Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ll be honest. These guys dropped me a line, caught me at the right moment, I checked out the record and dug what they were doing and that’s why I’m putting up a post about the album being released when it was over a month ago. Because I think the release is worth noting, and if you, like me, hadn’t yet checked out Ohio trio Pale Grey Lore and their self-titled debut, currently available digitally and on CD, then, well, you might want to go head and get yourself introduced.
The band was kind enough to give me some background on who they are and what they do and while I’ve still got digging in to do before I’ll be ready to review it properly, I think the description of their mission provided sums up the scope of the record pretty well, particularly when it comes to words like “psych” and “concise.” On early impression, it is strikingly efficient for a first album. I dig it.
Info, links and audio:
Pale Grey Lore debut album
Pale Grey Lore began as a collaboration between brothers Michael (guitar, vocals) and Adam Miller (drums), with Donovan Johnson (bass) joining up in the summer of 2014. Drawing upon elements of psych, doom, sludge, post-punk, and garage rock, Pale Grey Lore create groove-laden, fuzzed-out songs that are spacey yet concise. Their debut self-titled album, released in June of 2016, was engineered by Andy Sartain at Mindfield Recording and Mixing and mastered by Harold LaRue.
Conceived as a series of surreal vignettes, each track depicts allegorical scenes from a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world in which the lines between science and the occult, technology and superstition, are hopelessly blurred.
Guitar, vocals, theremin – Michael Miller Drums – Adam Miller Bass – Donovan Johnson
Music by Pale Grey Lore Lyrics by Michael Miller Recorded, engineered and mixed by Andy Sartain Mastered by Harold LaRue Cover art by Joel Chastain
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Fare thee well to Portland, Maine, heavy rockers Murcielago, who will wrap seven years together this weekend with a hometown show at Portland House of Music and Events. The dual-guitar four-piece, which happens to feature Ian Ross of Roadsaw on guitar alongside guitarist Matthew Robbins, bassist/vocalist Neil Collins and drummer Brian Chaloux, issued their self-titled debut in 2014 and have been playing local shows in New England for the last half-decade or more. Their disbanding — hiatus? breakup?; one word is as good as the other — comes with the caveat that they might decide to get back together at some point and jam again, and honestly I doubt anyone would hold it against them if they did just that.
After sharing the stage recently with the recently-reactivated Scissorfight, they’ll close out their tenure alongside Eldemur Krimm and Pigboat this Saturday, Aug. 6, at the aforementioned venue. Their announcement and the info for the show follows here, as well as the stream of the self-titled for anyone who’d like to hear what they missed:
Murcielago (Last Show!) with Eldemur Krimm and Pigboat
Aug 6 at 9 PM
Portland House of Music and Events 25 Temple St, Portland, Maine 04101
We’ve decided to take a long bow after an excellent 7 year run. Thank You all who have come to our shows, bought our music and merchandise, and told your friends. We are grateful and humbled.
Many thanks to Nick Lamberto for getting us going, huge thanks to Benny Grotto and Mad Oak Studios for excellent work. Many thanks to the bands and promoters we’ve been lucky enough to work with during our time.
Come say goodnight to Murcielago as we send ourselves off with great friends Eldemur Krimm and Pigboat. We THANK YOU dearly for the years of support.
Neil Collins- bass, vocals Ian Ross- guitar (right channel) Matthew Robbins- guitar (left channel) Brian Chaloux- drums
It’s very true that Detroit trio Lavamoth could’ve just made a regular old performance video — three longhair dudes in a room playing a song but not really playing it while maybe the camera changes a couple times. They went a different route. Yeah, they’re rocking out in their new clip for “Moving On,” but they’re doing it in a spaceship after being beamed off the surface of the planet and jumping to light speed. I don’t know what video game they got that background from, but they make the most of it and I’m sorry, but watching the stars go by while they play really only adds charm to the straight-ahead heavy rock they’ve got on offer.
You might recognize guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Kevin Edwards and drummer Mick Stone from 500 ft. of Pipe, who had three records out between ’97 and ’03 before going the way of most of the pre-social media generation of second wave (maybe third wave?) stoner rockers. They’re joined by bassist Wayne Crouton of metallers Shotgun Logic, and the groove is right on from the start. I don’t know if they’ve got an album together or a demo or an EP or a split or any other kind of release, or if it’s just this single for now, but the track was cool and the video was right on, and I don’t really need much more than that to go on at any given point.
Thanks to Chris Taylor of Blue Snaggletooth for the recommendation on this one.
