The Obelisk Radio Adds: Big Kizz, Mt. Mountain, Mage, Hypertonus, Lee Van Cleef

Posted in Radio on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

We’re only slightly overdue for a batch of adds to The Obelisk Radio. I need to start setting a reminder or something. By the time this post goes up, my hope is that we’ll actually be off the backup server and back on the full or at least mostly-full playlist. It’s been a long road, as the terrible opening theme to Star Trek: Enterprise once said, but I think Slevin has it ready to roll, and there’s still some rebuilding to do, but I think it can be an ongoing thing working on the new hard drive. We’ve worn the crap out of that backup playlist. It would be nice to not have to use it for a while. Fingers crossed, anyhow.

Whichever server these files wind up on, they’ll be joining some playlist as soon as humanly possible. Let’s do the rundown in the meantime.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for May 22, 2017:

Big Kizz, Eye on You

big kizz eye on you

Some who take on the debut single from Swedish trio Big Kizz will find the band reminiscent of some of the rawer moments of long-running Danish garage-psych rockers Baby Woodrose, but for many, an additional draw to the three-track/eight-minute offering (delivered via Tee Pee Records) will be the lineup, which features bassist John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft), guitarist/vocalist Pontus Westerman (also of Lady Banana), and perhaps most notably, drummer Axel Sjöberg in his first recorded appearance after splitting with Graveyard. Turns out he’s still a fantastic drummer. His play in leadoff cut “Eye on You” and the push he brings to “Baby Boy” and the closing Roky Erickson cover “White Faces” will surely lead some to relate Big Kizz to Sjöberg‘s former outfit, if only in their earliest going (which was also on Tee Pee, remember), but the truth is the trio show themselves to be on a different trip throughout Eye on You, as they bring the aforementioned garage stylization forward amid classic boogie and, particularly in “Baby Boy,” nod toward mid-’60s psychedelia in a quick but fluid bridge. The Roky Erickson cover could hardly be more fitting, handclaps and all, but it’s the sense of movement in the two originals that shows the most potential here as Big Kizz seem to set their eyes on establishing their dynamic and building from there. Will be interested to hear what they do with the context of a full-length and if some of the psych in “Eye on You” and “Baby Boy” is relegated to flourish or if it comes to the fore as they develop, but they’re off to a rousing start.

Big Kizz on Thee Facebooks

Big Kizz at Tee Pee Records

 

Mt. Mountain Dust

mt. mountain dust

Devotees and pilgrims of longform psychedelia will no doubt and should rejoice at Dust (on Cardinal Fuzz), the maybe-second long-player from Perth, Australia, five-piece Mt. Mountain, which from its 17-minute titular opener and longest track (immediate points) unfolds a ritual of superior immersion and conscious trance inducement. Over the course of four songs/37 minutes total, Mt. Mountain unfold a sprawl reportedly intended to capture the atmosphere of the Australian Outback — and maybe they get there, I don’t know; I’ve never been — but either way, the balance of repetition and depth in “Floating Eyes” and the shimmer of the nine-minute “Kokoti” speak to a varied ecosystem that, indeed, one might get lost in, never to return. Mellotron, organ, djembe and percussion play a central role in the overarching sense of mind-expansion along with the guitar, bass, vocals, drums, etc., but it’s the combination of elements, the variety between tracks — they’re jam-based, but distinct songs, to be sure — that really stands Dust apart from much of drift-minded modern heavy psych. One advises patience with the drones of the opener and the cautious first steps that the fading in percussion seems to be taking, as the rewards are considerable when it comes to the front-to-back experience Mt. Mountain offer, which is stark, striking, marked by underlying threat and casts a feeling of the infinite that no doubt was the very intent behind its making.

