Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Washington rock purveyors Mos Generator and Italian four-piece Isaak have set a Jan. 12, 2015, release date for a new split 12″. Heavy Psych Sounds will be handling the release. Earlier this year, the label got together Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes for a split that was promised as the first in a series, but I’m not sure if this is a continuation of that same idea — it’s half as many bands, for one thing — or a whole new deal. Either way, new Mos Generator and Isaak is nothing to complain about, however it might be positioned in the label’s catalog.
Mos Generator already have a couple recent releases under their collective belt, between their 2014 Listenable Records label debut, Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) and the self-released demo compilation Electric Nomads covering material from their last two full-lengths (review here). For Isaak, they’ve spent much of the year supporting their 2013 Small Stone release, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound, and they’ll hit the road in December once again, this time with copies of the new split in tow.
Some preliminaries on the pressing from Heavy Psych Sounds:
Mos Generator/Isaak Split Album is the new Heavy Psych Sounds Records release printed in Black Vinyl and 150 copies
LTD Red Splatter Black Vinyl Awesome Album Artwork by SoloMacello
release date 12/01/2015
We are proud and honored to announce our upcoming new split album with the amazing Mos Generator!
It will be released on a very limited edition 12″ vinyl by the great HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records on January 12, 2015 but you can grab a copy during our European Tour in December. Here you can find a sneakpeek of the stunning artwork made by our brother SoloMacello.
We really can’t wait to let you ear it, we’re sure you’re gonna dig it. SEE YOU SOON ON TOUR, STAY HEAVY! \M/
Posted in audiObelisk on October 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are three tracks included on He Whose Ox is Gored‘s forthcoming Rumors 7″ (out Oct. 28 on Bleeding Light Records), and of them, “Buried Twice” is the shortest at 2:45. I was given my choice of any of the three for streaming, and while normally my impulse in that kind of situation is to go with the longest cut possible — in this case that would be the B-side, “Rumors,” at 5:18 — for the Seattle four-piece, I think “Buried Twice” is a crisp summary of the intensity that’s so central to their sound and their ability to balance that with a still-focused songwriting that ignores neither structure nor atmosphere. In picking one of the three, “Buried Twice” couldn’t help but stand out for how well all that is crammed into less than three minutes and how memorable the song is for passing in what’s essentially a flash.
Comprised of Lisa Mungo on synths/vocals guitarist/vocalist Brian McClelland, bassist/vocalist Mike Sparks and drummer John O’Connell, the band released their Nightshade EP earlier this year — it was also compiled with 2010’s OP AMPS II: Into the Ether on a tape by Breathe Plastic Records — as the latest in a slew of short releases, and their drive toward efficiency is no less prevalent on Rumors. With Mungo out front on vocals, they run a line of melody through what in other contexts would be fuzzed-out noise rock, but the emphasis there should be on “run.” “Void Assault,” “Buried Twice” and “Rumors” keep a steady sense of movement through them, not only making the material exciting, but giving it a sense of unpredictability as well. “Buried Twice” might catch you off guard, but let it. That only makes the effect more satisfying.
Five-hundred copies of the vinyl will be pressed by Bleeding Light. The band have a bunch of West Coast dates lined up starting right after the release, and you’ll find them after the player below, along with some more info from the PR wire:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
HE WHOSE OX IS GORED and Bleeding Light Records have joined forces to release the Seattle doom alchemists’ upcoming new 7″. Entitled Rumors, the three-song EP will see a digital release October 28, 2014, with a limited 500-strong vinyl pressing to follow. HWOIG have built a dedicated fanbase through DIY acumen and the irresistible pull of their heavy, fuzz-drenched, progressive-minded and thoroughly intriguing take on proggy rockin’ doom, all bolstered by Lisa Mungo’s powerful, windswept pipes.
