Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Night Creeper: Waiting for Blood

Posted in Reviews on September 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

uncle acid and the deadbeats the night creeper

Looking at the ascendancy of the UK’s Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (often stylized with a lowercase ‘d’ on the last word) over the last half-decade is like staring into the abyss of our own worst impulses, and it seems unlikely the band would have it any other way. Portrayals of murder, exploitation, the celebration of cult mindsets, all provide the VHS-grained fuel for the four-piece’s fire. Their aesthetic accomplishments have been beyond considerable. Since debuting in 2010 with the only-20-made-and-never-reissued Vol. 1, Uncle Acid made their breakthrough in 2011 with Blood Lust (discussed here), which was subsequently reissued as their first offering through Rise Above Records, then in partnership with Metal Blade.

Their third album, Mind Control (review here), followed in 2013, and by then their influence had already begun to spread to a league of up-and-coming groups interested in capturing a similar style of lo-fi garage doom and psychedelia. That influence has only increased its span as Uncle Acid began to establish a presence as a live, and subsequently touring, act, and their fourth full-length, The Night Creeper, arrives through Rise Above with the band — guitarist/vocalist Kevin R. Starrs, guitarist/vocalist Yotam Rubinger, bassist/backing vocalist Vaughn Stokes and drummer Itamar Rubinger — positioned as forerunners of a style they helped create, having fostered a sound that has retained its immediate identifiability despite a growing number of players in the US, UK and Europe taking cues from it. Plenty out there are trying, but no one sounds as much like Uncle Acid as Uncle Acid. Their sonic individualism has been a great source of their success up to this point.

Couple that individual style with songwriting so memorable as to make tracks about stabbing people seem like generational landmarks, a classic mystique and a balance between wider-market conceptual horror appeal and preaching-to-the-converted Sabbathism, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ reach is as multifaceted as the band’s hooks are infectious. The Night Creeper, the bulk of which was tracked live by Liam Watson of Toe Rag Studios in London, does nothing to interrupt Uncle Acid‘s momentum. Rather, it performs the crucial function of demonstrating growth within their sound. Not only growth as players — the simple fact that any of it was recorded live is progression; Uncle Acid weren’t a live band when they made Mind Control — but stylistic expansion as well.

Pulling back on the post-Manson cultish conceptual themes of its predecessor, The Night Creeper‘s 10 tracks/54 minutes (the longest offering yet) foster a general air of darkness derived from classic horror, noir and Giallo films. Still tales of murder and unnamed threats, but opening salvo “Waiting for Blood,” “Murder Nights” and “Downtown” are less direct in their root thematic, and so feel freer to explore dark corners Uncle Acid in which have yet to lurk. “Waiting for Blood” and “Murder Nights” in particular are maddeningly catchy, but they also set the tone of the record in establishing its rough-edged, almost biting sound. It would have been very easy for Uncle Acid, particularly after Mind Control, which feels positively produced in comparison, to have smoothed out their style, upped the recording fidelity, and made a general push toward mass-market accessibility. The Night Creeper, instead, sounds like it was buried alive and had to crawl through six feet of packed dirt distortion to see release. It is glorious in its filthy revelry.

Ester Segarra

There are other signs of progression throughout. Instrumental interlude “Yellow Moon” delves directly into the kinds of ambience much of Uncle Acid‘s material has touched on, that analog, Mellotron creepiness, while on either side of it, “Pusher Man” and “Melody Lane” provide The Night Creeper with highlights in terms of songwriting and choruses that just as easily could have opened the album, both hovering on either side of six minutes long but with not a second to spare in their bizarre hypnosis and unbridled push. Familiar elements, perhaps, but given fresh execution. After the solo-topped peak of “Melody Lane,” the title-track arrives with an immediately slower tempo, more swing than thrust, subtle turns in vocal layering playing out without undercutting the prevailing rawness and patience of what would be the album’s longest inclusion if not for “Slow Death,” which closes.

