Grande Royale Premiere “Hands Up” Video; Take it Easy out Sept. 13

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

grande royale

Fair enough if you remember Grande Royale from their 2017 Nicke Andersson-produced label debut on The Sign Records, Breaking News (review here), as having kind of a different sound. They were kind of a different band. On Sept. 13, the Swedish troupe will release their fourth album and second for The Sign, the 11-track/39-minute Take it Easy, and with it they undeniably enter a new era. Consistencies include a classically-influenced sound, prevalent boogie vibe and tight songcraft — all welcome — and among the striking changes are the fact that the band parted ways with their frontman and that guitarists Gustav Wremer (who took on the vocalist role) and Andreas Jenå have swapped out their rhythm section, bringing in Samuel Georgsson and drummer Johan Häll to complete the now-four-piece incarnation of the band.

As to the title, which one almost can’t help but hear in the pleading voice of Jeff Bridges as The Dude, it seems to be the entire message of encouragement from the album itself, and it arrives in “Decelerate,” a sub-three-minute tracklist-centerpiece rife with organ and recorded naturalism — Ola Ersfjord (Lucifer, Hypnos, The Riven, The Hellacopters, etc.) produced this time around — after the band has already unfurled five cuts of semi-Southern, ’70s-via-’10s argument in favor of doing just that. With Tove Abrahamsson stepping in on vocals for two tracks — among them “Hands Up,” for which the video is premiering below — Grande Royale hardly seem to have missed a beat despite all the tumult of the last two years. They even had a live record out grande royale take it easybetween the two studio offerings. Kind of scary productivity, considering.

But the news is good and the prevailing spirit of Take it Easy is one of positive, upbeat times. There’s an element of escapism at play in the shove of second cut “Out of Gas” or the slide-infused “Sweet Livin’,” but little reminder of what one might actually be escaping from, which is refreshing. As they were on Breaking NewsGrande Royale are an unremittingly straightforward band, and while one might hear the vocal performance on “Baby You’re a Fool” and wonder why Wremer wasn’t just fronting the band the whole time, the fact is that while they might make having been through so much change sound easy, it couldn’t possibly have been. Or at least not as easy as it sounds here. “Going Strong,” “Standing in My Way” and “On and On” round out in striking and engaging fashion, hooks prevalent and delivered smoothly with a confidence that makes one think that not much has actually changed in their approach to writing.

Meet the new era, same as the old era? Maybe, in some ways. Grande Royale do sound different than they did two years ago — how could they not? — but Take it Easy just sends its core message with such believable fluidity throughout its LP-ready run that one can’t help but think maybe they’ve been taking their own advice all along. It clearly works for them.

The video for “Hands Up” follows here, with a single-camera shot of someone dancing to the song and kind of letting loose a little bit, which is obviously the intention behind the thing. You’ll find it below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Grande Royale, “Hands Up” official video premiere

Hands Up is taken from Grande Royals fourth studio album Take It Easy released by The Sign Records 2019. Video by Filip Pilthammar. Thanks to Tove Abrahamsson for Lead vocals.

Take It Easy is the new album from Grande Royale. The album holds eleven tracks of Scandinavian rock with a strong southern influences: music that speaks the universal language of rock. The album mixes things up by adding brass, soul choirs to the guitar-filled music. Take It Easy is the fourth studio album by Grande Royale, succeeding the live album Captured Live from 2018 and the studio album Breaking News from 2017, all released by The Sign Records. Grande Royale is releasing Take It Easy on the 13th of September.

The album is produced by Ola Ersfjord, who has previously worked with Imperial State Electric, Honeymoon Disease, Primordial, Tribulation and Dead Lord. Since the release of their previous studio album Breaking News, guitarist Gustav Wremer has taken over vocal duties in the band. Vocalist Tove Abrahamsson appears on two tracks. The album artwork is made by Revolver Design.

Live Dates:
26/9 – Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands *
27/9 – Muziekcentrum De Bosuil, Netherlands *
28/9 – Sonic Ballroom, Köln, Germany *
29/9 – Lola, Groningen, Netherlands *
* With The Dirty Denims

More live dates are set to be announced in Spain, Italy, Germany, Finland and Sweden among others….

