Clutch Post “Ghoul Wrangler” Video; Announce More Touring

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

clutch ghoul wrangler video

The new Clutch clip is the fourth one the band has put out in support of their latest album, Book of Bad Decisions (review here), and it comes accompanied by another round of dates of the Maryland-based outfit’s forever-tour, this one largely focused on the Midwest and even a few stops up in Canada before they’ll close out in New York at Irving Plaza. Having in the past enjoyed a good number of Clutch gigs in that particular room, I’m willing to go on record speculating that’ll be a fun time, and perhaps all the more as the last night of the tour, as much as that phrase can ever apply to Clutch, who as noted, are on tour forever.

“Ghoul Wrangler” reunites them with director David Brodsky and was made on-location in zombie-lawyer-infested Pennsylvania. Vocalist Neil Fallon stars as the titular wrangler, while guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster feature as the ghouls. There’s a book of folk magic, and chaos ensues with spell-cast hatchets and a plasma rifle, because why not. The song, which comes from the deeper end of the tracklisting, but hell, so did “Hot Bottom Feeder,” so that’s hardly an impediment. It’s catchy as hell, and with the storytelling aspects of Fallon‘s lyrics, of course lends itself well to the visual medium. Who the hell knew these guys were so camera-ready?

Did you know there are still people who don’t like Clutch? It’s true! I’ve heard people say things like, “Nah,” and, “I don’t really dig them.” To each their own, but to me, it kind of feels like if you’re not into Clutch, you’re only denying yourself one of life’s great joys. You can be into all kinds of stuff, but I’ll tell what: I was out at the Costco recently with The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan and a dude walked by with a Clutch shirt on, and I nodded and gave him a, “Hey nice shirt,” and I knew that at least on some level we were friends already. It’s a subculture of a subculture at this point.

Enjoy “Ghoul Wrangler.” Really enjoy it.

Tour dates follow the video:

Clutch, “Ghoul Wrangler” official video

Maryland rockers Clutch have released a new video for the single “Ghoul Wrangler” from their latest album Book Of Bad Decisions. The video was shot in the Old Bedford Village in Pennsylvania and can be viewed at this location: https://youtu.be/W74TewnAxx0

Vinyl fans might remember the Ghoul Wrangler business card that was included in each 12″ jacket. Many of those who called the number on the card left messages for the Ghoul Wrangler. Some of these messages have been used as teasers on Clutch’s socials in the last couple of days. The phone line is still active. You never know what comes next. Call!

”JP wears pantaloons, Dan’s got horns, and Tim throws up on my face” says frontman Neil Fallon. “I’m pretty sure we all deserve Academy Awards.”

Clutch will be starting their Winter tour next week in support of Book Of Bad Decisions. Tickets are on sale now at this location: Linkfire -https://clutch.lnk.to/TourLink.

Support for the tour comes from Big Business from Seattle, WA and The Inspector Cluzo from Gascony, France. A Clutch curated Spotify playlist featuring music from all three bands can be found at this location: http://tinyurl.com/y2htbm79

Book Of Bad Decisions is Clutch’s twelfth studio album debuting at #1 on several charts around the world including the US Billboard Hard Rock chart.

CLUTCH’s “Book of Bad Decisions Winter Tour 2019”
Tickets available at www.pro-rock.com
Tue/Feb-19 Columbia, SC @ The Senate
Thu/Feb-21 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
Fri/Feb-22 Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge
Sat/Feb-23 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
Sun/Feb-24 Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theater
Tue/Feb-26 Springfield, MO @ Gillioz Theater
Wed/Feb-27 Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
Fri/Mar-01 Billings, MT @ Pub Station
Sat/Mar-02 Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater
Sun/Mar-03 Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
Mon/Mar-04 Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch Roadhouse
Wed/Mar-06 Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theater
Fri/Mar-08 Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion Ballroom
Sat/Mar-09 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
Sun/Mar-10 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater
Wed/Mar-13 Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Thu/Mar-14 Green Bay, WI @ Green Bay Distillery
Fri/Mar-15 Indianapolis, IN @ The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Sat/Mar-16 Snowshoe, WV @ Ballhooter Spring Break (* No The Inspector Cluzo/Big Business)
Mon/Mar-18 Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ( *No The Inspector Cluzo)
Tue/Mar-19 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

Clutch on Thee Facebooks

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Clutch Website

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KOOK Premiere “Escape Velocity” Lyric Video; KOOK II out March 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kook

Man, get ready for a trip. Due out March 25, II is the aptly-named second full-length from likewise aptly-named San Jose desert-style noise kooks KOOK, and it’s a far-out blower with an underpinning of the bizarre, earthy psychedelia born of Californian sands with just a bit of urbane crunch to its tones. Like if Queens of the Stone Age moved to Oakland, kept their edge and got weird, or if Fatso Jetson nixed the boogie and added more angry and a bit of Faith No More at their least predictable. The six-tracker runs 44 minutes and seems destined to be A research subject for years to come on the relative potency of edibles. Delivered through Glory or Death Records, it commences with “Escape Velocity,” which serves as an eight-minute barrage of you in the future asking what the hell just happened, and only ups the volatility factor with “Chains” and “Left Behind,” which offsets its languid groove and hook with a sense that at any moment it might haul off and punch you upside the head. Does it? Yeah, and a suitable reeling racket of noise follows as though KOOK also need to recover.

