Friday Full-Length: The Atomic Bitchwax, The Atomic Bitchwax

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The Atomic Bitchwax, The Atomic Bitchwax (1999)

I think it’s high time the ’90s era of heavy rock — the original run of stoner rock, that is — started to get tagged with the term classic. It’s been 20 years or more for most of it, after all. Think of bands like Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Acid King, Fu Manchu, Nebula, and so on, and to that list I would most definitely add New Jersey trio The Atomic Bitchwax. The band formed in 1993 but it would be six years before their self-titled debut came out on Tee Pee/MIA Records. It was kind of a side-project at first. Bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik was at the time a member of Godspeed, who were signed to Atlantic during the same era that saw Core and a few others picked up in the wake of Monster Magnet‘s burgeoning wider success, and they made a run touring with Black Sabbath and appearing on the first Nativity in Black tribute to Sabbath with Bruce Dickinson sitting in on vocals. When Godspeed split, it was basically into The Atomic Bitchwax and Solace. Kosnik, guitarist Ed Mundell, also then of Monster Magnet, and drummer Keith Ackerman, who also played in and would later rejoin Solace for a stretch, set to work on their first record, and they came out with a scorcher.

The Atomic Bitchwax‘s The Atomic Bitchwax runs a deceptive 11 songs and 53 minutes. It’s deceptive because they trade back and forth between instrumentals like the opening “Stork Theme” — which also seems to nod at Sabbath with a beginning noise that reminds of “After Forever” — and “Crazed Fandango” and “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home,” “The Last of the V8 Interceptors” and 10-minute closer “The Formula” and hook-laden tracks like “Birth to the Earth,” “Hey Alright,” “Hope You Die,” “Gettin’ Old” and “Shit Kicker,” as well as their cover of Core‘s “Kiss the Sun,” which would be a staple in live sets for years to come. The two modes of working are interspersed throughout the tracklisting — they might most come together on the bluesier, throttled-back “Gettin’ Old” — and that helps the trio of Kosnik, Mundell and Ackerman keep the listener off-balance as they build a working momentum from front to back across the release. That, coupled with what has become a signature style of winding riffs, a decent amount of speed in their tempos, a couple samples at the start of “Last of the V8 Interceptors” and “Shit Kicker,” and the extra percussion in “Crazed Fandango” earlier, all give the record a sense of variety that, especially on first listen, can be hard to keep up with. The Atomic Bitchwax has for the most part been a band that dares its audience to hold their pace. On the self-titled, that true in terms of style as well as tempo.

Stoner band being stoner in the era of stoner? Yeah, maybe. But to my ears what makes The Atomic Bitchwax a classic album is the fact that the band are so tight and so loose at the same time. the atomic bitchwaxThat The Atomic Bitchwax could conjure the sharp, head-spinning turns of “Stork Theme” and still be fuzzed-out and have an overarching groove in the process. Or that they could be so locked in on “Hope You Die” with Kosnik‘s bass comes forward in the hook and still toss out the lyric “Total. Freedom.,” and have it sound utterly natural. It’s not effortless, but it’s not intended to be. They remain the kind of band who should have someone walking through the crowd collecting tips while they play — “Hey folks, these guys are working hard up there” — but for the frenetic changes in “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home” and the MC5-worthy gallop of “Shit Kicker,” nothing The Atomic Bitchwax do on their first full-length takes precedent over the song itself. Even the instrumentals each have a personality of their own. Hell, “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hang Me in My Home” is the centerpiece. Those tracks are crucial the mission of the record overall, right down to the touch of psychedelia worked into the midsection of “The Formula” at the end of the album. They not only highlight the prowess of the band technically, but complement the songwriting of “Birth to the Earth” and “Hey Alright,” etc., making the band a richer listening experience the whole way through, giving flashes of punk immediacy here and there, but ultimately ending up with an unquestionable place in heavy rock and roll.

That a record could be so laid back as it punches you in the face. That’s The Atomic Bitchwax. Still, almost 20 years later.