Mt. Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

Mage, Green

mage green

Self-released in a six-panel digipak with decidedly grim artwork courtesy of Dominic SohorGreen is the third full-length from Leicestershire, UK, heavy rockers Mage. Last heard from with 2014’s Last Orders (review here), they retain the blend of heavy rock groove and metallic aggression that’s become their signature sound, and continue the march forward in finding a space between post-Down/Orange Goblin dude-rockery and doomlier fare. Vocalist Tom blends harsh growls and a cleaner approach on opener “Nowhere to Nothing” and the later “Primitive Drive” while mostly avoiding sounding like Phil Anselmo, and as guitarist Woody, bassist Mark and drummer Andy dig into the slower roll of “Eclipse King,” Mage seem to hit the mark they’re shooting for in terms of style and songcraft. The centerpiece title-track has a little more head-bob to its central progression — and then there’s that wah; always fun — but they’re right to mess around with the proportion of stylistic elements throughout to add variety, and the 10-minute closer “Vultures Mass” does well in taking the punch of “Nowhere to Nothing” and “Heroic Elegy” at the album’s start and pushing it outward into a satisfying apex. Straightforward in its intent, given a sense of mass via a recording job at Skyhammer Studios and executed with a clean conscience, Green is the work of a band who know what they want from their sound and know how to make it happen, which, thankfully, they do in these tracks.

Mage on Thee Facebooks

Mage on Bandcamp

 

Hypertonus, Tidal Wave

hypertonus tidal wave

Tidal Wave is the self-issued debut full-length from German instrumentalist three-piece Hypertonus, and it lands some six years after the band first got together, preceded by a semi-eponymous 2013 EP, HPRTNS. If the more-than-half-a-decade stretch seems like a while for a group to get to their first long-player, it might be, but one suspects the Bremen-based troupe comprised of guitarist Patrick Büch, bassist Arne Staats and drummer Hannes Christen spent a significant amount of that time in the jam room developing their sound, because what they cast over this nine-track/45-minute outing is a keen progressivism and chemistry that feels not at all happenstance. With shifts into and out of technically-minded parts that seem to be driven by Staats‘ bass, Hypertonus reportedly tracked Tidal Wave live, and I have no reason not to believe it, particularly given the eight-minute closer “Phantasmagoria (Improvisation Jam),” which departs from the quick psych-meditation of “Aeropause” and the almost jazzy rhythms and post-rock guitar of “Expect the Sky Below” to bring the band’s style even more to life for the listener to take on. It’s a heady release, and some of the changes come across as willfully choppy — playing with expectation in a “now we’re over here!” kind of way — but there’s a marked sense of accomplishment throughout that’s nothing if not well earned.

Hypertonus on Thee Facebooks

Hypertonus on Bandcamp

 

Lee Van Cleef, Holy Smoke

lee van cleef holy smoke

Pressed to gorgeous-sounding vinyl by White Dwarf Records last November, the five-track instrumental Holy Smoke is the debut LP from Naples, Italy, jammers Lee Van Cleef, and aside from its righteously striking cover art, one finds primary impressions in the gotta-hear-it bass tone of Pietro Trinità La Tegola, the molten lysergism in Marco Adamo‘s guitar and the grounding-but-not-too-grounding effectiveness of drummer Guido Minervini in anchoring a jam like the 13-minute “Banshee,” which takes the best lessons of groups like Germany’s Electric Moon and Portugal’s Black Bombaim and brings them to methodical, engagingly rumbling fruition. Nod persists through the more uptempo, Tee Pee Records-style centerpiece “Hell Malo,” but the three-piece seem even more comfortable dug into the post-Sleep riffing of the subsequent “Mah?na,” finishing that track with a standout wash of a guitar lead ahead of the brighter-feeling closer “Towelie,” which underscores an otherworldly vibe that turns out to have been in Holy Smoke all along. Lee Van Cleef have already followed Holy Smoke up with a single titled “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy” (discussed here) — it’s worth noting that this album starts with “Heckle Yuppies,” so they’re not fans of them either — and one can’t imagine it will be long before they answer back with another full-length offering. The question is how they’ll ultimately distinguish themselves from the crowded European jam-based heavy psych underground, but there’s nothing in these tracks to give the impression they can’t or won’t do so as they continue to grow.

Lee Van Cleef on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Coeur Atomique: New Project from Voivod Founder Announces Landscape of Emergency I Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

coeur atomique

Founding Voivod bassist Jean-Yves ‘Blacky’ Thériault has announced that his new project, Coeur Atomique, will release its debut album July 10. Preorders are up now for what’s been given the title Landscape of Emergency I from the low-end-centric experimentalist two-piece of Theriault and fellow bassist Monica Emond. Comprised of six songs, the 42-minute offering basks in progressive textures and markedly atmospherics, but holds firm to a sense of movement across its span as lines from Thériault and Emond intertwine and feel their way through songs like “Castle Bravo” and “The Waste,” both of which you can hear below.

