Duel Announce New Album Valley of Shadows Due May 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I give Duel immediate points here for not calling their new album Witchbanger 2. Really, there was no way the Austin-based heavy rockers weren’t putting out an album this year. They just have too much going on, having already been confirmed for such geographically diverse events as Monolith of the Mesa in New Mexico, Freak Valley in Germany, Black Deer Fest in London, Desertfest New York and SXSW in their hometown. That’s an awfully busy Spring to not coincide with a new release, and sure enough, the forthcoming Valley of Shadows will see issue on May 17 — preorders Feb. 27 — as the follow-up to 2016’s Fears of the Dead (review here) and 2017’s Witchbanger (review here), as well as last year’s live outing, Live at the Electric Church (review here), that only seemed to cement the reputation as a stage act that is beginning to precede them. Happy to report that, having been fortunate enough to catch them at last year’s Maryland Doom Fest (review here), indeed, that reputation is being well earned.

Expect to hear a lot about these guys this year. They’ve got excellent momentum coming into this release, and especially as they’re recording themselves, they seem all the more primed to really let loose with something special. I’m stoked to find out.

From the PR wire:

duel valley of shadows

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS – cover & details

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to reveal the first and hotly anticipated details of DUEL’s forthcoming album VALLEY OF SHADOWS !!!

RELEASE DATE:
MAY 17th

PRESALE STARTS:
FEBRUARY 27th

The Texas occult rockers conjure up another heavy dose of tripped out old school doom metal with their third full length, Valley of Shadows, set to be released May 17th. More blood splattered tales of black magic, sex, ancient curses and devils on the streets, with eight epic and infectious rippers showing a wider range of the bands song writing abilities from psychedelic heavy metal anthems to Thin Lizzy esque dueling guitars to full blast Motorhead shredding! Their deepest cuts yet recorded over a period of winter months by DUEL guitarist Jeff Henson at the infamous Red Nova Ranch studio, located in the desert wastelands of Texas just outside of Austin. Mastered by Alberto de Icaza, Valley of Shadows leads us into an all night smoked out, mushroom fueled sessions with each tune. What could be the bands best collaboration to date, a rock solid album from start to finish!

GATEFOLD SLEEVE VINYLS AVAILABLE IN:
40 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
250 ULTRA LTD BABY BLUE VINYL
500 LTD RED TRANSPARENT – SPLATTER BLACK/BLUE/WHITE/YELLOW
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

TRACKLIST
1. Black magic summer
2. Red moon forming
3. Drifting alone
4. Strike and Disappear
5. Broken Mirror
6. Tyrant on the throne
7. I feel no pain
8. The bleeding heart

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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The Well to Release Death and Consolation April 26; Playing Monolith on the Mesa and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the well

Busy Spring coming up for The Well. The Austin-based trio are slated to take part in Monolith on the Mesa alongside the likes of Om and Wovenhand. They’ll tour for a few dates with Monolord on a longer stint of their own that will take them into Canada. And because that’s clearly not enough, they’ll have a new album, Death and Consolation out on RidingEasy to follow-up on 2016’s Pagan Science (review here). If it’s a question of scale though, it’s probably worth noting that they went to Europe twice last year — in August and October — so at this point they’re used to a good amount of here and there. And speaking of, check out the routing that has them going from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Taos, New Mexico, for the aforementioned Monolith on the Mesa. That’s a solid 21 hours by car. Or van, as it were.

They’ve got a few days to make that trip, but even so. Substantial.

By then, the April 26 release date for Death and Consolation will have come and gone, but we’re not there yet. The first-unveiled single, “Raven,” is streaming at the bottom of this post though, so have at it.

The PR wire brings details:

the well death and consolation

The Well – Death and Consolation

Austin trio The Well announce their forthcoming third album Death and Consolation today, sharing the first single.

Death and Consolation is without a doubt a weighty album title. And, The Well is among the heaviest heavy psych bands in existence. So when we say that there’s even more darkness and intensity to the band’s third album than previous efforts, take heed. It’s a deep sea diving bell of enveloping heaviness and longing.

“This one is a little more personal,” says guitarist/vocalist Ian Graham. “2018 was a strange, dark year. A lot of change going on in my life, there was a lot of depression and coming out of it over the last year. I wanted to call this Death and Consolation, because in life that’s a constant.”

