In Budapest Now Through Aug. 7

Posted in Features on July 10th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Hi. I’m in Budapest, Hungary, from now through the first week of August, with my family.

As always, I will write as much as I can, when I can. The parameters of that may not be the same as they are when I’m home and things are running as normal. If there are two posts a day, one, or none, I’m sure nobody will blink, but I wanted to put this here just so that if you were wondering or didn’t see it mentioned on social media — whatever — there’s some record of what’s going on at this time. Plus, when I look back on it later, I’ll be able to say, “oh yeah, that’s why there were only five posts that week.”

This is the longest trip my wife, daughter, dog and I have undertaken to anywhere, ever, and in addition to being distracted, a good portion of my attention will need to be in that direction as we get settled and adjust to a new place, even for just a couple weeks.

Bottom line is I thank you for reading, for your continued support of this site, and for in some ways making this trip with us. I haven’t decided if or how much I’m going to write about the travel/city itself — I certainly had a few things to say about Zagreb; check in on Friday — but I’m going to play it by how imperative it feels in my brain, which is about the only standard I ever apply.

Once again, thanks. If you’re seeing this, I hope it finds you well. I’ll be back in NJ in August. If you need me for anything in the meantime, the contact form is there or you can probably get me on the aforementioned socials. If you’re sending/following up on music, please be patient and consider ‘as much as I can when I can’ above.

This post is going to stay here for the duration. New posts will appear underneath.

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Psychlona: New Album Warped Vision Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Perhaps if you were at Stoned From the Underground this past weekend in Germany you’d have been fortunate enough to catch UK heavy rockers Psychlona heralding the upcoming release of their fourth album overall and first through Magnetic Eye Records, Warped Vision. If not there, maybe Desertfest London back in May? If not, best I can tell you is wait your turn, they’ll get around to you eventually. There’s only so many places you can be at one time.

On that note, I’ll cop to being a couple weeks behind on posting word of Warped Vision‘s impending Sept. 27 arrival. I’m also a couple weeks behind on everything else in life, so rest assured that’s not a slight on the band. The album’s first single, “Let’s Go,” is streaming at the bottom of the post, and while I’m not Johnny-Fingeronthepulse here by any means, it’s not like it happened three years ago, so maybe we can all chill out with our internet-born attention spans and expectations of instant gratification. Or maybe I just suck at this. I think both things can be true.

From the PR wire:

Psychlona Warped Vision

UK Psych Desert Rockers Psychlona Return!

When it’s time to pick your poison, a blend of KYUSS and FU MANCHU is nearly always the base for a delicious result. PSYCHLONA are experts in their field, their fourth album “Warped Vision” is an exemplary exercise of practised veterans creating a masterpiece.

Get a taste for yourself by listening to the lead single and pre-ordering here:

The album’s foundations are laid down by riff-focused heaviness and breakouts combined with a multitude of chilled vibes. What makes “Warped Vision” stick out from a host of similar recordings is the precision with which each hook hits home and sticks, a dynamic balance of rough edges and catchy melodies.

The city of Bradford in West Yorkshire is neither particularly arid nor situated in a hot climate. But although hailing from the former industrial heartlands of rainy Northern England, PSYCHLONA have developed a particularly British brand of desert rock. The hot summer days of 2016 inspired some local musicians to fry up some sonic ideas from sunny California of decades past and to blend in the raw energy of UK punk, a dash of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and spoonfuls of classic English 60s and 70s psychedelia. When this experiment far exceeded their own expectations, PSYCHLONA were born.

PSYCHLONA have established themselves as an impressive live act. Relentless touring and performing at prestigious festivals that included Desertfest (UK & DE), Freak Valley (DE), SonicBlast (PT), Alcatraz Music (BE), Sonic Whip (NL), and at Psycho Las Vegas (US) pushed the Brits higher up the billings. An incident in Las Vegas when they were the only band asked by the casino manager to please turn down the volume only fueled their upward trajectory.

Now, PSYCHLONA are ready to take the next big step. Welcoming two new members aboard the band has added a new dynamic both in writing and recording. The gentle alterations brought about by their fresh input has turned “Warped Vision” into what is clearly the most complete and thrilling album of the psychedelic desert rockers so far. With “Warped Vision”, PSYCHLONA have hit the jackpot, and they are generously offering up rounds for everyone.

