Quarterly Review: Delco Detention, Fuzzy Lights, Blackwolfgoat, Carcano, Planet of the 8s, High Desert Queen, Megalith Levitation, Forebode, Codex Serafini, Stone Deaf


Not really much to say about it, is there? You know the deal. I know the deal. This time we go to 70. 10 records every day between today and next Tuesday. It seems insurmountable as usual right now, but as history has shown throughout the last seven or however many years I’ve been doing this kind of thing, it’ll work out. Time is utterly irrelevant when there’s distortion to be had. Wavelengths intersecting, dissolution of hours. You make an extra cup of coffee, I’ll burn from the inside out.

The Fall 2021 Quarterly Review begins today. Let’s boogie.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Delco Detention, From the Basement

Delco Detention From the Basement

The essential bit of narrative here is that Tyler Pomerantz, founding guitarist of Delco Detention, is about 10 years old. Kid can fuzz. With his father, Adam, on drums, the ambitious young man has put together a wholly professional heavy rock record with a who’s who of collaborators, including Clutch‘s Neil Fallon on “The Joy of Home Schooling” (a video for which went viral last year), Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones, EarthlessIsaiah Mitchell, Bob Balch of Fu Manchu on the instrumental “The Action is Delco,” Erik Caplan of Thunderbird Divine on the highlight “Gods Surround,” as well as members of Hippie Death Cult, Kingsnake, The Age of Truth and others across the 15 tracks. The result is inherently diverse given the swath of personnel, tones, etc., but From the Basement plays thematically at points around the experience of being a young rocker — “All Ages Show,” “Digital Animal,” the title-track and “The Joy of Home Schooling” — but isn’t limited to that, and though there are some moodier stretches as there inevitably would be, Tyler holds his own among this esteemed company and the record’s an unabashed good time.

Delco Detention on YouTube

Delco Detention on Bandcamp


Fuzzy Lights, Burials

Fuzzy Lights Burials

A fourth album arriving some eight years after the third, Fuzzy LightsBurials doesn’t necessarily surprise with its patience, but its sense of world-building is immaculate and immersive. The Cambridge, UK, five-piece of violinist/vocalist Rachel Watkins, guitarist/electronicist Xavier Watkins, guitarist Chris Rogers, bassist Daniel Carney and drummer Mark Blay offer classic Britfolk melody tinged with heavy post-rock atmospherics and foreboding rhythmic push on the 10-minute “Songbird,” with the snare drum building tension for the payoff to come. Elsewhere, opener “Maiden’s Call” and “Haraldskær Woman” drift into darker vibes, while “Under the Waves” dares more uptempo psychedelic rock ahead of the highlight “Sirens” and closer “The Gathering Storm,” which offers bombast so smoothly executed one is surrounded by it almost before noticing. “Songbird,” “Maiden’s Call” and “The Graveyard Song” have their roots in a 2019 solo outing from Rachel Watkins called Collectanea, but however long this material may or may not have been around, it sounds refreshingly individual, natural, full, warm and still boldly forward thinking.

Fuzzy Lights on Facebook

Meadows Records on Bandcamp


Blackwolfgoat, (In) Control / Tired of Dying

Blackwolfgoat In Control Tired of Dying

One with greater knowledge of such things than I might be able to sit and analyze and tell you what loops and effects guitarist Darryl Shepard (Kind, Hackman, Milligram, etc.) is using to make these noises, but that ain’t me. I’m happy to accept the mystery of his new two-songer/23-minute EP, (In) Control / Tired of Dying, which slowly unfolds the psych-drone of its 14-minute leadoff cut over its first several minutes before evening out into a mellow, drifting one-man guitar jam, replete with a solo that subtly builds in energy before entering its minute-long fadeout, as if Shepard were to say he wouldn’t want things to get too out of hand. “Tired of Dying” follows with immediately more threatening tone, deep, distorted, lumbering, sludgy, with space for drums behind that never come. That’s not Blackwolfgoat‘s thing. As much as “(In) Control” hypnotized with its sweeter, unassuming rollout, “Tired of Dying” is consumption on a headphone-destroyer level, nine and a half minutes of low wash that’s exploratory just the same. These pieces were recorded live, and it hasn’t been that long since Shepard‘s 2020 Blackwolfgoat full-length, Giving Up Feels So Good (review here), but each cut digs in in its own way and the isolated feel is nothing if not relevant.

