Posted in Whathaveyou on August 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Two aggressive-as-hell Londoner outfits teaming up to, as they put it, “beat the shit out of Europe?” Yeah, I’d say the pairing of Gurt and Diesel King makes sense. All the more so since both bands have material recently out. Gurt issued their latest EP, D.I.Y.M.C.A. (get it?), back in April, and in June, Diesel King unleashed a free download single, beefing up Toto‘s “Hold the Line” with their particular brand of dudely extremity. Whether or not they’ll take that cover on the road, I don’t know, but it’s almost worth showing up to find out, even without the rest of the show.
You know the deal. Info and audio? Yes. Info and audio:
GURT + DIESEL KING // EURO TOUR 2015
Dead Pig Entertainment & When Planets Collide present : GURT & DIESEL KING
Beating the shit out of Europe for the first time together…
GURT take the blues and groove of 70s rock and drag it backwards through the swamps of Louisiana. The drums are thunderous, the vocals demonic and the guitars down-tuned, down-tempo and down-right sexy. This is not doom, this is not sludge, THIS IS GURT.
Diesel King play aggressive & abrasive music which has been described from sludge to hardcore to death metal. The London mob have been on various tours and have supported bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod, Entombed and many others. Playing in the UK and Europe and featuring on various high profile festival bills such as Bloodstock, their live shows are likened to being punched in the face repeatedly. With 2 Eps under their belt the band are set unleash their debut album in 2015 “Concrete Burial” and look to continue their dominance in the UK metal scene.
03.09 : UTRECHT (NL), dB’s 04.09 : get in touch 05.09 : SALZBURG (AT), Stonerhead Fest 06.09 : get in touch 07.09 : PARIS (F), Stoned Gatherings Klub 08.09 : LILLE (F), Le Biplan 09.09 : BRUXELLES (BE), Magasin 4
Despite its funky initial bassline, Strauss‘ “2015” paints a rather grim portrait of the bleak future in which we live. Lines like “No gravity or sense to life” pretty much say it all. Still, that doesn’t mean that the video can’t tell the tale of a fish-obsessed scientist — Blood Waters of Dr. Z, anyone? — losing his mind while the London five-piece pound out riff-led noise rock in a moist-looking concrete-walled space presumably somewhere in the vicinity. It doesn’t need to make sense. It’s science.
Strauss released their second EP, Luia (review here), in May. The follow-up to their more decisively desertized 2013 self-titled (review here), the five-songer impressed with its jump in aggressive style and individual presence on the part of the band. It’s good to know they’ve been keeping busy since putting it out, and if Luia might be their last short offering before they take on the task of their full-length debut, I don’t think anyone who bothers to make their way through “2015” could argue they’re not ready.
Video, including a somewhat quizzical leadoff sample of George W. Bush (who, if you were paying attention at the time, you know said plenty of quizzical shit), follows. Enjoy:
Strauss, “2015” official video
Strauss – 2015, taken from their recently released 2nd EP, Luia.
The video tells the classic heart-warming tale of an aquatically obsessed scientist driven to madness. Possibly by the filthy stoner metal grooves playing out in his deranged mind. No fish were harmed during the making of this video but some harsh words were exchanged.
Lyrics: News go by on TV Nothing’s left on my wall I’ll carry on as they say Whilst degrade is taking over How could I ever see a light past the wicked eye? A dream of truthfulness detached from reality I came across it once but can’t recall the look Just a feeling of calm and beauty No gravity or sense to life If only I could trust That better days will come I’d never lose my hope To find the hidden sunlit world Beyond our mind
One could probably sit around all day and wait for Bellringer‘s new video for “Von Fledermaus” to start making sense. One could probably ask it nicely. The result would be the same: A presumably mid-coitus stare from a lady bouncing up and down — I wouldn’t quite call it NSFW, but if you’re in an office they might find you out for the weirdo you really are if you’ve got it playing — spliced in with old racing footage and some blasting lights, destruction, etc. The problem isn’t that the video doesn’t make any sense. The problem is that you want it to.
Austin three-piece (maybe four-piece? I saw something about a second bassist) Bellringer released a self-titled four-song EP (review here) earlier this year. Where is it now? Gone. “Von Fledermaus,” with its lurching riff and the subdued vocal from Mark Deutrom (formerly of the Melvins and Clown Alley) — who’s almost Mario Lalli-esque in finding the calm spot in the song’s storm — was on that EP, and whether or not that was removed because someone’s doing a physical pressing or what, I don’t know, but again, I think the problem here is really that not knowing is the whole idea. Wait and find out. It’s what the world does.