Pre-order the album on CD or LP, including both neon yellow and green/black marble variants!

Grab your copy here:

1. Jasmine
2. Let’s Go
3. Smoke
4. Cut Loose
5. Topanga
6. Kaleidoscope
7. Split
8. Magic Carpet

Ian ‘Izak’ Buxton – bass guitar
Scott Frankling – drums
Phil Hey – guitar, vocals
Martin Wiseman – lead guitar, backing vocals

Psychlona, Warped Vision (2024)

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Høstsabbat 2024: The Body & Dis Fig, Strange Horizon, Syn, Ni & Eyes Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Bittersweet for me to be posting about Høstsabbat 2024 this Fall in Oslo, as I know for a fact I won’t be there — friggin’ again — to see it. The weekend of Oct. 25-26 falls on what will be my daughter’s seventh birthday, and, well, she’s old enough now that if I go jetting off to Norway to have my skull caved in by The Body & Dis Fig or to revel in trad-doomly weirdness with Strange Horizon, find new and exciting blisters after experiencing Ni up close, or even just getting to witness Inter Arma in a suitably churchy setting, she’d probably remember it. So it goes. So it went last year, too.

Høstsabbat‘s second lineup announcement for this year emphasizes the creative growth that’s led to a blossoming stylistic reach for the festival over the last several years, mirrored by their expansion into other venues around the central Kulturkirken Jacob — you’ll note Verkstedet Bar mentioned below. I doubt the two-dayer has completely emptied its sleeve of tricks lined up for this October, either, so keep an eye out. I’ll do the same, though I’ve heard a couple other names bandied about — not gonna give anything away, no — and it will be an emotional labor on my part. Life, huh?

From social media. I love the line about Disney princesses in Crocs:

Hostsabbat 2024 second names 1


The Norwegian summer gives us no choice but to look ahead to the dark and gloomy Octobers, filled with crushing sludge, aggressive noise, groovy jams and fuzzthrone-galore.

To shed some light through the heavy and gloomy weather, and as a mid-summer gift to you, we’re psyched to present the next batch of bands to join this years lineup.

The genres vary a lot, but all bands fit the Høstsabbat staple perfectly, like crocs on a disney-princess’ feet.

Hardcore? Sure. Aggressive experimental noise? Absolutely. Norwegian black metal? Hell yes. 80’s witchery doom? Count us in!

Bubblewrap your head to survive the crushing, nightmarish wall of sound that is The Body & Dis Fig (US). Danish hardcore with masterfull penmanship, extreme energy and aggressive style from EYES (DK). Absolute systematic chaos from the french ear-abusive butchers of sound Ni (FR). Dense, desolate and sorrowful black metal from one of the most promising acts from the ever growing Norwegian forest of black metal, SYN (NO).

And lastly, from beyond the mountains, comes the conjurers of 80s doom magic, ghost stories and riff-wizards: Strange Horizon (NO).

This wicked, twisted and occult bouquet of bands join our already phenomenal lineup.

This year’s Høstsabbat is gonna be loud, grim and diabolical.

We can’t wait for us all to regroup and meet in the Church of Riffs, the Crypt and Verkstedet Bar late October.

Get your tickets now at our revamped website!

Design by Thomas Moe Ellefsrud / hypnotistdesign



Høstsabbat Spotify Playlist

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Album Review: Causa Sui, From the Source

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

causa sui from the source

What exactly is the ‘source’ referenced in the title of Causa Sui‘s From the Source? Is it meant to evoke some notion of an aspect of the band beyond themselves? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it brings to mind an advertisement for spring water; something refreshing and natural that can be traced back to a specific locale, or in this case, to guitarist Jonas Munk, drummer Jakob Skøtt, keyboardist Rasmus Rasmussen and bassist Jess Kahr, to their label, El Paraiso Records, and to the singular chemistry they bring to instrumentalist heavy psychedelia, born of jazz-like explorationalist tendencies and unflinching in aural progression. Is that the ‘source?’ In a practical way, the answer is inevitably yes. It’s their record. They made it. But are they naming the intangibility — what recovering alcoholics call the ‘higher power’ — of communion and musical conversation? Less about place than spirit?

