White Manna, Ape on Sunday: Off You Go

Posted in Reviews on June 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

white manna ape on sunday

As though beamed in from some dimension rife with all the colors humans can’t see shining in pools of lysergic applesauce, White Manna‘s sixth album, Ape on Sunday, immediately enters the kosmiche foray with its seven-minute opening title-track. Also the longest inclusion (immediate points) at 7:10, it is immersive and exploratory in kind, a sweeping space rock mover that captures the attention and doesn’t so much hold it as toss it back and forth between hands, reshaping and kneading consciousness like so much stiff dough that’s been sitting around for too long. The proceedings call to order via Cardinal Fuzz around the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardists David Johnson and Anthony Taibi, bassist Johnny Webb and drummer/vocalist Tavan Anderson, and the LP presents a don’t-want-to-take-up-too-much-of-your-time-microwaving-your-brain 34 minutes across which unfold seven tracks each one component in the purpose of sonic adventure and expression.

Mike Dieter adds synth to the mix as well (is he in the band full-time? I don’t know, man, is anyone? Are you? Are we all?) and the Arcata, California-based troupe put it to excellent use — if that’s what I’m hearing — in “O Captain,” which follows behind “Spirit of St. Louis,” the second and second to longest cut (secondary points) which unfurls almost direct from the leadoff with swirls and stick-click percussion. I think I hear a tambourine far back in there, but can’t be sure if I’m imagining it. Neither of the two tracks in the opening salvo really delve into lost-control freakoutery — “Ape on Sunday” is too solid in its space rock push, and “Spirit of St. Louis” has a cyclical bassline that holds it together — but there’s headphone-worthy fare just the same as White Manna slowly and patiently build on the space-jazz wash that capped “Ape on Sunday” with “Spirit of St. Louis,” a change in the drum pattern just before the three-minute mark signaling the turn to the even bouncier vibe that takes hold, then fades out to let manipulated and sampled-sounding organ and other sundries finish. Two songs and 13 and a half minutes deep, Ape on Sunday shimmers bright and feels purposeful in its jammy foundations.

Not that a band six records deep shouldn’t know what they want to do, but sometimes not knowing exactly where a piece is headed is fun too. The mood shifts markedly with the aforementioned “O Captain,” which is shorter at 3:35 and, though it’s also the likely closer of side A, comes paired in the tracklisting with the 3:56 “Night in Lisbon” as the next of Ape on Sunday‘s three two-song movements, completed by the three-minute closer “More More More” at the end, which works twice as well because despite its title, it’s the only such movement without a second song. Around mellow keys and post-prog drama-drumming, “O Captain” feels still compared to the title-track and “Spirit of St. Louis” before it, and that seems to be intentional, not to much in a stop-and-rest vein but more like an arrival at a different place, from which “Night in Lisbon” — hey, that’s a place! — takes hold with a quickly manifest fuzz overload and echoing vocals overlaid, the effects ringing outward into intertwining layers of guitar and synth and once again it’s Anderson tasked with holding it all together, which he does ably with (more?) tambourine and a mantra of tom hits. “Night in Lisbon” doesn’t really shove into any kind of grand payoff or anything, but White Manna let it breathe instrumentally in its final two minutes, fading out long until only residual swirl remains.

white manna

A quick howl of guitar volume swell and emergence of bass and drums and (soon enough) synth and keys signal the arrival of “Eye in the Cloud that Serves as Thunder,” which feels more spacious in its mix despite the immediacy of the drum line and tape-loop-sounding whatnot surrounding. The tension is such that White Manna seem to be signaling something’s gotta give, and what does is reality, as the band dive headfirst into an angular proggy noodle that comes apart amid maddening let-it-all-go a bit of either sax or sax sounds in the fade, the leftover echoes of which extend into “Zodiak Spree,” which is entrancing drone and soundscaping that’s like New Age if New Age had ever been any good. The synthesizer oozes in and out over a consistent low-end drone and guitars gently enter and exit as well while the hypnotic figures play. There’s no verse, no chorus, no lyrics, no real “parts” as such, but at five-minutes long, “Zodiak Spree” seems to speak to the same feeling of arrival — not necessarily in Portugal or, for that matter, anywhere else — as “O Captain,” rounding out the third pairing on Ape on Sunday with resonant chill.

