Quarterly Review: Amenra, Liquid Sound Company, Iceburn, Gods and Punks, Vouna, Heathen Rites, Unimother 27, Oxblood Forge, Wall, Boozewa

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

You’ll have to forgive me, what the hell day is it? The url says this is day eight, so I guess that’s Wednesday. Fine. That’s as good as any. It’s all just 10 more records to my brain at this point, and that’s fine. I’ve got it all lined up. As of me writing this, I still haven’t heard about my busted-ass laptop that went in for repair last Saturday, and that’s a bummer, but I’m hoping that any minute now the phone is going to show the call coming in and I’ll just keep staring at it until that happens and I’m sure that will be awesome for my already brutalized productivity.

My backup laptop — because yes, I have one and will gladly argue with you that it’s necessary citing this week as an example — is a cheapie Chromebook. The nicest thing I can say about it is it’s red. The meanest thing I can say about it is that I had to change the search button to a caps lock and even that doesn’t respond fast enough to my typing, so I’m constantly capitalizing the wrong letters. If you don’t think that’s infuriating, congratulations on whatever existence has allowed you to live this long without ever needing to use a keyboard. “Hello computer,” and all that.

Enough kvetching. Too much to do.

Quarterly Review #71-80:

Amenra, De Doorn

Amenra De Doorn

I’ve made no secret over the last however long of not being the biggest Amenra fan in the universe. Honestly, it’s not even about the Belgian band themseves — live, they’re undeniable — but the plaudits around them are no less suffocating than their crushing riffs at their heaviest moments. Still, as De Doorn marks their first offering through Relapse Records, finds them departing from their Mass numbered series of albums and working in their native Flemish for the first time, and brings Caro Tanghe of Oathbreaker into the songs to offer melodic counterpoint to Colin H. van Eeckhout‘s nothing-if-not-identifiable screams, the invitations to get on board are manifold. This is a band with rules. They have set their own rules, and even in pushing outside them as they do here, much of their ideology and sonic persona is maintained. Part of that identity is being forward thinking, and that surfaces on De Doorn in parts ambient and quiet, but there’s always a part of me that feels like Amenra are playing it safe, even as they’re working within parameters they’ve helped define for a generation of European post-metal working directly in their wake. The post-apocalyptic breadth they harness in these tracks will only continue to win them converts. Maybe I’ll be one of them. That would be fun. It’s nice to belong, you know?

Amenra on Facebook

Relapse Records website

 

Liquid Sound Company, Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul

Liquid sound company psychoactive songs for the psoul

A quarter-century after their founding, Arlington, Texas, heavy psych rockers Liquid Sound Company still burn and melt along the lysergic path of classic ’60s acid rock, beefier in tone but no less purposeful in their drift on Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul. They’re turning into custard on “Blacklight Corridor” and they can tell you don’t understand on “Who Put All of Those Things in Your Hair?,” and all the while their psych rock digs deeper into the cosmic pulse, founding guitarist John Perez (also Solitude Aeturnus) unable to resist bringing a bit of shred to “And to Your Left… Neptune” — unless that’s Mark Cook‘s warr guitar — even as “Mahayuga” answers back to the Middle Eastern inflection of “Blacklight Corridor” earlier on. Capping with the mellow jam “Laila Was Here,” Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul is a loving paean to the resonant energies of expanded minds and flowing effects, but “Cosmic Liquid Love” is still a heavy rollout, and even the shimmering “I Feel You” is informed by that underlying sense of heft. Nonetheless, it’s an acid invitation worth the RSVP.

Liquid Sound Company on Facebook

Liquid Sound Company on Bandcamp

 

Iceburn, Asclepius

iceburn asclepius

Flying snakes, crawling birds, two tracks each over 17 minutes long, the first Iceburn release in 20 years is an all-in affair from the outset. As someone coming to the band via Gentry Densley‘s work in Eagle Twin, there are recognizable elements in tone, themes and vocals, but with fellow founders Joseph “Chubba” Smith on drums and James Holder on guitar, as well as bassist Cache Tolman (who’s Johnny Comelately since he originally joined in 1991, I guess), the atmosphere conjured by the four-piece is consuming and spacious in its own way, and their willingness to go where the song guides them on side A’s “Healing the Ouroboros,” right up to the long-fading drone end after so much lumbering skronk and incantations before, and side B’s “Dahlia Rides the Firebird,” with its pervasive soloing, gallop and veer into earth-as-cosmos terradelia, the return of Iceburn — if in fact that’s what this is — makes its own ceremony across Asclepius, sounding newly inspired rather than like a rehash.