Separating the two is “Inside,” the shortest piece at 3:25 (yes, shorter than “Yellow Moon”), which would be easy to pass off as an afterthought if not for its insistent chug, fuzzy leads and lingering psychedelic keys. Structurally, it departs from some of the band’s established verse/chorus tendencies, but all the better to set up “Slow Death,” which at 9:36 is essentially built on a languid, subdued jam. Vocals are deep in the mix behind jazzy guitar, a cutting-through snare and the distinct hiss of analog tape. There is a build at work, but even at its most swollen, the song is never really meant to “take off” from its prescribed dirge march. Volume grows and fades and there’s a long bout of silence before the mournful hidden track “Black Motorcade” caps, its acoustic form recalling “Down to the Fire” from the reissue of Blood Lust, but in a mood shifted, twisted and altogether less active, in part sounding like a lost Kinfauns demo, but still well within The Night Creeper‘s by-then-expanded purview.

Ultimately, whatever else it does for the band’s processes or profile, what The Night Creeper most declares is Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ sustainability. Not even that they can come out with a new record every couple of years and keep themselves on the road — “the road,” which you’ll recall wasn’t even a consideration in 2012 — but that they can continue to expand on what they’ve done in the past without being locked into one formula or another, and that as their profile grows, that doesn’t necessarily translate into capitulation to a broader audience. These should be encouraging signs for fans, but more than that for the band itself, since while these songs are identifiable as their own, there’s nothing about their work four albums later that would seem to indicate stagnation on any level, and they can continue to move forward and grow in sound and aesthetic from here. No question that for many listeners, The Night Creeper will be in the conversation of the year’s best albums, and rightly so.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Melody Lane” official video

Uncle Acid on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Acid’s website

Rise Above Records

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Desertfest London 2016 First Announcements: Electric Wizard, Conan, Elder, Witchsorrow and Raging Speedhorn Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Desertfest London 2016 will be held April 29 through May 1 in the (black) heart of London: Camden Town. This is the fifth year the fest has been held, and while I’m not sure that was on their minds when they decided to open their season with an opening shot of five band announcements, it works out nicely all the same.

That’s true in no small part because of the bands announced. For a first headliner, Desertfest London 2016 unveils Electric Wizard, and they’re joined by a considerable battalion comprised of Conan, Elder, Witchsorrow and reactivated sludge rockers Raging Speedhorn, whom I once saw play — true story — in a hotel bar way off the beaten path at SXSW in Austin, Texas, maybe 2005 or 2006? I mean that show was so far out it might as well have been in Houston. Long walk. They were worth it though, and I don’t think they ever came back to the US, which is fair enough. Hard to beat “Fuck You, Pay Me.”

Anyhoo, of course we’ll have a ton more to come on Desertfest London 2016 by next April, though for now it’s cool to see Elder will apparently be making their way back to Europe. Very interested to find out how London’s lineup will interact with that of the Berlin-based Desertfest. When I see something, I’ll say something.

For now:

desertfest london 2016 banner

***DESERTFEST IS BACK WITH A BANG! FIVE BANDS FOR APRIL 2016!***

Hello all! We at Desertfest HQ hope you’ve had a great summer so far and as we sidle into September we’re thrilled to bring you some great news about the fifth annual Desertfest in Camden this coming April. Our first headliner to creep out of the shadows are those mighty legends of true British doom Electric Wizard! Marching behind the standard they bear for us all come Liverpool’s battle-hardened warriors Conan, Boston’s heralded masters of heavy psych Elder, the UK’s blackened doomsters Witchsorrow and those heroes of sludgy hardcore Raging Speedhorn!

