Orthodox to Release New 7″ in June; Tour Dates with High on Fire

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Always fascinating, always experimental doomers Orthodox are now a duo and will release a new single, Crown for a Mole, in June via Alone Records as a herald for their upcoming full-length, Axis, which is due out later this year. Also in June, Orthodox will take the stage alongside High on Fire for three shows on the latter’s upcoming European run, which, if you’re going to put out a new 7″ is probably a good way to make sure copies of the thing go.

The PR wire tells the tale and has the preorder link for the single, of which you can also hear the titular cut below:

orthodox crown for a mole

ORTHODOX. New album & New 7″ available on pre-order.

Recently reformed as duo, with Marco Serrato (bass, vocals) and Borja Díaz (Drums), ORTHODOX are coming back.

The duo now emerges performing with different guests musicians on studio sessions, developing a new form of contemporary heavy metal meets extreme jazz meets doom, like no one. New tracks show more ‘straight forward’ concept on composing process. But this is just NOW, as ORTHODOX never compromises with certain sound or ‘song concept’ for so long.
‘Crown for a Mole’ is the first single, taken from the new album called ‘Axis’. Band is currently busy on recording sessions. A tentative release date for ‘Axis’ is planned for late September this year.

There´s a pre-order already available for the ‘Crown for a Mole’ 2-track 7″ (one time pressing of 300 units, 200 black and 100 colour vinyl), including bundle offers for an excellent price of 14,99 eur. Very limited bundle offer up to 50 pieces. Check out our mail order store for more info and direct purchase. This single will be officially released on June 29th, and available on the upcoming spanish tour with High on Fire. Visit Alone Records site for further info.

Alone Records is now celebrating 15 years of stoner, rock, doom… and whatever you want to call it which give us full pleasure now and then. Join us!

Orthodox Tour Dates:
25/6 – Málaga
26/6 – Alicante
27/6 – Jaén (TBC)
28/6 – Bilbao w/ High on Fire
29/6 – Madrid w/ High on Fire
30/6 – BCN w/ High on Fire


Orthodox, “Crown for a Mole”

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Sugar Fly Stream “Blind”; New Band Features Members of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and Lunar Electric

Posted in audiObelisk on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Though its production is modern, the roots of Sugar Fly‘s “Blind” are almost exclusively classic. From the heavy rock groove that rolls the track out to the crooning soul of the vocals that top it, the L.A. outfit (a studio trio, a five-piece live) call to mind decades past and unload classy vibes and assured performance over a quick four minutes. The band was formed late in 2014 by bassist Collyn McCoy, also of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, and drummer Noah Lifschey (who’s done studio work across genres in composition, production and playing), who soon joined forces with powerhouse singer Tia Simone to record “Blind,” which is probably one of the most professional-sounding demos you’ve ever heard.

I’ve said on many occasions that I do not know how Los Angeles sustains life, let alone creative life, but that these parties would manage to find each other and craft something together makes a fervent argument for the city’s continued existence. To think of sidling up to some dim-lit bar with the sun still outside as it must perpetually be at midnight in sugar fly logoSouthern California by now — climate change, the shifting rotation of the earth, dust bowl apocalypse and all — and find Sugar Fly slingshotting attitude at unsuspecting would-bes is an image easily conjured by “Blind,” which seems to owe as much to Soundgarden as to Betty Davis and other underheralded badasses of yore; funk and heavy are treacherous elements to meld, Sugar Fly make it work.

If you can dig it, they’re setting themselves up here for a crucial blend of styles. Imagine a slow-groove turn, heavy tones and lounge mood, Lifschey crashing down hard while Lunar Electric‘s Dre DiMura tears into some wah and Simone pushes her register through the comfort zone and into that place where the guttural side of soul comes from? Yeah, it’s a beginning, but “Blind” sets the stage for that, and it’s worth checking out the start before we find out where it’s all headed.

