Bear Stone Festival 2024 Completes Lineup; Kadavar to Headline, 1000mods, Them Moose Rush & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Thrilled to say I’ll be at this one. My flight is booked to Zagreb, and from there I’ll travel to Slunj for a couple days to hang by the riverside and cover the Bear Stone Festival, which has completed its 2024 lineup with the additions below. You can se Kadavar joining High on Fire in the headliner position, and as Greek heavy rock kingpins 1000mods add the fest to what will no doubt be another busy summer, they’re joined in this last announcement by a swath of bands representing Croatia’s local underground — Them Moose Rush, Muscle Tribe of Danger and Excellence###, and so on as you can see below — and others from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland. It’s like an international conference, and one which I’ll be honored to attend.

Not even going to pretend to know all the names listed below, but I’ve included the descriptions with the announcement in case you’d like to check them out as well as for my own reference to study up before departure. While I’m talking about it, thank you to Bear Stone for inviting me. I look forward to being in Croatia for the first time, seeing old and new friends, and of course being pummeled into oblivion by volume for a few days. It’s going to be quite a summer. Stay tuned, and thanks for doing so.

From the PR wire:

Bear Stone Festival 2024 Full Lineup Poster_Square

Bear Stone Festival 2024 Full Lineup Announcement

Ticket link:

Here it is, the full lineup for Bear Stone Festival 2024!

28 bands spread out across 3 stages with our festival veterans Sviraj!Jam taking over the Jam stage as always.

There will be a couple more surprises announced as we get closer to the festival, so make sure to stay tuned to our socials.

Standard festival tickets include parking and camping for the entire duration of the festival and they are available on our website and via Entrio. There will be no day tickets.

Get your festival tickets here:


We are beyond happy to announce the legendary Kadavar as the second headliner of Bear Stone Festival!

Their meteoric rise began with the release of their debut album in 2012, followed by breakout records like “Abra Kadavar” and “Berlin”, which earned them critical acclaim and chart success in Germany. With subsequent albums like “Rough Times”, “For The Dead Travel Fast” and their latest album “The Isolation Tapes”, Kadavar continued to evolve their signature sound while also establishing their own label, Robotor Records.

Known for their energetic live performances, Kadavar’s self-recording approach and unique production techniques ensure an authentic representation of their dynamic stage presence. Their riff-heavy sound resonates with fans of Hard Rock and Psychedelia alike, solidifying their status as pioneers in the modern Rock landscape.

1000MODS (GR)

Rising from smokey basements to packed arenas, 1000mods stands as Greece’s most successful rock band of recent decades. Their seminal album “Super Van Vacation” in 2011 revolutionised European rock with its heavy sound and vintage vibes, cementing their role as leaders of Greece’s Heavy Rock scene. With subsequent releases like “Vultures” and “Repeated Exposure To…”, they showcased remarkable songwriting skills and garnered critical acclaim, setting the stage for international recognition.


Muscle Tribe of Danger and Excellence, born from the vibrant Zagreb Stoner scene nearly two decades ago, brings together top musicians from diverse backgrounds to create a potent blend of Rock and Metal.

With two albums and EP’s under their belt, the band’s latest release, a new EP titled “Call If You Need Anything Else” featuring three fierce tracks, solidifies their reputation for delivering energetic, no-nonsense rock with their thunderous frontman Domagoj Šimek leading the charge.


Them Moose Rush, though often likened to Mars Volta due to their specific vocals, carve out their own sonic niche with a blend of influences spanning from Mike Patton to Radiohead, resulting in a unique fusion of Prog, Noise, Math, Pop, and Stoner elements.

They are already notorious for their DIY art, inventive videos, and critical acclaim from outlets like Prog Magazine and Metal Injection, the band returns with their fourth studio album, “Zepaxia”, featuring 16 tracks, embarking on a European tour and gracing festival stages to promote their latest release.


Formed by Yves Krismer from Mother’s Cake, Pia, Arthur, and Kajetan from Motion Sick, Blitzpop emerges as a revolutionary, convention defying musical force with an ethos that transcends mere music and embodies a vibrant philosophy that resonates with contemporary social dynamics.

Their compositions echo the raw intensity of Dead Weather and Nirvana while forging a path uniquely their own, marking a bold new chapter in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll.

### (CRO)

### (pronounced by hitting a random object three times) is a band best described by instrumental guitar noise, feedback and pulsating lights. They are already well known in the Balkan underground for their DIY approach while avoiding a normal course of things, they have recorded and/or performed in abandoned ironworks buildings, roofs, lavatories as well as moved a whole studio to a squatted cinema.

Since 2013, this group of people have tried the best they can to harvest the silence of their small hometowns Sisak and Novska into a self-propelled world of video experiments, tinnitus and print stains on their fingers.


Zolle, the heavy rock duo comprised of Stefano on drums and vocals, and Marcello on guitars and vocals, defy conventional boundaries with their raw and intense sound, echoing the primal essence of existence.

Their latest album, “Macello”, delves into the complexities of human existence, exploring themes of ambivalence, contradiction, and paradox with unapologetic honesty. From the chaotic energy to moments of profound introspection, “Macello” invites listeners on a journey through the raw, visceral realities of life.


Formed in Verona in 2005, Kayleth draws inspiration from the Stoner/Desert Rock sounds of Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and 37005, infused with space influences. Over the years, they’ve self-produced several EPs, evolving their sound to incorporate space/psychedelic landscapes, culminating in the release of “Space Muffin” in 2015 under Argonauta Records.

With successful albums like “Colossus” and “Back to Earth”, Kayleth continues to captivate audiences, earning praise from both critics and fans alike, eagerly anticipating their forthcoming album slated for Spring 2024.


