Queen Elephantine Post Tribute to Atrophos Vol. III EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

No doubt calling the series ‘Drones Against Lethargy’ would’ve been too obvious for the likes of Queen Elephantine, but Tribute to Atrophos makes the point just the same as a title, and with the advent of Vol. III out now, they’re certainly living up to the standard they set in terms of not being apathetic. The improvisation-based experimentalist troupe continue to mine the out-of-normal and return to ground with a style that is as much drone as it is aural spiritualism and still somehow heavy regardless of whatever volume it happens to be operating with at any given time. Music of presence, for lack of a better way to say it. Their recordings are almost always raw, and this one is too, but the effect of making you wish you were in that room is palpable, and for me, that’s what it’s always been about with them. They remain undervalued.

The PR wire brought words:

Queen Elephantine Tribute to Atrophos Vol III

Psychedelic Doom Drone Rituals: QUEEN ELEPHANTINE Third Installment Tribute To Atrophos Online Vol. III of New EP Series Online

Queen Elephantine returns with three new EP’s in a digital series titled Tribute To Atrophos. The illustrious psychedelic avantgarde collective was formed in Hong Kong in 2006 by Indian musician Indrayudh Shome and wandered through many cities before finding its current home base in Philadelphia, USA.

The post-apocalyptic global sound of Queen Elephantine is both heavy and transcendent, informed by everything from doom, drone, noise, krautrock, free jazz, and spiritual and subversive sounds from all over the world.

Besides several studio albums, the band has released a number of splits, including with Sons of Otis and Elder, and have recently finished a collaborative album with the Russian ritualists Phurpa.

In observance and tribute to this period of global atrophy, they present a collection of improvisations recorded in the months following the release of their last LP Gorgon in November 2019 on Argonauta Records and Atypeek Music.

Queen Elephantine:
Indrayudh Shome: Guitar/Vocal
Camden Healy: Bass
Nathanael Totushek: Drums
Brett Zweiman: Vocal/Electronics
Matthew Couto: Synthesizer
Daniel Quinn: Pukele/Percussion
Srinivas Reddy: Tanpura

www.queenelephantine.com
www.queenelephantine.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/queenelephantine
www.atypeekmusic.com

Queen Elephantine, Tribute to Atrophos Vol. III

Tags: , , , , ,

Abrams Premiere “That Part of Me” from Modern Ways

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

abrams

Denver four-piece Abrams will release their new album, Modern Ways, on May 1 through Sailor Records and Atypeek Music. Though the semi-revamped outfit — founding guitarist/vocalist Zachary Amster and bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen here welcome guitarist Patrick Alberts and drummer Ryan Dewitt to the fold — continue to maintain an edge of modern progressive metal à la the MastoBarodonness set, songs like “Joshua Tree,” the subsequent “That Part of Me,” and the later “Silver Lake” push the envelope of a Torchean pop sensibility to new and ultra-accessible ground. As with their two prior long-players, 2017’s Morning (review here) and 2015’s Lust. Love. Loss. (review here), Abrams create this blend of capital-‘h’ Heavy and more aggro metal elements — wait, “heavy” and “metal?” — in a collection of varied but mostly catchy, tightly written, energetically performed works of pointed, well-directed songcraft.

Their purposes in that regard are clear from the opening title-track, which seems to lyrically disavow modern ways even as the clarity of Dave Otero‘s production (he also mixed and mastered) highlights them in the band’s sound, onward into the grander-swinging of “Poison Bullets,” which introduces some more crunch in the double-guitar/bass combinationabrams modern ways to follow-up on the finish of the opener, the screams of which will also later find complement on the three-minute “Silence,” even as that track rounds out in earliest-Queens of the Stone Age start-stop bounce (thinking “Mexicola” particularly). In between, one finds “Find a Way” cleanly executed and “My War” shifting to more of a linear build structure from its still-voluminous beginning, dropping to quiet for its verse and gaining steam through its chorus surges as it goes, both tracks coming ahead of the five-minute “Silver Lake,” which coats its isolation in a dream-toned airy guitar figure and is perhaps a complement either conscious or not to “Joshua Tree,” the vocals reminding a bit of Mos Generator but holding fast in the midsection to the edge that comes forward in the second half that follows, that last push capped with a flourish via a return to the softer progression that started off; something of a head-spinner, but an enjoyable trip just the same.

