Dopethrone Release New EP 1312

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Montreal doomscummers Dopethrone have issued a new EP titled 1312 as the follow-up to last year’s blazingly well received Hochelaga (review here) full-length. Unless I’m crazy, the trio were in Europe about a month ago and they’ll be back over there to play Smoke the Fuzz and more, continuing to destroy minds, reap souls, and all that other stuff that riffs do these days, and though likely a stopgap on their way to whatever’s next — more touring? another album? more likely both — fans could do a lot worse. They have a video for “Shot Down,” but frankly, the cover art for the EP is NSFW enough. Only so many titties I’m willing to post per day. Take that, patriarchy.

Oh yeah, and the download is free. From the PR wire:

dopethrone 1312

Montréal’s sludge blues trio DOPETHRONE hit hard once again, with the 100% free release of their new EP “1312” on Riff Dealer Records. This 3-track joint also comes with the intoxicating video for “Shot Down”.

DOPETHRONE’s new EP “1312” was written and recorded in the winter of 2015, and serves as a transition between the band’s largely acclaimed fourth album “Hochelaga” and their next full-length. The video for “Shot Down” features live footage and behind the scenes from the many festivals and clubs they have played in Europe and the U.S this year.

1. Shot Down
2. Drifter
3. Skag Reek
– Artwork by Alexandre Goulet –

After three records that have knocked out all sludge and doom fans across the globe, Canada’s insane weed-laden trio DOPETHRONE returned in 2015 with their fourth album “Hochelaga” – named after the band’s dodgy neighbourhood in Montréal. “Hochelaga” is simply their most infectious effort to date, which has been widely acclaimed by the international critic. Despite a severe leg injury for guitarist/vocalist Vince that led the band to cancel many shows, 2016 has been a very productive year for the band, who released a split record with US doom merchants Fister and the “1312” EP, as well as bringing their dirty grooves to many European and North America cities through an extensive summer and fall tour.

06.09 – Köln (DE) @ Sonic Ballroom
07.09 – Amsterdam (NL) Winston Kingdom
08.09 – Newcastle (UK) @ Cluny*
09.09 – Edinburgh (UK) @ Studio*
10.09 – Bolton (UK) @ Alma Inn*
11.09 – London (UK) @ Underworld*
17.09 – Athens (GR) @ Smoke the Fuzz Fest w/ Yob, Bongzilla, Sons of Otis…
23.09 – Québec (CA) @ Considered Dead Fest
24.09 – Trois-Rivères (CA)
27.09 – Montréal (CA) @ Katacombes
29.09 – Sherbrooke (CA)
30.09 – Toronto (CA) @ Music For The Masses w/ Sons Of Otis
*w/ GURT

Dopethrone, 1312 EP (2016)

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BigPig, Grande Puerco: Stack it, Pack it, Wrap it

Posted in Reviews on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

bigpig grande puerco

Desert rock has become many things over the last 25-30 years. It’s gone psych, or classic rock, or jammy, or commercial, and it’s spread to an international heavy underground that continues to flourish from roots in weighted groove and sandy vibes. Rarely has it gone punk as effectively as newcomer duo BigPig take it on their sort-of-self-titled, self-released debut full-length, Grande Puerco, and while intensity of youth is a definite factor in that — both members of the band are somewhere on either side of 20 — that drive is something that the style had at its very roots that has at least to some extent dissipated with age.

Perhaps it’s hard to separate BigPig from this larger context because guitarist/vocalist Dino von Lalli is the son of Fatso Jetson‘s Mario Lalli and also plays in that band with his father — they have a new album, Idle Hands, out this fall on which Dino participates in the songwriting — but in BigPig, the edge von Lalli brings to that established group comes right to the fore as he and drummer/vocalist Benny Macias tear into a raw and vibrant 10 tracks/42 minutes, starting with the outright sleaze of “Flesh Drive” and dipping into the angst of “Designer Drugs,” “Aldini Lopez” and “Mr. Cool” before the engagingly weird “The Last Red Baron Pizza,” also the longest cut at 8:31, underscores the notion of Grande Puerco as the initial stages of an exploration of what it means to be a songwriter, what material can and should do and how as artists BigPig want to get where they’re going.

