He Whose Ox is Gored Announce West Coast Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Thee band.

Following a deluxe-style 10″ release through Caffe Vita Records, Seattle bombast rockers He Whose Ox is Gored have issued their 2014 Nightshade two-song EP on tape via Breathe Plastic Records. There are, as they put it, 20 copies available in the US out of a total 100 pressed, so if you want one, it’s probably a good idea to place the order soon.

With however many they’ve got left by the time Aug. 5 rolls around, He Whose Ox is Gored will hit the road to support both the vinyl and the tape, playing with an assortment of badasses along the way, including Black Mare, who also had a tape out on Breathe Plastic last year.

The PR wire offers background and dates:

Thee poster.

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED: Northwestern Doomgazers Plot West Coast Tour

Tuned down and turnt up, He Whose Ox is Gored has been blasting through the underground of Seattle since 2009. Combining technical guitar work and atmospheric synth over a pummeling rhythm section and doomed aggression, they create a uniquely cinematic soundscape that paints a world ready to thrash and burn. Bleeding Light Records will release the band’s upcoming Rumours EP digitally and on 7″ vinyl in a few months’ time. With an upcoming full-length brewing and a busy tour schedule this year, the OX’s dynamic doom is poised to take over. The Seattle quartet is comprised of Brian McClelland on guitar & vocals, Lisa Mungo on synths & vocals, Mike Sparks on bass & vocals, and drummer John O’Connell.

He Whose Ox is Gored is preparing to embark upon a series of West Coast live actions that will begin on August 5th in Portland and wrap up in Spokane. They’ll be sharing stages with the formidable likes of Chasma, Black Mare, Glaciers, and more, and will unveil new material from their myriad upcoming releases.

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED WEST COAST TOUR
8/5 Portland, OR @ East End w/ Muscle & Marrow and Chasma
8/6 San Francisco, CA @ SUBMission w/ Glaciers and Roland
8/7 Oakland, CA @ Eli’s w/ Hellbeard, Glaciers, and Druid
8/8 Los Angeles, CA @ Complex w/ Lightsystem, Glaare, and Black Mare
8/9 San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast and Bhorelord
8/10 Tuscon, AZ @ The District w/ Ocean Void
8/12 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar w/ Bath House and Icelous
8/13 Denver, CO @ Bar Bar w/ Abrams
8/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Shred Shed w/ Stoic
8/15 Boise, ID @ The Shredder w/ Obstructed by the Sun and Swamp Shrine
8/16 Missoula, MT @ TBA
8/17 Spokane, WA @ Mootsie’s w/ Losing Skin and Rot Monger

https://www.facebook.com/hewhoseoxisgoredseattle/
http://hewhoseoxisgored.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OxisGored
http://bleedinglightrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bleedinglightrecords/
https://twitter.com/BleedingRecords

He Whose Ox is Gored, Nightshade EP (2014)

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Earth Announce Fall US Tour Dates with King Dude

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Awesome.

Ever ones for hand-delivering their groundbreaking drone, Earth have announced that they’ll follow their extensive upcoming European tour in support of their 10th album, Primitive and Deadly, with a corresponding jaunt across the US beginning Sept. 4, just two days after the record is set to release on Southern Lord. I’ll be interested to see who winds up on tour with the band, considering some of the varied personnel said to show up in the material, but if they come even moderately close to capturing the sound of “From the Zodiacal Light,” which you can hear below, it’ll be a win. Actually, it’ll probably be a win anyway. It’s fucking Earth. Some bands you just have to trust know what they’re doing.

The PR wire has dates for your calendar-marking enjoyment:

I wanna go.

EARTH Confirms US Tour Dates In Conjunction With Release Of Primitive And Deadly LP

With the next phase of EARTH’s ongoing evolution coming closer to actuality, as their tenth studio LP, Primitive And Deadly, is set to see North American release on September 2nd, the group announces the next phase of international touring in support of the album, in the form of a month-long US tour.

With the band’s treks through Japan, Australia and New Zealand behind them, and their trek into Europe set to begin late this month, EARTH will bring their new material to American fans. From September 4th, commencing in their hometown of Seattle, the new venture will see the band winding counter-clockwise around the entire perimeter of the country through October 3rd, the last show taking place in Boise, Idaho. With twenty-five performances confirmed, additional shows are expected to be added in the coming days. Direct support for EARTH on the entire trek will be provided by dark folk act, King Dude.

With Primitive And Deadly, for the first time in their diverse career, EARTH’s founding guitarist Dylan Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies allow themselves to be a full-on rock band. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Primitive And Deadly also brings forth the band’s first vocal contributions since 1996′s Pentastar LP, and first in the band’s second incarnation, with guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows), who transform these thundering, organic songs into something approaching traditional pop structures. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California at Rancho de la Luna where EARTH recorded after hours of meditation on each track’s central theme. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves In The Throne Room, Eagle Twin). Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock.

Preorders for Primitive And Deadly will be available in the next few days. Stand by for further live and album news transmissions from the EARTH family.