Like that offering as a whole, “Von Fledermaus” boasts a sense of balance between its chugging riff and stranger impulses. Seems fair to say the collage-style video by Jennifer Deutrom hones in on the latter, and rightfully so.
If you’re sensitive to bright flashing lights or anything like that, you might want to watch out for some of the middle and second half stuff here, as it gets pretty active. Otherwise, enjoy:
Bellringer, “Von Fledermaus” official video
Earth and Space Chick rocks the Universe, dirt track racing, cowboy ambush and general sensory overload in Bellringer’s first video. Purchase tequila and project this onto your favorite wall !
“Ham spanky in the back of the train”
Directed and Edited By Jennifer Deutrom using public domain imagery, and also “”Weg Zum Nachbarn” by Lutz Mommartz.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Monterrey, Mexico-based four-piece Spacegoat released their debut EP in the form of a ’70s style boogie rocker self-titled in 2012. They’re currently looking to put together a follow-up to that offering, which will be their first full-length, and are crowdsourcing the funding process in order to make it happen. Impressively, the band has reached nearly 20 percent of their goal in a matter of three days, but of course there’s a ways to go, and they’re offering everything from CD bundles to playing your house or private function (in Mexico) to those who manage to contribute to the campaign. Their story is below, but if you wanna skip it and go right to their IndieGoGo, I understand.
The tale goes like this:
Spacegoat debut album ‘Superstition’
We are Spacegoat, a rock band from Monterrey, Mexico. We play a blend of classic rock with influences spanning from early Black Sabbath to Janis Joplin.
Formed in 2009/2010, we have played all kinds of shows, festivals, and parties all over Mexico, to date our only release was a self-titled 5-track EP which finally came out in 2013.
After spending some time gigging, writing, and rehearsing, we now have an album’s worth of strong material thats ready to be unleashed.
We chose to continue down the independent route following the immense support that we had worldwide following our E.P. release, which was 100% self-funded. That gave us the energy and belief to start a crowdfunding campaign here for our debut album ‘Superstition’.
Every contributor will receive a digital copy of our first EP, as well as the ‘Superstition’ album. Also we will keep you updated with studio reports as we progress with the creative process.
Your contributions will go towards studio time, mixing, mastering, and the manufacturing of the album.
Every contribution is gratefully received. We do this for the love of music, nothing more nothing less, and it is great to have a platform such as this to connect with fellow music lovers, bypassing the industry middle men.
Even if you cant make a contribution, you can always support us by sharing our campaign and helping us to spread the word.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
This will mark Fever Dog‘s first trip to Europe, the band having hooked up with respected bookers Sound of Liberation and partnered with Fatso Jetson and 3rd Ear Experience for the run, which begins at Desertfest Belgium and also includes a stop at Keep it Low in Munich. What the bands have in common is they’re all from the Cali desert, from Fatso Jetson, who played a huge role in crafting what we think of as that region’s distinctive sound, on down through 3rd Ear Experience, who got their start in 2012.
For Fever Dog, there was some talk of a live release called Live in Wonder Valley that was supposed to surface, but I’ve yet to see it do so. The good news is they’re working on a follow-up to last year’s right-on Second Wind (review here), and while there’s no solid release date yet, that’s almost better since inevitably their experiences on the road will be something to build off of when the time comes to actually put their third full-length together.
Their announcement, the dates and some bio background follow:
Here we go! Dates for our European tour this October with FATSO JETSON and 3rd Ear Experience!
Fever Dog is a Psychedelic Rock band from the California Desert formed in 2006 by Danny Graham, Joshua Adams and Nathan Wood.
In 2012 they released their first album ‘Volume One’, followed by the release of their second full length album “second Wind” in 2014 featuring the songs “Iroquois” “Lady Snowblood/Child of the Netherworlds” and “Hats Off to Andrew Bowen”. Fever Dog is currently writing their third record and planning a European tour in the fall of 2015.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Swedish trio Cities of Mars have released their debut single, Cyclopean Ritual / The Third Eye, as a name-your-price download. The three-piece of bassist/vocalist Danne Palm, guitarist/vocalist Christoffer Norén (also Benevolent) and drummer Johan Küchler first got together last year, and the new single marks their first time in the studio. They recorded with Esben Willems of Monolord, of which Palm is also a former member. One can hear some similar tendencies in the riffery that ensues across “Cyclopean Ritual” and “The Third Eye,” the stoner idolatry taken to a cosmic end, but Cities of Mars distinguish themselves with some of the most satisfying roll in this style that I’ve heard since the first Sigiriya record in 2011, not looking to overwhelm with tone or impress with nuance, but just riffing out and hitting the mark dead on.
