Quarterly Review: Sumac, Cortez & Wasted Theory, Thunder Horse, The Howling Eye, Grime, URSA, Earthling Society, Bismarck, Grand Reunion, Pledge

Posted in Reviews on December 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

As we land on what would otherwise be the end of a Quarterly Review — day 5, hitting the standard 50 records across the span of a week that this time we’re doubling with another 50 next week — it occurs to me not how much 100 albums is, but how much it isn’t. I mean, it’s a lot, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been sitting and writing about 10 records every day this week. I know how much that is. But it’s astounding to me just how much more there is. With the emails I get from people looking for reviews, discs sent in the mail, the messages on Facebook and everything else, I could do another 100, easy.

Well, maybe not ‘easy,’ but it would be full.

Is it a new golden age of heavy? 45 years from now are rockers going to look back and say, “Hell yeah, from like 2012-2019 was where it’s at,” all wistful like they do now for the ’70s? Will the Heavy ’10s be a retro style? I don’t know. But if it was going to happen, there would certainly be enough of an archive to fuel it. I do my best to cover as much as I can, but sometimes I feel like we barely crack the surface. With 100 records.

That said, time’s a-wasting.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sumac, Love in Shadow

sumac love in shadow

What are Sumac if not the most vital and highest profile atmospheric metal act out there today? With Aaron Turner (Isis, etc.) on guitar/vocals, Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) on drums, they qualify easily as a supergroup, and yet their third album, Love in Shadow (on Thrill Jockey), is still more about creative growth and the exploration of sound than anything else. Certainly more than ego — and if it was a self-indulgent exercise, it’d probably still be pretty good, frankly. As it stands, the four massive tracks through which Sumac follow-up 2016’s What One Becomes (review here) and their 2015 debut, The Deal (review here), refine the sound Sumac has developed over the past three years-plus into a sprawling and passion-driven sprawl that’s encompassing in scope, challenging in its noise quotient, and in utter refusal to not progress in its approach. And when Sumac move forward, as they do here, they seem to bring the entire aesthetic with them.

Sumac on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records on Bandcamp

 

Cortez & Wasted Theory, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Nine

cortez wasted theory second coming of heavy ch 9

Ripple Music‘s split series The Second Coming of Heavy hits its ninth chapter in bringing together Boston’s Cortez and Delaware’s Wasted Theory, and neither band fails to live up to the occasion. Cortez‘s range only seems to grow each time they hit the studio — vocalist Matt Harrington makes easy highlights of the opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Firmament” and the echo-laden “Close” — and Wasted Theory‘s “Ditchpig,” “Abominatrix,” “Baptized in Gasoline” and “Heresy Dealer” are so saturated with whiskey it might as well be coming out of their pores. It’s a decidedly North/South release, with Cortez rolling straightforward New England heavy rock through “Fog of Whores” and the Deep Purple cover “Stormbringer” while Wasted Theory dig with all good speed into a grit that’s more and more become their own with time, but there’s a shared penchant for hooks and groove between the two acts that draws them together, and whatever aspects they may or may not share are ultimately trumped by that. As Ripple starts to wind down the series, they continue to highlight some of the finest in heavy that the underground has to offer. One would expect no less.

Cortez on Thee Facebooks

Wasted Theory on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Thunder Horse, Thunder Horse

thunder horse thunder horse

There’s an unmistakable sense of presence throughout Thunder Horse‘s six-song/43-minute self-titled debut that undercuts the notion of it as being the San Antonio four-piece’s first album. With professionalism and a firm sense of what they want to be as a band, the Texans liberally sprinkle samples throughout their material and hone a professional sound built around massive riffs and even-more-massive lumbering grooves. Indeed, they’re not strangers to each other, as three-fourths of the group — guitarist/vocalists Stephen Bishop, guitarist/sampler T.C. Connally and drummer Jason West — double in the more industrial-minded Pitbull Daycare, whose debut LP came out in 1997. Completed by bassist/vocalist Dave Crow, Thunder Horse successfully cross the genre threshold and are well comfortable in longer cuts like “Liber ad Christ Milites Templi” and “This is the End,” both of which top nine minutes, and shorter pieces like the rocking “Demons Speak” and the shimmering finale “Pray for Rain.” With “Coming Home” and the sneering “Blood Ritual” at the outset, Thunder Horse pulls listener quickly toward dark atmospheres and flourishes amid the weighted tones therein.