EARTH Tour Dates:
European Tour:
7/31/2014 Off Festival – Katowicw, Poland
8/01/2014 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, Germany
8/02/2014 Lido – Berlin, Germany
8/04/2014 Super Uho Festival – Sibenik, Croatia
8/05/2014 Arena – Vienna, Austria
8/07/2014 Schlacthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
8/08/2014 Bogen F – Zurich, Switzerland
8/09/2014 Point Ephemere – Paris, France
8/10/2014 Zuiderpershuis – Antwerp, Belgium
8/11/2014 Tivoli – Utrecht, Netherlands
8/13/2014 Whelans – Dublin, Ireland
8/14/2014 CCA – Glasgow, UK
8/15/2014 Gorilla – Manchester, UK
8/16/2014 Jabberwocky Festival – London, UK

US Tour w/ King Dude:
9/04/2014 Crocodile – Seattle, WA
9/06/2014 Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
9/07/2014 Doug Fir – Portland, OR
9/08/2014 Midtown Barfly – Sacramento, CA
9/09/2014 Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
9/10/2014 Bottom Of The Hill – San Fransisco, CA
9/11/2014 Hollywood Forever Cemetary – Los Angeles, CA
9/12/2014 SD Music Thing Fest – San Diego, CA
9/13/2014 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
9/14/2014 Sister – Albequerque, NM
9/16/2014 Red 7 – Austin, TX
9/17/2014 Club Dada – Dallas, TX
9/18/2014 One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA
9/19/2014 Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA
9/20/2014 Kings Barcade – Raleigh, NC
9/21/2014 Rock N Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
9/23/2014 Great Scott – Allston, MA
9/24/2014 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
9/26/2014 Boot And Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
9/27/2014 Midpoint Music Fest – Cincinnati, OH
9/28/2014 Pygmalion, Music Fest – Urbana, IL
9/29/2014 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
9/30/2014 Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
10/01/2014 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
10/03/2014 Neurolux – Boise, ID

http://www.thronesanddominions.com
https://www.facebook.com/thronesanddominions
http://www.southernlord.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin

Earth, “From the Zodiacal Light”

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Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Finish Mixing Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

On, or at least near, the rocks.

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:

I hear the cats like the warmth.

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!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brothers-of-the-Sonic-Cloth/63586406187
http://www.taddoyle.com/

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “I Am”

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Drcarlsonalbion, Gold: Once upon a Time in the West

Posted in Reviews on June 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It's in them thar hills.

It should stand to reason that any Dylan Carlson solo outing released under the banner of Drcarlsionalbion (also stylized in all-caps or all-lowercase) should have a certain amount of continuity with Earth, since as much as that band has become a rotating-member collaboration, Carlson‘s guitar remains the driving force of it. He’s done a few solo releases at this point, a Latitudes session in 2012 brought particularly resonant results (review here), but the latest, Gold, has the distinction of being Carlson‘s first soundtrack work. That in itself is a little surprising. One wonders if it’s something he’s particularly avoided doing over the years or just never got around to with Earth. As focused on atmosphere as Earth has been since returning from a multi-year hiatus with 2005′s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method – a landmark the influence of which continues to be felt nearly a decade later — to tap them for soundtrack work seems like a natural fit. Even working on his own, that proves to be the case with Carlson and Gold. The 24-piece offering serves as the score to a German western of the same name set and filmed in Canada, and Carlson sounds well in his element on these tracks, which vary from noodly snippets like the 18-second “Gold VIII” to full-song breadth like the closing “Gold XXIV,” which has enough of an end-credit feel at just under five minutes (it’s also the longest inclusion) to evoke a sense of finality even without the silence that follows. Through it all, Carlson‘s tone is very much his own, and clearly intent on portraying open spaces and an undercurrent of foreboding that never comes to outright terror, but lingers vague in the distance.

Watching the film and hearing Carlson‘s guitar complement footage of horses walking slowly through desolate woods, one can’t help but think of Jim Jarmusch‘s 1995 western, Dead Man, and Neil Young‘s guitar score for that, which had a similar echoing feel in places and which was a noted point of inspiration for Carlson with Earth‘s Hex album. Part of the appeal of Carlson‘s work over the years has been interpreting the feelings and emotions contained in what are usually very minimalist atmospheres, figuring out where the music wants to take you and then going to that place, and on that level, Gold taps into some of the similar big sky, wide-angle Americana that Hex did, though the spirit of this release is different because very often it jumps from one piece to the next before an ambience is fully set. That keeps Gold from really being able to be evaluated as a full-length album, but if you catch it in the right headspace, the vibe is open enough and consuming enough that you can get lost in Gold without really even realizing, the 44-minute span not a slog to wade through, but a well-honed dronescape comprised of individual glimpses. It is minimal – Carlson and his guitar. As Earth have expanded their sound in multiple directions over the last nine-plus (really almost 25) years around Carlson and drummer Adrienne Davies who joined in 2001, Drcarlsonalbion seems to be the place the guitarist retreats to in order to be alone with the frequencies he crafts. There are some other noises far back in the mix on “Gold V” and elsewhere, an obscure sense of someone hitting something with something else, an actual tom hit on “Gold XI,” but Gold has a lonesome sound and that’s clearly the intent from the beginning.

Read more »

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The Maple Forum: HeavyPink to Perform Live; New Material Coming

Posted in Label Stuff on June 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click here to purchase HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ by PayPal or other methods.

Been a while since we heard anything from Tony Reed about his HeavyPink solo-project, the 2011 debut 7″ from which was the third release on The Obelisk’s in-house label, The Maple Forum. Reed, who at the time was in the transition from playing with Stone Axe to reigniting Mos Generator, took a momentary side-step to embark on HeavyPink, playing all the instruments on the two resulting tracks, “There is a Light” and “Flower and Song” and providing vocals on what musically was a vibe distinct from anything he’d done before yet still clearly the product of his own brilliant songwriting. I was and still am thrilled to have been involved in helping put it out in the small way I was.

