All Souls Post “Winds” Video; Songs for the End of the World out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

all souls

Hey look, I’ve been out here telling you to check out 2017 Š Dissertation Consulting Services Online. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service. 2017 Š Freelance Writing Help. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service All Souls‘ new record, Looking for the best way to get top & best custom essay writing services! Try our custom essay writing service, essay writer needed Songs for the End of the World (review here), since before it even had a release date, so don’t put on the video for “Winds” below and be like “Holy crap this is amazing I had no idea I need to buy both this band’s records right now why didn’t anyone tell me?” because the truth is even with 2020’s great many distractions, you’ve had ample warning. The video for “You Just Can’t Win” (posted here) came out in February. That’s before lockdown. And “Winds” was a pre-release single too in July. Really, plenty of warning.

However! — and I put that exclamation point there to emphasize what I’m about to say — if the video below for “Winds” is what gets you on board with  help with admissions essay. affordable ghostwriters Widely respected writer, mentor, editor. Your book. Your thesis. There for you.Expert Guidance Songs for the End of the World or  We have esteemed status in the UK for providing Dive Master Resume. Our dissertation proposal writing services are recognized in the UK; All Souls in general, you’re by no means late to any sort of party and that’s only a good thing. You’ll note they’re a band with many associations —  If you have a passion for formal or academic writing, why not Academic Writing Companies? The field is a large one and demand continues to grow. Antonio Aguilar and  Leave The Stress Behind, Get Buy Resume 2014. Is it coming time for you to turn in that dreaded capstone paper? Argumentative essay Meg Castellanos were in  Looking for an answer to ‘ who can Writing Dissertation Discussion Section’? Connect with our Ph.D. experts for best and most affordable service to get fine Totimoshi together,  Artificial Intelligence Research Papers - Get started with dissertation writing and write finest college research paper ever experienced scholars, exclusive services, instant Tony Tornay drums in  Masters Thesis Toopics - Why worry about the essay? order the required help on the website If you want to find out how to compose a top-notch Fatso Jetson,  ut quest homework help see it here thesis custom nav menu business plan writers phoenix az Erik Trammell plays in  Want to Buy an Essay Online, Writing A Historical Research Paper, from a Reputable Writing Company But Don't Want to End Up. Our firm is giving professional help in Black Elk, and they record with  how to start an essay with a quote http://www.refbejuso.ch/?mfa-creative-writing-canada cheap resume writing services nyc writing chapter one of a dissertation Toshi Kasai whose done records for the  Business Plan For Event Planning - Find out all you have always wanted to know about custom writing Let the professionals do your homework for you. Instead of having trouble Melvins among an entire planet of others, and they toured with  Here you can Economics Topics For Research Paperss at affordable prices and be sure they will be performed by highly qualified professionals and always on time. Entrust your Tool which I hear is a good thing for bands to do if they like playing in front of people and/or just want to hang out with  It has never been this easy to Essay Of Music online. It's also safe as well. We guarantee you 100% plagiarism-free content and confidentiality. Danny Carey, who I hear is a nice guy — and that theme continues here as the esteemed  Josh Graham (formerly visuals for Neurosis, videos/art for Soundgarden, also of A Storm of Light and IIVII) brings a visual grace to work in accord with the song’s melodic flow, particularly resonant in the back-half instrumental stretch.

You’ll note the intersection of geometric shapes and environmental themes, something from Songs for the End of the World that ties to Graham‘s visual style as well. That makes the two parties an even better fit, and while it may be another choice association in All Souls‘ collection thereof, the truth about the band and about Songs for the End of the World is that what makes it all work is the songs and the performances themselves, as the group ties rare emotionality to sociopolitical ideas and remains heavy while digging into a nuanced approach that is even more their own now than it was on their 2018 self-titled debut (review here).

I hope my going on about it doesn’t delay you watching the video, which really is the point of this post. Just know that you’re not late just because the album’s already out — the internet makes everything seem over once it exists — and that this band is something special.

Album stream’s also down at the bottom.

Enjoy:

All Souls, “Winds” official video

Los Angeles quartet All Souls share an official video for “Winds” from their new album Songs For The End of The World today. The video is directed by Josh Graham (Soundgarden, Neurosis visuals) and is available to watch/share HERE.

A stunning animated video for album track “You Just Can’t Win” was released earlier this year. Watch the dark portents via YouTube.

All Souls formed in Los Angeles in the winter of 2016 and have gone from playing local gigs to performing in theaters and arenas. Featuring Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson, Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions, Deep Dark Robot with Linda Perry) Antonio Aguilar and Meg Castellanos (Totimoshi) and Erik Trammell (Black Elk), they were recently hand-picked to tour with Tool, The Jesus Lizard, (the)MELVINS, and Meat Puppets.

