Child Announce Fall European Tour; Playing Heavy Psych Sounds Fests, Desertfest Belgium, Westill Festival & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

child hps

A few obvious reasons to post Child‘s upcoming Euro/UK tour dates. One, it’s their first time on the continent since before the pandemic, and that was long enough ago that the western world seems to have forgotten not to cough and sneeze all over each other. Two, they’re traveling from their home base in Melbourne, Australia, and that’s an awfully long way to go. Three, they’re supporting their 2023 album, Soul Murder (review here), which is their best work to-date, and has been pressed up along with the rest of their catalog through Heavy Psych Sounds for your merch-table perusal. Four, they’re set to appear as part of the frankly-stunning lineup of Desertfest Belgium as well as Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in Germany (x2) and the UK, as well as the Westill Festival in France. And five, there are open dates and if you’re seeing this and you can help out, I encourage you to do so, both as a moral good serving the greater universe and in order to give yourself what will probably be a rad, bluesy-as-hell show.

I think that about covers it.

France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, England. Seems like there’s room to sneak a Netherlands show in there, maybe Switzerland, Scotland? I don’t route tours, which is difficult and largely thankless work, but you can see where they’re headed below as of now. You can be the one who steps in with a gig. The magic is in you. It always has been.

From socials:

child european tour

*** CHILD – European Tour 2024 ***

Today we are stoked to announce CHILD European Tour starts end of September.

Don’t miss them !!

STILL FEW OPEN SLOTS

Book your show – write to info@heavypsychsounds.com

Says Child: “We are coming back… This time it’s different. We are in the best shape we have ever been. This is the band we have wanted since the beginning in 2012. The oldest of brothers, the newest of horizons! LET’S FUCKIN’ SEND IT!!! Thank you HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS.”

*** CHILD – European Tour 2024 ***
SA 28.09.24 FR SEIGNOSSE – BLACK FLAG
SU 29.09.24 ES PORTUGALETE – GROOVE
MO 30.09.24 ES OVIEDO – LA SALVAJE
TU 01.10.24 ES CORUNA – MARDI GRAS
WE 02.10.24 ES MADRID – WURLITZER BALLROOM
TH 03.10.24 ES ZARAGOZA – ROCK & BLUES
FR 04.10.24 ES BARCELONA – UPLOAD
SA 05.10.24 FR ***OPEN SLOT***
SU 06.10.24 FR LYON – LA PENTE
MO 07.10.24 IT MANTOVA – ARCI TOM
TU 08.10.24 DE BOLZANO – SUDWERK
WE 09.10.24 DE INNSBRUCK – PMK
TH 10.10.24 AT KUFSTEIN – KULTURFABRIK
FR 11.10.24 DE ULM – HEXENHAUS
SA 12.10.24 DE BERLIN – HPS FEST
SU 13.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
TU 15.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
WE 16.10.24 SE GÖTEBORG – ABYSS
TH 17.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
FR 18.10.24 BE ANTWERP – DESERTFEST
SA 19.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
SU 20.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
MO 21.10.24 DE BIELEFELD – EXTRA BLUES BAR
TU 22.10.24 DE COLOGNE – SONIC BALLROOM
WE 23.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
TH 24.10.24 DE RAVENSBURG – IRISH PUB SLAINTE
FR 25.10.24 DE JENA – KUBA
SA 26.10.24 DE DRESDEN – HPS FEST
SU 27.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
TU 29.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
WE 30.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
TH 31.10.24 ***OPEN SLOT***
FR 01.11.24 FR NANTES – WESTILL FESTIVAL
SA 02.11.24 UK LONDON – HPS FEST

CHILD is
Mathias Northway – guitar/vocals
Michael Lowe – drums
Rhys Kelly – bass

https://www.facebook.com/childtheband
https://www.instagram.com/childtheband/
https://childtheband.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/childtheband
http://www.childtheband.com
https://linktr.ee/childtheband

heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/

Child, Soul Murder (2023)

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Megaton Leviathan, Merlin, Stonerhenge, Guiltless, MR.BISON, Slump & At War With the Sun, Leather Lung, Citrus Citrus, Troubled Sleep, Observers

Posted in Reviews on March 1st, 2024 by JJ Koczan

The-Obelisk-Quarterly-Review

So this is it, but before we — you and I, not at the same time but together nonetheless — dive into the final 10 records of this well-still-basically-winter-but-almost-spring-and-god-damn-I-wish-winter-was-over Quarterly Review, how about a big, deep breath, huh? There. In occupational therapy and other teach-you-how-to-keep-your-shit-together circles, deep breathing is spoken of like it’s a magic secret invented in 1999, and you know what, I think it was. That shit definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid. Can be helpful though, sometimes, if you need just to pause for a second, literally a second, and stop that rush in your brain.

Or my brain. Because I’m definitely talking about me and I’ve come to understand in time not everyone’s operates like mine, even aside from whatever I’ve got going on neurologically, sensorially, emotionally or in terms of mental health. Ups and downs to that, as regards human experience. There are a great many things that I’m useless at. This is what I can do, so I’m doing it. Put your head down, keep working. I can do that. 10 records left? Easy. You might say I did the same thing yesterday, and that was already my busiest day, so this is gravy. And gravy, in its various contexts, textures, tastes, and delivery modes, is delicious. I hope you heard something new this week that you enjoyed. If not yet, there’s still hope.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Megaton Leviathan, Silver Tears

Megaton Leviathan Silver Tears

I’ll confess that when I held this spot for groundfloor now-Asoria, Oregon, dronegazers Megaton Leviathan, I was thinking of their Dec. 2023 instrumental album, Magick Helmet, with its expansive and noisy odes to outsider experimentalism of yore, but then founding principal Andrew James Costa Reuscher (vocals, guitars, synth, bass, etc.) announced a new lineup with the rhythm section of Alex Wynn (bass) and Tory Chappell (drums) and unveiled “Silver Tears” as the first offering from this new incarnation of the band, and its patient, swirling march and meditative overtones wouldn’t be ignored, however otherwise behind I might be. Next to Magick Helmet, “Silver Tears” is downright straightforward in its four-plus minutes, strong in its conveyance of an atmosphere that’s molten and maybe trying to get lost in its own trance a bit, which is fair enough for the hypnotic cast of the song’s ending. The lesson, as ever with Megaton Leviathan, is that you can’t predict what they’ll do next, and that’s been the case since their start over 15 years ago. One assumes the new lineup will play live and that Reuscher will keep pushing into the ether. Beyond that, they could head anywhere and not find a wrong direction.

Megaton Leviathan on Facebook

Megaton Leviathan on Instagram

Merlin, Grind House

merlin grind house

They put their own spin on it, of course, but there’s love at heart in Merlin‘s take on the classic “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” jingle that serves as the centerpiece of Grind House, and indeed, the seven-song late-2023 long-player unfolds as an intentional cinematic tribute, with “Feature Presentation” bringing the lights down with some funkier elevator vibes before “The Revenger” invents an ’80s movie with its hook alone, “Master Thief ’77” offers precisely the action-packed bassline and wah you would hope, “Endless Calamity” horror-soundtracks with keyboard, “Blood Money” goes west with due Dollars Trilogy flourish, and the 12-minute “Grindhouse,” which culls together pieces of all of the above — “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” included — and adds a voiceover, which even though it doesn’t start with “In a world…” sets its narrative forth with the verve of coming attractions, semi-over-the-top and thus right on for where Merlin have always resided. Interpreting movie music, soundtracks and the incidental sounds of the theater experience, isn’t by any means the least intuitive leap the Kansas City four-piece could make, and the ease with which they swap one style for another underscores how multifaceted their sound can be while remaining their own. If you get it, you’ll get it.