I’ve still got copies of the 7″ available — you may have noticed the banner in the sidebar with the HeavyPink cover for the last three years or so — and they’re $6 for anyone who wants one. Basically I eat the postage on that, but whatever. That money’s long gone anyway. Breaking even is the dream of madmen. If you want one, go for it.

The other night, Reed posted some news that he’s put together a live band for HeavyPink, which also happens to include Stone Axe bassist Mike DuPont, and proved it with the picture above. Here’s what he had to say:

Up until last night HeavyPink was completely a studio project for me. I brought in Bo Mcconaghie (guitar), Reno Dave (Drums) and Mike Dupont (bass) to take this to the stage. I will continue to write and record songs on my own in a studio invironment but the live band will also be writing together at the same time and the albums will be a mix of both creative processes.

No word on when this new collaborative band might get to putting out a record, and I’m quite certain that when they do, Reed will either release it himself or hook up with any one of the myriad labels he’s allied with before — though I reserve the right to revive it at any point The Maple Forum is more or less defunct and frankly they could do better — but as someone who was a fan of the project when it was just Reed working on it and someone who’s a fan of his work in general, I’m definitely interested to hear what comes out of HeavyPink as a full band, and hopefully one of these days I’ll get to see them live.

Here’s “Flower and Song,” if you’d like a refresher of how cool this 7″ was:

HeavyPink, “Flower and Song”

HeavyPink on Thee Facebooks

The Maple Forum webstore

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On Wax: Teepee Creeper / Mos Generator Split 7″

Posted in On Wax on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I had some pretty high expectations for Teepee Creeper coming into their split 7″ single with Mos Generator in no small part because the latter band’s most recent split with a Washington-based heavy rock band found them aligned to Ancient Warlocks, whose subsequent self-titled debut offered thrills aplenty. It’s intriguing to think Mos Gen guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed — who also recorded Teepee Creeper‘s included track, “Galactic Oblivion” — might be endorsing newcomer acts in such a subtle way, and Teepee Creeper justify the backing with a steady rolling groove on “Galactic Oblivion,” open-sounding and large but not over the top, somewhere between Wo Fat and Goatsnake‘s deceptively catchy stonerisms.

The blend will ring familiar to heavy riff heads, and Reed‘s production preserves a natural vibe that suits the three-piece well, guitarist/vocalist Jon Unruh‘s double-tracked voice switching from a gutty verse delivery to a cleaner chorus and back fluidly over Jeremy Deede‘s bass and Will Armacost‘s drums. A “sky god” is liberally invoked throughout the five-minute push, but there’s a sense of build within the song as well and if you told me two years from now that this split was Teepee Creeper‘s launch point for a solid string of output, I’d believe it. Between Unruh, Deede and Armacost, Teepee Creeper is nobody’s first band, and accordingly, they sound like they know what they want to do and are setting about making that happen.

A couple interesting cuts from Mos Generator on side B. As the included liner explains, the Nirvana cover “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” — which was originally streamed here in 2012 — was recorded in 2008 for a tribute compilation that never surfaced, and “Downer Rock ’89″ was a song originally called “Daisy Buckle” that came together in 1989 working heavily under the influence of what was then Seattle’s nascent grunge movement. Reed, bassist Scooter Haslip and drummer Shawn Johnson rerecorded it in 2013, so they’re not bringing out old demos — presumably that’s saved for the recently-undertaken Heavy Home Grown release series — but it’s easy to hear the stylistic hallmarks of that era, however much of Mos Generator‘s modern persona factors in alongside.

As an introduction to Teepee Creeper and a fan piece for Mos Generator, the split — out through Music Abuse Records – gets a surprising amount done in its just-over-10-minute runtime. Art on the sleeve by Sean Schock for the A-side, a few vintage Mos Generator pics on back and the aforementioned liner round out the package, and while it’s a quick release, it’s also one you might wind up flipping back and forth a few times in a row to get a feel for how the two bands work together. Not to spoil it, but they work pretty well.

Teepee Creeper, “Galactic Oblivion”

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

Teepee Creeper on Thee Facebooks

Heavyhead webstore

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Wolves in the Throne Room’s Celestite, Milligram, A Sad Bada, Phant, Damo Suzuki Meets Øresund Space Collective

Posted in Radio on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Running a pretty wide gamut this week, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This week is a pretty good example of one where there’s way more added than just what’s listed here, so make sure you check the updates page to see the full list of everything that went on the server. Next thing I knew, I turned around and there was a ton of awesome stuff waiting to go up. Tough times.

It’s been a few weeks doing the adds this way and I’m digging it so far, so I’m going to keep it up, at least until I think of something else or it gets to be a pain or whatever. Thanks for reading and checking out the radio stream.