They don’t, but you might. Those three tracks are side A of the thing and they’re beastly in their scope and conjuring of ’90s bizarro threat rock and under-influence suggestion. “Escape Velocity” seems to tip hat to the Melvins in Karl Larson‘s guitar and the out-for-a-walk bassline of Jeff Wilson, but kook iithe punctuation of Erik Wilkins‘ drumming makes for sharper corners, and Troy Aschenbrenner‘s vocals are way out there on another plane, covered in hair, if you know what I mean. Still, they hold together this first of two cuts on II over eight minutes long — “Left Behind” is the other one, and it’s just a bit longer — and with the aggro strut of “Chains,” they preface the fuzzed swing of “Human Container” at the setoff of side B, which turns beastly in a second-half slowdown that devolves into a noise wash sustained in effects on a long fuckall fade ahead of “Frequency 8,” which underscores the you-are-not-in-control-but-they-might-be vibe while casting another assault of tone and coming out of it somehow making sense en route to closer “Chased by Monsters,” where they line up tense chug and subsequently tap into their inner Primus carnival manifestation. Shit gets wild. Shit starts wild, and then gets wilder. And then they end by thrashing out because fucking of course they do.

Being a gentleman of a certain age, I remember when the Heaven’s Gate cult warned that Planet Earth was about to be recycled and the only way to avoid that grim fate was to hitch a ride on the UFO hiding behind the passing comet Hale-Bopp. KOOK sample audio and imagery from Heaven’s Gate’s leader, Do — whose writings you can still find online, if you’re up for falling down a hole — and the somewhat futuristic but also completely off the rails thematic could hardly suit them better. It’s high time someone took on the subject matter, and KOOK would seem to be the perfect band to do it. It’s a riotously colorful niche of cultism.

Ahead of the official release next month, KOOK hit the road (they’ll have copies of the album at the merch table) and play alongside many righteous bands in and around appearances at SXSW, the stoner revival of which has not gone unnoticed. Nonetheless, it’s a schedule busy enough to suit KOOK‘s sound, and before they go, they’re giving another glimpse at the weirdo triumphs II has in store. Preorders for the record are up if that’s your thing, and you can check out the “Escape Velocity” lyric video below, with all the Hale-Bopp you need and some dizzying rocket footage to boot.

Dig and enjoy:

Kook, “Escape Velocity” lyric video premiere

The third lyric video and song released from KOOK’s upcoming album, II, available (digital, vinyl, tape, and CD) via Glory or Death Records 3/26/29 at http://wearekook.bandcamp.com. A song for those who follow the blind into the unknown and find only darkness.

Headed out to Texas this March to play some shows at SXSW and touring to California to celebrate the release of our second album, II. Playing with amazing bands along the way we can’t list them all, but come see a show if we pass near you!

kook tourKOOK live:
MAR 14 Austin, TX Spider House Cafe and Ballroom Wicked Bad Stoner Jam
MAR 14 San Antonio, TX The Mix
MAR 15 Arlington, TX Division Brewing
MAR 16 Austin, TX Kick Butt Café Gravity Fest
MAR 17 El Paso, TX The Rockin’ Cigar Bar & Grill
MAR 18 Albuquerque, NM Moonlight Lounge
MAR 20 Tempe, AZ Palo Verde Lounge
MAR 21 San Diego, CA The Bancroft
MAR 22 Los Angeles, CA 5 Star Bar
MAR 23 El Monte, CA Silver Dollar Saloon

KOOK is:
Karl Larson-Guitar
Troy Aschenbrenner-Vocals
Eric Wilkins-Drums
Jeff Wilson- Bass

KOOK, II (2019)

KOOK on Thee Facebooks

KOOK on Instagram

KOOK website

Glory or Death Records on Thee Facebooks

Glory or Death Records on Instagram

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Glory or Death Records webstore

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Friday Full-Length: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Blood Lust

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Blood Lust (2011)

Starting later this year, you’re going to start to see a bunch of best-albums-of-the-decade lists. Any such list of heavy records that doesn’t include Uncle Acid and the DeadbeatsBlood Lust is doing it wrong. Released in 2011 through Killer Candy Records as the UK band’s second full-length (also discussed here), it was soon picked up by Rise Above Records for a wider vinyl and CD pressing, and garage doom was born. I’m not sure another single album has come out between 2010 and 2019 that has had as much of an influence on underground heavy rock — maybe Graveyard‘s Hisingen Blues in 2011, but even that’s debatable. In its raw guitar fuzz, eerie melodies, early mystique and outright perfect presentation, Blood Lust was every bit the proverbial right album at the right time. Any given week, it’s a safe bet that even going on eight years later, I’m going to hear some band come along who’ve copped the riff to “I’ll Cut You Down.”

