Brave the Waters Premiere “Voice of the Ancient Oak” from Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days

Posted in audiObelisk on April 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

brave-the-waters

New York ambient two-piece Brave the Waters will issue their debut EP, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days, on May 12. A digital self-release, its core this-is-a-beginning thematic as indicated by the title is somewhat less apparent in the six tracks of the offering itself. No doubt for Rick Habeeb (guitar) and Tom Anderer (acoustic guitar and bass) it’s a major stylistic jump — the two are bandmates in the grinding Buckshot Facelift and progressive death metallers Grey Skies Fallen — but the fluidity of atmosphere they enact over the course of Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days could just as easily be the fifth chapter as the first, as it benefits from Habeeb and Anderer‘s knowledge of how the other plays, even if it’s doing so in a different context from how they’ve ever played before.

Much to their credit, Brave the Waters are not trying to reinvent the soundscape their first time out. Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days is an unpretentious 22 minutes that wears its exploratory feel on its sleeve. Most of the material was at least to some degree improvised, and that spirit of immediacy, of the song happening right now feeds into the immersive effect on the listener.brave the waters chapter 1 dawn of days Instrumental for its brief duration an without percussion, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days is hardly still. Anderer and Habeeb weave guitar lines and ambient backing swirls around and through each other so that from opener “The New King” down through the passing wisps of melody in “At the Old Stone Bridge,” the progress is so smooth as to be alluring no matter how minimal it gets. And ambience is never far. Marked out by its acoustic foundation, the penultimate “Setting up Camp” reminds of Lamp of the Universe‘s cosmic meditations and Pelican‘s rural escapism (a similar idea with a different musical translation), a particularly memorable melody in “Journey through Highwood Forest” having tapped emotional and sonic resonance just one track earlier.

“Interesting Times” carries the foreboding of the proverb in its atmosphere, but the brightness of “Voice of the Ancient Oak,” with its interplay of acoustic, electric and effects-laden guitar, is enough to counteract just about any lingering worry. Composed, according to the duo, in about half an hour, and expressed completely in three minutes, it’s emblematic of the efficiency with which Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days is able to conjure its atmospheres, and still holds firm to the human sensibility at the core of the project — two friends getting together and trying something new instrumentally that’s soaked in reverb and giving a brief look at a vast sonic horizon. Their plan is for yearly releases. With the ground they establish here as a foundation, I do not imagine they’d have any trouble hitting that mark.

Please find Brave the Waters‘ “Voice of the Ancient Oak” on the player below, and enjoy:

Producing a mesmerizing, ethereal brew of beautiful, instrumental movements, far removed from the tumultuous sounds of the extreme output of their other musical creations, BRAVE THE WATERS came together when Grey Skies Fallen and Buckshot Facelift bandmates Tom Anderer (bass guitar, acoustic guitar) and Rick Habeeb (guitar) decided to write and record some instrumentals in a stripped-down fashion. Improvisation and spontaneity were important aspects going in, and while bits and pieces of music were composed prior to entering Keith Moore’s since burned-down Audio Playground Studio, the vast majority of what appears on the band’s six-song debut EP, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days, was written and recorded on the spot.

Containing six tracks of ambient guitar and bass that you will find very different from the duo’s main bands, BRAVE THE WATERS’ Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days sees pounding drums, intense death metal vocals, and immense guitar distortion completely abandoned, and here replaced with clean guitars, melodic bass lines, and a healthy dose of Strymon’s amazing Big Sky reverberator. Just in time for the Winter’s thaw, these winding passages inspire visions of lush nature and rebirth. Reminiscent of several styles at once, yet emerging as its own being, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days is an immediately comforting, almost familiar release.

BRAVE THE WATERS will release Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days independently through Bandcamp on May 12th, the EP bearing cover art by Travis Smith (Death, Opeth, King Diamond).

Brave the Waters on Thee Facebooks

Brave the Waters on Bandcamp

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Young Hunter Launch Kickstarter for New Album Pressing

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

young-hunter

Now located in Portland, Oregon, Young Hunter have launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish work on their new album. With a goal of $4,444 — the full-length will also be their fourth release since their first single in 2011 — they’ll need to mix, master and press the record, which is their second long-player after 2012’s Stone Tools (discussed here) and has been tracked with Adam Pike at Toadhouse Studios.

I’ve been anxious to hear what frontman Benjamin Blake and the rest of Young Hunter had to offer with for their sophomore LP since their 2013 EP, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain (review here), pushed their aesthetic so much forward from the debut, with elements of Americana and goth rock and doom blended both stylishly and coherently into three memorable songs that, to be perfectly honest, I was just listening to this past weekend. So, you know, staying power and all.