Head over to our new-look website to find out more about these incredible bands and stick with us in the coming weeks as we bring you yet more of the world’s greatest doom, psyche, stoner, sludge and all things in between this April in Camden!

http://www.thedesertfest.com/london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://instagram.com/desertfest
http://desertfest.bigcartel.com/

Conan, Live at Desertfest London 2013

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Friday Full-Length: King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

An observation by King Crimson, and a brilliant one at that. The first time I heard King Crimson‘s 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King was on the flight home from my honeymoon. I was 23, and while by some standards that was late to encounter the record, it’s a setting I wouldn’t have traded a decade for, returning from my first time out of the country, The Patient Mrs. sitting next to me as I loaded the disc into the bulky CD player I’d continue to use for years afterwards — 23-year-old me is a little disappointed every time 33-year-old me plays a song on my phone — the swells of the closing semi-title-track “Court of the Crimson King” matching the puffy whites and greys of clouds outside the aircraft window. It’s an association I’ll always have with the first King Crimson record, and that may well be part of why I consider it among the best albums I’ve ever heard, but sentiment aside, I think even the most objective observer would have to be taken aback by just how much ground the UK band — the lineup of Robert Fripp (guitar), Michael Giles (drums, backing vocals, percussion), Greg Lake (vocals, bass), and Ian McDonald (flute, clarinet, sax, keys, harisichord, piano, vibraphone, backing vocals, etc.) — were able to break on their debut release. Out through Island Records in the UK and Atlantic in the US for its original pressing, its 44 minutes continue to serve as a blueprint for the founding consciousness that typifies nearly every strain of progressive rock. It’s the higher consciousness that all those acid-heads were trying to attain.

King Crimson are probably more known for 1974’s Red, or their 1981 post-hiatus return, Discipline, which in many ways set the tone for everything that followed it, but In the Court of the Crimson King makes for an even more striking listen because it’s as much about its melodies as its experimentalism. From the jagged insistence of “21st Century Schizoid Man” — a landmark in itself and a defining moment for the band — through the closer’s spacious roll and minimalist interplay, King Crimson were beyond just freaking out. Every texture in the mellotron-infused “Moonchild,” and every pseudo-militaristic drum stop in “Epitaph” has its companion sense of melody, and the work as a whole is as gorgeous as it is complex. The dreamy wisps of “I Talk to the Wind” are much stronger for it, and while King Crimson would ultimately become more of a show of technicality and genre-defining progressive rhythms under various lineups incorporating the likes of guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford — nothing against that band, those players or anyone else who might have “I played ‘x’ in King Crimson” on their resumé — this earliest incarnation of the group was unafraid to complement all that distinguishing class with simple sweetness, and that was something that they’d never quite do in the same way again. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the early part of “Moonchild.”

Of course, that’s not to belittle the band’s subsequent accomplishments or what Greg Lake would go on to do with Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or what Fripp continues to do with the modern version of King Crimson — which if I recall correctly featured no fewer than three drummers on their most recent US tour; I was sorry I missed it — just to highlight the fact that In the Court of the Crimson King is something special and it was a shortlived moment in the band’s ultimate trajectory. I can’t imagine this post is anyone’s first time hearing it, but if it is or if you’re just revisiting, fair enough. I can’t imagine this version posted on YouTube will be there all that long before it gets taken down, so if nothing else, consider this a recommendation to take your copy off the shelf — CD, vinyl, whatever it might be — and give it another look, or if you don’t have a copy, to get one. It’s one of those records that goes a long way toward making a house into a home.

Either way, enjoy.

I’ve been thinking this week about the idea of curating. Announcing that I’m putting together that all-dayer for next August in Brooklyn has got me thinking about the various ways in which we curate our existence, the choices we make, the little things we do every day. My conclusion? I’m way fucking in favor. You know what the tradeoff is for all the privacy we’ve thrown out the window in the last two decades, all the data we’ve let be gathered and sold back to us, all the compromises we’ve made on our relationships to media and the relentlessly-cloying-yet-somehow-also-all-controlling corporatocracy in which we live? The tradeoff is the “I don’t want to see this” button.

It’s not quite my favorite thing in the world, but it’s definitely on the list. Imagine a real-life bullshit detector. I used to abhor willful ignorance, as though everyone should make an effort to expose themselves to everything, all the time — the least realistic of expectations. Our brains would explode. Fuck that shit. Life is short, and yeah, you should get out and see the world, but when you come across something you just know is garbage, “I don’t want to see this” comes in real, real handy.