And reasonably so. With the formative Vol. 1 (reissue review here) behind them in 2010, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats unleashed a collection of tracks on Blood Lust that were not only aesthetically innovative, but impeccable in their construction. Even as they conveyed a sense of horror and VHS-style tonal grit, they did so over a classic heavy rock strut and swing on cuts like the aforementioned opener as well as “Death’s Door,” the shuffling side B opener “I’m Here to Kill You” and “13 Candles” that seemed to tempt you to snap along. With the short, quiet introduction of droning noise and a channel-flipping television — note the analog static scratch between channels; clearly it’s an old television — Blood Lust set its malevolent atmosphere early and only grew more evil in its purposes, lyrics shifting from stalking and murder to witches, cult ritualism and Satanic fervor. It was a record that most people would find angry, upsetting, and unpalatable, and that’s exactly what it was intended to be. A dogwhistle to an audience who didn’t know it was waiting for it, dressed in purple as an amalgam of style and substance up to that point that was largely unheard.

Looking back, there are moments throughout that run into the politically problematic. “I’ll Cut You Down” is direct in its glorification of violence against women, and in that context, “Death’s Door” and “Ritual Knife” seem to followuncle acid and the deadbeats blood lust suit. Uncle Acid have gotten a pass from a lot of accusations of misogyny because so much of what they do is storytelling and style-based, pulling from the influence of cult horror cinema and all that, but do I really need to say even pretending to kill ladies isn’t really cool? That’s something that their more recent work on last year’s Wasteland (review here) seemed to subtly pull away from, and fair enough for the change of political moment between 2011 and 2018 as issues of discrimination, violence against women and sexual violence became more a part of the international cultural conversation than they were when Blood Lust came out. Their third album, 2013’s Mind Control (review here), was more themed around cults and the inherent violence of thought as well as deed, but even 2015’s The Night Creeper (review here) seemed to return to its knife-wielding foundation even as it stripped away the grandiose production of its predecessor in favor of a rawer, nastier sound.

The overarching quality of Blood Lust, though, remains largely undeniable, and so does its impact. “I’ll Cut You Down,” “Death’s Door,” “13 Candles,” and closer “Withered Hand of Evil” are nothing short of landmarks, and even in “Curse in the Trees,” on which frontman and band mastermind Kevin R. Starrs donned the point of view of a witch being persecuted and burned alive, there was a nuance of their approach that begged the listener’s attention. At the time, roughly nothing was known about the band. There was no fanfare to the release of Blood Lust. It was simply out there one day — not that I’m any arbiter of what’s hip or anything, but for what it’s worth, I totally missed it — and its impact moved fast. It wasn’t really until Rise Above had it out on CD in 2012 as part of its then-allegiance with Metal Blade Records that the groundswell took hold, but even before that, there was significant word-of-mouth momentum behind it. And at that point, Uncle Acid hadn’t even played a show. They’ve hardly looked back since, but they didn’t start playing live until 2013.

Part of that, of course, was maintaining the mystery around the band. As mobile-based social media was allowing fans unfettered and direct access to artists — something taken for granted less than a decade later — Uncle Acid were minimal participants at best. They had a website that was a single page, then they had some shirts on it. They had a Facebook page with roughly no info. Their names weren’t known. Where they were from wasn’t really known, and most importantly, it wasn’t really known how they got that sound. The creepy, eerie vocals on “Withered Hand of Evil” or “I’m Here to Kill You” or the acoustic bonus track “Down to the Fire.” That wavering melodic sensibility on “I’ll Cut You Down.” It was all so new at the time, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats had managed to pull off manifesting this previously untapped niche while basically letting no one know who they were or what they were doing. Listeners didn’t even know how many people were singing on any given track, and because the sound was so fresh and so interesting, the demand for it became a whirlwind.

I don’t know if I’ll do a list of the decade’s best albums. I might put up a poll. But there’s no question that Blood Lust, even with its high body count, is destined for consideration as a classic heavy rock album, and of course Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have gone on to become one of their generation’s most pivotal acts, crossing over to a wider appeal in audience while maintaining the identity of sound that even going back to Vol. 1 was theirs and theirs alone, and which Blood Lust saw them perfect. They’re on tour in North America this March with Graveyard, as it happens. We should probably all go. I’ll drive.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

It’s Friday, right? Made it? That’s good.

Okay.

Tomorrow night I’m going to go see C.O.C., Crowbar, The Obsessed and Mothership in Boston. I’m doing that. It’s happening. Monday I’ll have the review up. It’ll be good. I’m going alone because no friends but still, it’ll be good.

I’ve also got a butt-ton of writing to do this weekend, including two bios, stuff for the Roadburn ‘zine and posts for next week to get ready, so I expect to be completely out of my mind for the next two days more than usual. I started feeling overwhelmed on Wednesday for this coming weekend. Something about that just kind of feels like I’m living wrong. Whatever.