Here’s the info on the campaign and the Kickstarter video, which has a preview of some new audio:

young hunter logo

///\\\ Young Hunter Album ///\\\

It has most likely been awhile since you have heard anything from us. That is because we’ve been busy moving to Portland, reincarnating into a new form, writing and recording a new album. It has been a long road, full of hard work, doubt, joy, and glory, and has ultimately lead us back to the heart of what Young Hunter’s mission in the world is.

It is hard to put a pricetag on music, and we have often released our music for free. We’ve debated long and hard over whether or not to use crowdfunding for this release, and came to the conclusion that to do this album justice, we simply can’t afford to pay for it all ourselves. So we have put together a variety of what we think are pretty awesome rewards, and now we stroll forth into the risky world of a Kickstarter campaign, with hope in our hearts that this will come to fruition. So if you have enjoyed our music in the past, we ask that you check out our page, and consider helping us make this happen, because without you, it simply won’t. We have 30 days from today, the clock is ticking.

We have finished tracking our album with Adam Pike at Toadhouse Studios, and it sounds great. We’ve been paying for the project out of pocket, and will continue to cover roughly half of the costs even if this Kickstarter is successful. We just feel so good about what we have already, we want to make sure that we continue to take the right steps to give this album the resources it needs to fully manifest. But without financial assistance, we won’t be able to make it happen. Only you, dear reader, can help us achieve this great and noble goal. Our next steps include:

-Mixing with Ephriam Nagler here in Portland, OR. An old friend who we have worked with before, who knows how to make things simultaneously huge and delicate.

-Mastering with Golden Mastering. Trustworthy and industry-standard bearers in mastering and making vinyl masters.

-Printing 1000 LPs, with a full color jacket and printed sleeve, as well as a smaller run of CDs with the same artwork.

-Artwork for the album, which will include hiring a professional photographer for an epic album cover.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, we hope your world is full of love, light, and rock’n’roll.

With gratitude,
Young Hunter

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1627817449/young-hunter-album
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Young-Hunter/127424170682508
http://younghunter.bandcamp.com/

Young Hunter, Kickstarter Video

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Deaf Proof Stream Blood Red Sky Sessions in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on April 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

deaf proof

Well, it’s not quite “in full,” but with more than an hour’s worth of jamming unfolding across three tracks, it’s close enough, anyway. The fourth cut on what will become Deaf Proof‘s Blood Red Sky Sessions release — due out April 23 digitally with a limited-to-50 tape to follow this summer — is an 8-bit version of “Death Sounds Angry and Hungry for More” from last year’s righteously fuzzed Death Sounds Angry EP (review here), held out of the stream at the request of the band. What’s left? Three extended, jam-based pieces that run a course somewhere between heavy psychedelic improvisation and more structured songwriting. And as you listen, I think you’ll agree that’s plenty.

Comprised of “Dust and Bones Among Us” (11:22), “Ocean of Sand” (16:54) and “Far Beyond the Blood Red Sky” (34:26), Blood Red Sky Sessions is not Deaf Proof‘s first experimental release. The Freiburg, Germany, trio of guitarist/vocalist J. Fredo, bassist JP and drummer Pedro gained notice with 2013’s Beyond the Orange Door Demos (they had a different lineup at the time), but no question these three spacious tracks showcase a marked development in the band’s penchant for exploratory heavy psych. They were — still are, instrumentally — put together as jams. You can hear it in “Dust and Bones Among Us” and certainly throughout the sprawl ofdeaf proof blood red sky sessions “Far Beyond the Blood Red Sky,” which retains long stretches of guitar-driven vibing, drawing down to bluesy minimalism only to raise the volume again, back and forth, but Deaf Proof wanted more than just a collection of jams, so vocals were added, and the difference is palpable.

Even in its far reaches, “Far Beyond the Blood Red Sky” retains a human presence, and the rolling groove of “Ocean of Sand” seems to come with an inherent structure, dooming out in a slowdown in its midsection for a bit, but winding up sweetly melodic by the finish. “Dust and Bones Among Us,” which feels short at 11 minutes by the time one gets around to a second listen, likewise places J. Fredo‘s vocals well, so that the lines he’s delivering are as much a part of the apex of the track as Pedro‘s crashing drums or JP‘s basslines, or, for that matter, his own wah-drenched lead. It’s called songwriting and people do it every day, but the way in which Deaf Proof have gone about it, listening back to these jams and realizing they had the potential to push further, stands these tracks out from the verse/chorus norm. The results of their efforts speak for themselves.