The Patient Mrs. asks me all the time if I’ve seen this or that floating around, the latest horrific thing some Republican candidate said or did. There was a time where the answer would be yes, but now? Not a chance. I barely even pay attention to mass shootings, suicide bombings, war, greed, corruption, etc., anymore. Not when there are show flyers to check out! Is my being interminably beaten down by the needless cruelties we perpetrate on each other going to fix them? Nope. Am I improving myself by being upset by these things? Nope. Okay then.

I’m not saying compassion has no value — unless we’re measuring in terms of pure real-world productivity, which in most cases it does indeed have no value — or that the news isn’t worth keeping up with, but I’m saying that, like the news organizations, we’re fortunate to live in an age in which we’re also able to engage in what media studies calls “agenda setting.” I don’t know what Donald Trump said about Mexican immigrants. I don’t know how many people were blown up today in Baghdad. I do know Baroness have a new album coming out, and I know that the new Graveyard record kicks ass. And I’m perfectly okay with that balance. My agenda has been set.

Perhaps complemented by the revelation of a somewhat troubling tendency to gravitate toward ’90s television (Star Trek spinoffs, MST3K, etc.) and videogames, being able to curate my own life has proven a massive win, and it’s made me more conscious (again, for better and worse) of my decisions and habits, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The rest? Well, I don’t know about it, because I choose not to know. Other people can fret over the fact that nobody’s willing to do anything about climate change, that people on the internet say, write and do stupid, racist, sexist shit, and so on. Other people can protest wars like that’s ever going to stop them. It’s not like meaningful debate is a thing that exists or anyone’s interested in having. So yeah, beat your head against the wall of someone else’s dumbassery. Let me know how many years that adds to your life.

Next week, stay tuned for a Funeral Horse track stream, an initial announcement from Desertfest, reviews of Thera Roya and Uncle Acid and an interview with Monster Magnet‘s frontman, the inimitable Dave Wyndorf. There’s copious news already to go up on Monday about a new record from Saviours and the Melvins‘ next European tour, and I hear there’s an announcement coming from the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta as well, so stay tuned. Much goodness en route.

And if this site is one of the things to which you choose to expose yourself on a regular basis, please know you have my thanks and best wishes.

Great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Anathema to Release A Sort of Homecoming Concert Film and Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hey, you know who saw Anathema earlier this year? Me. I did. It was frickin’ great. It wasn’t at a cathedral, but it was at Roadburn, which is about as close as I come to a house of religious worship, so there. The long-running, long-progressing UK outfit had played Liverpool Cathedral only about a month before, however, and it’s that show that will be released as A Sort of Homecoming on Oct. 30 via Kscope. The material is mostly recent, but they manage to sneak a couple older cuts in there too, and if the cover is anything to go by, it looks like the setting is half the point. Look at that ceiling. I’d record a live album too if presented the opportunity.

And the title? Well, they’re from Liverpool, so there you go. Also, I love that Vincent Cavanagh compares it to Erebor. Fantastic.

The PR wire brings copious info and a trailer for the release:

anathema in liverpool cathedral

KSCOPE PRESENTS: ANATHEMA’S “A SORT OF HOMECOMING,” A CONCERT FILM BY LASSE HOILE FROM ANATHEMA’S LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL SHOW

“A Sort of Homecoming” to be released on Blu-ray, 2CD + DVD-V, LP and digital download on October 30

Anathema, one of the U.K.’s most cherished and critically acclaimed rock bands, will release a live Blu-ray/audio collection entitled A Sort of Homecoming on October 30 via Kscope. Directed by Lasse Hoile (Steven Wilson, Katatonia, Opeth), A Sort of Homecoming is a stunning concert film of Anathema’s homecoming show on March 7, 2015 in the spectacular setting of the Liverpool Cathedral. The concert was described by Prog Magazine as “a once in a lifetime experience that words can barely do justice.”

“I’m really happy that this night in particular has been preserved,” commented Anathema guitarist/vocalist, Vincent Cavanagh. “As anyone from Liverpool will tell you, to be given the chance to play the Anglican Cathedral is monumental and a huge honor. The place is absolutely huge. Just look at the cover, it was like doing a gig in Erebor!”

