Godmaker & Somnuri, Split LP: Excerpts and Edges

Posted in Reviews on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

godmaker somnuri split

Madness ensues. Some splits seem like a nightmare to set up. Bands are on opposite sides of the planet, have disparate sounds, there are different labels involved, all this extra whatnot before anyone actually gets to the process of writing songs. I’d imagine Godmaker and Somnuri getting together for a split LP released through The Company was easier. Like sending a text: “So, split?” “Sure.” Followed by the booking of studio time. The two bands, both of whom are based in Brooklyn, tap into a progressive take on New York’s long-established concrete-crunch noise rock, and both bands showcase considerable forward-forward-forward aesthetic ambition in their two included songs on this 30-minute offering. But even more than whatever commonalities exist in terms of geography, sound and intent, these dudes know each other. They’re not strangers assembled together haphazardly.

Check the lineups. Godmaker is guitarist/vocalists Pete Ross (ex-Cleanteeth) and Carmine Laietta (ex-Hull), bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Andrew Archey (Fashion Week) and drummer Jon Lane (ex-Bröhammer), and their 13-minute “An Excerpt” features guest vocals from Kurt Applegate (Family). Meantime, Somnuri are guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell (ex-Bezoar, Blackout), bassist Drew Mack (ex-Hull) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo (ex-Family). If you took everyone’s bands and put them all on a bill together you could have a festival at the Saint Vitus Bar. Granted you’d have to get a couple reunions going, but I think the point stands; it isn’t exactly anyone’s first time at the dance. And frankly, both Godmaker and Somnuri sound like it.

Godmaker released their self-titled debut (review here) in 2014, and Somnuri had their own (review here) last year, but regardless of the timing, the two bands both inhabit the modern sphere of New York noise, informed not only by the likes of Unsane, but by sludge and post-metal, by sundry other genres and experiences. The result is a sense of atmosphere to complement the aggressive push in both acts that remains coherent from one to the next, and as Godmaker‘s cover of Portishead‘s “Over” gives way to Somnuri‘s “Over and Out,” the ties there seem to extend beyond the title similarities.

So okay, they fit well together. Fair enough. Actually makes a lot of sense they’d get together for a joint release. As for the madness noted at the outset, that’s really more down to the audio itself. The chief impression I carried out of Godmaker‘s self-titled four years ago was one of scathe. It was skin-peelingly abrasive, but their “An Excerpt” hones a more patient delivery, unfolding with a buzzing tension beneath a steady guitar line and nonetheless enacting a fluidity around this darker theme. Recorded and mixed by Tom Tierney at Spaceman Sound, when it kicks in with a full-toned nod at about 90 seconds, barking vocals over top for a first verse that soon shifts into a chorus that reminds of Meatjack taking on the Melvins — that’s pretty specific, so I’m going to guess it’s sonic coincidence — it makes a return to the verse and the chorus for a second runthrough before shifting into the more complex aspects of its structure, introducing cleaner vocals amid screams and a chugging instrumental surge that gives way to winding triumph and, right about at the halfway mark, a falling apart of the proceedings entirely.

They crash out to near-silence with quiet bass and guitar setting the stage for the build back up — one can’t help but be reminded of Hull‘s layered-vocal victories here — as they shove toward and through the apex and set themselves on the final outward march that consumes the last two minutes, dedicating the final of them to sustained crashes and noise. After that, I’d question the necessity of the Portishead cover, but it’s listed as a “bonus track,” and I guess if you’ve got the space on the record, use it. They bring a beefed-up arrangement to “Over,” which appeared on Portishead‘s 1997 self-titled full-length, and include samples and a current of foreboding that comes through the cleaner vocals early and the later screams the accompany. It’s a welcome enough touch and shows a breadth of influence on the part of Godmaker, which is no doubt part of the reason it’s there, but “An Excerpt” is the highlight without question.

Somnuri answer back with two originals of their own in “Over and Out” and “Edge of the Forest,” neither of which hits the runtime of Godmaker‘s “An Excerpt,” but both of which find the trio building on the promise of their first record and bringing together a dynamic that benefits from the chemistry burgeoning among the players. Sherrell, who drummed in Bezoar and plays bass in Blackout, seems to be the kind of player who can handle just about any task he might take on in a band. Vocallly he’s in easy command in switching between clean and harsh lines, and his tone and that of Mack are both righteously thick without being indistinguishable from each other — Jeff Berner recorded at Studio G, while SanGiacomo mixed. “Over and Out” moves in its second half to a tight chug and weaves a lead line overhead to give a tonal contrast, and concludes with a full-brunt crush that’s absolutely punishing.