It cedes ground to “Silence,” which clears the air ahead of the closing duo “Pale Moonlight” and “Marionette,” which are the only two songs on the 10-track Modern Ways to run over six minutes apiece. “Pale Moonlight” is the longer of the two and holds an initial tension in its drums despite starting off quiet, shoving ahead into more intense fare and a highlight guitar solo as it works through its instrumental back end, while “Marionette” brings where-the-hell-have-these-been-hiding vocal harmonies and finds a heavier footing in the undertone for some of the more floating guitar, finishing clean with a symmetry of bass that underscores the notion of just how much of what Abrams does and what makes their work to this point in their tenure so effective is based around songwriting. Their pieces successfully feed into an overarching flow across Modern Ways‘ 43 minutes, but it is abundantly clear they were composed one way or the other as individual songs, and they function accordingly well either in the full context of their surrounding tracks or standing on their own.

To that end, you’ll find the clearheaded four-minute push of “That Part of Me” premiering on the player below, followed by a brief quote from Amster about the track and of course the requisite album preorder link. For what it’s worth, it takes you right to Abrams‘ Bandcamp, and I know it’s always important to support bands directly, but given current events it feels all the more crucial. I’m not trying to sell you anything (ever; that ain’t my thing), I’m just pointing out what’s there.

Enjoy the song:

Zachary Amster on “That Part of Me”:

“‘That Part of Me’ was the first song we wrote for this record. It really set the tone for the type of sound we wanted to create en masse. Dynamically heavy rock and roll with hooks.”

Pre-orders: http://abramsrock.bandcamp.com/album/modern-ways

Modern Ways will be available on vinyl and streaming services via Sailor Records on May 1st, 2020. Pre-orders are available HERE. Mixed, Mastered and Produced by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Westminster, CO.

Based out of Denver, Abrams was founded in 2013 as a trio. Abrams debut EP, February was released in May 2014 on No List Records. The supporting tour for this release saw the band hit the West Coast, before heading immediately into the studio to record their first full length. Lust. Love. Loss was released independently in June 2015. The remainder of the year saw Abrams tour West, East, and West again. Their follow up, Morning, came out on Sailor Records in June of 2017, which was supported by three nationwide tours for much of the remaining year.

Abrams is:
Patrick Alberts: Guitar
Zachary Amster: Guitar & Vox
Ryan Dewitt: Drums
Taylor Iversen: Bass & Vox

Abrams website

Abrams on Instagram

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

Sailor Records website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music on Bandcamp

Atypeek Music website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Abrams Announce New LP Modern Ways & Stream Title-Track

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

abrams

If you don’t give them anything else, you have to give it to Denver’s Abrams on their producer choices. Both 2017’s Morning (review here) and 2015’s Lust. Love. Loss. (review here) were tracked with Andy Patterson, and their upcoming long-player, Modern Ways — out May 1 on Sailor Records — was helmed by Dave Otero, whom I’ll always remember as he who recorded Cephalic Carnage‘s Anomalies but is probably better known at this point for working with Khemmis and the like.

Fair enough for the band wanting to change things up as they approach their third full-length — at least in some regards; Morning also had cover art by the brilliant Samantha Muljat — and the first single, also the title-track, from Modern Ways finds them pushing their affinity for creating heavy-toned-and-pop-informed rock to the forefront of their sound. Expect quality songs, and a quality production. This band has set a standard for itself at this point.

Details from the PR wire:

abrams modern ways

Abrams share lead track from forthcoming third album Modern Ways

Abrams has upped the ante with their latest recording, Modern Ways. With a focus on songwriting, lyrical narrative, and addictive hooks and refrains, Abrams presents a highly focused, intensely polished sonic narrative. Written over the course of two and a half years, the album reflects the passions, pains, successes and nightmares of the members of Abrams lives.

Modern Ways will be available on vinyl and streaming services via Sailor Records on May 1st, 2020. Pre-orders are available HERE. Mixed, Mastered and Produced by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Westminster, CO.

Based out of Denver, Abrams was founded in 2013 as a trio. Abrams debut EP, February was released in May 2014 on No List Records. The supporting tour for this release saw the band hit the West Coast, before heading immediately into the studio to record their first full length. Lust. Love. Loss was released independently in June 2015. The remainder of the year saw Abrams tour West, East, and West again. Their follow up, Morning, came out on Sailor Records in June of 2017, which was supported by three nationwide tours for much of the remaining year.