Thériault, who co-founded Voivod in 1981 with still-missed guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, left that band following the release of their latest full-length, Target Earth, in 2013. Coeur Atomique — which seems to have originally been called Landscape of Emergency — will use its first long-player as the launch point for a series of releases exploring social themes through instrumentalist means, and already one finds considerable resonance in its focus on tonality, presentation and depth.

Landscape of Emergency I is available now to preorder direct from Coeur Atomique, and you’ll find the link in the info below, which comes courtesy of the band via the PR wire:

coeur-atomique-landscape-of-emergency-i

CŒUR ATOMIQUE is a bassists duo formed by Monica Emond and Jean-Yves Thériault (Voivod, The Holy Body Tattoo). During live performances, their music written for two basses and electronics is accompanied with powerful film projections. Art, they say, is meant to act and to resist! Watch our videos on Youtube.

Their first album called Landscape of Emergency I ~ will be released on vinyl by July 10th, 2017. Pre-order it now through coeuratomique.org. The digital format is already available. This album is the first part of the Landscape of Emergency series of releases which address the silencing machine of ignorance of indifference…

Landscape of Emergency I ~ Song List
1. Fail Safe
2. Calutron
3. Castle Bravo
4. The Waste
5. Berghof
6. Green Run

http://coeuratomique.org/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6An1AAp1UQehEsvKzvOCVA

Coeur Atomique, “The Waste”

Coeur Atomique, “Castle Bravo”

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Naxatras Begin Recording New Album; Self-Titled Vinyl Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

naxatras

Winning news all around from Greek heavy psych rockers Naxatras, as they’ve begun the recording process for their third studio full-length as of yesterday and released their 2015 self-titled debut as a gatefold 2LP. Based in Thessaloniki, the three-piece of guitarist John Delias, bassist/vocalist John Vagenas and drummer Kostas Harizonis have been garnering acclaim from and beyond Europe’s underground since first issuing their debut two years ago thanks to languid jams like “Shiva’s Dance” and the classic-style fuzz drift of “Downer,” and it’s hard to imagine that by the time this post is live, the vinyl won’t be well on its way to sold out. They only pressed 500.

Among its endearing qualities, Naxatras‘ Naxatras basks in an ultra-natural tonality that would turn even the most loyalist of the vintage aficionados envious. From its 10-minute opener “I am the Beyonder” through the gently progressive roll of “Waves” and the push, blown-out drift, spoken preach and meandering guitar lines of “Ent,” which caps, the album cast aesthetic worries aside in favor of making its impression through immediate chemistry between its players, who recorded live, analog, no overdubs, in a single day. The vitality of performance became the self-titled’s signature, and it’s something that last year’s follow-up, II (review here), continued to develop along with their overall scope.

One can only hope the thread will continue for what may or may not be called III upon its arrival. I’ve yet to hear of a confirmed date for Naxatras‘ next release, but when and if I do, I’ll certainly let you know. In the meantime, plans seem to be in the works for a Fall 2017 European tour, since the band has been confirmed for the lineup of Keep it Low 2017 in Munich, Germany.

The following was culled together from a few different posts, but brings confirmation direct from the band:

naxatras self titled

They’re here!!!

Two years after the release of our first album, we finally present you its vinyl form!

Double-LP with an analog cutting from the original master tapes by Jesus I. Agnew at Magnetic Fidelity in a lovely gatefold cover by CHRIS RW!

The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2015. ATR Magnetic Master Tape in 1/4″ was used as the master tape, in a half-track stereo configuration.

Order here: https://naxatras.bandcamp.com/album/naxatras

21st of May we enter the studio to record our 3rd album.

Uber-hyped to play Keep It Low Festival 2017 this October among so many awesome bands!!

Rest of the European Autumn Tour will be announced really soon too, so stay tuned friends…

Naxatras is:
John Delias – Guitar
Kostas Harizanis – Drums
John Vagenas – Bass & Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/naxatras/
https://naxatras.bandcamp.com/

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Mose Giganticus Post Video for “Long as Time”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mose giganticus

It was right about this time last year that heavy post-rocking Philadelphia two-piece Mose Giganticus released their first new track in six years. That cut, given the reassuring title “We are One” and presented in an accompanying video (posted here), was said to be the beginning point of a series of singles on which the band was embarking as they looked to follow-up their 2010 sophomore LP, Gift Horse, by taking something of a different approach. An ambitious project on the surface, it kind of made sense if you consider an independent band putting out tracks on their own terms as they’re written rather than following this or that other, arguably outdated model.

