Shun Premiere “Machina” From Self-Titled Debut out June 4

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

shun shun

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Machina’ from Shun’s self-titled debut. Album is out June 4 on Small Stone Records.]

Matt Whitehead on “Machina”:

A lot of the basic ideas for this song date back to jams in Jeff’s and my previous band (Made of Machines), but we were never really able to get it sounding the way we envisioned. Later, we jammed on it off and on with Shun and initially stumped everyone there as well, but everyone said they wanted to keep working on it. Over the period of a few months Rob and Scott developed their parts, and Jeff and I felt like we were finally fulfilled our original vision. Machina is also the first one I sent to J. Robbins to do a ‘proof of concept’ mix. When he sent the mix back, we were blown away. This song’s a bit of a weird, slow burn journey that ends in pure chaos and is one of our favorites to play.

SHUN live:
6/05 Asheville, NC @ Fleetwood’s
6/12 W. Columbia, SC @ Scratch N’ Spin (in-store 12PM)
6/26 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero

Asheville, North Carolina’s Where can you find the best best site? Our writers are ready to render you a complex analysis of your topic with thought-out academic Shun release their self-titled debut June 4 on Work with ACW's developmental and comprehensive http://www.privatschulen-schweiz.ch/?dr-barnardo-homework-helps to ensure that your academic writing is successful! Small Stone Records. Earlier this year, I was asked to write the bio for the album, as sometimes happens with transition words for research papers Dobson Megan Resume Supervisor admission essay editing service scholarship college student homework helper Small Stone stuff when the band doesn’t have anyone particular they want to do it — at this point I’ve been in touch with the label in a professional capacity for the better part of 20 years, so it’s by no means out of the blue that this came about — and as I noted when the album was announced early last month, it was kind of a confused process. Overall I’m satisfied with the result, but if I had it to do over again, there are a few things I might change.

Here’s the original bio — I’ll put it in PR wire blue for ease of organization, which this post is already sorely lacking:

Shun are a four-piece founded by Matt Whitehead (guitar/vocals), Scott Brandon (guitar/backing vocals), Jeff Baucom (bass) and Rob Elzey (drums), who recorded the nine tracks of their self-titled debut in isolation prior to turning them over to the esteemed J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage (Clutch, The Sword, so many others) for mixing and Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio for mastering.

Astute Small Stone Records loyalists will recognize Whitehead from his work in Throttlerod. He’s not alone in pedigree. Brandon has spent most of his life as a working musician, producer and DJ in Detroit, Ann Arbor, MI, and Chicago. Baucom, a veteran player in his own right, played together briefly with Whitehead in a band called Made of Machines. And Elzey has toured the world as a tech for the likes of Hatebreed and Unearth, among many others.

With this varied experience behind them, Shun work quickly to establish a distinct identity throughout this first LP, incorporating styles from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction.

Having recorded in covid-isolation means drums and bass captured in Elzey’s garage and Brandon’s guitars recorded in his basement studio. Whitehead’s guitar was recorded with amps tucked into his bedroom closet and vocals also tracked in his house. A guest spot from Lamb of God’s Mark Morton on the penultimate “Heese” required no studio stop-by. But it also means songs put together over a period of months rather than days.

It’s to the band’s credit that Shun exists at all, let alone that it is neither disjointed nor wanting for urgency. A forceful and intermittently aggressive offering, it balances mood and intensity of expression throughout its songs. And while the record is coming out at a time when the band can’t get out and support it on stage as they otherwise might, the fact that they are pushing ahead with the release speaks as well to the need to say what they’re saying.

Shun’s style manages to be thoughtful and even sometimes proggy without giving in to self-indulgence or pretense, and their debut offers high-grade, dynamic, melodic heavy rock that resounds with purpose, taking familiar elements and pushing them beyond simplistic genre confines.

Right? Fine? Yeah. Not much more than that though. You get it through that the band is guitarist/vocalist  Homework Help Search Engines. Custom Essay Writing Service. Services where you can find professional essay writer online are very popular among the internet. Scott Brandon, vocalist/guitarist  Do My Assignment Cheap aims to work on your documents language, style, and structure in order to enhance its clarity and coherence, with the result of enhancing your document overall. In short, thesis editing helps your work to fulfil all of the marking criteria, even those that are unstated. Matt Whitehead — and that the latter is a veteran of  How Can I Pay Environmental Policies In The Last 5 Years 2008 0 2012 is that ethical? Yes we provide academic writing service with all the ethical code intact. Small Stone staple act  Avail, http://www.barewilderness.com/?research-paper-on-business from us and stay relax at your place. Can I get an A grade in the dissertation if I take it from you? Yes, We have provided best dissertation help to innumerable students. We never got any complaints regarding the grades from them. Our writers work in a way so that you can get at least an A or the maximum grade that is A+. So, there is no need to worry about Throttlerod — as well as bassist In 2011, Eurographics extended the Research Awards Programme by creating an additional get more Award. The aim is to recognize good thesis work in Jeff Baucom and drummer  Our Oxford Essay Writinger is considered the best online service in US,UK and Australia. So,stop searching help my college assignment and hire Rob Elzey. You get that  Discuss your Chinese translation, Companies That Help With Term Papers And Essays requirements with us. Shun, the nine-track/41-minute debut long-player, was tracked in isolation but ultimately mixed by  How To Write An Essay In English. Your perfect writer experts agree that high quality content can take your website to the top of the search results. 2017 J. Robbins, who for sure is a presence in the material despite not having actually captured the sounds himself so much as balanced them (and added some percussion). You get that it’s heavy. You get the essentials.

