus arrives on Nov. 16 the limited self-release vinyl/digital EP Amber & Gold comprised of an instrumental introduction, two new original songs and a cover of Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game” that mark the first recorded appearance of the band with new frontwoman Siân Greenaway at the mic. Both the title-track and “Awn” make for a fitting showcase for Greenaway‘s integration with the lineup of guitarist David Day, bassist Dan Burchmore and drummer Jake Mason, and as the group move past their latest full-length, 2017’s Solennial (review here), they seem poised as well at the precipice of a new era with Greenaway taking the place of former guitarist/vocalist Sophie Day.

It is not a minor replacement. For a decade, Soph was a major factor in Alunah‘s sound and lyrical aesthetic. Greenaway does not shy from the task before her in these tracks. Instead, as the opening “Mångata” builds tension across its two and a half minutes leading into the title-cut, she steps forward and cuts through the chugging riff around her and a lead guitar line with immediate command and melodic presence. Richalunah amber and gold with vibrato and an almost goth sensibility, to some of her semi-spoken verses, she nonetheless suits the rolling groove of the chorus fluidly, and as the song dips into a psychedelic bridge in its second half, she meets the drift head on in a manner that provides a human foundation and cleverly sets the stage for a return to the hook, which, as is Alunah‘s wont, is top grade. “Awn” follows suit with a more patient unfolding and arrangement of layers, with Mason‘s drums assuring the signature bounce of Alunah‘s rhythms is maintained through the verse as Burchmore‘s thickened tone provides familiar warmth and Day peppers in solos for accent between verses.

That Alunah would come out of these two originals sounding so much like Alunah is something of a relief for someone who’s a fan — as I am — but Greenaway makes an impression here as well, and it’s clear the band are looking to expand their sound in multiple directions even as they hold onto some familiar aspects of their approach. About the Chris Isaak cover: Alunah actually aren’t the first heavy band to take on “Wicked Game.” I believe that honor goes to Slow Horse circa 1999, but it well suits the largesse of tone Alunah bring to it, and the brooding vocals take on a sultry tone despite reminding of the kind of atmosphere Type O Negative might bring to such a cover.

As to what Alunah will do next, I haven’t a clue. I didn’t know there was an EP in the works until last week, so obviously I’ve got zilch as regards the inside track. Even so, if Amber & Gold is laying the groundwork for an eventual first full-length with Greenaway in the lineup, they only sound ready for it in these tracks. They have live dates set for the next couple months and presumably more plans for 2019 after that. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.

Burchmore offered some comment on the EP, and you’ll find other info below, including the preorder link. Right under the player where you can hear the premiere of “Amber & Gold” itself, which it’s my distinct pleasure to host.

Enjoy:

Dan Burchmore on Amber & Gold:

Siân joining the band really opened up the potential for how our sound could change. She already had some idea of the direction her lyrical themes would take us, and that helped when we were constructing the songs. When it came to writing for the EP we wanted to capitalise on that, so when we were in the studio it was important that the different nuances and new energy of the songs could be heard clearly and that Siân was putting her stamp on this new definition of Alunah.

Alunah, Amber & Gold tracklist:
1. Mångata
2. Amber & Gold
3. Awn
4. Wicked Game

Preorder: http://alunah.bandcamp.com/album/amber-gold

Alunah live:
21.10 The Frog and Fiddle Cheltenham UK w/ Diamond Head
27.10 The Angel Microbrewery Nottingham UK
03.11 The Green Room Welwyn Garden City UK
10.11 Doom Over Vienna XIII Vienna AT
17.11 Asylum 2 Birmingham UK*
24.11 Temple of Boom Leeds UK
01.12 Pilgrims Pit Stoke UK
08.12 The Swan Ipswich UK

Alunah is:
Siân Greenaway – Vocals
David Day – Guitar
Daniel Burchmore – Bass
Jake Mason – Drums