“Edge of the Forest” is longer by nearly three full minutes at 7:21, and uses some of that time to set up a more patient buildup à la Godmaker earlier with the crash-in happening right around the two-minute mark with far-back clean vocals reminding of the last Akimbo (yes, I know: wrong coast, but they were writing about New Jersey, so eat me) before the slow roars and screams drop in the midsection to atmospheric guitar leading not to a build, but a sudden slam forward that is propelled by the drums through a fierce but still controlled crescendo given vicious screams before a final return to the chug that first enveloped after that midsection quiet part gives a last-minute sense of symmetry and the piece ends on a notably progressive assault. The temptation with a split is to think of the bands involved in competition with each other, and maybe that’s what’s happening with Godmaker and Somnuri here, but the fact of the matter is both offer an intricacy of style that adds depth to their raw and sometimes angular heaviness. They work better together than they do as adversaries, in other words, and the aim in this split seems not to be to find them pitted against each other, but acting in unison toward their shared goal of conveying some of the best aspects on New York’s modern noise movement. It’s a thoughtful madness.

Godmaker on Thee Facebooks

Godmaker on Instagram

Godmaker on Bandcamp

Somnuri on Thee Facebooks

Somnuri on Instagram

Somnuri on Bandcamp

The Company webstore

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Yatra Premiere “Black Moon”; Debut Album Death Ritual out Jan. 4 on Grimoire Records

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

yatra (photo by Alyssa Maloof)

Roll it out. Inspirations from the past of the East Coast’s most essential doom scene echo through the Grimoire Records debut album from Maryland’s Yatra, but Death Ritual isn’t just another band come along to retread The Obsessed riffs or try to fill the void left by Iron Man. Led by guitarist, vocalist and principal songwriter Dana Helmuth (also ex-Blood Raven), Yatra‘s story goes that they adjourned themselves from the daily whatnottery of live, went to a cabin sans indoor plumbing, and banged out the album in a couple months’ time. As the PR wire informs below, even the band’s name ties into the idea of a pilgrimage, so that they’d execute such a meditative self-removal is all the more fitting. You’d almost swear these things were thought out beforehand.

Death Ritual finds Helmuth joined by bassist Maria Geisbert and drummer Mike Tull for eight songs and 44 minutes of doomly rollout, but if you want to hear how the woods affected their sound, the rasp of “Sacred Flower” or the howl in “Four Directions” nods in a pretty clear manner toward black metal, but there’s plenty of burled-out riffing to coincide, as shown not only on “Four Directions,” but in the droning atmosphere of “Snakes in the Temple” and “Mighty Arrows” as well, the latter of which marches Death Ritual to its finish with “Sailing On,” which makes sense as a closer, you know, about death. Having begun with an atmospheric intro to opener “Hour of the Dragon,” the crash and tonal depth make themselves felt early on and become the center around which the revolve. It’s like doom but they poured barbecue sauce on it.

No complaints there. “Black Moon,” which follows, takes a not dissimilar angle, but does so over a more fleshed-out period of time. at 6:43. I have the pleasure of hosting the track, which makes a ceremony of its initial feedback before unfurling some of the more extreme touches amid the tonal heft and nodding groove, the ease with which Yatra tap into different styles deceptive in its raw cohesion.

You can stream “Black Moon” at the bottom of this post. The PR wire was kind enough to send over info on Death Ritual, which is out Jan. 4 on Grimoire Records.

yatra death ritual

Grimoire Records presents Death Ritual, the debut full-length album by Maryland-based doom trio YATRA, confirming the album for early January release. The record’s cover art, track listing, and more have been posted.

YATRA is a journey into mountainous sounds, transcending into the deep forests of primeval times. Born from the ashes of the Maryland doom band Blood Raven, the new three-piece emerged in 2017 as frontman Dana Helmuth’s new vehicle to embrace the darkness and doom. Confident in Maria Geisbert and Mike Tull as his new rhythm section, Helmuth’s inspiration was fueled exponentially.