What you don’t really get from the bio I wrote is the character of the songs, which is pretty god damned important when it comes to actually hearing the record. You don’t get the latent post-hardcore influence in “Sleepwalking” or the emotive crux behind the payoff of “At Most.” You don’t get the progressive sensibility in the chugging “Machina” or the churning tension in album centerpiece “Undone,” the airy melodic float in the later “A Wooden House.” You kind of just get the barebones essentials.

shun

I stand by my work — what choice do I have? — but I’m not thrilled with it, and it’s been kind of eating at me as it probably should if one gives a shit about what they do. Dissertation see page . We guarantee to provide a premium quality dissertation help service in the USA at the most affordable prices. Writing a dissertation demands weeks of planning and research which can only be guaranteed by a reliable dissertation assistance service. Myassignmenthelp.com is an ideal destination for all the students searching for online guidance on how to write an ideal Shun‘s  Request a free quote for professional http://www.magetra.com/?research-paper-apa-format-sample-2010, business documents, and writing services by professional business writers. Shun is ultimately more than just the sum of its parts. Even as opener “Run” smooths out its intense initial push into atmospheric pastoralism, it’s clear the four-piece — who again, built the record from scratch in COVID isolation — have more multifaceted ambitions than “here’s some dudes rockin’ riffs.” You get that  A Brian May Phd Dissertation provided by professionals. All kinds of papers will be done on time. Contact us and get your writing done straight away! Mark Morton from  phd thesis on bilingualism Divorce Rates Research Paper order of lab report essay can money buy everything Lamb of God shows up on “Heese.” But you don’t get that it’s really the melodic character of the subsequent closer “Once Again,” the vague, later-’90s alternative-everything impression of the way the thickness of the bass foretells the sway that caps the record.

It’s teeny-tiny stakes, I know. Nobody reads band bios, even less now that they come through in email rather than wrapped around a CD in the mail. But as you listen to the track premiere above, I hope more of the band’s energy comes through than might through just seeing a phrase like “styles from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction.” I’m not saying that’s not true, but sometimes when there’s a lot of basic info you need to include, it becomes like Joe Friday doing the telling: Just the facts, ma’am.

And there’s more appeal here than just the facts. There’s passion and force of delivery and a maturity of sound that comes through even though the band is a new entity. Maybe you can dig where they’re coming from and maybe you can’t — the punk roots are dug deep, but they’re there — but there’s a depth to  Shun‘s songs that goes toward making an identity for the band beyond what the members have done before, and whether it’s a plague-born one-off or a continuing project, that’s worth preserving.

Shun, Shun (2021)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Matt Whitehead of Shun & Throttlerod

Posted in Questionnaire on April 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Matt Whitehead SHUN

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Matt Whitehead of Shun & Throttlerod

How do you define what you do and how did you come to it?

I love to stay busy writing songs and stray riffs in my spare time and sing and play guitar in a new band called Shun. We’re a four-piece loud riff-based heavy rock band that also has melodic and moody elements.

How did I come to it? My first job at Little Caesar’s…. [big U.S. pizza chain for our overseas friends who may not be familiar.]

I worked at that pizza chain in high school with a couple of people that were in some really good bands, one of which I joined sometime in early 1995. That band happened to be one of my favorite bands around at the time and it was a real honor to get that opportunity. That experience ultimately helped shape my ideas about songwriting and melody. Whereas I had been primarily into metal and also Nirvana, I became an absolute sponge in college and listened to everything I could get my hands on. That’s when I found everything from The Melvins and Fugazi to Morphine, PJ Harvey, and Jawbox.

After that first band ran its course, I started Throttlerod with two of those same guys, put out a bunch of records, and did a lot of touring. Early on, our friends in ATP and Sunnshine encouraged us to move from Columbia, SC, to Richmond and we did. Not because we didn’t like our hometown (we loved it there). But Richmond had a really unique scene and is well-situated on the East Coast to hit a lot of cities in a short amount of time. Eventually, we recruited the Sunnshine drummer, Kevin White, and the bass player from my first band who moved to Richmond from where he had been living in Chicago.