While I’m not sure if it’s still the intent of Mose GiganticusMatt Garfield and Joe Smiley to continue along the lines of doing a singles series, their new offering is a video for “Long as Time,” and with cinematic photography, creepy-as-hell makeup and lighting, a drama of synth and atmospheric weight, it offers much on both the aural and visual levels. Keys open and unfold to a subdued, tense roll as the two players harmonize through an airy verse en route to a thicker-toned threat of a hook, progressive undertones tying together any disparities of volume or approach. There’s continuity in what they’re doing here with what “We are One” had to offer — in terms of the video and the songwriting itself — but its melody stands “Long as Time” out from its predecessor, as does the patience of its execution; though they tease further heft, they never actually give into the cliché of a linear payoff.

I don’t know what the future might hold for Mose Giganticus, and it’s entirely possible that the week of May 15, 2018, will find me posting another video from them and talking about how they sound like they’ve grown again. Could very well happen. Either way, if you missed “We are One” a year ago, “Long as Time” is well worth checking out and hopefully as you dig into it and the info that follows below, you enjoy.

Here goes:

Mose Giganticus, “Long as Time” official video

Mose Giganticus is Matt Garfield and Joe Smiley

Directed by Matt Garfield and Christopher Kayfield
Produced and Edited by Matt Garfield
Photography by Christopher Kayfield
Production Design by Matt Garfield and Christopher Kayfield
Hair & Makeup by Lauren Jaremko
Lighting Design by Matt Garfield
Audio Recorded at Red Planet by Joe Smiley
Audio Mastered by James Plotkin

Mose Giganticus is an evolving body of music, art, and technology led by Matt Garfield. Since 2007, Garfield has performed hundreds of live shows as Mose Giganticus across North America and Europe, backed by a revolving cast of touring musicians up to 30 members deep. Mose Giganticus achieved notoriety with the release of Gift Horse on Relapse Records in 2010, following an extensive U.S./Canadian tour fueled by recycled waste vegetable oil for Garfield’s custom-built tour bus.

Though the touring line-up has shuffled, Joe Smiley has been a consistent contributor to Mose Giganticus from the start- both in the studio and on the stage. Smiley’s talents have been featured on every recording as a guitarist, recording engineer, or both.

As a multi-instrumentalist duo, Garfield and Smiley layer their live performances with custom interactive electronics and lighting design to build a cohesive display that seems beyond their capacity.

Mose Giganticus on Thee Facebooks

Mose Giganticus on Bandcamp

Mose Giganticus website

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Six Dumb Questions with Six Sigma

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on May 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

six sigma

One imagines that, to a band coming back after a 15-year absence, there are few words as gratifying as ‘Funded.’ New Jersey trio Six Sigma, who entered the fray of a busy post-Monster Magnet scene in Long Branch that already boasted names like Halfway to Gone, Solarized, Solace and The Atomic Bitchwax, among others, with 2000’s The Spirit is Gone EP, well surpassed their goal when it came to asking listeners to help them pick up the tab through preorders on pressing the long-awaited follow-up, Tuxedo Brown (review here). The album is out now and the PledgeMusic page currently reads it at 121 percent of its funding goal. That has to feel good, right?

As to what caused the delay in the first place? Guitarist/vocalist Doug Timms (ex-Drag Pack) is perhaps brutally honest when he attributes it to “stoner rock.” And as somebody who’s waited on bands to deliver various assets from tapes and CDs to mp3s, jpegs and YouTube embeds, I can attest that not much more needs to be said than that. I call it the “two weeks phenomenon,” as in, “Yeah, should be done in about two weeks,” as years go by. It is a real thing. The band comprised of Timms, bassist Scott Margolin and drummer Mappy, Six Sigma‘s case is obviously an extreme one, but they’re by no means the only ones and by no means is 15 years the longest stretch a band has gone between releases. To wit, The Obsessed.

Tuxedo Brown, however, has the added advantage of speaking directly to the three-piece’s initial run, since that’s when the bulk of it was recorded. Save for the extended psych jam “She Burn in Blues,” which is newer, songs like “Curb Feeler” and “Here’s Yer Stoner Anthem” successfully convey the tones and energy of turn-of-the-century heavy, but come across as fresh in their presentation thanks in no small part to the blend of old material and new. Topped off with a David Paul Seymour cover, the album is a successful return for a group who seem genuinely relieved to finally get it out, and who were kind enough to discuss the odd origin and timing of the release in the Q&A that follows here.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

six sigma tuxedo brown

Six Dumb Questions with Six Sigma

How many years has it actually been since these songs were written, and what made you finally decide now was the time to release them?

