Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I think we’re still a ways off from getting a release date for the long-awaited debut from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, but that the mix has been finalized and the album has entered the mastering stage is news of progress, and I’ll take what I can get. The Tad Doyle-fronted outfit released their demo (review here) and a split with Mico de Noche (review here) in 2009, which just to save you the math, was five years ago.
So yeah, this one’s been a while in the making, though Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (who are also my most comfortable t-shirt) have been playing shows most of that time and Doyle has also recorded other bands at his Studio Witch Ape, including the Lumbar project, in which he also took part with Aaron Edge and YOB‘s Mike Scheidt. Better delayed than never, and I have the feeling once the record — which was recorded by Billy Anderson – arrives, I won’t give a shit how long it’s been since the demo came out.
Still, the sooner the better. Their update:
Recording update: We have the final mixes for the record and we are extremely satisfied with the Billy Anderson mix treatments that we did at Everything Hz. Nine songs have been mixed.
Billy has been a excellent to work with and has added dimensions and sonic depths that only he could have brought to these songs. When a band talks about having a fourth member, (a mix engineer/recording engineer/soundman) that have contributed to the music in such a way that it brings out things in the mix and out of the songs that is greater than the sum of it’s parts, we know what that means.
We will be working with Billy in the future for our next recording. In the meantime, we can’t wait to find a home for these songs with a record label that understands us and is willing to back us to get this music to the people. Next up is analog mastering with Justin Weis at Trakworx!
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I had both of these bands on my “gotta see in 2014″ list, so I’ll be glad to kill two birds with one stone and catch All Them Witches touring with King Buffalo in the Northeast. There are just a handful of shows, and while I’m sure both will tour again and hit more towns that, say, aren’t a four-hour drive, the chance to see them now, and together, makes these gigs something special.
For Rochester, NY, heavy rockers King Buffalo, the tour is more their home turf. They’ll be out supporting their late-2013 three-song demo (review here), which showed their growth out of half the band’s former outfit, Velvet Elvis, and toward a more atmospheric approach, varied and tonally warm even on demo recordings. That demo was one of the best short releases of 2013, and King Buffalo were picked up by STB Records for the release of their first full-length as a result. The album is expected before the end of the year.
The recently-interviewed All Them Witches released a new single on June 15 called “Effervescent” that offered the strongest look yet at their jammier side. Heavy psychedelic blues made languid and sprawled over 25 minutes made an engaging follow-up to 2013′s excellent Lightning at the Doorfull-length, and as they promise to have vinyl with them on the tour, even though they don’t say vinyl of what, I can’t imagine it won’t be welcome by anyone who passes by the merch table.
All Them Witches will play a few shows in the south before the tour starts in NYC. Their full schedule goes like this:
Got some summer dates confirmed. We will have VINYL.
7/30-Atlanta, GA – The Drunken Unicorn 7/31-Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia 8/1-Birmingham, AL – Secret Stages 8/21-New York, NY – Mercury Lounge w/ KING BUFFALO 8/22-Philadelphia, PA – MilkBoy Philadelphia w/ KING BUFFALO 8/23-Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater Living Room w/ KING BUFFALO 8/24-Richmond, VA – Strange Matter w/ KING BUFFALO 8/26-Ithaca, NY – The Dock w/ KING BUFFALO 8/27-Rochester, NY – Bug Jar w/ KING BUFFALO 8/28-Nashville, TN – TBA!!!!!!!!
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Meanwhile, in the wizarding world of Blackwitch Pudding — otherwise known as Portland, Oregon — the mysterious hooded three-piece have set about assembling a new EP called Covered in Pudding Vol. 1 that they’ll release in limited numbers on tape just as summer hits its most excruciating. The three-piece impressed last year with their big ol’ tones on the full-length Taste the Pudding(vinyl review here), and I seriously doubt that they’ll get any less crust-caked for the cassette. Only 200 copies will be pressed, and it looks like it’s tape or digital or nothing, so if you dug Taste the Puddingor are looking to get introduced, they’ve got it all worked out as to how that might take place.