In this way, From the Source says much while saying little, and that’s nothing new for the self-recording/self-releasing Danish outfit, who offer four tracks across a 45-minute span, harnessing atmospheres and vibes from classic psych and pushing through their own interpretations around where that can take them, from the three songs tucked snugly into side A — “Sorcerer’s Disciple” (8:02), “Dusk Dwellers” (5:18) and “The Spot” (9:33) — to the massive, multi-movement mashup of “Visions of a New Horizon” (24:09) that comprises the entirety of side B and is the longest single work the band has ever done, finding new levels of expanse without sacrificing the flow so readily demonstrated from the mellow and immersive outset.

It’s been four years since Causa Sui released 2020’s Szabodelico (review here), and in that time Skøtt (along with Martin Rude and Papir‘s Nicklas Sørensen) has issued three full-lengths with Edena Gardens, and Munk and Skøtt have both participated in the London Odense Ensemble, but late last year Causa Sui put out the live album Loppen 2021 (review here) that captured an especially rocking post-pandemic blowout, and so From the Source doesn’t arrive following an absence, necessarily, even if it does offer some sense of redirect.

What I mean by that is that Szabodelico, which was named in honor of Hungarian jazz guitar legend Gábor Szabó, was a heady affair. And Causa Sui probably could have done another album in a similar vein and moved forward in sound — that’s the kind of band they are; no matter where they would go on a release, you would be able to get a sense of progression from it — but From the Source speaks to something deeper rooted in who they are. Something looser in ideology, if still purposeful in arrangement and structure.

The material feels jam-based as “Sorcerer’s Disciple” begins with stick-clicks and unfolds a quick welcoming resonance of organ behind the first of many winding lead guitar figures to come. Punctuated by snare, warmed by the hypnotic cycles of bass, the members of the band are in immediate complement to each other, and it’s a sound that would of course work on the stage but highlights an understated lushness in their studio sound that has been missed lo these last four years. Fuzz emerges, wah swirl, more crash than ride; they crescendo, regroup and push forward again smoothly and with deftly mixed, identifiably-theirs texture.

They don’t shy away from getting noisy as “Sorcerer’s Disciple” hits its last peaks, but the comparatively brief “Dusk Dwellers” goes in its own direction, with ’60s-psych electric organ, a rolling bassline and melancholic guitar that gradually comes to the forefront over the first two and a half minutes, settling into an almost Western progression that’s more than a solo. It’s not quite a drift, but not far off as wisps of descending lead lines are cast out, the bass holding the sway, almost post-rock, but nowhere near the modern shoegazing subset of that. The keyboard line speaks later to bring it down. An exercise in subdued, organic fluidity, and no less entrancing than the opener, but with its own impression and stylistic take.

causa sui (Photo by Danny Kotter)

This pattern holds as “The Spot” leans into a lightly chugging rhythm and twists fuzzy guitar around that, a beginning that’s more immediate but still in no hurry to get where its nine-plus minutes will take it — not that it should be. A heavier strum gets twisted into a riff that feels and is central, very heavy-psych in its push and alignment at the end of its measures. It opens to a stretch of bassy jazzy vibing with keys (maybe Rhodes?) on top. Dreamy and heavy. Once more, they’re all-in. Keyboard gives a jazzier feel than the guitar, the bass and drums are comfortable working around both, and the guitar at the midpoint seems to be improv but leads thoughtfully into pulses and light forward shove with Skøtt hitting harder in the second half, growing through repetitions. The ‘source’ is dynamic, though that might be one of the least surprising aspects of what Causa Sui do here.

A side flip is required on vinyl, but the linear-format transition to “Visions of a New Horizon” happens naturally just the same, and by this time there’s little question that it would. The band has noted seven component sections in “Visions of a New Horizon,” and most of those are signaled out by stops of varying lengths and hardness. The piece-of-pieces, then, begins with classic prog mute-and-turn in the guitar, hinting toward build more than building, and at 2:40, the next section starts with more of a shuffle, less prog, more urgent, maybe a chase. Munk‘s guitar howls light (at first) as the sound moves forward and back in three dimensions, willfully headspinning, then the guitar drops at about 4:30 as Kahr‘s bass holds the chase, turning jammier, shimmering. Trippier places to be just then. They make the journey a pleasure to undertake.