Merlin on Facebook

Merlin on Instagram

Stonerhenge, Gemini Twins

stonerhenge gemini twins

After what seem to have been a couple more group-oriented full-lengths and an initial solo EP, Minsk-based heavy rockers Stonerhenge seem to have settled around the songwriting of multi-instrumentalist Serge “Skrypa” Skrypničenka. The self-released Gemini Twins is the third long-player from the mostly-instrumental Belarusian project, though the early 10-minute cut “The Story of Captain Glosster” proves crucial for the spoken word telling its titular tale, which ties into the narrative derived Gemini myth and the notion of love as bringing two halves of one whole person together, and there are other vocalizations in “Time Loop” and “Hypersleep,” the second half of “Starship Troopers,” and so on, so the songs aren’t without a human presence tying them together as they range in open space. This is doubly fortunate, as Skrypničenka embarks on movements of clear-eyed, guitar-led progressive heavy exploration, touching on psychedelia without getting too caught up in effects, too tricky in production, or too far removed from the rhythm of the flowing “Solstice” or the turns “Over the Mountain” makes en route its ah-here-we-are apex. Not without its proggy indulgences, the eight-song/46-minute collection rounds out with “Fugit Irreparable Tempus,” which in drawing a complete linear build across its five minutes from clean tone to a distorted finish, highlights the notion of a plot unfolding.

Stonerhenge on Facebook

Stonerhenge on Instagram

Guiltless, Thorns

GUILTLESS Thorns

Guiltless make their debut with the four songs of Thorns on Neurot Recordings, following on in some ways from where guitarist, vocalist, noisemaker and apparent-spearhead Josh Graham (also ex-Battle of Mice, Red Sparowes, Neurosis visuals, etc.) and guitarist/more-noisemaker Dan Hawkins left off in A Storm of Light, in this case recording remotely and reincorporating drummer Billy Graves (also Generation of Vipers) and bringing in bassist Sacha Dunable, best known for his work in Intronaut and for founding Dunable Guitars. Gruff in the delivery vocally and otherwise, and suitably post-apocalyptic in its point of view, “All We Destroy” rumbles its assessment after “Devour-Collide” lays out the crunching tonal foundation and begins to expand outward therefrom, with “Dead Eye” seeming to hit that much harder as it rolls its wall o’ low end over a detritus-strewn landscape no more peaceful in its end than its beginning, with subsequent closer “In Radiant Glow” more malleable in tempo before seeming to pull itself apart lurching to the finish. I’d say I hope our species ultimately fares a bit better than Thorns portrays, but I have to acknowledge that there’s not much empirical evidence to base that on. Guiltless play these songs like an indictment.

Guiltless on Facebook

Neurot Recordings website

MR.BISON, Echoes From the Universe

mr.bison echoes from the universe

The latest check-in from the dimension of Italian four-piece MR.BISON, Echoes From the Universe is the band’s most realized work to-date. It’s either their third LP or their fifth, depending on what counts as what, but where it sits in the discography is second to how much the effort stands out generally. Fostering a bright, lush sound distinguished through vocal harmonies and arrangement depth, the seven-song collection showcases the swath of elements that, at this point, has transcended its influence and genuinely found a place of its own. Space rock, Elderian prog, classic harmonized melody, and immediate charge in “The Child of the Night Sky” unfold to acoustics kept going amid dramatic crashes and the melodic roll of “Collision,” with sepia nostalgia creeping into the later lines of “Dead in the Eye” as the guitar becomes more expansive, only to be grounded by the purposeful repetitions of “Fragments” with the last-minute surge ending side A to let “The Promise” fade in with bells like a morning shimmer before exploring a cosmic breadth; it and the also-seven-minute “The Veil” serving as complement and contrast with the latter’s more terrestrial swing early resolving in a an ethereal wash to which “Staring at the Sun,” the finale, could just as easily be referring as to its own path of tension and release. I’ve written about the album a couple times already, but I wanted to put it here too, pretty much just to say don’t be surprised when you see it on my year-end list.

MR.BISON on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Slump & At War With the Sun, SP/LIT

slump at war with the sun split

You’d figure with the slash in its title, the split release pairing UK sludge upstarts At War With the Sun and Slump, who are punk-prone on “Dust” and follow the riff on “Kneel” to a place much more metal, would break down into two sides between ‘SP’ and ‘LIT,’ but I’m not sure either At War With the Sun‘s “The Garden” (9:54) or the two Slump inclusions, which are three and seven minutes, respectively, could fit on a 7″ side. Need a bigger platter, and fair enough for holding the post-Eyehategod disillusioned barks of “The Garden” and the slogging downer groove they ride, or the way Slump‘s two songs unite around more open verses, the guitar dropping out in the strut of “Dust” and giving space to vocals in “Kneel,” even as each cut works toward its own ends stylistically. The mix on Slump‘s material is more in-your-face where At War With the Sun cast an introverted feel, but you want to take the central message as ‘Don’t worry, England’s still miserable,’ and keep an eye to see where both bands go from here as they continue to develop their approaches, I don’t think anyone’ll tell you you’re doing it wrong.

At War With the Sun on Facebook

At War With the Sun on Bandcamp

Slump on Facebook

Slump on Bandcamp

Leather Lung, Graveside Grin

leather lung graveside grin

They know it’s gonna get brutal, the listener knows it’s gonna get brutal, and Massachusetts riff rollers Leather Lung don’t waste time in getting down to business on Graveside Grin, their awaited, middle-fingers-raised debut full-length on Magnetic Eye Records. An established live act in the Northeastern US with a sound culled from the seemingly disparate ends of sludge and party rock — could they be the next-gen inheritors of Weedeater‘s ‘ I don’t know how this is a good time but it is’ character? time will tell — the 40-minute 11-songer doesn’t dwell long in any one track, instead building momentum over a succession of pummelers on either side of the also-pummeling “Macrodose Interlude” until “Raised Me Rowdy,” which just might be an anthem, if a twisted one, fades to its finish. I’ve never been and will never be cool enough for this kind of party, but Leather Lung‘s innovation in bringing fun to extreme sounds and their ability to be catchy and caustic at the same time isn’t something to ignore. The time they’ve put in on EPs and touring shows in the purpose and intensity with which they execute “Empty Bottle Boogie” or the modern-metal guitar contortions of “Guilty Pleasure,” but they are firm in their purpose of engaging their audience on their own level, and accessible in that regard. And as raucous as they get, they’re never actually out of control. That’s what makes them truly dangerous.

Leather Lung on Facebook

Magnetic Eye Records store

Citrus Citrus, Albedo Massima

citrus citrus albedo massima

A new(-ish) band releasing their first album through Sulatron Records would be notable enough, but Italy’s Citrus Citrus answer that significant endorsement with scope on Dec. 2023’s Albedo Massima, veering into and out of acid-laced traditions in what feels like a pursuit, like each song has a goal it’s chasing whether or not the band knew that when they started jamming. Drift and percussive intrigue mark the outset with “Sunday Morning in the Sun,” which lets “Lost It” surprise as it shifts momentarily into fuzzier, Colour Haze-y heavy psych as part of a series of tradeoffs that emerge, a chorus finish emphasizing structure. The Mediterranean twists of “Fantachimera” become explosively heavy, and that theme continues in the end of “Red Stone Seeds” after that centerpiece’s blown out experimental verses, keyboard drift building to heft that would surprise if not for “Lost It” earlier, while “Sleeping Giant” eschews that kind of tonal largesse for a synthier wash before “Frozen\Sun” creates and fills its own mellow and melancholy reaches. All the while, a pointedly organic production gives the band pockets to weave through dynamically, and melody abides. Not at all inactive, or actually that mellow, Albedo Massima resonates with the feel of an adventure just beginning. Here’s looking forward.