Covered in Pudding Vol. 1– presumably the first in a series of pudding coverings — will be out on Aug. 12, and automatically wins for the song title “Bong Hits and Lust.” Some tracks just beg you to listen.
The PR wire has the cover art and details:
BLACKWITCH PUDDING unveil details of new EP, ‘Covered In Pudding Vol. 1′
It’s been nearly a year since the wizards of Blackwitch Pudding released their infamous debut LP, Taste the Pudding, and they have grown restless. Though one might question why, after 600 years of conjuring evil riffs, casting spells and wreaking supernatural havoc upon this planet that the trio has only created one full-length record, but the truth is, for centuries, pesky, silly mortals have been ripping them off and making the themes more palatable for straight-laced human consumption. So the robed wizards of doom have resurfaced again with a new EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, to prove once and for all that they were here first, that their riffs shall ring true, and that rock and roll should be about an average wizard’s favorite things: sex, drugs, witch-babes and filth.
Who are these mortals who nicked their tunes? You’ll have to hear Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, out August 12th both digitally and on 200 limited-edition, wizard-conjured cassettes, and figure it out for yourself.
Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 Tracklist: 1. Night Of The Blackwitch 2. Toke’n Man 3. Gods Of Grungus 4. Bong Hits And Lust
Paying Homage to the rotten filth from which they were born, Blackwitch Pudding are actually a band of three wizards. Legend has it they were raised from a stagnant, used puddle of ergot, left by the mysterious Blackwitch no less than 600 years ago. Trained in the dark arts of doom and witchery, these wizards wander the cosmos in search of nothing, for their path is a simple one: The riffs must be heavy and the smoke must be heavier.
Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 is the follow-up to Blackwitch Pudding’s Billy Anderson-mastered, self-released debut, Taste The Pudding. Released in August 2013, it was so heavy, catchy and bewitching that the riffs cast by this power trio of wizards left thousands spellbound.
The band, their records, their merch, their live shows and the entire experience of Blackwitch Pudding is a self-sustaining, self-produced operation. Great lengths have been taken to ensure that no part of the spectacle that is Blackwitch Pudding has been overlooked. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the lights and the crushing feeling you get in the pit of your stomach travel to every stage, forest, and cabin they play. Hand-crafted by a loyal cadre of dark-art comrades, everything that goes into the Blackwitch Pudding experience is tailored to send the listener, and even more so the concert goer, into an unforgettable celestial black hole of stoned-out doom.
The wizards of Blackwitch Pudding are: Space Wizard – Guitar, Vocals Lizard Wizard – Bass, Vocals Wizard Wizard – Drums, Vocals
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Indiana heavy blues rockers The Heavy Company have confirmed the details of their new tape EP, Uno Dose. The release, which was originally slated to appear in March — we all know how it goes sometimes — will be pressed to tape in limited numbers and made available this weekend at the Days of the Doomed IV fest in Cudahy, Wisconsin, where the trio will play the pre-show Thursday night with Spyderbone and Sons of Ghidora.
The video below for “What’s Eating Harry Lee?” was first shown here in January, but it shows the continually intriguing direction The Heavy Company have taken following their 2013 full-length debut, Midwest Electric(review here), laid back psychedelic blues balancing well with a heavier rock edge. If you can’t make Days of the Doomed IV, copies of the tape will reportedly be available through Ripple Music‘s Heavy Ripples distro afterwards.
Word from the band follows, sent down the PR wire:
From The Desk of The DPR:
The Heavy Co. would like a moment of your time if you don’t mind. Thanks.
The guys in The Heavy Co. wanted to let you know that they are putting out a tape just in time for their appearance at this year’s Days of The Doomed Festival. Yeah, a tape… as in a cassette. That’s hip, right?
This particular release is called Uno Dose and is a double EP. Side A was more or less recorded live in a big barn somewhere in the middle of a cornfield located in the Indiana country side and features the debut of a new composition called ‘What’s Eating Harry Lee?” for which THC released a companion video for a few months back. Also, there live versions of “The Humboldt County Waltz” and “One Big Drag” which were originally released on THC’s 2013 release, Midwest Electric.