Lavamoth, “Moving On” official video
LAVAMOTH’s video for “Moving On” teleports them on a journey through time and space at hypersonic speeds…They Rock there way through the galaxy and beyond…(c) 2016 The High Clopse Music BMI
Fuzzed-out,anthemic guitar riffs,combined with tribal,pounding drum and bass. Stoner Rock songs about space and time travel,messed up dope deals,dirty cops, and life in Detroit…Former members of Detroit’s own 500 Ft. Of Pipe & Shotgun Logic…laying down some new tracks to melt your brains…
Kevin Edwards~ Guitar/Vocals/Moog Synth Mick Stone~ Drums Wayne Crouton-Bass
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The common thread between Dorre and Bethmoora is an affinity for the extreme. Dorre, from Belgium, showed it with noisy post-metallic edge that they brought to their 2015 half-hour-long single-song EP One Collapsed at the Altar, while Denmark’s Bethmoora seem to be geared toward a rawer onslaught of sludge and doom, topped by vicious screams and growls as evidenced in their Demo 2016, which is comprised of two songs.
Their contribution to the split, “Succumb,” consumes a single side on its own, while Dorre have two tracks on offer. Both groups mixed with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio. No audio yet, so I included both bands’ latest releases from their respective Bandcamps:
Dorre/Bethmoora split LP
In 2015 Dorre played a select set of shows as build-up towards an EP release in December. The EP was made and released following a first stint outside of the borders, touring throughout England and Scotland in January of 2016 and sharing the stage with many great bands. Now, more than ever, Dorre is focused on creating dark, heavy music and playing immense live sets. Dorre have been confirmed for another show in London with Serpent Venom and are headlining the mainstage of Somatic Festival in Wakefield in November.
Copenhagen based sludge/doom 5 piece Bethmoora, has existed for about a year in its current form, all members with experience from previous bands. Huge riffs, bludgeoning rhythms and disturbing vocals are key elements of the slow descent.
The lyrics of Bethmoora’s tracks revolve around a common theme – a mythos that singer Anders has created. Deities, entities, occult rituals and eternal strife are all key ingredients of this vast, ever expanding, imaginary dark world.
Tracklist: Side A: Dorre – Three Fell from the Sky Dorre – Four Walked into the Ocean Side B: Bethmoora – Succumb
Dorre: Adriaan De Raymaeker (Guitars) Erik Heyns (Guitars) Wolf Overloop (Drums)
Bethmoora: Anders Kofod (Vocals) Henrick Lyck (Guitars) Martin Korff (Drums) Morten Leerhøy (Guitars) Sune Westh Svendsen (Bass)
Dorre’s tracks recorded at Magnet Records by Jean-Pol Van Ham and Johan Breton. Bethmoora’s tracks recorded at Wolf Rider Sound Production by Patrick Fragtrup. All tracks mixed at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding. All tracks mastered by James Plotkin. Cover artwork by Diaz Inigo.
By way of a spoiler, I’m going to be streaming Howling Giant‘s upcoming Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1 EP a week from today, so I probably won’t say that much about it here, but the video for “Dirtmouth” — one of the four tracks included on the release, which is out Aug. 12 — shows the crucial factor in what they do: they don’t take themselves too seriously. That’s the misstep bands with progressive tendencies make all too often, and who knows, this is only the Nashville trio’s second EP so they may yet get there, but as the hipster urbane bar patrons become beardo vest-jockeys headbanging away to the track as the band plays in a brewery or some other kind of industrial setting, yeah, there’s no apparent danger of being overly pretentious.
Sometimes fun is a good thing. Howling Giant very clearly had some in the making of this clip, so with the promise of more to come, I’ll just say what I always say.
Howling Giant, “Dirtmouth” official video
“Dirtmouth” is taken from forthcoming EP Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1, which will be released August 12.
The forthcoming release is the first installment of the fascinating Black Hole Space Wizard EP concept series. As guitarist Tom Polzine explains, “Musically we aim to write songs that are melodic, catchy, and head bang-able. As a concept series, we strive to conjure up space-themed imagery of heroes and villains at war, introducing the story and setting the scene of things to come within the Black Hole Space Wizard Universe. We’re not trying to spell out the entire story so much as we are creating scenes to provoke your imagination.”
Conceptually, the EP paints four distinct scenes: 1. The pinnacle of mankind; 2. An exodus from Earth; 3. The Black Hole Space Wizard destroying everything; and; 4. A lone survivor trapped on a ravaged Mother Earth. In Roger Mark’s (bass/vocals) own words, “The first track is a little more progressive, packed with riffs both dark and triumphant. The second track is all about build and groove. The third track is thrash, metal, and destructive. The final track is spacey with doom elements.”
Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1 was produced by HOWLING GIANT, mixed by Kim Auch, and mastered by Chris Fasco.