While The Well continue to walk an intriguing line between authentic early 70s doom/heavy psych and frayed weirdness of dark folk – especially with their haunting unison male/female vocals – the new album also adds the stark vibe of post-punk acts like Joy Division and early The Cure. “I feel like this album is almost more gothic. We’re big fans of post-punk,” Graham says. There’s also much less jamming, the songs are tight and concise. And, did we mention, heavy? The band tuned down a full step to C-standard tuning for this album, which gives the proceedings its monstrous sound.

Sonically, Death and Consolation picks up where The Well — Graham, bassist/vocalist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan — left off with their widely heralded 2016 RidingEasy album Pagan Science. The band once again recorded with longtime producer/engineer Chico Jones at Estuary Studio in 2018, who has turned the knobs for all three of their albums (Jones engineered the band’s debut album Samsara with producer Mark Deutrom [Melvins, Sunn0)))] in 2013.) Samsara, released late September 2014 was ranked the #1 debut album of 2014 by The Obelisk and Pagan Science among the Best of 2016 from the Doom Charts collective. Likewise, the band’s intense — some even say “possessed” — live performances have earned them featured slots at Austin’s Levitation Fest, as well as tours with Kadavar, All Them Witches, Black Tusk and more.

“This album might be a little less produced, because I didn’t want to push technical stuff as much,” Graham says. “I’m so scared of getting too complicated when getting better at guitar. This is still kind of punk rock.”

Death and Consolation will be available on LP, CD and download on April 26th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available HERE.

THE WELL TOUR 2019:
03/01 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
04/12 – Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room
04/13 – Cypress Creek, LA @ Fête du Void Festival
04/24 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
04/25 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda*
05/01 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown*
05/02 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive*
05/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
05/04 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
05/09 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
05/10 – Seattle, WA @ Substation
05/12 – Calgary, AB @ Palomino
05/13 – Edmonton, AB @ Temple
05/14 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Windsor
05/18 – Taos, NM @ Monolith on the Mesa Fest
05/19 – El Paso, TX @ Monarch
* w/ Monolord

Artist: The Well
Album: Death and Consolation
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release date: April 26th, 2019
01. Sabbah
02. Raven
03. Death Song
04. Cup of Peace
05. Eyes of A God
06. Act II
07. Freedom Above
08. This Is How
09. Endless Night

http://www.facebook.com/thewellband
http://thewellaustin.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

The Well, “Raven”

The Well, Pagan Science (2016)

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Tia Carrera to Release Visitors / Early Purple March 22; Playing SXSW

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

tia carrera

On March 13 at Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, Austin’s own Tia Carrera will jam into oblivion as headliners of Small Stone Records‘ return SXSW showcase, topping a bill that includes The Cold StaresDwellersSundrifterLa Chinga and Irata. It’s been a while, but Small Stone showcases at SXSW are like a battle royale: Band vs. band. Volume vs. ears. Booze vs. liver. Those nights are the stuff of legend, and as the label girds its loins to revive the tradition, the hometown natives likewise make a return, this time with their first album since 2011’s Cosmic Priestess (review here). The off-the-cuff three-piece have brought in Dixie Witch bassist Curt Christenson, and Visitors / Early Purple will be out March 22, though preorders are up and you can stream the 16-minute side B cut — that’s “Early Purple” — right now. Of particular note is the fact that there isn’t a CD version being done; it’s vinyl and digital-only. Fascinating.

Info for the Small Stone showcase is here on Thee Facebooks, and info on the album follows:

tia carrera visitors early purple

Visitors / Early Purple by Tia Carrera

What can you say about Tia Carrera? Longevity, stamina, power, grace, sensuality, and telepathy? Don’t forget bone shakingly loud, always impressive and truly psychedelic.

Jason Morales (guitar) and Erik Conn (drums), each with a reputation in ATX for their shredness, are now pushing 20 years together as Tia Carrera with zero signs of slowing down. They’ve recruited longtime friend and legendary bass wizard, Curt Christenson (Dixie Witch/Crimson Devils) as a permanent member, in a move made a few years ago that has emboldened the band’s sound and dynamic, telepathic talent, and steadfast trajectory of heavy-psych-blues-bliss exploration.

The band is mysteriously and famously selective about what they officially release to the public. With every performance unique by the improvisation of their music, they’ve amassed quite a collection of recorded material, both live performances and private studio recordings.

