Wasted Theory Sign to Argonauta Records; Defenders of the Riff to See Reissue

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

When Wasted Theory released their second album, Defenders of the Riff (review here), last year through NoSlip Records, it was abundantly clear they were taking their game to a new level. Likewise when the Delaware-based, Southern-style — and yes, by that I mean covered in sausage gravy — heavy rockers announced this past Spring they’d take to the road over the course of shows in April, May and June to support it. It’s been a willfully-directed upward trajectory for them really since they self-released Death and Taxes (review here) in 2014, and crucially, that has extended to developing their approach to songwriting as well as how many ears their material has hit.

Today, the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Larry Jackson, Jr., recently-added guitarist Andrew Petkovic, bassist Rob Michael and drummer Brendan Burns announce they’ve signed to Argonauta Records. The deal makes them labelmates to the varied likes of Shabda, Mangog, Dee Calhoun of Iron Man, Hollow Leg, Cities of Mars and many others, and their first offering through the Italian imprint will be a deluxe reissue of Defenders of the Riff featuring two bonus tracks that’s set to come out this Fall — perhaps right around the time they’ll be in Pittsburgh for a slot at the inaugural Descendants of Crom fest (info here).

Consider it another in a series of “next steps” for Wasted Theory, and not a little one. Much as they’ve staked out their sonic territory over the last few years, they’ve now found a place for themselves in an outlet likewise committed to forward growth. It’s a great pairing, and as always, good-band-gets-signed warms the heart as not many kinds of stories can. Cheers to Wasted Theory and to Argonauta on the alliance.

Here’s the official announcement:

wasted theory

US Heavy Rockers WASTED THEORY signed to ARGONAUTA Records

ARGONAUTA Records is psyched to announce to have inked a deal with U.S. Heavy Rockers WASTED THEORY for the re-release of their highly acclaimed album “Defenders of the Riff”.

Wasted Theory was born in July 2012, and raised in the Northern Mid-Atlantic salt air states of Delaware and Maryland. Fronted by Larry Jackson, Jr. on vocals and lead guitar, Brendan Burns on drums, bassist Rob Michael, and newcomer rhythm guitarist Andrew Petkovic, this heavy rock outfit conjures inspiration from several of the most hard hitting, dirty blue collar, beefed up rock n’ roll acts of the past 40 years. With influences like Artimus Pyledriver, Orange Goblin, Corrosion of Conformity and Nazareth, the result is a guaranteed truck-ton of boot stomping heavy music.

“We are totally stoked to work with Argonauta Records on the re-release of ‘Defenders of the Riff’.” The band says. “This album opened many doors for us in regards of new fans, new opportunities and seeing new faces at our shows, so getting the chance to breathe new life into it again means a lot to us. We’re looking forward to adding the new bonus tracks on it as well to make it a cool little collectors piece for our diehard fans. We’re very much looking forward to seeing where this collaboration takes us! Cheers!”

WASTED THEORY “Defenders of the Riff – 2017 Edition” will feature two bonus tracks previously unreleased and will be available via ARGONAUTA Records later this year. More details to follow soon.

Wasted Theory live:
Sep 30 Descendants of Crom Fest Cattivo Pittsburgh, PA
Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/371830073185249/

http://www.facebook.com/WastedTheoryBand
https://twitter.com/wastedtheory
https://www.instagram.com/wastedtheory/
https://wastedtheory.bandcamp.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/ArgonautaRex

Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff (2016)

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Wasted Theory Announce ‘Defenders of the Riff’ Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wasted theory

Delaware heavy rockers Wasted Theory are going for it, and it’s awesome to see. The Band from a Town Called Bear have lined up their longest stretch of tour dates yet as they seek to support their 2016 NoSlip Records-issued second album, Defenders of the Riff (review here), and the shows they’re playing as they do so are awesome. From May 5 through May 20, they’ll be in the road headed into the Midwest with a healthy focus on Texas, sharing the stage with Zed, Wo Fat, Freedom Hawk, Youngblood Supercult, Irata and a slew of others who seem to be drawn from the ‘bands who are awesome’ file, but even the shows they have in April and June on either side of the actual tour rule. Hooking up with Kingsnake, Solace and Backwoods Payback in Atlantic City? Damn that’s a good show. Foghound, Weed is Weed and King Giant in Maryland? Pretty much a festival.

Not that Wasted Theory need kudos from the likes of me, but, well, kudos and best wishes to them as they hit the road. The opening track from Defenders of the Riff, “Get Loud or Get Fucked,” put it all on the line, and it seems the band are working to live up to that ethic. Right on.