Adds for June 6, 2014:

Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestite

The much-awaited follow-up to 2011′s Celestial Lineage finds Washington US black metal forerunners Wolves in the Throne Room not quite ready to let go of that album yet. Celestite is intended as a complement to its predecessor, and as the first release on the band’s own Artemesia Records imprint, it comes as a particularly bold move for a band clearly looking to shirk expectation. Its five included tracks are cinematic, ambient set-pieces — instrumental works that, when played at the same time as Celestial Lineage, enhance the atmospheres of those already dense songs. Of course, cuts like the 11-minute opener “Turning Ever Towards the Sun” and the centerpiece “Bridge of Leaves” have value on their own as well, but there’s little denying that the apex of Celestial Lineage in “Prayer of Transformation” is pushed further by Celestite closer “Sleeping Golden Storm” and vice versa. Anyone expecting forest screams or raging blastbeats is in for a surprise, but those who approach with an open mind will be rewarded, which has always been the case with Wolves in the Throne Room‘s work. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Milligram, Live on Pipeline (WMBR)


A band with a reach that has lasted much longer than their actual six-year run, Milligram retain a presence in heavy rock consciousness despite having really only gotten together to open for Kyuss Lives! in 2011 since calling it quits in 2002, prior to Small Stone‘s issue of their This is Class War full-length. Accordingly, the version of “Not Okay” included on this collection of live recordings from the radio station WMBR sounds like a blueprint for some of the soulful heavy vibes Lo-Pan would conjure in their early going. Also included are covers of the Misfits (“We are 138″) and Black Flag (“Jealous Again”), so in addition to hearing Milligram – which in 2000 when Live on Pipeline was recorded was comprised of vocalist Jonah Jenkins (see also Raw Radar War), guitarist Darryl Shepard (see also Hackman, Black Pyramid, Blackwolfgoat, The Scimitar, etc.), bassist Bob Maloney and drummer Zephan Courtney — tear into some of their own material, there’s also a look at their punkier roots. Shepard has begun a series of digital releases of his bands with this, so look out for more. All are available for name-your-price download through his Bandcamp. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective, Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective

Captured live and largely improvised on Valentine’s Day 2013, the 3LP Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective indeed proves a match meant to be. The Danish/Swedish space jammers and the krautrock legend — Damo Suzuki has released decades’ worth of solo output and collaborations, but is still best known for his contributions to Can — offer no single piece under 14 minutes long, so I guess as jams go, these worked out. The six inclusions are immediately exploratory, and while at just over two hours, the meeting of these expanded-mind entities can feel a bit like traveling through a wormhole where you snap back to consciousness on the other side and wonder how you got there, each piece also takes on a life and movement of its own, propelled by ceaselessly creative guitar work, engaging rhythmic nod and, naturally, a near-constant swirl of effects. Suzuki‘s voice echoes through “Dit Glimtende Øje” as though beamed in from another galaxy, and his first contact with Øresund Space Collective results in vibrant, cosmic jams that push through the psychedelosphere. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

A Sad Bada, White Rivers and Coldest Chains


Chilean four-piece A Sad Bada specialize in post-sludge that is lurching and atmospheric in kind. White Rivers and Coldest Chains is their first full-length, with it they offer five extended tracks of crushing density and grueling nod. They skirt the post-metal line — guitarists Gastón Cariola and Fernando Figueroa, who founded the band in 2008, keep a steady supply of airy echoes on hand throughout — but as a cut like the 11-minute “Hide and Grieve” shows, they’re never quite looking to get away from the sludgy churn of their slower-than-thou progressions, bassist Roberto Toledo and drummer Alejandro Ossandon expertly holding together the songs as Figueroa offers vicious, throaty growls over top. White Rivers and Coldest Chains (out on Australis Records) is intended as a slog, and it is one, but the soundscape that A Sad Bada enact over the course of the album has more appeal than just its tonal weight or extremity. There’s a darkness at its heart that comes from more than just the music itself, and that bleeds from the speakers with every oozing riff. On Thee Facebooks, Australis Records.

Phant, The Octophant Pt. II


Newcomer Swedish trio Phant return with their second self-released, digital-only EP in less than a year’s time, bringing their eight-armed elephant mascot deeper into a heavy-riff melee over two more extended tracks and an outro with The Octophant Pt. II. Like their predecessors on The Octophant Pt. I (review here), “Nativitas/Hakaisha” (13:53) and “Magna Cael” (9:31) blend cosmic doom and heavy rock tendencies, finding a cohesive balance of aggression and groove along the way, subtly adding effects amid echoing vocal interplay from bassist Jesper Sundström and guitarist Anton Berglind while drummer Elias Sundberg taps into reaches no less spacious via a constant-seeming wash of cymbals. Found sounds, samples and other sundry weirdness caps The Octophant Pt. II in “Outro Pt. II,” with tales of UFOs and government coverups. How long Phant might continue this series of EPs, I don’t know — they can at least get a trilogy out of it if they want; I’d take another 26 minutes of this no problem — but the heft the three-piece bring to bear across “Nativitas/Hakaisha” and “Magna Cael” also shows they’re more than ready to tackle their debut full-length, should they decide to go that route next. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Other adds to The Obelisk Radio this week include Novembers Doom, the four-way split between Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes, as well as Recitation, Sunwolf, Godflesh, Dylan Carlson of Earth‘s solo-project, Drcarlsonalbion. For the full list, check the updates page.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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Earth to Release Primitive and Deadly in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

So you’ve got an Earth record with Mark Lanegan singing on it? Well fucking a. Yes, please. Sign me up.

Details of Earth‘s forthcoming long-player, Primitive and Deadly, come via the PR wire below. Southern Lord will have it out in September, and it seems like yet another fascinating turn in Earth‘s ongoing progression is in store.

More to come I’m sure:

EARTH Reveals Details Of Their Tenth Studio Recording, Primitive And Deadly

International Tour Dates Begin Next Week

EARTH’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume and feedbacking drone or, in the twin Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light set from 2011 and 2012, via a sparse unraveling take on folk.

With Primitive And Deadly, EARTH’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing an Ouroborean creative cycle, twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse second act, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.