Grande Royale is:
Andreas Jenå – Guitar
Gustav Wremer – Guitar / Vocals
Johan Häll – Drums
Samuel Georgsson – Bass

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Swan Valley Heights Premiere “My First Knife Fight” Video; Touring in Oct. with Truckfighters

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SWAN VALLEY HEIGHTS (Photo by Agathe Riener)

We’re coming up quick on the Sept. 6 release date for Swan Valley Heights‘ new album, The Heavy Seed (review here), on Fuzzorama Records, which the Munich-based trio will celebrate in October with a tour alongside Truckfighters — also Fuzzorama honchos — that includes stops at Night of Fuzz, Festsaal KreuzbergKeep it Low and Desertfest Belgium, as well as a swath of club shows. The Heavy Seed is Swan Valley Heights‘ second LP behind a 2016 self-titled (review here), and their first for the new label, and with it, the band capture a warm-toned fuzz and jammy, heavy psychedelic drift that reminds of the potential that once seemed so prevalent in an act like Sungrazer from the Netherlands, perhaps taking a more active role in their own progressivism. Opening with the 13-minute title-track and closing with the 10-minute “Teeth & Waves,” the five-song/41-minute collection is bookended by sprawl that only adds flourish to the nuance of performance in “Vaporizer Woman,” the alternately spaced and heavy rolling centerpiece “Take a Swim in God’s Washing Machine” — bit of funk there in the second half — and the three-minute “My First Knife Fight,” the shortest track on the release by more than half and something of an aberration in terms of general approach.

Gone is the patient unfolding of “The Heavy Seed” or even the back and forth loud/quiet swaps of “Take a Swim in God’s Washing Machine.” Each song on the album seems to establish its own take around the central unifying tonal and melodic factors in the band’s sound, but no question “My First Knife Fight” is a standout. It doesn’t quite manifest the sense of aggression or violent threat in the title — though even that feels tongue-in-cheek — but it’s a rocker for sure, with searing lead guitar over top and a forward thrust of low end and drums that establishes its own edge distinct from its surroundings. Then there’s the ending: a sudden dropoff as though the riff blinks out of existence and — poof! — it’s done. That’s not the only cold finish on The Heavy Seed, but it is perhaps the starkest, especially as it seems to come what would otherwise be about halfway through any of the other tracks. Further, as Swan Valley Heights weave between instrumental and vocalized material, the overarching flow they conjure isn’t to be understated, and neither is the willful-seeming cut thereof in “My First Knife Fight.” At no point are they lacking groove, but what the penultimate track shows clearest is that with their sophomore full-length, Swan Valley Heights are ready to manipulate that to suit a variety of purposes in their creation.

So much the better when it comes to the album overall. If you’re sensitive to flashing lights, watch out when taking on the colors-do-interpretive-dance clip below for “My First Knife Fight,” but again, the song itself is pretty short, so whether you just put it on and check out the track or stare at the screen and get hypnotized by the washes of I’m-not-quite-sure-what that appear there, I think you’ll be fine. You know what you’re up for.

Either way, please enjoy:

Swan Valley Heights, “My First Knife Fight” official video premiere

Taken from the album ‘the Heavy Seed’ out Sept 6th 2019.
Order your physical copy from www.fuzzoramastore.com

The band is touring as support to Truckfighters in Europe October 2019. Get your ticket: www.truckfighters.com/dates-2

OCT 4 NIGHT OF FUZZ, Linz, Austria
OCT 5 NIGHT OF FUZZ, Wien, Austria
OCT 6 Beatpol, Dresden, Germany
OCT 8 Hydrozagadka, Warszawa, Poland
OCT 9 Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
OCT 10 Knust, Hamburg, Germany
OCT 11 Universum, Stuttgart, Germany
OCT 12 Keep it Low festival, München, Germany
OCT 13 Helios 37, Köln, Germany
OCT 14 The Garage, London, United Kingdom
OCT 16 Petit Bain, Paris, France
OCT 17 Le Ferrailleur, Nantes, France
Oct 18 Desertfest Belgium, Antwerpen, Belgium

Video credits:
8mm and Acid Operator: Tiago Margaça
tiagomargaca.com
Editor: Alexander Häring
Dark Fox Production
dark-fox-production.com

Swan Valley Heights, The Heavy Seed (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: Weltraumstaunen, Weltraumwelt

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Weltraumstaunen, Weltraumwelt (2004)

You might be forgiven if you’ve never heard Germany’s Weltraumstaunen. The band formed in 1998 around Growing Seeds members Andi and Silke Heinrich and Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, then of Liquid Visions, Zone Six and probably 10 or 20 others, and released a self-titled album in 1999. It would be five years, the dissolution of Growing Seeds — in which Schmidt had also taken up the drummer role — and the end of the marriage between Andi and Silke before Weltraumstaunen would issue a second record, Weltraumwelt, as the two-piece of Andi Heinrich and Dave Schmidt. The album is part of the mighty earlier-years catalog of Nasoni Records, along with acts like Vibravoid, Zendik Farm Orgaztra, Liquid Visions, and many others (the label began in 1996), and was made by exchanging recordings via tape — not files, tapes; remember this would’ve been nascent times for broadband speeds — between Berlin and Bayreuth, further south.