Emerging from Austria, Stonetree delivers a potent blend of riff-oriented Heavy Rock, characterised by explosive instrumentation, dynamic vocals, and polished production. Formed in 2016 following the disbandment of Machine Zoo, they’ve honed a distinct style fusing elements of Alternative Rock, Grunge, Stoner Rock, and Prog Rock, showcased in their debut album ‘”The Tempest” (2017).

Renowned for their energetic live performances staged from “Evertruck”, an old Volkswagen van transformed into a live stage, the trio has continued to innovate, releasing EP’s like “VOID FILL” and “VOID FILL 2” during the pandemic, setting the stage for their upcoming EP “VOID FILL 3”.


Entropist is a Rijeka-based trio whose musical oeuvre spans through Instrumental Doom with nuanced influences of Space, Psychedelic, and Post-Stoner Rock, reflecting their diverse musical palette and harmonious fusion.

Their low-key approach and affinity for a bold, robust sound turns their live performance into a must-see experience of their sonic ethos. While carefully balancing diligence with patience amidst the pandemic’s challenges this trio dedicatedly crafted a commendable debut album which, in their own words, is best experienced live.


AcidSitter are a vibrant musical collaboration, uniting seasoned Psych Rockers from Poland and Japan, headquartered in Krakow, where they delve into a diverse spectrum of psychedelia fueled by Rock ‘N’ Roll fervour and Punk vitality. Having graced stages at renowned festivals such as Red Smoke and Soulstone Gathering, and even embarking on a brief tour alongside King Buffalo, they’ve solidified their presence in the live music scene.

Their latest album “Make Acid Great Again” represents an exhilarating journey through dreamy, spacey realms intertwined with a solid Rock core, evoking a uniquely grounded yet fuzzy sensation akin to stepping into a new Earth.


Originating from the picturesque city of Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina alongside the scenic river Una, Misery Crown emerged in 2012 as a Southern/Sludge/Stoner band with influences from genre pioneers like Down and Crowbar, evident in their debut album “When North Meets South” released in 2013.

Evolving their sound with subsequent EPs “One Stone” and “Northern Wind”, Misery Crown balanced homage to genre roots with a quest for originality, culminating in a performance at Croatia’s Bear Stone Festival, marking their debut in the country’s vibrant music scene.


Van Manakin, a Vienna-based instrumental duo formed in 2020, has been crafting music together for nearly a decade, channelling their daily experiences into their jams and performances.

Creating wild and energetic soundscapes in their natural habitats, the rehearsal room and the stage, Van Manakin’s music is a cathartic blend of Post-Rock, Stoner Rock and Progressive Rock with hints of Metal and Funk, inspired by the panamanian bird of paradise known for its lasting friendships, creative sounds, grooves, and mesmerising moves.


Azutmaga, a Budapest-based instrumental stoner rock duo, embarks on a sonic journey marked by climbing riffs and tribal rhythms, interspersed with improvised departures. Founded in 2019 by Patrik Veréb and Martin Várszegi, their music is a meditative massacre, blending psychedelic elements with the raw energy of Stoner Rock.

Bear Stone Festival 2024 Spotify Playlist

Bear Stone Festival 2023 Aftermovie

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1000mods Announce UK & Ireland Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


You know what was pretty awesome? Last year in Summer and Fall when Greek heavy rockers 1000mods partnered with Heavy Psych Sounds to do full-catalog reissues for their four full-lengths to-date (see here and here for full streams) and the band toured in the US for like a month and I got to see them at Desertfest New York (review here), that’s what.

I hadn’t seen the band in a decade, and in that interim they became arguably the most crucial Greek heavy rock act of their generation — a sonic spearhead for desert-heavy and those who’d branch elsewhere alike — and one of the staples of the broader European underground tour circuit. To wit, in addition to these April UK dates, they’ve got a show in Germany on May 30 and they’re set to play Hellfest in France on June 30. I would not be the least bit surprised if they did the entirety of the span between those two shows on the road.

The UK/Ireland dates were first announced almost a month ago but the band added to the tour the other day, so here they are now in all their currently-relevant glory as per social media:

1000mods uk tour poster

***1000mods – UK & Ireland Tour 2024***

UK calling!

We ‘re so stoked to announce our first UK tour ever!

See you in April

Tickets on sale now:

Poster by BeWild Brother

Upcoming Shows
04 Apr Bear Cave, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
05 Apr Rebellion, Manchester, United Kingdom
06 Apr Slay, Glasgow, United Kingdom
07 Apr Corporation, Sheffield, United Kingdom
09 Apr Voodoo, Belfast, United Kingdom
10 Apr The Grand Social, Dublin, Ireland
11 Apr The Bunkhouse Bar and Music Venue, Swansea, United Kingdom
12 Apr Garage, London, United Kingdom
13 Apr Thekla, Bristol, United Kingdom

30 May Colos-Saal Aschaffenburg, Germany
28 Jun Hellfest 2024, Clisson, France

1000mods is:
Dani G.
Giannis S.
Giorgos T.
Labros G.

1000mods, Youth of Dissent (2020)

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SonicBlast Fest 2024 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 20th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Man, you ever feel like you’re crawling to the finish line? I’m doing news catchup the next couple days, and this announcement from SonicBlast Fest came out like last weekend or some such with a first round of lineup adds for the Aug. 2024 edition of the Portuguese heavy festival — it’s the 12th one — and as I sit here with my e’er expanding ass sinking e’er deeper into the couch I feel about as far removed as I could from, let’s say, the glorious nighttime walk across the beach in Âncora that I was lucky enough to be born to eventually undertake after a night at SonicBlast earlier this year.