Abrams is:
Patrick Alberts: Guitar
Zachary Amster: Guitar & Vox
Ryan Dewitt: Drums
Taylor Iversen: Bass & Vox

ABRAMS LIVE 2020:
01/29/20 Denver, CO @ Ophelia’s – Private Snowboard Industry event w/ ASG
05/02/20 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive – w/ Native Daughters and Palehorse/Palerider

Artist: Abrams
Album: Modern Ways
Record Label: Sailor Records
Release Date: May 1st, 2020
01. Modern Ways
02. Poison Bullets
03. Joshua Tree
04. That Part of Me
05.. Find a Way
06. My War
07. Silver Lake
08. Silence
09. Pale Moonlight
10. Marionette

http://www.abramsrocks.com
http://instagram.com/abramstheband
https://www.facebook.com/abramsrock
https://abramsrock.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.sailorrecords.com/
https://sailor-records.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sailorrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/AtypeekMusic/
https://atypeek.bandcamp.com/
atypeekmusic.com/

Abrams, Modern Ways (2020)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Queen Elephantine, Gorgon: Turn to Stone

Posted in Reviews on December 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

queen elephantine gorgon

As a creative unit, Queen Elephantine seem to take particular delight in contrasting ritual and experimentalism. Nomadic in geography and decreasingly so but still somewhat amorphous in contributors around founder/guitarist/vocalist Indrayudh Shome and drummer-of-long-standing Nathanael Totushek — though percussionist/vocalist Matthew Becker, Tanpura player/sometimes guitarist Srinivas Reddy, and vocalists Ian Sims and Samer Ghadry (who’ve also handled percussion and guitar, respectively, in the past) have become something of a steady presence — the group which in its latest incarnation is based at least on Shome‘s part in Philadelphia also includes bassist Camden Healy and returning guitarist Brett Zweiman, as well as synth from former Elder drummer Matt Couto, present Gorgon on Argonauta Records and Atypeek Music. It is the sixth Queen Elephantine full-length and arrives following Kala (review here), which was their label debut on Argonauta in 2016. With it come four extended tracks that hearken to the contrast noted in the outset: “Mars” (13:02), “Unbirth” (9:59), “To See Eyes” (10:12) and “Mercury” (10:14). It is by no means the band’s first consort with mythology and extended forms, and after 2013’s Scarab (review here) saw them discover a more dronely, meditative course, Kala pushed further just as Gorgon does once again.

So how can a band be both reliable and unpredictable? Easy: they’re reliably unpredictable. You never really know going into a Queen Elephantine record what you’re going to get, but you can rest assured it’s not going to sound like anything else, and sure enough, Gorgon doesn’t. Even as, with multiple singers at play throughout much of it, adding to the overarching droned-out feel, Gorgon is perhaps Queen Elephantine‘s most Swansian outing up to this point in their career, it’s also singly their own, basking in an identity that comes through Shome‘s own lo-fi production (Billy Anderson mastered) and willful abandonment of traditional verse/chorus structure in favor of songcraft as an outward linear journey, an absolute going that doesn’t so much actively try to return as to follow a drifting and sometimes tidal-feeling pattern, surging and receding, ebbing and flowing, building, crashing, rolling out again. Even in their most straightforward early work, Queen Elephantine have never been a particularly accessible band. Their material is always challenging, and reliable in being more concerned with its own expression and journey than with a given listener’s ability to keep up or with placating an audience.

That very much remains true on Gorgon, as “Mars,” which is both opener and longest track (immediate points) opens with waves of drone and the eventual arrival of a chanting vocal pattern that will return throughout much of the album as it unfolds. These wails become an essential part of the record’s character, and one assumes it’s ShomeSims and Ghadry together singing out. On “Mars,” they’re surrounded by winding lead guitar, live-sounding drums and at least two layers of synth/drone, so there’s no shortage of things happening, yet with the rawness of production there’s still something minimal about the proceedings that would seem to have carried over from pieces of Kala and more particularly Scarab before Gorgon. The rhythmic guitar of “Unbirth” seems to join the percussive march happening and is willfully, almost defiantly, repetitive — also a significant source of the Swans comparison above — but builds to as close to a wash as I’ve ever heard from Queen Elephantine, psychedelic and immersive with the forward rush of synthesizer and the fragmentation of that guitar line, which morphs and readjusts itself into a different plod, all the more resolved with resurgent vocals overtop. But it’s with “To See Eyes” that the more minimalist feel comes through, and particularly in the second half, which isn’t by any means leaving empty space, but in the setup for a guitar freakout to come, departs for a minute or two into a vast dronescape that is little short of breathtaking.