That distance, and the fact that the distance mattered, becomes crucial to understanding Weltraumwelt‘s aesthetic and just exactly how Weltraumstaunen wound up where they got in terms of sound. The second album was somewhat more adventurous than the first — though nothing against that record either — and found its strongest moments in a forward-looking kraut and space rock; the swirling effects, hard-strummed funky wah and a steady groove on the title-track indicative of the far-outness to which Weltraumstaunen was aligned, but really just the barest indication of some of the more experimental side of the nine-track/48-minute collection, which showed itself perhaps most of all in the 14-minute anything-goes sprawl of “Farfisadelic.” With steady pulsations of synth emerging amid flourish of backwards guitar and other atmospherics, that cut was by far the deepest journey into cosmic vacuum that the two-piece made, and its anti-apex resolution in an almost-standalone line of piano and effects drift proved clearly that Weltraumstaunen weren’t simply about a linear build or about capturing the rush of space rock. Their five-year mission was more varied in its course, with opener “Black Dove Part I” and closer “Black Dove Part II” dug into a vision of heavy psychedelia that by now feels prescient of what a German band like Samsara Blues Experiment would go on to do in their beginning stages, or even Schmidt‘s own Electric Moon, jam-based as that would be.

Not only that, but the moody prog of “Doors” and the acoustic/electric swirl of centerpiece “Wizard vs. Time” brought a classic feel to the proceedings and offered a grounding effect compared not just to “Farfisadelic” still to come, weltraumstaunen weltraumweltbut to the minimalist drone of “Introfernale” which followed or the earlier bass throb in the freaked out noisemaker “Hoffmans Mahl (The Dwarves of Yore)” and the resoundingly ambient “Floating in Space,” the latter of which gave its earthy, folkish strum a chance to really bring the album to earth at its midpoint, which “Wizard vs. Time” ultimately succeeded in doing, in sound if not theme. They didn’t rush back to ground by any means, rolling through “Introfernale,” “Weltraumwelt” and “Farfisadelic” before finding their way into “Black Dove Part II,” and in the interplay between vocalized and instrumental songs, the openness of the structures and the overall diversity of mood between their tracks, Weltraumstaunen were able to accomplish the rare feat of uniting their material through its very differences, setting the expectation early between “Black Dove Part I” and “Doors” that the band could and would follow their whims wherever they might go. They went, of course, to space. And floated there.

But the connections to classic prog, whether in “Black Dove Part I” or “Wizard vs. Time” and “Doors” — the latter also dipping into a kind of ethereal grunge — were key underpinnings to the more try-it-and-see aspects of Weltraumwelt, and where so many bands seem to commit themselves either to a planned songwriting modus or to outright improvisation, Weltraumstaunen refused to choose one over the other. No doubt the distance between Heinrich and Schmidt helped that too — because it’s hard to jam through the mail — but even through trying and subsequently fleshing out initial ideas, their songs were able to take various shapes brought together by a single creative persona, not just a work of genre, but a work that toiled at the edges thereof and seemed more interested in pushing the limits forward than residing comfortably within them.

But again, maybe you’ve heard it and maybe you haven’t. I know I’ve name-dropped Weltraumstaunen a couple times over the years in talking about other things Schmidt has done — and he’s done plenty — but I’ve never actually written about the band, and though I’ve periodically looked for it in YouTube, it wasn’t until a couple months ago that Weltraumwelt actually showed up, so the opportunity hasn’t really been there before now. It’s another album that turns 15 this year, which is kind of staggering to think about, but it came into my life in a box of vinyl from Nasoni that I got when I was doing college radio, and it’s one to which I’ve returned every now and again ever since, as it captured a genuinely open creativity that it’s hard not to find inspiring, its exchange of ideas and will toward seeing them realized, whatever shape they might take, indicative of the passion behind the collaboration in the first place. It might take you a listen or two to get it, but it’s worth that, at least.