Thunder Horse on Thee Facebooks

Thunder Horse on Bandcamp

 

The Howling Eye, Sonorous

the howling eye sonorous

Poland’s The Howling Eye make a lengthy long-player debut with Sonorous, but more important than the reach of their runtimes — closer “Weedblazer” tops 16 minutes, the earlier “Reflections” hits 12, etc. — the reach of the actual material. The common pattern has been that psychedelic jamming and doom are two distinct things, but The Howling Eye tap into a cosmic interpretation of rolling riffs and push it with an open spirit far into the ether of spontaneous creation. It’s a blend that a group would seem to need to be cautious to wield, lest the whole notion fall flat, but with the assurance of marked chemistry behind them, the Bydgoszcz-based trio of drummer/sometimes vocalist Hubert “Cebula” Lewandowski (also harmonica where applicable), guitarist Jan Chojnowski and bassist Mi?osz Wojciechowski boldly shift from the more structured beginnings of the funky “Kairos” and the aggro beginning “Stranded” into an outward push that’s ambient, psychedelic and naturalistic all at once, with room left over for more funk and even some rockabilly on “The Potion.” It is not a minor conglomeration, but it works.

The Howling Eye on Thee Facebooks

The Howling Eye on Bandcamp

 

Grime, What Have We Become

grime what have we become

Their roots in metal, North Dakota trio Grime — not to be confused with the Italian sludge outfit of the same name — unleash their first full-length in the form of What Have We Become, an ambitious 51-minute offering of progressive heavy rock marked by thoughtful lyrics and fluid songwriting made all the more so by the shared vocals of bassist Andrew Wickenheiser and guitarist Nick Jensen, who together with drummer Tim Gray (who would seem to have been replaced by Cale Mogard) effect a classic feel through “Alone in the Dark” while chugging and winding through the not-a-cover “Hand of Doom” with some harsher vocals peppered in for good measure. Seven-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Through the Eye” sets a broad tone that the rest of the record seems to build on, with the penultimate “Sunshine” delivering the title line ahead of the grittier closer “The Constant Grind,” which seems to payoff everything before it with a final explosion before a big rock finish. They’ll need to decide whether their sound will ultimately tighten up or loosen over time, but for now, what they’ve become is a band with a solid foundation to grow from.

Grime on Thee Facebooks

Grime on Bandcamp

 

URSA, Abyss Between the Stars

ursa abyss between the stars

Modern doom meets a swath of metallic influences on URSA‘s full-length debut, Abyss Between the Stars (on Blood Music), as members of Petaluma, California’s Cormorant take on such classic themes as wizards, dragons, yetis, witches, a spider king, mountains, and… actually, yeah, that covers the six included tracks on the 46-minute LP, which shifts gracefully between epic fantasy doom and darker, soemtimes more extreme fare. It’s easy enough to put URSA in the narrative of a band started — circa 2016 — around a central idea, rather than just dudes picking up instruments and seeing what happened next. Not just because bassist/vocalist Matt Solis, guitarist/keyboardist Nick Cohon and drummer Brennan Kunkel were already three-quarters of another band, but because of the purposefulness with which they approach their subject matter and the cohesion in all facets of their approach. They may be exploring new ground here, but they’re doing so on sure footing, and that comes not only from their experience playing together, but from knowing exactly where they want to be in terms of sound. I would not be surprised if that sound adopted more post-Candlemass grandeur with time — one can hear that burgeoning in “Serengeti Yeti” — but whatever direction they want to go, their debut will only help them on that path.

URSA on Thee Facebooks

Blood Music website

 

Earthling Society, MO – The Demon

earthling society mo the demon

Look, if you can’t get down with a bunch of freaks like Earthling Society tapping into the lysergic fabric of the cosmos to come up with an unsolicited soundtrack to a Hong Kong martial arts movie, I just don’t know what to tell you. Issued by Riot Season, the seven-track MO – The Demon is reportedly the end of the band’s technicolor daydream, and as they crash their plane into the side of “Mountains of Bliss” and hone space rock obliteration throughout “Super Holy Monk Defeats the Black Magic Mothafucker,” their particular experimentalist charm and go-anywhere-anytime sensibility demonstrates plainly exactly why it will be missed. There’s a sharp high-pitched tone at the start of opener “Theme from MO – The Demon” that’s actually pretty abrasive, but by the time they’re through the kosmiche laser assault in “Spring Snow” and the let’s-be-flower-children-until-it’s-time-to-freak-the-fuck-out throb of closer “Jetina Grove,” that is but a distant memory. So is consciousness. Fare thee well, Earthling Society. You were a band who only sought to make sense to yourselves, and for that, were all the more commendable.