All Souls, Songs for the End of the World (2020)

All Souls on Thee Facebooks

All Souls on Twitter

All Souls on Instagram

All Souls on Bandcamp

All Souls website

Tags: , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: All Souls, Songs for the End of the World

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

All Souls Songs for the End of the World

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Coming with Clouds’ from All Souls’ Songs for the End of the World. Album is out Oct. 2.]

Consider the tragedy of our postmodern apocalypse, with none of the drudgery of actually living through it. With their self-released second full-length, Songs for the End of the World, punk-rooted Los Angeles-based heavy rockers All Souls lyrically convey a yes-this-is-personal politics — namely that of being a person with brown skin in America circa 2020 — mourn for a changed climate, and, despite such perspectives as those found in tracks like “Bleeding Out,” “Death Becomes Us,” “You Just Can’t Win,” “Empires Fail” and “Lights Out,” all of which appear in one after the other in that order, manage to do so while exploring progressive textures and varied songwriting that refuses to be beaten down. All Souls‘ 2018 self-titled debut (review here) worked along similar lines, and the group remains melodic at their core and driven by the guitars of Antonio Aguilar (also vocals, formerly Totimoshi) and Erik Trammell (Black Elk) and the insistent punch in the rhythm section of bassist/backing vocalist Meg Castellanos (also formerly Totimoshi) and drummer Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson, etc.), captured with a balance between rawness and depth once again by producer Toshi Kasai.

The difference is one of breadth. Certainly in the seven-minute “Winds,” which arrives following the opening pair of “Sentimental Rehash” and “Twilight Times,” there’s room to air out and reach for new ground in terms of melody and atmosphere, but even in the early build-up and stretch of the later “Lights Out,” or in sub-four-minute pieces like “Bleeding Out” and closer “Coming with Clouds,” All Souls seem to let no opportunity for creative interplay and shimmer in the guitars slip through their collective fingers. Even in the chorus of “Sentimental Rehash,” which is clearly intended to start the record off with a kick of intensity and is Aguilar‘s most gnashing vocal to be found throughout, there are hints of the melodic flow that will soon enough come to fruition as “Twilight Times” moves into “Winds” and the album continues to unfold from that particular landmark, which on many offerings would probably be placed last but here serves as a gateway into the wider sphere of what follows, the grace of its key-strings-and-guitar finish informing “Bleeding Out” and the particularly catchy desert-rock bouncer “Death Becomes Us.”

A tension persists, and well it should. Aguilar‘s style of riffing, even back to Totimoshi‘s earliest work around the turn of the century, has long played a game of trying to catch the listener off-guard with its turns and changes and the places one groove might lead. This can be heard certainly on the chug-into-rush of “Sentimental Rehash,” but also more subtly in the twists of “You Can’t Win,” and Tornay‘s drumming isn’t so much a foil for this impulse as a gleeful enabler, which is how a song like “Death Becomes Us” can border on fun despite its thematic downerism. Add to this the sheer melodic character All Souls bring to their second album, in the guitars as heard in the second half of “You Just Can’t Win,” as well as the moments of flourish like those aforementioned keys or in the combination of Aguilar and Castellanos‘ vocals throughout — on and on — and at the same time Songs for the End of the World basks in this punker-poet energy, it is thoughtful and purposeful in its push toward reaches even the self-titled didn’t attain.

all souls

No doubt the band’s experience on tours with the likes of Tool and the Melvins and even a few years ago Fatso Jetson with Tornay pulling tip-your-hat double-duty will have played into this development, but that’s not the same as manifesting it either in the songwriting or in the studio as they do here, and the continued collaboration with Kasai is a factor as well. There is space in the mix that in quiet moments remains, and the fact that “You Just Can’t Win” can evolve from its subdued beginning into the torrent it becomes, that this shift happens so smoothly and with such natural-sounding efficiency, is evidence of the dynamic at the heart of their approach. One found Aguilar and Castellanos able to bring shades of similar methods into Totimoshi‘s later output, but bolstered as it is here by Trammell and Tornay, there’s no question the strength of All Souls comes from the root combination of its players and the songcraft around which they’ve gathered. It is at moments a sad record when one considers the subject matter — it was also recorded in 2019, so… simpler times? — but willing to be beautiful even in its rawest moments, and for that, nothing other than a triumph on the part of the band.

So what? So, in the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack, “let’s dance.” And in doing so, coincide with Laurie Lipton‘s also-ready-dead figures on Songs for the End of the World‘s front cover. In its final movement — seeming to begin with the backing vocals in post-midsection “Empires Fail” (though I guess one might pull back further to the start of side B with “You Just Can’t Win” as well) and running through the emotional heft of “Lights Out,” the headphone-ready intricacy of “Bridge the Sun” that builds off that heft, and the perhaps-epitaph that is “Coming with Clouds” at the end — the 10-track/44-minute outing most realizes its ambitions of mood and method, “Winds” having served as a foreshadow earlier on.