Citrus Citrus on Instagram

Sulatron Records webstore

Troubled Sleep, A Trip Around the Sun & Solitary Man

troubled sleep a trip around the sun

Two initial tracks from Swedish newcomers Troubled Sleep, released as separate standalone singles and coupled together here because I can, “A Trip Around the Sun” and “Solitary Man” show a penchant for songwriting in a desert-style sphere, the former coming across as speaking to Kyuss-esque traditionalism while “Solitary Man” pushes a little further into classic heavy and more complex melodies while keeping a bounce that aligns to genre. Both are strikingly cohesive in their course and professional in their production, and while the band has yet to let much be known about their overarching intentions, whether they’re working toward an album or what, they sound like they most definitely could be, and I’ll just be honest and say that’s a record I’ll probably want to hear considering the surety with which “A Trip Around the Sun” and “Solitary Man” are brought to life. I’m not about to tell you they’re revolutionizing desert rock or heavy rock more broadly, but songs this solid don’t usually happen by accident, and Troubled Sleep sound like they know where they’re headed, even if the listener doesn’t yet. The word is potential and the tracks are positively littered with it.

Troubled Sleep on Facebook

Troubled Sleep on Bandcamp

Observers, The Age of the Machine Entities

observers the age of the machine entities

I’m not sure how the double-kick intensity and progressive metal drive translates to the stately-paced, long-shots-of-things-floating-in-space of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Observers‘ debut, The Age of the Machine Entities, is sweeping enough to bridge cynical headscratching. And of course there were the whole lightspeed freakout and we-invented-murder parts of Arthur C. Clarke’s narrative as well, so there’s room for All India Radio‘s Martin Kennedy, joined by bassist Rich Gray, drummer Chris Bohm and their included host of guests to conjure the melodic wash of “Strange and Beautiful” after the blasting declarations of “Into the Eye” at the start, with “Pod Bay Doors” interpreting that crucial scene in the film through manipulated sampling (not exclusive to it), and the 11-minute “Metaphor” unfurls a subtly-moving, flute-featuring ambience ahead of the pair “The Star Child” and “The Narrow Way Part II” wrap by realigning around the project’s metallic foundation, which brings fresh perspective to a familiar subject in the realm of science fiction.

Observers on Facebook

Observers on Bandcamp

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

Quarterly Review: Lord Dying, Black Glow, Cracked Machine, Per Wiberg, Swell O, Cower, HORSEN3CK, Troll Teeth, Black Ocean’s Edge, SONS OF ZÖKU

Posted in Reviews on February 27th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

The-Obelisk-Quarterly-Review

A word about the image above. ‘AI art’ has become a thing people argue about on the internet. Like everything. Fine. I made the above image with a prompt through whatever Microsoft is calling its bot this week and got what I wanted. I didn’t have to talk to anyone or pay anyone in anything more than the personal data you compromise every time you use the internet for anything, and it was done. I could never draw, but when I finished, I felt like I’d at least taken part in some way in making this thing. And telling a computer what to make and seeing what it gets right and wrong is fascinating. You might feel a bit like you’re painting with words, which as someone who could never draw but could construct a sentence, I can appreciate.

I’m a big supporter of human creativity, and yes, corporations who already hold creative professionals — writers, editors, graphic designers, etc. — in such outward contempt will be only too happy to replace them with robots. I was there when magazines died; I know how that goes. But instead of being reactionaries and calling for never-gonna-happen-anyway bans, isn’t it maybe worth acknowledging that there’s no going back in time, that AI art isn’t going anywhere, and that it might just have valid creative uses? I don’t feel like I need to defend myself for making or using the image above, but I did try to get a human artist first and it didn’t work out. In the hard reality of limited minutes, how much should I really chase when there’s an easier way to get what I want? And how much can people be expected to live up to that shifting moral obligation in the long term?

The future will laugh at us, inevitably, either way. And fair enough with the world we’re leaving them.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Lord Dying, Clandestine Transcendence

Lord Dying Clandestine Transcendence

While bearing the tonal force of their roots in doom, Portland’s Lord Dying have nonetheless willfully become a crucial purveyor of forward-thinking death metal, driven by extremity but refusing to subdue its own impulses to fit with genre. At 12 songs and an hour’s runtime, Clandestine Transcendence neither is nor is supposed to be a minor undertaking, but with a melodic declaration in “Unto Becoming” that’ll elicit knowing nods from Virus fans and a mentality of creative reach that’s worthy of comparison to EnslavedLord Dying showcase mastery of the style the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Erik Olson, guitarist Chris Evans, bassist/vocalist Alyssa Maucere and drummer Kevin Swartz explored with vigilance on 2019’s Mysterium Tremendum (review here), and an ability to depart from aggression without losing their intensity or impact on “Dancing on the Emptiness” or in the payoff of “Break in the Clouds (In the Darkness of Our Minds).” They may be headed toward too-weird-for-everybody megaprogmetal ultimately, but the challenges-to-stylistic-homogeny of their material are only part of what gives Clandestine Transcendence its crux, and in fostering the call-and-response onslaught of “Facing the Incomprehensible” alongside the epic reach of “A Bond Broken by Death,” they cast their own mold as unique within or without of the heavy underground sphere.

Lord Dying on Facebook

MNRK Heavy website

Black Glow, Black Glow

black glow black glow

The late-2023 self-titled debut from Black Glow marks a new beginning for Monterrey, Mexico, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Gina Rios, formerly of Spacegoat, and something of a creative redirect, taking on a sound that is less indebted to boogie and classic doom but that has clearly learned the lessons of its influences. Also credited with producing (Victor “KB” Velazquez recorded, mixed and mastered, which doesn’t invalidate the credit), Rios is a strong enough performer to carry the five-song EP/short-LP on her own, but thankfully bassist Oscar Saucedo and drummer Octavio Diliegros bring tonal fullness to the breadth of atmosphere in the rolling closer “Obscured Jail,” reaching past seven minutes with fluidity that adds to Black Glow‘s aspects of purpose and craft, which are significant despite being the band’s first outing. As a vehicle for Rios‘ songwriting, Black Glow sound immediately like they can evolve in ways Spacegoat likely couldn’t or wouldn’t have, and that prospect is all the more enticing with the accomplishments displayed here.