If you did or didn’t hear Death Sounds AngryBlood Red Sky Sessions makes a better follow-up than the band gives it credit for. They’ve threatened a vinyl release, and doubtless that would require some editing of “Far Beyond the Blood Red Sky” — maybe they could call it “Not Quite as Far…” or something along those lines — but the fact is that if these songs showed up and Deaf Proof said, “This is our new album,” I’d have believed it, and if anything, these songs make me look forward that much more to what they might actually have planned for that next release.

Please find Blood Red Sky Sessions on the player below, followed by preorder info and more background, and enjoy:

Planned as pure jam recording, we decided to put a little more work in this baby, That’s why we decided to call it “sessions” and added some vocals. So it’s not a pure experiment and not a regular release. It’s something in between, but it works. It’ll be released digitally on April 23 and on tape later this year. Preorders/ Reservations can be placed by email (stuff@deafproof.de), the price will be 5€ plus shipping. Maybe there’ll be a vinyl release, we’ll see.

DEAF PROOF’s sound can probably best be described as psychedelic stoner rock that creates a very specific and unique atmosphere. The band, which is from Freiburg/Germany, has made a handful of changes concerning their line-up ever since they were founded in 2006. They now consist of J. Fredo (lead vocals/guitar), JP (bass) and Pedro (drums). Since 2013, the band has released multiple highly acclaimed demos, of which “Beyond the Orange Door Demos” (2013) received special attention.

It soon became obvious that DEAF PROOF were aiming much higher than swirling up desert sand and coming up with catchy riffs for their songs. “Death Sounds Angry” (2014 on cd, 2015 on vinyl via KrautedMindRecords) made clear that the band has now reached new heights: DEAF PROOF’S work is characterized by a very mature and multifaceted sound, driven by an unrelenting passion to create both extensive post-rock passages and epic psychedelic soundscapes. Often enough, the band rejects vocals altogether in order for the instrumental passages to gain new momentum. By reaching beyond their comfort zone and rejecting all standards, DEAF PROOF succeed in developing an idiosyncratic style. The trio composes highly dynamic and complex sound beasts that go well beyond the length of ten minutes, seamlessly transitioning from one epic passage to the next.

Deaf Proof on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Proof’s website

Deaf Proof on Bandcamp

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Brave the Waters to Release Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days this Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Even if you’re not entirely familiar with the bands themselves, you can probably tell from the monikers Grey Skies Fallen and Buckshot Facelift that neither act specializes in ambient psychedelia. Nonetheless, Tom Anderer and Rick Habeeb, who are actually bandmates in both groups, have splintered off — practically and stylistically — to form the new project Brave the Waters, which will make its debut on May 12 with the fittingly titled Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days. The plan is for annual releases and sporadic live appearances, presumably between work on the other bands, but you never really know how these things will work out when a band just gets going.

All the same, the first audio from the two-piece, which arrives in the form of the three-minute “Journey through Highwood Forest” is enticing and immersive, guitars spreading out and layering smooth and serene without the underlying tension one sometimes can hear when those who play extreme music — grind, death metal, etc. — branch into more atmospheric forms. I dig it. If it works out that way, I’d take a record of this every year, easy.

To the PR wire:

brave the waters chapter 1 dawn of days

BRAVE THE WATERS: Duo From Grey Skies Fallen And Buckshot Facelift Creates Instrumental Act; Track From Debut EP Streaming

From the intertwined throng of musicians who hail from New York acts, Grey Skies Fallen, Buckshot Facelift and others, a brand new musical entity is born with BRAVE THE WATERS, as the duo completes their debut EP for independent release this Spring.

Producing a mesmerizing, ethereal brew of beautiful, instrumental movements, far removed from the tumultuous sounds of the extreme output of their other musical creations, BRAVE THE WATERS came together when Grey Skies Fallen and Buckshot Facelift bandmates Tom Anderer (bass guitar, acoustic guitar) and Rick Habeeb (guitar) decided to write and record some instrumentals in a stripped-down fashion. Improvisation and spontaneity were important aspects going in, and while bits and pieces of music were composed prior to entering Keith Moore’s since burned-down Audio Playground Studio, the vast majority of what appears on the band’s six-song debut EP, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days, was written and recorded on the spot.

Containing six tracks of ambient guitar and bass that you will find very different from the duo’s main bands, BRAVE THE WATERS’ Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days sees pounding drums, intense death metal vocals, and immense guitar distortion completely abandoned, and here replaced with clean guitars, melodic bass lines, and a healthy dose of Strymon’s amazing Big Sky reverberator. Just in time for the Winter’s thaw, these winding passages inspire visions of lush nature and rebirth. Reminiscent of several styles at once, yet emerging as its own being, Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days is immediately comforting, almost familiar release.

BRAVE THE WATERS will release Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days independently through Bandcamp on May 12th, and in advance, the track listing, cover art by Travis Smith (Death, Opeth, King Diamond) and the EP’s fourth song, “Journey Through Highwood Forest,” have been revealed.

Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days Track Listing:

1. The New King
2. Interesting Times
3. Voice of the Ancient Oak
4. Journey Through Highwood Forest
5. Setting Up Camp
6. At the Old Stone Bridge

Anderer and Habeeb plan on continuing the BRAVE THE WATERS project with yearly releases and physical versions following the initial digital releases of their works. More info on Chapter 1 – Dawn of Days will follow in the coming days.

Live performances from BRAVE THE WATERS are likely in the future as well, but in the meantime, the duo continues to scorch the masses with Buckshot Facelift and Grey Skies Fallen, with both bands currently booking new shows and creating new material.

http://bravethewaters.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/bravethewaters

Brave the Waters, “Journey through Highwood Forest”

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Quarterly Review: King Hitter, Desert Storm, Sendelica, Drifter, Sula Bassana, Strange Here, Once-Ler, Waingro, Motorgoat, The Seduction

Posted in Reviews on March 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

quarterly review

I must be out of my damned mind. After wrapping up last year with a special feature comprising 50 reviews spread over five days, I’ve somehow decided that it’s not a bad way to do things. So here we are. It’s been three months, that’s a quarter of a year, so it seems only fair to have a Quarterly Review to catch up on some things that might otherwise have gone missed.

And that’s precisely what we’ll do. Between now and Friday, it’ll be 10 reviews per day, rounding up releases from the last couple months. Some are out now, some aren’t out yet, but it’s all recent one way or another. Like with the Last Licks 2014, I’ll be checking in each day as well. Should be fun to see how my mental status deteriorates over the course of the next few days, until my brains are little more than a stinky jelly dripping from out my ears on Friday. At least that’s how I remember it going last time.

So let’s go:

King Hitter, King Hitter

king hitter king hitter

A North Carolina five-piece fronted by vocalist Karl Agell, best known as the frontman of Corrosion of Conformity for their 1991 Blind album – he’s also currently reviving that album live on stage with drummer Reed Mullin in C.O.C. Blind – the new outfit King Hitter reunites the singer with his former Leadfoot bandmate, guitarist Scott Little, and they test the waters with a five-track self-titled EP delivered via Candlelight Records. Crisply-produced, songs like “King Hitter” and “Feel No Pain” hit hard and gruff with just a touch of Southern heavy rock flair. The power of Agell’s voice is undiminished, but production is maybe too evident at times, and when they get down to the chugging “Suicide (Is the Retirement Plan,” politics meet personal perspective in a way that strikes deeper than might’ve been intended. Little and fellow guitarist Mike Brown, bassist Chuck Manning and drummer Jon Chambliss turn in worthy performances, but Agell’s command captures a good deal of the attention on this satisfying showcase of a songwriting process getting underway.

King Hitter on Thee Facebooks

King Hitter at Candlelight’s Bandcamp

Desert Storm, Omniscient

desert storm omniscient

Because one invariably measures British anything in “waves,” we’ll put Oxford double-guitar five-some at the crest of the New Wave of British Burl. Omniscient is their third full-length behind 2013’s Horizontal Life and their 2010 debut, Forked Tongues (review here), and it arrives through Blindsight Records with all the brash Southern metal riffing and dudely bellow one might expect. Orange Goblin are an immediate name to drop in comparison to opener “Outlander,” but “Queen Reefer”’s quiet solo section adds breadth and the acoustic “Home,” the Clutchy “Night Bus Blues” and the stomping, subtle djentery of closer “Collapse of the Bison Lung” continue to reveal an extended palette. A richer listen than it might appear the first time through, Omniscient still revels in its heaviness on “Blue Snake Moan” and “Sway of the Tides,” etc., but changes like the tempo downshift in “Horizon” give fodder for repeat visits to Desert Storm’s howling third offering.

Desert Storm on Thee Facebooks

Desert Storm at Blindsight Records’ Bandcamp

Sendelica, Anima Mundi

sendelica anima mundi

Welsh space rockers Sendelica feel out some pretty peaceful vibes on songs like “The Pillar of Delhi,” “Azoic” or the sweet-washing closer “The Hedge Witch” from their self-released cosmos-tripper Anima Mundi, but there’s no shortage of spaced-out push either in songs like the 12-minute jam “Master Benjamin Warned Young Albert Not to Step on the Uninsulated Air” and electronic-pulsing “Baalbek Stones.” An experimental spirit underlies each of the eight included instrumental cuts, elements like sax, synth, keyboards, theremin, flute and various effects intertwining throughout Anima Muni’s 54-minute sprawl. Quiet moments like “Azoic” work well, but I won’t take away from the buzzsaw tone or swing behind “The Breyr, the Taeogion and the Caethion” either. The truly fortunate aspect of Sendelica’s latest is that it flows between its individual pieces, putting the listener in a position of open-minded experience while working around and through various psychedelic impulses, carefully woven and balanced in the mix, but vibrant and exciting and loose-feeling just the same.