Not only was it my first time in Portugal and Iberia, period, but I met people I never thought I’d get to meet, saw old friends and made new ones, and for a few days pretty much lived the festival ideal. You get there, see sets, go back, write, drink all the coffee, take pictures, write more, write more, eventually collapse from fatigue, then go home with a rejuvenated spirit. You know, fest life.

Submitted for your daydreams is the initial billing for SonicBlast Fest 2024, with the heavy, stoner, psych and punk and hardcore sides of the festival represented and a solid punch of names with Graveyard, Brant Bjork Trio, 1000mods and Truckfighters. Think this means Deathchant and Sacri Monti will tour Europe together? I do. Think it means Sacri Monti‘s album will be out by then? I hope so. Deathchant, who also played this year, are awesome, by the way.

Here’s news. Tickets are on sale already:

sonicblast fest 2024 first poster

SONICBLAST FEST ’24 – Aug. 8-10

It’s getting hard to breathe… We’re so proud to announce the first bands for SonicBlast Fest’s 12th edition!! Viagra Boys, Graveyard, Wine Lips, Brant Bjork Trio, Sunami, Colour Haze, Home Front, Truckfighters, Poison Ruin, 1000mods, Sacri Monti, Maruja, Deathchant and Máquina will join us at the craziest heavy psychedelic weekend by the ocean ⚡🌊☀️

*** more to be announced soon ***

🔥 Full festival tickets are already on sale at BOL (Fnac, Worten, Ctt…), at and at

Artwork by Branca Studio

Colour Haze, Sacred (2022)

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Freak Valley Festival 2024 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

I have every intention of being at Freak Valley Festival 2024 when it takes place next May into June, and given the first 11 acts to be announced for its lineup, I’m already glad for that. Yes, no doubt Monolord will crush and I just saw 1000mods like a week ago so I know they’re killing it, but the chance to see the likes of Daevar or Fuzzy GrassSpeckMouthFull Earth (begat by Kanaan) and Slomosa, the young Norwegian outfit at the potential spearhead of a new generation of Euro heavy rock — the kind of band who’ll be headlining in a few years if they keep putting the work in like they are and the songs hold up. Already there’s stuff I never thought I’d see, stuff I’ve seen and know will be awesome, and stuff I haven’t seen that I want to see. Call that a win for a first announcement.

I wrote a decent portion of the below, but some was added, so I’m not gonna take full credit or anything like that. Nonetheless, as posted on socials:

freak valley 2024 first announcement

Freak Valley Festival 2024 Lineup Announcement!

Ladies and gentlemen, freaks of all ages, get ready to rock your world at Freak Valley Festival 2024! We’re thrilled to unveil the first part of an incredible lineup featuring some of the most electrifying bands from around the globe.
Freak Valley 2024 is set for May 30 – June 1.

You’ve already seen that Early Freak Tickets are on sale for Sept. 30 at Vortex Surfer in Siegen, and Regular Tickets again Oct. 2. Online sales start Oct. 3 and tickets hit local shops on Oct. 4.
But enough about that!!

You’ve been waiting, we’ve been waiting, and the first band we’re ready to unveil for Freak Valley Festival 2024 is MONOLORD.

The Swedish kingpins of plus-sized riffs were last with us in 2019. Will they be back with a new album next summer? It’s cool to hope so, but either way, you can’t go wrong when Monolord come to crush, which they always do.

They’ll be joined by Greek heavy rock kingpins 1000MODS, Norwegian upstarts SLOMOSA — whose second record will be out by June — and ALEX HENRY FOSTER who you might remember was supposed to play in 2023, as well as DŸSE, SPECK, DAEVAR and FUZZY GRASS from France.

Newcomer Kanaan-offshoot FULL EARTH will join us from from Norway and long-running Chilean sludge outfit DEMONAUTA will grace our stage for the first time.

Rounding out this first announcement closer to home, we’ll bring Köln heavy prog stalwarts MOUTH on board, heralding this year’s ‘Getaway’ LP, which is must-hear if you haven’t!

(#128266#) Here’s the star-studded lineup:

Monolord – 1000mods – Dÿse – Slomosa – Alex Henry Foster – Mouth – Speck – Demonauta- Full Earth- Fuzzy Grass – Daevar

All killers, no fillers. That’s how we do it, freaks. Get your tickets now because they’ll be gone before you know it.

Prepare for an unforgettable weekend filled with mind-blowing performances, heavy riffs, and an atmosphere that’ll keep you rocking all night long. Freak Valley Festival 2024 is set to be an absolute musical extravaganza!

Monolord, It’s All the Same (2023)

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Notes From Desertfest New York Night One, 09.15.23

Posted in Features, Reviews on September 16th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

R.I.P. 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

09.15.23 – Friday – Knockdown Center – Before show

Okay, I can admit it’s weird. Not through anything the festival has done, beyond perhaps existing, which I firmly believe is a positive thing, but for me personally, it’s a weird process. The last couple years, I’ve had a much easier time making it to festivals than club shows, and it’s been easier to travel than see something local. The way my schedule and life are arranged right now — bed early, up early to write and begin the day’s domestic whathaveyou — it’s nearly impossible for me to ‘get out to a show.’ It’s a significant rearrangement of multiple lives to make it happen.

My solution has been, every so often, to go to a festival, and I’ve been lucky to travel these last couple years, whether it’s to Germany, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, even Las Vegas. That pulls me out of the norm. I’m on my own. I don’t have to worry about the house, or anyone else’s schedule other than the bands. I’m removed from ‘real life.’ Not so with Desertfest New York.