Having previously worked with Anathema on the acclaimed Universal concert film, Lasse Hoile captured the 100 minute acoustic set in high definition against the sensational backdrop of Liverpool Cathedral. Featuring 15 songs selected from the albums Distant Satellites, Weather Systems, We’re Here Because We’re Here, A Natural Disaster and Alternative 4, the ‘Anathema Acoustic’ trio of Daniel Cavanagh, Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas were joined by rhythm section John Douglas and Jamie Cavanagh, alongside their very talented close friend David Wesling on cello who also played on Hindsight (2009) and A Moment In Time (2006). For this exclusive performance the band was also joined by the renowned violinist, Anna Phoebe, on a haunting rendition of “Anathema.” The audio has been produced and mixed by Christer-André Cederberg who worked on Distant Satellites, Universal and Weather Systems, with the cover and booklet artwork featuring the stunning photography from the show and behind the scenes by long time collaborator Caroline Traitler. This is the first Anathema live release to feature a 5.1 audio mix, engineered by Bruce Soord.

Kscope will release A Sort of Homecoming as:

– 4 disc box set: 2 CD concert audio (100 mins), DVD with full concert plus an additional behind the scenes film “A Temporary Peace” and concert on Blu-ray disc. In a deluxe rigid media book with 36 page booklet, presented in a slipcase

– 2CD + DVD-V: The set features the full 100 minute audio and DVD-V of the concert with 5.1 audio mixed by The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord

– Blu-ray disc: The full 100 minute concert plus an additional behind the scenes film “A Temporary Peace” with 5.1 audio mixed by The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord

LP: A gatefold triple 180g black vinyl LP including MP3 download code

Digital: Concert audio only

All formats, excluding digital download, are available to pre-order via the Kscope web-store at: www.kscopemusic.com/store.

1. The Lost Song Part 2
2. Untouchable Part 1
3. Untouchable Part 2
4. Thin Air
5. Dreaming Light
6. Anathema
7. Ariel
8. Electricity
9. Temporary Peace
10. The Beginning And The End
11. Distant Satellites
12. Take Shelter
13. Internal Landscapes
14. A Natural Disaster
15. Fragile Dreams

Anathema will continue to tour throughout the remainder of 2015. A full list of dates can be seen below.

Anathema live…
8/31 – Tokyo, Japan @ Liquid Room
9/01 – Tokyo, Japan @ Liquid Room
9/05 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Overload Music Festival
9/07 – Porto Alegre, Brazil @ Opiniao (w/ Paradise Lost)
9/08 – Rio, Brazil @ Circo Voador (w/ Paradise Lost)
9/11 – Atlanta, GA, USA @ Prog Power Festival
10/01 – Moscow, Russia @ Volta
10/02 – Minsk, Russia @ Re:Public
10/03 – St Petersburg, Russia @ Avrora
10/23 – Christchurch, NZ @ Dux Live
10/24 – Auckland, NZ @ Kings Arms
10/27 – Adelaide, AUS @ The Gov
10/29 – Brisbane, AUS @ Triffid
10/30 – Sydney, AUS @ Metro Theatre
10/31 – Melbourne, AUS @ Corner Hotel
11/01 – Perth, AUS @ Rosemount Hotel
11/04 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Cathedral
11/05 – Paris, France @ Église Saint-Eustache (acoustic)
11/06 – Bochum, Germany (acoustic)
11/07 – Leipzig, Germany @ Täubchenthal (acoustic)
11/09 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ TivoliVredenburg
11/10 – Mannheim, Germany @ Capitol (acoustic)
11/11 – Sofia, Bulgaria @ Royal Bulgaria Hall (acoustic)
11/15 – 11/19 – Miami, FL, USA @ Cruise To The Edge

www.anathema.ws
www.facebook.com/weareanathema
www.twitter.com/anathemamusic
http://www.kscopemusic.com/artists/anathema/

Anathema, A Sort of Homecoming trailer

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Post New Video for “Melody Lane”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

uncle acid melody lane video

If it’s Uncle Acid‘s particular brand of threat and inescapable hooks you’re looking for, you’re probably not going to find it anywhere on their upcoming fourth album, The Night Creeper — out Sept. 4 on Rise Above Records — so much as on “Melody Lane.” Arriving after the instrumental “Yellow Moon,” it’s a fitting opener to side B of The Night Creeper, and among the record’s catchiest single choruses. I won’t take anything away from “Waiting for Blood” or “Murder Nights,” but it’s a highlight of the record.