The band will be hitting the road immediately after, tooling down the West Coast. They’ll arrive back home in Seattle at the Sunset Tavern on 11/16 to end it all in blaze of glory and prepare their imminent full-length for eventual release. There’s no rest for the wicked…
HE WHOSE OX IS GORED WEST COAST TOUR 10/30 Portland, OR @ Club 21 w/ Sioux & Towers 10/31 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite Lounge w/ Eyehategod, Today is the Day, Power Trip, Iron Reagan & Plague Widow 11/1 Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull w/ Dimesland, Cormorant & Barren Altar 11/2 LA, CA @ Complex w/ QunQ, Facial & Half Goon 11/3 Las Vegas, NV @ The Dive w/ Uzala & Demon Lung 11/4 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room w/ Uzala, Cardinal Wyrm & Sorxe 11/5 Tucson, AZ @ Flycatcher 11/6 San Diego, CA @ Merrow w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast 11/7 Lancaster, CA @ Lancaster Moose Lodge w/ Child Brides, Sona, Litaoa & Cactus 1994 11/8 San Francisco, CA @ El Rio w/ Worship 11/9 Reno, NV @ Holland Project w/ Sisters Doom 11/16 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Posted in Radio on October 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Yeah, it’s been a couple weeks since I added records to The Obelisk Radio playlist, mostly because these posts are a pain to set up, but once again, I’ve been keeping track of stuff to go up and this time around we’ve got 24 new albums joining the ranks. Some of it is stuff recently covered — 35007, Ice Dragon, Truckfighters — and some has yet to be — Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork — but as ever, it’s a lot of good stuff, so if you get the chance to hit up the playlist and updates page, you should find plenty there for your perusal, in addition to the running tab of the playlist, which from where I sit puts the whole stream in a different league of enjoyable. Hope you agree.
A lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for Oct. 3, 2014:
The Melvins, Hold it In
Sometimes I have to wonder how it is that for a band who are so off the wall and experimental one can still basically approach any Melvins record no matter who’s involved in making it and have a decent idea of what to expect. Yeah, guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo and drummer Dale Crover have hooked up with JD Pinkus and Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, and yeah, “You Can Make Me Wait” sounds like it would play over alternate universe credits to The Breakfast Club, but a lot of Hold it In (released by Ipecac) — “Bride of Crankenstein,” “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad,” “Sesame Street Meat,” “Nine Yards” — is pretty much in the Melvins wheelhouse. It’s in moments like the jangly “Eyes on You,” trucker rocking “Piss Pisstoferson,” spacious seven-minute jammer “The Bunk Up” and sprawling noise finish “House of Gasoline” that Hold it In really distinguishes itself, but there are stretches even in those where the Melvins just continue to sound like the Melvins. I know they’ve got a fanbase that will eagerly snap up everything they do, and after 30 years of busting their collective ass on tour and in the studio without major commercial success, I’ll far from begrudge them their following, it just seems like for as much praise is heaped in the direction of every new Melvins release, there’s not nearly as much genuinely new ground being broken as time goes on and that even the gleefully weird territory Hold it In covers is starting to feel an awful lot like a comfort zone. The Melvins on Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.
Slow Season, Mountain
Whichever of Cali four-piece Slow Season‘s parents introduced them to Led Zeppelin, thanks. The Visalia outfit will release their second album, Mountains, this November on RidingEasy Records, following-up a 2012 self-titled, and by way of advance notice, the thing’s a ripper, echoing out Plant-style vocals and Bonham stomp with an underlying skater-rock groove that fits well with the label’s output in bands like The Well, Electric Citizen, and so on. Of course, there’s more than thatat play — second cut “Synanon” reminds of some of The Flying Eyes‘ heavy psych rollout — but from the oohing and ahhing that cap “Damo’s Days” to the bombast that comes to the fore in “Wasted Years,” Zeppelin are a central influence, bolstered throughout by touches of early Soundgarden and forays into mega-swagger for “King City” and acoustic psychedelia in “Apparition.” Mountains‘ bread and butter, though, is the meaty riffer fare of “Shake” and closer “The Defector,” the sheer arrogance of which impresses, let alone the fluidity of the riff or the obvious aesthetic drive of the production. Slow Season on Thee Facebooks, RidingEasy Records.