In terms of this record, they get there with some noteworthy help. Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Leeches of Lore, etc.) recorded and produced, and it’s a suitably beefy fuzz he harnesses from von Lalli‘s guitar and a likewise crisp and full drum sound from Macias‘ kit as heard in the rush of the later “Don’t Think,” bolstered by a mix from Mathias “Schneebie” Schneeberger (earthlings?, producer for Fatso Jetson, Masters of Reality, etc.), so there’s pedigree here as well as lineage.

Nonetheless, BigPig admirably work to establish an identity of their own in these songs, bringing in influences from the more progressive modern heavy on cuts like “Sunny Side Up” to lead into the post-Queens of the Stone Age guitar work of “C-.” As noted, the album starts with “Flesh Drive,” which can seem crass at points — the line, “You look better glazed” is a standout — but boasts an undeniable midpaced groove that’s deftly misleading in the expectations it sets for what follows.

Clearly BigPig have a sense of mischief underlying their intentions, and that serves them well as “Sunny Side Up,” “C-” and the frenetic gallop of “King Baby” pick up at a speedier clip, since essentially they’ve written their own set of rules and then immediately, gleefully broken them. The swaggering “Lorde of the Deep” pulls back on the throttle but feels all the more thickened in its chug, and the vocals play to that well, leaning into a potent nod before room-mic drums start “Designer Drugs,” more reminiscent of something Mondo Generator might come up with, though perhaps not as outwardly aggressive. Still, raw.


“Designer Drugs” hits into a slowdown about halfway through, conveying an addled sensibility and a burgeoning dynamic between Macias and von Lalli, but picks up somewhat in its last section, which leads into the particularly punkish “Don’t Think.” Like “C-,” there’s an undercurrent of Queens of the Stone Age‘s style of riffing, but BigPig are bringing more to it than most already, and in about two and a half minutes, they demonstrate how they take that influence and inject it into something of their own, sans frills, sans pretense, sans bullshit. Backwards, maybe sampled speech begins “Aldini Lopez,” manipulated into a swirl that builds to a head just as the angular central riff of the track kicks in.

If there’s anywhere on Grande Puerco that BigPig seem to draw a direct line to Fatso Jetson, it might be “Aldini Lopez,” which though the tones are dirtier could easily be said to be in conversation with that band’s 1995 debut, Stinky Little Gods, in its ability to find the swing in what in most hands would be a progression that didn’t groove at all. That’s not intended as speculation as to a direction BigPig will ultimately follow — though they could do far worse, obviously — but just to say that if they’re representing an actual next generation of desert rock, they’re doing so in a way mindful of the scene that was and still is.

The penultimate “Mr. Cool” has a particularly memorable hook and seems to find a comfortable pace while still leaving room to weird out in its bridge, and “The Last Red Baron Pizza” offers growling oddities and fuzzy insistence, pushing further into angularity, and even stepping out — boldly, in terms of the actual transition — into sparser atmospherics on guitar, which after a return to the push serving as the apex, which seems to straighten itself out as it hits near the seven-minute mark, is also how they end the album.

Difficult as it is to hear Grande Puerco without considering who made it — and that’s not at all to minimize the contributions of Macias here either on drums or vocally — it’s even more difficult to make one’s way through the album and not appreciate the potential BigPig show, playing to both a sense of tonal fullness and a barebones mindset that suits their two-piece construction. With these songs, they begin the work of hammering out a songwriting process, and one only gets the feeling that they’ll continue to grow more expansive as they move forward.

BigPig, Live in Los Angeles, Aug. 6, 2016

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Valborg to Release Werwolf EP Sept. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan


I’d hardly call myself an expert on Germany’s Valborg at this point, but the more I hear, the more I like. The dark metal three-piece will issue a new EP, titled Werwolf, on Sept. 23 through Temple of Torturous, and if you want to hear what I’m talking about, by all means dig into “Ich Bin Total” below, the churning metallic riff and lurching vibe of which should bring a recall of the best of peak-era Paradise Lost though the band undeniably bring their own spin to it as well.