I moved back to South Carolina in 2011 and put out one more Throttlerod record that J. Robbins produced. I was getting restless as I waited for Kevin to join me, so I started a band called Made of Machines with… a guy from that first job at the pizza place. Another guy from my first band introduced me to Jeff Baucom who played bass with Machines for a couple of years.

Jeff and I really connected personally and musically, and he asked me to come jam with a new project he had going with a drummer and a guitarist who had just moved to the area. Fast forward through a few hurdles with getting together, and we are now on a schedule and having a blast making music. So, in a way all of my connections to music began at Little Caesar’s. Weird.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first musical memory is listening to Beatles and Elton John records with my mom when I was probably four years old. I got really into other artists after that, but it was “Battery” by Metallica led me to go head-first into guitar. I more or less learned the instrument from obsessing over their first three Metallica records. A good friend of mine shared that obsession and we used to stay up all night playing metal covers, and we probably (definitely) knew every Metallica song through Justice at one point. There are a lot worse things we could have been doing! When I went to college though, I was exposed to a whole lot.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I have been fortunate enough to experience a lot with Throttlerod: playing in front of 19,000 people in Shockoe Bottom; playing HF Festival, CMJ, or SXSW; and playing with all kinds of cool bands ranging from Clutch and Mastodon to Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. But my best musical memory is much more basic: touring in a van with my friends, seeing the US and Canada, sleeping on floors, and playing music that we loved every night. I was just telling this story a few days ago, but we always prided ourselves on playing the same to an audience of one as we did to an audience of 19,000. Once we played Des Moines, Iowa, early in the week and there was nobody there. Literally nobody. We got on stage and seconds into our set, Matt Pike (who we had met when we played with High on Fire sometime before that) walks in. We played our entire set to him headbanging in front of the stage. Ruled.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I don’t know about that. I try and be open enough to other perspectives to where I don’t get too upset over people challenging me. It’s not a perfect system, but I can’t think of a situation off the top of my head where I got bothered or felt “tested” by someone or something challenging a belief.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Who knows where it will lead? The old cliché “it’s the journey, not the destination” holds true here. People, interests, influences, etc. change over time and that should be ok as long as we’re still excited. I try my best to treat songs as a diary and not mull over them too much. To me, it feels more exciting to have a batch of songs we wrote in a short period of time when we felt a certain way and not overthink them versus mulling over every song for months/years thinking we’re going to make it perfect. The next album will be written with different perspectives because we’ve changed along with everything around us.

How do you define success?

Honestly, we feel like we’ve succeeded just getting to play music together in a new band at this stage in our lives. Having J. Robbins believe in it enough to want to mix our home recordings, having Small Stone Records interested enough to put it out, and Mark Morton (Lamb of God) contributing a solo to a song is a real high-five situation to put it mildly.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I could get real dark here, but let’s keep this upbeat and positive.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create?

The next album. Upon finishing our last one, it took no more than a week for new riffs to start flying around.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

The most essential function of art depends on the situation. Entertainment, connection, self-awareness… all valid functions in my opinion.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Spending time with my family and traveling are always things I look forward to.

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Shun, Shun (2021)

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Shun Announce Self-Titled Debut Album out June 4; Preorders Up

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

shun

Some part of the press release below is from the bio I wrote. It was a bit of a process putting that together since at first I was under the mistaken impression Shun wasn’t a new band but a new incarnation of Throttlerod putting out an album called Shun. What made that hard to understand was that it sounded so different from that band’s past work, was a marked left turn in direction. Well, Shun is a different band that just happens to feature Throttlerod‘s Matt Whitehead (who was very understanding in working with my dumb ass), and their self-titled debut is up for preorder now with CD through Small Stone and vinyl through Kozmik Artifactz. They’re streaming the opening track, as Small Stone is wont to do with its releases when they’re announced.

You’ll also note the cover art by Alexander Von Wieding. I’m not sure what’s happening there — fighting monoliths? — but I like it.

Info came down the PR wire thusly:

shun shun

SHUN: North Carolina Heavy Rock Collective Featuring Member Of Throttlerod To Release Self-Titled Debut June 4th Via Small Stone; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available

Asheville, North Carolina heavy rock collective SHUN will release their self-titled debut June 4th via Small Stone Records. The record includes guest appearances by Mark Morton (Lamb Of God) and J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Government Issue).

A name inspired by a Bruce Lee quote: “Adapt what is useful, reject [shun] what is useless, and add what is specifically your own,” SHUN is guitarist/vocalist Matt Whitehead, guitarist/backing vocalist Scott Brandon, bassist Jeff Baucom, and drummer Rob Elzey. Astute Small Stone loyalists will recognize Whitehead from his work in Throttlerod. He’s not alone in pedigree. Brandon has spent most of his life as a working musician, producer, and DJ in Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Baucom, a veteran musician in his own right, played with Whitehead briefly in a band called Made Of Machines and has been a part of the regional music scene for some time while Elzey has toured the world as a tech for the likes of Hatebreed and Unearth, among many others.