Beak, Let Time Begin
Not to be confused with Beak>, who are a different band entirely, post-metal four-piece Beak are based in Chicago and Let Time Begin (released by Someoddpilot Records) is their chugging, growling, atmospherically ranging debut full-length. Chicago has proven a hotbed for the genre, and Beak seem well aware of the tenets, trading off crushing riffs for atmospheric post-rock airiness, the lineup of Chris Eichenseer, Jason Goldberg, Andy Bosnak and Jon Slusher taking an Isis influence to unexpected synthy weirdness on “The Breath of Universe” — a vocoder early bringing to mind some of Cynic‘s post-reunion proggism — after the lumbering of “Light Outside.” Longer songs like “Into the Light” and “Carry a Fire” flow well, incorporating some blackened guitar squibblies and echoing screams between them, and the penultimate “Over the Shelter, the Morning” moves from abrasive feedback to contemplative ambience ahead of “Fiery They Rose,” which meters out weighty pummel but ultimately caps Let Time Begin on a subdued note that’s both satisfying and emblematic of a burgeoning will toward individuality. Beak on Thee Facebooks, Someoddpilot Records.
GravelRoad, El Scuerpo
Seattle blues rockers GravelRoad get the vibe just right on “Waiting for Nothing,” which opens their fifth album, El Scuerpo (Knick Knack Records), rocking out quiet, unpostured blues to lead the way into the record’s varied takes, from the boogie-woogie shuffle of “40 Miles” to the psychedelic fluidity of “Green Grass,” straight-up heavy rock of “DD Amin,” languid roll of “Asteroid” and upbeat finish of “Flesh and Bone,” which is among the happiest songs I’ve ever heard about cannibalism. My chief issue with some of their past work has been a tendency toward disjointedness and a modern blues production style that hones in on clarity and the brightness of the guitar and gives up some of the malevolence of the low end — something more related to my own perspective listening than the actual mission of the band — but El Scuerpo flows well and a mix by Jack “Yes, That Jack Endino” Endino treats eight-minute heavy jam rocker “Asteroid” with its due reverence, and the more I hear it, the more I want to hear it. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks, Knick Knack Records.
Lords of Beacon House, Lords of Beacon House
Los Angeles heavy rockers Lords of Beacon House serve notice of their arrival this fall via a three-song EP on Homhomhom that takes loose, Graveyard-style ’70s worship and adds a touch of Western flair in the snare march of “Seven Days” and Sabbathian string pull on “Cool Water Blues.” The EP (they call it an album, it’s really more of a demo, but whatever you want to call it) runs shortest to longest, and opener “Distant Thunder” is the most straightforward of the bunch accordingly, but even in its 8-track chug, Lords of Beacon House showcase natural tones and a penchant for writing strong hooks that continues right through until the last repeat of the line “I asked for water/She gave me gasoline” in “Cool Water Blues,” which rounds out with familiar if welcome nod. They’re a new band and so far as I can tell, this self-titled is the first audio they’ve made public, but they seem to have a handle on what they want to do, and that’s never a bad place to start working from. More to come, I’m sure, and thanks to Bill Goodman for steering me their way. Lords of Beacon House on Thee Facebooks, Homhomhom.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well, we knew Brothers of the Sonic Cloth were going to end up somewhere. The Tad Doyle-fronted trio had finished mixing their album back in June and their long-awaited debut long-player was closer than ever, but as I understood it, part of the delay in actually getting the record out stemmed from finding a label through which to release it. Neurot handling the release goes in the if-you-gave-me-three-guesses-I’d-have-probably-gotten-it file, but that doesn’t make the news any more welcome, particularly since it means we’re actually that much closer to hearing the record.
That album, incidentally, is set for an early 2015 release. Not sure about the exact date, but the label makes it official below with some comment from Steve Von Till:
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Sign to Neurot Recordings and Plan Long-Awaited Debut Full Length Release in Early Spring 2015
Keeping up a long-held tradition of bringing forth some of the heaviest music from the darkness of the Pacific NW, Seattle’s Tad Doyle (formerly of TAD, Hog Molly), delivers his strongest songwriting and playing with his newest band Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. This powerful trio of musicians, with Tad on guitar/vocals, veteran bass player Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French (The Annunaki) shall release their long-awaited debut LP in early 2015 on Neurot Recordings. Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth bring together the collective and extensive rock histories and the experience of the three members in the worlds of punk, hard rock and metal.