Blackwolfgoat on Facebook

Blackwolfgoat on Bandcamp


Carcaňo, By Order of the Green Goddess

carcano by order of the green goddess

From the outset with the stomps later in “Day 1 – The Beginning,” Italian fuzzers Carcaňo reveal some of the rawness in the production of their second full-length, By Order of the Green Goddess, but that doesn’t stop either their tones or the melodies floating over them from being lush across the album’s eight-song/40-minute run, whether that’s happening in the massive “Day 2 – Riding Space Elephants” (aren’t we all?) or the howling leadwork that tops the languid Sabbath/earlier-Mars Red Sky-gone-dark lumber of “Day 6 – I Don’t Belong Here.” They make it move on the cosmic chaos shuffle-and-push of “Day 4 – The Birth” and tap blatant Queens of the Stone Age up-strum riffing and wood block on “Day 5 – The Son of the Sun,” but it’s in spacious freakouts like “Day 3 – Green Grace” and the righteously drawn out “Day 7 – Wasted Land” that By Order of the Green Goddess most seems to set its course, with room for the acoustic experimentalism of “Day 8 – Running Back Home” at the end, familiar in concept but delightfully weird and ethereal in its execution.

Carcaňo on Facebook

Clostridium Records website


Planet of the 8s, Lagrange Point Vol. 1

Planet of the 8s Lagrange Point Vol 1

Paeans to space and the desert, riffs on riffs on riffs, grit hither and yon — Melbourne’s Planet of the 8s are preaching to the converted on Lagrange Point Vol. 1, and they go so far in the opening “Lagrange Point” to explain in a Twilight Zone-esque monologue what the phenomenon actually is before “Holy Fire” unfurls its procession with the first of four included guest vocalists. King Carrot of Death by Carrot would seem to know of which he speaks there, while Diesel Doleman (Duneater) tops “Exit Planet” for an effect wholly akin to Astrosoniq at max thrust, while Georgie Cosson of Kitchen Witch joins Planet of the 8s‘ own bassist Michael “Sullo” Sullivan on “X-Ray,” and Jimi Coelli (Sheriff) takes on the early QOTSA-style riffing of “The Unofficial History of Babe Wolf,” which would also seem to be the subject of the cover art. They wrap all these comings and going with “The Three Body Problem,” a jazzy minute-long instrumental that’s there and gone before you’ve even caught your breath from the preceding songs. 21 minutes, huh? That 21 minutes is packed.

Planet of the 8s on Facebook

Planet of the 8s on Bandcamp


High Desert Queen, Secrets of the Black Moon

High Desert Queen Secrets of the Black Moon

Debut albums with their stylistic ducks so much in a row are rare, but with the declaration “I am the mountain/You are the quake,” the chugging boogie in the post-Trouble “Did She?,” the opening hook of “Heads Will Roll,” the duly-open, semi-progressive tinge of “Skyscraper,” and the we-saved-extra-heavy-just-for-this finish of “Bury the Queen,” Austin’s High Desert Queen indeed show themselves as schooled with Secrets of the Black Moon. It is an encapsulation of modern stoner heavy idolatry, riff-led but not necessarily riff-dependent in its entirety, and both the good-vibes fuzz of “As We Roam” and the aptly-titled penultimate roller “The Wheel” manage to boast soaring vocal melodies that put the band in another league. They’re not necessarily starting a revolution in terms of style, but they bring together lush and crush effectively and when a band has so much of a clear idea of what they’re going for and the songwriting to back them up, first record or not, they rule the day. Don’t lose them among the swaths either of three-word-moniker heavy newcomers or the flood of Texan acts out there.