The video covers familiar-enough feeling visual ground to go with the audio. Certainly for anyone who has caught the band’s clips for last year’s “Runaway Girls” single or the prior “Mind Crawler” from 2013’s Mind Control (review here) will recognize the form. The band themselves make fuzzy cameo appearances, standing in line for what I think turned out to be their latest round of promo pics — we don’t actually see photographer Ester Segarra in the video, but the window they’re in front of at one point looks familiar — and there is some grainy interspersion of The Night Creeper‘s cover art as well, so if there are any promotional bases to cover for the video, they’re covered.

As for the rest? Well, sort of a standard runthrough of the ’60s and ’70s hotties spliced with bouts of sexualized violence, knives as implements of penetration, and so on. But there’s also a few clips out of old film noir features, and if you had the chance to read the interview posted here last week with Uncle Acid guitarist/vocalist Kevin Starrs, that’s the thematic basis for more or less the whole album, so it’s not just a mishmash of hijacked footage set to the song. There’s a purpose looming behind all that psychosis, which I suppose is also what’s made Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats so effective over their entire run so far.

Their upcoming US tour dates follow under the video — I feel like I haven’t gone more than two days in the last three weeks without plugging that tour one way or another — along with more on the album itself courtesy of the PR wire. Enjoy:

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, “Melody Lane” official video

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats Share Music Video for New Track “Melody Lane”

The Night Creeper Out September 4 via Rise Above Records, Pre-Order Now

Touring the US This Fall + in NYC 9/12

The United Kingdom’s greatest cult band Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are to return with their fourth full-length studio album The Night Creeper on September 4 via Rise Above Records.

Their newest single from the album is “Melody Lane” which has now been paired with a music video comprised of clips from classic B and exploitation films. It is an unprecedented peek into the brain of Uncle Acid himself and the inspirations that led to The Night Creeper. The album is available for pre-order now with an instant download of “Waiting for Blood” and “Melody Lane” on iTunes and Amazon.

Recorded at Toe Rag Studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard), The Night Creeper oozes louche evil. Hear flesh-melting riffs that creep like hot magma bubbling up through the earth’s crust combine with an ear for melody born out of the bands love for girl groups like The Ronettes and The Shangri-La’s. This is Sabbath-meets-Spector and it’s a heady combination. In support of the release they will also be embarking on their largest and longest tour to date, with a variety of US shows which can be viewed below.

Uncle Acid Tour Dates with Ruby the Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision
9/9 at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
9/11 at Baltimore Sound Stage in Baltimore, MD
9/12 at Webster Hall in New York, NY
9/13 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA
9/14 at Royale in Boston, MA
9/16 at Corona Theater in Montreal, QC
9/17 at Phoenix Theater in Toronto, ON
9/18 at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, PA
9/19 at Metro in Chicago, IL
9/20 at Mill city Nights in Minneapolis, MN
9/22 at Summit Theater in Denver, CO
9/23 at Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, UT
9/25 at Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC
9/26 at El Corazon in Seattle, WA
9/27 at Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR
9/29 at Slims in San Francisco, CA
9/30 at Slims in San Francisco, CA
10/1 at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, CA
10/2 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA

Uncle Acid on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats website

Rise Above Records

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Baron to Release Torpor on Oct. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Baron Photo A

They can’t all be genius, right? The truth is most aren’t. No album is perfect, and most bands — UK four-piece Baron included — have things that work and things that don’t within their sound, style, whatever it might be. It’s so easy to get burnt out on stuff though, because a lot, a lot, a lot of it is quite good, so when something different and interesting comes along, it’s almost too easy to pass it up. I’m really glad I took a couple minutes out of my day to listen to Baron‘s new track, “Deeper Align.” It doesn’t represent the entirety of the UK outfit’s forthcoming album, Torpor, which is out Oct. 23 on Svart — who as far as I’m concerned have pretty much hit the I’ll-go-in-blind level when it comes to trusting their taste — but it’s the kind of journey that you don’t realize is underway until it’s over and you look back at how far you’ve come, and in that, and in its melancholy psychedelia, it represents the record well.