And quite a 20 years it’s (nearly) been. The KosnikMundellAckerman lineup would follow the self-titled with II the next year, also on Tee Pee, and then have the Spit Blood EP on MeteorCity in 2002 before dissolving. Kosnik and Ackerman pressed forward by recruiting Core guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan for the 2005 album, 3 (discussed here), and thereby embarking on a new era of the band. The Jack Endino-produced EP Boxriff followed — proud to say I did the liner notes for it — coupled with a live set recorded in Seattle, and after losing Ackerman on drums, Kosnik and Ryan welcomed Bob Pantella, also of Monster Magnet, on drums for 2008’s TAB4 (aka T4B), issued first by MeteorCity and then by Tee Pee, which The Atomic Bitchwax rejoined and on whose roster they remain. 2011 brought the all-instrumental, single-song LP, The Local Fuzz (review here), and with that out of their system and a resurgence as a touring act, 2015’s Gravitron (review here) and 2017’s Force Field (review here) marked not only a period of productivity, but a maturity of approach that somewhat ironically dipped back to the modus of their earliest work but made it tighter and even sharper in the delivery.

Speaking of irony, for a band that was so long considered a side-project because of Mundell‘s involvement in both groups — he of course relocated to the West Coast earlier this decade and embarked on The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic — the last several years have found Kosnik playing bass in Monster Magnet in the rhythm section with Pantella. I don’t think anyone’s calling them a side-project at this point though. Classic, maybe. I certainly think so.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

We put the Little Dog Dio down on Monday. The pain from her bone cancer was becoming less and less manageable by the hour. We ended up giving her a percocet Monday morning and she ate nine string cheeses and some chicken after that and she got up to greet The Patient Mrs. when she and the baby got back from running an errand, but she was still clearly in agony, despite also being stoned out of her gourd.

I miss her. So much. I keep looking for her. Thinking about her in her places. The spots that were hers in the house. I’ve been telling Dio stories all week on Facebook. I have so many but I’ll probably do one more tomorrow and leave it there. It’s been hard.

We had a vet come and do it at the house. They do that now, apparently. I’ve had dogs my whole life and been a participant in two euthanasias prior to this one. Dio was different. Special. She woofed at the door when the vet came. She was healthy but for the cancer eating away at her. I figure we got robbed of at least two good years with her. I’d happily shave that time off my own lifespan if I could make a trade to get her back.

I brought her bed from the upstairs bedroom down to the kitchen and laid a sheet on it for her to be on while the vet administered the drugs. High dose of opiates, something else to knock her out, then the pink shit. Always the pink shit. The Patient Mrs. and I sat with her and cried — I’d spent the last four hours just petting her and telling her I loved her — and we were with her through the end. The vet was about to deliver the pink shit and I asked her to let me do it. She did. I did it. Me.

But you want to know the truth? The confession? I wouldn’t have done it on my own. The Patient Mrs. and I had talked it out and we both knew it was time, but even an hour before the vet came I was saying maybe we should call it off. And if she’d said okay, I would have. I wouldn’t have gone through with it. I’d have been selfish and kept my poor sweet Dio in pain just to have a couple more days with her. A little more time. I’m a terrible person.

I cried and cried and cried. When it was finally done, I wrapped her in the sheet and carried her out to the vet’s van, where a bag was waiting. She’ll be cremated and we’ll get her ashes back in the mail next week. I want to be buried with them when I go.

The rest of the last five days has been a blur of grief and baby feedings. I said goodnight to her pillow before I went to bed last night.

I have notes ready for next week front to back but I’m going to keep it to myself. It’s a cool week, busy, but I just don’t have it in me to run through it. Also, by way of a heads up, the next Quarterly Review begins Oct. 8. Nobody cares. I know.

If you get the chance though, I have a show debuting on www.gimmeradio.com this Sunday at 5PM Eastern. Prime time! It’s called “The Obelisk Show” and I host it and talk awkwardly about records and this and that. The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan both make a cameo. It turned out to be a lot of fun to put together and I promise it’s not sad. It’s free to sign up and there’s no subscription or anything, so if you get to check it out, I’d appreciate it. Here’s a poster they made.

jj gimme radio

That says it all, I guess. I’m just happy they spelled my name right. We’ll see if they let me do a second episode.