Ultimately, All Souls reside in a place between genres. They are a rock band, to be sure, but are they too punk for the rockers, too rock for the punkers, too progressive for the lunkheads, too raw for the proggers? I’m not sure it matters. What does, by contrast, is just how much All Souls, separate from the other acts in which its members have or currently still take part, have found their voice through these songs and what that means for them as they move forward. I won’t speculate except to note that even underpinning some of the most urgent moments on Songs for the End of the World, on “Sentimental Rehash,” or the rush in the apex of “You Just Can’t Win,” there is a patience and an attention to detail that complements the from-gut nature of the composition, and the balance between the two when tipped one way or the other is part of what makes All Souls as much themselves as they are here. If they can hold onto that and grow that as they so obviously have already, anyone who hears them will be lucky.

All Souls, “You Just Can’t Win” official video

All Souls on Thee Facebooks

All Souls on Twitter

All Souls on Instagram

All Souls on Bandcamp

All Souls website

Tags: , , , ,

All Souls Confirm Oct. 2 Release for Songs for the End of the World; Stream “Winds”

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

all souls

There’s no way All Souls would know this, but I’ve always imagined the end of the world coming in October. Aside from it being the month of my birth, it also happened to be the first of several apocalypses my father believed would consume humanity in his end-days religious zealotry. Oct. 14, 1994, I think it was. I was 12 about to turn 13. That was a fun kind of abuse. Consuming more than bruising.

Anyhoozle, while we’re being vulnerable, I’ll note the resonant emotional undercurrent that stems from All Souls‘ second album, Songs for the End of the World. That’s particularly apparent in the track “Winds,” which is streaming at the bottom of this post, along with the prior-unveiled video for “You Just Can’t Win.” All Souls — which features veteran players of Totimoshi, Black Elk and Fatso Jetson — will have the record out on Oct. 2, and let me just save you the trouble and say you should preorder it. That’s available at their Bandcamp.

To the PR wire:

All Souls Songs for the End of the World

All Souls – Songs For The End Of The World – Oct. 2

Los Angeles quartet All Souls share the first single from their forthcoming sophomore album Songs for the End of the World today.

A stunning animated video for album track “You Just Can’t Win” was released earlier this year. Watch the dark portents via YouTube.

All Souls formed in Los Angeles in the winter of 2016 and have gone from playing local gigs to performing in theaters and arenas. Featuring Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson, Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions, Deep Dark Robot with Linda Perry) Antonio Aguilar and Meg Castellanos (Totimoshi) and Erik Trammell (Black Elk), they were recently hand-picked to tour with Tool, The Jesus Lizard, (the)MELVINS, and Meat Puppets.

All Souls creates songs that are lyrically dark, infused with the band’s unique style and perspective on the state of today’s world. Their music has been described as intelligent, majestic, exciting and original. They are unafraid to bridge into big open spaces discovering new wastelands; ultimately stepping from dark to light.

Throughout 2016, the quartet — Aguilar [vocals, guitar], Castellanos [bass, vocals], Trammell [guitar], and Tornay [drums] — recorded what would become their self-titled full-length debut, All Souls, during intermittent sessions at Sound of Sirens Studio in Los Angeles with producer Toshi Kasai known for his work with Tool, Foo Fighters and (the) MELVINS.

Following tours with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Kvelertak, and Torche, the band released All Souls in 2018 via Sunyata — the label founded by iconic Screaming Trees and Mad Season drummer Barrett Martin. Earmarked by Spaghetti Western-style expanse and rough-and-tumble riffing, the music proudly bears the wild wear-and-tear of the nineties Palm Desert scene with a twist of psychedelic voodoo and metallic edge.

For Aguilar and Castellanos, the music spoke to a dormant primal need that harked back to their time in the fan favorite underground mainstay Totimoshi.

All Souls just-completed second album which they recorded in 2019, Songs for the End of the World, reunites them with Kasai. This follow-up recording is an evolution for the band. Aguilar’s distinctive vocals are at times lyrically bleak and deeply personal, set against a musical backdrop that challenges listeners with inventive songwriting and ethereal melodies. Tornay’s explosive drumming matched with Trammell’s innovative guitar and Castellanos’ low end and feminine back-up vocals lend to their power and unique approach. One could say they are connecting the dots between Led Zeppelin to the Pixies, Soundgarden to the Cure all the while carving their own road with authenticity.

Songs for the End of the World will be available on LP, CD and digital on October 2nd, 2020. Pre-orders are available HERE: https://allsoulsband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/allsoulsband/
https://www.instagram.com/allsoulsband/
https://allsoulsband.bandcamp.com/
http://allsoulsband.com/

All Souls, Songs for the End of the World (2020)

All Souls, “You Just Can’t Win” official video

Tags: , , , ,

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 38

Posted in Radio on July 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Good show. As of this writing, I haven’t cut the voice tracks yet for the breaks, but there’s really only so much I can do to screw it up, though I’m sure one way or the other I’ll try. My head’s been pretty deep in longer-form stuff lately — really pushing for that mental-escape aspect of listening — so there’s not a lot here that departs from that, new cuts from The Atomic Bitchwax and All Souls notwithstanding, as they were both too killer not to include.