Just before six minutes in, a new, solidified guitar line arrives with hand-percussion alongside the drums, purposeful and brimming, a look at a place and time, but not giving any sense of dwelling there. The next movement starts at 7:08, ethereal and unfolding with Mellotron (I think) and melodic warmth in the guitar and bass, drums conveying subdued but not sad motion. Do I need to say it’s patient? Once more, the guitar moves to the forward spot with soft echoes, bright not blinding and abiding by an ‘easy does it’ ethic. It touches on wash of synth/effects but isn’t ready to give over completely yet, and instead makes its way into a more gradual letting go to a stop at 11:50 or thereabouts.

Synth swells in as a backdrop for the guitar reintroduction. They’re past halfway into 24 minutes now, sound billowing and wisping around itself, rhythm taking shape beneath the guitar and keys of various sorts that seem to come and go. There’s space for all of it. The listener has a sense of the build happening, but as with “Sorcerer’s Disciple,” it’s less about volume than the form of what they’re playing. A bed of Rasmussen‘s organ gives a psych-drone tinge to the procession as Skøtt seems somewhat impatient in his snare hits; the guitar swirl repeating. Admirably restrained, they stop at 18:48, and Munk‘s guitar leads to the next section with more of a roll in the drums. They’re still not going to go over-the-top — too classy for that — but if you have a minute to slice open your forehead and let your third eye out, it might be the time as they hit 20 minutes and enlighten a new comedown.

The end is nigh. Big strum at 21:36 announces arrival at the duly meditative ending section, establishing a pattern of single crashes and distortion, feeling like the totality moment of that eclipse earlier this Spring. They’re not concerned with payoff, or epilogue. It just is, and it ends bookending with quiet guitar echoing back to the start, however many lightyears ago that was. Behold the ‘source,’ tapped.

No doubt there are an infinity of ways in which one might experience From the Source, including the one mapped out above. What I’d say to that idea is that the most justice the listener can give the album is by putting it on and going where it leads, whether that’s a place of emotion or conscious thought, a narrative structure, or a nod-along and mental fadeout. None of it is invalid, and as an experience, From the Source comes across as malleable to whatever a given person hearing it brings of themselves to that process. Gorgeous and unmistakably Causa Sui‘s own, it finds the heart within their ever-expanding methods and highlights the relationship between these players that is such a huge part of what makes them so special. As ‘sources’ go, it is precious and among the most vivid.

Causa Sui, “Sorcerer’s Disciple”

Causa Sui on Facebook

El Paraiso Records website

El Paraiso Records on Facebook

El Paraiso Records on Instagram

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Chat Pile to Release New Album Cool World; “I Am Dog Now” Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

chat pile (Photo by Matthew Zargoski)

Heads up on this, because the hype on new Chat Pile is going to be at least as brutal and punishing as any of the sounds the Oklahoma City band actually conjure on the record. Capital-‘i’ Important, we’re talking. And as intolerable as conversation around that kind of thing is, Chat Pile‘s caustic post-hardcore whathaveyou remains, well, caustic. New video “I Am Dog Now” puts a bow on it, complete with VHS grain and American religious iconography.

Chat Pile‘s 2022 album, God’s Country (review here), was a well-earned kick in the nuts of the underground heavy zeitgeist. Asking the same of Cool World, the inevitable follow-up to what was broadly hailed as a landmark, seems unfair, but well, the world sucks and I don’t think it’s Chat Pile‘s first encounter with the phenomenon. They’ll be on tour. Preorders are up. The machine lurches forward. Content for the mill.

Fuck everything. Here’s text:

chat pile cool world

Chat Pile Announce New Album, Cool World, Incoming October 11 on The Flenser, watch the music video for first single “I Am Dog Now”

See Chat Pile on tour this November with support from Agriculture, Mamaleek in select markets

Oklahoma City noise rock quartet Chat Pile have returned with their follow up to 2022’s breakout album God’s Country with Cool World, the new 10-song LP set for release on October 11th via The Flenser [pre-order].