Track’s on the player below, followed by a bit of promo-type background on the band snagged out of their EPK. Enjoy:

Sugar Fly is a ROCK N’ SOUL band with the charm of scuffed wooden bars, whiskey soaked cigars and bootleg rye. Formed in late 2014, Sugar Fly blends the best qualities of classic rock, West Coast funk and Motown soul and injects those familiar sounds with an infusion of modern heavy rock.

Sugar Fly was conceived by Collyn McCoy (bass) and Noah Lifschey (drums), after performing together on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s TV show, HitRecord. Fueled by a steady diet of thrift store vinyl, vintage tube amps and Kentucky bourbon, the two sequestered themselves to Noah’s studio and birthed the nascent sound that had been swimming in their heads. All that was missing was a singer. But not just any singer would do. They needed a vocalist with the power of Aretha, the passion of Etta, and the prodigious balls of Bon Scott. And that’s when by some manner of miracle (i.e. the internet), Tia Simone dropped from the Cloud. Together these three filled their bubblin’ cauldron with equal parts Stax and Black Sabbath, a dash of Tina Turner and a pinch of Led Zeppelin, to summon the sounds of Sugar Fly from the ether.

Sugar Fly’s live band is composed of Tia Simone (lead vocals), Noah Lifschey (drums), Collyn McCoy (bass), Dre DiMura (guitar) and Esteban Chavez (Hammond organ/analog synths).

Sugar Fly on Thee Facebooks

Sugar Fly on Twitter

Sugar Fly on Whatever Instagram Is

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Demon Head to Release Ride the Wilderness in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Danish five-piece Demon Head issued one of my favorite short releases last year in their Demo 2014 tape (review here), and then followed that up quickly with a 7″ called Demon Head b/w Winterland (review here) that also showcased much promise, so their debut full-length has been one to look forward to. Titled Ride the Wilderness and repurposing three songs from the demo which also appeared on the single, Demon Head‘s debut has all the languid analog roll one could ask, but brings a youthful energy to the tenets of post-Witchcraft retroism that carries well across the songs, a nascent melodic sensibility in progress amid the organic tones and swinging grooves. It’s an easy one to dig, as the first track made public, “Book of Changes,” attests below.

Announcement of the album’s arrival through no fewer than three labels — This Charming Man on LP, Caligari Records on tape (also a local tape release through Smokedd Productions), and Wolfbiker on CD — follows, dutifully transcribed from the PR wire:

demon head ride the wilderness

Friends and strangers!

Hear the thunder on the horizon? The time is coming..

It is with great pleasure that we can tell you all that May will see the release of our first full-length album, RIDE THE WILDERNESS.

It will be no less than eight songs of wild rock that we summoned and trapped in a tape machine last year for the untamed and unchained!

Recorded at The Chaos Island and Mastered by Tiger Bartelt of Kadavar, we’re dying for you to hear it..

LP on This Charming Man-Records, CD on Wolfbiker records as well as cassette tapes by Caligari Records overseas and local Smokedd Productions… Lightning strikes!!

DEMON HEAD’s debut album will finally see the light of night in May… We’ve been dying for you all to hear these hard rocking songs and sinister tales from nightmarish corners of our minds!

On a lost road between Heavy Rock highways and the Doom abyss, these eight tunes have been crafted with dedication to the old rock music traditions, for those that are born to be wild. Following the Winterland 7″ (Levitation Records) and a sold-out demo tape, we have recorded RIDE THE WILDERNESS in our own studio, capturing and manipulating this wicked devil child of our on gritty tape machine and haunted sound equipment from days bygone. Inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and The Doors, this is a soundtrack for days of thunder & lightning.