Culled from the latter are the blistering plight of “Visitors” and muscle-car groove of “Early Purple,” both of which can be heard on Tia Carrera’s forthcoming release on Small Stone Records in Spring 2019.

Tia Carrera continue to gain new fans, influence their peers, ignite the legend worldwide, and are more respected and relevant than ever as veterans known to take their listeners on a journey of tripped-out and high energy proportions. It’s clear to anyone in earshot the band still loves what they do. And when they play, they’re loud enough that just about everyone is in earshot.

Releases March 22, 2019.

Tia Carrera is:
Jason Morales: guitar
Curt Christenson: bass

Recorded at the BBQ Shack, Austin, TX.
Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova.
Artwork by Tim Kerr.
Layout by Alexander von Wieding.

http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com

Tia Carrera, Visitors / Early Purple (2019)

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Greenbeard Release Onward, Pillager EP; Touring to Maryland Doom Fest 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

greenbeard

As-yet-underrated Austin heavy rockers Greenbeard have released a new EP called Onward, Pillager. It’s three tracks and it’s cool. That’s about as simple as I can make it. Each song has its own kind of vibe, there is some guest synth, some guest vocals, and it all works pretty well to give an enticing showcase of where the three-piece are at. Worth your time? Worth your time. Stream it at the bottom of this post, via Bandcamp.

Greenbeard will tour their way out to Maryland Doom Fest 2019 next June. Right on for a few reasons. One, it means I’ll see them at MDDF. That’ll be fun. Two, it means they’re getting out on the road and a bunch of other people will see them at the other shows. Three, that itself means that the fest is having an effect even outside of itself on the heavy underground. Someone shows up to see Greenbeard on tour while Greenbeard are on tour to get to the fest? That’s awesome. That’s making things happen. Nothing but positive all around. And all the more so because the band is killer.

That’s my spiel. Not much critique, I guess, but I call’s ’em like I sees ’em, and to me this only seems like good news:

greenbeard onward pillager

OUT NOW! GREENBEARD’s new ‘ONWARD, PILLAGER’ EP available via Sailor Records; Confirming 2019 Tour Dates

Austin’s stoner/desert rock trio GREENBEARD launched their new EP ‘Onward, Pillager’ via the Denver, Colorado label Sailor Records on December 22nd. ‘Onward, Pillager’ serves as a teaser for an upcoming, full-length release on Sailor Records in 2019.

Both releases are produced, recorded, and mixed with Jeff Henson at Red Nova Ranch, in Austin, Texas. The EP is mastered by Alberto De Icaza. The band once again teamed up with long time collaborator Antoine Defarges of Headbang Design, to continue the Greenbeard tradition of elaborate, striking artwork for all their releases.

Greenbeard had this to say about their upcoming EP:

“It’s been great working with Jeff Henson on this EP! Aside from great recording quality, one of Jeff’s strengths that really works for us is his songwriting vision. We are all on the same page as far as rock and roll goes, and Jeff has been able to see our songs and give them a little extra shape to really make them stand out as some banging tunes. Because of this, we are very excited to release ‘Onward, Pillager’ and continue working more with Henson as we start getting things together for our next full length.”

‘Onward, Pillager’ is available on CD and Digital Download via Bandcamp and is now streaming on most digital outlets.

Order now at: https://greenbeard.bandcamp.com/

Track List:
1. Contact High II (synth by Conrad Keely)
2. WCCQ (background vocals by Felicia Andrews)
3. Kill To Love Yourself

UPCOMING DATES:

Greenbeard’s first confirmed tour dates for 2019 whirlwind around their appearance at the Maryland Doom Fest. More dates, details, and event links will be announced soon.