The notes are packed, so here’s what I’ve got so far:

MON 02/18 COC LIVE REVIEW; GIMME RADIO WRAP
TUE 02/19 THE MUNSENS REVIEW/SAVER PREMIERE/REVIEW
WED 02/20 BEES MADE HONEY IN THE VEIN TREE PREMIERE/REVIEW
THU 02/21 THE RIVEN VIDEO PREMIERE
FRI 02/22 CANDLEMASS REVIEW; CURSED TONGUE SIGNING ANNOUNCE

It’s almost 6:30 — I slept until 5AM, miracle of miracles — and the baby is just starting to stir, so I better go grab him out of his hexagonal not-crib and start the day proper. Before I go:

This weekend is a new episode of ‘The Obelisk Show’ on Gimme Radio. I still need to cut the voice breaks for it. I’ll try my best to make them not suck. It airs Sunday at 7PM Eastern at http://gimmeradio.com.

Also, please buy shirts: http://dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk.

Your support is appreciated.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and while I’m making demands on your time, please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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High Brian Premiere “Cpt. Zepp” Video; Brian Air out March 16

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

high brian

The thing about High Brian is there’s no Brian. Brian’s made up. He doesn’t exist. I’m mean, I’m sure he exists somewhere — dudes named Brian abound! — just not in High Brian. The Austro-German-Swedish four-piece are set to release their second album, Brian Air, through StoneFree Records on March 16 as the follow-up to 2017’s Hi Brain (review here) — note that’s “Brain” not “Brian” — and guess what? There’s no airline either.

All the same, High Brian fly some pretty friendly skies with Brian Air, the album’s eight component tracks purposefully tapping into classic post-Beatles psychedelic bounce even as they play through the concept/theme of an outbound flight. The opener, “Welcome to Brian Air,” is an introduction from Captain Zepp himself, and though there isn’t a destination named, the shimmering guitar and airborne drift that follows in “Ikarus” is enough to get the point across. It’s a journey being undertaken. A quick 41-minute flight to who knows where, and as High Brian tip the wing toward krautrock and heavier progressive vibes, there’s little to no actual turbulence to be found on the route, even as “Sth. Odd” engages full-on boogie and the seven-and-a-half-minute side Ahigh brian brian air closer “Frightening Lightning” starts with another message from the good Captain warning of roughness ahead.

“Cpt. Zepp” gives him his own feature moment, and if ‘Brian’ is their Sgt. Pepper, maybe “Cpt. Zepp” is more akin to Col. Mustard. Either way, the track arrives to to start side B after the slowed-down Hawkwindian harmonies of “Frightening Lightning” have subsided, and move from a little bit of rounded-edge Iron Maiden — only appropriate, since we’re talking about a pilot — into a break of smoother, floating guitar and easy rhythmic swing. The fistpump chug comes back, providing symmetry, and if the title “Cpt. Zepp” wasn’t enough Led Zeppelin nod for you, surely the Robert Plant-style “Oooh, baby, baby, babe” that ends that song and feeds directly into “Uhh Baby” will drive the point home. A surprising bit of surf rock actually shows up late in the guitar for “Uhh Baby,” but just when High Brian seem to have gotten off track from their stated theme, the fuzzy “Slow Flight” brings them back to ground — or, you know, not — ahead of 7:36 closer “Strangest Kraut (Brian Air),” which shuffles through its opening into a sax-laced midsection and a seats-and-tray-tables-upright final message from the captain before dual-layers of guitar lead finish “Brian Air” with a last bit of vocal harmony. I kept waiting for the equivalent of “Her Majesty,” but alas.

I’m a perennial sucker for charm, and a video that’s also instructions for making paper airplanes given by one of the band members in stewardess drag, to coincide with a concept album based around flying — well yeah, that qualifies. Plus, in the “Cpt. Zepp” video, it’s a really complex paper airplane being made, so if you’re thinking about trying along with the clip you’ll probably have to watch it through a couple times and pause it along the way. That might not be best for hearing the song, so make sure you do that too. And don’t try to bring a water bottle.

Liftoff:

High Brian, “Cpt. Zepp” official video premiere

“Brian Air” by High Brian is out on March 16th via StoneFree Records.

“Writing an inspired concept album” usually ranks pretty high on a Rock musician’s bucket list. And how could it not? Records like The Who’s “Tommy” or Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” catapulted their creators into the stratospheres of music superstardom. Their creation processes, however, usually involved rather grounding experiences. “Brian Air”, High Brian’s follow-up to 2016’s “Hi Brain”, is no exception: The band ingested near-lethal doses of jet fuel, slaved away under inhumane working conditions to pay for studio fees, and was fired and re-hired by fictional band member Brian.

The end result, however, invites you on board for a very merry ride on the fuzz-plane. Formed in the autumn of 2013, the band’s members hail from Stockholm (Sweden), Hamburg (Germany), Graz, and Linz (Austria). One might be tempted to attribute the different influences that make up “Brian Air” to this amalgamation of backgrounds, but when it comes to High Brian, any conventional reasoning just won’t do. After all, the record feels like a well-crafted, dirty inside joke between the band and the audience.