May 20 – Grand, Malmö
May 21 – TBA, Germany
May 22 – Loppen, Copenhagen
May 23 – Hässelholm, Sweden


Demon Head, “Book of Changes”

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Sun and Sail Club Premiere “Krokodil Dental Plan” from The Great White Dope

Posted in audiObelisk on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Tony Adolescent makes a good X-factor. The lead singer of long-running Cali punkers The Adolescents — aka Tony Cadena — brings not only a distinct personality to Sun and Sail Club‘s second album, The Great White Dope (out May 12), and what seems to be a genuine love of wordplay, but his approach meshes well with the speedier material conjured this time around by guitarist Bob Balch and drummer Scott Reeder (both Fu Manchu) and bassist Scott Thomas Reeder (also Fireball MinistryThe ObsessedKyuss, etc.). As with Sun and Sail Club‘s 2013 debut, Mannequin (discussed here), it’s Balch‘s guitar and songwriting as the driving force behind the project, which here makes its way efficiently through a 27-minute full-length, but ultimately, it’s how they spend that time that has shifted. Mannequin had no shortage of tight rhythmic turns, but was more progressively styled, and Balch‘s vocoder vocals gave an otherworldly aspect to the instrumentals they topped. Here, Cadena‘s voice acts as ringleader for a forward charge that blends raw punk and heavy rock tonal sensibilities, and the result is an album intense and weighted in kind.

It has an anchor at the end of each side in longer, groovier cuts “Fever Blister and the Great White Dope” and album-closer “Cypherpunk Roulette,” but even those have a sharpness to their charge that melds smoothly with the short bursts of “Full Tilt Panic,” “Inside Traitor Outside View,” “Dresden Fireball Freakout Flight,” and opener “Krokodil Dental Plan.” One barely has time to blink before the first three tracks of The Great White Dope have passed, or at least that’s how it seems going by tempo, but for all the rush, Sun and Sail Club are still writing songs, and where the first record carried an exploratory sensibility as it unfolded, this time around the material is executed with a greater sense of command and purpose. Maybe that’s a result of Balch writing in more of a comfort zone — Fu Manchu certainlysun and sail club the great white dope has its punk side, and there are moments here amid the hooks of “Baba Yaga Bastard Patrol” (a bit of a vocoder return at the end is a nice touch to nod at Mannequin) and “Alien Rant Factory” that bring that to mind — or maybe it’s just a function of the band being more comfortable working together in the studio. Either way, it works to The Great White Dope‘s advantage, and as “Migraine with a Chainsaw” recalls Black Flag‘s penchant for playing effective slowdowns against energetic thrust, Sun and Sail Club‘s fluidity manages to express itself in barely over a minute’s time.

They wouldn’t be the first tight-knit punk band in the universe, but that’s the point. What ultimately brings together Mannequin and The Great White Dope is the precision with which the second album follows up on the first. The handclaps and stomping chorus of “Level up and Shut it Down,” the near-bombtone chug of “Fever Blister and the Great White Dope” and “Cypherpunk Roulette”‘s slower moments — as well as the almost Alice in Chainsian melodicism of the latter and its delving in its second half into vocoder speech and emergent feedback drone and airy guitar noodling on a long fade to end the album — have such a sense of purpose as relates to the album as a whole, that it highlights the notion that Sun and Sail Club has become something more than a way for Balch to explore different guitar techniques. Even if they do a third record and it’s completely different than The Great White Dope, it’s the album itself here that’s the experiment, and that’s a considerable step in progression for Sun and Sail Club as a band. And to be blunt about it, they sound like they’re having a complete blast playing this stuff — even as tight and precise as it is — and that energy is infectious as The Great White Dope plays out its 10 tracks, whatever speed they might be moving at a given stretch.

At 2:01, opener “Krokodil Dental Plan” is a slamming head-turner of a punkish sprint, but with Cadena‘s teasing “Let me see/See your smile” for a chorus, the song definitely leaves an impression as it runs past. It’s my pleasure to be able to host the premiere of the song for streaming (and apparently also download, for those who’d make it their own), to be followed in the coming weeks by an interview with Balch about the evolution of the project. More info on the record after the track, which is on the player below.