QUEEN ELEPHANTINE

And when the guitar kicks back in after the seven-minute mark, well, you’ll know it when you hear it. Noise ensues, and what construction there was — and I don’t doubt there was some, even if it was steadfast in its refusal to follow familiar patterns — is pulled apart. I haven’t had the benefit of a lyric sheet to guess at themes or anything like that — often the chants seem more intended to add to the overarching atmosphere than to deliver a pointed message, but perhaps that’s my own misinterpretation — but there are no words as “To See Eyes” bleeds directly into “Mercury” anyhow, the nodding finisher picking up with a more active and plodding progression, guitar and synth adding to the liquefied feel of the outward processional. A noisy solo takes hold and a clear verse emerges from it after three minutes in as patterns are established in the ethereal, which can only mean that departure isn’t far off. Sure enough, Queen Elephantine are soon embroiled in the greater reaches of Sonic Elsewhere, though there’s something particularly grungey about the guitar tone as they go. In psychedelic ritual fashion, they once again pull the track apart at the seams, but this time reemerge from the noise with a verse and final build to a crescendo paying off Gorgon as a whole before giving over to a last burst of feedback.

Isn’t it time to start calling Queen Elephantine jazz? Are we there yet? Much as the gorgons turned those who gazed upon them into stone — the most famous, of course, being Medusa — Gorgon‘s own conversation with immortals would seem to have more to do with Alice Coltrane than Ancient Greece, at least from a sonic standpoint. It’s easy enough to get why they’re underappreciated. True experimentalists often are by a wider audience. But in terms of style and forward-thinking expressive and ambient weight, Queen Elephantine stand apart now and have for some time from those who one might otherwise consider their peers, and as they exist between worlds of the heavy underground and the avant garde, it seems all the more apparent how laudable and unbending their commitment to their own continued growth is. Is it indulgent? Oh yeah. Most definitely. Gorgon isn’t easy listening by any stretch, and even at a manageable 43 minutes, it can feel grueling in the reaches of “Unbirth” or the near-violent deconstruction of “To See Eyes,” but it’s not meant to be easy — on you as a listener or on them as artists. It is meant to exist in that perpetual contradiction between ritual and experiment, taking the familiar and reshaping it into something almost unrecognizable. I wouldn’t dare to predict Queen Elephantine‘s future, where they might go from here in sound or otherwise, but that ethic is at their core, and it seems only fair to expect it to stay there for as long as they’re a band. So be it.

Queen Elephantine, Gorgon (2019)

Queen Elephantine website

Queen Elephantine on Bandcamp

Queen Elephantine on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

Atypeek Music website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Queen Elephantine to Start Gorgon Release Tour Nov. 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

queen elephantine

The new Queen Elephantine album, Gorgon, is out Nov. 8 through Argonauta Records and Atypeek Music, and the night before, they’ll begin a Northeastern run to support the release, playing Philly and Baltimore and Richmond before turning back north to Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, closing out in scenic Montclair, New Jersey. The Connecticut show is particularly notable since I think it’s their first time there and they’ll share the stage with local largesse-bringers Sea of Bones which, well, if you ever had a mind to have your entire being swallowed by tone at a gig, that might just be the night to make it happen. Also nifty that Matt Couto of Elder and Kind is sitting in on percussion (he also plays synth on the record, so there’s that) for the run alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Indrayudh Shome and a seemingly expansive cast of cohorts.

An entirely underrated band whose work genuinely deserves more attention than it’s ever gotten to this point. They should tour more, but hey, maybe this is a start.

They posted the dates on thee social medias as follows:

queen elephentine november tour

In two weeks we hit the road to celebrate the release of our new album GORGON, which drops November 8th on Argonauta Records and Atypeek Music.

We’re playing with amazing artists throughout including Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs doing a solo “Drums & Drones” set in Brooklyn, our cosmic friends darsombra, the ten-ton thunder of Sea of Bones, Azonic (mems of Khanate and Blind Idiot God), Baltimore heavies BLACK LUNG, noise rockers tile and Hex Machine, and in Providence the dirt royalty of The Hammer Party, and the otherworldly drone violence of Rectrix (Pippi Zornoza) and Gyna Bootleg (Steph Nieves).

The core lineup will be Indrayudh Shome (guitar/vocal), Nathanael Totushek (drums), Camden Healy (bass), Brett Zweiman (synth), Matthew Couto (percussion), with appearances from Samer Ghadry, Ian Sims, Matthew Becker, Derek Fukumori, and Srinivas Reddy.