June 11 – Dallas, Texas
June 12 – Tulsa, Oklahoma
June 13 – Kansas City, Missouri
June 14 – Denver, Colorado
June 15 – Omaha, Nebraska
June 16 – Chicago, Illinois
June 17 – Fort Wayne, Indiana
June 18 – Lexington, Kentucky
June 19 – Cleveland, Ohio
June 20 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 21 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 22 – Frederick, Maryland – MARYLAND DOOM FEST
June 23 – Richmond, Virginia
June 24 – Raleigh, North Carolina
June 25 – Savannah, Georgia
June 26 – Jacksonville, Florida
June 27 – Atlanta, Georgia
June 28 – Nashville, Tennessee
June 29 – Knoxville, Tennessee
July 01 – Sheveport, Louisiana

GREENBEARD:
Chance Allan – Guitar/Vocals
Jeff Klein – Bass/Guitar
Buddy Hachar – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/greenbeardtheband/
https://www.instagram.com/greenbeardtheband/
https://greenbeard.bandcamp.com/
http://www.greenbeardtheband.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sailor-Records-359148970778780/
https://www.instagram.com/sailorrecords/
https://www.sailorrecords.com/

Greenbeard, Onward, Pillager (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Thou, Liquid Visions, Benthic Realm, Ape Machine, Under, Evil Triplet, Vestjysk Ørken, Dawn of Winter, Pale Heart, Slowbro

Posted in Reviews on December 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

We meet again! The second week of this amply-proportioned Quarterly Review begins today as we move ever closer toward the inevitable 100-album finish line on Friday. There is an incredible amount of music to get through this week, so I don’t want to delay for too long, but as we look out across the vast stretch of distortion to come, I need to say thank you for reading, and I hope that you’ve been able to find something that’s kicking your ass a little bit in all the right ways so far. If not, well, there are 50 more records on the way for you to give it another shot.

Here goes.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Thou, Magus

thou magus

How can something be so raw and forward thinking at the same time? Baton Rouge’s Thou might be the band of their generation who’ve added the most to sludge in terms of pushing the style in new directions and shaping genre to their purposes. Magus (on Sacred Bones), their fourth or fifth full-length depending on whom you ask, is an overwhelming 75-minute 2LP of inward and outward destructive force, as heavy in its ambience as in its weight and throat-ripping sonic extremity, and yet somehow is restrained. To listen to the march of “Transcending Dualities,” there’s such a sense of seething happening beneath the surface of that chugging, marching riff, and after its creeping introduction, “In the Kingdom of Meaning” seems intent on beating its own rhythm, as in, with fists, and even a stop-by from frequent guest vocalist Emily McWilliams does little to detract from that impression. Along with Magus, which rightly finishes with the lurching threat of “Supremacy,” Thou have released three EPs and a split this year, so their pace runs in something of a contrast to their tempos, but whether you can keep up or not, Thou continue to press forward in crafting pivotal, essential brutalizations.

Thou website

Sacred Bones Records website

 

Liquid Visions, Hypnotized

Liquid Visions Hypnotized

Sulatron Records‘ pressing of Liquid Visions‘ 2002 debut, Hypnotized, is, of course, a reissue, but also the first time the album has been on vinyl, and it’s not long into opener “State of Mind” or the grunge-gone-classic-psych “Waste” before they earn the platter. Members of the band would go on to participate in acts like Zone Six, Wedge, Electric Moon and Johnson Noise, so it’s easy enough to understand how the band ties into the family tree of underground heavy psych in Berlin, but listening to the glorious mellow-unfolding-into-noise-wash-freakout of 15-minute closer “Paralyzed,” the appeal is less about academics than what the five-piece of vocalists/guitarists H.P. Ringholz (also e-sitar) and Kiryk Drewinski (also organ), bassist Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt (also Fender Rhodes and Mellotron), drummer Chris Schwartzkinsky and thereminist Katja Wolff were able to conjure in terms of being both ahead of their time and behind it. As the album moves from its opening shorter tracks to the longer and more expansive later material, it shows its original CD-era linearity, but if an LP reissue is what it takes to get Hypnotized out there again, so be it. I doubt many who hear it will complain.

Liquid Visions on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Benthic Realm, We Will Not Bow

Benthic Realm We Will Not Bow

The second short release from Benthic Realm behind a 2017 self-titled EP (review here) finds the Massachusetts-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Krista van Guilder (ex-Second Grave, ex-Warhorse), bassist Maureen Murphy (ex-Second Grave) and drummer Dan Blomquist (also Conclave) working toward a refined approach bridging the divide between doom and darker, harder hitting metal. They do this with marked fluidity, van Guilder shifting smoothly between melodic clean singing and harsher screams as Murphy and Blomquist demonstrate like-minded ease in turns of pace and aggression. The penultimate semi-title-track “I Will Not Bow” is an instrumental, but “Save us All,” “Thousand Day Rain” and closer “Untethered” — the latter with some Slayer ping ride and ensuing double-kick gallop — demonstrate the riff-based songwriting that carries Benthic Realm through their stylistic swath and ultimately ties their ideas together. If they think they might be ready for a debut full-length, they certainly sound that way.