Cities of Mars play the Wizard of Fuzz festival in Oct. in their native Gothenburg, and more info on that and the stream of both tracks follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:
The spacetime transmission is out there.
A tiny fragment of a signal, from another time and another place. Perhaps it tells the truth, some version of the truth or perhaps it’s just distorted white noise, a blip in a broken old radio somewhere.
But all three of us felt it, heard it and we were captivated. The blips and swirls became sound, broken syllables became words, and a story from another world started to unfold. We learned that the Soviet Union’s Mars landers in the early seventies did indeed not crash, but landed a secret agent upon the red planet’s surface. Her journey into the unknown and the discovery of an ancient civilisation from beyond time are for us to decipher and put into this world. We hope you’ll come along for the journey.
Cities of Mars will unleash the premiere of the grim spacetime tales at the Wizard of Fuzz festival in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 9/10th along with a super-sweet line-up of heavy bands: Black Rainbows (IT), Tombstones (NO), Rosy Finch (ESP), Stone from the sky (FR), Zatokrev (CH), Skraeckoedlan, Serpent Omega, Crowlegion, Maida Vale, Mamon, Colossus, Galvano, Besvärjelsen, Orkan, Reverend Jim Jones ATD, Wolves in Haze and Serpent.
[Please note: Album art above is not final. Use the player to stream Faces of Bayon’s Ash and Dust Have No Dominion in full. Thanks to the band for allowing me to host it.]
Even Faces of Bayon themselves would likely admit it’s been a while since those outside the somewhat grim, post-industrial confines of Worcester, Massachusetts, heard from them. The trio, who released their debut album in 2011’s Heart of the Fire (review here), have continued to play steady local shows, mostly at Ralph’s Rock Diner, and they’ve ventured out periodically, but on a pretty subdued scale. In 2014, guitarist/vocalist Matt Smith (ex-Warhorse) and bassist Ron Miles (ex-Twelfth of Never) were joined by drummer Mike Lenihan, though their second album, Ash and Dust Have No Dominion, features drummer Michael Brown. Accordingly, it seems a fair guess Ash and Dust Have No Dominion — which was recorded by Black Pyramid drummer Clay Neely and mastered by Second Grave guitarist Christopher Drzal and in its final form will boast cover art by much-respected MA-based photograther Hillarie Jason — was set in motion some time ago, though just how long, I couldn’t say.
Certainly its five tracks/66 minutes sound ancient enough, but that’s more an aesthetic choice than actual age, as Faces of Bayon remind quickly of what was their initial appeal the first time out: Namely, the seamless blend they conjure between deathly extremity and stoner riffing. Stonerdeath is a pretty rare style, and even rarer if one wants to count acts who do it well, and it doesn’t quite encapsulate what Faces of Bayon bring to their longform material. You need the word “doom” in there to account for how “Concilium” (13:19) owes as much to early My Dying Bride as to Black Sabbath, or the swaps that occur throughout as Smith trades between his rasping, Paradise Lost-esque growl and nigh-on-goth, cleaner melodic singing. Stoner death-doom? Yeah, maybe. That’s not a bad place to start from.
It’s worth emphasizing the Sabbath influence, as the band does from the roll of “Concilium,” but that’s in line with Heart of the Fire as well. Second cut “Quantum Life” (12:29) is slower, lower and more grueling, the snare sound cutting through less than on the opener and the feel overall considerably darker, an initial lumber giving way to feedback after four minutes in to transition to minimalist spaciousness from which wah-guitar emerges to set the foundation that will carry through the hypnotic, mostly-instrumental remainder of the song, Smith re-emerging from the morass late to toss a final verse into the pit the band has constructed. Miles begins centerpiece “Blasphemies of the Forgotten World” (17:13) amid backing atmospherics, joined soon by quiet guitar and drums and some deep mixed singing, a psychedelic vibe pervasive despite the underlying threat of death (metal). They keep the thread going for nearly five minutes, through a verse, before kicking into fuller tonality — Miles‘ tone deep under what sounds like at least two tracks of guitar, but worth training the ear toward anyway — and the slogging pace is set.
Obviously with Ash and Dust Have No Dominion being over an hour long, Faces of Bayon aren’t thinking of a vinyl structure, but “Blasphemies of the Forgotten World” does have a kind of mirror feel with album finale “So Mote it Be” in its airy lead flourish and coinciding blend of killer ride-it-out groove. Once again, Sabbath is a key factor in the riff, but Smith‘s vocals ensure that the band’s lean is less traditional and more nuanced, and it’s as the march of “Blasphemies of the Forgotten World” plays out that one realizes just how precise the niche the trio have carved out really is. They’re not death metal, or death-doom, or stoner doom entirely, but they find their way to touch on all three and more, all the while sounding like no one so much as themselves. Ash and Dust Have No Dominion becomes a significant achievement in light of its sense of identity, but Smith, Miles and Brown take precious little time to rest on their laurels, instead digging deeper into the swampy mire of “Blasphemies of the Forgotten World”‘s purposefully repetitive rhythm and steady nod.