[Click play above to stream King Buffalo’s debut LP, Orion, in its entirety. Album is out officially on Aug. 5 and King Buffalo play The Obelisk All-Dayer (tickets here) on Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn.]
A debut long-player from King Buffalo has been eagerly anticipated since the Rochester pastoralists issued their initial demo in 2013 (review here). That short release found guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay and bassist Dan Reynolds, both from Abandoned Buildings Club, and guitarist/vocalist Randall Coon and drummer/backing vocalist Scott Donaldson, both formerly of Velvet Elvis digging into landscape-infused heavy psych riffing; jams that seemed to spread out as they grew. It was an encouraging start to say the least. Having lost Coon to a move to Philadelphia, King Buffalo tested the waters as a trio both live and on their 2015 split LP with now-defunct Swedes Lé Betre on STB Records (review here), and with more touring under their collective belt, they make their full-length debut under the banner of Orion, offering immediate invocation of big constellations spread across even bigger nighttime skies that perfectly mirrors the ambience and seamless flow of the album itself.
Though their delivery has a vitality doubtless born from their not-inconsiderable time on stage together, and seems to have been captured in the studio with that in mind, it is the languid, serene-but-not-necessarily-peaceful ease with which they execute the eight songs/47 minutes that stands out even more. McVay and Reynolds‘ tones are geared toward the organic, and Donaldson‘s ability to give even the most subdued stretches and circular jams a sense of forward motion, as on the opening title-track (also streamed here) or the rolling nod of “Kerosene,” resides among King Buffalo‘s greatest strengths.
They’ve been compared on more than one occasion to Nashville’s All Them Witches — a band with whom they’re closely linked, having toured together more than once and brought aboard bassist Michael Parks to fill in for Reynolds at shows as recently as this summer — and that’s fair enough for some of the jammy feel and Americana flourish, but if Orion does anything at all, it establishes King Buffalo as an entity on their own wavelength. Even those aspects of what they do that might come across as familiar have been shaped into something new here, and the songs set a dynamic range that is wildly open and populates a world with its own characters and settings, be it in “She Sleeps on a Vine,” “Goliath,” “Drinking from the River Rising” or “Orion” itself, which begins the album that carries its name with a graceful unfolding, stretching out with guitar and bass for its first minute-plus before Donaldson comes in on drums. Right away, they’re taking their time — patient, fluid, lightly hypnotic — but nothing about Orion comes across as lazy, and it’s worth noting that where they could’ve easily gone with an intro track before the start of the opener, they built their introduction from the song itself and took a more natural, less pretentious route.
A driving swing emerges in the second half of “Orion,” the first of several righteous thrusts the record has on offer, and amps fade into the quiet lines that open “Monolith,” joined soon by McVay‘s vocals. It’s a not dissimilar start, but “Monolith” goes in a different direction, setting a more active jangly guitar shuffle punctuated by toms and held together by Reynolds‘ bass. McVay takes a swirling solo late and the transition into “She Sleeps on a Vine” is direct, the song at 7:31 second only to “Drinking from the River Rising” in length and with the foundation again in the low end, hits into a highlight jam, smooth flowing, right in its pace and building vibe, and still catchy enough to be one of Orion‘s most memorable impressions. It’s pretty raucous by the finish, and that momentum carries into the upbeat start of “Kerosene,” the six-minute roundout to side A that has its footing in just about everything King Buffalo have thus far had on offer and offers a hook of its own that stands up to “She Sleeps on a Vine” easily in its midsection before breaking to drums and bass and sparse guitar noise to set the bed for a riff-driven concluding push that gloriously builds and pulls itself apart as it leaves stratosphere behind.
Side B immediately expands the context of the album overall by bringing acoustic guitar forward with a gentle vocal from McVay, who soon layers in accent notes of electric slide or pedal steel. Bass and kick drum join in seamlessly but the spirit stays quiet, contemplative, sweet and almost melancholy, and even when Donaldson brings in the hi-hat and snare in the second half, they hold that firm, and rightly so to lead into the immediate spaciousness of “Goliath” — by title alone it should be the heaviest song on the record but I don’t think King Buffalo use standard measurement principles; all the better — which moves from that stretch into another forward push, this one marked out further by its fuzz-toned guitar and rhythmic verses.
A complement to the opener, “Orion Subsiding” seems to be an answer more in vibe than what’s actually being played, reenacting the liquefied motion that the band seems to conjure at will, subtly moving toward louder riffing and more fervent crash in the back end but shifting before they’re done once more to the languid lines of guitar and bass that ultimately define the cut along with McVay‘s vocals, which underline their importance to the mood and hue of the album with the folk-blues inflection that begins “Drinking from the River Rising,” calling to mind David Eugene Edwards as much as the aforementioned Parks, and carrying the first two minutes of the 10-minute closer easily before the central guitar and basslines and drum progression take hold. From there, King Buffalo set quickly about winding their way through one more expanse, gradually, again patiently, making their way toward the apex of the album, and in that doing well to reinforce the chemistry and dynamic between the three of them, as seen in the midsection flourish of bass from Reynolds and the far-no-farther-out guitars from McVay that complement over Donaldson‘s drums.