NOVEMBER 2019
7 – Philadelphia PA (Century)
8 – Baltimore MD (The Crown)
9 – Richmond VA (Wonderland)
10 – Harrisburg PA (JB Lovedraft’s)
14 – Brooklyn NY (Sunnyvale)
15 – Hamden CT (The Cellar on Treadwell)
16 – Providence RI (AS220)
17 – Montclair NJ (The Meatlocker)

www.queenelephantine.com
www.queenelephantine.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/queenelephantine
www.argonautarecords.com
www.atypeekmusic.com

Queen Elephantine, “Mars”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Queen Elephantine to Release Gorgon Nov. 8; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

queen elephantine

Nov. 8 is the release date for the new Queen Elephantine album, Gorgon, and if you perchance think that isn’t information vital to your day, you should get yourself a handle on the streaming track from the thing, called “Mars,” that you can hear at the bottom of this post. Now based in Philly as much as they’ve ever been based anywhere, the experimentalist troupe led by guitarist/vocalist Indrayudh Shome dig well into their jazz-meets-drone-doom ritualizing in full force and by force I mean the slow momentum of lava over landscape.

I haven’t heard it, but given their history I’d not at all count on any one song to represent the entirety of a Queen Elephantine record, even if the central methodology stays the same across the span, which of course isn’t guaranteed either. Doesn’t feel like too much of a leap to say “Mars” bodes well for the general sound of what might surround it, however. I’ve made more daring speculations in my time, and the band have for sure earned some trust over the years.

They’re on the road in November around the release. Info and dates follow:

queen elephantine gorgon

Experimental Psych Doom rockers QUEEN ELEPHANTINE Unleash Album Details + First Single!

Gorgon coming this November on Argonauta Records!

The avant-garde post-apocalyptic rock unit Queen Elephantine have revealed the first details about their forthcoming, sixth studio album, titled Gorgon. Set for a release on November 8th via Argonauta Records, Gorgon’s dissonant riffs will pull you down a river of unearthly atmospheres, guided by the incantations of sardonic fakirs, unravelling their final sermon before the cosmos combusts. High recommended for fans of acts alike Swans, OM, Circle or Earth, this is a trip through hypnotic molasses grooves – drawn from psychedelia, doom, drone, noise rock as well as free jazz and sacred music from around the world. Formed in 2006 in Hong Kong and currently based in Philadelphia, USA, Queen Elephantine is a nebulous worship of heavy mood and time, who already left their big stamp in the current heavy and psych rock scene. Queen Elephantine have released five albums to date as well as splits with Elder or Sons of Otis.

Today the experimental music collective has shared the cover artwork, tracklist and a first track taken from Gorgon with us. Listen to Mars right HERE!

[ Artwork by Tsem Rinpoche & Nathanael Totushek ]

Gorgon Tracklisting:
1. Mars
2. Unbirth
3. To See Eyes
4. Mercury

Gorgon was produced and mixed by guitarist and vocalist Indrayudh Shome, and mastered by Billy Anderson. In support of their new album, with an LP and CD pre-sale coming soon on Argonauta Records and digital album release with Atypeek Music, Queen Elephantine will embark on a US Northeast Tour this Fall, make sure to catch their mesmerizing live shows at the following dates:

11/7 – Philadelphia PA – Century
11/8 – Baltimore MD – The Crown
11/ 9 – Richmond VA – Wonderland
11/10 – Harrisburg PA – JB Lovedraft’s
11/14 – Brooklyn NY – Sunnyvale
11/15 – New Haven CT – The Cellar on Treadwell
11/16 – Providence RI – AS220
11/17 – Montclair NJ – The Meat Locker

Album Line-Up:
Indrayudh Shome: Guitar, Vocals
Nathanael Totushek: Drums
Camden Healy: Bass
Brett Zweiman: Divine Mosquito Guitar
Samer Ghadry and Ian Sims: Vocals
Matthew Becker: Vocals, Percussion
Matthew Couto: Synthesizers
Srinivas Reddy: Tanpura

www.queenelephantine.com
www.queenelephantine.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/queenelephantine
www.argonautarecords.com
www.atypeekmusic.com

Queen Elephantine, “Mars”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: CHRCH, Bongripper, King Chiefs, Bonnacons of Doom, Boar, June Bug, Tired Lord, Bert, Zen Bison, Wheel in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know the deal by now, I’m sure: 50 reviews this week between now and Friday, in batches of 10 per day. It’s an unholy amount of music, but those who really dig in always seem to find something cool within a Quarterly Review. Frankly, with this much to choose from, I’d certainly hope so. I’m not going to delay at all, except to say thanks in advance for coming along on this one. It’s got some core-heavy and some-not-really-core-heavy stuff all bundled next to each other, so yeah, your patience is appreciated. Okay. No time like the present. Let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All

