11Paranoias Set Nov. 10 Release for Stealing Fire from Heaven

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

11paranoias (Photo by Cristiane F)

With a sound built on echoing psychedelic doom obscurities, 11Paranoias will reemerge this fall with a new album called Stealing Fire from Heaven, furthering their penchant for horror on what will be close to the three-year anniversary of the project having been formed by bassist/vocalist Adam Richardson. Formerly of RamessesRichardson formed 11Paranoias with his ex-bandmate Mark Greening on drums, but the lineup is now comprised of himself, guitarist Mike Vest (also Bong) and drummer Nathan Perrier, formerly of Capricorns. This is important to remember because no doubt the songs themselves will sound brutally inhuman and one wants to be reminded that people actually made the thing.

Darkness swirls at the mouth of the PR wire, which brings word of the album and the new song “Surrealise” available to stream:

11paranoias stealing fire from heaven

11PARANOIAS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND UNVEIL FIRST TRACK

DUE FOR NOVEMBER 10 RELEASE VIA RITUAL PRODUCTIONS

London-based psychedelic doom trio, 11PARANOIAS, have today announced details of their forthcoming album, and unveiled the first track to be taken from it.

The album, titled Stealing Fire From Heaven, will be the third release from the band, following on from their 2013 offering Superunnatural, and Spectralbeastiaries which was released in March 2014. The first track to be unleashed is “Surrealise” – a sultry jam that starts of with sleazy, sepia-toned sax before breaking out to segue into an earth rumbling doom groove.

The phenomenal artwork for Stealing Fire From Heaven is a piece by celebrated pioneer of the Surrealist art movement, Max Ernst, entitled ‘The Temptation of St Anthony’. The artwork can be seen below.

11PARANOIAS encapsulate otherworldliness and psychedelia, drawing in inspiration, and spewing out the results in a devilish cocktail of riffs, fuzz and fury. Formed on 11/11/11 with a jam that set them off on this eventful musical path, the band has relied on improvisation and instinct throughout; at no point more so than when it came to record Stealing Fire From Heaven. With no songs written or rehearsed, the band decamped to the studio on the summer solstice to lay down the seven tracks that make up the album. The results are a heady mix of low swirling grooves, super heavy psych and seriously uneasy listening.

Adam Richardson (bass/vocals) provides an insight into the recording process for the album:

“We have made full use of the ‘automatic’ process again on Stealing Fire From Heaven – not just the lyrical/incantation aspect, but the entire process – and it has rewarded us with this ‘unseen apparition’ which we love! It takes guts, blood, trance dwelling exploration of inner and outer space, and an unflinching will to make a record in this method….

“Surrealise, despite its ‘born of nothing’ approach, delves naturally into a mournful lament, of ‘killing sadness’ – that could only be divined and not written. We have coaxed Stealing Fire From Heaven from our consciousness and the stars into this dull dimension we (think we) know. Any idiot can write a great song, learn it and record it, but this traditional approach has become dead to us…

“Long live the new flesh!”

The solid trio at the core of the fuzz-fuelled fury are Adam Richardson, Mike Vest (guitar) and Nathan Perrier (drums), who each bring their own past experiences and weight to the table. Stealing Fire From Heaven was recorded and mixed in the summer of 2014 at London School of Sound and XL Recordings. Adam Richardson also played keyboards on the record. Saxophone and synth is contributed by Austin Milne.

Stealing Fire From Heaven will be released on 10th November 2014 via Ritual Productions. Further details of the album, including preorder information, will be made available in the coming weeks.

The full track listing is as follows:
1. The Great Somnambulist
2. Paranoiditude (Beyond The Grave)
3. Surrealise
4. At The Cursus
5. By The Light Of A Dying Star (Neutron Start)
6. Lost To Smoke
7. Retribution of Dreams

11PARANOIAS will play the following shows:
30/10/14 Underworld, London, UK
01/11/14 Grenswerk, Venlo, Netherlands
02/11/14 Glazart, Paris, France
09/11/14 Exchange, Bristol, UK

https://www.facebook.com/11Paranoias
http://11paranoias.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ritualproductions.net/

11Paranoias, “Surrealise”

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VINYL WEEK: The Kings of Frog Island, V

Posted in On Wax on September 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cool record. I'm not sure if they ever pressed IV, but they sure as hell pressed V. Always good to hear from these guys. If I still had a label going, or more appropriately if I ever really had one, like with backing and more than one person involved, I'd want to work with them.

There’s little I’m inclined to argue with less than a new The Kings of Frog Island record. Their 2013 outing, IV (review here), began a new era for the amorphous UK band, self-releasing LPs after a three-album stint on Elektrohasch, and they follow that LP quickly with the heady two-sides of V, which furthers their blend of classic psych, garage rock and heavy/desert rock impulses. I don’t think it really matters who shows up on a given day for the studio, just so long as they can jam, and unquestionably benefits from that mentality, and this time around, steady partakers Mark Buteaux (vocals/guitar), Roger “Dodge” Watson (drums) and Gavin Searle are joined by Gavin Wright and Tony Heslop, who came aboard last time out, and Lee Madel-Toner, with Scarlett Searle guesting. Change and fluidity have been running themes for The Kings of Frog Island since their 2005 self-titled debut, and is no exception.

Like IV, there’s no number anywhere on the 12″ sleeve that would tip you off if you didn’t already know it was the fifth album, but even side-by-side with its predecessor, shows off a heady growth in sound and confidence from last year’s offering, Buteaux comfortable topping side A’s tripped-out closer “Raised in a Lion’s Den” with a single line of vocals (“I was born in a desert, raised in a lion’s den”) to add mystique to an already molten atmosphere. In particular, the blend of ambience the kings of frog island v coverand more grounded songwriting — something The Kings of Frog Island have never lacked — is readily on display throughout the new LP, an early highlight arriving with the psychedelic desertisms of “Sunburn,” the opener that billows out of the introductory “Tangerine.” For the first half, divisions between songs are otherwise pretty clear. “Tangerine” hypnotizes early and gives way directly to “Sunburn,” but that song, “Temporal Riff,” which follows, “Born on the Fourth” and “Raised in a Lion’s Den” have definitive starts and finishes, which by the time side B rounds out won’t be the case. “Temporal Riff” is another early high point, departing from “Sunburn”‘s distortion waves and into ’60s-style acoustic psych pop that subtly builds around a wash of cymbals that continues a theme from last time out of patient, impeccably captured drumming from Watson, fluid in the speakers and in the ears and a key element in the band’s approach. The song itself isn’t limited to that or to a jam — it has one of the album’s best hooks, right up there with “Sunburn” — but it makes the transition easier into the classic garage rock swagger of “Born on the Fourth,” a quicker jaunt distinguished by call and response vocals and the lyric “Put your hand in the palm of mine,” which mirrors the rhythmic insistence well.

