Amenra to Release Alive on April 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Belgian post-everything resonance emitters Amenra release their mostly-acoustic new album, Alive, on April 15. As fate and clever scheduling would have it, Amenra will be performing an acoustic show at Roadburn 2016 that very weekend, presumably doing similar reinterpretations of older and newer material as those which appear on the new LP. CD and vinyl will be out through Consouling Sounds, which has made preorders available now for those who won’t be at the fest or who like to take care of these things early, and it marks the latest foray into unplugged atmospheres in a periodic series for the oft-crushing outfit.

The PR wire brings details:

amenra alive

Amenra – Belgian Post-Metal Collective Announces New Album Details

Consouling Sounds is proud to announce the release of Amenra’s new album, “Alive”.

Set for release on April 15th to coincide with the band’s performance at this year’s iconic Roadburn Festival, “Alive” is a unique release featuring live recordings of acoustic versions of Amenra’s old and new tracks as well as two cover versions, including a stunning rendition of Tool’s “Parabol”.

Pre-orders for the CD and LP versions are now available at the following location.

View the artwork cover created by Christoph Mencke.

In 2009, Amenra released the beautiful and fragile EP “Afterlife”, meant as a musical testament for future generations. The acoustic tracks that made up this EP showed a very different aspect of the band, but also proved that in any incarnation Amenra connects on a deeply emotional level with its audience. The acoustic album kept on lingering in the background, and it was only a matter of time for the band to revisit the acoustic approach of the EP. In 2014 Amenra again showed their most vulnerable side on different stages and this new album simply titled “Alive” collects live recordings of old and new acoustic renditions of Amenra tracks, but it also harbors the collaboration with Belgian poet Sofie Verdoodt and two bone chilling covers.

Amenra, “The Longest Night”

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Mondo Drag Stream Daytrotter Session

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

If you’re anything like me, you probably looked at that headline and said to yourself, “What the hell is a Daytrotter Session?” It’s a fair question for those of us non-Iowans, but the recently-reviewed Davenport psych rockers Mondo Drag know all about it, and that’s what’s important. They recently stopped in to perform four songs from their debut album, New Rituals, for the Napoleon Dynamite-designed website, and they’ve all been posted online for your streaming and/or downloading pleasure. Why — here’s “New Rituals” now!

Mondo Drag – New Rituals

The PR wire has the goods on the rest:

Fast-rising heavy psych rock band Mondo Drag is featured as [Feb. 12]’s Daytrotter Session (“The Wolves and the Hallucinogens are Crying Kill”). The original versions of the songs featured appear on the band’s debut album, New Rituals, which is in stores now — on CD and limited edition red LP — via Alive RecordsMondo Drag becomes “the first band currently living in the Quad-Cities area to earn a spot alongside all of the other great artists that have visited the Horseshack” (a list which includes artists such as Bon Iver, Dungen, The Mountain Goats, The Soft Pack, Yeasayer and more). Check out Mondo Drag’s Daytrotter Session now at this location.

Wouldn’t you know, here’s the other songs from the session!

Mondo Drag, “Come Through”
Come Through

Mondo Drag, “Love Me (Like a Stranger)”
Love Me (Like a Stranger)

Mondo Drag, “Light as a Feather”
Light as a Feather

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Old Rituals Made New Again by Mondo Drag

Posted in Reviews on February 3rd, 2010 by JJ Koczan

With minds expanded and set to the key of retro, Davenport, Iowa — which for those in the know is called “the San Francisco of Iowa” (that’s not true) — the high toned Mondo Drag emerge bearing psychedelic sweets that seem to melt as soon as they hit your tongue. There are 11 of them, to be exact, and when packaged together and put in the right order, they make up the band’s Alive Records debut, New Rituals. It’s a record about as thick as the band’s collective sonic moustache, and right from the opening nine-minute title track, you know there’s a freakout bound to happen here.

Their heavier moments could be drawing from Graveyard or a less doomed-out Witchcraft, but as change-up tracks like the acoustic-led “Black River” or “Come Through” demonstrate, there’s more to Mondo Drag than mere aping of ‘70s proto metal. “Love Me” is laced with organ-fused heaviness, and “Serpent Shake” takes a later-‘60s acid pop feel, once again making use of the organ, but being more rhythm-driven and upbeat. The changes in attack are subtle, but show themselves more distinctly on repeat listens, and though I don’t know if any of the songs on New Rituals ever prove to be catchy in that “stuck in your head” sense of the word, there is a natural feel throughout the album that sustains the enjoyment level for the duration.

Read more »

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Getting Ritualistic with Mondo Drag

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Hailing from the hotbed of righteous psychedelia known as Devenport, Iowa, the five-piece Mondo Drag blend retro stylization, modern approaches and timeless groove for a concoction both lysergic and familiar. Their debut, New Rituals, was just released via Alive Records. Ever vigilant in these cases, the PR wire has the info:

Merging exciting psychedelic rock with an electric blues edge, Mondo Drag delivers a sound that references the past while pushing forwards towards the future (Jimi Hendrix, Pentagram, Blue Cheer and even Pink Floyd are part of the band’s musical lexicon, while Sonic Youth hints to its current references). Mondo Drag’s first-rate live performances have become a thing of local legend in and around its Midwest home and have seen the band share stages with artists such as Sleepy Sun, Dead Meadow, Witchcraft, Radio Moscow, Jennifer Gentle, The Dodos, Cass McCombs, Awesome Color and Monotonix to name a few. With a hulking wall of sound, an arsenal of guitars and a head full of clouds, Mondo Drag is on a rock ‘n’ roll mission.

A taste of what Mondo Drag’s New Rituals holds in store can be sampled now as the record’s intoxicating title track has been posted online at this location. In celebration of the release of New Rituals, Mondo Drag has announced upcoming US tour dates as well as multiple appearances at the 2010 SXSW Music Festival, set to take place March 17-21 in Austin, TX.

Mondo Drag live dates:
February 6 – Iowa City, IAWhite Lightning Wherehouse
February 9 – St. Louis, MOOff Broadway Nightclub
February 10 – Carbondale, ILThe Swamp
February 11 – Lexington, KYAl’s Bar
February 12 – Nashville, TNSpringwater Supper Club
February 13 – Murfreesboro, TNWall Street
February 14 – Greenbrier, TNLoudhouse Coffee
February 15 – Cincinnati, OHBlue Rock Tavern
February 16 – Detroit, MICorktown Tavern
February 17 – Chicago, ILThe Mopery
February 18 – Dekalb, IL – House Show
February 20 – Davenport, IARME Hall (New Rituals CD release show!)
March 17 – Austin, TXCheers on 6th (SXSW)
March 20 – Austin, TXElectra Beauty Lounge (SXSW)

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