Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Doubly-bassed three-piece King Dead first issued their Woe and Judgment (review here) debut album last year digitally as a means to raise funds for a vinyl pressing. Well, it seems to have worked. Woe and Judgment is out now on LP — the record looks great — and the Eastern Pennsylvania trio have a few live shows lined up along the Northeastern Corridor to help spread the word over the course this summer. They’re keeping good company universally with groups like Geezer and Snail, and I’d keep an eye out for more dates to come, as once momentum is on a group’s side like this it’s hard to stop going. I’ll hope to see them again soon.
From the PR wire:
KING DEAD: Psychedelic Bass And Drum Trio Confirms New Live Dates; Vinyl Edition Of Woe & Judgement Now Available
Pennsylvania mostly-instrumentalists, KING DEAD, will bring their spacious, tripped out, post-metal/doom manifestations to the stage on a smattering of live performances this Summer. The band’s latest excursions include an in-store appearance this weekend at Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie, New York with Geezer and Linear North.
Comments drummer Steve Truglio of the upcoming dates, “It’s really getting fun now. Not only are we enjoying the hell out of playing the new Woe & Judgment stuff, but we just started test driving an even newer song in the set. We are playing cool places with great bands and things are really starting to click.”
KING DEAD undraped their three-song full-length, Woe & Judgement, earlier this year. Having impressed with the spacious post-metal textures of their 2014 demo, the scope of Woe & Judgement has expanded considerably even from where it started. With three tracks constructed to fit on two sides, KING DEAD – Truglio with four-string bassist Kevin Vanderhoof, and six-string bassist Wil McGrath – pushes its way into an encompassing rumble that still seems to hold onto a human core even as it lumbers between airy doom and rawer, thoroughly-reverbed noise.
Woe & Judgement is currently available on limited edition vinyl and can be streamed atTHIS LOCATION.
KING DEAD: 6/11/2016 Darkside Records – Poughkeepsie, NY w/ Geezer, Linear North 6/13/2016 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Chiefs, Beast Modulus, River Cult 8/06/2016 Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Iron Man, Caustic Casanova, Horehound 8/19/2016 O’Briens Pub – Allston, MA w/ Snail
Belfast five-piece Elder Druid released their The Attic Sessions four-tracker in the early going of 2016. Presumably that’s a change of venue for the heavy grooving outfit, as their two prior 2015 singles, “Otherworld” and “The Ides of March,” were tracked under the banner of “Live Loft Sessions,” though I suppose they could’ve just renamed the loft an attic and rolled with it. Rolling is a theme of the EP, as it happens. Shades of early Clutch and Orange Goblin show up in opener “Sellsword,” and the later “Red Priestess” — both titles commonly appearing in the George R.R. Martin pantheon — has a thickness to its double-guitar approach that lends an already heavy progression even more heft.
The band’s first outing, they obviously believe enough in The Attic Sessions enough to give it away as a means to entice listeners to check it out, and it doesn’t take me much more than that, frankly. To further spread the word, they’ve got a new clip for “The Warlock,” which is the longest cut on the EP at 6:31 — “Reigning Hell” rounds out with a sludgier take — that features some basic performance footage outside of the attic, the band spread around in the woods and some burnt out looking spaces as they dig into the track. It’s a kind of basic and encouragingly unpretentious beginning for the group, who got together early in 2015, but working from a place of clear motivation and with an intent toward making themselves heard.
So be it. Find the clip for “The Warlock” below, followed by more info from the band:
Elder Druid, “The Warlock” official video
ANNOUNCEMENT & VIDEO: To celebrate the fact that Elder Druid’s ‘The Attic Sessions’ is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music amongst other online music outlets and streaming services, we’ve released the whole EP on Youtube! Now you can have the Druid with you wherever you are and it’s a pretty damn awesome feeling! Big cheers to everyone for the support. Keep enjoying this Live EP for the moment and keep an eye out for NEW music on the horizons!
The official music video for ‘The Warlock’ from The Attic Sessions Live EP.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Philly trio The Company Corvette are confirmed to take part in Psycho Las Vegas this August, and seemingly in conjunction with that, the band will release their third album, Never Enough, through their own The Company Records imprint on Aug. 5. The full-length was tracked at Gradwell House in NJ with Matt Weber and though they’ve already started writing for the follow-up — you might say they’re living up to the album’s title — the first audio from Never Enough has been posted in the form of the track “Devilwitch,” which you can stream below.