Dates and the announcement came off the PR wire:

WASTED THEORY ANNOUNCES U.S. SPRING TOUR DATES

DEFENDERS OF THE RIFF TOUR 2017

American Weed Rockers Wasted Theory are about to hit the road and have announced a North American tour for the Spring of 2017, with several heavy rock masters in alliance such as Wo Fat, Freedom Hawk, and ZED for select dates, as well as local support acts. In promotion of their second full length album Defenders Of The Riff (released 10/2016 on No Slip Records), Wasted Theory’s tour kicks off on April 14th in Wilmington, DE at the Oddity Bar.

Playing select dates from April to June, they’ll trek through 14 states, from Texas to Michigan, coming back around to the current final date in the federal capital Washington, DC on June 10th.

In addition, Wasted Theory recently world-premiered via Facebook their first video from the ‘Defenders of the Riff’ album, for the song “Black Witch Blues”. Self-produced and even filmed by the band themselves, it was shot entirely on an iPhone and created for less than 20 bucks. If you dig dirty rock n’ roll, bikers, black magic, and devil women then you’ll dig this.

WASTED THEORY LIVE:
4/14 WILMINGTON, DE ODDITY BAR (w/Kingsnake, Backwoods Payback, 91’s)
4/15 ATLANTIC CITY, NJ BONEYARD BAR (w/Kingsnake, Solace, Backwoods Payback)
5/5 BALTIMORE, MD THE DEPOT (w/Foghound, Serpents Of Secrecy, Horseburner, King Giant)
5/6 RICHMOND, VA WONDERLAND (w/Freedom Hawk, I Am The Liquor)
5/7 RALEIGH, NC SLIMS DOWNTOWN (w/Irata)
5/8 ATLANTA, GA 529 (w/Bleach Garden, Toker)
5/9 NEW ORLEANS, LA CHECKPOINT CHARLIE’S (w/Saint Roch, Dead Machine Theory)
5/10 HOUSTON, TX: SATELLITE BAR (w/ZED, Stonework, Society Of Bandits)
5/11 SAN ANTONIO, TX LIMELIGHT (w/ZED)
5/12: AUSTIN, TX DIRTY DOG BAR (w/ZED, Greenbeard, White Dog)
5/13: DALLAS, TX: THE GROTTO (w/ZED, Wo Fat, Crimson Stone)
5/14 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK THE BLUE NOTE (w/Turbo Wizard, Fanghorn Leghorn)
5/15 KANSAS CITY, MO RIOT ROOM (w/Youngblood Supercult, Merlin, Orphans Of Doom)
5/17 CHICAGO, IL LIVEWIRE LOUNGE (w/Spyderbone, Black Road)
5/18 DETROIT, MI NEW DODGE LOUNGE (w/Lavamoth, Euphoria, Seax, Vanlade, Sauron, Mammon)
5/19 CANTON, OH BUZZBIN SHOP (w/Stoneslinger, Red Tape Revolution)
5/20 ALTONNA, PA MCGARVEY’S (w/ King Bison, TBA)
6/9 GAITHERSBURG, MD RAW INK LIVE (w/Foghound, Weed Is Weed, King Giant)
6/10 WASHINGTON, DC SLASH RUN (w/Foghound, Weed Is Weed)

Released in October 2016, “Defenders of the Riff” is a behemoth of testosterone-driven, southern fuzzed biker rock. With accolades pouring in from every heavy rock and metal music enthusiast to catch whiff of Wasted Theory’s riffs, they’re wasting no time in getting back on the road. Catch Wasted Theory on tour in 2017, and get your metal hordes ready for American weed rock’s Defenders of the Riff.

https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband/
https://www.wastedtheory.bandcamp.com/
http://www.instagram.com/wastedtheory/
https://twitter.com/WastedTheory
https://www.facebook.com/NoSlip-Records-866622996702190/
http://nosliprecords.bigcartel.com/

Wasted Theory, “Black Witch Blues” official video

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audiObelisk Transmission 059

Posted in Podcasts on November 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

I’ve listened to it front to back and I can honestly say this is the best podcast I’ve made in the last five months. Truth be told, I know there are plenty of people who do podcasts as their primary outlet, talk on them and whatnot (hey, I tried it once and reserve the right to do it again at some point), but if it’s between crossfading feedback from one song to another and writing a review of a new record, well, crossfading falls into the same category as just about everything else: Write first.