Steve Von Till says of the signing: “All of us at Neurot Recordings are so incredibly fired up about having the opportunity to be a part of this release. For me personally, Tad has been responsible for some of my favorite guitar driven noise of our generation not to mention the fact that it is an absolute pleasure to be working together with such great human beings. Witness the return of Tad with Brothers of the Sonic Cloth! “
We shall be revealing more album details over the coming months, as well as audio samples from the album. Stay tuned for more news soon…
Posted in On Wax on September 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are a couple lessons to be learned from Electric Nomads, the first arrival in Mos Generator‘s “Heavy Home Grown” series of DIY releases. First, swirl wax is pretty. This is something we already knew, but it comes into relief even more with Electric Nomads since, but for a sticker on the front, liner notes sheet inside (click here to see it) and a handwritten tracklist on back with the numbering — I got #14 out of the 100 pressed — autographs from Tony Reed (guitar/vocals), Scooter Haslip (bass) and Shawn Johnson (drums) and a handwritten ‘A’ on the label of the vinyl itself to show which is the first side, there’s no cover to stare at. Second, even Mos Generator‘s demos are impeccably produced. Hell, Reed even double-tracks his vocals on some of these songs. For a demo! I guess it’s handy when your guitar player is also an accomplished engineer, but still, if you’re thinking the long-running Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock trio were going to just cobble together a bunch of rehearsal tapes recorded on somebody’s iPhone, that’s not what Electric Nomads is all about. Culling together songs from Mos Generator‘s last two albums, this year’s Listenable Records debut, Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) and 2012’s return from hiatus, Nomads (review here) — you can see where the title comes from — Electric Nomads presents followers of the band with a look at their material in progress, but still basically brings finished versions of the songs. “Enter the Fire” from the latest record isn’t as elaborate melodically as the album track, and “Beyond the Whip,” which appears here at the end of side A, is one of several songs that feels faster than its album counterpart. They cap side B with a raucous jam, and there are some flourishes of psychedelia in the soloing that got stripped down by the time Reed recorded them for real, but structurally and in the clarity of their sound, a lot of what you get on Electric Nomads is finished work.
I suspect that has to do with the band’s writing process, and that by the time they’re ready to do pre-production for a studio offering, they’ve already worked out the kinks in a song like “Cosmic Ark.” That track opened Nomads, essentially announcing Mos Generator‘s resurgence from several years away while Reed worked with his Stone Axe and HeavyPink projects (the latter released on The Maple Forum), and it opens Electric Nomads as well — some psychedelic keyboard accompanying the guitar solo — starting a mirror version of the salvo that began Nomads itself: “Cosmic Ark” into “Lonely One Kenobi” into “Torches.” Three immediate, irresistible hooks put next to each other for maximum immersion. It worked well on Nomads and works well here. The break into sides isn’t clean in terms of Nomads on one side Electric Mountain Majesty on the other, but after the first three and “For Your Blood” from the earlier record, “Enter the Fire” and “Beyond the Whip” move into the later album material, which continues on side B with “Breaker,” “Spectres” and “Early Mourning,” which feeds directly into the concluding jam, aptly titled “Jam.” Reed harmonizes on the chorus of “For Your Blood” much like the finished version, and the classic metal boogie was apparently there early on as well, and I could be wrong, but the demo seems a little more uptempo even than the final was. Mos Gen are no strangers thrashing out when they want to, and they show that here, but the point is there are subtle differences on Electric Nomads in these songs, and for fans of the band — a category in which I’m glad to count myself — it’s an interesting piece to get a sense of how these tracks were built. They must have been tempted to keep Haslip‘s bass recording on “Enter the Fire” from this demo, and I wouldn’t argue with them if they had. Kind of funny to think that without this release, these recordings, into which clear effort was put and which sound crisp and clean and professional, would just be sitting around, probably on some hard drive in a closet at Reed‘s Heavy Head studio. Wild.
