The Electric Mud Premiere C.O.C. Cover “Albatross” from Black Wool EP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

THE ELECTRIC MUD (Photo by Jesi Cason Photography)

Florida’s essay writing graphic organizers free Proper Does Homework Help Students Learn job application writing do not weep maiden for war is kind literary analysis The Electric Mud return on Sept. 25 with the independently-issued Order Pay To Do My Homeworks written from scratch starting at just per page. Only professional writers are here to help you write your paper. Black Wool EP, pairing two original tracks with two fairly bold covers. At four songs and 24 minutes, with its makeup what it is, Top quality UK writers available 24/7 for your support, so why are you confused? Just Proposal For Thesis online from us and shine yourself as a star. Black Wool is squarely in the EP category; a quick showcase of where the band’s at rather than a full-length follow-up to 2020’s sophomore LP, essay writing examples introduction see cv writing services vancouver essay writing service reviews Burn the Ships (review here), which came out through watch. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Small Stone and Buying a Custom Thesis Proposal is a Sure Way to Success. Trust us, when we say that we have finished dozens of thesis proposals, we also mean that all of them received instant approval. Our writing service takes every order seriously — everyone who from us is left satisfied. We do not joke around and have a set of rules that we follow in order to be the best possible writing service out there. Kozmik Artifactz. The Fort Myers four-piece did well with that significant backing, and with a tour upcoming (!),  Dissertation Amour Perdu - Why be concerned about the essay? order the required assistance on the website Expert scholars, quality services, timely delivery Black Wool should sit nicely alongside on any number of merch tables as they head out from the desantis-infested swamps and coastlines of their home state and as far outward as Wisconsin on a two-week run. Have fun out there, kids. Everybody be safe.

Writing.Com is the online community for writers of all interests. Established in 2000, our community breeds Writing, Writers and Poetry through Creative Essay On Police Service, Online Creative Writing Portfolios, Poetry, Writers' Tools and more. The Electric Mud is guitarists  We are professional writing service you were looking! Here is the place to Dissertation On Carbon Black safely and get perfect content on time. Try it out! Constantine Grim and  Buy A College Application Essay watch College A. Hugh Gallagher won first prize World Best Essay Writers in the humor category of the 1990 Peter Kolter (the latter also vocals), bassist Get help 24/7. With our service you can deal with even the most challenging assignment with ease! We provide expert assistance with school and college papers. Just tell us, “write my essay cheap,” and get closer to academic success right now! Home. Cheap Essay. Features of our cheap essay writing service . EssayBulls is a company that has gathered a strong team of Tommy Scott and drummer Trying to buy essay cheap? Check out the lowest prices here! So if you are looking to buy College Essay Graphic Design, this is the place to be. Pierson Whicker, and across “Ordinary Men,” “Black Wool,” “Albatross” (premiering below) and “Whipping Post,” they offer Southern heavy rock tied to traditional songwriting, no shortage of twang, and a flourish of modern heavy in the guitar work. PhD Thesis Writing Service. A PhD thesis is the most important piece of work that you will complete in your academic career, but it is also one of the toughest. Our professional PhD College Writing Services are designed to relieve some of the pressure and provide expert support from a specialist team of PhD writer. They will guide you through the process of writing your PhD thesis, from the Scott and  Carla Rudder Dissertation Florida State University parable of the sadhu. April 24, 2019 custom thesis, personal statement writer, thesis help Comments Off on parable of the sadhu. The Parable of the Sadhu Melissa W The purpose of this assignment is to read The Parable of the Sadhu and compare the lessons to one’s ethical conduct in the workplace. During the comparison, one should identify ideas and images descriptive of how one Whicker, on the originals as well as the covers of  Essay In Lifes Online and Kiss Your Academic Problems Goodbye. Still hanging in doubts about whether to order research paper or not? Wake up and welcome to the 21st century. A century of advanced technologies and services, when anyone anywhere can buy research papers online and forget about those nasty, tiresome home tasks for at least a Corrosion of Conformity and  The Allman Brothers Band — which both feel like they’re probably sacred ground to the band The Electric Mud have become since making their THE ELECTRIC MUD BLACK WOOLdebut 2018’s Bull Gator — are solid from the word go, as “Ordinary Men” starts out with the bassline bouncing and snare popping beneath deceptively intricate riffwork. They’re in the first verse quick and the tension runs high, but the chorus is here for it and so is the guitar-forward winding finish, and Kolter‘s gruff vocal delivery is in control the entire time.

The title-track, which follows directly, could be a country song if you replaced the fuzz with… whatever they make country songs with these days. Nonetheless, the ‘Southern’ runs heavy in ‘Southern heavy,’ and shortly before they’re halfway through the song’s total seven minutes, they break into a different movement that branches out instrumentally led by the two guitars. The band have talked about Black Wool as being their most progressive work yet, and in “Ordinary Men” and “Black Wool,” those instrumental pushes are where it’s most evident. “Black Wool” jams its way back to a play on its central line with standalone guitar, somewhere out there in the cool evening alongside Clutch‘s “The Regulator” staring at an open field at dusk. You know how it goes.

As for the covers, well, they’re classics. The Allman Brothers Band helped invent Southern rock and Deliverance-era C.O.C. almost singlehandedly made it heavy. The Electric Mud‘s reverence for both is plain, and likewise their desire to make the songs their own, which they do tonally as well as in Kolter‘s vocals. “Whipping Post,” like “Black Wool,” is longer and provides more room for the band to branch out and jam, but Whicker gives Reed Mullin his due on “Albatross” as one would hope, and the last shove captures the building urgency of the original well. They finish with the Allmans though, because if you’re going to play that song, it’s probably best practice to put it last. And it works there, with its hook offset by the over-the-top guitar shenanigans that have inspired multiple generations toward their own interpretations of shred.

For a quick outing to coincide with a tour through this plague-addled land, Black Wool brings persona and craft together in a way that answers the prior LP and hints at forward movement without spoiling that still-never-been-played-out offering. If I saw the CD on a merch table, it’d be an easy pickup.

“Albatross” follows here, with PR wire info below.