Earthling Society on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Urkraft

bismarck urkraft

Norwegian five-piece Bismarck bring spaciousness to doom riffing on their debut album, Urkraft, which is constructed of five molten tracks for a 34-minute totality that seems much broader than the time it takes to listen. Vocals are growls and shouts across a cosmic stretch of tone, giving a somewhat aggressive pulse to heavier psychedelic soundscaping, but a bouncing rhythm behind “A Golden Throne” assures the song is accessible one way or the other. The 10-minute “Vril-Ya” is naturally where they range the farthest, but the Bergen outfit even there seem to be playing by a set of aesthetic principles that includes maintaining a grounded groove no matter how spaced they might otherwise get. Rolling riffs bookend in opener “Harbinger” and closer “The Usher,” as “A Golden Throne,” playing-to-both-sides centerpiece “Iron Kingdom” and the subsequent “Vril-Ya” explore atmospheres that remain resonant despite the low end weight that seems to chug out beneath them. The mix by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer (who also co-engineered) doesn’t hurt in crafting their largesse, but something tells me Urkraft was going to sound big no matter what.

Bismarck on Thee Facebooks

Apollon Records website

 

Grand Reunion, In the Station

grand reunion in the station

In the Station doesn’t seem like anything too fancy at first. It’s produced cleanly, but not in any kind of overblown fashion, and Grand Reunion‘s songwriting is so solid that, especially the first time through their eight-track debut LP, it’s easy to say, “Okay, that’s another cool hook,” and not notice subtleties like when the organs turn to keyboard synth between opener “Eres Tan Serpiente” and second cut “Gordon Shumway,” or to miss the Latin percussion that Javier Tapia adds to Manuel Yañez‘s drumming, or the ways that guitarist Christian Spencer, keyboardist Pablo Saveedra, bassist Mario Rodríguez and Tapia work to complement guitarist Cristóbal Pacheco on vocals. But all of that is happening, and as they make their way toward and through the eight-minute fuzzer “Band Band the Headbang,” through the soaring “Weedow” and into the acoustic-led closer “It’s Alright,” the character and maturity in Grand Reunion‘s songwriting shows itself more and more, inviting multiple listens in the most natural fashion possible: by making you want to hear it again.

Grand Reunion on Thee Facebooks

Grand Reunion on Bandcamp

 

Pledge, Resilience

pledge resilience

16 minutes of scathing post-hardcore/sludge from Portuguese four-piece Pledge, who are in and out of their Resilience EP with a clean break and a windmill kick to the face. The newcomers lack nothing for ferocity, and with the throat-searing screams of Sofia M.L. out in front of the mix, violent intentions are unmistakable. “Profer Lumen Caecis,” “The Great Inbetweeness,” “Doom and Redemption” and “The Peter, the Wolf” nonetheless have groove built on varying degrees of extremity and angularity, with Vítor Vaz‘s bass maintaining a steady presence alongside the guitar of Hugo Martins and Filipe Romariz‘s drumming, frenetic as it sometimes is. I wouldn’t say things calm down in “The Peter, the Wolf” so much as the boiling seems to take place beneath the surface, waiting for a time to burst out, which it eventually does, but either way, for all its harsher aspects, Pledge‘s material isn’t at all void of engagement. It does, however, state the requirement right there on the front cover.

Pledge on Thee Facebooks

Pledge on Bandcamp

 

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Maryland Doom Fest 2019 Announces Lineup: Pentagram, Conan, Earthride, Mothership, Lo-Pan and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

maryland doom fest 2019 announcement

Holy fucking shit. It’s a good thing Maryland Doom Fest 2019 isn’t until next June, because it’s going to take me that long to process how badass this lineup is. It’s like JB decided this was the year everybody plays. A fourth day has been added. A second venue has been added — it’s Cafe 611 and Guido’s Speakeasy now — and wow. Just, fucking, wow. The headliners: PentagramConanEarthride and Mothership. And the list of bands that follows is absolutely staggering. Of course some things are bound to change between now and then, and there are announcements yet to be made about the pre-show, but really. They’ve absolutely, positively gone to a completely new level of festival here.

It’s gonna be crowded.

And it’s gonna be a blast. If you need me, I’ll be booking my room at the Motel 6 in Frederick.

The announcement was simple and came just in the form of the poster — art is by Kyle Stratton, whose band Atala also make a return to the bill — and from near and far, far and wide, acts are coming in to make what looks like it’ll be an absolutely unforgettable weekend (-plus) of heavy.