While you wait with bated breath for that to start, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Hold your loved ones close, have fun, and please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

 

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Droids Attack Working on New Songs; Tour Announced

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

droids attack

Two-pronged good news from Wisconsin heavy rockers Droids Attack. After the unveiling earlier this summer of their Rye Lager, the latest brew collaboration with Ale Asylum, the trio have announced intentions to hit the Eastern Seaboard next month and further intentions toward a new album thereafter. Anyone who may have heard 2016’s Sci-Fi or Die (review here) already knows this is a win.

As raucous as they are underappreciated, the sheer heart Droids Attack put into the presentation of Sci-Fi or Die was evident on every level, from the tightness of the songwriting to the crisp production, the gorgeous cover art and the actually-hidden bonus track that was on a secret mini-CD under the plastic tray holding the disc proper. Every step of the way, Droids Attack put everything they had into that record, and I’ll admit I was a little nervous accordingly it might be a final go. I’m glad to discover I was wrong.

It’s been years since I last saw them, and I won’t on this tour — Frederick, MD, is the closest stop and it’s about seven hours by car, so yeah — but if you can make it to watch them hammer out new material before they hit the studio, tell them I say hi and enjoy.

They sent the dates down the PR wire:

droids attack tour poster

Droids Attack are hitting one more string of road dates before entering the studio to begin work on the follow up to 2016’s Sci-Fi or Die. Those who attend can expect to hear some new material mixed in with some familiar favorites such as Brahma Astra, Claw Hammer Suicide, & Die Glocke. Joining them on this stretch is Druids from Des Moines, Iowa, who’s heavy groove inspired hooks make for a perfect pairing.

10/9: Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
10/10: Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
10/11: Ypsilanti, MI – West Cross Station
10/12: Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class
10/13: Frederick, MD – Guido’s Speakeasy
10/14: Pittsburgh, PA – Howler’s
10/15: Dayton, OH – Blind Bob’s
10/16: Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle Brewing
10/17: Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlie’s
10/18: Nashville, TN – Springwater Supper Club
10/19: St. Louis – Fubar

http://www.facebook.com/droidsattack
http://droidsattack.bandcamp.com/album/sci-fi-or-die
http://droidsattack.com/

Droids Attack, “Die Glocke” official video

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Desertfest London 2019 First Announcement: Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze, Kadavar, Witch, We Hunt Buffalo & DVNE Join Lineup

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

desertfest london 2019 banner

What’s more exciting than a killer first festival announcement? Not much. So many possibilities, and with its first lineup additions, Desertfest London 2019 throws the door wide open with some massive names. Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze and Kadavar? Hell, I’d take any of them as a headliner, and you can pretty much throw Witch in there too. That’s five acts right out of the gate, any of whom could sell out a show on their own in London, plus the just-reviewed We Hunt Buffalo and Edinburgh’s DVNE, whom I had the pleasure of seeing at Psycho Las Vegas for their US live debut, rounding out an initial seven that’s absolutely massive.

The key part of the announcement below, though? It’s where it says “we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date.” Desertfest London has only grown huger each year, more forward-thinking and broader in its reach. The Desertscene crew have their work cut out for them in topping 2018, but if this is a taste of the scale to come, they might just get there.

From the PR wire:

desertfest london 2019 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019 – Sunday, May 5, 2019

It begins! Desertfest is returning to Camden for our eighth edition over the Bank Holiday weekend of 3rd to 5th May, and as ever we’re bringing you the finest stoner, doom, sludge and psych bands from around the world. Over the next few months, we’ll be revealing our lineup of dozens of the heaviest bands around, so without further ado, here’s the first seven names for Desertfest 2019.