Together, SHUN manifests a distinct identity throughout their eponymous LP, incorporating everything from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction. Developed in covid-isolation over a period of several months, the drums and bass comprising Shun were recorded in Elzey’s garage while Brandon’s guitars were captured in his basement studio. Whitehead’s guitars were recorded with amps tucked into his bedroom closet and vocals were also tracked in his house. A guest spot from Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton on the penultimate “Heese” required no studio stop-by. In the end, nine tracks were turned over to esteemed producer J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Recording Studio (Clutch, The Sword, Coliseum) for mixing and Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio for mastering.

It’s to the band’s credit that Shun exists at all, let alone that it is neither disjointed nor wanting for urgency. A forceful and intermittently aggressive offering, it balances mood and intensity of expression throughout its duration.

In advance of the release of Shun, today the band is pleased to unveil opening track, “Run.” Notes Brandon, “This album for me truly is a culmination of a lifelong passion for music and a testament to my DIY attitude towards life in general. We worked really hard through some difficult times to put this thing together, and I’m really proud of what we’ve done. I’ve found myself playing and writing with some amazingly talented people in this band, and I think ‘Run’ is a great example of us hitting on all cylinders.”

Shun, which features cover art by Alexander Von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Trouble, Karma To Burn), will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorder options at THIS LOCATION: https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/shun

Shun Track Listing:
1. Run
2. Sleepwalking
3. At Most
4. Machina
5. Undone
6. Near Enemy
7. A Wooden House
8. Heese
9. Once Again

SHUN:
Jeff Baucom – bass
Matt Whitehead – vocals, guitars
Rob Elzey – drums
Scott Brandon – guitars, vocals

Additional Musicians:
Mark Morton – guitar solo on “Heese”
J. Robbins – various percussion

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Shun, Shun (2021)

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Rocky Mtn Roller Post “When I’m a Pile” Video from Self-Titled EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

rocky mtn roller

Asheville, North Carolina, scuzzriffers Rocky Mtn Roller issued their self-titled demo/EP (review here) on March 20, which was about 10 days before the state started locking down because of the covid-19 pandemic. Like everything that happened over the course of the next two months musically, if you missed it, you automatically get a pass. Suffice it to say, the buzz-tone, raw-as-chop-meat offering earned its subsequent tape release as a split with Texas’ Temptress, and its four songs wreaked brash havoc that was as much drunk as it was fun.

The four-piece, which boasts pedigree connections to the likes of Danava and Lecherous Gaze through guitarist/vocalist Zach Blackwell, have a new video “When I’m a Pile,” which is laden with a dopey, drunk, ultra-budget horror charm that’s only accented by the fact that the werewolf wears glasses. You get to see “innards” thrown on a grill with some hot dogs. You get to see the band crushing some beers in the woods while playing the song. You get to see the transition from hesher to werewolf that — in what seems a likely inside gag — includes multiple shots of hair poking out of various parts of jean shorts. It kind of makes me wish I had friends or, you know, fun.

But anyhoozle, it’s under four minutes and whether you heard the demo/EP or not, I don’t think you’ll regret watching it, even with the little bit of strobe that pops up. The song, “When I’m a Pile,” has that kind of odd, just-off phrasing to it that recalls The Stooges‘ “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” — though of course they were playing off Rolling Stones via Beatles — and I’m not sure it’s fitting with the band’s aesthetic to consider that kind of thing conscious, like it’s part of some master plan to evoke the origin points of US heavy punk, but I’ll say it fits awfully well.

One way or the other, enjoy the video:

Rocky Mtn Roller, “When I’m a Pile” official video

“We made budget slasher movie with babes and gore. Bon appetite!”

BIO:
Four rock n roll outcast freaks dug deep to find some raw heavy throw back grooves. With Zach Blackwell, of Danava and Lecherous Gaze, playing one lead guitar and making guttural caterwaul from his vocal chords, Ruby Roberts ripping the other lead, Alex Cabrera in the drum pocket, and Luke Whitlatch, of Merx, holding steady on the bass.

Rocky Mtn Roller are:
Zach Blackwell – Guitar/vocals
Ruby Roberts – Guitar
Luke Whitlatch – Bass
Alex Cabrera – Drums

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller (2020)

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Bask Post “Rid of You” Video; III Release Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Alright, so stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the new Bask record is pretty good. Yes, I know. You have heard it before. From me. You heard me speculating on it when the Asheville, North Carolina-based four-piece announced in April they were recording with Matt Bayles, and again in August after the album was done. Then came the “New Dominion” video (posted here) with the release date. Then I went ahead and actually reviewed III (review here) in the last Quarterly Review because I liked that single and wanted an excuse to dig further ahead of the Nov. 8 arrival. Then I got the chance to do the premiere of opening track “Three White Feet” (posted here) like the day after the review went live, and I wasn’t gonna say no to that. And now here we are. There’s another video, and I’m posting about that too.