Copious info and background comes off the PR wire:
THE COMPANY CORVETTE: Philly Psychedelic Doom Trio To Release Third LP, Never Enough; Band Confirmed For Psycho Las Vegas
Philadelphia-based THE COMPANY CORVETTE has completed their third full-length recording, Never Enough, with the final details being put in place for an independent, late Summer release, in conjunction with the band’s performance at Psycho Las Vegas and more.
Remaining true to their heavy riff-laden, psychedelically inclined, occasionally laid back, mostly loud, stoner rock-gone-metal-and-back stylistics, THE COMPANY CORVETTE has been fine-tuning and intensifying their sound, reaching towards new levels of sonic honesty that they are drawn to. While the band likes to think of their two earlier releases as “glorified demos,” the new album is a huge step forward for the band in virtually every department.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE’s new LP, Never Enough contains seven songs recorded at Gradwell House Recording in New Jersey with Matt Weber at helm, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Sleep, Yob, Corrosion Of Conformity) in Oregon. The album features cover artwork by the excellent Drew Elliott (Sunn O)), Amorphis, Rwake, Necrophagia), which captures the imagery within the track Devilwitch and takes band’s visual presentation to new heights. Soon after the recording of Never Enough, Zach Price joined the co-founders, guitarist Alexei Korolev and bassist/vocalist Ross Pritchett taking over the drum duties. Once again releasing the album on their own, as with their prior two records, the trio is feeling super focused and prolific, already demoing a new batch of tunes and looking for opportunities to get out of town.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE will independently release Never Enough on cassette and digital on August 5th, to be followed by a vinyl pressing approximately a month after, all through their own imprint, The Company Records. Stand by for audio samples and more on the album to be issued in the coming weeks.
Never Enough Track Listing: 1. Foot In Mouth 2. Devilwitch 3. Sick 4. Stomach 5. Burn Out 6. The Stuff 7. Pigeon
The release of Never Enough is set in conjunction with THE COMPANY CORVETTE’s performance at Psycho Las Vegas 2016 with Alice Cooper, Electric Wizard, Blue Oyster Cult, Sleep, Boris, Converge, High On Fire, and tons more, the massive festival running from August 26th through 28th. Additional live actions from the band will be posted shortly.
THE COMPANY CORVETTE Live: 7/06/2016 The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY w/ La Otracina, Fox 45. 8/26-28/2016 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
The Company Corvette: Alexei Korolev – guitars Ross Pritchett – bass, vocals Peter Hurd – drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Romanian heavy rockers Blacksheep called it quits earlier this year but have come roaring back propelled by new drummer Herman Heidel, and they present their first single as this incarnation of the band in the Western-themed “Gunsmoke.” The track can be heard now in a kind of semi-video YouTube stream plugging its release alongside images of guns, smoke, etc. to go with the samples in the song itself from old Western movies, among them Once upon a Time in the West. Blacksheep momentarily tap into their inner Morricone as well, but the bulk of “Gunsmoke” revolves around its burly delivery and catchy hook. The band calls it “death and roll,” but if you’re thinking Entombed, that might be a little more extreme than where Blacksheep end up.
Info and audio:
BLACKSHEEP: ‘Gunsmoke’ single released
After Liviu Gugui, the band leader have decided to disband the band on 15 January 2016, the Romanian death’n’roll band BLACKSHEEP have reunited with a new line-up on 4 May 2016 by adding the drummer Herman Heidel (BREATHELAST, ex-MONARCHY, ex-CADAVRUL, ex-MAGICA) to their ranks.
The current band line-up of the band is: Liviu Gugui <<L.G. “The Marshal” Shepherd>> – lead vocals, guitar (2012-) Andrei Costan “The Stallion” – guitar (2014-) Silviu Ruta “The Kid” – bass (2014-) Herman Heidel “The Gunslinger” – drums (2016-)
Herman Heidel it is one of the most well known and versatile Romanian drummers. Along the years he have played and released albums with such bands as BREATHELAST (post-hardcore/metalcore), MONARCHY (heavy metal), CADAVRUL (death metal) and MAGICA (melodic/heavy power metal).
After the reunion, the band have released Gunsmoke, the first new single. The song Gunsmoke have been recorded at Big Fat Sound studio (https://www.facebook.com/bigfatproduction) from Bucharest, Romania with Cristian Dunarintu, the guitarist from Shesdead as a sound engineer, while the mix and master was made by the guitarist Andrei Costan “The Stallion”. The video is signed by Costin Chioreanu from Twilight13media (AT THE GATES, AURA NOIR, ARCTURUS, SIGH, VIRUS, Roadburn Festival etc).