Fortunately, a longer span of time between casts makes it that much easier to pick tracks. Existence does not hand you a 45-minute Øresund Space Collective jam every day, so I thought that was worth featuring, and I just got Megaritual’s new vinyl for review, so I thought featuring their more recent single-song EP would work well too.

I’m happy with the blend overall, and with Asteroid setting the tone. Be patient with it. Let it unfold. Even with a rocking start, it gets pretty psychedelic pretty quickly, and only continues to move further out. My advice is go with it and see where you end up.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Asteroid, “Them Calling” from III
0:05:02 Stinkeye, “Orange Man” from Llantera Demos
0:08:31 Hornss, “Prince of a Thousand Enemies” from Telepath
0:11:36 Ice Dragon, “Broken Life” from Broken Life
0:16:08 Wasted Theory, “Odyssey of the Electric Warlock” from Defenders of the Riff
0:20:59 Pelander, “True Colour” from Time
0:29:41 The Freeks, “Blow Time Away” from Shattered
0:34:26 Baby Woodrose, “Freedom” from Freedom
0:37:27 Comacozer, “The Mind that Feeds the Eye” from Astra Planeta
0:45:21 Mos Generator, “Outlander” from The Firmament
0:51:13 Megaritual, “Eclipse” from Eclipse

Second Hour:

1:16:25 Øresund Space Collective, “Visions Of…” from Visions Of…

Total running time: 1:58:36

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 059

 

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Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff: Whiskey on the Breath

Posted in Reviews on November 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wasted-theory-defenders-of-the-riff

It’s a mission so up-front it’s almost blinding. No less so with Wasted Theory‘s second record, Defenders of the Riff, than it was with Judas Priest‘s Defenders of the Faith some 32 years ago, and in no small part because as regards Wasted Theory, the riff and the faith are one and the same. Burl has been a defining feature of the Delaware four-piece’s approach since their inception, and was certainly front and center on Death and Taxes (review here), their self-released 2014 full-length debut.

The crisp 10-track/46-minute run of Defenders of the Riff, which sees vinyl issue through NoSlip Records, might leave one to wonder just exactly from whom “the Riff” is under attack and how an apparent dudeliness-for-dudes defense strategy might play into working against that attack, but the record nonetheless presents a marked forward step in sound from where Wasted Theory were two years ago, bringing a sense of spaciousness to the roll and nod and thrust brought to bear by guitarist/vocalist Larry Jackson, Jr., drummer/lyricist Brendan Burns, bassist Dave McMahon, and guitarist Rob Michael.

With a vibrant, heavy tonal largesse captured over a period of months by Paul Janocha at Ken-Del Studios and Nick Rotundo (who also mixed) at Clay Creek Studio — both of whom also worked on the first LP — a mastering job by Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed and cover art by Alexander von Wieding, there isn’t an angle from which Defenders of the Riff doesn’t demonstrate a more professional, coherent vision of Wasted Theory‘s intent, and, simply put, it brings them to a new level in style and substance alike.

There are a few lyrical themes that emerge as the album plays out. Women and cry-for-help levels of whiskey consumption are two big ones. Seven of the 10 tracks contain some reference to drinking, and at least five to whiskey specifically — notable in that regard is “Belly Fulla Whiskey” — while we hear corresponding tales of devil women, gypsy women, a fire woman in second cut “Black Witch Blues,” a black-hearted woman in “Gospel of Infinity” and, in “…And the Devil Makes Three” alone, a hard-luck woman, a hard-headed woman and a smokestack woman.

Add to those references to fast cars — a GTO makes an appearance in West Hollywood in “AmpliFIRE!” — and nods to heavy rock/metal new and old in “Atomic Bikiniwax” (The Atomic Bitchwax, also Jimi Hendrix‘s Electric Ladyland), “Belly Fulla Whiskey” (mention of a gallows pole and a live wire, à la Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe, respectively), “Under the Hoof” (a fever of 103 is exactly what Foreigner had), “…And the Devil Makes Three” (Scissorfight were too drunk to fuck when they covered the Dead Kennedys song of the same name), the penultimate “Throttlecock” (Slayer also showed no mercy) and closer “Odyssey of the Electric Warlock” (more Zeppelin with Avalon and Evermore, some Tool with an undertow and even Mos Generator‘s cosmic ark makes an appearance), and elsewhere, and Wasted Theory seem to be shooting for a very specific notion of consistency, and from the catchy swing at work behind leave-it-all-out-there opener “Get Loud or Get Fucked” and the “Shake Like You” C.O.C.-style boogie of “Belly Fulla Whiskey” to the crunching repetitions of the start-stop riff in “Throttlecock,” they know what they want to represent.

wasted-theory-photo-by-shy-kennedy

One could push back against the politics of some of it for sure, but what’s inarguable is the development in Wasted Theory‘s general level of craft. Songs range from four to five minutes — the full thrust of “…And the Devil Makes Three” is the longest at 5:29 and uses its extra time wisely in a relatively extended instrumental groove and solo in its second half — and are noteworthy for their straightforward, on-the-one attack.