Black Glow on Facebook

Black Glow on Bandcamp

Cracked Machine, Wormwood

Cracked Machine Wormwood

Between the leadoff of “Into the Chronosphere” and “The Glowing Sea,” “Return to Antares,” “Burning Mountain” and “Desert Haze,” UK instrumentalists Cracked Machine aren’t short on destinations for the journey that is their fourth full-length, Wormwood, but with more angular texturing on “Eigenstate” and the blend of tonal float — yes, even the bass — and terrestrial groove wrought in the closing title-track, the band manage to emphasize plot as well as a sense of freedom endemic to jam-born heavy psychedelia. That is to say, as second cut “Song of Artemis” gives brooding reply to the energetic “Into the Chronosphere,” which is loosely krautrocky in its dug-in feel and exploratory as part of that, they are not trying to pretend this material just happened. Layers of effects and a purposeful reach between its low and high ends in the solo of “The Glowing Sea” — with the drums holding the two together, as one would hope — and subsequent section of standalone guitar as the start of a linear build that spreads wide sonically rather than overpowering with volume speaks to a dynamic that’s about more than just loud or quiet, and the keyboard holding notes in the culmination of “Burning Mountain” is nothing if not purposeful in its shimmering resonance. They may be headed all over the place, but I think that’s just a sign Cracked Machine know how to get there.

Cracked Machine on Facebook

Cracked Machine on Bandcamp

Per Wiberg, The Serpent’s Here

PER WIBERG The Serpent's Here cover

Currently also of Kamchatka and Spiritual Beggars and maybe Switchblade, the career arc of Per Wiberg (also ex-Opeth, live work and/or studio contributions for Candlemass, Grand Magus, Arch Enemy, mostly on keys or organ) varies widely in style within a heavy sphere, and it should be no surprise that his solo work is likewise multifaceted. Following on from 2021’s EP, All Is Well In the Land of the Living But for the Rest of Us… Lights Out (review here), the six-song and 41-minute (seven/47 with the bonus track Warrior Soul cover “The Losers”) finds cohesion in a thread of progressive styles that allows Wiberg to explore what might be a Gary Numan influence in the verses of “The Serpent’s Here” itself while emerging with a heavy, catchy and melodic chorus marked by a driving riff. The eight-minute “Blackguards Stand Silent” works in movements across a structural departure as the rhythm section of Mikael Tuominen (Kungens Män) and drummer Tor Sjödén (Viagra Boys) get a subtle workout, and “He Just Disappeared” pushes into the cinematic on a patient line of drone, a contemplative departure after the melancholic piano of “This House is Someone Else’s Now” that allows “Follow the Unknown” to cap the album-proper with a return to the full-band feel and a pointed grace of keys and synth, clearly working to its creator’s own high standard.

Per Wiberg on Facebook

Despotz Records website

Swell O, Morning Haze

Swell O Morning Haze

Bremen, Germany’s Swell O released their apparently-recorded-in-a-day debut album, Morning Haze, in Feb. 2023 and followed with a vinyl release this past Fall on Clostridium Records, and if there’s anything clouding their vision as regards songwriting, it didn’t make it onto the record. Proffering solid, engaging, festival-ready desert-style heavy rock, “Hitchhiker” sweeps down the open highway of its own riff while “Black Cat” tips hat to Fu Manchu, the title-track veers into pop-punkish uptempoism in a way “Shine Through” contrasts with less shove and more ambience. The seven-minute “Summit” extrapolates a lean toward the psychedelic from Kyussian foundations, but the crux on Morning Haze is straightforward and aware of where it wants its songs to be aesthetically. It’s not a revolution in that regard, but it’s not supposed to be, and for all its in-genre loyalism, Morning Haze demonstrates an emergent persona in the modernized ’90s fuzz-crunch semi-blowout of “Venom” at the end, which wraps a salvo that started with “Hitchhiker” and lets Swell O make the most of their over-quickly 31-minute first LP.

Swell O on Facebook

Clostridium Records store

Cower, Celestial Devastation

cower celestial devastation

Accounting for everything from goth to post-hardcore to the churn of Godflesh in an encompassing interpretation of post-punk, London outfit Cower could fill this space with pedigree alone and manage to nonetheless make a distinct impression across the nine songs of Celestial Devastation. Organic and sad on “We Need to Have the Talk,” inorganic and sad on “Hard-Coded in the Souls of Men,” electronic anti-chic before the guitar surge in “Buffeted by Solar Winds,” and bringing fresh perspective to Kataonia-style depressive metal in “Aging Stallions,” it’s a album that willfully shirks genre — a few of them, actually — in service to its songs, as between the software-driven title-track and the downer-New-Wave-as-doom centerpiece “Deathless and Free,” Cower embark on an apparent critique of tech as integrated into current life (though I can’t find a lyric sheet) and approach from seemingly divergent angles without losing track of the larger picture of the LP’s atmosphere. Celestial Devastation is the second album from the trio, comprised of Tom Lacey, Wayne Adams (who also produced, as he will) and Gareth Thomas. Expect them to continue to define and refine this style as they move forward, and expect it to become even more their own than it is here. A band like this, if they last, almost can’t help but grow.

Cower’s Linktr.ee

Human Worth on Bandcamp

HORSEN3CK, Heavy Spells

horsen3ck heavy spells

Boston’s HORSEN3CK, who’ve gone all-caps and traded their second ‘e’ for a ‘3’ since unveiling the included-here “Something’s Broken” as a debut standalone single this January, make a rousing four-song statement of intent even as the lineup shifts from piece to piece around the core duo of Tim Catz and Jeremy Hemond, best known together for their work as the rhythm section of Roadsaw. With their maybe-not-right-now bandmate Ian Ross adding guitar to “Something’s Broken” and a different lead vocalist on each song, Heavy Spells has inherent variety even before “Haunted Heart” exalts its darker mood with pulls reminiscent of Alice in Chains‘ “Frogs.” With Catz taking a turn on vocals, “Golden Ghost” is punk under its surface class, and though “Haunted Heart” grows in its crescendo, its greater impact is in the vibe, which is richer for the shift in approach. “Thirst” rounds out with a particular brashness, but nowhere HORSEN3CK go feels even vaguely out of their reach. Alright guys. Concept proved, now go do a full-length. When they do, I’ll be intrigued to see if the lineup solidifies.

HORSEN3CK on Facebook

HORSEN3CK on Bandcamp

Troll Teeth, Sluagh Vol. 1

troll teeth sluagh vol. 1

New Jersey doom rockers Troll Teeth‘s stated goal with Sluagh Vol. 1 was to find a sound the character of which would be defined in part by its rawer, retro-styled recording. The resultant four-song outing, which was their second EP of 2023 behind Underground Vol. 1, doesn’t actually veer into vintage-style ’70s worship, but lives up to the premise just the same in its abiding rawness. “3 Shots for a 6 Shooter” brings a Queens of the Stone Age-style vocal melody over an instrumental that’s meaner than anything that band ever put to tape, while nine-minute opener “1,000 Ton Brick” feels very clearly titled in honor of its own roll. It might be the heaviest stretch on the EP but for the rumbling low distortion spliced in among the psychedelic unfolding of 16-minute closer “Purgatory,” which submerges the listener in its course after “Here Lies” seems to build and build and build through the entirety of its still-hooky execution. With its title referencing the original name of the band and a focus on older material, the rougher presentation suits the songs, though it’s not like there’s a pristine “1,000 Ton Brick” out there to compare it to. Whether there will be at Sluagh Vol. 2 at any point, I don’t know, but even the intentionality of realizing his material in the recording process argues in favor of future revisits.