On “Rooks Across the Gates,” a song stylistically the closest to the folk inspired modality of Angels Of Darkness, Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. “From the Zodiacal Light,” meanwhile, takes the late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence of The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour.

This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where EARTH recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).

Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock. The album will see worldwide release this September, with a final street date to be announced shortly.

Prior to the album’s release, Southern Lord shall be reissuing Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method and The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull on LP on June 24th in North America.

EARTH shall embark on a run of international tours beginning next week, including June and July dates across Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Europe, followed by another European tour in support of Primitive And Deadly, with much more in store.

EARTH Tour Dates:
6/04/2014 Conpass – Osaka, Japan
6/05/2014 Earthdom – Tokyo, Japan
6/06/2014 Fever – Tokyo, Japan
6/12/2014 Chicks Hotel – Dunedin, New Zealand
6/13/2014 Bodega – Wellington, New Zealand
6/14/2014 Kings Arms – Auckland, New Zealand
6/17/2014 Crowbar – Brisbane, Australia
6/18/2014 Rosemount Hotel – Perth, Australia
6/19/2014 Manning Bar – Sydney, Australia
6/20/2014 Dark Mofo Festival – Hobart, Australia
6/21/2014 Hi-Fi – Melbourne, Australia
7/31/2014 Off Festival – Katowicw, Poland
8/01/2014 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, Germany
8/02/2014 Lido – Berlin, Germany
8/04/2014 Super Uho Festival – Sibenik, Hungary
8/05/2014 Arena – Vienna, Austria
8/07/2014 Schlacthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
8/08/2014 Bogen F – Zurich, Switzerland
8/09/2014 Point Ephemere – Paris, France
8/10/2014 Zuiderpershuis – Antwerp, Belgium
8/11/2014 Tivoli – Utrecht, Netherlands
8/13/2014 Whelans – Dublin, Ireland
8/14/2014 CCA – Glasgow, UK
8/15/2014 Gorilla – Manchester, UK
8/16/2014 Jabberwocky Festival – London, UK

SELECTED EARTH DISCOGRAPHY:
Extra Capsular Extraction (Sub Pop) 1991*
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (Sub Pop) 1993
Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions (Sub Pop) 1995
Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) 1996
Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord) 2005
Hibernaculum (Southern Lord) 2007
Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull (Southern Lord) 2008
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) 2011
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (Southern Lord) 2012
Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord) 2014
*re-issued as A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction (Southern Lord) 2010

http://www.thronesanddominions.com
https://www.facebook.com/thronesanddominions
http://www.southernlord.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin

Earth, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (2012)

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Mos Generator Launch Heavy Home Grown Series of DIY Releases

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

As they get ready to hit Germany’s Freak Valley festival this coming weekend and play to a sold-out crowd supporting their recent Listenable Records debut, Electric Mountain Majesty (review here), Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock specialists Mos Generator have officially launched their Heavy Home Grown series of DIY releases. Guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed has issued an update with info on the series, which begins with a live set recorded at Nuemo’s in Seattle back in 2006 and a collection of demos from their past two albums, and frankly, it looks like an awesome project. The demos have already sold out on preorders, and both come with minimal-but-handmade packaging and band-written info about each release.

From producing his own stuff to overseeing art and more, Reed‘s always been a hands-on kind of guy, so this kind of thing was really inevitable, and for fans, a great way to dig deeper into what Mos Generator do while supporting them directly.

Dig it:

We have started a series of releases that will be called “Heavy Home Grown”. These packages will be very DIY and assembled by us. The first in the series is Mos Generator Live at Neumos in Seattle 3/17/2006. The second will be the “Electric Nomads” demos hand crafted Lps that are limited to 100 copies and are already sold out just on pre-orders. I have been digging through the vaults and gathering a lot of cool material for future releases.

We have recorded hundreds of shows over the years on audio and video and we would like to make some of the better performances available for those who are interested. There are also 14 years of demos laying around so this series could see quite a few releases. Each one will also have an insert with a few paragraphs about what is on the disc. -TR

https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator/
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/

Mos Generator, “Sleeping Your Way to the Middle” Live in Seattle, March 17, 2006

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Mos Generator Premiere Video for “Electric Mountain Majesty”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Things get pretty tripped-out in Mos Generator’s video for the title-track to their new album and Listenable Records debut, Electric Mountain Majesty (review here), the Washington trio appearing as silhouettes — also in the case of Tony Reed as a kind of disembodied head — while an array of images play out behind from vivid space images to a finale of flying sparks. The clip, directed by Chris Mathews, Jr., gives some firm visual realization to the idea of Mos Generator‘s branching out from their straightforward heavy rock vibes on the record, taking their sound to new places. It’s an intriguing and mesmerizing video much the same way the album itself piques interest in unexpected ways.

Mos Generator played this past weekend with former Euro-tourmates Saint Vitus and have more planned in the months to come to support the album, which was released April 15.

Until then, enjoy:

Mos Generator, “Electric Mountain Majesty” official Video

Washington state hard rock heroes MOS GENERATOR released their new LP Electric Mountain Majesty on April 15 via Listenable Records. Recorded at HeavyHead Recording Company by guitarist / vocalist and renowned engineer Tony Reed, Electric Mountain Majesty is the follow-up to MOS GENERATOR’s 2012 release Nomads and a record that has been hailed as a “heavy, doom-based take on rock and roll” for fans of High on Fire, COC and Down. Today, Guitar World premieres the new MOS GENERATOR music video — for the new album’s title track — calling the cut “fuzzy, heady, psychotropic hard rock” and advising music fans to “Break out your pipe and riff-rock slippers, things are about to get weird.”