Enhancing the atmosphere, “Blasphemies of the Forgotten World” finishes about a minute before the track actually ends, feedback giving way to noise, far-back drumming and cymbal wash before “With You Comes the Cold” (4:21) gets underway. The only song on Ash and Dust Have No Dominion under 12 minutes long, it’s more of an interlude and a table-setter for “So Mote it Be” (19:11), but Smith adds some subdued lines to it anyway (some backwards whispers as well), and the vibe is almost like a more straightforward take on some of Om‘s ritualism — another line that Faces of Bayon make it sound easy to cross. When it comes on, the first 40 seconds of “So Mote it Be” are ultra-compressed, but the full tones are there, lurking, waiting. They kick in all at once and immediately one can already hear in one’s head the deathly cadence with which Smith will ultimately deliver the title line of the song — “So mote. It. Beeeeee.” in all-out death growl — though that’s still more than 10 minutes away. Given its length and the odd efficiency with which Faces of Bayon make use of that extended runtime, it’s hard not to think of “So Mote it Be” as the highlight of the album, but if anything it’s one more example of the strength of approach they’ve shown all along.
One doubts most bands could hold together songs like “So Mote it Be” or “Quantum Life,” let alone give them such a subtle sense of movement beneath an outward righteousness of monotony. The tracks would simply fall apart. But not only do Faces of Bayon stand tall at the end of “So Mote it Be” — that vocal cadence indeed carrying the track’s final movement — but they stand tall over a mess of feedback that leads them into using every single second of the closer’s 19 minutes. Ash and Dust Have No Dominion will likely be too extreme for some, too stoned for others, but it’s Faces of Bayon‘s ability to work in multiple contexts that makes the album such a success. It’s slow. It’s chugging, It’s a pummeling, brutal listen, but it’s got as much depth to it as one could want to find, and a long four years after their debut, Faces of Bayon‘s sophomore outing reaffirms how special a band they are. Easy enough to wonder what they’d be able to accomplish if they hit the road as a touring act, but for now they remain one of East Coast doom’s best kept secrets.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Denver heavy three-piece Cloud Catcher impressed earlier this year with their debut full-length, Enlightened Beyond Existence, and as it happens, they’re now taking preorders for a vinyl version of the album, which they’re releasing on Far Out Man Records. Playing deep into Captain Beyond-style prog, the record did not at all forget the “rock” side of that equation, and struck a resounding balance that was doubly engaging for being their first time out.
They’ll hit the road on the West Coast in Oct. to celebrate the vinyl release. Info and dates follow, as seen on the PR wire:
Hey, friends! So our debut album “Enlightened Beyond Existence” has just been sent to the record plant and we are expecting to have them the 3rd week of September. These records are being pressed in a limited batch of 250 so get yours ASAP! We plan on sending them out on the FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER which is one week before we start our west coast tour. Purchase your pre-order today and expect to see a goodie or two in the package! Thank you all for the support, and we look forward to tearing up your town!
‘Enlightened Beyond Existence’ channels the essence of early 70’s-era hard rock, yet propels it so far beyond orbit, transmuting it with astral brilliance. Cloud Catcher resonates to those who worship heavy acts such as Captain Beyond, early Grand Funk Railroad, Spirit Caravan, and Earthless. The trio summons thick, fuzz-laiden, mountainous riffs, sub earthly jams, and the long lost art of guitar solos which unite in crushing harmony. Cloud Catcher has received the esoteric “cosmic nod” and is unrelentingly wielding it in an attempt to pry open the mind’s eye of collective consciousness. Be forewarned…
Cloud Catcher on tour: Oct. 17th Denver, CO – Hi Dive Oct. 18th Co Springs, CO – Flux Capacitor Oct. 20th Sierra Vista, AZ – Jr’s Bar Oct. 22nd San Diego, CA – Til Two Club Oct. 23rd LA, CA – All Star Lanes Oct. 24th San Fran, CA – Hemlock Tavern Oct. 25th Nevada City, CA – Cooper’s Oct. 26th Fresno, CA – TBA Oct. 28th Las Vegas, NV- TBA Oct. 29th Salt Lake City, UT – TBA