“Beyond the Whip” digs into speed-boogie and over on side B, “Breaker” picks up the theme and runs with it. Mos Generator‘s propensity for catchy songwriting is certainly on display, but perhaps the most closest look at that comes with “Jam,” which hints at the process of creation from which cuts like “Breaker” and “Torches” emerge, the three players all locked in and moving through different parts, seeing what works, what doesn’t, what to keep, what not. I would not at all doubt Reed has an archive of such excursions, but “Jam” represents its ilk well, his own solo a ripper coming off of “Early Mourning” as Johnson and Haslip hold the rhythm. Particularly after “Breaker” and “Early Mourning” — some of Electric Mountain Majesty‘s moodier lyrics — the rawer glimpse at Mos Generator‘s process is welcome, though “Spectres” might be my pick for highlight of the release. The Electric Mountain Majesty cut slowed down some of the rush on that record, and on Electric Nomads, it sits well between “Breaker” and “Early Mourning,” Reed announcing “solo” where one isn’t written yet and dropping out to let Haslip‘s bass cover that spot for a few measures. Many of these songs start out with an off-mic “we’re rolling,” or some other announcement that the recording has started — “Enter the Fire” has a few electronic beeps — but they’ve also been mixed, additional vocals layered in during their making, and mastered for this vinyl release — “Early Mourning” is an “oof” of a fuzz punch to the gut but it’s especially interesting to have “Jam” take off from it and close out. That’s about as raw as Mos Generator get on Electric Nomads, and it seems to be speaking to more nascent material, whereas by the time they recorded these versions of much of the rest of these songs, they were already solidified. I’d be interested to hear the missing link between the two — what comes in the middle with the trio screwing around on one side and a finished song on the other — but it might just be parts hammered out, and while an interesting academic piece, that rarely makes for fun listening. Electric Nomads, on the other hand, doesn’t need me to sell it to Mos Generator fans. The band’s reputation for delivering quality product is well established by now, and as they continue down the road with the “Heavy Home Grown” series, I’ll look forward to seeing just how deep into the vaults they go.
Posted in Reviews on September 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
The headline for Earth‘s 10th album, Primitive and Deadly, will always be that it was the one where they brought back vocals. It’s inevitable. That was the story of the record even before anyone heard it. And not even just that there were vocals at all — Earth‘s last with them was 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons – but that they were bringing in guests to perform: Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and The Mark Lanegan Band fame and Rabi Shabeen Qazi of psych rockers Rose Windows. This turnabout in methodology is made much more than novelty by the execution of the songs themselves, but even if one hasn’t heard them, interest is bound to be piqued. In fact, there’s much more to Primitive and Deadly (released, as ever, by Southern Lord) than the human voice. While sections of it are flat-out beautiful in their lush, tonally rich sprawl, guitarist/founder Dylan Carlson leading the way through the six tracks with his trademark slow rolling drone rock riffs as bassist Bill Herzog rumbles in time to Adrienne Davies‘ drums, it’s also Earth‘s heaviest offering in over 15 years and certainly since they made their return with 2005’s landmark Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method. That record has been the foundation point for their progression throughout the last decade, subsequent outings like 2008’s The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, 2010’s reinterpretation of their earliest work, A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction (review here), and the 2011/2012 improv two-parter, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (review here) and II (review here), and on a certain level it is for Primitive and Deadly as well, but as the title seems to hint, there’s a wiping-the-slate happening across these six extended tracks/49 minutes that leans back to something rudimentary in Earth‘s sound. That’s not to say the album lacks ambience, just that the ambience feels like it’s punching you in the face — relatively speaking.