This is the only festival I’ve been to in the last 15 years-plus where the travel involved is a commute. I spent two hours in traffic last night to get to Vitus. And more than an hour home because why wouldn’t there be dead-stop gridlock at midnight on a Thursday? It’s another layer — something else to worry about — that I feel when I’m here. It was true last year to some extent, but the sheer novelty of being out of the house in May 2022 made up some ground in terms of the overall experience. A big emotional high.

And again, it’s not about the fest. It’s about where I live. Just far enough out to be a pain in the ass. And if you’ve ever been to New York, especially driving, you know the city doesn’t exactly work to make it easy, or remotely pleasant. I’m not trying to complain about some shit — Desertfest has taken great care of me once again and The Patient Mrs. has uprooted herself and our kid on my behalf for the weekend; she even drove to and from the pre-show — it’s just a part of the experience I’m not used to. It’s weird to think about running the dishwasher after you get home from Colour Haze playing one of the best shows you’ve ever seen at the Saint Vitus Bar. It’s weird that the last thing I did before I left the house to come here was change over the laundry.

It’s weird. I’m weird too.

Two-dayer fests rule and here’s how night one of two went down:


SpellBook 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Pennsylvania cultists, doomers, a little bit glammers SpellBook had the bonus factor of having added Greg Diener of Pale Divine on guitar, which is never going to hurt you when it comes to doom riffs. It’s only been a couple months since he started with the five-piece, whose second album under the name — they used to be called Witch Hazel — Deadly Charms, came out last year. They played the title-track from it after “The Witch of Ridley Creek,” the joke there being that initially-cape-clad frontman introduced the first by saying “This next song is about a witch,” then saying the same thing before they played “Deadly Charms.” I missed that record but might pick up a CD if those exist as the swing of that hook sat right, and in the name of good times generally. Funny, before they went on, bassist Seibert Lowe came up and said hi, it’s been a while, etc. Curious, I looked it up. Saw Witch Hazel in 2015 at a fest in Maryland. Yeah, it’s probably been long enough.

Valley of the Sun

Reliability be thy name. Ohio’s Valley of the Sun were in Europe this Spring to do Desertfest Berlin and London, Esbjerg Fuzztival, etc., and a tour around that. Last year, they played the pre-show at Vitus (review here), wrecked it gloriously, and I’m not trying to toot my own horn when I say I knew they’d do the same on the main stage here at the Knockdown Center, but yeah, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming. They’ve been touring basically since before they put out The Chariot (review here) last year, and they absolutely sounded like it. Set was tight, pro, fun, and could’ve been delivered to 15 people at 1PM (there were many more there, and it was later, I’m just making a point) or 10,000 at midnight, I honestly don’t think it would matter. They did their set, their way, their presence bolstered by the unshakeable quality of their craft and the fact that even as veterans however many years later — 12 since the EP, I think? — they continue to look like they’re having fun. And goodness gracious, maybe they are.

Grave Bathers

Dark, moody, urbane heavy rock, with members of Yatra — who played last year — and Heavy Temple, who play tonight. Don’t doubt Philly is where it’s at. They’ve got a whole generation of up and coming bands and I’ll add Grave Bathers to the list. I didn’t hear last year’s debut, Rock ‘n Roll Fetish, so didn’t know the songs, but their delivery was right on as they put that fetish to good use. They were brash, maybe a little druggy — more pills/coke than weed — and seemed in the process of solidifying their approach, which, yes, means it was exciting set to watch.


Long drone before they went on. Like 10 minutes. Fair enough, I guess. But it was riffs freshly rolled once they got going, their traditionalism for desert rock very clearly familiar to the crowd on hand, and they were pretty fresh in my mind as well since they reissued their full-length discography ahead of coming to the US to play. They’ve also got socks at the merch table, which is knowing your market, I suppose. They’re probably the most successful heavy rock export from Greece to-date, and their groove answers any and all questions why. Newer material or old, they’ve always managed to find the tempo just right for their riffs. Last time I saw them was a decade ago at The Black Heart in London (review here) and they were killer then, so I knew a bit of what was in store, but the long drone became transitional ambience, and it was interesting to hear the maturity of 2020’s Youth of Dissent (review here) come through in their approach there, but you can’t beat the raw mellow nod of “Vidage.” The very sound of everything cool about this music and probably some stuff that’s only cool because 1000mods made it that way. Definitely need to buy some socks before the night is done.

Castle Rat

I had not yet seen Brooklyn trad metal/doom-adjacent troupe Castle Rat. It’s a particular aspect of New York that might make one feel late to the party before a band has a record out, but the room knew what was up, and the band put on a theatrical display of intermittently sexualized horror that included a bassist in a plague mask, a vampire guitarist, some kind of forest spirit on drums, the storyteller herself up front, a couple druids parked outside the room as greeters. Cool vibe, though I wonder about how it would/will work on an album, but maybe they don’t need to put out an album, though when they signed to King Volume Records in July, word was an LP in 2024. Either way, they’re young and in shape, and thus marketable, in addition to all that rocking and metal-of-eld. They had the room wrapt, and yeah, the evening is getting on and progressively less lucid, so maybe some staring anyway from the crowd, but they put on a show, rather than playing a set, and today or tomorrow there’s not another band playing this weekend doing the same kind of thing, let alone doing it so well, so I’ll take the win. I may never feel like Johnny Groundfloor on Castle Rat, but at least I can say I’ve seen them now. Which I suppose makes the fact that they killed a bonus.