“Electric Mountain Majesty’ is an attempt to fuse our live energy and our usual controlled studio sound into something that I think is a nice forward step in the Mos Generator sound,” says Reed. “We didn’t over think the writing and recording process and we let more of our unconventional influences creep into the songwriting. In both composition and recording technique, this is the most diverse Mos Generator album to date.”

Track Listing:
1.) Beyond the Whip
2.) Nothing Left but Night
3.) Enter the Fire
4.) Spectres
5.) Neon Nightmare
6.) Breaker
7.) Early Mourning
8.) Electric Mountain Majesty
9.) Black Magic Mirror
10.) Heavy Ritual

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records

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On Wax: Ancient Warlocks, Ancient Warlocks

Posted in On Wax on May 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If stoner rock was as uptight about authenticity as black metal, Ancient Warlocks might prove standard bearers for the “truest” form of the genre. The double-guitar Seattle foursome’s self-titled debut sold out its original pressing on Lay Bare Recordings, and my beloved Garden State’s own STB Records has stepped in to release another 300 copies. Of those, 75 are the “Die Hard Edition” with clear vinyl, gold inside and a “bone chip” splatter, another 100 come with the same kind of vinyl an an Obi strip with the Adam Burke warlock artwork that also appears vertically in the gatefold — fucking gorgeous — and the remaining 125 are the “Standard” edition has bone-colored vinyl with gold and black splatter. All come with a download. It’s a thing of beauty any way you want to go, and if you didn’t get the chance to check out Ancient WarlocksAncient Warlocks when it initially arrived, what makes for the first official US release is a perfect way to get caught up, the front and back cover art and the platter itself reversed in black and white from the European version.

The distinction is no less than the album deserves. Guitarists Darren Chase and Aaron Krause (the latter also vocals) don’t let you get one riff into opener “Into the Night” without laying out a fat, rolling, fuzzed-out groove, and that sets the course for the bulk of Ancient Warlocks‘ concise, well-constructed 34 minute runtime. Its eight songs divide evenly into side A and side B and sound like they were made to do so. “Into the Night” and the side B leadoff “Super Wizard” also served as the A and B sides for Ancient Warlocks‘ debut single (review here), so they’re leading with their most established jams and then expanding from there. Likewise, both “Lion Storm” on the first half and “White Dwarf” on the second make imperatives out of riffy nod, the latter pushed ahead at the album’s speediest clip by drummer Steve Jones, who also produced, and maintaining its thickness via Anthony “Oni” Timm‘s bass. Here and there they fluctuate in tempo or approach — third cut “Sweet’s too Slow” is almost singularly indebted to the 1998 Queens of the Stone Age self-titled debut — but the core of what Ancient Warlocks do is in unabashed construction of stoner rock. Its thick feel, weighted vibe and lyrics to songs like “Super Wizard” and the closer “Sorcerer’s Magician” hit every mark one might ask in an interpretation of the genre’s tenets.

Where Ancient Warlocks find their greatest success is in distinguishing themselves within that sphere. Their sound on their first full-length is the equivalent of showing up at Fort Knox, finding all the guards have gotten bored of the idea of gold and taking it all for themselves. In an age of specialization and per-band-subgenre intricacy, Ancient Warlocks do right by their material in keeping it simple, allowing the personality in Krause‘s vocals to flow through naturally without forcing something individualized to the sacrifice of memorable songs. “Cactus Wine” slows down classic Fu Manchu starts and stops in the verse and bridges a gap in its sway between that band and self-titled-era Clutch‘s storytelling, and by the time side A is done, Ancient Warlocks have well established themselves as expert practitioners of what, in an age of boozy, caricature masculinity, indie hype, pseudo-cult worship, etc., has become a lost art. Full fuzz alchemy. Yes, it absolutely has its moments of silliness — of course the “Super Wizard” is from outer space, duh — but the four-piece own those moments so completely and with such an utter lack of irony and pretense that the self-titled is all the more of a good time for their being there. Why wouldn’t “Killer’s Moon” boogie so hard? How could it not?

I had the fortune of seeing Ancient Warlocks in their hometown earlier this year (review here) and found them to be no less engaging on stage than on the record. No doubt they’ll grow and progress as a band with whatever they might take on next in following-up this album, but like the first Sasquatch record, or the first The Atomic Bitchwax, Ancient WarlocksAncient Warlocks hits all the right spots in just the right way to let you know these guys know what they’re doing and where they want to be sonically. With the added appeal of the STB version’s physical presentation — so far as I know there isn’t a CD version pressed to date — it’s a heavy rock record made to be enjoyed by those who share the band’s obvious love for riffs, heavy grooves, and fuzz you could get lost in for days. If you’d count yourself among that number, it’s one you won’t want to miss, and given how quickly the European pressing went without the band even setting foot on that continent, I wouldn’t expect these to last long either.