That’s true immediately on opener “Torn by the Fox of the Crescent Moon,” which crashes into its chugging central riff with a jarring immediacy. Primitive and Deadly is clearly structured for a 2LP, with two shorter songs on sides A and C and one longer song on sides B and D, but anywhere you go and from whatever angle you might want to approach it, the sound is much bigger than one might be used to from Earth. Herzog is a deep-toned bassist and the production — the album was recorded at various points with Mathias Schneeberger, Dave Catching (who assisted) and Randall Dunn (who also mixed and contributed Moog) — brings out a rawness in their sound that their most recent output seems to have pulled away from. If these songs are Earth hitting reset, they’re not by any means forgetting the lessons they’ve learned over the last 10 years, and their sound is as evocative and atmospheric as ever, even if given a more pointed direction with the inclusion of vocals, the first of which arrive from Lanegan on the revivalist themed “There is a Serpent Coming.” His gravelly voice is perfect for Pentecostal forebodings, and there are a couple awkward syllabic turns, but there’s no denying the pairing works. Lanegan is given two songs, side A’s “There is a Serpent Coming” and side C’s “Rooks across the Gate,” which as tracks two and five lead the way into and out of the meat of the album, and Qazi is given one, side B’s 11-minute “From the Zodiacal Light,” but it’s her cut that turns out to be the highlight of both the vocalized half (cleverly spread out through the tracklisting) and of Primitive and Deadly as a whole. Her voice fits the material more smoothly, and she rides the groove of the song — as quintessential Earth as Earth get — in such a way that as the listener, being carried along by it is inevitable. That’s not to mention the resonance of Qazi‘s voice itself, somewhere between breathy and masterful. Hers is the prevailing impression of the album, and she reminds us that the only element missing from Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light – which Carlson positioned as Earth‘s homage to classic psych-folk — was the human otherworldliness.
Late in “From the Zodiacal Light,” Carlson swirls out a psychedelic lead that presages some of what’s to come with side C’s “Even Hell Has its Heroes,” a slightly more gradual start to the second LP’s opener than appeared on the first. Two guest guitarists appear on Primitive and Deadly, Brett Netson and Jodie Cox. I don’t know which of them it might be having a blues jam over the 9:43 “Even Hell Has its Heroes,” and frankly, if you told me it was both I’d probably believe you as there are a number of different tones layered in particularly as the song approaches its midsection, but it’s as close to classic heavy rock as Earth has ever come. The slow progression maintained by Davies, Herzog and Carlson might be a dirge were it not for the extra guitar — a languid march is punctuated by well-mixed bell hits — but as it stands, “Even Hell Has its Heroes” is more glorious than mournful. It is complemented on side C by Lanegan‘s second appearance, “Rooks across the Gates,” a more subdued roller on which he offers a traditional sort of ballad storytelling amid rising tides of guitar and the steady rhythm. He appears for two verses to recount the tale and is gone again, an echo disappearing into a singularly hypnotic moment in the second half with undulating waves of amp noise rumbling out the conclusion on a fade. It seems by the time they get there that there can’t possibly be much for closer “Badgers Bane” to say that Earth haven’t already expressed at one point or another, but in addition to complementing “From the Zodiacal Light” on guitar, the closer also seems to be most tying Primitive and Deadly to Earth‘s modus of this past, productive decade, unfurling its 12:28 runtime patiently as always and continuing to find room to experiment as a long fadeout past the four-minute mark leads to an ambient midsection of vague echoes grounded only by Davies‘ drum march until the song eventually makes a return, shortly after seven minutes in, and carries through past the nine-minute mark, at which point the final chord is sustained into a section of noise and straight droning that closes out. In the final minutes, Earth demonstrate that not only are they willing at this point to most directly engage with their audience — i.e. by adding vocals — but also to continue to push their material well beyond the point of accessibility. It’s ultimately the blend of both that makes “Badgers Bane” such a fitting wrap for Primitive and Deadly, since it underscores the unceasing creative impulse at the heart of what Earth has done. Their influence has spread far and wide from their Seattle roots, but Earth have never stopped progressing or pushing themselves, and even more than who’s singing on what tracks, that’s what stands out about their 10th full-length.