Side B features two never before released studio recordings entitled “El Perdedor” and “New Song To Sing” and also a re-mixed version of their previously released single “State Flag Blues” which also features Pat Harrington of Geezer/Gaggle of Cocks/Electric Beard of Doom notoriety on slide guitar. It’s a pretty fun ride if you want to buy the ticket, but don’t take our word for it. As we say around The DPR: Please tune in…
Officially speaking, Uno Dose will be available on the band’s Bandcamp page June 24th but it might show up earlier. Guess you’ll have to be surprised. Copies of the cassette will also be available via Heavy Ripples Distribution shortly after. All of the tapes will come with digital downloads of the record or you can pay what you want for the digital download. Whatever you have to spend is awesome, but at least download it even if you are light on cheddar and share it with everybody.
Posted in Features on June 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
About a day after we spoke over the phone last week for this interview, I got a text from All Them Witches drummer Robby Staebler that read as follows:
Robby. Atw. Important point. As individual players we are more concerned and focused on our own playing. We are not focused on what the others are playing. We all do what we want. It’s why it works.
Talking to him, one could hear a core belief from Staebler in what the band is doing, both in how they approach writing and putting together material like that found on their excellent late-2013 sophomore full-length, Lightning at the Door (discussed here), and in how they’re handling the practical end of being in a band whose success seems to be burgeoning more each day. Their debut album, Our Mother Electricity(review here), was initially self-released in 2012, but was picked up for release by Elektrohasch Schallplatten in 2013 — they are the first American band the label has worked with — and since then and on through Lightning at the Door, the four-piece of Staebler, bassist/vocalist Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod and keyboardist Allan Van Cleave have received the kind of response that most bands dream of. Label offers, tours, praise domestic and international from fans and critics alike. All Them Witches are onto something special sound-wise, and they know it.
In May, the band made their way to the West Coast for an appearance at the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California, and several other shows around it. It was their first time there and yet Staebler reports talking to fans who drove upwards of seven hours to see them. For a group as relatively new as All Them Witches are — formed early in 2012 — to have that kind of loyalty only underscores the deep impact their material, particularly Lightning at the Door, seems to have had on those who’ve encountered it. Later this year they’ll head to Europe, also for the first time, and on a tour booked by Sound of Liberation, they’ll hit Desertfest Belgium in Antwerp, which runs from Oct. 10-12, and theKeep it Low festival in Munich on Oct. 18, as well as play other shows around those. This along with more touring in the US will form the bulk of the rest of their 2014, but as Staebler hints, there’s new studio material in the works as well that may see release as an EP before the New Year hits.
The short version is All Them Witches have a lot going on at the moment, and it all seems to be building a forward momentum for both their prominence in the underground, their reputation as a live act, and a band whose stylistic nuance of bluesy twang, sonic pastoralia and heavy riffs distinguishes them from nearly everyone else around them. Tracks like “Charles William” and “The Death of Coyote Woman” from Lightning at the Doornot only affirmed the potential All Them Witches showcased on Our Mother Electricity, but demonstrated a cohesive aesthetic already taken shape from players whose confidence in each other bled through each and every dynamic turn they made. And there were plenty of them. Lightning at the Doorremains one of the best albums I heard last year, and Staebler makes it plain that the band considers it a landmark as well.
In the interview that follows, Staebler discusses that album and putting material together with Parks, McLeod and Van Cleave, while remaining geographically separate — a certified arborist, he lives and works in Ohio, while the rest of the band is in Nashville — his feelings on the response they’ve gotten since Elektrohasch released Our Mother Electricity, playing on the West Coast, thoughts on heading to Europe and much more. As confident as he is in what he and the band are doing, he never comes across as arrogant or crass about it, rather sounding like someone driven by his passion and eager to discover where that might lead. I’m curious as well.