The problem with burnout is you run the risk of missing something special. Again, I’m very glad I stopped and listened to this one. You might be as well:

baron torpor

BARON set release date for new SVART album, reveal first track

“As soon as you think you know, you’re done for. You don’t listen and you can’t hear. If you’re certain of anything, you shut the door on the possibility of revelation, of discovery.” – Alan Garner

Today, Svart Records sets October 23rd as the release date for Baron’s highly anticipated Torpor. Torpor, the new album from the British rock four-piece, is the latest in a long line of imaginative works hailing from the British Isles that seek to link place and mythology – the wind-beaten rural landscape and the stories of magic handed down through generations of tellers. In this way, it takes many of its cues from previous generations of musicians and artists: Alan Garner and Mervyn Peake, Derek Jarman and Kate Bush – all explorers at one time or another of the potent mix of history, folklore, and landscape that lie at the heart of these Isles. It is a testament, then, to the sheer quality of Torpor that in this daunting company Baron should not feel ashamed.

Baron’s previous album, Columns, proved that they were a band filled with talent and vision, but Torpor takes the project to a very different level. This is nothing less than a fully realised masterpiece, rich in the same early-dawn melancholy that so marked its predecessor, but stronger and more resilient, marked with tangled thickets of electric guitar and organ and presided over by Alex Crispin’s unmistakable baritone.

While Baron’s choice of instrumentation could be seen as being “traditional” (guitar, organ, drums, even a recorder at points), Torpor is far from being some kind of revivalist “psych” album. What hits you at first listen is not the instrumentation being used, but Baron’s skill in evoking mood and nuance. The touchstones are similar to the ones evoked on Columns – Talk Talk’s sense of enchantment and The Blue Nile’s bleary eyed melancholy;,the airy crescendos reminiscent of Traffic’s late-period masterpiece When The Eagle Flies – but these influences are invigorated by Baron’s confidence and firm grip on dynamics, their ability to leap from a tear-stained hush to a raging crescendo without the join ever being noticeable (witness “Stry,” one of two tracks featuring Wolf People’s Joe Hollick on guitar, for a demonstration of their sure-footed approach). Torpor works precisely because it knows when and where to abandon its restraint. That it can do so without ever compromising its overall mood is a testament to the maturity of the musicians involved and their total knowledge of the story they are trying to tell.

That parts of the album were surreptitiously (and not entirely legally) recorded at Purton Green, one of the last surviving medieval halls in the UK, makes a lot of sense in this context. It is precisely this mix of daring and tradition, of the lure of the landscape and the ability to reconfigure it in one’s own image, that marks Torpor out as an outstanding album, and which pinpoints Baron’s position as the latest addition to an imaginative lineage that stretches back as far as the language itself. Hear for yourself Baron’s unique brand of magick HERE with the Torpor track “Deeper Align.” Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Baron’s Torpor
1. Dragonfly
2. Mark Maker
3. Wild Cry
4. Dark Down
5. Stry
6. Sleepless
7. Deeper Align
8. Albedo Dei

https://www.facebook.com/Baronland
http://www.svartrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Baron, “Deeper Align”

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Gurt and Diesel King to Tour Europe Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Two aggressive-as-hell Londoner outfits teaming up to, as they put it, “beat the shit out of Europe?” Yeah, I’d say the pairing of Gurt and Diesel King makes sense. All the more so since both bands have material recently out. Gurt issued their latest EP, D.I.Y.M.C.A. (get it?), back in April, and in June, Diesel King unleashed a free download single, beefing up Toto‘s “Hold the Line” with their particular brand of dudely extremity. Whether or not they’ll take that cover on the road, I don’t know, but it’s almost worth showing up to find out, even without the rest of the show.

