Woodhawk Announce ‘Magnetic North Tour’ Canadian Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk (photo Mario Montes)

Canadian heavy rockers Woodhawk seem to have a thing for Star Wars-themed tour posters. I can’t really argue with either the aesthetic or the concept, it’s just always kind of fun to see what they come up with for their next stretch on the road. This time around it’s a Millennium Falcon with a trailer full of gear. Get it? Last time it was Darth Vader looming over the dates. I assume if we wait long enough, some of those adorable little porgs might show up. Or BB-8. Or Force-Hologram Luke. Cute as a button, the whole lot of ’em.

Since you asked, yes indeed, Woodhawk are still out supporting last year’s Beyond the Sun (review here), which had its own Star Wars connections. If you’ve got a daily quota for hooks to get stuck in your head, I suggest you stream the album on the player at the bottom of this post, and should you happen to be in the Great White North this March/April, here are those dates:

woodhawk magnetic north tour

WOODHAWK Announce Canadian “Magnetic North Tour” (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)

Calgary, AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK announce their 2018 Canadian “Magnetic North Tour” in support of their latest full length album “Beyond The Sun” released April last year. The tour will see the trio trek across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba plus performing for the first time in Ontario and Quebec (dates listed below).

The band comments: “We’re excited to be hitting the road again and heading out East this time. We haven’t played past Winnipeg yet and we’re stoked to finally make it out there.”

WOODHAWK’s debut album “Beyond The Sun” was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 self-titled EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK “Magnetic North Tour” (AB/SK/MB/ON/QC)

March 21 – Calgary, AB – Ship and Anchor
March 22 – Edmonton, AB – Brixx Bar
March 23 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
March 24 – Winnipeg, MB – The Handsome Daughter
March 27 – London, ON – Call The Office
March 28 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
March 29 – Ottawa, ON – House of TARG
March 30 – Toronto, ON – The Bovine
March 31 – Montreal, QC – Quai des Brumes
April 2 – Oshawa, ON – TBA
April 5 – Thunder Bay, ON – Black Pirates Pub
April 6 – Brandon, MB – North Hill Inn
April 7 – Regina, SK – The German Club

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (2017)

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The Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

top-20-of-2017-year-end-poll-results

Happy New Year 2018! If you’re reading this, welcome to the future. Enjoy your flying car, free healthcare, universal income, matter replicators and life on that moon colony you moved to a couple years back — New Berlin, wasn’t it? Well, either way, I’m sure it’s lovely this season.

Way back in the Dark Ages, on Dec. 1, 2017, I put up The Obelisk’s annual Year-End Poll, looking for submissions from as many people as possible with their picks for what were the year’s best albums. The response was once again staggering. Over 400 lists came in — including my own, which I submitted yesterday — for a final tally of 419, and the amount of consensus that emerged from them was no less impressive.

We’ll get there in a second. First, a reminder about the point system. As ever, a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. So it doesn’t only matter that you included a record on your list — the raw votes are also tallied — but where it was included. That only seems fair in acknowledging how passionate people were about a given release.

You know the drill by now I’m sure, but it pays to be thorough. Below you’ll find both the weighted point tally and the raw votes results, followed by some quick honorable mentions, comment, etc. After the jump, you’ll find the complete list of everyone who submitted. If you’d like to check my math on anything, feel free. I’m by no means perfect when it comes to statistics or counting or any of that stuff involving those things that aren’t letters. Whatever they’re called.

Thanks to everyone who took part this year. Here are the lists:

Top 20 of 2017 — Weighted Results

elder reflections of a floating world adrian dexter

1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (888 points)
2. Monolord, Rust (397)
3. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War (346)
4. Pallbearer, Heartless (327)
5. Colour Haze, In Her Garden (284)
6. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand (256)
7. Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper (250)
8. The Obsessed, Sacred (248)
9. Sasquatch, Maneuvers (242)
10. Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard (237)
11. Kadavar, Rough Times (236)
12. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe (225)
13. Ufomammut, 8 (205)
14. DVNE, Asheran (198)
15. Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child (189)
16. Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (163)
17. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma (158)
18. Causa Sui, Vibraciones Doradas (155)
19. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable (150)
20. Motorpsycho, The Tower (149)

Honorable Mention:
Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle (144)
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings (134)
Dopelord, Children of the Haze (132)
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun (129)
Mutoid Man, War Moans (123)

No real surprise here, but with the fact that Elder’s Reflections of a Floating World topped 880 points and got more than twice as much as the next closest record, it’s hard to begrudge 2017 some measure of predictability. For what it’s worth, that’s an even stronger showing than their Lore LP got in 2015, and they took the lead on day one and did not relinquish it for the duration. Outside of them and Monolord, who held command of the number two spot for the entire month, there was some measure of parity, but it was clear where hearts and minds were situated in 2017, and certainly difficult to argue with the picks on the whole, regardless of where a given individual ranked one album or the other. Looking at that list of 20-plus, especially with the honorable mentions, I’d sign up for that year every time. It was a good one. Now then…