Iceburn on Facebook

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Gods & Punks, The Sounds of the Universe

gods and punks the sounds of the universe

As regards ambition, Gods & Punks‘ fourth LP, The Sounds of the Universe, wants for nothing. The Rio De Janeiro heavy psych rockers herein wrap what they’ve dubbed their ‘Voyager’ series, culminating the work they’ve done since their first EP — album opener “Eye in the Sky” is a remake — while tying together the progressive, heavy and cosmic aspects of their sound in a single collection of songs. In context, it’s a fair amount to take in, but a track like “Black Apples” has a riffy standout appeal regardless of its place in the band’s canon, and whether it’s the classic punch of “The TUSK” or the suitably patient expansion of “Universe,” the five-piece don’t neglect songwriting for narrative purpose. That is to say, whether or not you’ve heard 2019’s And the Celestial Ascension (discussed here) or any of their other prior material, you’re still likely to be pulled in by “Gravity” and “Dimensionaut” and the rest of what surrounds. The only question is where do they go from here? What’s outside the universe?

Gods & Punks on Facebok

Abraxas on Facebook

Forbidden Place Records website

 

Vouna, Atropos

vouna atropos

Released (appropriately) by Profound Lore, Vouna‘s second full-length Atropos is a work of marked depth and unforced grandeur. After nine-minute opener “Highest Mountain” establishes to emotional/aural tone, Atropos is comprised mostly of three extended pieces in “Vanish” (15:34), “Grey Sky” (14:08) and closer “What Once Was” (15:11) with the two-minute “What Once Was (Reprise)” leading into the final duo. “Vanish” finds Vouna — aka Olympia, Washington-based Yianna Bekris — bringing in textures of harp and violin to answer the lap steel and harp on “Highest Mountain,” and features a harsh guest vocal from Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Nathan Weaver, but it’s in the consuming wash at the finish of “Grey Sky” and in the melodic vocal layers cutting through as the first half of “What Once Was” culminates ahead of the break into mournful doom and synth that Vouna most shines, bridging styles in a way so organic as to be utterly consuming and keeping resonance as the most sought target, right unto the piano line that tops the last crescend, answering back the very beginning of “Highest Mountain.” Not a record that comes along every day.

Vouna on Facebook

Profound Lore website

 

Heathen Rites, Heritage

heathen rites heritage

One gets the sense in listening that for Mikael Monks, the Burning Saviours founder working under the moniker of Heathen Rites for the first time, the idea of Heritage for which the album is titled is as much about doom itself as the Scandinavian folk elements that surface in “Gleipner” or in the brief, bird-song and mountain-echo-laced finish “Kulning,” not to mention the Judas Priest-style triumphalism of the penultimate “The Sons of the North” just before. Classic doom is writ large across Heritage, from the bassline of “Autumn” tapping into “Heaven and Hell” to the flowing culmination of “Midnight Sun” and the soaring guitar apex in “Here Comes the Night.” In the US, many of these ideas of “northern” heritage, runes, or even heathenism have been coopted as expressions of white supremacy. It’s worth remembering that for some people it’s actually culture. Monks pairs that with his chosen culture — i.e. doom — in intriguing ways here that one hopes he’ll continue to explore.

Heathen Rites on Facebook

Svart Records website

 

Unimother 27, Presente Incoerente

Unimother 27 Presente Incoerente

Some things in life you just have to accept that you’re never going to fully understand. The mostly-solo-project Unimother 27 from Italy’s Piero Ranalli is one of those things. Ranalli has been riding his own wavelength in krautrock and classic progressive stylizations mixed with psychedelic freakout weirdness going on 15 years now, experimenting all the while, and you don’t have to fully comprehend the hey-man-is-this-jazz bass bouncing under “L’incontro tra Phallos e Mater Coelestis” to just roll with it, so just roll with it and know that wherever you’re heading, there’s a plan at work, even if the plan is to not have a plan. Mr. Fist‘s drums tether the synth and drifting initial guitar of “Abraxas…il Dio Difficile da Conoscere” and serve a function as much necessary as grooving, but one way or the other, you’re headed to “Systema Munditotius,” where forward and backward are the same thing and the only trajectory discernible is “out there.” So go. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Unimother 27 on Facebook

Pineal Gland Lab website

 

Oxblood Forge, Decimator

Oxblood Forge Decimator

Not, not, not a coincidence that Massachusetts four-piece Oxblood Forge — vocalist Ken Mackay, guitarist Robb Lioy, bassist Greg Dellaria and drummer/keyboardist Erik Fraünfeltër — include an Angel Witch cover on their third long-player, Decimator, as even before they get around to the penultimate “Sorcerers,” the NWOBHM is a defining influence throughout the proceedings, be it the “hey hey hey!” chanting of “Mortal Salience” or the death riders owning the night on opener “Into the Abyss” or the sheer Maidenry met with doom tinge on “Screams From Silence.” Mackay‘s voice, high in the mix, adds a tinge of grit, but Decimator isn’t trying to get one over on anyone. This blue collar worship for classic metal presented in a manner that could only be as full-on as it is for it to work at all. No irony, no khakis, no bullshit.