Mappy: Most of the songs were written in 2000-2001. We were still relatively young as a band at the time, having got together in 1999 and having just put out our first EP a few months earlier. We put this record out because we felt we had unfinished business. Bands like Atomic Bitchwax, Core, Halfway to Gone and so many others were part of our local NJ scene. The common thread in that music scene back in those days is that every band came to play 100 percent and everyone was just kick-ass musically. Being part of that, we would try to go toe to toe with each band on a musical level every night we played and this album put a bit of a light on that setting in time. It needed to come out if only for our own satisfaction and it was a great feeling to finally hear it after fixing the little things that bothered us for a decade and a half. I think this album is a testament to our dedication as a band and that we felt strongly about getting our music out there.

Scott Margolin: I suppose there are a lot of reasons why this is happening now, but a little history on the gap first. We had a record deal in place to put this all out in 2001 – these tracks were actually on our demo and were to be recorded as part of our new full-length record. Without going into drama detail, record company reneged – they are long gone and we are still here. Karma. I guess like we said on our last record, the spirit was gone at that time. We kept doing shows here and there until 2004 – very much enjoying playing as ever, however, we just plum ran out of energy to go back into the studio. Writing, rehearing and playing was far more fun anyhow.

Fast forward to the here and now… Doug had a project from his old band (Drag Pack) that was being put out digitally, and we collectively realized that: a) we didn’t have a digital release of our first record and b) we have Tuxedo Brown on 2” tape sitting in a closet, so why not dust it off and give it a proper release in the way we wanted? That was the initial spark that got us back rehearsing, creating and entertaining the idea of putting music out again. 2017 is such an unbelievable time to get your music heard and to be in total control of doing that. PledgeMusic provided us with an amazing platform which enabled us to setup preorders and fully-fund the record – we were able to offer formats that we probably never have been able to convince a record company to put out (180g vinyl, 8-track), merch for the first time and the ability to reach new fans. Digital distribution is such a trip nowadays in that your music takes on its own life form very quickly once it’s out.

Of course, who knows what it would have been like if we put it out in 2001, but that wasn’t meant to be. With all that said, this was exactly the right time to get it out.

What do you remember about recording the album? Is it strange to have it come out now when it has to be so far in hindsight for you as a band?

Doug Timms: I don’t really think it’s that strange at all. I guess a lot of people record something and then release it within the year, but it’s quite natural for me to procrastinate things for decades at a time. So, while this may seem unusually slow for other people, it’s just normal protocol for me. How can someone consider themselves stoner rock and NOT take 15-plus years to get something done?

M: I remember a sense of anxiousness as we didn’t have much time to knock this out and how cool Charlie [Schafer]’s (Word of Mouth Studios) full-analog recording setup was. We’ve been listening to it for years so it’s strange to think of it as new. It’s great being able to share it with people finally.

Who is the character of Tuxedo Brown and how does the record relate to him? Is there a story being told in the songs?

DT: It’s 1976; the album is a movie soundtrack and Tuxedo Brown is the star. He’s a streetwise scalawag, roaming the town with style and grace and a busted-up face. The songs are meant to work together to tell the story of Mr. Brown.

Tell me about writing “She Burn in Blues.” That song is such a standout on the album. Where did it come from?

DT: This was the one song entirely written and recorded in the past year. So, it’s very encouraging every time we hear people singling out that song. It gives us confidence that we can still make good music together. We came up with a great blues riff, I set my pedals loose, we smoked up a little too much, and then just recorded the jam – we filmed the entire thing as well – because, 2017. We ended up cutting a good 10 minutes off that jam for the album. The song describes what happens when Mother Nature is a jilted ex-lover, fed up with your shitty-ass ways, and decides to unleash her full vengeance upon you and your kind. She burns in blue, and you better run. 

M: My favorite song right now. Maybe because it’s new. It came together quickly (in like… we discussed what we were going to do, played it through two times, then recorded it) and it evolved in a lot of ways in that short amount of time. I’m psyched because someone commented it was Zeppelin-ish [it was me – ed.] and that was the exact vibe I was feeling when I started playing it. It’s a bit of a different sound for us and may hint at what the future of Six Sigma sounds like.