But last time around I played “Dopesmoker,” so I guess I don’t need to tell you my head’s into longer songs. Still, with the doomly start this one gets from Dopelord, Malsten and Pale Divine, and the sheer out-there vibe of OZO after the heavy post-rock of Dystopian Future Movies, and the culmination from the shape-of-metal-to-come brought to bear by Forlesen and the gloriously shapeless psychedelia of Temple Fang right after, I dig this one. I dig all of them, yeah, but this one too.

And as per usual, I hope you do as well.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmeradio.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 07.10.20

Dopelord Doom Bastards Sign of the Devil
Malsten Torsion The Haunting of SilvĂĽkra Mill
Pale Divine Consequence of Time Consequence of Time
BREAK
The Atomic Bitchwax Scorpio Scorpio
Familiars Barn Burning All in Good Time
Dystopian Future Movies Ten Years Inviolate
OZO Pluto Pluto
Spiral Galaxy Machine D Spiral Galaxy
All Souls Death Becomes Us Songs for the End of the World
BREAK
Forlesen Nightbridge Hierophant Violent
Temple Fang Gemini/Silky Servants Live at Merleyn

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is July 24 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All Souls Post “You Just Can’t Win” Video from New Album Songs for the End of the World

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

all souls

Here’s one for you: I could’ve premiered this video. And I would’ve been frickin’ thrilled to do it. It’s All Souls! Their 2018 self-titled debut (review here) was one of my favorite and most-listenend-to albums of that year and the news that they have a follow-up, titled Songs for the End of the World and due out sometime in the coming months, is nothing if not welcome. To top it off, “You Just Can’t Win,” which is the first single from this impending sophomore outing, rules. The guitar work is dynamic and emotionally resonant and the vocals of Antonio Aguilar bring out the best of the characteristic delivery he’s had since the days when he and All Souls bassist Meg Castellanos were laying waste in underappreciated heavy rockers Totimoshi.

And do I need to remind that along with the guitar of Erik Trammell alongside Aguilar‘s own there resides in the rhythm section one Tony Tornay of Fatso Jetson?

To top it off, the video rules! It’s creative, it’s got purpose and a message to deliver, and the mania that ensues in the imagery fits the song perfectly.

So what happened?

It went to spam.

Shit you not.

Worse — Facebook Messenger spam. For The Obelisk page.

I didn’t even know that existed! I stumbled on it by accident checking my messages yesterday and it was loaded with stuff, including the proposal to premiere this clip and hot damn if I wouldn’t have been all over it. Instead here I am posting it two-plus weeks after the fact and feeling like a chump because I just found out not only about the video and the LP but that All Souls are coming east next month to do shows. What a jerk.

I know Aguilar is talking about issues that actually matter in the song and that mine is only the white-privilegeliest of plights, but it’s good to know the message applies on multiple levels. For what it’s worth, he’s right on all counts.

My sincere hope is to have more on the new All Souls album before it comes out. Until then, please enjoy the video. It’s directed by Marcos Sanchez, record produced by Toshi Kasai. Note the blank space in the PR wire info where it says who did the premiere. Could’ve been me.

Dig:

All Souls, “You Just Can’t Win” official video

LA-based rockers All Souls are set to unleash a new single “You Just Can’t Win”—a blistering commentary on the populist-inspired prejudice and violence plaguing modern society — digitally on January 24 and have also shared an accompanying video to the song directed by Marcos Sanchez (The Breeders). The video premiered today at____. All Souls creates songs that are lyrically dark, infused with the band’s unique style and perspective on the state of today’s world and this one is no exception. Produced by Toshi Kasai (Tool, Melvins, Foo Fighters), the song seethes with the tightly coiled angry vocals and menacing guitar of founder Antonio Aguilar. Also appearing on the track are Meg Castellanos (bass, vocals), Erik Trammell (guitar), and Tony Tornay (drums). “You Just Can’t Win” is taken from their forthcoming album, Songs For The End Of The World, which will be released later this year. The new material is the follow up to their 2017 eponymous debut album and follows a spectacular 2018 which saw the band embark on tours with Tool and Meat Puppets. All Souls will celebrate the release of the single with a headlining show at The Paramount Ballroom on January 25th.
Info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-soulscfmdarsombrabiblical-proof-of-ufos-dj-dale-crover-tickets-86881592181?aff=odwdwdspacecraft

Says Aguilar: “I write from the perspective of a brown man. A man subjected to continuous subjugation from his youth into adulthood. When I sing ‘You Just Can’t Win,’ I have multiple tiers of emotions happening. One is combative anger, but then I feel a sense of sadness and compassion, and not just towards the victims mourned in the song, but towards the lost and deranged person. By the ending ‘Oh they fell, oh they fall’ – it’s just pure sadness.”