You know the deal. Info and audio? Yes. Info and audio:

gurt diesel king euro tour

GURT + DIESEL KING // EURO TOUR 2015

Dead Pig Entertainment & When Planets Collide present : GURT & DIESEL KING

Beating the shit out of Europe for the first time together…

GURT take the blues and groove of 70s rock and drag it backwards through the swamps of Louisiana. The drums are thunderous, the vocals demonic and the guitars down-tuned, down-tempo and down-right sexy. This is not doom, this is not sludge, THIS IS GURT.

Diesel King play aggressive & abrasive music which has been described from sludge to hardcore to death metal. The London mob have been on various tours and have supported bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod, Entombed and many others. Playing in the UK and Europe and featuring on various high profile festival bills such as Bloodstock, their live shows are likened to being punched in the face repeatedly. With 2 Eps under their belt the band are set unleash their debut album in 2015 “Concrete Burial” and look to continue their dominance in the UK metal scene.

03.09 : UTRECHT (NL), dB’s
04.09 : get in touch
05.09 : SALZBURG (AT), Stonerhead Fest
06.09 : get in touch
07.09 : PARIS (F), Stoned Gatherings Klub
08.09 : LILLE (F), Le Biplan
09.09 : BRUXELLES (BE), Magasin 4

https://www.facebook.com/events/1463049980665347/
facebook.com/GURTsludge
http://gurt.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/Dieselkinguk
http://dieselking.bandcamp.com/

Gurt, D.I.Y.M.C.A. (2015)

Diesel King, Hold the Line (2015)

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Strauss Post New Video for “2015”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

strauss

Despite its funky initial bassline, Strauss‘ “2015” paints a rather grim portrait of the bleak future in which we live. Lines like “No gravity or sense to life” pretty much say it all. Still, that doesn’t mean that the video can’t tell the tale of a fish-obsessed scientist — Blood Waters of Dr. Z, anyone? — losing his mind while the London five-piece pound out riff-led noise rock in a moist-looking concrete-walled space presumably somewhere in the vicinity. It doesn’t need to make sense. It’s science.

Strauss released their second EP, Luia (review here), in May. The follow-up to their more decisively desertized 2013 self-titled (review here), the five-songer impressed with its jump in aggressive style and individual presence on the part of the band. It’s good to know they’ve been keeping busy since putting it out, and if Luia might be their last short offering before they take on the task of their full-length debut, I don’t think anyone who bothers to make their way through “2015” could argue they’re not ready.

Video, including a somewhat quizzical leadoff sample of George W. Bush (who, if you were paying attention at the time, you know said plenty of quizzical shit), follows. Enjoy:

Strauss, “2015” official video

Strauss – 2015, taken from their recently released 2nd EP, Luia.

The video tells the classic heart-warming tale of an aquatically obsessed scientist driven to madness. Possibly by the filthy stoner metal grooves playing out in his deranged mind. No fish were harmed during the making of this video but some harsh words were exchanged.

Lyrics:
News go by on TV
Nothing’s left on my wall
I’ll carry on as they say
Whilst degrade is taking over
How could I ever see a light past the wicked eye?
A dream of truthfulness detached from reality
I came across it once but can’t recall the look
Just a feeling of calm and beauty
No gravity or sense to life
If only I could trust
That better days will come
I’d never lose my hope
To find the hidden sunlit world
Beyond our mind

Luia can be bought here: http://straussband.bandcamp.com/

Directed by – Peter Jones
Produced by – Luke O’Dwyer
DOP – Robin Kay
Edited by – Peter Jones
Additonal Footage – Matt Haworth
Gaffer – Jack Downes
Focus Puller – Martin Dobinson

Camera Assistants – Emma Langley, Michael Tselepis, Greg Childs

Special Thanks to Shift 4

Strauss on Thee Facebooks

Strauss on Bandcamp

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