Benthic Realm on Thee Facebooks

Benthic Realm website

 

Ape Machine, Darker Seas

ape machine darker seas

Maybe Ape Machine need to make a video with cats playing their instruments or something, but five albums deep, the Portland outfit seem to be viciously underrated. Releasing Darker Seas on Ripple, they take on a more progressive approach with songs like “Piper’s Rats” donning harmonized vocals and more complex interplay with guitar. It’s a more atmospheric take overall — consider the acoustic/electric beginning of “Watch What You Say” and it’s semi-nod to seafaring Mastodon, the likewise-unplugged and self-awarely medieval “Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester)” and the rocking presentation of what’s otherwise fist-pumping NWOBHM on “Bend Your Knee” — but Ape Machine have always been a band with songwriting at their center, and even as they move into the best performances of their career, hitting a point of quality that even producer Steve Hanford (Poison Idea) decided to join them after the recording as their new drummer, there’s no dip in the quality of their work. I don’t know what it might take to get them the attention they deserve — though a cat video would no doubt help — but if Darker Seas underscores anything, it’s that they deserve it.

Ape Machine on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Under, Stop Being Naive

under stop being naive

Stockport, UK, three-piece Under bring a progressive edge to their pummel with their second album, Stop Being Naive (on APF), beginning with the deceptively thoughtful arrangement of crushing opener and longest track (immediate points) “Malcontent,” which unfurls a barrage of riffs and varied vocals contributed by guitarist Simon Mayo, bassist Matt Franklin and drummer/keyboardist Andy Preece. Later cuts like “Soup” and “Grave Diggers” tap into amorphous layers of extremity, and “Happy” punks out with such tones as to remind of the filth that became grindcore in the UK nearly 40 years ago, but while “Big Joke” rolls out with a sneer and closer “Circadian Driftwood” has a more angular foundation, there’s an overarching personality that comes through Under‘s material that feels misanthropic and critical in a way perhaps best summarized by the record’s title. Stop Being Naive is sound enough advice, and it comes presented with a fervent argument in its own favor.

Under on Thee Facebooks

APF Records webstore

 

Evil Triplet, Have a Nice Trip

evil triplet have a nice trip

Trimming the runtime of their 2017 debut, Otherworld (review here) nearly in half, Austin weirdo rockers Evil Triplet present the six-song/38-minute single LP Have a Nice Trip on Super Secret with classic garage buzz tone on “A Day Like Any Other,” a cosmic impulse meeting indie sneer on opener “Space Kitten” and a suitably righteous stretch-out on “Aren’t You Experienced?” — which is just side A of the thing. The pulsating “Open Heart” might be the highlight for its Hawkwindian drive and momentary drift, but “Pyramid Eye”‘s blown-out freakery isn’t to be devalued, and the eight-minute capper “Apparition” is dead on from the start of its slower march through the end of its hook-topped jam, reminding of the purpose behind all the sprawl and on-their-own-wavelength vibes. A tighter presentation suits Evil Triplet and lets their songs shine through while still highlighting the breadth of their style and its unabashed adventurousness. May they continue to grow strange and terrify any and all squares they might encounter.

Evil Triplet on Thee Facebooks

Super Secret Records website

 

Vestjysk Ørken, Cosmic Desert Fuzz

Vestjysk orken Cosmic Desert Fuzz

To a certain extent, what you see is what you get on Vestjysk Ørken‘s debut EP, Cosmic Desert Fuzz. At very least, the Danish trio’s three-tracker first outing is aptly-named, and guitarist/vocalist Bo Sejer, bassist Søren Middelkoop Nielsen and drummer Thomas Bonde Sørensen indeed tap into space, sand and tone on the release, but each song also has a definite theme derived from cinema. To wit, “Dune” (11:41) samples Dune, “…Of the Dead” (9:13) taps into the landmark George Romero horror franchise, and “Solaris” (14:15) draws from the 1972 film of the same name. The spaciousness and hypnotic reach of the latter has an appeal all its own in its extended and subtle build, but all three songs not only pay homage to these movies but seem to work at capturing some aspect of their atmosphere. Vestjysk Ørken aren’t quite rewriting soundtracks, but they’re definitely in conversation with the works cited, and with an entire universe of cinema to explore, there are accordingly no limits as to where they might go. Something tells me it won’t be long before we find out how deep their obsession runs.