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Sendeica on Bandcamp

Drifter, Violent at Altitude

drifter violent at altitude

Of the 13 songs on Melbourne trio Drifter’s Desert Highways debut LP, Violent at Altitude, only four reach past the three-minute mark, and even most of those play off a fuzz-punk intensity, shades of Melvins weirdness and Nick Oliveri heavy punker charge showing up in cuts like “Cool Breeze” or the raw, open “Another Life.” Closer “So Long” is given another look from Drifter’s 2013 debut EP, Head (review here), which it also capped, but the feel across Violent at Altitude is that guitarist/vocalist Dan King, bassist/vocalist Troy Dawson and drummer/vocalist Dave Payne is exploring the place where grunge and punk met on pieces like “Bi Polar,” the relatively spacey “Devil Digger” and quick-blasting 1:45 rush of “Russian Roulette,” their tones mean and their attack primal in its overall affect in a way that belies the stylistic nuance at work throughout. You can listen on an analytical level or you can be steamrolled by “Drugs.” Your call. Either way, Drifter are gonna tear it up in accordance with the altitude they’ve apparently hit.

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Drifter at Desert Highways’ Bandcamp

Sula Bassana, Live at Roadburn 2014

sula bassana live at roadburn 2014

Sula Bassana’s performance at Roadburn 2014 was their first as a full band. The experimental psychedelic project of guitarist Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt (see also Electric Moon, Krautzone, Zone Six, Weltraumstaunen, etc.) came to life with his Electric Moon bandmates Komet Lulu on bass and Marcus Schnitzler on drums, as well as Zone Six’s Rainer Neeff on guitar, and the four jams of the live recording Live at Roadburn 2014 tell the tale brilliantly. Schmidt, who is quite simply among the foremost heavy psych jammers in the world, leads the four-piece through cascading movements, immersive and clear on record as they were in person, rich with a sense of improvised creation even if based on prior parts. Anything went, as the 18-minute “Dark Days” showcases here, with synth and guitar and heavy bass intertwining to a brilliant cosmic whole, Schnitzler’s drums holding the proceedings together wonderfully. Short at 50 minutes, it’s every bit as switched on as one might expect in a studio album from these players, blurring yet another line as they expand psych-rock consciousness.

Sula Bassana on Thee Facebooks

Live at Roadburn 2014 at Sulatron Records

Strange Here, II

strange here ii

To listen to opener “Still Alone” from Strange Here’s Minotauro Records raw second LP, II, one might expect that Alexander Scardavian (ex-Paul Chain) and Domenico “Dom” Lotito (ex-Hand of God) are presenting some loosely-swung classic doom, shades of Candlemass and Death SS filtered through heavy riffing and Scardavian’s gruff vocals, but that’s barely half the story. More is told by putting eight-minute tracks “Born to Lose” and “Black, Grey and White” next to each other, as they appear here. Following the opening duo of “Still Alone” and the echoing “Kiss of Worms,” the two longer cuts unveil a sound alternately diving into morose doomed march and spacious psychedelic flourish. That blend continues as the marching “Acid Rain” gives way to the acoustic/drone interplay of “Only If…”and comes to a head on closer “Shiftless,” a contrast of back-and-forth impulses played off each other throughout the 47-minute offering. There’s work to do bringing the sides together should Strange Here choose to go that route, though the lines drawn between make it that much easier to catch the listener off guard, which II just might.

Strange Here on Thee Facebooks

Strange Here at Minotauro Records’ Bandcamp

Once-Ler, Once-Ler

once-ler once-ler

Marked out by the jazzy noodling of “The Douche Bag Guru” and the funky bassline on “Drift,” the new self-titled EP from Dayton, Ohio, four-piece Once-Ler dates back a decade in some of its material, the track “Law Dog” having appeared on the band’s 2005 full-length, Entropy. It’s an unassuming rumble, sort of humbly produced for a garage-heavy feel, but the clarity of purpose in centerpiece “Swing the Leg”’s crashing progression is plain enough to hear, and opener “The Victim” is the longest cut at 6:43, earning immediate points. A prog-metal undertone in that track sets up some expectation that the EP veers quickly away from with “Drift,” but guitarist Burns, bassist Deininger, vocalist Reif and drummer Minarcek make a solid case despite the rough sonic edges in the recording. At 25 minutes, Once-Ler’s Once-Ler is enough to give an impression of where the band is headed and a demo-style look at what their progressive heavy rock has to offer.