“Raised in a Lion’s Den” is likewise well placed at the end of side A, since it foreshadows some of what side B gets up to with its lull-your-consciousness rollout and sense of lysergic space rock meandering. “Novocaine” is earthbound compared to some of what follows, with a lightly Beatles-style verse-into-chorus transition, but still plenty groovy, starting out soft and getting into volume-swell guitar antics and subdued airiness before the more purely desert-tinged “Five O Grind” reminds of the expanses a Kyuss influence can cover when put to best use. The swirl and heavier vibe is immediate, echoing vocals deep under the riff, the title repeated as the lyrical center of the song, the fuzz consuming. It’s the most forceful of the riffers on V, but not out of place either with “Novocaine” before it or “Destroy all Monsters” after, which references Godzilla in its title and is pretty clearly named for its largesse of riff, similarly to how “Temporal Riff” may have been titled for its backward-in-time vibing. “Five O Grind” is the last bit of earthly grooving The Kings of Frog Island do here, if you can call it that, since even when their material is structured it’s blissed out, and the last three cuts, “Destroy all Monsters,” “Make it Last”  and “On” bleed together to finish the album in flowing fashion, the clear ending of “Five O Grind” with its lead guitar, buried vocals and steady nod giving way to the stomp of “Destroy all Monsters” — how else would one do that but with giant lizard feet and maybe a bit of laser breath? — which flows nebulously into “Make it Last” and “On.” Where the point of separationthe kings of frog island v back cover is between the last three tracks, I don’t know exactly, but “Destroy all Monsters” seems to separate after several turns of standalone drone riffing into feedback from which a more fuzzed riff emerges (the drums rejoin), and if you told me that was the switch into “Make it Last,” I’d believe you.

From there, one might point out any number of points at which “On” takes hold to round out V, but in doing so I think a crucial intent of the album would be sacrificed. As with IV, it’s pretty clear that a big part of The Kings of Frog Island‘s intent in only releasing an LP edition of is that the record should be experienced as a whole, in one complete sitting split only between sides A and B. Ultimately, where “Make it Last” becomes “On” doesn’t matter. It’s the fades in and out, the feedback, drum-propelled, the steady bassline and the ground the material covers that’s all the more important than if the quick stop is where one ends and another begins. Either way, is finished with its fading, synth-topped jam, a foundational guitar, bass, drum rhythm topped by a wash that continues even as ambient vocals make a surprise return as if to remind that there are still humans somewhere behind all this liquefied noise. Tambourine punctuates for a while and what must be “On” devolves into one last hypnotic wash of psychedelic melody, organ sounds being the last element present before the needle returns. I’ve been a nerd for The Kings of Frog Island since their 2008 fuzz-landmark, II, and in the years since, they’ve showed an unrelenting pursuit of expanded-mind exploration. What’s perhaps most encouraging about is how amiable a companion it is for IV while maintaining a personality of its own. Clearly grown out of the preceding full-length, seems to establish the band’s progression as one set to continue with no end in sight. Again, you won’t hear me argue.

The Kings of Frog Island, “Sunburn” official video

The Kings of Frog Island on Thee Facebooks

V on CDBaby

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The Wounded Kings Announce European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the wounded kings

An interesting spot The Wounded Kings are in, and one that’s really as much new for them as it is old. They’ve been through lineups, multiple, around guitarist Steve Mills over their now-nine tumultuous years, but to my knowledge this is the first time they’ve ever brought anyone back who’s been in the band before. Original vocalist George Birch appeared on the first two The Wounded Kings albums — as a duo with Mills – and the 2010 split with Cough, but then was out. Now, a few years later, he’s back and about to go on tour with the band for the first time. A strange circumstance, I’m sure, being the new guy as well as an original member, but The Wounded Kings have always benefited from an otherworldly sensibility, and I’m sure a little weirdness will only bolster that.

The tour starts Oct. 24 at the venerable The Black Heart in Camden Town, and will include stops at the Into the Void and Dutch Doom Days festivals. Full announcement of the run follows:

the wounded kings euro tour

This will be our first European jaunt in 2 and half years and our first ever with George back at the helm…it’s the heaviest the band has ever been and it’s so great to be able to play for the first time some of the older classics like Melanthos and Baptism of Atlantis!

We are also heading up to London and Birmingham at the beginning of October (4th and 5th) to play both Candlefest and Fearfest respectively.

Oct. 24 The Black Heart London UK
Oct. 25 Into the Void Festival Leeuwarden NL
Oct. 26 Helevete Oberhausen DE
Oct. 27 Zentralcafe Nurnberg DE
Oct. 28 TBC
Oct. 29 Trafik Klub Budapest HU
Oct. 30 Rockhaus Salzburg AT
Oct. 31 Falkendom Bielefeld DE
Nov. 1 Dutch Doom Days Festival Boroeg Rotterdam NL
Nov. 2 Glazart Paris FR

https://www.facebook.com/thewoundedkings/
https://twitter.com/TheWoundedKings
http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/

The Wounded Kings, “Melanthos” Live Sept. 5, 2014

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Formes to Release Dysphoria Before the End of the Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

formes

Later this month, UK heavy psych trio Formes will take part in the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia alongside an impressive cast of colorfuls that includes Gnod and Spindrift and many, many more. Reverb is sure to ensue. That’s a pretty hip happening, and I’d be inclined to post about their upcoming album, Dysphoria, either way, but what really got me hooked was the track “Tumult” from the record, with its off-kilter blend of shoegaze and growling aggression. You’ll note the artwork is in direct conversation with Hawkwind, but there’s an extremity to go with Formes‘ spacey side that comes through in “Tumult” that one rarely hears from those inclined to jam and our bliss out. “Psychedelic metal” isn’t a new phrase by any stretch, but Formes have a take on it that makes the swirl seem all the more engulfing.

Fascinating times we live in.

Art, news, links and audio, in that order:

formes dysphoria

Drawing inspiration from Hawkwind, Sleep, Ufomammut on to Deftones and Tool, Formes trade in heavy doom laden psychedelia with a distinctly metallic edge. The band’s self-recorded debut album ‘Dysphoria’ released later this year will take you to the farthest reaches of your mind, propelled by otherworldly sounds, obscure psychedelia, doom and sludge grooves as evident on album taster ‘Tumult’. The 7 minute slab of ungodly doom laden psych sees the band finally forging their personality after two years of experimentation and progression to a heavier sound since formation in 2012.

Winning support from BBC Introducing, BBC 6 Music and a wealth of positive blog notices, live the band have shared stages with many of psychedelias biggest artists including Cosmic Dead, The Cult of Dom Keller, Plank and Mugstar. They play a coveted appearance at Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia in September which is sure to raise the bands profile.

UPCOMING GIGS
26th September – Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia
11th October – Satans Hollow, Manchester
16th Ocotber – Oxjam Leeds Takeover
20th November – Hope and Anchor, London

https://twitter.com/formes_band
https://www.facebook.com/Formesband
https://formes.bandcamp.com/track/tumult
http://www.formesband.co.uk/

Formes, “Tumult”

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Bong, Space Mushroom Fuzz, Desert Lord, Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, and Plunger

Posted in Radio on September 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

It’s been a couple weeks since the last time I was able to get together a proper round of adds to The Obelisk Radio, and the list as a result is accordingly huge. I’d have to go back and compare the last 18-plus months to be sure, but I think 40 albums is up there with what I might have uploaded during the initial buildup of the playlist, just basically getting everything I could think of and a bunch of stuff I couldn’t to expand on what was on the hard drive when I got it. We’ll be at two years since the Radio stream went live before I know it. Time goes quick, and seems to all the more when each post has a timestamp.

