Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I like this idea. Texas duo Stone Machine Electric have shown plenty of adventurous spirit over the last couple years, be it in their Kent Stump-recorded 2013 self-titled (review here), or bringing in a Warr guitarist (only to shortly dismiss him), or their prior 2010 live demo, Awash in Feedback(review here), so it seems to me they’ll be right in their element when it comes to wheeling in a portable recording setup and just seeing what happens.
The results — whatever they might turn out to be — will be pressed to a cassette and released sometime in the coming months. They’re calling it the Garage Tapein advance, which already speaks to a raw, jam-room feel. Stone Machine Electric is guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/vocalist/thereminist Mark Kitchens, and while they don’t have an exact release date for the tape yet (the art below is also not necessarily the cover, just a logo I grabbed), it’s one I’ll look forward to hearing in the months to come.
Dig, Lazarus, dig:
Stone Machine Electric – Garage Tape
Texas heavy duo, Stone Machine Electric, is planning to have the studio come to them in the next month to record what is being called the “Garage Tape”.
Good friend and owner of Tin Can Records, Erik Carson, will be dragging his equipment into the practice space of the band. He’ll set up and record whatever Stone Machine Electric plans to do, which is unknown at this point.
The agenda for this outing is to provide a raw account of what goes on in their confines, which usually ends up on the stage. This could turn into an all out improvised jam, some new tracks the duo has been working on, or all of the above.
No release date is set. The outcome will be put out on cassette to provide that garage demo feel.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Based out of Boston, four-piece drone-folk magnates Owlfood, who released their fourth long-player last year in the form of the 27-minute single-track Destroyers of the Moon, have been confirmed for this year’s Gilead Media Fest in Wisconsin on July 19. Accordingly, they’ll head west next week and make four stops along the way with travel time in between, hitting Boston, Brooklyn, Columbus and Chicago before getting to Oshkosh, and sharing the stage with the likes of Windmills by the Ocean and Taiga.
I hadn’t heard Owlfood before the PR wire sent along the info and dates below, but the lineup for the Boston gig on Sunday looks right on, and unless a piano falls on my head between now and then, I’ll be there. More to come.
Until then, check out the Bandcamp stream of Destroyers of the Moonbelow for your fix of moody, dark psychedelics and minimalist, hopefully-no-one-talks-over-it-at-the-gig ambience:
OWLFOOD: Experimental Drone Folk Quartet To Kick Off US Tour En Route To Gilead Fest
Boston-based experimental drone folk quartet, OWLFOOD, will levy their bleached-out desert tones upon adventurous ears beginning next week. The short journey will begin on their home turf on July 13th and run through Brooklyn, Columbus and Chicago. The band will be joined by instrumental psyche rockers Windmills By The Ocean featuring members of Isis and Blacktail as well as the undulating and cinematic Taiga project featuring Bryant Clifford Meyer (Isis, Palms, Red Sparrows) on select dates. OWLFOOD will make their final descent in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 19th at Gilead Fest where they will share the stage with the likes of Thou, The Body, Inter Arma, Sea Of Bones and many more.
OWLFOOD will be journeying in support of their fourth LP, Destroyers Of The Moon, self-released last April. Featuring one twenty-seven-minute movement, the soundscape evoked in Destroyers Of The Moon began as a drawing; a graphic landscape. Conceiving the composition in a visual register in which, for example, barren plains give way to mountainous peaks, allowed OWLFOOD to develop a fuller tonality; a sonority richer and more differentiated than any of their previous recordings. Fans of OM and Scott Kelly pay heed. Dubbed “a glorious epic landscape of cinematic swirls,” by Aquarius Records and, “beautiful and exceptionally original,” by Anti-Gravity Bunny, Destroyers boasts a host of collaborators including Greg Moss (27), Meghan Mulhearn (Divine Circles, The Judas Horse, U.S. Christmas), David Bently and Nicholas Giadone Ward (both of Hallelujah The Hills).