“We had moved back to the country, into a small cottage in the woods, with no plumbing for the first three months we were there,” describes Helmuth. “We had an outhouse and outdoor shower. It was primitive, and it was during that time that I started writing all the material for Death Ritual. The solitude and the darkness of the night put me in a space of prolific writing and I wrote all eight songs in a month. We rehearsed three times a week and immediately started playing live shows regularly in Baltimore and New York City. We were able to channel that same darkness in the writing, also into our live shows, and the positive response was tremendous and really pushed us harder on our journey.”

In fact, “journey” is exactly what YATRA symbolizes. While traveling through Nepal and the Himalayas by motorcycle in 2013, Helmuth learned the native word “yatra” which means journey or pilgrimage, which he later recalled as the namesake of this new doom trio. The band’s eclectic sound combines the harsh, distorted vocal sounds of black metal over slow, heavy doom drones, fuzzed-out sludge riffs, and a tight rhythm section maintained by Maria Geisbert on bass and Mike Tull on drums. YATRA’s sound clearly conveys heavy worship and dedication to tone. Helmuth’s lyrics draw from fantasy and are influenced by the writings of Howard, Lovecraft, Auel, Tolkien, as well as many references to Norse mythology and Pagan ritual. No love or politics. Fans of Electric Wizard, Cough, and Sleep will find plenty to love in Death Ritual.

YATRA’s full-length debut, Death Ritual was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Grimoire Records’ Noel Mueller in August of 2018. The artwork features four mixed-media pieces by Aki Pitkänen, layout by Mueller, and the hand-drawn logotype by Dana Helmuth.

Death Ritual will be released on CD and digital download via Grimoire Records, and as a limited-edition vinyl release directly from the band, on January 4th, 2019. Find preorders HERE and watch for audio samples, tour dates, and more to be posted shortly.

Death Ritual Track Listing:
1. Hour Of The Dragon
2. Black Moon
3. Sacred Flower
4. Snakes In The Temple
5. Smoke Is Rising
6. Four Directions
7. Mighty Arrows
8. Sailing On

YATRA:
Dana Helmuth – guitars/vocals
Maria Geisbert – bass
Mike Tull – drums

http://www.facebook.com/yatradoom
https://yatradoom.bandcamp.com
http://www.grimoirerecords.com
http://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/GrimoireRecords
https://twitter.com/grimoiremetal

Yatra, “Black Moon” official track premiere

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Juniper Grave Premiere “The Forest” Video; Dec. UK Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

juniper grave

Dec. 7 marks the release date of Juniper Grave‘s debut album, Of Hellions and Harridans, on Wasted State Records, and that same night the Edinburgh four-piece will play a hometown release show at St. Mark’s Unitarian Church. A church seems a fitting setting for their organ-laced sound, further distinguished as it is by the harmonies brought to bear by multiple vocalists, with Jenni in the lead position backed by guitarist Shonagh and bassist Sarah while Jason drums behind. The release show is the first of a three-night weekender, and they’ve got two weekenders in a row, winding up in Manchester on Dec. 15, which is as far south in the UK as they go. Fair enough for the band to celebrate the arrival of their tales of mischief and devilry in songs like the boogieing “A Trick of the Light,” the seven-minute prog-doom centerpiece “The Bridge Between Worlds” and the well-harmonized and classically metal closer “Rest with Your Dead (Faolitighearna),” which is a cause worthy of celebration both for the realization of these songs themselves and for the potential they represent.

“The Forest,” the video for which actually takes place indoors as well as outside in the woods, is the leadoff track on Of Hellions and Harridans, offers a rousing hook to capture the listener’s attention early, and as such, it makes a fitting juniper grave of hellions and harridansopener, but while it doesn’t have the same kind of charged harmonies as in the finale or even the penultimate “Lunar Calling” before it, it also does some essential work in setting up the linear flow of the album toward those ends. The organ is established for being the crucial element that it is. The rhythm section proves crucial to the weight and groove overall, and the melody brings forward the nascent sense of command in the vocals overall that speaks to one of the band’s great potentials for arrangement and melodic/harmonic interplay going forward. That’s getting well ahead of things, but it’s there in the song all the same and becomes a subsequent theme for Juniper Grave across the album’s 40-minute, LP-ready span.