Posted in Features on August 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Right now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait, what? These people are going to be on Earth‘s next record?” I don’t know. I doubt it. This is a wishlist. It goes like this:
Earth release their new album, Primitive and Deadly, Sept. 2 on Southern Lord Recordings (preorders are here). I’ll have a review up in the next week or two, but if you’ve ever listened to the massively-influential Seattle mainstays, you know they’ve been instrumental for the bulk of their run to date. For the first time, the new album brings in guest vocalists — the venerable Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees, etc.) and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) — on a few choice selections. The results, as you’d expect and as you’ve probably heard by now, are stellar.
I had the record on just now and was daydreaming about what a new avenue Earth – founding guitarist Dylan Carlson, longtime drummer Adrienne Davies and bassist Bill Herzog – have opened for themselves. Of course, if time has proved anything, it’s that Earth work best following their own creative whims and drives, but it wasn’t long before I had a handful of voices I thought would work really well if they wanted to continue pursuing a partially vocalized approach.
Should you have a name to add, please feel free to leave a comment. Here’s who I came up with:
1. Ann Wilson
Okay, so maybe I’m breaking out the big guns right way, but how badass would Ann Fucking Wilson sound on an Earth track? Then and now, her voice is so powerful, moving and I just think she’d nail any part given to her and bring the spaciousness in Earth‘s signature drone-rock approach to an operatic level. I know she’s done most of her work in more traditional structures — Heart could be pretty out there, but still — but you can’t tell me she wouldn’t absolutely kill it in collaboration with her fellow Seattle-ites. Plus you might convince her to break out some flute, and that’s a bonus.
2. Marianne Faithfull
I admit this one’s kind of a reach, but one-time Rolling Stones collaborator Marianne Faithfull shares one thing in common with Earth‘s sound, and it’s a lasting resonance. Faithfull‘s voice can be so uplifting or so, so sad, and either side that she brought to Earth, it would work. It really would. It sounds really crazy, but I’m telling you straight up, it would absolutely work and be amazing, and you’d call me up or text me or whatever and like, “Dude, you were right, this is killer,” and then we’d get together and high-five about it, which would also be awesome.
3. Mark Lanegan
But wait, doesn’t Mark Lanegan already sing on Primitive and Deadly? Yeah, he does. It’s fucking great. They should do it again sometime.
4. Sera Timms
The former Black Math Horseman and current Ides of Gemini vocalist seems to carry an ethereal sensibility with her wherever she goes. Certainly that was the case on Field of the Host (review here), the 2013 debut outing from her solo-project Black Mare, and I’d say it holds up on Ides of Gemini‘s new one, Old World/New Wave (review here) as well. Timms does a lot of fascinating work with echoing effects and layering, and has a lot of experience in open structures and droning sounds, so even aside from the otherworldly folkishness of her approach, she seems like a natural fit.
5. Dylan Carlson
Stay with me on this. Yeah, he sang on 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons, but after almost 20 years of going the other way, Earth have switched it up and decided to incorporate singers. As the founder of the band, doesn’t Dylan Carlson deserve a say? I think he’s more than earned it, and I don’t even care if he doesn’t want to sing. Let him do a spoken word retelling of his grocery list, it doesn’t matter. It just seems to me that if this is something Earth are going to pursue for any amount of time going forward, it’s as worthwhile for them to look inward as outward in challenging themselves.
Earth‘s Primitive and Deadlyis out Sept. 2 on Southern Lord, and they’ll begin a US tour with King Dude two days later (dates here). More info at the links.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
And in other news, the Melvins continue to release Melvins albums. But wait, there’s a twist! They’ve traded out the Big Business cats for Paul Leary and JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers (the latter also of Honky), dropping from two drummers to one — no problem there, Dale Crover can hold his own — but going to two, maybe three, guitars along the way. Oh, those wacky Melvins. You never know quite what’s coming next. It’s a wonder they manage to so consistently sound like the Melvins.
Buzz Osborne is currently on tour supporting his 2014 solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists(review here), but it’s never long before the next Melvins whathaveyou is on the way, and Hold it Inis set for an October release through Ipecac. Of course, the PR wire has tour dates corresponding as well.