I didn’t know this prior to looking it up — yes, sometimes it is handy to have an archive of nearly every show you’ve seen for the last however many years — but the last time I saw Windhand was at The Well for Desertfest NYC 2019 (review here). That place was cool, wouldn’t say a word against it, but DFNY works well at Knockdown Center and being inside for the most part — an outdoor third stage opens tomorrow — allows some seasonal/weather flexibility. As for Windhand, well, their most recent LP, Eternal Return (review here), turns five this year and vocalist Dorthia Cottrell — who’s doing a solo show tomorrow on the aforementioned third stage — put her new solo album, Death Folk Country (review here), on Relapse, to which Windhand are also signed for over a decade, and earlier this year they reissued their 2012 self-titled debut (review herediscussed here), did the Heavy Psych Sounds Fests in California, and it’s kind of the personality of the band that they’re there when called upon. In this case, it was Truckfighters canceling that brought them here, and they did the job they were brought in to do. Slowest band of the day, easily, and the most miserable of the weekend this far. Murkiest sound anywhere. Like an out of focus photograph from the 19th century.

Heavy Temple

Oooh, Heavy Temple’s got new songs. And a new guitarist, who just happens to be Christian Lopez, also of Sun Voyager. High Priestess Nighthawk, Lopez and drummer Will “Baron Lycan” Mellor took to the stage with the door closed into the second room and then about a minute before they went on, the door opened and everyone came in at once and then they started and that was that. But jeez, put out a record. What’s the holdup? Your drummer is an engineer! Granted, it’s only been two years since Lupi Amoris (review here), but they’re about to go tour Europe for the first time with Howling Giant — whose new album is stellar, I had it on in the car on the way here — and taking a new release along doesn’t seem like the worst idea. Hell do I know. Once the door was open, the room packed out immediately, and not even a Colour Haze line check could bring the crowd out from the Texas stage. I don’t know when I last saw Heavy Temple, and at this point in the day I’m too tired to look, but they delivered like a band who has way more to their credit than two EPs, an LP and some other odds and ends — a notably righteous Type O Negative cover among them — and I was only happy to see them again and to hear some new material. The sooner the better on Heavy Temple’s sophomore LP.

Colour Haze

Loud whispers of “shh!” to people talking during the quiet parts. The keys seemed more prominent in the mix, but I stood right in front of the stage last night for the whole set, so who the hell knows what I was hearing or not. The flexibility of a photo pit means I can move around a bit and, say, go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Crazy shit like that. Most of Colour Haze Night Two — it really is a shame they’re not doing a third set tomorrow — artists-in-residence! pick any album you want out of the catalog and I’ll be more than happy to watch them play it in full — was instrumental, and I had been planning to go see R.I.P., from Portland, also quite far, but life doesn’t always afford you opportunities to see your favorite bands, and life is short and most of it is very, very difficult, so yeah, I stayed put. It was really difficult to think that Colour Haze might be playing in the building somewhere and I wouldn’t be there. So I put myself there and, as I occasionally remember to do, just enjoyed a thing for a couple minutes. On the whole, it was a more laid back set than last night’s at Vitus. They played “Transformation.” It was beautiful. I love the way it skips before it runs straight out and gets fast at the end. I hadn’t eaten since the morning and it was nearly 10PM. The Patient Mrs. texting to tell me to be careful on the way home. An infinity of distractions. But nah, just let me have this one for a minute. They closed with “Tempel” as someone yelled out “what a time to be alive!” No argument.

Quick note: I did go check out R.I.P. after Colour Haze finished. The second stage was packed, they were shredding oldschool-style dirt metal to the delight of all present. The pic at the top of this post is the room when they played.

Monster Magnet

Time marches forward and Monster Magnet remain a salve against bullshit in rock and roll. Of all the bands to close out the night, the stalwart outfit from my beloved Garden State are legends in the field, and founding frontman Dave Wyndorf was simultaneously out of his mind and in command of the show, which I think is how you get to be that dude. I had thought guitarist Garrett Sweeny (also The Atomic Bitchwax) was out of the band, but no. He had stage right while longtime collaborator Phil Caivano — who just put out a solo record; the band is called Caivano — had the other side, drummer Bob Pantella (also also The Atomic Bitchwax, ex-Raging Slab, RiotGod, and so on) was up on a riser in back and the bassist Alec Morton, also ex-Raging Slab [thank you Amanda Vogel for that], hung back with a Rickenbacker that both looked and sounded awfully nice. Original band member Tim Cronin was doing lights, as he reportedly will according to a seven-year planetary cycle. We’ve been back and forth online and I’ve covered his band The Ribeye Brothers a bunch because they’re cool, but we never met in person, so that was awesome earlier in the day. Monster Magnet opening with the Hawkwind cover “Born to Go” was also rather sweet. “Superjudge,” “Powertrip,” “Dopes to Infinity,” “Tractor,” “Mastermind” tucked away in the encore. Even as a headliner, Monster Magnet would have a hard time putting together a full career-retrospective set. I got to see then play “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” tonight, though, and that’s plenty. Pro-shop rock band, one of heavy rock’s all-time great frontmen tossing out middle fingers like they’re free samples at Costco, and all was well and the strobe flashed and the fan blew and the band tore Knockdown Center a new ass — but they did it in space, so it’s even cooler — and reminded everybody there which coast really invented stoner rock.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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1000mods Retrospective Pt. 2: Repeated Exposure To… & Youth of Dissent

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on June 28th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Following on from last week’s reissue of their first two albums and the first installment of this retrospective, 1000mods this Friday will re-present 2016’s Repeated Exposure To… and 2020’s Youth of Dissent, specifically for US distribution through Heavy Psych Sounds. In between the one batch of reissues and another, the Chiliomodi-based generational forerunners of Greek heavy rock also announced a full round of American tour dates with their prior-confirmed appearance at Desertfest NYC as its centerpiece. It’s been, as the saying goes, quite a week.