I say this every time, but there’s a lot of killer stuff included this week, so I hope you find something you enjoy.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Sept. 13, 2014:

Bong, Bong Presents Haikai No Ku Ultra High Dimensionality LP

bong haikai no ku

I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to try to ascertain what plane of being Bong are residing on these days, but suffice it to say, they’ve evolved beyond corporeal form and merged with the all-consuming distortion of the universe. At least that’s how it sounds. The maddeningly prolific UK drone-doomers present this release but aren’t actually on it, save for guitarist Mike Vest, who leads the side-project Haikai No Ku through five tracks of blissful psychout on Ultra High Dimensionality. If you’re looking for differences between the two outfits, Haikai No Ku lean less toward grim droning than Bong, and songs like “Dead in the Temple” and “Blue at Noon” roll out huge psychedelic grooves — the band is completed by bassist Jerome Smith and drummer Sam Booth – but there’s consistency to be found in the wash of noise and the complete hypnosis of their repetitions anyway, and as high as the dimensionality might be, the volume should be higher. One to get lost in for sure, and there’s enough space for everyone. Bong on Twitter, on Bandcamp.

Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, The Shining One

lucifer in the sky with diamonds the shining one

The pun in the moniker of Moscow double-guitar four-piece Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds probably doesn’t need to be pointed out. Featuring The Grand Astoria collaborator Igor SuvorovLucifer in the Sky with Diamonds pull together touches of psychedelic impulsiveness and classic heavy rock structures with the production clarity and catchy songwriting of mid-era Queens of the Stone Age. There’s a danger underscoring the boogie of “How to Fix Things” from the band’s self-released debut LP, The Shining One, that seems to find payoff later in the big-groove hook of “Highlow World,” which provides one of the album’s most satisfying listens before shifting into an airier dreamspace and fading into the noisier “Lords of the Damned,” reviving the largesse of riff prior to the closing title-track. An intriguing debut for an outfit loaded with potential, the fullness of their sound boding particularly well for their confidence in their sound and the precision of their execution. One not to be missed. Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Desert Lord, To the Unknown

desert lord to the unknown

Finnish stoner-doom foursome Desert Lord get into some Sabbath-worship on their debut long-player, To the Unknown, but manage to avoid both the trap of retro ’70s-ism that has much of Europe so firmly in its grasp and the trap of sounding like Reverend Bizarre, whose legacy in their native land isn’t to be understated. Of particular note is that Desert Lord cite The Cult as an influence. One can hear shades of that in the guitars on opener “Forlorn Caravan,” but Desert Lord quickly move into doomier fare on the subsequent nine-minute “Wonderland,” which distinguished by weeded-out wah on Roni‘s bass. Middle-ground is sought and found on “New Dimensions,” with vocalist Sampo Riihimäki reminding of Earthride‘s Dave Sherman in his movement between rougher delivery, spoken word, and accentuated screaming, also hinting at roots in more traditional metal, though “Manic Survivor’s Song” gives way to more stoner territory in the guitar, reminding of some of Eggnogg‘s stylistic turns, though with less of a mind toward tonal thickness. They’re still figuring out where they want to be, but Desert Lord‘s To the Unknown has more than a few moments worth the effort of a listen. Desert Lord on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Space Mushroom Fuzz, Onward, to the Future

space mushroom fuzz onward to the future

Perpetually progressive and perpetually prolific bizarro psych rockers Space Mushroom Fuzz return with another new release, dubbed Onward, to the Future. The Boston outfit, led by Adam Abrams of Blue Aside, include two tracks this time out, “Onward, to the Future,” a laid back space rocker made strange in its midsection with some theremin-style keys, and the waltzing “Half the Way Down,” which shows off some classical guitar work over a subtly oompah backing rhythm with soft, brooding vocals. Is it possible to have a shoegazing waltz? Space Mushroom Fuzz never lack character in they do, Abrams periodically leading the way through jams that could and sometimes do run into indulgent (if satisfying) noodlefests, but particularly with “Half the Way Down,” there’s something more grounded and sadder at the root. “Onward, to the Future” tells a tale of alien invasion — short version: they win — and showcases the band’s exploratory side, but even that ends contemplative and relatively minimal, sort of dropping instruments one at a time by its finish on a long fade. A lesson in taming expectation, perhaps, and a fascinating, quick journey from this inventive outfit. Space Mushroom Fuzz on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Plunger, Space Plumber

plunger space plumber

All seems to be on a course for weirdo noise punk as Los Angeles bass/drum duo Plunger get underway on their debut Space Plumber EP, some Melvins influence making itself felt on “Toxic Wrap,” and then they rumble and thump their way into the eight-minute centerpiece title-track, and it becomes apparent that there’s much more going on with twin brothers Mark (bass/vocals) and Kris Calabio (drums/vocals, also of Old Man Wizard) than it might at first seem. They quickly put their own minimalism to work for them on the faster opener “Blerg Rush,” but “Space Plumber” moves far off into sparseness, the drums barely there when they are and then gone ahead of the transition into “Sleep,” on which both Mark and Kris contribute vocals over a fuller rumble and steady roll, clearly enjoying the contrast. “Plunger” rounds out the release with a fuller take on some of the faster movement of the opener, starts and stops in the unpretentious 1;53 finale. One gets the feeling the (Super) Calabio Bros. are only going to get stranger from here, and that suits them well. Plunger on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Once again, these are five cool releases, but there were 35 other records that join the playlist today, including full-lengths from Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Apostle of Solitude and on and on. A couple of these will be on the year-end list, so if you get the chance to check out The Obelisk Radio playlist and updates page, I think it’s worth a look.

Thank you for reading and listening.

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Steak, Slab City: The New Red Sun Blues

Posted in Reviews on September 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

steak slab city

After two ceremonious vinyl reissues for their 2012 Disastronaught (review here) and 2013 Corned Beef Colossus (review here) EPs, London heavy rock four-piece Steak make their proper debut on Napalm Records with Slab City, also their first full-length. In several ways, the album is a 10-track/49-minute homage to the glories of desert rock, and particularly, Slab City is indebted to Kyuss‘ 1994 genre classic Welcome to Sky Valley in both its mindset and execution, taking its name, as that record does (if unofficially) from a location in the Californian desert. Not only that, but Steak – vocalist Kippa, guitarist Reece Tee (also a principal organizer of the DesertFest in London), bassist James “Cam” Cameron and drummer Sammy Forway – traveled from London to Palm Springs in Southern CA in order to record at Thunder Underground with producer Harper Hug, who also recently engineered outings by Vista Chino and John Garcia, and co-producer Arthur Seay, guitarist of Unida and House of Broken Promises. In addition, John Garcia makes a guest vocal appearance on side A’s “Pisser,” underscoring that track’s particular Blues for the Red Sun-shine, and even unto the goof-off bonus track “Old Timer D.W.” — which, admittedly, is both less pull-you-out-of-the-album and more of an actual song than was “Lick Doo” on Sky Valley – Steak wear their influence on their sleeve. I’m not going to complain about that. With the general quality of their riffing and the compression brought to the recording — Vista Chino‘s Peace makes a decent comparison point, production-wise — by Hug and SeaySteak embark on their first long-player by continuing the progression from their EPs that serves as the steps toward creating their own identity out of that influence. And anyway, it’s not like they’re trying to tell you they wrote “Gardenia” or something.