Oxblood Forge on Facebook

Oxblood Forge on Bandcamp

 

Wall, Vol. 2

wall vol 2

They keep this up, they’re going to have a real band on their hands. Desert Storm/The Grand Mal bandmates and twin brothers Ryan Cole (guitar/bass) and Elliot Cole (drums) began Wall as a largely-instrumental quarantine project in 2020, issuing a self-titled EP (review here) on APF Records. Vol. 2 follows on the quick with five more cuts of unbridled groove, including a take on Karma to Burn‘s “Nineteen” that, if it needs to be said, serves as homage to Will Mecum, who passed away earlier this year. That song fits right in with a cruncher like “Avalanche” or “Speed Freak,” or even “The Tusk,” which also boasts a bit of layered guitar harmonies, feeling out new ground there and in the acousti-handclap-blues of “Falling From the Edge of Nowhere.” The fact that Wall have live dates booked — alongside The Grand Mal, no less — speaks further to their real-bandness, but Vol. 2 hardly leaves any doubt as it is.

Wall on Facebook

APF Records website

 

Boozewa, Deb

Boozewa Deb

The second self-recorded outing from Pennsylvania trio Boozewa, Deb, offers two songs to follow-up on Feb. 2021’s First Contact (review here) demo, keeping an abidingly raw, we-did-this-at-home feel — this time they sent the results to Tad Doyle for mastering — while pushing their sound demonstrably forward with “Deb” bringing bassist Jessica Baker to the fore vocally alongside drummer Mike Cummings. Guitarist Rylan Caspar contributes in that regard as well, and the results are admirably grunge-coated heavy rock and roll that let enough clarity through to establish a hook, while the shorter “Now. Stop.” edges toward a bit more lumber in its groove, at least until they punk it out with some shouts at the finish. Splitting hairs? You betcha. Maybe they’re just writing songs. The results are there waiting to be dug either way.

Boozewa on Instagram

Boozewa on Bandcamp

 

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Wall Set July 30 Release for Wall Vol. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

wall

Immediate and well-deserved points to the Brothers Cole for not calling the second Wall release Wallume 2. That temptation could not have been easy to resist, but that they managed to do so makes the world a better place. New song, preorders, all that stuff. Note that the band, who made a debut with their self-titled EP (review here) last year through APF remain refreshingly honest in acknowledging their influences, with Elliot and Ryan Cole this time paying homage to Will Mecum of Karma to Burn in “Nineteen” whereas last time out it was Black Sabbath‘s “Electric Funeral.” If you can find argument with either, you’ve probably stumbled onto this site by accident. Welcome. Try the riffs. Hope you like run-on sentences.

Wall have UK tour dates up for August, which it looks like just might happen. How about that? Wall Vol. 2 will be out before then, arriving July 30, again through APF Records.

The following came down the PR wire:

wall vol 2

Wall – Vol. 2 – July 30, 2021

APF Records is delighted to announce the release of WALL’s sophomore EP Vol. 2 on 30th July 2021. First single The Tusk hits Spotify on 1st June.

Pre-orders commence 1st June. Links:
https://apfrecords.co.uk/bands/wall
https://wallbandrocks.bandcamp.com

Elliot and Ryan Cole have been stalwarts of the international stoner doom scene since they formed Desert Storm almost 15 years ago in their home town of Oxford, releasing five albums with that band and touring Europe like dogs ever since. They are two parts of the quintet which is The Grand Mal, also signed to APF Records, whose self-titled debut was released in 2019.

Their latest project Wall was conceived during lockdown. Frustrated at not being able to tour, and stuck at home together, Elliot and Ryan found themselves seeking a substantially creative way to kill the boredom. The debut eponymous five track EP was released by APF Records on 15th January 2021, chock full of Iommi-worshipping instrumental sludge doom. The homage to Black Sabbath was manifest in an electrifying cover of Electric Funeral, featuring vocals by The Grand Mal’s Dave-O. Wall entered the Doom Charts at number 10, and was met with acclaim in the stoner doom underground.