Vestjysk Ørken on Instagram

Vestjysk Ørken on Bandcamp

 

Dawn of Winter, Pray for Doom

Dawn of Winter Pray for Doom

I have no interest in playing arbiter to what’s “true” in doom metal or anything else, and neither am I qualified to do so. Instead, I’ll just note that Germany’s Dawn of Winter, who trace their roots back nearly 30 years and have released full-lengths on a one-per-decade basis in 1998, 2008 and now 2018 with Pray for Doom, have their house well in order when it comes to conveying the classic tenets of the genre. Issued through I Hate, the eight-track/51-minute offering finds drummer Dennis Schediwy punctuating huge nodder grooves led by Jörg M. Knittel‘s riffs, while bassist Joachim Schmalzried adds low end accentuation and frontman Gerrit P. Mutz furthers the spirit of traditionalism on vocals. Songs like “The Thirteenth of November” and the stomping “The Sweet Taste of Ruin” are timeless for being born too late, and in the spirit of Europe’s finest trad doom, Dawn of Winter evoke familiar aspects without directly worshiping Black Sabbath or any of their other aesthetic forebears. Pray for Doom is doom, because doom, by doomers, for doomers. The converted will be accordingly thrilled to hear them preach.

Dawn of Winter on Thee Facebooks

I Hate Records website

 

Pale Heart, Jungeland

pale heart jungleland

Semi-retroist Southern heavy blues boogie, some tight flourish of psychedelia, and the occasional foray into broader territory, Stuttgart three-piece Pale Heart‘s StoneFree debut long-player, Junegleland is striking in its professionalism and, where some bands might sacrifice audio fidelity at the altar of touching on a heavy ’70s aesthetic, guitarist/vocalist Marc Bauer, key-specialist Nico Bauer and drummer Sebastian Neumeier (since replaced by Marvin Schaber) present their work in crisp fashion, letting the construction of the songs instead define the classicism of their influence. Low end is filled out by Moog where bass might otherwise be, and in combination with Hammond and Fender Rhodes and other synth, there’s nothing as regard missing frequencies coming from Jungleland, the nine songs of which vary in their character but are universally directed toward honing a modern take on classic heavy, informed as it is by Southern rock, hard blues and the tonal warmth of yore. A 50-minute debut is no minor ask of one’s audience in an age of fickle Bandcamp attentions, but cuts like the 12-minute “Transcendence” have a patience and character that’s entrancing without trickery of effects.

Pale Heart on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

 

Slowbro, Nothings

Slowbro Nothings

UK instrumentalist three-piece Slowbro‘s full-length debut, Nothings, brings forth eight tracks and 51 minutes of heavy-ended sludge rock notable for the band’s use of dueling eight-string guitars instead of the standard guitar/bass setup. How on earth does something like that happen? I don’t know. Maybe Sam Poole turned to James Phythian one day and was like, “Hey, I got two eight-string guitars. So, band?” and then a band happened. Zeke Martin — and kudos to him on not being intimidated by all those strings — rounds out on drums and together the trio embark on cuts like “Sexlexia” (a very sexy learning disability, indeed) and “Broslower,” which indeed chugs out at a considerably glacial pace, and “Fire, Fire & Fire,” which moves from noise rock to stonerly swing with the kind of aplomb that can only be conjured by those who don’t give a shit about style barriers. It’s got its ups and downs, but as Nothings — the title-track of which quickly cuts to silence and stays there until a final crash — rounds out with “Pisscat” and the eight-strings go ever so slightly post-rock, it’s hard not to appreciate the willful display of fuckall as it happens. It’s a peculiar kind of charm that makes it both charming and peculiar.

Slowbro on Thee Facebooks

Creature Lab Records website

 

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Monte Luna Update on Progress for Second Album Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Normally I’d probably play it lazy and just include the video studio update from Monte Luna at the bottom of this post and leave it at that, but you know what? Their 2017 self-titled debut (review here), which was picked up by Argonauta Records and issued on vinyl earlier this year, is definitely worth another visit with its assault of longform sludge and doom groove, so yeah, I pretty much had to include that too. So much for lazy. Three or four extra clicks and one cut and paste later, I’m profoundly exhausted, not to mention riffed to a pulp.