I’ve been curious to hear how Steak would make the leap from their shorter releases to a full album. They do so reusing only two tracks — “Liquid Gold” from the second EP, and “Machine,” from the first. Each is the second song on its respective half of Slab City, which seems to have been structured with at least thoughts of vinyl. “Liquid Gold” in particular is an early highlight, coming off opener “Coma”‘s noisy and gradually solidifying atmosphere — the first couple minutes of the album, the band seem to be coalescing aurally before the track launches — more expansive sounding than the original and with a different treatment of Kippa‘s vocals, which here are deeper in the mix and piled in effects, whether it’s echo, compression, megaphone, reverb, etc. Sometimes that can signal a lack of confidence on the part of a singer, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case here. While he’s got a gruff delivery and he’s prone to sticking to it, Kippa doesn’t strike as the kind of vocalist trying to hide behind studio trickery, and the impression across Slab City‘s first three tracks — “Coma,” “Liquid Gold” and the shorter push of the titular cut, “Slab City” — is that the band is trying to find different ways of changing things up around Tee‘s wall of fuzz and the laid back heavy grooves of Cameron (who once again serves as Steak‘s hidden weapon) and Forway, whose tight snare pop manages to ground the proceedings even at their most jammed out. And they do jam. Songs are structured, but even “Pisser” moves through its varied parts and into and out of Garcia‘s parts with a sense that any minute now Steak might just decide to ride a riff for the next eight minutes. They don’t go that far — at least not until closer “Rising,” and even that has purpose — but they make it known effectively that they could and reserve the right to at some future date. The noisy wash of “Quaaludes and Interludes” underscores the dynamic flow of Slab City‘s first half, setting up side B to keep the momentum moving forward.

steak

It does so successfully. “Roadhead,” which follows “Quaaludes and Interludes,” begins a trio of faster cuts that continues through “Machine” and “Hanoid” as Steak hit full throttle en route to the eight-minute “Rising” and Slab City‘s grandest statement of where they are as a band. Though I doubt you’ll be hearing about it on the radio anytime soon, “Roadhead” is one of the album’s catchiest songs — a solid opener for the second half — and with the familiar roll of “Machine” backing it up, there’s a bit of back and forth play going on with the energy of the material, despite a pretty consistent tempo. Tee alternates between airy lead lines in the verse and a more heads-down chorus rollout, but the groove is palpable either way, and he saves a scorching lead for “Hanoid,” which builds up quickly over a four-and-a-half-minute course and ends with a cymbal wash and feedback to signal the shift into “Rising,” the longest piece on the record and most expansive, bringing in a feedback start, some vague speech in there either sampled or not, drum thud taking hold to transition into the verse. The song is almost at its halfway point be the time they get to the chorus, Kippa raging out his lines over waves of distortion in the guitar and bass. More feedback serves as a transition back through the next cycle, and though it’s basically a verse and a chorus repeated, Steak approach “Rising” with a feel open enough to bring some chaotic vibing to the mix, which is as fitting an end to Slab City‘s movement as one could ask. That makes “Old Timer D.W.” a little extraneous, perhaps, but the bonus track, which begins with a cockney “Come on now, work for your money! Play another song!” and shifts into reverb-drenched slide guitar shenanigans, is clearly serving a purpose beyond what it might convey about the band’s songwriting. Its half-written feel is somewhat incongruous with Slab City‘s overall purposeful nature — if Steak had just been interested in screwing around, they probably would’ve saved the travel expense and stayed in London or at least the UK to do it — but as far as sending messages goes, “we don’t take ourselves too seriously” isn’t a bad thing for a band to say on their first album.

But don’t mistake them, Steak might be up for tossing off a riff here and there, but even when they do so, they’re playing to a very specific idea, and Slab City — desert hued and desert captured — is a record by a group of players who knew precisely what they wanted to accomplish in making it. It is not haphazard. The two EPs set up a comic-book-style narrative between them, and I don’t know if Slab City continues that or not (hazards of digital promos), but in terms of their overarching progression, it proves just how ready they were to take on the long-player task, and justifies the ambitious method by which they recorded the album through high-grade riffs, memorable songs and a molten flow between its component tracks. Steak leave themselves room to grow, but don’t let that take away from the fact that Slab City is a markedly impressive debut and as true a work of desert rock as one is likely to find no matter the geography.

Steak, “Rising” official video

Steak on Thee Facebooks

Steak at Napalm Records

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Friday Full-Length: Leaf Hound, Growers of Mushroom

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Leaf Hound, Growers of Mushroom (1971)

Among those who care about the genre in more than a passing way, there’s an ongoing debate about when “stoner rock” actually began. The same question applies to metal, other subgenres, life and any number of other things, so maybe that’s not a huge surprise, but people like to argue about things and that’s one of them. I usually fall into the Blue Cheer camp when it comes to that issue, that band’s focus on volume and heft being a pivotal influence, but there’s no question Leaf Hound‘s 1971 debut outing, Growers of Mushroom, was stoned as all anything. The UK five-piece — featuring vocalist Peter French, who’d go on within two years’ time to sing in both Atomic Rooster and Cactus and who serves as the lone remaining classic-era member in the modern incarnation of Leaf Hound — formed in 1969 under the name Black Cat Bones, and have ties to Free and Foghat in addition to the other acts mentioned. They were split up by the time they released Growers of Mushroom, but it’s an album that endured first on the collector market and then flourished again in the last decade or so thanks to reissues, internet word of mouth and an apparently decades-strong supply of swing.

Reasonably so. I wouldn’t call it the first stoner rock document, but easily one of the best early examples of the twist on heavy blues, acid rock and psychedelia that I’ve heard, classic cuts like “Freelance Fiend,” “Sad Road to the Sea,” the jamming “Work My Body,” riff-nodding “Drowned My Life in Fear” and “Growers of Mushroom” making for a delightful heavy vibe one can hear traces of in everything from Graveyard to CathedralLeaf Hound have been active the last several years, playing fests mostly, but also releasing the Live in Japan live record (review here) this year on Ripple Music, culling tracks from Growers of Mushroom and their earlier 2007 reunion album, Unleashed, for a surprisingly seamless blend that reinforced the timeless nature of heavy rock. As with the best of them, though, Growers of Mushroom stands alone both in their catalog and out of it, and as summer starts to wind down, it’s a last bit of warm weather to enjoy while we still can.

Hope you dig it.

I guess I wrote two reviews this week, the YOB and that Kind show, but I’m frustrated at not having done more. Need to find a way to balance my time more. So much news around here lately, and the scope of bands just keeps getting wider, but I’ve also got stacks of discs, folders clogging up my desktop, and at this point five or six vinyl records and a couple of tapes that need to get covered as well. I hate not being able to stay on top of it, how easy it is to get behind on that stuff when my brain gets burnt out. I’ve got two-weeks-plus of emails that need to get answered as well. Ugh.