Troll Teeth on Facebook

Electric Talon Records store

Black Ocean’s Edge, Call of the Sirens

black ocean's edge (Photo by Matija Kasalo)

Celebrating their own dark side in the opener “Wicked Voice,” German heavy rockers Black Ocean’s Edge keep the proceedings relatively friendly on Call of the Sirens, their debut long-player behind 2022’s Dive Deep EP, at least as regards accessibility and the catchiness of their craft. Vibrant and consistent in tone, the Ulm four-piece find room for the classic rock of “Leather ‘n’ Velvet” and the that-might-be-actual-flute-laced prog-psych payoff of “Lion in a Cage” between the second two of the three parts that comprise the title-track, which departs from the heavy blues rock of “Drift” or “Cold Black Water,” which is the centerpiece and longest inclusion at 7:43 and sets its classic-heavy influences to work with a forward-looking perspective. At 42 minutes and nine tracks, Call of the Sirens feels professional in how it reaches out to its audience, and it leaves little to doubt from Black Ocean’s Edge as regards songwriting, production or style. They may refine and sharpen their approach over time, and with these songs as where they’re coming from, they’ll be in that much better position to hit the ears of the converted.

Note: this album is out in April and I couldn’t find cover art. Band photo above is by Matija Kasalo.

Black Ocean’s Edge on Facebook

Black Ocean’s Edge on Bandcamp

SONS OF ZÖKU, ËNDL​Ë​SS

sons of zoku endless

If an album could ask you, musically, why you’re in such a hurry — and not like hurrying to work, really in a hurry, like in how you live — the mellow psych and acid folk proffered by Adelaide, Australia’s SONS OF ZÖKU on their second full-length, ËNDL​Ë​SS, might just be doing that. Don’t take that to mean the album is still or staid though, because they’re not through “Moonlight” after the intro before the bass gets funky behind all that serene melody, and when you’re worshiping the sun that’s all the more reason to dance by the moon. Harmonies resonate in “Earth Chant” (and all around) atop initially quiet guitar noodling, and the adventures in arrangement continue in the various chimes and percussion instruments, the touch of Easternism in “Kuhnoo” and the keyboard-fueled melodic payoff to the pastoralism of “Hunters.” With flute and a rhythmic delivery to its group vocal, “O Saber” borders on the tribal, while “Yumi” digs on cosmic prog insistence in a way that calls to mind the underappreciated Death Hawks and finds its way in a concluding instrumental stretch that doesn’t lose its spontaneous feel despite being more cogent than improv generally comes across. “Lonesome Tale” is a melancholy-vibe-reprise centered around acoustic guitar and “Nu Poeme” gives a sense of grandeur that is unto itself without going much past four minutes in the doing. Such triumphs are rare more broadly but become almost commonplace as SONS OF ZÖKU set their own context with a sound harnessing the inspiration of decades directing itself toward an optimistic future.

SONS OF ZÖKU on Facebook

Copper Feast Records store

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

Iron Blanket to Release Astral Wanderer April 5 on Sound Effect & Copper Feast Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

iron blanket

The occasion bringing together Copper Feast Records in the UK and Sound Effect Records in Greece to collaborate for the first time is the April 5 release of Iron Blanket‘s debut full-length, Astral Wanderer. And fair enough for the charged heavy psychedelia thus far on display in the album’s three streaming tracks, the opening duo “Evil Mind” and “Mystic Goddess” portraying a style of grounded riffing that kicks-in-the-ass some of Uncle Acid‘s garage groove while vocalist Johann Ingemar reimagines Sabbath-era Ozzy reach through a delivery that you could just as easily say comes from folk as prog and which is likened in the release info to Mars Volta. So yes, vibrato.

A later but still side A cut, “Kookaburra Nightmare” is more relaxed in tempo and broader in its soundscaping, taking some of the dreamy impulses hinted at in “Evil Mind” and “Mystic Goddess” and shifting the balance between elements in the crafting. Much of the info below came from Copper Feast‘s Bandcamp, but some I took from the social media announcement as well and kind of repositioned it to make sense all as one thing. The bottom line remains the same: something new for you to dig if you can dig it, and here’s hoping.

Preorders start Feb. 23, which is apparently today because it’s no longer July 2005 for some silly reason.

Info:

iron blanket astral wanderer

Iron Blanket – Astral Wanderer – Sound Effect & Copper Feast Records

Blending 70’s inspired psychedelic grooviness with unmistakable driving stoner rock riffs and Mars Volta-esque vocals, Sydney’s Iron Blanket are a band like no other right now.

Their much heralded live show that has drawn them new fans at every venue they’ve played down under is now translated to their debut LP, Astral Wanderer.

Released through UK-based Copper Feast Records and legendary Athens’ label Sound Effect Records, Astral Wanderer is slated for full release on 5th April.

Says Copper Feast: “Please join me in welcoming one of Sydney’s worst kept secrets Iron Blanket to Copper Feast Records! We’ve got the pleasure to be co-releasing this unmissable slab of wax alongside legendary Athens-based label Sound Effect Records. We’ll be dropping presales this Friday, February 23rd, for the two limited edition variants.”

The inaugural co-release between these much loved labels will also bring two limited edition vinyl editions, one on classic black and the other on blood red vinyl. Numbers as follows:

Classic Black – 250 worldwide
Blood Red – 150 worldwide

Tracklisting:
1. Evil Mind
2. Mystic Goddess
3. Witch’s Kiss
4. Kookaburra Nightmare
5. Astral Wanderer
6. Iron Blanket
7. Visions of the End
8. Tongue of Time

releases April 5, 2024

All songs written and performed by Iron Blanket
Recorded and mixed by Phan Sharif at Parliament Studios
Mastered by Darren Ziesing

Iron Blanket is:
Mark Lonsdale – Guitar
Nick Matthews – Drums
Tom Withford – Guitar
Charles Eggleston – Bass
Johann Ingemar – Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/Ironblanket
https://www.instagram.com/iron_blanket/
https://ironblanket.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/SoundEffectRecords
https://soundeffectrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.soundeffect-records.gr/

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

Iron Blanket, Astral Wanderer (2024)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Child Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Soul Murder & Other Reissues Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

I like it when cool things happen to good bands generally, but specifically in this case I’m glad that Child‘s 2023 heavy-blues delve, Soul Murder (review here), is getting another look with the backing of Heavy Psych Sounds — from whom I’m almost an hour removed from discussing as one of the premier heavy labels in the world, so I must be due — since the Melbourne trio basically opened their veins and bled onto the tape, at least if the audio was anything to go by, and at least in the narrative I have of last year in my mind, the corresponding response was not what the record had earned. A Heavy Psych Sounds reissue, which is a first proper physical pressing, will fix that. The concept of one kind of already does.

That Soul Murder will feature alongside reissues for the band’s other releases — 2018’s I EP (review here), 2016’s Blueside (review here) and 2013’s self-titled debut (discussed here) — should hopefully bring more validation the band’s way for what they’ve done over the last decade-plus, and that’s super too, but getting the material out for international distribution is where it’s at here, and preorders for everything go up early next month. If you need more info than that, well, stick around because I’m sure it’s coming.

What I’ve got for now follows here, courtesy of the PR wire:

child hps

*** CHILD *** repressing the australian band catalogue with 2023 album Soul Murder for the first time on VINYL and CD

We’re incredibly stoked to announce that the australian psychedelic hard rockerz CHILD are now part of the Heavy Psych Sounds Family !!!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records will release the band’s highly acclaimed 2023 album SOUL MURDER for the very first time on VINYL and CD + repress the first two albums Child and Blueside and the EP I

FOUR ALBUMs PRESALE STARTs: February 7th

BIOGRAPHY

Combine the heavy emotion of the blues, the tone and raw power of hard rock, the finesse of soul and a twist of 60’s psychedelia. It will give you a visceral musical experience that plays directly to your being. That is CHILD. Living for their art, the pubs, the booze, the endless highways and the blues is what makes this band who they are. Child are a must see for those who are worshippers at “the electric church”. The freedom and power of a live performance is important to CHILD in their approach to music, endeavouring to never perform the same way twice. They look forward to once again bringing this to the world on their continued search for sonic paradise.