The central thesis of all these posts is pretty much the same, and yes, I’m willing to admit that. Hey, you know that new Bask record III that’s coming out Nov. 8 on Season of Mist? It’s a good ‘un. You might wanna chase it down if you’re feeling some righteous modern heavy prog with a penchant for melody and just a touch of Southern edge via Baroness and the like. There you go. That’s all. That’s all it’s ever been.

It’s like the equivalent of being at the show and being the guy who says to someone from the band, “Hey man, great set.” That’s who I am. Often. Cool songs. New stuff sounds good.

Some new tour dates came down the PR wire. They’re back in Brooklyn on Nov. 23 and I should probably go even though that’s like the worst week ever and I’m apparently terrified of venues I’ve never been to before. Anxiety, man. Woof.

What were we talking about?

Enjoy the video:

Bask, “Rid of You” (official video)

Appalachian psych rockers BASK have shared the official music video for the new song “Rid of You.” The track is taken from the band’s upcoming album, ‘III,’ which will be released worldwide on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The video, which was created in analog format by Yovozol, can be seen HERE.

BASK comment: “We are excited to announce the third single, ‘Rid of You,’ from our upcoming album, ‘III.’ We’ve collaborated with analog video artist Yovozol to bring you this visual accompaniment. We hope you enjoy.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

BASK have previously announced a run of headlining North American dates in support of ‘III,’ including a hometown show on the day of the record release. The full itinerary is as follows:

BASK “III” Album Release Tour:
11/08: Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight **album release show**
11/14: Atlanta, GA @ 529
11/15: Columbia, SC @ Columbia Museum of Art
11/16: Greenville, SC @ The Radio Room
11/17: Richmond, VA @ Banditos
11/19: Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
11/20: Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekcuf
11/21: Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
11/22: Cambridge, MA @ Hong Kong
11/23: Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
11/24: Baltimore, MD @ The Depot **Matinee Show**
11/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
11/26: Kent, OH @ The Outpost Concert Club
11/27: Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
11/29: Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
11/30: Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

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Bask Premiere “Three White Feet” from III

Posted in audiObelisk on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jameykay and Arlie Huffman)

North Carolina’s Bask release their new album, III, on Nov. 8. It is, as you might expect, their third album, as well as being their debut on Season of Mist after issuing 2017’s Ramble Beyond through tastemaking Euro imprint This Charming Man Records and their 2014 debut, American Hollow, through Crimsoneye and Wonder Records. If what you’re reading in that is a steady progression, then you’re getting the underlying message that applies as well to the sound of the band, which reaches to new heights of melodic accomplishment on III‘s seven-track/36-minute run. I’ll say that it’s not often I review an album and then the same week do a track premiere from that same record. Generally I’d try to coordinate those things together or, having already reviewed it, take a pass on the premiere and cover something else. In the case of Bask, it’s an exception for a record that I think is worth the extra focus.

III isn’t and shouldn’t be shy about its pastoral aspects, and that is something that begins as the Asheville four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp (who since he’s apparently the only one singing does a lot of self-harmonizing on the recording, I suppose), guitarist Ray Worth, bassist Jesse Van Note and drummer Scott Middleton get the proceedings underway with “Three White Feet.” As the opening song premieres below, it’s interesting to note that it was also the first song that came together when they started writing this batch of material. Mostly because it’s so complex. One might guess at the riff that kicked them off — you’ll know it when you hear it, and subsequent side A installments “New Dominion” and “Stone Eyed” operate similarly in solidifying around a capital-‘r’ Riff, while centerpiece “Rid of You” centers more around the melody, and “Noble Daughters I: The Stave” recalls much-missed NC natives Caltrop in its vocal, “Noble Daughters II: The Bow” pays off itself as well as its predecessor and, really the whole album, and “Maiden Mother Crone” exits on a banjo-fied note — but the rest of the track brims with rich melody and progressive stylistic turns that indeed foreshadow a large part of III‘s personality. If this was how they started off, then clearly they knew what the fuck they were doing going into making the album.

Their quote on the subject, aside from that useful info nugget, is pretty short, but you’ll find that below, as well as the preorder link for III courtesy of Season of Mist. I won’t delay you further from the song.

Please enjoy:

Bask, “Three White Feet” official track premiere

Bask on “Three White Feet”:

“We are excited to bring you ‘Three White Feet,’ a song of devotion and revenge. It’s track one on our upcoming album ‘III,’ and the first to take shape during the writing process.”