Ancient Warlocks, Ancient Warlocks (2013/2014)

Ancient Warlocks on Thee Facebooks

Ancient Warlocks on Bandcamp

STB Records store

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On Wax: Michael Wohl, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence 7″

Posted in On Wax on May 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though it comes with a download ticket to be redeemed at Knick Knack Records‘ webstore, Mystery Ship guitarist Michael Wohl‘s new single, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence, makes yet another compelling argument in the long settled debate of physical versus non-physical media. Once you’ve soaked in the early-20th-Century-looking fonts on the front and back covers, the prevailing impression the 7″ 45RPM two-songer makes is not of being a relic, but of being homemade. On the cover, you can feel the raised places where the ink of Adam Burke‘s art was screenprinted on, and while the recording itself is somewhat cleaner and less bedroom-folk than Wohl‘s Eight Pieces for Solo Guitar digital and tape release — having been recorded by Wohl and Gordon Raphael (Regina Spektor, The Strokes, Sky Cries Mary, etc.) — with a genuine sense of the room in which it was made or at very least the fancy-seeming microphone that picked up the resonance of Wohl‘s guitar, it also credits Jeff Powell of Memphis’ Ardent Studios for cutting the vinyl plate, so a human element is never far off.

Of course, with an approach so intimate, that most likely wouldn’t have been a concern anyway. Wohl sings in Mystery Ship as well, and listening to the original “Moonfeeder,” I can’t help but wonder when he might try his hand at troubadour-ing with his solo work as well, but thus far he’s resisted the temptation. Still, where Eight Pieces was a collection of experiments, these are well-conceived and plucked folk songs, the B-side derived on the fly with stated inspiration from Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Doc Watson. As he did last time out and as I hope he continues to do going forward, Wohl includes his own liner notes with the single, a brief notation on key — “Moonfeeder” is in D minor, “Song of Impermanence” in open D — and a little bit about each song. “Moonfeeder” is the shorter and more melancholic of the two, but even so, it retains some movement and an underlying sweetness of melody and rhythm, though while it starts out minimal and somewhat ominous, the bulk of the bounce arrives somewhere around the middle of “Song of Impermanence,” which begs for a soft blues delivery, sans feigned twang but given to storytelling.

Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence is a quick, picturesque release that does little to convey the stereotyped grit or rain-soaked depressiveness of Wohl‘s Seattle base of operation, but maybe escapism is part of the appeal in creating a work like this. If I have one regret as regards the single, it’s that there isn’t more to get lost in.

Michael Wohl, Moonfeeder b/w Song of Impermanence (2014)

Michael Wohl on Bandcamp

Knick Knack Records

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Wolves in the Throne Room to Release Celestite in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’m not entirely sure I follow Wolves in the Throne Room‘s logic in putting out a companion to 2011′s Celestial Lineage instead of a new album altogether, but if time has proven anything about the Washington-based post-black metallers it’s that they’re way more concerned with expressing themselves on their own terms than with expanding their fanbase. Now that they’re working through their own label, Artemesia Records, I wouldn’t be surprised if the forthcoming Celestite is just the first of many experimental outings to come. They have a dedicated, open-minded audience, and there’s nothing to stop them at this point from exploring whatever sonic avenues might catch their attention.

To wit, this from the PR wire:

Wolves In The Throne Room announce release date of Celestite, to be released on their new label imprint in July

Excitement has been stirring since Wolves In The Throne Room announced the unexpected release of Celestite, an instrumental, experimental companion record to 2011′s Celestial Lineage.

Celestite sees the band take a deeper excursion into the crystalline synthesizer-driven domains that have long intrigued them. With the aid of producer Randall Dunn, the band unearthed a hidden soundscape that is only loosely tethered to their familiar sound, yet is still unmistakably the work of Wolves in the Throne Room.

We are pleased to confirm the release date for Celestite as 7th July in the UK/Europe. The release of Celestite will be the first on the band’s new label, Artemisia Records, which will be their outlet for future recordings.

In the coming months we shall be revealing audio glimpses into this exciting new work, revealing more information about its creation and will of course, be giving you the opportunity to hear the album in its entirety.

Tracklisting:
1. Turning Ever Towards The Sun
2. Initiation at Neudeg Alm
3. Bridge of Leaves
4. Celestite Mirror
5. Sleeping Golden Storm

Since 2002, over the course of 4 studio albums and hundreds of live performances Wolves in the Throne Room have refracted the transcendent and mythic aspects of Black Metal through their own idiosyncratic Cascadian prism. The resulting essence is music that is intimately linked to the wild lands of the Pacific Northwest.

Their songs explore the hidden world of magic that one accesses through dreams, visions and music. As the mind altering pulse of the drums merges with seemingly infinite layers of guitar, an ocean-deep psychedelic soundscape coalesces. Time slows down, a portal opens and the blazing metal riffs collapse and shift into a dirge that invokes a misty other-world. In their songs, rain-drenched spectres loom at the edge of the wood. Ancient cedar beings stir beneath their wet moss robes.

In the Autumn of 2011, their work reached a new level of refinement with the release of Celestial Lineage. In contrast to the bleakly hypnotic architecture of 2008’s Black Cascade, or the more orthodox forms of Two Hunters and Diadem of 12 Stars (2006), Celestial Lineage moved into a more expansive and visionary territory.

US TOUR DATES
7/11 Olympia, WA – Capital Theatre Backstage
7/12 Bellingham, WA – Shakedown
7/13 Vancouver, BC – The Venue
7/14 Seattle, WA – Crocodile
7/15 Portland, OR – Star Theatre
7/16 – OFF
7/17 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
7/18 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
7/19 San Diego, CA – Che Café
7/20 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex

wittr.com
https://www.facebook.com/wolvesinthethroneroom

Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage (2011)

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Buzz Osborne Announces Solo Tour; This Machine Kills Artists out June 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

True to form of his main outfit, the Melvins, guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne has announced that he’ll be supporting his forthcoming solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists — out June 3 on Ipecac — with an extensive, 38-show coast-to-coast, north-south-and-in-between tour. It’s an intimidating list of gigs, and it starts out May 17 at the Scion Rock Fest before launching in full on June 10. If he’s not a singer-songwriter yet, chances are he will be by the time this run is finished.