Hope you enjoy:

“The Great White Dope” is the followup to 2013’s critically acclaimed “Mannequin” LP, and boasts a lineup consisting of members Bob Balch (Fu Manchu), Scott Reeder (Fu Manchu / Smile), Scott Thomas Reeder (Kyuss / The Obsessed) and now introducing Tony Adolescent of legendary punk band The Adolescents on vocals.

“The Great White Dope” raises the bar from the band’s previous release, to create one of the most aggressive and mind-blowing albums of the past decade.

Sun & Sail Club is:
Bob Balch (Guitars / Fu Manchu)
Scott Reeder (Drums / Fu Manchu, Smile)
Scott Thomas Reeder (Bass / Kyuss, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed)
Tony Adolescent (Vocals / The Adolescents)

“The Great White Dope” Track List:
1. Krokodil Dental Plan
2. Dresden Fireball Freakout Flight
3. Baba Yaga Bastard Patrol
4. Migraine With A Chainsaw Reduction
5. Level Up & Shut It Down
6. Fever Blister & The Great White Dope
7. Full Tilt Panic
8. Alien Rant Factory
9. Inside Traitor Outside View
10. Cypherpunk Roulette

Sun and Sail Club on Thee Facebooks

Sun and Sail Club preorders

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Roadburn 2015: Sets from Minsk, Lazer/Wulf, Coltsblood, Domo, Eagle Twin, Agusa, Mortals and Sun Worship Available to Stream

Posted in audiObelisk on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


You know, I went back and looked. Last year, it wasn’t until May 21 that the first batch of audio streams from Roadburn 2014 surfaced. Here we are, it’s April 30. We’re not even a full month removed from Roadburn 2015, and already eight sets are out from the festival. Kudos to Marcel van de Vondervoort, who no doubt will spend the next few months going deeper into the heart of Roadburn — at least from a musical standpoint — than anyone else as he continues to mix the live recordings and make them ready for streaming. The expediency of the arrival of the first audio is just one more example of how special this fest is. Hell, reviews are still being posted.

I’ve been kind of jealous seeing those reviews, actually. Part of covering the fest in the way I do — writing the review of the show that same night and posting it before the next day starts — sort of robs me of being able to step back and really look at the bigger picture of Roadburn and particularly what it means to me and of being able to express that, whether for fatigue or just being so close to it at the time. It’s a tradeoff, and ultimately I think the point gets across anyway perhaps even with that process as a part of it. Maybe I just feel like it all needs to be said again afterwards.

Part of the Roadburn after-experience is listening to these streams and hearing what you missed. To that end, I’m very much looking forward to digging into Minsk, Eagle Twin and Sun Worship. Whatever you caught or didn’t, I hope you enjoy:

Agusa – Live at Roadburn 2015

Coltsblood – Live at Roadburn 2015

Domo – Live at Roadburn 2015

Eagle Twin – Live at Roadburn 2015

Lazer/Wulf – Live at Roadburn 2015

Minsk – Live at Roadburn 2015

Mortals – Live at Roadburn 2015

Sun Worship – Live at Roadburn 2015

Special thanks to Walter as always for letting me host the streams. To read all of this year’s Roadburn coverage, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

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Valkyrie Announce Live Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Virginian heavy rockers Valkyrie are edging closer to the release of their third album and much-anticipated return, Shadows. Also serving as their debut on Relapse Records, it’s due on May 19, and in addition to appearances at the upcoming inaugural Maryland Doom Fest in June and Death to False Metal fest in Connecticut in August, they’ll be playing a few regional shows around the release date that are newly announced.

It works out to be a pair of weekenders late in May before the fest spots, heading as far north from Virginia as Philadelphia. Presumably more will follow, but for now, here’s this off the PR wire:

maryland doom fest 1

Valkyrie Announce Shows and New Song From “Shadows” LP

Valkyrie will release Shadows on May 19th via Relapse Records, and the band just announced a set of dates and unveiled a new track from the their upcoming LP.