Posted in Reviews on May 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
The self-titled debut from Norwegian trio Black Moon Circle makes little effort to mask its intent. It is a space rock record, built around three heavy jams split effectively onto two vinyl sides, and for all its sense of exploration, improvisation and general farouttery, there’s an encouraging lack of pretense. Based in Trondheim, which on the average December day will see roughly five hours of sunshine — in June, that goes to over 20 hours per day — the core three-piece of vocalist/bassist Øyvin Engan, guitarist/vocalist Vemund Engan and drummer Per Andreas Gulbrandsen teamed up with none other than Øresund Space Collective swirlmaster and friend of the site Scott “Dr. Space” Heller for the recording of Black Moon Circle, and Heller‘s noisemaking and matter/energy disruptors contribute much to the open feel and heavy psych feel of the release. He’s proved ready to jam under most circumstances — this year’s Roadburn had him paired with Carlton Melton and Øresund Space Collective have a collaboration forthcoming with Damo Suzuki of Can — so that he’d be malleable to Black Moon Circle‘s “Enigmatic SuperBandit” is relatively expected, though how well the fit works winds up a pleasant surprise, as Black Moon Circle retain some of the roots of structured songwriting amid their propensity for jamming out into the stellar reaches across “Plains” (8:22), “American Eagle” (5:28) and the side-B-consuming “Enigmatic SuperBandit” (14:24). Their debut feels quick at a little over 28 minutes, but it is an engaging single-LP nonetheless that is able to pull together a cohesive vibe with apparent ease in that time. You won’t hear me complain.
And of course, calling in Dr. Space to add nebulas of effects to the songs isn’t going to hurt either, but Black Moon Circle distinguish themselves even apart from that partnership, with a languid rolling groove on “Plains” that sets up the flow to play out over the subsequent two pieces. Each song has plenty of room to jam, and the Engans and Gulbrandsen use that time well, but both “Plains” and “American Eagle” — presumably not named after the clothing company, though one never knows — make an impression with their verses and choruses as well, a laid back sense of structure emerging that moves well into and through wah-soaked spaces. It’s telling when they bring back the chorus of “Plains” after an extended guitar solo to finish out the song with a proper bookend, showing commitment to songwriting as well as to instrumental exploration, and that balance serves Black Moon Circle over the course of “American Eagle” and even “Enigmatic SuperBandit” as well. It’s a mood and dreamy feel not so unlike what New York heavy psych jammers Sun Voyager have concocted in their early going, and some post-shoegaze vocal similarity can be heard too, but that seems most likely to be a case of shared root influences and sonic coincidence, and one can just as likely hear some early 2000s Swedish heavy rock — Dozer, Lowrider – at work underneath “American Eagle” as anything more recent. Either way, Black Moon Circle do well taking these elements and beginning to carve out their own feel from them, “American Eagle” breaking cleanly at about 3:30 in to shift into a bluesy, open-sounding build of a solo before also returning to its central hook, no less encompassing than that of the opener.
Posted in Radio on May 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
With a persistent murk and pervasively foggy sensibility, Welsh four-piece Reclvse make their debut with their self-titled three-song demo. The doubly-bassed Swansea doomers craft an aesthetic of sonic obscurity throughout “Temptress!,” “Of Many Names” and “Bewitch the Sky,” broiling themselves in molten garage demos of old while offering glimpses of ideas more complex, be it the nascent battle-metal melody in the chorus of the opener or the acoustic finale that closes out. Their name (which they often use stylized in all-caps, though that’s somewhat less reclusive) speaks to a cult mentality, but there’s little of that mindset in their actual songs, which are stripped to the bone stylistically and rounded off with medieval cruelty, turning otherwise simplistic trad doom grooves into something more cavernous and malevolent.