Please enjoy:

Captured at Farmadelica Sound in Bokeelia, Florida with tracking, mixing, and mastering done by Howard Wulkan, the EP represents a heavier and proggier turn for the band with a pair of new, original tracks as well as and an homage to the seedy, sordid Sunshine State bar circuit where they cut their teeth with covers of Corrosion Of Conformity and The Allman Brothers Band.

THE ELECTRIC MUD’s Black Wool will be released independently on CD and digitally. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION and additional merch options HERE:

In conjunction with the release of Black Wool, THE ELECTRIC MUD will kick off a near-two week run of live dates beginning September 25th in Cape Coral, Florida. See all confirmed dates below.

9/25/2021 Rackem – Cape Coral, FL
10/01/2021 Burns Alley Tavern – Charleston, SC
10/02/2021 TBA
10/06/2021 Tribbles – Piedmont, SC
10/08/2021 Skylark Social Club – Raleigh, NC
10/09/2021 Riffhouse – Chesapeake, VA
10/11/2021 The Empty Glass – Charleston, WV
10/12/2021 Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
10/13/2021 Legends – Mt. Vernon, OH
10/14/2021 Metal Monkey Brewing – Romeoville, IL
10/15/2021 Lyric Room – Green Bay, WI
10/16/2021 Polack Inn – Wausau, WI

Constantine Grim – guitar
Pierson Whicker – drums, percussion
Peter Kolter – vocals, guitar
Tommy Scott – bass

The Electric Mud, “Ordinary Men”

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The Misery Men Premiere “Cat With Nine Lives” Video from Devillusion

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on September 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the misery men corey lewis rob wrong jeff larson sam henry

Portland, Oregon’s The Misery Men are set to release their third album, Devillusion, on Oct. 1 through Desert Records. It is a record that immediately wants some context, first for its homage to Chris “Snow Bud” Newman in the covers “Cat With Nine Lives” (premiering below) and “The Reaper.” Those tracks are by Newman-inclusive outfits Napalm Beach and Snow Bud and the Flower People and they appear here following Newman‘s death earlier this Spring and include different players from Portland’s underground than appear on the rest of Devillusion, save of course for The Misery Men founder Corey G. Lewis (vocals, rhythm guitar) and lead guitarist Rob Wrong, whom one might recognize from Witch Mountain or his work in The Skull circa 2019. Wrong also produced the album, with Lewis, at his newly established Wrong Way Recording Studio, though it’s easy enough to think that Billy Frickin’ Anderson, who plays bass, had some opinions to share in that regard as well, his engine-ear work being the stuff of legend at this point. Blah blah Neurosis, Sleep, Acid King, and if you need more names than that — you don’t — there are a million of ’em, right up to The Misery Men‘s 2020 album, Doomtopia (discussed here). While we’re talking about legends, Tad Doyle (TAD, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth) mastered.

The band proper, as opposed to the band doing the Newman tributes, is rounded out by Breath drummer Ian Caton, who also plays in the more meditative outfit Breathe, labelmates to The Misery Men on Desert Records. The mission here, which believe it or not given the swath of information above is stripped-down, digging to the roots of grunge where it turned from punk and noise to something thicker, groovier, and ultimately more its own. The Misery Men — Lewis, Wrong, Anderson and Caton — cap Devillusion with a cover of PJ Harvey‘s “To Bring You My Love” to emphasize the point, but it’s right there from the early, gritty chug of “Devil’s Balls” onward into the howl-laced “Werewolf” and the more decidedly punk “Iron Front,” sleek-but-lumbering riffs offset by Wrong‘s scorcher solos topped with Lewis‘ throaty delivery. In overall sound, the eight-song/38-minute course of Devillusion is lean and raw, suited to the style the band is leaning into, but as side B hits the brakes following “The Reaper” and plods out “Tardigrades” ahead of the more explosive “NirĂĽth,” which Cobain‘s out its ending lines as it invariably must, the procession of ideas is by no means disjointed. There’s a lot going on, one way or the other.

If you find that you’re somewhat overwhelmed by the fact that The Misery Men play out two of their eight inclusions here as a different lineup, or that you’re unfamiliar with Newman‘s work and concerned you might be missing something as regards hearing Devillusion, do what I do: put it on. The simple truth of the matter is that whether it’s the swing and swagger of “Cat With Nine Lives” taking hold after the “we don’t tolerate scum” reaffirmation of “Iron Front,” or the drawling, swirling conjurations of “To Bring You My Love” at the finish, The Misery Men make it easy on the listener. Riffs, grooves, guts. Whoever’s involved, when, where and why, the songs come together around Lewis‘ gruff vocals and around the baseline purpose of heavy, sludge-minded rock. The dive just happens to go deeper as well.

You can hear “Cat With Nine Lives” on the player below and watch the accompanying, shenanigans-laced video. What follows thereafter is info from Lewis about Devillusion, the process of making it and the reasoning why. It’s a lot, but if you didn’t like words, what are you still doing reading this?

Please enjoy:

The Misery Men, “Cat With Nine Lives” official video premiere

“I started writing Devillusion at the beginning of the Pandemic. 16 months of bloodletting 5 songs and 3 covers later we have an album. It was a therapeutic writing process to say the least. Inspired by the “Grunge” influencers in the PNW like Napalm Beach, Dead Moon, The Wipers, that definitely impacted TAD, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, etc. I wanted to pay homage to the folks who laid the foundation and paved the path that we walk down. I’m humbled and grateful daily that I have found a vortex that aligns with my frequencies to allow me through great collaboration to tap into the ether, transmutating a Rock n’ Roll album I feel proud to be a part of and co-produce with Rob Wrong. We all had a good time making this album. It’s been challenging but ever rewarding.