Besides being the name of a largely forgotten (and panned) 90s film, Cool World makes for an apt title of Chat Pile’s sophomore full-length record. In the context of a Chat Pile record, the words are steeped in a grim double entendre that not only evokes imagery of a dying planet but a progression from the band’s previous work, moving the scope of its depiction of modern malaise from just “God’s Country” to the entirety of humankind. “’Cool World’ covers similar themes to our last album, except now exploded from a micro to macro scale, with thoughts specifically about disasters abroad, at home, and how they affect one another,” says vocalist Raygun Busch. “If I had to describe the album in one sentence,” Busch continues, “It’s hard not to borrow from Voltaire, so I won’t resist – ‘Cool World’ is about the price at which we eat sugar in America.”

Today, album opener “I Am Dog Now” arrives with a music video directed by Will Mecca. Stin (bass, Chat Pile) says, “Will’s vision captures the essence of ‘I Am Dog Now’ by channeling his specific style of low-fi, exploitation cinema aesthetic into a dusty, religious bad-trip exclusive to the southern plains of America. Eagle eyed viewers may actually notice shots of the literal chat piles from which we take our name.”

Stream / playlist / share Cool World first single + album opener “I Am Dog Now”:

Like the towering mounds of toxic waste, the music of Chat Pile is a suffocating, grotesque embodiment of the existential anguish that has defined the 21st Century. It figures that a band with this abrasive, unrelenting, and outlandish of a sound has stuck as strong of a chord as it has. Dread has replaced the American dream, and Chat Pile’s music is a poignant reminder of that shift – a portrait of an American rock band molded by a society defined by its cold and cruel power systems.

Though very much on-brand with Chat Pile’s signature flavor of cacophonous, sludgy noise rock, the band’s shift to a global thematic focus on Cool World not only compliments the broader experimentations it employs with their songwriting but also how they dissect the album’s core theme of violence.

Melded into the band’s twisted foundational sound are traces of other eclectic genre stylings, with examples of gazy, goth-tinged dirges to abrasive yet anthemic alt/indie-esque hooks and off-kilter metal grooves only scratching the surface of what can be heard in the album’s ten tracks. “While we wanted our follow-up to ‘God’s Country’ to still capture the immediate, uncompromising essence of Chat Pile, we also knew that with ‘Cool World,’ we’d want to stretch the definition of our ‘sound’ to reflect our tastes beyond just noise rock territory,” reflects bassist Stin. “Now that we had some form of creative comfort zones in place after hitting that milestone of putting out a full-length record, album #2 felt like the perfect opportunity to challenge those limits.” Besides stylistically stretching the boundaries of the Chat Pile sound, Cool World is also the band’s first record to have someone else handle mixing duties, with Ben Greenberg of Uniform (Algiers, Drab Majesty, Metz) capturing and further amplifying the quartet’s unmistakably outsider and folk-art edge.

The proverbial thread tying all of the experimentation on Cool World together is the depth to which Chat Pile dissects the album’s theme of violence, and the record itself is apocalyptically bleak. Sure, Chat Pile’s debut album was plenty disturbing with its B-movie-inspired interpretation of a “real American horror story”; what Chat Pile depicts on Cool World is unsettling not just from its visceral noise rock onslaught, but from depicting how all sorts of atrocities are pretty much standard parts of modern existence.

Cool World will be released via The Flenser on October 11, 2024. See Chat Pile on the road this November with label mates Agriculture and Mamaleek in select markets – tickets will be available at and general on-sale is Friday, July 19th at 10am local time. More news soon.