“Temptress!” resides deep in the mix, and Reclvse stay there for the duration, varying some in tempo while keeping an otherwise consistent sound no more telling than the single initials by which they identify themselves — J. (guitar/vocals), P. and B. (bass) and C. (drums) — but which should be relatable enough to experienced ears. The opener is the most rolling of the three tracks, though “Of Many Names” follows suit somewhat while keeping a less finished feel and spacing out in its midsection, while “Bewitch the Sky,” which stretches past the seven-minute mark as the longest cut here, moves at a crawl for most of its duration. Reclvse‘s middle piece, though shorter, varies some from the doomly atmospheres of “Temptress!” or “Bewitch the Sky.” “Of Many Names” was previously released in December 2013 as the band’s first recorded audio, and while the entire release this time around has some of that rehearsal-room air to it, the songs are cohesive and ably executed. Hard to know how they might hold up under a more elaborate production, but that’s not a concern for the time being.
As it stands, the raw feel only adds to the ambience — a phenomenon more commonly associated with black metal — and Reclvse‘s Reclvseends up a cassette-ready demo that announces the band’s arrival well while giving a sense of where they might be headed creatively as they plunge deeper into ancient metals and altered-consciousness doom. You can hear the tracks now as part of The Obelisk Radio‘s 24/7 stream, and grab yourself a name-your-price download courtesy of the Bandcamp player below.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
London-based heavy rockers Bright Curse have made it known that this summer they’ll be recording their second long-player at Skyhammer Studio, the base of operations run by Conan‘s Jon Davis and in-house engineer Chris Fielding. The trio who released their debut on vinyl through Bilocation Records are the latest in an admirable and evidently ongoing series of names to record at Skyhammer, and with Bright Curse‘s songs floating somewhere between heavy psych and doom, it should make for an interesting mix of influences at work. I guess we’ll hear how it comes out.
Until then, the PR wire:
BRIGHT CURSE to record their debut album this summer
After a critically acclaimed debut EP Bright Curse released in November 2012 and re-edited by German label Bilocation Records/Kozmik Artifactz in 2013, the psychedelic doom trio formed by Romain Daut (guitar & vocals), Zach Mizzi (drums) and Jack Boughton (bass) is finally fully ready to record their debut album. This July, BRIGHT CURSE will head to Skyhammer Studio in Cheshire for one week, to lay down their cosmic ideas and heavy riffage. The album will be recorded and produced by CONAN’s Chris Fielding and Jon Davis.
Here are a few words from BRIGHT CURSE’s frontman Romain about the upcoming events: “It’s been a long time since we’ve been looking for the right producer to work on our second record. We really wanted to reinforce the thickness of our sound, make it deeper and heavier, and get a real homogeneity between the psychedelic and heavy parts. I think that working with a member of Conan as well as a man who worked with Electric Wizard and Serpent Venom will definitely help in that way. We are really looking forward to it!”.
More infos about the album will be given in due time, but for now, check out their debut EP Bright Curse onbrightcurse.bandcamp.comand let the magic flow through your speakers…
Posted in On the Radar on April 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s only a practice recording, and a first one at that, but with “El Hongo,” Portland, Oregon’s Pushy made an opening statement that stands them out from both the bulk of West Coast heavy rock that seems to drive toward a skater-ized ideal of gnarly and much of international ’70s ritualizing, which is bent either on analog-worship or cult-minded vagaries. There’s no telling in listening to “El Hongo” where Pushy will necessarily end up — they might decide sometime between now and their first record that they really, really like Satan — but at least from the rough take we get from their rehearsal space, the four-piece seem to have more in common with a nascent movement of upbeat, positive-vibing classic heavy rock than with downtrodden grit or whiskey-soaked dudely caricature.
The band is an amalgam of Portland scene-dwellers — your scene hasn’t arrived until things start getting incestuous — including Crag Dweller‘s Travis Clow, Adam Burke of Fellwoods, Hosmanek‘s Ron Wesley andBison Bison‘s Dylan Reilly, and what the conglomeration get down to on “El Hongo” (“the fungus”) marks itself out as classic ’70s boogie right from the first strike of the cowbell. Fitting to the band’s name, there’s not much subtle about it, and while the recording is raw the groove is smooth, the swagger so deep you can almost smell it and there’s enough there to give an impression of a good time not so disparate from that which Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass have on offer with their 2014 self-titled outing, serving a lighthearted reminder that the reason a bunch of friends might get together to write songs in the first place is because they think it’s fun.