Their third publication comes along much more progressive and varied than its predecessor, which the band ascribes to working on their airworthiness and swapping their mothers’ basements for an actual studio: “Boarding our previous album ‘Hi Brain’ doesn’t exactly make you feel like you’re taking to the skies, so we practiced like crazy and developed a healthy appetite for Kraut in the process.”

And it shows: If you pay a close listen to the band’s tongue-in-cheek vocal stylings and tasty bass lines, the self-described “heavy-trippy-krauty-quirky sound mix“ will press your body into the seat and make your ears pop with the spirit of psychedelic Rock. “We want people to choose our album over some seats on a cheap flight. After all, ‘Brian Air’ has a lot more legroom!“

TRACK LIST:
1. Welcome To Brian Air
2. Ikarus
3. Sth. Odd
4. Frightening Lightning
5. Cpt. Zepp
6. Uhh Baby
7. Slow Flight
8. Strangest Kraut (Brian Air)

High Brian is:
Benedikt Brands (Guitar, Vocals)
Nils Meyer-Kahlen (Guitar)
Patrick Windischbauer (Bass, Vocals)
Paul Berghold (Drums)

High Brian website

High Brian on Instagram

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Stone Free Records website

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The Other Sun Premiere “Stalking the Stalker” Video; Debut EP Available Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the other sun logo

Pressed to tape in an edition of 150 copies through Lapis Niger Productions and released today, Horizon Between the Eyes is the debut EP from Swedish outfit The Other Sun. And though its members might be recognizable from bands like Nuclear Spells and Saturnalia Temple, their formative collection speaks to a different kind of vibe, blending modern cultistry with a surf rock sound that gives an impression as much fresh as it is familiar. Sleek-sounding guitar and semi-spoken vocals commune with dark atmospheres to give a brooding and urbane feel to what’s presented nonetheless with an intricacy of rhythm and craft. Thanks in no small part to their echoing guitar tones, “Fifth Sun,” “Stalking the Stalker” and “Horizon Between the Eyes” carry a significant spaciousness but there’s an early-rock influence to them as well, as shown in structures used and periodically cast aside.

the other sun horizon between the eyesFrom “Fifth Sun” onward, there’s a sense of restraint one can hear in the material that, to me at least, speaks to a metallic root on the part of project-founder Fredrik Eytzinger. The Other Sun is not metal — willfully, directly not — but as Eytzinger and co-conspirator Tommie Eriksson play toward different levels of tension, a bit of holding back an explosive impulse can be heard. Instead of shooting up, though, “Fifth Sun” spreads out, and that method works in kind of diffuse the finale title-track. Somewhat shorter and more direct in its swing, “Stalking the Stalker” doesn’t seem to want its tension shunted, and while capping off its surf vibe in wisps of floating guitar, the distorted vocals still maintain a particular threat of violence that lends weight as well to the song’s title.

The plan as I understand it from the info below is for The Other Sun to go back and create a full-length from the foundation laid with Horizon Between the Eyes. After that, the future will be what it is, of course, but the particular stylistic niche into which Eytzinger and Eriksson have inserted themselves is yet-uncharted, and the EP only piques interest as far as curiosity to know what they might be able to do with a complete album’s reach. For now, the lesson seems to be that darkness can and will lurk just about anywhere.

You can see the premiere of the “Stalking the Stalker” video below, and stream the full EP at the bottom of this post.

Please enjoy:

The Other Sun, “Stalking the Stalker” official video premiere

Second track from debut EP ‘Horizon Between the Eyes’ by The Other Sun. Released by Lapis Niger Productions in 2019.

Horizon Between the Eyes is the debut release from Swedish band The Other Sun formed by guitarist/singer Fredrik Eytzinger (Nuclear Spells, ex-Masugn) known as writer of Solomonic Magical Arts (Three Hands Press).

A three track EP is released on cassette and in digital format through Tommie Eriksson’s (Saturnalia Temple, Eldhamn etc) Lapis Niger Productions. Tommie is also drummer and guitarist in The Other Sun. Mastered by Esoteric founder Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios. The artwork, a painting called Yak’Ab Balam was made by fine artist Davis Herrerías.

“We wanted a sound that embodied both the curious spirit of the 50’s and captured the feeling of walking through an endless desert towards a setting sun at the horizon. Having lived in Mexico, I guess I have been very inspired by the vibes and rhythms of Latin America, and while I have my roots in Sweden it has been very interesting to explore the mystical relationship between these two enchanted landscapes,” Fredrik says and adds that the outpouring is a result of a continuous spiritual exploration of himself, the world and the otherness.

“Otherness is everything that has not yet been defined. It can be basically anything, but deals essentially with the exploration of uncharted territory, either related to your shadow, your own notion about reality, or it could be something completely objective. That’s why thresholds, borders and passages are generally interesting to explore both musically and spiritually.”

Currently working on a full-length album, The Other Sun is hoping to dive even further into uncharted territory and bring back yet another psychedelic, uncanny release.