Alunah on Thee Facebooks

Alunah on Twitter

Alunah on Instagram

Alunah on Bandcamp

Alunah webstore

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Crawling for Carrion Premiere Townes Van Zandt Cover “Rake”; Debut EP Rake and Roads out Nov. 9

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Crawling for Carrion

Go ahead and take the title of Crawling for Carrion‘s debut EP, Rake and Roads, literally. It’s comprised of two songs, one is “Rake” and the other is “Roads.” Both are covers — of Townes Van Zandt and Portishead, respectively — and both are given a heavy treatment intended to mirror the emotional and atmospheric weight already embedded in them. The rearrangement of “Rake” is premiering now at the bottom of this post, and preorders for the release are up through Giganto Records ahead of its Nov. 9 arrival.

I suppose when you feature in as many bands as Chris WestTrippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight (who were way ahead of the UK underground’s silly-moniker arms race), Stubb, Landskap, Named by the Sun, Groan for a hot minute, Glanville, etc. — you make a few friends along the way, and as he handles guitar and bass and directs the arrangements, West is joined by members of Stubb, Wight and Vodun, as well as former(?) Trippy Wicked bandmate Peter Holland, now also of Elephant Tree. On “Rake,” it’s Grave Lines‘ Jake Harding on vocals and Thomas Kurek of Wight on drums, and the groove elicited from the Townes Van Zandt original — which should also be well familiar to Scott Kelly and/or Wino fans — gives a new angle from which to view its lyrical narrative.

Giganto Records is West‘s own label, and he by and large records his own work, so there’s really nothing stopping this new project from fleshing out in any number of directions. Blondie by way of doom? Could happen.

Art, info, links and audio follow:

Crawling for Carrion Rake and Roads

Rake and Roads is the first in a series of releases from Crawling for Carrion. The UK-based project is spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Chris West (Landskap, Trippy Wicked, etc.), and reinterprets “Rake” by Townes Van Zandt and “Roads” by Portishead with an eye toward bringing out an inner heaviness that’s been there all along.

Releasing through his own Giganto Records and handling production, bass and guitar, West is joined by a rotating cast in Crawling for Carrion. Jake Harding (Grave Lines) handles vocals and Thomas Kurek (Wight) drums for “Rake,” while drums on “Roads” were played by Pete Holland (Elephant Tree), and vocals helmed by Chantal Brown (Vodun) and lead guitar by Tom Hobson (Stubb). Rake and Roads will be issued as individual lathe cut 10” records and only available on a preorder basis. The sleeves will be individually printed and numbered by artist Emmett Casley from a linocut.

Chris West launched Giganto Records in 2017 as a platform to release music that he writes and records himself under various names. Best known for playing in Stubb and Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight, in recent years he has also played with Landskap, Glanville and Named by the Sun.

https://www.facebook.com/crawlingforcarrion/
https://twitter.com/christhewest
https://www.instagram.com/christhewest
https://show.co/3B0Clsk
https://www.gigantorecords.com
https://gigantorecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gigantorecords

Crawling for Carrion, “Rake” official track premiere

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Bismuth Announce The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef Due Nov. 2; Premiere Album Trailer

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

bismuth

You only get a taste of it in the album trailer by Chariot of Black Moth streaming at the bottom of this post, but the 32-minute title-track of Bismuth‘s upcoming second full-length, The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef, is heavy enough that you’ll be mopping your melted brain cells off the floor after they leak out your damaged ears. Provided you still have enough coordination to do so after the onslaught of noise and tonal weight. The Nottingham-based bass/drum duo will release the album Nov. 2 through no fewer than four labels — Dry Cough Records, Tartarus Records, Medusa Crush Recordings and Rope or Guillotine — and hearing it leaves little mystery as to why they’d garner such populous backing. Comprised just of the title-track and the subsequent six-minute scathe of noise-doom in “Weltschmerz,” it works around the theme of climate change and human impact on the planet, so yes, it is quite fucking grim. Quite fucking grim indeed. Just like our prospects for making it out of the next two centuries with a civilization intact. Good work, my fellow fuckwads.