Prior to releasing their third album, The Harvest (review here), in the early hours of 2015, Ukrainian trio Stoned Jesus offered a collection of jams and song skeletons called The Seeds Vol. I in 2013 to help finance the recording, pressing, etc. When Stoned Jesus jam, they jam, so like the prior release, Seven Thunders Roar (review here), it was well received. Today, it’s my pleasure to host a premiere of the seven-and-a-half-minute exploration “Starshine Harvest” as an announcement that The Seeds Vol. II is on its way as a precursor to a proper fourth full-length.
The running theme of seeds and harvests provides immediate intrigue — the cuts on The Seeds Vol. I didn’t have titles, just numbers — so right away “Starshine Harvest” is something of a departure, but its fuzzadelic vibe should feel right at home for anyone who either heard the first The Seeds or who can get on board with a psych jam generally. Recorded live before Stoned Jesus made their debut with 2010’s First Communion, it features guitarist/vocalist Igor Sidorenko, as well as bassist Nick Kobold and drummer Alex EphirZ, since replaced by Sergey “Sid” Slusar and Viktor Vitamin, respectively. Being upwards of six years old, obviously it’s not necessarily a glimpse at where Stoned Jesus are headed on the follow-up to The Harvest, but it makes a fitting look back at where they come from all the same and digs into low-end groove and spacious guitar that I’m not likely to complain about either way.
More on The Seeds Vol. II when I hear it. Until then, you can check out “Starshine Harvest” on the YouTube player below, followed by some background courtesy of the band:
Stoned Jesus, “Starshine Harvest”
“Starshine Harvest” is an old idea we were having fun with back in 2010. While it had never been properly recorded by Stoned Jesus MKI, it was regularly featured on our setlists, partially or as a full jam thing. This particular version is taken from our pre-“First Communion” Kharkiv concert, and by uploading it we want to say “The Seeds, vol.II” are coming!
Since the very first rehearsals Viktor, the new drummer, always kept his portable recorder turned on, and soon we got literally gigabytes of jams and improvisations, mostly played between actual songs just to keep us sharp. Some of them were rather cool and even if we wouldn’t use them as the future songs’ basis, we’d love to share them with you all. We decided to upload some cuts for you on BandCamp.
Again, this is NOT the actual studio album, just a download-only collection serving as a fundraising weapon for our new full-length. We’re not much into the “just donate”-campaigns, ‘coz we understand people always need to get something for their bucks, so here’s the deal – for $5 only you’re getting the whole thing. And attention to those who donate $40 and more, get ready to find your names inside the future album’s booklet in the THANK YOU section!
Posted in Reviews on May 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I don’t imagine I need to run down the history of Argentina’s heavy rock scene for you — from Pappo’s Blues through Los Natas and into modern fuzz and sludge like Demonauta — but suffice it to say the country’s contributions to the international sphere of underground rock and roll have been manifold, varied and forward-looking. They have been a part of the conversation for as long as the conversation has been happening. All this is as a preface to note that with their second album, El Manto de la Especie, Cordoba-based trio Hijo de la Tormenta are stepping forward to claim their piece of this storied real estate. They do so with six tracks and just under 38 minutes of laid back, tonally resonant, subtly jazzy heavy, earthy psychedelia, confident in its execution, organic in its presentation and warm in its effect on the listener.
When so inclined, as on “Manifiesto al Sol” or “El Abuelo,” the lyrics for which are based on a Walt Whitman poem, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Juan Cruz Ledesma, bassist Guido Di Carlo and drummer Santiago Ludueña — plus Fabricio Morás on keys for “Rock Para Huir de una Ciudad,” “53 Cosechas” and “Manifiesto al Sol” — are able to enact a formidable heavy roll, and they do so bringing Di Carlo‘s bass forward on “El Abuelo” to enact El Manto de la Especie‘s most engaging nods. The context in which it arrives is no less pivotal to the overall impression of the album, however, and spacious, airy keyboards and swinging cymbal work in the aforementioned “Rock Para Huir de una Ciudad,” which opens, help set an exploratory tone guided by sure hands.
Hijo de la Tormenta made their self-titled debut (review here) in 2014 and tagged it as “mountain psychedelia.” Their second album offers some similar vibe — you’ll note I called it “earthy” above — but feels less limited in its landscape, which is a sign of the growth in chemistry the trio have undertaken in the last two years. The scope of El Manto de la Especie is broader, in other words, but the flow is no less consuming, as “Rock Para Huir de una Ciudad” opens quietly and shifts into heavier push to make way for the start-stop fuzz of “53 Cosechas” and the jam-into-low-end-bliss of “El Abuelo,” which hypnotizes in its first half of its six minutes only to offer a knockout blow of bass in its second, all in quick succession.