At 6:20, McVay asks, “Where will you go when the well runs dry?” and the final build begins in earnest, thudding, chugging and all. The remainder of “Drinking from the River Rising” is given to a molten, heavy jam that, yes, brings Orion to its peak, but also emphasizes one more time the live feel that has remained throughout, no matter how many layers are in play at any given moment. That may be finally where King Buffalo are defined — on stage — but they’re not there yet either way, and they benefit greatly from the open creativity on display in Orion‘s tracks and from that sense of exploration of their sound and their dynamic. It would be a great third LP, but factoring in that this is their first, Orion is even more impressive for the cohesion that so clearly rests beneath all that exploration and the skill with which the band walks the line between the two. No question it will stand among the best debuts of 2016.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Mexican upstarts Vinnum Sabbathi are on the cusp of releasing their debut full-length, Gravity Works, and to herald its arrival they’ll hit the road at the end of next month alongside Terror Cósmico for a quick run of shows in cities like Guadalajara and Monterrey before closing out with a gig together in Mexico City a few nights after the tour-proper ends. You might recall Vinnum Sabbathi issued their Fuzzonaut split (review here) with Bar de Monjas last year, and Terror Cósmico‘s own sophomore album, Devorador de Sueños, will have been out for a year by the time the tour starts.
The Fuzzonaut split left an encouraging impression of Vinnum Sabbathi, so I’ll look forward to hearing what might be in store with Gravity Works, but in the meantime, you can find a brief announcement on the album — which will be out through LSDR Records and Aim Down Sight Records — and the tour dates below:
Terror Cósmico & Vinnum Sabbathi will be touring 6 cities around Mexico plus a show in Mexico City where the bands are based during the end of August and beginning of September.
Terror Cósmico are promoting their second album “Devorador De Sueños” wich came out on August of the last year via Concreto Records, their live sets will also include a bunch of songs from their debut album “Muerte Y Transfiguración” also released by Concreto Records.
Vinnum Sabbathi will be supporting their upcoming first Album “Gravity Works” to be released in later August via LSDR Records in Mexico and Aim Down Sight Records in Germany.
Terror Cosmico/Vinnum Sabbathi Mexico Tour 2016 Tour Dates 25.08.2016 – Queretaro – Cultubar 26.08.2016 – Jalisco – Foro Independencia 27.08.2016 – Morelia – Jeudi 27 01.09.2016 – Matehuala – Soul Rebels Bar 02.09.2016 – Monterrey – Nodriza Studio 03.09.2016– San Luis Potosi – Loud Open Stage 09.09.2016 – Mexico City – El Mundano
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Floridian two-piece Cave of Swimmers hit the road later this week on an East Coast tour that will take them into the beginning of August. Later on next month, they head west to Psycho Las Vegas to play alongside Pentagram, Sleep, YOB, and, well, name a name. Whether or not they’ll tour around that appearance, I don’t know, but this tour would seem to be a precursor to that slot either way, and they go supporting their 2015 album, Reflection, having already toured this past Spring in the Midwest and Southeast.
Dates and info follow:
Miami heavy duo Cave of Swimmers will be on tour this summer doing a US east coast run before playing Psycho Las Vegas Festival in August along with Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Electric Wizard and more.
Cave of Swimmers is a band formed by two Venezuelan kids who met in the 4th grade. After moving to Miami in the mid 2000’s, they reunited to form a band with an original take on heavy music. Fast, slow, spooky, sludgy, progressive, you name it: Cave of Swimmers does it their own way.
Their self-titled debut album gained critical acclaim last year after a few tours. They made a name for themselves as a band that’s real with a live show like no other, outta control, and full of raw energy. Their new album “Reflection” was released in the summer of 2015 and they toured February/March 2016 and hit the road again this summer supporting the release.
Cave of Swimmers on tour: July 22 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia July 23 – Atlanta, GA – The Highlander July 24 – Memphis, TN – Murphy’s July 25 – Nashville, TN – Foobar July 26 – Winston-Salem, NC – Test pattern July 28 – Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar July 29 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie July 31 – Salem, MA – Koto August 1 – Brooklyn, NY – Sunnyvale August 2 – Richmond, VA – 25 Watt RVA August 3 – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave August 5 – Jacksonville, FL House show August 6 – Gainesville, FL – The Atlantic