The Other Sun, Horizon Between the Eyes (2019)

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The Other Sun on Bandcamp

Lapis Niger Productions on Thee Facebooks

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Friday Full-Length: 7Zuma7, Untitled EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

7Zuma7, Untitled EP (1998)

7Zuma7 — or 7 Zuma 7, if you’re feeling more spaced out — weren’t necessarily the earliest heavy rock band out of the Netherlands. That title might belong to the likes of 35007 or Beaver or Celestial Season, but the Eindhoven-based four-piece weren’t far behind either, and the 1998 arrival of their untitled debut EP put them right in line with what one might consider the MySpace era of heavy rock — a moment of burgeoning, pre-mobile social media engagement and, with the arrival of higher-speed internet in more places, the ability to stream media. They got their start in ’95, but by 1998, the “stoner rock” wave was well enough underway in the Europe and the US alike, and 7Zuma7 were particularly adept in taking influence from all that was going on around them and bringing it into their own context. Sure, their logo/cover art was of its era, but the straightforward push in their material on the five-song/22-minute outing, which presented a cover of Donna Summer‘s “Hot Stuff” as its centerpiece that turned disco fever into ’70s rock swagger and seemed to be in conversation with the likes of Kyuss, Roadsaw and Dozer on the six-and-a-half-minute closer “Nugtohs” — “shotgun” backwards — was righteously positioned the band in the dug-in style of the genre of the day.

More than two decades later, the work of vocalist/guitarist Jerry van Eyck, guitarist John Peate, bassist Nick Sanders and drummer Jacco van Rooij on this first EP might seem like something of a precursor. Prior to calling it quits, the 7Zuma7 released Deep Inside in 2000 as their lone full-length. And they’re further notable for in 1999 working with bassist Miranda van der Voort, who by then was already a founding member of Toner Low. But while that might be enough to make them a footnote in the Netherlands’ heavy rock family tree, it’s the songs on 7Zuma7‘s EP that continue to hold such relevance. I feel like I say this about bands from this era a lot — and I probably do, so apologies if I’m being redundant — but taking 7Zuma7 in comparison to some of the straight-ahead heavy and roll coming out now, and it’s like the 21 years between just melt away. If these guys were around today, they’d be signed to Ripple Music and I’d be writing about how awesome it was they were going to play at Desertfest and a bunch of other European festivals I won’t be fortunate enough to go to.

7zuma7 epIt’s not that heavy rock is a stagnant thing. If anything, the definition has expanded beyond recognition. But 7Zuma7, especially in tracks like the catchy opener “Velvet Slide” or “An Instant Cool” here, speak to a core groove and energy that in no small part works to epitomize the style then and now. You can hear it when you listen to Fu Manchu, and you can hear it when you listen to 7Zuma7. The inheritance of rhythmic swing is a big part of it, but it’s not the whole thing. In the second-half solo of “Velvet Slide,” or in the post-grunge drive of “Blue T.S.” and the slowdown that follows, it’s the kind of sound one has to step back from and say, “Yes. This is that thing.” To typify genre is not the same as to play to it, and in that regard, it’s important to remember that this was more than two decades ago, and even as 7Zuma7 weren’t the first to fuzz-blast their guitars and blow the doors off a surprising cover song, they were at very least earlier adopters of the style, and they would soon enough pay off the potential they showed on the EP with Deep Inside, while showing even more.

You know those hundreds of heavy ’70s bands who put out one or two records, were awesome, and then broke up? I’ll gladly put 7Zuma7 in that category. Listening to the rolling groove of “An Instant Cool” and the midsection break there that seems to foreshadow the outbound trip later in “Nugtohs,” yeah, the production might be somewhat dated, but the methods should still be familiar, and it’s hard to imagine that, sooner or later, some generous soul won’t dip back into this pool and bring similar “lost” outings to the surface for reissue and exposure to the now-two generations of listeners who’ve been turned on to heavy rock since it was first released. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, and I don’t imagine it’s the kind of thing that would entice much venture capital, but aside from its own merits, which extended both to songwriting and performance — that is, on the most basic level, it’s not 22 minutes of your life you’re going to regret spending — the tracks on 7Zuma7‘s EP represent a moment in the history of heavy rock that’s at this point relatively forgotten. And like all those bands from the ’70s who still seem to show up out of the blue, there’s a project waiting to be undertaken in exploring and rediscovering this moment. Where’s the Akarma Records of ’90s heavy?