Part of that the first three tracks are legitimately shorter than what follows — apart from closer “Recibimiento,” which is two minutes long — as both “Manifiesto al Sol” (8:37) and “Un Mañana Aún Más Glorioso Nos Espera” (12:31) range farther, but the feeling of continuity between the first three songs is essential to how the album overall leads the listener through its course, and the fluidity of groove that persists isn’t to be understated. Hijo de la Tormenta are in no rush, and their songwriting is patient, encompassing and varied in structure, but they’re not simply wandering for the sake of wandering either. That motion that pushes through one song into the next gives a linear feel, and the sense of design in the record’s structure, drawing the listener in early and establishing such a rich atmosphere of natural tonality, only speaks to the level of conscious intent at play on the part of the band. They make it sound effortless, and maybe it is since nothing here sounds forced in the slightest, but it’s an admirable outcome either way and it makes El Manto de la Especie a joy front to back.
And when they do make their way to “Manifiesto al Sol” and “Un Mañana Aún Más Glorioso Nos Espera,” the signal is pretty clear that they’ve arrived at the heart of the album. Aside from the fact that, together, the two tracks account for more than half the total runtime, the feeling as the lightly progressive beginning of “Manifiesto al Sol” gets underway is that the trio have been working toward this build. The rhythm calms somewhat before Ledesma‘s vocals come in with a melody that reminds of Been Obscene, and by then they’re more than halfway through. Keyboards again play a large role as they push into more weighted low end and a fuzzed-out guitar solo, bringing a chorus back late to finish, and quiet guitar noodling opens “Un Mañana Aún Más Glorioso Nos Espera,” going past two minutes before the first cymbal crash accompanies.
There are some trades between quiet and loud parts, but the core of El Manto de la Especie‘s longest track remains the instrumental chemistry between Ledesma, Di Carlo and Ludueña, vocals arriving after the band has shifted seamlessly through heavier thrust and atmospheric desert jazz, which quiets down at the midpoint only to pick up again, led by fuzz guitar, backed by fuzz bass, propelled by the drums as they hit the peak that serves as the payoff for the album as a whole. They end “Un Mañana Aún Más Glorioso Nos Espera” quiet and offer a pastoral epilogue in the acoustic-meets-e-bow “Recibimiento,” some late “oohs” providing the closer’s only vocals for a harmonized, folkish feel. Hopefully that’s something Hijo de la Tormenta are teasing perhaps as a signal of future progression, i.e., where they might be headed, but it also adds another element to El Manto de la Especie while retaining the ambience of the material preceding.
The clear maturity Hijo de la Tormenta showcase on what’s still just their second full-length is likewise encouraging as regards future prospects for staking their stylistic claim, but that shouldn’t undercut the value of what they’ve accomplished here either. With these songs, they both signal what they have to offer going forward and begin making that offering.
Hijo de la Tormenta, El Manto de la Especie (2016)
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are two tracks on South African doomers Demons from the Dungeon Dimension‘s new EP, There was Ogres. One is the titular cut, at a slow-unfolding 21 minutes, and the other is a shorter acoustic take on the same track. The EP follows just weeks behind what seems to have been the band’s full-length debut, As the Crow Flies, though information is pretty sparse on the self-recording and releasing Durban unit’s origins and makeup. Nonetheless, the atmosphere on the track is suitably creeper and the trad-doom inflection of the grammatically-suspect “There was Ogres” comes with an edge of the aesthetically bizarre that, particularly as a free download, easily justifies the investment of time, vocals seeming to nod at Alice Cooper without actually taking too much from him, or anyone else, for that matter.
A purveyor of what I have dubbed “Hillbilly Doom”, There Was Ogres consists of a 21 minute long title track, and a seven minute long acoustic version. Incredible artwork by the immensely talented Geoffrey Smuts which truly captures the overall atmosphere and lyrical content of the music.
The sound is quite different from the debut, “As the Crow Flies”, with much tighter and clearer drums, fuller bass, and a completely different, jangly guitar tone. It does however still stick to a lo-fi, DIY aesthetic.