High Desert Queen on Facebook

Ripple Music on Bandcamp


Megalith Levitation, Void Psalms

Void Psalms by Megalith Levitation

Heavy and ritualized enough to earn its release on 50 neon green tapes — CDs too — the second full-length from Russia’s Megalith Levitation, Void Psalms tops 53 minutes of beastly lurch, with opener “Phantasmagoric Journey” (13:08) playing like half-speed Celtic Frost while the back-to-back two-parters “Datura Revelations/Lysergic Phantoms” (12:47) and “Temple of Silence/Pillars of Creation” (19:45) bridge cult-heavy worship with experimental fuckall, never quite dipping entirely into dark psychedelia, but certainly refusing lucidity outright. I don’t know what’s up with the punch of bass in the back end of “Temple of Silence/Pillars of Creation,” but that froggy sound is gloriously weirdo in its affect, and makes the whole jam for me. They cap with “Last Vision,” an admirably massive riffer that only spans seven and a half minutes but in that time still finds a way to drone the shit out of its nod. Cheers to Chelyabinsk as Megalith Levitation (who are not to be confused with Megaton Leviathan) offer intentionally putrid fruit on which to feast.

Megalith Levitation on Facebook

Pestis Insaniae Records website

Aesthetic Death website


Forebode, The Pit of Suffering

Forebode The Pit of Suffering

There is death, and there is sludge. Do doomers mosh in Texas? “Devil’s Due” might provide an occasion to find out, as the second EP, The Pit of Suffering, from Austin extremist slingers Forebode follows 2019’s self-titled short release (review here) with plenty of slow-motion plunder, “Metal Slug” opening in grim praise of weed before the rest of what follows moves from shortest to longest in an onslaught that grows correspondingly more vicious. Rest your head on that bit of twang at the start of “Pit of Suffering” if you want, that’s only going to make it easier for the band to crush your skull in the stretch before it returns at the end. And oh, “Bane of Hammers.” You build in speed and get so brutal, and then you do, you do, you do slam on the brakes and finish out as heavy as possible, an ultimate eat-all-in-its-path tonality that would be off-putting were it not so outright gleeful in its disgusting nature. What fun they’re having making these terrible sounds. Love it.

Forebode on Facebook

Forebode on Bandcamp


Codex Serafini, Invisible Landscape

codex serafini invisible landscape

Yeah, you think you can hang. You’re like, “Whatever, I like weird psych stuff.” Then Codex Serafini start in with the cave echo wails and the drones and the artsy experimentalism and you’re like, “Well, maybe I’m just gonna go back to Squaresville after all. Work in the morning, you know.” The Brighton, UK, fivesome have four tracks on Invisible Landscape, and I promise you no one of them is more real than the other. In fact, the entire thing is pretend. It doesn’t exist. Neither do you. You thought you did, then the sax started blowing and you realized you were just some kind of semi-sentient wisp swirling around in reverb and what the hell were we talking about okay yeah planets and stuff whatever it doesn’t matter just quick, put this on and be ready for the splatter when “Time, Change & Become” starts. You’re not gonna want to miss it, but there’s no way that stain is ever coming out of that shirt. Kablooie is how the cosmos dies.

Codex Serafini on Facebook

Codex Serafini on Bandcamp


Stone Deaf, Killers

stone deaf killers

Killers is the third full-length from Colorado fuzz rockers Stone Deaf, and they continue to have a chorus for every occasion, in this case going so far as to import “Gone Daddy Gone” from your teenage remembrance of Violent Femmes and actually talk about burning witches in the “Burn the Witch”-esque “Tightrope.” Queens of the Stone Age has been and continues to be a defining influence here, but from the electronics in “Cloven Hoof” to the harder edges of closing duo “Silverking” and “San Pedro Winter,” the band refuse to be identified by anything so much as their songcraft, which is tight and sharply produced across the 44 minutes of Killers, their punk rock having grown up but not having dulled so much as found a direction in which to point its angst. A collection of individual tracks, there’s nonetheless a build of momentum that starts early and carries through the entirety of the outing. I’ll leave to you to make the clever remark about there being “no fillers.” Enjoy that.

Stone Deaf on Facebook

Golden Robot Records website

Coffin and Bolt Records website


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One Response to “Quarterly Review: Delco Detention, Fuzzy Lights, Blackwolfgoat, Carcano, Planet of the 8s, High Desert Queen, Megalith Levitation, Forebode, Codex Serafini, Stone Deaf”

  1. J. says:

    That’s one cool review of the Codex Serafini album. Will definitely check that out later today.

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