I had asked Chris Newman to collaborate on something, maybe lay down a solo or harmonize on a song or write something together, and at first he was very interested and excited once he recovered from surgery. Unfortunately his health took a turn for the worse and Chris passed May 5th 2021. So Rob and I decided we needed to honor him and record a couple songs. We contacted Sam Henry (Napalm Beach, The Wipers, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs) to play drums and it just made sense to have Kelly Halliburton (Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs) to play bass. We also recruited Jeffrey Larson (Lucky 13’s, Misfortunes of Mr Teal) to play rhythm guitar along with Rob Wrong on lead, plus me just on vocals. We recorded “Cat With Nine Lives” by Napalm Beach and The Reaper by Snow Bud and the Flower People. Both songs were Chris Newman songs, that turned out pretty damn good! Hell, we didn’t even practice together before we recorded. :)

Again I recruited Billy Anderson to play bass again on this album, because beyond his ability of musicianship and his legendary enginear status he’s also a pleasure to be around. Hilarious, kind, and smarter than your average Neanderthal bassist. Ha! He also studied anthropology so he knows a thing or two about humans. Not to mention he played a Baseball growing up, so I figured he must really know what he’s doing with basses. Oh and he’s the master of Pun!

Once again Ian Caton of Breath is playing drums on this album. Talk about a Beast Of Burden, what an absolute animal! He usually doesn’t have a problem playing any style or tempo and is able to tap into the ether with ease!

Of course Rob Wrong once again delivers some of the best solos he’s ever played. Not only that but he doubled the rhythm to give this album the full collective collaboration. I’m humbled to work with him and call him a best friend. It’s been a ton of fun making two albums with him at Wrong Way Recording.

Again I got Ben House to make some incredible artwork! It’s beyond expectations and couldn’t have been happier with the results!

Devillusion was also mastered by TAD, not to mention inspired by him as well. I originally wanted to call the album Devil’s Balls, but after watching the TAD documentary and the scene where he showed his mom the album and she said something like, “Tad you’re smiling…Tad God’s Balls? But Tad you have such a great smile.” :) Nevertheless, we have a song called Devil’s Balls and Werewolf that we’re most definitely influenced by some Tad. I’m forever grateful for his existence.“ – Corey Lewis, The Misery Men

Side A:
Devil’s Balls 4:28
Werewolf 5:29
Iron Front 5:43
Cat With Nine Lives 4:34

Side B:
The Reaper 2:52
Tardigrades 5:34
NirĂĽrth 4:22
To Bring You My Love 5:59

Recorded at Wrong Way Recording (c)2021
Produced by Corey G Lewis & Rob Wrong

Mixed by Rob Wrong
Mastered by Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studios

All songs written by Corey G Lewis
To Bring You My Love written by PJ Harvey
The Reaper by Snowbud & The Flower People (Written by Chris Newman & Nathan Jorg)
Cat With 9 Lives by Napalm Beach (Written by Chris Newman)

Corey G Lewis: Vocal, Rhythm
Rob Wrong: Rhythm & Lead
Billy Anderson: Bass
Ian Caton: Drums

Special Guest Performances as The Slughs tribute to Chris Newman on: The Reaper & Cat With 9 Lives
Sam Henry: Drums
Kelly Halliburton: Bass
Rob Wrong: Lead & Rhythm
Jeffrey Larson: Rhythm
Corey G Lewis: Vocals

This album is dedicated to the Master of the Wu Chris Newman aka Snow Bud / Pugsley! We miss you!

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Crystal Spiders Premiere “Septix” Video From Morieris

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on September 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

crystal spiders

Raleigh, North Carolina, duo Crystal Spiders release their second album, Morieris, Oct. 1 on Ripple Music. That date puts it about a year and six days from their Sept. 2020 debut, Molt (review here), and yet the sense of growth is palpable from one to the next and the lineup has somewhat shifted around founding members bassist/vocalist Brenna Leath (also The Hell No, Lightning Born) and drummer/backing vocalist Tradd Yancey, bringing in Mike Dean — best known as bassist for Corrosion of Conformity, but also a bandmate of Leath‘s in Lightning Born — as the third of a sometimes-trio on guitar. His guitar, in fact, is the first thing you hear on the record.

That’s no minor change and Dean‘s contributions throughout the eight-song/45-minute outing are significant, from the hypnotically rolling riff of “Morieris” itself to the fuzzy lead line in the second half of “Septix” (premiering below) that’s like a successful gritty reboot of Kyuss‘ “Demon Cleaner” and onward hooky closer “Golden Paw,” which starts as another nodder until at 2:19 into its 5:14 it suddenly shifts into a solo jam — don’t worry, the nod strikes back; which, if you wanted to think of as an alternate title for the entire proceedings here, I wouldn’t be able to argue. Nonetheless, as much as Dean — who also produced this and the first album — brings to the songs, there’s just about no way in listening that Leath‘s vocals aren’t a focal point. Often in layers, the verse melodies and smoothly executed choruses carry through with a room-reverb that sounds like it’s ready to break down walls pressing in.

The separation of the instruments in the recording, likewise, gives each a place of its own in the mix. The speedier, sample-laced “Offering” is that much clearer in its Misfitsian purpose for its bass and drum showcase. It goes someplace markedly less Misfitsian, mind you, but that core rhythm is never entirely absent. And whoever’s doing what at a given point, whether the guitar is moving in and out of the arrangement, or the bass is about to take a forward spot, or that and the drums are about to disappear and it’s the vocals taking over, Morieris never quite becomes predictable, and it never loses that sense of choose-your-adventure in finding how you want to listen, by which I mean that if you want to put it on and follow the drums, they’re ready to go, and likewise each individual track/instrument. Everything is so clear and yet raw in sound that the recording is a character among everything else.

One might accuse Morieris of beingCrystal Spiders Morieris slower than Crystal Spiders‘ debut generally, but then how to explain “Offering,” or the side B leadoff “Pandora” or even the galloping outset of penultimate cut “Maelstrom?” The truth is, the slow is slower and the fast is faster, and the shifts between the two can be stark, as when “Harness” leaves behind its Dio Sabbath-era sprint for a break into a languid, at-least-dual-layered solo, then hits back in to re-gather the wind with that main riff just before the four-minute mark. And if a more plodding overarching impression might win the day, there’s no question the eight-minute “En Medias Res” is a part of why. The longest track included, it willfully consumes the momentum coming out of “Pandora” — an ample meal — and unfurls Morieris‘ melodic highlight atop its most atmospheric instrumentation, daringly slow and dirty-psychedelic.