chrch light will consume us all

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the songs are long. Blah blah blah it’s heavy as whatever kind of construction equipment you could want to name. What’s even more striking about Los Angeles doomers CHRCH’s Neurot Recordings debut, Light Will Consume Us All, is the sense of atmosphere. The follow-up to 2015’s massively well-received Unanswered Hymns (review here) is comprised of three songs presented in descending time order from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Infinite” (20:41) to centerpiece “Portals” (14:50) and closer “Aether” (9:29) and it finds CHRCH refining the unremitting patience of their rollout, so that even when “Aether” explodes in its second half to charred blastbeating and abrasive screams, the ambience is still dense enough to feel it in one’s lungs. CHRCH keep up this level of progression and soon enough someone’s going to call them post-something or other. As it stands, their second album builds righteously on the achievements of their debut, and is a revelation in its bleakness.

CHRCH on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings website

 

Bongripper, Terminal

bongripper terminal

Pressed up as ever in DIY fashion, Bongripper’s Terminal presents two gargantuan slabs – one per vinyl side – that only seem to highlight the strengths in the Chicago instrumentalists’ approach. The tones are huge, the grooves nodding, the impact of each kick drum forceful. Repetition is central, that feeling of aural mass and destructiveness, but neither is Terminal – comprised of “Slow” (25:11) and “Death” (18:15) – lacking a sense of atmosphere. After 21 minutes of grueling pummel, “Slow” devolves into droning layers of noise wash and quiet guitar to finish out, and “Death” seems to hold onto an echoing lead in its closing minutes that accomplishes much the same thing in broadening the atmosphere overall. I don’t know if the two songs were composed to fit together –the titles would hint yes – but they invariably do, and as “Death” unleashes a more insistent punch before turning to a post-YOB gallop, it reconfirms Bongripper’s worship-worthy place in the stoner doom milieu, how their sound can be so familiar in its threat and yet so much their own.

Bongripper on Bandcamp

Bongripper webstore

 

King Chiefs, Blue Sonnet

King Chiefs Blue Sonnet

Born as Chiefs ahead of their 2015 debut album, Tomorrow’s Over (review here), Arizona-based four-piece King Chiefs make their own first outing in the form of the easily-digestible desert rocker Blue Sonnet (on Roosevelt Row and Cursed Tongue Records), comprised of 10 tracks running just under 40 minutes of older-school laid back heavy, swinging easy on cuts like “Surely Never” and “Drifter” while still finding some Helmeted aggressive edge in the riffs of “Slug” and “Walk the Plank.” The overarching focus is on songwriting, however, and King Chiefs hone in cleverly on ‘90s-era desert rock’s post-grunge sensibility, so that their material seems ready for an alternative radio that no longer exists. Such as it is, they do just fine without, and hooks pervade the two-guitar outfit’s material in natural and memorable fashion all the way to five-and-a-half-minute closer “Shrine of the Beholder,” which embraces some broader textures without losing the structural focus that serves so well on the songs before it.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Roosevelt Row Records website

Cursed Tongue Records website

 

Bonnacons of Doom, Bonnacons of Doom

bonnacons of doom bonnacons of doom

Heavy psychedelic experimentalism pervades the Rocket Recordings-issued self-titled debut album from Liverpool collective Bonnacons of Doom, rife with tripout ritualism and exploration of sound as it is, all chasing light and getting freaky in any sense you want to read it. Five tracks, each a voyage unto itself – even the bass-fuzzy push of shortest cut “Rhizome” (5:55) is cosmos-bound – feed into the larger weirdness at play that culminates in the undulating grooves of “Plantae” (8:39), which is perhaps the most solidified cut in terms of choruses, verses, etc., but still a molten, headphone-worthy freakout that pushes the limits of psychedelia and still holds itself together. If the album was a to-do list, it would read as follows: “Eat mushrooms. Get naked. Dance around. Repeat.” Whether you do or don’t is ultimately up to you, but Bonnacons of Doom make a pretty convincing argument in favor, and I don’t generally consider myself much of a dancer. Among the most individualized psych debuts I’ve heard in a long time.

Bonnacons of Doom on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Boar, Poseidon

Boar Poseidon

Poseidon, at six songs and 39 minutes, is the second long-player from Finnish four-piece Boar. Released on vinyl with no shortage of backing — Lost Pilgrims Records, Dissonant Society, Impure Muzik, S.K.O.D., Rämekuukkeli-levyt – it hurls forth a High on Fire-informed vision of noise rock on its opening title-track only to take on a slower roll in the subsequent “Shahar’s Son” and dig into massive crashing on “12.” Using echo to add a sense of depth all the while, they scream in tradeoffs à la Akimbo and boogie in “Featherless” and seem to find a post-metallic moment on “Dark Skies” before closing with the alternately brooding and scathing “Totally out of This World,” the song sort of falling apart into the feedback and noise that ends the album. There’s a persistent sense of violence happening, but it’s as much inward as outward, and though some of Boar’s most effective moments are in that rawness, there’s something to be said for the contemplation at the outset of “Shahar’s Son” and “12” as well.