The video, which incorporates fittingly dystopian stock footage augmented and brought to life by stunning hand drawn animation, was conceived and directed by Chilean artist, animator and filmmaker Marcos Sanchez who most recently created the video for the Breeders’ “Walking With A Killer” which was released on Halloween of last year.

Says Sanchez: “The video is a mix of found footage and 2D, hand drawn animation. I gathered footage that could relate to this in an interesting way, not really wanting to illustrate the idea but to complement it with a parallel story that conveyed the feelings of dread and senseless violence that I see in the subject matter. The band wanted very strong imagery. We discussed about Images of the “perfect” American way of life being “threatened” by immigration and social change. We also discussed about having lots of destruction, as a way to show the threat of violence that the song talks about. As for the animation I propose the band to use images of skeletons representing death which curiously coincided with the art for the new album, which was perfect.”

All Souls live:

•March 17: Once Lounge w/Child Abuse and Il Mostro
156 Highland Ave Somerville, MA 02143

•March 18: St Vitus Bar w/Child Abuse
1120 Manhattan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11222

•March 19/TBA

•March 20: Westside Bowl
2617 Mahoning Ave Youngstown, OH 44509

•March 21: Rockerbuilt Studios
2012 Northwestern Pkwy Louisville, KY40203

•March 22: Rose Music Hall
1013 Park Ave Columbia, MO 65201

•March 23: The Record Bar Mini Bar w/Pamper the Madman
1520 Grand Blvd Kansas City, MO 64108

All Souls are:
Antonio Aguilar (vocals, guitar)
Meg Castellanos (bass, vocals)
Erik Trammell (guitar)
Tony Tornay (drums)

All Souls on Thee Facebooks

All Souls on Instagram

All Souls on Bandcamp

All Souls website

Sunyata Records on Thee Facebooks

Sunyata Records website

Tags: , , , ,

audiObelisk Transmission 065

Posted in Podcasts on February 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

aOT65

I recognize that saying so is the clichĂŠ equivalent to writing a song with the same bassline as ‘N.I.B.,’ but if this was December and not February and the year was about to end in a couple weeks’ time, would you really be able to complain about any lack of fantastic releases? It’s been two months and before the next one is out we will have seen and heard new offerings from Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, Earthless, Fu Manchu and literally hundreds of others. It’s been as awesome as it’s been impossible to keep up with.

This new podcast follows the same model as the last one, vis-a-vis using Spotify as the medium of conveyance. You can see the playlist in the player below, and you may accordingly wonder why I’ve bothered to type it out underneath as well. It’s because streaming sites disappear even quicker than they rise to dominance, and I’m not saying The Obelisk is going to outlast Spotify or anything, but just in case, I like to keep my own records. I appreciate the indulgence on your part.

Awesome mix this time around. No real theme other than it’s new stuff I’ve been listening to a lot and digging. I very much hope you enjoy it as well. 21 tracks. About two and a half hours long.

Thanks for listening and reading:

Track details:

Artist, Track, Album, Runtime
Earthless, “Black Heaven” from Black Heaven, 8:45
Sundrifter, “Targeted” from Visitations, 4:45
Psilocibina, “Acid Jam” from LSD / Acid Jam, 7:08
Blackwater Holylight, “Sunrise” from Blackwater Holylight, 4:51
Fu Manchu, “Clone of the Universe” from Clone of the Universe, 2:57
Green Lung, “Free the Witch” from Free the Witch, 5:55
Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” from Mindfucker, 4:59
All Souls, “Never Know” from All Souls, 5:59
Red Lama, “Perfect Strangers” from Motions, 6:47
Blackwülf, “Sinister Sides” from Sinister Sides, 4:53
Fuzz Lord, “Worlds Collide” from Fuzz Lord, 6:58
Corrosion of Conformity, “Forgive Me” from No Cross No Crown, 4:06
Apostle of Solitude, “Ruination Be Thy Name” from From Gold to Ash, 6:37
Avon, “Space Native” from Dave’s Dungeon, 4:42
Psychic Lemon, “Exit to the Death Lane” from Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, 8:32
The Dry Mouths, “Catalonian Cream” from When the Water Smells of Sweat, 4:34
Insect Ark, “Windless” from Marrow Hymns, 8:38
Naxatras, “You Won’t Be Left Alone” from III, 11:17
Mythic Sunship, “Into Oblivion” from Upheaval, 13:56
King Buffalo, “Repeater” from Repeater, 13:40
Hound the Wolves, “Masquerade” from Camera Obscura, 13:10

If you’re interested, you can follow me on Spotify here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Six Dumb Questions with All Souls