Obviously it wouldn’t be fair to judge the band’s ultimate mission by what they do with their first public recording, but even the fact that they basically tossed off a rehearsal-space jam and put it out there for name-your-price download speaks to a laid back approach, and for these kinds of grooves, that’s just the way you want to take it. Nice and easy.
As it’s written on the album cover, the title of the new Heavy Glow record is Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine. Phonetically, I have no issue. With lists, traditional grammar constructs would have you put a comma, so it’s “pearls, swine and everything…” (the Oxford comma is a matter of a whole different debate, I use it situationally), but it’s obvious the Cleveland heavy rocking trio are toying with long-standing aphorisms, and the double “and” is playful. What gets me about it is the ampersand.
Not that they use it. I tend not to except in headlines if I’m feeling particularly saucy — it’s embarrassing how true that is — but I’m cool with Heavy Glow using it in their title, especially on an album cover where space is limited. What makes the lid on my editor’s eye twitch is the use of the ampersand and then the use of “and.” Basically they’re saying “and” twice, but doing it once with an ampersand and once with the actual word. These guys are a good band going by everything I’ve heard from them, and I’m not sure I can explain why it bothers me in a way that doesn’t immediately lead to some kind of self-diagnosis, but to have the ampersand there and then “and” itself, well, it’s got my nerves in a bundle.
All the better, I suppose, that the latest track from what I’ve just decided I’m going to call Pearls and Swine and Everything Fineis “Nerve Endings,” and that its catchy, classic rocking stomp will soothe the aching brain. Heavy Glow‘s new album is out on June 3, but they’re taking preorders now on their Bandcamp, and “Nerve Endings” is just the most recent reveal in a series that can be tracked through their YouTube channel.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ve never made a zombie movie, but if I were to do such a thing, I can see the appeal of getting Pittsburgh riff metallers Supervoid involved. The double-guitar five-piece have just the right balance of metallic tone and stonerly charm — plus a decent sense of humor — to be a good fit, and they seem to bang out hooks the way I eat bowls of Peanut Butter Puffins cereal, which is daily, so yeah, it makes sense. That the flick in question, The Other Side, is filmed in and around Pittsburgh and that the soundtrack features bands all local to that area only furthers the logic involved, putting it square in the territory of the “no brainer.” Insert zombie pun here.
The film itself isn’t due until later in the year as I understand it, but being the energetic chaps they are, Supervoid have jumped the gun and made their soundtrack inclusion, “Against Sunrise” available now as a pay-what-you-want download through their Bandcamp. Those who heard their late-2013 full-length, Filaments (review here), will likely recognize the Kyuss-riff-meets-melodic-death-metal-vocal approach, no less gleefully flying in the face of trend here than it was on the last record. I like that about Supervoid, but the appeal of their songwriting also goes past whatever novelty factor one might tack to them because of the growling.
Space cadets, aliens, fellow space riffers, here is our new track we wrote and recorded for the local Pittsburgh film The Other Side. Please share it with your friends and let us know what you think!
This song was written and recorded for the full length feature film ‘The Other Side’ created by Pittsburgh-based indie production company Orchard Place Productions. The film showcases many local Pittsburgh bands in the soundtrack. Be sure to check out the movie once it is released!
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Slovenian doom five-piece Mist have announced a string of tour dates for this summer supporting their debut release, Demo 2013(review here). The ladies-only outfit have already made an impression with both their demo and their live performances, and after sharing the stage with the likes of Uncle Acid and Helstar, they’ll perform alongside Saint Vitus, Trouble and many others at the Hammer of Doom festival in Germany. They’re also booked for the Malta Doom Metal Festival, where they’ll play with Reino Ermitano, Manilla Road and more, so expect to hear more about Mist as the next few months play out.