The guitars are very much so inspired by the playing of Mark Ribot, especially his performance on the Tom Waits album “Real Gone” (check out the song “Hoist That Rag” for an example), while the guitar tone is akin to that used by Queens of the Stone Age on their album “Era Vulgaris.”
Rochester heavy psych-blues trio King Buffalo will issue their debut long-player, Orion, on Aug. 5, 2016. It’s an album rife with organic, flowing grooves, nighttime expanses and memorable progressions… which is something I expect at least some of you reading this already know, since the three-piece — who made their debut with 2013’s Demo (review here) and also released a split with the now-defunct Lé Betre (review here) on STB last year — snuck out a pre-release download-only edition of Orion a couple months ago in order to help finance the pressing of the LP and CD versions, which come with different artwork courtesy of bassist Dan Reynolds and are available now to preorder ahead of the aforementioned release date.
I’ll tell you at the outset that I’ve been waiting for King Buffalo‘s debut, at times impatiently. As in, emailing the band to ask if it’s done yet. I knew before I heard it that I wanted them at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn (info here) and was only gladder to have asked them when I actually heard Orion itself. There’s a laid-back sensibility to even its heaviest moments, and some (myself included when I actually get to reviewing it) will compare parts of it to their Nashville-based aesthetic compatriots in All Them Witches, but ultimately King Buffalo are on a denser-toned trip with Orion‘s tracks, guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay (who also engineered and mixed) establishes his own personality and approach, and they come out of their first album having completely justified the anticipation that came before it.
If you haven’t, you can hear a sort-of-premiere for Orion‘s titular cut below, followed by some comment from drummer/backing vocalist Scott Donaldson about the song, the rather extensive list of tour dates the band has booked for the summer, and of course, the preorder link.
Hope you enjoy:
Scott Donaldson on “Orion”:
“Orion (title-track) came together rather easily. Sean started with the opening slow melodic riff, and it organically fell into place. The tempo change and tom build up naturally happened, and we all locked into the crescendo through the end. This was the very first song we recorded for the album. It was so exciting to listen back and hear those sounds for the first time. We knew immediately we wanted it to be the opening track.”
Available for the first time. King Buffalo’s long-awaited debut full length “Orion” on wax! Preorder your copy of what many are calling a “Contender for album of the year!”
The classic Black 12″ Vinyl comes in a Single pocket jacket, with a Polybag and download code. The 1st pressings are limited to 500 and hand numbered.
Albums will be shipped as soon as we receive them, which should be early August of 2016. Download Code will be sent immediately after purchase via email.
Written and recorded by King Buffalo in Rochester, NY at the Main Street Armory in 2015.
Produced and Engineered by Sean McVay. Mastered for vinyl by Bernard Matthews at BMAP INC. Mastered for digital by Matt Ramerman. Artwork by Dan Reynolds.
King Buffalo live: 5/26 Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club 6/4 Rochester, NY – Bug Jar (Tour Send Off) w/ Slow Season, Geezer and Bygone Few JUN 15 WED Carabar Columbus, OH w/ Eye JUN 16 THU FooBar Nashville, TN w/ Holy Mountain Top Removers JUN 17 FRI Murphys Memphis, TN JUN 18 SAT Freak Tulsa 2016 Tulsa, OK JUN 19 SUN The Mix San Antonio, TX w/ Slow Season JUN 20 MON The Grand Austin, TX JUN 21 TUE The Blind Mule Mobile, AL w/ Black Titan JUN 22 WED TBD Athens, GA JUN 23 THU Urban Artifact Cincinnati, OH JUN 24 FRI Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA w/ Year Of The Cobra JUN 25 SAT Guidos Speakeasy Frederick, MD w/ IRATA Akris Floodlore JUL 15 FRI The Dev Utica, NY JUL 16 SAT The Barn Volney, NY JUL 22 FRI The Grog Shop Cleveland, OH w/ All Them Witches JUL 23 SAT Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY w/ All Them Witches JUL 26 TUE Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA w/ All Them Witches AUG 4 THU Monkey Bar Burlington, VT AUG 5 FRI The Low Beat Albany, NY AUG 6 SAT Otro Cinco Syracuse, NY AUG 10 WED The Happy Dog Cleveland, OH AUG 11 THU FooBar Nashville, TN AUG 12 FRI Caledonia Lounge Athens, GA AUG 13 SAT The Garage Winston-Salem, NC AUG 16 TUE Slims Raleigh, NC AUG 17 WED Strange Matter Richmond, VA AUG 20 SAT The Obelisk All-Dayer Brooklyn, NY w/ Mars Red Sky, Funeral Horse