The September trip will not be the first time 1000mods have come to the US. They visited in Feb. 2018, playing shows coast-to-coast and making stops in Mexico and Canada. The following Spring, they’d make their first voyage to Australia, and if the story of this era of the band is one of their reach expanding beyond Europe — which they covered first in this cycle as one would expect; Fall 2016 and again in early 2017 — that came very much with a mirroring expansion in scope with Repeated Exposure To…, which was released Sept. 26, 2016.

1000mods were beginning to show the band they would become, in sound and presence. Their first record, 2011’s Super Van Vacation (discussed herereview here), had portrayed them as a bunch of upstart groovers with an affection for Kyuss, perfect (yes, perfect) pacing and an ability to convey largesse in their songs through more than just tone. Vultures (review here) had followed in 2014 and charted the course for this growth. Already by then, 1000mods were a working band, touring vigorously, making videos, engaging in the kind of social networking that, at the time, was much newer and not always done. They’d even gone so far as to wrap the Vultures touring cycle with a video for “Claws” filmed at various shows. Everything they had went into pushing themselves forward.

These records are the manifestations of that. Let’s go:

Repeated Exposure To… (2016)


(review here)

Maybe a case of a band having their collective cake while also eating it? The full title as it appears on the cover: Repeated Exposure to High Sound Levels (More Than 80 Decibels) May Cause Permanent Impairing of Hearing. This warning was well issued as 1000mods returned to engineer George Leodis to co-produce their third album, drawing together aspects of the first two into a cohesive and obviously maturing 51-minute outing. Seven songs, massive hooks. The sound of 1000mods growing could be heard in the finer details — the right-channel guitar mutes after and before the Monster Magnet garage jangle of “A.W.,” or even the way the siren call of feedback at the start of opener “Above179” howls into a fade as the first rolling nod kicks in loud — as well as in the overarching atmosphere of the recording. As much as Vultures had attempted to capture their live sound, Repeated Exposure To… answered back by doing the same, but in a bigger venue.

If Vultures was the club show, the tracks on Repeated Exposure To… like the energetic shover “Loose,” the short and explosive “Electric Carve,” which follows, and the later build into the sing-along-with-us chorus of “On a Stone” seemed to emanate from a festival stage. From the gang-shout hook of “Above179” and the sweep and chug and precision of its finish onward, 1000mods made it clear they were reaching out to a broader audience. It wasn’t about changing their core style — they were still very much a heavy rock and roll band, and the fuzz of “Loose” reinforced the notion well — but as their take came into its own after two previous LPs and more shows than some do in a band’s lifetime, the sense of professionalization was audible in it. Repeated Exposure To… was higher stakes.

The band played back and forth between shorter and longer cuts on side A and dug in shortest-to-longest in side B, with the closing pair of “Groundhog Day” (7:18) and “Into the Spell” (7:50) contrasting the earlier trades between the eight-plus-minute “Loose” and “Above179” before it or the three-minute “Electric Carve” ahead of rhythmic first-half capper “The Son,” which its layered highlight soloing, uptempo-but-not-too-uptempo swing and, absolutely, another ultra-engaging chorus. That’s the heart of the whole record. It feels written with the live audience in mind, all the way through to the build happening in “Into the Spell,” with its early meandering and guitar creep under the watery verse, turning to massive stoner nod and more urgent thrust as it moves to the big finish of its final third, wrapping the album as much as itself with a long fade.

This was the sound of 1000mods going all-in. They stepped up to the challenge of being a pro-shop act and wrote an accordingly pro-shop bunch of songs to mark the occasion. Still touring constantly — and in new territories, as noted above — 1000mods began to reap the fruits of their significant labors and became one of Europe’s most crucial heavy rock bands. It wouldn’t have worked if these songs weren’t there to carry them.

Youth of Dissent (2020)

1000mods Youth of Dissent

(review here)

The story of Youth of Dissent — album number four and the latest 1000mods full-length — should have been that the band traveled to Seattle, Washington, to record and mix with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Sandrider, Isis, etc.), outdoing their own professionalism, directly waving at the American market, and offering an even tighter collection comprised of 11 songs that, in cuts like “Warped” and “Blister” leaned into a grunge influence, while in “Dear Herculine,” “Less is More” (some grunge in there too, for sure) and the interlude “21st Space Century,” the band were also atmospheric in a way they’d never yet been and their doing most melodically complex work on record. If you missed the word ‘should’ in that far-too-long sentence, it’s there because Youth of Dissent came out on April 24, 2020.

Greece’s first case of covid-19 was discovered that fateful February, and by the time Youth of Dissent was released, the entire country had been locked down for a month, and after another few weeks of in-place sheltering would gradually begin to reopen later in a terrifying, traumatic Spring when live music and so much else evaporated. Youth of Dissent was defined in part by the resistance mindset inherent in its title and album cover, and while tracks like “So Many Days,” “Blister,” “Less is More” and the concluding “Mirrors” were resonant in speaking to the experience of depression and “Young” and “Dissent” — split between sides C and D of the 55-minute 2LP — seemed to use the platform of 1000mods‘ audience-building to speak directly to that audience and encourage them to stand up, be involved in making their world, to dissent from the various systems holding them back, the moment in which the album arrived completely undercut that statement.

Certainly the covid pandemic did not just happen to 1000mods. It happened to everybody’s everything and the heavy underground is only a teeny-tiny sliver of a microculture. Acknowledged. But to see an act who’d put in by-then eight years of road work while also building a catalog of landmarks, earning Greece a respect it maybe didn’t have before them as a hotbed of heavy in Europe, changing the geopolitics of the underground, and begun to expand their reach even beyond that have that momentum obliterated by circumstances genuinely out of their control was painful. Covid happened to every band, but not every band was 1000mods in late 2019/early 2020 making and releasing their fourth record. Of course the European tour that was to start in May 2020 didn’t happen, and it wouldn’t be until Spring 2022 that they could hit the road in earnest to support it.