Chat Pile, on tour:
November 1 Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street %
November 2 Columbia, MO – The Blue Note %
November 3 Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room %
November 5 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall %
November 6 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line %
November 8 Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s %
November 9 Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre %
November 11 Toronto, ON – The Concert Hall %
November 12 Montreal, QC – Théâtre Fairmount %
November 14 Burlington, VT – Showcase Lounge @ Higher Ground ^
November 15 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church ^
November 16 New York, NY – (Le) Poisson Rouge ^
November 17 Boston, MA – The Sinclair ^
November 19 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery *
November 20 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry *
November 21 Greensboro, NC – Hangar 1819 *
November 22 Nashville, TN – The End *
% with Agriculture, Porcelain
^ with Mamaleek, Traindodge
* with Mamaleek, thirdface

Cool World, track listing:
1. I Am Dog Now
2. Shame
3. Frownland
4. Funny Man
5. Camcorder
6. Tape
7. The New World
8. Masc
9. Milk of Human Kindness
10. No Way Out

Chat Pile, “I Am Dog Now” official video

Chat Pile, Cool World (2024)

Chat Pile, God’s Country (2022)

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Blue Heron to Release Everything Fades Sept. 27; Title-Track Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Set to appear among the hordes in the enviable lineup for this year’s Ripplefest Texas, the Jadd Shickler-fronted — formerly of Spiritu, best known for his work with Blues Funeral Recordings, Magnetic Eye, ex-Meteorcity, and so on — heavy rockers from Albuquerque will issue their second full-length, Everything Fades. The band are rolling out the title-track — and I do mean rolling — to coincide with the album’s announcement, and the song’s gritty hook should pique the interest of anyone who caught onto the band’s 2022 debut, Ephemeral (review here) or the 2023 split they issued with High Desert Queen, Turned to Stone Ch. 8: The Wake (review here) last year.

I guess the theme of ephemerality is still represented in the new record’s title and lead single, and fair enough. The fleeting nature of reality as we experience it hasn’t dulled any in the last two years, and from where I sit, a sludge-blues-desert-rocking nod such as that on offer here is worth embracing while you can. I haven’t heard the record yet, so can’t comment on other shenanigans, but if you can dig it, by all means, dig it.

This info is from Bandcamp. I expect a proper press release in the inbox about 30 seconds after it gets posted [actually, I waited for it — ed.]. So it goes. If you have the art and song and release date and you can get to Bandcamp for preorders, you probably have what you need anyway, and I say that as a dude who writes band bios on the (too) regular:

blue heron everything fades

New Mexico heavy rockers BLUE HERON announce new album “Everything Fades” on Blues Funeral Recordings; stream title track now!

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s desert rock torchbearers BLUE HERON have announced the release of their new studio album “Everything Fades” on September 27th through Blues Funeral Recordings. Listen to the debut single and title track on all streaming services today!

BLUE HERON expand on their unyielding desert sound with a new slab of propulsive, sun-scorched riff-heaviness. “Everything Fades” finds the band reveling in low-tuned roil and amplifier hum, churning out swerving grooves as if the primordial spirit of the desert itself compels them.

Stream Blue Heron’s new single “Everything Fades” at this location:
+ listen to the single on all streaming services:

Balanced between laid-back, meditative atmospherics and heavier, more aggressive lunges, BLUE HERON’s cruising jams and gritty stoner romps call to mind echoes of Kyuss, Clutch and Monster Magnet, as well as modern contemporaries Valley of the Sun and Greenleaf. Full of rhythmic intensity, sledgehammer riffing, and vocals ranging from clean and moody to howling and raw, “Everything Fades” covers a wide expanse of musical ground that shows how familiar influences can always be molded into inventive, exciting new forms.

The album will be issued on vinyl, CD digipack and digital formats on September 27th, with preorders available now via Blues Funeral Recordings.

BLUE HERON “Everything Fades”
Out September 27th on Blues Funeral Recordings
Preorder on
SPKR shop:

1. Null Geodesic
2. Everything Fades
3. Swansong
4. We Breathe Darkness
5. Dinosaur
6. Trepidation
7. Clearmountain
8. Bellwether
9. Flight of the Heron

Blue Heron coalesced in 2018 around a compulsion to fill the wide New Mexico skies with massive volume, and saturate their piece of desert with thunderous riffs, drums that pummel and swing, deep, thrumming tones and vocals that rip and roar. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, their firsthand relationship with the desert is inextricable from who they are and how they sound.