Taken from the forthcoming album, ‘Bask III.’ Release Date: November 8, 2019.

Order here: https://smarturl.it/BaskIII

Bask is:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

III Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Bask on Bandcamp

Bask on Instagram

Bask website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Instagram

Season of Mist website

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Quarterly Review: Monkey3, Asthma Castle, The Giraffes, Bask, Faerie Ring, Desert Sands, Cavalcade, Restless Spirit, Children of the Sün, Void King

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Call two friends and tell them to tell two friends to tell two friends, because the Quarterly Review has returned. This time around, it’s 50 records front to back for Fall 2019 and there are some big names and some smaller names and a whole lot of in between which is just how I like it. Between today and Friday, each day 10 album reviews will be posted in a single batch like this one, and although by Wednesday this always means I’m totally out of my mind, it’s always, always, always worth it to be able to write about so much cool stuff. So sit tight, because there’s a lot to get through and, as ever, time’s at a premium.

Thanks in advance for keeping up, and I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Monkey3, Sphere

monkey3 sphere

It’s a full-on Keanu Reeves “whoa” when opening track “Spirals” kicks in on Monkey3‘s sixth album, Sphere (released by Napalm), and that’s by no means the last one on the cinematic six-tracker. The long-running Swiss mostly-instrumentalists have been consistently, persistently underappreciated throughout their career, but whether it’s the aural scope of guitar and keys in “Axis” or the swaps between intensity and sprawl in 14-minute closer “Ellipsis,” their latest work is consuming in its sense of triumph. Even the four-minute “Ida,” which seems at first like it’s barely going to be more than an interlude, finds a thread of majestic cosmic groove and rides it for the duration, while the proggy immersion of “Prism” and the harder drive of “Mass” — not to mention that shredding solo — make the middle of the record anything but a post-hypnosis dip. I won’t pretend to know if Sphere is the record that finally gets the Lausanne four-piece the respect they’ve already well deserved, but if it was, one could only say it was for good reason. Blends of heft, progressive craft, and breadth are rarely so resonant.

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Asthma Castle, Mount Crushmore

Asthma Castle Mount Crushmore

When you call your record Mount Crushmore, you need to bring it, and much to their credit, Baltimorean sludge-rocking five-piece Asthma Castle do precisely that on their debut full-length. Issued through Hellmistress Records, the 37-minute/six-track outing is a wordplay-laced pummeler that shows as much persona in its riffing and massive groove as it does in titles like “The Incline of Western Civilization” and “The Book of Duderonomy.” Trades between early-Mastodonic twists and lumbering sludge crash add a frenetic and unpredictable feel to pieces like the title-track, while “Methlehem” trades its plod for dual-guitar antics punctuated by metallic double-kick, all the while the vocals trade back and forth between growls, shouts, cleaner shouts, the odd scream, etc., because basically if you can keep up with it, Asthma Castle wouldn’t be doing their job. One shudders to think of the amount of Natty Bo consumed during its making, but Mount Crushmore is a wild and cacophonous enough time to live up to the outright righteousness of its title. If I graded reviews, it would get a “Fuckin’ A+,” with emphasis on “fuckin’ a.”

Asthma Castle on Thee Facebooks

Hellmistress Records website

 

The Giraffes, Flower of the Cosmos

the giraffes flower of the cosmos

Some day the world will wake up and realize the rock and roll powerhouse it had in Brooklyn’s The Giraffes, but by then it’ll be too late. The apocalypse will have happened long ago, and it’ll be Burgess Meredith putting on a vinyl of Flower of the Cosmos in the New York Library as “FAKS” echoes out through the stacks of now-meaningless tomes and the dust of nuclear winter falls like snow outside the windows. The band’s tumultuous history is mirrored in the energy of their output, and yet to hear the melody and gentle fuzz at the outset of “Golden Door,” there’s something soothing about their work as well that, admittedly, “Raising Kids in the End Times” is gleeful in undercutting. Cute as well they pair that one with “Dorito Dreams” on this, their seventh record in a 20-plus-year run, which has now seen them find their footing, lose it, find it again, and in this record and songs like the masterfully frenetic “Fill up Glass” and the air-tight-tense “Like Hate” and “Romance,” weave a document every bit worthy of Mr. Meredith’s attention as he mourns for the potential of this godforsaken wasteland. Oh, what we’ll leave behind. Such pretty ruins.