Of course, Schmidt, working as Sula Bassana, has gone on to become a principal figure in Germany’s psychedelic underground, whether it’s running his own Sulatron Records imprint or expanding the space rock universe with Electric MoonKrautzone, the revitalized Zone Six and so on. Less clear on what became of Heinrich after Weltraumwelt, which was the last of Weltraumstaunen‘s releases. By the time 2004 came around, Growing Seeds had been done already — though their 1997 album, Miraculous Journey, is worth seeking out if you can find it — and given the creativity on display throughout Weltraumwelt, it’s somewhat surprising not to have heard from him more in the years since. Crazier things have happened than a band like this reemerging from such parts unknown, but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, a reissue through Sulatron would most certainly be welcome, and hopefully capture and inspire a new generation of listeners as well.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

New episode of the Gimme Radio show today at 1PM Eastern. You already saw the playlist. Listen here: http://gimmeradio.com, or on their app.

I like the app, but web works too.

This weekend is Psycho Las Vegas. I’m not there, obviously. We’re still doing stuff with the move to NJ from Massachusetts, so yeah, I just couldn’t really get out this time. Next year I’ll do it up properly. But if you’re there, enjoy it. Sick lineup, insane venue, scorching desert heat: the true Psycho experience. Nothing quite like it.

I’m expecting The Pecan up any minute now, so I’ll do my best to keep this short and sweet-ish. At the end (maybe the middle?) of next week we’re back in MA to pick up the last of our stuff. One more truck. One more truck. One more truck. That’ll be CDs and whatnot from our storage unit, stuff from The Patient Mrs.’ office at work, and maybe a shitty table to which I have sentimental attachment from the condo. Right now we’re slated to close on the sale on the 23rd. Keep your fingers crossed for us until then. At that point, we live in NJ. That’s home.

There’s a lot on already for next week, which is nice since the earlier part of this week was a little dead. I’d do notes, but frankly I don’t feel like cutting and pasting and rearranging it, so yeah. Zed review, Swan Valley Heights premiere, Stew premiere, Grand Royale video premiere, Von Detta track premiere, on and on. And that’s just Monday and Tuesday. The rest, who the hell knows.

This move has been stressful because it’s been so drawn out, over months rather than days or weeks. We’re up to our eyeballs in boxes and there are more to come, but it’ll be good longer-term. I’m happy The Pecan will grow up here. People look different, sound different, from each other. People speak different languages. It’s like civilization or something. Plus bagels and pizza. So yeah, civilization.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum, radio stream and merch at Dropout.

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Ethereal Riffian Post “Unconquerable” Lyric Video

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

ethereal riffian

Back in May, Ukrainian heavy rockers Ethereal Riffian premiered the first single of their upcoming album, Legends, which was the title-track, here. With it, the Kiev-based four-piece showed a marked shift in aesthetic, adjusting the balance between the “ethereal” and the “riffian” portions of their sound to affect a much more straightforward attack than one had come to expect from their meditative, slowly unfolding contemplations prior. “Unconquerable,” which is the third single from Legends, with “Kosmic” having come out in June, follows suit in its relatively direct approach, and its chorus lyric, “No one can put the limit on fearless spirit,” summarizes the general perspective from which it’s working. The band have never been shy about stating their intentions and motivations, and clearly this time around the aim is to capture that indomitable thing in humanity that compels us to move forward, to explore and reach new places and new ideas. It is an optimistic vision of both the future and the present, perhaps written from a place of encouragement, like an existential pep talk to a world that — and I don’t think this is overstating it — only continues to feel more thoroughly fucked by the day.

I’ll forego talking about politics or culture on any grander scale — both because I find it personally exhausting and because if I had any insight into any of it, I’d probably be running for office instead of writing about Ukrainian rock videos — but yeah, it’s pretty clear that along with Ethereal Riffian‘s more grounded sound on Legends, they’re also engaging real-world issues in a straightforward manner. More power to them — as well as to the people. It can be hard when living in a moment to place it in a historical context. That is to say, everything now feels urgent because we don’t know yet to what it will lead. We see this in America with a systematic dismantling of democratic norms, and certainly the Ukraine has more than its share of conflict at present as well. That Ethereal Riffian see the line of human progression as being that — one of progress — is encouraging in itself, but as the uptempo kick of “Unconquerable” demonstrates, it’s as much a motivation for the future as well as a reflection on the past. Their aim is to tap into that very spirit and manifest it as an answer to this pivotal-seeming and undeniably troubled age.