Over the last half-decade, Nashville’s All Them Witches have made themselves indispensable with a sound that has never stopped evolving, with their roots in heavy blues and psychedelia flourishing over time into an approach that is undeniably their own. The Tennessee four-piece arrive at Desertfest with a reputation that precedes them for jammy explorations and a kind of heavy that, while regularly imitated, has yet to be reproduced by anyone else.

Joining them on the bill are Kadavar, who make their long awaited Desertfest return with their fur-coated, barreling riot of a set at the Jazz Cafe in 2013 as fresh in our minds as ever. There are very few who perform the retro-rockin’, ’70s proto-metal revival with the power, prestige and passion of our favourite Berlin trio. The boogie train that is Kadavar won’t be making any emergency stops as it ploughs through Camden this May.

Vermont spell-casters Witch will be enrapturing Desertfest with their stoner rock incantations in 2019. Combining psychedelic rock, Sabbath-ian doom, and Black Flag sludge-punk, stoner aficionados who were around for the noughties boom will fondly remember Witch for releasing some of the hookiest albums of the decade. After a stint lurking in the shadows, Witch are hitting up Desertfest to make magic once again.

Even after seven mammoth editions of Desertfest, there are bands we’ve been chomping at the bit to get over to Camden to grace our stages; finally, we’ve grabbed us the hardest jamming band in the universe, Earthless, are touching down to shred our corner of London to the ground. The epitome of psyched-out Hendrixian-krautrock from day one, San Diego’s ultimate power trio will melt your entire body this May.

Colour Haze make their return to the Desertfest stage in 2019 after six long years. The German trio, in whose image modern heavy psychedelia is in large part cast, have affirmed their position as unflinching masters of the form in their absence, finding a new niche between heavy riffs and expansive arrangements. The Colour Haze that return to Desertfest are, somehow, even better than the one we saw in 2013.

Vancouver trio We Hunt Buffalo‘s brand of prog-minded fuzz rock has been stampeding out of amps and trampling audiences since 2010. Professing a love of all things stoner and psych and citing influences from all genres of rock, all underpinned with driving fuzz lines, We Hunt Buffalo will be just the ticket to a sore neck at Desertfest.

Last but not least in our first batch of bands are Edinburgh’s DVNE who play their own unique brand of night sky-gazing melodic sludge. Early-period Mastodon fans should take note, as the progressive changes and all-conquering vocals conjure up scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution in their epic soundscapes of post-metal ebb and flow.

So there you have it, our first seven bands. With dozens more names to come, including all three headliners, we’re aiming for our biggest bill to date. Weekend tickets are on sale now at the link below, so be sure to book your place at the heaviest lineup in town; Desertfest 2019!

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest

All Them Witches, ATW (2018)

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Doomstress Touring to Descendants of Crom, Doomed & Stoned and Heavy Mash Fests

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

doomstress

Science tells us that if you’ve got three festival appearances in the span of about two weeks, you should probably just make a tour of it. Accordingly, Texas heavybringers Doomstress are setting out on Sept. 25 for a round of shows that will take them to Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh, Doomed and Stoned in Indianapolis and Heavy Mash in their home state. They’ll start out in Connecticut on the run and head into the Midwest for gigs in Michigan and Wisconsin and Missouri en route to finishing Oct. 13 in Arlington. Having had the chance earlier this year to see them at Maryland Doom Fest (review here), I’ll confirm they put on a killer set, though to be honest with the amount of touring they’ve put in at this point for a band who don’t yet have a full-length out, they damn well better.

And speaking of — Hey Doomstress, how ’bout a record, one of these days?

Maybe we’ll get there in 2019. Until then, there are fests to hit:

doomstress tour dates

Doomstress fall tour run will see the band playing 3 fests as well as dates w/Windhand, Satan’s Satyrs, Come to Grief & Sierra. The band continues to expand their tour reach and will play their 1st shows in the upper northeast.

Doomstress is also officially announcing the inclusion of touring guitarist Matt Taylor as a full member of the band on this tour and the trio will be joined by Spike the Percussionist (of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom) handling drum duties for this tour.