Now, a mere six months later, Wall unleash Vol 2. Once again recorded with Jimmy Hetherington at Shonk Studios, this second effort leans more towards the classic US rock the lads grew up on. It features a cover of Karma To Burn’s Nineteen, released as a tribute to Elliot and Ryan’s friend Will Mecum who sadly passed away in May. The Cole twins other band Desert Storm and Karma To Burn had toured the UK together on several occasion, becoming firm buddies on the road.

About Nineteen, the Cole Brothers say “We recorded it a few months ago in lockdown as a way of saying thanks, and showing our appreciation for one of our favourite bands – true pioneers of the genre and an inspiration to many. It feels right to share it now with the sad news of his passing. It’s been an honour knowing you, Will. Rest in peace”.

Tracklisting:
1. Avalanche
2. The Tusk
3. Speed Freak
4. Nineteen
5. Falling From the Edge of Nowhere

Wall tour the UK with The Grand Mal in August:
12.8.21 : Banbury – The Wheatsheaf
13.8.21 : Glasgow – Ivory Blacks
14.8.21 : Bolton – The Alma Inn
15.8.21 : Blackpool – Waterloo Music Bar
16.8.21 : Hull – Gorilla Studios
17.8.21 : Bradford – Al’s Juke Bar
18.8.21 : London – The Black Heart
19.8.21 : Gloucester – The Dick Whittington
20.8.21 : Swansea – The Bunkhouse
21.8.21 : Oxford – The Wheatsheaf

Wall is:
Ryan Cole – guitar / bass
Elliot Cole – drums

https://www.facebook.com/wallukrock/
https://www.instagram.com/wall.band_rocks/
https://wallbandrocks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

Wall, “Nineteen” (Will Mecum tribute)

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The Grand Mal Announce Tour Dates with Wall

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the grand mal

Of course, this tour announcement — like just about anything these days — comes with a big ol’ asterisk that leads to a reminder saying ‘we sure hope this actually happens.’ But to look at the list of dates, it seems like this might be how tours need to happen for a while. Two bands touring their own country, hardly seems like minimalizing exposure, but even these two bands share members. Wall is Ryan Cole and Elliot Cole, who also happen to play in The Grand Mal (also Desert Storm, but let’s stick to one story at a time) as part of what’s apparently now a five-piece.

And while bringing a new bandmate along is one more person breathing air in the van, certainly having one band sprung off from the other mitigates that somewhat. The Grand Mal released their self-titled debut (review here) on APF Records in Oct. 2019, and Wall did the same (review here) just last month. They’re labelmates as well as bandmates. So there you go.

And hey, maybe in the UK in August these shows can be outdoors somehow? Seems impossible at The Black Heart, unless they take over that alley, but that’d be kind of fun too. In any case, I hope the gigs happen, and it’s easy to imagine the bands do too.

The Grand Mal posted the following on the social medias:

the grand mal tour

The Grand Mal w/ Wall – UK Tour 2021

Pleased to announce, (providing Covid doesn’t stop things) we will finally be touring the UK to promote our debut album, which is out now on APF Records.

Support from WALL.

TOUR DATES
———————
12.08.21 | Banbury | Wheatsheaf Banbury
13.08.21 | Glasgow | Ivory Blacks
14.08.21 | Bolton | The Alma Inn
15.08.21 | Blackpool | Waterloo Music Bar Blackpool
16.08.21 | Hull | Gorilla Studio
17.08.21 | Bradford | Al’s Juke Bar
18.08.21 | London | The Black Heart
19.08.21 | Gloucester | The Dick Whittington
20.08.21 | Swansea | The Bunkhouse Swansea
21.08.21 | Oxford | The Wheatsheaf Oxford

Poster by Tom Instone

Buried In Smoke Promotions

https://www.facebook.com/thegrandmal/
https://thegrandmal.bigcartel.com/
https://thegrandmal.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

The Grand Mal, The Grand Mal (2020)

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Indica Blues Premiere “We Are Doomed” Video; Album Out Feb. 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

indica blues

Oxford, UK, heavy rockers Indica Blues will issue their second album, We Are Doomed, on Feb. 12, 2021, through APF Records. And amid the righteous rumble of its prominent bassline, the core message of the title-track could hardly come through clearer? That message? We’re fucking doomed — duh. A fitting product of the year it was written and recorded, one can only wonder what kind of universe will greet We Are Doomed upon its release, the four-piece not exactly needing to look far for relevant subject matter, be it global political instability — that Brexit deadline looms and will be past by the time the record’s out, unless it gets pushed back again — environmental collapse, economic collapse, global pandemic, etc.

Hey, did you see that the second person who got the COVID-19 vaccine in Britain was named William Shakespeare? That was fun right? No dipshit, the world’s ending. Nothing is fun.