I defer to the PR wire:

THE MELVINS’ BUZZ OSBORNE ANNOUNCES EXTENSIVE THIS MACHINE KILLS ARTISTS SUMMER TOUR

THIS MACHINE KILLS ARTISTS SET FOR JUNE 3 RELEASE

Melvins’ front man Buzz Osborne has confirmed a seven-week U.S. tour, which kicks off June 10 at The Casbah in San Diego.

Osborne previously announced the release of his first solo, acoustic release, This Machine Kills Artists, which is set for a June 3 release via Ipecac Recordings. Rolling Stone recently premiered the song “Dark Brown Teeth”, describing the track as “doomy, ill-angled” and with the “Beefheartian edge his band is renown for.”

Osborne will document the solo outing through an ongoing travelogue on Noisey.com.

May 17 Pomona, CA Scion Rock Fest

June 10 San Diego, CA The Casbah
June 11 Echo Park, CA The Echo
June 12 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
June 13 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
June 14 Sacramento, CA Assembly
June 15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
June 17 Eugene, OR Wow Hall
June 18 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
June 20 Seattle, WA Neumo’s
June 21 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown
June 22 Spokane, WA The Hop
June 23 Missoula, MT The Palace
June 24 Billings, MT The Railyard
June 26 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
June 27 Minneapolis, MN Grumpy’s
June 28 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
June 30 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme

July 1 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
July 2 Detroit, MI Small’s
July 3 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 6 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
July 7 Portland, ME Portland City Music Hall
July 10 Allston, MA Brighton Music Hall
July 12 Hamden, CT The Ballroom at The Outerspace
July 13 New York, NY Santos Party House
July 14 Brooklyn, NY The Wick
July 15 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
July 17 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
July 18 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
July 20 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
July 22 Atlanta, GA The Basement
July 23 Birmingham, AL The Bottle Tree
July 25 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
July 26 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
July 27 Austin, TX Red 7
July 28 Sam Antonio, TX Limelight
July 30 Tucson, AZ Club Congress
July 31 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s

Tickets will be available this Friday, April 4.

www.facebook.com/melvinsarmy
www.themelvins.net

Buzz Osborne, “Dark Brown Teeth”

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On Wax: Mystery Ship, Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown 7″

Posted in On Wax on March 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you’ve got a mind to dig it, Mystery Ship don’t skimp on the vibe. Their straightforwardly-titled EP II (review here) was an attention-getter last year, and though it comes accompanied by Adam Burke artwork of a much different style (that sleeve is white, despite any shadow in the picture), the new, subsequent Knick Knack Records 7″ single, Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown, follows suit in continuing the development of Mystery Ship‘s retro grooving. There’s an awful lot of heavy ’70s loyalist rock and roll out there, but an awful lot less of it comes from the States, and on “Bridgeburner” and “Chinatown” — both of which are denoted on back of the record sleeve as being the A side — the Seattle four-piece make a solid argument for American contribution to the form of classic heavy rock.

Unpretentious and unaggressive, but still weighted in tone and forceful in their push, their take isn’t wholly unlike that of like-minded East Coasters The Golden Grass, though Mystery Ship have an inherently bluesier style and get down with some post-Graveyard shuffle, particularly here on “Bridgeburner,” which sets out on a warm bassline from Alex Hagenah (also vocals) that sets an organic tone for the entrance of guitarist Josh Kupferschmid, lead guitarist/vocalist Michael Wohl and drummer Travis Curry, none of whom disrupt it. Like both songs are listed as the A side, both also start with some in-studio mention of whether or not the tape is rolling, so that live feel is no accident as “Bridgeburner” moves from its strong hook into a Wohl led break that’s somewhat airy despite the tension held in Curry‘s toms. A boogie good for the soul, and not the last they have to offer.

Hagenah and Wohl trade who takes the lead vocal on “Bridgeburner” and the more swing-heavy blues of “Chinatown,” but neither song is wholly one or the other up front, and that works to the benefit of both and the distinction of one from its flipside. “Chinatown” only feels like it’s missing snaps to be complete in an alternate-universe lounge kind of way, but it makes due with its classy-in-spite-of-itself feel and offers a chorus somewhat more in the pocket than that of “Bridgeburner,” but making sly use of clean tones in the verse only to feed to dirtier leads later on, of course bookending with a last refrain, delivered more fervently.

They’re in and out in under eight minutes — unless it takes you 10 to get up and flip the record — and since both “Bridgeburner” and “Chinatown” were recorded in Jan. 2013, they more or may not show where Mystery Ship are now, more than a year later, but the quality of the songwriting makes Bridgeburner b/w Chinatown a significant-enough stopgap that it’s worth digging into. I’ll be interested to hear how Mystery Ship‘s penchant for variety plays out over the course of a debut full-length, and just how bluesy they’ll go when given the opportunity to really meander. Could a 10-minute psych/blues freakout be in the works? Got my fingers crossed.

Mystery Ship, Bridgeburner / Chinatown (2014)

Mystery Ship on Thee Facebooks

Mystery Ship on Bandcamp

Knick Knack Records

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