9/25 New London, CT @ 33 Golden St.
9/27 Scranton, PA w/ Come to Grief & Curse the Son
9/28 Pittsburgh, PA @ Descendants of Crom Fest
9/29 Detroit, MI @ w/Sierra & Lucid Furs
9/30 Grand Rapids, MI @ w/Sierra
10/2 Milwaukee, WS @ Cactus Club
10/4 St. Louis, MO @ The Sinkhole
10/5 Indianapolis, IN @ Doomed & Stoned Fest 3
10/10 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall w/Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs
10/13 Arlington, TX @ Division Brewing – Heavy Mash Fest

www.doomstress.com
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
instagram.com/Doomstress_band
twitter.com/Doomstress
www.darkhedonisticunion.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records

Doomstress, “Bitter Plea” official video

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Review & Double Track Premiere: UFO Över Lappland, UFO Över Lappland

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ufo over lappland self titled

[Click play above to stream ‘JaEDeJaE’ and ‘Lemmy on the Beach’ from UFO Över Lappland’s self-titled debut. Reissue available to order now from Sulatron Records.]

Lappland is located in the north of Sweden. All the way up. It is home to the country’s largest nature preserve, and while I don’t know if there’s a particular history of flying saucer sightings, in 1959, a slice of sci-fi cheese called Rymdinvasion i Lappland — “Space Invasion of Lappland” — was released and maybe that’s where psych-jamming four-piece UFO Över Lappland got their name from. Or maybe they’re aliens. The latter would explain the extraterrestrial vibes of their self-titled debut, originally released in 2016 by Fluere Tapes in a glittery translucent blue-green pressed in an edition of 50 copies. 50 copies. Brutal. Long gone, of course.

Sulatron Records — helmed by Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt of Electric Moon, Zone Six, et al — has stepped in to reissue UFO Över Lappland‘s UFO Över Lappland on CD and LP, turning the original three-track digital outing from guitarist Krister Mörtsell, bassist Christer Blomquist, synthesist Peter Basun and drummer Andreas Rejdvik into a five-song/50-minute instrumentalist sprawl that includes “Lemmy on the Beach,” which featured as a bonus track on the original tape, and the oddly-capitalized “JaEDeJaE.” The UFO may be over Lappland, but space is for sure its final destination, and the band gives it well enough thrust to get there. Opener and longest track (immediate points) “Keep on Keepin’ on Space Truckin'” begins its 12-minute cast with tense, proggy lines of looped guitar as a and a solid forward drumbeat as a bed for the lead line. Swirl comes and goes via synth and the bass makes itself felt in low end swells working on their own wavelength to underscore the groove. It’s all on the beat, all working together toward the same end, which is the thorough and early immersion of the listener to be sustained over the course of the proceedings. Bridge to engine room: take us to full impulse.

I don’t think UFO Över Lappland have the intent of reinventing space rock or heavy psychedelia, but what they do exceedingly well throughout their first album is to balance fluidity and drift in their jams with a subtle outward push. The only time they really go full-on with a Hawkwindian rhythm is, suitably enough, in “Lemmy on the Beach,” but even in “Keep on Keepin’ on Space Truckin'” there’s an underlying movement happening that carries through the track such that when it hits into its fuller-toned payoff in the second half, the shift is natural. Tied to the earlier stretch via synth, they return soon enough to the bouncing rhythm and airy guitar to close out, giving way to “JaEDeJaE,” which begins with a rumble and feedback for the first minute of its total 6:52. The shortest track on UFO Över Lappland, it continues the modus of the opener in patiently building repetitions, but there’s a keyboard line that takes forward position early and is met by fuzzy lead guitar that stands it out among its companion cuts.

ufo over lappland

Obviously there isn’t time for the same kind of stretch as in the opener, but UFO Över Lappland still find room for a suitable payoff, with the drums signaling the change with tom runs and a switch to crash-cymbal timekeeping, adding to the overall wash. Noise and a few seconds of silence make a fitting enough bed for the lead into “Podzol” (10:40), which dedicates itself to the most patient and hypnotic unfolding on the record. Not a minor distinction, given the context of what surrounds. But even with the drums setting forth a progressive motion, that itself is gradual too. It opens minimal, then synth and guitar, then bass and drums, the latter just with toms, then snare, then cymbals. It all happens in stages, and it’s not until they’re about halfway through that the full breadth of the song comes to bear. “Podzol” has a payoff of its own, but the sense is that it’s more about the trip than where they wind up, though I won’t discount the dissolution into noise that happens in the last minute either, nor how it bleeds into the subsequent “Nothing that Lives Has… Such Eyes!…,” continuing the cosmic thread forward as it gracefully takes hold.