It’s also the most immersive, and the most effective in creating a sense of space in its echo, and it would make a fitting closer if “Maelstrom” and “Golden Paw” didn’t so much to earn their final-duo placement. The former is a wakeup slap from the far-gone finish to “En Medias Res” at the beginning and end with that callback nod between, and the latter marries that laid-back-feeling, rolling groove with a memorable chorus, as on the title-track or “Harness” earlier, and gives final undulations of fuzz worthy of riding out as they do. Perhaps with a sophomore outing it’s not saying as much, but Morieris is Crystal Spiders‘ most complex material to-date. Their songs play out in various structures that feel intentional in their construction as well as where they show up on the album itself. At the same time, it’s a hard record to write about because I keep losing my head while listening. There it goes again, following another pied-piper bassline off a cliff into the guitar solo.

Still, if that is to be the order of the day from Crystal Spiders, it’s only a win and forward progression for the band. Morieris builds on Molt, is more confident in its approach and works to explore new ideas of how to form their particular place in heavy rock. Are they a blues band? Are they sludge or stoner rock? Doesn’t matter even a little, since by the time they’re underway in song one, they’re carrying the listener with them in the manner of a band who know who they want to be. Less than a year later, Crystal Spiders come through with a more refined sense of vision and the work they want to do in heavy. They are pushing themselves in the moment while maintaining a sense of forward potential for things to come. Would they do an entire album like “En Medias Res?” Or like “Pandora?” Would that be Crystal Spiders? Somehow, one gets the feeling they revel in the changes.

You can hear one of them in the accompanying video for “Septix,” premiering here, followed by more from the PR wire.

And enjoy:

Crystal Spiders, “Septix” official video premiere

CRYSTAL SPIDERS New album ‘Morieris’
Out October 1st via Ripple Music
World preorder:
North American preorder:

Brenna Leath – Bass/Vocals
Tradd Yancey – Drums/Vocals
Mike Dean – Guitar

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Live Review: King Crimson, ‘Music is Our Friend’ in New Jersey, Sept. 4, 2021

Posted in Reviews on September 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


As well as with reasonable consistency over the last seven years and intermittently throughout the last half-century-plus, King Crimson have been on tour since late July for a run that’s been dubbed ‘Music is Our Friend.’ Perhaps needless to say given the parties involved in the lineup and their level of expertise at their respective crafts, but yes, music is very much their friend. It’s nice to have friends.

I do not know what touring in the age of Covid at the amphitheater level might entail in terms of precautions on the back end. Most of the concessions at the PNC Bank Arts Center — which I think I was last at for Deep Purple quite some years ago; it’ll always be the home of my teenage Ozzfests in my heart — were shuttered, but merch was open and cans of water were five bucks at the bars, so commerce was happening at some capacity. The venue holds 17,000 people. It was not full and I wouldn’t expect it to be. Frankly, if the show was sold out, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Every time I was around more than five people, even outside, the mask went on. So it goes.

That is underselling the apprehension I felt in being among other humans to such a degree, but music, it turned out, was my friend too and offered some comfort. Still, I’ll admit to some light disenchantment in finding out that openers The Zappa Band in fact contained no Zappas. Nary a Zappa. Not a Dweezil or an Ahmet or maybe even a next-generation Zappa being introduced at this point. One could imagine them setting up family franchises, spreading the legacy of the mighty Frank like the Marleys for weirdos. Alas. The cast of Zappa veterans and and a couple Zappa Plays Zappa types were not a hardship. You like xylophones? They got ’em. I’ve never been a big Frank Zappa guy, which I assume is because I don’t play guitar, but the band was tight and earned the bow they took when they were done.

Speaking of earned, King Crimson earned all three of their drummers. Pretty much immediately. You think three drummers is excessive? You’re right. It’s damn near Blue Man Group at times. But, Jeremy Stacey, Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison — the last of whom I once saw with his former band, Porcupine Tree, at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park supporting 2005’s Deadwing; a surreal thought 16 years later — were no less intricate in arrangement than they were spectacle at the front of the stage, beginning the showon their own while waiting their cue on risers behind were jack-of-many-trades Mel Collins (sax, flute, various keys, etc.), bassist Tony Levin, vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jakko Jakszyk and of course, founding guitarist Robert Fripp, seated off to stage left before sundry keyboards, Mellotrons, mysterious consoles, and so on: his quiet, should-probably-be-knighted presence understated and crucial in kind.

It was a ’70s-heavy setlist, with “Pictures of a City” from 1970’s In the Wake of Poseidon following the opening drum solo, “Hell Hounds of Krim.” Jakszyk, who has been with King Crimson-proper since they started touring again, did nothing but nail parts on the older songs, which was especially satisfying as they dove into “The Court of the Crimson King” from the prog-genitor 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King. A signature piece if ever there was one — “21st Century Schizoid Man,” the encore, notwithstanding — I have memories of listening to it flying back from my honeymoon, my first international trip as an “adult,” at the age of 23. That sweep can’t help but call to my mind orange and pink sunrise over the Alps from the air looking out the window; still one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, 17 years after the fact. They haven’t played it every show, and I was nervous they wouldn’t at PNC. They hit it early. After that, everything was gravy.

Even better, gravy with Mellotrons.

The precisely-how-I-feel-about-commercial-air-travel-despite-the-noted-memory “One More Red Nightmare” from 1974’s Red led into the brief, maybe-improv “Tony’s Cadenza,” a bass solo from Levin, who is the second-longest tenured member of the band. It is no mystery why he has remained as others have come and gone. He is a genius, and he plays like a genius. If you’ve ever seen someone who has found their natural purpose: Babe Ruth swinging a bat. Simone Biles doing backflips. That is Tony Levin holding and playing a bass. You could not imagine who this person would be not holding or playing a bass. I’ve never seen him play before, in our out of King Crimson. It was a joy to behold, spiritually. With a bassist like that in your rhythm section, you need three drummers.