The Giraffes website

The Giraffes on Bandcamp

 

Bask, III

bask iii

In the fine tradition of heavy rock as grown-up punk, North Carolina’s Bask bring progressive edge and rolling-Appalachian atmospherics to the underlying energy of III, their aptly-titled and Season of Mist-issued third album. Their foot is in any number of styles, from Baroness-style noodling to a hard twang that shows up throughout and features prominently on the penultimate “Noble Daughters II – The Bow,” but the great triumph of III, and really the reason it works at all, is because the band find cohesion in this swath of influences. They’re a band who obviously put thought into what they do, making it all the more appropriate to think of them as prog, but as “Three White Feet” and “New Dominion” show at the outset, they don’t serve any aesthetic master so much as the song itself. Closing with banjo and harmonies and a build of crash cymbal on “Maiden Mother Crone” nails the point home in a not-understated way, but at no point does III come across as hyper-theatrical so as to undercut the value of what Bask are doing. It’s a more patient album than it at first seems, but given time to breathe, III indeed comes to life.

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Bandcamp

 

Faerie Ring, The Clearing

fairie ring the clearing

Listening to the weighty rollout of opening cut “Bite the Ash” on Faerie Ring‘s debut album, The Clearing (on King Volume Records), one is reminded of the energy that once-upon-a-time came out of Houston’s Venomous Maximus. There’s a similar feeling of dark energy surging through the riffs and echoing vocals, but the Evansville, Indiana, four-piece wind up on a different trip. Their take is more distinctly Sabbathian on “Lost Wind” and even the swinging “Heavy Trip” lives up to its stated purpose ahead of the chugging largesse of finisher “Heaven’s End.” They find brash ground on “The Ring” and the slower march of “Somnium,” but there’s metal beneath the lumbering and it comes out on “Miracle” in a way that the drums late in “Lost Wind” seem to hint toward on subsequent listens. It’s a mix of riff-led elements that should be readily familiar to many listeners, but the sheer size and clarity of presentation Faerie Ring make throughout The Clearing makes me think they’ll look to distinguish themselves going forward, and so their first record holds all the more potential for that.

Faerie Ring on Thee Facebooks

King Volume Records on Bandcamp

 

Desert Sands, The Ascent EP

Desert Sands The Ascent

Begun as the solo-project of London-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mark Walker and presently a trio including Louis Kinder and Jonathan Walker as well, Desert Sands make their recorded debut through A Records with the three-song/half-hour The Ascent EP, a work of psychedelic existentialism that conveys its cosmic questioning even before the lyrics start, with an opening riff and rhythmic lurch to “Are You There” that seems to throw its central query into a void that either will or won’t answer. Does it? The hell should I know, but The Ascent proves duly transcendent in its pulsations as “Head Towards the Light” and 11:45 closer “Yahweh” — yeah, I guess we get there — bring drifting, languid enlightenment to these spiritual musings. The finale is, of course, a jam in excelsis and if drop-acid-find-god is the narrative we’re working with, then Desert Sands are off to a hell of a start as a project. Regardless of how one might ultimately come down (and it is, by my estimation at least, a comedown) on the question of human spirituality, there’s no denying the power and ethereal force of the kind of creativity on display in The Ascent. One will wait impatiently to see what comes next.

Desert Sands on Thee Facebooks

A Recordings on Thee Facebooks

 

Cavalcade, Sonic Euthanasia

Cavalcade Sonic Euthanasia

Say what you want about New Orleans or North Carolina or wherever the hell else, Midwestern sludge is another level of filth. To wit, the Carcass-style vocals that slice through the raw, dense riffing on “Aspirate on Aspirations” feel like the very embodiment of modern disillusion, and there’s some flourish of melodic guitar pluck there, but that only seems to give the ensuing crunch more impact, and likewise the far-back char of “Freezing in Fire” as it relates to the subsequent “Dead Idles,” as Cavalcade refute the trappings of genre in tempo while still seeming to burrow a hole for themselves in the skull of the converted. “Noose Tie” and “We Dig Our Own Graves” tell the story, but while the recording itself is barebones, Cavalcade aren’t now and never really have been so simple as to be a one-trick band. For more than a decade, they’ve provided a multifaceted and trickily complex downer extremity, and Sonic Euthanasia does this as well, bringing their sound to new places and new levels of abrasion along its punishing way. Easy listening? Shit. You see that eye on the cover? That’s the lizard people staring back at you. Have fun with that.

Cavalcade on Thee Facebooks

Cavalcade on Bandcamp

 

Restless Spirit, Lord of the New Depression

restless spirit lord of the new depression

Long Island chug-rockers Restless Spirit would seem to have been developing the material for their self-released debut album, Lord of the New Depression, over the last couple years on a series of short releases, but the songs still sound fresh and electrified in their vitality. If this was 1992 or ’93, they’d be signed already to RoadRacer Records and put on tour with Life of Agony, whose River Runs Red would seem to be a key influence in the vocals of the nine-track/39-minute offering, but even on their own, the metal-tinged five-piece seem to do just fine. Their tracks are atmospheric and aggressive and kind, and sincere in their roll, capturing the spirit of a band like Down with somewhat drawn-back chestbeating, “Dominion” aside. They seem to be challenging themselves to push outside those confines though in “Deep Fathom Hours,” the longest track at 7:35 with more complexity in the melody of the vocals and guitar, and that suits them remarkably well as they dig into this doomly take on LOA and Type O Negative and others from the early ’90s NYC underground — they seem to pass on Biohazard, which is fine — made legendary with the passage of time. As a gentleman of a certain age, I find it exceptionally easy to get on board.