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on February 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

all souls photo Memo Villasenor

There is an entire league of brutally underrated crafters of heavy rock and roll whose greatest misfortune, perhaps, was being active before the ascendancy of social media made ‘word of mouth’ as simple as cutting and pasting a link to a news feed, and it is to this number that Tony Aguilar belongs. Together with Meg Castellanos, Aguilar stood at the helm of the raw, bold and deeply individualized outfit Totimoshi for more than a decade before their 2011 outing, Avenger (review here), served as their final triumph and swansong, and after a few years of exploring flamenco and folk influences together in Alma Sangre as well as tour managing for the likes of Sleep and the Melvins, the urge to reestablish a footing in heavy music asserted itself, and All Souls began to take shape.

Of course, no story is ever quite that simple, but as All Souls issued their self-titled debut (review here) on Feb. 9 through Sunyata Records and quickly took off on a UK tour alongside Fatso Jetson, that footing sure seems to have been found. Comprised of Aguilar on guitar/vocals, Castellanos on bass/vocals, Erik Trammell of Black Elk on guitar and backing vocals, and Tony Tornay, also of Fatso Jetson, on drums, All Souls offer nine songs of varied moods but universal impact on the self-titled, reminding of the strength that was in Aguilar and Castellanos‘ songwriting process during the Totimoshi days but building outward as well and covering new ground thanks to the contributions of Trammell and Tornay to the mix. A production job by Toshi Kasai blends weighted crunch with fluid layering on songs like “Money Man” and “Sadist/Servant,” the latter of which trades between open stretches of melancholia and some of the record’s most forceful percussive impact, making the entire experience more engaging, cohesive and sincere.

I’ve already reviewed the album, so I’ll spare you any further blah blah blah about how I think it’s worth your time and the effort of an active listen and just get to the interview. As All Souls just wrapped that tour with Fatso Jetson — Tornay pulling double-duty at his kit — it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the story behind the band’s origins, how they came together after the slow dissolution of Totimoshi, and where they might be headed after this initial collection. Fresh from the road, Aguilar was kind enough to accommodate.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

all souls all souls

Six Dumb Questions with All Souls

Tell me about getting All Souls together. How did Erik Trammell and Tony Tornay get involved? Was there a specific impetus behind forming a new rock-style project, and when it came to it, what was behind the decision to not simply bring back Totimoshi? What are the differences between the two bands for you?

The rock music community is a small world, especially if you’re in a touring band. All the members of All Souls have been friends for years. Before the forming of our band, Meg and I had known Erik Trammell and Tony Tornay for probably 20 years. We met Erik back in the ’90s when he was in the band Wadsworth. Later his band Black Elk used to play shows with Totimoshi. Meg and I met Tony Tornay back in the ’90s as well when Fatso Jetson opened for Kyuss at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.

When Meg and I moved to L.A., I got a job working for the Melvins, which turned into working for Neurosis and Sleep, which led to me being on road for nine months out of the year. I really believe that cost me Totimoshi. Being absent is not good for a band. Eventually, Chris Fugitt, the drummer in Totimoshi ended up moving back to Kansas City because of a job offer. Totimoshi tried to continue with new drummers but it just didn’t feel right. After Totimoshi ended, Meg and I started an acoustic band called Alma Sangre that incorporates Spanish guitar with flamenco dance. It was sort of a venture into a completely different type of songwriting and singing (I sing in Spanish with sort of a Chavela Vargas-type of delivery).

As that went on I got the itch to be in a rock band again, which eventually led me to starting a band called Last Days of Ancient Sunlight with my friend Ferdie [Cudia] from the band 400 Blows. We were a band for about a year and a half — even recorded a full length that never came out because of in-fighting. All this time, Tony Tornay and I would see each other occasionally and throw around the idea of starting a band. We even jammed a few times. About the time Last Days broke up Erik Trammell moved back to Los Angeles from Austin. I had set Erik up with a friend of mine that rented a room to him. Erik and I talked one day and the idea of writing together came up. Which is how All Souls basically started. Erik Trammell and I sitting in my spare room — him playing guitar and me mostly singing. Over the course of a few weeks we came up with the bare structure for three songs which I sent to Tony Tornay. Tony liked it; then Tornay, Erik and I talked and decided on Meg for bass because we liked her playing and felt a female vocal would add something special. That’s how All Souls was born.

Personally, the difference between All Souls and Totimoshi is All Souls is way more developed. It’s 10 times the visual, 10 times the feel and strength of Totimoshi. It’s literally the band I always dreamed of being in. It is also more art by committee that Totimoshi ever was. I tended to be a bit of a dictator in Totimoshi. With All Souls, the I has turned into we. We all write, we all write well, we all trust. All Souls involved.

When were the songs for the self-titled written, and were they written with any specific goals in mind? Was there something in particular you wanted the album to express?