“Red,” from Red (duh), followed and its heavy-adjacent push brought about much nodding from the seated audience, grinning in their largely-unmasked it-digging. The subsequent “Islands” was, well, a bit much, and sent a slew of nodders off to the restrooms, to refresh beers, whathaveyou. If that was a gimme, so be it. They did touch on the ’80s-era odd-time deep-dive fare as well, in “Neurotica” from 1982’s Beat leading into “Indiscipline” from the prior year’s Discipline, which was Levin‘s first LP with the band. “Epitaph,” also from the first record, was a bonus later in the set, following the all-out-we’re-a-seven-piece-band-and-every-single-one-of-us-is-unfuckwithable “Radical Action II,” which gave way to “Level Five” from 2003’s The Power to Believe. That left “Starless” to turn the lights red, as it apparently will, thus capping the regular set with its build, gradual to the point of you don’t know it’s happening until you’re consumed by it.

And the aforementioned encore? Well of course. What do you do with that other than absorb it? My first time seeing King Crimson, probably my last if their retirement is to be believed (never say never), and I left feeling like I’d just received the classiest ass kicking I can remember. As many acts as their work has inspired across generations, and continues to inspire, if some of the young heads in the crowd were anything to go by, they’ve never been duplicated, and how can you credit that to anyone other than Fripp at this point? He was the maestro, all night, up there on the stage, serene but not at all inactive. The venue didn’t have the big screens on the side turned on, and photo/video was strictly prohibited, but even from where I was sitting up in the cheap seats you could see the man in his element. It was humbling in one way, righteous in another. I walked back to the car with The Patient Mrs. and even tired as I was, couldn’t help but feel rejuvenated.

King Crimson, “Starless” from Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind (2016)

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Review & Track Premiere: Old Man Wizard, Kill Your Servants Quietly

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Old Man Wizard Kill Your Servants Quietly

[Click play above to stream ‘God is Your Friend’ from Old Man Wizard’s Kill Your Servants Quietly. Album is available for preorder here.]

Francis Roberts on “God is Your Friend”:

This song went through a ton of iterations before I settled on the version you’re hearing today. It was almost an acoustic song! I’m glad we switched directions and ended up with whatever the doom metal dance party that’s on the album is. Here are some fun facts about it:

-This song has my favorite guitar “sound effect” just before the second chorus.

-I think this song might have more chord changes than anything else we’ve released.

-The band is tracked live.

-The bass guitar is doubled with a minimoog throughout most of the song.

-The third verse was originally going to have clean “funk” guitar but the tone we recorded with ended up reminding me of early Ozzy tracks and I really liked it so we kept it.

San Diego prog-heavy, heavy prog — or some other combination of those words and probably others — Old Man Wizard will self-release their third and reportedly final full-length, Kill Your Servants Quietly, on Nov. 5. With 100 copies pressed each on LP (due early next year) and CD and 60 tapes, it would be a quiet drawdown to the three-piece’s near-decade together but for the quality of the work itself, which divides into 10 tracks each with a purpose and personality of its own that together create the whole-album impression of a band grown comfortable in a variety of sonic contexts and able to draw together seemingly disparate moods, tempos and progressions with an overarching smoothness of production and performance. Recorded mostly live with just “Your Life (As a Problem)” and “Live Forever” — closers for sides A and B, respectively — made during pandemic isolation, Kill Your Servants Quietly answers 2018’s Blame it All on Sorcery (discussed here) and 2013’s Unfavorable (review here) with a fitting does-what-it-wants realization of who Old Man Wizard are and will have been as a group.

Guitarist, lead vocalist, synthesist, producer and principal songwriter Francis Roberts (also of King Gorm and solo work) remains distinctive in voice and production style, and Kill Your Servants Quietly is defined in no small part by the lush melodies across its 46-minute span, which breaks indeed into two halves neatly, its first five tracks shifting back and forth between slower and faster tempos, beginning with the six-minute gradual build of “I Prayed.” Bassist Andre Beller (also violin), drummer Kris Calabio, as well as Mark Calabio, Drew Peters and Reece Miller provide backing vocals at various points throughout. On theme, “I Prayed” begins a four-song anti-religious — catholic-specific with a mention of tithing along the way — lyrical screed defined by lines like, “Prayed instead of thinking” from that song, “Your love of god is a narcissistic fraud” from the hook of the subsequent semi-title track “Kill Your Servants,” the fetish-hued “Father, please save me!/Enslave me and punish me!” from “God is Your Friend” (premiering above) and “When you look at death’s face/Hope you appreciate/The punishment that you face/Knowing that god is fake” from “I Wanna Know” before “Your Life (As a Problem)” caps with the narrative of hearing a voice that says, “I don’t see your life as a problem/I don’t think it matters either way.”

This could be framed as anything from a coming-out story to being Jewish or atheist, politically left-wing or any number of other things — there’s so much hate to go around — but the rest of Kill Your Servants Quietly moves forward from there, and “Today,” which opens side B, feels purposefully chosen for its sense of freedom from the prior existential drag, replacing the lumber of “God is Your Friend,” the galloping offset of “Kill Your Servants,” and the hairpin-turn chug of “I Wanna Know” with a willfully danceable and thoughtfully executed pop. Heavy rock of the disco era is a tough pull, but Old Man Wizard strut out a bassline under a howling guitar and by the time the hi-hat and the layer of cleaner-toned strummy guitar come in to hammer the point home, there’s no question what they’re up to as a group. Various keys and synth effects add to the build late, but the way elements are added one by one emphasizes the push toward pop even if the catchy payoff hook doesn’t — it does — and they wind their way out on a guitar solo to let the quick drums and harder fuzz, peppered with a quick “ough” to bring back a rock mindset, as if to say ‘enough of that feeling alright about yourself stuff; here’s a song about dying alone in the snow.’

old man wizard

So it goes. “Soldier’s Winter,” self-contained in its storyline isn’t necessarily the heaviest song on Kill Your Servants Quietly, with “God is Your Friend” and “I Wanna Know” earlier on, but the turn to tonal thickness takes the place of some of side A’s tempo trades and presents a new aspect for where the second half of the record goes. The blatant social commentary of “Parasite” is of its era without naming names and feels cathartic while remaining straight-ahead in structure. It is the shortest inclusion at just over three minutes but fits a well-plotted solo and backing spoken layers into that time, a moment of relative intensity that makes its point and gets out before “Falling Star” and “Live Forever” wrap, the former the longest song at 6:28 positioned well as the most progressive and almost exploratory of the proceedings, an extended solo section giving way to a linear build in the middle third that moves back to the verse in the last minute, feeling like it holds off just long enough to make the listener wonder if they’ll get there before they do. That return and the subsequent last chorus crash out, leaving “Live Forever” to stand on its own in a final underscoring of intent.