Once-Ler on Thee Facebooks

Once-Ler on Bandcamp

Waingro, Waingro

waingro waingro

Pummel, pummel, pummel. Vancouver trio Waingro debut at full-sprint with their 11-track/31-minute self-titled, which wastes little time shaking hands and goes immediately for the jugular on “Firebird.” About 10 seconds in, and the ride is underway with little letup to come as Waingro shove heavy tones along at breakneck speed on cuts like “Tailwind,” “Force Fed” and “Bathed in Tongues.” A remarkable sense of control lies beneath, the trio blending hardcore punk, heavy tones and modern metal twists fluidly as interludes like “Matador,” “St. Regis” and “Arboria” add complexity of method and “Rekall,” “Ride” and most especially side B cappers “Black Dawn” and “True North” brazenly craft something of Waingro’s own from familiar components. This album is self-released, but particularly if Waingro are able to tour at any length, it’s hard to imagine some imprint wouldn’t want to stand behind their brash but engaging thrust, professional already in its assured sensibility and rhythmic impact. The real question is whether they’ll wait around for anyone to notice or push ahead with the momentum they build here.

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Waingro on Bandcamp

Motorgoat, The Iron Hoof of Oppression

motorgoat the iron hoof of oppression

There’s little room left for frills amid the sludge-punk sneer of Motorgoat’s The Iron Hoof of Oppression, which makes no bones about its affinity for booze, metal and fuckall on songs like “Satanic Slacker,” which boasts the lines, “Trippin’ balls is total bliss/He don’t know what day it is,” and so on. Obviously there’s a humor element to “Revenge of the Towndrunk” and “No Pants – No Problems,” but the German four-piece have a sincere vibe as well as they recount loser tales in a viciously-toned punk-metal spirit, less tune-in-drop-out than tune-out-drop-tune, but it turns out heavy either way. Cohesive in spite of its stated penchant for chaos, The Iron Hoof of Oppression offers partytime disaffection that’s so prevalent it might as well be post-modern. After the world has ended, there’s nothing left to do but dance, and Motorgoat seem (mal)content to let their own hooves stomp the floor. An album that gets better when you read the lyrics. Don’t be fooled by how dumb they seem to be calling themselves.

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Motor Goat on Bandcamp

The Seduction, You Catch Fire

the seduction you catch fire

The tell? The tell is the scream just before North Carolina foursome The Seduction move into the bouncing bridge on “Volga,” which launches their Mechanical Pig Records debut, You Catch Fire. From there, it’s pretty easy to hear the metallic vibe beneath their stoner-punk aesthetic. It comes up again in the breakdown for the later “Hell on Two Wheels,” but it’s there anyway, adding an aggressive edge to the record, which at 53 minutes has plenty of room for the breadth of the rocking highlight centerpiece “Flavor of the Weak” or the depth-charge of the penultimate “Starmageddon” – a few more screams there amid spit-out hardcore shouts – but it’s the meld of these with the party-pit vibe of “Daughter of a Holy Man” and “Irish Flu” that makes You Catch Fire effective in taking cues from some of the West Coast’s heavy methods – some Red Fang, some Queens of the Stone Age — and presenting them with a definitively East Coast punch.

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The Seduction on Bandcamp

 

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Deep Space Destructors Stream Spring Break from Space EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on March 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

deep space destructors

Next week, Finnish spacedudes Deep Space Destructors launch a quick tour they’re calling “Spring Break from Space,” and they’ll be bringing a limited-edition cassette EP — 30 copies only — with them to mark the occasion. Also called Spring Break from Space, the EP contains two rehearsal-room jams recorded live and then fleshed out with synth, vocals and percussion to extra spacey effect. Both cuts, “Journey to the Space Mountain” and “Where Space Ends Time” — yes, they’re working on a theme, and yes, that theme is “space” — offer marked swirl as a result, bassist/vocalist Jani Pitkänen, guitarist/backing vocalist Petri Lassila and drummer Markus Pitkänen pushing classically Hawkwindian jams past the thermosphere and into zero-grav floatation.

I’d say that’s nothing new for the Oulu three-piece, whose three full-lengths to date —  2012’s I (review here), 2013’s II (review here) and 2014’s III (review here) — have likewise thrust beyond the limits of convention, but where a song like the 15-minute “An Ode to Indifferent Universe” from III was certainly jam-based, it was more structured than either “Journey to the Space Mountain” or “Where Space Ends Time,” clearer and less awash in effects. “Journey to the Space Mountain” makes a hook of its title line, but still blasts pretty far out, a foundational bassline and drum progression setting a bed for a guitar-led freakout deep space destructors tape coverthat persists over a long midsection jam before the track resumes its charted course with a stop and layered recitation of a couple lines about — wait for it — space.