Before the band ever played together we sat at a table and discussed how we were going to proceed. This was Tony Tornay‘s idea and I still think back with fondness to that evening. We drank wine and discussed music… more importantly we discussed what we wanted All Souls to be. From what I remember we wanted female/male energy (no overly macho bullshit). We wanted the songs to decide the length of the song — not some ridiculous formula. We wanted dark music that illuminates, and we wanted deep complex melody. We talked about bands that we loved, but that’s a secret. Over the course of about a year we made this all come to fruition.

Tell me about being back in the studio with Toshi Kasai. How long were you there? What was the recording process like? You worked with him of course with Totimoshi, but how was it different this time and what did he bring to the table as a producer? What was it about him that let you know he was the guy for the job?

Meg, Erik, and myself had all worked with Toshi Kasai prior to All Souls. Tony Tornay listened to his work and agreed that Toshi was the guy. We are all friends with him, know and love him and respect his vision as a producer. Toshi has a very specific way of recording and mixing that we love. Personally, I feel that because we have worked so much together — we understand and trust each other. We recorded with Toshi in three different sessions. The goal was to write three songs, rehearse the shit out of the three songs, record the three songs, then move on to the next three. Over the course of about a year all nine songs were recorded at Toshi‘s Sound of Sirens Studio.

Is it any different working with Meg in All Souls as opposed to Totimoshi or in Alma Sangre? Not looking to pry, but how do you view the interaction between the personal relationship and the creative one? How interrelated are they?

Meg and I have been in a relationship for 27 years. That is 27 years of dreaming, writing, traveling and working together, and I don’t see us slowing down. We understand each other very well as people and as artists. That dynamic plays very similarly in each artistic endeavor that we have been a part of but I do feel that All Souls is our first real and true collaboration with other people. I feel like for the most part Totimoshi and Alma Sangre was basically Meg and I doing most of the major work and allowing input from other people that were involved. All Souls is a real and true circle of collaboration. Not only do we all write, but we all work on the forward movement of the band. I’ve never really been in a band until now that literally has every member of the band networking, setting up shows, tours, and dealing with PR. Namely, the business side of things. Before All Souls it seemed that it was always up to Meg and myself. It is truly a great thing to see, but I’m not surprised — we all sat at the table and drew this thing up. That is the strength of this project.

How was touring the UK with Fatso Jetson? How did Tony handle pulling double-duty on drums, and how much road Eme do you ulEmately think All Souls will do in the US and abroad?

The tour was amazing. There is nothing like playing and touring with not only friends but a band you consider a true inspiration. Tony Tornay was powerhouse on this tour — and he did it while fighting the flu!! He’s part man, part machine. We were well received everywhere we went, we got to see some incredible towns and meet some great people. One of the most amazing things we saw was people traveling from great distances to come see the show, some flying in from other countries. Some fans came to multiple shows. I think I can speak for all the members when I say we are hoping to tour as much as humanly possible. What better thing is there in life?

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

Our first album is done and we are already writing for the next. All Souls forever!

All Souls on Thee Facebooks

All Souls on Twitter

All Souls on Instagram

All Souls on Bandcamp

All Souls website

Sunyata Records on Thee Facebooks

Sunyata Records website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: All Souls, All Souls

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

all souls all souls

[Click play above to stream All Souls’ All Souls in its entirety. Album is out Feb. 9 on Sunyata Records.]

Momentum is quickly on the side of the self-titled debut from Los Angeles heavy rockers All Souls, as the result of a resounding opening salvo of uptempo hooks released like years of pent-up tension. And they just might be. The four-piece trace their roots back to a brutally underappreciated outfit called Totimoshi, from whence guitarist/vocalist Tony Aguilar and bassist/vocalist Meg Castellanos both come, and here joined with guitarist/backing vocalist Erik Trammell of Black Elk and drummer Tony Tornay of Fatso Jetson, the couple/core duo in some ways pick up where their prior band left off — that is to say, driving riffs with roots in punk, grunge and heavy rock, emotive melodies and memorable songcraft brought to bear with a boldness of naturalism through a Toshi Kasai production that would scare most groups away even in concept.

Issued through Sunyata Records, which is owned by Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees and Mad Season (speaking of emotive melody), All SoulsAll Souls comprises nine tracks and runs an efficient but not bare 46 minutes, and whether it’s the blend of howling electrics and acoustic strum of “Sadist/Servant” later in the record — on which, by the way, Tool‘s Danny Carey puts in a guest appearance on drums — or the earlier circular chorus bludgeon of “Never Know,” it is a record varied of approach but unflinching in its expressive purposes. It builds unrepentantly on the past experience of the band’s members but finds them unwilling to give up exploring new ground in favor of simply retreading old paths, and particularly as side A moves into side B around centerpiece “Rename the Room,” grows into a listening experience that only becomes richer in repetition.