This is the first audio from the album to be made public so far as I know, so please dig in and click the tour poster to enlarge the dates should you happen to be in the region early next month. Preorders for Of Hellions and Harridans are up now through Wasted State, and you’ll find that link along with more info under the video below.

Please enjoy:

Juniper Grave, “The Forest” official video premiere

juniper grave tour poster

From the dreich, winding closes of Edinburgh come Juniper Grave. Riding out under the banner of debut album Of Hellions and Harridans, these four harbingers of doom have distilled the influence of fellow occultists Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth into the soundtrack to a Faustian bargain.

Video shot & edited by Richie Morgan

Taken from their debut album ‘Of Hellions & Harridans’, released 7th December 2018 through Wasted State Records.

Coming as Vinyl, CD and Digital Download, the album pre-order is now available at:
http://www.wastedstate.com/releases/juniper-grave-of-hellions-harridans/

Juniper Grave are:
Lead Vocals and Organ: Jenni
Guitar and Backing Vocals: Shonagh
Bass and Backing Vocals: Sarah
Drums: Jason

Juniper Grave on Thee Facebooks

Juniper Grave on Twitter

Juniper Grave on Instagram

Juniper Grave on Bandcamp

Juniper Grave website

Wasted State Records website

Wasted State Records webstore

Wasted State Records on Bandcamp

Wasted State Records on Thee Facebooks

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Against the Grain Announce Tour with Hank Von Hell for Early 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

against the grain

Dudes just go and go and go. Detroit’s Against the Grain wrap up 2018 with a handful of shows alongside Gwar and Iron Reagan, and then about two weeks after the New Year hits, they’re back out with Hank Von Hell on his US tour, which should well acquaint them with any of the Turbougend set for whom they might not yet be known. That run is put together by Tone Deaf Touring and is the more newly announced of the two, but the basic story here is that Against the Grain tour like bastards. They released Cheated Death (review here) earlier this year on Ripple, and it’s basically astounding they ever manage to come off the road long enough to make an album. They tour. Like bastards. Bastards who keep good company.

Dates follow, and one assumes more will show up for 2019 after these. Maybe Europe? Maybe everywhere:

hank von hell poster

We are getting very excited for our upcoming dates with Gwar and Iron Reagan ending the year. Dates:

12/27 – The Vogue – Indy, IN
12/28 – Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH (SC opens)
12/29 – 9:30 Club – Washington DC
12/30 – North Seventh – Philly, PA
12/31 – The Norva – Norfolk, VA (no IR).

It is with great excitement we get to announce our 2019 tour as direct support for Hank Von Hell (former legendary singer of Turbonegro) for his first Us and Canadian run In years. Dates:

1/15- Atlanta, GA – The Earl
1/16- Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall
1/17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar
1/18 – Philly, PA – Trocadero
1/19 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East
1/20 – Montreal, QC – Bar Leritz
1/21 – Toronto, ON – Lees Palace
1/22 – Detroit, MI – El Club
1/23 – Lombard, IL – Brauerhouse
1/24 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
1/25 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
1/26 – Denver, CO – Oriental Theatre
1/28 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile
1/29 – Portland, OR – Dante’s
1/30 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
1/31 – Los Angelas – Exhoplex
2/1 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
2/3 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
2/4 – Austin, Tx – Come and Take It Live
2/5 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
2/6 – New Orleans, LA – Santos Bar

Against The Grain:
Chris Nowak – Bass, Vocals
Rob Nowak – Drums
Nick Bellomo – Guitar
Kyle Davis – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/Againstthegraindetroit/
https://www.instagram.com/againstthegraindetroit/
https://againstthegrain-atg.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Against the Grain, Cheated Death (2018)

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Lightsabres to Release A Shortcut to Insanity Dec. 30; Preorders up Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The cover art and tracklisting for Lightsabres‘ upcoming LP, A Shortcut to Insanity, has been floating around since March when the Swedish mostly-one-man outfit signed to DHU Records for the album’s release. One imagines then it’s been a long year for Lightsabres waiting for it to come out. Preorders though will begin this week for a still-2018 release on Dec. 30, and as with Lightsabres‘ past outings — the most recent full-length was 2016’s Hibernation (review here) — it’s no doubt well suited to the dark winter hours that accompany the coming of a New Year. I’ll be happy to confirm that when I’ve heard it.