It’s fun to kid around that a band with space in their name would release an EP with space both in its title and in the titles of each of its two tracks, but the jams hold up. “Where Space Ends Time” starts with a slower march, minimal in percussion but picking up speed as it approaches the end of its first minute. When the bass kicks in, Deep Space Destructors are underway. Various washes of effects make their way in and out of the jam’s early going, sampled, spoken vocals appear and disappear with a pervasive experimental feel that builds as the track progresses, hypnotic and saturated. There are vocals later, echoing in the second half over a sort of ambient melody given tension by that same bassline, and while it’s easy to forget, the band are actually leading the song somewhere. An apex of “Where Space Ends Time” is signaled by crashing drums, but it’s short, and the track cuts out soon, ending cold as though you’ve just been pushed out the airlock.

There are five shows on Deep Space Destructors‘ upcoming tour, and they’re only making 30 copies of the Spring Break from Space tape, so I’m not sure how available it will wind up being to the worldwide cosmos-faring public. All the more reason I’m glad to be able to stream it in full today. You’ll find the tracks on the player below, followed by tour info and some words about the making of the new release.

Please enjoy:

Psychedelic space rockers Deep Space Destructors made a limited cassette release of 30 copies for the upcoming Spring Break From Space 2015 tour.

With the new material DSD dives towards innerspace, shamanistic rhythms and to the mystic realms of consciousness. What is the space mountain and will you discover it?

The cassette includes two songs recorded live at Rehearsal Vortex, with vocals, percussions and analog synths added afterwards. The cassette contains:

Space (A-side): 01. Journey To The Space Mountain (8:16)
Void (B-side): 02: Where Space Ends Time Begins (11:33)

The tour starts on April 1st from Oulu which is also the release date for the cassette. The songs will also be available for pay what you want digital download through bandcamp:
http://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/

Spring Break From Space 2015 tour with
Boar (https://boar.bandcamp.com/) and Tuliterä (https://soundcloud.com/tulitera):

April 1st Tukikohta, Oulu, Finland
April 2nd Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland
April 3rd Lepakkomies, Helsinki, Finland
April 4th Depo, Riga, Latvia
April 5th Rockstars, Tallinn, Estonia

Deep Space Destructors on Thee Facebooks

Deep Space Destructors on Bandcamp

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Video Premiere: Lamprey, “Lord Fire Giant” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

lamprey

This past weekend, in Portland, the fourth Ceremony of Sludge was held at the Tonic Lounge. The likes of Holy Grove, Disenchanter, Diesto and many others played, but notably absent was the trio Lamprey, who headlined the first night of the festival in 2014. The dual-bass three-piece of Justin BrownBlaine Burnham and Spencer Norman are on a sort of mini-hiatus leading up to the release of their next album, what you might call a “break” rather than a “break-up,” while Brown takes up the bassist role in Witch Mountain and embarks on that band’s rather considerable touring schedule.  Also a principal organizer of Ceremony of SludgeBrown was in NYC this past Saturday opening for YOB and Enslaved when the fest was going on. Hey, if you gotta be somewhere.

I asked him about missing his fest at that show and he was bummed (I’ve always had a reverse-knack for conversation) not to be there, but said he’d spend the next however many months editing clips of the bands playing, so he’d get to experience it one way or another. As Lamprey begin to move past their 2012 EP, The Burden of Beasts (review here) and into their new record preceded by the recently-revealed video for “Iron Awake,” they make a fitting conclusion to this series of videos that it’s been my complete pleasure to host. They’re the sixth band — a total of eight played over the two nights last March — but the final clip is their “Lord Fire Giant,” which also closed The Burden of Beasts. In it, we can hear Burnham‘s shouts in all their rawness and hear the interplay of his and Brown‘s basses on the Club 21 stage while Norman keeps the groove in fluid motion, almost a calming presence behind the kit.

The other videos are here if you’d like to catch up, but having dug Lamprey for a few years now and been to-date unable to see them live, the quality footage is appreciated. As we move out of one series of Ceremony of Sludge videos and look forward to hopefully starting another, I’m glad to bring forth “Lord Fire Giant” in all its frothing, molten fury.

Audio is by Tim Burke at Penumbra Sound Arts. Video is by Cole Boggess and Justin Anderson. Please enjoy:

Lamprey, “Lord Fire Giant” Live at Ceremony of Sludge 2014

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Lamprey on Bandcamp

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Gas Giant Reunite; Playing Freak Valley and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

gas giant

Danish heavy psych rockers Gas Giant haven’t been heard from much in the last decade. In 2004, their participation in the High Volume compilation put together by Bobby Black of High Times magazine introduced them to a wider American audience, but by then, the band was already winding down. With two records under their collective belt — 2000’s Pleasant Journey in Heavy Tunes and 2003’s Mana – plus the unfinished Portals of Nothingness from 1999, they faded out just as heavy rock was beginning a resurgence, and had they come along either four years earlier or four years later, I’ve no doubt they would’ve garnered more attention around the world. Better late than never.