Boar on Thee Facebooks

Boar on Bandcamp

 

June Bug, A Thousand Days

June bug A Thousand Days

Seemingly unrestrained by genre, the Lille, France-based duo June BugJune on vocals and multiple instruments and Beryl on backing vocals and multiple instruments – dig into some post-punk nudge on early cut “Reasons” from their debut album, A Thousand Days (Atypeek Music) after the folkish melodies of opener “Now,” but whether it’s the fuzzy indie vibes of “Freaks” or the harmonies, electronics and acoustic guitar of “Let it Rest,” or the keyboard-handclaps, lower tones and poppish instrumental hook of centerpiece “Mama,” there’s plenty of variety throughout. What ties the differing vibes and richly nuanced approach together is the vocals, which are mostly subdued and at times hyper-stylized, but never seem to fail to keep melodicism as their central operating method. That remains true on the subdued “Does it Matter” and the beat-laden “Silenced” at the album’s finish and brings everything together with an overarching sense of joy that holds firm despite shifts in mood and approach, making the complete front-to-back listen as satisfying as it might seem all over the place.

June Bug on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music website

 

Tired Lord, Demo

tired lord demo

Released by the band last year, the four-song Demo by San Francisco outfit Tired Lord has been picked up for an official cassette issue through From Corners Unknown Records and will reportedly be the only release from the black metal/sludge genre-benders. Presumably that means they broke up, rather than just refuse to ever record again, though the latter possibility intrigues as well and would be meta-black metal. Spearheaded by guitarist Bryce Olson, Tired Lord effectively bring a thickness of tone to charred riffing, and a balance between screams and growls brings a cast of general extremity to the material. So I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to regret their dissolution and wish they’d do a proper release. Fair enough for the brutal chug in “Serpent’s Ascent” and the 7:51 closer “Astaroth,” which one wouldn’t mind hearing fleshed out from their current form. Failing that, one of the 30 tape copies pressed of Demo seems like decent consolation. At least while they’re there for the getting and before Tired Lord go gleefully into that black metal demo tape ether where so many seem to dwell.

From Corners Unknown Records on Thee Facebooks

From Corners Unknown Records website

 

BerT, Relics from Time Zero

bert relics from time zero

Lansing, Michigan, trio BerT – bassist Phil Clark and brothers Ryan (guitar) and Rael (drums) Andrews – broke up. They even put out a posthumous rare tracks release in 2017’s The Lost Toes (review here), so what’s left? Well, another album, of course. Intended as a sequel to the sci-fi narrative of the never-released long-player Return to the Electric Church, the five-track/35-minute Relics from Time Zero is unfinished, sans vocals where they might otherwise be, and basically a look at what might’ve been had the band not dissolved. For those prior-exposed to the once-prolific heavy rock bizarros, some of the proceedings will seem familiar: riffs are plentiful and fluid in their tempo changes from driving rock to droned-out stomp, and there seems to be about 1.5 of them in the four-minute “In the Cave of the Batqueen,” so but for the fact that it’s not done, I’d just about call it business as usual for BerT. I know they’re done and all, but I still wouldn’t mind hearing these songs with some lyrics, let alone the record this one was intended to follow-up. Either way, even defunct, BerT remain on their own wavelength.

BerT on Thee Facebooks

BerT on Bandcamp

 

Zen Bison, Krautrocker

zen bison krautrocker

Classic-style heavy rock riffing pervades opener “Blow My Mind” (5:47) and the subsequent “Backseat Lovers” (5:15) – somewhere between Stubb and Radio Moscow — on Zen Bison’s debut LP, Krautrocker, but as the five-track/42-minute self-release moves into the 11-minute title-track, guitarist/vocalist Philipp Ott, bassist Steffen Fischer and drummer Martin Konopka – joined by organist Hans Kirschner and percussionist Bobby Müller –move into deeper-grooving and more psychedelic fare. That turn suits the mostly-live-recorded outfit well on the longer instrumental piece, and that leads to a side B with the likewise-sans-vocals “La Madrugada” (9:56) and the closing cover of Don Nix’s blues rocker “Going Down” (10:24), jammed out at the end in its middle and end with quick return to the chorus between. There isn’t much on Krautrocker one might actually consider krautrock in the traditional sense, but there’s certainly plenty of rock to go around on the impressive and varied first offering from the Rostock trio.