Since the release of their runaway self-titled debut in 2014, Child have continued to develop their unique brand of heavy blues through constant writing and extensive national/international touring. The band released the follow-up ‘Blueside’ in December 2016, which builds on this foundation to deliver a disc of pure sonic expression whilst following in the long tradition of the blues. 2018 saw the release of Child’s first EP, simply titled ‘I’. Recorded live to tape, ‘I’ is a glimpse into the boundless directions that could be taken on upcoming releases.

CHILD is
Mathias Northway – guitar/vocals
Michael Lowe – drums
Rhys Kelly – bass

https://www.facebook.com/childtheband
https://www.instagram.com/childtheband/
https://childtheband.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/childtheband
http://www.childtheband.com

heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/

Child, Soul Murder (2023)

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Negative Reaction, Fuzz Evil, Cardinal Point, Vlimmer, No Gods No Masters, Ananda Mida, Ojo Malo, Druid Fluids, Gibbous Moon, Mother Magnetic

Posted in Reviews on November 27th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

The-Obelisk-Quarterly-Review

Don’t ask me if the ‘quarter’ in question is Fall or Winter, and I’m still planning another QR probably in early January or even December if I can sneak it, but I was able to sneak this week in while no one was looking at the calendar — mostly, that is, while I wasn’t filling said calendar with other stuff — and I decided to make it happen. I even used the ol’ Bing AI to make a header image for it. I was tired of all the no-color etchings. It’s been a decade of that at this point. I’ll try this for a bit and see how I feel about it. The kind of thing that matters pretty much only to me.

This might go to 70, but for right now it’s 50 releases Monday to Friday starting today, 10 per day. I know the drill. You know the drill. Let’s get it going.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Negative Reaction, Zero Minus Infinity

Negative Reaction Zero Minus Infinity

Holy fucking shit this rips. You want sludge? Call the masters. There are two generations of bands out there right now trying to tap into the kind of slow and ultra-heavy disaffection — not to mention the guitar tone — of Negative Reaction, and yet, no hype whatsoever. This record didn’t come to me from some high-level public relations concern. It came from Kenny Bones, who founded Negative Reaction over 30 years ago in Long Island (he and thus the band are based in West Virginia now) and whose perpetual themes between crushing depression and the odd bit of Star Wars-franchised space opera have rarely sounded more intentionally grueling. Across six songs and a mood-altering 46 minutes, Bones, bassist KJ and drummer Brian Alien bludgeon with rawness and volume-worship weight that, frankly, is the kind of thing riff-dudes on social media should be tripping over themselves to be first to sing its praises, the lurch in “Back From the Sands” feeling sincere in its unconscious rifference (that’s a reference you make with a riff) to Saint Vitus‘ “Born Too Late,” and maybe Negative Reaction were, or maybe they were born too early, or whatever, but it’s not like they’ve been a fit at any point in the last 30-plus years — cheeky horror riff chugging in “Space Hunter,” all-out fuckall-punker blast in “I’ll Have Another” before the 13-minute flute-laced (yes, Bones is on it) cosmic doom finish of “Welcome to Infinity,” etc., reaffirming square-peg status — because while there’s an awful lot of sludge out there, there’s only ever been one Negative Reaction. Bones‘ and company’s angry adventures, righteous and dense in sound, continue unabated.

Negative Reaction on Facebook

Negative Reaction on Bandcamp

Fuzz Evil, New Blood

fuzz evil new blood

Arizona brothers Wayne and Joey Rudell return with New Blood, the first Fuzz Evil full-length since High on You (review here) in 2018, and make up for lost time with 53 minutes of new material across 13 songs from the post-Queens of the Stone Age rock at the outset in “Suit Coffin” to the slow, almost Peter Gabriel-style progressivism of “Littlest Nemo,” the nighttime balladry of “Gullible’s Travel” or the disco groove of “Keep on Living.” Those three are tucked at the end, but Fuzz Evil telegraph new ideas and departures early in “My Own Blood” and even the speedier “Run Away,” with its hints of metal, pulls to the side from “Souveneers,” the hooky “G.U.M.O.C.O.,” a cut like “Heavy Glow” (premiered here) finding some middle ground between attitude-laced desert rock and the expansions thereupon of some New Blood‘s tracks. Shout to “We’ve Seen it All” as the hidden gem. All Fuzz Evil have ever wanted is to write songs and maybe make someone — perhaps even you — dance at a show. With the obvious sweat and soul put into New Blood, a little boogieing doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Fuzz Evil on Facebook

Fuzz Evil on Bandcamp

Cardinal Point, Man or Island

Cardinal Point Man or Island

A second full-length from Serbia’s Cardinal Point, Man or Island asks its central question — are you a man or an island — in the leadoff title-track. I’m not sure what being one or the other delineates, but masculinity would seem to be preferred judging by the Down-style riffing of “Stray Dog” or the heavy-like-1991 “Right ‘n’ Ready,” which feels like it was written for the stage, whether or not it actually was. “Sunrise” borders on hard country with its uber-dudeliness, but closer “This Chest” offers tighter-twisting, Lo-Pan-style riffing to cap. The tracks are pointedly straightforward, making no pretense about where the band is coming from or what they want to be doing as players. The grooves swing big and the choruses are delivered with force. You wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, but the Vranje-based four-piece aren’t trying to revolutionize heavy so much as to speak to various among those traditions that birthed it. They succeed in that here, and in making the results their own.

Cardinal Point on Facebook

Cardinal Point on Bandcamp

Vlimmer, Zersch​ö​pfung

vlimmer zerschopfung 1

Voices far more expert than mine have given pinpointed analyses of Vlimmer‘s goth-as-emotive-vehicle, semi-electronic, sometimes-heavy post-punk, New Dark Wave, etc., stylistic reach as relates to the Berlin-based solo artist’s latest full-length, Zersch​ö​pfung, but hearing The Cure in “Makks” and “Fatalideal” taken to a place of progressive extrapolation on “Platzwort” and to hear the Author & Punisher-informed slow industrial churn of the penultimate “Todesangst” become the backdrop for a dreamy vocal like Tears for Fears if they stayed up all night scribbling in their notebook because they had so much to say. Vlimmer (né Alexander Leonard Donat) has had a productive run since the first numbered EPs started showing up circa 2015, and Zersch​ö​pfung feels like a summation of the style he’s established as his own, able to speak to various sides of underground and outsider musics without either losing itself in the emotionalism of the songs or sublimating identity to genre.

Vlimmer on Facebook

Blackjack Illuminist Records on Bandcamp

No Gods No Masters, Torment

No Gods No Masters Torment

Dutch sludge metallers No Gods No Masters may seem monolithic at first on their second full-length, the self-released Torment, but the post-metallic dynamics in the atmospheric guitar on lead cut “Into Exile” puts the lie to the supposition. Not that there isn’t plenty of extreme crush to go around in “Into Exile” and the four songs that follow — second track “Towering Waves” and closer “End” on either side of the 10-minute mark, “Such Vim and Vigor” and “A God Among the Waste” shorter like “Into Exile” in a five-to-six-minute range — as the band move from crawling ambience to consuming, scream-topped ultra-doom, leave bruises with elbows thrown before the big slowdown in “Such Vim and Vigor” and tear ass regardless of tempo through the finale, and while they never quite let go of the extremity of their purpose, neither do they forget that their purpose is more than extremity. Torment sounds punishing superficially — certainly the title gives a hint that all is not sunshine and puppies — but a deeper listen is met by the richness of No Gods No Masters‘ approach.