Well, not exactly nothing. To wit, the slow-motion-Nebula rolling groove of “We Are Doomed” is a darn good time,indica blues we are doomed and if you’re going to mark the coming of the apocalypse, you might as well make it catchy, which Indica Blues — guitarists Tom Pilsworth (also vocals) and John Slaymaker, bassist Andrew Haines-Villalta and drummer Rich Walker — do in fine fashion. Beginning with an air-raid siren of feedback the chunky-style riff-led plod of the verse stomps its way into the first chorus with little time to waste, a full mix only bolstering the feeling of the inexorable march forward into who the hell knows what — at least what after the next chorus and the echoing solo, anyhow.

I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the full album yet — we’re still more than two months from the release, so fair enough — but it’s worth noting that the video below is for the “single edit” of the track in question, and given the teaser Indica Blues posted on their social media, it seems the LP version starts with what seems to be a sample of an English warning about the coming blitz. It’s not in the clip below, so I’m working off the assumption that that’s the difference between the single and album versions, but either way, that teaser is a stirring reminder that this feeling that things have never been quite as dire as they are now is nothing new, and as regards apocalypses, each generation seems to make its own, just as Indica Blues here channel the anxieties of our age into a World War III plot thread.

Comforting if not exactly optimistic, but hell’s bells, the record’s called We Are Doomed, so what do you want?

Enjoy the video:

Indica Blues, “We Are Doomed” official video premiere

Tom Pilsworth on “We Are Doomed”:

“This song is our vision of near future nuclear annihilation, written in response to the chaotic world events of the last four years. We spent six hours in pouring rain at an abandoned cold war missile facility with director Josh Horwood and his team, and he couldn’t have done a better job. We hope people enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Video by Josh Horwood
Recorded and mixed by Steve “Geezer” Watkins at Wormwood Studios
Mastered by Tim Turan at Turan Audio

As the world reels from a deadly pandemic and the U.S veers towards civil war, 13,890 nuclear weapons lie dormant. In their first single since signing to APF records, Indica Blues’ imagine a catastrophic very-near-future scenario in which current world events lead to all-out war and nuclear annihilation: We Are Doomed.

Indica Blues began life with the four track EP ‘Towers Rising,’ released by guitarist and vocalist Tom Pilsworth. Tom joined forces with John Slaymaker (previously of U.K stoner underground legends Caravan of Whores) and the pair recruited Andrew Haines-Vilalta and Ed Glenn on drums, releasing the ‘Ruins on the Shore’ EP in 2016, featuring eye popping art work from Brazilian graphic artist Cristiano Suarez.

Rich Walker replaced Ed Glenn on drums, and a debut album ‘Hymns for a Dying Realm,’ was released in 2018 to further underground acclaim. In 2020 the band announced they had signed to APF records and will release a second album, ‘We Are Doomed’ in 2021, with Cristiano Suarez once again lending his unique artwork.

We Are Doomed is released on 12th February (APF Records).

Indica Blues are:
Andrew Haines-Villalta – Bass
Tom Pilsworth – Guitar, Vocals
John Slaymaker – Guitar
Rich Walker – Drums

Indica Blues on Thee Facebooks

Indica Blues on Instagram

Indica Blues on Bandcamp

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Instagram

APF Records BigCartel store

APF Records on Bandcamp

APF Records website

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Wall Premiere Black Sabbath Cover “Electric Funeral”

Posted in audiObelisk on December 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

wall

Preorders are up now through APF Records for the self-titled debut EP from ungoogleable Oxford, UK, two-piece Wall. The instrumentalist duo is comprised of bassist/guitarist Ryan Cole and drummer Elliot Cole, and with these five songs set to release Jan. 15, the brothers — also known for their work in Desert Storm — make the most of quarantine-era restlessness and the inability to perform live. Idle hands put to better use pummeling with riffs and no doubt pissing off neighbors while practicing at home. A lot of bands will tell you to listen loud, and I’m not saying it’s all the way, 100-percent necessary, you-can’t-enjoy-Wall-otherwise, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the experience.

It’s a 20-minute run, and most of that time is spent engaging full-on aural crush. To what should be the surprise of no one, Mama Cole’s boys have the musical conversation down. Chemistry? They’re brothers. They’ve probably been playing music together since they realized they had ears to hear the noise they were making. And noise, as it happens, plays a decent-sized role in what’s happening throughout Wall‘s EP. They start off at a gallop with “Wrath of the Serpent,” but while brash, the opener is somewhat deceptive as well in terms of hinting at what follows. Under all that drive is a pretty significant tonal weight — only bolstered by Elliot‘s drums, which sound damn near perfect for this kind of style; kudos to engineer Jimmy Hetherington at Shonk Studios for going wall wallabove and beyond both in terms of capturing the sounds and recording during the plague — and that’s what comes to the fore on “Sonic Mass.”