Which they did and are continuing to do. Removed from the moment of its release, at three years’ distance, Youth of Dissent answers the greater reach of the record before it with even more refined and cognizant approach, and a bevvy of new ideas and directions taken. Mature as songwriters, 1000mods proved able to conjure epics regardless of a track’s runtime, communicating ideas in new ways that signaled ongoing development and a refusal to stagnate, greeting an unknowable future with hope and progressivism even as it offered some of the band’s darkest lyrical themes.

As they’ve gotten back to live performance, that the material on Youth of Dissent has held up to the years-long split between its arrival should convey its urgency. This Fall, 1000mods return to the States all the more as a veteran act. That they’ll have these reissues along with them lends this tour — especially as a Winter 2023 Australia/New Zealand tour was canceled — an edge of celebrating the entire catalog as well as giving Youth of Dissent its overdue due, but 1000mods have only looked in one direction over the 15-plus years of their tenure, and whatever else one might expect from them, expect them to keep their eye on the future.

Thanks for reading. Again, if you missed the first part of this retrospective, it’s right here.

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1000mods Announce Coast-to-Coast North American Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

There’s an 11-day gap in the list of tour dates, but 1000mods say there are more shows to be added, so I’ll stop wondering where they were otherwise going to be recording while in the States. Even as-is, their run covers both coasts and gives Canada more of a look than most tours claiming to be North American, and they’ve got an extra day to make the trip from Portland to Queens, so hell yeah, 1000mods coming back to the US. Desertfest NYC is the occasion but not the start, and it was pretty clear the Chiliomodi, Greece-based four-piece were going to tour around it — otherwise, catalogue reissues are a long way to go to not ship yourself a box of LPs — so confirmation of that is certainly welcome.

You might recall the post yesterday streaming their first two albums which are part of the above-mentioned reissue cycle — there’s another post coming next week — and this hit a couple hours after, but I don’t mind posting about a band twice in a span of about 24 hours. Sometimes someone has a lot going on, as 1000mods do right now.  I’ll be interested to see where they go in the off-dates around Desertfest, and cool as hell they’re heading out with The Well. That’s a pair you wouldn’t necessarily think of together but who’ll work well one into the next on stage.

From social media:

1000mods Tour

1000MODS ***North America Tour 2023​​​***

As promised, we are really happy to return to North America for a massive tour around our performance at Desertfest NYC .

At the moment we can announce only the dates below, but be sure a lot more dates are coming really soon!

Days splits for Desertfest NYC are on, and we couldn’t be happier to share the stage with such legends!

9/6 – Philadelphia PA – Kung Fu Necktie
9/7 – Brattleboro VT – The Stone Church
9/8 – Ottawa ON – Dominion Tavern
9/9 – Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace
9/10 – Montreal QC – Piranha Bar
9/12 – Québec QC – La Source De La Martiniere
9/13 – Portland ME – Geno’s Rock Club
9/15 – Queens NY – Desertfest
9/26 – Kansas City MO – recordBar
9/27 – Denver CO – HQ*
9/28 – Salt Lake City – Aces High Saloon*
9/29 – Boise ID – Neurolux*
9/30 – Seattle WA – Funhouse*
10/1 – Vancouver BC – The Wise Hall*

*w/The Well

Tour is powered by Atomic Music Group and Ouga Booga and the Mighty Oug

1000mods is:
Dani G.
Giannis S.
Giorgos T.
Labros G.

1000mods, Super Van Vacation (2011)

1000mods, Vultures (2014)

1000mods, Repeated Exposure To… (2016)

1000mods, Youth of Dissent (2020)

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1000mods Retrospective Pt. 1: Super Van Vacation & Vultures

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on June 21st, 2023 by JJ Koczan


This Friday, Greek heavy rock forerunners 1000mods will reissue their first and second albums on Heavy Psych Sounds in the US as preface to the band returning to American shores in September to play among the featured international acts at Desertfest New York.

For more than the last decade, 1000mods have been at the head of a generational wave of underground heavy rock acts from Greece. The Chiliomodi outfit have four full-lengths to their credit, and starting with 2011’s Super Van Vacation — preceded by 2007’s Blank Reality and 2009’s Liquid Sleep (review here) EPs — 1000mods very soon became the international face of Greek heavy. Supported by a vehement local scene that showed up on European radar as ‘the party you’ve all been missing, already in progress,’ 1000mods photos and videos from Athens and in other spots throughout Greece showed packed venues, passionate fans, and largely in the wake of 1000mods, an entire league of bands has come up in the years since, varied in sound but only benefitting from the trailblazing work the four-piece of Dani G., Giannis S., Giorgos T. and Labros G. have already put in. Greek heavy, European heavy, would not be what it is without them.

2011’s Super Van Vacation and 2014’s Vultures — also 2016’s Repeated Exposure To… and 2020’s Youth of Dissent, which we’ll get to next week — are landmarks in the development of one of the most essential rock bands ever from Greece. 1000mods not only put out these albums, but specifically set themselves to the task of hand-delivering them throughout Europe on persistent, lengthy tours. As the band looks ahead to coming back to the US, these catalog reissues — out this and next week — we’ll be revisiting their discography to take a look at the evolution of 1000mods‘ sound as well as some of the influence they’ve had and continue to have on others in and outside of Greece.

Best place to start is the start, so let’s get started:

Super Van Vacation (2011)

1000mods super van vacation

(discussed here; review here)

Let’s not mince words, the only thing stopping these songs from being classics is not enough time has passed. Comprised of 10 tracks and running 65 minutes of Billy Anderson-produced — also George Leodis, who would become the band’s go-to engineer — and deeply enviable, casually sauntering desert rock tonality, Super Van Vacation is a love letter to its own riffs, to groove and the particular spirit of freedom that comes with losing oneself in a heavy song.