Mike Chavez – Guitars
Ricardo Sanchez – Drums
Steve Schmidlapp – Bass
Jadd Shickler – Vocals

Blue Heron, Everything Fades (2024)

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The Mothercrow Premiere “Howling” Video; Foráneo Due Sept. 17

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

the mothercrow howling video

Barcelona-based classic heavy rockers The Mothercrow will release their second album, Foráneo, in Sept. 17 through Discos Macarras and LaRubia Producciones. I won’t pretend to have a full grasp on the lineup changes and shifts in methodology that have taken place within the band since their debut, Magara, came out in 2019 — vocalist Karen Asensio and guitarist/backing vocalist Max Eriksson have at least traded out rhythm sections since then; Jaume Darder is on drums and Daniel Ribeiro handles bass this time around — but it’s all apparently been in the works for a while, as lead-single “Howling” began to come together at the dawn of the decade and the video for it premiering below was filmed a little over year ago, in the deserty-looking Monegros region, westward inland from Spain’s east coast.

The setting makes sense, and desert-plus-riffs shouldn’t be a giant mental leap to make for denizens of the heavy rock underground, but if they’d filmed “Howling” in a dimly lit blues bar, I don’t think you’d be able to say they were wrong. Of course, that ’70s-born swagger does just fine baking in a hot sun, and kudos to The Mothercrow for even lugging speaker cabinets all the way out there to perform in front of rock formations casting long afternoon shadows, but the point is there’s more going on with the track than the desert visual holds, striking as it is. The swinging groove and sultry melody come across like a combination born for trouble, and one suspects that’s the impression they’re looking to make. I haven’t heard the rest of Foráneo, so can’t speak to how “Howling” fits on the record as a whole, but certainly Magara had intertwining moments of greater and lesser charge, and I’d expect no less dynamic to show itself on the follow-up, despite personnel swapping in and out of the lineup.

A release show for Foráneo is set for Sept. 27 at El Sótano in Madrid with The White Coven, so if you’re looking for something beyong the exact issue date, that’ll probably work. As for preorders and all the rest, keep an eye out as they’re surely coming soon, and in the meantime, maybe it’s cool to just dig into the clip below and let tomorrow worry about tomorrow, as no doubt it would anyway.

Please, enjoy:

The Mothercrow, “Howling” video premiere

The Mothercrow on “Howling”:

The essence of Howling came about as an attempt to write a song with a propulsive groove that drives steadily forward, like an old steam train. Going Down by Freddie King is perhaps the most obvious influence, but unlike it, it’s far away from the standard blues progression.

The song was one of the first to be completed, and we even recorded a demo of it back in 2020, using a professional recording studio. Unfortunately it never saw the light of day, since we were far from happy with the result. We did however learn our lesson and could identify exactly what we needed to improve for the next time we went into the studio.

Everyone felt that there was a sexual swagger about the beat that needed further exploring, so we decided to write a fitting lyric. Forbidden attraction became the overall topic, with some sexual innuendos more subtle than others. We tried to have fun with it and make something playful that would do the song justice. It’s also our first song that relies heavily on shouted backing vocals, perhaps another reference to the blues.

During the recording session, percussion instruments were added to propel the beat further, and even a stand up piano was added as a final touch to the end. Howling always felt like a single to us, so it was an obvious choice when we were going to record our first music video for this album. We went four hours by car out in the desert of Monegros, to find the perfect location.

Release show Sept. 27 tickets:

Directed and Edited by: Ismael Conejero
Direction of Photography: Cultural Dogs
Colour graded by Víctor Gómez
Produced by: Muricec Films & The Mothercrow

Released by Discos Marcarras Records & LaRubiaProducciones

The Mothercrow:
Karen Asensio – vocals
Max Eriksson – guitar
Jaume Darder – drums
Daniel Ribeiro – bass

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Orkestr to Release Debut Album I Sept. 6; “We’ll Start Anew” Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Interesting that the first track streaming from Orkestr‘s debut album, I, should be “We’ll Start Anew,” which is an idea that to my mind leans into some of the science-fiction elements noted in the PR wire info for the record below. In all likelihood “Time at the Speed of Light” would qualify in theme as well, but there’s an optimism in the idea of starting over, a hopefulness, that my Star Trek-loving self can very much appreciate even as I sit stupefied and watch the real world burn around me. Escapism? Maybe. Or maybe retrofuturist yacht prog-psych is the wave of things to come. I won’t profess to know.