Here’s the lineup:

maryland doom fest 2019 poster

MARYLAND DOOM FEST 2019 – JUNE 20-23

DOOMSTERS, GRUNGERS, SLUDGERS, STONERS, & PAGANS —

We are extremely pleased to present to you……The Maryland Doom Fest 2019 lineup!!!

50 of the heaviest, most talented bands to grace the stage.

We bring you INTERITUM from Tasmania, CONAN from England, PENTAGRAM from our soil, and an additional 47 top performing USA acts traveling from all across the continent!!

As if that’s not enough, the MDDF Pre-Fest Party will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the SHoD (Stoner Hands of Doom) Festival with a spectacular lineup of bands who have performed at the great SHoD fests in years past!! The Pre-Fest / SHoD 20th Anniversary Celebration will be monumental in countless ways!!!!

Please support the Doom scene and share this epic event with your comrades and we will see you at #4daysofdoom !!!!

EARLY BIRD Discounted ticket sales start Dec. 17th, 2018 – for two weeks only.

This astronomical lineup and the 2019 festivities are dedicated to my very good friend and prior MDDF partner from 2015 – 2018, Mark Cruikshank!!

DooM !!! ~JB

Lineup:
Earthride
Warhorse
Solace
Wasted Theory
Devil to Pay
Deer Creek
Weed is Weed
Freedom Hawk
After the Sun
Mothership
Pale Divine
Lo Pan
Year of the Cobra
The Age of Truth
Backwoods Payback
Kingsnake
Interitum
The Druids
Clouds Taste Satanic
Benthic Realm
Dead Sisters
Funeral Horse
Pentagram
Apostle of Solitude
Foghound
Beelzefuzz
Atala
Sixes
Forming the Void
Knoxxville
Atomic 26
Eternal Black
Greenbeard
Electric Age
Pale Grey Lore
Thunderchief
Seasick Gladiator
Crooked Hills
Conan
ZED
Kings Destroy
Toke
Thousand Vision Mist
Horehound
Thonian Horde
Shadow Witch
Faith in Jane
Temptations Wings
Wolf Blood
Stone Dust Riders

https://www.facebook.com/events/371836710006412/
https://www.facebook.com/MdDoomFest/
https://www.themarylanddoomfest.com/

Earthride, Live at Maryland Doom Fest 2018

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Review & Video Premiere: Wasted Theory, Warlords of the New Electric

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on October 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

WASTED THEORY WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC

Wasted Theory, ‘Rawhide Hellride’ official video premiere

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Wasted Theory’s new video for ‘Rawhide Hellride.’ Their new album, Warlords of the New Electric, is out Oct. 26 on Argonauta Records.]

Wasted Theory have a thing for titles. Their third record, Warlords of the New Electric, is their second for Argonauta Records behind last year’s reissue of 2016’s Defenders of the Riff (review here), and both albums set lofty ambitions as regards positioning the band. This is interesting to note, because their songwriting could hardly be more grounded. Based out of Delaware, the Southern heavy riff rockers have brandished straightforward, ultra-dudely chug and groove since even before the release of their 2014 debut, Death and Taxes (review here), and done so proudly. It’s worked for them, and it continues to work for them as they push their sound forward on the eight-track/36-minute long-player, which is inarguably their tightest and most professional-sounding collection to-date.

They toured both coasts supporting Defenders of the Riff, so some sonic progression was to be expected, but in teaming with producer/engineer Joseph Boldizar at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, they’ve found a space for themselves that is both crisp in and full in its tone on Warlords of the New Electric, and as their penchant for titles extends to the songs themselves in “Rawhide Hellride,” “Bongronaut,” “The Son of a Son of a Bitch” and nearly every other inclusion — you can keep “Doomslut Rodeo,” which feels willfully blind both to the cultural moment we’re living in and general decency to others; you’re not 12, grow up — and familiar homage is paid to whiskey, weed and Black Sabbath, there’s no lack either of live energy in the material. Indeed, Warlords of the New Electric itself feels both born of touring in terms of its craft on shorter, stage-ready cuts like “Rawhide Hellride,” “Heavy Bite” and “Drug Buzzard,” and in some nomadic implication of the name they’ve given it, which, whatever else it may be hardly feels like happenstance. They clearly put some thought into these things.