While I, as ever, daydream about having things like money and time in infinite supply, I’ll go back and put on 7Zuma7‘s EP again and dig the raw drum sound, the way the vocals seem to ride over top of the riffs and the general swagger on display throughout. That’s all I’m advocating for here, ultimately. A revisit. Right now, we are once again awash in bands. It’s astounding how much stuff there is out right now. Between Bandcamp and a vinyl resurgence, a multifaceted movement of heavy is playing out. And it will recede for a time again, and take a lot of similar one-album or two-album groups with it as people move on to different stages of their life and other projects. It’s a life-cycle, basically. But even as there’s a constantly overwhelming forward motion, releases like this one underscore the importance of looking back and drawing the line from then to now. I’m pretty sure I’ve mixed metaphors irreparably throughout this post, but if you take away anything from it at all, understand that whatever your angle of approach to exploring heavy rock and roll, there’s always going to be more to find.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I let myself sleep until 4:30 this morning, which felt like a luxury. Alarm went off an hour earlier, but in my head I saw myself yesterday afternoon, dead to the world on the couch during the baby’s second nap, and decided it was worth investing in the day now. I don’t know if it was the right call or not, but screw it. As The Patient Mrs. told me the other day, “You’ll get your shit done.” And so I will. The only question, I suppose, is the freneticism of pace at which that happens. I shouldn’t complain. I mean, I do anyway — constantly — but I shouldn’t.

The Pecan woke up at about 5:30. It takes him a bit to get going, but that’s when he really started to stir. I grabbed him a couple minutes before six, as usual, and that started the morning. I’m beat. The Patient Mrs. and I are pretty dug into the beginning of her Spring semester teaching, so she’s out most days for some measure of time or other, and there’s always grading besides. I’m just trying to get through the days. I’ve had some ferocious ups and downs the last couple weeks — more downs, if I’m honest — but whatever. I’m getting through the way I get through, which is by writing and trying to catch my quiet moments where and when I can.

One thing The Pecan is good for though is he gets me out of the house. The Patient Mrs. and I are sharing a car (her car, to be more precise), but even aside from dropping her off at work, the kid needs to get out of the house at least once per day, preferably twice. It was warm and sunny earlier this week so we spent the whole day more or less at different parks. There’s a skatepark down the way from where we live and I took him there just to run up and down the ramps and stuff. No one’s ever there — it’s right next to the police station, oddly enough — so we had it to ourselves and he had a good time. Then we went to the regular park and he faceplanted coming down a big-kid slide. He was fine, but displeased. Point is he’s happy getting out as much as he can. In Massachusetts winter, you have to take those days when you can get them. There’s usually one per month or so.

He’s down for a nap now — it’s a bit after breakfast — but I can hear him singing to himself upstairs. He’ll fall asleep eventually. Domestic bliss.

Agenda for the weekend includes getting the ball rolling for the Roadburn ‘zine and driving to CT to celebrate The Patient Mrs.’ upcoming birthday with her family. That, honestly, will probably be enough.

I’ve got notes for next week though. Here they are:

MON 02/11 OLD MEXICO REVIEW; THE OTHER SUN VID PREMIERE
TUE 02/12 SAVER PREMIERE/REVIEW; DUN RINGILL VID PREMIERE
WED 02/13 VAREGO ALBUM STREAM/REVIEW; HIGH BRIAN VID PREMIERE
THU 02/14 RED EYE PREMIERE
FRI 02/15 DEMON HEAD REVIEW

I’m also slated to go see C.O.C. next weekend in Boston and I’m already anxious about it. What if crowds, what if photos, what if parking, what if Boston. All that stuff. You know the deal.

Or more, I hope you don’t.

Thanks to everyone who’s bought a shirt or hoodie from Dropout Merch lately. I’m trying to save money for a new lens for the camera, so that is much appreciated.

No new ‘The Obelisk Show’ this weekend, but as you can see, plenty going besides. I’ll be around if you need anything though. You know where to find me.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please, forum, radio, merch.

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Soldati Premiere “Aurora” Video; Debut Album in Progress

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

soldati

At this point, all of the projects Sergio Chotsourian has undertaken since the dissolution of Los Natas have been in conversation one way or the other, so maybe it’s not such a surprise that the latest single from the trio Soldati — in which he plays guitar and sings — also served as the title-track for the last album put out under Chotsourian‘s solo incarnation and nom de guerre, Sergio Ch., Aurora (review here). Released in 2017, that full-length was in no small part defined by its two-part titular cut, which blended experimentalist drone and folk impulses in a way that is increasingly becoming Chotsourian‘s hallmark. As Soldati bring in drummer Alfredo Felitte from Chotsourian‘s other trio — the somewhat MIA Ararat, in which he plays bass and sings — to replace original drummer Ranz and move inextricably toward their first long-player, “Aurora” is a glimpse of things to come.

And a striking one at that. True to the sense of lumber from the Sergio Ch. version, it’s the most Ararat-sounding Soldati piece to-date, calling to mind some of that band’s extended low-end rumblers and general spaciousness. Again, it all bleeds into each other, but it’s a marked turn anyway, as Soldati‘s 2017 self-titled EP (discussed here) was comprised of more straightforward material, and even the subsequent singles that have made their way out, “El Nuda en la Soga” (discussed here) and last year’s “El Latigo y las Riendas” (discussed here), have come nowhere near the droning aspects of “Aurora”‘s 13-minute pulse.