Will there be new Six Sigma material? If so, how do you see the band as having changed in the years since Tuxedo Brown started to come together?

DT: Definitely. We have one-to-two albums’ worth of material already written. Now it’s just a question of whether we can break our record and finish it in under 16 years. We could potentially drop the next album at the end of this year.

SM: In terms of how we have changed over the years, it’s always hard to judge for ourselves. We play to our own tastes and are more committed than ever to creating music to that end. Our influences remain the same, but we are definitely more united than ever on what our sound is. One other thing that changed is that nobody will help me carry my bass cab any longer!

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

SM: Just want to thank so many people for gently pushing us to do this along the way. Lots of gratitude to those that have supported us from so long ago and never forgot about us. We are very much looking forward to performing again soon – we expect to be playing live again this summer.

Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown (2017)

Six Sigma on Thee Facebooks

Six Sigma on Bandcamp

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Mr. Plow Announce Return and Plans for New Album Maintain Radio Silence

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Welcome back, Mr. Plow.

I always liked the Houston-based post-Fu Manchu heavy rockers, from whose lineup the likes of Sanctus Bellum and Blues Funeral at least in part sprang. Aside from the quality of their songwriting across their three records, 2000’s Head On, 2003’s Cock Fights and Pony Racin’ and 2006’s Kurt Vonnegut-themed Asteroid 25399, the charm of their references to Carlo Rossi, The Big Lebowski, and of course The Simpsons — among many others — went a long way in presenting a down-to-earth attitude that made it that much easier to relate to where they were coming from. Just a group of dudes having a good time playing cool tunes. Zero pretense.

Last time I wrote about them in more than an off-hand referential way was in 2009, so yeah, it’s been a minute, but Mr. Plow have announced they’re back and will hit the studio this September to record a new album, to be titled Maintain Radio Silence. Seems to me more likely it’ll be out in 2018 than 2017, but it’s one to watch for nonetheless, as these guys were always underrated as songwriters and after more than a decade, I’m intrigued to hear the glut of material they’ve apparently come up with and how it’s evolved from where they ended their initial run, which was some of their best work.

They posted the following on their website:

mr plow

Mr. Plow – Breaking Our Silence

Well, folks, it’s been a long time since we’ve recorded. Our last album, Asteroid 25399, was released in 2006. We then went into a long hiatus while I (Greg) moved to Florida for three years. But the time has come. We’ve now written 14(!) new tunes, and have been regularly playing more than half of them live. We’ve got studio time on the calendar for the last two weeks in September at Lucky Run studios in Houston, where our bandmate, Cory Cousins, recorded with his other band, Blues Funeral.

The title of the new album will be Maintain Radio Silence. It will be the first album with Cory on drums. Cory’s energy and musical inventiveness have given us renewed life and drive to rock. The new songs are clearly Plow songs but are also a clear evolution in our sound: shorter, punchier, and maybe heavier than anything we’ve done before. We’ve all been recording demos of ideas and sharing them back and forth, building the songs up before we even get together to work on them as a unit. And the ideas just keep coming. We’re talking about releasing this on vinyl as a double album. We’re also in the process of getting our first three albums on iTunes and Spotify and other streaming services.

I’ve never been more excited about the music we’re creating. Hope to see you at a show soon. The pic [above] is from our recent gig at Rudz with Ape Machine, Pyreship, and The Dirty Seeds.

Mr. Plow is:
Greg Green – Bass
Jeremy Stone – Guitar and Vocals
Cory Cousins – Drums
Justin Waggoner – Guitar and Vocals

http://mrplow.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Mr.PlowRock/

Mr. Plow, “Mexican Smoke” Live in 2011

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Thee Iron Hand: New Band with Members of Iron Man & The Hidden Hand to Debut this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face it: It’s hard to speculate what a band might become based on their lineup and a minute-long snippet of a rehearsal room recording. They haven’t even played a live show, so I’m not going to try to guess at the range of what Thee Iron Hand might shoot for as they set to writing songs with an intent toward making a stage debut this summer ahead, presumably — or perhaps coinciding with — a first studio venture.