Propelled by the stunning guitar heroics of brothers Pete and Jake Adams, Virginia’s Valkyrie return with their third full length Shadows, one of the year’s best guitar-driven, heavy rock records. Valkyrie’s twin harmonized guitar leads and clean dual vocal assault matched with a strong nod to classic doom and heavy metal creates a psychedelic and heavy sound that pays homage to classic heavy rock bands like Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy while bringing to mind the pastoral and organic sounds of Pagan Altar and Jethro Tull. With no regard to current trends, or retro-rock posturing, Valkyrie rides on with a true, classic, heavy metal assault that has turned many heads with its impressive live shows and soul-stirring conviction. Make sure you catch the band live if they are in your area!

Valkyrie shows:
May 22 Harrisonburg, VA – Golden Pony
May 23 Charlottesville, VA – Main Street Annex
May 29 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
May 30 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
June 27 Frederick, MD – Maryland Doom Fest
August 14 Hamden, CT – Death to False Metal Fest


Valkyrie, “Wintry Plains”

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Akris Return; Playing Sludgement Day this Weekend and West Coast in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


I’ve got an interview with Akris bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg set to go up next week, so if you want, think of this announcement of their return as a precursor to that. Now a trio, the Virginian outfit will play this weekend at Sludgement Day alongside a killer lineup that includes Righteous BloomHeavy TempleWizard EyeFoehammer and Lord (of which Goldberg is an alum), among others, and head out west this August to join forces with Snail for a round of dates in Sacramento, CA, Portland and Seattle.

Those shows will come after Akris return to the studio in July to record their second full-length, following up their 2013 self-titled debut (review here), which was released on Domestic Genocide Records. Dig into the info and dates below, torn along the perforation from the PR wire:

sludgement day poster

AKRIS: Psychedelic Sludge Faction Reawakens With Two New Members; Band To Rumble Sludgement Day This Weekend + New Material In The Works

Virginia-based psychedelic sludge faction, AKRIS, led by the low-end conjurings of bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg, will return to the stage this weekend with two new recruits — drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) and guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Slagstorm, Black Blizzard) — marking the first time ever AKRIS performs as a trio.

Comments Goldberg, “”Tim Otis is one of my best friends, and I’ve been a big fan of his drumming in Admiral Browning since I moved down to the northern Virginia area in 2008. When it became evident that Sam Lohman would not be able to continue playing drums for AKRIS this past January, Tim officially joined the band. Soon after, the decision was made to have our mutual friend Paul Cogle join on guitar. This was a huge decision because I have been playing in a two piece band for almost ten years. However, I have been a fan of Paul’s music and guitar playing for years, and have always heard and felt that we had very similar approaches to playing and songwriting. It has been an absolutely amazing, positive experience preparing our new set over these past few months. I am truly honored to call both Paul and Tim bandmates and friends.”

Otis and Cogle will make their live debuts this weekend as part of the Sludgement Day gala in Hagerstown, Maryland alongside Black Chasm, Fog Hound, Wizard Eye, Athame and more with additional performances throughout the Spring and Summer months confirmed and more being conspired.

5/02/2015 Sludgement Day – Hagerstown, MD
5/29/2015 Guidos – Frederick, MD
5/30/2015 Fat Tuesday’s – Fairfax, VA
6/12/2015 Meatlocker – Montclair, NJ

8/04/2015 The Starlite – Sacramento, CA
8/06/2015 Ash St. Pub – Portland, OR
8/09/2015 Highline – Seattle, WA

AKRIS will return to the Polar Bear Lair with Kozlowski this July to record their sophomore full- length. In the meantime, Akris is still available for purchase via DGRecords HERE.


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Swans to Record New Album in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Has there been a more productive reunion this decade than Swans? Even putting aside for the moment the limited Michael Gira demos and live outings they put out through Gira‘s Young God Records, three propulsive, jam-packed full-lengths — 2010’s My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (review here), 2012’s The Seer and last year’s To be Kind (review here) — in a span of four years, plus numerous tours across the US, Europe and most recently Japan. Swans didn’t just just reunite, they reactivated into overdrive.