Release announcement comes through the PR wire:

LIGHTSABRES A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY

LIGHTSABES ~ A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY (DHU031)

Here we have for you the final release of 2018 by DHU Records, the details, pre order date, official release date and download for reviewers for the Lightsabres ~ A Shortcut to Insanity Limited Edition vinyl!

Pre orders will start Friday November 16th at 7PM CET

Official release date December 30th

Recorded and mixed by Anton Nyström at BD Pop Studios, Luleå, Sweden. Mastered by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.

Tracklist

Side A:

A1. From the Demon’s Mouth
A2. Breathing Fire
A3. Cave In
A4. Sweet Oblivion of Sleep
A5. Shot in the Head

Side B:

B1. Tangled in Barbed Wire
B2. With Horns
B3. No Light
B4. Shark Eyes
B5. Born Screaming

Available in the following Editions:

FROM THE DEMON’S MOUTH EDITION
DHU EXCLUSIVE

Limited to 90 copies
Gatefold Jacket
Flooded in Black
Spotfoil on the cover
Black polylined innersleeves
Artwork by MIDORI HAYASHI
A4 poster by Shane Horror
Hand numbered DHU Exclusive Card
Housed in a PVC Sleeve
Comes on White/Green Cornetto Effect 12″ vinyl

Lightsabres is:
J. Strömshed: Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Anton Nyström: Session Drummer

https://www.facebook.com/lightsabres
https://lightsabres.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Lightsabres, tracks from split with Blissfull Stream (2017)

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Spillage Announce Jan. 11 Release for Blood of Angels

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

spillage

Chicago-based doomers Spillage will play two record release shows in the coming months, one before the Jan. 11 issue date of their second album, Blood of Angels, and one after. I like the idea of a ‘pre-release show.’ Get a few copies on-hand of the record and sell it to those who show up as an early bonus for coming out, then do the actual release later on. Bands do that sometimes taking albums on tour before they’re “officially” released, but a special one-gig occasion as a pre-release show is a nifty way to accomplish something similar. Others should take note.

Spillage is of course spearheaded by guitarist Tony Spillman, who’s known as well as a guitar tech for Prong and Ministry‘s Tommy Victor and Trouble‘s Bruce Franklin, the latter of whom produced the new album. That puts the band squarely on a branch of the Trouble family tree, which suits the traditionalist doom metal aspects of their sound as they showed on their 2013 self-titled debut — man, how the years fly — and have continued to develop live since then.

The PR wire brings word of the new release on Qumran Records and No Dust Records:

spillage blood of angels

Spillage – Blood of Angels – Jan. 11

“Blood Of Angels”, is the long awaited sophomore release from Chicago’s epic power doom machine SPILLAGE, will usher in the new year with soulful leads spread across mountains of riffs. The mighty title track sets the bar high, and heavy duty tracks such as “Evil Doers” and “Living In Hell” mercifully drive the nail in. “Blood Of Angels” is an instant classic, and definite candidate for Album of 2019. Mixed by Lothar Keller (The Skull/Divinity Compromised). Produced by Bruce Franklin (Trouble).

Spillage live:
Dec 15 SPILLAGE..Pre-Release party
The Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill Streamwood IL

Jan 26 SPILLAGE Record Release Party
Penny Road Pub Barrington IL

Spillage line up:
Elvin Rodriguez – Vocals,
Tony Spillman – Guitars,
Nick Bozidarevic – Guitars,
Billy McGuffey – Bass,
Chris Martins – Drums,
Paul Rau – Keyboards.

https://www.facebook.com/spillagerocks/
https://spillage.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/qumranrecords/
https://nodustrecords.com/

Spillage, Bootleg Livewired (2017)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Little Jimi, EP.1

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Little Jimi EP 1

[Click play above to stream Little Jimi’s debut LP, EP.1, in its entirety. Album is out Nov. 16 and available to preorder from Mars Red Sound.]