That said, I do think it’s fair to be excited at the prospect of what a new band with members of Iron Man, Ironboss and The Hidden Hand might be able to accomplish together, and so as one sees Bruce Falkinburg (ex-The Hidden Hand, ex-The Obsessed) teaming up with Ironboss guitarist Matt Crocco and drummer Patrick Kennedy and the three-piece bringing Iron Man frontman Dee Calhoun on board to be the voice of the band, yeah, that’s some fodder for speculation right there. All the more so with that minute of rehearsal jam to go on, which you can hear below in a piece of a song called “Lungful of Blood.”

I guess the upshot here is there’s much more to come, so stay tuned. I’d be a little bit surprised if these guys didn’t wind up on the bill one way or another for Maryland Doom Fest next month, provided they’re ready even to do a short set, but beyond that, I’ll post more when I have more. In the meantime, I chased down Calhoun for some more info on how Thee Iron Hand came together and you can see what he had to say under the lineup info, which follows here:

thee iron hand

Thee Iron Hand – Lungful of Blood

Members/former members of legendary acts The Obsessed, Iron Man, Ironboss, and The Hidden Hand have joined to form Thee Iron Hand. The lineup is:

Screaming Mad Dee (Iron Man) – voice
Matt Crocco (Lifetime Shitlist, Ironboss) – guitar
Bruce Falkinburg (The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand) – bass
Patrick Kennedy (Ironboss) – drums

Dee Calhoun on Thee Iron Hand:

“Matt was putting feelers out for a singer for this project that he, Bruce, and Patrick had going on. He approached me regarding it, and once it became clear that Iron Man was going to be out of commission for a while, I jumped at it. They pretty much already had songs written and arranged, all I needed to do was write lyrics and melodies. The styles are meshing very, very well. The vibe is a little different that a lot of what I’ve done before, but I welcome that and think people are really going to dig it.”

The quartet will be hitting the live stage beginning in Summer 2017.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrzOQMWnSXZxNWkaH_cFScA

Thee Iron Hand, “Lungful of Blood” rehearsal outtake

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Blues Funeral Hit the Studio this Weekend to Record Awakening; Album Art & Tracklisting Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blues funeral

Today, Houston’s Blues Funeral reveal the David Paul Seymour cover art for their forthcoming second album, Awakening. On Saturday, the progressively-tinged heavy rock/metal four-piece actually hit the studio to record the thing. Ha. The follow-up to their 2016 debut, The Search (review here), will reunite the band with Jeremy Dudman and Mike Mikulka at Lucky Run Studios for recording and mixing, and as Seymour did the front-piece for that outing as well, it seems like they’re definitely not fixing what wasn’t broken about their first time out. With a likewise quick turnaround from one batch of songs to the next, I’ll be interested to hear how the last year of doing shows and developing this material finds them having progressed from where they were with The Search. I guess we’ve probably got a little ways to go before we get there.

So be it. “Band hits studio” is always one of my favorite kinds of stories to post, since it’s one of the best times a band can possibly have together, so all the best to Blues Funeral as they embark on the making of Awakening. I’m happy in the meantime to unveil the cover art and the tracklisting, which you can see below:

blues funeral awakening

Blues Funeral – Awakening

Houston’s Blues Funeral to Enter Lucky Run Studios 5/20 to record Sophomore Album ‘Awakening’

Houston-based progressive metal quartet Blues Funeral will enter Lucky Run Studios on 5/20 to record their sophomore album. The band will once again be working with Jeremy Dudman and Mike Mikulka for recording and mixing. ‘Awakening’ is the follow up to the band’s self-released debut, ‘The Search.’ The cover art unveiled here continues the longtime collaboration with artist, David Paul Seymour.

“‘Awakening’ is a groove-laden slab of progressive metal inspired by the music of the 60’s and 70’s,” comments the band. “The sound on this record is very much a continuation of many of the ideas explored on our debut record, ‘The Search’. We maintain our focus on things like guitar harmonies, organ, and harmony vocals. That said, ‘Awakening’ takes those ideas and pushes them into some areas that may surprise some listeners. With this record, we feel that we’ve really challenged ourselves with the arrangements and are looking forward to tackling this in the studio!”

Track Listing:
1) Shadow of the Snake
2) Awakening
3) Illusions of Reality
4) Firedrake
5) Casimir
6) The Gathering Dust

https://www.facebook.com/bluesfuneralofficial
https://bluesfuneral.bandcamp.com/

Blues Funeral, “Shadow of the Snake” Live

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