That leaves just “More More More” to act as the keystone move on its own for White Manna, and it does so as also the shortest track at 3:03, a twisted jangle of guitar noise, garage rock drumming, synth, keys, whatever. Someone is speaking or making noise or just kind of laughing, but there’s a momentary cast to the jam wherein it takes a bodily presence around a Hendrixian guitar line circa two-minutes in and locks down a groove for, a measure or two. That one part could’ve lasted probably 10 minutes, but that’s not White Manna‘s trip this time around. Instead, it cuts itself short and leaves the guitar hanging and the synth running outward, coming apart quicker than some of the other pieces but staying consistent in doing so anyhow. It’s gone before they hit three minutes, which is fair enough as by that time, Ape on Sunday has already traversed up, down and between spaces of sound and let its audience come along for the brief but wide-ranging and evocative ride.

Some of the more cinematic aspects of the synth in “O Captain” or even “Eye in the Could that Serves as Thunder” add further breadth to the whole experience, but the truth is that White Manna are going where they’re going whether they know how to get there or not. That’s part of what makes Ape on Sunday so exciting a listen as the communion of exploration takes on so many forms.

White Manna, Ape on Sunday (2019)

White Manna on Thee Facebooks

White Manna on Bandcamp

Cardinal Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

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White Manna Announce Ape on Sunday out June 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

white manna

I was like, ‘Oh hey White Manna have a new album coming out, I’ve written about them before’ — they’ve been in year-end poll lists and a couple news stories here and there probably much like this one — then I hit their Bandcamp to check out the tunes and I was reminded why I’d written about White Manna before. The place they call home, Arcata, California, is just about the halfway point along the US West Coast, so they’re pretty far removed from the San Diego and San Francisco scenes to the south and likewise the Portland/Seattle stuff to the north. Accordingly, the wash they craft is their own, and as they move toward the release of their sixth album, Ape on Sunday — out June 28 through Cardinal Fuzz — they seem to draw from all sides with a fluid of groove and a manifestation of psychedelia true to tradition and their own intent alike.

That’s going by two songs, but something tells me the rest of this one isn’t exactly a dud. Keep an eye out.

Here’s PR wire info, links and audio:

white manna ape on sunday

Cardinal Fuzz are proud to present to you ‘Ape On Sunday’ – the 6th Long Player from Arcataa, California’s White Manna. Recorded over a period of time that saw front man David Johnson return home to Massachusetts to spend time with his family after a traumatic event. While away Dave and Anthony (back on board fully for this new lp) tackled the recordings they had started while Tavan and Johnny laid down the drum and bass tracks and Mike Dieter also rejoined White Manna to lay down some synth parts (honing a Klaus Schulze vibe) . When Dave returned to Humboldt they at long last got down to finishing the LP. ‘Ape On Sunday’ takes its inspiration and title from a Robert Zimmerman poem in his poetry book/novel – ‘Tarantula’ – a stream of conscious / cut up style prose from ’66.

You can feel how the life experiences over the last year have seeped, shaped and informed ‘Ape On Sunday’ which is the bands most intimate release since ‘Come Down Safari’. It’s a heady hypnotic mix that at times plays like psychedelic meditations and at others like music for a post apocalyptic movie. The Redwood canopies of Northern California’s Emerald Triangle still influence White Manna but there sound here is heading out in a more experimental direction where the music is more kosmische in style with sounds wreathed in mist and vapours, droning synths and shimmering guitars. ‘Ape On Sunday’ finds White Manna re-entering the stratosphere and floating back down to the dense redwood forest of their homeland.

Housed in a 350gsm Gloss Laminated Sleeve with a full colour insert and download code.