It took me a bit to catch onto it, but their 2015 album, Romantik, is a gem of atmospheric bleakness and the band released the collaborative EP, Karbon Winter, earlier this year, working directly with Costin Chioreanu‘s Bloodway project. Werwolf — normally I’d say something smartass about “therwolf, thercastle” but in light of Gene Wilder’s recent passing will let it go this time — will be out as a limited 7″ and “Ich Bin Total” is one of two tracks being featured. I’d sure as hell be interested in hearing the other one.

Preorders are up now. From the PR wire:

valborg werwolf

Valborg – German Dark Metal Trio Reveal New EP Details Share First Single “Ich Bin Total”

German dark metal trio VALBORG have announced a new EP titled “Werwolf”, due out on September 23rd via Temple Of Torturous.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Marius Costache at Studio 148 in Bucharest, Romania, “Werwolf” follows up their critically-lauded fifth album “Romantik”, released last year through Temple Of Torturous and sees the German trio fulfilling their fans’ wishes who were constantly requesting the recordings of two of the most acclaimed songs from their live set, “Werwolf” and “Ich Bin Total”. Originating from the pre-Romantik era those songs represent the best of what Valborg stands for and also offer a glimpse of what is about to follow on the sixth full-length record, which is already in the making. Pre-orders are available here.

Jan Buckard – Bass, vocals
Christian Kolf – Guitars, vocals
Florian Toyka – Drums

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Katla to Release Debut Album Embryo Sept. 30 on Svart Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Yeah, I can dig it. Weirdo heavy prog-psych with a classic spin and modern tones? I’m down. There are few labels out there whose updates I look forward to as much as Svart Records, and in Swedish newcomers Katla‘s debut album, Embryo, they would seem to have another gospel for the converted. All told, the record’s nine tracks top an immersive 48 minutes, and as a sampling, the label has posted Katla‘s “Illusion” to let listeners know what’s up. I’m just getting into the album as I write this, but just let me say that I hope to have more to come as we get closer to the Sept. 30 release.

That day, if you’ve been paying attention, is the most crowded release date probably of the year, certainly of the second half of it. Nonetheless, something tells me these guys aren’t going to have trouble standing out.

Art, info, links, audio. You know the drill:

katla embryo

KATLA set release date for SVART debut, reveal first track

Svart Records sets September 30th as the international release date for Katla’s debut album, Embryo. Katla is an enticing mixture of everything that was unforgettable and magical in the musical landscape of the ’70s: a hint of krautrock here, a dash of Hawkwind-y psychedelia there, and a touch of Swedish folk rock on top.

In February 2014, Katla entered the legendary studio of Silence Records in the dark forests of Värmland to tape their long-play debut. During a weekend of recording and walks through the woods, the album took shape. The songs consisted of old and new ones, ranging from the krauty psych-rock of “A Black, Slimy, Smooth and Tongueshaped Form”, over the heavy stoner of “Horsehead” to the calm of “Embryo.”

Embryo was mixed at Cobra Studios by Christian Gabel (bob hund) and the band with help from David Svedmyr. After finishing the recording session, Katla went on hiatus due to members moving abroad, but now they’re back, and they’re ready to present the psychedelic nugget that is Embryo. Hear the first nugget at Svart’s Soundcloud HERE with the track “Illusion.”

Tracklisting for Katla’s Embryo:
1. Horsehead
2. Endless Journey
3. Eat Sleep Die
4. Embryo
5. I’m Your Queen
6. Circles
7. Illusion
8. Collision
9. A Black Slimy Smooth Tongueshaped Form

Katla, “Illusion” from Embryo

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The Wands Post Video for “Faces”; New EP out Sept. 5

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the wands

If you look at the tour dates below for Danish outfit The Wands, you’ll notice no fewer than three dates feature are billed as ‘Psych Fest.’ If that’s a running theme, then fair enough for the classically lysergic sounds the four-piece conjure and toward which the vibes of their new video for “Faces” seem to be directly leaning.

The track comes from their upcoming EP of the same name, which is out Sept. 5 on Fuzz Club Records as the follow-up to their 2014 debut long-player, The Dawn and their first EP, 2012’s Hello I Know the Blow You Grow is Magic, as well as a single or two, and it brings together a modern sense of tonality and production with classic, late-’60s psychedelic pop in a way that feels otherworldly while remaining grounded in a definite and traditional structure. A languid vibe permeates, and the hook provides noteworthy landmarks along the way.