By this point they’ve set the parameters and the coordinates are locked in. “Nothing that Lives Has… Such Eyes!…” nonetheless marks itself out with its noisy second half and a slower-rolling finish, leaving little question as to why it originally was intended as the pre-bonus track capstone of the album. There is a feeling of waiting for that payoff to arrive that’s set up through the similar structures that run throughout the first three songs, but UFO Över Lappland make sticking it out worthwhile, and “Lemmy on the Beach” resolves itself in a space rock blast that’s true to form in a way the rest of UFO Över Lappland only hinted at being, so there’s a showing of some freakout genre fluidity as well following that closer’s early going, which again pairs active rhythms with spacious guitar work and synth, finding an atmosphere outside the atmosphere but still wearing mag-boots to stay grounded.

Again, it’s that balance that’s so crucial to UFO Över Lappland‘s first outing, and while they’ve given themselves room to grow and expand their style in terms of structure, there’s a tonal reach from top to bottom in the mix that proves to be height as much as depth. It might be for the converted, but the converted won’t complain at its arrival, and especially given the here and vanished nature of the original pressing — a second round of tapes is reportedly available from the band — there’s plenty of reason to see why Sulatron would invite listeners to get lost in its vastness. It’s a pleasure to do so, and considering the original release was two years ago, one hopes it won’t be that much longer before UFO Över Lappland offer a follow-up. It would only be welcomed, however it might ultimately be beamed in.

UFO Över Lappland on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

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Killer Moon to Release Nocturne into Nebula Oct. 28 on Kozmik Artifactz

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

killer moon

Listening to the 14-minute ‘Dazed’ from Nocturne into Nebula, the third album from swirlbringing outfit Killer Moon, it’s kind of astounding to discover they’re from Chicago and not the West Coast. The band first issued the noise-laced, gnarly-as-you-please collection on their own just before the dawning of the dark age in which we now dwell, and they’re putting it out through Kozmik Artifactz at the end of next month. That in itself is a rager of an endorsement, but man, the album just smokes. I didn’t hear it when it came out because I’m terrible at this, but yeah, if you’ve got a little time to let your mind wander, dig in. It’s streaming from the band’s Bandcamp page at the bottom of this post, and whether you call it a reissue or a first official release, it’s pretty easy to see why all parties would agree it belongs on a 12″ platter.

I don’t want to turn it off. So I won’t.

From the PR wire:

killer moon nocturne into nebula

Killer Moon – Nocturne into Nebula – Out 28th September!

As the late great timothy Leary once said “turn on, tune in and drop out “This is the manifesto of Killer Moon, expanding consciousness through experience. Pushing the boundaries of what is real and what is not what is whole and broken what is and is not. To perform as a singular entity together and separate to invoke feelings of the great ones and act as a conduit , to become a beacon of light and guide the seeker to the edge of reality. Killer Moon exists in the space between the in-between, transcendental beings only here for a moment reminding us that life is not limited to the five senses we have been force feed our entire lives.

Killer Moon sound mixes the melancholic beauty and noise of Amaris Aviles and amazingly melodies with baroque flourishes of Jesse Garza held together by the fierce passionate drumming of Anthony Macias. Killer Moon spills every inch of their soul on these songs, reflecting the joys, sorrows, and the complications of love and life. It’s their sound, many will come to recognise soon as they embark the journey into other worldly adventures.