Tracks like “El Rollito,” the lumbering “Track Me,” opener/longest cut (immediate points) “Road to Burn,” the lead-guitar-peppered open space of “Vidage,” and the propulsive fuzz shuffle of the closing “Super Van Vacation” show breadth between them, but 1000mods aren’t coy in terms of style. They’re playing desert rock down to its very roots, a warm-toned riff at the foundation of gutted-out, grown-up punk and metal together, able to be mellow or a party or a purposeful comedown into the next build-up all in the span of a few measures, but holding to an ethic of superficial simplicity, of primeval riff communion, their grooves speaking to some buried part of genetic memory that once danced around fires in an open savannah, the galaxy a blazing bar across the sky overhead.

Like Dozer‘s In the Tail of a Comet in Sweden and (Los) Natas‘ Delmar in Argentina, Super Van Vacation is an album that firmly declared to the world outside Greece that not only could desert rock exist there, but that work could be produced that would add to the genre and move it forward. They were the vanguard for what has flourished as one of Europe’s most vital hotbeds, with Athens as an epicenter. And not only that, putting aside all the ‘it’s an important album’ blah blah blah — all of which is true, mind you; crucial album and if you don’t own it, you should, regardless of where you live — but it’s also a great listen.

Not too many bands come out of the gate with a double-LP and manage to pull it off, but the deeper you go into “Johny’s” or the wah swagger of “Abell 1835,” the more 1000mods have to offer. Yes, the Kyuss influence is all over the record from guitar and bass tones to the clenched-gut behind the vocals of accompanying the wall-push of “Set You Free” or the wonderfully hooky “7 Flies,” but already in the material, 1000mods were beginning to sculpt their own take that their subsequent years of touring would refine and expand. So not only is Super Van Vacation one of the most fundamental European heavy rock releases of the 2010s, but it’s one that holds up, and if you haven’t heard it before, it still stands ready to be the soundtrack of the best summer of your life.

First released through Kozmik Artifactz and CTS Productions in 2011, reissues and new pressings would follow through CTS and the band’s own Ouga Booga and the Mighty Oug Recordings around 2016 and 2021. The Heavy Psych Sounds version is the first specifically pressed for North American distribution. And yes, I’m aware both albums are already streaming in their entirety. These are new versions, and if there’s a chance they might catch the ears of someone who hasn’t heard them before and make their day better or easier somehow, it’s worth it to me to host them. Whatever your experience, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Vultures (2014)

1000mods vultures

(review here)

The sophomore full-length from 1000mods did not have an easy task before it, but Vultures learned valuable lessons from its predecessor. In terms of confidence in their approach, the eight-song/38-minute long-player took the appropriated aspects of Super Van Vacation and further internalized their influences, making their sound that much more their own. Co-produced by the band with George Leodis, who also mixed (Tolis Economou mastered), Vultures is comfortable engaging the heavy blues of “Horses’ Green,” and almost immediately on “Claws,” it is specifically an album about movement, and very much the work of a touring band.

From the shouts driving the chorus of leadoff “Claws” through the build into its side B counterpart “Low” and even the outbound cosmic thrust and spoken repetitions of the title in the jamming back half of closer “Reverb of the New World” — which, god damn I hope they play at Desertfest — the songs on <emVultures feel written for the stage, for a live audience. They are a little shorter, accordingly, perhaps more structurally direct, and tighter in their rhythm. While Super Van Vacation had the element of surprise on its side and a ‘check out what these crazy kids are up to’ energy, Vultures codified that and made it sustainable for 1000mods, giving them a model of their sound to reshape as they took the songs out on the road.

And they did most certainly do that. A listen through and you could snag any number of examples, but I’m not sure any single track is as much a summary of the argument as “Big Beatiful” (sic) with its Queen lyrical reference and the kind of groove that, an album earlier, 1000mods might have dwelt in longer, but that on Vultures trades that hypnotic chill effect for a live-style urgency. Sure, these things are relative and one could just as easily look at the patient start of “Reverb of the New World” for counterargument — and I wish someone would, frankly; I’m getting tired of talking to myself about this stuff — but even that last song is shorter than it might’ve been two or three years before, and the energy it hones carries into the aforementioned blues of “She” and the build-up of “Horses’ Green,” which doesn’t even have time for its own payoff.

Instead, it cleverly lets the vibe-heavy fade-in of “Low” reset, go back to ground, and start all over. And it works, because 1000mods are songwriters at heart, and Vultures not only confirms that, but finds them already pushing themselves to progress, to do the thing they do in the way they want to do it. The record has plenty of space, plenty of atmosphere — I’m not telling you otherwise — but in its ebbs and flows, in the vitality of the performances contained on it, it’s always been the band-on-tour record to my ears, and it’s just fortunate they stopped doing shows long enough to make it. Either way, it was clear the beast they were becoming was alive, with eyes open. Hungry.

The LP of Vultures was released through The Lab Records, with the CD through Ouga Booga and the Mighty Oug, which also handled reissues in 2015 and 2022 in Greece. Once again, the Heavy Psych Sounds version is the first not to be an ‘import,’ which if you’ve bought a record from Europe and paid shipping — or if you’re in Europe and you’ve paid shipping from the US — you already know matters again after not really mattering for a while there while the world was flatter and less fascist.

And we could go on about social issues in Greece, greater Europe, the US, etc., but that’s part of the story for next time. Stay tuned next week for the second part of this retrospective, featuring the albums Repeated Exposure To… and Youth of Dissent. Thanks for reading.

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