One thing and then I’ll let you get to the video: It’s a common misconception — bred in no small part by the purposeful narrative — that Rosa Parks was just an old, tired lady on a bus who refused to move for a white man. She may indeed have been that, but she was also a civil rights activist for more than a decade at that point, and way more of a freedom fighter than the bystander history sometimes casts her as being. She was, then, even braver than she’s often credited for being. Just a thought in response to the quote below from the band.

Enjoy the video:

Ethereal Riffian, “Unconquerable” lyric video

Please welcome the third single from ‘Legends’ album.

Official lyric video for ‘Unconquerable’ from ‘Legends’ album.
Video by Anastasia Homenko.

“Behind every legend, there’s a legendary act. Behind every legendary act, there’s an unconquerable spirit. Spirit devoid of any fear, doubt and indecisiveness. It’s an invisible force that made Terry Fox run 5,373 kilometers with one leg to raise awareness of cancer. It’s what inspired tender woman Rosa Parks to stand up for the rights of black people in one of the most racist states of America. It’s the inner strength that made a man in a loincloth named Gandhi to unite the Indian nation despite incredible opposition. It’s the spirit that our times need most. The spirit that awaits to be awakened in each of us.”

Thanks to: Beachfront, Magges, Tony, NASA, Motion Digital, Taylor Mefford, Simon Maldoct, Motion Places, Mark Schellenberg, Stockfootage, William Ehrendreich, Creative Film, Val Kornev Photography

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) – bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) – drums

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Hey Zeus Post “I Don’t Want It” Video

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

hey zeus i dont want it

Hey, look. It’s never happened to me, but yeah, I totally understand where sometimes you wake up in the alleyway around the side from ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, Mass., and go inside the venue to have a kind of acid-laced virtual reality religious experience. I mean, who hasn’t been there, right? Hello?

Fine.

This coming weekend, Boston heavy rockers Hey Zeus bid safe travels to guitarist Pete Knipfing, who’ll relocate to Tennessee, presumably for the relative proximity to the Stax Museum. They’re playing Great Scott with Cocked ‘n’ Loaded and Scissorfight to mark the occasion — event page here — and while it seems that Knipfing will continue to work remotely to stay involved with the band, even just the geographic loss of the former Lamont axeman is significant. Makes it way harder to book a weekender or pop over to O’Brien’s for a show. The change comes just about seven months after the release of their awaited debut album, X (review here), which was issued through Argonauta Records, and they’re a four-piece. It’s not like they have an extra guitarist just hanging around to pick up the slack.

Come what may, “I Don’t Want It” is indicative of the kind of infectious songwriting and energy that is writ large throughout X. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Hey Zeus a couple of times — the lineup of Knipfing, vocalist Bice Nathan (also production and percussion), bassist Ken Cmar and drummer Todd Bowman — and the feeling of righteousness-in-riotousness that the studio versions of “I Don’t Want It” or the peelout-ready “Save Your” brought to beat had its foundations in what the band did together in a live setting. Was it Radio Bar where they covered Deep Purple twice in the same set? The entire room, hammered. What the hell ever happened to that place?

But maybe it makes all the more sense then that as the band says goodbye to Knipfing, they’re having a blowout. That’s kind of been their thing all along. If you’re in the area and reading this, you’re probably already planning to go, but if not, and if you haven’t given X its fair shot yet, the hook-driven energy of “I Don’t Want It” is a compelling argument in favor of doing so. And, of course, all the best to Knipfing on the big move.

Enjoy:

Hey Zeus, “I Don’t Want It” official video

“I don’t want it” by Hey Zeus
Featuring Victoria Norton

Argonauta Records

Produced by Bice
Directed by Michael Cimpher
https://www.cimpher.com

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Buried Feather Post “Nuclear Suzi” Video; Cloudberry Dreamshake out Next Month

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

buried feather

Garage buzz, psychedelic gaze and all the drift you could ask for — plus a hook. I guess by now Australia is starting to come out of its winter just a little bit — such as seasons still exist anywhere — but to me, Buried Feather‘s new single, “Nuclear Suzi,” sounds right on the money for the end of summer. The track communes with a 1965-’66 psychaesthetic, but treats the style as though it emerged fully formed from out of a cocoon, rather than grew into its enduringly lysergic self. Tones are sopping wet and not exactly retro, but especially in the context of the video, there’s a classic-promo-clip vibe that pervades visually and enhances that feel in the music. It’s almost like the senses are intertwined or something. Go melt your brain.