The good news, though, is that the Austin, Texas, duo are nearly done with the record. They’ve finished the process of actually recording — a big step, I think we can all agree — and they’re having the album mixed before sending off to Chris Fielding at Skyhammer for mastering. As it happens, Fielding also mastered the debut, so if you’re wondering what that might sound like, again, the player’s at the bottom.

I’ll hope to have more to come on this one as we get closer to the release. Looks like there’s plenty of good news to come.

From the PR wire:

monte luna

STUDIO UPDATE: MONTE LUNA TO FINALIZE BRAND NEW ALBUM!

MONTE LUNA is the experience for the experienced spirits, reaching deep into your soul with a sledge of the heavy as hell doom sounds. After their critically acclaimed debut album self-released in 2017, the Austin-based duo and brainchild of James Cl and Philip Hook have signed a worldwide deal with Argonauta Records, who re-released MONTE LUNA’s debut on Vinyl this summer and who are set to release the band’s sophomore album during 2019!

Currently in the Matador Studios in San Antonio Texas, the band has now checked back with some update! “Hello everyone! James and Phil here from the Studio! The album is coming along smoothly! We have been able to record all of the album tracks, in addition to that, we have recorded 3 songs that will not be featured on the album! What we will do with those songs is unclear at this time. Once we have the album mixed we will be sending it off to Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios for Mastering. We could not be more excited to show you all the new music! It is not going to be the same album as our self titled, some things have changed, but at its core it is still Monte Luna. Much love to you all! We can’t wait to give you some new music!”

Known for their interminable doom tracks, although the new album songs may be shorter than usual and the record will mark a change for the band, MONTE LUNA will keep leading you into another dimension and a challenging trip to fill your musical voids, and are hard at work to deliver their strongest work to date. Recommended for fans of Yob, Conan, Cough among many more heavyweights of the doom, the album release date alongside cover art work and some first tunes will be unleashed over the next upcoming months. Stay tuned for many more news as well as extensive tour plans by the band to be unveiled soon!

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www.argonautarecords.com

Monte Luna Studio Update

Monte Luna, Monte Luna (2017)

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Mark Deutrom Sets Jan. 4 Release for The Blue Bird; Streaming “The Happiness Machine”

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mark deutrom

You know, I could go on about Mark Deutrom‘s career, his history as a solo artist, that time he played bass when the Melvins were good, or the stuff he did in Clown Alley, or with Bellringer — the latter of which is being reissued — but the bottom line is pretty simple: He does good work, you should listen to it. Okay. Fair enough.

His upcoming LP on Season of Mist is called The Blue Bird, and the details for it are out now as well as the streaming song “The Happiness Machine.” I haven’t had the pleasure of digging into the full record yet, but the art deco cover is killing me and the leadoff single — also the penultimate track on the album — is right in line with what Deutrom does best: foster traditionalist songcraft with just an edge of the weird running alongside. If you have the chance, it’s well worth your time.

The cover is by Jennifer Deutrom and the info came down the PR wire. Preorders are up now:

Mark Deutrom The Blue Bird

MARK DEUTROM (ex MELVINS bassist) will release his highly anticipated new album ‘The Blue Bird’ on January 4, 2019. The first work under the Texan’s own name in almost six years, ‘The Blue Bird’ is a full album listening experience; it explores melody, space, nuance, and volume as it flows from track-to-track like a prismatic audio storybook. From the classic unconventional heaviness of tracks such as “The Happiness Machine”, to the fever dream haziness of the “Somnambulist”, through the moody “The Day Has Come”, Deutrom moves from strength to strength without ever letting his foot off the gas. ‘The Blue Bird’ is rock grandeur, oozing poise and purpose, and has all the Deutrom hallmarks to be an abiding piece of heavy rock history.

DEUTROM is sharing the first new track from ‘The Blue Bird’ titled “The Happiness Machine” now.

Regarding the track and album unveiling, MARK DEUTROM comments, “Happiness is defined as the following: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment; exuberance, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness, euphoria, transports of delight; Hollywood ending”

He continues,

“An observation of the machinery at work, and possibly the ghost in that machine. Happiness, always being pursued is perpetually ethereal and elusive.