OWLFOOD Live Rituals 2014: 7/13/2014 Middle East – Boston, MA w/ Windmills By The Ocean, High Aura’d, Neptune 7/15/2014 Matchless – Brooklyn, NY w/ Windmills By The Ocean, 27, Thurn & Taxis 7/17/2014 The Fuse Factory – Columbus, OH w/ Taiga, DOT 7/18/2014 Burlington Bar – Chicago, IL w/ Taiga, Rare Animals 7/19/2014 Gilead Fest @ Oshkosh Masonic Temple – Oshkosh, WI
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Call them the highwaymen. Inventive, progressive Southern California trio Old Man Wizard have announced a two-week West Coast run in support of their impressive late-2013 debut LP, Unfavorable (review here). The tour will begin next Friday in San Diego and wrap in Los Angeles — the band makes its home in both cities — on Aug. 2, with not a day off in between.
It’s an ambitious course for the three-piece to set as their first tour, but I’m sure they’ll come out of it with a few new friends made along the way and probably a good sleeping-on-the-floor kind of story to tell.
Good day. If you’re new to this, welcome to the Tower of Stone. Our tower now stands high enough to oversee the western United States, which we will promptly visit to regale with our tales of heroes, travellers, and fools. If you live in or near any of the cities listed above, we hope to see you in the flesh, and we hope you bring your comrades to share the experience with.
Today I am writing for one purpose and one purpose alone: To tell you how important it is that we bring people to these shows. There is no such thing as an independent band that tours or sells records. We are dependent on you: Our friends and fans. Without you we would be an independent idea, hungry for people to share itself with. Let us burn with life and be content.
Old Man Wizard’s Summer Tour Dates: 7/18/2014 – San Diego, CA – Tower Bar 7/19/2014 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock 7/20/2014 – Tempe, AZ – Rogue Bar 7/21/2014 – Anaheim, CA – Doll Hut 7/22/2014 – Oakland, CA – Eli’s 7/23/2014 – San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern 7/24/2014 – Eugene, OR – Tiny Tavern 7/25/2014 – Portland, OR – East End 7/26/2014 – Tacoma, WA – TBA 7/27/2014 – Seattle, WA – Highline 7/30/2014 – Boise, ID – The Bouquet 7/31/2014 – Salt Lake City, UT – Shred Shed 8/01/2014 – Las Vegas, NV – The Divebar 8/02/2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Loaded
Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
If Wasted Theory‘s intent in naming their self-released debut full-length Death and Taxes was to call to mind “sure things,” then they’ve chosen wisely. Accordingly, the eight-track, 34-minute stomper from the Southern-minded Delaware double-guitar foursome unpretentiously plays off any number of them, be it crunching heavy riffs, “whiskey-soaked” throaty vocals, lyrics about booze and cars, or classic stoner metal grooves. As Wasted Theory‘s first long-player, it builds on the steady momentum the band — comprised of guitarist/vocalist Larry Jackson, Jr., guitarist Dave McMahon, bassist Jonathan Charles and drummer/lyricist Brendan Burns (also the organizer of the Eye of the Stoned Goat festival series) — built over the course of the last couple years and two EPs, 2012′s Cinco Dechado de Cancionand 2013′s GodSpeed(discussed here), as well as a split with Jaw Horse to result in a cohesive outing based around familiar ideals. There are selections and sections where it feels like they’re playing more to expectation, particularly late on the album with the closing duo of “Tire Iron (The Stone Giant)” and “Black Widow Liquor Run,” but they never fail to engage with strongly constructed hooks and a clear-cut love of The Riff. I refuse to rag on a self-releasing band’s debut for delving into the cliché. That’s what debuts are for, and it’s to the credit of Wasted Theory that the professionalism of their production – Death and Taxeswas engineered by Paul Janocha at Ken-Del Studios in Wilmington, DE — might draw out the expectation of a more established individual sensibility. Ultimately, there are parts of their game Wasted Theory are still figuring out and parts they very much have nailed down. The “be very heavy” is taken care of.