Zen Bison on Thee Facebooks

Zen Bison on Bandcamp

 

Wheel in the Sky, Beyond the Pale

wheel in the sky beyond the pale

From opener “Rivers of Dust” onward, Wheel in the Sky’s second album, Beyond the Pale (on The Sign Records), proffers classy and classic digs, informed by a heavy ‘70s uptempo spirit on its title-track and moving into more complex volume and arrangement shifts in “Burn Babylon Burn” (video premiere here) and a poppy, goth-informed hook on “The Only Dead Girl in the City,” all the while held together through a quality of songwriting that even the band’s 2015 debut, Heading for the Night (review here), seemed to hint toward. It’s a mover, to be sure, but Wheel in the Sky execute their material with poise and a sense of clear intention, and no matter where they seem to go, their tonality and natural production assures the listener has an easy time tagging along. Might be a sleeper for some, but there are going to be people who really, really dig this album, and I’ve got no argument with them.

Wheel in the Sky on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

 

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

June Bug to Release A Thousand Days on Atypeek Music; Tour on Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

june bug

Sometimes I post about things I think are cool and think other people might dig. Every now and again, I post about things I’m a little ambivalent about. And then, once in a good long while, I post about something I think is really fucking awesome and I don’t even care how anyone else feels about it. French avant psych-folk two-piece June Bug, who bring a delightfully weird and unpredictable style to their debut album, A Thousand Days, for sure fall into the latter category.

On tour now since the end of May, the band released A Thousand Days on their own back in April, but this month they’ll have it out again with backing from the respected taste of Atypeek Music, and as this is the first time I’m hearing it, and I dig the crap out of it, I’m posting about it. Because sometimes I have to do something like that to keep myself sane. So I dig this. If you do too, great. If not, wait for the next post. I’m sure it’ll be full of riffs.

Nothing against riffs, mind you.

Info and audio follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

june bug a thousand days

Atypeek Music: JUNE BUG Release New Album A Thousand Days

French avantgarde label Atypeek Music releases in June the new album by french Anti-Folk/ Pop, Psych Rock Duo June Bug.

June Bug has an alternative approach to Folk Music, where electronic and saturated sounds merge with the harmonies of human voices, guitars, percussions and synthesizers. The words and the melodies strongly match with the personality of Sarah June, self-taught artist singer songwriter who, through her musical journey, crossed the path of Beryl, guitarist multi-instrumentalist, who now accompanies her in the musical arrangements and on stage.

June Bug live:
07/06 CHERBOURG (50) Club Dinette
08/06 SAINT-BRIEUC (22) Le Fût Chantant
09/06 VANNES (56) Les Valseuses
10/06 VANNES (56) Bernus Café “concert privé”
20/06 MOUSCRON (BE) Festival Mouscr’on the Rock “Dottignies”
21/06 VILLENEUVE-D’ASCQ (59) La Ferme d’en Haut + Monsieur Thibaut
23/06 AMIENS (80) Festival Minuit avant la Nuit
28/06 DUNKERQUE (59) Le Bommel
30/06 SAINT-LAURENT-BLANGY (62) Médiathèque
01/07 LILLE (59) Concert privé
08/07 TULLE (19) Festival C’est Ma Tournée
28/07 CHAUNY (02) Festival Cantons Chante
11/08 TAVIGNY (BE) Festival La Truite Magique
13/08 AUXERRE (89) Festival Garçon La Note
14/08 NEVERS (58) Festival Nevers Plage
15/08 GOUDET (43) Festival Rock’n’Camp
19/08 MONTPELLIER (34) La Ferme Marine
20/08 BUIS-LES-BARONNIES (26) Les Ephélides
22/08 PANTIN (93) Le Bar Gallia
25/08 DARMSTADT (GER) Summer Festival Forst
08/09 MINSLEBEN (GER) Festival Mendevie

June Bug is:
JUNE : lead voice, electric guitar, drums, sample pad, omnichord.
BERYL : backing vocal, electric guitar, folk guitar, drums, sample pad, synthesizer.

https://www.facebook.com/junebugacoustic/
http://www.twitter.com/junebugacoustic
http://instagram.com/junebugacoustic
http://junebugacoustic.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AtypeekMusic/
https://atypeek.bandcamp.com/
atypeekmusic.com/

June Bug, “Silenced” official video

June Bug, A Thousand Days

Tags: , , , , ,