Though it moves into roll-credits cinematics instrumentally and finds Roberts in a single layer belting out the lyrics, “And I missed out on the whole world according to you/But that’s okay/I’m not ashamed to be myself,” the closer begins and ends folkish in its vocals, with a phrasing that (and this isn’t a dig at all) reminds of “Rainbow Connection” from 1979’s The Muppet Movie, the arrangement behind bringing up synthesizer and strings or string sounds to swell before a return repetition of the quoted lines and those that wrap, one last stir before the and album fade out together. The elements that have made Old Man Wizard a standout band during their tenure are all present throughout Kill Your Servants Quietly. Their engaging of different eras of heavy rock and metal of the ’70s and ’80s. Considered, progressive and unflinching melody and rhythm. The style that finds inevitable comparison points in the likes of Opeth and Ghost while managing to be directly relatable to neither. These are all in the tracks, and more besides, with the interwoven layers of keys and guitar and vocals throughout, but it’s ultimately the less tangible feeling of completeness, the sheer resolution of it, that makes Kill Your Servants Quietly so satisfying. If indeed it’s Old Man Wizard‘s last offering, they go out with their best.

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Old Man Wizard, Kill Your Servants Quietly (2021)

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Album Review: Comet Control, Inside the Sun

Posted in Reviews on August 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

comet control inside the sun

Whether you would skip delightedly across planetary orbits like so many invisible jump ropes or drift serene through a sea of nebular gases, Comet Control are your one-stop shop. The prismatic Toronto space — the final frontier? yes! — adventurers built themselves a whole studio to make their third LP, and, well, it worked. Inside the Sun collects eight new tracks for the Tee Pee Records follow-up to 2016’s Center of the Maze (review here), running an immersive and at times peaceful but not at all staid 45 minutes across two well delineated sides of melodic psychedelia. Be it in opener “Keep on Spinnin'” or its side B counterpart title-track, wherein the drums of Andrew Moszynski (Marco Mozin fills the role live) punctuate in submotorik fashion an outbound shove of intention, or in later, less-or-un-percussed folkish stretches like “The Afterlife” and closer “The Deserter,” the last of which finds Jay Lemak‘s keys complemented by guest violin from Sophie Trudeau — who plays in Godspeed You! Black Emperor and, mathematically speaking, either is or is not related to the Canadian prime minister — Comet Control‘s depth of sound and flowing graciousness of craft comes across as the most crucial element of who they are.

They put the rockers up front, and the first sound one hears on “Keep on Spinnin'” is a wake-the-hell-up drum fill from Moszynski that stops dead before the guitars of founding principals Chad Ross (also vocals) and Andrew Moszynski kick in to lead the way out of the atmosphere on a rocket fueled by fuzz-laced shuffle, bass and drums the engine driving upward and outward as the keys add melodic flourish to the vocals, complementing the spaces between verse lines. It is a purposefully movement-minded, rhythmic leadoff. A statement. It does not reveal everything about Comet Control‘s intentions throughout Inside the Sun — it’s not a full summary or anything like that — but the facts that it’s one of two songs running over seven minutes long, that it starts the record, and that it’s the most active inclusion on it aren’t a coincidence. The band clearly wants to convey the feeling of motion, maybe even of being alive after five years of absence. One does not begrudge the boogie. And even as they move into a noisy wash in the song’s second half, only to stop dead once again and speak the single word “spinnin’,” they bring that keyboard line back around to top the reemergent push, and the melody’s never far off.

If it matters, everything that follows is slower to some degree — though I’m not about to compare BPMs with “Secret Life” (premiered here) to find how by how close the two are exactly — but side A remains uptempo, defined in no small part by its initial axial directive. The shaker-inclusive chug of “Welcome to the Wave” finds its verse tempting Rolling Stones comparisons, but the quick hook hints at mellower vibes to come, the song’s title-line arriving in the lines “Moving in and out of phase/Welcome to the wave,” later, the urging, “Go inside the wave,” just before the solo. It is bright in that wave, and duly undulating, but again, the rhythm section acts as the anchor, and that shaker’s right there the whole time, earning its place among the final elements to stand at the end of the track, cutting off before “Secret Life” — the shortest inclusion at 3:40 and another kick in pace, howling in guitar, punchy in snare, and right on for the duration — takes over, lead lines trilling like a theremin amid a spirit that feels near to garage rock but is fuller in its sound than anything so willfully raw. Somehow it’s a fitting point of dimensional shift to the more languid but still rolling “Good Day to Say Goodbye.”

comet control (Photo by Olde Night Rifter)

Taking Inside the Sun as a linear progression, the dream-keys and organ of “Good Day to Say Goodbye,” the nodding groove, bright melody and anchoring fuzz riff around which it’s based serves as a vital transition to what follows on the second half of the record. The longest song at 7:27, it also offers a reminder that Ross and Moszynski worked together in Quest for Fire before Comet Control‘s 2014 self-titled debut (review here), and is fair enough ground for them to cover, hitting a midpoint in tempo between the “Keep on Spinnin'” and “Secret Life” before and “The Afterlife” and “The Deserter” still to come while giving space — there’s that word again — for the title-track and the penultimate “Heavy Moments” to unfurl amid the lushness that surrounds. “Inside the Sun” itself feels broad because it is, guitars swirling by its end in a way that lets the listener know they’re not coming back this time, and that’s suitable to shift into the outright headphone-ready gorgeousness of “The Afterlife.” It is also how side B embodies the back-and-forth ethic of Inside the Sun on the whole. Where the first half of the album played off pace between fastest and middle gears, the second oozes further into drift the alternating pattern, especially in “The Deserter” at the finish, speaking to just how far Comet Control are ready to go.