Basically I’m frustrated that I didn’t get to review the new Earth record this week. Look for that on Monday or Tuesday.

Just applied for two editor-type jobs. Won’t get either, but screw it, at least I sent the resumé out, and somehow knowing that I’d be better at both those gigs than whoever’s brother-in-law is actually going to get hired for them is some measure of comfort. At this point it probably shouldn’t be, but it is.

On Monday, I’ll have that Old Testament track premiere, which is Jason Simon from Dead Meadow‘s new project. Might have a Larmon Clamor track by the week’s end too, but basically I want to get a couple reviews up, maybe that Godhunter/Secrets of the Sky tape and the new Steak in addition to that Earth. Pretty ambitious, I know. We’ll see how it goes.

Meantime, hope you have a great weekend, be safe, eat well, hydrate and whatnot. We’ll see you back here Monday.

Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Colour Haze, Cherry Choke, Stubb and More to Play ThElectriCool Festival

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

COLOUR HAZE

Hard to mess with a party when Colour Haze is showing up. The German heavy psych progenitors will headline the inaugural ThElectriCool festival in Leicester, UK, topping a bill that includes the garage whims of Cherry ChokeStubb‘s fuzz riffery and check-ins from The Exploding Sound MachineThe Kumari and The Junipers. No doubt it’ll be a groovy happening, but adding to the friendly vibes is that the fest is also telling you where and when you might find the afterparty. They might be selling vintage pants, but it’s not like they’re keeping secrets, and I respect that.

No doubt said postshow will consist of any number of smashed denizens ranting and raving about how badass Colour Haze just were — at least that’s been my experience after watching them play — as well as the rest of the night, which seems to push into early psych, mid-’60s-stylizations, psych-folk, shoegaze, and of course Stubb‘s motor-heavy riffing. Cool blend. Wish I could be there to see it.

PR wire had this to say:

thelectricool

ThElectriCool – Festival of Psychedelic Rock will be held at 02 Academy Scholar Bar, Leicester, UK, October 11th 2014. Organised by promoters ‘The Hidden Museum’ ThElectriCool has brought together the cream of current psychedelic/acid rock and pop groups, including Colour Haze, Cherry Choke, The Kumari, Stubb, The Exploding Sound Machine and The Junipers.

The festival also offers a chance to buy vintage clothing, records and custom art under the glow of a psychedelic light show whilst listening to the sounds of DJ Baron Saturday or one of the great live acts. The University of Leicester campus venue opens its doors at 3pm. First live act 3.20pm. Curfew 10.30pm. Then it’s just a 5 minute taxi drive or a 20 minute walk to the aftershow party at Firebug, Millstone Lane, Leicester. Hosted by Biff bang Pow! playing 60’s garage and psych sounds. This will run from 11pm till 3am. Free Entry with ThElectriCool wrist band.

COLOUR HAZE are a German psychedelic/stoner rock group of gigantic proportions. Formed in Munich by Stefan Koglek, they are the leading lights of the European stoner rock scene. The groups tours have included headline slots at rock festivals ranging from the U.S. festival Emissions from the Monolith right through to Germany’s Berg Hertzberg festival. Colour Haze have recorded a live set for the legendary TV show Rockpalast, alongside their 10 studio albums. Tune in, hold on and freek out!
W: colourhaze.de

CHERRY CHOKE fronted by singer/guitarist Mathew Bethancourt (ex Kings of Frog Island and Josiah) are one of the UK’s finest acid rock power trios. Their second album ‘A Night In The Arms of Venus’ and their high energy European tours have firmly placed the band at the forefront of a new contemporary psych rock scene. Live, this band lay down some heavy acid rock grooves.
W: facebook.com/cherrychoke

THE KUMARI are for anyone into groups like The See See or The Black Angels. They evoke an era where punk and paisley were synonymous with full on, ringing mid-60s sounds and cool background chorus harmonies. Neo garage psych pop for the paisley generation.
W: facebook.com/THEKUMARI

STUBB build on the solid foundations laid down by the pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s such as Mountain, Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. This power trio journey on through psychedelic live jams and stoned riffs. Sounds like Hendrix playing at Altamont. Heavy Psych!
W: facebook.com/Stubbrock

THE EXPLODING SOUND MACHINE just wanna blow ya mind with their hammond driven interstellar psychedlic wall of cosmic sound. This group would have been right at home in Londons UFO club in the late 60’s, but we get to enjoy the acidic excursions and garage psych explosions in the here and now.
W: facebook.com/TheExplodingSoundMachine

THE JUNIPERS are one of the UK’s finest psychedelic pop acts. Their debut album Cut Your Key (2008) gained airplay on BBC Radio from dj’s, Bob Harris, Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe and Janice Long among others. The band played two live sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music, supported Kasabian and played festivals such as The Big Chill, Summer Sundae, Moseley Folk Festival and many more. The Junipers second album Paint the Ground was released to rave reviews in February 2012. This pop psych outfit are not to be missed.
W: facebook.com/The-Junipers/7935208180

Further information:
Facebook.com/ThElectriCool
https://www.facebook.com/events/1519786661576208/
Tickets: ticketweb.co.uk

The Exploding Sound Machine, “Higher Power”

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London DesertFest 2015: Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Three bands deep and already DesertFest London — which from here on out I’ll be presenting with the capital ‘f’ in accordance with their own stylization and in contrast to years past; I’m tired of feeling like I’ve got it wrong — has an enviable lineup. Sleep was already confirmed shortly after this year’s fest, and they’ll headline Koko, a place about which I know nothing but assume is sizable, as Orange Goblin celebrate their 20th anniversary. Not bad shakes. I’ve seen both of those bands, and they destroy, but I’ve never seen My Sleeping Karma and they’re on my wishlist at this point, their last several records having been so very, very good.

While I consider the finer points of starting an NPR-style pledge drive in order to cover travel expenses (no, not really), check out the announcement from the PR wire:

DESERTFEST LONDON 2015 : Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma confirmed

European stoner/doom/psych festival DESERTFEST LONDON just unveiled the first batch of bands to be part of its fourth edition, taking place on April 24-26th, 2015 in Camden. Tickets are on sale now, so it’s time to make plans for next spring!

First bands confirmed are:

SLEEP (headlining Koko’s on Sunday 26th)
ORANGE GOBLIN
MY SLEEPING KARMA

For the fourth year running, Camden’s finest venues will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psyche gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, psychedelia and partying. After they announced their long-awaited return a few weeks ago, American stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will be treating the Desertfest crowd to their twenty minutes long smoked-out sonic odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at London’s famous venue Koko’s on the Sunday. Camden’s ground is set to tremble once again this year, with UK metal heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN delivering their fiery metal anthems, for a one-off 20th anniversary special performance. This first announcement couldn’t be complete without a cosmic touch (because it wouldn’t be DESERTFEST if we weren’t sonically high at least once), brought to you by German psych trio MY SLEEPING KARMA.

Keep an ear to the ground as more bands will be announced really soon!