There’s still some speed as Wall dig deeper into the proceedings, but “Sonic Mass” is more about the impact than shove as it builds up from its intro and proceeds on its turning course. The bass isn’t happenstance here though layered in by Ryan along with the guitar, and centerpiece “Obsidian” demonstrates that most plainly of all. It is the slowest of the four original inclusions on the offering, and even as the guitar brings out a few lead lines calling to mind some of Forming the Void‘s combo of rolling groove and Middle Eastern guitar inflection, there’s a current of low end beneath that comes out all the more in the subsequent chug and unfurled mega-nod. At 5:39, “Obsidian” is the longest piece on Wall, and it could easily be longer, fading as it does riding out that massive groove. Its doing so brings about the more rocking twist in the plot that is “Legion,” cowbell and all. Departing some of the early-Mastodon plod of the proceedings thus far, “Legion” still moves with plenty of force behind it, but is put to more of a classic-heavy vibe, and its Sabbathian stops in the first half ahead of the heads-down Karma to Burn shove in the second could hardly be more appropriate as a lead-in for the closing cover of “Electric Funeral.”

Stuck in your house during quarantine? I don’t Wall are the only ones who’ve sought comfort in something of a falling back to the root of it all, and if “Electric Funeral” isn’t that, I don’t know what is. The mega-classic is vocalist by Dave Oglesby of The Grand Mal, in which the Coles also feature, and while it’s plenty loyal, neither is it lacking in persona of its own. It’s a friggin’ Black Sabbath cover, tracked by family in a time of global crisis. I’m sorry, but if you don’t get where they’re coming from here, you might be sociopath.

Once again, the release date is Jan. 15, and all the preorder-type info is below if you’re the sort to handle things ahead of time. In the player that follows, you’ll find the premiere of “Electric Funeral” as well as more PR wire info and some comment from the band.

Enjoy:

Wall, “Electric Funeral” official track premiere

APF is delighted to present the debut, eponymous EP by Wall. It will be released on 15th January 2021. First single Wrath of the Serpent was released digitally on all platforms on 26th October.

Pre-order links:
https://apfrecords.co.uk/bands/wall
https://wallbandrocks.bandcamp.com

Elliot and Ryan Cole have been stalwarts of the international stoner doom scene since they formed Desert Storm a decade ago in their home town of Oxford, releasing five albums with that band and touring Europe like dogs ever since. They are two parts of the quintet which is The Grand Mal, also signed to APF Records, whose self-titled debut was released in 2019.

Their latest project Wall was conceived during lockdown. Frustrated at not being able to tour, and stuck at home together, Elliot and Ryan found themselves seeking a substantially creative way to kill the boredom. Over the course of a few weeks Ryan wrote the riffs whilst Elliot sat next to him slapping his hands on his knees to create the grooves. As soon as it was safe to do so, they entered Shonk Studios in Oxford with engineer Jimmy Hetherington and laid down the intoxicating mix of riff and groove with which we now present you.

Wall is a five track EP chock full of Iommi-worshipping instrumental sludge doom. The homage to Black Sabbath is manifest in an electrifying cover of Electric Funeral, featuring vocals by The Grand Mal’s Dave-O. The duo’s sludge roots are present and correct, particularly on the raging fourth track Legion, and there’s a nod to both their other band Desert Storm and Karma To Burn (with whom the lads have toured) on the mighty Obsidian.

Ryan Cole says of the EP:

‘We’re pretty happy with how the EP turned out. We went into the studio with 4 tracks and decided to do a Black Sabbath cover as well. We had never jammed them properly, as it was all written unplugged at home. Wall was initially started as a covid lockdown project, but we’re up for touring and writing more for sure…we’ll what happens!’

Wall is:
Ryan Cole – guitar / bass
Elliot Cole – drums
Dave Oglesby – vocals on Electric Funeral

Wall on Thee Facebooks

Wall on Instagram

Wall on Bandcamp

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Instagram

APF Records on Bandcamp

APF Records website

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The Brothers Keg Album Release Show Set for Sept. 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the brothers keg

A band playing a release show might not ordinarily be news, but this is 2020. Note that The Brothers Keg‘s celebration of their debut album, Folklore, Myths & Legends (review here), is taking place at London’s famed The Black Heart venue, and that it’s limited capacity, small-group seating only. 45 people get to go. I’ve been lucky enough to be in that upstairs room at The Black Heart where they do shows, and it’s by no means big, but I’d guess it holds about 150 when they’re crammed in, so 45 I guess is about right for these days. The show is put on by Desertscene — also known for Desertfest — and will feature The Grand Mal as well.