Top 20 of 2017 — Raw Votes

elder reflections of a floating world adrian dexter

1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (207 votes)
2. Monolord, Rust (110)
3. Pallbearer, Heartless (94)
4. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War (88)
5. Kadavar, Rough Times (77)
6. Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard (75)
7. Colour Haze, In Her Garden (74)
8. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand (72)
9. The Obsessed, Sacred (71)
10 Sasquatch, Maneuvers (70)
11. Ufomammut, 8 (67)
12. Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper (64)
13. Ruby the Hatchet, Planetary Space Child (60)
14. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe (59)
15. Woodhawk, Beyond the Sun (54)
16. DVNE, Asheran (53)
17. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable (48)
18. Causa Sui, Vibraciones Doradas (47)
19. Radio Moscow, New Beginnings (45)
19. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma (45)
20. Dopelord, Children of the Haze (43)
20. Mothership, High Strangeness (43)

Honorable Mention:
Youngblood Supercult, The Great American Death Rattle (40)
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun (37)
The Atomic Bitchwax, Force Field (34)
Beastmaker, Inside the Skull (34)
Motorpsycho, The Tower (33)
Mutoid Man, War Moans (32)

Even less surprising given the above. 207 people of the 419 who submitted lists included Elder somewhere on theirs. It’s pretty hard to get about 50 percent of anyone to agree on anything these days, so I consider that no minor feat. Again, Reflections of a Floating World earned its place, and it was a pretty astounding achievement for the band and the genre they’re working to remake in their own image. A couple minor shifts between the raw tallies and the weighted results as there always are, but again, the underlying point here is that 2017 was a pretty killer year all the way around and across a deep variety of styles, the quality of work being put forth by veterans and newcomers alike was nothing short of excellent.

Before I turn you over to the massive swath of everybody’s lists, I just want to say thanks again to Slevin for being so instrumental in setting up the technical end of this poll. It’s amazing year after year to be able to basically at this point flip a switch and have it all set to go and there’s no way that would happen without Slevin working so hard behind the scenes to put the structure in place that holds this project, the entire site, together. Thanks dude.

And thank you for reading and contributing your favorites of 2017! This is the last of the 2017 Year-End coverage for The Obelisk. If you missed any of it, go here:

The Top 30 Albums of 2017

The Top 20 Short Releases of 2017

The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

2017 Song of the Year

12 of 2017’s Best Album Covers

One more time, thank you for reading. After the jump, please find the raw lists of everyone who took the time to turn one in. Enjoy:

Read more »

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Woodhawk Canadian Tour Starts Sept. 3; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk-photo-mario-a-montes

Hooks, hooks, hooks, riffs, riffs, riffs, fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, groove, groove, groove. These are the things that Calgary trio Woodhawk will bring with them this Fall when they hit the road in their native Canada for what they’re calling the ‘Woodhawk Strikes Back’ tour. If you’re wondering what the Star Wars connection might be, aside from being stoked for Episode VIII and the forthcoming Han Solo movie that has Hobie Doyle from Hail Caesar! in the titular role, if I’m not mistaken it’s also the second run of Canadian dates Woodhawk are undertaking to support their earlier-2017 full-length, Beyond the Sun (review here), which also had a song on it titled “A New Hope.” So there you go. All has been made clear.

The three-piece also have a new video posted for “The High Priest” from that album that you can watch below, and whether you heard the record when it came out or not, the already-stuck-in-your-head chorus makes a considerable argument in favor of another visit. Some bands just know how to write a song.

Info follows from the PR wire:

woodhawk tour poster

WOODHAWK “Strikes Back Tour” (AB/SK/BC) + Riff-tastic Debut “Beyond The Sun” Out Now!

Calgary’ AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK will be hitting the road this September for their second Western Canadian tour (AB/SK/BC) (dates listed below) in support of their full length album ‘Beyond The Sun’ released this past April. The album was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 debut EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

The band comments:

“This tour sees us wrapping up our western Canada touring in support of Beyond The Sun. Western Canada is so good to us. A New Hope seeme d to be a lot of people’s favourite song off the album, so we thought it would be funny to pull another Star Wars reference out, with naming the tour Woodhawk Strikes Back.”