DESERTFEST LONDON
April 24-26th 2015 in Camden Town
Koko – Electric Ballroom – The Underworld – The Black Heart

3-day tickets (£99.50) available at THIS LOCATION

More infos on www.thedesertfest.com
http://instagram.com/desertfest
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon

Sleep, “Sonic Titan” Live in Boston, Aug. 24, 2014

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Alunah Premiere “Heavy Bough” from New Album Awakening the Forest

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

alunah

I don’t mind telling you I’ve been waiting for Alunah‘s new album for what feels like I really long time. The reality of the situation is that the Birmingham four-piece’s third offering and Napalm Records debut, Awakening the Forest, arrives just two years after their previous full-length, White Hoarhound (review here), but as I’ve continued to enjoy that record since first hearing it, my affection for it only growing with the passing months, it seems much longer. I’m not sure what my ideal follow-up to White Hoarhound would’ve sounded like — or, more to the point, I can’t think of a way in which Awakening the Forest isn’t it.

For those who, like me, were fans of the last one or of 2010’s Call of Avernus (review here) before that, the riffs of Dave and Soph Day retain their bounce, and new bassist Dan Burchmore falls in step thickly with drummer Jake Mason to craft a lumbering but still nod-ready groove. At the same time, there’s clear progression evident. alunah awakening the forestThe band is more patient, the pieces that make up the memorable six songs more languid. In general, they sound like they’ve been working since White Hoarhound came out, which of course is precisely the case whether one thinks in the sense of getting on the road for shows or bringing in Burchmore and solidifying their lineup. Alunah come across as more comfortable with their psychedelic side — fitting for their consistently pastoral thematic — but Awakening the Forest presents some of their most doomed material as well.

To wit, the rollout of “Heavy Bough.” At just under six minutes, it’s among the shortest songs on Awakening the Forest (only “The Mask of Herne” is shorter, and by five seconds), and marked out by the lead and rhythm interplay of Soph and Dave‘s guitars as well as Soph‘s riff-riding verse and more open chorus. On an album full of hooks, “Heavy Bough” stands out for its nature worship and for its still-grounded take, sandwiched between the more ethereal opener “Bricket Wood Coven” and the side A finale title-track, but if it’s the first you’re hearing of the album, then its primary function will be to remind of just how easily an Alunah track can get stuck in your head. If this is your first experience with the band, all the better you’ve found them at this moment.

Please find “Heavy Bough” on the player below, and enjoy:

Alunah will release Awakening the Forest on Oct. 6 in the UK and Oct. 7 in North America. The album was recorded by Greg Chandler (Esoteric) and mixed and mastered by Tony Reed (Mos Generator), and is available now to preorder. More info at the links.

Alunah on Thee Facebooks

Alunah at Napalm Records

Napalm Records

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BongCauldron Touring UK with Nomad Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

bongcauldron

Leeds aggro sludgers BongCauldron, who made their debut with a blistering EP earlier this year on Superhot Records – speaking of things I should’ve reviewed a long time ago… — will hit the road next month alongside Nomad from Manchester in what’s sure to be a feedback-drenched, tube-blowing showcase of lumbering riffery. The stint is five shows, and the pair are playing with some cool other bands as well — nice to see the name Obiat again, as it’s been a minute — and both will be touring on relatively new material.

In the case of Nomad, who I’m just going to assume take their name from the planet-destroying malfunctioned probe from the original Star Trek, their The House is Dead EP came out in May. BongCauldron themselves have a new song called “Bigfoot Reigns” (what else?) that was released a few days ago and which you can hear below.

Info and links and such, off the PR wire:

sea bastard with bongcauldron

BONG CAULDRON – NOMAD UK TOUR

Leeds sludge trio BONG CAULDRON are joining forces with Manchester’s very own worshippers of the riff NOMAD for a 5 date tour of the UK this September.

Bong Cauldron are a 3 piece Doom/sludge band from Leeds. Their debut E.P. Us out now via Superhot Records and was met with critical acclaim. They have had the opportunity to play alongside such bands as, Corrosion of Conformity, Windhand and Desert Storm.

Nomad are a four piece sludge band from Manchester and have just released their debut E.P. “The House is Dead” Via When Planets Collide. Over the past year they have shared the stage with genre giants Church Of Misery, Bongripper and Conan amongst others.

The tour will see them bring their brand of depravity and chaos to the following cities.

September
10th The Fenton – Leeds (W/ OMSQ + Mausoleion)
11th Banshee labyrinth – Edinburgh (W/ Dune)
12th Scruffy Murphys – Birmingham (W/ General and Obiat)
13th Moonclub – Cardiff (W/ Sea Bastard + Hogslayer)
14th Maguire’s Pizza Bar – Liverpool (W/ Wort + Berserkowitz)

BongCauldron (Superhot records)
https://www.facebook.com/bongcauldron
http://superhotrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bongcauldron

Nomad
https://www.facebook.com/Nomaddoom
www.nomaddoom.bigcartel.com
www.nomaddoom.bandcamp.com

BongCauldron, “Bigfoot Reigns”

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Moss Announce New EP Release Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

UK purveyors of aged and crawling miseries Moss have announced a new EP due out on Halloween. Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions will be the first Moss outing since last year’s Horrible Night full-length (review here), and it is set to emerge via Stone Tapes, an imprint helmed by the band born out of their own Buried and Forgotten Productions, through which they’ve periodically issued offerings every couple years or so. The last one was the Never Say Live tape in 2010.

Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions earns further distinction by being the first vinyl Moss has self-released on their own label, whatever that label might be called. I don’t know if this portends future LPs coming from the band’s own hands, but it’s a noteworthy jump one way or another.

They sent the following down the PR wire:

Cartoons!

NEW MOSS 10″ EP, preview streaming now

UK doom metal veterans MOSS return with a new EP released on the 31st of October on 10″ vinyl and digital, via their own label Stone Tapes.

Consisting of two tombstone classics, Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions is nearly 20 minutes of pure, horror-obsessed doom metal, dragging the endless atmospheres found on 2013’s ‘Horrible Night’ even deeper and further down into unfathomable depths.

A 100% DIY release in the truest sense and coming on gimmick-free black 10″ vinyl limited to 500 copies, Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions is available to pre-order now from MOSS’s official bandcamp page http://www.mossdoom.bandcamp.com

Since they emerged from Hampshire’s catacombs in late 2000, MOSS have tirelessly dragged intimidating amplification and metaphysical malignance down a murky and overgrown path to oblivion. Whilst their sound has morphed slowly from lengthy and devastating exorcisms of psychic horror to a comparatively traditional form of sermonising, the last decade and a half has only seen them draw closer to a motherlode of ceremonial ambience and otherworldly dread. Fuelled by classic doom metal and British horror yet in thrall to no-one but their own wayward co-ordinates, these three seers have created a formidable collection of audial documents that bear testimony to an unflinching fascination with the ghastly and esoteric.

However, Hallowe’en 2014 sees the triuvirate encroaching on territory anew. Having released an album on Aurora Borealis and two more on Rise Above alongside untold EPs, live recordings and split releases, they now embark on their first release for their own imprint, Stone Tapes, having chosen not to renew their association with Rise Above after the release of 2013’s ‘MOSS’s Horrible Night’. A 10” double A-side EP limited to 500 copies, it sees the band in splendid isolation, expanding on the gruesome Grand Guignol atmosphere of their last opus in suitably monomaniacal fashion, and deploying grimly earthen guitar tone, death-knell battery and stentorian oratory to conjure otherworldly malice from beyond with deadly fortitude.