I don’t know how The Black Heart will work it with the bar downstairs and upstairs, and stuff like that, but I assume there will be copious mask-age involved, and maybe even some of those plastic faceshields. If you’re in that part of the world and thinking about going — having recently attended a live performance myself, it was spiritually refreshing in the extreme — maybe you just want to go all out and get a welding mask. Whatever it takes. I also just read about the UK locking down on social gatherings of more than like six people starting next Monday, so I don’t even know how that will affect this. Could be REALLY limited capacity, I guess. Like two people in the crowd, which would make it like heavy rock shows in the early ’00s.

But the show’s sold out its 45 spaces, by the way, as one might expect. Good luck, you intrepid pavers of the way. I hope the gig happens.

Desertscene posted the following:

the brothers keg release show

***DESERTSCENE – THE BROTHERS KEG – NEW SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT*** FOR 2020!

We’re very excited to be teaming up with our friends at The Black Heart to dip our toes back into the world of non-virtual, actually in a room with other human beings, live music events. Next Thursday we will be bringing you a limited capacity, socially distanced album release show from The Brothers Keg, with support from The Grand Mal. The current capacity for this show is 45 people and seated tickets will be available in groups of 2, 3 or 4 only – with some tasty Stone & Wood Brewing + ticket combos to boot.

More details about the social distance guidelines & on-the-day protocols can be found via the event page or ourblackheart.com. We really hope you’ll join us in trying to kickstart our scene back into action!

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1040600833040567/

The Brothers Keg are:
Tom Hobson – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Rosser – Bass/Vocals
Tom Fyfe – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/thebrotherskeg/
https://www.instagram.com/thebrotherskeg/
https://thebrotherskeg.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

The Brothers Keg, “Moorsmen” official video

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The Brothers Keg Premiere “Moorsmen” Video; Folklore, Myths & Legends out Sept. 18

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the brothers keg

London heavy rockers The Brothers Keg will release their debut album, Folklore, Myths & Legends, through APF Records on Sept. 18. The album follows behind a well received 2017 demo of similar title, Folklore, Myths & Legends of The Brothers Keg (review here), and runs a gamut from the brash rock of “No Earthly Form” and largesse of “Introducing the Brothers Keg” to the prog-style ambience and narration of “…From the Records of Arthur Shnee” and “The Ice Melteth” and “From the Battle of Castle Keg” to the wink at The Beatles‘ “Within You Without You” in the 12-minute space-doomer “Brahman,” with the brazen sludgy shouts in the culminating “Castle Keg” and the spare guitar and aptly-titled spoke “Epilogue” at the end for good measure.

With the nine-minute “Moorsmen” at the outset, it is something of a dizzying back and forth array, but what it works out to is each ‘song’ song is followed by a companion interlude, with the exception of “Introducing the Brothers Keg” and “Brahman” in the album’s midsection, and “Moorsmen” begins with an introductory sample/spoken part as well, so clearly the storyline is a major factor in what The Brothers Keg are bringing to their first record. It’s an ambitious 43 minutes presented across the nine total tracks by bassist/vocalist Paul Rosser, the brothers keg folklore myths and legendsguitarist/vocalist Tom Hobson and drummer Tom Fyfe (the latter two also of Stubb), and while the sound of the album has raw aspects — the shouts, the crackly speech, the pop of the snare drum — that does not take away from the atmosphere the three-piece are able to conjure. It is fitting that “Moorsmen” should be the first audio to make its way to public ears from Folklore, Myths & Legends, since it functions much as a closer otherwise might in terms of summarizing the proceedings that follow, from its angular and sludgy earlier riffs all the way to its spacious and headspinning solo later on.

Ultimately, with “Moorsmen,” The Brothers Keg charge into the story the telling of which consumes the rest of the album, but rest assured, it well earns each of its nine minutes. The video is suitably over the top and features not only elements of the plotline, but also a bit of lightning coming off RosserHobson and Fyfe for good measure. That too is only appropriate as throughout their debut, The Brothers Keg make their enjoyment of what they’re doing as up front as their riffs. It’s a willfully peculiar record, but has a certain charm for that, and it’s clear that The Brothers Keg were going all-in on the recording and bringing their ideas to life. You can dig as deep into it as you like, or you can just enjoy the grooves and the figurative (and literal, in the case of the video) lightning. It’s really up to the listener, but the record works either way.

I’m happy of course to host the premiere of the “Moorsmen” video, which you’ll find below, followed by APF‘s announcement of the record and a choice quote from Hobson, the all-over-the-place-all-over-the-top nature of which sums up the record more beautifully than I ever could.