No Gods No Masters on Facebook

No Gods No Masters on Bandcamp

Ananda Mida, Reconciler

Ananda Mida Reconciler

Italian psych rockers Ananda Mida are joined by a host of guests throughout their third full-length, Reconciler, including a return appearance from German singer-songwriter Conny Ochs on the extended heavy psych blueser “Swamp Thing” (14:52) and the four-part finale “Doom and the Medicine Man (Pt. V-VIII)” (22:09), which draws a thread through the history of prog and acid rocks, kraut and space applying no less to the 12-minute “Lucifer’s Wind” as to the surf-riffing “Reconciling” after — the latter gets a reprise on platter two of the 83-minute 2LP — as Ananda Mida dig deep into the shining thrust in the early verses of “Never Surrender” that give over to thoughtful jamming in the song’s second half, finding proto-metallic resolve in “Following the Light” before reconciling “Reconciling (Reprise)” and unfurling “Doom and the Medicine Man” like the lost ’70s coke-rock epic it may well be in some other universe, complete with the acoustic postscript. It’s two records’ worth of ambitious, and it’s two records’ worth of record. This is exploratory on a stylistic level. Searching.

Ananda Mida on Facebook

Go Down Records website

Ojo Malo, Black Light Fever Tripping

ojo malo black light fever tripping

Lumbering out of El Paso, Texas (where folks know what salsa should taste like), with seven tracks across a 23-minute debut EP, Ojo Malo follow a Sabbathian course of harder-edged doom, thick in its groove through “Crow Man” after the “Intro” and speedier with an almost nu-metal crunch in “Charon the Ferryman.” There’s Clutch and C.O.C. influences in the riffing, but there are tougher elements too, a tension that wouldn’t have been out of place 28 years ago on a Prong record, and the swing in “Black Trip Lord” has an undercurrent of aggression that comes forward in its chugging second half. The penultimate “Grim Greefo Rising” offers more in terms of melody after its riffy buildup, and “Executioner” reveals the Judas Priest that’s been in the band’s collective heart all the while. Bookended with manipulated sounds from the recordings in “Intro” and “Outro,” Black Light Fever Tripping sounds exactly like it doesn’t have time for your bullshit so get your gear off stage now and don’t break down your cymbals up there or it’s fucking on.

Ojo Malo on Facebook

Ojo Malo on Bandcamp

Druid Fluids, Then, Now, Again & Again

druid fluids then now again and again

Druid Fluids — aka Adelaide, Australia’s Jamie Andrew, plus a few friends on drums, piano, and so on — inhabits a few different personae out of psychedelic historalia throughout Then, Now, Again & Again, finding favorites in The Beatles in “Flutter By,” “Into Me I See” (both with sitar), and “Layers” while peopling other songs specifically with elements drawn from David Bowie and the solo work of Lennon and McCartney, all of which feels like fair game for the meticulously-arranged 11-song collection. “Sour’s Happy Fantasy” offers sci-fi fuzz grandeur, while “Timeline” is otherworldly in all but the central strum holding it to the ground — a singularly satisfying melody — and “Out of Phase” swaggers in like Andrew knows he was born in the wrong time. He might’ve been, but he seems to have past, present and future covered either way in this material, some of which was reportedly written when he was a teenager but which has no doubt grown more expansive in the intervening years.

Druid Fluids on Facebook

Druid Fluids on Bandcamp

Gibbous Moon, Saturn V

Gibbous Moon Saturn V

The years between their 2017 self-titled three-songer EP and the forthcoming 11-track debut full-length, Saturn V, would seem to have found Philly heavy rockers Gibbous Moon refining their approach in terms of craft and process. “Blue Shelby” has a turn on guitar like Dire Straits as vocalist Noelle Felipe (also bass) drops references to Scarface in “Blue Shelby” and brings due classicism to Mauro Felipe‘s guitar on “Ayadda.” That song, as well as “Everything” and closer “Peacemaker,” tie the EP to the LP, but Noelle, Mauro and drummer Michael Mosley are unquestionably more confident in their delivery, whether it’s the bass in the open reaches of “Sine Wave” or the of-course-it’s-speed-rock “Follow that Car” and its punker counterpart “Armadillo.” Space rock is a factor in “Indivisible,” and “Inflamed” is almost rockabilly in its tense verse, but wherever Gibbous Moon go, their steps are as sure as the material itself is solid. I’m not sure when this is actually out, if it’s 2023 or 2024, but heads up on it.

Gibbous Moon on Facebook

Gibbous Moon on Bandcamp

Mother Magnetic, Mother Magnetic

mother magnetic

Arranged shortest to longest between the ah-oo-oo-ah-ah hookiness of “Sucker’s Disease” (3:03), the nodder rollout of “Daughters of the Sun” (5:47) and the reach into psych-blues jamming in “Goddess Land” (7:03), Mother Magnetic‘s self-titled three-song EP is the first public offering from the Brisbane four-piece of vocalist Rox, guitarist James, bassist Tim and drummer Danny, and right into the later reaches of the last of those tracks, the band’s intentions feel strongly declarative in establishing their melodic reach, an Iommi-circa-’81 take on riffmaking, and a classic boozy swagger to the vocals to match. There was a time, 15-20 years ago, when demos like this ruled the land and were handed to you, burned onto archaic CD-Rs, in the vain hope you might play them in your car on the way home from the show. To not do so in this case would be inadvisable. There’s potential in the songwriting, yes, but also on a performance level, for growth as individuals and as a group, and considering where Mother Magnetic are starting in terms of chemistry, that’s all the more an exciting prospect.

Mother Magnetic on Facebook

Mother Magnetic on Bandcamp

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

Review & Album Stream: Apollo80 & Dimartis, Reverberations Vol. 1 – Tales of Dust and Winds Split LP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 14th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Apollo80 Dimartis Reverberations Vol 1 Tales of Dust and Wings

Australian jammers Apollo80 and Argentinian desert explorers Dimartis are launching a new split series for Sound Effect Records. Titled simply ‘Reverberations,’ with its first installment titled less simply, Reverberations Vol. 1 – Tales of Dust and Winds, the 38-minute long-player lays out the message of geography’s irrelevance when it comes to the heavy. Everywhere might have its own take — informed by local folk traditions or very actively not, depending on the band and situation — but if you’re on Planet Earth, heavy music is just about everywhere. In celebrating this, Sound Effect Records offer a timely reminder that human beings are the same — well timed with now two wars hot in Europe — and that creative expression and the language of music through which it’s happening here know neither gods nor borders nor walls. Whatever shape is ultimately taken, they are free-flowing. They belong to everyone.