Comprised here of guitarist/vocalist Larry Jackson, Jr., guitarist Andrew Petkovic, bassist Rob Michael (since out of the band) and drummer Brendan Burns, Wasted Theory work quickly to demonstrate how far they’ve come in two years with a sound less outwardly about burl than the groove itself. Burns is right at home on his hi-hat in “Drug Buzzard” following the opening “Rawhide Hellride,” and as Jackson belts out lines like “Heavy metal heavy drinkin'” in the second track, even his guttural delivery seems to have taken on more character than it’s had in the past, and as they move into “Bongronaut” and “The Son of a Son of a Bitch,” and especially “Bastard County,” he reminds here and there of Earthride‘s Dave Sherman, who over time has also been able to make a rough-throated, “whiskey-soaked” vocal style his own.

wasted theory

Petkovic, who’s new to the lineup as of this record, provides standout work on guitar in “Bongronaut” and the later “Weed Creature” particularly, adding a sense of spaciousness to the songs that is welcome alongside Wasted Theory‘s signature crunch, which itself makes a highlight of “The Son of a Son of a Bitch” at the end of side A, with a post-Pepper Keenan central riff brought to bear with fervent push from Burns and a righteous slowdown of an apex. Still under four minutes long, “The Son of a Son of a Bitch” is emblematic of nearly everything that works so well on Warlords of the New Electric, and alongside the rolling “Bastard County,” it’s a subtle dynamic at play as the band looses memorable hooks and weighted vibes, Boldizar (who’s worked with The Age of TruthRuby the Hatchet and others in the Philly heavy underground) complements their work excellently with a full mix that allows some Geezer-style effects to make their way into “Bastard County”‘s second half and still sound natural doing so. The speedier fare on “Heavy Bite” only furthers the impression of Wasted Theory‘s overarching progression, tapping into more angular, semi-metal riffing as the drums gallop crisply behind. For all their grit and dirt-rocking mindset, they sound awfully clean in these songs.

And it works because that doesn’t seem contrary at all to their mission. Cuts like “Heavy Bite,” “Drug Buzzard,” “The Son of a Son of a Bitch” and the harder-push of “Weed Creature,” which touches on latter-day Orange Goblin fist-pumpery in its verses, feel like they were written with the intent of kicking ass on stage, but the momentum translates to the recording as well. “Weed Creature” just about splits in half from its raging front end to a more nodding finish — take your pick on the leads; they’re both gems — and as Jackson‘s vocals emanate from deeper in the mix as growls in the latter part of the track, it underscores the point of how comfortable Wasted Theory are expanding not just their aesthetic, but the reaches their mix occupies. I don’t know if Petkovic is the difference-maker on guitar or if it’s a general evolution of their style, but the balance between earthy rhythm and that airier lead tone help establish Warlords of the New Electric as moving toward the goal it has laid out even more than Defenders of the Riff made a show of its straight-ahead attack.

They finish with the aforementioned “Doomslut Rodeo” on a riff that channels Goatsnake taking on “Hole in the Sky” with a slowdown on drums in the bridge that mirrors “The Son of a Son of a Bitch” and a last chorus to remind that it’s the songcraft where they’ve most progressed over time, and while I’ll gladly argue they still have some kinks to work out of their titles — doesn’t have to be “safe,” but there’s a difference between edgy and hateful — they meet the task before them on Warlords of the New Electric with a vitality that indeed speaks of the album’s own triumphs, of which there are many. Though lineup changes invariably mean Wasted Theory are more likely to have a shifted dynamic their next time out, that they’ve been able to capture the band as it is here is worth preserving and provides a high water mark for their boozy flood of heaviness. They’ve only ever moved forward. They keep moving forward.

Wasted Theory website

Wasted Theory on Thee Facebooks

Wasted Theory on Instagram

Wasted Theory on Twitter

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records on Twitter

Argonauta Records on Instagram

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Cortez and Wasted Theory Join Forces for The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter IX

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It is really, really hard to put together a split release. Getting one band to have their shit together enough to hit the studio and record is hard enough. But two? Or more? It is not an enviable task in the slightest. Sometimes acts have songs leftover from other sessions, and even that is hard to work with. It’s to Ripple Music‘s eternal credit that the label’s The Second Coming of Heavy series has not only made it this far without missing a beat between its chapters, but that it will finish its 10LP run having highlighted killer heavy rock and roll from the US and Europe in defiance of logistics and with a firm commitment to quality in presentation and curation alike. I know that sounds like I’m blowing smoke up the label’s ass. I’m not. If you’ve never coordinated this kind of thing, it’s fucking impossible. Every time it happens, it’s a miracle. And from what I understand, when The Second Coming of Heavy ends, that’s still just the beginning. More power to them.

Chapter IX gets down to the series’ roots with top grade heavy rock from Boston’s long-underrated practitioners Cortez and the pride of Bear, Delaware, Wasted Theory, who will follow their appearance here up with a new full-length in October. Both bands have tracks streaming at the bottom of this post.