For now, the PR wire offers the following:
MIST announces European tour dates
Slovenian doom metal ladies MIST, which returns to the live stage after a short absence, are set to embark on their first ever European mini-tour by the end of May. For now scheduled shows are booked in Belgium and The Netherlands. Before that they will appear at Doom Fest 2014: Night Of The Fallen Angels II in Italy and also support heavy metal veterans Helstar, led by the legendary James Rivera (Sabbath Judas Sabbath, Distant Thunder, Malice) in their hometown, Ljubljana. MIST have also been confirmed for the Malta Doom Metal Festival 2014 and Hammer Of Doom Festival in Germany.
MIST is a new all-female doom metal band from Ljubljana, formed in July 2012. They build their music on the legacy of legendary bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Candlemass, Coven, Saint Vitus and others. With the premiere live show at the end of September 2013 the girls without a doubt demonstrated, that such a specific genre of music is not necessarily just a mens domain. MIST released their first demo simply entitled “Demo 2013″ in November last year, which was re-issued only 2 weeks later due the large interest. Their demo also received many promising reviews and radio airplays from all over the globe. Even though they are a young band they already had a chance to support Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats in Vienna, Austria.
MIST tour dates: 01.05. Maribor (SLO), Gustaf w/ Handful Of Hate, Verminate 10.05. Brescia (ITA), Circolo Colony – Doom Fest 2014: Night Of The Fallen Angels II w/ Officium Triste, Ophis, Lacrima,… 15.05. Ljubljana (SLO), Orto Bar w/ Helstar, Classified 16.05. Kranj (SLO), Trainstation Squat – Season Of The Witch (special DJ set) 23.05. Tilburg (NL), Little Devil w/ Cauchemar, Akelei 24.05. Brugge (BE), Wall Of Sound w/ Tyrant’s Kall, Hootka, Trip Hazard 30.05. Velenje (SLO), eMCe Plac – Sound Arson w/ Home Bug, Harry, Umor,… 31.05. Ljubljana (SLO), Gromka w/ Universe217, The Blues Against Youth,… 13.06. Zagradec (SLO) – Bloody Friday w/ Soulcharger (ex-Dead Dildo Drome),… 23.-25.10. Malta (MT), Chateau Buskett – The Malta Doom Metal Festival 2014 w/ Manilla Road, Officium Triste, Reino Ermitano,… 15.11. Würzburg (DE), Posthalle – Hammer Of Doom 9 w/ Saint Vitus, Avatarium, Mount Salem, The Ruins Of Beverast,…
Aside from considering myself fortunate enough to call them personal friends, Baltimore-by-way-of-New-Jersey-by-way-of-Seattle-by-way-of-New-Jersey-etc. two-piece Rukut are also the band who, probably over a decade ago now, blindsided me with a lesson in the dynamic that a duo can offer at their best, distinct from solo artists, trios, and so on. Their passage between minimalist garage thrash, brutal punk, grind and sludge has played out DIY for years in small bars, clubs and just about anywhere else they’re asked to show up that they can park their van, but I’ve never heard it sound quite as full and devastating as it does on the new cut “White Squirrel White Fox,” taken from a brand new self-released EP, The Headless.
It’s been a while since Rukut – the duo of guitarist/vocalist Lew Hambley and drummer/graphic artist Chris Jones – released their last full-length, 2008′s Life’s Pain, but their years don’t seem to have been misspent. Hambley‘s vocals, turning vicious at switch-flick speed, touch on the guttural with “White Squirrel White Fox,” and the instrumental accompaniment they receive makes for due chaos, Jones switching between D-beat crust drive and all-out blasts after his stick-click count-in serves as the subtle announcement of the fury about to be unleashed after a grueling minute of stomping introduction. In short order, Rukut tear ass through a build that is brought to a raging, violent head precise enough to give Nasum a nod without losing Napalm Death‘s crucial soul.
By way of a spoiler, it starts with a white squirrel and ends with a white fox, but it’s really what’s between the two in the Jones-directed video that proves most essential. Rukut’s The Headless EP, can be heard at their Bandcamp page. “White Squirrel White Fox” doesn’t carry a warning for epileptics who might check it out, but it probably should: The aurally brutal comes with strobe to match.