The axiom applies because the Copenhagen-based four-piece have reactivated. They’ll play a weekender in Germany this week, and in June, return for the Freak Valley festival. Pleasant Journey in Heavy Tunes is set for reissue via Space Rock Productions, and other releases might follow as well if the response warrants.

Below, Scott “Dr. Space” Heller offers the story of Gas Giant and a video of their new lineup rehearsing the song “Never Leave this Way” from their 2001 split with WE from Norway:

gas giant art

GAS GIANT is back!

Gas Giant formed in 1996 under the name Blind Man Buff with Pete Hell on Drums, Thomas Carstensen on bass, Stefan Krey on guitars and Jesper Valentin on vocals. In April 1997, the Blind Man Buff EP was recorded and released the next year. In 1999, they changed the name to Gas Giant and recorded a record called Portals of Nothingness which showed a more melodic and spacey direction but this was not released as the band was not really happy with the sound production, despite the amazing songs, several of which the band would rerecord on later albums. We sold this on CD-R at the shows between 2001-2004 so about 50 copies exist on CD-R.

In late 1999 and early 2000, their now classic record, Pleasant Journey in Heavy Tunes (Burnt Hippie Recordings) was recorded. This was released in 2000 and the band rerecorded their track, Too Stoned, in a slower version than what appeared on the Blind Man Buff EP, which was a real hit on the stoner rock underground and even the lead track on a High Times Magazine compilation CD that came out in 2004.

I first met the guys in November 1998 and started hanging out with them a lot and recording their shows and rehearsals and running a primitive web site (before Kim took over), and managing the band. In 2000, Pete Hell left the band and they had Kjeld on drums for about a year before he split in April 2001. I started playing with the band in November 2001, when they recorded the tracks for the split LP with the Norwegian band WE. I played on the track Firetripper. Tommy replaced Kjeld in August 2001. From Nov 2001 to 2004 I played at most of the bands live concerts and recorded every show, which you can hear at the link below for the archive.org web site. There are 45 shows that have been downloaded 65,000 times! In 2002, the band recorded and released the Mana record on the Elektrohasch label on CD and the Nasoni record label on vinyl in an abbreviated version. The band played quite a few shows in support of the record in Finland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

The band was really amazing live and changed the set every night and did amazing jamming at each show, which I hope they will continue to do with the new lineup. The underground German press called them the Grateful Dead of stoner rock and we did a lot of amazing improvisation and jamming on tracks like Never leave this Way, Back on the Headless Track, Ride the Red Horse and Storm of my Enemies. These were the real jam tracks that were very different every night. The live show reviews were always great. If the band had really had the time to play more shows at this time, I really think they would have been as big or bigger than bands like Nebula, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, at least in Germany, but they were all having children and it was harder and harder to live this life and tour. In 2004, they decided to take a different turn in the music and lose the synthesizers (and me) and try with a more mainstream sound. The next two years they struggled and eventually the band broke up with Jesper leaving. Although the band would play the occasional party or reunion show for special events like Ralph Rjeily’s Tribute show, they did not really exist as a band.

Come 2015 and Gas Giant is back! The band has a new energy with the addition of a new bass player, Kasper (Bleeder Group, Dyreforsøg, Megafon, Gyserfilm, and Marte) and drummer, Martin (Psyched up Janis, The Univerzals, Fri Galaxe, The Saints) replacing original member Thomas (bass) and Tommy (who drummed with the band since 2001). Here is a short video of the band rehearsing from march 21st, 2015. Just sneak preview of the new line up!

The band is out on the road in 2015 with the following confirmed dates:

Thu, Mar 26 Schaubude, Kiel, Germany
Fri, Mar 27 Cafe Tiko, Erfurt, Germany
Sat Mar 28th Zukunft :: Ranch am Ostkreuz, Berlin, DE
Thurs April 30th HDDT, Loppen, Christiania, DK
Thurs June 4th Freak Valley Festival, DE

In June this year, the Pleasant Journey in Heavy Tunes will be released as a single vinyl lp on the Space Rock Productions label with additional sales and distribution via Kozmik Artifactz in Germany. If this does well, other old Gas Giant material may be released as well on vinyl.

https://archive.org/details/GasGiant
http://thegasgiant.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gas-Giant/587716488024613

Gas Giant, “Never Leave this Way” March 2015 Rehearsal

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