Doesn’t feel like a rash assumption to imagine who “Big Jimi” might be in this case, but Little Jimi is both the name of the band and the character whose story said band is telling. And while we’re on the subject of names, EP.1 is the somewhat counterintuitive title given to Little Jimi‘s debut LP, stemming from the fact that before they added the songs “Dock 11” and “Midnight Mojo” to close out sides A and B, respectively, it was their first EP, given the much more telling title: First EP. If it helps to think of EP.1 as an abbreviation of “episode one,” then fair enough, but at six songs and 38 minutes, it is an LP, and a smooth-flowing one at that. The heavy psychedelic rocking three-piece of guitarist/vocalists Guillaume Arancibia and Benjamin Monnereau and drummer Antoine Le Gall are based in Bordeaux, France, and given their propensity for trippy space-making, weighted low end, melodic range and rolling groove — not to mention the fact that they’re releasing through the label Mars Red Sound — a comparison to Mars Red Sky feels somewhat inevitable.

But if it’s to be a question of character in the songwriting, Little Jimi have their own both literally and figuratively, and the album finds its own reaches to inhabit apart from that influence, as one would hope it would. From opener “Jimi” through the memorable bounce of “Goodbye Katus” and the patient delivery of the stick-clicking in “Midnight Mojo,” Little Jimi present an engaging depth of mix and a varied craft built on a sense of narrative cohesion that nonetheless proves able to affect a hypnotic jamming vibe when it so chooses, as on that eight-minute finale track, rife with wah-laden guitar soloing, swinging drums and a fervent forward drive in its resolution. There is little about their presentation one could call pretentious from the natural sound of the recording style on down through the construction of the songs themselves, and whether one engages with the story of Jimi himself and his friend Katus — who might be a teddy bear — or not, there’s still a rich listening experience on offer.

Of course I’m not going to tell you to discount the quest of Jimi as he for some reason leaves home and looks for a new existence. The lyrics indeed present the first episode of his tale, from the introduction in the first song through the departure of a train at the end of “Goodbye Katus” with a journey in between. It’s not at all so plainly obvious what’s happening at any given moment — that is, Little Jimi haven’t exactly written a rock opera — but they’ve set themselves in the first-person, and it works well with their aesthetic, tapping inspiration from the progressive textures of Pink Floyd in “Molimoh” at the outset of side B while the opening rollout of “Jimi” hits into minor-key instrumental melodies even before the vocals arrive, giving a somewhat foreboding atmosphere throughout a spacious initial verse while building tension into the instrumental chorus.

little jimi tour poster

Though neither Arancibia nor Monnereau are credited with playing bass live, there is definitely a low end presence on the album itself, whether that’s layered in on the recording amid two guitars or just one of those guitars doing a bass impression. In either case, EP.1 lacks nothing as regards tonal presence, and among the primary elements of the band’s skillset is creating a molten atmosphere early that solidifies into a later thrust. It’s not quite the same as a straight linear build on “Jimi,” because the song works back and forth between its verse and instrumental chorus, but there is a sense of direction all the same. With its whispers and swirling, flute-like effects, there’s a likewise forward push in “Lamp Song,” though that actually is more of a linear build, brought to a head twice over the course of the song’s five and a half minutes, so there’s some structural variation as well. Naturally, that’s only to the band’s advantage as they tell their tale.

Or rather, as they begin it, because as much as there’s an ending — that train departs in “Goodbye Katus” and I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in the semi-spoken parts of “Midnight Mojo,” but we’ve left the station, so to speak — Little Jimi seem intent in the spirit of modern cinematics to set themselves up for a sequel. In that regard, “Dock 11” and “Midnight Mojo” feel extra crucial, since they represent the newest material on the record. And sure enough, they’re the most sonically adventurous, with bold diversions of guitar in “Dock 11” amid a rhythmic insistence and a tight sub-five-minute runtime and the aforementioned jam-out in “Midnight Mojo” during which they seem to capitalize on the fluidity they’ve been able to build up throughout “Molimoh” and “Goodbye Katus” while bringing themselves to even new places. In addition to this, one finds a greater depth of arrangement in these newer tracks, with acoustic guitar layered into “Dock 11” to highlight a sentimental feel. That’s less the case with “Midnight Mojo,” but amid all the Hendrixery it’s nonetheless noteworthy that Little Jimi showcase such a penchant for changing up their methods even in these two tracks, let alone the album of which they’ve been made a part.