So is it indicative of where Solati‘s currently-in-progress album might eventually end up? Probably. Also probably not. I think laying one expectation on any Chotsourian-involved offering is doing it wrong. If he feels like playing a certain song with a certain band, he’s going to. If he feels like focusing on two different records at once — recall he also has a new Sergio Ch. album in the making, as recently noted — he’s going to. And in the hands of Soldati, as recorded by the lineup of Chotsourian, Ranz and bassist Lukas Hospital, “Aurora” takes on a suitably vibrant and consuming life of its own.

You can see the video below as directed by Juan Cruz Tommasi. I’ll hope to have more to come on Soldati‘s debut LP as we get closer to the release.

Please enjoy:

Soldati, “Aurora” official video premiere

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL SINGLE DE SOLDATI – “AURORA”
PRODUCIDO POR PATRICIO CLAPYPOLE
VIDEO REALIZADO POR JUAN CRUZ TOMMASI

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

SERGIO CH. – Guitar & Vocals
LUKAS HOSPITAL – Bass
ALFREDO FELITTE – Drums

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BLCKWVS Premiere “0167 AY” Video; 0160 LP out Feb. 22

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

blckwvs

A bit of context here: German atmospheric sludge instrumentalists BLCKWVS started out — as the more vowel-inclusive Blackwaves — 15 years ago. 0160 is their fifth full-length. Its title makes it of a series that began with the four-piece’s 2005 demo, 0110, and has continued in that manner since, up to their last album, which was 2012’s 0150. A goodly portion of the seven years since that offering would seem to have been put to use in making 0160 itself, which sees release through This Charming Man Records on Feb. 22. It seems likely that some of the reason for the extended break between records — though they’ve done splits and reissues all the while — is down to the fact that there two versions of the new album: one instrumental and one on which every song has a different vocalist.

blckwvs 0160 with singersAll or nothing, then. It is a common affliction among instrumental bands to have to explain why they don’t have a singer — just ask Pelican, or better, don’t — and I guess BLCKWVS decided they’d get it all out of their system at once. Fair enough.

Now the titles. The numbers don’t really need an explanation — it’s just how the band works. But if you put the letters together, you get the words “Black Hole No Way Back,” so despite the different vibes brought to the 42-minute release across its eight component tracks by virtue of having eight different singers, the idea is that each song should feed into a singular message. And they do, thanks to the instrumental foundation of BLCKWVS themselves to which the vocal takes have been added. There are some stark contrasts, as when Siggi Rudzynski from Space Chaser does a total Bruce Dickinson over “0162 AC” after the throaty shouts of Toni Hünig from Union of Sleep on the opener, but as the album unfolds that variety becomes part of its overarching personality, and in combination with the consistency in the performance of the core band, its shifts are easy enough to roll with, however much an individual performance might stand out.

To think of it another way, each track sets up its own world that’s part of the solar system that is the whole outing. Each vocal performance revolves around the gravitational pull of BLCKWVS, and together they all give a complete picture of 0160‘s years-in-the-makingblckwvs 0160 instrumental intent, from the harsh screams of Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth) to the easy-flowing croon of Black Vulpine‘s Sarah Lisa Middeldorf. It all makes sense… with the proper context.

And one more bit of that. If you’re thinking you’re going to click play on the “0167 AY” video below and hear Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann from Kadavar in his traditional manner, nope. “0167 AY” brings a much more cinematic vibe, with a spoken voiceover and an apocalyptic feel that’s on its own wavelength even as regards the rest of 0160. It still works with the rest of the album, but it’s striking nonetheless. As far as I’m concerned, that just makes it more fun.

Info from the PR wire follows the clip below.

Please enjoy:

BLCKWVS, “0167 AY” official video premiere

It took more than 5 years for these guys to finish this project – a very ambitious project, cause they wanted to do every song with a different singer they love. And as you can imagine, there were a lot of people keen doing it and just a few really did it. So, in the end you’ll get the most promising BLCKWVS record you ever listened to. They still have their trademark monolithic super heavy doom sound, but spiced it a bit.

The following people did their part – and tell a spacey story from song to song. Toni (Union Of Sleep), Ed Fraser / Heads., Marc Grewe (Insidious Disease /orig. Morgoth), Munde (i not dance), Sarah (Black Vulpine), Siggi (Space Chaser), Lupus (Kadavar), Chriss Dettmer and Milo (Rhonda).

Preorders available here: https://thischarmingmanrecords.de/produkt/blckwvs-0160-vocal-instrumental-lp-digital/

Tracklisting:
0161 Bl (feat. Toni Union Of Sleep)
0162 Ac (feat. Siggi Space Chaser)
0163 Kh (feat. Munde Not Dead)
0164 Ol (feat. Milo Rhoda)
0165 En (feat. Sarah Vulpine)
0166 Ow (feat. Chriss Dettmer)
0167 Ay (feat. Lupus Kadavar)
0168 Ba (feat. Marc Grewe)
0169 Ck (feat. Ed Heads.)

BLCKWVS is:
Stefan Uhe – Guitar
Tobias “Tommec” Völlmecke – Drums
Chris Nußbaum – Bass
Frank Uelsberg – Keys

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BLCKWVS on Instagram

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This Charming Man Records website

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