WE ARE A REINCARNATION OF WHAT IS A FOREVER CHANGING ENERGY. WE ARE LIGHT AND LOVE. WE TRAVEL THROUGH THIS LIFE BEING INFLUENCED AND TAKING IN WHAT WILL MAKE US BETTER HUMAN BEINGS. WE RELATE ALL THE BEAUTY INTO WHAT IS OUR PUREST FORM OF EXPRESSION.

Nocturne into Nebula will be released on heavyweight vinyl and CD on the 28th of September on Kozmik Artifatcz.

VINYL FACTZ
– Plated & pressed on high
performance vinyl at
Pallas/Germany
– limited & coloured vinyl
– 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

TRACKS
1. TEMPLE OF THE SON
2. LIVE FAST DIE YOUNG
3. DAZED
4. AFRICANS FROM SPACE
5. DEATH TRIP
6. BLIND
7. TRANSMITTING
8. BROKEN BLUES
9. AS ABOVE SO BELOW

Killer Moon are:
Jesse Garza – Lead Guitar and Vocals
Amaris Aviles – Bass Guitar
Anthony Macias – Drums
Zak Bronson – Keys & Outer Space Sounds

https://www.facebook.com/Killer-Moon-302877409880303/
https://killermoonmusic.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Killer Moon, Nocturne into Nebula (2016)

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Review & Track Premiere: We Hunt Buffalo, Head Smashed In

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on September 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

we hunt buffalo head smashed in

[Click play above to stream the premiere of We Hunt Buffalo’s lyric video for ‘The Giant’s Causeway.’ Their new album, Head Smashed In is out Oct. 26 on Fuzzorama Records and New Damage Records.]

As images go, ‘head smashed in’ is as vivid as it is succinct and violent. We Hunt Buffalo, who made their debut on Fuzzorama Records in 2015 with their second album, Living Ghosts (discussed here), return with Head Smashed In as a nine-song/43-minute collection of beefed-up modern progressive-styled heavy, bordering often on metal in songs like “Angler Must Die” with the popping snare of drummer Brandon Carter backing the dual-vocal hook from guitarist Ryan Forsythe and bassist Cliff Thiessen, or in the lumbering moments of finale “God Games.”

Those stretches, though, aren’t without contrast, and We Hunt Buffalo wind up with a sneakily dynamic style that takes on heavy rock directly in cuts like “Keep it Refreshing,” which to my New England-dwelling ears seems to have a bit of Roadsaw in its chorus, and centerpiece “Industry Woes,” which engages harsher vocals but has a classic round of starts and stops that not only shows a tightness on the part of the band instrumentally, but easily crosses genre lines in a way that sounds natural and familiar while still remaining stylistically nuanced. That nuance is in part thanks to the production, which is crisp and brings out a tension in a way that Living Ghosts seemed more open and looser on the whole, but is full in its overall affect and massive sounding especially in the guitar and bass tones.

Big choruses pay off dug-in movements, and from opener “Heavy Low” through “Angler Must Die” and “Prophecy Wins” and into the instrumental “Get in the Van,” the balance between proggy detail-making, weighted force of tone and rhythm and traditional-feeling earwormery makes Head Smashed In true to its titular sense of impact without necessarily the direct one-on-one violence that “smashed” brings to mind. In the end, there are many ways to cave in a skull.

we hunt buffalo

The shouts in “Industry Woes” feel well-enough earned by that song’s theme, and they have a likewise well-placed effect on the context of the record as a whole, speaking to roots in the Mastodon-informed sphere of modern underground thrust, but for the most part, Head Smashed In works at a comfortable pace. Later, “God Games” takes on an almost post-rocking feel in its subdued verses, but even “Prophecy Wins” — the longest cut at 6:12 and the last chapter of the opening salvo — has a steady, obviously-in-control rollout that never flies too far off the handle on its way to its engaging melodic finish. “The Giant’s Causeway” finds Carter double-timing his ride cymbal in the chorus, and that adds a sense of urgency, but in that song as well there’s no danger of We Hunt Buffalo losing their way. They might be at their speediest on “Get in the Van,” but the same applies, and ultimately, the range on Head Smashed In is more about volume and melody than about tempo.