As to what the next episode of Little Jimi‘s voyage might hold, or whether the band might drop the thread entirely and pursue other avenues, I wouldn’t want to speculate. Their showcase here, frankly, is enough for the moment in introducing their style to audience and creating a flow that only grows more immersive as the album plays out. There may be more to come in this thread, but as a first installment, EP.1 holds as much promise for the narration itself as for the plotline, and again, whether a given listener is inclined to follow Jimi’s adventure with each footfall or step back and see the whole picture as it’s presented in these tracks, it’s clearly a story worth hearing.

Little Jimi on Thee Facebooks

Little Jimi on Bandcamp

Mars Red Sound webstore

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Gozu Post “They Probably Know Karate” Video; Join Metal Alliance Tour This Weekend

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

gozu

This fucking band rocks, man. I don’t know how else to put it or really what more you could ask from Gozu at this point that they haven’t delivered. Dudes have locked in their lineup and realized the potential of their sound in a hard-hitting, soulful, ace-songwriting execution that’s only grown more intense with time. They’re a decade removed from their first, self-titled offering (someday, in some Boston record shop, I’ll find that CD), and this year’s Equilibrium (review here) is both their nastiest boogie yet and their highest-profile release yet, issued through Metal Blade subsidiary Blacklight Media after stints on essential US underground imprints Ripple Music and Small Stone Records. Gozu have done nothing but kill it, constantly. And really, since Gaff and Doug nailed down the lineup with Joe Grotto on bass and Mike Hubbard on drums, they’ve been the best Boston has to offer in heavy rock and roll. If there’s a tour coming through and they’re not the local support, it’s mostly because they’re busy that night doing something else.

They’ve already been back and forth to Europe in the last couple years and I’m hearing murmurs in that direction again for 2019, but this week the four-piece hook up with the Metal Alliance Tour — and if you’ve never tried High River Sauces, the presenter of the run, you should probably get on that; I’ve jazzed up many a roasted chicken thereby — for a stint that takes them to the end of the month and through the Midwest and into Canada. They’ll be on the road with Black Tusk, Goatwhore, The Casualties and Great American Ghost, so it’s a little bit of something for everybody, and it’s easy enough to expect packed houses along the way. The more aggressive edge of the material on Equilibrium and 2016’s Revival (review here) will suit them well on the tour, and to mark the occasion, they’ve got a new video for “They Probably Know Karate,” which, if you’re familiar with the band, you already know has nothing to do with karate or whatever delightful obscurity the title is referencing. Instead, it’s a somewhat apocalyptic imagery the lyrics evoke — “In the end a pale horse will ride,” etc. — and I’m not really sure what’s going on with the plague beaks and Ouija-board conjuration in the video, but hey folks, it’s heavy metal, so you know. Plague beaks and Ouija boards. It’s part of the culture of thing.

If they’re hitting somewhere you’re going to be, go see Gozu and tell them I said hi. It’s been a while since I last caught them and I miss these cats.

Dig:

Gozu, “They Probably Know Karate” official video

Boston’s rock/metal outfit Gozu will join the Metal Alliance tour, featuring Goatwhore, The Casualties, Black Tusk, and Great American Ghost. In anticipation of these upcoming shows, the band has now launched a new video for “They Probably Know Karate” (directed by Tony Simone at Zenbeast Media).

Gozu comments: “We are super excited about our new video! Tony is a super talented up and coming video director and knocked this out the park! This is also a great jump off point to the Metal Alliance Tour coming up next week!! Goatwhore, The Casualties, Black Tusk, Great American Ghost…What’s not to like?? We get to tour with bands we’re actually fans of!”

See below for all dates!

Metal Alliance Tour w/ Gozu
Featuring Goatwhore, The Casualties, Black Tusk, Great American Ghost
Nov. 18 – Aftershock – Merriam, KS
Nov. 20 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN
Nov. 21 – Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
Nov. 23 – Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
Nov. 24 – Overtime Sports Bar – Kingston, ON
Nov. 25 – Salle Multi Du Complex Meduse – Quebec City, QC
Nov. 26 – Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC
Nov. 28 – Gramercy Theater – New York, NY
Nov. 29 – Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Nov. 30 – One Centre Square – Easton, PA

Gozu line-up:
Marc Gaffney – guitar and vocals
Joe Grotto – bass
Mike Hubbard – drums
Doug Sherman – lead guitar and sounds

Gozu on Thee Facebooks

Gozu on Bandcamp

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Blacklight Media website

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Metal Blade Records website

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