A “nuthin’ too fancy” approach is basically what the band heralded on Death and Taxes, but Defenders of the Riff builds on that fluidly across its span and brings new depth of production that, since it’s essentially the same team working on it, can only be said to have been purposeful on Wasted Theory‘s part. That development is crucial to understanding their sophomore album, and what it ultimately accomplishes in moments like the solo of “Atomic Bikiniwax” and the slowdown of “…And the Devil Makes Three” is a broadening of Wasted Theory‘s dynamic that stays within the growing range of their songwriting. Near-virulent hooks populate Defenders of the RiffJackson‘s vocals indeed snarl up from under a barrage of top quality heavy riffing, and their presentation is thick, full and professional across the board.

I know I’ve said on multiple occasions there are times when listening to Wasted Theory when I don’t feel dudely enough to really appreciate the kind of tire-screeching testosterone-soaked rock and roll they’re metering out, and that holds true at moments on Defenders of the Riff as well — “Belly Fulla Whiskey” with lines like “C’mon little darlin’/C’mon little tease/C’mon and get down on your knees,” or “Atomic Bikiniwax”‘s one-two punch of “And she knows when it’s on/Shake that ass and I’m gone” — but I wouldn’t attempt to deny that for what they’re doing, they’re doing it well and clearly moving forward in their creative processes.

The momentum they build and the structures they inhabit throughout Defenders of the Riff will no doubt feel familiar to experienced listeners, but more than they have to this point, Wasted Theory make those spaces their own and begin establishing their identity in and from them. They don’t sound like they’re finished growing, but they don’t sound like they want to be either, and that might be the most encouraging aspect of Defenders of the Riff overall. Again, I don’t know who’s attacking the Riff, but it should ultimately be glad it’s got Wasted Theory on its side.

Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff (2016)

Wasted Theory on Thee Facebooks

Wasted Theory on Bandcamp

NoSlip Records webstore

NoSlip Records on Thee Facebooks

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Wasted Theory to Release Defenders of the Riff Oct. 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wasted-theory

Delaware-based heavy rockers Wasted Theory have signed to NoSlip Records and will issue their second album, Defenders of the Riff, on Oct. 30 through the label. I had the fortune of seeing the four-piece outfit at the third night of Maryland Doom Fest back in June (review here), and much of what they played at Cafe 611 in Frederick was new material that presumably will show up on this follow-up to their debut, Death and Taxes (review here), which was self-released in 2014.

It seemed at that show like they’d really stepped up their game in terms of songwriting and the intensity of their performance, and a Judas Priest-referential title would seem to nod further at the more metal take I sensed from their set, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out when Defenders of the Riff hits the inbox, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I asked drummer Brendan Burns for a quote about the new album, and you’ll find that with the band’s announcement below:

wasted-theory-defenders-of-the-riff

*** New Album & Signing Announcement!!! ***

We are absolutely thrilled as fuck to announce our new album “Defenders of the Riff” will be out October 30th!!!

What’s fucking cooler than that? In the coming months we’ll be releasing the vinyl through none other than NoSlip Records!!!

Ten brand new songs to fuck your earholes with. More info coming down the wire soon… until then, be sure to checkout the badass cover art done by the incomparable Alexander von Wieding!

“We had such a great response to the last album that we knew we had our work cut out for us with this one,” says drummer Brendan Burns. “Writing ‘Defenders’ was the first time we had a consistent and solid lineup intact for the entire writing process. The result, we felt, was a more cohesive album from top to bottom.

“It’s definitely heavier, meatier, faster at times, and has way more balls than anything else we’ve ever done. We bolted the doors of our rehearsal room shut for 8 months, and we wrote the best album that we could. I really think everyone will definitely dig the vibe of this one!”

http://wastedtheory.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband
https://www.facebook.com/NoSlip-Records-866622996702190/
http://nosliprecords.bigcartel.com/

Wasted Theory, Death and Taxes (2014)

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