Tracklisting:
1. Ape On Sunday 07:10
2. Spirit Of St. Louis
3. O Captain
4. Night In Lisbon
5. Eye In The Cloud That Serves As Thunder
6. Zodiak Spree
7. More More More

https://www.facebook.com/whitemanna/
https://whitemanna.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CardinalFuzz/
cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/

White Manna, Ape on Sunday (2019)

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Here are 40+ New Releases to Look for in the Next Three Weeks

Posted in Features on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow, the next three weeks are absolutely stupid with new albums. Over-the-top, ridiculous. An immediately-go-broke amount of music. Nothing less than an onslaught. We’re under attack.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money — also far be it from me not to — but there’s some really killer stuff in here. As to why it’s all landing now? Some of it of course has to do with the timing of when it was recorded, bands hitting the studio in Spring before heading out on the road over the summer, but Fall releases also line up nicely for tours in October and November, heading into the holiday season, when the music industry basically shuts down. This is the last chance for releases to come out in 2017 and be considered for best-of-year lists.

I doubt the likes of Chelsea Wolfe or Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Kadavar would cop to that as a motivating factor, instead pointing to the timing of Fall touring and so on, but these things are rarely coincidental. You know how there aren’t any blockbusters in January but every movie feels like it’s trying to win an Oscar? Same kind of deal.

Nonetheless, 2017 is laying it on particularly thick these next couple weeks, and as you can see in the lists below, if you’ve got cash to spend, you can pretty much choose your rock and roll adventure. I’ll add to this as need be as well, so keep an eye for changes:

Sept. 22:

Alcest, Souveinirs d’un Autre Monde (10th Anniversary Edition)
Brant Bjork, Europe ’16
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spunthe-flying-eyes-burning-of-the-season
Epitaph, Claws
Faces of the Bog, Ego Death
The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season
Fvzz Popvli, Fvzz Dei
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers
Jarboe & Father Murphy, Jarboe & Father Murphy
Monarch, Never Forever
Nibiru, Qaal Babalon
Process of Guilt, Black Earth
Satyricon, Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Spelljammer, Inches from the Sun (Reissue)
Thonian Horde, Inconnu
Trash Titan, Welcome to the Banana Party
Ufomammut, 8
With the Dead, Love from With the Dead
Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

Sept. 29:

monolord rust
Cities of Mars, Temporal Rifts
Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy
A Devil’s Din, One Hallucination Under God
Disastroid, Missiles
Jim Healey, Just a Minute More (Sept. 26)
Idylls, The Barn
Kadavar, Rough Times
Lucifer’s Chalice, The Pact
Monolord, Rust
Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings
Scream of the Butterfly, Ignition
Tronald, Tronald (Sept. 30)
Unsane, Sterilize
Wucan, Reap the Storm

Oct. 6:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-storyElder Druid, Carmina Satanae
Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story
Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (Oct. 2)
Himmellegeme, Myth of Earth
House of Broken Promises, Twisted EP
O.R.B., Naturality
Primitive Man, Caustic
Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception
Spotlights, Seismic
Sumokem, The Guardian of Yosemite
Torso, Limbs
White Manna, Bleeding Eyes

Also:

Oct. 13: Enslaved, Firebreather, I Klatus, R.I.P., Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (reissue), Weird Owl, etc.

Oct. 20: Iron Monkey, Spectral Haze, Bell Witch, The Spacelords, etc.

Something I forgot?

Invariably, right? If you know of something not seen above that should be, then by all means, please leave a comment letting me know. My only ask is that you keep it civil and not call me a fucking idiot or anything like that. I write these posts very early in the day, and if something has been neglected, I assure you it’s not on purpose and I’m happy to correct any and all oversights.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping. Support local record stores.

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White Manna Set Oct. 6 Release for Bleeding Eyes

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

white manna

Californian head rockers White Manna, who’ve already been confirmed for Desertfest Belgium 2017, will be releasing their third long-player, Bleeding Eyes, via Agitated Records and Cardinal Fuzz on Oct. 6. Since Desertfest is happening from Oct. 13-16 and the album is out the week before, I kind of assume that means they’ll be sticking around Europe once they finish the UK tour that will find them at Liverpool Psych Fest on Sept. 23 and continue through to Sept. 28. That’s an awful lot of air travel, otherwise, especially with a record coming out in between.