These two tracks draw on a sphere of influence that includes classic horror fiction, arrive swathed in unearthly feedback, and volley forth at a funereal pace. Yet they manage to effortlessly waylay both the preponderance of humdrum cliches and the needless barrage of volume and excess that frequently hold sway in contemporary doom-laden circles. Always a band out of time, the trio operate impervious to fashion or most any outside influence bar certain personal pecadiloes and the demons lurking in their own subconscious. These twenty minutes of tumult, recorded at the Cro’s Nest in Purley, by Sam Thredder, only underline the uncompromising and bloody-minded attitude that have rendered MOSS a primal force that transcends trappings of genre and scene.

The dawning of a new chapter in an uncanny saga, ‘Carmilla (Marcilla)’ and ‘Spectral Visions’ function as both an imtimdating document in their own right and as portents of all manner of unimaginable entities lurking in the furthermost reaches of everyday perception. Yet as MOSS’s power grows stronger, one can only wonder aghast at the consequences for all…

http://www.facebook.com/mossdoomcult
http://www.facebook.com/stonetapes
http://www.mossdoom.bandcamp.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/mossdoomofficial

Moss, “Carmilla (Marcilla)” (2014)

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Post Video for “Runaway Girls”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Look hard enough amid all the vintage bikes, cult leaders and sexualized violence in Uncle Acid‘s new video for “Runaway Girls” and you might find something that surprises you: The band. They showed up in glimpses last year as well in the similarly-minded “Mind Crawler” video — no doubt also a nightmare in the editing — but they’re just a little more present in “Runaway Girls,” and fair enough. The UK garage doom forerunners are a more public entity than they were a year ago, what with a handful of live shows under their belt alongside Black Sabbath and an impending US tour beginning next month. The world already knows what you look like. Might as well show up in your own video.

Beyond that, “Runaway Girls” is all the tanlines and devil-worship one might expect from Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, who by now have converted more than a handful of bands to their cultish ways following the 2013 release of Mind Control (review here), an album that pushed the grainy riffage of 2011’s landmark sophomore outing, Blood Lust, into more psychedelic expanses. The song itself is the highlight, of course, and it pulls back on some of the spaciousness of Mind Control to the eerie threats of Blood Lust. If it’s a leftover from the Mind Control sessions, it’s easy to see why it didn’t fit on the record, and if it’s older, then the many who salivated over Blood Lust at the time should be all the more pleased. I don’t think it’s a brand new recording either way, but if it is, then perhaps Uncle Acid are teaching a lesson about what we can do with our expectations, even as they reaffirm them with the video.

The Runaway Girls single is out Aug. 25 on Rise Above, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats start their US tour on Sept. 24 at the Underground Arts in Philly. Dates follow the clip, which was directed by Marc Morris, below.

Enjoy:

Uncle Acid, “Runaway Girls” official video

UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS North American Tour:
9/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
9/25: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
9/26: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
9/27: Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
9/28: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
9/30: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
10/1: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
10/3: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
10/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/6: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10/7: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
10/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/10: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
10/11: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater – SOLD OUT
10/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater

Uncle Acid on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Ides of Gemini, Michael Rudolph Cummings, Witch Charmer, Kikagaku Moyo, Spindrift

Posted in Radio on August 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

It’s a pretty wide stylistic swath with this week’s adds to The Obelisk Radio, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If you check out the playlists for the last couple days, you’ll see a considerable variety of track picked out — also a lot of Clutch – and that only bolsters the appeal of the stream as far as I’m concerned. Straight-up riffs all the time is cool, I guess, but sometimes a left turn out of nowhere can make your whole day seem richer. Maybe that’s what I’m going for with this week’s picks. Either way, it’s a lot of quality, so your tuning in is appreciated.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Aug. 15, 2014:

Ides of Gemini, Old World/New Wave

ides of gemini old world new wave

The Sera Timms-fronted three-piece return with Old World/New Wave, their second album on Neurot Recordings with a suitable foll0w-up collection of otherworldly melodies and ethereal instrumental explorations, setting a balance between doomly undulation and minimalist ambience. Also handling bass, Timms (ex-Black Math Horseman) is of course in command of her form vocally, and guitarist J. Bennett and drummer/backing vocalist Kelly Johnston play more than a complementary role, the trio functioning even tighter than on their 2012 debut, Constantinople, hitting on psychedelic mastery with “White Hart” and rolling out a classic riffly chug on the later “Fememorde.” Mood and ambience are never far from being the central focus, but Ides of Gemini let loose a bit on “The Chalice and the Blade,” with Bennett‘s guitar taking forward position in the mix with an echoing lead tone that seems to be in direct conversation with Timms‘ vocals. It’s a dialog worth hearing, and one that makes Old World/New Wave a markedly rich, immersive listening experience, the spaces the three-piece create in their songs seeming inevitably destined for headphone-on isolation, and in that context, flourishing. Ides of Gemini on Thee Facebooks, Neurot Recordings.

Michael Rudolph Cummings, “Long Haul”

A single following the earlier-2014 solo release, Get Low, from Pennsylvania-based Backwoods Payback guitarist/vocalist Michael Rudolph Cummings, the new song “Long Haul” finds Cummings partnered with his Backwoods bandmate Jessica Baker (bass), as well as guitarists Dan Metzker and Pat Shannon and drummer/vocalist Mike Bardzik under the adopted moniker mRc and the Souvenirs. The feel of the track is accordingly full-band, casting off most of the punk influence and heavy tonality that distinguishes Backwoods Payback‘s riff-led take in favor of warmer, classic rock vibing. Cummings‘ voice is suited to the change, and especially following Get Low, “Long Haul” feels like an exploration in progress — new ground being felt out — and I’d argue it’s successful in its push toward creating something distinct from Cummings‘ other solo work and the Backwoods itself. He’s reportedly got an EP coming with The Souvenirs, and as a first taste of what that might sound like, “Long Haul” holds promise of good things to come. Michael Rudolph Cummings on Bandcamp, Backwoods Payback on Twitter.

Kikagaku Moyo, Mammatus Clouds

Improvisational five-piece Kikagaku Moyo are obviously comfortable working in longer forms. The Tokyo outfit’s second offering, Mammatus Clouds, was initially released as limited tape through Sky Lantern Records and has been picked up by Cardinal Fuzz for a deluxe 2LP. No real question why — its three tracks, “Pond” (27:50), “Never Know” (16:50) and “There is No Other Place” (3:19), enact a lush wash of hypnotic, sitar-laced psychedelia. “Pond” is especially satisfying in its exploration, drones and melodies playing out over a consistent rhythmic bed, driving further and further out into ambient breaks and louder payoffs until dropping out to spacious waves of noise, but I won’t discount the appeal of realizing that Kikagaku Moyo are playing off The Beatles‘ “Tomorrow Never Knows” in their own “Never Know” either, taking a recognizable sitar line and burying it deep within their own impulses, truly making an individualized work of it. Likewise, the closer “There is No Other Place” comes as a surprise, an effects-drenched psych rocker quick in its pulse and building to Mammatus Clouds‘ noisy conclusion. The sound here is richer than the average heavy jam, and the effectiveness of the ambience is not to be understated. I haven’t heard the vinyl or the tape, but I have a hard time imagining a format on which this music isn’t absolutely beautiful. Kikagaku Moyo on Thee Facebooks, Cardinal Fuzz webstore, Sky Lantern Records on Bandcamp.