Understand: there is no conflict in this. Even if it is a case of competing impulses in the writing, that doesn’t come through in the finished product, which is all the more to the band’s credit since they’re working in their own studio for the first time. Rather, the post-’90s-alt wistfulness in the guitar of “Heavy Moments” offers a smooth letting go into “The Deserter,” which unfolds with such patience as to make its relatively short four-and-half-minute runtime deceptive. Keys and effects swirl begin, vocals arrive, bass, drums follow gradually, the aforementioned violin becoming a part of the whole with marked ease. It is perhaps in these final minutes that Comet Control most reinforce what’s been uniting the material all along through the back and forth. Aside from the overarching course they’ve set into the ether, it is the melody that brings the songs together throughout Inside the Sun. Of course that’s not to take anything away from what the rhythm section does throughout in reinforcing the trajectory — that work is crucial to the impression made by the album as a whole and the individual tracks as pieces of it — but as they ebb and flow, Comet Control are no less purposeful in their soothing last stretch than they were in the outset’s relative intensity. It is the willingness to be beautiful that makes Inside the Sun so encompassing.

Comet Control, Inside the Sun (2021)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Lammping, Flashjacks

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


[Click play above to stream Lammping’s Flashjacks in full. Album is out digitally on Aug. 27 with vinyl to follow Sept. 17 on Echodelick Records.]

There is a marked element of studio experimentation throughout Lammping‘s self-produced second full-length, Flashjacks. Also their label debut for Echodelick Records, the Toronto outfit formed by songwriter Mikhail Galkin (vocals, guitar, etc.) and drummer Jay Anderson — plus Matthew Aldred on backing vocals and Scott Hannigan on bass — show this immediately on opening cut “Intercessor,” beginning with a swirling-up-from-the-past echoing sample that speaks to the purported nostalgic sensibility one also sees mirrored in the cover art.

This ‘looking back’ of course has some effect on the mood of the album overall, but as Lammping follow-up Aug. 2020’s righteous Bad Boys of Comedy (review here), which was released by Nasoni Records, these 10 songs across just 33 minutes (read: short songs) use classic ideas as a means to move forward by digging deeper into their sound. Samples, drum machines, varying arrangements of fuzz guitar and bass — the latter of which is positively, gloriously farty on “Jaws of Life,” though whether that’s Galkin or Hannigan playing, I’m not sure — and various effects manipulations result in stretches, like the vocal drone that backs closer “Other Shoe” for its first minute-plus and returns again in its last minute as well, thereby speaking both to the band and Galkin as the main composer following whims of what works in the material as well as thinking in larger terms about the structure of the whole song and, indeed, album.

Flashjacks never repeats itself any more than it wants to, but its choruses are infectious beginning with “Intercessor,” which takes an Om-style tantric ride cymbal for a different kind of meditative trip, abidingly and unflinchingly mellow, like you played your 45 at 33RPM and decided it sounded better that way. It’s a nigh-on-perfect launch for a record full of ready departures from one inclusion to the next, capping with drifting keys and handclaps that foreshadow some of the more funk and soul-derived aspects that come later in pieces like the eponymous “Lammping,” “Jaws of Life” and “The Funkiest.”

The latter two of those — “Jaws of Life” and “The Funkiest” — were featured on earlier 2021’s New Jaws EP (review here), along with “Neverbeen,” the penultimate interlude “Big Time the Big Boss” and “Other Shoe,” and they make up the bulk of side B together, save for “Neverbeen,” which swaps with “Cleaning Up,” the sorry-we-can’t-have-drums-here-they-already-melted progression of which serves as a tie-in with second track “Heartland Rock,” which is more straightforward in structure, perhaps, but which, by the time it lets go into the solo that rounds out about the last 30 seconds (before it cuts to static) of its total 2:13, has already crafted its own idyllic portrait.

There’s a duality of purpose throughout Flashjacks that’s maybe easier to read into the proceedings in part because of some of the material being previously released on its own — and it’s all Lammping, to be sure — but “New October” emphasizes the ultra-laid-back dreamed-out fluidity that coincides with the funk to come on side B that’s prefaced with the transition from the swirling guitar noodling of “Neverbeen” into “Lammping” itself, which is more rhythmically forward, groovier, and, just for a verse or two, playfully makes it hard to tell whether Lammping are drawing influence from ’70s funk or the ’90s hip-hop that sampled it, the chorus, guitar solo, bass and drums all tapping into a flow that’s timeless in its cool, however anchored in odd-numbered decades of yore it may be.


Galkin and Anderson shift back and forth throughout the record, and their sonic persona becomes one more aspect of craft that’s a toy to be molded and shaped as they will, as songs like “Neverbeen” solos out a sub-three-minute stretch of nostalgic yearning and “Cleaning Up” pulls away from the roll of “The Funkiest” for a less tangible psychedelic foray ahead of the effects-laced organ on “Big Time the Big Boss.”

Thus, Lammping‘s sound is not a settled issue, and if “Heartland Rock” and “New October” and “Cleaning Up” are newer, they may indicate some further push into experimentalism to come, but it’s been a year since their debut, so however quickly they may or may not continue to work, they’re still just getting started. Given the underlying clarity and efficiency of their songwriting — and even the placement “Intercessor,” “Jaws of Life” and “Other Shoe” as the side A opener, side B opener and finale, respectively, as the only pieces over four minutes long and anchors around which the other material winds and currents — and the way in which these tracks speak to each other, Flashjacks builds on what the band accomplished with Bad Boys of Comedy and speaks to the longer-term potential of the group.

Maybe it’s ironic that a record geared toward examination of a past — an imagined one? certainly “Neverbeen” seems to remind without saying a word that most nostalgia is false nostalgia, though its title could just as easily be derived from “has-been,” so who knows — should entice one to look ahead and think of what a group might do in the future, but ultimately, Lammping‘s strengths are here, in the present as well. The home-studio intimacy of their experimentalism is nothing if not of-the-moment, as is the willful escapism of their trance-inducing, headphone-ready psychedelia and aural detail and depth. And their fun, which is no less their own than anything else they offer across these songs. Flashjacks, the word which no doubt is some kind of grew-up-in-this-time-and-place reference, is good vibes through and through, even as “Other Shoe” leaves off with its last strum to a few seconds of ominous silence.