” in the air, on the web,
on the chain in your head”

The album is about the nature of happiness…or is it?”

‘The Blue Bird’ will release January 4, 2019. Pre-orders for the album are available here.

The artwork, created by Mark’s wife Jennifer Deutrom, and track list for ‘The Blue Bird’ can be found below:

Track List:
1. No Space Holds the Weight
2. Futurist Manifesto
3. Radiant Gravity
4. O Ye of Little Faith
5. Our Revels Now are Ended
6. Hell is a City
7. Somnambulist
8. Maximum Hemingway
9. Through the Ringing Cedars
10. They Have Won
11. On Father’s Day
12. The Happiness Machine
13. Nothing Out There

DEUTROM recently announced the reissue of “Bellringer”, the last in the series of reissues via Season of Mist. The prolific musician’s forward-thinking album titled ‘Bellringer’ will be available again worldwide on November 30. Pre-orders for ‘Bellringer’ are available here.

https://www.facebook.com/markdeutrom/
https://markdeutrom.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
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Mark Deutrom, “The Happiness Machine”

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Kyle Shutt of The Sword Announces First Solo Album Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

As always when a band calls it quits, there’s some question as to what’s next for its component members. Some do nothing. Some form other groups with other former members of other former bands. Every now and again, someone goes solo, and that would seem to be the intent — or at least one of the intents — of The Sword guitarist Kyle Shutt, who in the wake of his main outfit going on hiatus is both taking his heavied-up Pink Floyd tribute project Doom Side of the Moon on the road for select dates this Fall and embarking on a first-ever, he-plays-everything solo album set to release in May 2019. He’s got a crowdfunding campaign set up for the album now wherein, among other assorted rewards, he offers for $3,000 to cover any song you want, and in the video he dares someone to raise the money on GoFundMe and make him do “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Fair.

The PR wire brings word of these sundry doings and more:

kyle shutt (Photo by Mateo Leyba)

The Sword Guitarist Kyle Shutt Announces Plans to Release Solo LP

Acclaimed Musician Launches Incentive-Driven Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Solo Debut; Album Slated for May 2019 Release

Celebrated guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Shutt has announced plans to release his first-ever solo album in the spring of 2019. Shutt, who has spent the last 12 years touring the world as guitarist for the award-winning hard rock band The Sword, and just last year launched Doom Side of the Moon: a Heavy Metal Tribute to Pink Floyd, plans to play all of the instrumentation on the solo release and handle vocals, as well. The musician has launched a fan-friendly Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, which is slated for a May, 2019 release date. For full details on the campaign, which runs through October 31, visit this location.

“I love producing albums and rolling up my sleeves to tackle big challenges,” says Shutt. “While wondering what to do with a mountain of material not necessarily fit for any band that I am in, I heard a tiny, very loud voice telling me to make a solo album in that very sense, solo! I’ll be hitting those drums, slapping that bass, singing those lyrics, and absolutely shredding that guitar. If there’s something that makes a noise I like, I’m playing it. Now, while making albums is a load of fun, it’s also a load of work that, in 2018 doesn’t come cheap. That’s why I thought I’d ask you all be a part of the launching of this wacky solo career, which isn’t just stopping with this initial album. I’m starting with this record and will go wherever my inspiration takes me.”

“It‘s not easy being an artist these days, and I truly couldn’t do this without your support,” Shutt continues. “So if you have the faith in me to do my part in saving rock ’n’ roll, pick up a record and a shirt and LET’S DO THIS THING!

Shutt’s Austin-based Doom Side of the Moon project will perform its first-ever national live shows this December with just-announced gigs in Dallas, Denver and Brooklyn in addition to an encore performance in ATX. The autumn itinerary is as follows:

Doom Side of the Moon tour dates:

November 30 Austin, TX Emo’s
December 1 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live!
December 3 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
December 4 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

“Taking Doom Side of the Moon on the road, and to the sky for that matter for these fly in dates, is certainly the biggest project I’ve ever attempted, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Shutt states. “I can only imagine what Pink Floyd felt like taking a show like ‘The Wall’ on the road. Those guys had such astounding ambition, I hope I do them justice by putting on the best tribute I can to their timeless catalog.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kyleshutt/kyle-shutt
https://www.facebook.com/DoomSideoftheMoon/

Doom Side of the Moon album visualizer

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