Please enjoy:

The Brothers Keg, “Moorsmen” official video premiere

Sometimes, heavy isn’t purely about brutal riffs and gut-wrenching, despair-invoking themes; often, heaviness shines through when it’s filtered through jam-invoking psychedelic tightness. The Brothers Keg fall into that latter side of heavy, and in their few short years have become one of the finest examples of it in the whole of the UK.

Made up of the rhythm section of psych / stoner scene mainstays STUBB – with Tom Fyfe on drums and Tom Hobson switching out his bass for guitar / vocal duties – as well as Paul Rosser, who completes the trio on bass / vocals, The Brothers Keg have been kicking up an avalanche of the finest elements of stoner-doom as well as grunged-out psychedelia since their formation in London in 2018.

Now we are finally able to unleash The Brothers Keg’s debut album “Folklore, Myths and Legends of The Brothers Keg” upon you. Recorded at Bear Bites Horse Studio in London (Green Lung, Terminal Cheesecake, Opium Lord and many others), producer Wayne Adams has expertly extracted the esoteric essence of the project, and the spirit of the KEG flows freely in full force. The album, as the title suggests, follows the origin story of ‘The Brothers Keg’ – three ancient folk characters which the band is named after.

Tom Hobson: “We imagined the record as akin to a fantasy film soundtrack, with cinematic voiceovers and a nod to sci-fi classics. Expect heavy riffing psyched-out sci-fi doomageddon. HP Lovecraft meets Queen’s Flash Gordon listening to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds at the wrong speed smoking a medieval spliff dipped in poppers.”

Tracklisting
1. Moorsmen
2. …From the Records of Arthur Shnee
3. No Earthly Form
4. The Ice Melteth
5. Introducing the Brothers Keg
6. Brahman
7. From the Battle of Castle Keg
8. Castle Keg
9. Epilogue

The Brothers Keg are:
Tom Hobson – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Rosser – Bass/Vocals
Tom Fyfe – Drums

The Brothers Keg on Thee Facebooks

The Brothers Keg on Instagram

The Brothers Keg on Bandcamp

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Instagram

APF Records on Bandcamp

APF Records website

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Indica Blues Announce We Are Doomed out This Winter

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The first Indica Blues full-length, Hymns for a Dying Realm, bleeds its affinity for doom through riff after riff, whether it’s the classic charge of “Knight’s Return” or the lumbering of “Scum River” or the searing at the end of “Psychedelic Haze,” and to expect anything less of We Are Doomed, which will be the Oxford, UK, four-piece’s follow-up to that debut, just seems silly. Particularly as the new record is being issued through APF Records, whose presence in the well-populated underground of the United Kingdom has only grown in recent years, with a consistency of quality maintained across a swath of styles. I could go on here, but you know the story. And if you don’t, the record’s streaming down below.

We Are Doomed — a sentiment it’s getting increasingly difficult to argue against — will be out this winter with APF‘s stamp of approval behind it.

The label’s announcement follows here:

indica blues

** Indica Blues sign to APF Records **

We’re no stranger to the heaviest and grooviest tones Oxford has to offer at APF Records – see Desert Storm and The Grand Mal – which is why we’re all the more eager to get better acquainted as we welcome the city’s heavy-psych doomsters Indica Blues to the APF family.

Formed in Oxford in 2014, Indica Blues are a monolithic trip. On their previous releases – 2016’s Ruins On The Shore EP and debut full-length, 2018’s Hymns for a Dying Realm – a real love for the entire stoner-doom pantheon, from Kyuss to Electric Wizard, shines through, along with, unsurprisingly, a healthy respect for the blues. Deservedly, those early releases earned both praise from respected outlets of the scene as well as tasty support slots with some of our favourite acts around; notably Elder, Samsara Blues Experiment and Mars Red Sky.

But that is just the beginning.

APF are beyond stoked to be releasing Indica Blues’ upcoming sophomore full-length, currently expected to drop around the winter of 2020/21 – and let us tell you now, it’s huge. Recorded by Steve “Geezer” Watkins at Woodworm Studios and mastered by Tim Turan at Turan Audio, it delivers on the promise of being their most massive sounding release to date, with chunkier riffs, groovier hooks, wider ranging vocal stylings and more ethereal melodic deviations than have come before. So be sure to check out yet another member of the growing “Roxford” revolution and get the Indica Blues today.

Indica Blues are:
Andrew Haines-Villata – Bass
Tom Pilsworth – Vocals, Guitar
John Slaymaker – Guitar
Rich Walker – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/Indicabluesuk
https://indicablues.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

Indica Blues, Hymns for a Dying Realm (2018)

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