Bassist/vocalist Tanya Byrne, when she’s not rumbling out the extreme-sludge chaos of Bismuth‘s low end alongside drummer Joe Rawlings in a bevvy of splits with the likes of UndersmileGnaw Their Tongues and Legion of Andromeda — significant company to keep, all of them — works as a volcanologist, and wrote the lyrics for The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef in consideration of exactly what the title describes. Not subtle, but certainly a devastating aural interpretation of a continually devastated ecosystem. You”ll find some comment from her below relating to the album, followed by the release info, followed by the trailer premiere.

All thanks to the mighty and seemingly-carbon-free-but-still-probably-somehow-toxic PR wire. Remember, kids. We’re all complicit:

Bismuth The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef

Tanya Byrne on The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef:

Last year I’d been reading a lot about climate change and the impacts it has been having on various parts of the world. There are particular habitats that act as warning flags for other ecosystems, because they are more sensitive to subtle changes. The Great Barrier Reef is one such area: It has been experiencing drastic changes due to a rise in global sea temperatures. In recent years, up to 70 percent of the reef has experiencing bleaching. The corals die, and as less survive every year, the extent of the reef decreases.

My hope is that through listening to this album, listeners will be prompted to do their own research into the effects that our species are having on this planet, and to rely less on the over-simplification of this issue that is so often presented by media outlets or political parties. Their soundbites are good for quotes, but not for explaining this complex and interconnected problem. As an environmental scientist, I try to be hopeful for the future, but I feel optimism can only be gained if all countries and political parties stop blaming each other and start working together to prevent further degradation of our planet.

The current political discourse on how to reduce our impact on ecosystems is stuck in semantics, all while these systems degrade. I believe we can reduce our impact, and I am hopeful that solutions will be found. However, many of these solutions are halted, while governments argue over who is to blame. The album title makes reference to the fact that climate change is affecting this habitat extremely, and inaction is one of the biggest causes of its decline.

Heavy/ slow duo, BISMUTH’s upcoming album, titled The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef, will be released on November 2 via a collaboration between four independent labels; Dry Cough (UK), Rope or Guillotine (NL), Medusa Crush (CA), and Tartarus Records (NL) who will jointly share release duties.

The two piece are based in Nottingham, featuring Joe Rawlings on drums and Tanya Byrne on bass/vocals. The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef is their second full length release, and is in many ways a continuation of earlier work; a strong focus on multiple layers and frequencies coming together to create an enveloping and often oppressive sound is very much BISMUTH’s MO.

The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef is a two song opus with quite self explanatory subject matter, lyric-wise. Outside of the band, Byrne, is a volcanologist with a passion for environmental science.

The title track is a 32 minute behemoth, which stays true to BISMUTH’s own description – heavy with a core of fragility. The second track, Weltschmerz is – musically and thematically – a continuation of the first. Whilst their songs lean towards being lengthy, the message and passion behind them never diminishes.

BISMUTH UK tour dates:
23.11 – Nottingham
24.11 – Manchester
25.11 – Glasgow
26.11 – Edinburgh
27.11 – Liverpool
28.11 – Leeds
29.11 – Birmingham
30.11 – Cardiff
01.12 – London
02.12 – Bristol
03.12 – Brighton

All dates are with VILE CREATURE.

The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef is released on November 2nd via Dry Cough (UK), Rope or Guillotine (NL), Medusa Crush (CA), and Tartarus Records (NL).

https://www.facebook.com/bismuthslow/
https://bismuthslow.bandcamp.com
www.drycoughrecords.com/product/bismuth-slow-dying-pre-order
https://ropeorguillotine.bandcamp.com/album/the-slow-dying-of-the-great-barrier-reef
https://medusacrushrecordings.bandcamp.com
https://tartarusrecords.com

Bismuth, The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef album trailer

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Desertfest London 2019 First Announcement: Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze, Kadavar, Witch, We Hunt Buffalo & DVNE Join Lineup

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

desertfest london 2019 banner

What’s more exciting than a killer first festival announcement? Not much. So many possibilities, and with its first lineup additions, Desertfest London 2019 throws the door wide open with some massive names. Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze and Kadavar? Hell, I’d take any of them as a headliner, and you can pretty much throw Witch in there too. That’s five acts right out of the gate, any of whom could sell out a show on their own in London, plus the just-reviewed We Hunt Buffalo and Edinburgh’s DVNE, whom I had the pleasure of seeing at Psycho Las Vegas for their US live debut, rounding out an initial seven that’s absolutely massive.