The e’er-reliable Sound Effect Records has this one slated for Sept. 6, which is like forever from now and also something like a month and a half. If that’s when the better-future is coming, I’ll do my best to be ready, but that’s a lot to ask of a band’s first LP, so perhaps it’s better to just vibe on the three and a half minutes presently on offer and worry about the rest when the time comes, which surely it will, burning world or not.

Here’s the cover and that info I mentioned:

orkestr i

Sound Effect presents: ORKESTR – “I” – OUT Sep-6th 2024

ORKESTR is a space rock band from Horst aan de Maas, The Netherlands, that combines textured synths, melodic bass guitar and laid-back drums to create timeless soundscapes for your sci-fi dreams.

ORKESTR was formed in late 2019 by four seasoned musicians who earned their stripes in the local scene with bands such as No Man’s Valley and The Mothmen. The COVID-19 pandemic presented an unexpected challenge, forcing them to pivot and focus on their studio craft. This unscheduled detour ultimately led to the creation of their debut album.

After years of hard work, second-guessing, and lessons learned, ORKESTR is proud to announce the release of their self-titled debut, distributed by Sound Effect Records. The album will be accompanied by an animated film by the artist Jenzen. The future looks bright for ORKESTR – or should we say, the retrofuture?

“Orkestr” is due out September 6, 2024, on limited private-press vinyl and digisleeve CD, on Sound Effect Records. Now available for pre-order.

Now Streaming:

Pre-order now:

1. Kovcheg XIV
2. We’ll Start Anew
3. The Checklist
4. Time at the Speed of Light
5. Engines Humming
6. Touching from a Distance
7. Daytime
8. Dark Between the Stars
9. A Shadow
10. Daytime (Reprise)
11. Arrival
12. Promises
13. Alien Wilderness

Orkestr, I (2024)

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Angelica and The Crooked Path Release Debut Singles “Creatures of Spring” and “Lily”

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Angelica and The Crooked Path

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Angelica and The Crooked Path is a newcomer four-piece who’ve made an initial showing in two separately released singles, “Lily” and “Creatures of Spring.” They call it “bloom metal,” and fair enough — what? I should argue? — and what that translates to in terms of the tracks is a heavy, lush and psychedelic atmosphere, able to dig into the crunchier-style riff of “Lily” or find a folkish pulse in “Creatures of Spring.” They call the latter their “more eclectic” work, which makes sense as it seems to have a broader stylistic reach and more open feel generally, but putting the two songs next to each other is where you really get a fuller picture of the potential here.

So that’s what I did. You’ll find both “Lily” and “Creatures of Spring” below. Both were posted in June. For what it’s worth, I heard “Lily” first. I won’t tell you what order to listen to them in, but if you start “Creatures of Spring,” take my advice and stick with it. I’d take an album of this immediately if such a thing existed. Since not, I’ll just look forward to more from them.

From the PR wire:

Newcomers Angelica & The Crooked Path Introduce Bloom Metal with Two Singles

Hailing from the foothills of Southern Appalachia, Angelica & The Crooked Path defines their style as “bloom metal,” combining elements of shimmering sludge and dream-pop. Carving out their own niche, their aesthetic blurs the edges of the amp-worshiping riff genres, hypnagogic and alluring. The Asheville, NC-based quartet has marked their arrival with two singles: “Lily” and “Creatures of Spring.” The latter draws inspiration from the myth of Elizabeth Bathory and includes a quote from the 1992 black fantasy comedy Death Becomes Her.

States Angelica & The Crooked Path:
“We made our debut late this spring with two singles. The first, ‘Lily,’ aims to demonstrate our contrasting heaviness and sense of melody by fusing lumbering sludge riffs with celestial female vocals and a chorus with a hook. The second, ‘Creatures of Spring,’ is our more adventurous offering, showing an eclectic range of influence from genres such as post-rock, choral music, and jazz.”

Both songs are mastered by Ryan Williams and produced, engineered, and mixed by Dave Kaminsky at Studio Wormwood (

Angelica & The Crooked Path is:
Esmé – vocals
Gerri – bass
Nicholas – drums
Ursula – guitar

Angelica and the Crooked Path, “Creatures of Spring”

Angelica and the Crooked Path, “Lily”

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