Witch Charmer, The Great Depression

Multi-vocalist UK bruiser doomers Witch Charmer debut on Argonauta Records with The Great Depression, the follow-up first full-length to their 2013 Euphoric Curse EP. Mixed and mastered as that release was by Mos Generator‘s Tony ReedThe Great Depression works well to establish a varied if not necessarily stylistically diverse sound, frontwoman Kate McKeown, guitarists Len Lennox and Adam Clarke and drummer Dave McQuillan all contributing vocals — the band is completed by bassist Richard Maher — over dense and accordingly depressive riffing. I’m not sure which of them does the Kirk Windstein-style growls, but they’re pretty dead on, as “A Watching of Wolves” will attest, and the tradeoffs both keep the record moving and keep a sense of spontaneity to coincide with the rolling riffs and longer arrangements, leading to the extended closer “Stare into the Sun,” which hides a sample-topped acoustic outro. Not sure why they’d feel the need to bury those impulses, but their first outing may be setting the stage for an unfolding creative progression, and cohesive as it is, I’m not going to knock it for solid riffs front to back and a doomed-out feel. Witch Charmer on Thee Facebooks, Argonauta Records.

Spindrift, Exotic Detonation EP

Underrated cowboy psych outfit Spindrift — now featuring guitarist Thomas Bellier of Blaak Heat Shujaa — apparently had some material leftover from last year’s Spindrift: Ghost of the West, and three new songs surface as the Exotic Detonation EP via Tee Pee Records, bringing The Twilight Zone to mind immediately on the opening title-track before launching into the snare-march Morricone-isms in which they so readily trade. That Spindrift would wind up doing soundtrack work — to their own movie, no less — isn’t surprising, since their style is so cinematic, but I guess “Exotic Detonation,” the desert-jammy “Ghosts Go West” and the minimalist finale “High Plains Spindrifter” didn’t fit on the initial release. Issuing them on a complementary EP makes sense, and from the standpoint of the radio stream, it’s three more Spindrift songs that weren’t there before, so fair enough. They continue to reside in a very particular niche that’s very much theirs, and for fans of those who might happen into them live, Exotic Detonation will seem right at home among their other Western thrills. Spindrift on Thee Facebooks, Tee Pee Records.

I could tell you how long this took me to put together, but frankly it’s embarrassing. Still, this is but a portion of the albums added to The Obelisk Radio this afternoon. To see the full list (it includes Pallbearer), check out The Obelisk Radio Updates and Playlist page.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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New Orange Goblin Album Back from the Abyss Due in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

orange goblin

Well, one of the few remaining questions I had about releases in 2014 was whether or not the new Orange Goblin was going to arrive before the end of the year, and it looks like Candlelight Records has taken care of answering that. London’s heavy rock forerunning stalwarts will have Back from the Abyss – I’ll just assume that’s not their statement on touring in the US — out this October, gunning for an autumnal addition to the year-end best-of lists and, I’m sure, getting it. I know I’ll be keeping a slot open. There’s a new track posted at Loudwire that I haven’t listened to yet, but I wanted to get the news posted right away because, well, it’s new Orange Goblin, and that’s kind of a big deal.

They’ll head out on tour in Europe with Saint Vitus immediately following the release. No doubt much boozy destruction will ensue.

The PR wire has it like this:

ORANGE GOBLIN’s New Album Coming This October

Candlelight Records today confirms October 7th as the North American release date for ORANGE GOBLIN’s new album, Back From The Abyss. Recorded earlier this year in London, the album reunites the band with producer Jamie Dodd. It was mastered at Turan Audio in late July. Back From The Abyss will be available for preorder via iTunes and Amazon beginning August 26th. Fans can begin to preorder the CD today via Candlelight’s official webstore and Bandcamp page.

Loudwire.com is celebrating the announcement with an exclusive North American stream of the album’s first single, “The Devil’s Whip.” Vocalist Ben Ward says, “This song is a real old-school banger stuffed full of riffs, sleaze, filth, and speed… just like the best metal should be! It’s Motörhead-style, outlaw-biker rock in all its glory, destined to get heads banging, fists pumping, drinks flowing and asses shaking. If you don’t find yourself breaking the speed limit to this song, desperate to find the roughest bar in town, start a fight and spending the night in a cell, then you are quite clearly already dead. Let’s ride, let loose, let’s rip… that’s right, you can’t escape ‘The Devil’s Whip.'”

Back From The Abyss follows the band’s most successful release, 2012’s A Eulogy For The Damned, and the recent reissue of their 2007 album Healing Through Fire. Featuring twelve new songs, it delivers the quartets now internationally respected heavy metal. Decibel Magazine calls the band’s sound, “maximum riffage and turbo doom.” Blabbermouth dubs them, “a big burly bag of rock goodness.” Rocking hard as fans have come expect, Back From The Abyss shows not only the band’s tried-and-true blues and doom but the high caliber of their musicianship.

ORANGE GOBLIN will kick off the Autumn with a European tour alongside doom legends St. Vitus. Set to begin in France on October 9th, the tour will work its way through thirteen countries before concluding in Germany on November 14th. On the tour’s announcement Ward said, “We are extremely excited to be going on tour with our good friends and long-time heroes St. Vitus. Vitus are one of the bands that inspired us to form ORANGE GOBLIN all those years ago and to be able to promote our new album and celebrate their thirty-fifth anniversary at the same time just blows my mind.”

American dates in support of Back From The Abyss are anticipated to start early in the new year. Details to be announced shortly.

Together since 1995, ORANGE GOBLIN has released seven full-length studio albums. A Eulogy For The Damned was the band’s first for Candlelight Records and closed a five year recording hiatus. The album was supported with the most live dates by the band in their history; touring that saw the band on North America soil first alongside Clutch then on a full-scale headline tour that found them on thirty-eight stages across the US and Canada. Two videos were filmed and released for the album, including “Red Tide Rising” and the special Scion A/V video for “Acid Trials.”

Back From The Abyss Track Listing:
1. Sabbath Hex
2. Ubermensch
3. The Devil’s Whip
4. Demon Blues
5. Heavy Lies The Crown
6. Into the Arms of Morpheus
7. Mythical Knives
8. Bloodzilla
9. The Abyss
10. Titan
11. Blood Of Them
12. The Shadow Over Innsmouth

ORANGE GOBLIN is vocalist Ben Ward, guitartist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard, and drummer Christopher Turner. The band are endorsed by Marshall Amplification, Orange Amplification, Fender Bass Guitars, Natal Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Vater Sticks, Remo Skins, Vans, Volcom, Boss Pedals, Rotosound Strings, and Jagermeister.

http://www.facebook.com/orangegoblinofficial
http://www.orange-goblin.com
http://www.candlelightrecordsusa.com

Orange Goblin, “The Devil’s Whip” from Back from the Abyss (2014)

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