And maybe that other shoe will drop their next time out, and will that be in a year, two, three? What will the songs sound like? What will the world be like? Where are we going and who the hell are we anyway? These questions are exactly the kind of needless bullshit Lammping help you leave behind while you listen, and if you want to complain about something, complain the fact that Flashjacks only offers 33 minutes of that utterly necessary serenity. It’s okay. It’s gonna be okay. Just let it be okay. You’re alright.

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Craneium Premiere “Shine Again” Lyric Video; Unknown Heights Out Oct. 15

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Finland’s Craneium release their third album, Unknown Heights, on Oct. 15 as their label debut on The Sign Records. The Turku-based four-piece were last heard from with late-2018’s The Narrow Line (review here) on Ripple Music, and they’ve quite clearly learned a few lessons from one to the next. With a consistent lineup of guitarist/vocalists Andreas Kaján and Martin Ahlö, bassist Jonas Ridberg and drummer Joel Kronqvist — somebody’s also playing keys, or something that sounds like them on “Somber Aeons,” and the Mellotron contributed by Axel Brink to “Weight to Carry,” also elsewhere — the band present a sharpened take on their particular sonic meld that is able to be both heavy and fluid as it will. Among their three LPs to-date, the confidence with which they execute their melodies and the tightness of their songcraft across the six tracks of Unknown Heights is striking, and to call it anything other than their finest hour is underselling it.

Each side of the album opens with a big hook, with “A Secret Garden” putting to immediate use the Kaján and Ahlö arrangement dynamic — this will come up again on the closing title-track — and side B’s “Shine Again” (premiering below) offering a six-minute summation of many of the album’s strengths in its volume shifts, overarching patience of delivery, exceptional pacing, depth of mix, flowing progression and, when it’s ready, outright heft. “A Secret Garden” is very much the traditional rocking opener transposed to suit Craneium‘s purposes, running a focused four and a half minutes that establishes the tones, melodic reach and underlying psychedelic drift of the proceedings to follow.

“Somber Aeons” and “Weight to Carry” are both longer at six and seven minutes, respectively, but effectively hold onto the clarity of structure that “A Secret Garden” lays forth, the former surging with fuzz in rolling fashion after a more subdued opening, making the most of Ridberg‘s bassline for the ensuing thickness that will seem to swallow the song even as a spoken-word sample about darkness cuts through at the finish, shifting easily into “Weight to Carry,” with a more forward guitar solo later, the aforementioned Mellotron flourish and its own structural presence highlighted by the chorus.

Craneium Unknown HeightsIn launching the second half of Unknown Heights, “Shine Again” pulls together many of the strengths of the first, taking the directness of “A Secret Garden,” the volume trades of “Somber Aeons” and the instrumental gracefulness and ending build-up of “Weight to Carry” and putting them to a single purpose. This is offset by the righteously bassy and brazenly hooky “The Devil Drives,” which follows and is the shortest inclusion on the album at 4:22. It wouldn’t be appropriate to call anything Craneium present here stripped-down — the sound remains lush and the melodies, rhythms and structures thoughtful — but “The Devil Drives” is as straightforward as they get in the offering, with verses and choruses going back and forth setting up dual-leads in the back end of the song that should, must and inevitably do make their way back to a final run through the chorus to finish out.

Needs to happen, has to happen, happens, and like the best of heavy rock songcraft, it’s no less satisfying because you know what’s coming. Momentum carries into “Unknown Heights” itself, making the opening hits feel somewhat impatient, but the chill that comes with the first verse sets its own atmosphere and allows the track to unfold in its own manner.

Is that slide guitar just past the midpoint drifting over the quieter stretch? I don’t know, but it works as a proggy nuance, hypnotic and wistful in kind, and helps the transition to an even more subdued stop before the shove that will consume the last minute and a half of the song takes hold, eventually fading out in such a way that underscores the vague ’80s metal underpinnings of “The Devil Drives” — someone in this band likes NWOBHM — and that feels quick given the flow they’re leaving behind, but ultimately makes sense considering the overall efficiency they’ve wrought throughout. They’re simply not willing to waste the time, and at a crisp 36 minutes, Unknown Heights is that much more able to offer spaciousness without indulgence for the decisions the band have made.

This album is a realization for which Craneium have worked hard over the last half-decade-plus — and a mention for Joona Hassinen (MaidaVale, Domkraft, Skraeckoedlan, many others) at Studio Underjord in Norrköping, Sweden, is only appropriate as well — and the payoff is in the songs waiting to be heard.

“Shine Again” premiere follows, with PR wire info after.

Please enjoy:

Craneium, “Shine Again” lyric video premiere

Craneium on “Shine Again”:

This is the third time we collaborate on a video with our friend Oliver Webb from the awesome band Sunniva. This time we talked a lot about that we wanted to bring the artwork to life. About what it would look like if you were to step through the keyhole and into the world of the artwork to the single. We think Oliver did an amazing job and he really has an eye for weird symbolism and trippy storytelling. We think it suits this song, an ode to freedom and solitude, perfectly.

”No friends but the mountain…”

Pre-order ‘Unknown Heights’:

Lyric video for “Shine Again”, the second single from Craneium’s 2021 album “Unknown Heights”. Video by Oliver Webb.

Finnish fuzz-rock outfit Craneium have released their new single ”Shine Again”. Shifting from massive, distorted passages to blissful, psychedelic soundscapes, ”Shine Again” highlights the dynamic and experimental nature of Craneium, while presenting a new musical dimension of the band. The group explains:

”No friends but the mountains…With ‘Shine Again’, it really feels like we’ve taken our songwriting to the next step. This is the direction we want to take Craneium in from now on. We are quite happy with the vocal harmonies and lyrics, as it turned out to be both a love song and an ode to freedom. In the studio our producer and engineer Joona Hassinen from Studio Underjord got us to perform at a level we feel we haven’t reached before. The mellotron strings added by Axel Brink (our former bass player and forming member) really gave it that little extra kick.”

Craneium is:
Andreas Kaján – Guitar & Vocals
Martin Ahlö – Guitar & Vocals
Jonas Ridberg – Bass
Joel Kronqvist – Drums, Percussion

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