I’ll confess I haven’t heard the full EP yet, but if this is the molten shape of the thing, I’d like to. Fuzz Club is taking orders now at the link below, and of course you’ll also find The Wands‘ aforementioned tour routing down there under the video. They seem to carry the notion of ‘psych fest’ wherever they go, and at least in “Faces,” they go pretty far out.


The Wands, “Faces” official video

Taken from the EP ‘Faces’ by The Wands.
Release 05.09.16 on Fuzz Club Records

Get a copy of the EP here:

Directed and produced by Mathias Riis (

More shows TBA

Song credits:
Written and performed by The Wands
Mixed and engineered by William Smith
Mastered by Emil Thomsen
Recorded in Black Tornado Studios Copenhagen in 2016

The Wands are Christian Skibdal, Mads Gräs, Kristoffer Hvidberg and Thomas Brandt

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Heretic Rites to Tour Japan in November

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Serbian doomers Heretic Rites will tour Japan this fall on a run presented by Bonten Records, which is also about to issue a Japanese version of their 2016 In Satan’s Claws EP, first issued by the band in March with a tape on Urtod Records. The band is just over two years old, so to think of them embarking on a Japanese run seems admirably ambitious, and as you can see in the bio info below, it looks like this might play a hand in their hammering out their lineup as well going into their next release, so all the more intriguing a prospect for them going forward. They’ll team up with Sithter and Magdalene Junen for the bulk of the run.

The PR wire had this to say on the subject:


HERETIC RITES Announce Japan Tour Dates With Sithter

Bonten Records is proud to announce the Japan tour dates for HERETIC RITES, sleazy doom cult from Ratkovo, Serbia.

This will be supported by Japanese psycho-sludge SITHTER and female-fronted doom MAGDALENE JUNEN from Tokyo.

Along this tour, Bonten Records will release Japanese edition CD of their 2nd EP ‘In Satan’s Claws’ (2016) with exclusive track in November.

Here is the date.
23.11.2016 Miyagi, Sendai Bird Land with Magdalene Junen, Begrabnis and more
25.11.2016 Tokyo, Higashikouenji 20000V with Magdalene Junen, King Goblin, Zothique
26.11.2016 Oosaka, Sengoku-Daitoryou with Magdalene Junen, Necromantics, W.D.L.K and more
27.11.2016 Aichi, Nagoya Sakae Red Dragon with Magdalene Junen, Vomit Monster, Viollante, Stone Banquet
29.11.2016 Kanagawa, Yokohama El Puente with Su19b, Floaters
30.11.2016 Tokyo, Shibuya Ruby Room with Khola Cosmica, Dhidalah

Heretic Rites were formed in 2014. by Daniel and Željko with aim to play evil and dirty rock n’ roll music. They recorded a demo that year with Šmit filling the position on drums which was released in 2015. and is called “Hiding is so Futile”. Band was well established as a project by that time and in summer 2015. they recorded “In Satan’s Claws” demo (that got released this year).

Since they started writing songs for their third demo, they have had a yet unannounced member on rhythm guitar in their ranks and talked about the possibility of introducing organ/synth to their sound. Due the distance of their drummer, band didn’t play live yet, but have been practising with local friend positioned on drums, The worse is yet to come…

Heretic Rites, In Satan’s Claws (2016)

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Void King Perform There is Nothing in Full in New Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

void king

It’s amazing more bands don’t do this. What does it take — a couple friends with DSLRs and some rehearsal? Indianapolis four-piece Void King, who just released their debut album, There is Nothing, on CD via Off the Record, have posted a new live clip of them playing the record front to back from a (relatively) recent hometown gig that served as the release show for the tape version (given away here). And yeah, the concert DVD has kind of gone the way of network television — still there, but rarely breaking new ground — but something like this, for the effort of getting a few cameras together, booking a space, and editing to a rhythm, Void King have managed to capture in its entirety a pivotal moment for the band.