As an art form, the split LP is very much not broken. And of all the ways one might find out about a band, it’s among the most personal of endorsements. I’ve never heard Dimartis, but I’m familiar with Apollo80. With the added apollo80 boost of curation on the part of Sound Effect Records — though Ripple Music and Heavy Psych Sounds also run split series — the two bands are essentially championing each other’s work. Some splits are done for a tour; two bands getting together on a 7″ for the merch table. Some are on a theme. Sides A and B here are so dug into the spirit of the jam that the revelry itself seems to be the driving purpose. Each complements the other, and as Apollo80 set out with the multi-movement single piece “Null Arbor” (19:54) and Dimartis follow with three songs arranged together across 18:47 in “Los Altares,” “Circulos” and “Humo,” the procession is immersive and easy to lose oneself within, “Null Arbor” building to a cosmic apex over its first seven minutes or so before resolving in a big and not completely un-tense chill, gradually swelling in volume again as it moves through its midpoint and into heavier riffing after 10 minutes in.

They’re not shy about the cacophony once they get there, and Apollo80 continue to ride that crescendo for the next minute-plus before starting the comedown process that, with the guitar in the lead spot, unfolds languidly but not lazily or any more meandering than it wants to be. Just past 15 minutes in, they nestle into a swirl of wah that creates a steady current of noise to go with the heavier repetitions that finish in the fadeout, and with a side flip, Dimartis answer patience with patience in the gradual rollout of “Los Altares,” which like “Humo” to come touches on heavy post-rock, but is coming from a place more akin to desert psychedelia, as they show in each of their three inclusions at some point or other, whether it’s the instrumentalist takeoff in “Los Altares,” the heady, kind of downer roll in “Circulos” becoming a march after its midsection and a meditative heavy that echoes My Sleeping Karma at their weightiest, with just the barest edge of post-hardcore dramaturge in the riff for good measure.

“Circulos” crashes and moves into a more subdued fluidity, ending after 13:20 with silence for space between it and the closer “Humo,” which caps Reverberations Vol. 1 – Tales of Dust and Winds with shimmer and float at its beginning. Soon enough, the heavier riff enters and Dimartis carry it through to a last-minute tempo kick that’s part desert but especially emerging from the movement it does is weirder and broader than one thinks of the style’s post-Kyuss flourishing, well placed to meet the end of the record, but not necessarily a huge blowout finish so much as where they decided it was time to leave the journey in progress. You know that math theory that says every time you draw a line, that line is infinite and it just keeps going forever, even if you only drew just a teeny-tiny bit? Reverberations Vol. 1 – Tales of Dust and Winds feels like it’s still playing somewhere when it’s over, even if I can’t hear. To me, that speaks to the idea of resonance and evocation in psychedelic music, but that’s only part of the appeal here alongside the bare heft and flashes of cosmic pulse.

How well these two might’ve known each other prior to sharing space on this platter, I don’t know, but around basic commonalities of form, Dimartis and Apollo80 present individual approaches to adventurous heavy psych, each outfit with a chemistry of their own that makes the other stronger. If that’s not the ideal, I don’t know what is, and in a universe with myriad ways in which one might discover music, from social media word-of-mouth to shitheel blogs like this one to algorithmic suggestions on endless playlists, the split retains a singular presence in the spectrum of releases. I’m glad as hell I got to hear this one.

You might be too. It premieres in full on the player below. Please enjoy.

Sound Effect Records presents the release of REVERBERATIONS, a new split series with the intention of delivering bands across the planet sonically united by a musical common ground.

The first instalment, called TALES OF DUST AND WINDS sees the Western Australians APOLLO80 joining forces with the Argentinian-Patagonians DIMARTIS to take us on a trip through desertic landscapes made of winds, cold sunsets and naked rocks.

The Australians, now at the third chapter with Sound Effect Records, offer a 20-min long desert/ kosmische one-riffer cavalcade in pure Can / Neu tradition but with a heavy twist that will please the lovers of long instrumental trips. Turn the LP and you’ll find Dimartis (10 years on the scene and surprisingly at their debut on vinyl) with three tracks beautifully arranged balancing silences and reverbs that evoke the milestones of desert rock.

Really an excellent concept aiming to take us travelling through the Australian bush and the Patagonian flats with two bands that squeezed all their local authenticity in every groove.

The LP release is planned for November 10th, on classic black and limited sea blue vinyl.

Apollo80 is:
Luke – guitar/throat/synth
Brano – bass/voice
Shane – drums

Dimartis es :
Chino Velazquez : Bateria
Luciano Pucheta : Bajo/Recs
Nazareno Ferro : Guitarra/Drones

Apollo80 on Facebook

Apollo80 on Bandcamp

Dimartis on Facebook

Dimartis on Bandcamp

Sound Effect Records on Facebook

Sound Effect Records on Bandcamp

Sound Effect Records website

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Apollo80 & Dimartis to Release Reverberations Vol. 1 – Tales of Dust and Wings Split LP Nov. 10

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Pairing Australia’s Apollo80 with Argentina’s Dimartis, Greek imprint Sound Effect Records is looking to begin a series of split LP releases called Reverberations. The two-track/38-minute full-length brings “Null Arbor” (19:54) from Apollo80 as they straddle the border between heavy psych and post-rock, then sort of decide to say screw it and rumble-jam through the spaces of their own making, and the multi-part “Los Altares/Circulos/Humo” (18:47) from Dimartis, working through a long ambient midsection bookended on either side by raw but still full-sounding riffery.

If it seems like a random pairing — it might be; would it matter, I wonder? — there are plenty of commonalities between the two acts in their respective abilities to conjure fluidity in heavy contexts, moving into and out of atmospheric stretches without giving up the aural heft or the abiding sense of exploration. I don’t know what’s on tap for the series, and most split series need three or four releases before you really get what they’re about, but there’s sprawl here and that’s a fine place to begin. Get yourself a sample with the teaser at the bottom of the post.

From the PR wire:

Apollo80 Dimartis Reverberations Vol 1 Tales of Dust and Wings

Sound Effect PRESENTS: Apollo80 / Dimartis: Reverberations Vol.1 – Tales of Dust and Wings

Sound Effect Records presents the release of REVERBERATIONS, a new split series with the intention of delivering bands across the planet sonically united by a musical common ground.

The first instalment, called TALES OF DUST AND WINDS sees the Western Australians APOLLO80 joining forces with the Argentinian-Patagonians DIMARTIS to take us on a trip through desertic landscapes made of winds, cold sunsets and naked rocks.

The Australians, now at the third chapter with Sound Effect Records, offer a 20-min long desert/ kosmische one-riffer cavalcade in pure Can / Neu tradition but with a heavy twist that will please the lovers of long instrumental trips. Turn the LP and you’ll find Dimartis (10 years on the scene and surprisingly at their debut on vinyl) with three tracks beautifully arranged balancing silences and reverbs that evoke the milestones of desert rock.

Really an excellent concept aiming to take us travelling through the Australian bush and the Patagonian flats with two bands that squeezed all their local authenticity in every groove.

The LP release is planned for November 10th, on classic black and limited sea blue vinyl.

Apollo80 is:
Luke – guitar/throat/synth
Brano – bass/voice
Shane – drums

Dimartis es :
Chino Velazquez : Bateria
Morgan Highstar : Guitarra/Teclas
Luciano Pucheta : Bajo/Recs
Nazareno Ferro : Guitarra/Drones

https://www.facebook.com/apollo80rocks/
https://apollo80.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092551886450
https://dimartis.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/SoundEffectRecords
https://soundeffectrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.soundeffect-records.gr/

Apollo80 & Dimartis, Reverberations Vol.1 – Tales of Dust and Wings teaser

Tags: , , , , , ,