The PR wire brings preliminaries:

the second coming of heavy chapter ix

Ripple Music announce the penultimate instalment in their Second Coming of Heavy Series | Split album from Cortez and Wasted Theory

The Second Coming of Heavy; Chapter IX is released on vinyl on 21st September 2018

Pre-order now at www.ripple-music.com

Already recognised as one of the world’s leading purveyors of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Stoner, Doom and Heavy Psych, Ripple Music upped the ante in 2015 with the arrival of one of their most ambitious projects to date, The Second Coming of Heavy Series.

Serving as a showcase for some of the best and heaviest bands emerging from the underground, each instalment shines a light on those worthy of your attention. Consisting of one, 12” slab of multi-coloured vinyl with full colour sleeves and inserts, the series is designed to be saved and treasured, much like a fine anthology of books. When the albums are filed next to each other, the complete collection of aligned spines form a mind-blowing image direct from the underground.

Bands that have already featured in the series include Geezer, Borracho, Supervoid, Red Desert, Kingnomad, Bonehawk, Red Mesa, Blue Sanggletooth, Fuzz Evil, Switchblade Jesus plus a whole host of others. For this latest instalment it’s the turn of Boston-based, fuzzed out rock and rollers Cortez and American Weed Rock supremos, Wasted Theory.

The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter IX will get an official vinyl release on 21st September 2018 and is limited to 300 copies in three alternative versions (100 of each) – The Resurrection Edition, The Risen OBI and The Ascension Edition.

https://www.facebook.com/cortezboston
https://www.instagram.com/cortezboston/
https://twitter.com/cortezboston
https://cortezboston.bandcamp.com/
http://www.cortezboston.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband/
https://twitter.com/WastedTheory
https://wastedtheory.bandcamp.com/

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Wasted Theory Set October Release for Warlords of the New Electric on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

wasted theory

Delaware-based burl-bringers Wasted Theory have yet to put out anything that didn’t up the stakes from the release prior. Across their two to-date full-lengths, 2016’s Defenders of the Riff (review here) — which was reissued as their debut on Argonauta Records last year, and the preceding 2014 debut, Death and Taxes (review here) — the four-piece have pushed deeper into a plunge of stoner-is-as-stoner-does riffery, marked by ultra-dudely vibes and an increasing vitality born, as that sort of thing is, by a likewise increasing stage presence. To wit, they’ve got live dates announced through basically now (they had two gigs this past weekend) through October, heading out in handfuls at a time on the East Coast and in the Midwest, having hit the West Coast earlier this year.

And though in direct contrast to the righteousness of the album’s title, Warlords of the New Electric, somewhere along the line someone in the band made the genuinely unfortunate decision to name the closing track “Doomslut Rodeo” — lest the genre go five minutes without demeaning, objectifying or shaming someone into their #metoo moment — given their forward progression thus far, I’m looking forward to hearing what these guys have in store this time around. The record will be out in October through the aforementioned and ever-busy Argonauta Records.

The following came down the PR wire:

WASTED THEORY WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC

WASTED THEORY unveils artwork & details on third full-length, “WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC,” set to release via Argonauta Records in October; Continues ‘Stoned On Both Coasts’ Tour

Hitting the halfway point of their ‘Stoned On Both Coasts Tour” on May 26th with a blazing set at the Stoned To Death 3 Fest in Vermont, American Weed Rockers Wasted Theory sneaked into the studio in between performances to complete a new record. The Mid-Atlantic heavy foursome leaps forward with Italy’s Argonauta Records to reveal the details about their third full-length album, Warlords of the New Electric.

Their second release with Argonauta Records, after the ‘2017 edition’ CD re-release of Defenders of the Riff, this new Wasted Theory displays a disturbingly sober vision of slammed down, heavy rock invaders. Just completed this Spring (April – May 2018), Warlords of the New Electric was recorded, engineered, and mixed by Joseph Boldizar (Ruby The Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision, The Age of Truth) at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, PA. Album cover artwork and design by Bill Kole of Billy Diablo Design Services.

Argonauta Records’ label owner Gero had this to say:

“After teaming-up for the 2017 edition of their monumental album ‘Defenders of the Riff’, Argonauta Records is thrilled to renew the collaboration with WASTED THEORY, whose new album is already anticipated as one of the hottest releases of the coming Fall,”

Argonauta plans to unleash Warlords of the New Electric on the world in October 2018. The eight song, full album hammer strike will include Vinyl and CD formats, with Digital Download and Streaming through most major outlets available simultaneously to the physical release. Pre-order information and links are forthcoming.