That’s not to say there’s no changing it up, as the back-to-back run of “Anxious Children” into “God Games” demonstrates, just that the impression the tracks make draws more from the trades between Forsythe and Simpson on vocals and the shifts between louder and quieter parts than playing grind on one track and doom on another. Their pacing helps draw the material together and create a flow that moves the listener from start to finish, and it’s in how they work within that sphere that We Hunt Buffalo emanate a maturity in their approach that even just three years ago they simply didn’t have. It might not come across as such on a first time through, but Head Smashed In is actually pretty classy. The performances are sharp, the mix is deep and allows for emotional resonance in the melodies that are so crucial to the memorable nature of the songs, and there is an overarching groove that results in an all-the-more coherent vibe. Very much a third album. Very much the product of a group who know what they want to do, who are steady in their approach, confident in the studio, working how they want to work and able to bring a sense of energy to their output regardless of the outward push. It’s not the kind of record a band could make their first time out.

And maybe that’s part of the idea behind the title — to mask some of that intricacy in a notion of brute force. Fair enough. Influences from the likes of Elder situate We Hunt Buffalo in a forward-thinking heavy sphere with the likes of Forming the Void, and like the lines in its cover art, which also features a smashed head or two, it’s the pinpoint details in the songs that make their third LP succeed in the manner it does. They bolster the strong choruses of cuts like “Prophecy Wins” and “The Giant’s Causeway” and “Keep it Refreshing,” while giving those who’d rightfully return for multiple listens all the more reason to keep coming back. It’s songwriting. But just like one might look at the name of the album and prejudge an expectation of what’s coming, there’s more to the proceedings in the individual pieces than their plus-sized riffs and stories about monsters. Though there’s plenty of that too for anyone who’d readily take them on.

We Hunt Buffalo, Head Smashed In (2018)

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We Hunt Buffalo website

We Hunt Buffalo on Bandcamp

Fuzzorama Records website

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When the Deadbolt Breaks Sign to Desert Records for Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… LP Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

After hooking up with Sliptrick Records earlier this year in order to issue their latest album, the well-ellipsed Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…, on ye olde compact(e) disc, Connecticut-based dark-psych doomers When the Deadbolt Breaks have inked a deal with Desert Records to press the outing to vinyl. It’s the first LP release in a 14-year tenure for When the Deadbolt Breaks, so by no means a minor occasion to consider. Founding guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lewis — who also toured this past Spring playing bass for Earthride — mentions the CD as being imminent, and I don’t have an exact release date for the vinyl, which I expect will also drop one of the five 10-plus-minute tracks that comprise the record (though anything’s possible in this horrifying age of wonders), but Desert Records says it’ll be the soundtrack to your winter, so I’ll assume it’s not that far off.

Good news in bleak sounds, whenever it arrives. The album is also streaming in full at the bottom of this post. If you’re up for a little twist of your psyche, have at it:

when the deadbolt breaks

When the Deadbolt Breaks – Desert Records

Desert Records would like to welcome When The Deadbolt Breaks to the family. This album brings you Psychedelic at its most beautiful, with Doom at its most darkest and crushing. Angels are Weeping will be your soundtrack for the coming winter.

Says the band, “We are very excited to sign with Desert Records for the vinyl release of our new album, “Angels are weeping… God has abandoned…”. We feel that this is going to be a great partnership and look forward to what the future will bring.

“The album is currently available digitally (and CD as soon as customs releases them to us) through our bandcamp, and is scheduled to be released on CD and digital worldwide via SlipTrick Records this month.

“We have wanted to do a vinyl release for some time, and feel that this is the perfect release to do that with. Thanks to Desert Records, it will happen.”

When The Deadbolt Breaks are:
Aaron Lewis – Guitars/Vocals | Mike Parkyn – Bass/Backing vocals | Randall Dumas – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/WhentheDeadboltBreaks/
https://whenthedeadboltbreaks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Deadbolt6669
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordlabel/
https://www.facebook.com/sliptrickrecords/

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

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