As is the songwriting. Front to back, Death and Taxesdelivers on what the live-recorded GodSpeedpromised, which was that Wasted Theory were well on their way toward crafting lasting heavy hooks that stayed with the listener after playback stopped. Across the board the album seems to work in pairs, and cuts like opener “Dead is Dead” and the ensuing shuffle of “Boogie on Pony Boy” immediately establish the band’s methodology without giving away the total stylistic range, nestling into the particularly American dudely burl that has emerged over the course of the last several years in the wake of Down, C.O.C., Clutch, and particularly in Wasted Theory‘s case, Alabama Thunderpussy, whose earlier days seem to find a modern reinterpretation in Jackson‘s vocals. Retaining their penchant for nod-ready pacing, “Hellfire Ritual” and “Hexes” — which also appeared in that order on the Jaw Horse split — add in a less jammy take on some of Wo Fat‘s swampadelia, the latter standing out as a particularly strong ending to what would no doubt be the end of a vinyl side A before the vibe gets pushed even further on the feedback-intro’ed “Celestial Voodoo Lounge,” the only track on Death and Taxesto saunter past the five-minute mark. As side B should, “Celestial Voodoo Lounge” expands the sonic palette, with a more subdued verse and play of open parts off denser stretches, riffs at the fore either way. “Celestial Voodoo Lounge” is paired next to “Absinthe Queen,” the shortest of the bunch at 3:18, which strips the approach down to its barest parts and gives a no-frills showcase of the structures Wasted Theory are working with, verses and choruses intertwining smoothly before a guitar solo leads the way to the finish. It is both well executed and, by then, well expected.
Posted in audiObelisk on July 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It didn’t take much more than the swinging, catchy chorus of “Fuck yesterday/Fuck today/Fuck tomorrow” from opener “Lieutenant Wolfhammer” for Kings‘ debut EP, I Trust the Hounds are Hungry, to have me hooked. The leadoff track from the Leeds-based five-piece featuring former Humanfly guitarist/vocalist John Sutcliffe (here just vocals) as well as guitarists Jonty Shaw and Joe Hodgson, bassist Paul Handley and drummer Simon Blakelock — all who formerly worked together under the moniker Shields — establishes the base for the rest of the release in tying together a sharp lyrical wit with weighted but upbeat doom-pop push. At times Kings sound like they’re working within the post-Floor/Torche framework, but Blakelock‘s drumming is coming from someplace more metal, swing though it does, and their take is rawer overall despite the accessibility of their hooks and fervent melodicism.
They do it well, and sound more accomplished on their first release perhaps because four-fifths of the band has worked together previously – Shields had songs recorded and had been playing live — but however they got to cohesion, the important thing is they did. Cumbersome in its title but direct in its impact, second cut “Matron, Hand Me My Revolver, I’m Going for a Walk in the Woods, “I May be Some Time” affirms the quality craft of the opener and overarching efficiency of the release; I Trust the Hounds are Hungryisn’t without atmosphere, but the material is still pretty pointed. A swaying groove leads finishes out and leads to the airy opening of “Fuck Quest,” which has a more manic feel thanks to double-timed hi-hat work, but opens up to a mosh-ready chorus, Sutcliffe‘s vocals further back in the mix but still clean as Shaw and Hodgson play off burgeoning lead/rhythm dynamics. “Helen Earth” is probably their most Torche-sounding, but they maintain a progressive feel leading to a chugging build in the second half that answers back the gulping Hungry Hungry Hippo riffing that capped “Lieutenant Wolfhammer” and moves forward into the instrumental “Shit Leopard” (presumably with its shit spots) smoothly, a cold stop giving way to some sampled crumpling noise and a more mellowed-out progressivism in the guitars.