Some words from Wasted Theory on ‘Warlords of the New Electric’:

“When we set out to write ‘Warlords of the New Electric’ we wanted to take the energy and enthusiasm of ‘Defenders of the Riff” and develop those vibes even further. In our opinion, this is the perfect companion to the last album. We didn’t want to put out the stereotypical third album where we start getting all experimental and bizarre. So, we did the exact opposite – we took our gritty rock n’ roll origins and pushed them even heavier into the material.

The riffs are harder, the fast stuff is faster and the doom stuff is doomier. This is the perfect album for those hot, sticky summer nights hanging out at your buddy’s BBQ bonfire and having way too much to drink. This album is very much a Wasted Theory album.”

Warlords of the New Electric – Track List:
1. Rawhide Hellride
2. Drug Buzzard
3. Bongronaut
4. The Son of a Son of a Bitch
5. Bastard County
6. Heavy Bite
7. Weed Creature
8. Doomslut Rodeo

WASTED THEORY are:
Larry Jackson, Jr. – Vocals/Guitars
Brendan Burns – Drums
Rob Michael – Bass
Andrew Petkovic – Guitars

Upcoming Live Dates:
Jul. 06 – Wilmington DE @ Oddity Bar (w/ Kingsnake, The Age Of Truth, Bloodlaw)
Jul. 07 – Kingston NY @ The Anchor (w/ Witchkiss, Shadow Witch)
Aug. 24 – Washington DC @ Atlas Brew Works
Aug. 25 – Frederick MD @ Guido’s Speakeasy
Sep. 13 – McMechen WV @ Goodfellas
Sep. 14 – Columbus OH @ Victory Live (w/ Wolftooth, Horseburner, Pale Grey Lore)
Sep. 15 – Indianapolis IN @ Indiana City Brewery (w/ Wolftooth)
Sep. 16 – Louisville KY @ Magbar (w/ Wolftooth)
Oct. 11 – Pittsburgh PA @ Howler’s
Oct. 12 – Detroit MI @ New Dodge Lounge
Oct. 13 – Canton OH @ Buzzbin Shop

www.americanweedrock.com
https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband/
https://www.instagram.com/wastedtheory/
https://twitter.com/WastedTheory
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCci0QWWVsPmJUNtXI2yPXNA/videos
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff (2016)

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Wasted Theory Announce Bicoastal Tour Dates; Defenders of the Riff Reissue out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

wasted theory

Delaware heavy rockers Wasted Theorytake yet another admirable forward step next month as they head to the West Coast for the first time. They’ve got four shows in California booked alongside the all-caps pairing of ZED and KOOK from March 21-24, but the truth is that’s just part of the story of their live plans for the coming months. As they continue to herald the 2017 Argonauta Records reissue of their 2016 long player, Defenders of the Riff (review here), they’ll hit the inaugural New England Stone and Doom Fest in Connecticut, and much more besides. Hell, in being a couple days late in posting this news, I alreay missed plugging a show they did with Earthride. Fortunately there’s another one coming up soon enough.

Info and list of gigs follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

wasted theory poster

WASTED THEORY ‘Stoned On Both Coasts’ 2018 Tour; Sign w/ARGONAUTA RECORDS for ‘Defenders Of The Riff 2017’

Wasted Theory announced their 2018 tour and festival appearance dates that will stretch across the United States, including their first West Coast shows. The Mid-Atlantic quartet is touring to support their recent signing with Italy’s Argonauta Records and the ‘2017 Edition’ reissue of their Defenders Of The Riff second full-length album. The 2017 reissue now includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

American Weed Rockers Wasted Theory are about to hit the highway again and have announced U.S. Tour dates for 2018, including their first sky-way trek to California to accomplish a hazy ‘Stoned On Both Coasts” year of performances. The Mid-Atlantic quartet’s tour is in support of their recent signing with Italy’s Argonauta Records and the ‘2017 Edition’ reissue of their second full-length album Defenders Of The Riff.

The Stoned On Both Coasts Tour starts off Friday, February 2nd, with back-to-back shows covering each half of their Delaware/Maryland home states, fly high through Northern California in March, then routes these four heathens of the heavy rock apocalypse through 12 states and over 20 cities. Wasted Theory also confirmed two special festival appearances – on April 20th for the inaugural New England Stoner & Doom Festival in Southern Connecticut, as well as the Stoned To Death 3 Festival in Vermont on May 26th.