“Nuclear Suzi” is the second track to be offered up from Buried Feather‘s forthcoming long-player, Cloudberry Dreamshake — a garage rock title if e’er I heard one — and it follows the prior-posted “Lightning Hands,” which I’ve included at the bottom of the post (or near it, anyhow) just in case you need to get caught up. That song has a little bit more of a push, which perhaps accounts for the “shake,” but there’s plenty of “dream” in it as well, and I don’t know what a cloudberry tastes like, but screw it; did I mention go melt your brain?

Buried Feather seem to have pared down to a trio since they put out Mind of the Swarm in 2017, but after touring Europe last year, they don’t seem to be lacking for any kind of sonic expansion. This is a cool one, and the video rules as well, so I’ll keep it simple in the hope that you actually watch the damn thing if you’re still reading this. If not, well, go melt your brain, I guess.

Enjoy:

Buried Feather, “Nuclear Suzi” official video

We’re pleased to share the new single and music video “Nuclear Suzi” from Melbourne psych-rockers Buried Feather.

The song is taken from the forthcoming album Cloudberry Dreamshake, out September 12th on Cobra Snake Necktie Records. The music video was directed by Chris Matthews (Tropical Fuck Storm, Batpiss, Cable Ties).

Directed by: Chris Matthews

Buried Feather, “Lightning Hands”

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Kadavar Take to the West in “The Devil’s Master” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kadavar the devils master

With a release date set for Oct. 11, Kadavar‘s For the Dead Travel Fast is well on its way to being the Berlin trio’s most complex and atmospheric outing to-date, and yet, at the same time, it’s also kind of a return to the vintage production style of their first two records. No question that Kadavar modernized their initial retro sound over their last couple full-lengths — 2017’s Rough Times (review here) most of all — but as their new video for “The Devil’s Master” shows, they’ve not only grown bolder as songwriters, but they’re willing to once again more fully embrace a sonic naturalism in doing so. It is, as the entirety of the album proves, a winning combination.

“The Devil’s Master,” which combines in the video below with the album-intro “The End,” brings a desert-garage-goth vibe to go with its Spaghetti Western visual thematic — an immediate departure from some of the catchy and uptempo beginnings of LPs past, but immersive just the same, and rich in tone and the vocal melodies of guitarist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, who plays one of the three main characters of the cinematic clip, with bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup and drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt filling the other roles, Bouteloup perhaps having the best part, and as usual, the best hat.

I’ll have a full review of For the Dead Travel Fast at some point in the next couple months — hell, with the delayed release, I might even get it posted before it’s out! — but suffice it to say that while “The Devil’s Master” doesn’t necessarily speak for the entirety of the album, it does capture something essential about its spirit, and that Kadavar have never pushed this kind of engagement with their audience so much to the forefront of their approach before. They succeed with the mastery one has come to expect from them.

Preorder info, tour dates — they’re at Psycho Las Vegas this week — and more background follow the video below, all courtesy of the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Kadavar, “The Devil’s Master” official video

Kadavar Release Epic Western Music Video For First Single Off For The Dead Travel Fast

Album Now Available For Pre- Order Here: nblast.de/Kadavar-FTDTF

Berlin, Germany-based rock overlords KADAVAR have released the official music video for the song “The Devil’s Master”, the opening track of the band’s highly anticipated new album, For The Dead Travel Fast. The epic western movie styled music video was shot in Fuerteventura and stars actress Lucie Aron as well as the band’s members Lupus, Tiger and Dragon.

Commented the band:

Lupus: “Fuerteventura was the perfect set for the idea to shoot a small Spaghetti Western. In the story, everyone is fighting everyone: there are cutthroats who don‘t trust each other trying to survive in the desert. They are hunted by their enemy, a violent priest who enslaves a young lady, who both of the cowboys admire. In the end, there won‘t be any winners…”

Tiger: “The song is about the worst ideas of the people, the attraction of horror and the seductive scent of the disreputable. Just as it is all too human to feel at the mercy of his fears, so comprehensible it seems to give way to the fascination of evil in the face of death.”

For The Dead Travel Fast will be released on October 11 (initially September 20), 2019 via Nuclear Blast and is now available for pre-order.