Bit of a gap then to fill in as regards tour dates, but in addition to what’s listed here, the band has a few others in Croatia and in the Netherlands listed on their Thee Facebooks page for the time between, so maybe there’s more to be announced or that I just missed because I suck at this. Either way, here’s the info I got, which came down the PR wire:

white manna bleeding eyes

Announcing new WHITE MANNA album ‘Bleeding Eyes’ on Agitated/Cardinal Fuzz Records

Artist: White Manna
Title: Bleeding Eyes
Label: Agitated / Cardinal Fuzz
Format: LP/CD

Release date: 6th October 2017

Following on from an incredible one-two brace of releases on Holy Mountain, a release on Valley King, a limited Live album (Live Frequencies) on Cardinal Fuzz, and then their last sonic attack (PAN) on Cardinal Fuzz in 2016, White Manna release their new studio album as part of a joint venture between Cardinal Fuzz and Agitated Records.

Unleashed at the end of September in Europe to tie in with a UK/EU tour that features another sure to be main stage storming appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest, Bleeding Eyes is the sound of White Manna soaring and searing with riffs and grooves that float their own take on SIKE ROCK! To a higher plane. The 8 tracks herein deliver serious motorik action along the way, with some lo-fi pop glaze over the top of solid rhythmic pummel. Riffs? You got it, great rafts of guitar interplay blitzing your ears in a dronesome scree, ricocheting through space and time to transport you to a sonic enlightenment.

Recorded and mixed at El Studio San Francisco, Ca and The Compound, Manila, Ca by Phil Manley and White Manna. Mastered by John McBain at JPM Mastering San Francisco.

Fans of Hawkwind, The Heads, Loop, Mugstar, White Hills, Spacemen 3 and Amon Duul will thrill to this. Northern California has never sounded so spaced out and visceral, plug in, turn it up and drone out?

Tracklist
1. Bleeding Eyes
2. Vimanas
3. Trampoline
4. Invisible Kings
5. Speed Dagger
6. English Breakfast
7. You Are The Movie
8. Freak

UK Tour Dates 2017
22 Sept UK Newcastle- Cumberland Arms
23 Sept UK Liverpool- Psych Fest
24 Sept UK Leeds- The Library
25 Sept WAL Cardiff- Full Moon
26 Sept UK Brighton- Hope & Ruin
27 Sept UK London- Victoria Dalston
28 Sept UK Bristol- The Crofters Rights

https://www.facebook.com/whitemanna/
https://whitemanna.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AGITATEDRECORDS/
agitatedrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CardinalFuzz/
cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/

White Manna, PAN (2015)

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Desertfest Belgium 2017: Conan, Stoned Jesus, Spidergawd and White Manna Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Another batch of four from Desertfest Belgium 2017 brings the aural devastation of ConanStoned Jesus celebrating the fifth anniversary of Seven Thunders Roar, the West Coast heavy psych of White Manna and the only-ever-out-of-the-studio-to-play-shows relentless heavy rock of Norway’s Spidergawd. Fucking cool round of adds? Yes, yes it is. The Antwerp-based Desertfest, like its Athenian autumnal counterpart, continues to step up and enter the class of the flagship springtime fests in Berlin and London. Seriously. I don’t think they’re halfway done yet and already it looks like they’re having trouble packing logos onto the poster.

It’s only going to get more crowded on there. Here’s the latest from the fest via the PR wire:

desertfest-belgium-2017-poster

NEW NAMES! CONAN, WHITE MANNA and more at DF Antwerp 2017

Back once again with a hot slew of names to fuel your Desertfest cravings!

We are still sitting on some very exciting headliners, but as you probably know by now: we live by the creed of ‘all killer no filler’. I think you’ll all agree that Conan is indeed a killer, if you don’t they’ll probably lob your head clean off. You see where this is going? Hailing from Arcata, California, White Manna is a cosmic noise outfit who will rock you straight into orbit. We welcome back Stoned Jesus from Kiev, a class doom act in its own right. And finally, your classic rock urges will be soothed by the sounds of supergroup Spidergawd.

That should be plenty to tide you over until the next announcement, which will follow very soon!

CONAN

Conan’s genre description reads “caveman battle doom”, and in their 10 years of existence they’ve never failed to live up to the promise. Every new album (from 2014’s ‘Monnos’ to ‘Blood Eagle’ and last year’s ‘Revengeance’) invariably ends up in worldwide best-of-year lists, and that doesn’t even count the bludgeoning live shows that have cemented their reputation as a scene essential. Much like their barbarian namesake, Conan are here to slay!