I mean that. We live in a multimedia age. One tends to think of albums as documents charting a given act’s growth. Why can’t live videos be the same thing? Throw them up on YouTube, sell burnt DVDRs at the merch table if you want, but even if the number of people willing to shell out for such a thing is limited and the number of people who are going to sit through all 47 minutes of the video and watch it front to back is limited, if you were a band, wouldn’t you want to have that document? Even if it was something you never looked at again when it was done, why wouldn’t you want that behind you as you continued to move forward?

Of course, Void King rose to the occasion of the tape’s public arrival, as you can see for yourself. They reportedly have vinyl in the works for There is Nothing as well — as the PR wire says under the video — so this may not be the last release show they play for their debut.


Void King, There is Nothing Live in Indianapolis, July 16, 2016

Indianapolis Stoner Rockers VOID KING have released a video of the band performing new album There is Nothing in its entirety. The performance was captured by Heavenridge Films during VOID KING’s Cassette Release Show July 16 at the 5th Quarter in Indianapolis. Live audio is courtesy of Niko Albanese.

There is Nothing is out today on CD format via Off The Record. A vinyl LP version is also in the works.

The monstrously riff-tastic There is Nothing was released earlier this summer on digital format.

Track Listing:
1. Skull Junkie
2. Raise the Flags on Fire
3. Brandy Knew
4. Canyon Hammer
5. Healing Crisis
6. Box of Knives
7. Release the Hawks
8. That Was Not An Owl (DFI)

Derek Felix – Percussion
Chris Carroll – Bass
Jason Kindred – Vocals
Tommy Miller – Guitar

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Ufomammut Enter Studio to Record New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Here’s the cure to your shitty day: The knowledge that whatever cosmic misfortunes the universe seems to have set upon you, Italian psych-doomers Ufomammut are preparing to once more wipe the universe’s slate clean with a new full-length. Their eighth album, it will follow 2015’s Ecate (review here) and 2012’s two-parter Oro (review here and review here), and presumably will see release through Neurot Recordings as well, though that doesn’t seem to be confirmed in the press release below. If it turns out not to be a Neurot issue, they’d be a great pickup for just about any larger American or European underground label with an interest in heavy, so I’m sure they’d wind up someplace. If they’ve proven to be anything over the years, it’s hard to ignore.

To wit, tour dates in Australia and New Zealand as well as another run through Europe, confirmed to presumably follow the completion of this recording process. The PR wire has details:

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

Ufomammut enter the studio to record their eighth LP; UK and Australian tour dates posted

The Italian psychedelic power trio Ufomammut are currently in the process of forging their eighth LP, following their heady/heavy 2015 epic for Neurot Recordings, Ecate. The band are knuckling down at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, just north of Milan, the first time recording with their soundlord Ciccio and his comrades of Femore Production. Having spent much of the past year refining their exploratory jam sessions to make them fit for purpose – expect more of their inimitable dense, organic riffing to emerge in 2017, with teasers on the way sooner.

Having just wrapped up a European tour which included dates with their friends in Neurosis and fellow countrymen Grime, Ufomammut have their sights set on Australia and New Zealand, and will be travelling there in early October with the masters of doom tone, Monolord. Those dates are followed by further European shows, which include a performance at this year’s Damnation Festival in Leeds on November 5th, alongside Electric Wizard, Enslaved, Cult of Luna, Akercocke and many more, plus a London show. Full dates below:-

03.10.16 – Wellington, San Fran w/ Monolord
04.10.16 – Auckland, Kings Arms w/ Monolord
06.10.16 – Brisbane, Crowbar w/ Monolord
07.10.16 – Sydney, Bald Faced Stag w/ Monolord
08.10.16- Melbourne, Max Watts w/ Monolord
09.10.16 – Perth, Rosemount w/ Monolord

02.11.16 – FR – Paris, Backstage
03.11.15 – BE – Hasselt, Mod
04.11.16 – UK – London, Underworld
05.11.16 – UK – Leeds, Damnation Festival
07.11.16 – DE – Leipzig, Werk 2
08.11.16 – DE – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
09.11.16 – DE – Nurnberg, Musikzentrale
10.11.16 – DE – Hannover, Faust
11.11.16 – TBA
12.11.16 – NL – Utrecht, Le Guess Who Festival
13.11.16 – DE – Koln, Underground

Ufomammut, Ecate (2015)

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