The album will be released in various formats:

Limited Box-Set including limited tri-colored vinyl, limited tri-colored bonus vinyl including 4 previously unreleased tracks, CD/Blu-Ray Digi (including the KADAVAR & THE COSMIC RIDERS OF THE BLACK SUN live show, Berlin 2019), Poster, signed photo card, patch, sticker.
CD/Blu-Ray Digi (including the KADAVAR & THE COSMIC RIDERS OF THE BLACK SUN live show, Berlin 2019)
Vinyl (black, beige, bi-colored, cornetto)

Pre-order »For The Dead Travel Fast« and/or accompanying merchandise here!

Recently the band had announced their European headlining tour in support of the album.

KADAVAR – FOR THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST EUROPEAN TOUR 2019
Special Guests: HÄLLAS & PABST
06.11. SE Copenhagen Pumpehuset
07.11. NO Oslo Bla
08.11. SE Göteborg Brewhouse
09.11. SE Stockholm Debaser
10.11. DE Hannover Capitol
12.11. FR Lyon Le CCO
13.11. FR Nantes Le Stéréolux
14.11. FR Paris L’Alhambra
15.11. FR Bordeaux BT 59
16.11. ES Madrid Mon
17.11. ES Barcelona Razzmatazz 2
19.11. FR Strasbourg La Laiterie
20.11. DE Wiesbaden Schlachthof
21.11. DE Nu?rnberg Hirsch
22.11. DE Mu?nchen Backstage Werk
23.11. AT Wien Arena
24.11. DE Dresden Beatpol
25.11. BE Brussels Orangiere at Botanique
27.11. DE Stuttgart LKA Longhorn
28.11. DE Köln Essigfabrik
29.11. DE Hamburg Große Freiheit
30.11. DE Berlin Columbiahalle

KADAVAR’s latest album, Rough Times, was released in late 2017 to global critical acclaim, including live hits like “Die Baby Die,” “Tribulation Nation” and “Into The Wormhole”.

KADAVAR live:
16.08. F St. Nolff – Motocultor Festival
17-18.08. USA Las Vegas, NV – Psycho Las Vegas

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Friday Full-Length: YOB, The Illusion of Motion

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

In 2003, YOB released their second album, Catharsis. In 2005, they’d issue The Unreal Never Lived (discussed here), which was their final outing before their flameout and eventual return a few years later. The former is an emotional landmark and sonic breakthrough and the latter both a stylistic and spiritual achievement that stands as one of the best records of its decade. So maybe it’s the case that 2004’s The Illusion of Motion gets lost in the mix sometimes between its higher-profile year-earlier predecessor and year-later follow-up. Fair enough, but at four tracks and 56 minutes, The Illusion of Motion nonetheless represents what at the time were several pivotal steps forward for the Eugene, Oregon, trio, in production and execution alike.

The Illusion of Motion was YOB‘s first outing through Metal Blade Records, which picked them up after Catharsis even though the band had never really toured showed no real signs of doing so. It was set to be released on my birthday in 2004, but I recall the CD showed up at my office — because in 2004, physical promos were very much still a thing — some time before that for review. Having been such a fan of the prior outing, I was obviously excited to know what they’d do this next time out, especially on such a continued quick turnaround; YOB‘s album-per-year pace started with their 2002 debut, Elaborations of Carbon, on 12th Records. Immediately the breadth of the production was wider and fuller. YOB — then the trio of guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, bassist Isamu Sato and drummer Travis Foster — had yet to sound so clear and powerful, but what “Ball of Molten Lead,” “Exorcism of the Host,” “Doom #2” and the 26-minute title-track itself would accomplish was much more than just an uptick in basic quality of sound. Engineer Jeff Olsen (not to be confused with former Trouble drummer Jeff Olson) had worked on YOB‘s 2000 demo (discussed here) as well as their first two albums, and would continue his relationship with the band on The Unreal Never Lived and Scheidt‘s short-lived post-YOB unit Middian, before coming back in to work with the band again on 2011’s Atma (review here), which followed 2009’s Sanford Parker-produced return outing, The Great Cessation (review here; discussed here), but already after three times in the studio together, he and the three-piece would’ve been well familiar with each other’s methods, and a progression of both sides was evident across those early YOB offerings, including The Illusion of Motion.