Here they go:
THE MELVINS RELEASE HOLD IT IN ON OCT. 14 VIA IPECAC RECORDINGS
U.S. TOUR KICKS OFF OCT. 15
The Melvins return with Hold It In, their first studio album as a quartet since 2010’s The Bride Screams Murder, on Oct. 14.
Joining Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover for the 12-song outing are Butthole Surfers’ guitar player Paul Leary and bass player JD Pinkus. Hold It In was recorded in both Los Angeles and Austin earlier this year.
“Hold It In is a refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of fact and bullsh*t,” said Osborne. “Paul is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard and Pinkus has an outside the box type of approach to both guitar and bass that you just have to let it ride. I can’t believe this actually happened. I’m thrilled.”
“It’s very rare you get a chance to work with three folks from the ‘Break A Wish’ foundation, all at the same time,” said Pinkus. “I believe they’ll remember their experience with me forever (or until they finally all lose their fight with S.I.D.S).”
The Melvins kick off a round of U.S. tour dates on Oct. 15 in Sacramento at Assembly, which also includes a performance at this year’s Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. Osborne, Crover and Pinkus will be the touring roster for this run of dates.
Tour dates: October 15 Sacramento, CA Assembly October 17 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo House of Music October 18 Seattle, WA The Showbox October 19 Portland, OR Roseland Theater October 21 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall October 22 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brewing October 23 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour October 24 San Diego, CA The Casbah October 25 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom October 26 Albuquerque, NM The Launchpad October 28 Dallas, TX Trees October 29 Austin, TX Mohawk October 30 Houston, TX Warehouse Live – Studio October 31 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Fest November 1 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall November 2 Gainesville, FL The Wooly November 3 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit’s November 4 Orlando, FL The Social November 5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room November 6 Tampa, FL Orpheum Theater November 8 Atlanta, GA The Loft at Center Stage November 9 Birmingham, AL Zydeco
Tickets are on sale this Friday, Aug. 1 at 10 am local time.
Osborne is currently touring in support of his debut acoustic album, This Machine Kills Artists, performing shows this week in Tucson (July 30 at Club Congress) and Palm Springs (July 31 at Pappy & Harriet’s) before heading to Australia and Europe for an additional six weeks of dates. Crover temporarily joins OFF! for the band’s August tour.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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:
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
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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:
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
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I think we’re still a ways off from getting a release date for the long-awaited debut from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, but that the mix has been finalized and the album has entered the mastering stage is news of progress, and I’ll take what I can get. The Tad Doyle-fronted outfit released their demo (review here) and a split with Mico de Noche (review here) in 2009, which just to save you the math, was five years ago.
So yeah, this one’s been a while in the making, though Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (who are also my most comfortable t-shirt) have been playing shows most of that time and Doyle has also recorded other bands at his Studio Witch Ape, including the Lumbar project, in which he also took part with Aaron Edge and YOB‘s Mike Scheidt. Better delayed than never, and I have the feeling once the record — which was recorded by Billy Anderson – arrives, I won’t give a shit how long it’s been since the demo came out.
Still, the sooner the better. Their update:
Recording update: We have the final mixes for the record and we are extremely satisfied with the Billy Anderson mix treatments that we did at Everything Hz. Nine songs have been mixed.
Billy has been a excellent to work with and has added dimensions and sonic depths that only he could have brought to these songs. When a band talks about having a fourth member, (a mix engineer/recording engineer/soundman) that have contributed to the music in such a way that it brings out things in the mix and out of the songs that is greater than the sum of it’s parts, we know what that means.
We will be working with Billy in the future for our next recording. In the meantime, we can’t wait to find a home for these songs with a record label that understands us and is willing to back us to get this music to the people. Next up is analog mastering with Justin Weis at Trakworx!
Posted in Reviews on June 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
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 Hexalbum. 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, Goldtaps into some of the similar big sky, wide-angle Americana that Hexdid, 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 Goldfrom 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 Goldwithout 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 Goldhas a lonesome sound and that’s clearly the intent from the beginning.
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:
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 JonUnruh‘sdouble-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.
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 Lineagein “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 Warfull-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 vocalistJonah 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.