The key part of the announcement below, though? It’s where it says “we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date.” Desertfest London has only grown huger each year, more forward-thinking and broader in its reach. The Desertscene crew have their work cut out for them in topping 2018, but if this is a taste of the scale to come, they might just get there.

From the PR wire:

desertfest london 2019 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019 – Sunday, May 5, 2019

It begins! Desertfest is returning to Camden for our eighth edition over the Bank Holiday weekend of 3rd to 5th May, and as ever we’re bringing you the finest stoner, doom, sludge and psych bands from around the world. Over the next few months, we’ll be revealing our lineup of dozens of the heaviest bands around, so without further ado, here’s the first seven names for Desertfest 2019.

Over the last half-decade, Nashville’s All Them Witches have made themselves indispensable with a sound that has never stopped evolving, with their roots in heavy blues and psychedelia flourishing over time into an approach that is undeniably their own. The Tennessee four-piece arrive at Desertfest with a reputation that precedes them for jammy explorations and a kind of heavy that, while regularly imitated, has yet to be reproduced by anyone else.

Joining them on the bill are Kadavar, who make their long awaited Desertfest return with their fur-coated, barreling riot of a set at the Jazz Cafe in 2013 as fresh in our minds as ever. There are very few who perform the retro-rockin’, ’70s proto-metal revival with the power, prestige and passion of our favourite Berlin trio. The boogie train that is Kadavar won’t be making any emergency stops as it ploughs through Camden this May.

Vermont spell-casters Witch will be enrapturing Desertfest with their stoner rock incantations in 2019. Combining psychedelic rock, Sabbath-ian doom, and Black Flag sludge-punk, stoner aficionados who were around for the noughties boom will fondly remember Witch for releasing some of the hookiest albums of the decade. After a stint lurking in the shadows, Witch are hitting up Desertfest to make magic once again.

Even after seven mammoth editions of Desertfest, there are bands we’ve been chomping at the bit to get over to Camden to grace our stages; finally, we’ve grabbed us the hardest jamming band in the universe, Earthless, are touching down to shred our corner of London to the ground. The epitome of psyched-out Hendrixian-krautrock from day one, San Diego’s ultimate power trio will melt your entire body this May.

Colour Haze make their return to the Desertfest stage in 2019 after six long years. The German trio, in whose image modern heavy psychedelia is in large part cast, have affirmed their position as unflinching masters of the form in their absence, finding a new niche between heavy riffs and expansive arrangements. The Colour Haze that return to Desertfest are, somehow, even better than the one we saw in 2013.

Vancouver trio We Hunt Buffalo‘s brand of prog-minded fuzz rock has been stampeding out of amps and trampling audiences since 2010. Professing a love of all things stoner and psych and citing influences from all genres of rock, all underpinned with driving fuzz lines, We Hunt Buffalo will be just the ticket to a sore neck at Desertfest.

Last but not least in our first batch of bands are Edinburgh’s DVNE who play their own unique brand of night sky-gazing melodic sludge. Early-period Mastodon fans should take note, as the progressive changes and all-conquering vocals conjure up scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution in their epic soundscapes of post-metal ebb and flow.

So there you have it, our first seven bands. With dozens more names to come, including all three headliners, we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date. Weekend tickets are on sale now at the link below, so be sure to book your place at the heaviest lineup in town; Desertfest 2019!

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

All Them Witches, ATW (2018)

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