Rounding out, “P.S. Go Fuck Yourself” brings in elements of post-Mastodon riffy largesse, but Kings continue to keep motion central to their approach, a cyclical pre-chorus opening to one of the EP’s most effective hooks. As one might expect, the finish is big and chaotic, and that adds to the full-length feel of the 25-minute I Trust the Houndsare Hungryand bodes well for the construction of Kings‘ first full-length, making it an impressive first outing for a band who write their potential into each of the six included tracks.
Kings will release the I Trust the Hounds are HungryEP this Saturday, July 5, but you can hear it in full using the player below. Thanks to the band for permission to host the stream:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I was hoping this would happen sooner or later. Last month, when All Them Witches released their new EP/single Effervescent – a single instrumental jam spanning over 25 minutes — the Nashville four-piece only put it up on YouTube. Not the worst thing in the world, at least it was out there, but for those of us who might like to, say, add the mp3 to an online radio playlist that already includes All Them Witches‘ two albums, Our Mother Electricity(review here) and Lightning at the Door(discussed here), it made things a little more difficult. Fortunately, the band has rectified the situation and posted Effervescenton their Bandcamp page for a free download.
And by “free,” I don’t mean “name your price.” I mean they’re not charging for it. And they probably could. Yeah, it was recorded on a four-track, and yeah, it’s basically the dudes the band noodling out for nearly half an hour, but the fact of the matter is simply that there are people who undoubtedly would shell out some cash to hear what All Them Witches sound like in the rehearsal space. It doesn’t sound like the worst way to blow a couple bucks. Nonetheless, this one’s on the house. If you haven’t heard it yet, “Effervescent” is an engaging, hypnotic and psychedelic affair that still maintain’s the band’s connection to the blues. There isn’t a huge wash of effects, but a feeling of raw exploration throughout that makes it a pleasure to get lost in as
You can download All Them Witches‘ EffervescentEP via the Bandcamp player below. The band will be touring this fall with Rochester, NY, outfit King Buffalo on the East Coast in advance of heading to Europe to play the Keep it Low festival and Desertfest Belgium, and will reportedly have Lightning at the Doorout on vinyl prior to hitting the road. Dates follow the player.
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
The amorphous (and amphibious!) UK collective The Kings of Frog Island have new vinyl impending. A little more than a year after the self-release of their fourth album, IV (review here), the Kings will follow it up with V, their second long-player since parting ways with Elektrohasch, who released their first three records. I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but the band have unveiled a video for the song “Sunburn” from the new one, and it certainly sounds like things are right on track and that all is as it should be on Frog Island.
One of the most surprising aspects of IVwas just how jammed out it felt. The Kings of Frog Island, recording in their own Amphibious Sound Studios II, stretched beyond the garage styling of their third outing, the nighttime desert-isms of their second and the territory-scoping fuzz of their debut to toy with a whole host of new vibes. Made for vinyl and broken into two extended sides even digitally, IVknew what it wanted in terms of aesthetic and got there boldly, but it was clear The Kings of Frog Island were trying new sounds and reaching out into different spheres on purpose.
Part of that is lineup, the notable absence of Josiah‘s Mat Bethancourt, etc., but there’s a creative push at the heart of The Kings of Frog Island that remains consistent no matter who’s involved, and going by “Sunburn,” that remains true on Vas well. The new song retains the ultra-blissed out feel of IVto some degree, but to compare it to “Long Live the King” (video here), which was the public introduction to that album, its structure is much more straightforward and traditional, less jam-intensive. I don’t know at this point whether that will be the case for Von the whole — and, frankly, I can’t imagine The Kings of Frog Island would stick to just one approach the whole time anyway — but the catchy dreaminess of “Sunburn” makes an interesting first look at Vand shows the group’s progression is as alive as ever.
The video for “Sunburn” was made by Bulletree Films in Brazil. Enjoy:
The Kings of Frog Island, “Sunburn” official video
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…