But those hooks. Those hooks — a one-two-three punch of upbeat rush that carries through opener “Party Night,” the aforementioned “Never Know” and the start-stop verse into stomping chorus launch of “Money Man” — set the course for All Souls, and it’s a 14-minute push that speaks to the high level of craft all throughout. Aguilar and Trammell weave complementary guitar lines fluidly from the outset — as in, immediately on “Party Night” — as Castellanos adds low-end tension to the Songs for the Deaf-style careen of the opener and Tornay finds his builds and crashing payoffs handed down alongside handclaps during the bridge. Leads, rhythms, acoustics, vocal harmonies, percussive presence and a residual tonal crunch permeate, but All Souls are firmly in control of “Party Night,” and they’ll remain so as “Never Know” — one of three inclusions here over six minutes long; the others being “Rename the Room” and closer “Time Bomb” — spins heads with its manically repeated title lyric.

Because Aguilar has such a distinct vocal delivery, because he’s often on his own during the verses, and because of the balance in the mix the inclusion of backing vocals from Castellanos and Trammell comes across as subtle, but it’s another aspect that, be it in “Never Know” or “Money Man” or the no-less-sing-along-ready “Silence,” which follows, adds a sense of cohesion to the tracks. And as to why “Silence” isn’t included in that opening salvo — because really there’s no dip in quality there or anywhere after — it’s a matter of vibe and tempo. “Silence” pulls back some on the accelerator from “Money Man” and introduces a more spacious sensibility especially in its echo-laden second half that “Rename the Room” continues to build upon, thereby serving as a transitional moment in the overarching flow rather than a furthering of the record’s initial argument in its own favor. That argument, in other words, is simply entering its next phase.

all souls photo Memo Villasenor

“Rename the Room” might be the emotional crux of All Souls‘ All Souls. Atop flourish of reverb guitar, Aguilar blends indie and grunge-style melodic sweetness in a serene, contemplative and still of-the-desert vibe as Tornay punctuates, and a break to minimalist quiet leads excitingly to a choice and unabashedly rocking groove in the second half, “cool” in the classic sense of sunglasses at night and a backdrop for a wailing solo, cyclical toms and an ambient feel that remains steady despite the uptick in activity, drawing the two sides of the track together, and really, doing the same for the album as a whole. It ends quiet and “The Ghost is Flying Home” stomps in quickly with a more foreboding mood before turning from the earlier-established structures to break into thirds with verses and choruses bookending an exploratory midsection that in addition to some highlight vocal interplay from Castellanos and Aguilar works to build to a driving thrust of a fuzz and payoff, leading to the quiet start of the emergently-percussive “Sadist/Servant.” I’m not sure if Tornay plays alongside Carey, but if you told me there were two drummers on the track, I’d believe it. Nonetheless, its primary impression comes through the woven guitars and melodies and the balance of rhythm and melody, rather than a showy or overly progressive spirit shoehorned into a record otherwise so brimming with humanity.

A galloping, squealing finish comes to a head and cuts out cold to set the stage for the mid-paced tension of the penultimate “Reveille,” which takes a more winding approach and winds up somewhat hypnotic for it despite a thud of toms two minutes in and resonant crescendo marked by thicker tones at the cymbal-wash finish. The varied course of “The Ghost is Flying Home,” “Sadist/Servant” and “Reveille,” in comparison to “Party Night,” “Never Know” and “Money Man” at the outset, does much to flesh out All Souls‘ aesthetic reach overall, and the finale/summary in the 6:51 of “Time Bomb” only underscores the achievement made in terms of dynamic and chemistry between players. Around yet another memorable chorus, All Souls swirl and churn and keep a forward trajectory even as they seem to willfully meander, pursuing sandy expanses one more time before pulling together and heading toward a last push, Tornay saving highlight snare work to cut through the echoing guitars before the whole thing seems to break apart amid residual tones and the album’s final notes.

It’s been seven years since Totimoshi released their last album, Avenger (review here), and nearly two decades since they made their self-titled debut in 1999. If All Souls, who’ve been together since 2015/2016, is to be a redirection of the work that Aguilar and Castellanos did in that outfit, then it’s a relief much of what made that band so underrated in terms of craft and performance and personality remains intact in this material. At the same time, it’s exciting to hear desert rock so readily engaged on the group’s own terms rather than those of the style itself, and used as part of a broad pastiche that one hopes continues to expand as they move forward. While it’s almost unfair to consider it a debut, for the excitement factor in the actual hearing, the songwriting on display and the potential in the already-so-prevalent chemistry among all four players, there’s no doubt All Souls‘ All Souls will stand among 2018’s best.

All Souls on Thee Facebooks

All Souls on Twitter

All Souls on Instagram

All Souls on Bandcamp

All Souls website

Sunyata Records on Thee Facebooks

Sunyata Records website

Tags: , , , , , ,