WHITE MANNA

Equal parts Stooges punk, Hawkwind space rock and Kosmische beat, White Manna unleashes a tidal wave of noise that is dense, intimidating and unforgiving. Across four albums, these Northern Californians have channelled mysticism, drug-altered consciousness and the elemental power of nature via swirling white noise blizzards and fuzz-caked riffage. Fans of Carlton Melton and Comets On Fire take note!

STONED JESUS

Ukraine may not be the first place in mind as a breeding ground for bonafide Sabbathian riffs. But maybe that’s why Stoned Jesus have been able to develop their unique own take on the doom-sludge legacy from which they’ve sprung forth. In any case, after their blistering show in 2015, we’re glad to welcome them back to the stage at DF 2017!

SPIDERGAWD

Starting out as a sideproject for a couple of Motorpsycho members, Spidergawd has since proven itself as a hard working band that is completely its own thing. A new album is released every year, and a relentless touring schedule has endeared them to a growing crowd of fans that can’t get enough of their distinctive flavour of desert rock (with just a touch of sax)!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/264364590656095/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Conan, “Throne of Fire” live at Maryland Deathfest 2017

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Day of the Shred 2015 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

day of the shred banner

Thief Presents continues to throw down a gauntlet with its festivals. It seemed fair after so thoroughly upping the game earlier this year with Psycho CA that big things would be in store for that fest’s autumnal counterpart, the Day of the Shred, but when you come out of the gate like it’s no big deal and be like, “Oh hey Captain Beyond is playing our fest year whatever,” you’re officially killing it. You’ve got John Garcia, Yawning Man and Ides of Gemini together, which makes me wonder if Zun won’t make an appearance, and Spirit Caravan, Elder and Crowbar, along with a righteous ton of others, up to and including Portugal’s Black Bombaim. It gets a hearty and heartfelt fucking a.

Details from the PR wire:

day of the shred 2015

Day of the Shred Festival to Light Up Southern California November 1

Dia de los Muertos-themed Concert Event to Feature Performances from Captain Beyond, Spirit Caravan, Crowbar, John Garcia, Mondo Generator, Torche and More

This fall, The Day of the Shred Festival returns to Southern California, presenting a diverse lineup of heavy music acts. Billed as an experience “to gather the living and remember the dead”, The Day of the Shred will take place on November 1 (Dia de los Muertos) in Santa Ana, CA. Celebrating monolithic riffs, skateboarding and the souls of the departed, the second annual festival will be an all day, all ages event. Presented by Thief – also the creators of the annual Psycho California Festival — The Day of the Shred will feature headliners Captain Beyond, Spirit Caravan, Crowbar, Torche, John Garcia (of Kyuss fame), Elder, Saviours, Mondo Generator and more.

Tickets for the 2015 Day of the Shred Festival are on sale now at this location. Early bird general admission tickets are $59 (+ tax) and a limited VIP ticket package (which includes express entry, a signed festival screen print, access to the artist lounge, complimentary microbrew and snacks, a limited edition record bag and an exclusive Thief X Obey concert shirt) is also available.
What: Day of the Shred Fest 2015
Where: The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
Time: 2PM – 2AM
Tickets: Eventbrite.com/e/day-of-the-shred-2015-tickets-17017683349

The just-announced lineup for The Day of the Shred 2015 is as follows:

CAPTAIN BEYOND
SPIRIT CARAVAN
CROWBAR
JOHN GARCIA
MONDO GENERATOR
TORCHE
ELDER
SAVIOURS
OXBOW
FULL OF HELL
THE BODY
YAWNING MAN
KOWLOON WALLED CITY
BLACK BOMBAIM
FIGHT AMP
THOU
NIGHT DEMON
IDES OF GEMINI
MOS GENERATOR
GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST
WHITE MANNA
POOBAH
COMMUNION
BLACKWITCH PUDDING
DUEL
Stay tuned in to The Day of the Shred Fest via the Facebook event page and follow THE DAY OF THE SHRED on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/dayoftheshred
https://twitter.com/thiefpresents
https://instagram.com/thiefpresents/
www.DayoftheShred.com

Weedeater, “Gimme Back My Bullets” Live at Day of the Shred 2014

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