Up next? The still-avant-after-all-these-years collective will head back to Europe, first to play Turkey and then to spend the bulk of May on the road abroad, returning in July to play All Tomorrow’s Parties in Iceland and hit the north and eastern parts of the continent, also playing Israel in the interim. And when they get back from that, they’ll hit the studio in September to record their fourth long-player since their return, which seems likely to hit early in 2016, at which point one imagines they’ll embark on more touring, limited releases, and so on into an intense perpetuity of assaulting sonics.

Gira announced the intentions thusly:

swans (photo by Jennifer Church)

Swans post live videos, announce recording of new album

“Hello, thank you for listening to our music. I hope it gives you some joy and pleasure.

” I am pleased that you have discovered our music through this medium. I view this experience as the equivalent of previewing a record in a record store in days of old. However, if you wish to experience the music in its’ fullest form, I would strongly encourage you to acquire it in a physical format you can bring into your home. Not only will you then be able to experience the richest version of the music sonically, but you will also be afforded the opportunity to enjoy the tangible artwork, which was conceived in tandem with the music, and serves as a further portal to experiencing the total conceptual and spiritual and emotional content of the work we have labored, lovingly, to bring to you.

I love you,
– Michael Gira / Swans / Young God Records”

Meanwhile, band primum mobile Michael Gira posted this update on his personal FB feed:

These are the remaining Swans shows for 2015. In September we’ll begin recording the new album. (apparently NOT playing Exit Festival in Poland as previously announced. see edited post below).

5.02 Istanbul, Turkey FSK Saloon
5.03 off Istanbul
5.04- fly-
5.05.15 Arhus, DenmarK at Vohalle- confirmed
6.015.15 Stavanger, Norway at Folken – confirmed
7.05.15 Bergen, N at USF Verteft- confirmed
8.05.15 Oslo, N at Vulkan – confirmed
9.05.15 Trondheim, N at Blaest – – confirmed
10.05.15 off
11.05.15 Gothenburg, Sweden at Sticky Fingers-confirmed
12.05.15 Malmo, S at Babel- confirmed
13.05 off
14.05 Nijmegen, NL- Doorroosje–confirmed
15.05 Dortmund, Germany- FZW-confirmed
16.05 Liege, Belgium at Les Ardents Club – confirmed
17.05 Kortrijk, Belgium at De Kreun- confirmed
18.05 leave off
19.05 leave off
May 20 Bristol at Marble Factory- confirmed
May 21 London, UK- The Roundhouse- confirmed
May 22 Liverpool, UK, Liverpool sound Festival
May 23 Glasgow at Art School- confirmed
May 24 Belfast at Mandela Hall- confirmed
May 25 Dublin at Button Factory- confirmed
may 26 off
May 27 Norwich, UK at Epic Studios confirmed
May 28 off
May 29 Nimes, France- Festival-
May 30 Barcelona- Primaververa Festival-
May 31 depart Europe for ny
no shows in june
July 3, Gydina, Poland- Open-Er Festival- confirmed
July 4 Reykavik, Iceland- ATP Festival- confirmed
July h Berlin, D – Volksühne – confirmed
July 6 off- fly to Tel Aviiv
July 7- Tel Aviv, Israel- HaTeatron Club – confirmed
July 8- Paris, F- Trabendo Club- confirmed
July 9 – off fly to Kiev
July 10 – Kiev- Ukraine- Sentrum confirmed
July 11-off – fly to Skopje
July 12 – Skopje, Macadonia, MKC- confirmeded
July 13 off
July 14- tba
July 15- tba
July 16- tba
July 17 Ostrava CZ Ostrava Festival- confirmed
July 18 Crispendorf, D- Chaos Descends Festival- confirmed

Official Young God Records / Swans Store (all albums hand signed by M. Gira): http://bit.ly/1rY35P8
Swans on iTunes: http://bit.ly/1nZmr5R

Swans, “A Little God in My Hands” live in Toronto, 2015

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