While the original release ‘Defenders Of The Riff’ in 2016 drove the underground heavy music world into whiskey fits of doom, this ‘2017 Edition’ reissue now includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks. With the anthemic cover of ‘Rockin’ is Ma’ Business” (the 1991 epitome of heavy rock from The Four Horseman, also covered by Alabama Thunderpussy in 1999), as well as a thoroughly invigorated rendition of the 1975 Nazareth classic “Changin’ Times”. adding these two powerhouse songs to the already 10-track, grit-packed punch of Defenders Of The Riff brings this album to a even dirtier dozen.

Wasted Theory – ‘Stoned On Both Coasts’ 2018 Tour
(Confirmed Dates)
2/17 – York, PA @ The Depot (York) (w/ Earthride, Beelzefuzz)
03/21/2018 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Blue Lagoon (w/ ZED, Kook)
03/22/2018 – Oakland, CA @ The Golden Bull (w/ ZED, Kook)
03/23/2018 – San Jose, CA @ Caravan Lounge (w/ ZED, Kook)
03/24/2018 – Sacramento, CA @ On The Y (w/ ZED, Kook)
4/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Century Bar
4/20 – Jewett City, CT @ Altones New England Stoner & Doom Festival
5/26 – Brattleboro, VT @ The Stone Church Stoned To Death 3 Festival
6/8 – Bethlehem, PA @ Funhouse South Side
6/9 – Scranton, PA @ Irish Wolf Pub
7/7 – Kingston, NY @ The Anchor (w/ Shadow Witch)
8/24 – Washington, DC @ Atlas Brew Works
8/25 – Frederick, MD @ Guido’s Speakeasy
9/14 – Columbus, OH @ Victory Live (w/ Wolftooth)
9/15 – Indianapolis, IN @ Indiana City Brewery (w/ Wolftooth)
9/16 – Louisville, KY @ Magbar
10/11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howler’s
10/12 – Detroit, MI @ New Dodge Lounge

Wasted Theory is:
Larry Jackson, Jr. – Guitar/Vocals
Brendan Burns – Drums
Andrew Petkovic – Rhythm Guitar
Rob Michael – Bass

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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New England Stoner and Doom Fest 2018: Wasted Theory, Olde and Oxblood Forge Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The next round of band announcements from the inaugural New England Stoner and Doom Fest confirms that, indeed, the April 2018 event will by no means be limited in its geographic pull. First non-New England group to be added? Wasted Theory. The Delaware heavy rockers are approaching veteran status at this point — one or two more records should do it, frankly — and I imagine they’ll feature pretty high on the bill given the stage presence they bring and their unbridled Southern-styled energy. Also from outside the confines of New England come Olde, from Toronto, who’ll bring their blend of weighted riffs and noise to the proceedings as they support their album on the fest-related Salt of the Earth Records imprint.

And to round out is Oxblood Forge from Massachusetts, featuring original Ichabod vocalist — and apparently my neighbor, over in Whitman, which is like five feet that way — Ken MacKay, whom I’d swear I saw one day rolling around in a sweet-looking old Caddy. Could’ve been someone else — there’s no shortage of beardo dudes around here, despite it being the sticks, but I did a double-take anyway as I drove past.

Also since last time I posted apparently Pittsburgh’s Horehound and Connecticut’s Denim Panther signed on to play. Just didn’t want them to be ignored.

Here’s the latest from the fest:

Wasted Theory

“…Wasted Theory plays their own version of heavy stoner metal with some ’70s swagger, bluesy undertones, mixed with some deep-fried southern doom, and topped with some diesel-laced mountain rock for good measure…”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Olde

Inspired by a recording session with long-time stoner metal stalwarts Sons of Otis, guitarist/producer Greg Dawson (Cunter, Grift, BWC Studios) began to handpick and assemble OLDE, emphasizing a powerful and economic approach to doom music. Enlisting the help of drummer Ryan Aubin (Sons of Otis), bassist Cory McCallum (Five Knuckle Chuckle), guitarist Chris “Hippy” Hughes (Moneen) and vocalist Doug McLarty (Jaww).

Oxblood Forge

Hailing from the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, Oxblood Forge bring a penchant for roundhouse kicking the listener in the face with their own special sauce of doom and roll with a generous helping of psych, blues and classic rock… aim for big hooks, destructive vocals, and heavy guitars.

So New England, make no mistake about it..
Shits about to get real heavy….

Previously announced lineup:
**SCISSORFIGHT
**EARTHRIDE
**CURSE THE SON
**BANTH
**HOREHOUND
**DENIM PANTHER

All performing at the
NEW ENGLAND STONER AND DOOM FESTIVAL 2018

More bands TBA soon!

https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/
https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff (2016)

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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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