Posted in Radio on April 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s hard to decide what’s more striking about Execution, the new two-song single from Kansas City five-piece Merlin — the full, crisp production of the tracks themselves, or just how different the band comes across in them as compared to their late-2013 self-titled debut. Since that album’s release last August, Merlin have added rhythm guitarist Ben Cornett to the lineup with lead guitarist/backing vocalist Carter Lewis, vocalist Jordan Knorr, bassist Evan Warren and drummer Caleb Wyels, but it’s hard to believe one six-stringer can bring about so much change in the band’s approach, and that rather, the shift from meandering shoegaze psych rock to heavier crunch and twang-ready stomp in “Execution” can only have been the result of some conscious decision. “Execution,” which comes paired with a cover of Pentagram‘s “Forever My Queen,” meters out an initial roughneck stomp that has twang à la the intro of Clutch‘s “The Regulator” and moves into Melvins-style vocals and (sure enough) Pentagram-style doom and roll. Whatever else it might be, it’s a long, long way from shoegaze.
When Execution first came to my attention, I hadn’t yet heard the self-titled,and so pegged Merlin as looking to fit with bruiser American-style heavy rock, but in the context of the prior album, the “Forever My Queen” cover makes even more sense. The version that opens Pentagram‘s First Daze Here is 2:24, but Merlin‘s take is over six minutes, and since the song itself it kept largely intact the extra time comes from an extended jam on the back end. I hadn’t picked up on it because of the production value of the single — which, again, is crisp and accessible and professional — but what they’re doing there is an extension of the open vibe they brought to tracks like the lazily unfolding “Achimedes” from Merlin, just repurposed to suit their shift in sound. Where “Execution” only seems to build into something more raucous even in its second-half bridge, “Forever My Queen” opts to space out a little more. It makes more sense after one hears Merlin jam all over their self-titled, and where it might at first seem like they’re trying to milk the Pentagram track for everything they can get out of it, further investigation reveals that in fact, jamming has been an essential part of their work to date.
How this might continue to manifest on Merlin‘s upcoming second full-length, Christ Killer (due out April 18), I don’t know, but “Execution” seems to hint that perhaps the band is trying to find a middle ground between boozy heavy groove and trippy psych jams. It’s a noble pursuit, and it shows Merlin have the potential to distinguish themselves in more than just one niche going forward.
Hear “Execution” and “Forever My Queen” now as part of the 24/7 stream of The Obelisk Radio and grab a name-your-price download from the player below, conjured from Merlin‘s Bandcamp.
“All in Vain” is a quick 2:45, but it gives a decent sampling of what Berlin trio Rodeo Drive might get up to on their forthcoming Morbid Beauty full-length, which is set to release this Friday. Fronted by bassist Hans Eiselt, who also plays guitar in heavy psych jammers Samsara Blues Experiment, Rodeo Drive are an altogether gruffer, more straightforward band. Eiselt‘s vocals, still melodic, are throaty and well suited to the rush of “All in Vain,” and while there are some psychedelic undertones, the sound is much more traditionally stoner rock, aimed for simpler execution and hitting the mark with what seems to be no trouble at all, guitarist Friedrich Stemmer and drummer Rene Schulze joining Eiselt in the steady push.
The video for the track is likewise down to earth — a few different cameras capture the band rocking out in a dimly lit room. Posters adorn the wall behind them, and at the start of the clip, somebody — presumably Eiselt — says the phrase, “psychedelic relic.” Maybe that was the original name of the song, or maybe it’s a sort of general assessment from the band on their style, but sure enough, “All in Vain” does hint at more ethereal sonic territory, and a cut like the seven-and-a-half-minute “Earth Dark Diseases,” which is up for streaming at Rodeo Drive‘s ReverbNation page, would seem to indicate that “All in Vain” is just the start of what the band might have to offer on Morbid Beauty.
Still, not a bad place to start. Rodeo Drive release Morbid Beautythis Friday at a gig at Berlin’s Jägerklause with Olympus Mons and Liquid Silk, should you happen to be in the area. If not, you can check out “All in Vain” below.