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK Strikes Back Tour (AB/SK/BC)
Sept 3 – Calgary, AB – Atlantic Trap and Gil
Sept 8 – Lethbridge, AB – The Slice
Sept 9 – Regina, SK – The German Club
Sept 15 – Golden, BC – The Rockwater
Sept 16 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
Sept 23 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
Oct 7 – Edmonton, AB – UP+DT Festival – Downtown Edmonton Community League

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, “The High Priest” official video

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Woodhawk Premiere “Quest for Clarity”; Canadian Tour Dates Announced

Posted in audiObelisk on March 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

WOODHAWK photo-mario-a-montes

Calgary three-piece Woodhawk have set an April 7 release for their new album, Beyond the Sun. It’s their first full-length following a 2014 self-titled EP, and it’s hard to imagine that, given the cohesive songwriting, resonant fullness of tone and crisp harmonies that make up its foundation, I won’t be posting a news item in the near-ish future about this or that label picking it up for a vinyl and/or CD issue. They’re taking care of a first run on their own, of course, and have preorders available through Bandcamp, but it seems to me that once people get a grasp on the hooks of songs like “The High Priest,” “Living in the Sand,” the Star Wars paean “A New Hope” and “Quest for Clarity” that the interest won’t be there. Hell, they recently shared the stage with Truckfighters, and listening to album centerpiece “Lawless,” it seems to me they’d make excellent Fuzzorama Records labelmates for Valley of the Sun. Not trying to tell anyone — band or imprint — how to live their lives, I’m just trying to note in my cumbersome way that while Beyond the Sun is the debut long-player from the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Turner Midzain, bassist/vocalist Mike Madmington and drummer Kevin Nelson, it has a professionalism at its core that’s hard to miss as you make your way through its platter-ready 38 minutes.

You can hear it in the call and response of “Living in the Sand” to be sure, but it’s there from the start ofwoodhawk beyond the sun “Beyond the Sun” itself, which opens the record that shares its name. One is reminded at first of post-Queens of the Stone Age London rockers Crystal Head, but that kind of moodiness is only one aspect of Woodhawk‘s delivery, and the band ultimately feels much more at home dug into the active drive that emerges later in that track and continues with “The High Priest.” Later, “Magnetic North” brings an organ-laced (keys added by Jesse Gander) semi-lumber to the proceedings before “Lawless” answers in chugging verse fashion, and the bass opening of “Quest for Clarity” plays up the harmonies en route to the closing third of the nine-track outing. That final segment starts with the aforementioned “A New Hope” — kind of had me wondering if they were talking about Star Wars or StarWars-as-existential-metaphor, but yeah, it seems to just be a song about Star Wars; okay then — and continues into the drifting interlude “Foresee the Future” and the not-at-all-an-ElectricWizard-cover “Chrononaut,” which seems to expand the arrangements in all directions, instrumentally and vocally, as if to underscore the quickness and efficiency with which the journey from the title-track has been made, looking back on the formidable amount of ground covered with due purpose and clearheadedness. If they’ve been on any kind of “Quest for Clarity” at all, they’ve found it.

Woodhawk will celebrate the arrival of Beyond the Sun with two release shows next weekend and then head out on a 10-date Canadian tour in May. The dates came down in an announcement from the PR wire, and you’ll find them under the premiere of “Quest for Clarity” below, which I’m happy to host, along with some welcome perspective from Midzain on the song’s making and how it relates to the rest of the tracks around it.

Please enjoy:

Woodhawk, “Quest for Clarity” from Beyond the Sun (2017)

Turner Midzain on “Quest for Clarity”:

“‘Quest for Clarity’ was one of the last songs we wrote for the record. It’s about taking a step back and really looking around at what’s going on. Sometimes you need to step back in order to move forward. We felt this song really tied the two sides of the album together. It’s a bit of a different side of us with more harmonies and contrast than some of our previous straight-ahead riffers.”

Slathered in rock and roll riffs and dealing with a case of wanderlust, Calgary’s rock revival heroes WOODHAWK set out to unleash their debut full-length ‘Beyond The Sun’ paired with dates across Western Canada.

Their album ‘Beyond The Sun’ is produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) and is slated for release April 7, 2017. Pre-order of Vinyl, CD or Digital with an instant download of the first single ‘The High Priest’ available via their bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

After opening for Truckfighters, Yawning Man and We Hunt Buffalo in Calgary, WOODHAWK will be hitting the road for tour of Western Canada to quell their hunger for playing shows.

Show Dates:
April 7 – Edmonton, AB – Sewing Machine Factory (CD Release Show)
April 8 – Calgary, AB – The Palomino (CD Release show)

Vagabonds of The Western Gig Tour:
May 4 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
May 5 – Nanaimo, BC – The Queens
May 6 – Victoria, BC – Logan’s Pub
May 7 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
May 8 – Edmonton, AB – Rendezvous Pub
May 9 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
May 10 – Winnipeg, MB – The Handsome Daughter
May 11 – Regina, SK – The German Club
May 12 – Calgary, AB – Palomino
May 13 – Fernie, BC – Northern Bar

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

Woodhawk on Thee Facebooks

Woodhawk on Twitter

Woodhawk on Instagram

Woodhawk on Bandcamp

Woodhawk website

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