But still, the album was more than just a bridge from Catharsis to The Unreal Never Lived, and that’s the pointyob the illusion of motion that to me is so worth underscoring. The noise that YOB brought to bear on “The Illusion of Motion” — not to mention the excruciating patience with which the song was delivered; that ending where it cut back to the quiet part — would serve as a reference point for future outings, particularly The Great Cessation before their melodic progression really came to the fore with Atma and the two albums to-date since. At the same time, the intensity of “Doom #2,” which at just over six minutes long remains the shortest song YOB have ever put out as well as arguably the most forwardly intense. It was basically a hardcore track filtered through YOB‘s tonality, resulting in a cacophony that still leaves me wondering why they don’t play it live every now and again. Of course, “Ball of Molten Lead” was and 15 years later still is a clarion to come worship at the altar of sonic largesse, and though it wouldn’t be proper to call its winding movement subtle, the sense of attack it fostered, particularly in its later reaches — that start-stop crashing behind the riff that YOB would use again on The Unreal Never Lived‘s own epic, “The Mental Tyrant,” while also introducing the gallop that would become yet another signature of their approach — was a standout even among the most aggressive material they’d yet constructed, and to answer it with the noise wash of “Exorcism of the Host,” with its gruelingly slow churn initially giving way to something as primal as it was cosmic, only made The Illusion of Motion more stunning in its impact and more expansive in its reach. It was a record that signaled YOB‘s continued forward creative movement, which is something that thankfully is ongoing, but at the time, it was also the apex of it, and whatever they’d go on to do afterward, it was a pinnacle moment that marked their arrival in more ways than just the wider distribution of a Metal Blade release — though I’m sure that didn’t hurt either.

For me to point out some 20-plus years after they got their start that YOB are a once-in-a-generation band is superfluous. I’ll make no pretense toward not approaching their work from a fan’s perspective — because I’m a fan — but even so, the level of artistry they’ve brought to doom, the influence they’ve had across borders and subgenres especially after getting back together with Aaron Rieseberg on bass and pursuing their craft through Atma, 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here) and last year’s Our Raw Heart (review here) is still and will likely continue to ripple out. The Illusion of Motion was an essential moment in making that happen — the first time they really brought their style out to engage a wider audience and began to translate their forward-thinking creativity into an increasingly realized songcraft. You wouldn’t have The Illusion of Motion without Catharsis, and you wouldn’t have The Unreal Never Lived without The Illusion of Motion. Those albums are intertwined in how they tell the narrative of YOB discovering their sound and, ultimately, needing to step away from it before coming to realize how crucial that expression truly was and still is.

YOB toured in North America this Spring with Voivod and Amenra and just wrapped a European run with Neurosis. They’ll be at Psycho Las Vegas next week, playing the Beach Stage at Mandalay Bay, which is a thing that I expect those who are fortunate enough to see will be speaking about for a long time. I haven’t seen Fall tour plans, but if they wanted to take a season off, it’d be nothing if not well earned.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

We’ve been back up in Massachusetts since… Wednesday? There’s a large stack of boxes behind me in the kitchen. More upstairs, more downstairs in the basement, and more to be packed. The movers come at 9AM. The 27-footer U-Haul which I’ll drive down to NJ tomorrow needs to be picked up before they get here. The baby is awake, and I’m sure The Patient Mrs. is too. We’re all out of our minds. Moving is awful. To wit, the Hierarchy of Terrible Shit that Happens to Everyone:

  1. Cancer
  2. Divorce
  3. Moving

Everything else is somewhere under that.

But we’ll get through, and if we need to come back up here to finish more stuff before the sale on this place closes on the 23rd, we’ll do that. It’ll get done, one way or the other. If it has to happen during naptimes, so be it. Clearly it does.

I know I’ll be in Brooklyn for Neurosis on Sunday. I know that. We drive south tomorrow — why not today? I’m not sure; need to ask; traffic concerns, maybe? but we’re packing our bed so would need to buy an aerobed if we stay — and hey, maybe after today, it’s done. Maybe we’ll get it all finished. That’d be a nice surprise.

But anyway, after that Neurosis live review on Monday and a long-delayed Lightning Born review on Tuesday, I don’t know what’s up for the week. Let’s assume stuff.

Would anyone have interest if I posted audio interviews around here? I’d like to get back to doing proper phone interviews, but I don’t really have time to transcribe them. What if I tried to kind of do a more conversational kind of thing, like Fresh Air with Riffs or something like that? Let me know what you think? I’m super-awkward on the phone or Skype, but that might be fun too. Just an idea I had this week while I was thinking about 15 other things as well.

Alright.

Great and safe weekend. No Gimme show this week, but the repeat is Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Forum, radio, merch, awesome.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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