Restless Spirit on Thee Facebooks

Restless Spirit on Bandcamp

 

Children of the Sün, Flowers

Children of the Sun Flowers

An eight-piece outfit based in Arvika, Sweden, which is far enough west to be closer to Oslo than Stockholm, Children of the Sün blend the classic heavy rock stylizations of MaidaVale, first-LP Blues Pills and others with a decidedly folkish bent. Including an intro, their The Sign Records debut album, Flowers, is eight track and 34 minutes interweaving organ and guitar, upbeat vibes and bluesier melodies, taking cues from choral-style vocals on “Emmy” in such a way as to remind of Church of the Cosmic Skull, though the aesthetic here is more hippie than cult. The singing on “Sunschild” soars in that fashion as well, epitomizing the lush melody found across Flowers as the keys, guitar, bass and drums work to match in energy and presence. For a highlight, I’d pick the more subdued title-track, which still has its sense of movement thanks to percussion deep in the mix but comes arguably closest to the flower-child folk Children of the Sün seem to be claiming for their own, though the subsequent closing duo of “Like a Sound” and “Beyond the Sun” aren’t far off either. They’re onto something. One hopes they continue to explore in such sünshiny fashion.

Children of the Sün on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Void King, Barren Dominion

void king barren dominion

Having made their debut with 2016’s There is Nothing (discussed here), Indianapolis downtrodden heavy rock four-piece Void King come back for a second go with Barren Dominion (on Off the Record Label), a title of similar theme that finds them doom riffing through massive tonality on “Burnt at Both Ends,” asking what if Soundgarden played atmospheric doom rock on “Crippled Chameleon” — uh, it would be awesome? yup — and opening each side with its longest track (double immediate points) in a clearly intended vinyl structure hell bent on immersing the listener as much as possible in the lumber and weight the band emit. Frontman Jason Kindred adds extra burl to his already-plenty-dudely approach on “Crippled Chameleon” and closer “The Longest Winter,” the latter with some harmonies to mirror those of opener “A Lucid Omega,” and the band around him — bassist Chris Carroll, drummer Derek Felix and guitarist Tommy Miller — seem to have no trouble whatsoever in keeping up, there or anywhere else on the eight-song/46-minute outing. Topped with striking cover art from Diogo SoaresBarren Dominion is deceptively nuanced and full-sounding. Not at all empty.

Void King on Thee Facebooks

Off the Record Label BigCartel store

 

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Bask Post “New Dominion” Video; III out Nov. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bask (Photo by Jamie Kay and Arlie)

Asheville’s Bask have set a Nov. 8 release for their Season of Mist debut album, III, and posted a video for the track “New Dominion” from the record. Amid shimmering guitar and fervent underlying chug speaking to the tension that plays out rhythmically in progressive fashion, the four-piece offer crash and melody alike, precise and their delivery but not impatient in going about their building movement. It’s modern in the post-Baroness sense, but less hued to that identity outright in its noodling, and, frankly, less pretentious. That’s certainly a welcome aesthetic shift, and the interplay of guitar layers here and vocals overtop bodes well for digging into the rest of the full-length, which is still a month and a half away, but will no doubt be led into with more teaser audio along the way. In the meantime, the colors in the video for “New Dominion” feel exceedingly well earned, so dig in at the bottom of this post.

III details follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

bask iii

BASK Unveil New Album Details, Reveal Music Video

Psychedelic rock formation BASK will be releasing their third studio album, aptly titled ‘III,’ on November 8 via Season of Mist, making it their debut to the label. The effort was recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Minus The Bear, etc.). The album art and track-listing can be found below.

In conjunction with the announcement, BASK has premiered the first single, New Dominion,” along with a kaleidoscopic new music video. Watch and listen at THIS LOCATION.

BASK comment: “We bring you our premiere single and video for ‘New Dominion.’ We’ve waited anxiously to share these songs and stories with you. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed writing and recording.”

‘III’ can be pre-ordered in various formats HERE.

Tracklist:
1. Three White Feet (05:53)
2. New Dominion (04:28)
3. Stone Eyed (04:17)
4. Rid of You (04:40)
5. Noble Daughters I: The Stave (05:49)
6. Noble Daughters II: The Bow (06:16)
7. Maiden Mother Crone (04:40)
Total: 0:36:03

Line-up:
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocals

Guest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”

https://www.facebook.com/basknc
https://www.instagram.com/baskband/
https://basknc.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Bask, “New Dominion” (official video)

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